For Thoughts On Games Go To...You may have noticed that I only mention talking about TV, movies, people, and maybe a bit of music in my little "about me" on the right over there. "Why no video games?" you may ask. "Do you not play?" Well, yes I do. It just so happens that I started a separate site for them, with the intention that I would update it quite frequently. It actually has been something I wanted to do for about ten years. But I was so swamped with other things that, even though I've been playing, I mostly worked on ideas for this blog, of which I apparently have a lot more. Never start more than one blog at a time; you will regret it.
Look at that, not getting to the point again. Go watch Jeremy Clarkson relaying the specs of Halo's Warthog at Console Life if you're in the mood for some game-related content instead of reading how awesome David Tennant, Alan Rickman, or John Noble are...again.
The Disillusioned Illusionist ~ David Tennant's Fright Night InterviewsWhy haven't you seen Fright Night yet? Do you not like scary movies? Don't worry, it's more tense than scary, and there's a lot of tension-breaking and character-building humor. It has the sexy Colin Farrell and the talented Anton Yelchin. But the special treat is the great David Tennant, who was barely seen in U.S. commercials. He can make you laugh and then break your heart with no more than a look, and you will love him for it. Fright Night won't be in theaters for much longer due to a terrible marketing campaign that almost completely misrepresented it and assured people would stay away in droves, so get to your theater today.
David is always so gracious and seems genuinely happy to be interviewed. Thanks go to TimeGeek at Random Geeky Thoughts for finding this.
I Want to Be SortedAnd I wanted to write this a while ago. I hate that I missed the sign up deadline for Pottermore. It sounds fantastic. I actually found out about it on the last day, but I put it off for a few hours because a page wouldn't load. When I checked back it was closed. Of course, my favorite TV reviewer, Robert Berg, got in. >:P So, I'll be expecting him to do some reviewing at some point. Until then, The Huffington Post has a preview, as do HarryPotterReviews and Hypable.
If you don't know yet - I didn't because I am a fan of many things and just don't have the time to go galavanting across the web to find everything about everything - Pottermore is a new addition to the world of Harry Potter, an expansion that is getting some quite positive initial reviews. It's the entire world of Harry Potter laid out in a huge, beautiful site (or so I'm told). I have to wait until October to find out for myself. It includes such things as the sorting hat; potion making and spells; object collecting; dueling; house points and the House Cup; chocolate frog cards; every book chapter turned into interactive flash paintings; more character backstories; and I would assume, upon seeing comments about how complete it is, almost anything else you can think of. It seems to be an encyclopedia of sorts, with a great amount of material already.
Something I would love is a section having to do with the movies, since they are a part of this fantastic world, like interviews with cast and crew. They give me a greater appreciation for everyone's incredibly hard work. But until I actually see the site for myself I would have no idea if that kind of thing would be the right fit. I think I read somewhere that there was behind the scenes info, but I think that would be about J.K.'s idea process and the writing of the books themselves. It wasn't clear, though. And I haven't read anything about Quidditch. I hope there will there be a game of some sort.
I would speculate that, since Rowling is already writing material for the site, maybe she'll even release some new Potterworld tales this way. I own the books in physical form, so I wouldn't buy them again as e-books, but I would do so for something new if it were a short story or only available digitally.
All righty then, time to go finish that post on Alan Rickman I started a couple weeks ago. Damn, I thought I'd finally kicked that procrastination gene to the curb. Nope. Wanna go play Train Conductor 2 and beat my sad "Grand Canyon" score of 197.
Update: It's now December and Pottermore is still in beta, closed to the public. And I don't think I ever cracked 200 in the Grand Canyon level.
Storms Always Bring Out the StupidIt was relayed to me from the kitchen that a homeland security guy said Hurricane Irene was downgraded but poses no less of a threat. Well, that may be the most senseless sentence I've heard all week. Very amusingly, my brother said that's the very definition of posing less of a threat. How about it's still very dangerous even though it's been downgraded? That makes actual sense.
Yesterday I heard of a man staying behind to protect his house. Turns out that house was on the shore, right in the path of the storm. Are you fucking kidding me? You have kids, you idiot! It's a house. It can be replaced. You can't.
