November 3, 2018: You Can Never Go Home Again!

Earlier today, I received a text from my good friend Robert Cooper who informed me that, while rewatching some of the classic movies he enjoyed back in the day, was shocked to discover that a number of the seminal films from his youth are, upon further review, not that good – or, at the very least, not as good as he remembered.  I can empathize as it has happened to me countless times when I’ve revisited some of my old favorites.  Sadly, a lot of just don’t hold up.

Some of the movies I LOVED back in the day that I’ve fallen out of love with in time:

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Phantasm

Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

Forrest Gump

Apocalypse Now

Con Air

Ghostbusters

Groundhog Day

Gladiator

Crash

To be fair, I’m unimpressed by most of what I see, so this just serves to trim down an already slim list.  It makes me almost afraid to re-watch The Sting, Tombstone, Pulp Fiction, and Clue less.

Thank goodness for Die Hard, Misery, and Planes, Train and Automobiles – classics that DO stay the test of time.

So what about you?  What movies have you recently revisited that – well, aren’t anywhere near as good as you remembered?

November 2, 2018: Halloween

Everything old is old again in Halloween, a sequel to a movie made 40 years ago, that feels like it was made 39 years ago, so devoid is it of even a shred of originality.

Contrived death sequences?  Check!

Closet fake-out sequence?  Check!

Ankle grab and struggle beat?  Check?

Characters making moronic decisions that put them in harm’s way?  CHECK!

And so much more!

There is one extended sequence in which Jamie Lee Curtis’s Laurie Strode character searches the house with nothing but a flashlight illuminating its dark recesses.  At one point, Ivon leaned over and whispered: “Turning on the lights wouldn’t be a bad idea.”  True, but then where would be the fun in that?

It’s like wondering why, after 40 years, would authorities choose to transfer a serial killing mental patient on  the anniversary of his killing spree?  I mean, they couldn’t have waited until the day AFTER Halloween?

I guess ours is not to question why but to mentally note the innumerable horror movie cliches that pepper this half-ass effort.

It’s downright astounding to think that Scream did such a brilliant job of subverting the genre back in 1996 and now, twenty-two years later, we get THIS.

Favorite line: “I’m a doctor!  Get back in your homes!”

Oh, a doctor you say?  Alrighty then.

 

November 1, 2018: Updating You on Me!

I pitched Akemi some of the character elements of my Untitled Awesome Project today and she is now bemoaning the fact that she can’t watch the show.  Yet!  She already has a favorite and some of the situations I describe had her laughing out loud.  Even my go-to onset producer, Ivon, is excited about it – and he only knows the basic premise.  Some major Dark Matter vibes in this one, thematic and tonal similarities that would make it ideal for crossover potential.

Tonight’s blog entry is late because I’ve been having way too much fun working on this series overview that is already 12 pages long.  It hopefully goes out next week for initial broadcaster consideration.  Also, apparently, I need to come up with an actual title for the show.  I’m stumped.  I throw it over to you guys.  Any ideas?

Speaking of overviews, I did a pass on one this afternoon for the series I’m currently showrunning, a polish on an impressive first draft written by our script coordinator, Sam.  It will also go out for broadcaster approval along with the pilot script I revised this morning and sent RT’s way.  Things are coming along nicely on this front.  The revised outlines for Episodes 3-5 are in play and it’s looks like fluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuiiiiiiid and siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilky sailing!

Should I succeed in finishing all my work well ahead of schedule, I may actually treat myself to a matinee tomorrow.  Halloween?  Venom?  Suspira? Can You Ever Forgive Me?    Burning?

Or will I just stay home, researching fantasy football and thinking about starting Haunting of Hill House?

P.S. I woke up to the sound of tremendous CRASH this morning.  Turns out one of the motorized blinds snagged and upended my bar holding my entire collection of Japanese whiskies.  Two crystal glasses shattered but I’m pleased to report that the Hibiki, Toki, Yoichi, Bush, Taketsuru, and Tokinoka survived the ordeal unscathed.

October 31, 2018: Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

These were my favorites…

Avengers Halloween Special #1 (cover art by Geoff Shaw)

Black Panther #5 (cover art by Daniel Acuna, Paolo Rivera)

Multiple Man #5 (cover art by Marcos Martin)

Tony Stark: Iron Man #5 (cover art by Alexander Lozano)

Weapon X Vol. 4: Russian Revolution (cover art by Rahzzah)

What If? Magik #1 (cover art by Jeff Dekal)

So, which were your favorites?

October 30, 2018: Things I learned today!

