Tv blabs, movie blabs, book blabs. Lots of blab, but no flab.

Tuesday, August 31

Identity Issues

So your out walking your dog one night and out of the bushes jumps a girl with a 12 inch stake yelling "I am Buffy the Vampire Slayer". She takes a swing at you, misses and runs off.

What would you do?

Call the Police, then a newspaper, of course!

Want to see a dodgy filmed copy of the Serenity teaser trailer? Go here, but don't expect to hear or see in great detail. No matter, it still looks like it will be a blast.

Buffy's real life arch nemesis, the Parents Television Council (PTC), got their butts kicked in court again over a complaint about Buffy's 'explicit' sex scene with Spike (remember the one where she's invisible??).

Charisma Carpenter will appear in a couple of eps of Charmed in the coming season, playing, you guessed it, a psychic. She is also not planning to return to Cordelia's always fashionable shoes. I'm not really saddened by that news.

Anthony Stewart Head (Giles) has been filming a doco series about the supernatural. Titled "True Horror", it looks at mythic beings like vamps and werewolves in a 'factual' light.

Amy Acker (Fred) is apparently 5+ months pregnant. It's a little hard to picture.

David Boreanaz is only willing to come back to Angel for a cinema released movie.

I think the time has come for Spiderwoman as well.

Monday, August 30

Bregenz Me

I work in a theatre. I love going to see shows. I am a junkie for spectacle. I like to be amazed by images. So, in 2000, when I saw a photo from a production of the opera "A Masked Ball" I got all ga-ga. All I wanted to do was go and see the show.

My first problem was it was in Austria. The second is they only perform it for one month a year during the Bregenz Festival. This festival is the Summer festival of the city of Bregenz in western Austria. Since 1950 they have built shows out on Lake Constance upon barges. The first show on the permanent structure was "The Magic Flute". Ever since, they build a new show every two years.

West Side Story

Go to the festival link above and take a look at the set for the current show "West Side Story". It'll blow ya socks off. This is theatre at its biggest.

If anyone heads over I want to know what it's like. Anyone heading over from Australia better have a big enough suitcase to fit me in.

Sunday, August 29

Run, Jackie! Run!

Who'd have thought that Jackie Chan could appear in a Jules Verne adaptation that didn't wholly suck? Not me. So colour me surprised. When I walked out of the cinema I felt I had been pleasantly entertained.

What movie was it? Around the World in 80 Days, of course.

I have not read the book, so, am unable to comment on differences or changes. I assume there was some rewriting done to make Chan the central character. I generally like Jackie Chan films. They are a good distraction when one is looking for an escape from reality and reason. I have no qualms about groaning during his films at the horrible plot or non existent acting. 80 Days was totally groan-free and full of genuine laughter.

The selling point would have to be Steve Coogan as Phileas Fogg. He was endlessly entertaining as the eccentric Fogg, but never stepped over the line into stupidity. The conflicts his character had to deal with were compelling and human. I am glad the motive for Fogg to go on the trip was his need to invent and not a greed for money. Thinking back on it, I'm finding more good things about this film.

Cécile De France as Monique La Roche brought a nice feminine warmth to the screen. A great accent (cause she's French!); stereotypical turn-of-the-century-French-maiden-look and exuberance to compliment Chan and Coogan.

80 Days is a cameo-fest. Most are funny and worth the effort; others are a waste of screen time and money (ie Macy Gray). From the moment the Wilson brothers appear on screen I couldn't stop laughing (I obviously stopped after, but not for a time).

Best line in the film is, "You had me at the nipples."

One of the best Jackie Chan American-financed films. Fun for the whole family.

Friday, August 27

Snap Crackle Pop

Want to see someone's head start to spin around or, perhaps, just start to go bonkers?

Just ask them how it is possible to understand but not comprehend something.

It's fun for all the family.

Thursday, August 26

Paper Cuts - Ilse Witch

The Voyager of the Jerle Shannara. The first of the third trilogy based around Shannara by Terry Brooks.

I think I may have made a small error in judgement starting this book immediately after The Da Vinci Code. The first few chapters read very slowly compared to the light speed of the Code. Not any fault of Brooks.

I'm well entrenched in the unravelling of the plot now, and look forward to what's in store.

I have not read the original Shannara series, and only the first two volumes of the Heritage series. I wasn't caught up in the story enough to immediately continue that series. I thoroughly enjoyed Brooks's Word and Void books. The three separate time periods of Nest's life were very interesting.

Ilse Witch is much further into the future than the Heritage series, yet the same good and evil characters remain. It is odd reading information on events I haven't read about. I seriously doubt anything now will spoil my reading of the last two books. I like the Rocs. Interesting creatures.

My only complaint is there is no handy map to give me a visual of all these places that sound familiar, but I can't quite picture. I know I could get one of the other books out, but who wants to have two books on hand. I'm far to lazy for that.

Choking Hazard

Which Tic-Tac Flavor Are You?

