The Littlest Soapbox

August 31, 2010

New Releases Of Note 8/31/10 Edition

Filed under: Books,Film,New Releases of Note — mikecgannon @ 4:37 PM

First and foremost:


Also worth mentioning:

The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson

Triumff: Her Majesty’s Hero, by Dan Abnett

Clockwork Angel, by Cassandra Clare



August 6, 2010

Classic Movie Despair

Filed under: Film,News & Politics — mikecgannon @ 12:55 PM

I can’t figure out what made me think of this.

Christina Romer To Step Down

Oh yeah. That.

See you in November!

July 31, 2010

Finally! Dollhouse Season 2 Out On DVD October 12

Filed under: Film,General Interest — mikecgannon @ 7:08 PM

That’s still an unsatisfying amount of time to wait for the second half of Joss Whedon’s latest offering, but at least there is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a shame the show only lasted two seasons, but honestly, the time slot was fatal, and the plot itself had a limited life span. I wasn’t able to watch Season 2 when it aired (hence the excitement), but they were apparently able to bring the plot lines to a satisfying conclusion. That’s something at least.

Whether This Film Will Have Any ACTUAL Merit Is Open To Discussion

Filed under: Film — mikecgannon @ 1:20 PM

Sucker Punch, that is. From the trailer, and from what I have heard of the plot*, it seems likely that the story line is little better than an flimsy excuse to let Zack Snyder and his team of stunt coordinators, fight choreographers, and CGI animators have lots and lots of fun.

Not that there’s anything NECESSARILY WRONG with that. This is Zack Snyder we’re talking about. You remember Zack Snyder, don’t you?

Of course you do.

Still, this whole “violence lolita” fad that’s all the rage right now (and yes, I did just coin that label) is starting to get a little unsavory. While I’ve never been a big fan of the Tarantino-style “chick with sword and guns” action flicks, I don’t think they’re much worse than a lot of what gets produced these days. However, when you start replacing the adult female stars of those films with teenage girls, then things get…creepy. I’m looking at you, Kick-Ass.

Societal implications aside, Sucker Punch comes out March 2011.

*Basically, Dakota Fanning plays a teenage girl whose evil stepfather unjustly sends her to an insane asylum, where she and a group of actually crazy teenage girls use their imaginations to escape the reality of their rather bleak, Dickensian existence. I imagine it was pitched as “The Matrix meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest“, though probably not with a straight face.

Not Content With Vampires and Hellboy, Guillermo del Toro Sets sights on Cthulhu Mythos

Filed under: Film — mikecgannon @ 12:15 PM

Via Moe Lane, via Nodwick. Apparently, the director/writer has partnered with James Cameron to direct At The Mountains Of Madness, H.P. Lovecraft’s tale of the discovery of the terrifying, madness-inducing, non-Euclidian ruins of a pre-human civilization in the depths of Antarctica.

The main issues that financiers have had is that del Toro needed his movie to be a period film, and he needed it to be R-rated. Movies like that are really hard to market, and so studios, such as Universal in this case, haven’t wanted to pay for it. Thankfully, Guillermo cares more about his craft than money, and hasn’t budged on either front to get it made sooner.

So why would Universal decide that they were finally ready to take the risk? One name: James Cameron. According to the reports, the Avatar director has decided to back del Toro’s vision and come on as a producer. Not only that, but the movie will be in 3D, and there’s no one else on the planet right now that you want in your corner when it comes to 3D more than James Cameron. They even plan to start pre-production immediately with hopes of filming some time next summer.

The story delves into Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos and follows a team of researchers on an expedition to Antarctica in the 1930s. They venture to a range of mountains that reach even higher into the skies than the Himalayas. What the discover there is some mysterious ruins and the remains of many lifeforms — some badly damaged and some in perfect condition — that they decide to call the “Elder Things.” Eventually these ancient beings somehow become reanimated, creating major issues for the research team.

Given del Toro’s record as a director (Pan’s Labyrinth, the Hellboy franchise, etc.), and the fact that, as Avatar and Alien show, no one can do big, sweeping world-building/terrifying, chitinous, death-dealing monsters like James Cameron, there is no reason to expect this movie to be anything but spectacular. Of course, it could also give millions of movie-goers a mind-shattering glimpse at the antediluvian nightmare reality that lurks in the shadows of our blissfully unaware civilization, but hey, art comes at a price.

