31 December 2010

The Deer Hunter (1978)

As the first entry on my 20 films off of the AFI 100 Years, 100 Movies, I chose 'The Deer Hunter'.  This has always been on my list of movies to see, but given its length its one I've always put off.  Clocking in at just under 3 hours, this is not a quick venture.

The running time is something I'd like to address first.  The first 50 minutes or so consist of a wedding scene.  Do I understand why the scene was there?  Yes.  It was meant to show the relationships of the characters prior to their departure for service in the Vietnam War.  However, they showed the relationships clearly in the first 20 minuets of the wedding scene, and the shorter hunting sequence, so we can cut about 30 minutes off the running time right there.

From here, we jump right to Vietnam.  This starts the ascent to one of the three peaks of the film.  One thing this film is known for was its depiction of Russian Roulette.  The first sequence has the stars of the film (De Niro, Walken, Savage) as prisoners of the North Vietnam forces where they are forced to play Russian Roulette. You can start to see at this point how the war changed the three friends.  Mike (De Niro) convinces Nick (Walken) to play each other, with three bullets in the gun.  They escape, but when they are being rescued by US forces, Steven (Savage) falls out, and De Niro goes after him.  Nick recovers in Saigon, thinking that his friends are dead, and you can see the huge toll this takes on him mentally.  The last we see of Nick for some time, he is running after disrupting a Russian Roulette game in a shady locale.  Mike yells after him, but Nick does not hear.

From here we return to the home of Mike, Nick and Steve.  Mike seems to be the most... 'normal' of the friends.  Steven is in a VA hospital, having lost his legs.  From a conversation with Steven, Mike learns that Nick is alive and in Saigon.  Mike travels to Saigon, on a mission to bring Nick home.  Mike finds Nick in the same gambling den, playing Russian Roulette, and strung out on heroin.  Nick has no idea who Mike is.  Mike fixes it so he plays Nick in a game of Russian Roulette.  As the game progresses, Nick finally realizes who he is playing.  With one last flash of recognition, Nick pulls the trigger, and the game ends.

The movie ends with Mike fulfilling his promise of bringing Nick home.

I know this was a bit rambling, but I could not review it with out some sort of recap.  I really enjoyed it.  Will I see it again?  Probably not.  Am I glad that I finally watched it?  Yes.

28 December 2010

61* Update

Just a quick update on the adventure that is my list.

On 23 DEC 10, I went up to my Mom's and with my sister went through old stuff in the attic.  As my sister said at one point, it was like Christmas.  Lost of stuff had been wrapped in old paper and plastic, so there was a lot of unwrapping.   While doing this, I found all of the wooden cars that my Dad had made for me when I was young.  Once I get them inside out of my car, I will be taking pics and doing a post on just them.

That's really the big update.  As I write this, I'm watching 'The Deer Hunter' as part of my goal to watch 20 movies off of the AFI 100 years, 100 movies list.

20. Watch 20 films I have not seen from the AFI 100 Years, 100 Movies, 10th Anniversary (0/20)
39. Donate 100,000 grains of free rice on Free Rice (5,960/100,000)
57. Clean out my stuff from my moms attic and do something with it

19 December 2010

2010 - The Movies I Saw

Put simply, if it was released in 2010, and I saw it, its on this list.  The numbered list is a rough ranking, not to be taken too seriously.  Un-numbered is the rest.
  1. Iron Man 2
  2. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
  3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
  4. Shutter Island
  5. Robin Hood
  6. Predators
  7. Alice In Wonderland
  8. Repo Men
  9. The Losers
  10. The Sorcerer's Apprentice
From Paris With Love
The Wolfman
The Ghostwriter
Clash of the Titans
Date Night
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Prince of Persia
Jonah Hex
Grown Ups

15 December 2010

Capitan Jack's back... savvy?

Now, I know what you're thinking.  Not another Pirates movie!  I too thought the same.  But then I heard that Ian McShane would be playing Blackbeard.  And that Penelope Cruz is in it.  And the most important part... no Orlando or Keira!!  Now, I enjoyed those two in the last three movies, but their stories are done.

So, then this here trailer is released.  And it is awesome.  It looks like a lot of fun from the first one has returned.

Look like its shaping up to be a good Summer 2011 movie season.

