Friday, February 27, 2015

Leonard Nimoy—In Memoriam

public domain

1931 – 2015

Please click on the video below to watch
(with speakers on)

Thursday, February 19, 2015


I’ve started work on a new novel manuscript. All I’ll say so far is it’s science fiction. I’m already writing chapter 3.

These handwritten pages are not in focus enough for you to read. But take it from me, you’re looking at great content.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Movie Review: Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter (Mila Kunis) is a typical girl on Earth who earns a living swabbing toilets. Caine (Channing Tatum) is a furry-looking alien who constantly tries to save her from inter-planetary aliens who want to kill her, marry her, or dissect her for their own devious reasons. That’s pretty much the plot.

What is outstanding about the movie is the visual effects. Incredible planetary scapes and enormously complicated spaceships fill the screen, evoking awe. The battle scenes are also elaborate, but hard to follow. Just to let you know, critics panned the movie for reasons having to do with my first paragraph, but the people who did choose to see it enjoyed the movie.

And now for some literary analysis.

Jupiter Ascending references Cinderella early on. But really, it’s a version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (the movie version). Caine is the Cowardly Lion who never passes through a cowardly phase, and who appears early in the story. But then it pretty much follows suit. Jupiter, as Dorothy, goes up in a way that blows her mind, then comes back down. She encounters the forces of a wicked witch (Balem, one of three evil siblings). Jupiter then meets a wise Scarecrow (Stinger played by the ever-reliable Sean Bean). She then encounters a good witch (Kalique, one of the siblings). This is out of order, but it’s a matter of whatever serves the flow of the story.

She is captured by an evil witch who prepares for the precise moment to kill her (Titus, one of the siblings). Jupiter is helped along the way by an intrepid Tin Man of a starship captain (Captain Tsing). And the sibling Balem changes roles from wicked witch to Wizard in the ultimate battle scenes, where he unexpectedly flips personalities.

Am I saying they copied The Wizard of Oz on purpose? Maybe, maybe not. With three evil siblings, maybe they wanted to put a twist on Cinderella and ended up imitating another familiar story on accident. But the overall series of characters seem so strongly to identify with Oz that I think they mentioned Cinderella at the start to throw us off. If nothing else, it shows the lack of originality in Hollywood.

I think what disappointed the critics was the lack of connections and growth. Dorothy had to retrieve the witch’s broom for the Wizard. And each of her companions experienced character growth. Nothing like that happens in Jupiter Ascending. But I did like it, and the 12:30 matinee I went to was packed.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Arnold Schwarzenegger—Laughingstock?

For the past two movies I’ve seen in theaters, they’ve shown a trailer for the next Terminator movie. They showed a compelling new Sarah Connor, but when Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared, the audience laughed.

I’ll be back
public domain

Has he become a laughingstock? I remember several years ago, there might be a wildfire in California, then the news anchor would say, “And now a statement from the governor.” To my surprise, Arnold would step up to the mike. I would initially think it was a mistake, then realize that oh yeah, he got elected. But is his renewed acting career worth it?

Surprisingly, I did see the movie

Monday, February 2, 2015

Seahawks vs. The Hunger Games

Now that the Superbowl is over, we in the Seattle area can explain that all those idiots running around with flags showing the number 12 represents the fans—the 12th man on the team. This has become exceedingly obnoxious, with all sorts of posters, banners, flags—even flags on cars. And of course, on jerseys.

Meanwhile, Suzanne Collins already has some trademarks for “District 12,” where Katniss and her family live in The Hunger Games novels. She wants to expand the trademark to clothing, which would probably look cool. The Seahawks tried to stop them.

I like the soundtrack

This was stupid. Obviously, “District 12” has nothing to do with the Seahawks. They can’t trademark the number 12. All they did was delay Suzanne Collins in getting the trademark on clothing.

I can’t know if there were plans for “District 12” clothes this past Christmas, or if they would have sold well if they did, but since the Seahawks have stopped their legal maneuvering, she’ll be free to do so. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...