Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wolverine

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine is cool and all. It's a surprisingly good fit for him and he really seems to like and understand the part. However, as I'm sure all of you unlucky enough to have seen Wolverine: Origins will no doubt remember, the last time out was ridiculously terrible. It was unbelievably bad. It was crap-tastic, as the kids say. The crappiest crap of all of Crapdom, in fact. If you haven't seen it, don't. You should never watch it, let it fade from memory. Trust me, it's just better this way.

That being said, if this teaser poster for the new film coming out next year is any indication, the new one might be pretty awesome...


Look at that, huh? I love the sumi-e look of it.

A cool and revealing design...

The image is revealing because the film is going to be based off Wolverine's adventures in Japan. A noir, street-level, Wolverine-versus-hundreds-of-ninjas type of yarn from his first solo limited series as written by famed, long-time X-men scribe Chris Claremont and drawn by current right-wing lunatic Frank Miller back in the days when both of them were good, it's a pretty good and entertaining story all about family and honor and samurai and the aforementioned hundreds of ninja. Chop, chop, hack, slice. It's the story where Wolverine the character first evolves, going from a barely two-dimensional berserk brawler to the now more familiar fallen samurai portrayal, a ronin... with claws. It was pretty well done, a good read, and probably the story most directly responsible for putting Wolverine on the path that would eventually lead us all here--for good or for ill--to this movie. Hmmm... full circle, how nice. Will they screw it up? Will they take what is a pretty straight forward, fun, cool and seminal to the character tale and crash it into the ground?

Maybe. Probably, to be honest.

But maybe not. This poster tells me that there's at least one person somewhere deep in the Modern Money Making Machine of Hollywood that is 20th Century Fox who still has some taste and insight, and some skills too, because that poster is God damn fantastic.

I'd put that on my wall,
Jon

Thursday, October 25, 2012

True Skin

Well, well, here's another nice example of a good, out-of-nowhere, Internet-found sci-fi short film. It's called True Skin and it's a very Bladerunner/Gibson-esque piece about cyborgs and techonology and the consequences of both, blah, blah, blah, and all taking place in a cyber-punk, day-after-tomorrow type of setting. It's pretty familiar, honestly, to those of us who've been around the sci-fi block a time or two and you're definitely not going to find anything particularly revolutionary going on narrative-wise, but the effects are really great. There's some nice use of color and lighting and existing environments. It's an all-around good effort that's worth checking out.

See for yourself.


I found it over at Io9.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pacific Rim and World's End

Lord knows, I love a good poster. Here's two.

The first poster is from Guillermo del Toro's coming soon-ish Giant Robots versus Giant Monsters movie: Pacific Rim. I'm a big fan of the WWII propaganda look. Sure, it's a bit easy and a little cliche, maybe, but I still dig it. Plus, Idris Elba is in it and he's awesome. All in all, this film really appeals to the kid in me. Getting to see a live action, high-budget movie about giant robots fighting some giant monsters is something straight off the ridiculous dream list of things I've always wanted to watch, but knew would never happen, so I never bothered to hope... And now it has, kind of like The Avengers movie. Hmmm, good year.


This second poster is for the third film in the "Cornetto Trilogy" by Edgar Wright, Nick Frost, and Simon Pegg. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are both on my list of favorite movies, really funny, really cool, and surprisingly clever (but not so surprisingly anymore, really, not at this point), so I'm always excited to see what they come up. I believe that this film centers on a group of old college friends getting together for one last go at a legendary bar crawl from their youth that they never finished... and then the End of the World happens, as it will.


Want to know more? Well, rest assured, my friends, if you stop back around here at all in the next few months or so, I'm sure you'll be hearing more about these two films, among others. They are definitely on my radar. Until then, enjoy the awesome posters.

Jon

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fringe - Wanted: Olivia Dunham

It's Friday, Friday (gotta get down on Friday, right?) and Friday means: New Fringe episode! Which is good. Have you been watching? If not, let me tell you, Season Five is going like a house'afire. The band is back together, they've played a couple of warm-up home gigs and now they're going out on the road.