14 December 2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

I recently used the phrase 'raging pile of meh' and that only begins to describe the level of disappointed I felt after watching this movie.  Now, I am a big fan of the original movie, and when I heard that Jackie Earle Haley (of Watchmen fame) was playing the clawed one, I look forward to this movie with much anticipation.

Mr. Haley was the best part of this movie.  I almost like him better than the original Freddy, Robert Englund.  Outside of Mr. Haley's performance, the rest of the movie was cookie cutter.  I was hoping for something a bit different, but what we got was just a re-hash.

Please don't continue to make Freddy movies.  Thanks.

I give this 3/5 finger knives.

This movie was so meh, I can't even work up the interest to write a decent review...

12 December 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)

I went into this movie fully expecting it to be a raging pile of meh, and I was not disappointed.  Actually, that's not fair.  As long as Michael Cera wasn't speaking the movie was great.  I found that during any scenes where Mr. Cera was speaking, I grew very annoyed with the movie.  He has a VERY limited range, and I understand that's what he's good at, but some emotion from time to time would be GREAT!

Overall, the movie was really enjoyable.  I liked the sight gags (phones that say 'ring', the video game style fights).  Tom Cruise* Brandon Routh was well cast, as was Chris Evans, two of my favorite superhero actors.  The suprise appearance by Frank Castle Thomas Jane was very enjoyable as well.

I've never read the comics, so I can't speak to accuracy of the film.  For the kind of film it was, it had very few things that took me out of the movies.  Even the battles with the Evil Ex's were believable.  As I said in the beginning, I went into this movie expecting it to be a raging pile of meh, but now it takes a place as a Favorite Film of 2010 (there might be a list of these soon).

I give it 13.25/15.75 used video game cartridges.

*Since watching Brandon Routh in 'Chuck' I am fully convinced he is some sort of Tom Cruise clone or love child of Mr. Cruise's.  If they should ever want to do a 'Top Gun' reboot (please don't do that) I vote Mr. Routh to play Maverick.

10 December 2010

Thor Poster

Behold, The Mighty Thor, in all his awesomeness.  Dear May, come soon please.  Thanks.

Movie and TV News # 2

Well, this is a bit on the old side, but worth talking about regardless.  Once again the rumors of Ghostbusters 3 has started to spread around the internet.  A often rumored, on again, off again project of primarily Dan Aykroyd it looks like GB3 is on again.  In the article included below, Mr. Aykroyd has stated that the casting process has been started.  He states that both Sigourney Weaver and Bill Murray have agreed to return to the series.  Interesting.  I guess things have changed since early 2010 when Mr. Murry said he had no real interest in appearing in another movie, or that he would only if they made him a ghost.  So is Mr. Aykroyd saying that Mr. Murray will be in the movie confirmation that Mr. Murray's Dr. Venkmen will be in a spiritual form?  Discuss.

A couple of other points.  Ghostbusters: The Video Game, which came out in 2009 was supposed to be Ghostbusters 3.  Which, as a fan of the game, I enjoyed.  It played well, held true to the movies and was just as fun as watching them.  There were a few points that needed work, but none that took away from the game.

Also, in the link with Mr. Aykroyd's name, the author of that article states that they should proceed with caution when trying to revive a movie series that has been out of the public eye for so long.  Rather predictably the author then pointed to Indy and the Crystal Skull.


There was nothing wrong with IJ4.  Yes, the whole alien bit played a bit false, but its  INDIANA JONES!  So what!  It was a fun movie, and it gave fans like myself a chance to see it on the big screen.  Same thing with when/if they make GB3.  Will hardcore fans partake issue?  Yes.  Will I enjoy the ride no matter what?  Yes.

Dan Aykroyd Confirms Ghostbusters 3 Rumors | Movieline
Billy Murray - Only if they make me a ghost

05 December 2010

Tom Baker Dr. Who - Robot

Disclaimer:  I'm an American who has almost no knowledge of Dr. Who.  For all serious inquireies, please check out the Twitter feed of emma_lou1983, or her blog at The Blue Box Blog.  She appears to eat, sleep, and breathe Dr. Who.  Any inaccurate information is my fault and not hers.

Disclaimer 2:  There may be snarkiness and dry humor throughout.  Exaggerations may appear as well.

