Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Twitter. I am not going to name it. Saying this is a review, that's not quite right. It's a review of how that book got into my hands and how the author got my attention and how it made me feel. This is a tale of the perils of Twitter. In other words, you wanted my attention, and now, you have it. Be careful what you wish for.
Many authors and writers use Twitter for self-promotion. Many sometimes go a little overboard. I do it myself sometimes. I forget to balance promotion with interaction, conversation, entertainment, and humor. I understand, sometimes you can get carried away.
This author, who will remain unnamed, got carried away. There were times I suspected his Twitter was a bot. It began to post the same message over and over again, minute after minute, promoting the above named book. The only difference in the messages were the hashtags. Sometimes it was #Avengers, sometimes #HarryPotter, or #Stargate, #StarTrek, #LordoftheRings, or simple things like #Scifi or #Fantasy. Really? This book was comparable to all of those things? Or do you not know how to properly use hashtags? And every minute??
I replied to one of the constant Tweets, was it really like Avengers and Harry Potter? And would I need to read Parts 1-3 to understand Part 4? My Tweets went unanswered. Hmmm... not unheard of but kinda rude, especially when I was considering buying his book. Readers pay you when you're an author, remember. When the constant Tweets continued through the next day, I unFollowed him, sending an additional Tweet to him saying that perhaps his account had been hacked and he should check it out. Again, no answer.
There are numerous typos, contradictory details (how many different home planets does this captain have anyway?), more than a page spent ordering coffee, and absolutely nothing that resembles the #Avengers at all. This was a hard read, and because the author never tells us anything about the more than half-dozen characters inhabiting these pages, it's even harder to care about them.
I would hope that there might be some backstory in parts 1-3, but I'll never know. I won't buy them or read them. Had the author had the courtesy to tell me I was coming into it in the middle of the story, or not annoyed me with his Twitter, I might have had a different perspective. Now aren't you glad you got my attention?
Maybe I didn't get it. Maybe this "thought provoking fantasy scifi for enquiring minds" is just too intellectual for me. Maybe I'm just not smart enough to get it. I don't think that's it though. I know what this is, it's a couple hours of my life I'm never going to get back, and it most certainly is not #Avengers...
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
The GAR! Podcast already know some of my feelings on Fox's new pre-Batman series "Gotham," or at least the first episode, and if you haven't heard, you check it out here. I hate to say it, but after viewing the second episode, my feelings haven't changed much.
"Gotham" tells the tale of Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) joining the Gotham City police force and finding every bit of the department, as well as the city, completely corrupt. Partnered with Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), he weaves his way through early versions of Batman's rogues gallery as he tries to solve the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents. So it's a lofty goal we know our hero will never obtain. Batman finds the Waynes' killer, every comics fan knows this, so we know from the get-go that the hero of this piece can not even win.
The worst part of "Gotham" is the part that one might think all of the fanboys and fangirls want - the winks and nudges from the comics. Oh, look, it's Catwoman, and Penguin, and Riddler, oh and that must be the Joker. The problem is they beat these references like a dead horse and they take away from the parts of the show that actually are good. "Gotham" is a pretty good police drama, and I said it on the podcast, and I'll say it again here, it would be a great police drama without all the Batman stuff.
The casting is wonderful. I love Donal Logue, no matter what he's in, and the casting of the various Bat-villains is inspired. Robin Lord Taylor is a perfect Penguin, if not in shape, in performance, mannerisms, and behavior. Camren Bicondova is almost a young Michelle Pfeiffer stunt and face double. Cory Michael Smith is the perfect Riddler in the same way Taylor is to Penguin.
Standing head and shoulders above the rest of the cast is Jada Pinkett-Smith as Fish Mooney, the one character who has no counterpart in the comics. Every other character when you meet them, as a comics reader, you already now what to expect. You have some idea of what they are like before they open their mouth or do anything. Fish Mooney is the wild card, the unpredictable element that makes "Gotham" fun. The show needs more of those, and less of the Batman stuff.
I may hang in for a few more episodes, but I can't see myself, or the series itself, holding on much longer.
Monday, September 29, 2014
So why am I watching this Lifetime drama about the show? You could say I'm a masochist, or a glutton for punishment, or, like testing weird potato chip flavors over at French Fry Diary, I do it so you won't have to.
Again, I can't say whether it's true or not, but it was fairly entertaining, even if there were a lot of subplots left unresolved. A pleasant pass of two hours, even if I had to sit through ads for the new Brittany Murphy movie fifty times.
Friday, September 26, 2014
Adrien Brody is in the title role and it's one that fits him well. Not only does he look like Harry Houdini both facially and in body type, he has that mysterious air about him. Despite his miscasting in Peter Jackson's King Kong, he's perfect here. Kristen Connolly is pretty fair in the role of Bess, and even though it's a cameo, it is always good to see Barry from "EastEnders."
The mini-series takes us from the magician's childhood to Harry and Bess Houdini's days on the road before he became famous to his death on stage in 1926. There is both truth and fiction here as with all Houdini stories. This version even takes into account Houdini's supposed service to the US government as a spy. And then there's a lot more iffy stuff here for a program that aired on The History Channel.
Wild About Harry website had a lot to say about how far from the truth this mini-series strayed, and it's not pretty.
Now the 1960s Tony Curtis film and the 1970s Paul Michael Glaser telemovie weren't that great on the facts either, and I loved them. And I admit to liking this one as well, but in its four hours it lacks the heart the other two had in half the time. Recommended for those who aren't depending on facts or looking for more than a story that barely touches the surface.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
The film focuses on a young girl and her new friend running from fascist government spies and military, as well as air pirates, as all pursue a mythical city in the sky called Laputa. As it turns out, she is the long lost princess of Laputa and only her pendant can find the city and release its secrets, which include, not only a treasure, but also a weapon of mass destruction. The legends are pulled from not only Jonathan Swift's book "Gulliver's Travels" but also the Hindu epic "The Ramayana" as well with its Indra's arrow.
The Wind Rises), and a firm foundation in all things steampink. The Goliath and Tiger Moth airships, and the amazing flaptors of Dola's air pirates are excellent examples of that.
I love this film, and it's easily in my top ten or twenty favorite films of all time. If you like anime, or adventure, or steampunk - this is absolutely must see, but really I think everyone will enjoy Castle in the Sky.