Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tarsem Singh's Immortals

God knows I love the Greek myths, I am a huge geek, after all...

But after the horrid, horrid, God awful stupidity that was Snyder's Suckerpunch. I am somewhat wary of another member of the slick and stylized set of Directors getting leave to make a film with their vision unfettered by the calming (and very obviously extremely necessary) influence of outside editorial input.

Tarsem Singh, I think it is safe to say, is one of those directors, the kind generally more concerned with style over substance. I mean, we've all seen The Cell, probably. It is visually arresting, no doubt, but it is also... well... stupid. Tarsem Singh didn't write it though, so that's not all his fault. He didn't write The Fall either, and while that was significantly better than The Cell and even more amazing looking, it wasn't that great either.

And so, we arrive at The Immortals (apparently Singh prefers his titles to be not too overly clever), his latest film, which is about the Greek hero of Legend: Theaseus... kind of... by which I mean, probably not at all, except that some of the names are the same.

So with all that, plus the scalding memory of Frank Miller's more than a little fascist (and saturated with more homoeroticism than Fight Club) 300, (also directed by Zach Synder) and the blind drunk uber-stupidity of the Clash of the Titans remake still fresh in my mind, it's probably not all that surprising that I'm meeting this film with more a bit of healthy skepticism.

But on the other hand, this is what it looks like:


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Call of the Dead

Hey folks, sorry about the lack of posts lately. I've been busy doing my thing. You know how it is. Anyway, I'll put up a proper post later this week, pinkie swear. Until then, here's a little something worth checking out, it's the great grindhouse themed trailer for the latest bit of downloadable content for Call of Duty: Black Ops.

The only good zombie, is a dead zombie.



Found at Badass Digest.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Updates!

Afternoon all,


Last night was a bit of a rough one for yours truly. What started out as a simple night, a quick couple of drinks, ended up turning into a long time lean at the bar with an age old and stalwart pal, J Town Jason. There was beer, beer, and more beer. And nachos, there were nachos too. Chit-chat, chit-chat, talk, talk, talk, and good times were had by all. This morning however… well, I am no longer a young man, so today became a sudden and much needed day off. Uff-dah, know what I mean? J Town was certainly staggered by it, as he was hunkered over and shouting for Huey against the porcelain chill of the toilet this afternoon.


So I had been planning on doing a blog in the next couple days or so, but being that I’m suddenly spending the day just killing some time until my regular Wednesday night shift over at Filmzilla, I thought I’d spend that time with you lovely people, my dear and constant readers, ever faithful, ever appreciated. And I thought, since it had been awhile since the last time I did one of these, that today was as good a day as any to run down my break down a little bit.

What’s that? Oh yeah, that’s right…

UPDATES!


Gunslingers of the Apocalypse
The first three chapters were requested by an agent and sent off around two months ago. I’m hoping to hear back from them yay or a nay sometime in the coming weeks. (Pssst… I’m hoping for yay.) While all that’s going on, this weekend I need to check in on the rest of my queries currently out there in submission limbo, zero out any long time no-responses, update my Spreadsheet, and then I'll send out a new batch by early next week. As always, my friends, fingers crossed, yes?

Short story project
I’m feeling really good here. My initial plan was to have 6 to 8 “finished” short stories by spring/summer and then working on them to a submission ready level of quality so I could start sending them out. But this wasn’t just a quest for a certain quantity of quality stories that I could hopefully sell, maybe a bit yeah, but more so I wanted to break out of the edit mode I’d been in the past year and work myself back into a writing mode and let me tell ya’, so far, so good. Since my parole from the Day Prison, I have been chugging along like a house a’fire. I wrote The Little Things some time last year, but in the time since the lay-off, I’ve cranked out another three stories (each about 7000 words or so a piece), with a fourth story that is almost finished—at least first draft finished—and four more that are waiting patiently for their turn under the pen. So, ideally, I could have up to nine short stories in heavy edit rotation by sometime in the next two months.

Ideally, we’ll see.