For those of you unfamiliar, Dr. Who is a British Sci-Fi television show that has been on the air almost constantly since 1963.  More information can be found here at the Doctor Who Wikipedia.  It is about a Time Lord who travels around in the TARDIS, which is a police call box on the outside, but the size of a small moon on the inside.  Ok, maybe not that big, but it looks roomy.  He helps save the planet from very bad things.  Like Daleks, Cybermen and evil robots bent on destroying humanity.

Which brings us to the episode(s) 'Robot' which is the first of the Tom Baker episodes.  It starts out with the good doctor changing from his previous incarnation to the current....er Tom Baker.  Can't say current, cause then I've skipped about 50.  Anywho... (get it?)  This is one of the parts of the show where I was glad I had some prior knowledge about the show.  Had I jumped straight in, I would have VERY confused as the first scene has the other characters going 'Holy Crap!  He's changing'

I was about to break into a scene by scene analysis, but realized that would get tedious very quickly.  So, instead, I'll just go for some broad high level thoughts.

The story is your basic mad group of scientists want to kill everyone and rule the world.  Not the most original of stories, but it was presented really well.  I could see how the story would end, but it was not completely predictable.

Ya, the effects left something to be desired.  But, this was 1974 so looked at through that prism, the effects were not bad at all.  Yes, there were shots that screamed forced perspective and model work, but there were other effects that blended in nicely.

I'm glad I finally took the plunge and started in on the adventures of Dr. Who.  Its not something I will be watching on a regular basis, but I have added quite a bit of the Tom Baker years to my Netflix and will be watching from time to time.

28 November 2010

Movie and TV News # 1

This will be a series of posts commenting on various pieces of interesting movie and TV news that I glean from the interwebs.  The first one is short and sweet.

Daniel Day-Lewis to play Abe Lincoln

Spielberg has long been rumored to be working on a biopic of Abe Lincoln.  At one point, Liam Neeson was rumored to play the 16th President.  Apparently, that has changed.  I was excited about Mr. Neeson playing President Lincoln, but I am ECSTATIC about Mr. Day-Lewis playing him instead.  Mr. Day-Lewis is known as a method actor, one who stays in character even when not filming.  I have yet to see a bad movie with Mr. Day-Lewis, so I think this is definitely one to watch.

Wild Wild West Coming back to TV

Yes, before the Will Smith movie, there was a TV show called Wild Wild West.  I've seen only one episode of it, but I loved it.  For those of you who don't know, its about a US Marshall and his gadget creating sidekick solving the mysteries of the Old West.  I am VERY excited about this, and if they can pull it off as well as the Hawaii 5-0 reboot has been done, this is another must watch.

26 November 2010

And we're off....

Now that it is 26 NOV 10, my list is officially underway.  I've updated the page with what is in progress so far.  Not much, but right now, there are two in progress, and one completed:

In Progress:
750/1000 blog posts
100,000 grains of rice

Start and maintain a blog

I have roughly 1000 days to tackle everything on this list.  Its going to be an interesting ride...

22 November 2010

Dear HBO...

Dear HBO,

Judging by the images below, you have mastered the high fantasy epic.  Your next assignment is to tackle Robert  Jordan's 'The Wheel of Time'

'Game of Thrones': Exclusive First Look! | Photo 10 of 11 | EW.com

Wot Fans

20 November 2010

I've made my list.... and I've checked it once or twice

So after being directly inspired by my friend Chris, I have created one of those lists of things to do in a certain amount of time.  Mostly, they are along the lines of 88 In 888.  Mine is very similar, in that its titled 61* Things To Do Before I Am 30.  As my 27th birthday approaches in less than a week, I thought this would be a good time to get the list out there.  I will not be starting any of these until Thursday, and will then have three years to complete as much as I can.

Its not a race, I know this.  Its about experiencing as much as I can.  Doing as much as I can.  Will I complete all of it?  Probably not.  But the adventure in trying will be well worth it.

13 November 2010

Remakes Everywhere Part 5

Part 5!

Also, here is a refresher on my abbreviations:
NN - Not Needed
NS - Never Saw the original
NP - Make it Now Please

50 Upcoming Movie Remakes

36. Poltergeist - NS

37. An American Werewolf in London - NS.  I could see how this is going to be remade with all the other horror properties getting an update.

