Friday, November 5, 2010

Seven Soldiers of Victory Casting

So, Rickey's been wanting me to read this series FOREVER and I finally got around to it. I'm not big into superhero comics, but I love Grant Morrison, and though I didn't always understand Seven Soldiers, I totally dug it.

So of course as soon as I finished it, I had to cast it in my head. Plus, I can't imagine this ever making it's way to the big screen, so I'm sure my choices are safe from future disappointment.

Lauren Graham as Zatanna

I never watched Gilmore Girls, but I've every other time I've seen Lauren Graham in something, she's fantastic. She's 43, but doesn't look it at all, and she's got that gorgeous but down-to-the-earth thing going on. She's got a smartness and sassiness to her that also makes her sexy, and I think that's exactly what it would take to play Zatanna. Unfortunately a studio would just plop a Megan Fox-type actress into this role, but that would such a waste of a great character.

Thomas Sangster as Klarion the Witch Boy

I'd never even heard of Klarion before, but he turned out to be my favorite character from the series. The backstory of that plotline is amazing and creepy, and the whole puritan-witch thing is fabulous. Plus he has an orange cat, and that is something I'm very biased to. So to play him, an actor would have to be able to be mischievous and dark, but also naive and a bit overwhelmed, and look a bit creepy. So there's the kid from Love Actually and Nanny McPhee. I thought by now he'd be too old to play Klarion, but he's 20 and still looks like he did when he was a kid. So that's creepy in and of itself.

Laura Fraser as Shining Knight

I doubt most people would recognize Laura Fraser, but she was the blacksmith in A Knight's Tale and Lavinia in Julie Taymor's Titus. She's a fantastic actress who can be amazingly vulnerable and bad ass at the same time. To play a character that has fallen thousands of years through time and not make it seem cheesy could be a tough feat for any actor, but Fraser could pull it off in a heartbeat.

Donald Faison as Manhattan Guardian

For the most part, Donald Faison has really only ever done comedy, but he was great in Remember the Titans (which I will watch over and over again). And though this character deals with some dark shit, he seems to be rather joyous at heart. I think casting a serious, dark actor in this role could make this storyline too heavy and downtrodden, but someone like Faison could have fun with the role, and make this a great adventure story.

Carla Gugino as Bulleteer

Bulleteer is a great character in that she didn't ask to be a superhero. She was just a regular, albeit sexy lady minding her own business, and then BAM! metal skin. So she's still a regular person under all that. Carla Gugino has already worked her way into the nerdverse with her performances in Sin City and Watchmen, so she'd just slide right into this role. She can be tough, but vulnerable, and she's got the perfect look for it. And I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't mind watching her deck it out with some hottie teen superhero lady.

Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mister Miracle

Though I still don't know how to say his name, Chiwetel Ejiofor is awesome. He's been fantastic in everything I've seen him in. And this would be a really weird plotline to have to pull off. I'm still not sure if I understood it entirely. But I know it would require an amazingly talented actor who could sell every moment of crazy shit that's thrown our way, and he could totally do it.

Tom Hardy as Frankenstein

I'm super bummed that I didn't discover Tom Hardy until Inception, and there's so many movies he's been in that I'm dying to check out. And Frankenstein is a weird role. He's gotta be this superhero, but he's a monster, and he's all old-school Victorian. From what I saw in Inception, Hardy could bring this character to life, as well as give him a little style and flair. Cause you can't have boring zombie Frankenstein in Seven Soldiers. He's a badass Hellboy-esque force of nature. Plus, Tom Hardy could bring a little bit of prettiness to all that grossness.

Daryl Hannah as The Bride

This was a really interesting plot point to me. The idea that this woman was created as a bride for a monster, but didn't want that life, so she went off and did her own thing. That's such an interesting character. And the bit about her arms was super creepy. So to cast her, I was trying to think of tall, strong ladies who could hold their own against a giant zombie man, and Daryl Hannah popped right up. I probably love her the most in Steel Magnolias, but in Kill Bill, she proved that she's downright kick ass. And she could totally pull off this crazy costume.

Alan Cummings as Melmoth

Melmoth was a really interesting character to me as well, and it seemed he needed someone who has quite a bit of flair, and so Alan Cummings would fit right in. He's absolutely fabulous and fantastic at being crazy and over the top, and he can pull off creepy while being totally watchable.

