|BBC Promotional image from Wikipedia|
Monday, September 15, 2014
Friday, September 12, 2014
Right. So. Things have been a bit poop here lately, eh? Lots of terrible things happening online, life has been pretty busy at home. Rather than rant in your ear about important things that you should be paying attention to, I'm going to take a break from doom and gloom and indulge in a little personal fantasy for a moment.
* The catch is, of course, that while I enjoyed the diversity and Ernie Hudson did a fine job, the writers gave Winston basically nothing to say. So, he is the straight man...just not a very memorable one, unfortunately.
My ideal casting for an all-female Ghostbusters movie?
1. The Smart One
I think that Billy Murray was on the right track with suggesting Linda Cardellini. I know that the Scooby-Doo movies aren't very well respected, but I thought she nailed Velma, and because of that, I'm pretty sure she could nail the brainy, techie of the group. She wouldn't have to pull a repeat performance of Velma--she's a great actress. But having seen Velma, I know she'd be great spouting the techno-babble--which really is an important role. You need some explanation of what's going on, even if its nonsense, and if the person lacks conviction saying it, the illusion is shattered.
But, let's say she doesn't want to get locked into anything even Velma-like? Who then?
I say Tina Fey.
Tina Fey is already hilarious. She's smart. And she pulls off "harried" in a great way with 30 Rock, and I can easily imagine her popping her head up from a pile of paper-readouts or mechanical parts and spouting technical jargon about what she's doing. Maybe even adjusting her glasses.
I know, I know, the glasses = nerd stereotype is played to death, but it's so iconic Ghostbusters!
2. The child-like one/The goofball
In the original movie, Ray was definitely as smart as Egon, spouting off just as much mumbo-jumbo. But where Harold Ramis brought a scientific and logical aspect to his performance as he watched these supernatural events unfold, to Ray it was more exciting. He is, afterall, the one responsible for the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. His child-like excitement at encoutnering these ghosts is something that the new movie will need to help avoid the cynicism that might come with a remake. It'd be entirely too easy for the writers to mock the old one, throwing out disses at the old outfits, the old hairstyles, whatever.
So, someone that can keep the innocence and magic is important. And I think Lucy Liu is that person.
Lucy Liu has been a bad ass. Lucy Liu has been a snake. Lucy Liu is fucking amazing.
I'm thinking of her rapid-fire humor, competence, and overall carriage in Lucky Number Sleven. I can easily see her being someone who maybe went to the same university as Tina Fey or Cardellini. Maybe they studied the old Ghostbusters cases together. But they're retired. And when shenanigans start going down in New York again, the two decide that THEY can do it.
For Fey or Cardellini's excitement over the science, Liu gets giddy and amazed over the wonder of seeing LIFE AFTER DEATH!
Liu is such a great actress, she could totally carry any heavier moments while keeping her performance light.
3. The straight man
Winston was the every man. Just some dude that got roped into this craziness. If Eddie Murphy had been cast as originally planned, we would have had some great ad-libbed moments of Murphy freaking right the fuck out over seeing ghosts. As it stood, Ernie Hudson did what he could with an underwritten role.
Dear god, the straight man can be so damned funny, though. In the show Archer, Sterling Archer is the swirling ball of narcisistic chaos, but who is the person that keeps him grounded to earth, whose reactions to his madness are hysterical on their own? Lana. Lana is a straight man character (most of the time) that OWNS that show.
So why should Aisha Tyler get a position on Ghostbusters?
She's a hysterical comedian, she already shows she has a lot of range voice acting on Archer, and I watched her host a video game event and she's a total nerd. Being in Ghostbusters is a perfect fit, and honestly, I'm surprised I haven't seen someone else suggest her.
Seriously, if I were casting this movie, this would be one of my "musts." You HAVE to get Aisha Tyler for this movie, y'all. She's perfect.
4. The Wise Guy/The Tough Guy
Peter Venkman is probably the most memorable role in the movie because Bill Murray is hilarious. He has an almost supernatural gift of rattling off jokes off the top of his head and getting laughs. He's just naturally quick, and his biting sarcasm was great to vocalise what everyone was already thinking. And his cynical, cut-to-the-chase attitude business-wise was a great balance to Egon and Ray's excitement over the job.
Who better to pull off this role than the already suggested Melissa McCarthy. If anyone can fill the Venkman-sized shoes in the role, it's McCarthy. She's sarcastic, she's quick, so much of her stuff is ad-libbed and off the cuff. Watch some of her outtakes in The Heat or--JESUS CHRIST, GO WATCH HER STUFF FROM THIS IS FORTY. It's amazing.
Seriously: Melissa McCarthy needs to be all up in this movie.
If I were a studio exec, this would be my other "must." Because not having Melissa McCarthy and Aisha Tyler in this movie would be a goddamned crime.
So, who would you cast in the female Ghostbusters movie?
** I just want to point out that all of the women I mentioned are actresses in the early to mid-forties, and all very very close to the same age, which is awesome because we need to get more mature women on screen more often. Don't get a bunch of 20's actresses to make this movie just to appeal to the young crowd. Seriously, these are talented, smart, funny women that would kick ass in this role.
*** I know that a Hollywood exec isn't going to read this blog, and even if they did, it's not like they'll go, "Hey, he's right! Call up these women please!" These are just general thoughts.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Today is September 11th. 9/11. 9-1-1.
You don’t need an introduction. Or a rehash. Even if you don’t live in the US, you probably know a rough idea of what happened.
