Saturday, January 23, 2016

Further Proof that Hollywood Execs Have No Soul

The man isn't even dead a month, and Hollywood has started the machinations to reboot Labyrinth (1986).

Oh yeah, you read that right. They're even casting about for the new Goblin King. Not that David Bowie could have played the part if he was still alive, but doing it so soon after his death just reeks of insensitivity. Of course, Hollywood is in the business to make money, and cashing in on Bowie's cult hit is not beneath them.

Reportedly TriStar Cinema is working with The Jim Henson Company and will be employing one of the co-writers of Guardians of the Galaxy. Any more details are not available and probably subject to change, but the rumor mill says everyone involved is excited about pursuing this.

The original was the last film Jim Henson directed. Monty Python's Terry Jones was the principle writer, and George Lucas was the executive producer. Despite the film’s current popularity and recognition as one of the greatest films from Bowie's movie career, initially it bombed at the box office and didn't earn the following it has now until it was released on video and cable.

What this means is that there will be a whole new slew of fans who will enjoy that universe of imagination and visionary wonder that Henson created, and maybe some of those fans will do themselves a favor and venture back to view the original. But for those of us who loved Bowie, he will always be the One True Goblin King, knowing deep in our hearts that the new one is an impostor  - or a wannabe at best.

Until Next Time...
Disgustedly Yours,

Friday, January 15, 2016

Shannara Surprise and Shock

Honestly, they caught me off guard.

I haven't watched MTV since.... well, let's just say a generation or so, and I haven't kept up with their broadcasting habits. I never expected this, but as I was innocently searching for something else, I was nearly knocked out of my chair when I stumbled upon this:

MTV has pushed the two hour pilot of The Elfstones of Shannara to YouTube!!

I KNOW!!! How great is this?

Something I thought I was going to have to wait until they released on DVD/BluRay, I inexplicably found on YouTube. Oh yeah, I'm definitely going to make The Boss sit down and watch this one with me. Of course, that screws up my whole idea of rereading the book before watching the adaptation, but dang it, now that it's out there, I can't NOT watch it.

Seriously? Could you?

I thought not.

So in case you didn't know, I had to share. I'm still going to reread the book this spring, and everyone one should, but don't let this opportunity pass. Watch it now before MTV comes to its senses and removes it.

Until Next Time...
Surprisingly Yours,

Monday, January 11, 2016

Don't Forget About His Film Career

With the passing of David Bowie this weekend, many news outlets are focusing on his music career and how much he influenced countless number of current musicians over his four decade career. I admit I have a handful of Bowie CDs I love, and in particular one of which I received from The Boss for my birthday a few years back and then played so relentlessly I think she came to regret buying it for me.

But many don't realize the influence and contribution he had on the fantasy genre book publishing business through his movie career. Many modern female authors of fantastic fiction credit the Jim Henson movie Labyrinth (1986) with directly turning them on to fantasy stories, especially fiction, as a way of recapturing that magical feeling of fairy tales and folk stories that they had had as young girls but had lost as they became teens. After watching that movie with Bowie as the evil Jareth the Goblin King and future Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Connelly as the young teenage girl who wishes her baby brother away, these young future authors began to not only seek out other fantasy stories, but began to write them as well.

His role as the Goblin King wasn't his only venture into the world of acting, though. To the previous generation, he was most famous for The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), and I particularly loved his brief and uncredited cameo as "The Shark" in the movie Yellowbeard (1983). That short fifteen-second scene alone is worth YouTube'ing if you get the chance. He also starred in the television series The Hunger (1999) and did numerous other cameos and voice-overs in cartoons and video games.

Be sure to take a moment to pay tribute to this man who was much more than a musician; he was an actor, painter, and writer.

Until Next Time...
Fame-ously Yours,

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Step On Up for an 80s Revival

I never start out the year with a solid reading plan. I usually have a few books in mind I'd like to finish before the end of the year, but that's about as close as I get to any sort of plan. This is usually because my mood determines what book I'll pick next more than anything else.

As mentioned in the previous post, I'm currently reading the Changewind series (1987- 1988, and 1996) from Jack L. Chalker due to all the weirdness that came about its rediscovery. And I do plan to throw in Saberhagen's Swords trilogy (1983-1984) this summer. There is also a reread of The Elfstones of Shannara (1982) I wanted to read before the series began airing, but considering that it starts this evening, the goal has changed to rereading it before the television series comes to a close. I also like to reread at least one book of Tolkien's each year - The Simarillion is on tap this year. Wanna guess when I first read that book?

Sensing some common ground here?

Me too, which also got me thinking about other books I loved during that time, especially The Winds of Altair (1983) and Orion (1984) by Ben Bova (which, by the way, garnered some teasing while I was in school because of the unusual cover art), and Hubbard's Battlefield Earth (1982).

Yeah, that's a lot of 80s science fiction and fantasy for one year, some rereads, some not. But I also have a few classic literature books I'd like to include, and I've promised myself to read more non-fiction. I like to keep up on modern literary novels as well, so I have to throw two or three of them on the pile. Plus I want to keep to my goal of reading 52 short stories in one year because not only do I enjoy the short form, I want to continue to promote the form both in this blog and in other areas.

None of that includes a promised reread of "The First of Heaven" so I can refresh my memory of the Wheel of Time series before tackling the Brandon Sanderson books sometime in the next year or two. I originally read this series as each book was published over the course of the past fifteen years, but got behind around book ten, and I don't trust my memory with everything that's happened from the early and middle books, which means a reread is practically required.

Phew! I've got my year cut out for me.

But all that 80s stuff is also infused with the launch of Comet Television in my local market. In case you've never heard of it, it's a new science fiction channel that is currently showing a lot of cheesy science fiction films, including a ton of 80s films. If I'm not careful, I really will accidently slip back in time, and my younger self ain't going to be too encouraged when he sees how I've aged (or how he will age, whichever).

All that means is that it's time for me to logon and put a few more pages underneath my belt this evening - I've got a lot of 80s reading ahead of me. Wish me luck!

Until Next Time...
Radically Yours,

P.S. Having no idea where my brain patterns have been focused lately, The Boss coincidently enough pulled up some old episodes of ALF that we've been rewatching on Hulu. "Now...where's that cat Lucky hiding?"