I am are Fresh Mint.
I am caring and friendly. I have a nurturing
personality and always help out a friend in
need. I am fairly outgoing, and always show
a friendly face. I truly care for other
people, and I show it. However, I may
neglect my own responsibilities or become over
involved in my friends' personal affairs.
Most Compatible With: Orange

brought to you by Quizilla

Hmm. A Tic-Tac quiz telling me I have issues.

Paper Cuts - The Da Vinci Code

I finished the Code late last week. I read the last 150 pages in one sitting. I just couldn't stop.

I loved it. So much information, theories and speculation. A convincing enough mystery to link it all together. I admit to a smidge of disappointment at the end, but that is because I was wanting everything and not willing to settle for less. I can't say why without giving it away to those who haven't read.

I will read this again soon I feel. I has a great urgency to it that is invigorating. Enough so, that I also bought Dan Brown's other book about Langdon, Angels and Demons.

To simply repeat what I said earlier:

Buy it. Read it.

Which Wing

The West Wing of course!

I remember sitting down to watch the Pilot, way back when, and being totally stunned by this show. They aired the first 2 eps consecutively, and by the end of the pilot I had added it to my 'tape every week' list. The writing, the actors, the characters, the sets, the cinematography were all excellent.

I hate politics. It drives me to distraction. It is a necessary evil to have politicians, but that doesn't mean I have to like them. I also have a serious aversion to any sort of politics anywhere else (ie, in the workplace). So I was surprised that I like watching this show. How could I not?

I had not seen the first season for a long while, so I had forgotten how snappy the dialogue was. I had forgotten about the really long single shots and how interesting the characters are. I think the reason why I like it so much is these people are amazingly intelligent (which I would certainly hope for) and also very human. It's smart TV.

So when I was browsing the DVD section last week, I couldn't help impulse buy the first season on the cheap. I have enjoyed watching it so much I've devoured the whole first season in 4 days.

In it's second or third year, West Wing got put on, stupidly, at the same time as Buffy. It never had a chance. I tried taping Buffy and watching WW but I managed to stuff it up a few times. Nothing got in the way of my Buffy watching and taping. Nothing. So, I was forced to catch only the odd ep here and there. WW hasn't returned to air here this year, which is ludicrous and another example of commercial stations mindlessness.

I'm now eagerly awaiting season 2 to become really cheap. I need to rediscover what happens to whom after the shooting.


I've forgotten my eBay password. It's driving me nuts. For some reason I had to use a different one than any in my collection of passwords. I've not visited eBay for a while and now I can't get in.

So I do the proper thing and get it to email me the email so I can get a new password etc. I did this last night and waited 2 hours (while doing other things) for the email. I assume it's a 'middle of the night' type glitch and let it slide, hoping to get the email when I logged on tonight.


So I repeat the process. That was an hour ago.

I was having a very good night until now. I'm not going to let some insignificant internet thing ruin it.


Tuesday, August 24

IMDb User Comments Insanity

As it is fairly clear that I like to see films. I enjoy talking about them and also what I thought about them. There are times when I seriously don't enjoy a film (re: Troy), so I have a rant but I try to not have them frequently.

As part of the process of my writing, I visit the obvious place for info about films, IMDb.

The worst and sometimes best thing about IMDb is the 'User Comments'. For films I've not heard of they tend to be helpful to find out what it's about. For films I know, it is handy for other peoples perceptions. This is where I go nuts. There are so many people who write nasty thing about films.

Now, I know that one film will never please everybody, but the fact that the majority of the comments are negative toward nearly every film drives me to my limits. I understand if a film is despised because it is crap, there's no shortage of crap out there, but I get testy when every film is downed.

It would appear that people who feel strongly enough about these films to comment are the ones who mostly abhor them. Don't even bother going into the forum links at the bottom of most.

That's my insane rant for the month.

Plots with a View

I have a soft spot for the quaint English film. A Very Annie-Mary, Waking Ned Devine, Calendar Girls (dare I mention Helen Mirren’s breasts again?), Little Voice, Brassed Off and Billy Elliot have all been films I have thoroughly enjoyed. So while I was browsing Video Ezy, on Saturday night, in the hope of finding something I hadn’t seen at the cinema, I came across Plots with a View. With a very colourful cover, how could I walk past it.

Featuring Alfred Molina (Doc Ock in Spiderman 2) and Brenda Blethyn (Little Voice), with Lee Evans, Naomi Watts, Robert Pugh, Jerry Springer and Christopher Walken I decided to give it a look.

Boris Plots runs a funeral parlour, he's still in love with his school crush Betty Rhys-Jones who was minorly involved in the death of her cheating husbands mother (she choked on a spoon full of bran). Anyway, the story is about love and death.

This is more a black comedy. Some of the insanities these people got up to are gutbustingly funny, but in the back of my mind a little voice was saying 'this is a little horrible'. Christopher Walken's Frank Featherbed is in competition with Plots, and goes to enormous lengths to make his funerals lavish, see the lady who got made up to be a Vulcan and her coffin lifted toward the sky...