So yeah, the entire Fringe team, with the notable and disappointing exception of Gene the Cow, have all finally been recovered. Peter and Olivia have been reunited, but all is not hunky-dory smoosh-wise for those two. There's still love there, but it's strained and distant. Apparently their relationship has hit a rough patch since the last time we saw them in the past--the day the Observers invaded--and the moment when they were found in the future, frozen in amber.

Olivia, it should be noted, makes for a lovely coffee table.


The trouble, not surprisingly, began when they lost their daughter Etta, barely a toddler at the time, during the confusion of the Other's attack. And not lost meaning dead by the way, but lost meaning missing. This, also not so surprisingly, resulted in our favorite world-saving super-science adventurer couple splitting up. Olivia followed Walter to New York to join the Resistance organizing against the Observers, while Peter stayed in Boston to hunt frantically for Etta.

Obviously, neither one of them was particularly successful.

Meanwhile, Etta has grown up in a gray and dreary dystopian world, she grew up fast and she grew up mean, her fists got hard and her wits got keen; she's just like the boy in the song A Boy named Sue by Johnny Cash, except that she's a girl and her name is Etta. It's maybe a good thing she's such a hard-ass though, because without her, the team would have never escaped the amber.

(Psssst--which might be tied in with how/why she was lost all those years ago in the first place, IMHO. I'm not saying the Observers are Time Travelers or nothing or insinuating that maybe one of the team traveled back and made sure it happened so that the future could be saved, but... oh wait... yes, I am.)

And so, after no small amount of some very actiony running about, the team discovers that, before they were all ambered, Walter and the still missing friendly Observer September had come up with an end-game plan for dealing with the not-so-friendly Observers and that, in order to ensure the plan's security, they fractured it into pieces and hid it in Walter's mind as well as on some old VHS tapes, rightly assuming that no one except Walter would have a VCR in the future (or now, for that matter). Unfortunately, they also discover that a briefly captured Walter's torture at the hands of the old fart Observer-in-charge known as Windmark has scrubbed the memories of those plans from his head. So now their only hope of finding out what that plan was lies in finding those video tapes and since they were apparently squirrelled away all over the wide, wide world... or at least, along the immediate East Coast, that means: Road Trip! Pack some sodas and some Red Vines, people, for the dark and strange new world of the future awaits! DANE-GER ZONE!

Which is where we left off for tonight...

I'm excited to see what's in store for our heroes even if, at first blush, tonight's episode appears to be just another installment of that age-old classic (read: tired out) sci-fi trope: "Don't judge the ugly too soon, because you might find out that they're not bad; in fact, they could actually be nice. Gross, yeah, but nice." Hopefully there will be a little bit more to it than that. Fingers crossed!

In the meantime, here's a nice little teaser promo to whet your whistle with.


See ya' tonight,
Jon

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn - Part 1

Here's another short film series. You may remember me talking about it; I mentioned it a while back.


Below you will find Part One embedded and much like the Left 4 Dead series from the other day, it's not that bad, better even. Two for two so far? A good sign? Maybe. Maybe things are improving along the short fan-film found on the Internet front? Maybe?

Or maybe I'm just jinxing myself.

Whatever.

There is a very familiar new Battlestar Galactica design feel in general, but what can you do? It's an aesthetic, I guess. Regardless, somewhat derivative or not, this one here is all right. A little light on the action, but what little it does do, it does pretty well. And besides, this is the first episode, there is a required amount of character and world introduction and explanation at the start. The bonus is: even though there is a lot of it, it is not undeftly handled. 

All in all, a decent start. Take a look.


Not too bad, right? Do you think Main Nondescript Troubled White Teenager will learn the value of teamwork in time to save his friends from some crisis and prove his worth? Perhaps even sacrificing himself in the process? Will he gain his absent Mother's love and/or respect? Time will tell, my friends. Time will tell.

The British girl looks familiar. I can't place her.