Parker Posey as the Sheeda Queen

So then who better to play Melmoth's estranged wife than Parker Posey. Time and time again she's played crazy SO well. It's kind of unbelievable. Plus, this would be a reunion for her and Cummings, as they were both fantastic in Josie and the Pussycats (which if you haven't seen it, you REALLY should). This is another character that if you cast a super serious actress in this role, it could get a little dry, so Posey would bring a great light to her. It would be kinda fun to watch her get kicked to the curb.

So yeah, there are a lot more characters that could be cast, but I figured I should stick with the ones that resonated with me the most.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nerd Craftiness!

It's been like 3 months since I posted, and I didn't really realize that. But anywho, I made a lot of crafty things over the summer and I think they're pretty rad. I got into a t-shirt making kick using this foil-screen printing stuff I got at Michael's and these awesome patterns from Zombie Pumpkins (check them out!).

The one above is my rainbow Frankenstein monster, and it's definitely one of my favorites. More monsters should be rainbowized, I think.
I made this Batman shirt with just a standard Batman logo. This process of applying this foil stuff makes it go on kinda sporadically, which I think is cool, so I wanted to make it really extreme in this case. I purposefully made it fade into the center, like it was old and weathered, and I'm super happy with the results.
It's Wario! I've discovered the gold foil seems to work the best, so in trying to figure out what designs would look awesome in gold, I stumbled upon Wario.
I found the Beetlejuice snake design on Zombie Pumpkins and I totally lost my shit. I really, really wish I had a lime green foil to have made this in, but whatever. It's still totally rad.
And my Animal shirt is from now on my party shirt. For obvious and dorky reasons.
Robin hoodie! I've had a Robin 'R' patch FOREVER and I've never known what to do with it. Then a few months ago, I saw a Robin hoodie on Etsy and it was brilliant. I'd been looking for a plain red hoodie ever since, and I finally found one, so I sewed the patch on and painted my striped, and I'm totally ready to fight crime. Or take a nap.
I get on Shrinky Dink kicks every so often, and this is one of my more successful ones. I want to make a lot more of these necklaces in a variety of colors and words to match every occasion.

I've still got a ton more craft things to make, so I'd better go get on that...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Accidental Casting is Kinda Annoying

So I post my various casting things on here for comics and whatnot, but I always end up doing the same thing for regular books as well. And for some reason, when I cast book characters in my head, they stick with me a lot longer than comic book castings.

I think this has to do with seeing a character and thinking of an actor that reminds me of them versus having no real image of a character and then assigning them an actor. It also takes me a lot longer to get through a book than a comic (even a whole series), so book characters live in my head a lot longer.

So what ends up happening is this actor lives in my head as this character, and no matter what I do, that's always how I see them. And the more extreme the character, the worse the effect.
I bring this up now because I've been reading a book with a very extreme character and I cast her as Lizzy Caplan in my head, and it's ruining so many things for me. The book is "Like Being Killed" by Ellen Miller, and I guess it was a big deal in the late 90's. But it's about Illyana, this very smart, semi-antisocial, slightly damaged, Jewish 20-something, who gets a new roommate, Susannah (whom I saw as Alison Pill for some reason) and she's light and fun and crafty and delightful and kinda rocks Illyana's world.
Anywho, things go bad with Susie which causes Illyana to basically goes off on this drug-fueled, S&M spattered, willed self-destruction. It's all very smartly and beautifully written, which makes it all the more powerful and haunting.

I had brought the book with me on a trip to Texas a couple of weeks ago, and because of massive flight delays, I ended up reading half of it in a day. So by the time I got home, Lizzy Caplan WAS Illyana to me, and I was right in the middle of Party Down and True Blood Season 1, both of which she was on. And it's crazy because, I swear, Lizzy Caplan's speech patterns (especially on Party Down), match this character's exactly. EXACTLY. So the whole time I'm watching her and in the back of my head I'm remembering all the terrible things I've read her go through.

Alison Pill as Susannah has so far been less terrifying, but I'm getting to a point in the book where things have changed, so I'm hoping she will be okay, or else Scott Pilgrim might be a little dampened.

