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

Thursday, May 19

Brought Forward

The release date for the Firefly movie spin-off Serenity has been bumped forward to September 29. The November 17 release was campaigned against by Browncoats Downunder.

The move makes sense, put an extra two weeks between Serenity and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

The Sound of One Hand Writing

I find it rather satisfying to write the old fashioned way. You remember - with a pen. If I'm not in the mood to slouch in front of my laptop I get out a fountain pen and scrawl on some lined paper.

Tonight I discovered an amazing benefit to handwriting posts. While staring blankly at the page trying to think of another word for 'wicked', holding the pen in my right hand (yes, I'm right dominant), I found my left hand able to focus solely on transporting chips from the bowl to my mouth! I've tried typing with one hand and eating and it just doesn't work.

I've found more incentive to handwrite my posts first. Wonders will never cease.

Wednesday, May 18

What'd I Miss?

I've read a few meme posts, and I find them a little too self indulgent. Most of them are questions I don't really want answered about the bloggers I read. I was challenged to respond to this question by Lisa, and it actually got me thinking. I can list the things I've done quite easily. Looking at her list I ticked off in my head all the things that I'd done and she hadn't: Camping, driving, cycling, horse-riding, rollercoasting, and hospitalisation. Yet, trying to think of things I'd not experienced was a conundrum. So after some contemplation I came up with a list of 10 things I've not done.

  • Have never died
  • Never been out of Australia.
  • Never seen any film featuring Orson Welles.
  • Never eaten crocodile or kangaroo (nor do I own them as pets...)
  • Have never experienced real snow.
  • Never been nervous meeting famous people.
  • Never worked in fast food or retail.
  • Never had a $300 mobile bill.
  • Never had to fire anyone.
  • Thankfully, I've never been arrested.
Once I got started the things I haven't done just started pouring out. I need to get out and do more. I think I'll start delivering pizza.

In the spirit of chain-mail guilt perhaps Draic, Muzekez or Onanymous would like to share?

Saturday, May 14

Footloose In Footnotes

How many modern novels can you read today that use footnotes? Few. How many use them effectively without jolting you out of the story? Fewer. I wonder why this is. Footnotes aren't terribly hard to create. This made me think about what other novels I've read recently that may have benefited from a clever use of footnotes. The most obvious series I can recall is Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. I think that if the word explanations were an aside as a footnote they would have been rather charming. Sunny's unintelligible gabblings would have fitted perfectly out of the actual text.

I think it is time for the footnotes' return to popular culture. As long as they are put on the same page as the text being referenced. I hate having to thumb through pages of footnotes at the back of a book while in the middle of a sentence.

Someone who uses footnotes to great effect is Jonathan Stroud in The Amulet of Samarkand (book one of The Bartimaeus Trilogy). It is the story of a 5000 year old demon who is summoned by a young boy to do his bidding. There is intrigue, murder, and mayhem following the actions of these two unlikely allies. Nathaniel is an apprenticed magician to a lower ranked government magician, and seeks to take revenge on his master for ill treatment. Events turn for the worse very quickly and Bartimaeus gets the upper hand. He learns Nathaniel's true name, thus giving him power over his master.

I was recommended Amulet by a number of people, and thus began with book with slightly unreasonable expectations. For the first third of the book I wasn't able to connect with the story. The footnote asides in the Bartimaeus story weren't working for me and the boy seemed petulant most of the time. It wasn't until Bartimaeus, in a footnote, explained the reason for the footnotes that something in my brain clicked and I began to like the characters and the book.

Telling the story from both Nathaniel and Bartimaeus' perspectives is a very good way of presenting a plot. The different perspectives contrast in an interesting way to put a good spin on each impossible situation.

By half-way through the story has picked up pace and is steaming toward the inevitable climax. The conspiracy in the government of some powerful magicians is slowly revealed and draws the reader in. I read the climactic chapters until about 4 in the morning.

I think Bartimaeus and Nathaniel have the potential to carry well into a series, and I look forward to getting my hands on The Golem's Eye.

A Little Time Out

There is a very good reason why it's better if I'm not allowed out of the house. I tend to buy things I don't really need. Well I convince myself at the time of purchase that I need them, but later realise that I should be more restrained.

Today resulted in the purchase of Smallville season 1 for $30 at Big W, and the forthcoming TV series 'event' on Nine, Steven Spielberg Presents: Taken. I'm rather confused by this whole Taken deal. Video Ezy has had it for hire for months now. I saw it in standard retail stores today and picked it up at half the retail price from Video Ezy. Yet, it still hasn't aired on the network who bought it. Now, I know that it's unlikely to affect ratings on the show, but I always thought the networks had serious deals so they had dibs on when and how people in this country view imported shows. Firefly was the same. Released for retail sale months before it's free-to-air run in the middle of the night.