38. Drop Dead Fred - NN/1/2 NS.  My wife loves this movie.  I've seen half of it and that was more than enough.  The fact that Russell Brand is starring as the titular character (admittedly he is the best choice) gives me an automatic hell no to this movie.

39. F/X - NS

40. Honey, I shrunk the kids - NN.  No, No, No, Hell No, No, Never.  I liked this movie as is, and I think it works because they used models and camera trickery to have it work.  I can almost guarantee that there will be much use of CGI, and I think that will take away from the movie.

41. Meatballs - NS

42. Robocop - I've very meh about this.  The original was ok.  Is it in need of a remake?  Possibly, but only if they make it as violent as the original.  The only way I will accept this is if the film makers say 'fuck it' and go straight for the NC-17 rating.  That's right, the original cut was so violent they gave it a NC-17.

43. Romancing the Stone - NN.  Another classic staple of the 80s that should just stay there.

44. Suspicion - NS  Will Smith + Alfred Hitckock story = YES PLEASE!

45. Fletch - NP  Chevy Chase is classic in this, but its definitely a movie that could be made again.  But, first the planets need to align for this to get going.  Cause, as the above website mentions, its in development hell.

Ok, so that is apparently not 50.  I must have mis-counted at some point.  Meh.  Rest assured as I see these or hear more about them, I will revisit the list for any changed opinions, thoughts on the finished product, or to list the (possibly) missing 5.

11 November 2010

Remakes Everywhere - Special Edition

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it!

So, as you may or may not know, we are being treated to a Spider-Man reboot a mere 10 years (8 as of this writing) after the original starring Toby Maguire (no relation to Jerry).

THIS is the problem I have with re-makes and re-boots.  10 years, and you are already looking on remaking the original?  Absurd!  Vile!  NN!  NN? Really?  Maybe not....

Lets think about this.  Marvel has recently been going gung ho in tying its movie properties together.  (See Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Avengers, Capitan America).  So for the sake of argument I am going to say that this is their attempt to tie Spider-Man into the new movie universe.  Which would be awesome considering at one point Spider-Man was a member of the Avengers.  So, from that viewpoint it makes sense.  As well as how it makes sense for them to tell an origin story for the X-Men.  But that's for a different post.

Now I'd like to address the casting so far.

I don't really know anything about the actors playing Peter Parker or Gwen Stacy.  Its the other three I am interested in.

1 - Sally Field as Aunt May.  An interesting choice.  Not an actress I would have ever thought to see in a super hero movie.

2 - Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben.  Now this choice made me sit up and pay attention.  I'm a big fan of, well pretty much the whole Sheen/Estevez family.  At this point I went, 'damn, they got a heavyweight to star'.  Especially with what happens to Uncle Ben.  The I remembered that Sir Anthony Hopkins is playing Odin in Thor, and this was no longer strange

3 - Some guy playing Dr. Curt Conners aka The Lizard.  About fracking time!!!!!  Stupid Sony only dangled this fruit in front of us for three movies, and I'd like to see how they manage to make this a believable villain.

So, I know this was rambling, not really having a point.  That said, I am now interested in what a reboot of a series that is not even a teenager has to offer us.

04 November 2010

Remakes Everywhere Part 4

Part 4!

Also, here is a refresher on my abbreviations:
NN - Not Needed
NS - Never Saw the original
NP - Make it Now Please

50 Upcoming Movie Remakes

26. Pet Semetary - NS.  Given how prolific Stephen King is, I would think that they would have found another of his books to turn into a movie.  (I'm looking at you 'Bag of Bones')  If we want to redo any of his properties, I nominate 'IT' or 'The Stand'... TV miniseries that deserve the HBO/Showtime treatment

27. Yellow Submarine - NS/NN  This needs to stay where it belongs... the 60s

28. Heavy Metal - NS.  Jack Black is attached to star.  Why don't they just make a movie out of that video game Jack Black was the star of a year or so ago.  From what I understand, its basically the same kind of thing.

29. Dune - NS (but I read the book)  *sigh*  This is perennially one of the films that will never be filmed right, or so they say.  We've had one theatrical release, and one Sci... oops SyFy miniseries.  Possibly needed, but I'm not sure.  I may need to watch the original theatrical release, then decide.

