I've been reading Dead Until Dark, and I have to say everything I heard about Charlene Harris' writing skill is wrong, just plain wrong. I love the book, and so far, I haven't seen too many things different from True Blood Season 1, except for Bubba.
I'm not sure what's going to happen to Bubba, but I love the idea that an overly zealous Elvis fan working in the morgue refused to let the King pass away. I am also amazed that Harris did not bring back an idealized version of the King as so many have in their novels. Bravo. I cannot wait to see what happens to him, and I kinda wish he was in the show.
If you haven't read the novel, and you liked season 1, I highly recommend it. Get your copy of Dead Until Dark here.
Speculative Fiction Summer Shows To Check Out
We've got 11 shows on the to check out and watch list plus four specials from the Movies, Miniseries and Monsters category.
True Blood: season three
- Awesome show must see
- Vampires done very well
- Loved the first two seasons
- Kind of mad at HBO for not making this at least available on iTunes yet. It has the problem of not being decabled friendly.
June 13, at 9 p.m. on HBO.
There's more sex, blood and supernatural action as the red-hot series picks up where it left off. Sookie's man is missing, and so she's searching for Bill with a little help from vampire Eric and werewolf Alcide (Joe Manganiello). Meanwhile, Tara gets mixed up with a vampire who takes her to the dark side, and we meet Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare), the vampire king of Mississippi. Elsewhere, Sam hunts for his birth parents and Jason finds romance with a local woman who has a secret. Look for tons of new regular, recurring and guest characters.
The Gates: series premiere
- Concerned about the pitch it is trying too hard to be liked
- I am kind of interested in the show
- It sounds more like eureka with stock fantasy / Gothic characters
- Every time I hear about the show I get the slug line "The Gates where abnormals go to be domesticated" in my head. My hope is that I'm wrong on that
- Eric hopes it will be like charmed.
June 20, at 10 p.m. on ABC.
Mix Desperate Housewives with Twilight, add a drop of True Blood, and you've got The Gates. In the series, when an ex-Chicago cop becomes the new police chief of an exclusive gated community, he and his family slowly come to learn exactly how exclusive that community is. Apparently humans aren't the only creatures that want to feel safe. This community has vampires, werewolves, witches and other creatures, and they don't always play nice.
- Love me some Futurama
- So excited the show is back with full cast intact
June 24, at 10 p.m. on Comedy Central
Thank you, Comedy Central! The ultimate animated space ride, Futurama, is returning for 12 glorious new episodes with Fry, Bender, Leela and all the gang from the Planet Express.
Warehouse 13: season two
- Season one rocked
- must watch show
- What happened to Artie? is it the pheonix artifact and who or what will pay for it
- could they be doing a where's claudia
July 6, at 9 p.m. on SyFy
Syfy's highest-rated series returns and Artie, who appeared to have died in an explosion at the end of last season, will return in an unusual way. With the season-one finale leaving just about everyone in a tough situation, look for lots of surprises to get them back in the supernatural artifact-hunting business. This season, love will bloom and there will be a Eureka crossover with Douglas Fargo (Neil Grayston) when he installs a new Global Dynamics computer system at the warehouse. Nolan Gerard Funk joins the cast as a romantic interest for Claudia, while Lindsay Wagner and Tia Carrere guest-star.
Eureka: season four
- great show
- time to get our geek on again
- Hoping that Jaime Ray Newman will come back since East Wick is gone.
July 9, at 9 p.m. on SyFy
Something big is coming that will be a major game-changer for Eureka, and it isn't just James Callis joining the cast this season. Expect an Allison/Jack/Dr. Grant (Callis) love triangle, a race to the moon, people turning into stone, and even zombies! Guest stars include Jamie Kennedy, Wil Wheaton and the return of Jaime Ray Newman and Matt Frewer.
Haven: series premiere
- Based on Stephen King is a yellow flag
- My hope is for it to be good but past attempts to translate his works onto the screen have meet without much success, see Dead zone and Langoliers.