July 25, 2010

New/Upcoming Movies I MUST See

Filed under: Film — mikecgannon @ 11:00 PM


Scott Pilgrim vs. the World


Yeah, I realize that the fact that I saw a single preview for Scott Pilgrim and my interest in that film immediately went from 0 to 10 demonstrates just how big of a nerd I am. Who cares? I accepted my nerd-dom long ago, and the movie looks like it will rock!

June 1, 2010

New Releases of Note May Edition

Filed under: Books,Film,General Interest,Music,New Releases of Note,News & Politics — mikecgannon @ 5:34 PM

Seeing as it would be counterproductive to go back over ALL the significant releases that happened last month, but that there were still some excellent titles put out that deserve to be highlighted, I’ll be giving you my top ten list for May releases. Here they are, in no particular order.

Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Allies, by Christie Golden

Blood Oath: The President’s Vampire, by Christopher Farnsworth

Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One, by Zev Chafets

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, by Stieg Larsson

A Wizard of Mars, by Diane Duane

What Washington Can Learn From The World of Sports, by George Allen

The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America, by Andrew McCarthy

The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern, by Victor Davis Hanson

Hamlet, with David Tennant and Patrick Stewart

Hang Cool Teddy Bear, by Meat Loaf

April 23, 2010

The Daily Fix 4/23/10

Filed under: Books,Film,Music — mikecgannon @ 11:26 AM

Carolyn See over at the Washington Post beautifully demonstrates the high art of sarcasm in her piece, which is less of a review and more of a subtle demolition, on Paolo Giordano’s The Solitude Of Prime Numbers. She closes with this:

There’s no arguing with this depressive emotional position, besides growing up. We all have to die, and that means in the end that the depressives are right. I’m just wondering about the thousands upon thousands of Europeans who (presumably) subscribe to this position, and have turned, by their adulation, this whimpering cub into a literary lion.

Fans of Young Adult Fantasy will be interested in Melissa Marr’s new book, Radiant Shadows.

Crazy Heart, the film starring Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Robert Duvall (who won Best Supporting Actor this year for his role as a bartender in this film), is out on DVD this week. I haven’t seen it, but the soundtrack is phenomenal. Anyone who likes old school country and bluegrass would be justified picking up a copy.

April 16, 2010

The Daily Fix April 16, 2010

Filed under: Books,Film — mikecgannon @ 10:40 AM

Emily Wilkinson has Part II of her essay entitled “Ethical Vampires”, comparing and contrasting the writing styles and universes of Charlaine Harris and Stephanie Meyer. In this installment she utterly shreds Meyer. While I could do without so much “We have met the Vampyre, and it is us,” moralizing and anti-capitalist rhetoric from Wilkinson, she did point out something that had never quite occurred to me before.

Nor does Meyer’s saga question the goodness of the Cullens—though other than Carlisle, the doctor vampire, they don’t do any useful work in their community, aren’t particularly friendly or generous, and generally seem to live only to satisfy their own material desires (for cars, clothes, travel).

And you know, she right. If the Cullens are so noble, why aren’t they wandering the earth, helping the helpless, getting into adventures? You know, like ensouled, guilt-racked vampires traditionally do? I mean, sure, a story about a mass-murdering vampire searching for redemption with the aid of a psychic chick and a group of allies would most likely cause Joss Whedon to sue, but hey, if Dan Brown and JK Rowling can be accused for plagiarism, why not Stephanie Meyer?

Not to mention any writer about whom this can be validly said,

[Breaking Dawn] makes Harry Potter, with its dead parents, friends, classmates, teachers, and relatives, look like brutal realism.

needs to reevaluate life.

April 14, 2010

That Whole “Life” Thing

Filed under: Film,General Interest,Sports — mikecgannon @ 12:18 PM

So instead of spending the morning blogging today, I decided that it would be a good idea to get a handle on that whole “rest of my life” thing, and so spent about an hour and a half on the phone with a counselor from the University of Phoenix about finish my (incomplete) undergraduate education, so that one day I actually have something to show for all the time I spend online. Anticipated start date: May 11. So yeah…I’m pretty jazzed.

Unfortunately, I’ve got to eat lunch and get to work, so serious content today is out. I leave you, however, with this, to add some motivation to your day.

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