Saturday, December 29, 2012

E.T.A.


Are you looking for a quick distraction? Here's a short animated film for your viewing pleasure. Set in the famous Alien franchise universe, it's about a guy named Martin. Martin is in the middle of working a very boring contract for Weyland-Yutani.His job is to mind the ship while everyone else slumbers in cryo-sleep during a deep space voyage. It's directed by Henrik Bjerregaard Clausen and produced by Junk. Quick, easy, not bad. It's fun.



Game over, man,
Jon

Friday, December 28, 2012

Updates: What lies ahead


It's that time again. The new year looms close, a peak soon to be crossed, the fresh new lands of the new year just beyond. It is a time to look back and measure ones progress. It is also a time to look forward, to chart the land and see what lies ahead. It's been a long time, folks, and as such, it is well past time for another example of your favorite type of post and mine:

Updates: What lies ahead...
(Or: What's going on with Jon, end of 2012 edition)

2012 was an up-and-down year for me.


On the upside, my latest bout of wage-slavery has come to an end. It's true, I have completed the varied and sundry Job-Aids the Salt Mines had required, wrapping up such titles as You and your whip: An Overseer's best friend and Flailure, how much skin removal is too much? The downside? The tinkling flow of pennies has dried up and I am forced to beg in the streets once again. It was a sad day, let me assure you, even Head Overseer Mungo had a visible tear in his bulgy, milky-pale, cataract eye as he bid me adieu.

Writing-wise


Monsters
I finished the first draft of my second novel Monsters in October. It came in a little behind schedule, but not too bad. A first draft in ten months? Not bad. The downside is that now I'm not only not-happy with the working title, I'm unhappy with the whole thing. The second draft is going to be a holy terror, the issues and problems within are legion, and I'm not looking forward to trying to wrangle it all into some kind of coherent form. Now mostly I'm not looking forward to 2nd Draft editing because that side of the writing life is never fun in the best of situations, but also because a small part of me isn't sure how fixable the issues are. We'll see what the results are when I dive back in with the coming new year. Fingers crossed.


Gunslingers of the Apocalypse
Still trunked. Still going nowhere fast. It may never be anything, but I'm planning on printing it out this coming year and giving it a read. It's been a really long time since I've last looked at it, two, maybe three years. At the very least, I should have fresh eyes and hopefully that will let me knock 20,000 to 30,000 words off and come out the other side with a slimmer, meaner draft. To what end? It's already made the Query rounds and got some good response, but not good enough, right? So, who knows. Who cares? Because I want to, that's why.


Rebel Clever Girl
This one is still in its infancy. Only a couple of chapters are done, but it's unfolding in my head and spilling into notes. It's growing and it will be something. I know where it's going and how it ends, but it's still too early to try to summarize what it's about. I like it, that's what I know. Also, I'm thinking of changing the title to The Impossible Virginia Dare. We'll see.


Short stories
I've got a list of story starters, but I'm not working on any of them at the moment. Short Stories aren't really my thing, so I'm in no rush. I'll get to them when I get to them, if ever. My other projects will keep me busy in the meantime. However, if you really, really, really want to read a short story by me, well you can go here and pick up a copy of Cifiscape Volume 2. My short story Harris is the first one in the book. It's also my first short story to get published.


Is that it? I think that's it. I have a busy year ahead, but I'll keep you updated as things happen. Keep an eye out in the coming days for my best and worst films of 2012 posts and maybe, probably, one about some of my favorite comics of 2012. Maybe. Probably. Most likely. Until then, you know where to find me.

Happy New Year,
Jon


Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn - Part 3

Are any of you wondering what happened to the last part of that Halo: Forward unto Dawn series I had been posting here? No? That's not that surprising.

Well, for any of you that might be even mildly curious, watch the trailer below. I'll admit, I watched this the other night and... it actually gets kind of awesome at the end. Worth going to amazon and buying your own copy? ...Maybe not, but still, it gets pretty awesome in the last part.


Just fyi,
Jon

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Memorize

Hey there, me again.

I'm planning to write an Update blog on Friday, so all y'all out there will be fully informed on what's going on with me, writing wise, and just in time for the end of the world too. Does anybody know what time that's happening, BTW? No? Bummer. Anyway, that blog will go up some time Friday. Until then, here's a cool sci-fi short film to help liven up your Hump-day blahs. It's called Memorize and it was written and directed by Jimmy Eriksson and Eric Ramburg. I don't know them in any way, nor am I familiar with anything else they've done, but this looks promising, a kind of 90's cyberpunk throwback kind of thing.

Let's watch...



Well, they sure love the shit out of that Total Recall Hologram trick, don't they? I especially liked how the bad guys thought they had pulled it on him, but no, HE had pulled it on THEM. It was just like a chess match, man, but with more head scarves.

