This post is going to be like throwing spaghetti on the wall: I’m just gonna toss a lot of stuff up here and see what sticks. It worked for Oscar Madison (okay, that was linguini – work with me).
According to Slice-of-Sci-Fi…
The weekend closed out the books for the summer season and while ticket sales were up to $4.35 billion, the highest total ever for a summer season, overall attendance was down. Attendance this summer was 552 million, the lowest total since 1997.
So basically, they’ve raised movie ticket prices to the point where they’re not just making up for low attendance in an effort to stay afloat like the rest of us, they’re gouging us to the level that they’re breaking income records, despite the fact that almost no one is showing up! And they’re still producing mostly crap. That’s just rude.
Dan, one of the fellow contributors to the Coalition of Awesomeness, has started a new blog called Kids Telly. The blog is meant to provide a perspective on pop culture aimed at kids, including movies, books, TV, music, and kids’ websites. The first website he’s reviewed is a real winner, I think, for the young crowd (Preschool/Early Elementary). Poisson Rouge is a site that kids can use without adult intervention, for the most part, and it’s educational and fun. Here’s how Dan describes it:
The outstanding feature of Poisson Rouge (or Red Fish for any fellow francophonicphobes out there) is it’s simplicity. There are no unfriendly menus, no instructions to follow, and most importantly no need to be able to read to use it. The numerous games are varied, intuitive, and elegant; but above all the site is a great deal of fun.
And speaking of the Coalition of Awesomeness, there’s some good stuff going on there as well. For my part, I’ve talked about the failed Babylon 5 sequel, Crusade, plus five other shows cancelled too early, and posited Kermit the Frog as my answer for “who would you entrust the safety of the world?” Later this week (I think) you’ll get to read my defense of a Nicholas Cage film. Check out the site later in the week to find out which one. [Update: here it is.]
While I’m plugging sites, check this out. Amadio Artworks is a great find if you’re looking for unique handcrafted home and garden art. I can’t call myself an expert, but I’ve seen this stuff in person and it’s really, seriously, good. My aunt got this started and sucked in the rest of her family. She’s been in some pretty prestigious art and craft shows and always does very well. Give it a look.
Good comics and bad adaptations
Last night I watched the movie version of The Losers. I had read the comic book about a year ago, and absolutely loved it. Really well done action book that just screamed out to have a movie made of it. It’s one of those rare books that I’d actually read with a big geeky grin on my face like I’d just watched a really good Zorro or Jason Bourne film. The action was great, if a little over the top (though that was part of its charm), and the characters and plot were well drawn. The movie I watched last night was, sadly, a pale reflection of that story. I totally recognize that the length of a movie couldn’t cover all that happened in the books, but this film started at just about mediocre and then went downhill. It wasn’t horrible – it could be enjoyed as a brainless action flick – but it just never pulled it together enough to even be something I cared about. I’d put it right about the same level as Fantastic Four. Skip the movie. Read the comics.
These days I’m reading the The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman. I’m on book 4 at the moment, and I’m just now starting to enjoy it. I actually kind of disliked the first book but kept going due to it’s reputation. Books two and three were noticeably better, but I was mostly reading it as mildly entertaining. Book four now is starting to feel more cohesive and worth my time. It’s the first hint I’ve gotten that it might live up to its reputation. I’ve also just read that Warner Brothers is in negotiations to make a TV series of the story. That’s the kind of news that has fans hopeful, but with a huge – almost overwhelming – fear that they’ll screw it up. Honestly, I can’t see network TV doing it justice, even though I’m only about halfway through the story. Maybe something like HBO (who are also mentioned as pursuing the idea) could pull it off, but not a network. They’d have to go too mainstream.
A few nights ago on Facebook someone posted a video of “Birdhouse in your Soul” by They Might Be Giants. I really like that song, and it managed to pull me into a YouTube session for a couple of hours. The last time that happened, I ended up revisiting some of my favorite Homestarrunner.com bits. This time I ended up going a different direction and exploring some of the kid-focused music of TMBG and Barenaked Ladies… and a little Animaniacs. Here are a couple of the highlights:
Here Come the Geese – Barenaked Ladies (I couldn’t find the album version)
Meet the Elements – TMBG
The Alphabet of Nations – TMBG (love the piano)
Nations of the world – Animaniacs (a classic)
There were a lot more in that session, but that’s a decent representation. Fun and educational!
Well, I think that’s enough for now. This turned out to be a little longer than I thought, and didn’t even get to the frustrating Doctor Who news (they’re splitting the next season in half – dumb, dumb, dumb!).
I gotta go clean up the spaghetti I used as the inspiration for this post. In the meantime… what’s on your mind?