Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Still Here...

Just taking a little personal time this week. I'll be back soon.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

That's right, I'm using my birthday as an excuse to be a slacker this weekend. So what if my birthday isn't technically until Sunday, I'm taking some time off and I'm buying myself some chocolate and champagne! Just wait until you see how crazy I get next year. That's when I turn the big 4-0. But right now I'm celebrating the fact that I can cling to my 30's for one last pitiful year. I may need more than one bottle of champagne.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Love a Man with a Flexible Mind

-- You know what your problem is my friend? You enjoy your job a little too much. You're a ghoul. If you don't get horny reading Fangoria then I'm Britney Spears. --Patrick Jane from The Mentalist Every fall I get into the new series television shows. I rarely commit to a new series because I just don't have the time, but I like to see what the new ones are all about. I had to watch "The Mentalist" for one reason. Simon Baker. I know. I shouldn't be lured in by handsome men. But I can't help myself. But I've liked Baker for awhile now. He was on the TV show "Smith" a couple of years ago and played a very convincing, very scary, psychopath. I actually wished that show hadn't been cancelled. Anyway, I was intrigued by the plot of "The Mentalist." Baker stars as Patrick Jane, a former con man who gamed people by using his powers of observation to convince them he was a psychic. After his con causes a personal tragedy he becomes a consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation. The show is interesting. It mixes humor with some Sherlock Holmes type bits of deduction. James is meant to be smarter, or least more observant, than everyone else. At times it works but like a lot of network TV show it's also heavy handed-- I guess because they don't want to make the plot too difficult for the masses to follow. Is this a show that has a future? Hard to say. Baker is fun to watch and he has a lot of charisma. I think the main characters will end up fusing together well and create a good core cast. My big question is whether or not the writers will be able to keep the show intelligent enough to keep people interested. I've been watching "Bones" over the last couple of years and I can't help but feel that for all the scientists are supposed to be more intelligent than the average Joe, they're getting dumber and dumber each season. The most interesting think about Jane's character so far is his atheism. After all his years convincing people that he can connect with the "other side" he has come away feeling that there is no such thing as an afterlife. When one investigator says to him that the "Kingdom of God" is real and that there is a life after this one, he replies I sure hope you're wrong... I also like the cynical pokes the show takes at celebrated psychics like John Edwards. You can see how someone like Jane could convince people that he knows about them because he has contacted a long-lost, dead relative by reading their mannerisms and playing to their egos. You can also see how, despite evidence to the contrary, that people will believe someone is psychic just because they want to. But does that mean that psychics don't exist? One investigator doesn't think so and says to Jane, I think you really are psychic. You just don't want to admit it. I guess you could say that there are a few glimmers of a show that might be half-way decent. I also like that it's likely to be a crime-of-the-week kind of show. Oh sure, there will be an ongoing storyline as well, but I bet if I miss an episode here and there I can still pick it up again without too much difficulty. So I'll give it a go for a little while and see if it can stay smart and not dumb itself down for all of us slow-witted viewers. I'm not sure how hopeful I can be on that point though...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Social Commentary and Children's Entertainment....a Good Combo?

