Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Galacticon After Action Report




So this is my Galacticon AAR. Some mostly good, some bad, and some “You wish you could have been there.”

For anyone who hadn’t heard of it, Emissaries: Galacticon III was the convention celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the original Battlestar Galactica series and the 10th Anniversary of the reimagined series. The guests included cast members from both series as well as from Caprica and people that worked on the music and effects.

Sounds like your standard con. And it was. The difference being that if you didn’t bother to attend, you missed out on meeting these people in person and actually having conversations with and in some cases actually hanging out with them. Believe me when I say there are a few at the bar stories to come out of this one.

But lets start with the con itself. It was held in conjunction with Comicpalooza in Houston. There were plenty of good panels and since the cons were in partnership and in the same location you could purchase access to both. The only real snag came in the scheduling. Times for panels came late and changed. Even panel locations changed early on. However, it became apparent that this had more to do with the person(s) responsible for scheduling at the George R. Brown Convention Center rather than the staff of Galacticon. For instance, no one knew that at graduation ceremony had been scheduled to literally take place in-between the two conventions. Literally. A graduation, not sure if it was high school or college, was held in an auditorium in the middle of the rooms being used for panels. Security cut off main access for the convention center, forcing con attendees to navigate back ways to get to the panels they wanted to see. Not fun.

Galacticon offered special events for people in addition to the standard entrance. There was an informal kick off with pretty much all the guests, an opening press conference, a NASA Johnson Space Center tour and dinner, a hangout with the stars at the hotel bar, and a closing ceremony. Not a bad deal really, especially if you purchased the gold wristband that included all of these. The only real letdown was the NASA tour. It seemed kind of rushed and stripped down. But as part of a package deal, it was still pretty good. Now the biggest value in all of this was hanging out at the hotel bar with the cast. And let me say, everyone in the cast is great. I talked to Edward James Olmos, Michael Trucco, Nicki Clyne, and Bear McCreary, the man responsible for the score of the reimagined series. For whatever reason Trucco and I could not remember the name of Camp Pendleton even though we both have no reason why that name would escape us. Bear McReary liked my shirt solidifying that I will be wearing said shirt to every con. It’s gotten me a lot of nods. I won’t say publicly what the shirt was anymore because I want to keep whatever mojo it has left to myself. I’ll only say that it was a reference to a major sci-fi franchise. Oh, and Bear is a sci-fi fanboy like many of us. He has also jammed with fellow BGS fanboy and Anthrax member Scott Ian. So, yeah, the guy has my admiration.

The panels had a very informal feel to them. No real moderators and since the cast member get along so well and had not been together like this in a while, it was very entertaining. Lucky people who happened to be there at the right place at the right time had some real special moments. Because the scheduling was so weird, there was a panel with four of the final five cylons that only a few people became aware of. So what should have been a packed room, became something like 10 people having a conversation with Michael Trucco, Rekha Sharma, Michael Hogan, and Kate Vernon. Sad to say I missed that one. But I did get into the first panel with composer Bear McReary. A piano was brought in and we were treated to him playing for us. One lucky fan was invited up to play with him. At another panel you would have been treated to Kate Vernon talking about shooting the scene with Dean Stockwell that involved the swirl. Oh, by casual observation, there seems to be bromance between Michael Trucco and Tamoh Penikett. The two were literally inseparable. If you only saw one, all you had to do was give it minute and the other would pop up. At a panel with Penikett and Vernon, Trucco was even hovering at the door until Tamoh had the audience invite him in. Like I said, things had a real informal feel to them and you could tell how much these people get along. I met Tamoh Penikett in a hallway after the panel with Trucco. Later I got a chance to talk to Esai Morales. And before I forget, I also talked to Bodie Olmos at the hotel bar during that event. Basically, if you had gone to this convention you would have gotten face time with the cast and crew. Real face time. Not just paying for an autograph and telling the person how awesome he or she is.