Anyway…

The Little Things has had a title change. It’s now called: Billy Torch takes a beating. A little on the nose, sure, maybe, but is it more evocative? I think so. I’ve got one more round of edits on it, which I’m plan on inserting and adjusting this week and then I’ll start sending it out again.

The Plague of Man, The Road Home, and Station #47 all had some really good responses from the Scribblerati and are ready for me to get to work on them, adding, adjusting and re-writing their various bits and pieces before sending them out to others for more responses. That’ll all start to happen maybe next week. Probably next week.

Yash Scarlett and the Gates of Hell is almost finished. There’s about a third or so left to be written, which I’ll do most likely tomorrow and Friday, then I’ll read it and hammer at it and re-work it, blah, blah, blah. I want it ready for submission to the Scribblerati to critique at our meet, which is in about two weeks.

As for the other four, they are still unborn. Mostly they’re just notes and phrases and random what-not at the moment, each one saved into their own little separate file. We’ll see what they become in the coming weeks, I don’t know, but I have good feelings.

The new Novel project
Right now it’s looking like Monster is going to be my next novel project. Bastard out of Minnesota is trunked until there’s movement on Gunslingers of the Apocalypse and my untitled Superhero Epic is really nothing but wisps of ideas and a couple of situations and possible characters. I’m letting it simmer in the back of my head still, because it’s not ready to poke at yet.... yet…

So, Monster it is. Some of you may recall me talking about it before now, a failed short story that I couldn’t get to work out right. I’ve rewritten it and I’ve worked at it, but it just wouldn’t cooperate, it was all bulgy and ungainly, it was just too large to fit into a space so small, so… novel. Hopefully. My idea is to make a 90,000 word novel out of it, which will sit right in the middle of the “preferred word count” holy writ AND being that it’s a kind of dystopian future, urban fantasy tale, basically the Dirty Dozen vs. a Dragon, I think it’s sellable. Heh… unless it sucks…. Let’s hope it doesn’t. I’ll let you know. I expect to start working on it by June? Maybe? Hopefully. I think it’s a fun story and I like the settings and the characters a lot, so I’m looking forward to working on it.


That’s it, that’s my writing life, that’s where I’m at for the next couple of months. Fingers crossed for me, fingers crossed for you.

Later gators,
Jon

Friday, April 8, 2011

Melancholia

Here's the trailer to Lars Von Trier's next film: Melancholia.

It looks like there's some fantastic apocalyptic visuals and general end of the world stuff going on and that's always fun, so I'm interested. Also: Apparently Kirsten Dunst is a big girl actress now, because her boobs are out and about and bouncing around all over this trailer, so be ready for that shit.

A Scribblerati Book Review


Hey folks, guess what?

That's right, you clever, clever little monkeys... I have written something new and it is posted over at the blog of your favorite local Twin Cities' area writers' group: The Scribblerati! It's a book review and it's all about Joe Abercrombie's The Heroes.

And you can read it here.

Go on now,
Jon

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Misfits

Are you watching Misfits?


If you’re in America, then the answer is probably not, and it's not just because you’re horribly uncool either... Well, probably not... No, more likely the reason you’re not watching this show is because it’s currently not available in America, not on BBC America or on Itunes. Why? I have absolutely no idea; it’s been on since November of 2009…

What the Hell, England? Get off your ass, Elizabeth!

Anyway, take it from me (Jon), you should watch this show, because it’s fantastic. It is one of my very favorites. I highly recommend it. But if it's not available, how can you watch it? Well, perhaps if you were to do a bit of searching on Youtube you might find it or maybe if you used some other way that the Queen may not approve of. It's up to you.

Bottom line? Do it. Do it now.

But I can hear what you're saying. You're saying: "Alright then, Jon, you devilishly handsome fucker, you have recommended this show and have even gone so far as to suggest “quasi-legal” methods of obtaining copies… consider my interest piqued. What, pray tell, is this show Misfits about?"

Ok, then. I will tell you.