It is in no way a perfect film, or even a great film. The plot has some serious issues and for such a stellar cast, they are all underused and appear to be a little confused. The film was financed by Miramax, these are the people who turned down Lord of the Rings. Nuff said.

Flaws aside, I intend on seeing this film again, if only to see the opening sequence where it introduces Wales as 'the small country to the left of England'.

The Ladykillers

Starring Tom Hanks and written and directed by the Cohen Brothers, I laughed my way right through. I’ll start off buy saying that I’m not a fan of Tom Hanks. I don’t know why or what it is, but he just doesn’t make me want to see his films. Also, I had never previously seen a Cohen Brothers film. None of them appealed to me in the slightest, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, nor Intolerable Cruelty. Again, don’t know why, they just didn’t.

It is a little surprising I went to this film at all. Yet strangely, it appealed. Perhaps it was the combination of actors that intrigued or the look of the trailer. Whatever it was, it got me in the cinema.

Ladykillers has been labelled as a ‘black comedy’. What makes a black comedy? The juxtaposition of morbid and farcical elements to give a disturbing effect (source). Is it because we laugh at people’s misfortune? That encompasses most comedy though. Is it laughing at people’s death and how they are disposed of? Wouldn’t that make ‘Scary Movie’ a black comedy. I didn’t see this film as a black comedy. It is certainly a different humour to, say, Austin Powers, but I wasn't disturbed by the effects.

A simple story told in a simple, yet, visually interesting way. Using the cover of a ‘Renaissance Ensemble’ Tom Hanks’ Professor is mastermind of a casino heist, which is coordinated from the basement of Mrs Munson, an elderly lady who lives a quiet life in a small quiet town.

I loved the introduction of each of the characters. Mrs Munson walking all the way home gave an excellent perspective of the small town feel. The Prof’s entrance in the dark door way couldn’t have set up his character any more ominously. Each character had so much to draw from for comedy. Just thinking of ‘Mountain Water’ makes me laugh still.

Tom Hanks managed to make me forget who he was by a quarter way through. The Prof’s nervous laugh was the perfect character tick, and his scary ‘KFC Colonel’ costume and facial hair topped it off.

I look forward to seeing this film again, if not at the cinema, then it will certainly be added to my DVD collection.

Thursday, August 19

Angel Season 4

I bought home these DVDs last week, but hadn't started watching them. I had not watched most of these episodes since their original airing here. It was like seeing them again for the first time. I recall all the main plot points, but with all Joss shows, it's the little things that have the most importance.

I've just finished watching 'Apocalypse Nowish'. A spectacular episode. It was a very big thing to pull off so early in the season. The size of the fight scene, the harbingers, and eventual rain of fire are evens of a season finale, not episode 7. Both Buffy and Angel were suffering from premature apocalypses. I felt both shows went to the dark place way too early. Buffy 7 had so many places it could go, but spent 3/4 of the year wallowing over the Big Bad.

Such a shame Firefly didn't last longer. It would have been nice to see where Joss could take a show that wasn't driven by the evil it had to fight.

Back to Angel.

Cordelia is the weakest part of this season. She sucks at being evil. I have no idea whether it's got to do with Charisma's acting ability (which had been rather good) or some ambiguity over where her character was going. It all feels very hammy. When you put it beside the likes of Wesley, Fred and even Lorne, the ham can't be ignored. Charisma's pregnancy would not have made life easy, but her bonking Conner still made me go 'That's just wrong', all over again.


Contributing to another blog, ie Blogtionary, has it's drawbacks. I went through the dashboard and began composing that last post. After publishing I opened up the blog, only to find out I'd written the whole thing in Blogtionary. Bugger!

For no apparent reason they change position in the dashboard. This means I'm going to have to pay more attention to what I'm clicking. Dammit.

More on 'Next Blog' clicks...

I don't like picture blogs. I've come across a few now, and I feel absolutely no will to return to any of them. I think it is my interest in language. I enjoy reading blogs that are written in a unique fashion or perhaps from a different perspective. Nearly all the blogs I regularly visit make me laugh. I would much rather read a description of the funny thing your pet did. Writing about it reveals more about the author than a cute picture.

New Navbar Nonsense

This new idea from Blogger is really rather good. I was never a fan of the bulky, fugly advert at the top, so I am glad to see it replace with a much sleeker, better looking bar thing.I don't quite know how it will get them more money, but I'm sure their deal with Google will cover it.

Anyhoo, the purpose of this post was for me to express my amusement with the 'Next Blog' button up on the right. I've received a number of new hits from through it, and I've spent some time just clicking through to see where I end up.

Blogs I've been to so far include a 12 year old girl with serious spelling issues, a depressed woman in Canada, a teenager obsessed with her pets (her blog consists wholly of pictures of her animals), a band fanatic who tried to make my computer download something, and a scary blog where the person made the 12 year old girl's spelling look like Shakespeare.


The world is a diverse place. Endlessly interesting. Endlessly disturbing.

Wednesday, August 18

Well Duh!

I am all for reassurances, but how stupid do people think the world is.

JK Rowling appeared at a convention on the weekend and announced that...

wait for it...