It was a little chaotic at times, but well worth the money. I can say I actually me these people. I also met some great fellow fans which is another good thing about the convention experience in general. If you were a BSG fan and only made it to one convention this year, Galacticon would have been the one to attend. If you didn’t make it, you’ll have to wait five more years for the next one.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The networks should make these shows


So it’s that time once again. Networks are building up there new series in hopes we will get hooked. Not that we were not already hooked on existing shows that got canceled for whatever reason that makes sense to executives. I’m looking at you, NBC. But anyway…

Sometimes we do genuinely like the new programming. Sometimes we can tell just by looking at the previews that it is not gonna last. Ever see a preview and ask,  “Who thought this was a a good idea?” But lets not dwell on the negative. You, like me, have probably thought up any number of shows that should be made. Weather they be new, spin-offs, or reboots we all think we have good ideas. In some cases we are probably thinking the same things. Here is what is on my mind.

Star Trek: (Fill in the blank)

This is one of those things that I’m not alone in wanting. Seriously, we need a new Trek series on TV. Love them or hate them, the J.J Abrams Trek flicks are not why we love Star Trek. Sure, a sci-fi action blockbuster is fun and honestly, I thought the new films were good. But my Trek fix needs weekly, one-hour character driven stories. It’s fun to get to know a new crew of characters and maybe be joined by or at least have cameos of characters from the previous series. There is still plenty of galaxy to be explored.
  

Buck Rogers

Some of you may not have seen this classic series. I can only claim memories of seeing a few episodes when I was younger. And those were re-runs. The series, Buck Rogers In The 25th Century, appeared in 1979 as a TV movie and then as a series that lasted only two seasons. It was about a NASA pilot who got frozen and lost in space for 504 years. He would join the Earth Defense Directorate as a fighter pilot. This show could easily be given the Battlestar Galactica treat and look amazing and just be great in general. It doesn’t have to be as grim as Battlestar, but it has the potential to be a very good show.


Star Wars: X-Wing

So there is a Star Wars series in some sort of development. I don’t know what form it will take. But I know what form I want it to take. I’ll take either Rogue or Wraith squadron or maybe a little of both. The stories of these two New Republic fighter squadrons take place in books and comics. This could be done in the same way that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is being handled. The series can take place in the same worlds as the movies, but with different characters living the same events through different eyes and having their own adventures away from and unrelated to those of the major SW characters. And you wouldn’t need Jedi or the Force to be a part of it either.


Red Dawn

Okay. Not Sci-fi or fantasy. But this is my blog and I’m making an exception. The original is one of my all time favorite movies when I was younger and I’m still trying to figure out why they had to go and mess with it by making whatever that was that is a re-boot. For the record, I have not seen the new one. But I’m trusting my instincts that I’m not going to like it. Anyway, post-apocalyptic dramas are all the rage right now. We got zombies, aliens, that thing that NBC is doing. While Red Dawn isn't really post-apocalypse, it does have some of those elements to it. The story of a group of high-school students turned guerilla freedom fighters after a Soviet invasion of the U.S. could be very good. It even has the retro element people love by taking place in the 80s.


The Last Starfighter

Another favorite of mine from my youth. Alex Rogen is a teenager saved (if you could call it that) from his boring life at a trailer park when he beats a video game that was really an entrance exam for the Starfighters, protectors of the Star League. If this were a Disney property you would have seen it in a new form already. It has a lot of elements going for it. A young hero, video games, battles in space, and teenagers in love (which seems to be a requirement these days). A sequel has been talked about for years now but other then members of the cast being up for it, as far as I know nothing has ever come of it. There is plenty of room in this universe to expand in to more stories.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Clara is the TARDIS


I had already put the theory out there that Clara is the TARDIS or at least a TARDIS. But I now I am going to break it down a little more.

1. She exist at different times. Conceivably she could be existing in every time period. It has not been addressed. But the only other thing that exists in all times is the TARDIS.

2. She always looks the same. The TARDIS always looks like a Police Box because it has a broken chameleon circuit.

3. She is always taking care of two children. Might be a bit of a stretch, but if Clara is the TARDIS, this is just old habit. The TARDIS is always taking care of the Doctor and a companion.

4. She is a natural with machines and computers. If you were the most advanced machine in all existance you'ld probably be able to be master over every other system too.

5. She trusts the Doctor. Clara just knows that she can trust him. And why not if they have been together for a very long time.

6. The TARDIS does not like her. Either the TARDIS recognizes a future version of itself removed from its machine form or it just senses that Clara represents something bad. The last time the spirit of the TARDIS was put into a body it almost died.

