Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The new face of a hero

Vampires? Old news. During comic con a few panelists and publishers thought that demons and werewolves were the new rockstars of teen angst fiction. Me? I'd say it's all about Angels.

Hush Hush, Sandman Slim, City of Bones ....

If you really think about it, it's all the same isn't it? I never heard of the "Nephilim" until a few years ago, but I can certainly understand the allure. Superhuman powers, immortality, beauty, purity, sexuality, and an endless supply of historical mythology tied in controversy. Mentioned in the Hebrew Bible in Genesis and Numbers, the Nephilim are the offspring of Angels and Humans; perfectly shrouded in a comfortable amount of mystery for artistic license.

Sound familiar? Hercules, Theseus, Perseus; the half god bastards commonly celebrated in Greek mythology for their miraculous feats may ring a bell.

I guess it's all about the spin. Recycle, renew, refresh.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Murky Waters

From Deadline.com, Ang Lee has finally picked out his star talent after auditioning a whopping 3000 teenagers. Suraj Sharma will get the chance of a lifetime to play the lead role of sixteen year old Pi Patel in Yann Martel's Mann Booker Prize winning novel.

One hopes that whatever Visual Effects company Fox hires, is up to the challenge, not to mention the director himself. How does one create an entertaining two hour drama with only a boy, a zebra, a hyena, a seasick orangutan, and Bengal tiger in a lifeboat??

Sunday, October 17, 2010


A new short teaser has been released, showing barely a glimpse of Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) as the main hero in Game of Thrones...and nothing more. I personally believe the HBO series couldn't come at a better time.

Many fans and readers have been salivating for years (and I do mean years) to read the second half of A Feast for Crows, which will be entitled "A Dance with Dragons". To be frank, I've forgotten quite a bit of the contents of all four books and the idea of re-reading all the novels, each demanding a considerable investment of time (approx. 1000 pages /book) exhausts me.

A few of my friends have given up on the series, or have decided to wait until the final novel is released (that could take decades...) and who can blame them? That brings me back to the upcoming HBO series... what better way to win back the hearts of fans and skeptics alike? If it lives up to all the hype (not until December 2012), expect the pressure to heat up on the expected release of A Dance with Dragons. There will be blood...

(An angry letter from the author? Oy. Well I'd rather a satisfying end to this epic saga than a half-assed mediocre effort.)

Monday, October 11, 2010


After walking into bookstore after bookstore and seeing nothing but that bloody bird on a red cover, I finally picked up The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Filling me with memories of The Running Man, I was instantly hooked, burning through the pages in a matter of a day.

Always finish with a bang. (SPOILERS)

Now I love young adult fiction, but what to do when you feel you can only recommend two of the three books in a trilogy??? I can't tell you how disappointed I was when I read Mockingjay.

Katniss Everdeen, the tough, young, single-minded, heroine who defies the government and manages to navigate the dangerous world of Panem began with a very promising start in The Hunger Games. Similar to Princess Leia, Anne Shirley, Lisbeth Salander, or Lirael; Suzanne Collins created a female protagonist with the spunk, perseverance and the elusive universal appeal.

And then it all came crashing down.

Similar to World War veterans, Katniss witnesses one too many acts of violence and destruction that dissolves her world into a living hell. Yet unlike Lord of the Rings, a prime example of the bittersweet victory of war, Mockingjay leaves a rather sour aftertaste. Lacking the insight or humor of the final book in the Bartimaeus Trilogy (Jonathan Stroud) or weight of The Book Thief (Markus Zusak), the turn of events felt contrived and at times, out of place. As I turned page after page, I started to become frustrated. Not from the unfair losses and crimes of war, but from the constant stream of whining... and even worse... from our heroine Katniss herself!

I wanted to slap her, having invested time reading two novels I could see the story ebbing away into a mediocre melodrama rather than a satisfying dish. To my astonishment, Katniss had evolved into her mother, an inactive, weak-willed, shell of a girl, rather than emerge into a burning spirit rising from the ashes.

For the first time I actually believe Hollywood could do it better.


Red with anger, Prime Minister Viktor Orban is taking actions, holding the director of the aluminum company responsible for suspicion of public endangerment.

Images have quite a large impact. With the oil spill in New Orleans, a toxic waste spill at a copper plant in China, and recent toxic sludge in Hungary... you wonder what will happen next.

Canucks are all celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, engorging ourselves on fatty foods, loosening our belts. Perhaps we should all consume a bit less, and tighten our belts?

Sunday, October 3, 2010


When are you rich enough? So far I can only credit Jack Nicholson for keeping to his word that he'll never advertise any product. The list included a few others such as Natalie Portman and Jodie Foster, but Japander.com has brought me back to reality. There isn't one young celeb who won't sell out their own grandmother for a buck or two.

Check out some really funny commercials here

At least Kiefer Sutherland looks like he had a lot of fun and doesn't take himself too seriously. One of the best advertisements has to be by Aardman studios: Wallace and Gromit, almost entices you to try that pudding.