Also, WTNH in CT apparently has a thing called Report!t, where you send in your videos and photos. I really wish people would stop trying to come up with cute little brandable words, because most of the time they're a failure. No, an exclamation point is not an I. It's actually yelling "report" at you and then the lowercase letter t. Come on, just call it "Report It" and be respectable. But you'll never achieve that if you keep sending your reporters to stand near raging flood waters to comment on how the hurricane is breaking wooden barriers and bringing sand and a baseball into a parking lot. Brilliant.
Two Paddocks and Their MicrodoodlesA long time ago I came across this little winemaker called Two Paddocks. Since I didn't drink at the time I moved on. I never forgot about them, though. How could I? One of my favorite actors, Sam Neill, is the proprietor, so I knew I would surely order a glass if I ever saw it on a menu. I actually came back to Two Paddocks through a tweet from @StephenFry, and I cannot thank him enough. It's been quite a bit of fun.
If you've never heard of Two Paddocks, you must live in a country where their wine is not available, like here in the U.S. It's the product of 18 years' work of a number of wonderful people. Even if you don't love Pinot Noir, their site will make you want to. It's very entertaining, with interesting articles, many positive reviews, cute videos (microdoodles!), and a blog dating back to 2000. You get to know a bit about everyone through their music choices, the chickens are named after celebrities (Joan Rivers, the aforementioned Stephen Fry), and there's a male pig who goes by "Angelica." Large doses of personality and heart shine through the writing.
Speaking of microdoodles, last week I tweeted about the latest one, and Mr. Neill had a great response. Never expected to get one. It was so strange and yet felt completely normal at the same time, if that makes any sense. So, without further delay, here it is.
If you listen really, really closely you can almost hear his poor heart skip a beat. I hope there aren't too many scares like that on a regular basis or someone's going to have to give those chooks a stern talking to.
Before I go, I must mention that Mr. Neill is in a new fall series, J.J. Abrams' Alcatraz, if you didn't aleady know. Well, at least a pilot so far. The adorable Jorge Garcia, another cast member, contributed his top ten songs for August 23. I sure hope the show does well. Sadly, last year's - and now I can't even remember the name - Happy Town (thanks IMDb) was axed really early. It was interesting and creepy, and also starred Amy Acker from Angel. Would have been nice if it had been given a shot. I wish him luck for the new series, and health and happiness always.
Join Two Paddocks in conversation at Twitter and Facebook.
Buy Two Paddocks at OtagoWinery.oom. Just select by winery and choose from 2008 or 2009 Pinot Noir, "Picnic" Pinot, "Picnic" Riesling, or "Picnic" Sauvignon Blanc, priced $19.45 to $41.95 NZ, not including taxes and shipping, et cetera. Of course, if you're going to be in the area, you might just want to go directly to the source, but call ahead since they're not always open.
It's Jeff Goldblum Day!This morning I just happened to put on Will & Grace during breakfast and it was one of the episodes that the adorably quirky Jeff Goldblum guest starred on, "Dance Cards and Greeting Cards." The second half of this video is from that episode, and the following is another great collection of his scenes.
Fright Night Attendance DisappointingUntil I heard that David Tennant was going to be in a Fright Night remake I had never heard of it. Never came across it on TV. Never accidentally discovered it in a store. Never read about it anywhere. But now that there's a new one you would think a movie channel would play the original or Best Buy or Target might have it. You'd be wrong. It's times like these I still miss Media Play. They really did have everything. So glad Amazon exists.
Anyway, I loved the movie and will be getting it as soon as it's released on Blu-ray. Tennant was pitch-perfect, full of heart and humor, but when is he not? Colin Farrell was appealing and menacing at the same time, so creepy. And I've loved Yelchin since Hearts in Atlantis. He is definitely a talented actor. The proof is in the scene where Charley is trying to rescue a girl from Jerry's house and Yelchin completely convinced me of his terror. Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Imogen Poots, and Toni Collette were also great in their roles.