There are times where I actively try to avoid this from happening, like with "Hater," which I'm very happy I didn't cast anyone in that book, both because I know the movie is coming, and also it was more disturbing than I had originally thought. I've got the sequel on order and am about to re-read it, so I really have to fight the urge now.

It's such a weird thing that goes on in my head.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Some Science and Philisophy Shit...

I know no one comes here to read actual thoughts and opinions, but bear with me for a little science/philosophy/sci-fi nonsense..

I was watching a Yale university lecture on Death, and more specifically, the origins of a theorized soul. The professor was talking about how a soul is something that would be immaterial, unable to be measured, seen or felt. The argument was that, if this were the case, it could continue living on after the death of the body. This made me think about the Higgs boson particle that scientists are trying to find at CERN via the Large Hadron Collider.

The general idea behind the Higgs boson, to my understanding, is that it is smallest particle in existence, that it's literally the shit holding every atom in the universe together. Because of this, it's referred to as the 'God particle,' and it's possible that it might be immeasurable, and all the work put into finding it could be for naught. This is all really interesting to me cause I'm a huge dork and probably should've been an engineer like my dad wanted, but whatever.

Anywho, the thought I had last night was, what if the Higgs boson particle is the thing that gives us a soul? Or it is our soul? Maybe every object in the universe has a little force like this and they just function in different ways. I'm not really going to expand on that, just let it roll around in your head for awhile.

My second thought was, what if, at CERN, when they're shooting particles towards each other at a bajillion miles per second, they get a hit and find the Higgs boson? And then, by releasing it, they unleash a soul....And then it goes crazy and fucking swallows the world whole. But in a much more angry and vicious way than just a regular black hole like people are expecting.

So yeah. Those were my fancy Wednesday night thoughts.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Re-Casting: First Wives Club

So Hollywood seems to have run out of ideas and is currently remaking every movie ever made. It's obnoxious when they remake a great movie and make it mediocre or even crappy, but I'm all for taking mediocre or crappy movies and making them awesome.

I recently re-watched The First Wives Club with the magic of my Netflix Instant Queue and it is so not as great as I thought it was back in middle school when I would watch it repeatedly on HBO. However, there was potential for greatness: the cast was awesome, the plot starts out pretty dark, but then it gets loaded with cheese and becomes all sappy. I think if it were to be re-made as a dark, black comedy, it could pretty awesome. Sassy, talented, older actresses taking real revenge on the husbands who screwed them over for younger women, with a little more violence and mischief--that could be hilarious!
Demi Moore as Elise Elliot

The actress in this role needs to still be sexy and viable but not as sought after as she once was, and Demi Moore would be perfect for that. She hit big in the 80's with Ghost and St. Elmo's Fire wife who's on Twitter all the time. But she's still super hot and super talented. I could definitely see her pull off getting tossed aside for a young , and stayed pretty popular throughout the 90's, but now she's more known as Ashton Kutcher'shottie and then seek revenge in a bad-ass fashion.
Elizabeth Perkins as Brenda Cushman

So this character needs to be both a loving mother and a little spitfire willing to blackmail her sleazy ex-husband. Elizabeth Perkins has played all types of roles, but the thing she is probably most known for and what I love her in is Weeds. In those first two seasons she is fantastic. She's hilarious. She's conniving but still very human and funny all at the same time. She's beautiful, but could still be dressed down and go through her 'butterfly' transformation to kick some ass at the end of the film.
Toni Collette as Annie Paradis

This is role of the nerd. The mousy one who is afraid to do anything at all. She's super neurotic and over-analyzes everything which is why Diane Keaton was such a perfect choice for the role. Toni Collette has played all sorts of roles (I think my favorite is as Brian Slade's super-fake wife in Velvet Goldmine) so I think she can do anything. She too is beautiful but not in such a striking fashion that you'd disbelieve she could be a dork. She has to be both the straight man but be able to get in a few laughs, and I believe she just one an Emmy for her role in The United States of Tara, so there you go.
Tim Roth as Bill Achtison

And now for the husbands. This is the scummy Hollywood husband who is both charming and icky at the same time. And there isn't anything Tim Roth can't do, so I think he's perfect. Plus he's handsome in an unconventional way and you could totally see some young actress trying to sleep her way through him to become famous.
Nick Offerman as Morton Cushman

