Saturday, October 31, 2009

Your Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman

I’ve mentioned Peter’s Web here already, but it is an epic achievement that warrants further attention.

Roger King is a filmmaker to be reconed with; he's made something really special, that the big Hollywood studio Spiderman movie failed to do.
Peter’s Web is a sublime example of what happens when someone who genuinely understands and loves the source material is in full creative control. This is why every sci-fi/fantasy film project should have a "geek consultant" with cart blanch on staff: authenticity and reverence of continuity.
His passion and comprehension for the characters and the comics imbues Peter’s Web with a 'magical' charm. To classify this as fan film instead of simply a 'film' may be doing an injustice and a misleading distraction, because-- like fan fiction-- the term tends to imply connotations of poor quality which are not necessarily valid.
Through Bag and Board Productions, multi-talented powerhouse Roger King is enacting six principal and definitive chapters in the development of Spiderman.
Each segment improves and expands on the previous, and each stands strongly by itself, but also cumulatively comprise a larger sequence.
These are the grand stories that made me a Spiderman fan-— from back when Marvel made comics I care about.
I have fond remembrance for these stories, and Roger well honors that memory.
Narratively & in special effects, he resourcefully manages to encapsulate & synthesize a lot of information into episodic short film, depicting all the fundamental elements from the comic books, without losing vital aspects.
Although, there is enough material to draw from, that Roger could have included more... and part of me wishes he did elaborate, but these movies don’t exactly suffer from the summation. Much of the acting is still clunky & "unprofessional", but the characterizations are true enough that weak acting doesn't ruin the movie.
Combined with its inherent charm, the brilliant costuming and creative application of special FX are the greatest features to Peter’s Web .

-my other review for Peter's Web

Monday, October 26, 2009

Prepare Thyself: My new book, it approaches



150 page Twitter-based science fiction anthology, collecting the entire @Seanachai short story series into portable book format.
Featuring an introduction from story teller Kevin Stubblefield, author's commentary, and original theme song by Kate Godfrey. Plus, the pretty nifty looking cover.
The truly unique attribute of Long Story Short is an innovative design format, replicating a twitter reading experience. Book text flows from back to front/ bottom to top.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Poetic Interlude

This unusual poem came to me in a dream, which I composed/recited in my dream, and then immediately & frantically scribbled on my trusty spiral note book upon waking.
Which I keep at the ready for just such inspired occasions.
This poem is unusual both in its content and its origin.
Now begins a life more sober
No more will I be hung over
Won't drink myself under the table
No longer so far from able
If the world's a stage, then I'm Clark Gable

Sure, I love the Guiness and sometimes partake of the Red wine or Irish Creme...
But I've never been alcoholic, never had a drinking problem... so I don't know where this came from or why.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Alternate Dementia: DC Elseworlds

CHRISTOPHER CLARK COWAN AND LEX RANDLEMAN (of Triplec Films) have planned a fantastic series of six 2-10 minute original story webisodes, called DC Elseworlds , portraying several “second string” superheroes from the DC Comics universe.
A schism has formed in their ranks concerning crime fighting methodology, in a difference of opinion about the interpretation of right and wrong. The definition of—and line between-- hero and villain can sometimes shift & become blurred... uncertain... debatable. It’s a valid question, and a realistic issue, that I wish the comic books address more often.
Because this is an alternate reality, discrepancies in characterization and appearance are justifiable.
*image credit- Triplec Films *

DC Elseworlds is an intriguing, thoughtful and finely crafted adventure mystery, leaving me interested to see what happens next. This is a tale representing DC comics at its best.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wall Crawling Web Slinger