It’s amazing that it’s been 13 years since the attacks. I don’t even know how to process that. I’ve spent more than half of my life living in 9/11’s shadow. Those towers cast long, dark shadows, even after they were gone.
Here are things I remember:
I remember I was 12 years old. I was in 1st period Geography class (or maybe it was 2nd…it’s been a long time…). My teacher was an awesome guy. He was in the Army, if memory serves. He used to tell us tons of great stories about shenanigans that happened while he was on duty. He was stationed in the jungle once when his troop was bombarded by monkey hurling poop at them. He said his sergeant was so covered in poop at the end of things that he just walked into the ocean fully clothed and let the waves wash him out a bit and wash him off.
I don’t remember where we were in the class. I could probably figure it out by looking up the times of the attacks, but I’ve never really thought about doing that before. This is just off the top of my head. Anyway, at some point, someone came into the room and said something to my teacher. He jumped up, led us all to the library. The TV was running. We all sat down in front of the TV while he talked to the librarian. Whatever was going on, it was serious. He looked scared. She looked scared.
The TV showed the smoking top of a building, one of the towers. We didn’t know what was happening, but the scroll at the bottom told us all we needed to know: a plane had flown into the towers. We didn’t know, at the time, that it was an attack, until the second plane hit live on TV.
We were 12. We were stupid. We realized that it was an attack not long after that. We got giggly. Excited. We didn’t fully grasp the reality of what was happening. It was almost like watching a movie. I don’t remember when I learned about the Pentagon attack, but I don’t think I believed it at first. I thought it was just over-excited people telling stories, trying to make things more exciting than they were.
I’m ashamed to admit, but I remember my friends and I, we started talking about going to war. What it meant. And I remember making jokes with my classmates about how they’d messed with the wrong people, that we were going to blow them off the map. 12-year-olds aren’t really equipped to deal with something as complicated and horrifying as war.
It wasn’t until after I was alone, until I’d stopped feeding off of everyone else’s excitement, that I started worrying that more attacks might happen. Would they bomb my school? Would we even go to school the next day?
I don’t know if I saw the towers fall while we were in the library, or if it was after I got home and I saw a replay on the news.
I remember rumors flying everywhere. The terrorists had bombed Pennsylvania, they were going after the Statue of Liberty, they were going to bomb sports stadiums during games. Surely they wouldn’t bomb my school, though. We were probably safe. We were middle of nowhere Arkansas.
I’m not sure who worried they’d go after the nuclear reactor in Russellville, maybe my mom. All I know is even Arkansas felt like a potential target. Nowhere felt safe.
The full reality of things didn’t really hit me until I went home. My mom was watching the news. She hugged us. We spent the next two weeks watching CNN. There were so many people missing. So many people crying, with handmade signs, flagging down every camera man they could, trying desperately to find their loved ones.
I remember it was basically impossible to find an American flag for a while. They were sold out everywhere. We wanted one to fly out of our car window, to show we were Americans, that we weren’t afraid of those monsters that attacked us.
Looking back on that time, I have this strange split, between the fear of those foreign countries, of those strange religions, and the knowledge I gained later. Of how that honest fear of the unknown was exploited, manipulated. Twisted and pushed.
I remember the pride I felt when we all pitched in together. Americans standing side-by-side, working together. No races. No classes. Just people helping people, recovering from the chaos.
I didn’t think about what it meant for people who were Muslim. I didn’t even consciously realize there were Muslim people in America. To me, they were all foreigners. They were all Others, form Over There.
I remember during the 2004 elections praying to God that George Bush would win another term because lots of my relatives said that if Kerry won, “the Muslims would take over this country without a shot.”
I remember learning that Islam was one of the fastest growing religions in the world and that it wouldn’t be long before they far outnumbered Us. Us, to me at the time, was Christians, and I remember feeling scared by that thought, but not being sure why I felt that way. I remember the same confused feeling when I learned that, based on birth rates, Whites would eventually be in the minority in the world. I don’t know why this scared me, just that it did.
I remember feeling a disconnect from the people around me, even after the 9/11 attacks. I remember speaking to one relative that I had loved and respected my whole life saying to me in Walmart, “We should round them all up and send them back where they came from.” And I remember saying, “But people born here wouldn’t have anything to do with that. Why do that?” And my relative just repeated, “Round them all up and send them back.”
I didn’t push the issue.
Thinking about 9/11 makes me angry. Not just because of the obvious horror, but also because I have spent nearly half my life sorting through the lies and scaremongering done in the name of "democracy". A lot of my opinions and beliefs in life have been influenced by 9/11. I learned a lot about ugliness in the wake--foreign, sure, but especially domestic.
I wish I could look back at 9/11 as a time where we were our best selves. A tragic moment where we rose up against an evil and stood defiant. Where we were the good guys.
I wish I could.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
|Photo from: Brooke's G+ Profile|
One of my oldest friends, Brooke Johnson, has received some fantastic news.
I'll let her tell it:
"I have some big news today!You can read more about the what and how and all of that at her blog post here.
I am happy to announce that I have signed a three-book deal with Harper Voyager Impulse, the digital-first imprint of HarperCollins’ Science Fiction and Fantasy division!
As part of the contract, Harper Voyager Impulse will be republishing the first book in my steampunk series, The Clockwork Giant, and my associated novella, The Mechanical Theater, (tentatively titled), as well as publishing a sequel, with an option for a third novel."
You can also read a more frequently updated blog here.
And for good measure: Google+ and Facebook. Pretty much the only social media she's not on is Twitter.
Head on over to one of those places and congratulate her if you haven't already.