Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I am of two minds about this movie. I am a little concerned that the production seems to be primarily a Japanese production as I feel this will make any stateside release a fairly limited affair. On the other hand I am glad this is a Japanese production. While the main character, John Rain, is half-anglo, he had plastic surgery in order to appear more Japanese and therefore it only makes sense that a Japanese actor be cast to play him. The list of Japanese actors who are even somewhat familiar to U.S. audiences is fairly slim. Ken Watanabe springs to mind immediately due to his parts in "The Last Samurai," "Batman Begins," and "Letters from Iwo Jima." After that the only names that spring to mind are Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, whose most memorable role to me came in 1993's "Rising Sun," and Ken Takakura who would be most familiar to American audiences as either Uchiyama, the manager of the Dragons in "Mr. Baseball" or the Japanese cop Masahiro in "Black Rain." As much as I love Takakura's performances in these movies and keep meaning to track down some of his Japanese films, at the age of 77 he might be a little too old to plain John Rain. While John Rain is no spring chicken, he is deadly in hand-to-hand combat and a P-I-M-P to boot so I have trouble seeing Takakura in this role.
Beyond casting concerns there is the question of language. John Rain is Japanese as are the VAST majority of the supporting characters in this first novel. To my mind they need to be speaking Japanese to one another rather than English. I know that due to my long-running anime fandom I am FAR more comfortable with subtitles than probably 95% of the general movie-going public, but to have Japanese characters speaking English to one another always creates a disconnect for me. I think one of the best things about "Letters From Iwo Jima" was the fact that the movie was shot using spoken Japanese.
Anyway, that is quite enough from me. Regardless of who made the flick I am excited to see the trailer and hoping that this will get some sort of release stateside.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
This is the episode I was fortunate enough to work on this past June and I am SOOO looking forward to seeing the final product!
In this bit Alersa is played by BarBara Luna. While I was on-set I had the unique privilege of being Luna's (she insists we call her Luna) assistant for the duration of her stay. One of the very first things I did after I was assigned as Luna's PA was run lines with her. This was the scene we were reading through and it was very difficult for me to keep a straight face when I came to the line, "Call me...Jim." I also had to fight the urge to Shatner the line up. Doesn't it just beg for a Shatner-esque delivery?
Thursday, December 25, 2008
This is from Rocket K, a Japanese punk band I recently discovered due to their cover of The Buggles new wave hit "Video Killed the Radio Star." Sadly the only place I can find their video for that is on their MySpace page and I am having trouble accessing MySpace at the moment. In stead of that let me offer you these:
First, the original video in all of its circa 1979 glory:
Second, a video from the Ethermusic festival in 2005 of Jon Bernhardt performing "Video Killed the Radio Star" on a theremin:
Mmmmm. Theremins are the musical equivalent of bacon; they make everything better!
I hope you're having a Merry Christmas and enjoying whatever makes you happy!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
The Phase 2 team has finally released the first part of "Blood and Fire" to the general public. I had the opportunity to see a rough cut of this episode when I was on set this summer and as much as I enjoyed the episode then, I REALLY enjoyed watching the final cut after I downloaded it last night.
- You can access the official download page here. This has several download options available.
- Here is Anthony Pascale's review on TrekMovie.com. The review is spoileriffic and this continues in the comments.
This episode has generated quite a bit on controversy in fandom due to the inclusion of gay crewmen and I have to say that while I did find the scene between Peter and Alex a little too long, I know it pays off in part two of the episode. And the bloodworms? Ewwwww.
In other Phase 2 news, they released an official DVD ISO for their third episode, "World Enough and Time" which features the return of George Takei to the role of Hikaru Sulu. Written by Michael Reaves and Marc Scott Zicree, the script was nominated for the SFWA Nebula award, a nomination which caused some controversy (you can read more about that here). Additionally the episode was nominated for a Hugo award and won the T.V. Guide Online Video award beating out such professionally produced shows as the BSG webisodes. In the beginning Phase 2 would release high-quality DVD ISOs of the episodes for download however there was a problem with people d/l'ing the episodes and then selling DVDs at cons. Since this practice could put the agreement between Phase 2 and CBS/Paramount the powers that be at Phase 2 decided to stop releasing the DVD-quality ISOs. This is a pleasant return to days of yore and one that I hope is here to stay.
- You can access the official download page here.
Friday, December 19, 2008
I have to say that the summary of Kevin's screenplay, "The Phantom Limb," sounds rather interesting:
A troubled private detective uncovers a blackmail scam involving a gangster whoSounds like my favorite bit from "Romeo is Bleeding" taken to the extreme. And when I said interesting I mean truly messed up in ways that only the best 1970's neo-noir stories can be. I really hope this ends up making it to the screen.
runs a brothel that caters to amputee fetishes (and other taboo sexual
interests) and the doctor who performs the body modifications.
In addition to "The Phantom Limb" there are a shit-ton of other movies on this list. Here are some of the titles that jumped out at me as being either worthy project or in need of a little mocking:
"Inglorious Bastards" - Quentin Tarantino + World War 2? YES PLEASE!
"Galahad" - I am a sucker for anything having to do with Arthurian Legend.
"Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates" - Apparently this is based on a book which could not possibly be as good as the movie I am seeing in my head right
now. A possible sequel title? "Fierce With Pigs" in which the main characters
set out to violate their strict Hebrew upbrining by eating bacon.
"Roundtable" - Comicdom's Brian K. Vaughn + Arthurian legend? Mmm, mmm good.
"The Amazing Adventures of the Monogamous Duck" - Who gives a flying rat's ass what this is about, the title alone is worth the price of admission.
"The Gary Coleman - Emmanuel Lewis Project" - I know this is supposed to be a place-holder title however I REALLY think they need to leave this as the title
for the film. I like to think of it as the Alan Parson's Project for the new
"Your Dreams Suck" - Nothing to say here except ain't that the truth?
"47 Ronin" - I am happy that this particular story is getting remade for a more
mainstream audience although I suspect this will have trouble living up to the
example set by "Chushingura" however I have heard that this is being
envisioned as a Keanu Reeves vehicle. Really? Please don't. Seriously.
"Samurai" - Sticking with the whole Japanese theme this sounds like it could be
fun. Hope it is done as well as this year's "The Forbidden Kingdom."
"Untitled Channing Tatum Project" - Okay from time to time these untitled
projects have unintentionally funny names, for example see the Gary
Coleman-Emmanuel Lewis entry above, however most of the time JUST ASSIGN A DAMN TITLE TO THE PROJECT.