I knew nothing of Nick Offerman before Parks and Rec, but now Ron Swanson is one of my favorite characters of all time. It turns out he's younger than I thought, but whatevs, I'd love to see him as a dry, money-hungry, recently turned sugar daddy. Plus for some reason, I think he and Elizabeth Perkins would have great chemistry together.
Dylan Moran as Aaron Paradis

This husband is an intellectual but not quite as nerdy as his female counterpart, but he's also just a little bit slick. Between Moran being the funniest part of Run Fatboy Run and his dry, cowardice in Shaun of the Dead, I think he'd be perfect for this role. Using psycho-analytical bullshit to comfort his wife while screwing the psychiatrist on the side, you'd hate him and love him at the same time.
Billie Piper as Shelly Stewart

This mistress has to be nouveau-riche--classy on the surface but the trashiness slips out every so often. I just got into Doctor Who and I loved Billie Piper as the sweet Rose Tyler, and I tried to watch Secret Diary of a Call Girl, but it's just too weird to watch her be all scandalous. But I think a role like this (somewhere in the middle of those two extremes) would suit her well. Kinda bitchy but still kinda sweet and funny. I could definitely believe she'd have a middle-aged man wrapped around her finger.
Leighton Meester as Phoebe LaVelle

I actually haven't seen Leighton Meester in anything except a lot of Gossip Girl commercials, but she seems to have that lolita-esque pouty thing down pat. This character needs to believably look 25 but actually be 16, and she seems to have that too (since I can't figure out how old she actually is). I could also see her striving to be like the Demi Moore character who would in turn hate her and just want her to go away.
Jessica Walter as Gunilla Garson Goldberg

This character needs to be a sassy old rich broad who's gone through multiple husbands and has no tolerance for shenanigans. And I just love Lucille Bluth and want to see Jessica Walter do more stuff stuff. So there.
Alan Tudyk as Duarto Feliz

Again, this is just another actor who I love and want to see in everything. However, his role in 28 Days as the oversexed, over the top, gay, German fellow was fantastic and I'd love to see him in more roles like that.

So yeah. Imagine all these people in a dark, comedic, revenge film. Imagine it's coming out next fall. It would be awesome, yes?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Birthday Bazinga Mix!

So this weekend is my birthday!! It actually falls on Easter, which happens every few years or so, but whatevs. I can deal. Anywho, instead of having a party or shin-dig, I decided to take a trip down to Baltimore with my Rickey. I used to live there when I was like 2 or 3 (acutally the above picture may have been taken there) and my Mom tells me it was pretty cool. But the thing is, it's gonna be a total of 8 hours of driving, so in addition to comedy albums and awesome CD's, I made myself a wicked cool birthday mix! I'm pretty proud of myself:

1. Goody Two Shoes-Adam Ant
2. I Have a Dreidel-Barenaked Ladies
3. Clint Eastwood-Gorillaz
4. Ooh La La-Goldfrapp
5. Come Out and Play-Richard Cheese
6. Telephone-Lady Gaga
7. Istanbul-They Might Be Giants
8. Seven Nation Army-The White Stripes
9. Intergalactic-Beastie Boys
10. Sleigh Ride-Barenaked Ladies
11. Home-Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
12. Always-Erasure
13. Semi-Charmed Life-Third Eye Blind
14. Turning Japanese-The Vapors
15. Can't Stop-Red Hot Chili Peppers
16. Man in the Mirror-Michael Jackson
17. Slow Hands-Interpol
18. Any Way You Want It-Journey
19. Little Lion Man-Mumford & Sons
20. Drop It Like Its Hot-Snoop Dog ft. Pharrel
21. I Believe in a Thing Called Love-The Darkness

So yeah. It's rad. Drop me a line if you want me to send you the mix. I'll be partying it up in my little Honda. Word.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Persuaders, and why advertising has doomed us all.

[This is one of those posts where I talk about things that actually matter to me. No one ever seems to read them, but if you're at all paranoid about the future of our country, please, have a gander.]

