Oh yes! We’re reaching the midway point of the first, and only, season of Firefly. I covered the pilot in Part 1, episodes two and three (“Train Job” and “Bushwhacked “) in Part 2, and four and five (“Shindig” and “Safe “) in Part 3.
If you’ve been reading this far, you know my feelings about the series. Some have postulated that perhaps we hold it in such high esteem because it was taken from us too soon. Well, in re-watching these episodes again, I was even more enthralled and entertained than the first (or second, or third…) time I saw them.
Today, we’re going to dive into two more episodes. Rev up the engine, Kaylee. It’s time to be a leaf on the wind.
Our Mrs. Reynolds (Episode 6)
A man and his wife driving a covered wagon are ambushed by bandits. The couple turn out to be Jayne and Mal (in drag), posing as settlers. When the bandit leader demands some personal time with the missus, Jayne replies that he married “a powerful ugly woman.” Mal and Jayne pull guns on the desperados.
A firefight ensues and Zoe pops out of the back of the wagon, gun blazing.
Read More »
A few weeks ago, my colleague Jon Sprunk gave us a marvelous post on the weapons of fantasy. Like Jon, the weapons were very much what attracted me to fantasy in the first place. But I loved swords and sword fighting before I ever picked up my first fantasy novel (The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, in which, by the way, the tradition of named weapons is followed with Peter’s sword Rhindon).
I’m not sure what got Jon started off, but what attracted me to sword fighting, and prepared me for the fight scenes in my favourite genre, were movie sword fights, beginning particularly with those in Errol Flynn’s Captain Blood and The Adventures of Robin Hood.
It was from this last movie that I also gained my life-long love of archery, and the great archer Howard Hill, who did all the trick shots for Flynn, including the iconic splitting of the arrow.
Flynn did do all his own fencing in the films, but unlike his frequent opponent and co-star, Basil Rathbone, he didn’t take it up as a sport.
Read More »
M. Night on the set of Sundowning with his production designer
Okay, don’t immediately blow past this post because your eye caught the name M. Night Shyamalan – this is actually encouraging news.
The last time I wrote something about M. Night (as they call him in the biz that once thought he was the next Spielberg, but then mercilessly crucified him), he had left his tomato-covered director’s chair and returned to writing. M. Night completed the script for Devil back in 2009 and relative newcomer John Dowdle brought it to the big screen with a modest $10M budget. It grossed nearly $340M worldwide, definitively proving that M. Night is a masterful storyteller, but an inconsistent front man.
Case in point: in a rush of optimism following Devil, the Hollywood moneymen turned around and gave M. Night $130M and Will Smith (plus child) to write, direct and executive produce After Earth, which was an apocalyptic film in more ways than one.
So it is either by choice or necessity that M. Night’s latest project is very small and hasn’t been getting a ton of press beyond what M. Night himself has been dolling out; oh, and it’s being called a micro-budgeted horror film.
“Micro budget” is the latest, sexy term for independent films, or films not financially supported or promoted by a large studio or big-budget investors. If you want some examples of micro-budget films that went platinum, IMDB has compiled a handy list (ironically a good percentage of them are horror movies), and in the number 1 slot is The Blair Witch Project.
Read More »
“I’m trying to suggest a kind of Middle Earth, in Tolkien terms. It’s a contiguous world; it’s like ours but different.”
– John Boorman, on Excalibur
As I began poking around into the history of Arthurian film adaptations, I was surprised to find a lot less of this sort of thing than I was expecting.
Good old Wikipedia lists 36 “relatively straightforward adaptations” made between 1904 and 2009. Many of these are rather obscure, to say the least, and quite a few deal with tangential aspects of the core legend, such as the stories of Arthurian knights, Parsifal, Launcelot, Gawain, and Galahad.
The earliest so-called adaptation is one of those tangential ones, Parsifal (1904), in which Thomas Edison’s thriving production company essentially just filmed a few scenes from Richard Wagner’s 1882 opera of the same name. Over at IMDB, they list a total of 46 features which star King Arthur. He seems to have first appeared on film in Launcelot and Elaine (1909), which explores a thwarted romance involving Launcelot, as detailed in Lord Alfred Tennyson’s epic poem, Idylls of the King.
Read More »
I’m back with my third installment of this series about the Firefly show. I covered the pilot in Part 1, and episodes two and three (“Train Job” and “Bushwhacked “) in Part 2.
This week we’re up to the fourth and fifth episodes. Sit back, put your starship on autopilot, and enjoy.
Shindig (Episode 4)
This one begins with a familiar sight: Mal, Zoe, and Jayne are in a cantina, this time playing pool with some traders while Inara watches. It turns out these friendly traders deal in transporting slaves, so Mal lifts their money clip and, naturally, starts a bar brawl.
Next, Serenity stops at the planet of Persephone, which we last saw in the pilot episode. They’re here to find work. Inara is in her shuttle looking for clients. She chats with Atherton Wing, a blueblood who invites her to a fancy party.
Mal comes in and they banter about her work, and his brawling. This scene sets up the rest of the episode, which mainly focuses on their budding relationship.
Read More »
Floating down from the sky, lovely angel queen it’s you,
Shaken from the long sleep, lovely angel queen it’s you,
Touching others like a child, loving others for a while
Come and take my hand, my heart,
In time we will be together
[Read Part 1 of Leiji Matsumoto, Bushido, Manhood, and Womanhood here.]
