Sunday, March 21, 2010

Does Hollywood Have No Geeks?

Repo Men opened to $6.15M this week.  In the future you buy your organ replacements on credit then repo men come and cut them out of you when you miss your payments.  I know it's supposed to be allegorical, maybe they thought they were making some deep comment on our overuse of credit cards and health care issues.  But how could anyone take the story even remotely serious?

It's the latest in a list of movies released over the last 6 months that just feel to me like what somebody who has never read a comic book or played a video game imagines geeks want to watch.  If they had played it satirical like RoboCop that would've worked, but trying to play it serious?  WTF?

Daybreakers -- the entire world population is vampires but not scary vampires, instead vampires who work at Wal*Mart and are accountants and such.  Then some vampires are working on a cure.

My writing partner and I actually had an idea along these lines -- world taken over by vampires and we follow the efforts of a group of rebels trying to overthrow the vampire empire, sort of RED DAWN, but with vampires instead of Soviets.

I think Daybreakers might be the result of someone thinking that a modern vampire movie MUST have vampires as the protagonists.

Gamer -- seriously, video games where you mind-control prisoners through battles by doing Wii-style cavorting in front of a plasma screen? This is what inspired my theory that the people making the decisions have never played a video game.

on the other hand, there have been a couple solid concepts that haven't done great either --

Surrogates -- didn't do that well either (though significantly better than the others on this list), but it at least had a good premise.  In the future people stay at home and mindlink into robot bodies that go out in the world and do things. Then the hero cop has a malfunction and has to go out in person to do things, which is a lot more dangerous, of course.  A) that's plausible in that if the tech existed I can see people using the hell out of it, and B) good angle for the hero since he's especially vulnerable.

Legion -- not a unique idea in geek circles. There's been I figure at least 4 roleplaying games based on the idea of angels kicking demon ass on modern earth. But it's a good genre that hasn't really been done as a feature.  Might've been better though to make Jensen Ackles the angel and try to work a Supernatural tie-in.

I saw a recent option sale on a short story the premise of which was that in the future overpopulation has gotten so bad that the government has hit teams wander around icing couples who have a second child.  As a short story it was sharp and had some nice twists.  But as a movie it sounds like another Repo Men.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Paperback book prices

As a follow-up to the last post -- a paperback from 1970 like Cat's Cradle above went for 95 cents.  Inflation calculator puts that at $5.19 in 2009 money.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Comic Book Price Increases

I noticed an old comic book cover on the web today and was reminded of what the prices used to be.  As in the above cover from 1970 -- 15 cents.  When I first really started reading them in 1976 they were typically 25 cents.

Which, according to the inflation calculator, would be 82 cents today for the 1970 book, or 93 cents for the 1976 book.

But actual comic prices now are much higher -- $2.99 or $3.99. 

No wonder I'm so wary of buying them now! I had considered buying some recently but since I could buy one typical novel for the price of two comics, and the comics get read in about half an hour, I just couldn't justify paying for comics.

Admittedly the paper and color quality is a lot higher now.  But I'm not paying 3 to 4 times as much just so that my fingers can indulge in the silky touch of glossy paper.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

My Top 13 Movies plus extras

Going into Oscar weekend and I'm able to get a list of films off IMDb so here's my top 13 that I've seen:

(500) Days of Summer
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Inglourious Basterds
District 9
Star Trek
The Hurt Locker
The Hangover
Drag Me to Hell

Only the top two are in order of preference.  Also, might be missing some since Hurt Locker didn't show up in my search and I assume that means other good films didn't show up either.

A big part of my voting criteria were I voting for the Oscars would be "how memorable is this film?"  So even though Watchmen has issues, it's really striking.  And it'd be a tough call between (500) Days and Mr. Fox.  500 works really well but Mr Fox is really fun and fresh.

A couple honorable mentions:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
He's Just Not That Into You

Then movies I haven't seen that I think might make the list:

Crazy Heart
The Men Who Stare at Goats
Up in the Air
A Serious Man