July 9, at 10 p.m. on SyFy
Based on the Stephen King novella The Colorado Kid, the series centers on FBI agent Audrey Parker, played by Jericho's Emily Rose, as she arrives in the small town of Haven, Maine, to look into the murder of a local ex-con. What seems like a routine case lands her in the middle of events in the town, which is a refuge for people with a range of supernatural abilities. Haven also stars Lucas Bryant and Eric Balfour.
Ghost Hunters International: season two finishing episodes
- Love me some Ghost Hunters
July 14, at 9 p.m. on SyFy
The GHI team is off to Nottingham, England, in the hunt for the Sherriff of Nottingham's ghost at the Galleries of Justice. Other countries they'll explore during their global adventures include Wales, Norway, Poland, Ukraine and Estonia. The team is joined by new member Scott Tepperman, as well as Ghost Hunter Academy winners Susan Slaughter and Karl Pfeiffer.
Being Human: season two
- I want to see season one have heard good things about the show.
- Watching this will be tricky since BBC America is not decabled friendly
July 24, at 10 p.m. on BBC America
Before Syfy can have its way with the subject matter, you can catch a second season of the BBC original with the supernatural roomies—vampire Mitchell, werewolf George and ghost Annie. In the second season, George has to deal with relationship troubles, Mitchell tries to create order within the vampire community, and Annie takes on motherhood with a baby ghost. The series moves to its regular timeslot at 9 p.m. on July 31. BBC's announced that a third season is in the works.
Movies, Miniseries and Monsters
Princess of Mars: Syfy original movie
- Love some Barsoom book series, hoping it will at least be craptastic but with Antonio Sabato Jr. and Traci Lords in it there is no hope.
Saturday, June 5, at 9 p.m.
How about a little Edgar Rice Burroughs? This Syfy original flick adapts the Burroughs novel and takes Antonio Sabato Jr. and Traci Lords on an adventure about a U.S. soldier who is mysteriously transported to Mars in the midst of a war between two alien races.
- Four hour miniseries
- don't know why The Phantom needed re-imagining so I hope they do well with it
June 20, at 7 p.m.
This modern-day re-imagining of the comic book follows Kit Walker (Ryan Carnes), the son of the Phantom, who ends up with his father's iconic ring. In the tale, Kit is targeted by the deadly Singh crime syndicate, who hope to stop the ascension of the next Phantom. Add in Isabella Rossellini as Lithia, the head of an experimental mind-control program, and you have one interesting miniseries. This mini was directed by The Last Templar's Paolo Barzman and stars Sandrine Holt and Cameron Goodman.
Dinocroc vs. Supergator: Syfy original movie
- What can I say I'm a sucker for a crappy giant monster flick
June 26, at 9 p.m.
Yep, it's a Dinocroc vs. Supergator smackdown a la Roger Corman! The two massive critters escape an experimental facility (which happens to be on a lush tropical island) and begin rampaging toward populated beaches filled with tourists. While the creatures work up an appetite battling each other, there are plenty of tourists around to snack on to keep them going.
The Gift of Lit
It is with great pleasure I bring forth and introduce you to The Gift of Lit, a collective effort by many of the fine authors from Podiobooks. Together, we would like to share with you our diverse works and invite you to take a look at the nice selection of books we have spent hours, days, months, or years writing.
The Gift of Lit: Holiday 2009 is now here. If you are looking for a great gift this holiday season, rather it be for a family member, friend…or for yourself, take a look at the list below and give one, some, or all of these books your consideration. There are books to suit your needs this holiday season. Here, you will find fantasy, sci-fi, crime drama, speculative fiction, techno thriller, and much more. Help support these authors and spread the joys of literature. Give spark to imagination.
Below, take a look at all of the different titles offered and follow the links to purchase your own copy for yourself or to give that special someone this holiday. Yet, no matter the time of year, The Gift of Lit will be sure to please all readers.
NIGHT’S KNIGHTS by Emerian Rich
Buy it here at >> Amazon<< (starts as low as $13.00)
Vampires on a quest for knowledge attempt to create the perfect offspring, but from the shadows an even more demonic evil threatens their immortality. Markham is a simple Irish immigrant striving for the American dream in 1860 when coach robbers cause his untimely death. Severina is an exotic beauty from the jungles of Brazil whose family is brutally murdered by the same man she later calls lover. Julien is a knight who serves as guardian angel to his family but has no clue about his predestined fate. Will a powerful mortal named Jespa be the one to save them all?