Harry Potter will survive up to the seventh book.

I'm stunned. I would never have guessed that!

The Yahoo News gives a little bit more info, but it was the info that Harry would survive the 6th book so that the 7th could still be called 'Harry Potter and the whosit of whatsit' that had TV Guide interested.

Big Red

Last Friday night I went to the local premiere of Hellboy. The previews for it looked promising, and I went into it expecting to have a bit of fun but not much else. I walked out of the cinema having had a heap of fun.

I'm not going to go on and on like I tend to do about films with this one. I had a very enjoyable time watching it. If you were to ask the people I went with I oood and ahhhd the whole way through. It was the most vocal I think I have been in a film for a long time (not counting laughing).

It's a fun ride. Hellboy is a great character acted perfectly by Ron Perlman. The prosthetics and make-up were amazingly detailed. There is no way this film would have succeeded with a CGI lead. The constant dry humour of Hellboy certainly kept us laughing throughout the whole film. He really gets the crap beaten out of him for every step he takes, and yet, it's acceptable because he's a big ol' demon guy.

I think this is what Van Helsing should have been.

The writer didn't bother over explaining the mythology or try and make you believe it could be real. The concepts were presented enough for the story to progress, and then they moved on. I certainly want to see it again.

Filmed in the Czech republic, stick around for the credits. One, because there is an extra bit further on, and two, because you play the name game really well. There are some fantastic crew names to be pointed and laughed at.

Tuesday, August 17

The Da Vinci Code Web Quest

In the spirit of challenging yourself, see if you can complete the The Da Vinci Code Web Quest.

The first three questions are a breeze. I'm onto the first proper question and am stumped already.

Tis fun.

Monday, August 16

Paper Cuts - The Da Vinci Code

This is most of the reason I've not been online posting. I'm completely absorbed by this book.

From what I've read so far, nearly half the book in 2 days, I'm already recommending it to read. If you want intellectual thoughts on how good it is, go to a book shop and open up the first few pages. They are full of praise that surpasses anything I could contrive.

Traditionally I stay away from books set in the real world. I am all for escapism, so I read fantasy or things that put a twist on reality. I had heard of The Da Vinci Code, but knew nothing about it. While out having retail therapy I came across the softcover edition for cheap + a discount. Into my pile of books it went.

Having sated my need for Buffy and Angel novels for now, it was the obvious choice to read next (that, and I've got no room for more books on any shelf right now).

I am amazed at the amount of info that is stored in the back of my brain that I never call upon. The Da Vinci Code is a vast wealth of information woven around a mystery. There have been a number of plot revelations when I have thought 'I know that! why didn't I see it?'

I am enjoying because if it wasn't based in so much fact, it would seem a totally absurd and unlikely tale. Some of the information can be a bit confronting if you've never delved into this side of human society.

Buy it. Read it.

Paper Cuts - How I Survived My Summer Vacation

A big ol' trip down memory lane this one was. It fills in the events between the end of season one and the start of season 2. An anthology that continues the same story line makes for an easy read. I barely noticed that there were six authors for this book. The characters back then were still simple enough that it would be hard to go wrong.

Only 2 out of the 6 stories centred around the Slayer. The others were about Giles, Angel, Willow, Xander and Jenny Calendar's struggle to survive the holidays. Dealing with Absoloms arrival in SunnyD, the attempts to resurrect The Master, the gang burying The Master's bones, a shapeshifter, an army of zombies, a Bruja in LA, and an evil stage crew made for varied reading.

By the way, just because theatre staff don't go out in the sun doesn't mean they are vamps. OK!

We aren't all pale, sun-avoiding, athletic super-villains.

But we try.

Friday, August 13

Stupids Anonymous

On Mondo Thingo tonight, the irritating pop culture guy talked about Greg the Bunny. I noticed it in the TV guide last week, but more on that later. For those who don't know Greg the Bunny is a very naughty bunny, and his show is just as naughty. So channel 7, in all their wisdom, put 2 + 2 together...

Bunny + Puppet = children's television

So during the last school holidays, they aired it for a week at 11am!

I nearly rolled on the floor laughing when the irritating guy said this. I had only noticed the show in it's more appropriate 1.30am slot last week, and noted that I wanted to catch it.

I think this is a clear case that TV stations really have no idea of what they are buying and couldn't tell kids telly from edgy comedy.

At least watch the shows you are going to subject us to.

Still funny though. I can picture little Jason on holidays, being baby sat by the TV. At dinner that night, he asks dad if mum's biscuits are also over-hashed...

Wednesday, August 11

To buy or not to buy

Here is a dilemma I have. I am obsessed with a couple of things. I want to own nearly everything I can lay my hands upon related to said obsessions. Then there are things released which make me wonder whether I really need everything.

Ezydvd tells me there are 8 new DVDs coming out that are 'Collections' of the best episodes based around a character of Buffy and Angel. Now, I own every ep they are offering on DVD already, and there appears to be no extras on the disk to entice me to hand over my card. So I am a little disappointed that I may have decided not to yearn to buy these disks.

