News, etc. about the goings-on in Hollywood and Independent Filmmaking, as seen and heard by me.
Gargoyles: Small Screen to Big Screen
Gargoyles: Small Screen to Big Screen
A list, made back in 2010, by someone else – not me, rather one Jordacar – of a proposed cast, should Disney’s Gargoyles ever make it to the big screen for a live-action feature film. No kidding either: this is a complete cast list. I agree with about 90% of the choices made, but some are better than others.
Among my favorite choices in this list are:
Neil Patrick Harris as Puck. Absolutely, without a doubt, YES. This seems like such a good match that I’m speculating as to what Harris would be like as Puck in the actual Shakespearean context. In the Gargoyles ‘verse, though, there is no question that he would be fantastic.
Seth Rogen as Broadway. Whoa! I am not usually much of a fan of Seth Rogen, but I actually find that this suggestion is a damn good one; if he took the part seriously – and probably even if he didn’t – this would most likely be a really good fit. His voice alone matches Bill Fagerbakke‘s from the show almost perfectly.
Brian Cox as Hudson. Not who I would have thought of on my own, but the more I think about it, the more I like it. No one can argue that Cox is badass, which I think whoever plays Hudson needs to be.
Anton Yelchin as Lexington. I’ve never been able to think of anyone to play Lex, but Yelchin would be perfect.
Sarah Bolger as Princess Katherine. I became a big fan of Sarah Bolger in The Tudors and I can easily see her in this role; she clearly understands how to step into a period setting, and I Katherine is different enough from Mary Tudor that even though the two would be compared, I think the two performances would stand apart.
Aldis Hodge as Glasses. This is awesome. Even though the likelihood of Dracon and his cronies being featured in a Gargoyles film is slim to none, I have to say that, just for this casting, they should all have cameos, if not an active participation.
Michael Ealy as Derek Maza / Talon. If Elisa is played by Rosario Dawson, then I think the two of them could easily play brother and sister – and that’s important.
Enrico Colantoni as Martin Hacker. Big fan; and this would be a slam dunk. Again, unlikely Hacker would show up in a film, but still. Colantoni would be perfect.
Jayma Mays as Maggie Reed. Yes. Yes, indeed.
Adam Baldwin as Fang. It’s basically an evil Jayne Cobb in animal form. ‘Nuff said.
Richard Armitage as Duncan. Uh, yes please!
Vincent Cassel as Oberon. Oh, hell yeah!
I think, too, that Tom Hiddleston should be in there somewhere; possibly as Magus, Owen or maybe even Xanatos (which would be a stretch, but I think he could pull it off). He could also probably play Puck really well, but I think that’d be too close to type-casting. You know, Puck being a trickster and all. Plus, Neil Patrick Harris is too perfect.
The ones don’t especially agree with:
Garrett Hedlund as Brooklyn. NO way! No disrespect meant, but I just cannot see that. I don’t think he’s a bad actor or anything, it’s just not the right fit. He’s a little too old, for starters, and I just can’t see it.
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as Magus. My only real problem with this casting choice is (a) I think Hiddleston might be much better for it, and (b) if Sarah Bolger plays Princess Katherine, then it’d be awfully weird to have the actor who played her father on The Tudors play her love interest in this. Just…*shudder*…creepy, you know?
Liam Neeson as Macbeth. Uh…what? I love Neeson as an actor but, again, that just screams the wrong fit to me.
John Noble as The Archmage. No real issue here, other than I think Gary Oldman might be better for this part. Imagine that!
Les Misérables : Preliminary Thoughts
I have been a fan of Les Misérables – the musical – since I was 10 years old. To this day, it remains my favorite musical (even though, technically speaking, it isn’t really a musical at all). I am part of that demographic that not only likes theatre and I like musicals in general, but knows just about every line of this particular show by heart. I even have a favorite rendition: the 10th Anniversary Concert, performed at the Royal Albert Hall in 1995. I have also read the book (albeit ages ago).
