Tuesday, October 25, 2011

You Mean TINK?

I'd been out with Buttercup who decided to check out one of those Halloween superstores that appear during this season (well, by the end of August, sadly.)

I came across this costume and had to share.
It's just one of many "renamed" items there... such as "Rogue Pirate" for Jack Sparrow.

In other news, yes, it's true.
Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between is just about on its way to availability.  The project is done (outside of any tweaks that come with/on/from the "proof.")  However, I beg your forgiveness once more.  As I mentioned before, I'm moving.  That is happening in the VERY near future...as soon as possible.  I've an apartment and such... just need to obtain it and move in... SO... once I have that all settled and a new address, I'll set the novel in motion.

Keep your window open!  Pan's flying back to you very soon!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


You might recall I've been anticipating the new movie of The Thing.  I'd been interested for another reason beyond the desire to see more of a good (cough) thing.  What really attracted me is the attitude, promises and vision of the man who brought it to the screen, Matthijs van Heijningen, Jr.  In a nutshell:  When the time came that they wanted to remake the property, he came along saying 'Not, a remake... a prequel.'  It would be the same premise, so in essence, a remake, but it would tie into the famous and beloved version by John Carpenter by showing the events of the Norwegian base that the Carpenter characters come across.  And then, end as the other movie began.  All done with utter respect and accuracy out of love.

I'm happy to say that Matthijs van Heijningen, Jr. delivered.  Exactly what he professed to do.

Funnily enough, I longed to see how that axe would get lodged in the door.  And when it finally happened, I wanted to applaud.  I wouldn't have guessed that to be the scenario.  Such clever use of a cherished aspect of the original film to achieve it, too.  And a wee bit of a joke made out of it to boot.  But so much more made me love it than inventive axe usage.

Is it a remake?  Well, yes, but decidedly NO.  The idea of being trapped/isolated in a harsh frozen environment and not able to trust anyone because they might be the Thing remains.  So in that sense, it's the same movie over again.  But other elements make it new and fresh.

For one (cough) thing, it is in fact the prequel.  We're treated to finding the Thing and the joys and eventual horror that come with such a discovery.  Most importantly, though, it enabled the incorporaton of a classic storyline.  The monster movie!  It worked very well.  Since it deals with previous events, it only makes sense that the creature would run around "out in the open."  After all, it's a potentinally giant contorted beastie with huge set (or sets!) of jaws with the ability to grab victims with tentacles or claws.  I mean, really, who would challenge it?  As you probably know from the first movie, a flamethrower is the humans' friend.  Torching the hell out of the Thing happens a lot (again, in both movies.)  If YOU were the Thing, you'd eventually learn that being burned up in this place is a fact of life.  Thus, it would adapt.  Safer to remain hidden and hide AS other beings.  Don't get me wrong, it does that as well in this movie.  The "could be anyone of us" theme is core.  But again, the Thing tries running amok as a monster, chasing the humans through halls and such.  A welcome dimension to the film/concept/story and a terrific delight.

Matching up all the visuals, both sets and items (like the burnt up twisted mass of human and monster that the Carpenter folk found) all were executed beautifully.  When we entered the room that had the giant block of ice, yeah, I got the chills.  And it all felt like the original film.

And when they also began to rehash (more like homage) a part of the original story/movie, namely the "test" for how to determine who the monster is... they then took it away.  Something happens resulting that they are unable to proceed.  But the scene remains.  How?  A believable alternative solution as to how to expose the monster arises.  However, it again adds another dimension to the familiar tale.  The new method is not foolproof.  All it can say is this person might be the monster.  What a great extra level of psychological torture, no?

It had been great not just to see the reason for the axe, but how other key incidents/objects in Carpenter's played out.  Yet it didn't answer all the questions.  I'm glad.  I don't think it should.  Mystery and the unknown is essential to this story.  We also don't have a clear picture of what the Thing looked like when they found it.  It's in ice, remember?  So it's not all that easy to see.  And when it escape, boy howdy!, is it quick.  Quick enough to make me use the words "boy howdy!"