So last night I watched a Frontline special called 'The Persuaders' which was about how advertising and marketing work nowadays, since we've all been super saturated with media and ads. It was really interesting, but a lot of the advertising stuff was nothing new to me; I know that advertisers spend tons of money trying to get into our heads and figure out how to make us feel like we 'belong' to a brand and therefore will spend all our money on crap we don't need. That wasn't very surprising.

What I found most interesting came toward the end of the film, when it was revealed that politicians are starting to use the same methods as advertisers. This documentary was released in 2004, I believe before Bush was re-elected, and I'd really love to see a follow up to it now, after Obama's brilliantly successful campaign in which he really did brand his administration and sell the shit out of it. But I digress...

There's this super crazy company that works for advertisers called Acxiom, and what they do is work with banks and credit card companies and all sort of other entities to gather information on each of us: what we buy, what we like, where we are in life, etc. They then sell that information to advertisers so that they can narrow-cast advertisements to us (think Minority Report with the crazy eyeball scanning thing). Apparently politicians are starting to use companies like this as well. On the one hand, this a good thing. A candidate can find the people who are more likely to vote for them and send specified messages to voters as opposed to just talking in broad strokes to everyone and not really clicking with anyone.

However, the downside to this is something that really concerns me and I think speaks volumes to our current political climate. By breaking people down into little groups, and only talking about what matters to them, you run the risk of segregating the entire nation to the point where no one can agree on anything. Here's an excerpt of the transcript that really lays this out:

STUART EWEN, Hunter College: When you start sending messages which appeal to sort of, you know, white people in pick-up trucks, and then you're also sending messages to black people in Cleveland, and it's a qualitatively different kind of message, you're really trying to stir – or you're really trying to appeal to those aspects of people which sees themselves as different from each other.

PETER SWIRE: Instead of being Americans, we're sliced into 70 demographic groups. We might be sliced into hundreds of subcategories under that. And then the worry is that we don't share anything as a people.

STUART EWEN: The result is living in a society where people, rather than having an idea of the common good, increasingly see their own personal well-being or their own community's or ethnicity's well-being as the essential issue of democracy.

The film of course ends on a message of hope and how the savvier the consumers are, the better everything will be and blah blah blah. I think people are getting smarter about buying stuff (most people anyways), but the thing that really concerns me is treating politics like advertising. People don't pay attention to the government as it is, and if some politician is able to sell themselves like an iPod even though they may be corrupt and have terrible and damaging policies, we're screwed. I really worry that people are paying less and less attention to anything but themselves, and that's not going to get us anywhere but doomed.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Lost Hopes

Okay, I know every Lost fan has his/her own wishes for what the show will address in its final episodes. But this post isn't about that kind of stuff. It's just about ridiculous, random shit that I would greatly enjoy should it happen.
Jack Shepard meets Derek Shepherd

My bubble was slightly burst on this one when I Googled both of them and discovered their last names were spelled differently, but whatever. This is something I've wanted to happen since the first season. I'm no longer a huge Grey's Anatomy fan (mainly because it sucks now), but the two of them are both doctors, with ridiculous emotional issues and they're very good at pulling off that whole handsome, distraught genius thing, and they're both on ABC shows. It's totally logical that Derek would show up on Lost as Jack's cousin whom he's always had a doctor rivalry with, or something. It would make my geek heart go pitter-patter, and I want it.More Lt. Daniels!

I know he was killed off and is now a member of the Fringe team (which I haven't watched yet, but I will!) but between 2008-2009, I watched all 5 seasons of The Wire and I was super smitten. I don't really care what else he would do on Lost, I just want some Wire representation.Lost meets Jurassic Park

This really only has to do with the fact that both productions were filmed in Hawaii, but how great would it be if a group of the survivors ran around some corner, only to run into Sam Neil and the gang running from dinosaurs? And then they're all running from dinosaurs and Hurley says something funny and some red shirt gets eaten. It would be awesome!Doctor Who Crossover!

I've recently added Doctor Who to my geek repertoire, and I think this would be less of a Lost episode, and more of a Who episode, but seeing as how he goes all over time and space, he could definitely pop up on the island. And he would get a huge kick out of all the crazy time/space issues that tend to happen. All I'd really need to be satisfied with a crossover is for Jack or New Locke or someone to go running through the jungle and pass the Tardis. It would be joyous!Back to the Future

Ever since they started jumping through time, I've been waiting for someone (most likely Hurley) to say "We need to go back. Back to the future!", but like in a totally serious way. There's still time...
More Deadwood!