That being said, my perspective going into this, the 2012 film adaptation is going to be incredibly skewed. I am a subjective audience member and I admit that, openly. My main concerns deal with the treatment of the show that I know and love. From the announcement of the cast list to the release of the teaser trailer, I have been extremely nervous about this movie. I am, at this point, reluctant to see the film because of the NUMEROUS bad reviews and because of the sub-par quality of the soundtrack of highlights released on iTunes. In principle, the filmmakers’ choice to cast A-List celebrities, primarily actors rather than singers, pisses me off. This happens in most movie-musicals it seems and I continue to be at a loss for WHY filmmakers haven’t gotten the message yet. Singing roles should be played by singers. Casting unknowns (with maybe one or two big names in the mix) does not necessarily constitute a lack of ticket sales. The Wizard of Oz was a big break for Judy Garland, remember?
Major pieces of the show have been dropped. Expected, but by no means not disappointing. And, on that note, the big complaint I see from so many people is from the rushed feel of the movie and the musical at large. As far as the musical itself goes – yeah. It’s a long f***king story. Have you SEEN the size of the text? The amazing thing about Les Mis the musical is that it DOES manage to tell the bulk of the story in one stage production. That’s damned difficult. Do the melodies repeat? Sure; show me a musical – or, better yet, an opera – that does not. The reasons for those repeats are there for a reason, they aren’t arbitrary or simply there for their own sake, in spite of what so many critics are saying. If that bothers you, then this musical is just not your style and that’s absolutely fine, but it is hardly the musical’s fault. In defense of the film, even without seeing it, I can say that I expected it to be extremely rushed. There’s no intermission and it’s running in cinemas, rather than a theatre or opera house. There is a LOT to get through, and that came with the territory. Is that a reasonable excuse? No, but it’s something that people shouldn’t be so scandalized or shocked by. Such a problem comes with the territory of any stage musical being transitioned to film – at least one that is THIS massive in scope and story.
I could go on and on about this. There have been dozens of interpretations of Les Mis and it has YET to be done better then the four-hour French film produced in 1934. I have heard good things along with the bad, but overall I am left torn and unsure of whether or not to see this movie at all.
I haven’t had much luck with films lately – I was severely disappointed with The Hobbit for reasons that I expect to repeat with Les Mis and I am not exactly anxious to re-experience those feelings of upset, anger and defensiveness over something that means so much to me.
Louise Grant – Gilmore Girls
Madeline Lynn – Gilmore Girls
Young Justice…is gone.
Hey #DCNation fans! Have you heard?? DC Nation will return in January with all new episodes!”
–@CartoonNetwork, October 13th. [link]
For those of you who don’t know, two weeks back, Cartoon Network pulled the entire DC Nation programming block from the schedule – Green Lantern, the DC Nation shorts, the beloved Young Justice: Invasion, all of it – and replaced it with Dreamworks’ Dragons, just 10 hours before airtime. The producers and creators didn’t know about this until after it happened. iTunes didn’t know about it and released the episode as originally planned (thank you, Apple). DirecTV and Dish Network DVRs recorded the time slot as scheduled, since the memo didn’t get to their desks in time, either. No one understood; no explanation was given then – and still hasn’t been given to date. Not even now, after the cheerfully-made announcement via Facebook and Twitter that DC Nation will, in fact return! In January, 2013, that is.
The fandom is in an outrage, and they have every right to be. We only got two episodes, after the three-month hiatus? What gives? An explanation, some information, would be helpful, but nothing. Not that this is new; each hiatus of Young Justice has come out of nowhere, with no reason provided as to why. The last one at least fell into the pattern of a season break; even though it was never really called that officially, as far as I know. Still, it was never this ballsy, the removal of the show, and sometimes in the past they’ve played reruns of the series, to as to not completely alienate us – pardon the pun – from the series and to keep us interested; to, hopefully, keep us coming back for the eventual return of new episodes.
Theories and rumors are abundant over the internet as to the reasons for this debacle. Are there disputes going on within the chain of command? Is there a financial issue? A struggle taking place with DC Comics itself, over rights and permissions? Is this the heeding of Parents’ complaints about the “mature content” in the show? Is there a conflict with the animation studios over work conditions in Korea? No one knows for sure. Cartoon Network remains silent as ever. Meanwhile, the hate-mail and vicious comments from angry fans pour in from every direction.
