Monthly Archives: October 2010

Wonder Woman is Haunting Me

I’m actually not the biggest fan of Wonder Woman, although I am fond of her as the most successful female superhero we’ve ever managed to have. So it’s a source of some amusement to me that she keeps popping up lately. First, it was the costume issue:

Then it was the news that unlike Superman, Batman and various other DC heroes, Warner had decided to scrap the plans for a Wonder Woman movie and relegate her to a new television series.  This was soon followed by the news that Superman is getting yet another reboot and a new director, Zack Snyder, of 300 fame. And then an alert friend turned me on to this clip from the television Justice League cartoon, via SFSignal:

Apparently, Wonder Woman has been frolicking romantically with both Superman and Batman in the various DC comics, which is hardly a surprise, and there has also been a flirting romance going on in the Justice League television cartoon between Wonder Woman and Batman. It’s included such classic bits as the two pretend kissing in subterfuge (this one requires that annoying double-click):

So I think it would be kind of neat if in the next Batman movie, Wonder Woman showed up as the love interest, but obviously that’s not going to occur now with the television plans. Maybe some of the Smallville crew can show up on the new Wonder Woman show. But until that show is up and running, Wonder Woman — shoo!

(On the Marvel side of the fence, the new, totally unnecessary Spiderman reboot has hired actress of the moment Emma Stone to play Gwen Stacy, Spiderman’s first love. This seems to be an attempt to give old Gwennie an actual personality. )

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OK Go’s Famous Dance Moves

In this (late) week’s OK Go video, the band does snazzy coreography for their hit song, A Million Ways. This dance has been copied copiously in schools, and  can be done, as the band did it, in one’s backyard.  It’s probably my favorite OK Go song, videos aside. This one is, as the older videos seem to be in an advertising deal with the band’s studio, one of the ones requiring two clicks to see it on You Tube.

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Things the Internet Made for Me

One of the vast army of Internet video entrepreneurs, Toby, has a collection of “literal” movie trailers in which the trailers are given a voiceover and print rundown as they unspool. It’s fun and it’s kind of addictive. Here are two of the best for the up-coming films Tron: Legacy and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:

He does video game trailers too, which are also funny.

And speaking of movies, you might say many things about actor Johnny Depp, but you can’t say the man is dumb about his fans. In London to shoot parts of Pirates of the Carribean #4, Depp dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow and some extras from the movie paid a visit to a local school in response to a 9-year-old student’s joke letter to Sparrow, asking him to help her and the other kids mutiny against their teachers.  A good time was had by all and the actual mutiny was postponed:

Speaking of Pirates #4, it’s called On Stranger Tides, and that’s because Disney had the long-time film option to Tim Powers’ historical fantasy novel, On Stranger Tides, and they are exercising that option by combining Powers’ excellent story, which involves voodoo, ghosts, Blackbeard and the Fountain of Youth, with Captain Jack Sparrow and other characters from the Pirates franchise. Powers is slightly involved as a consultant. Everyone is hoping they’ll let him appear on screen as an extra. On Stranger Tides, the novel, was nominated for the World Fantasy Award and the Locus Award. At a convention in Israel, Ikon, Powers showed off his skill with a sword:


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Random Musings

I used to enjoy the rain until I had a dog and a sattelite dish.

I am glad to see from the tabloids in the checkout line that they are now insisting that Jennifer Aniston is reunited with her ex-boyfriend John Mayer instead of her ex-husband Brad Pitt. Good for you, tabloids, you’ve moved on from your unhealthy fixation with your past.

I’m reading culture writer Chuck Klosterman’s book of essays, Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, and now Billy Joel’s song “All for Leyna” from his album Glass Houses keeps going through my head. Thanks a lot, Klosterman! Here, it can go through your head too:

Don’t complain or I’ll stick an Abba song up there.

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Mad Hatter Award

Just the one today (thank goodness) for Amanda Tapping, star and executive producer of the sci-fi show Sanctuary talking about her show for the DVD:

“When I read it I didn’t actually think of it as sci-fi, I thought of it more as a graphic novel kind of feel to it. But I think the parameters of sci-fi have been so blown open, you know, we’re not just in space any more. It’s anything that defies imagination or steps outside and forces you to think about things that maybe aren’t real, fits within that outside-the-box thinking.”

