Another Stargate mini-reunion of sorts the other night. I got the chance to catch up with some old friends over nachos and ale, several of whom you’ll no doubt recognize from such places as twitter, Stargate behind-the-scenes features, and this very blog.
It’s good to hear everybody’s keeping busy – but hopefully not too busy because when I get my next show off the ground, I’ll of course expect them to drop whatever they’re doing to come work for me.
One of my favorite restaurants in Vancouver closes its doors March 24th and, although Refuel will be no more, its sister restaurants Campagnolo, Campagnolo Roma, and the soon to open Fat Dragon, will live on. Today, Akemi and I dropped by for a final lunch at our former stomping/eating grounds. For her, a rocket salad and soup. For me, a burger. And not just any burger…
Wait! Did you say “served medium-rare”? Why, yes. You can read about it here: Medium-rare burgers are taboo in Canada but may not be as …. You have two more days to try one. Refuel’s last dinner service is this Saturday.
Wow. Lots happening in the NFL over the past few days. My thoughts on –
The Broncos signing Peyton Manning = Good luck to them. He’s coming off multiple neck surgeries and, even before going under the knife, wasn’t exactly playing great football. Was it a problem addressed by the surgeries or was it the telltale erosion of skills over time? Hey, anything is an improvement at the QB position for this team but, even in a best case scenario, Manning will have his work cut out for him given the quality of his new divisional opponents. He’ll no longer be throwing against the likes of the Bills or Dolphins D. He’ll be up against the always tough San Diego Chargers and the improving Raiders and Chiefs. If I was a Broncos fan, I wouldn’t be making those Superbowl plans just yet.
Tebow to the New York Jets = I actually think New York is the perfect home for him – somewhere he won’t threaten the established QB by competing for the position yet a place that will allow him to see some limited action. He’s got a long way to go and backing up someone like Mark Sanchez is a perfect opportunity to improve on his suspect quarterback skills.
Saints suspensions = While I agree that punishments were warranted for the bounty program that rewarded players for injuring opponents, I feel that suspending head coach Sean Payton for a year is way too harsh a penalty. My misgivings stem not so much from my opinion of what they did than from the fact that many other teams have (or had) the same mercenary policy, whether unspoken or otherwise – but only the Saints got caught. It’s like an article I read the other day about a couple of neighborhood gas stations being fined for price fixing. My response was: “Great! Now let’s go after every other neighborhood gas station!”. Believe me, it’s no coincidence that all the local gas prices seem to fluctuate in tandem. Whenever the price skyrockets, they say: “Hey, the price of oil just spiked. It’s not our fault.” Then, when the price of oil goes down and they’re asked why the prices at the pump remain steady, they say: “Hey, it takes a while for the lower costs to work their way through the system.” In other words, instantaneous when the price goes up but anywhere from two weeks to never when the price drops.
Finally got around to watching Sucker Punch this morning. Tsk tsk tsk. And I was so looking forward to it too. (SPOILER WARNING) Talk about depressing. I disliked this movie for the same reason I disliked Brazil – almost the exact seem reason given that the set-up seemed to be an homage. In Brazil, our protagonist is about to be lobotomized when he is rescued. He embarks on an adventure, battling against his oppressors until the narrative is pulled out from underneath the viewer and we cut back to the lobotomy session and realize everything we just witnessed was in the mind of our now lobotomized hero. In Sucker Punch, our heroine is about to undergo a lobotomy at which point we – well, I’m not sure. We’re flashing back and witnessing the grim events of the institution play out in some alternate fantasy version. If that’ s not confusing enough, this movie commits the egregious error of doing fantasy sequences within fantasy sequences. Ultimately, we come back to the lobotomy session and learn that some real-world version of the events we witnessed did happen, but it’s still lights out for our heroine who is now a vegetable. The visuals are spectacular, the battle choreography incredible, and yet the movie ends up a bleak, troubling, and ultimately unsatisfying exercise of wasted potential.
Tam Dixon writes: “Would you eat chicken feet with a smile? Could you?”
Answer: Yep. Have had them at dim sum. Not much meat to them. And, uh, Jeff – you’re not supposed to eat the toenails.
Sue Jackson writes: “I’ve eaten was alligator. It’s not bad…and it does taste like chicken.”
Answer: I found it closer to veal or frog legs.
JimFromJersey writes: “But last summer I did eat pigs brain as I was carving the deliciously wood-fired oven roasted sucker down for a party.It was “meh”. I didn’t much enjoy the texture, and it was very metallic tasting.”
Answer: Actually, I don’t mind the texture, especially when fried so you have the nice textural contrast of the crispy exterior and creamy interior. But the metallic aftertaste you mentioned IS a turnoff.
Ponytail writes: “Everytime I make a peanut butter and bologna sandwich with mustard, I recognize I’m a little odd.”
Answer: Okay not, that IS odd.
Quade writes: “I recently picked up The Walking Dead Compendium 1, and while I wasn’t blown away by the art, the story is definetly keeping me interested. It’s surprising how unparallel the show has become since the first two or three episodes.”
Answer: Yes, they’re two separate entities – which is great because it allows you to double your fun by following two different versions of the same concept.
Vincent Messager writes: “Shall you still dream to create an end to it, I recommend you look for money outside US as the ROW (rest of the world), I am sure, really enjoyed SGU and probably more open minded than US viewers. Canal Plus for example ?”