I’m surprised that I am not more actively angry or saddened by this turn of events. Instead, I find that I feel kind of resigned and overall, just disappointed. It hasn’t sunk in yet, I suppose. Or the pattern that Cartoon Network has fallen into, giving us a small samples and then making us wait for so long, has desensitized me to the absence of what was and still is one of my favorite shows. I’m almost left with a residual sense of apathy towards the network. My biggest resentment, honestly, comes from the manner in which they announced the postponing of DC Nation as a whole. Again: “Hey #DCNation fans! Have you heard?? DC Nation will return in January with all new episodes!” As though it’s good news. Seriously? They expect us to be HAPPY about this? I wish they had, at least have the decency to acknowledge that what they’re doing is disappointing and going to upset their fanbase.
But no. They’ve made it clear that the fans and viewers of their shows are extremely low on their priority list, if we’re on that list at all. You can see that from the outdated graphics used during airtime alone.
It wouldn’t surprise me at this point if the show(s) get cancelled in the long run. I’m already bracing myself for it. Young Justice has been dealing with these cancellation and postponing conflicts since it first aired; for whatever reason, Cartoon Network is resistant towards this show. I, personally, can’t understand why; it’s quality stuff. It appeals to multiple demographics and age groups, the genre is hot right now, especially right after the success of The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers this summer, and the other comic-book films soon to follow. The animation is beautiful and the writing is top-notch. The ratings are decent; at least enough to keep it on the air. What’s the problem? Whatever it is, it’s keeping YJ offstage and out of the limelight. I’m having flashbacks to Gargoyles, and I’m pretty much convinced that Young Justice will follow in the same fashion of cancellation…
…and maybe not. There’s a chance that it might come back. Maybe all this unpleasantness will go away. There’s no way to know at this point; all we can do is wait and see.
But if it does continue in January, I’ll be watching.
Young Justice…Is Back.
Young Justice is back and with a title like “Satisfaction,” hopes were high that they’d deliver and they did. Unlike “Happy New Year,” the episode gets right down to business. We are dropped into the scene without any smoke and mirrors or confusing new stuff thrown at the screen to throw us off. Instead, we get answers. After what feels like eons, we get face time with Original Roy and the Arrows, “Green and Red,” in a scene that packs an understated wallop. It feels like a throwback to season one; the focus is more on character development and story, with the action and fight scenes included to highlight those points rather than take precedence.
On the whole, I was very pleased with this episode. The second half of the last season/season one of Invasion seemed to find its feet and get the show back on track after a very rocky start and “Satisfaction” proceeded in much the same way; I’d even go so far as to say that it made a successful leap forward and the show is moving along nicely. I’m still mourning the loss of the five years, but I found that I wasn’t distracted by that thought while watching the show this time and that’s a nice change of pace.
The themes of the episode were fantastic. I really enjoyed watching the show explore the mentor-protege relationship, and the many variations such a bond can have; the influences and the bonds between them, or lack thereof. A lot of character development here, which is something “Happy New Year” sorely lacked. Red Arrow and Ollie, Speedy and Ollie, Ollie’s own reference to Artemis and his feelings of regret and guilt regarding all that’s happened. That all seemed very real, and I liked that.
Not to mention the interaction between Blue Beetle and Impulse. I like how their friendship is starting and how Bart actually relates to Jamie way more than anyone – especially Jamie – realizes, due to his never knowing Flash before the time-travel. A nice poetic note that Jamie’s point still stands though; Bart does know Flash now, while Jamie, himself, is still alone. I look forward to seeing more of their friendship develop and play out. Jade and Sportsmaster’s conversation was, too, interesting. He, Mr. Crock, still comes off a little two-dimensional to me, but I was impressed with Jade’s reaction; not so much her “I will avenge my sister’s death” bit, but seeing her shed all her layers of indifference, which we started to see with her interaction with Red Arrow, but here we got to see her show some of her true feelings about her father, and made it clear that they’re not exactly on the best of terms, even though they’re working together. I wonder how much of that was motherhood (prior to and then coupled with her sister’s death)?
One thing I kept thinking during the episode was that I feel pretty bad for Aqualad right now, since everyone seems hell-bent on spilling his guts. It certainly says how much Artemis was valued. But also, more than that, I think it says how betrayed they all felt by his actions; my guess is that, like the original team, they all probably thought there was still hope for him, that he wasn’t truly a baddie, but now that he’s “killed” Artemis, they think that he’s not coming back, that he’s really lost and has to pay. Wow. Deep, YJ.