Spent half the day undergoing my annual health assessment.  As far as I can tell (pending the results of the blood test), I’m as healthy and hopelessly out of shape as ever!

Other things I have learned:

I read better when I wear my reading glasses.

My sense of balance is atrocious, making me a poor candidate for that heist team member who has to negotiate a building-bridging telephone line like a tightrope walker.

I really don’t like needles.  ESPECIALLY when they’re piercing my flesh.  And ESPECIALLY when they’re used with the express purpose of drawing blood from my arm only to fail – twice! – and have to tap a vein in my OTHER arm!

I also really don’t like the sight of my own blood leaving my body.

It’s very hard to keep your eye open/from watering when you know it’s going to be blasted with a puff of air.

My grip strength is decidedly average.

During an ultrasound, never joke about wanting to know the sex of the baby.

I have a truly terrible sense of coordination, making me a poor candidate for that heist team member who has to negotiate the laser maze.

When you’re unable to provide a urine sample is when they need it and when you ARE able to provide a urine sample, they don’t want it.  (Solution: Always carry one around with you, just in case!)

The likelihood of your agent getting back to you in a speedy manner is inversely proportional to your desire to get an answer to that question you asked him.

October 29, 2018: I’m like Tom Hanks in that movie where he’s adrift with no internet! What was it? Big?

I received the terrible news this morning while I was still in bed.  “The internet is down,”said Akemi.

“Did you try rebooting?”I asked.

When she told me she had, I didn’t think much of it.  There have been countless times where I have had to act as IT guy for her various computer issues.  Granted, the depth of my repertoire consists of asking her to reboot and, if that doesn’t work, hopping on google, but it has sufficed in the past.  And so, I assumed, it would this time as well.  Until I rolled over to check my phone and realized…

The internet was down!

I jumped out of bed and unplugged, then plugged in the router.  Nothing!

I texted Ivon to find out if he was experiencing trouble with his wireless.  HIS wireless was fine!  WTF???  We have the same internet provider!

So I called our internet provider and was informed they were aware of the problem and it was a service issue.  I pointed out that my friend, who lives in the same building, has experienced no problems with HIS internet.  Their response was the equivalent of a half-hearted shrug and a “What can you do?”  Still, they assured me that their crack team was working on it and that my internet access would be restored…

…eventually…

IN 24 TO 48 HOURS!!!

Holy Hell!  I may as well be on Mars or in the middle of the Sahara or my mom’s place in Montreal!

I tell ya, there’s nothing like being cut off from the rest of humanity to really make you take stock in things like life’s capricious nature and that script rewrite you’ve got to deliver before week’s end.

Well, tomorrow I am off for my annual physical.  I’ll be getting pinched, prodded, and bled after which they will test my physical endurance by making me run (for the first since we knocked over that liquor store back in 2016!).  I will have to submit a three day food journal that Akemi has forced me to answer truthfully (“Hey!  Where’s your afternoon lattes?!!!) and then demonstrate such feats of physical prowess as my inability to touch my toes or stand on one foot with my eyes closed.

Wish me luck!

October 28, 2018: Suji Sunday!

Hmmmm.  This could be a problem.  Whenever I’m working, Suji has to be sitting up on the couch as well, pressed up against me.  At night, she’s on the bed, also pressed up against me when she sleeps.  Apparently, when I leave the house or am gone for a while, she paces anxiously and, when I come through the door on my return, she absolutely loses it.

I am already feeling guilty about being away for her for nine whole days when we travel to Japan at the end of November.

Out for Hong Kong waffles…

Look at her ears go!

October 27, 2018:

Apologies for the late blog entry but I was out tonight with the lovely and talented Roger Cross who is in Toronto shooting a t.v. series, between his various other t.v. show appearances.  Despite his busy schedule, he still found the time to take Akemi and I out for dinner.  A class act.  Hopefully, before he heads back to Vancouver, he has time to swing by our place and put a dent in the 70 or so collected bottles that survived the Dark Matter Whiskey Club.

On our way back home, I noticed Halloween parties were in full swing.  It has been, admittedly, a while since the last time I dressed up, but I will always have fond memories of those early outfits.  They included: Captain Kirk, Han Solo, and Wolverine.  Really, the cool character trifecta.  What more is there to add?

One of the things I miss about living in an apartment rather than a house is the opportunity to hand out treats to costumed kids.  Not that I have any great affection for children.  Just the opposite.  Back in Vancouver, I used to answer the door with a platter of raw vegetables and canned fish.  I remember it backfiring when one kid’s eyes positively lit up: “I love smoked oysters!”  In retrospect, I should have gone with hard cheeses.