All in all, not bad, if you don't backtrack the plot too much, and it's definitely heavily seeped in the kind of imagery that seems a little outdated and cliche these days, but it's technically adept and pretty fun and there's a couple of cool ideas in there. I'd be interested in seeing more of their stuff, if they ever drop the dog-earred and pretty tired Neuromancer/Snow Crash/Matrix trappings and instead really try to run with their more original and weird/cool ideas. They have the skill and talent, that's obvious, now let's see them take some risks.

Or at the very least, pick a storyline that is a little more engaging. I mean, was this really a seven minute long short film about people discovering how to circumvent an idea you introduced at the very BEGINNING of the seven minutes? There's not much to hold onto there, especially when there's maybe a half dozen lines of dialogue all told.

Better than average, but still kind of average in the end.

Anyway... enjoy,
Jon

Monday, December 17, 2012

Man of Steel

Two posts in one day? It's a Christmas miracle!

It's actually due to the fact that this post concerns another trailer, the official new trailer for the upcoming Superman film, in fact, the one directed by Zach Snyder known as: Man of Steel. It's been out for a few days now, which makes it old as dirt in Internet years. You've probably seen it already, I figured I should just go ahead and post it while at least some of the new car smell is still clinging to it.

Superman is an enduring character, but he is also a notoriously difficult character to get a handle on. In this day and age, in a long-term sense, and most especially in movies, he's a bit awkward. People know him completely, they know who he is and where he comes from. They know how he was raised and how that upbringing affected who he is. They know his girlfriend's name. They know he's a good person. They know all about Superman. Clark Kent. Kal-el of Krypton.

And for the most part... he bores them.

He bores them because he's often portrayed as too earnest and too straightforward, and he is often too powerful for most of his bad guys, and as a result, his stories are usually harder to relate to and generally low on action. In a nutshell, there's usually isn't any inner conflict and not much danger of an outer one either. For such an outwardly simple character propped up by such simple motivations, there's just no easy way in with Superman, not like there is with Batman, and especially not when it comes to any movies. To make Clark interesting, you have to spend some time with him. To make Superman truly super, to make him soar, you need lots of money. With Warner Bros on their knees, desperate for a new franchise, at least Man of Steel will have the money part covered. And with Zach Snyder at the helm, the action should be crazy.

But will we get to know Clark? Will he become a character again, one that the audience can really get behind? We shall see... Let's watch the trailer.

 

A little somber, a little self-important and brooding maybe, but Snyder's a fun guy so I'm not worried about the tone of the film so much. Plus, Amy Adams is Lois Lane. Nice.

We shall see,
Jon

NEXT A-Class

I'm not sure what this is exactly or where I came across it, but I think it's a Japanese Mercedes-Benz commercial, a six minute long Japanese anime Mercedes-Benz commercial. Japan, man... apparently life there is like living in some kind of futuristic video game fetish zone.

Oh well, enjoy. Be sure to click on the Closed Captioning, you don't want to miss any "important" dialogue...


Ohayou gozaimasu,
Jon

Friday, December 14, 2012

Pacific Rim

It's been a few days since this first hit the Internet, so I apologize if this isn't news to you, or if you've already squee-ed yourself into an aneurysm, but I've been busy so I didn't get a proper chance to join in. What am I talking about, you ask? I'm talking about Pacific Rim, kids. Yes, it's true. Pacific Rim, a big budget Giant Robots vs Giant Monsters movie. Are you shocked? Confused? Did you have no idea this existed? How did it get past you?


I posted about the Kaiju Emergency Alert System last week or so, so this may look a little familiar to both of you regular readers, but for the click-lazy out there, the basic story is this:

Geek God of Flamboyant Demonic Imagery, Director Guillermo del Toro has apparently discovered that I am only passingly a fan of his work. I loved Blade 2 and The Devil's Backbone. I enjoyed Pan's Labyrinth. Otherwise: Meh... he's all right, sometimes I find his design work a little too busy, it gets in the way of the movie, in my opinion. And I'll be honest, I was REALLY happy to hear that he was no longer working on the Hobbit. Also, I hated the Hellboy films. Hated them. But ever since Ron Pearlman did this right here... they get a pass from me. We're cool.

Good on you, Ron Perlman.

Anyway, I know it's Geek Blasphemy to even think this, let alone state it out loud where the various geeks and nerds and dorks and dweebs can see, but it's the truth. That's how I feel. Now before you flip-out and work yourself up into a big frothing lather of nerd-rage, keep in mind that I don't think he's terrible, he's just okay. That's all. Okay. I don't get too excited about his upcoming projects, because I've found that he is generally incapable of blowing my skirt up. Okay, maybe I'm a little excited about his long-anticipated At the Mountains of Madness film, but otherwise...

Meh.