30. My Fair Lady - NS

31. Akira - Ok, I've seen Akira (or at least most of it)  I know this is a treasure in the Anime world.  I'm not a big fan of Anime, but even I know you should not mess with this movie.  However, the link above says that the original movie only covered a portion of the source material, and that this new one would be live action.  I'm still thinking no.  If it started animated, keep it that way.

32. The Birds - NN.  No.  Fail.  Do not remake any of Hitchcock's movies.  At least don't remake any more.

33. Escape From New York - NS/NN  Again, a 80s movie that needs to stay where it belongs.

34. The Phantom Toolbooth - NS

35. The Orphanage - NS  But with The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco starring, I'll go see it.

27 October 2010

Remakes Everywhere Part 3

I'll get to the point:  part 3 of my remakes everywhere thoughts.  We continue...

50 Upcoming Remakes

Also, here is a refresher on my abbreviations:
NN - Not Needed
NS - Never Saw the original
NP - Make it Now Please

14. Judge Dredd - NP/NN  I love the original.  One of those early to mid 90s fun, silly action movies.  Recently have I heard that it was A) Based on a comic and B)Not done very well.  As to weather or not it needs to be remade?  Sure, why not.  If it really deviated from the original, then give it another go.  But there are plenty of other comic properties that could be made.  I'm looking at you Wade Wilson aka Deadpool.

15.Overboard - NS

16. Porky's - NS  With the return of the 'R' rated comedies, I could see this series beginning anew.

17. Short Circuit - NS  But I thought they already re-made this, animated it and called it Wally.

18. The Warriors - NS  I think this could work as a remake.  Having never seen the original I can't say for certain if  a remake is different, but it could would be interesting.

19. The Blob - NS/NN  I've never seen the original but this is one of those that I think works better with the FX of the day.

20. All Quiet On The Western Front NS/NP  I am tired of WWII and Vietnam movies/games.  There are other periods of history that need exploring, and none more important that WWI.  I say get a certain 'Saving Private Ryan' director to direct and you've got a hella movie right there.  Daniel Radcliff starring though?  That could be the hitch.

21. Barbarella - NS

22. The Black Hole - NS

23. Mad Max - NN ( I think )  I'm very meh about this.  Having watched all three, they are not really all that great.  For what they are, they are great, but I think that depends on your opinion of Mel Gibson.   Low budget, post apocalyptic fare is fine.  But remakes?  I don't know, I think the jury will be out on this one for a bit.

24. Westworld - NS/NN  I say not needed just based on the description from the website (despite the fact that Chrichton had a hand in the original) it just sounds not interesting.

25. The Never Ending Story - NS  But really, could it be called The Never Ending Story and not have more movies being made?

21 October 2010

'Professional' quality my ass


Very quick rant here.  I was very fired up about this, but have since cooled off and want to offer some insight and suggestions to Mohegan Sun Arena.

On the 15th of October, I went to see Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie at the Mohegan Sun Arena.  I have a Canon EOS XS Digital Rebel.  Detachable lens?  Yes.  Professional?  Perhaps...

See, just because I have the fancy camera does not mean I am going to take shots of any decent quality.  I had a short lens (18mm-55mm), seats in the upper level, and the lighting issues that you always have at a concert.  So really, the pics would have sucked.

I have two issues:

1.  For twenty minutes prior to going into the venue itself, their security stared at me with the camera around my neck.  At one point I even went up to them to ask about the camera, but after staring at me, and not engaging me in conversation I thought I was in the clear

2. Their policy.  Here are the two pursuant parts of their policy:
                              Professional quality camera equipment

                 Cameras in general:

                       Cameras - As a house rule, disposable cameras are permitted, but may be prohibited based on the request of the performing artist and their management. Call in advance to find out what the camera policy will be during the event. Video and audio recording equipment are prohibited in the Arena at all times.

Where oh where does it specify that a detachable lens constitutes professional?  I saw plenty of camera equipped cell phones taking pictures of the same or similar quality!!  Oh, and BTW Mohegan Sun, did you know many phones can now take video?  That means all cell phones should be checked and and placed in coat check (which is not for coats BTW, but professional cameras and bulky items).  I'm just saying.