Answer: All roads go through the studio that owns the rights to the Stargate franchise – MGM. If they’re interested in pursuing a continuation of the series, it’ll happen. If they’re not interested, it won’t happen. The notion that SGU went off the air because we didn’t have enough money to continue produce the series is a false one.
Janet writes: “My Mum and family and the house are fine. If the storm took a detour North-west, they would have been right in it.”
Answer: Good to hear. It’s been some crazy weather.
Line Noise: “Why were countries firing live nuclear weapons!?!?!?!?!”
Answer: Y’know, now that you mention it, that’s a hell of a good point. I assume this isn’t common practice.
Line Noise also writes: “Why does Supes care if there’s nuclear armageddon? He can just fly around the Earth really fast and turn back time, can’t he?”
Answer: Yes. If the first Superman movie taught us anything, it’s that anything that happens in the Superman franchise has absolutely no consequence because it can all be undone.
DP writes: “I don’t think the subway is still safe just because Superman said so – I live in a world w/o Superman. What happens when the operator passes out in MY world?”
Answer: I love how Superman suddenly becomes a medical expert on exiting the front of the subway. “He’ll be okay,”he tells the cops, referring to the operator who passed out. “He may need to see a doctor.” You think?!
Deborah Rose writes: “And since when do you get dna from hair cuttings? follicles, yes. But not the ends of the hair.”
Answer: Imagine how much more powerful a clone he could have created with the proper genetic sample?
gforce writes: “I thought the effects in the opening sequence were actually pretty good and gave me some hope. However, apparently they blew their entire budget there. Because the rest were pretty much… ew.”
Answer: In all honesty, I felt the same way. The opening sequence, while silly, did give me some hope – which was immediately crushed with the introduction of the John Cryer character and ensuing sequence.
gforce also writes: “Ultimately, what’s so disappointing is that there is the idea of a much better movie in there somewhere.”
Answer: So it was with every one of the Superman movies – so much wasted potential.
gforce also writes: “What I was hoping for was that once Superman rid the world of the weapons, he would come to realize that the nations didn’t necessarily WANT peace, he realizes that the basic problem of why the weapons are there hasn’t been solved at all, and humanity themselves must solve the problem.”
Answer: Yeah, that WOULD have been great.
Kathode writes: “When countries fire off their nukes, Supe catches them and redirects them to his giant Nuke Net in space. Once it’s filled, he hurls it into the Sun. End of nukes. Wait a minute! Why were those countries firing off their nukes in the first place? Do countries normally go around firing nuclear missiles into space? Isn’t the usual protocol to stockpile your nukes underground, waiting for the day you hope will never come? Shhhshhhshhhh….”
Answer: It does seem a tad wasteful. I guess that’s why they’re so damn expensive.
Kathode also writes: “There’s a really bizarre scene in Lex’s penthouse just before the introduction of Nuclear Man. Jon Cryer’s listening to his Walkman, and Lex is dancing with some woman dressed in 18th-century French garb, a la Marie Antoinette, complete with the ginormous white powdered wig. What’s going on there? Is this some sort of kinky prostitution gig? Did Lex hire an 18th-century-France-themed hooker???”
Answer: Haven’t a clue. Let’s chalk it up to good ole supervillain eccentricity.
Kathode also writes: “Then after Supe gets his powers back, he just happens to show up at the foot of the Empire State Building right when Nuke shows up, looking for Lacy. And Nuke asks, “Where is she?” And Superman magically knows what he’s talking about. Supe obviously read the script. That, or he’s psychic. But why does Nuke show up at the Empire State Bldg looking for Lacy? He LIVES in that building! It’s where Lex’s penthouse is. If there’s one building in Metropolis where he should know Lacy isn’t, it’s that one. Why doesn’t this showdown happen at the Daily Planet building?”
Answer: In most other movies, I would complain about the fact that they focus all their attention on the spectacular visual effects and completely ignore the most important part of the production – the damn script! – but in this movie they were equal opportunity ignorers. The script was horrendous and those visual effects…yeesh.
mayankgureja writes: “Let me start off by saying you’re one of the reasons why I got back into writing, after having left it a few years ago to pursue other interests. You made me realize that I actually missed it, and I’m starting to pursue a few publish-worthy pieces!”
Answer: Nice to hear. Keep at it!
Maryanne writes: “I haven’t seen a mention of March Madness here this year. Are you not participating Joe?”
Answer: I didn’t join a pool this year so my interest is somewhat muted. Still, rooting for Cincinnati, Xavier, Marquette, Michigan State, Baylor, NC State, and Ohio, and rooting against Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Ohio State
slamaina writes: “Any chance you will be making an appearance at the last Vancouver Stargate Con?”
Answer: Nope. Know nothing about it.
paloosa writes: “And what happened to the listing of the months on the right side of the blog? My computer is slow, and it was so easy to click on it to catch up.”
Answer: Just click on the archives and scroll down.
Ponytail writes: “Hey Joe, if you can say, which main characters in Dark Matter were your creation and which ones were Paul’s?”
Answer: I developed Dark Matter on my own for several years (characters, story, arcs, etc.) and wrote a first draft of the script. Paul did the rewrite and helped to redevelop some of the existing material. I took the lead on Dark Matter. He took the lead on another project he’s been working on – a pilot script that I’ll be reading tonight.