Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Free Read: Warren Ellis' SUPERIDOL

Short, illustrated by Colleen Doran:


Reminded me a bit of back in the 80's when girls at church and about town were dressing like Madonna. Only this one takes it a notch beyond that particular fan-obsession.

post signature

Friday, December 19, 2008

Just Three Months Until....

I'm looking forward to it. Looks like they did a great job with the look of Dr. Manhattan.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

THE ORPHANAGE (El Orfanato)--A Hauntingly Beautiful Ghost Story

I'd wanted to see this film since it came out, but I missed it in theaters, and then I seemed to keep forgetting to rent or buy. Last week, I decided to buy this based on 1. the good reviews and 2. the fact that Guillermo del Toro (one of my very fave directors whose ghost story--The Devil's Backbone--is one of my fave films, he produced this). And 3. had it super cheap. :)

Well, no disappointment here. Not in any part. This is a gorgeous film. And very scary.

The acting, the direction, the scenery, the set design, the script, the music, the ending--it all worked together, all paid off in spades.

This story starts off slowly, gently. But from the first images of children playing a game in the yard fronting a large, mansion-style orphanage--the shadows, the direction, the way the action of an innocent game is set up--the film perfectly sets the tone of the film. It's nostalgic, but it's also slightly creepy. It foreshadows a lot. Pay attention here.

Zoom years later. One of those children who'd been playing in the yard, a girl named Laura who got adopted, is now grown with a son. We find out the main characters--mother, father, son Simon--are now owners of the former orphanage and plan to set up a residence to care for special needs children. Simon, himself, is a special needs child: He has HIV.

Soon, the game of "invisible friends" takes on an ominous reality. And every scene builds tension, builds, builds, until one really is at the edge of one's seat as this mother is thrown into the greatest nightmare of parents.

The film then asks the question--of the lead and of the viewer--how far will a mother, this mother, go to find her missing son?

While the conclusion felt inevitable and was pretty obvious quite early on (the clues are all there, and the script does not cheat), it's the HOW of getting to it that makes this all work. Every twist is fairly--if not all are overtly--foreshadowed. The small actions and words that lead us along to those conclusions can be easily missed if we focus on something that seems more emotional or important in each scene.

I cannot describe how beautiful the finale--the climactic moment-- is. Tragedy, sorrow, redemption and beauty all coalesce. It is a miraculous cooperation of acting/direction/storytelling/setting/lighting and music that brings us to this moment of bittersweet magic.

The denouement is lovely, too, leaving us with a feeling of what we lose as human beings, mortal beings, and what we can gain if there is more than mere matter.

Tragedy redeemed--that's what I thought as I went to bed after seeing this.

Yes, this is a ghost story that disturbs mightily, and the scares are surely present, but it is not a gore-show. It is a more human and artistic ghost story, and is in fact MORE than a ghost story. It's a story of family and friendship, and of a mother who will not give up, because the deepest love outlives the grave, even defeats the grave.

You really need to see this film. Magnificent. (And pay very close attention to EVERYTHING, for all the strings come together in the end.)

post signature

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

FABLES comic books coming to TV

Yippee! I'm a big fan of the Fables series. (I've read all of them through the end of the war, and even read the Jack Horner spin-offs and the special Arabian Nights one.) I love folkloric retellings, and the urban fantasy version has been so cool.

From the Hollywood Reporter:

"We set up a structure to allow any fairy tale character to show up in any one episode," Metzner said.

The fairy tale characters will keep some of their trademark characteristics. For instance, Prince Charming will be handsome, while Big Bad Wolf will have to shave a four-day shadow from growing back every day.

But overall, "they are just like real people in the real world who live and breathe and look just like you and me," Metzner said.

Describing themselves as "lifetime comic book fans," Zicherman and Metzner fell in love with "Fables" when they read the series' first issue in 2002.

Now, it's coming to la television. I hope they don't screw it up. I need something fantasy-ish to look forward to since they've cancelled the dreamy PUSHING DAISIES and the delightful ELI STONE. Dang them.

post signature

Monday, December 08, 2008

Hellboy 2 Sock Puppet Show

Completely nails the plot holes, but hey, I can be blinded by cool visuals, a great pace, and a superhot albino elf with long blonde hair and mighty warrior skills. Yes, there are things bigger than plot holes. Ahem. :)

Oh, and it's funny.


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Friday, December 05, 2008

"The Cold Equations"--online, free!

If you never read the terrific classic SF story by Tom Godwin, head on over HERE.

Gosh, I feel really old thinking I first read this story about 30 years ago. Man...

post signature

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Have You Dropped by MINDFLIGHTS of Late?

Do drop by MINDFLIGHTS and see what we've got to offer. :) And check out our cool December cover that artist Anne Stokes was so gracious to allow us to use.

It's Christmassy and fantasy-ey and fun. If you like dragons, it's a must-see. :)

post signature

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

MONSTER ZOO by Doug TenNapel: Fun!

Being a fan of the T-Man, I naturally got around to MONSTER ZOO
. This offering is introduced--glowingly--by Todd McFarlane (a name familiar, doubtlessly, to comics lovers).

As usual, we get nifty art, humor, scary things one needs to fight (ya know, good versus evil), humor, characters you can root for, a bit of romance, and humor. Very Happy

--well, you can guess the setting, right?--we have two best pals, kids you know are tagged as losers in high school--the fat and farty one with the skinny and shy one--who visit the zoo. Also present this day, however, is a new exhibit of this huge monster idol from Africa called "Ungabe," the name the natives called it as they fled in terror once it was unearthed. The zoologists hope it will bring in moolah to get the zoo in the red. (They totally ignore that "flee in terror" part, but we know something's up.)

Also at the zoo as the story is set up we see a girl our hero has a crush on, and her goon-idiot boyfriend (who bullies the hero early on).

Things get much worse than wedgies when animals start transforming into delightfully weird monster versions of themselves (freaky walrus thing, zebras with giant maws on their haunches, razor-toothed monkeys attacking in tandem) as the Ungabe gets its killer act in gear.

It's gonna be an "animal apocalypse" if the foreign and very short "witchy woman" and the kids don't survive and prevail.

I have to say, as a gal with a soft spot for romantic subplots, that I always appreciate when TenNapel does that little, gentle bit of romance magic (like in Creature Tech, Black Cherry, et al). He does it with a very sweet hand given the surrounding wackiness, so it's like a bit of tender calm in the storm. I like that.

The spiritual element is present but subtle here. I always look for it in a D.T. work and, yes, there it was. Smile

In a couple spots, I had to reach for the tissues cause I was laughing to tears. But then, Doug does that to me every time.

As I was reading it, I was thinking, "Okay, this would be such a cool movie." :) I was not alone, apparently: Earlier this year Sam Raimi got Paramount to obtain the rights to make a film of this.

Bring it on D.T. I'm ready for the next wild ride.

Thumbs up!

post signature