So instead of an AWESOME shot of Mr. Cooper playing (Zombie seemed to phone his performance it) all I have to show for it are these:

12 October 2010

Remakes Everywhere Part 2

Ladies and Gentlemen!  Children of Internet browsing ages.... ( actually, leave the children at home )  I bring you part two of my thoughts on the list of 50 Movies Being Remade.  Here's the link, should you need it again.

50 Upcoming Remakes

Also, here is a refresher on my abbreviations:
NN - Not Needed
NS - Never Saw the original
NP - Make it Now Please

Dear readers, we now join this list already in progress (Its like watching 60 Minutes when there's Sunday afternoon football)
14. Creature From The Black Lagoon - NS.  This COULD be interesting.  The remade Wolfman was not bad, but not good.  I'll probably watch this, but probably not the original.

15. The Crow - NS.  I sense a great disturbance in the Force should this be remade.  I've know people who loved this film, and almost none who hated it.  Never having seen it, I do know that this is one of those massively popular films.  I sense great upheaval should this be remade badly.

16. Death Note - NS.  Its a Japanese horror film.  Which means millions will watch it and hundreds and thousands will hate it because its noting like the original.  (I'm looking at you Ringo, Ring, Creepy kid crawling out of the TV, whatever the hell its called (NS that one either))

17. Death Wish - NS/NN/SP.  Kinda torn on this one.  Can't offer any opinions on the original, cause I've never seen it.  But I've heard its a classic.  Not needed in that Sly Stallone is attached, and seems a bit too old for the part.  Now please in that Sly Stallone is attached, and he can whup some ass.

18. The Howling - NS.

I'm gonna leave this one short.  Number 19 is Judge Dredd, and I sense an even greater disturbance in the Force on this one.  Master Yoda recommends I proceed with caution.

That, and Leanda made pie!

EDIT:  Came across this from Ain't It Cool News, fits in with number 14.
What could this be?

10 October 2010

Remakes Everywhere Part 1

50 Upcoming Movie Remakes

Greetings denizens of the interwebs.  Tis I your favorite unknown blogger here to share some thoughts on the above linked list of 50 movies that are going to be remade.  Its a big list, so I'm going to break my thoughts into several parts.  This first part covers the first 13 movies on the list.

First some thoughts on remakes.

I don't mind them.  Really, I don't.  I think if the original failed in some way, or could benefit from the current movie tech, then by all means remake a movie.  But, don't let the remake be worse than the original....then you've just wasted my time.


NN - Not Needed
NS - Never Saw the original
NP - Make it Now Please

  1. Red Dawn - NN.  This movie is barely a classic.  Do I own it? Yes.  Do I enjoy it? Yes.  But I don't think it needs to be remade.
  2. The Tourist - NS.  Jack Sparrow is attached.  Might be nice to see him playing Johhny Depp in a film starring Johnny Depp
  3. True Grit - NS.  Want to see the remake.  Want to see the original.  In that order?  Not sure.  There are alot of classic westerns that I think could do with an update.  Today's westerns tend to be grittier and more true to life that the westerns of the 50s-early 70s.  But can Jeff Bridges channel The Duke?  I think yes.
  4. Footloose - NS/NN  *Sigh*  I thought they re-made it already and called it High School musical 5000, or whatever number they're up to.
  5. The Thing - NS.  Not much to say here.  Probably not needed.
  6. Child's Play - NN.  Really Hollywood?
  7. Straw Dogs - NS.
  8. Fright Night - NS.
  9. The Three Musketeers - NP!!!  This is one of those source materials that can always be redone.  Dumas was so damn verbose, you can take many interpretations from his writing.  But if you are going to re-do Musketeers, lets re-do Man In The Iron Mask too.
  10. Arthur - NS
  11. Battle Royale - NS
  12. Commando - NS/NN.  Lets leave the cheesy 80s action movies where they belong.  I don't think this will update well
  13. Connan - NS/NN.  Please reference #12.

07 October 2010

Musings on an Eater....

As I sit here watching the latest episode of the Travel Channel show Man V. Food, I can't help but to feel, well, a bit concerned that this show may be giving people the wrong idea about food.