So I watched the first 5 seasons of Lost without having seen any Deadwood, so I missed out on all the glorious cameos. But now that I've seen the whole series since the last season of Lost, I just want more people to show up. Maybe get in a bar fight, yell some profanity, kill folks for no reason. It all would make sense in the Lost continuity, I'm sure.Mac meets the Gang

This wish was reignited when Mac showed back up a couple episodes ago. There'd be no reason for it, but it would be a great outtake or something, but how great would it be if he's wandering through the woods trying to fix his screw up (assuming he's not dead) and runs into these 3 idiot outcasts of the Others. They'd be all "Hey man, let's get in on this" and he'd be all "NO guys, this is my thing, I need to look cool" and they'd still screw it up.More Nathan Fillion

I just love Mal, and always will. And this is probably the most likely situation to happen out of all of these.

But whatever else happens, I'm still excited and so fr enjoying this last season. Namaste!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Things that please me.

In the past, my internet round-ups have focused on news and events that troubled me, but with all the ridiculous awfulness that's been happening lately, I'm trying to focus on the positive. So here's a gathering of some sites that are helping me get by.
-I've always fancied myself as a cat person, and they've always been my default favorite animal, but I've been going to the zoo alot lately and am becoming smitten with more and more types of animals. One of them is the otter (look at him!)! And I can get my fix daily at Daily Otter. If you're ever feeling a little down, scan through some pictures of otters being awesome (there are videos too!) and it'll totally perk you up.
-I just discovered this site yesterday via Twitter, but it's so awesome and cute and fun. It's 'My Milk Toof' and it's these photo comic strips where two little teeth get into wacky situations. It's precious.

-It Made My Day:
"I went through a McDonald’s drive thru and said “I can has cheeseburger?” There was a pause before I heard “Nom Nom Nom” on the other end. IMMD"
People submit short little stories of awesome things that made their day. I read it every morning. And so should you.
-When I was younger, for some reason I thought Martha Stewart was the devil. That's slowly shifted and now I LOVE her. A lot of that has to do with her super awesome line of craft supplies at Michael's, but nonetheless, she's radical. And look at her taste in dogs! Smushed-face monsters and big fluffy creatures! It's a perfect combination. I want them.

-Kawaii Not: I saw this book at Barnes and Noble back in the day with these little comics strips of cute objects saying/doing ridiculous shit. I figured out it started as a webcomic and look how cute they are!

-This one is a little on the sappy side, but it's got some really nice stories. It's 'Gives Me Hope', and it's similar to It Made My Day, but it's more focused on love and joy and the kindness of strangers and all that jazz. Again, I warn you that it's sappy, but sometimes it's really, really nice.-And as always there's I Can Has Cheezburger, which if you aren't reading, you really should be.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

JJ Abrams Loves his Time Warps.

So is it just me or is the time warp that's going on in Lost basically the same thing that happened in the new Star Trek?

In Star Trek, everything that has happened in the show and previous movies stays the same, but Nero drives his ship through a blackhole and kills Kirk's father and destroys his ship, which creates a new timeline running alongside the original one. Nothing from the first timeline changes, the history is all still intact, but basically starting at Kirk's birth, there's a whole other reality where anything could happen. Nothing from the first timeline has any effect on this one (save for Spock slipping through the blackhole and interacting with new Kirk).
So the same thing totally happened on Lost, right? Granted, there's been a whole lost of wacky time travel going on prior to the Event, but as far as we know, that was all contained in one timeline, and characters just happened to be jumping around inside it. But then, at the end of Season 5, they set off the bomb in 1970's which seems to have split one timeline into two. The first is the one they were already a part of: Dharma folks are on the Island, they hit that pocket of energy, which means Desmond has to push the button for years, and then the plane crashes and our fun little TV show begins and craziness ensues. The second timeline seems to indicate that the bomb worked, the pocket of energy never got tapped, somehow the Island ended up under water, and the plane does not crash and the survivors are going on their merry way.