Well, someone has apparently told Mr. del Toro about my general ambivalence toward him and his work. This appears to have really struck a cord with the man, because here he comes again, this time with a film yanked directly from deep within the brain of my Godzilla-loving five year old self. It is, quite frankly, a surprisingly aggressive attempt to win my love. The posters and viral videos have all been great so far, way better than I expected, and upon viewing this new trailer, all I can say is: Thank you, Mr. del Toro, thank you. Giant Robots? Versus Giant Monsters? On the shores of San Francisco? Why yes, I am interested in seeing more...

Aren't you? Let's watch it together.


It's so beautiful. No words. No words, it's so beautiful. They should have sent a poet, they should have sent a poet...



BWAAAAAAAA!
Jon

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Oblivion

What's this? Is this original Sci-fi? From Hollywood? With a budget? And it looks Post-Apocalyptic and futuristic at the same time? Chills. I have chills. 

Here's the poster, let's bask in it, shall we?


Waitaminute... Tom Cruise? The Director of Tron Legacy? Imax? Ahhh, man... and I was getting excited too... Oh well, I started the blog, might as well finish it. Here's the synopsis:

"Jack Harper (Cruise, naturally) is one of the last drone repairmen stationed on Earth. Part of a massive operation to extract vital resources after decades of war with a terrifying threat known as the Scavs, Jack's mission is nearly complete. Patrolling the breathtaking skies from thousands of feet above, his soaring existence is brought crashing down when he rescues a beautiful stranger from a downed spacecraft. Her arrival triggers a chain of events that forces him to question everything he knows and puts the fate of humanity in his hands."

You hear that people? EVERYTHING. He will question EVERYTHING he knows. Things like: "Do I REALLY like Orange juice, or do I just THINK that I like Orange Juice?" That's gonna be some riveting shit right there, folks, let me tell you. Know what I mean? Riveting as in: $8 will buy you the whole seat, but you're only going to need... THE EDGE!!!

Here's the trailer, people, hold on to your butts:



Hmmm... That doesn't look too bad actually. It's a little "Apple in the Post-Apocalypse" but still, it looks fun, maybe. I like what I see, although I question what's going on with the ruins. How are the buildings buried underground? With rivers running over them? That's... odd, but whatever. The bottom line is: It looks interesting. I'm going to keep an eye out for more stuff as it pops up.

One thing I did notice that kind of bothers me? This is the second Tom Cruise movie trailer that has not shown him running (the first being for Jack Reacher--which also doesn't look half-bad). Frankly, I miss it. I hope he hasn't gotten self-conscious, or worse, hurt his ankle, as Tom Cruise is the best on-screen runner in the history of on-screen runners.

Let's all watch this and remember the glory.


Run, Tom, Run,
Jon

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn - Part 2

It's been awhile, but here we are with Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn - Part 2, just as the title to this blog promises. I posted Part 1 here, if you missed it and wanted to catch up.

First off the bat, I have to say that I'm all around impressed with this series. It's maybe a little too slowly paced and Thank God for Battlestar Galactica, right? But otherwise its quality is ridiculously high. Most web films you get are either purposefully crappy--because why bother, it's just a web film and besides script is really the most primary of importance--or they're accidentally crappy--because they lack the funds, resources, talent, or awareness to ever be anything but (the most common type)--so, it's nice to run across a series that is so well-made. The costumes, sets, props, the attention to detail, there's even a Warthog (although, it probably belongs to a slightly too obsessed fan, which is kind of sad, but whatever). The point is: There was no small amount of effort made here and it shows on screen. It's professional, a little derivative and the script could maybe use so tightening, but still... not too bad, kind of good actually.

I'm not sure who made this. I suppose I could look it up, but I won't because I'm not that kind of film head, so I don't really care (and neither do you, most likely... or maybe you do, in which case, look it up yourself), but they're definitely good, whoever they are.

Enough of my prattling on, let's watch...


Oh, no! Angsty Nondescript Troubled White Teenager has Killer Space Asthma or something! And he has collapsed! His white uniform is totally going to get grass-stained now. I hope he doesn't get CPR from Big-lipped British Girl who loooooooves him. Oochi-Goochi-Goo! I wonder what will happen. From the preview? Running, lots of panicked running. And some explosions, naturally.

This episode was a little heavy on Filler, honestly, but I don't think that would bother me as much if it was a longer show with more episodes. Being that there are only three and they're all about fifteen minutes long, I feel like they could have trimmed or made some other decisions while creating their narrative. But who knows? I haven't seen the whole thing yet.

Maybe there's a vision. Maybe there's a plan.

Fingers crossed.

All in all, it was certainly good enough to get me to tune in for next time. I hope you'll join me, Dear Reader, whenever I get around to it. It'll probably be soon, so keep an eye out, because besides the third part of this series, I still have two other short films I want to post, plus I'll be doing updates on my current projects.

When? Soon.

I promise.

Later,
Jon