Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Memoirs of a Geisha

I recently saw a trailer for this movie, and on first glance it could be very good. I’ve got one problem with it that I can’t seem to get around: Why are the two female leads Chinese? I like Michele Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi, their movies are great, but when I see the scenes with them, something is wrong. My brain doesn’t buy it. The majority of a Western audience might not have any problem with it, but I can only imagine that to Hong Kong film fans they unintentionally stand out. Couldn’t they find any English-speaking Japanese actresses? It just seems wrong to me.

Then there’s the weird culture shock that’s being reported. What the heck, didn't they just see The Last Samurai?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

"Comic heroes used to smile."

There's a great series of posts in the Retailer Talkback section of about the content of modern comic books, pricing, the marketplace...quite a few good ideas in there.

UPDATE: A wrapup of the discussion:

Friday, September 16, 2005

Robert Wise, RIP

Director Robert Wise passed away yesterday at the age of 91. He's probably best known as the director of The Sound of Music. I first heard of him when Star Trek: The Motion Picture was being made. When I saw pictures from the set in Starlog Magazine, I remember thinking, "Who's the old guy?" (Hey, I was a kid).

It wasn't until later when I read more film history that I found out that he also directed The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Andromeda Strain...and that's just the sci-fi stuff. He was known to another audience for films like The Sound of Music and West Side Story. He worked with Orson Welles on Citizen Kane, but then their relationship soured when RKO had him edit The Magnificent Ambersons while Welles was out of the country.

I've never really put my finger on a particular "Wise style", but I think it's enough to say that if his name was on it, it was a high-quality film with a great story.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

I love the smell of resin in the afternoon

I had a surprise waiting for me when I got home on Wednesday. There was a medium-size cardboard box sitting on the porch. When I picked it up, I knew what it was before I read the label – the odor of the polyurethane resin went right through the box and tape.

As you may already know, Armorcast stopped selling its line of Terraform scenery pieces and most of their original vehicles on June 30th of this year so they can concentrate on the Battletech and Warzone items. I’ve really admired their work since they started and I’m sad to see these things go. I wanted some of the more unique pieces that aren’t available elsewhere so I called in an order on the last day. Because there was a backlog of orders (obviously), the order wouldn’t ship out until mid-September. I didn’t think about it at all until the big box of resin arrived this week.

As an alternative source for interesting terrain, I’d suggest Hirst Arts, Ainsty, and Monolith. Another avenue to consider is aquarium scenery. Petsmart and Petco have had great items that are pre-painted and cheap.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Shadows Over Baker Street

I've been reading an anthology that was recently published in trade paperback. Shadows Over Baker Street contains short stories in which the worlds of Sherlock Holmes and the Cthulhu Mythos overlap. I'm about a third of the way into it, and so far Neil Gaiman's 'A Study in Emerald' is probably the best of the lot. I'm afraid I'm not as familar with the Sherlock Holmes stories as I should be, but there is one thing about the character of Holmes in 'A Study in Emerald' that I don't agree with.

If you're a fan of Holmes or Lovecraft, you should give this a try.