The Star Trek timelines did not affect each other except for Spock slipping through the blackhole (but he was smart enough not to do anything crazy). We've yet to see if the Lost timelines have any effect on each other (prior to the bomb going off), but I'd be really curious to see if there is a blackhole situation on Lost in which someone can slip through and have an affect on the other timeline (and though Spock is super logical and didn't mess with anything, I can't see our castaways being so smart).

Point is, I'm really excited to see how all this works out. I find time travel (especially when done well) super fascinating but also incredibly difficult to wrap my head around, which is a lot of fun for me (Primer had me working shit out in my head for days). I'm totally in for the ride.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I didn't like Avatar. Here's why.

I didn't expect to like it, but I went in with an open mind. That being said, I didn't hate it, but I found it to be rather mediocre. Let's see if I can break this down constructively and concisely:

Avatar was being billed as the film to change the landscape of cinema. It was shiny and pretty, but I wasn't blown out of the water. Yes, there were moments where completely computer generated imagery seemed real (unfortunately a lot of those moments involved characters overlooking cliffs, which made me a little light-headed). At times the Na'vi did appear to really exist and be present, but for every moment I felt that way, there was another moment where it just seemed like really good CG. I think the technology that Cameron has developed will be very useful for big action films and any movie that needs a Golem or a Jar Jar, and I appreciate that. But I've heard accounts in which the audience member felt like they were completely transported to a whole new world and it didn't feel like a movie. I saw it in 3D, but it still only felt like a really big-budget action film.

I understand the notion behind making the world of Pandora pretty and bad-ass and perfect; it's so the audience will be super-devastated when the idiot humans destroy it. But it was too much for me. It started okay. The animals are bigger and have more appendages than our do, there's a lot of trees, the people are 8 feet tall and blue. All good. But then nighttime rolls around, and it turns into my bedroom circa 8th grade. Did everything have to glow like an acid trip? I make fairy wings and am all over anything bright and colorful and glittery, but this was like being hit over the head with a Myspace page. The grandness of the world reminded me of how fake and imagined it was.

And I was pretty much okay with the Na'vi and how they looked and how agile and ninja-like they are, but then they had weird hair penis things? That was weird, right? Again, I understand it was really to push this idea that a humanoid species can really be in tune with mother earth, but couldn't they just like, use the force, or 'commune' with the creatures? The actual physical connection was too much for me.

So here's where I had big problems with the movie. It's Pocahontas with blue people. I know everyone's aware of that by now, and a lot of people seem to perfectly okay with it. I'm not. It pisses me off. I'm very much in favor of movies pointing out what a terrible species we've become, be it in regards to the slaughter of whomever we don't agree with/have things we want or how we're fine with systematically obliterating the ecosystem so as long we all have iPods. I am for such messages. But I also like good movies, and I think it's possible to get a message across without beating it into the audience's brain with bland storytelling. One of my favorite movies of 2009, District 9, did a really damn fine job of sending a message while telling a wonderfully heart-breaking story, plus it had effects that were kick-ass. Wall-E, another recent film, also hit home with a super strong message that, although it was the basis for the overall plot, it wasn't the direct focus of the film. So it can be done. You can make good movies with a strong message that are enjoyable to watch.

But I just didn't care while watching Avatar. I knew exactly every little thing that was going to happen and every arc that each character would endure. And that's BORING. It makes me not care. There were some great actors in this film, but the material they were working with was so uninspiring that almost everyone fell flat onscreen. The only person I really liked and wanted more from, was Giovanni Ribisi, the evil, sadistic, corporate bad-guy. I'm not saying the movie needed to break the mold from a storytelling angle, but just a little bit more depth and a little less cliche could've helped tremendously. I think Cameron should've written an outline, handed it over to some bad-ass award winning writer, and then used that as a shooting script, instead of writing it himself.

Avatar is raking in tons of money, which makes me think that maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it was a super great movie and I'm just picky. But I have a sinking feeling that people are just easily entertained. They see flashy shiny things and think it's art. And I'm still really baffled by the Golden Globe win. That better not happen at Oscar time.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Y: The Last Man Casting

I came into the comics reading lifestyle fairly later on than most, so the majority of the books I read were released long ago and I'm reading them in trade. Y: The Last Man was probably the first book I read in single issues during it's original run. I was hooked from the beginning, and though it faltered along the way, it ended pretty strongly and overall I still think it's a very unique and compelling story. It's also pretty much movie-ready, and though there was much hype about DJ Caruso and Shia LaBeouf teaming up for it, I'm not sure where the movie stands anymore. So, once again, I'm throwing my casting list out there. Please enjoy.