In a nutshell, Misfits is a British comedy-drama series about a group of kids who have all committed various crimes and were sentenced to community service, where they obtain strange powers after getting struck by lightning during a freak electrical storm.


These things happen, I guess…

Oh, you cynical bastards! I know what you're thinking. Bah, that's you’re thinking! Bah! Big deal, this is just another lame version of Heroes, which was too lame in the first place, the only difference this time is that it’s starring British kids. Yawn.

Yeah? Well, up yours, buddy, because it’s nothing like Heroes!

How so, you ask? Well, first of all, it’s good. Secondly, these kids don’t become superheroes. They don’t want to become superheroes, well, not all of them anyway, but the rest? No, they just want to live their lives. The bad news is that freak electrical storm I mentioned? The one that gave them their powers? It gave other people powers, too. Lots of people and they aren’t all lazy, apathetic screw-ups either. In fact, some of them are dangerous. Also, the world could be in peril.

Sex, lies, murders and cover-ups abound, not to mention some time travel, some teenage freak outs, more than a few drug binges and bits of drunken misbehavior, as well as rampant abuse of superpowers and good old fashioned fuck yeah smart-assery. There's also a mysterious and hooded man in black who seems to know everything about the kids, including their futures.

It is a surprisingly well written, ridiculously funny, occasionally touching, often kick-ass bit of good time. It’s won awards, you know.

So who are these Misfits?

Curtis (The one that had potential)


Curtis doesn’t belong here. He’s a good kid. He has a conscience. He was a world class sprinter with his eyes on the Olympics, but one night out at the clubs with his girlfriend and a little recreational drug deal gone bad and he finds himself wearing an orange jumpsuit and living a life that is out of control. After the electrical storm, Curtis discovers that whenever he makes a mistake and deeply regrets it, he can reverse time back to the moment of that mistake and correct it. Of course, fixing Time isn’t that easy. Changing the past means changing the future. It means consequences. It means trouble.

Best moment: When he has to repeatedly break up with his girlfriend because every time he does it, she cries, he feels guilty, and his power reverses time, thereby erasing the whole interaction.

Alisha (The tramp)


Alisha is a brat. She's trouble. She parties too hard and sleeps around, but Alisha is also pretty. She's very pretty and she knows it too. She uses her looks to get what she wants, which often means getting out of trouble. Then she got caught drunk driving and smacked the policeman when she couldn’t flirt her way free. After the electrical storm, Alisha gains the ability to induce extreme sexual arousal in anyone she makes skin contact with. This is cool at first, being worshipped, but then, it’s a bit like rape, isn’t? And suddenly the party girl who is used to getting her validation through physical contact finds that she can’t touch anyone. She finds herself alone.

Best line: (Completely deadpan to Nathan, after they discover his Stepfather running around town like a dog) “Your Stepdad has got a massive cock. Your mum will hurt.”

Nikki (the new girl)


Nikki isn’t part of the group. I mean, she is, but she isn’t. She didn’t commit a crime and she wasn’t on community service. She’s a girl with a bad heart who meets the others when they break into her flat and Nathan takes a shit in her bed. She has no powers. However, when Nikki gets a heart transplant from a dead hippy who did have powers, she suddenly finds she can teleport and after that, her life is pretty entwined with the others and the crazy crap that now dominates their lives, crazy crap that could be the end of hers…

Best line: (Sneering, to Curtis) “You smooth bastard. Well you can help yourself,” *pulls up dress* “just pull my knickers up when you're done. I'll order a pizza.”

Kelley (The chav)


Kelley is a total chav (That’s white trash in American!). She got into a fistfight with another girl in an Argos store (That’s Wal-Mart in American!) who called her a slag (That’s slut in American!). She aggressive and ready to fight and her accent is just this side of indecipherable, but she’s a sensitive soul too. It’s just the culture, you know, she was raised to be tough. So sad. Anyway, after the electrical storm, Kelley is the first to discover her powers: Telepathy. She can read minds! At first she has a bit of trouble remembering that she only heard something in someone’s mind and not from her mouth, so she has a tendency to accidentally reveal other people’s secrets, but she soon becomes more adept.