It left me wanting a bit more, though. I guess that's better than wanting less. It felt about 15 minutes too short. Well, that's what sequels are for. I hope. Sadly, there were only five other people in the theater and just one seemed like he was really having a good time. I haven't ever been so conscious of laughing in my life. It almost messed with my own enjoyment. Maybe it was my mistake going on a Friday, but everywhere else was almost as busy as any weekend. And @TimeGeek has been complaining about the same thing. Maybe it will do better today or bigger markets will eventually pick up the slack. Crossing my fingers. Or maybe they just screwed up in marketing, like not showing enough humor or Tennant. Or maybe it should have come out in October so people would be more in the mood. I'm the only one in my family that had any desire to go. These are the same people who love comedy horror and vampires, so what's wrong with this picture?
Be sure to read the excellent reviews from Robert Berg and Dread Central. Also, Random Geeky Thoughts About Random Geeky Things found a great, spoiler-free quote about Tennant.
Looking Forward to Some Fright...and FunnySo, Fright Night is finally out, and I'm going to try to get there today. Strangely, all the movie theaters close to me have only a couple showtimes each, far fewer than any movie that I remember, even the awful ones. Why? It seems more like it's the last week rather than the first. I have to see it before it's shunted aside to make way for whatever terrible thing comes next.
Reviews are looking good, especially for the always terrific David Tennant, who was described as nailing his role in this TwitchFilm review. SFGate says Farrell is "sexy and funny and a little bit menacing." And Anglotopia syas that the remake is a gem that "builds at a steady pace to a very satisfying and fun end." Sounds like an ass-kickingly great time to me.
Speaking of horror, The Woman in Black is another one that's looks interesting. It stars Daniel Radcliffe as a lawyer who goes to a deceased client's remote house to settle their affairs. Though, as I said at Anglophenia, I would just quit. I think that might be a lot safer. I already miss Harry Potter, but it will be nice to see Radcliffe in something new. Here's hoping it's also something worth watching.
I can hardly belive that I am actually anxiously awaiting two horror movies right now. I have never cared much for them, unless done really well. I was excited for Saw II because I was interested in the warped psyche of Jigsaw, not the actual torture that I watched through my fingers. The original Saw was so interesting, creepy, and full of dread that I just love it, and the "Zepp Overature" (one of my favorite songs) reveal is still chilling, but this is an anomaly with me. The rest of the movies I wish I could re-edit to be quite a bit less disgusting. I absolutely love comedy horror, though: Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland; and I count Hot Fuzz because it's got a Halloween feel and people die horribly. I still cringe over what happens to Tim Messenger.
The Doctor's Moments ~ PowerlessThis is the second in a series that shows Ten and Eleven in one scene each that are similar in emotion or situation. I was mostly done with these for a post that I started back in June. Then I decided it was way too long and split it into manageable chunks, of which I never continued past the first. Work during the week and family stuff on the weekend lead to quite a number of half finished ideas. Ah, well, one day.
Spoilers follow if you haven't seen "Midnight" or "Cold Blood."
David Tennant // In "Midnight," The Doctor is in over his head when an unknown, mimicking, mind-reading entity takes over a passenger. It's a truly nerve-racking episode where Ten is at his most physically vulnerable and Tennant is at his most rivetingly brilliant.
Matt Smith // In "Cold Blood," The Doctor is powerless both to keep Rory from death and from being erased from existence. He then fails in helping Amy keep his memory. I didn't find an unmodified version of the original scene, but the music is beautiful and feels like it belongs.
I'm doing these from memory, so I'm sure there are a lot of moments I won't think of. Please feel free to contribute any scene that fits. And if you can find the clip somewhere (YouTube, Daily Motion, et cetera) that would be even better. You don't even have to constrain yourself to the last two Doctors.
Fringe // John Noble Hints at the Future of PeterJohn Noble recently revealed a tasty little bit at The TV Addict and Give Me My Remote about the upcoming season of Fringe, one of the shows I'm most looking forward to returning. After the typically jaw-dropping season finale, Fringe was once again awash with possibilities. Starting from scratch, throwing all the character growth and relationships out the window, sounds like an awful thing to do. But I can't wait to see what the exceptional John Noble, whose Emmy snub is quite disheartening but always expected, gets to do now that Walter no longer has his son to love and keep him sane.
