Over at Tor’s blog, there’s a fantastic piece about “Community” and it’s insta-cult “Doctor Who” parody, “Inspector Spacetime” – which you can watch here on IO9.
A 45 second throwaway gag in the “Community” season premiere now has its own fandom. Sometimes, I really love Teh Internetz…
Being one of those entirely disreputable and untrustworthy types who doesn’t believe in omnipotent, vengeful, invisible people in the sky, the prospect of Christmas drawing ever nearer is not one which fills me with joy. Another December where I spend a disproportionate amount of time re-explaining to people – folks who also heard this a year ago – that I don’t celebrate Christmas, send cards, buy presents or participate in the festive season.
At a push, I’ll have an internal appreciation of colours, lights and decorations. There’s something slightly pagan about those aspects of the Christmas holiday which transcends the virulent commercialism, high pressure selling tactics and hypocritical religious sentiments that so irritate me about that time of year. That the nicest colours and lights of the season are to be found in commercial institutions like the department stores and malls is an irony not lost on me – if you want your pretty-pretty lights, you’ve got to have to deal with margin-conscious, sales-hungry store staff trying their hardest to get you to buy something, buy anything, buy – buy – buy!
The transition towards not celebrating Christmas is a lot easier for me, I realise, as I’m not a parent. I don’t have children and I don’t have to try to explain why their friends are celebrating a holiday which they don’t and why they are different to their friends. All that I have to do is get up on December 25th, take my lovely dog for a walk, help Mrs Rolling Eyeballs to make lunch and enjoy my Christmas “Doctor Who” without any of the pressure.
It’s a lot easier to enjoy the end of the year when you don’t have to run around like decapitated poultry for a month buying lots of things for people who don’t appreciate it, going to parties that you don’t want to go to and putting yourself in financial dire straits until the Spring – is any of that stuff worth it? Sustaining an economy based on unreasonable, profligate spending which is induced by guilt, advertising and the fear of disapproval by your peers is no way to live a life, surely?
Per the nice people at Metal Hammer, Lacuna Coil’s new album “Dark Adrenaline” releases on January 23rd 2012, which will make the experience of seeing them on November 4 in Sheffield interesting if they decide to front-load the set with new songs…
Over at Mrs Rolling Eyeballs’ blog, it’s tea time and you know that you’re hungry.
Potsticker dumplings, prawns, rice and a delicious array of veggies to chow down on.
Go. There. Now.
Crytek’s Asia-targetted free to play FPS, “Warface” now has a trailer for the closed Beta .
At this point, the game is still directed at the Asian market – competitive multiplayer being quite the thing in South Korea and China – with no sign of a Western release planned.
Ladies, Gentlemen – if you have them, fire up your VPN’s.
It has been an occasionally lonely life, being an un-ironic fan of Vin Diesel.
I freely admit that there is no rhyme or reason to my enjoyment of work – I will essentially see nearly anything that he appears in, which means that I do own a copy of “The Pacifier”, which is a fairly twee family comedy that I’ve watched once and then sent to live on one of our DVD shelves, never to return again to regular circulation.
For the most part, my fandom revolves around the Riddick movies. “Pitch Black” (2000) was the first DVD which I saw played through a home cinema system, and it’s one of my favourite SF movies of the last twenty years. Dark, brooding, boasting a killer twist and a anti-hero for the ages in the form of Diesel’s character, Richard Riddick, “Pitch Black” is one of those films which I like to watch every so often, to help me keep the faith that movie studios will stop making ruinously expensive, wannabe-event flicks and go back to the idea of making relatively inexpensive, character-driven genre pictures.
That wish, of course, was somewhat contradicted by “Pitch Black” follow-up, “The Chronicles of Riddick” (2004), which eschewed small-scale, idea-driven genre concerns and went all-out to craft Diesel an SF franchise which would be his “Lord of the Rings” – a trilogy of pictures told on a bigger scale than the original film, a dark “Star Wars” with realistic characters contrasted against a grand galactic canvas.
There are elements of “The Chronicles of Riddick” which work beautifully – the dark tone suggests that all concerned were going for a story which is heavily indebted to the best literary science fiction, the film’s future-gothic hybrid look is still quite distinctive seven years later and the cast (Judi Dench!) is seriously impressive – but the whole piece weirdly fails to cohere satisfactorily.
Genre ace David Twohy returned to write and direct but despite his involvement the film feels flabbier and unfocussed, presumably as a result of the film (and Vin’s) epic aspirations – you get the sense watching “Chronicles” that everybody involved wanted a piece of Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” action but somehow forgot that an F-bomb-fuelled, glumly-lit SF epic, full of bone-crunching violence and morally compromised characters probably wasn’t going to appeal to the widest audience possible.
Riddick, after all, is an unrepentant murderer and anti-hero – the mantle of galactic saviour was always going to seem like a bad fit. The film’s insistence on ret-conning an elaborate mythology (Furyons! Necromongers! The Lord Marshall!) into Riddick’s small, noir world never quite comes together – we never had a hint of this stuff in the first movie, so to cut-and-paste this small-time bad man into ornate throne rooms and despotic societies, presided over by aristocratic undead nether-gods, to position him as a Christ-like figure with supernatural abilities and make his character central to the fate of an entire galaxy is at odds with the smaller concerns of “Pitch Black”.
It’s perhaps heartening, then, that Vin Diesel’s hard-won return to box-office success in the last couple of “Fast and Furious” movies has meant that Universal are ready to roll the dice on a third “Riddick” installment, with Diesel and Twohy doing away with the grand scale of part two and returning to a survival story akin to the first movie.
The art atop this post was posted by Diesel at the weekend, on his Facebook page, where he continues to post updates on his “Riddick” adventures, the next “Fast and Furious” picture (Memorial Day 2013, fact fans) and perhaps even the rumoured “XXX” threequel. Where he was once eager to avoid sequels, he’s now happy to return to characters that his audience loves.
If it stops another family comedy nightmare for yours truly, I’m all for his return to the well…