I also bought The Wizard: A Secret History by Alan Baker. Only $5 and looked interesting. Bargain bins rule!

Rainbow Vomit

I can say that I'm not overly familiar with Bollywood films. I'm familiar with the concepts and am aware of how huge an industry they are, but as I live in isolated-ville I've not been exposed to any mainstream Bollywood films.

So tonight's DVD was a treat. Bride and Prejudice is a comparitively short, Americanised version of a Bollywood film. Directed by Bend It Like Beckham's Gurinder Chadha, Bride is a fanfare of love, family and above all else singing and dancing!

I rather enjoyed this trip down innocence lane. The colours were dazzling. The music was energetic. The extras were excited. The love was pure very G rated.

The best way to enjoy this film is to have fun with it and laugh.

It's good for you.

Wednesday, May 11

Take Down The Tent

It's official.

Carnivale is d-e-d dead.


While writing that last post I had my DVD database open and it got me wondering about how much TV I have on DVD. Now, comparitively it's not that much to other's collections, but when I added up the sum of hours I was a little surprised.

If I sat down and intended to watch every minute of every disk I had I'd not be able to do anything by watch TV for 14 days straight. 340 hours of TV on 124 disks. Sounds like a challenge!

Am I Immune

Ten have been hounding us with adverts for the premiere airing of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones this coming Sunday night. The ad is filled with images from both Attack and the soon to be released Revenge of the Sith. I was asked, during one of the adverts, why I don't own any Star Wars on DVD. It got me thinking about my DVD collection and how I rationalise what I buy.

For starters there are a lot of impulse must-haves. Lord of the Rings and Harry Potters are unquestionable. I have a bunch of 'action blockbusters', and also a few less popular but more worthy films like Donnie Darko and Amelie. Then I came to realise that the majority of the films I own have been released the last ten years. In fact only ten films (of 123 DVDs) were released before 1995 (West Side Story, The Sound of Music, and The Neverending Story, for example). It made me wonder whether I'm a sucker for hype and look forward and not back.

I could say the same about my TV DVDs. Buffy, Angel, Firefly, The West Wing, Futurama, Cowboy Bebop, Dark Angel, Millennium and CSIare all relatively recent products. With TV it's always about the new. New series, new episode, brand new, extremely new, so new. It's all about the now. New is good, don't get me wrong, but I don't think we need to be told quite so often. Much to others chagrin I tape most of the TV shows that I enjoy. It gives me the opportunity to go back and re-watch the character development and catch clues that I'd not noticed before. So it stops being new, and moves into comfortable familiarity. So why is this something I can't carry over to films.

In no way am I not a fan of older films. I frequently sit up through the witching hour watching a black and white classic on ABC that hasn't seen the light of day since the 50s. SBS is repeating its Stanley Kubrick festival at the moment (A Clockwork Orange tonight at 10pm) and I tune in to watch, if not all, at least some of it. But movies on TV are a whole other kettle of fish.

Perhaps the reason I don't own the original Star Wars isn't because I am resisting letting into the hype of the new films. I think, in some bizarre way, they are cheapening the legacy of the original. And I'm sure I'll be slapped by any serious fan of Star Wars by saying that.

No doubt I'll watch Attack of the Clones, as I've not seen it since it's time at the cinema, and I'll likely make a trip to see the new one once it opens and the crowds dissipate.

Monday, May 9

More News Than You Could Poke A Wand At

There's been a lot of movement at the Potter station this weekend:

MuggleNet has released not one, but two new high quality galleries of images from the forthcoming Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire.

Harry looks a little to much like Frodo with glasses in this picture and I think Ron may be going through some gender issues.

The trailer for GOF was released online this weekend sometime after the airing of the GOF special on ABC America. You can catch it at Apple like every other film’s trailer at the moment.

Along with a new poster:

And a new Goblet of Fire website. Doesn't have much of anything yet unfortunately.

It’s a big year for stop motion animation this year: Tim Burton’s new film, The Corpse Bride’s trailer is worth a look, and you can also read an in-depth set visit article

A vegetarian horror film. Sounds like Wallace and Gromit to me! The Curse of the Warerabbit is the Wallace & Gromit spin on Hitchcock thriller films.

Several reviews from the USA screenings of Serenity last week are over at Ain’t It Cool News. Only one reviewer posted spoilers, but thankfully labelled them. This is the film that I am looking forward to the most this year, and have faith that it will deliver the goods.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe trailer has been released. Sadly, I wasn’t able to view it in Firefox for some strange, unknown reason.