BRAVE MEN RUN by Matthew Wayne Selznick
Buy it here at >> Amazon << (starts as low as $8.98 new)
April 18, 1985-Into a world already wound tight with the desperate tensions of the Cold War comes Dr. William Donner with a startling declaration: superhumans exist, they demand autonomy, and he has the reality-bending power to enforce their status. The traditional balance of power is thrown askew by the addition of not one super-powered human, but six thousand. Before the Donner Declaration, high school sophomore Nate Charters was just an outsider and self-proclaimed freak. His unusual appearance, hair-trigger reflexes, and overactive metabolism should have made him something special, but his differences and low self-esteem have long since marked him as a target for the jocks and popular kids. Now, just as his unique nature brings him the attention of a self-assured older girl, Nate must find his place in the world. Why is he the way he is? What really happened to his long dead father? Why is his biggest rival suddenly interested in a private meeting? Is he part of a remarkable, powerful new minority… or just a misfit among misfits? Nate must discover the answers to these questions quickly, because those in power know more about him than he could ever imagine. And they’re closing in…
LOST GODS by Drew Beatty
Buy it here at >> Lulu << (starts at $15.50 new)
Kweku Anansi is just another member of the African diaspora, trying to make a place for himself in his adopted home of Toronto, Canada. He dreams of better days, of a time when he could stop running small time cons just to make the rent. He dreams of the life he used to live, centuries ago when he was revered as a god.
A chance encounter with a fellow con man with a dark and secretive past of his own, plunges them both into the dark world of the lost gods, gods who would do anything to be worshipped again. Including destroying the world, if necessary.
How far will Anansi go to reclaim his godhood? What will he give up to have true power again?
THE FOX by Arlene Radasky
Buy it here at >> Amazon << (starts as low as $20.99 new)
The Fox by Arlene Radasky is a historical romance and fantasy novel that looks at true courage and truly selfless acts. In this epic fiction that crosses centuries, Druid healers at the beginning of recorded time will be rescued from obscurity by an archeologist of the twenty-first century. Jahna’s clan lay in the path of destruction exacted by the Romans. Her fate is sealed unless a bargain is made with the Gods, which without a doubt means a human sacrifice. Two thousand years later, Aine MacRae is on their trail. A struggling archaeologist, she is on the verge of uncovering the village where they once lived. Encouraged by a ghostly visit, she will do whatever it takes to unearth time’s mystery. Greed almost triumphs leaving the truth and ancient stories buried forever, but an undying love is rekindled.
CHASING THE BARD by Philippa Ballantine
Buy it here at >> Amazon << (starts as low as $12.69 new)
Born into the human world with a gift; a gift that brings him to the attention of powers both dark and light from the World of the Fey, it is his burden to defend all the world. Sive, the goddess of battle, hopes that he may be able to change the fate of her people.The Fey are dying, killed by something beyond the boundaries of worlds, and Sive will do anything to save them. So she enlists the help of her trickster cousin Puck to guard the child, and watch him grow into his gift. But a dark power imprisoned by human and Fey, plots to destroy both worlds, and unmake all that they have created. Can one boy stop the destruction, even if he is William Shakespeare?
Buy it here at >> Amazon << (starts as low as $17.98)
The Dawning of Power is the debut trilogy in Brian Rathbone’s fantasy series: The World of Godsland. Echoes of the ancients power are distant memories, tattered and faded by the passage of eons, but that is about to change. A new dawn has arrived. Latent abilities, harbored in mankind s deepest fibers, wait to be unleashed. Ancient evils awaken, and old fears ignite the fires of war. In times such as these, ordinary people have the power to save the world . . . or destroy it.
Buy it here at >> Amazon << (starts as low as $8.60)
The era of peace among the elves, men, and dwarves comes to an end when one of Londor’s twin moons disappears from the heavens. Without the moon’s balancing effect, evil forces grow bold, and warfare, sickness, and chaos threaten life itself.