Social commentary is not something that comes to mind when I scroll through the children's movies I've seen over the years. Certainly children's movies reflect the attitudes of the day. You can look right at the progression of the Disney heroines over the years, from Snow White to Mulan, to see how attitudes toward women and their role in society has changed. But I wouldn't suggest that a movie like "Finding Nemo" has any broad meaning to it-- other than "differently abled" fish can swim just as well as any other fish. But Pixar's Wall-E is an entirely different kettle of fish-- so to speak. We like to take our kids to the movie theatre when we can. My son has finally reached the age where he can sit through a whole hour-and-a-half movie and it's great because my husband and I genuinely like animated films. Thanks to the Pixar marketing machine my son has wanted to see "Wall-E" ever since it came out in June and we finally made it to the theatre to see it this morning. "Wall-E" is the story of a robot who has been left behind on a massively over-polluted Earth. He has spent the last 700 years attempting to clean up the piles of trash that have overtaken the whole planet while humanity floats along in space being catered to by a robot army of machines that feed, transport and entertain them. Wall-E lives on Earth by himself, as the other machines have stopped working over the 700-year clean-up period. His only companion is a cockroach who lives on Twinkies. Wall-E continues on with his job of cleaning up, while picking and saving bits of trash that he uses to decorate his "home" in the belly of another big machine. He watches an old tape of "Hello Dolly" and learns about love and companionship from the old movie. Then one day a probe sent from the Axiom, the ship that carries the descendants of the people who originally left Earth, arrives and Wall-E meets EVE; a robot sent to see if organic life has reappeared on the planet. The first 30 minutes of the movie are very quiet. We follow Wall-E through the incredible amount of waste still left to be disposed. The sky is cloudy and polluted and we see that even space is so crowded with satellites that a spaceship must crash through a layer of them just to leave the planet's atmosphere. Clearly Pixar is suggesting we need to recycle. The movie bounces between Earth and the Axiom, showing us that humanity is both wasteful and superfluous. People have reached the point that they are so dependant on machines that they can no longer walk. They have become fat, lazy-- and like I said, altogether pointless. Wow. I wasn't expecting quite so much ecologically-minded content in my G-rated film. But is that a bad thing? I'm guessing from the 96% positive rating the movie got on Rotten Tomatoes that most people would say no. And there is nothing in the message that is incorrect. It doesn't take a genius to notice that human beings are wasteful and a trip to the gym wouldn't hurt most of us. Wall-E is an incredibly sweet character. The movie absolutely has a soul and I enjoyed it very much. But could you call it a good "kid's" movie? That is a matter of perspective. My husband fell asleep during the movie while my 4 1/2-year-old was spellbound. I have no idea what to make of that. But I do wonder what parent's think of "Wall-E" in general. I don't think there is anything wrong with putting the message in a kid's film that we shouldn't be wasteful. (For the record my husband has taught my kids to pick up trash in our neighborhood and throw it away-- my husband isn't against recycling, he just thought the movie was slow). And goodness knows that weight is definitely becoming an issue world-wide. But do kids really get the message from a movie like "Wall-E?" Do they pick up the undertones or do they just get bored and tune out? Does it matter? I really don't know. I thought the movie was cute. My kids liked it and if they come away with the idea that waste is bad, then what could be wrong with that? But my husband was irritated by the whole thing. I think he felt like a social agenda was being shoved down his throat while he was just trying to watch a cartoon. I get that. Sometimes I just want to be entertained too. So what do you think? Is Pixar trying too hard to be socially conscious? Or do you think that it's a great idea to expose kids to a social agenda as early as possible? "Wall-E" has a message that I think most of us would agree is a good one. But if movie-makers get into the habit of including a message, at what point are they likely to court controversy? Just a whiff of spirituality would be enough freak out a whole lot of people IMO. Maybe our acceptance is entirely dependent on the message itself. Or maybe I'm just over-thinking this.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Do You Ever Just Want to Watch an Old Episode of The Incredible Hulk?

