May 05, 2008
McKellen Reprising Gandalf In Hobbit
British actor Ian McKellen told Empire magazine that he will reprise the role of the wizard Gandalf in Guillermo del Toro's upcoming movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, the Reuters news service reported.
The 68-year-old star played the part in the hugely successful Lord of the Rings trilogy directed by Peter Jackson. Mexican filmmaker del Toro has been named to direct two films based on The Hobbit, which Jackson will produce and co-write.
"Yes, it's true," McKellen told Empire. "I spoke to Guillermo in the very room that Peter Jackson offered me the part, and he confirmed that I would be reprising the role. Obviously, it's not a part that you turn down; I loved playing Gandalf."
Del Toro, whose credits include Pan's Labyrinth, will move to New Zealand for the next four years to work on both Hobbit films with executive producer Jackson, according to New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.
The studios have said that filming will begin in 2009, with tentative release dates set in 2010 for the first film and 2011 for the sequel.
Hmm. By 2010, my son will be 8 years old. Considering that I read The Hobbit for the first time at that ripe age, I think that I forsee a father/son outing. After, of course, he's finished reading the book. Lucky for him, I have a copy lying around the house.
March 19, 2008
I think I read everything Clarke wrote from then up to Fountains of Paradise (1979). Science fiction, like opera, is a thing not everybody "gets." To those who "get" it, though, Clarke was a great grand-master. He wrote "hard" sci-fi: no magic, fantasy, or weirdness, nothing that contradicted what is known. He scoffed at UFOs and other popular delusions of the time. He had a true scientist's respect for the evidence, yoked to a wonderful gift for speculating within the evidence. His feet were always planted firmly in known fact, while his mind soared through infinite space and time. (One of his novels takes place a billion years in the future.)
Clarke's unwavering respect for evidence showed up in his famous 1984 falling-out with Robert Heinlein over the Strategic Defense Initiative. Heinlein was for SDI, Clarke was against, and there was an ugly spat, with both men standing their ground. Later Clarke went over the evidence carefully, saw flaws in his math, changed his mind, and did his best to make up with Heinlein. (Making up with Heinlein unfortunately required extraterrestrial powers.)
December 20, 2007
October 19, 2007
What do I like? Here's a small list:
1. Katie Sachkoff plays someone of almost pure evil on the show. Certainly her character on BSG-Starbuck- has elements of moral confusion, but as Jaime Sommers' nemesis she's downright creepy at times.
2. I enjoyed the original series. It didn't take itself too seriously and was a lot of fun. This version is much darker and bleaker. Sort of TV noir, with some comedic elements thrown in.
3. Holy mother of god, have you taken a good look at Michelle Ryan?
October 17, 2007
Oh, and it appears as though New Line is losing the legal battle:
Another sign: New Line appears to be losing the legal battle against Jackson with regard to Rings profits. Last week, a federal judge imposed a rare $125,000 sanction against the studio for failing to turn over potential evidence Jackson argued could help him prove that accounting tricks cheated him out of tens of millions in profits. New Line has said it won't appeal the sanction.
Yeah, if it looks like you've actually screwed the director of an immensely popular movie out of money, and then you turn around and decide to not hire him because he legally fought for what he was due, you might find that the public won't bother to go see your product. Just a guess, though. In any event, it'll be a few years away at best. In the interim, I'll be waiting for X Files: Need the Geritol to arrive.
September 06, 2007
- Writers make their living from, duh, selling their writing.
- If someone wants to read their stuff, they should have to pay for it so that the authors will be properly compensated for their effort.
- Illegally uploading someone else's work to your site just to drive up your traffic numbers is immoral and, being redundant here to make a point, illegal.
- If some authors want to allow their works to be given away for free, that is, of course, their right. They don't have to right to inflict that opinion on others.
Now the not-a-pirate-site Scribd often uploads material to which they neither own the copyright nor been given permission to do so. And their response is that they will only response to a legally crafted letter demanding that they remove such material? I'm usually in favor of big brass balls, but not in this case. I consider theft, intellectual or monetary, to be wrong. I never jumped on the music
sharing theft bandwagon because, well, you're benefitting from someone's labor without properly compensating them. It seems like an easy call. But too many people these days think that there is such a thing as a free lunch and that laws don't apply to them. In the immortal words of Kos, Screw Them.
August 21, 2007
Oh piss off. Of course I'll be buying one.
July 12, 2007
July 02, 2007
[From Starship Troopers] "My mother says that violence never settles anything," comments one character. A teacher who doubles as Heinlein's mouthpiece then pounces: "Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms."
The Heinlein centenary will happen less than a month after the recent terrorist attacks in Britain? I question the timing.
June 06, 2007
Bradbury still has a lot to say, especially about how people do not understand his most literary work, Fahrenheit 451, published in 1953. It is widely taught in junior high and high schools and is for many students the first time they learn the names Aristotle, Dickens and Tolstoy.
Now, Bradbury has decided to make news about the writing of his iconographic work and what he really meant. Fahrenheit 451 is not, he says firmly, a story about government censorship. Nor was it a response to Senator Joseph McCarthy, whose investigations had already instilled fear and stifled the creativity of thousands.
This, despite the fact that reviews, critiques and essays over the decades say that is precisely what it is all about. Even Bradburys authorized biographer, Sam Weller, in The Bradbury Chronicles, refers to Fahrenheit 451 as a book about censorship.
Bradbury, a man living in the creative and industrial center of reality TV and one-hour dramas, says it is, in fact, a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature.
Television gives you the dates of Napoleon, but not who he was, Bradbury says, summarizing TVs content with a single word that he spits out as an epithet: factoids. He says this while sitting in a room dominated by a gigantic flat-panel television broadcasting the Fox News Channel, muted, factoids crawling across the bottom of the screen.
Eh, what does he know anyway?
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