I gotta say though, the thought of a fight between Cheshire and Aqualad is really enticing. As I’ve made clear, I’m not usually one who looks forward to the action scenes of this show, but for some reason this idea really struck me. I hope we get to see that fight eventually, in spite of everything that’s really going on.
Some other details I noticed about this episode:
“We try not to call ourselves sidekicks.” Very nice. Not just because it was a cute reference to previous memorable moments in the show (which, lets face it, every fan was cheering after hearing Red Arrow say that), but also because it shows the evolution of his character, and how he’s somewhat sensitive to the situation at hand. That the anger he is so quick to jump to has ebbed a little. And this shows in the subsequent scenes – hell, the rest of the episode – as well. I like that. In fact, I like Red Arrow a lot more now. Furthermore, I liked that it demonstrated that that sentiment wasn’t completely fabricated by his “clone programming.” The mission he was given as the mole just amplified a feeling he already had and would probably have manifested at some point all on its own. But perhaps not quite so vehemently.
And in that same vein, I like that there is a consistency between the Roys; that the “angry” tendencies are cohesive between them, that it’s not just a Red Arrow/mole-driven thing, while that the original Roy was mild-mannered, calm, cool and collected. It’s who Roy Harper is.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. If this was always the plan, to eventually refer to him, then I’m sorry I ever doubted Greg and Brandon. Or, if this was added in post-fandom-rants regarding Jason’s noticeable absence from the series, then I’m very glad and appreciative that they listened; did I mention thank you?
In EITHER event, though, it’s such a great thing to see the nod to the second Robin. Way to go!
I really like that Impulse is becoming a consistent presence. It’s a nice, smooth replacement for Wally from season one. I know Wally’s around again, but he’s a very different guy now (not that I’m complaining about that development), and Impulse’s attitude, behavior and interaction with the other characters feels like a throwback to the original team, more so than a lot of other things we’ve seen so far, including the characters from that first team themselves, like Nightwing. It’s just…different now and I’m still really feeling those differences. So, again, Impulse’s being there feels familiar and almost nostalgic even though, at the same time, he’s really quite different from both versions of Wally West. And so much the better!
Small thing, but I would have liked to hear Nightwing and Wally speak. They were there, but I look forward to spending more time with them in future episodes. In spite of how much I am enjoying the show again, with the – as far as I’m concerned – still-new kids on the black, I miss them, the old gang.
Speedy’s sarcastic comment about Red Arrow being an “original name” was actually quite amusing to me, especially after YJ’s own acknowledgement that “Speedy” seemed odd for Green Arrow’s sidekick.
And lastly, I’m intrigued by the introduction of Wendy.
I’m never sure where I stand on the Supermartian ship, but I was surprised at how much I liked the scene between Connor and Wendy. It felt very organic and realistic and I’m hoping to see more of that relationship develop, whatever direction it takes. Plus, it was one of my favorite new-character-appearances of the entire show. It was understated and simple, as opposed to so many of the others, which were practically thrown against our TV screens in most cases. So I’m impressed with that.
On the other hand, WOW, M’gann seems SUPER concerned about La’gaan.
I almost feel like they’re not even trying to maintain her relationship with him and at this point I wonder if he is almost dead weight to the story now. Reminds me of “Back to the Future,” in that they hadn’t planned to do a sequel, but when it came time to make one, they regretted having Jennifer be in the car as well, because it made writing another installment that much more difficult.
La’gaan’s being held prisoner is clearly part of the overall story arc and will be significant in future episodes; but that’s him independently and not connected to M’gann. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.
1. In watching this episode it suddenly dawned on me: why haven’t Red Arrow and Connor been spending more time together? I realize they’re both sort of loners but at the same time, they also are both, inside, really hurting and dealing with a lot of the same issues. They’re both clones and are both struggling with the question of whether they are anything more than an insufficient copy of their source material. Connor’s gotten beyond that a bit, as we saw last season with his interaction with Clark/Superman. But I think that there could definitely be some interesting scenes between them and that they would make really good friends. Am I alone in thinking this? Or am I really behind to getting to this thought?
2. What is Lex Luthor up to? His game plan with Connor and the shields revealed to be an elaborate scheme; will this be something similar, with his giving the replicated arm to Speedy?