CHiPs? Star Trek? Lost? Not to toot my own horn, but I get lots of emails from various people who are promoting something sci-fi related. I rarely post from those emails unless there is something I can pass on to people who come to the blog. I have managed to giveaway a few things; movie tickets, DVD's and books mostly, and I like doing that. But I also like it when I can promote something that everyone can enjoy. FANCAST is a cool site that was brought to my attention via email. I kind of expected to click on the site, peruse it a little and be on my way. But oh no, they hooked me with Dexter. I don't know if you'll remember, but I fell in love with Dexter about a year ago when DirectTV played the first season for free. We don't subscribe to Showtime, so I never watched the show beyond the first season, which just kills me. Then lo-and-behold, FANCAST has the first show of the second season. Unfortunately, that's all they have so far of "Dexter," but then I started clicking around on their full episode list and I saw tons of other shows. For example, they have almost 80 full episodes of the original Star Trek available to view right now! There's also about 14 episodes of The Incredible Hulk, bunches of old Twilight Zone, over 20 episodes of Angel, and tons of other classic shows. But if you're not into old TV shows, the site might still be of interest to you. They have brand new shows like Fringe -- some of you mentioned that you hadn't been able to catch the pilot episode when it first aired, and now you can. They even have recent episodes of The Daily Show. But let me just say this, wait until you have some time to kill before you go to this site. I spent a lot of time flipping back and forth between watching movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (they have movies too) to watching old episodes of Highlander. The play-lists aren't complete on all the shows and I don't know how often they will be updated (I'll be sure to ask) but I think the site is worth checking out. There's a lot of shows on here that you can't always get on TV when you want them, so it's nice to get them on demand like this. My husband is very excited about catching the old "Twilight Zone." So check it out and be sure to tell me what you think.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Draaaagging it Out

I am beginning to see why people tell me that they don't watch series television. As I mentioned before I have been watching Heroes on DVD-- the only way to watch series television anymore. Why? Because the shows can't stay on the air if the storyline is wrapped up too quickly. At least that's the prevailing wisdom. I have discovered over the last few years that I only have about 2 seasons in me if I watch series television week-to-week. It becomes almost painful for me to watch the storylines of my favorite shows get stretched out and tweaked just to keep the show on the air. But being of limited intelligence I keep trying--as evidenced by my current addiction to Heroes. Am I doomed to be disappointed again? Sadly, the answer is probably yes. One thing I like about movies is that you get a whole story arc in one sitting; even in an ongoing series. Take The Dark Knight for example. Knight is the second movie in a current series about Batman. In a way you could look at it like series television in that there are installments to the story, but the big difference is that each movie tells a whole story. There's a beginning, a middle and and end-- even if the end has the potential to be continued. Each episode of Heroes ends with the caption to be continued... When do you suppose it'll say the end? But maybe I'm unusual. My personal preference is that each show have a complete story arc each season. I know that wouldn't be as dramatic and maybe the consensus that the show would lose viewers is the right one. After all, there are soap operas that have been on TV for over 50 years. Talk about dragging out the story. But what really gets me are the same old tropes that pop up again and again. I mean, let me ask you this. How many times have you seen someone die and then mysteriously turn up alive? Me? I haven't actually seen this yet in real life, but it happens on all my favorite shows all the time. Just look at BSG-- no one really dies on that show. Or how about this? How many times have you met someone with amnesia? Going by the number of times I see it on TV I'd assume it's really common. (John Doe, Samantha Who, Total Recall, Memento, etc..) Time Travel? Star Trek anyone? Heroes likes this one too... I mean, it gets crazy sometimes. Long lost sister/brother/father; mysterious strangers who have all the answers-- then suddenly die; aliens; secret organizations..... You know I could go on. So what am I trying to say? I don't know. Other than maybe it's a good thing BSG is ending this year.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Giveaway! Acacia by David Anthony Durham