There are other theories out there but to me this makes the most sense. The answer is only known to those involved and possible those lucky few who are accidentally going to get their copies of Season 7 Part 2 early. That is if the Clara question s even answered this season.


UPDATE

Okay, so she isn't the TARDIS. Although for a while there it was looking like I may have been right. Not for nothing, I like my reason for Clara being the Impossible Girl a little more than what the real reason was. Oh well. On to the 50th.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Devil, the Ghost, the Vigilante, and the Vampire



The film rights to four Marvel characters have been returned. While there are no new film plans for Dare Devil, Ghost Rider, The Punisher, and Blade, it’s fun to speculate what these characters could men for the Marvel Film Universe. It’s also fun to imagine which actors could take on these roles. Samuel L. Jackson proved that we don't have to be so traditional with casting. Even more interesting would be what a spin to the characters gender would be like.


Daredevil


Daredevil has never really been in any team role, but that does not mean Matt Murdock couldn’t pop up in an Avengers movie or at least cameo in a film of one of the Avengers members. It could even just be in his lawyer persona.


He has played crazy, comedic, dramatic, and combinations of all three. It would be very easy for Sam Rockwell to portray a blind lawyer by day and a crime fighter by night.


Okay, so he is mostly known for his role in Community, his stand-up, and for his rapper persona, Childish Gambino. But there was a push for Donald Glover to be the next Spider-Man. Why couldn’t he be the next Dare Devil?


She made her name as an ass kicker in Joss Whedons creations. Wouldn’t you be interested in seeing a Joss Whedon directed Daredevil movie with Eliza Dushku? You know it would be good.


Ghost Rider

So, the Rider had two Nick Cage films that could have been better. But the potential for a supernatural action thriller is still there. And since Marvel will be rolling out a Doctor Strange movie, there is potential for more Midnight Sons to make it on screen.


Viggo has kinda made a career out of playing mysterious drifters. Even as Aragorn he was the lone gunman/wanderer until he joined The Fellowship of the Ring. So I’d say he is a pretty natural choice.


His name hasn’t been headlining any huge roles lately, but he is still an accomplished and Oscar winning actor. I think it’s time for Cuba to have a leading role again and it would be interesting to see what he could do with Johnny Blaze.


I don’t recall a role where she has played a weak character. Considering she has done well at driving fast cars, is it that much of a stretch to see Michelle Rodriguez as a motorcycle daredevil with a soul owned by the devil?


The Punisher

First of all, I thought the Thomas Jane Punisher movie was good. And after one reboot, I think another movie will show up at some point down the line. Although the Punisher will likely not appear in an Avengers movie, he could pop up or be referenced in the movie of an Avengers member or in something S.H.I.E.L.D related.


He was one of the Rohirrim, a CIA assassin, Dredd, etc. He’s played a lot of dangerous men. Karl Urban could easily fill the role of Frank Castle.


An excellent actor who has played a variety of roles. You may have seen him in some supporting roles here and there. Scott Pilgrim fans will recognize him as one of the Vegan Police.


She was great as the love interest for Batman and has appeared in a lot of other good roles. She is also one of the few actresses out there who I think could be believable as a war veteran.


Blade

It’s hard not to think of Blade without thinking of Wesley Snipes. But that ship has sailed. We are well acquainted with Blade and know what he does. But would he be like in the Marvel Film Universe? Did I mention that in the comic books Blade has crossed paths with Doctor Strange and Ghost Rider?


To me, this is the obvious choice. He was Spawn, has proven he can do non-comic book roles, and has seven black belts. Yeah, seven. I think the guy can do Blade some justice.


I’ve always thought of him as underrated. Leguizamo has the range to play tortured and haunted as well as angry, crazy, and funny. He especially can play crazy and cool at the same time. Watch Romeo and Juliet if you need further proof.


She is currently Uhura, but she has also showed that she can handle fighting in Columbiana. She's also had fangs before, sort of, in Avatar. It would not be too much of stretch of the imagination to see her as the Daywalker.


I tried picking people who have not been involved in Marvel projects already. There may or may not be better choices for these roles. Some are more likely than other and some will never happen. Comments, questions, and suggestions are appreciated.
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