Wednesday, November 12, 2008

BSG auction, Klingon opera, and Batman, Turkey

And now for my thoughts on various recent entertainment news items.

About a week ago, there was a serious shakeup in the powers that control Heroes. Co-executive producers Jesse Alexander and Jeph Loeb were fired (Variety) and creator and executive producer Tim Kring has promised to focus his time on the story and tone of the show, rather than on post-production special effects and such (Variety). Alexander and Loeb were around for the show's first season success, but under their watch the second and third seasons have increasingly lost fan and critic support and audience numbers. Kring plans to heed the fans' complaints and turn the show around in the hopes of returning Heroes to its former glory. It is unclear whether it'll work, but Season 4 of Lost (Heroes' older sibling) helped it earn back a lot of the respect it had lost in Seasons 2 and 3. I've got to say it's about time they turn things around in Heroes. I adored the show in Season 1, up until the season finale. That finale and Season 2 were disappointments, and I was led to believe that Season 3 would be the turn-around. But this season has been full of weak plots, contradictions in mythology, and lots of characters acting out of character (usually being unbelievably stupid). Save the show! My eyes are getting sore from all the eye-rolling.

It's moments like these that prove just how much of a geek I am: I'm sitting in my office reading about an auction--yes, an upcoming live auction--with a buffoonish ear-to-ear grin on my face. It's just so awesome, I can't contain myself. Now that filming has wrapped for Battlestar Galactica, they are auctioning off numerous costumes, props, and set pieces (press release). Boy, wouldn't I love to have Starbuck's flight suit! Or the arrow of Apollo! Or the frakkin' full-sized Blackbird! And I sure wish I could fit into Six's red dress. Given my budget, though, I could probably only afford some little paper prop (with corners cut off, naturally). Unfortunately, the live auction is in Pasadena, California, a long way away. I'll have to see what they put up on eBay. The auction is in January.

An artist by the name of Floris Schönfeld is writing a Klingon opera called " 'u' " (NY Times). Obviously, I have serious doubts about whether this work will turn out well and how it will be received by the general public. Italian is ideally suited for opera-style singing because of its use of round tones and open vowels. Klingon, in contrast, is a harsh-sounding language; its rough consonants would make operatic Klingon singing unpleasing to the ear (well, to the human ear, at least). I just don't know if an opera in such a rough-sounding language will have long-lasting success.

Ridley Scott has signed on to make the movie based on the boardgame Monopoly (IMDb). Apparently, he intends to give the Monopoly film a futuristic edge (what this entails, I do not know). Pamela Pettler (Corpse Bride) will be creating the storyline for the movie. Good luck to her. The Monopoly movie is just one of a series of movies Universal Studios has agreed to make based on Hasbro properties. Battleship and Ouija Board are also being adapted into their own features; the latter has Michael Bay signed on to produce. I remember reading about this Universal - Hasbro deal back when they made it. While I am slightly horrified that these projects are in the works, I am mostly relieved that, since the speculation around the time of the initial deal, I have heard no mention of a Stretch Armstrong movie adaptation.

The greatest news of the day, though, is that the Mayor of Batman, Turkey is suing Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros. for royalties from "The Dark Knight", accusing them of using the city's name without permission (Variety, IMDb). I think it's pretty safe to say that this is a lost cause for Mayor Kalkan, since he is unlikely to convince anyone that Batman (the comic hero) stole his name from the city because 1) "Batman" is a simple compound of English words "bat" and "man", which is fitting for a male superhero who dresses as a bat and 2) well, has any American even heard of Batman, Turkey before? I can understand the Batman citizens' complaints about it being hard for them to be taken seriously abroad, but I personally would think it was awesome to live in a town called Batman. Seriously, how sweet would that be? I'm fairly certain this must be some type of publicity stunt (hey, it's working!). While they're at it, they should sue turkeys for stealing the name of their country (it does make it difficult for English-speaking school children to take the country seriously, I have to admit). Rough month for turkeys.

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