I have wanted to do a giveaway of Acacia by David Anthony Durham for awhile and I finally have an extra copy to pass on! From the Washington Post: The Akaran royal children in David Anthony Durham's thrilling Acacia bear a passing resemblance to the scrappy siblings from C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Aliver, heir to the throne of the Known World, worries that he doesn't have the stuff to be king; Corinn, his sister, is beautiful, deceptively shallow and adept with a bow and arrow; Mena, the younger sister, is courageous and astute; and Dariel, the youngest, tends to wander off where he shouldn't. But the world that Durham has created for them is far grimmer, and far more sophisticated, than Lewis's charming Narnia. From the first pages of Acacia, Durham, a respected historical novelist, demonstrates that he is a master of the fantasy epic. He quickly sets out in broad strokes the corrupt world that these unwitting children have been raised to rule. For 22 generations, the Akarans have presided over the empire of Acacia. And for 22 generations, they've sent a yearly shipment of child slaves to mysterious traders beyond their borders, "with no questions asked, no conditions imposed on what they did with them, and no possibility that the children would ever see Acacia again." In exchange, the Akarans get "mist," a drug that guarantees their subjects' "labor and submission." I give nothing away when I say that this empire is doomed. In the opening pages, an assassin from the Meins -- a "bickering people" from the frozen North, "as harsh and prone to callousness as the landscape they inhabited" -- is on his way to the capital city with his sights set on King Leodan, the children's kind and hapless father. The Akaran children must flee their sumptuous palace for hostile country, with no god-like lion poised to give his life for theirs. The Acacian god, the Giver, has forsaken them. Durham sacrifices nothing -- not psychological acuity, not political complexity, not lyrical phrases -- as he drives the plot of this gripping book forward. The names of people and places sound as if they've been recalled from a dusty past, not cobbled from J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth, a far too common practice among fantasy writers. Tropes that sound outlandish -- "dream-travel," for one -- are credible in Durham's telling. And the story always surprises. Characters that seem poised to take center stage are killed abruptly. Evil often triumphs. The rickety supports that grand empires rest on clearly fascinate Durham -- the long-time advisers who have grown resentful, the client states that fake their willing submission, the trading monopoly that sees profit in regime change. And the Akaran aristocracy is deaf to the rumblings beneath them. Hanish, the clear-eyed leader of the Meins and architect of the coming disaster, relishes their complacency: "Better that his coming shock them to the core and leave them reeling and grasping for meaning, too late to recognize the true shape and substance of the world they lorded over." When the empire falls, it does so quickly and horrifically. Palace guards and household servants slaughter their masters. The Meinish have allied with the Numrek, "screaming, stomping, mirthful agents of carnage," who cut a gruesome swath through the land. Plague strikes the Acacian army, and its soldiers sweat blood and "lay prostrate in writhing intimacy with the earth." The dead are past counting. But as exciting as all this is, the collapse of the Akaran empire is only the beginning of this grand tale. Aliver, Mena and Dariel, raised anonymously and separately in quiet corners of the fallen empire, become warriors eager to redeem "the rotten heart of Acacia," while Corinn, a captive in the palace where she grew up, plots bloody revenge from within. How will it all end? If the first volume of this projected series is any indication, in brilliant -- and brutal -- defiance of fantasy conventions. Does that sound great or what? (I haven't finished the book yet-- but what I have read is exceptional). To enter, the rules are the same as usual. Either leave a comment here or send me an email at sqt1969(at)gmail(dot)com under the header "Acacia." I will randomly pick a winner on Tuesday September 30th. Be sure I can get reach you easily. If I cannot reach a winner within 48 hours I will pass the book onto another entrant. Open to everyone. Good luck!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Back Online...

We finished painting the computer room today and I'm back online. Too tuckered to think up a post though... Interesting non-sci-fi-related day too. My husband works for Merrill Lynch. If anyone here pays attention to financial markets you may know why I mention the fact that Bank of America just bought Merrill for a reported $44 billion. Whew. The financial markets are taking a beating. The sub-prime mortgage mess just isn't going to go away quietly. Merrill was one of the last independent brokerage firms left, but now that Lehman Bros. is filing bankruptcy, Merrill has to find a way to swim before they sink with Lehmans. It's going to be a chaotic day on Wall Street today. The deal with BofA won't close until the beginning of 2009 and I doubt it'll affect my husband's job in the near term. But it is a little scary to think of what it might do some retirement accounts. One of my husband's partners is supposed to retire in 2 years and this could really gut his retirement account. Suuuuucks. The DOW is going to throw a hissy fit today.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Have Seen the Way of the DVD