Hearing the prayers of desperation that ride on the violent winds, the ancient wizard Randor Miithra, servant to the elf-gods, takes it upon himself to mend the world he has sworn to protect. The task will not be an easy one, though, for the wizard, too, has begun to feel the effects of the world’s imbalance. As Randor struggles to maintain some semblance of his powers, he meets a secretive band of colorful characters from all walks of life, drawn together by a common goal: to find the stolen moon, whatever the cost. It does not take Randor and his motley company long to see that someone or something does not want the moon returned to the heavens.
The road is perilous…the stakes have never been greater…will they find victory…or will they only find their deaths?
THE VATICAN ASSASSIN TRILOGY by Mike Luoma
Buy it here at >> Lulu << (starts as low as $35.99)
This three in one omnibus edition collects all three novels in the “Vatican Assassin” Trilogy under one cover. “Vatican Assassin”, “Vatican Ambassador” and “Vatican Abdicator” are joined in this volume by an extensive appendix of previously unreleased background material. There are some early concept sketches by Mike Luoma, as well as “The History of The Future”: a timeline developed to extrapolate from today into the future setting for the story; “The Original Story Outline”; “The Story of The Project”; “The Alien Timeline” and more.
THE PIRATES OF SUFIRO by David Lee Summers
Buy it here at >> Amazon << (starts as low as $14.95)
The Pirates of Sufiro is the story of a planet and its people — of Ellison Firebrandt the pirate captain living in exile; of Espedie Raton, the con-man looking to make a fresh start for himself and his wife on a new world; of Peter Stone, the ruthless bank executive who discovers a fortune and will do anything to keep it; and of the lawman, Edmund Ray Swan who travels to Sufiro seeking the quiet life but finds a dark secret. It is the story of privateers, farmers, miners, entrepreneurs, and soldiers — all caught up in dramatic events and violent conflicts that will shape the destiny of our galaxy.
JACK WAKES UP by Seth Harwood
Buy it here at >> Amazon << (starts as low as $7.68)
In JACK WAKES UP, we are introduced to Jack Palms, a movie star turned drug addict, turned has-been who has been living off of the residual checks from Shake ‘Em Down, his one–and-only action movie. The money is drying up though, and this new clean, uneventful life is starting to become too much for Jack to bear. So when an old friend comes calling and asks Jack to use his former celebrity to show some out-of-town high rollers around San Francisco’s club scene, he’s happy to oblige. What Jack doesn’t know, however, is these “guests” are a pack of former KGB agents turned coke dealers out to make a big deal with Jack as their tour guide. Soon people are turning up dead, and Jack’s got too many gunmen after him to count—including a South American drug cartel, a mountain-sized Samoan enforcer, and a mobbed-up strip club owner with an army of thugs. That’s not to mention a gorgeous new girlfriend who may be planning on shooting him in the back and the homicide cop who’s just given Jack twenty-four hours to bring down the Bay Area’s biggest drug dealer.
But the thing that scares Jack the most? He’s starting to have fun.
CITY OF MASKS by Mike Reeves-McMillan
Buy it here at >> Lulu << (starts as low as $9.97)
In the city-state of Bonvidaeo, by custom and law everyone must wear a mask and act in character with it, or face civil, social and religious penalties. Gregorius Bass is sent to Bonvidaeo as the Envoy of Calaria (primarily to get him out from underfoot). Masked as the Innocent Man, and in the company of his radical young Bonvidaoan servant, Bass stumbles into mystery, intrigue, heresy and murder.
7TH SON: DESCENT by J.C. Hutchins
Buy it here at >> Amazon << (starts as low as $9.21)
As America reels from the bizarre presidential assassination committed by a child, seven men are abducted from their normal lives and delivered to a secret government facility. Each man has his own career, his own specialty. All are identical in appearance. The seven strangers were not born, but grown — unwitting human clones — as part of a project called 7th Son.