Recently, I watched the 1982 film adaptation of Queen Millennia. It was alright, not on the level of Galaxy Express 999 or Arcadia of my Youth. For those of you who don’t know, it is about a race of aliens on the planet La Metal, who, every thousand years, send a queen to secretly rule the Earth. In the far future year of 1999, the aliens are finally going to take our planet, but the current queen, Yayoi, has gone native. Conflict ensues. The movie’s plot is rushed and there are way too many scenes of apocalyptic destruction, to the point it gets boring. On the other hand, it has great sci fi visuals, and the scene where the boy Hajime climbs a skyscraper to rescue Yayoi during an asteroid bombardment is one of the most harrowing things I’ve seen in an anime. The film also has a wonderful soundtrack by Kitaro. There aren’t many things I miss about the 1980s. I distinctly remember being a little kid and wondering why everything was so awful. But I miss the days when bands used to do soundtracks. Tangerine Dream would routinely knock out sixty-minute synth-rock jam sessions that were better than the movies they scored (I’m looking at you, Legend). Toto brought their own brand of spice to Dune. And who can forget Flash Gordon and Highlander, fueled by the power of QUEEN.
Read More »
I enjoyed the first season of NBC’s superhero drama Heroes – quite a bit, actually. It was smart and fun, and had a genuinely original take on the ensemble superhero idea. It didn’t hurt that it had a very talented and diverse cast, either, including Hayden Panettiere, Ali Larter, Masi Oka, George Takei, and Zachary Quinto as the sinister supervillian Sylar. Now, I haven’t seen Seasons 2 through 4. I understand the cast expanded a bit — adding Kristen Bell, Zeljko Ivanek, and Malcolm McDowell, among others — and, as usual, the show received a lot of fan criticism for losing its way. Fans. They love you, until they don’t.
Regardless, I was surprised and pleased to read on the CNN website this morning that NBC is bringing back Heroes next year:
NBC helped kickstart the superhero TV trend in 2006 with Heroes, an X-Men-ish action-drama about a group of people with superhuman powers. Now the network is bringing back the show for a 13-episode event series to air in 2015. Original series creator Tim Kring is on board to run the show. Titled Heroes Reborn, the project is billed as a stand-alone story; the characters have not yet been announced.
The announcement has already generated buzz and backlash in the fan press. NBC has also announced they will introduce the new characters and storylines in a digital series before the mini-series airs. Until then, enjoy the 20-second teaser promo that ran during Olympics coverage.
So everyone in my office has been talking about the new HBO show True Detective, starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.
They talk in hushed whispers. “Hey, did you watch last night?” Suddenly, the volume drops and all I hear is a low buzz over the cube wall. I hear enough to know they’re taking about McConaughey and that new HBO show – and they’re obviously riveted.
I haven’t seen it. Did see the cool ad and noticed how vastly different McConaughey looked, all gaunt in a suit. He’s really turned into an Actor’s Actor, what with terrific recent performances in Mud and Dallas Buyers Club. Although my favorite McConaughey film is probably Sahara. Man, my kids still spout quotes from that movie. Every day I hear, “Sit down… I’ll get the check.” (And, “Of course I brought the dynamite!”)
Anyway. I’ve been seeing a strange flurry of articles about Robert W. Chambers’s brilliant collection The King in Yellow crop up on Facebook recently, and I saw the headline of that io9 piece, “The One Literary Reference You Must Know to Appreciate True Detective.” But I didn’t really make the connection until I saw this article at The Daily Beast, “Read The King in Yellow, the True Detective Reference That’s the Key to the Show.”
The key to understanding HBO’s enthralling series True Detective might be the references to the Yellow King and Carcosa, which the killer Reggie Ledoux talks about and the show hints at to be figures and symbols of a satanic cult of some sort. But the Yellow King is an allusion to The King in Yellow, an 1895 book of horror and supernatural short stories by the writer Robert W. Chambers…
Holy cow… True Detective is based on The King in Yellow?
Read More »
As you well know, we here at Goth Chick News are mad supporters of the independent film industry. This is mainly because we’re obsessed with anyone who has the courage and determination to pursue their passion and are willing to let us watch.
That and I’m a sucker for brooding artistic boys…
And no one epitomizes these traits better than my friends at Pirate Pictures, who gave us a peek into the world of real movie magic by allowing us to ride along with their production of Shadowland. Now, Shadowland star Jason Contini and director Wyatt Weed have teamed up on a new project that isn’t exactly a typical GCN subject matter, but does involve a topic that is near and dear to most Black Gate fans… comics.
Four Color Eulogy is a drama/comedy revolving around the world of comic books and self-publishing. But rather that tell you any more, take a gander at this clip that not only explains the movie, but some of the process of getting a concept from script to big screen.
Read More »
Hey gang! I’m back this week with the second part of my look back at the Firefly TV show. Last time, I talked about the pilot episode; this time I’ll be discussing the second and third episodes.
Train Job (Episode 2)
If I’m not mistaken, this was the first episode to air. As I said last week, I think this was a major mistake.
It starts in a cantina where Mal, Zoe, and Jayne are drinking at a table. Some drunk makes a toast to Unification Day, the anniversary of the Alliance’s victory over the Independents. Well, Mal doesn’t take kindly to that. Words are exchanged and a good old-fashioned bar brawl ensues.
Now this is just fine and kinda fun, and I can see why an inexperienced studio executive might think this is exactly the sort of opening a new series needs. But here’s the problem: we (the audience) can’t get invested in this fight because we don’t know the background. You remember. That background we were supposed to see in the pilot that explains how Mal and Zoe fought for the Independents to the bitter end and they still harbor resentment toward the Alliance…
Okay. I’m taking a deep breath.
Read More »