I'll post the rest as it appears,
Jon

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Done by Summer's End - Week Nine

Sunrise, sunset...

Here we are, the end of a long road.

What's that? Oh, you hadn't heard? Well, guess what...?

Somewhere about 3 AM this morning? The 1st Draft was finished.


Done.

90,000 words and around a year's time since first beginning, give or take. Voila! A complete story now sits before me. Complete... more or less. More less than more, to be honest, but close enough. First drafts are first drafts after all, you have to embrace their ugly asses. They are whole, but they are not complete, they are hobbled and ugly and never quite fully set. But that doesn't matter, all of that will come later.

And until then...

It's still done. It's completed. It's a thing that exists that I created. I mean, I don't want to brag here... okay, sure, maybe I do, whatever.... I've written two whole books, kids. Two. Most people never even write one. That's kind of cool. Especially since that's what writers do, right? They write books. More importantly, they finish the books they start out writing. They close. That's important, kids. Always Be Closing. ABC, ya' hear me? You know why?


That's right, Alec. Because Coffee is for Closers. I like coffee.

In fact, pardon me a moment while I help myself... Ah! Delicious. Anyway, while yes, it can be said that nothing's come from either one of my two books (yet), that was still me. I did that. I'm proud of it, because that shit wasn't easy. In fact, it so wasn't easy that my next step is to take a break, or at least, take a break from the just completed 1st Draft of my WIP. Nothing big, just a short rest before continuing on my long journey. Completing this 1st Draft was a victory, but it was a small one. An important one, but small all the same, and in the end, merely the first step of many still to come.


Daunting, but not paralyzing, at least not completely, not this time anyway, and this next step is the easiest. Do nothing. Like a fresh pie in the window sill, my newly completed draft is gonna chill for a bit. It's gonna stew in its own juices while I try out the first couple of chapters on my next project. I might even whip up a quick short story. I've been thinking about something lately, a time travel idea, something fun and wild and not at all inspired or influenced by Looper (a film that is truly great, btw, you should go see it right away), not at all, that is, except for the fact that the market might be a little ripe for such a topic at the moment.

So, that's the current plan, the 1st Draft is done and I'm riding my own melt. In a day or two I'll sit myself down and explore this new project a little, maybe that short story too, and then, in a few weeks time...?

The 2nd Draft begins...

After that, shit is gonna get a bit rocky.


A Closer,
Jon

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Left 4 Dead - The Movie (Part 1)

Because I'm a well known sucker for zombie apocalypses, not to mention serialized genre short films of middling to fair quality found on the Internet AND the fact that I loved the game, here's Part One of this thing. It's a fan-film based off of the Left for Dead video game series, something I am much better at than J-Town Jason, which he should be extremely thankful for since I had to drag his ass all the way through the vicious hell that was the Pale Rider concert. I mean, if I had a dollar for every time I had to launch a long shot grenade just to clear a crowd of ravenous undead off of his back... I tell you what, friends, coffee would be on me, know what I mean?

Anyway, here's this thing. Apparently it took the creators the better part of two years and over 3000 hours of editing to come up with the end product: About 40 minutes of zombie fun on about the same level of quality (or somewhat better) than your average fare found on Sci-fi. This first part is only six minutes, so not too much of a commitment to check out and see if it's your thing or not.



Not bad... not great... but not bad, right? I'll post the next two parts in the next week or so.

Stay tuned, aim for the head,
Jon

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Done by Summer's End - Week Eight

It's a tentative celebration here at Casa de Hansen--actually the Salt Mines, for the moment, but later at Casa de Hansen--because I have finally hit the end of my WIP. That's right, the first draft is done.

yay.

Tentative, remember?

I should clarify. I'm pretty much done, but I'm not completely done, not yet. The last of the old story stuff I pasted in still needs to be edited and shaped a bit and I have to finish two more new scenes for the ending to round out, but all that should be done by this weekend. So I'm not completely done. I'm almost done. And by this time next week...


Which will be awesome.