Spiderman is one of my favorite heroes, and one of the few Marvel characters I like.
*image credit- Jeff Hayes/ Roger King*
Peter’s Web is a 6 part live action Spider-Man short fan film series, written and directed by Roger King (of Bag & Board Productions)—who also stars as Peter Parker/ Spiderman.
Much of the acting is flat or over-the-top, but King’s genuine embodiment of Peter/Spiderman is amazing, while he provides solid directing.
Spectacular writing and authentic re-enactment of the comic book source material make up for its shortcomings, and make this production impressive.
Indeed, this project’s greatest achievement and accolade is how charmingly faithful this representation of the comics is in capturing the fundamental essence of Spiderman/ Peter Parker so magnificently-- and so much better than the big studio Tobey Maguire movies.
The endearing heart & soul of Spiderman is fully present & intact in Peter’s Web.
Some of the special effects are low-budget-cheesy, but the Spidey suit looks great and believable. The creative depiction of web-shooting and building swinging are well done.
Sure, this is "just" a retelling of the Spiderman origin story we all already know... but it's the skillful & interesting telling of the story that signifies this rendition.
What makes this project even more remarkable, is that this is Roger’s first film effort--- demonstrating the guy has talent.
Peter's Web is a lot of fun for Spidey fans.
Believe, True Believers!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's Mathematical!: Chris Bathgate sculpting

After seeing only a few images of these abstractly avant gard sculptures, I immediately knew Chris Bathgate deserved a place on my blog.
*image credit- Chris Bathgate*

The whole time I clicked through the gallery on his website, a wide eyed grin adorned my face.
Resembling alien or futuristic devices of such innovative, intricate design & construction, these artifacts look as if created by a more technologically advanced society. Chris Bathgate has made art that appears to be finely crafted pieces of machinery, or even fully functioning engineering... ready to do science.
So very beautifully sci-fi!
Like magnificent props from a big budget movie.
In an ideal world, most of these items would be enhancing the decor in my home.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ranting Nonsequitur: Nothing good on TV?

Whenever I hear people complain that there is nothing good on TV... I have to wonder: What are they talking about?
Clearly they either are not paying attention, or don't know what quality TV is.
Because there is much on TV worth watching.
These are the best shows on TV 2009---
The caliber of stories these shows represent elevate (justify?) the medium of television above and beyond its derogatory "boob-tube" "idiot box" cliche' image... as well as elevating their audience as being engaged rather than vegging out.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Doctor Who
Being Human
The Philanthropist
How I Met Your Mother
Venture Brothers
Dark Blue
Defying Gravity
Battlestar Galactica

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ranting Nonsequitur: Quality over quantity

Recently on Twitter (and probably off line, as well), film maker Jessica Stover (aka- @Jsto) has urged several times the necessity of promoting quality over quantity regarding internet video.
And as she often is about such matters, Jess is totally right.
There are many among the web video/ mew media community who promote and praise virtually anything just for being a web video or new media project.
As if that was a good enough reason, or measure of success.
As if the creation of yet another awful, feeble and irrelevant online series or movie is a credit to or validation of web video or the new media genre.
Be advised, it definitely is not.
Even prominent web creators are guilty of this foolishness, indirectly contributing to the degradation of new media.
Some of them are also directly responsible for making lame videos.
They’re being way too self congratulatory, to themselves and to the web series community.
Indeed, what that actually accomplishes is tarnishing and undermining web video.
90% of these projects are lame and so undeserving of attention, support or encouragement.
Let us not forget that popular is not equivalent to or synonymous with good.

Just as being in a band in and of itself doesn’t make you cool— regardless of your music, simply being in the web video community doesn’t make you cool either.
Just because you like to sing... doesn’t mean you can sing well.
And it certainly doesn't mean you should narcissistically inflict it on the world.
We must not endorse mediocrity.
We must, instead, raise the bar & elevate the standard of excellence to celebrate only the exceptional & remarkable--- which is what this blog does.
We need to be more critical in our evaluations. Excellent concept and excellent execution of concept are two completely different things. It may be good... but good is not great, and calling good great does not make it so.
We need to demand that web series creators edit (and be honest with) themselves, and not merely settle for being vanity film makers (like vanity publishers).
Otherwise, we get crap. And no one wants that.
You new media people may be trailblazing web video, but that ultimately & fundamentally doesn’t mean anything if it’s not actually awesome.
Web video creators have a responsibility to set an example.
You’ll need to produce content at the vanguard.

No Wimps!