Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Why mess with something that works?

So I watched the premier of the Muse version of Being Human.

Now, I've watched the original series that was released by the BBC. It was an incredible show. The characters were amazingly well done, the actors did an incredible job, the show had a gritty reality to it, while still bringing forth the humanity of the characters (even monsters have feelings and deal with life problems). There was a humor to the show in the manner that you'd find when hanging out with friends, or dealing with people in real life. None of the slapstick or silliness, but something realistic.

Sadly, the new version of Being Human, cast with North American actors, seems to take that great show, and make it more "mainstream". There's a silliness to the show. The characters seem a lot more exaggerated. The plot itself is essentially the same, though it feels a little more rushed. Feels like they're focusing more on some aspects which would play up ratings, instead of aspects that built the story in the original show.

Honestly, I don't see why a remake was needed. The original came out just last year, and now they've already remade it. But the remake seems more of a lower quality imitation, instead of a true retelling of the original. And in the end, it simply wasn't needed. Are the UK accents too much for Americans to follow? Was it really necessary to "localize" a show that is universal? Sometimes, companies need to know when to leave well enough alone.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Season of the Witch

So I have just returned home after watching Season of the Witch. I found it odd, that this evening, I was one of THREE people who were in the theatre for the film. Usually that's the sign of a bad movie, considering it's just recently come out. Just as when my friend and I went to see Electra on opening day... and were the only two in the theatre.

Well, being a Nicholas Cage film, the odds were about 50/50. He makes a lot of movies, in fact, there was a trailer for his next movie showing before this one. Few actors can pump out movies like a Hollywood PEZ dispenser. With the number of films he makes, some are good, some are bad.
This time... it was definitely a good movie.

The movie was very well done. They did a great job of giving the characters enough of a past to make you feel for them, without flooding you with useless information that doesn't apply to the story. Plus Cage and Ron Pearlman did a wonderful job playing up their characters. I could honestly picture those two hanging out at a bar with mead and wenches. Admittedly Pearlman's character was pretty much like all the characters he plays. The rough, grumbling semi-hero, which he always does so well.

The main story involves two crusaders who are tasked with transporting a witch for trial, to try and stop a plague. It does a wonderful job of making you wonder just who is the real villain. And gives you plenty of action and suspense. Plus a lot of dealing with the demons of the past. Really brings out the humanity of the characters.

I highly recommend this movie. It was a great watch for me... and I'll definitely be grabbing the Blu-Ray once it's out. Two thumbs way up.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Kudos to Dean Blundell show, and compassion...

Recently 102.1 The Edge's Dean Blundell show had a controversial guest on air. Shirley Phelps, a religious extremist from the Westboro Baptist Church. She brought on the show under the condition that she DOES NOT go to the funerals of those recently killed in the Arizona shootings, including the funeral of a 9 year old victim. Her organization had planned on going to the funerals to protest them, and spread their anti-gay propaganda.

The agreement was made, and honored, in exchange for a chance to go on the air to explain her beliefs. Which she did, and was promptly mocked, insulted and toyed with, as Dean poked holes in everything she stood for.

Giving someone like that some airtime where they are ridiculed, instead of letting them harass the already grieving families, seems like a good trade to me. And I applaud Dean and his station for taking a moral stand, and trying to help out those who have already suffered so much.

However, not everyone shared that opinion. The show received a lot of flak from various people, who essentially complained that they were giving credence to someone who was essentially a religious terrorist. Even though the show in no way approved of or agreed with her beliefs, in fact, they proved quite the opposite. But that didn't stop the hate from pouring in, and comments from "professionals" who honestly, should know better.

The thing that stood out to me, was the comments of Alan Thompson, a columnist for the Toronto Star, and a teacher at Carleton University. He stated how "I don’t think, journalistically, is an ethical course of action". Now, being a journalism student myself at Sheridan college, I've gotten a decent understanding of the principles of journalism. And while I understand that journalists have to keep a certain detachment from what they report... I do have some issues with his comment.

First off, to call the Dean Blundell show "journalism", is laughable. They are radio shock-jocks, there for entertainment. Blundell himself has comments on how he is in no way a journalist. His show is held to a different standard, that of the CRTC. They have their own rules and regulations on what's acceptable, and what isn't. And Blundell got approval for the interview before proceeding.

Secondly, religious extremists like Phelps will get attention. One way or another. As journalists, it is our responsibility to seek the truth. And there's no better way to do that than to interview these people directly. To bring their beliefs into the open, and question them, and their validity. And that's exactly what Blundell did. He may not be a journalist, but he did a pretty good job covering that aspect of it.

And finally, having her on the show, instead of at the funeral, saved the family a lot of torment, which they truly don't need in their time of pain. And Dean Blundell, and his station management, deserves praise for helping the family in whatever way they could. A shame that more people don't take such an active stance.

Er... yay?

So, I have my new Blog. Huzzah!
Hmmm... so what now?

Maybe I should have my first post include something deep and meaningful... all I can think of is...