3. For any Gargoyles fans out there, like me, am I the only one who thought that Luthor bore a VERY close resemblance to one David Xanatos in this episode? And, additionally, that Speedy’s transition into Arsenal seems a bit similar to Demona’s fall from grace?
4. Since we got to see the small reference to Jason Todd, does this mean we might see a reference to “the Red Hood” at some point in the future? Please?
5. OMFG, Cartoon Network’s graphics. Can we PLEASE get new graphics for the commercial breaks? They’ve had almost a year; two seasons’ worth of of time to make new ones that aren’t just screencaps and stills from the first season. It’s a cruel reminder of the first season for those of us sorely missing that team. So, seriously, why haven’t they updated their graphics???
In conclusion, “Satisfaction” absolutely satisfied and provided an excellent start to…season three? Season two of Invasion? Part two of season one of Invasion? Whatever; this next batch of episodes.
I’m ecstatic that the show is back and eagerly await the next installment.
“Young Justice: Invasion.” First Impressions.
A few days have passed since the heavy-hitting season premiere of Young Justice: Invasion. I, like so many other YJ fans, reacted strongly and emotionally to Happy New Year, and I was ready to dash into the blogosphere and spew my feelings and position on both how the episode had opened and presented itself singularly, as well as my concerns, hopes and questions about the future for the series. I waited, though, because, at the same time, I was numb from those drastic and radical changes from last season.
I processed what I’d seen for a day, then proceeded to investigate the forums and blogs, not for my own review, but to see what others were saying—day-to-day fans, both those who know the comics and those who do not, as well as critics, particularly the folks at IGN.com. After reading, listening and watching a great many responses, it appears to me that audiences are almost completely split, and there’s not much gray area between the two camps…
On one side, the consensus seems to be positive, that while the five-year flash-forward was abrupt and unexpected, it was a pleasant surprise. It was great to see the new characters and to see Dick Grayson secure in his new role as Nightwing. We’re left with some questions and loose ends, but overall a good, interesting start to season two.
On the other side, the rest of the fans are distraught…“heavy on the dis.” In that camp, the missing five years left the audience wanting, with too much left out; the missing characters’ absences are glaring and problematic, and the onslaught of new characters felt erratic, haphazard and overwhelming, with a distinct lack of the development that season one had in spades from the start.
For my part, I still side with the latter. I wanted, so badly, to come to a different conclusion after I heard opposing opinions, got explanations and DC Comics history, and took in what it was that fans enjoyed in this episode. I wanted to lessen the disappointment I still feel.
While I no longer outwardly detest the choices and changes that have taken place, have come to respect them from a distance, I still don’t favor them. I did enjoy seeing Beast Boy, Tim Drake’s Robin is pleasant addition, Blue Beetle managed to stand out among the horde of new characters…and various other bits of the show were enjoyable, but it doesn’t begin to compare to “Independence Day” and “Fireworks.” I doubt that the show will ever be as good as it was before.
Simply put, I feel that this leap ahead was done too soon, and too much time was skipped over. Too expand that point, it’s not what happened in the episode that bothers me: it’s what we’ve missed by skipping those five years. I don’t know if I’m alone, but seeing Dick suddenly appear as Nightwing was like a slap in the face. It was great to see Nightwing, don’t get me wrong, but I felt as though that not seeing that transition from the 13-year-old Boy Wonder into the grown-up Dick-Grayson-Nightwing was unfair and cruel. There is so much in those five years to tell, and we’ve completely missed it.
The common response to a critique like that – as, I know, I am most definitely not the first to point this out – has often been, “jeez, relax, it’s episode one, they’ll go back and fill in the blanks. They have to, right?”