Anyway. They are:

Angel - The Vampire Anthology

Cordelia - City of, There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb, Birthday, Waiting in the Wings
Fred - Over the Rainbow, Fredless, Supersymmetry, Shiny Happy People
Gunn - War Zone, First Impressions, That Old Gang of Mine, Double or Nothing
Wesley - Parting Gifts, Guise Will Be Guise, Loyalty, Sleep Tight

Buffy - The Slayer Collection

Angel - Angel, Innocence, I Only Have Eyes For You, Amends
Faith - Bad Girls, Consequences, Graduation Day Part 1, Who Are You
Spike - School Hard, Lie to Me, Lovers Walk, Fool For Love
Willow - Phases, Doppelgangland, Wild At Heart, New Moon Rising

So each disk has eps based around one character, right? This is the part that I have the most trouble getting past, is each show is about an ensemble of characters. Yes there are many examples there where the eps are certainly focused mostly on one, but 'City of' isn't about Cordelia, nor is 'Lover's walk' really about Spike. So unless each has a big secret to the amazing extras they have, I'll be content to have them on separate disks.

I think I've convinced myself I don't need them now.


Holes is out on August 18th. Yay!

Cor blimey

What Flavour Are You? Cor blimey, I taste like Tea.I taste like Tea.

I am a subtle flavour, quiet and polite, gentle, almost ambient. My presence in crowds will often go unnoticed. Best not to spill me on your clothes though, I can leave a nasty stain. What Flavour Are You?

The last part makes me sound like something monica couldn't get off her dress...

Tuesday, August 10

Barren Wasteland

That's what we are heading toward at the moment in TV Land. There's barely anything on that I want to watch. It's a bugger, how else am I meant to make myself feel better about having nothing better to do than stay home, if there's nothing worthwhile to watch on TV?

So we're in limbo land, where it's still ratings time, but most of the major series are or have come to a close. Some they stretched by airing repeats for months, some they sped through to get them out of the way, and some disappeared without making a sound.

What are we presented with? Simpsons, CSI, Friends, Raymond, Law & Order, Law & Order: SUV repeats; an abundance of home renovation, diet or extreme make-over shows; and double episodes of CSI, Law & Order: SUV, and Crossing Jordan.

Things aren't looking good. Why not throw in the Olympics for good measure.

As of Friday, 2 free-to-air stations will be mostly dedicated to Olympic coverage. Out of 5 options, that's too much!

This would surely provide a small challenge to the other networks, who know they are going to lose out not matter what. Why not use this opportunity to take some risks? Surely this is the time for it.


On the first Saturday night, what does 9 counter with, a marathon of 3 Police Academy films. I recall it was only recent that they played these in late night slots, over a few weeks. So why bring them back now!

SBS. Why did you sign a deal with the devil? Channel 7 is evil. We all know this. I was hoping it would at least be showing something strangely interesting for me to get lost in. No, you're now showing 15 hours of sport a day.

The weekends are going to be a nightmare. 2 x Olympics, 1 x AFL, 1 x Golf, 1 x Rugby League. That makes 5!

Ok. It's not all bad. This Friday night, 7 is airing Cirque Du Soleil's La Nouba. Everyone should watch this. It will amaze you. I dare you not to enjoy it, even a little. Of course, I've got plans for this Friday night.

This is when I am truly happy that I spend so much money on DVDs, because over the next 3 weeks, I'm going to need them.


I hate winter. Not the cold, or the layers, or the excessive power bills.

I hate it because of static electricity.

I spend 4 months of the year having harsh electrical jolts shot at me from a wide variety of objects.

People brushing past me in shopping centres, taking off jumpers, my dog, the car, washing machine, steel shelving.

The worst I've found, other than people inflicting the zaps upon me, are the CD racks in Sanity. I reach out to pickup a CD and BAM! I flick my hand away and shake away the sting. The amount of strange looks I get from the shop assistants..... apart from the looks they give me normally anyway.

I was wearing a pair of cord jeans the other day and brushed against a metal railing and got zapped via the little rivet in the side of the pants. Was not happy.

The only good thing about static is being able to stick balloons to things with it.

Monday, August 9

On the code again

I've been a little consumed by other ventures. I have chosen to create a little external site about Firefly, rather than take up a bunch of space here. It also gives me the chance to relearn my abilities with HTML.

I had the idea of completely designing the thing in Photoshop then, with a small bit of cheating with Imageready, do the HTML myself. It's so much easier having the end result right there to refer to. It's probably not an original idea, but it was for me.

I am still adjusting to my new name, but I think I'm going to stick with it.

Sunday, August 8

Identity Issues

After much pointless searching and avoidance of the problem, I have finally selected a new alias. Thankyou to Seventh Sanctum for suggesting it. It was a 'random' name and I've done a little searching to make sure nothing untoward is associated with it. It's a real name apparently, but the results were mostly in polish and one was a footballer.

All I have to do now is find a suitable last name...

Firefly - Prologue

Before I start my blogiating about this series I thought I'd share some basic details about it in the hope of inspiring others to get hold of it.

