Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Exodus, the next Airbender?

When I first saw the trailer for Exodus: Gods and Kings it looked weird.   I couldn't quite put my finger on it.  I'm not sure if it's the chemistry between the actors, seeing Sigorney Weaver in Egyptian garb... I felt it was just ... too much.

Exodus: Gods and Kings has brought up a great deal of issues to date.  "Whitewashing" has become a common phrase with this film since both lead actors (Christian Bale as Moses, Joel Edgerton as Rhamses) are Caucasian.   This is similar to the controversy that erupted with M. Night Shyamalan's version of Avatar: The last Airbender.  Unfortuntately the film was a disaster in the box office... Not because of the casting, but that he squeezed every ounce of comedy and warmth that the original cartoon series had in spades!

I do agree with the argument it's all about the quality of the actors.  If Idris Elba did a great job in Thor as a Norse God (and definitely would be a great James Bond) then why can't Christian Bale play Moses?  It's simple why Ridley Scott cast Christian Bale.  He's famous, bankable, talented, and the investors will finance the film.  That's it.  Period.  It's all math.

The problem is that he cast supporting actors who although great, have highlighted the disparity.  Zoe Saldana, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Arnold Vosloo.. bloody hell.. there are numerous actors who are famous, talented, and speak English fluently that would have made this film believable.

Oddly enough... would the world be in uproar if Peter Jackson cast black, Hispanic, and Asian actors as elves and hobbits in Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit?

Yes they would.

Are some people in uproar about Idris Elba being considered for James Bond?

Yes they are.

On the up side?  Annie comes out soon.. and guess what?  That iconic role will be played by a talented black actress Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild).  Things will change, for now I'll reserve judgement, but I must admit I'm more excited to see the Hobbit.


Luther, Orphan Black, Sherlock, Foyle's War, Poirot, Broadchurch, The Bletchley Circle... I love them all.

The serving of new Fall shows have been less than appetizing.  A few early entries this September have had a promising start, "How to Get Away with Murder".. and maybe Gracepoint (American adaptation of Broadchurch) but I'm still sitting on the fence.  I have no problem dropping a series after 1-3 seasons,  Lost, Girls, Madmen, True Blood, and even Dexter have all lost my interest over time.

This fall however, BBC will broadcast "THE GAME", a British spy thriller six part series created by Toby Whithouse.  Brian Cox (Rushmore, Xmen, and Bourne Supremacy) will play the head of MI5, supported by Tom Hughes, Paul Ritter, Victoria Hamilton, Jonathan Aris, Shaun Dooley and Chloe Pirrie.

I love watching shows like this, and quite often they prove to be the stomping ground of future British star imports to the Hollywood market.

Don't believe me?

Foyle's War - James McAvoy
Foyle's War - David Tennant
Wallander - Tom Hiddleston
Poirot - Hickory Dickory Dock/ Forsyte Saga - Damian Lewis
Poirot - Death at the Funeral - Michael Fassbender
Sherlock - Bennedict Cumberbatch
The Hour - Ben Whishaw

The Game premieres on BBC America, Wednesday November 5 at 10pm ET.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Final Call for Poirot

The final five episodes of Hercule Poirot came to a close last year.  If you had a chance to see them, they were quite entertaining, bringing back a few old faces from before.  Some may complain about the changes from the original novels, but I beg to differ.  The Big Four, with the fantastic James Bond-esque Big Four villainy would have been a bit too much to swallow for modern audiences.

Whether you loved them or hated them, I'm happy they decided to complete the entire series with David Suchet.

Fall Previews

It's been a long while since I posted, but it doesn't mean my obsessions have waned any less.

I recently attended a freebie fall book preview for Random House and Penguin books.  I love these events!  Not only do they offer a wide smattering of genres to chose from, but they give insider information and who the hot new writers are.  Unfortunately there were a few more freebie-whores than me, and I opted for the loo... so by the time I arrived at the giveaway table it was picked clean.

There's been a lot of hype about comic cons lately, all around the US and Canada.  The Big Bang Theory has probably cranked it up a notch, and it's weird to hear people proudly proclaim their nerdy obsessions.  Unfortunately I no longer attend San Diego Comic Con, even if I can get in free each year.  The long line ups, crowds, and heat has left a bad taste.

I found this book a year ago, and perhaps it's a product of my generation... but I found it a nice light page turner.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Golden Egg #1

I was lucky enough to acquire a few pre-release editions that are sure to wet any readers appetite this fall.  I don't know if I'd go so far as to say it's "the next Harry Potter smash hit",  but I would certainly categorize Shannon Messenger's debut novel "Keeper of the Lost Cities" with the hugely successful Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl, and Keys to the Kingdom series.

I can't be bothered with re-typing the back of the novel... to keep it short, it follows the general formula of any children's literature hit:

An attractive, talented, orphaned, twelve-fourteen year old child, thrown into a strange magical universe, forced to attend a military/private school structure as the world crumbles around them.

Does this mean it's not worth the read?  Nope, it's like crack for kids and before you know it, kids will babbling about brown-eyed elves rather than wizards.