Funny how something someone else posted about a year or so ago comes up again. I got bored this last week. None of the shows I like to watch have started their new seasons yet and I decided I couldn't take any more political nonsense, so I finally got to a DVD I have had sitting on my shelf for over a year. Yep. I started watching "Heroes" and now I am hooked! Stewart Sternberg mentioned this very same show last year-- in the same context no less. I even remember commenting at the time that I hadn't had a chance to watch the show yet and I also remember that he recommended watching the show on DVD so as not to be left hanging week-to-week. That happens to be good and bad advice. The bad part of watching a show like "Heroes" on DVD is that it is really good, so I end up becoming obsessive about having to know what's going to happen next. What that means is that I end up watching at least 3 episodes in a row and the rest of my life gets put on hold. That might not be a big problem except that I discovered that Netflix has "Heroes" on it's instant play list; which means I can spend hours and hours watching the first two seasons all at once. My laundry will never get done. Well, that goes without saying, but still... Oh, and it gets better. We're painting the computer room this weekend, which means that I will be without a computer for about 2 days. 2 days without "Heroes?" How will I survive? I'm a little over half-way through the first season and I have a couple of observations. Hiro is my new favorite TV show character. He is beyond great. So well developed, sweet and altogether awesome. I can absolutely see why so many people rave about him. And Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy) is seriously gorgeous. I think I have a new name to add to the laminated list. So I hope you'll excuse me while I go back to my latest obsession. I should be able to finish just in time for the third season to begin...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Fringe....X-Files for the Next Generation?

Definitely. J.J. Abrams has kind of become the conspiracy theory go-to guy in TV these days. Founder of Bad Robot Productions, Abrams was the creator of "Alias" and the co-creator of "Lost." It seems fitting therefore that Abrams would be the guy called on to direct Fringe, a new show that is positioned to be this generation's "X-Files;" which was sort of the conspiracy theory show of its day. In the pilot episode, F.B.I agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and her boyfriend, F.B.I. agent John Scott are called in to investigate when a plane lands and every single person on board has died a very gruesome death. Early on in the investigation John is exposed to the toxin that killed the people on the plane and Olivia sets off to find out if he can be saved. Looking for answers she finds scientist Walter Bishop (John Noble), the most brilliant mind of his generation. The only problem is that Bishop was declared crazy and has been in a mental institution for the last seventeen years. Olivia then tracks down Bishop's estranged son Peter (Joshua Jackson), who carries a 190 IQ and a grudge. And while I'd like to tell you more about the show, it's kind of hard to do so without giving up a bunch of spoilers-- I know because I tried. I don't know if this show was set up to be a deliberate "X-Files" replacement, but I suspect it was. That doesn't mean the show is a knock-off. Olivia Dunham doesn't start out as a Fox Mulder. She isn't on a mission to make anyone believe anything nor does she have a poster in her office that says "I Want to Believe"-- at least not yet. She's simply trying to save the man she loves. What happens next, however, sends her on a path that looks a lot like the one Mulder was on. The first episode seems fairly grounded in science, though it does ask you to suspend your disbelief quite a bit. But there are hints that future episodes are going to really broaden our horizons. I get the idea that dimensional travel, astral projection, mind reading and maybe even some religious stigmata may be the subject of some future shows. I'm in. For my part, I liked it. I found myself more than willing to keep my skepticism to myself for the duration of the show. I really liked the actors in the show, especially Anna Torv. It was fast paced, interesting, humorous and, so far, not too confusing. Part of me is a little afraid to get too attached since J.J. Abrams doesn't offer answers easily or quickly. But in the end, the characters won me over. I will most definitely be giving this show some more attention.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