Firefly was Joss Whedon's newest venture back in '02. It premiered at the same time Buffy's season 7 and Angel's 4 were starting up. Airing on the Fox network in the USA it was going to have to really work hard to firstly, get picked up, and secondly remain on-air.

Joss wrote and directed a 90 minute pilot ep, 'Serenity', that introduces the 9 central characters in a way that gives you time and space to learn who they are and what they are about. The network didn't particularly take well to it, they wanted it to be slightly less serious and more actiony.

So Joss and co-mastermind Tim Minear had 2 days to write what became the first ep of the series to be aired called 'The Train Job'. An ep that, very quickly introduces each of the characters and goes onto show us how the group works as a team etc.

Fox liked what they saw, although they were still dubious about some aspects of the show.

It started to air, was rating better than Buffy but on Fox that wasn't enough and the show went on hiatus over Christmas and never returned.

Being a Joss show, the fans quickly built a campaign to get the show back on air, but it didn't do them any good. After very good DVD sales in the USA last year there were rumblings of a movie being made and at the start of March this year it was announced that Joss would write and direct 'Serenity' the movie. With a budget of $35mil, it should certainly take things a little further in the visual department.

About the show itself, it's a 'space western' set 500yrs in the future. Captain Malcolm 'Mal' Reynolds runs the cargo ship Serenity (firefly class). Transport and occasional theft jobs keep the crew busy and in constant trouble. There's lots of guns, a few horses and the odd Chinese phrase.

The DVDs of the series are available now and the film will be released around April 22, '05.

Saturday, August 7

Paper Cuts - Monster Island

Well, Mr Christopher Golden and Mr Thomas E. Sniegoski, you succeeded in writing a Buffy/Angel crossover novel that cohesively joined the two separate worlds with a minimum of fuss and repetitiveness.

I dislike being forced to read detailed introductions of characters that I'm fairly sure I know better than some of the people who write these books. I feel a little insulted. Chances are, a person reading a Buffy or Angel book is going to be familiar with the either series.

I digress.

Monster Island has been a most enjoyable read. One of the longer Buffy or Angel novels, it had the space to cover stories in both locations and multiple combinations of characters in search of the answers. Nothing felt cheesy or forced and each character held up to the microscope of being thrown together rather well.

I ended up not caring the exact time this story was set, and simply enjoyed the ride I was taken on. The reappearance of the Scourge, even if they weren't named as such, certainly brought it's own tension that the writers used as a good base.

I have mentioned before that Golden has a thirst for blood. Other than Angel's injuries early in the story, I wasn't uncomfortable with any other of the battle-scenes or injuries sustained within. They were well crafted and certainly drew me right in. It was very visual, which seems a strange thing to say about a book, but a lot of these novels tend to focus on the characters and not give too much interesting detail of new locations. Monster Island itself is a complete picture in my mind and if not for what it is, it sounded like a pretty good place to reside.

Pitting the whole team against one evil, seemed like it would leave some characters as spectators. Not so, each character had his/her place to be and thing to do.

A very good read.

Friday, August 6

The Real Legend

I have read an abundance of negative reviews for this film. It isn't frequent I let that prevent me from seeing a film for myself, to form my own opinion. Yesterday, to sate my cinema withdrawals, I chose to give King Arthur its due.

The Good

The casting was rather good. Clive Owen's Arthur, Ioan Gruffudd's Lancelot, Joel Edgerton's Gawain, and Ray Winstone's Bors were all substantial reasons for why I lasted the distance of this movie. The relationships created between these 'knights' has little to do with the script and much to do with the acting chops of the afore mentioned. Though Arthur was a little too dry in patches, Owen portrayed a man of his word burdened with the fates of his 'knights'.

Visually stunning, I liked how it was a dirty world. The 'knights' were rarely not covered in a layer of grime, nor were many other characters. Those that were, mostly turned out to be bad in some way. I actually felt rather unclean after leaving the cinema, showing how visual images can have a lasting effect. Bors states it well, that the weather is either raining, snowing or fog and that is the way the film looks, there is always some sort of atmospheric event happening. Some scenes must have been filmed too low in contrast, because there were a number of shots that went rather grainy and the action was only barely visible.

Minimal use of CGI meant there were no bad blurry wide shots nor horribly out of focus backgrounds behind characters. They did dominate the ice breaking sequence, but not to it's detriment.

The ice breaking sequence was, for me, the highlight of the film. The inherent danger of crossing a frozen lake really made the job easy for director Antoine Fuqua. The 'knights' all lined up with arrows nocked was rather impressive.

I was impressed with some of the war tactics and weapons that were used, fire bombs and cool backward blades.

The Bad

I was sort of stumped at where to start. So as the famous line goes, I'll start at the very beginning.

A very good place to start.

The opening title shows and we get text on screen explaining this is the 'real' story of Atorious (long for Ator, or Arthur), and that it really happened in the 5th century. So I am presented with a claim that this will be a historically accurate film. I noticed that Jerry Bruckheimer was the executive producer and my doubts were instantly established.