I always assumed Peter would return in some form, but I was sure it would be emotionally devastating, and John Noble's words have affirmed that worry. Though, I should trust now that the writers have a clue about what they're doing. They sure know how to toy with our emotions to beautiful effect. I will follow them until the last scene, which is when I usually curse the fact that the show existed in the first place, choose to forget that there ever was a finale, or just rewrite it in my head.
Speaking of trust, Joshua Jackson said to TV Line, "We're all keenly aware of not violating that trust" the fans have in the show. He also mentions that he was never a fan of the Peter/Olivia relationship until now. He thought it "seemed kind of banal," but it's now more interesting because Peter sacrificed himself. I don't agree with the banal comment, but I do think that their relationship is more epic now, something which the show had already done superbly with the whole crossing universes twice to save your child storyline.
During the last two episodes of all three seasons, scenarios - most sad, unwanted, and unthinkable - kept rolling around in my head for many nights when I tried to sleep. Now, with this new information, I don't doubt they will do so again. Season 4 can't get here soon enough.
Deathly Hallows, Part 2 Inspires Return to...Jurassic Park?The beauty and emotional impact of the final Harry Potter movie has revived something in me I thought had been defeated: a gnawing desire to re-read some of my most adored books. Now that it's over I feel a sort of emptiness and a pessimistic attitude that says it is impossible there will ever again in my lifetime come along something that captures the imagination and heart in such equal and enormous measure, an experience that everyone can share and love, and laugh and cry over.
There have been stories I loved enough to want to revisit, but I have little time for repeats, so it's never happened. No, the simple books I read (or was read to) multiple times as a child, like The Monster at the End of This Book, Leo the Lop, or Puss in Boots, don't count. But now as soon as I'm done with The Dark Tower - a wonderful series that defines "epic" from my favorite author, but a long journey that stalled many times for me over many years through the loss of a number of relatives and pets - I am going back to Potter...and Jurassic Park.
It's been 18 years since I read JP in the spring of '93. I was 14. "WTF? Are you kidding me?!" No, brain, no I'm not. "Wow." Anyway, I just picked up a pretty new copy of Jurassic Park/The Lost World with silver-edged pages from Barnes & Noble. I already have two copies, but they're old and messy, so the purchase felt justified. I passed it on my way out and couldn't resist, even though I'd already decided to buy SciFi Magazine with the David Tennant Fright Night cover, the Nicholas Courtney tribute Doctor Who Magazine #436, and a Harry Potter poster book. Darn it, I needed that money.
And if you were wondering, when I return to Hogwarts, I won't be looking at Snape with a new appreciation. I was with him from the very first. That is possibly due to having seen Sorcerer's Stone before I read it. Whatever J.K. Rowling revealed to Alan Rickman about this openly contemptuous man with the poignant secret and vital role seemed to have greatly informed his performance early on. Even if it had been the other way around, I would have been very intrigued by the hard-edged, mysterious professor. J.K. knew what she was doing from the start with so many characters and an intricate storyline that ties everything together in the end, instead of seven completely self-contained stories, and I salute her for this tremendous accomplishment.
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A Few of My Favorite Things
If you love Doctor Who, and I mean need to know everything you can about it, read interviews with the stars and people behind the scenes, and all the little details from more than 50 years of history, then these should be in your collection. If you recently fell in love with the series, special attention has been paid to Peter Capaldi's era. What a beauty he has been so far, and series 9, with episodes as incredible as Face the Raven, Heaven Sent, and Hell Bent, may be the one I remember most fondly. That's saying a lot, because this series is never short on brilliant writing and emotionally pitch-perfect performances.
You get 2 GB free and up to 16 GB total when others sign up with your link. Sync easily from PC to your Dropbox and upload easily with many mobile apps. Paid plans are expensive compared to what else is out there, like OneDrive and Google Drive and Amazon Prime, but Dropbox is widely supported and I've been using it for years trouble-free as an archive for drawings and unfinished posts.