It's Good to Be a Fantasy Author Right Now...I Think

As I was putting up the video of "True Blood" I began to think about all the TV shows that have sprung up lately based on fantasy/paranormal fiction that have had mixed results. You can't have missed The Dresden Files based on the popular series of books by Jim Butcher. For what it's worth I liked this series and was sorry to see it go. The Sci-fi channel claimed the show wasn't drawing good ratings but I'm inclined to listen to rumors that say the Sci-fi Channel isn't run that well, especially after the cancellation of BSG and the addition of the awful "Painkiller Jane" (which proved to have a short shelf-life of its own). But going back to my original point, "The Dresden Files" was based on a very popular series of books that features a main character who is a wizard-- though not in the Harry Potter style. "The Dresden Files" is pure urban fantasy and I think it must have made its way onto TV because of the current paranormal craze in fantasy fiction. But if "The Dresden Files" isn't enough to convince you that paranormal fiction is hot right now, then lets move on to Blood Ties based on the series, featuring modern-day vampire Henry Fitzroy, written by Tanya Huff. This particular series has an ambiguous future since no one seems to know if there is going to be a third season. It hasn't been official cancelled, as far as I can tell, but they haven't announced a new season. But still, the show made it on the air, right? Somebody decided that vampires were it, and rather than come up with another lame (IMO) show like "Moonlight" they decided to base the show on a popular series of books. That makes sense doesn't it? Built in audience? Um, still waiting to see how that worked out. Well, there must still be some people out there that think paranormal series' are worth gambling on. Charlaine Harris got a great deal, as far as I'm concerned, with her books being translated into a TV series on HBO. True Blood. I have been a huge fan of Harris for years and I can only wish her success with this series; and with Anna Paquin as the star and it being broadcast on HBO, I'd say she's got pretty good odds. But maybe I'm being rash in assuming that only paranormal fiction is what people are buying right now. Terry Goodkind sold his "Sword of Truth" series and it's due to be broadcast on Nov 1st in syndication under the title Legend of the Seeker. This is a fairly violent series, so I'll be interested to see how a big network handles the story. I gave up on the books a long time ago, but I've give it a go on the small screen. But wait, Goodkind isn't the only author of epic (or really really long and drawn out) fantasy to see their story make into a small screen adaptation, George R.R. Martin has sold the rights of his "Song of Fire and Ice" series to HBO, though I'm still waiting to see how that develops. What is being said is that the script has been developed but I haven't heard that filming has started. What's the point of all this? I'm not sure. I guess I was just noticing that a lot of books that I have read seem to be making their way to TV, but not always staying on the air. I hate to think this is a problem of style or genre, especially since shows like "Heroes" or "Lost" seem to be hanging in there-- makes me wonder if a show has to be on a major network to really have a shot. Anyway. But who knows, maybe it's always good to have a successful series. Well, that's obvious I suppose. But "The Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter" have done rather well and I guess Hollywood is always looking for the next big thing, so why not look at the fantasy aisle. I just hope some of these new shows have a little more longevity than the last ones...

Friday, September 05, 2008

Okay, One More Trailer

I just saw this and right now I am so bummed I don't have HBO. Based on the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris (a major favorite of mine) "True Blood" stars Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse, a mind-reading waitress who discovers the supernatural world of vampires when she starts dating one. Looks intense!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Battlestar Galactica Prequel Trailer "Caprica"

I'm am soooo happy that there won't be a complete end to the BSG saga. I don't have a premier date for the series "Caprica," a prequel set 50 years prior to "Battlestar Galactica," but I am super excited to see that trailers are already available. True we won't have the characters we've come to love on the original series, but this looks gooooood.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Winners! Grab Bag Giveaway

I have randomly (random.org) picked my winners for the "Grab Bag" giveaway and I'm happy to say everyone who won got their first picks! The winners are: Charles Gramlich-- The Dark Ferryman by Jenna Rhodes Liviana-- The King's Shield by Sherwood Smith and Ben Yeo-- Foundling by D. M. Cornish Congratulations! If I don't already have your addresses, be sure to send them to me at sqt1969(at)gmail(dot)com so I can get these sent off as soon as possible.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Superman Gets Moody-- Along with Everyone Else