So, with Halloween just around the corner, what are YOU dressing up as?  Harley Quinn?  Brite Bomber from Fortnite?  Michael AvenattiM?

Matinees I want to check out this week that I probably won’t have time to go see so why am I doing this to myself?: Burning, Venom, Halloween, Bad Times at the El Royale, Suspiria, A Simple Favor.

Please weigh in with your early reviews!

 

October 25, 2018: Robert Cooper’s new series!

Many of you know Robert C. Cooper as a writer and/or Executive Producer on such shows as Stargate: SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis, Stargate: Universe, and Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.  Well, his new project, Unspeakable, sees him reunite with a number of familiar faces including Paul McGillion, Lexa Doig, Aaron, Douglas, and Michael Shanks on a poignant eight-part limited series.

About the show

Unspeakable is set to premiere January 9th, 2019 .

It’s an important project for Rob, one he’s been trying to get made for years, and I hope you’ll all take the time to check it out when the time comes.

So we’ve booked our first trip to Japan in two years.  We’ll be gone for ten days – which means that Suji will be without us for TEN WHOLE DAYS!  She and Lulu will be in great hands, but I do wonder how she’ll do without us to boss around.

Our ten day trip will come at the tail end of my fantasy football league regular season – and just in time for the playoffs!  How, you’re no doubt wondering, are the Snow Monkeys doing?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  Across both leagues…

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Is it possible?  A double championship for my Snow Monkeys?

I’m feeling it!

October 24, 2018: Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

These were my favorite comic book covers of the week…

Batgirl #28 (cover art by Mattie Hollingsworth, Sean Murphy, Julian Totino Tedesco)

Books of Magic #1 (cover art by Kai Carpenter)

Incidentals #13 (cover art by Ryan Brown)

Isola, vol. 1 (cover art by MSASSYK, Karl Kerschl)

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #25 (cover art by Ashley Witter)

So, which was your favorite?

October 23, 2018: Things are moving along…

Well, I must admit that your varied bucket lists made for some fine reading.  When the time comes, schedule permitting, I may tag a long on your various globe-trotting/culinary/ill-advised adventures!

This morning we delivered the first draft of the UF episode 1 script as well as the outlines for episodes 2-5.  Hopefully we get the notes on all turned around in a speedy manner so that we can move on to rewrites and script go’s.  The plan, so far as I’m concerned, will be to do the rewrite on episode 1, write episode 3, and then do passes on all 9 episodes before scripting the season 1 finale.  Start prep in November, have all scripts done by January, and then start production in mid-February.  Piece of cake!

This afternoon, we finally had that much rescheduled conference call related to that comic book adaptation.  It’s a terrific book, and the writer and artist are equally wonderful.  At this point, it’s a matter of reviewing and revising the existing series overview before talking about how we want to approach the pilot.   I think we’re all in agreement that the first issue of the comic book offers the ideal blueprint.  This one is going to be a blast.

I wrote up the character summaries for Untitled Awesome Project.  It’s a little more intimate than the bigger family unit we saw on Dark Matter, but these characters will be no less endearing.  I already have the pilot episode’s opening tease, fifth act out, and episode tag in my head – which fairly parallels my approach to the Dark Matter opener. Shocks, surprises, and oodles of fun!

The pitch for that supernatural small town mystery is pretty much complete.  We finished up the bulk of the bulky 25+ page series overview months ago and it is now in the fine-tuning stages.  This one is…very ambitious.  I’ve never seen an approach like it.

Finally, there’s that horror novel adaptation.  The deal is closed almost closed close to almost being closed, but given the workload ahead of me on UF, I realistically won’t be able to start on this one for a while.  Still, it will be nice to meet up and chat with the author.  But only after I read his latest award-winning release.

At this rate, I don’t know when I’ll get around to checking out Killing Eve and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina!

October 22, 2018: My Bucket List

A difficult day for reasons I’ll not elaborate on in this blog entry.  Suffice it to say, however, that days like these make you stop and think about not only what you’ve done with your life, but what remains to be done.

MY BUCKET LIST

  • Buy a place in Tokyo and spend more time visiting and exploring the country.
  • Take a tour of the southern U.S.  Hit Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans.
  • Spend a couple of weeks in Tuscany.
  • Attend one Worldcon and finally meet many of the authors whose work I’ve enjoyed the years.
  • Create and produce at least one more dear-to-me sci-fi series.
  • Produce, at the very least, a Dark Matter miniseries to give the series closure.
  • Get the band back together and join them for at least one season of a new Stargate series.
  • Rescue a whole bunch of senior pugs.

I reserve the right to revise and amend this list.

So, what’s on YOUR bucket list?