The claim in all of the publicity was this was the 'real' Arthur story and that you should forget the myth. I am fine with that concept, I appreciate the notion of trying to discover the truth. What I was presented with was a film where the truth was very mangled with the myth. Mangled, yes the right word.

My first beef is in the word 'knight'. According to my book about Knights, the very earliest historical base for the concept of a knight was in the mid 8th century. 400 years after this film is set. So the word knight really shouldn't have been used.

Second beef is with the Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot love triangle. It wasn't a love triangle, it was more like a wire coat hanger, neither corner is particularly strong and even if you get hooked by it, chances are, it will still won't hold. I felt little chemistry between Arthur and Guinevere. Few of Guinevere's actions made sense within context of her character. She is the daughter of Merlin, leader of the Woads. She is important, one assumes. Yet, she constantly throws herself into battle, with encouragement from her father. I don't think it likely that any woman in the 5th century was likely to be as free as she is. Guinevere was also the only woman in any of the battle sequences. I felt no reason why she should have gotten groiny with Arthur that night, it felt like a service call.

Now, Lancelot, he brings me to beef three. If they were abandoning the myth for the 'real', then why make a half-arsed attempt to make Lancelot as a temptation for Guinevere? There were several sidelong glances but no actual, well, anything. I would have accepted the embracing of that part of the myth if they tried to make it worth embracing. Instead, we were presented with

Beef four. I mistook Cerdic for Merlin for the first quarter of the film. I blame the trailer. As the main adversary to Arthur, Cerdic wasn't the least bit fearful, in fact, his Russell Crowe inspired voiced irritated me endlessly.

Beef five. It was simplistically clear that the 'knights' were sick of England, sick of Rome, and sick of being lapdogs, but I felt confused at their will to up and leave. I know they wanted to go back to the lands they called home but it was clear that's where they belonged. Other than the emotional song Bors' woman sang, I spent a lot of time confused about why he was going to up and move away from everything he knew. Only one woman was the focus, but apparently he had 3 women on the go. It was all rather messy. A failure of the scriptwriter.

Beef five and a half is not worth a whole beef, because it is me being pedantic. The score during the final battle veered into the syncopated Pirates of the Caribbean theme for a time.

Not a beef at all. During the final battle where they had large pyres of straw and tar, created an immense smoke cloud that had me thinking of any poor souls who lived nearby where they were filming. Cough cough.

There a enough holes in this story to start a post office, and even with the parts I enjoyed, I left this film feeling slightly cheated. My first thought as I left were 'that was rather forgettable'.

Post Script:

I forgot to mention blood when I wrote this yesterday. There wasn't any! I am not a fan of blood at all, but for realism's sake, I accept that I need to see some. Nothing along the lines of Braveheart, but an indication that when someone gets slashed by a big hunking blade, blood is going to splatter. I watch CSI, I know how it's meant to project out of an artery.

Retail Therapy

Well. I have no reason to be anything but happy. For at least a week. My trip into Retail Land was fruitful.

I am now owner of the complete series of Firefly, and as of approx. 11.30pm last night, I'm hooked.

I also bought a few books. The one I'm looking forward to the most is The Davinci Code by Dan Brown.

Went and saw Arthur... More thoughts on that later.

Release the giant mind-controlled swans that can control minds!

Wednesday, August 4

Movie Withdrawals

It's been nigh on 2 weeks since I've been to the cinema, and I am really feeling a withdrawal. I was planning on seeing something tomorrow, but there's nothing I am particularly interested in seeing that I haven't seen at least once already. It annoys me that that is the case because I resort to seeing films I'm not terribly invested or interested in, re: Troy.

I'll see what tomorrow brings.

The other good part about tomorrow is the chance for some retail therapy. It's a seriously underrated type of therapy, but whenever I'm in a bad place, going out and spending money always makes me feel better. Of course, paying bills or general expenses don't count. They usually induce the bad place. With the number of DVDs that I own I should always be a very happy person.

If only.

I decided that I want to have a new name. Not a new real name, I'm ok with that one. A new name for this blog and other places. I'm over being The Librarian. Yes it's my position within this small world, but I don't particularly like it anymore. Add that I don't feel that I am worthy of the name Librarian and we'll really get down to the nitty-gritty. So I am in search of a new alias.

I thought that I may find something in the last few books I've read. No. Browsed my memory for interesting character names. No. Asked a friends advice. No. Decided to search on the net for a name site. No. What about a name generator. Yes. I stumbled across Seventh Sanctum. It has a large number of name generators for pretty much anything you can think of. It also has a humour section, which you have to visit to see what the Evil Animal Minion Generator comes up with. Like:

"Release the super-intelligent assassin ducks armed with machine guns!"

I still haven't found a name that has piqued my interest, but I am hopeful. I'm also open for suggestions.

Tuesday, August 3


A symptom of blogging is discovering cool quizzes to do. I have never visited Quizilla before, so I went and had a poke around. I was amazed at the amount of absolute teen trash there was. Some were treating the quizzes like a blog! I attempted to search for more specific quizzes, but that function has been disabled. Helpful. Perhaps browsing is the way to go. Nope, only lets you jump a maximum of 1000 quizzes, and with more than 500000 quizzes I wasn't going to click it 500 times.