Best line: "You call me a chav again I’ll kick you so hard in the cunt your Mom will feel it!"

Simon (The weird kid)


Simon is socially inept, an outcast, a creepy little weird-o, some would say he looks like a panty sniffer.



He’s actually just shy, and there's a hero's heart beating within his chest, but still… he carries a briefcase... come on... Anyway, Simon was sentenced to community service for attempted arson, but it was a bully’s house he was attempting to light up and when he discovered the family pet was inside, he tried to put out the fire, but he didn’t have any water, so he put it out by peeing on it through the mail slot… and that’s when the guy’s mom came home and caught him, dick in the door and peeing on the floor. After the electrical storm, Simon discovers that he can become invisible whenever he’s ignored… which is most of the time.

Nathan (The smart ass)


Nathan is a smart ass; some might go so far as to call him a prick. He’s there because he stole some “pick ‘n mix” (That’s candy from the bulk bins in America!) and then he made things worse by being a big prick to the manager and causing a completely unnecessary amount of general trouble. This is kind of how he moves through life. He’s rude and he’s insulting, basically he’s a jerk. He’s also hilarious. He spends most of the first season trying to figure out his power, because his isn’t readily apparent at first.



He figures it out eventually…


Crazy, huh? A bit interesting too, right? It is. For all it’s screwing around and loud swaggering goofball-isms, Misfits is a really unique, original and surprisingly well written show. It's not what you think it's going to be. There are already two seasons and a Christmas special done, with a third season recently confirmed. Of course, in England that’s only a total of thirteen episodes so far, but they’re good fifty-plus minute episodes packed with story. See it now, if you can, or wait, because it’s only a matter of time before it will be released to BBC America and then the Powers That Be will discover the awesomeness, as the show is all the rage currently, burning up the back alleys of the Internet, and after that a really bad American version is pretty much a guaranteed thing.

Here:
“She's got you thinking this is how you’re supposed to be. It's not. We're young. We’re supposed to drink too much. We're supposed to have bad attitudes and shag each other's brains out. We were designed to party. We owe it to ourselves to party hard. We owe it to each other. This is it. This is our time. So a few of us will overdose, or go mental. Charles Darwin said you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. That's what it's about - breaking eggs - by eggs, I mean, getting twatted on a cocktail of class As. If you could see yourselves... We had it all. We have fucked up bigger and better than any generation that came before us. We were so beautiful... We're screw-ups. I plan on staying a screw-up until my late twenties, or maybe even my early thirties. And I will shag my own mum before I let her.... or anyone else take that away from me!" 
-  Nathan, Misfits, Season 1, Episode 6

Words to live by,
Jon

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Game of Thrones

Oh my, oh my, oh my, here it is, the first fourteen minutes of the first episode of HBO's adaptation of the first book in the phenomenal George R. R. Martin's Songs of Ice and Fire fantasy series: The Game of Thrones.

And let me tell you... No, no, no, let me tell you... it looks good, folks. That's right, you heard me. It looks good. In fact, it looks really good. Really good! The Brothers of the Nightwatch? The White Walkers? Winterfell? House Stark? Ser Rodrik Cassel and his great whiskers? The list goes on and on. And it all looks great. Seriously now, I pooped myself! Figuratively, of course, but still, I watched this and I figuratively pooped myself. That's how much I loved it!

Or, as David St. Hubbins would say: I'm wet.

April 17th is the big day, my dear and constant readers, which means that little ol' yours truly here has just under two weeks to figure out a way to see this without having to resort to actually paying for cable and/or HBO, because that bullshit ain't gonna happen. The crazy part is--the flip-side if you will--is that, if they'd just let me pay for the download, either from them or from Itunes, I don't care which, but if they would just let me pay for the download, I would... but they don't, so up their butts.

Up their butts big time.

Anyway, here it is. Watch it. Watch it again. Then love it, love it with all of your heart.



Woooo!
Can't wait.
Can. Not. Wait.