Reportedly this new movie would utilize the same type of special effects as the Carpenter movie.  The tendency nowadays is to just CGI it.  But van Heijningen, Jr. didn't want that.  It had to have the same look as the original if it were to be accepted as on par and part of it.  So they went with animatronics and laytex and all the old school wizardry.  A little CGI, yes, but only when it couldn't be done otherwise or to "clean up" an existing effect.  And it's truly, for my money, exactly that.  It has the same beautiful ickiness of the original.

I also must give credit to Mary Elizabeth Winstead.  I knew her as Ramona Flowers in one of my absoulte favorites Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.  But she's not an elusive cute chick in this flick.  She's a downright action hero.  And she looked taller, to be honest.  van Heijningen, Jr. had been right.  Using a woman as the main character to counter balance the inmitable Kurt Russell helped seal the deal.  Winstead played it with gusto.  Showing the character's vulnerability but ability to rise to the occasion and take charge.  Brava! 

Unfortunately, Buttercup didn't like as much as me.  She had trouble articulating her point of view, but she felt there were no new ideas presented.  Not in the sense of newness that' I've already mentioned, but in terms of it seemed "just any old monster movie," or so is my take on what she'd meant from how she expressed herself.  My response is, well, it's meant to be a backwards extension of Carpenter's film.  Thus, it should have been in a "as before" kind of mode. 'Tis a shame she didn't love it, too, as Buttercup and I usually agree.  But she didn't hate it.  She said she isn't sorry she went.  And thought the F/X were good and such.

I'm going to see it again.  I texted a college friend of mine that I haven't seen in years.  He's a HUGE fan of Carpenter's The Thing.  He said he's been curious about it... and now I get to go with him and hope that he, too, feels the joy of its horrors.

For me, though:
All in all, a triumph.  It's rare when you receive exactly what you wanted.  Especially from Hollywood.

Friday, October 14, 2011

They Did THAT, too??

I just have to give a so-called
Shout Out
to writers
Bonnie & Terry Turner.

I've always known I liked their work.  Nay, loved.  You see, I'd read their names in the credits for such TV programs as That 70's Show, 3rd Rock from the Sun & the movie Coneheads and thought to myself:  Gee, they really know how to make quality coupled with laughs.

But just today I decided to put Bonnie Turner into IMDb and see what else falls under her (and his) creation.

To my utter delight (but which should have come as no surprise) I found many other favorites among their credits.

The Brady Bunch Movie, Tommy Boy (call this one a guilty pleasure if you must...it's just hilarious and very touching, deal with it!), Wayne's World (and its sequel), Whoopi (an unfortunately short-lived TV series that I adored) and but of course, Saturday Night Live.

I tip my hat to you both!  Thanks for oodles of pleasure over the years.  And I lovingly curse you for putting me in actual physical pain in my belly from laughing so much at Wayne's World.  Know that whenever I come across Coneheads on TV I get sucked in no matter what point of the movie I find it in...and watch to the end.

Looking forward to more from this couple!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I laughed out loud when I read the description of this upcoming movie.  Loud and LONG.  Think "Evil Villian Laugh" but on a happy, amused level instead.

And no, I don't mean laughing AT the concept.  I mean a sheer boisterous joy and appreciation.

It's currently called Time Zones... and the idea is rather simple but compelling.  AND - it's an ORIGINAL idea in this sea of reboots and remakes.

Imgaine if the world were divided into Time Zones...it already IS you say?  No no... as in fractures in space and time so that one geographical area might be 1750 France, whereas another section is China in 300 B.C. and yet another is the future - New York 2065.  What a great and twisted idea.  Of course, it has a plot of a man's race against time to change the past and save the life of his wife.  He can use the Time Zones to do so, it would seem, but it becomes a race against time within a race against time.

It's being written by Marc Guggenheim and is being produced by Disney.

I'll be keeping an eye on this one!  It's definitely up my alley.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Second Centennial!

Today marks the
Second Centennial of Peter Pan!
 2nd??  Say what now?
Yes, it's true.

October 11, 1911
is the publication date of Peter and Wendy, which is, of course, the novel form of the tale of the flying boy and his adventures with the Darlings.

If you're wondering, the first Centennial had been December 27, 2004.  The play first opened on that date (1904).

Can you BELIEVE it?  100+ of Peter Pan!

I also received my copy of the new annotated "Peter Pan" (published under that title, as it is so often.)