With only two seasons filmed, it looks as though HBO have cancelled Carnivale. The second season hasn’t aired here yet, but I’m guessing there haven’t been too many questions answered and a whole lot more have been posed. I feel like going off on a ‘how typical to stop such an interesting show mid-story’ blurge, but I’m saving us all the misery.

If you haven’t heard, and chances are if you care you already would have, is that Dr. Who is returning to our TV screens, and I don’t mean in repeats. It’s a new series and the Dr. is without scary curly hair. Catch it on ABC at 7:30pm Saturday May 21st.

Hellboy 2 is likely to start shooting in January 2006. Good news I say.

Other films that have sparked an interest are Aeon Flux, and Sin City.

I caught the trailers for Bewitched, Madagascar, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Herbie last week at the cinema. Bewitched was only a teaser, but made me worried about Will Ferrel as Darryn. Madagascar was a full trailer and actually looked amusing, which the previous teaser trailers didn't. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was excellent, and I loved the new Oompa Loompa song! I love all the old Herbie films, and will likely go see this new version simply to reminisce.

Monday, May 2

Unlimited Impossibilities

I'm currently in the motion of trying to come up with a brilliant and exciting new design for my blog. I've been contemplating this for many months now, and haven't found the inspiration I've been searching for.

I've pondered; I've doodled; I've photoshopped; All to no avail thus far. In some vain hope of finding said inspiration I head to, and become disenchanted by the amount of trash.

For me, my blog is about the text. So, the design should support what my text is about and somehow be a reflection of me. So it must say something about me that I'm restricted to the standard templates?

On a more satisfying note, Draic linked me this comic strip about the Serenity screenings.

She'll Rewind Again

Like a phoenix from the ashes, Tru Calling has been resurrected. To my great surprise Eliza Dushku's ill-fated series is back and nearly in Buffy's ol' time-slot, Tuesday at 11:30pm. I'll have to dig out that video tape and dust it off to have it ready for when I get home from work.

Pleased am I that it is back, but my faith in Seven completing the series is still lacking.

Sunday, May 1


How very bad of me. It was my blogs birthday on Tuesday last week, and I didn't get it anything.

Another Message From Beyond

This email from Joss makes me slightly envious...

It gets better.

As thus: The movie is very nearly finished. You've seen many pretty images in the trailer. But I've still got work to do and you've still got months before you can see it.


And, no, I'm not talking Australia (but Hi, Australia! anyway), I'm talking here in the more-or-less-United States, a one time multi-city Browncoat sneak event. Thursday, May 5th at 10:00 pm, the movie (Serenity! Pay attention! Jeez.) will be playing at exactly 10 theaters in 10 cities across the country. You (or possibly someone much like you) (or possibly a robot EXACTLY like you, but with better manners and sonic arm-lasers, sent to take your place) will be able to buy a ticket to see Serenity months in advance. Not just the bitty trailer with not enough Kaylee and Book, but the whole film, in its extremely almost completed state.

You probably have some questions. How is this possible? What cities exactly will it be in? What are these changes my body is going through? All valid. It's possible because some clown put a bunch of Universal execs in a theater full of Browncoats and dude, they came out SWEATING, they never seen energy like that. They loved it, and even though they were already wicked supportive of the movie (see: earlier posts re: we're making the movie) they simply weren't ready for you guys. When I whinged on about pushing the date and everyone here was posting about "what do we do till September", they agreed to let me sneak it out.

Maybe they thought it was a fluke. Maybe they wanna see if people really do care about the flick. Or maybe they're just treating us with respect and kindness, though that last option confuses and terrifies me as much as these changes my body is going through (I'm "perspiring" and becoming "interested in girls", which believe me is very unsettling when you're 40.) Does it matter? The plan works for me, and it can work for a select bunch of y'all. Here's what I know:

The cities to be hit are:

San Francisco
Las Vegas
The Portland of Oregon

If you're in or near one of those, you might wanna stop by. There's supposed to be a "Can't Stop the Signal" page on this website (I don't know where it is -- hey, I remembered my damn password, doesn't that buy me any cred?) There should be more info there soon about how to get in, bringing peeps into the fold, I think there's even competetions and stuff. (All I know is I have exactly 20 Brownie points. I answered ONE triv Q and got it wrong. Forget cred. I have no cred.) Now a couple of us might just creep into one of those major metropolitan multiplexes to see if anyone does show up, so remember: swearing in Chinese ONLY.

All right. This will please the fans and satisfy the employers of Joss Whedon, so I must stop as my arm-lasers are getting tired. I politely thank you for your attention.

Should be fun.


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