The government now wants something from these “John Michael Smiths.” They share the flesh as well as the implanted memories of the psychopath responsible for the president’s murder. The killer has bigger plans, and only these seven have the unique qualifications to track and stop him. But when their progenitor makes the battle personal, it becomes clear John Alpha may know the seven better than they know themselves…
DREAMING OF DELIVERANCE by R.E. Chambliss
Buy it here at >> Amazon << (starts as low as $19.99)
Five years ago when Lindsay Paulson, a naive college student and talented distance runner, was 18, she was convicted of drug smuggling. Now, halfway through a 10-year prison sentence, she begins having what seem to be dreams, in which she leaves her cell in the night and visits another reality called Trae. Dreaming of Deliverance tells of Lindsay’s experiences both in Trae, where she finds herself among people enslaved by terrifying creatures, and in prison where she tries to make sense of what’s happening in her sleep: Is she actually escaping from prison somehow or is she losing her mind?
FANTASY FICTION HISTORICAL
THE MARK OF A DRUID by Rhonda R. Carpenter
Buy it here at >> Amazon << (starts as low as $16.55 new)
Have you ever had a dream so real that when you awoke, it didn’t leave the recesses of your mind for days? Eve McCormick just did, and this experience will change her life and the lives of those around her permanently. A twenty-six year old hypnotherapist who oversees a research project based on discovering the answer to an age-old question, “Is reincarnation fact or fiction?” must learn to trust a Welsh stranger. An ancient Celtic prophecy and long sought-after revenge entangles the past with the present in the struggle for existence that threatens to destroy her project. A druidess and a shape-shifter must join as one to save the Druid way of life, while a Queen conspires to kill Erin’s only High King. Will the oaths and agendas of the past reach across the centuries to strengthen or destroy?
Thanks, author A. P. Stephens who started this little project.
Review: Legend of the Seeker 122 Reckoning
Richard's plan to kill rahl goes horribly wrong, leaving Kahlan in the clutches of this evil tyrant. Watch the episode streaming online above.
Reckoning is a good Legend of the Seeker season finally. The acting and cinematography are great with a nice dramatic opening unfortunately there was a rushed feeling over this episode coupled with writing choices that took the story in a direction less desired and making the cliffhanger seem weak at best. Overall though Reckoning is still light years ahead of other television shows in quality and it is still a really good Legend of the Seeker episode.
For more detailed conversation check out “The Confessed” a Legend of the Seeker podcast. Where we discuss and geek out on everything from the show Legend of the Seeker, based on the Sword of Truth novels by Terry Goodkind. Including episode reviews, news, fun fan bits and community comments.
- The effects looked really good
- The use of washed out look
- Nice dramatic opening
- The acting was brilliant
- Shota: I really liked seeing the return of Shota and how she stayed true to her goals and ambitions
- Cara: I loved how Cara is so direct, unfearful and willing to talk back to Rahl. This was really refreshing seeing another strong, thoughtful, independent female character.
- Kahlan: watching her stay consistant in her actions as everything being done for the Seeker and her love for him.
- Seeing Richards development come full circle in this episode: from simple woods guide to where he is a formidable fighter without the help of the sword of truth and his ability to not only touch the Agiel but to wield it as a weapon in combat.
- Cara’s look when they are discussing that they are wasting heat.
- Richard helps Cara to see the truth
Dislikes / Concerns
- The pacing felt a little rushed, probably due to the amount crammed into one episode.
- deus ex machina ending
- For fans of the book they should have put in what the wizards first rule is somewhere in the season.
- We do not get to find out about Richards relationship. Jennsen would have told Richard even if it was framed as a lie from Darken Rahl
- “Forgive my lord. My sisters and I are Mord'Sith not magicians.”
- “You can kill the master. You can free the confessed.”
- “Sisters I have brought The Seeker…”
- “Who said anything about love… I’m talking about pleasure.”
- “You loved me from across time” (thanks Natalie)
For more Legend of the Seeker here
Get the books: The Sword of Truth, Boxed Set I, Books 1-3: Wizard's First Rule, Blood of the Fold ,Stone of Tears by Terry Goodkind
Legend of the Seeker: Season 1 Recap
Nicholas: The Creepy Nosferatu Rahl. Son of Kahlen and Darken Rahl and also a male confessor. I really enjoyed the dark twists around this character especially how his playmate Ethan was used as the introduction into Nicholas' darker side.