A few disclaimers...
  1. This is not coming from somebody in any kind of shape.
  2. I like food.
  3. I understand the point of the show is not nessecarily the food, but the people and places

Now that we have that out of the way...

My 'concerns' if you will stem from the quantity challenges. We are a nation consumed and obsessed with the idea of people being obese, not eating well and the like. Watch any episode of Man V. Food, and you will see all sorts of un-healthy, yet amazingly delicious meals......

Ok, I can't write this with a straight face. Who cares if its not the most healthy thing in the world? The host has a passion for meeting people and learning the local cuisines. In the end, he does an equal number of spice ( and I have a co-worker who completed one) and quantity challenges. Each episode is an exploration of a little corner of the country you may not get to. Or you can be like me and use the show as a source of ideas for places to eat when I travel. So screw it if he heats a 7 dish Italian dinner in one city, and a 72 oz steak in another. He has fun doing it, and I have fun watching his adventures.

18 February 2010

Books becoming TV Shows...The Second Season?

Well, not really the second season. More of a secret fear of something coming true.

In going with the theme from the last post, fantasy books becoming tv shows. I am a huge fan of The Wheel of Time, by Robert Jordan. Now I don't need to fear just yet. But will the day soon come? Part of me wishes that this day will come, to see in pictures that which I have only viewed in my head. Now, the biggest problem with The Wheel of Time (from now on referred to as TWoT for space purposes) is the length of the series. By its end in November 2011, the series will clock in at a massive 14 books, with one prequel. With three books, it took Peter Jackson 3+ hours per movie to tell the whole story. JK Rowling's books encountered puberty while filming. And thats only 6/7 books. Imagine doing that with 14 books! It would be impossible. Characters that age 3 years over the books will age 10+ in film. However, Universal has options, or rights, or something that gives them first crack at a film.

So what is the solution?

Television - but who would do it? Which network would undertake this challenge? HBO/Showtime would be the best, but you still run into two issues: age, and quality. It would be easy to skimp or severly edit (ala Legend of the Seeker) to fit it in, but I don't think I would want that...

Animation - Probably the best option to put this to the screen. Animation is to the point now where you can make decent looking people, and the age issue goes out the window. Networks/studios can take time to do a quality movie, where the age of the actors does not matter.

I personally would rather not see it in animation. I think this is a story that would need to be told live action. They did it with Lord of The Rings, why not here?

They de-aged Patrick Stewart in X3. Age problem solved! After a certain point, just start CGI correcting the actors to stay within the age of the characters.

Which brings me right back to animation, because depending on how much they would have to correct, they should just animate it completely. And we know where I stand on that.

17 February 2010

Books becoming TV Shows

Ahh, the written word. It has the power to transport us to a myriad of worlds with our imagination, our minds the engine and the words its fuel. Now I enjoy the visual mediums the same as I do the printed. But is it always a good idea to put these words into images on the small screen? Well, I have two examples that I would like to put forth as confirmed evidence that this may not always be the case.

The first is a little show called Legend of The Seeker, on ABC Family (this may be part of its problem). Its based on a book series by Terry Goodkind, The Sword of Truth. Its not a bad series in the beginning, but towards the end, he starts swinging his politics and faith/religion at you with Thor's Hammer. Well, I decided to give Legend of the Seeker a try, and I was disappointed. But not exactly for the reasons I thought I would, given my feelings on the book series. The Legend of The Seeker is a case where only the character names and base ideas are translated to the screen. But, you say, you (me) just said that I don't like the book series. True I say. I'm upset because Goodkind has given his blessing for the series. Does this mean he sold out? Who knows, but to allow his vision to come to come to screen in such a ripped off manor, makes one wonder.

Now for an example which may prove to be... more blatant.

George R.R. Martin... quite possibly one of my favorite authors. Writes a series called A Song of Ice and Fire. Made it through four books....and stopped. The series is simply amazing. Well, HBO is currently filming a miniseries based on the first book. His last update on the novels was in January of 2008. I want the next book to come out. I'm hoping that the series fares better on television than the afore mentioned Legend of The Seeker. Maybe because HBO has a bigger budget it will be done more justice. Time will tell on this one.

Either way, have Goodkind and Martin become sellouts? I'll reserve judgement until I see the adaptation of Martin's work. Goodkind...well, given what I saw his vision become I'd have to say yes.