September 17th, 2010

Sucker Punch Zack Synder Trailer

It occurred to me that someone out there still might not have seen the trailer for Sucker Punch, the film I'm currently most looking forward to checking out.

Sucker Punch Movie Trailer

Sort of like my last trip into Manhattan, it involves an insane asylum, cabaret, dragons, bombers, Nazi zeppelins, and giant chaingun-wielding samurai monsters. And it's directed by Zack Snyder. I don't know anything about it besides that ... and I don't need to. You had me at "dragons."

Jon Snow vs. Severian

So I just finished rereading Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun, and it occurred to me that there are a lot of striking parallels between Severian in Shadow of the Torturer and Jon Snow in George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones.

Jon Snow
Severian
Jon Snow
Severian
Belongs to fraternal order who dress in black, are much diminished from former days, and who follow ancient rituals whose origin and purpose is forgotten. Belongs to fraternal order who dress in black, are much diminished from former days, and who follow ancient rituals whose origin and purpose is forgotten.
Must travel north to seek adventure beyond a giant wall, called the Wall. Must travel north to seek adventure beyond a giant wall, called the Wall.
Is counseled by blind Maester Aemon. Is counseled by near-blind Master Palaemon.
Doesn't know who his mother is. Doesn't know who his parents are.
Breaks his vows by attempting to desert. The head of his order shows unexpected leniency and gives him a totally badass sword, Longclaw. Breaks his vows by offering mercy to a prisoner. The head of his order shows unexpected leniency and gives him a totally badass sword, Teminus Est.
?
Becomes ruler of earth and travels into space to face judgment by angelic beings who might restore life to the dying sun.

Why Boys Don't Read

So I was in the bookstore the other day, and as I'm browsing through the Fiction & Literature section I hear a guy shout at the top of his lungs, "GET ONE OF THE CLASSICS!" and I'm like, "WTF?" So I peek around the aisle and see a mom sitting with her son, who couldn't have been more than 14, and she's saying, "So these both look good, right? Which one do you want?" And the son's like, "I don't know. Can we just go?" And the mom's like, "Well, what do you think of this one?" and the son's like, "It won't be good," and she's like, "How do you know it won't be good?" and he's like, "I don't know. I just know." The conversation continued in this vein for a while, punctuated every once in a while by the dad (who was off somewhere else) shouting, "GET ONE OF THE CLASSICS!" I wandered by and glanced at the books the mom was holding. One I couldn't make out the title, but the other was Catch-22. Now, I like Catch-22 quite a lot, but you're a total effing idiot if you try to foist that on an unwilling 14-year-old boy to try to get him to read something. I debated for a minute whether I should say anything, something along the lines of, "Hi, I couldn't help but notice that you're a total effing idiot. Do you need some help picking out something that a typical 14-year-old boy might actually want to read?" But then I sort of imagined bringing over a copy of Tim Zahn or R. A. Salvatore or something, and having the dad go, "THAT'S NOT ONE OF THE CLASSICS!" and I decided I just didn't have the energy for it right at that moment. I seriously don't get what these people can possibly be thinking though. I've had this conversation repeatedly: "My 14-year-old son doesn't read." Me: "What have you done to try to get him to read?" "Oh, like I bought him a copy of Bleak House, and he read a few pages, but then he went back to playing Halo." Yeah, no shit, Sherlock.