I like how Shota saw where they came out at using the basin of water. I also thought it was a nice touch of her character by having her stay and look for the key to the Rada'Han
What did you think about Nicholas and how they showed us the dangers of a male confessor? I liked how they brought back up the dangers of the male confessor especially with scenes like the one with Edgermon betraying his Lord Rahl.
What were your thoughts on Zedd dying at his own wizard’s fire?
What did you think about the future of the Mord’Sith? I would have loved an episode on just the betrayal and battle Nicholas on the Mord'Sith.
What did you think of the ending and Zedds ominous warning?
- Darken Rahl has already blasted Valeria into dust.
- “Magic of ordin is no more”
- Cara takes control of the Mord'Sith
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Don't wait. Guarantee your seat before you go and avoid a sold out show. Skip the box office lines and buy movie tickets at Fandango.com.
My Top 10 Favorite Television Series, I Didn’t Watch On The TV Box.
You know how it is. You see the ads for a new TV show and then never catch it. Or the network pulls it before you can really get a grip on the characters. Or they keep changing times and you can never figure out when it’s on. Or you like it, watch the first or even second episodes, and then one night you miss it and bam… you’re out of the loop. Now with places like Hulu.com and Netflix streaming online, you can catch a lot of your favorites online. Here are my top ten favorite television shows I didn’t watch on the TV box, in alphabetical order:
- Cleopatra 2525 - Complete Series, 2000 Ok, so I know this is a little corny, but I love it. An exotic dancer in for plastic surgery in 2001, wakes up in the year 2525 to find the world has been taken over by evil robots. This show brings you scantily clad beauties with arm bands that shoot lasers and help them repel down giant elevator shafts and a freaky bad guy in clown makeup and extensions. It doesn’t get better than that. Watch it streaming online on Hulu
- Dead Like Me, 2003 A college dropout is killed by a toilet seat that falls from a space station on her first day at a temp agency. Upon death, she finds out she is has been chosen to be a grim reaper and take people's souls just before they die. The bad news? She still has to work for a living! Some of these scenes are so close to real office life, it's scary. Can anyone say collate?
- Eureka, 2006 The best minds in the US are tucked away in a remote town where they build futuristic inventions for the government's benefit. A US Marshal gets stranded there and decides to becomes the next Sheriff after the old one is injured from a science project gone wrong. Quirky, fun. Watch it streaming online on Hulu.
- Firefly, 2002 In the distant future, Captain Malcolm 'Mal' Reynolds a former soldier for the independents, is now a smuggler and commander of a small spacecraft with a loyal hand-picked crew. They travel the far reaches of space in search of food, money, and anything to live on. Along the way, they encounter life-threatening missions and a cast of interesting characters. Must see. Watch it streaming online on Hulu.
- Jericho, 2006 When bad boy Jake returns to his Kansas small-town home, Jericho, everyone is preoccupied with petty private business and family matters, but that changes drastically after an unexpected explosion hits. It soon becomes clear there has been a nuclear attack, but no one knows by whom or to what scale. Jericho inhabitants gradually discover the USA is disintegrating. Life becomes complicated for these small town folk when needs such as food, fuel, and self-defense against invaders become the main task. Jake proves extremely resourceful and a smart hero saving the town many times and changing the resident views of him. Watch it streaming online on CBS.
- Kindred the Embraced, 1996 Julian Luna, prince of the kindred (vampire), clans in San Francisco, has his job cut out for him as he must try to keep peace among them while not being afraid to apply ruthless justice against those who would break kindred rules. Infractions that merit "final death" include the taking of human life and changing humans into vampires who have not volunteered for the transformation. This show was an exciting and perplexing moment for all of us hard core vampire LARP'ers. We were thrilled at the fact that mainstream took notice of something we enjoyed, puzzled the changes they made, and disappointed when it was cancelled just as the series started heating up! I remember being upset that my favorite clan, Tremere, was not represented and hoped that season 2 might have brought them out of the woodwork. The tragic death of Mark Frankel (Julian) after Season one, caused all of us Masquerade RPG'ers to lose faith in another season.