Maybe. Maybe not. Based on what I’ve read, it sounds as though this is no temporary situation; the plan seems to be to stick with this premise and this context for a good long while. According to Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti, the dynamic of the show has shifted; the focus of the relationships is no longer mentor-to-student but seniors-to-freshman, within the “young justice league” itself, which strongly indicates that the show we had for all of season one is gone entirely. Even with flashbacks and memories, it will never be the same again. And, in fact, it appears that the outline for season two is absolutely jam-packed and hefty with plot, rather than the character-driven style of season one. Again, from what I’ve heard, the “Invasion” comic series presents a dark future for the characters we have come to know and love. Young Justice has lightened many of the darker elements of the comics, but, so far, they’ve suited the stories that are being told in their own right, which leads me to point out yet another grievance. Season one had a massive appeal to both comic-lovers and total outsiders, like myself. The show seemed to find a nice middle-ground between authenticity to its source material and originality for the new viewer. The stories were strong, character development was key. Like with Weisman’s show, Gargoyles, there was a strong sense of community among the group, which walked the line of their being kids and, simultaneously, crime-fighting superheroes-in-training; the realistic vs. the fantastic. Invasion, however, goes in the completely opposite direction. Unless you know the comics and appreciate how much homage is being paid to often-ignored characters, or details of the comic-lore, then most of this episode went right over our heads, which is not something we’re used to. We are used to being able to sink into the world comfortably—maybe having a question or two here and there, but not ones that so disrupt the flow of the episode or affect, badly, your watching experience. Regardless of where the show might be headed or what might be explained in subsequent episodes, nothing changes the fact that this opening statement was one-sided in favor of the comic aficionados and that seriously hurt the show’s appeal.
When I first viewed this episode, I was so distracted by my confusion and upset that I found it difficult to concentrate on the actual story. Not that there was much to concentrate on; I agree with the fans that thought it was too much at one time. Not only are the familiar faces missing or drastically altered in their presentation, but we have dozens of new ones thrown at us, some of which for mere two- or three-second appearances. And to what purpose? Just to please the avid comic fans? I read in one of the IGN articles that, towards the beginning of the show’s production, both DC and Cartoon Network studio heads told the creators that they could only use or reference a very, very small margin of characters. While this limited them in what they could do, I think the ending result benefitted everyone; much the way that George Lucas’ being limited to invent the effects for Star Wars without fancy computer-generated technology, which led to the classic film trilogy and a style that really hadn’t been seen up to that point. However, when it came time for season two, the execs all gave the creators permission to do what they wanted and, like Lucas with the Star Wars prequel trilogy, it changed everything. Hence the blitz of new characters; so many new faces that we can’t even see straight sometimes. I think the forced restraint of season one was a blessing in disguise. I realize that by now they must be tired and eager to do more, bring in more characters and more heavy plotlines, but I think they went just a tad overboard.
We’ll find out where Wally is. Where Aqualad is. Where Artemis is. Where Red Arrow is. We’ll hear more about Dick’s transition into Nightwing. The missing block of time. Sure. What we won’t get, though, is the same team, the same structure or framework that we had before and, in that, there has been something lost that we can’t get back. Barring some kind of all-powerful reset button—which, even if used, most likely won’t show up until halfway through the season at the earliest—then the way the story was told for all of the first season will never be seen again. That team no longer exists and to completely uproot the audience from it in one, fell, 22-minute swoop seems cruel. In many ways it feels like a betrayal. I loved season one. It makes me very sad to think that it’s probably gone.
This doesn’t mean I’m done with the show. I still plan to watch it, but only in the hopes that it gets better from here. I wasn’t especially thrilled with the new format in its own right. Watching it a second time, I found that there was very little of it that seemed to have any longevity. Most of the characters and elements of story seemed to be presented at face-value, shallow and temporary. Will the show stay like this or improve? I guess we’ll just have to watch and find out.
But here’s hoping.
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More “Neverland” Exploration
I stumbled onto this trailer yesterday, not long after posting my last entry.
I think it looks quite good, actually. Reminds me of Wicked; that kind of story. I’m generally drawn to these kinds of origin tales, and this one seems to be taking its own spin on things, rather than trying to stay completely true to the original work. Yet, it doesn’t seem so horrendously out of place, either.
I’m also intrigued because I see, among the cast, Rhys Ifans as Hook (I recognized him as Xenophilius Lovegood), Bob Hoskins as Smee (a character he already played in Hook), Anna Friel as Captain Anne Bonny (I love the fact that they’re using a history-based figure here, and I’ve loved everything I’ve seen this girl in, all the way back to A Midsummer Night’s Dream where she played Hermia) and even Charlie Rowe as Peter himself (I’ve only seen him as young Tommy in Never Let Me Go, but he made an impression in that).