The first draft of my second book will be done, hitting at just over 90,000 words and created in less than a year (give or take) and finished only a month or so behind my anticipated schedule. That is not bad. Not bad at all. It gives me hope for the future and my upcoming project.

Which I actually started a little bit... Last night.

Just a little bit.

Here's the story. Basically, I had a bad writing weekend, I was visiting family, so it wasn't totally wasted or anything, but I didn't get any writing done. Come Monday, post travel... I vegged. Tuesday was going to be the big work day. That was the plan. Tuesday was going to redeem a lackadaisical week. Tuesday... I napped. It's the wife's fault, honestly. We napped and I woke up late, so my work on my WIP last night was a pell-mell, out-of-control, hellbent, downhill rush. All output, no finesse. And man, I blasted through to the ending. And once done, it was late, late-late, and I didn't want to start doing a comb-thru, even a quick one. I was tired. Wednesday and Thursday are the dreaded double shift days, I was going to need my rest.

The plan was to check some e-mail and then rack out.

Well, it turns out, I had e-mailed some ideas to myself, things to remember for the next book I'll be working on, the project I've been developing on the side and have been planning to explore while my current WIP cools between drafts. However, when I opened the e-mail to get those notes and save them to their folder, I discovered that I had somehow neglected to create a folder for all of my Rebel Clever Girl bric-a-brac thus far.

So I did. And I saved all the notes and whatever. Then I thought: Well... since I'm here and all, I might as well get the document ready, just so that it'll be there and ready when--

I wrote the first couple of pages. Not a lot, but a healthy start.

It felt good. I'm pretty sure it's gonna be something.


writin', profilin'
Jon

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fringe - Season 5

The new season of Fringe has begun. I finally watched the opening episode just the other night and I loved it. Everything is new and different now, and I can't wait for what lies ahead.


Fringe has long been a show of sudden shift and change.

The show started out as a FBI procedural that investigated the weird, a kind of X-Files type thing, but more focused on the wreckage of cold war super science and black op programs than on aliens and conspiracy. People frozen in amber. Porcupine Hulks. Acid trip shared dreams. But these things had a thread the tied them together, all that weirdness slowly knitting itself into a tapestry that revealed the existence of a shadowy organization lurking behind it all.

After that the show became a hunt, a search for impossible answers, a thriller, still weird, still crazy. They fought shapeshifters and teleporters. They encountered time travelers and hopped dimensions. There was an old typewriter that typed messages from other worlds, all by itself. When the enemy and his agenda was finally revealed, so were other long-buried secrets. An inter-dimensional war with a parallel earth, a race for dominance against a dying world, and all started by an error in judgement, a mistake made for the sake of a desperate love by a grieving father.

Then it was a fight.

Supersoldiers. Dopplegangers. Strange abilities. Alternate worlds, twisted twins. A race to recover ancient technology in order to save two universes that had become entangled. But healing that rift only sent a mad man over the edge, propelling him on a quest to destroy everything.

And heroes did what heroes do. The world was saved, but only for so long.

A jump ahead. Twenty years.


Now, in the fifth and final season, the Fringe team has found themselves cast adrift in a whole new world, a dark and dangerous one. They are stranded in time and onto the losing side of an ongoing conflict, a war for the entire planet against the near omnipresent might of the Observers, temporal invaders from a catastrophically ravaged far-flung future.

What lies ahead? Let's watch the trailer for the upcoming season:


Obviously, I am super-excited.

Especially considering this new switch has set the show in a dystopian future and Lord knows, I am a sucker for a good dystopian future. Lucky for me, it's also an all around great show. There seems to have been too many lately that have an intriguing premise, but fall way short of their promise. So, it's nice that Fringe is so well done, smart, funny, and cool. Not to mention the incredible character work of the actors and the writers, which is amazing and oddly unheralded. A true oversight.

I'm going to try to return here and talk about the season as it progresses. Maybe not after every episode, but at least somewhat regularly. That's my hope.


Watch for it,
Jon