It's a great book.  Lots of excellent pictures ranging from Barrie photos, his other works to other illustrations of the characters to movie pictures.

And guess what... for those of you who are interested in it [and I know some of you are!] this book does include Barrie's screenplay.  Yep, the movie treatment by none other than the man himself written for the silent movie.  It had not been used, sadly.  But it's still here for us to enjoy.  Prior to this publication it had been obscure to say the least.  Being as obsessed as I am, I naturally had a copy already.  And in fact, I have used quite a bit from it in both Peter Pan's NeverWorld and Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between (although much more so in the latter.)

So reaffirm your believe in fairies today, okay?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Another PANiverse Worth Crowing About...

Allow me to direct you to an online comic/graphic novel that deals with everyone’s favorite eternal boy. It’s written and drawn by none other than Jesse Rowden (a.k.a. Musapan), the young lady whose Peter Pan Guild interviewed me once upon a time. (Link on the left.) I have to say I’m enjoying it.

Jesse is an avid Pan fan herself. She, too, gets quite irked when the storyline and facts are carelessly altered. In other words, she’s a purist. However, I have to admit that I don’t fully agree with the timeline and such as she’s laid it out. But then, she also assures me that she has her reasoning. For instance, her tale takes place now, in the 21st Century, and Tinker Bell is still around. Apparently Jesse concocted a great backstory as to how she is alive again... but we’ve yet to find out what it is. She also has a different timeframe in terms of when and how long Peter Pan remained an infant in Kensington Gardens before going to the Neverland. (You’re probably aware that my upcoming interquel Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between deals with this very subject.)

I, of course, am not the end-all be-all of the Pan universe... but I'm the only one in print who stays accurate as best as possible to Barrie.*  But this aspect may also very well apply to Jesse's tale as well.  Since I remain in the dark on some it, I can’t really pass full judgement.  Yet I am confident that she’s taking her work very seriously and wouldn’t want to compromise any part of Barrie’s tale. Perhaps she has another lens that applies just as well. It does, however, make it incongruous with my own Pan tales.

Even so, another way of looking at it is that her tale is in pictorial form, whereas mine is in written. Thus, in that sense, hers is entirely different to begin with and she seems to have a handle on her version of the Pan universe.  Each of us are, in theory, consistent within our own works and Barrie in our two mediums.

At any rate, the art is delightful. Cheery, slick and sophisticated all at once. Her panels and each "reveal" are well accomplished.  She’s got Peter Pan’s personality down, too. I particularly like the “game” he proposes (yet again!) and to be honest, I wish I’d thought of it myself. Brava, Jesse!

The 'comic' is still in development, as in she’s plunking away at it admist this thing called Life and every so often another fresh panel of fun appears. A little suspense never hurts, so it’s actually a grand way to experience it.

Please go and check out another tale of the Neverland, Adventurous Soul, and the magic that is Rowden’s art!

Adventurous Soul (links at bottom of pages to bring you to the next...)

* Hook & Jill by Andrea Jones can be considered to do so as well, but hers had been intended to veer off course from the original story... while remaining true to the themes, characters and mythologies of Barrie.

Friday, October 7, 2011

MOVING Right Along...

All righty...

Looks like I have the Dedication and Acknowledgements composed.  In the end, I wound deciding to keep it short and sweet instead of a long winded ramble.  Which, as you might already have guessed, is typical of me.  At least when speaking.  I've got someone looking at it for me and I'll be sure to re-visit it myself in a bit.  But it's all coming together.  Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between is oh-so-near!

In terms of explaining my absences, suffice to say that part of the upheaval of which I've been mentioning is a move.  Yes, I'll be changing my residence soon.  I'll still be in Chicago, though.  But I'm in no hurry.  Moving is always so stressful!   I don't have a set schedule of when I need to be 'out' so I'm taking it leisurely.  It works out nicely, as I'm intermixing the "going through my stuff" alongside going out socially with Buttercup, Josiecat, Clara & Banky and Gil.  Not to mention working on the book!  I also had a great weekened with my best friend Laughter.  Oh - I wound up sick for a while (hospital visit required!) but I'm fine now, nothing to worry about...

I hope to be more attentive once all the packing and such are done... and then unpacked in my new place.