It was bound to happen. The success of "The Dark Knight" has gotten the attention of studio executives and they are ready to get as much mileage as they can out of any interest that can be drummed up in comic book heroes. Even if "The Dark Knight" had been the only comic book movie to be released in recent years we'd be seeing movie-makers scrambling to get as many caped-crusaders in action as possible. But with the one-two punch of "Iron Man" and "The Dark Knight" this summer, more comic-book movies are guaranteed to hit movie theatres as soon as possible. But, and this is a big point here, movie studios are really taking their cues from "The Dark Knight." After a serious disappointment with "Superman Returns," Warner Bros. is going to pretend it never happened and totally reboot the franchise, as well as any other comic-book character they can sell, in the moody style of "The Dark Knight." From The Wall Street Journal~ Like the recent Batman sequel -- which has become the highest-grossing film of the year thus far -- Mr. Robinov wants his next pack of superhero movies to be bathed in the same brooding tone as "The Dark Knight." Creatively, he sees exploring the evil side to characters as the key to unlocking some of Warner Bros.' DC properties. "We're going to try to go dark to the extent that the characters allow it," he says. That goes for the company's Superman franchise as well. Warner Bros. also put on hold plans for another movie starring multiple superheroes -- known as "Batman vs. Superman" -- after the $215 million "Superman Returns," which had disappointing box-office returns, didn't please executives. "'Superman' didn't quite work as a film in the way that we wanted it to," says Mr. Robinov. "It didn't position the character the way he needed to be positioned." "Had 'Superman' worked in 2006, we would have had a movie for Christmas of this year or 2009," he adds. "But now the plan is just to reintroduce Superman without regard to a Batman and Superman movie at all." The studio [Warner Bros.] is set to announce its plans for future DC movies in the next month. For now, though, it is focused on releasing four comic-book films in the next three years, including a third Batman film, a new film reintroducing Superman, and two movies focusing on other DC Comics characters. Movies featuring Green Lantern, Flash, Green Arrow, and Wonder Woman are all in active development. The article also goes on to say that Warner Bros. is planning on putting out as many as 8 comic-book movies in the style of "The Dark Knight" by 2011. Damn. Is it possible that is too much of a good thing? I am not remotely surprised by this story. Every time a movie hits it big, from westerns to horror films, you can bet the box office returns are going to ensure that the studios pump out as many films in that style as humanly possible in as short a time frame that they can manage. It's all about the $$$. And as much as I like comic-book movies, they really are my favorite, I worry that by trying to re-capture the mood and style of "The Dark Knight" what we'll really end up with is a bunch of overly slick, carbon copies of Batman without any real soul. The fact is Superman isn't Batman. I like the idea of creating a grittier Superman movie but I wonder if a director can be found who will appreciate the challenge. Superman isn't Batman and I'd like to see a movie that honors the differences. Superman doesn't have the tragic history that Batman does, so I don't expect him to have the edge of vigilantism that comes with Batman. I would expect a man who feels alienated from society to some degree but I don't expect him to be the same brooding type as Batman. Don't even get me started on Wonder Woman. Despite myself I still feel as if this is good news. I love comic-book characters, especially those I grew up with, so I will be waiting, eagerly, for these movies to be made. My expectations will be tempered by the fact that Hollywood isn't about quality as much as it is about making money. But I will still hope, a little, that something almost as good as "The Dark Knight" will someday appear.

One More Day.....

For those of you not in the U.S., you may not know that it's a holiday weekend here. Yep, a three day weekend. Those are the best aren't they? So that means I am in drink-wine-and-stay-up-late mode and I am feeling too ditsy to come up with a good post right now. Bad sci-fi blogger! I got about half-way through a book review (John Scalzi-- who is great btw) and had to pack it in for fear that I would be unable to capably proofread the post before bed. Yeah, you want me to review your book don't you? I do have some ideas floating around in my head and I'll try to get back on track here soon. I just prefer being sober when I write-- fewer run on sentences that way. Anyway, I hope the rest of you are having a good weekend and to those in the path of Hurricane Gustav, stay safe!