- Moonlight, 2007 A vampire is a private investigator and falls for mortal woman who he saved from dying as a child. This show has been ridiculed by fans of the 1980's series Forever Knight. It does seem like some of the shots used in Moonlight are very familiar to us Forever Knight fans and even some of the themes they use are very close to the other show. However, I feel that Moonlight brings a sexier, up-to-date feel to our favorite "do-good" vampire role. I'm not saying it's better, it's just more vampire fun.
- My Own Worst Enemy, 2008 As an agent for a top-secret government agency, Edward agrees to let the government insert a chip in his brain that can be turned on and off. When he is turned off, he is Henry, an efficiency expert, who lives a typical suburban life right down to the wife, two kids, dog, and minivan. In contrast, Edward is a lethal, multilingual operative. Somehow the chip breaks, making it impossible for the government to control when Henry is "on" or Edward is "on". I caught this on Hulu.com and loved it so much, I bought the DVD. This is sort of a 24 meets Alias meets Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. TV aficionados will recognize many members of the cast and Christian Slater does a brilliant job of playing the innocent family man who could never harm a soul trying to come to grips with the fact his life is a sham and the lethal killer who will do anything to stay alive. Watch it streaming online on Hulu.
- Red Dwarf, 1988 Three million years ago, a radiation leak killed the crew of the mining ship, Red Dwarf. The only survivor was Dave Lister, the chicken soup machine repairman. He spends his time on the ship with a holographic projection of Arnold Rimmer (his dead bunk mate), Cat (a life-form that evolved from Dave's cat), Holly (the ship's senile computer), and Kryten (a service mechanoid). BBC comedy good for hours of fun. If you haven't heard of this one, you've been under a smegging rock.
- Sanctuary, 2007 Amanda Tapping stars as a unique woman (possibly immortal?) who runs a Sanctuary for all kinds of creatures and monsters. This show follows her and her team as they find new species and try to help them. They also have their enemies. I'm anxious to see what this show becomes... if it's renewed. Watch it streaming online on Hulu.
You can check out a lot of these gems at Hulu.com. If you'd like to purchase them, you can do as I do and shop Amazon.com.
So, now that I've given you some to catch up on, what are your favorites?
Stardust best fantasy tale since The Princess Bride
Tristan fianlly gets Victoria to enjoy a romantic dinner under the starlight only to find that Humphrey was willing to travel to another town to get her an engagement ring for her birthday. After watching a falling star Tristan makes a deal with Victoria that she will marry him if he gets her the falling star and returns to her by her birthday which is within one week. The problem is that the star fell on the other side of the Wall which divides England and the magical world of stormhold.
The rest of the tale is an adventure fairy tale following Tristan as he races to get to the fallen star and return before the week is up. He also has to survive while the evil witches and the Kings murderous sons also pursue the fallen star in hopes of cutting out it's heart for eternal life.
This is the best epic quest / fantasy tale since The Princess Bride! I give it 10 out of 10, wow! Stardust is pure art* presenting me with a delightful tale suspending me in time and space through it's immaculate reality*. The twists and turns of the story surprised me and even though it had a typical fairy tale ending I was proud for the hero whom I cared about watching him grow in skill and character and actually earning the happy ending.
Tristen is set on an epic quest with only one week to earn the love of his true love by getting the fallen star and return back through the wall. All of the classic elements of a Joseph Campbell's hero's journey were present but Neil Gaiman enhanced the tale with delightful touches to those steps. One instance was when the hero was about to cross the threshold and got denied by the threshold guardian. I mean he got his ass kicked by that old man who demonstrated an unexpected proficiency with that stick, I was in tears from laughing so hard.
Stardust is an expression of pure art bringing me to a suspended moment through a beautiful balance between drama, action, comedy, and tension. There are many films that try to get this balance but many merely push and pull me from one moment to the next taking me on a roller-coaster ride of emotions leaving me feeling drug out and tired at the end of the film. Neil was able to get it so that I laughed often while griping the edge of my seat thrilled by the action and drama of the scene.