Bret Harrison as Yorick Brown

Most people probably know Bret Harrison from Reaper at this point (a show which I kinda gave up on during Season One) but I know and love him from The Loop (which Fox seemed to have systematically killed). He's very expressive and funny in his worrywart ways, and though I haven't seen him do anything dramatic, I think he's got raw talent that could be wrangled. He also has that man-boy thing going on, which I think is crucial for Yorick, and he looks like he'd definitely own a monkey.
Naomie Harris as Agent 355

I only know Naomie Harris from 28 Days Later, but I think that's more than enough. She gives an amazing performance in that film, growing from brutally tough, to familial and vulnerable. And hey, that's pretty much the route 355 takes. I could definitely buy her as the macho one, but she's also got a softness that would showcase the emotionality of that character.
Lucy Liu as Dr. Allison Mann

I've liked Lucy Liu in everything I've seen her in, starting with Ally McBeal. But it wasn't until Kill Bill that she really showed how good of an actress she is. My first thought about her was that she was almost too pretty and glamorous to realistically look like a scientist, but I'm sure that if her hair was mussed and glasses adorned, she could look the part.
Lizzy Caplan as Hero Brown

For Hero, I was trying to steer away from the bombshell-action hero type actresses that I'm sure will end up filling the role anyway. She was just a normal girl who then went all crazy after the horrific plague incident. So my bet is on Lizzy Caplan, who seems to have done a lot more than I was aware of. She was hilarious in Mean Girls, but then gave a really striking performance in Cloverfield, and that's what makes me think she could something really different and honest with this role.
Jamie King as Beth Deville

As readers, we don't meet Beth for quite some time, so for the most part, we only see her through the Yorick's eyes. I get the vibe that she's supposed to be this really pretty, sweet, girl next door type and that's why he's pining so hard for her. So I think Jamie King would be great for that. She did the idealized girl thing in Sin City, and she hasn't done much dramatic work, but she showed some range in My Bloody Valentine 3D. But mainly, she's just really pretty and sweet looking.
Elisha Cuthbert as Beth II

So this Beth needs a little more range and personality, I think, but also needs to be blonde and fun and all that. And I really like Elisha Cuthbert, mainly because of The Girl Next Door, in which she was believably sweet and cool, and then, though it wasn't much of a film, she showed some toughness in House of Wax, so I could see her surviving in the post-apocalyptic setting.
Stockard Channing as Jennifer Brown

This is one of those Battlestar Galactica-type moments where some random government lady gets bumped up to being a high ranking cabinet member. So the actress needs to be believable in both types of roles, and I think Stockard Channing would be quite awesome at that. And I can totally see her meddling in her son's life and stirring up all kinds of problems.
Amy Ryan as Ciba Weber

Again, I worry this role will be cast with some young hottie who's supposed t be Russian, and it'll probably be really odd. But I think someone like Amy Ryan would be a much better fit. She's proven to be funny, cute and a pretty awesome actress by way of The Office and The Wire. I'd totally buy her as a sassy Russian astronaut hellbent on protecting her unborn child.
Jessica Hynes as Rose Copen

This is another one of those roles that requires both tough and soft characteristics. I really like Jessica Hynes, she was totally fabulous in Spaced and even her bit role in Shaun of the Dead was spot on. Again, this is a role that will probably go to some young hottie, but I think Hynes would pull off the toughness as well as the softness in her relationship with Dr. Mann, and it would be a different and unique type of portrayal.
Belen Rueda as Alter Tse'elon

This is another actress I only know from one movie, The Orphanage, but again, her performance was really remarkable. Also, I do believe she is Spanish, but I couldn't really think of any Israeli actresses, so deal with it. Anywho, if you've seen The Orphanage, I don't think I need to say anything else, and if you haven't, go watch it right now. But the determination she showed in that film could easily be translated to militaristic drive and it would be badass.

And I didn't attempt to cast Ampersand, because, well, he's a monkey. I'm sure any monkey Hollywood can come up with would be just as good as my monkey choice.