Thankfully, Yahoo came through with the goods and I found some very good ones.

R u a sexy Microwave is just insane, but funny.

Which Donnie Darko Character Are You is a good one if you like the film.

And the best one I found....

The Villain Quiz is worth doing to read the options alone. I couldn't stop laughing.

I, of course, am a Super Villain. Up there with the likes of Lex Luthor.

Monday, August 2

Paper Cuts - Endangered Species

I don't remember reading this book. Not surprising when I look at the amount of tie-in novels I read. I obviously did, and revisiting the details I do remember the story. I just put it down to my memory retaining like a sieve.

Endangered Species is written by Nancy Holder and Jeff Mariotte. Nancy Holder is another writer with a thirst for violence. This story is set early in the third season of Angel.

Cordy gets a vision of Faith, who is still all celled up. Angel's off to the rescue. Faith's noticed a few super-natural type incidents but can't really find out more without revealing her nature. Apparently the wife of a guy who is developing a cure for vampirism is a vamp. Marianna magically springs Faith from jail, so Angel and the team are off to save Faith with a guy who has a secret agenda to kill ALL vampires. Fun and games!

Apparently I had nothing to say about this book, because all my notes are about the plot. Strange, perhaps a page is missing.

The point is I liked this quote and thought it worth repeating.
"Just because you've decided to change doesn't mean the world will be ready for you to. And the truth is, no matter how much you suffer, no matter how many good deeds you do to try and make up for the past - you may never balance out the cosmic scale"

Paper Cuts - These Our Actors

I've been doing some sorting of the large piles of paper that seem to magically accumulate around my computer. I rediscovered that I had been writing down my thoughts about books I have read for some time before I began blogging. So, to get rid of the excess paper, and to remind me of what I thought of those books, I plan on adding them here every once and a while.

These Our Actors is a Buffy book by Ashley McConnell and Dori Koogler. Koogler sounds like a very gizmatic invention.


It's a Willow/Spike based novel that devotes its time to the events of Spike's siring and Willow's adventures in Drama Class. It's really two books in one with each chapter dedicated to either of the separate story lines. This slowed the plot down because we had to wait a whole chapter to continue the story. I'm not opposed to the separation of plots but the Willow story wasn't very gripping. Thankfully the Spike history was very intriguing.

There were some big inconsistencies within the Spike story. Printed in September 2002, the authors would have seen the fate of Cecily in the show where she appears as the demon Halfrek. Perhaps it was too late to make the changes to the plot, and I'll stop being pedantic.

It is sad that I have to say that Willow's story was a little dull. At first, her foray into the theatre interesting, 'tis my occupation and all, but after a few chapters I found myself reminiscing about the Theatre History lectures I slept through at uni. The plot wasn't about what was happening to Willow and referencing interesting facts and details, it was all about the history and Willow was an excuse for the authors to flex their academic muscles.

It's worthwhile reading this if you want to get engrossed in Spikes history as William and his siring, or if you're interested in Theatre and don't know much about it, or if you just have to read the Buffy books.

A side issue: Not all Stage Managers are stressed out grumpy people. Well not all of the time, anyway.

Current Cut
I'm right in the middle of Monster Island. Every time I start a Christopher Golden novel I forget how violent and bloodthirsty his books always are. Angel really gets the crap beaten out of him. It's the worst beating that I can recall. Broken arm, shattered shoulder, normal fight wounds, holes in joints from where he was nailed to a roof, and a severe burn from being out while the sun was coming up. Other than that, it's been a good read so far.

The 100th Post

For some reason this post has been weighing heavily on my mind. Like it's some great achievement. For me it is. This is the most dedicated I've been to something web related for a long time. It's the immediacy of posting. I write something, and there it is. Ready for the world to see and respond to.

Welcome to my milestone!

It's a party in here! See all my friends?

Call it my blog-party if you will. Everyone is invited.

I'd better go put the mini sausage rolls in the oven.

Sunday, August 1

The List - To End All Lists

After much babble and and bluffing, here it is:

The Best of Buffy - According To Me
  • Prophecy Girl
  • Surprise/Innocence
  • Becoming
  • Passion
  • Helpless
  • The Zeppo
  • Earshot
  • Hush
  • Restless
  • The Body
  • Hells Bells
  • Dead Things
  • Conversations with Dead People
  • Chosen
My Favourites
  • The Puppet Show
  • Halloween
  • Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered
  • Killed By Death
  • The Zeppo
  • Earshot
  • Fear, Itself
  • Hush
  • Restless
  • The Weight of the World
  • Once More, With Feeling
  • Tabula Rasa
  • Conversations with Dead People
  • Story Teller
  • Chosen
If necessary I will explain my choices, or I'll do it anyway because I love the look of my own writing.

eXTReMe Tracker

Powered by Blogger


© Casyn 2004 - 2005