Monthly Archives: June 2013

David Magazine

July 13

I was wondering today, as I was finishing an article, how often I should put up a real blog post. I mean I’ll do reviews as I finish books and see movies. I get that frequency. And when I go to Scotland in two weeks, those should be nightly posts, or summary wrap-ups. I get that, too. But the rest of it, the real stuff, how often do I do that before you get bored of reading it and I get bored of writing it? To ourselves, for the most part, our own lives are boring. While I know I would be excited as hell to meet a favorite actor or singer, for them, it’s part of the same ol’ day in, day out routine. When I was in Hollywood or Vegas, to people who weren’t there my life could have seemed glamorous or cool, but those of us who know what a grind the entertainment industry can be, we know that glamor is certainly in the eye of the beholder. Continue reading

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Review: Man of Steel

Man-of-Steel-poster-SupermanSeeing the new Superman movie, Man of Steel, I am struck by a couple of things, not the least of which is how inured we’ve become to mass destruction. I know much has been made of the 9/11 imagery in the film, and I agree, it’s excessive and, for me, serves no purpose other than to show how short a distance we’ve really come in the last 12 years.

Another thing which strikes me about this film is how lazy the screenwriters are, knowing the iconic nature of the characters involved, they figure we already know all we need to know so if they’re not going to mess with the canon, they don’t give us anything to go on. We know nothing about Lois Lane, The Kents are stereotypical salt of the earth farmers and Perry White has been reduced to a figurehead with bark but no real bite. Continue reading

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Review: X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills

X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills
X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills by Chris Claremont
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Coming on the heels of reading “X-Men – Days of Future Past,” the theme is similar yet, I think, much better executed here. The fact that this is a one-off helps. Chris Claremont didn’t have to worry about monthly continuity, he could simply write the story he wanted to write. But then again, the X-Men have long been the Marvel stand-in for “the Other” so it’s no surprise they are the go to characters when anyone wants to make a point about intolerance and hate. This story has the added bonus of including religious zealotry and hypocrisy. Of course, as a book written in 1982, the resonance it has with today’s America and the ideology which is pushing for a theocratic government is pretty impressive.

So, overall, a bit of an easy target and a simplified answer to a complicated issue… but huge props for calling out racism in any form (and for probably the only time a certain racial epithet was uttered in a mainstream comic book, and uttered by a proudly jewish girl who is under 18 – almost as many discriminated against minorities you can jam into one character).

PS: Thanks to Doc Pockets for reminding me of this one.

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I am Nothing

I am not republican. I am not democrat.
I am not right wing. I am not left wing.
I am not conservative. I am not liberal.
I am not rich. I am not poor.

I subscribe to no one political philosophy.
I think everyone should have the right to live in peace.
I think you should take care of yourself, but if you can’t we should help.
I think if you take without giving, that’s theft.
I think education is more important than weapons, but both are important.

If you are an asshole, I won’t like you, no matter your race, religion or sexual orientation.
If you judge someone based on your preferences, you are an asshole.
If you think being able to piss standing up gives you some sort of privilege, you’re wrong.
If you believe in god show it, don’t tell it.

In the eyes of the world, really, I am nothing.
But I’m all I got, and I’m gonna keep going

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Review: World War Z

So I went and saw World War Z  last night. I liked it.

I understand it has absolutely nothing to do with the  book, which I also understand is quite good and written by the same guy, Max Brooks, who started this whole zombie craze with his book “The Zombie Survival Guide” (and who also happens to be the son of famed comedian Mel Brooks). Not having read the book, and understanding that books and films are two very different animals (teaching a course on literary adaptation will do that to a fella) I don’t think I’m missing anything. I also think that if you went in to this expecting to see a faithful adaptation of the book, you missed out on a fun, exciting and heart-stopping thriller. Continue reading

Categories: Films, Reviews | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past
X-Men: Days of Future Past by Chris Claremont
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have to say, I remember reading these initial books when they came out in 80-81 and I remember being absolutely blown away by them. This was the introduction of Kitty Pryde, who, if you are a comic reader and my age, you had developed a massive crush on at just the right time in your formative years (it didn’t hurt she was Jewish, as I was, so, ya know, there was a bond). So it was with this sense of nostalgia I picked up the compilation

Continue reading

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Behind the Scenes: List of the 100 Best BTS Photos from Iconic Movies

Behind the Scenes: List of the 100 Best BTS Photos from Iconic Movies.

As a film buff, former screenwriter, part-time art department flunkie and now history of film professor, I love this site. To me, 90% of the magic of film is what happens behind the scenes, how it all gets put together seamlessly so when you’re watching it, it’s all happening in real time – regardless of whether the scene were filmed miles or months apart, whether the characters involved were in the same room or they never met in person (or if they ever existed at all).

The other nice thing about seeing these behind the scenes glimpses is they serve to separate the actors from the characters and the drama of the finished product with the fun and enjoyment usually to be found in the making of.

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Seriously!

And yes, I’m going to Scotland in 2 and a half weeks. This makes me very happy!

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I forgot how to write

I’m sitting down to write something and I think I forgot how to do that. My mind is whizzing, but sitting down to the keyboard and actually picking a project is a chore. I used to be able to crank out material at a prodigious rate and while I think I know what happened, why that changed, that doesn’t excuse it. I need to get over it and just get the job done.

With that in mind, I’m sitting down today to start work on a fantasy adventure story which is in need of a title. This is a new piece. I had thought about going back and picking up the thread of other pieces I’d started some time ago, but I think a fresh start on something new is what I actually need at the moment. By putting it here, in the open, I’m hoping to shame myself into working on it on a daily basis. I can talk the talk, time to get back to walking the walk.

(and yes, I’ve shamelessly stolen the graphic – Thank you!)

Categories: Personal, Writing | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Famous Authors’ Handwritten Outlines for Great Works of Literature

This is a great glimpse into process but as I sit down today to outline my new writing project, I sit down with a computer and a tablet and a piece of software designed to make these notes. There are places and slots for all these notes.

It’s like email. We still have correspondence, sure, but there’s something sad about not having the “Collected letters of ….” to look forward to anymore. At least the art itself lives on.

Flavorwire

Writing a novel (or a story, for that matter) is confusing work. There are just so many characters running all over the place, dropping hints and having revelations. So it’s no surprise that many authors plan out their works beforehand, in chart or list or scribble form, in order to keep everything straight. After the jump, you’ll find a mini collection of those planning papers, so you can take a peek into the process of some of your favorite authors, from James Salter to J.K. Rowling.

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