Notice that she postulates that science fiction and sci-fi have changed and therefore her show may indeed actually be sci-fi, instead of, oh I don’t know, realizing that her belief that science fiction is only about stories in space was ridiculously wrong in the first place.  Tapping isn’t the only one who has tried to state this as the “traditional” definition of science fiction (see Margaret Atwood,) and clearly this is the result of these people being fed wrong-headed thinking that they never questioned. But Tapping has been around sci-fi for fifteen years. She guested on Forever Knight, Goosebumps, The X Files, Kung-Fu: The Legend Continues, The Outer Limits, appeared in the movies The Haunting of Lisa, Life or Something Like It, and Earthsea, and struck it big on the Stargate t.v. series and now with her own baby Sanctuary. She’s gone to conventions and comicons, she’s been talking to “geeks” for years. She should know something about science fiction, fantasy and sci-fi, written and visual, by this point. For her to say that it used to be about space squids and now is not is, well, sad. That she needs to make her show seem part of a distinct new movement as a marketing strategy indicates that Hollywood doesn’t understand its massively wide audience any better than it did before, even as it attempts to cater to them.

But yes, Amanda, there is a audio-visual genre of sci-fi and yes, your show is in it. Congratulations! Have some jam.

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Get the Kid an Agent

You never know what is going to go viral, so this British teenager, like a number before him, put up a video for his friends of him doing about 24 different accents, but he’s so entertaining at it that it’s zipping around the Web. There’s a lot of cursing involved (warning to those viewing) and some of the accents are  clearly from his watching movies so his patter is pure Hollywood but with each accent, complete with facial expressions, he creates a character. The Brits are good at accents and that and natural charisma — plus his plain naturalness — make him someone to watch. He may have missed the Harry Potter movies, but if he wants an acting career, he may get one:

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Some SFF News

1) Author John Wyndham has been on my radar recently because first, a young guy on SFFWorld on getting my recommendation to read The Day of the Triffids begged me to tell him it wasn’t really about killer plants, and then my daughter, who is going to be reading Wyndham’s other novel The Chrysalids for school, was surprised to hear that Triffids was about carnivorous plants. And of course it is, which is wonderful, and it’s also about many, many interestingly rendered subjects as well as and through the symbolism of the carnivorous plants. And now, it is getting a film adaptation, after many decades of development hell, thanks to the new advances in 3D technology for special effects. The film is being produced by Michael Preger and Dan Murphy. Preger worked on the BBC television miniseries adaptation of the novel that came out in 2009, which unfortunately I haven’t gotten to see.

2) Actress Rachel Bilson will be getting a comic television series with U.S. network NBC and her old O.C. producer Josh Schwartz called Ghost Angeles, about a young woman in L.A. who can see ghosts. This will be the third female who can see ghosts show in awhile. The other two were moderately successful, and Bilson, who has shown comedy chops on guest stints on How I Met Your Mother and Chuck, should do well.

3) Also coming to t.v. — Wonder Woman. It seems that all that speculation I and others did about whether her DC Comics costume makeover would be translated to the big screen (see below) is now moot, as Warner Brothers has decided that doing a superhero feature film with a female superhero is just too risky, given that so many studios have messed it up before, and has shuffled off the project for a new reboot television series. The original Wonder Woman series starring the eerily perfect Lynda Carter did well in the late 1970’s.

This is disappointing but not surprising news. With the Superman franchise dead for the moment while they figure out the reboot plan, Green Lantern with Ryan Reynolds not yet ready and untested, Superman t.v. series Smallville ending its run, and the Justice League movie appearing to be a no go, Warner’s superhero prospects are slim except for its Batman franchise. Even though kick butt females can do very well — Angelina Jolie in Salt, Milla Jovanovich in Resident Evil — Warners is unlikely to take the risk when they have other male superheroes to choose from and clearly see Wonder Woman as too old fashioned. But on t.v., she has a shot and it may well involve some variant closer to the original costume than the current comics incarnation.

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OK Go Videos — This Too Shall Pass

I’m cheating here, as I already put up the Rube Goldberg machine video OK Go did for this song earlier. But they went and made another one for this particular song, off their album this year Of the Blue Color of the Sky, perhaps not quite as innovative but delightfully whacky, involving what appears to be a marching band. So here are both, for your enjoyment:

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A Stone is a Stone to a Mountain Goat

My friend sent me these pictures, which she thought were from the Buffalo Bill Dam on the Shoshoni River in Wyoming, U.S., but which actually turn out to be Ibex goats nibbling on crevice plants and crossing the Lago Baitone dam at Brescia in Italy. But it doesn’t really matter, because anywhere in the world,  it’s cool:

Unfortunately,  I don’t know who the photographer is to credit the person. They appear to have been widely disseminated on the Web.

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