Sunday, July 27, 2008

Meme Watch: Silence

The latest meme seems to be silence. Many bloggers have, for some reason, either slowed or stopped their posts. Neil Gaiman is taking a break, for instance, and Wil Wheaton commented on how quiet it's been. Stephen Fry admits to having taken a break. My Google Reader is empty for the first time in a long time.

"It's the middle of summer," you might be saying, "of course people are going to be more sluggish."

But is that really the reason? Or is it something more... sinister?

That, as they say, is the Question.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Meme Watch

You know how I commented that bacon was making its memetic rounds lately? For some reason, it was just popping up everywhere.

I think, for whatever reason, the M3 Grease Gun and the living dead are next. Not necessarily together, but that would be awesome.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (Spoilers Galore)

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is the most wide-spread internet phenomenon since bacon. (Really, have you noticed the memetic rise of bacon lately? It seems like there's bacon everywhere.)

It's by Joss Whedon, starring a bunch of people from disparate but equally nerdy sources, and it's a musical, and it's free but only available until Sunday, etc. It's even fairly steampunk-ish, in the appearance of the sympathetic Dr. Horrible and his lair/apartment. Well, now the third release is out, and I have to say:

==========If it needs to be said, the spoilers are below==========


A friend of mine and I were talking at work about what would be the worst way to end it: I suggested that Penny might die as a result of Dr. Horrible's fiendish plot, while my friend suggested that it would be worse if Dr. Horrible became good.

Well, now that we've seen the end, we know that Joss Whedon decided that he really did want to ruin his instantly beloved series, and he chose door number A. Which leads to the question: why? Before the final part was released, I was speaking with another friend of mine, and he reminded me that Joss-face Whedon-face had previously inserted melodrama into an otherwise happy and light-hearted plot (see: Buffy), and he was apt to do it again.

Which only leaves me to wonder why he would do it again. Why, after everyone and their blog went out of their way to give him free publicity and glowing praise, hyping it to the sky before anyone knew how it would end, would he stab us all in the throat by giving it such a disappointing, depressing ending? Why the sudden shift in tone? I can only compare it to the miscarriage story arc in Ctrl+Alt+Del. Well, that and a kick to the nuts.

I watched the last few minutes of Dr. Horrible, including the end credits, waiting for Joss to say, "Psyche! Now this is the real ending..." I mean, the tragic death of Penny happens with five minutes left, so there was plenty of time for it to all have been Dr. Horrible's imagination, or for a time-traveling superhero to give him another chance, or for him to invent a Life Ray to go with his Death Ray, or.... But nothing. Just bleak blackness of depressing darkness.

I have just under thirty dollars in iTunes store credit, and I had already decided to buy the Dr. Horrile season pass. Now I can't get myself to do that. I want to support these actors, all of whom I like, and Joss, who I hope will make more stories that don't feature his fetish for barefoot girls kicking butt, and the medium of digital delivery. But I can't support this. It's not a good product.

So here's my alternate ending: everything is the same until the point where Captain Hammer knocks down Dr. Horrible and sends his Death Ray flying. But in my version, Penny picks up the Death Ray and, having obviously realized that Captain Hammer is a douchebag, she shoots Captain Hammer with the Death Ray and becomes Dr. Horrible's evil queen, Bad Penny.

That would have been so much better, don't you think? Now we can only hope that Joss will come up with an "alternate ending" for the DVD. I have to say that there's a part of me that's hoping for that: that the whole ending was a marketing ploy to get people to buy the DVD, in order to see the real, happy ending. If only....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More on this movie; Also: A Gruesome Find

Because I know you're not bored of this movie yet...

...Colin Firth is going to be playing the absent-minded genius scientist.

Also, if you'll remember my CD collecting project, today I cast back to those good old days and, to celebrate my paycheck, stopped by Amoeba for another crack at it. The CD I ended up getting was....

Of Blood and Nobility, by A Gruesome Find
Best song title: Among the Smouldering Remains

This was, believe it or not, the first CD that I saw in the rack today. It was love at first site. Er, I mean, it was brutal hatred and loathsome disgust at first sight. I mean, look at that cover. An evil warrior in dark armor, with glowing red eyes, swings a mace from the back of his demonic-looking steed. That's metal.

And now, a Steampunk review:

I have recently been given the opportunity to listen to a new set of grammaphonic recordings of the latest experiments of Lord Mininger, Naberius, Lord Albrecht, and Lord Cessna. Strange, I do not recall seeing them at the House of Lords before.It seems that these gentlemen have invented a new form of surgery, and have recorded several of their early operations for posterity. The fast-paced tapping sound of the strokes of their steam-driven galvanic engine combine with the distorted electrics of the articulated pneumatosurgical operating apparatus, though they cannot drown out the bizarre growls and shrieks of the patients.

What? Er... music? No, I do not recall hearing any music...

Steampunk aside, the music is quite good. Based on the cover design, I expected another half-assed job like Inquisition, but the design of the CD case is very professional, and the music sounds polished. It's generic, sure, but these guys know what works. It's also nice that two piano pieces are thrown into the mix. All the other songs sound the same, with manic drumming, fast chords repeated endlessly, and lyrics that alternating shrieking and bellowing, but these two songs are actually quite nice.

For some reason, iTunes imported the track "Into the Realm of Darkness" as "Intro The Real Of Darkness." Still sounds good, though.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

In Honour of Patrick Stewart and Harrison Ford's Birthdays...

Since today is the birthday of both Patrick Stewart and Harrison Ford, they're both welcome to be in my Steampunk movie. Harrison Ford can play as the rich American investor who is eager to sponsor the young hero's invention, while Patrick Stewart has a darker role as a shadowy lord who may be an ally or an enemy, or perhaps only an observer to make sure things work out the way he intends....

Also, as per other recommendations, Cate Blanchett is welcome to come along, as Patrick Stewart's agent who becomes a little too interested in Ewan McGregor. I think Laurence Fishburn would make a brilliant airship pilot (who the audience suspect is a pirate). Vinnie Jones would be one of Gary Oldman's agents in England, under the direct command of the deceptively cool Jason Statham.

Wow, this movie's starting to pull in a lot of stars. I hope we get a good enough budget!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Today's lolcat gets special notice for his steampunkish appearance and manner of speech:But my favorite is still:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Dream Cast for Steampunk: the Movie

I didn't know what to write about today, so I thought I would roll out the old standby of bloggers and think about casting for a hypothetical movie. So who would you cast in Steampunk: the Movie? Here are my thoughts.

The heroic young scientist: Ewan McGregor
His straight-laced, straight-shooting fiancee: Keira Knightley (nobody is surprised)
The mad scientist bent on world domination: Gary Oldman
His daughter, who is as beautiful as she is dangerous: Natalie Portman (ditto)
Mysterious agent from the far Orient: Tadanobu Asano
Large-mustached colonel: Stephen Fry

I'll add more as I think of them. Perhaps you would like to contribute?