Neil uses a delightful sense of dark humor that put such a twisted smile on my face. He just hits you right from the start of the movie with a murder that I could only laugh at because it was delivered with such tong in cheek. Neil has the King disappointed in his sons because they haven't murdered each other yet, desiring only the strongest son to survive and ascend to become the next ruler of Stormhold. As shocking as the kings position was Neil made it seem so natural that a short distance into the film I found myself only laughing when a son would get himself killed, thinking to my self 'well he wasn't kingly material,' like it was some kind of acceptable behavior. Twisted... I love it.
Throughout the movie there is a beautiful exploration of true love. This story line was masterfully woven into the tale and takes the audience all the way to the very last scene where we find out that true love is not conditional and it is eternal.
The artwork, set design, and graphics all lend to the immaculate reality that Stardust is able to forge from the very beginning and maintain through to the credits. For example the wall that separates England from the magical world of Stromhold was short maybe 3 feet tall yet I never once thought to question why everyone passed through the crack in the wall and not just jump over it. Another example would be on the air ship where the crew collects lightening but it seems so natural like any other type of fishing barge that is out the on the ocean.
The special effects were absolutely beautiful. I loved the scene when the evil witch used her magic to create a road side in by having it form from a point in space and expand out until it filled the normal space it should fill. The subtle use of a light effect for Una which made he glow but they did it in such a manner as to make the whole thing seem so natural. Not only well done on the effects but they added to the immaculate reality keeping me pulled into the world Neil created.
With all of this raving I do have to say "Please, Please stop the use of the helocoptor pan shot." I am so sick of seeing a helicopter pan shot of people walking. Why not try something different. If you want to show them walking a long distance then put the camera behind them and focus on a far off distance point in front of them or something else. I was also disappointed when the director let Una ride the unicorn in an un lady like fashion and did not make her ride side saddle.
The plot twists were really well played in Stardust. Neil builds beautifully an expectation, lulls the viewer into a false sense of security and then blows your mind by zigging when you expect the plot to zag. I could sit here and list the many, many instances when this occurs but I don't believe in putting spoilers into reviews and for those readers who have already seen the film then you already know of the moments I am speaking of and you are probably sitting back like me with a big goofy grin on your face as you recall those moments.
In addition to maintaining such a tight immaculate reality with beautiful effects Stardust had some wonderful little touches too like the use of traditional folk magic. Neil surprised me by not turning to the traditional overused and expected forms of divination like the use of the crystal ball, reflecting pool / mirror, seeking an old shaman but instead had two less used forms the main one being the use of intestinal divination. Yes folks, things get eviscerated so that the witches can view their organs to see the future. As gross as this practice is they did a wonderful job with it making it seem so natural and by not showing anything to the audience and thereby avoiding the modern day trap of being grotesque. The other form of divination was the use of rune tossing. All I can say is that there is a beautifully tense scene on a beach that just wowed me.
In the end it is all about the performance and everybody loves a good show even swashbuckling, murdering, privateers!
The film stars: Adam Buxton as Quintus, Ben Barnes as Young Dunstan Thorne, Charlie Cox as Tristan Thorne, Claire Danes as Yvaine, David Kelly as Guard, David Walliams as Sextus, Henry Cavill as Humphrey Monday, Ian McKellen as Narrator, Jason Flemyng as Primus, Joanna Scanlan as Mormo, Julian Rhind-Tutt as Quartus, Kate Magowan as Una, Mark Heap as Tertius, Mark Strong as Septimus, Mark Williams as Billy, Melanie Hill as Ditchwater Sal, Michelle Pfeiffer as Lamia, Nathaniel Parker as Dunstan Thorne, Peter O'Toole as Lord of Stormhold, Ricky Gervais as Ferdy the Fence, Robert De Niro as Captain Shakespeare, Rupert Everett as Secundus, Sarah Alexander as Empusa, Sienna Miller as Victoria Forrester
*Art: as defined by James Joyce something that neither pushes nor pulls you but merely presents it's self holding you in the moment. As apposed to pornography which he describes as something that drives you either toward or away from it.
*Immaculate Reality: Akira Kurosawa talks about immaculate reality where the story / movie is so self contained that the audience is pulled in and does not question the events because they are natural within the reality crafted by the story / movie.