Friday, January 14, 2011

Weekend Plans of the Nerd Kind (January 14th - 16th)

WRITING: I've taken far too much time off from this. The second half of 2010 was a wash-out in the writing department. My plans to start this year right are just kicking in, since most of my friends are graduate students or teachers, who are returning to work this week (and to say nothing of family). From the middle of December to the middle of January, my social life is resuscitated back into existence, its condition upgraded from "Complete Shut-in" to "Nice to see you, Jeremy -- you look pale."

I've had an explosion of ideas these past two years, but all these stories are half-written and incomplete. I've decided to stick with one project and ride it out to the bitter, bloody end. The chosen project is alternately easier (no tight plotting or world-building) and much more difficult (it's a comedy, so it should, you know, be funny) than my others. The goal is to finish the first story arc of this comic book project. It should run two issues, and issue #1 is complete. I'm actually satisfied with that script (a rare occurrence), but I have no idea how to make issue #2 work.

I'll tell you where I am with that next week. Also, if you don't see posts here every day, and if you know me and have my contact info, please write me and give me shit for being a lazy bastard. Thanks.

TV and MOVIES: Dentist this morning, The Green Hornet tonight. I'll tell you which was more excruciating tomorrow.

On the home front, I'm breaking in the new Playstation 3, my first Blu-Ray player, with two westerns. Have Rio Bravo checked out from Netflix. I'm still learning how to appreciate John Wayne. So far, I've only enjoyed his work with John Ford, especially The Man who Shot Liberty Valance.

Picked up the new Blu-Ray release of Dances With Wolves today. Watched the first hour or so today with lunch, and I've got mixed feelings on the extended cut. Like most extended cuts, some of the new stuff works and some of it doesn't. With the exception of new scenes with the Sioux, everything else belonged on the cutting room floor: it messes with the pace and structure of the story.

This wouldn't be a big deal (actually, it isn't a big deal at all -- but indulge me), except the original theatrical cut is nowhere to be found between two Blu-Ray discs. And since Blu-Ray discs contain roughly somewhere between a zillion and a bajillion megabytes of data, this is simply inexcusable.

Forgive me while I get my broken record on, but I'm all for "extended cuts" and "director's cuts" and, my personal favorite, "no-longer-PG13-and-now-featuring-boobies cut." But people fall in love with movies, and for most of us, that courtship happens in a movie theater. Very few re-edits improve a movie -- offhand, I can only think of three or four -- but like most nerds, I'm happy to have more of something I enjoy, warts and all. But if you're going to dick around with your movie, you should always feature the original version -- the version people fell in love with -- in the same package.

I am, of course, a film snob. I'll give you that. Still, it annoys the crap out of me.

What do you think?

GAMES: Making a dedicated effort to play games with the wife, and games that she will enjoy. We just finished Batman: The Brave and the Bold for the Wii (pick it up after a price cut) and we've started Kirby's Epic Yarn. It's a bit too cute for me, but I have to admire the imagination and artistry that went into it. I'm not a huge fan of Nintendo's games -- but no other developer has employed so many people that can tap into their inner child, and let these people run with it as far as they can go. It's a story where fluffy, round characters turn into yarn versions of themselves, thanks to a guy with an evil magical knitted sock. And in its own special way, it works.

Also breaking in the new PS3 with Infamous. This post is getting long, so I'll save my thoughts on it for later this week.

BOOKS: Giving Mark Millar's Wanted a second try. Didn't like it the first time, didn't finish it. I can't decide if I'm offended by it or not, since Millar wants to hit more than just your initial reaction to such senseless violence, and its glorification. That being said, I think he misses the mark when it comes to any deeper meaning. Of course, I'll hold judgment until I finish it.

Haven't picked up a novel that's interested me in awhile. Still searching for one.

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Have a good weekend, people. End of line.

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