Thousand and One Nights in Bagdad

Ref.Article: film comment – Film of the Week: Arabian Nights

First of all I love stories, especially those where the storyteller itself is a part of the story. From early age I loved stories about myths, fairy tales and much more, when I stumbled about the stories of 1001 Nights my eyes began to sparkle and since then I am fascinated to all kinds of stories.

The above mentioned article from Film Comment made me curious – for one thing it is a movie that somehow caused a buzz in Cannes, which is an interesting thing at least. Last time I became curious in a similiar way was Winter Sleep. Wonderful movie by the way.

So, what do we know so far – it is episodic, the reference to the original 1001 nights is not so easy to see, not from the very beginning it seems and it lasts for 6 hours. There are not many people who go to the cinema to watch an entire movie for 6 hours, but looking a the entry on the International Movie Data Base we see that it is separated in three volumes, giving audience the opportunity to consume this cinematic experience in smaller doses.

The description of the storylines, the way the movie was directed, what themes are touched within the story shows me that there is a lot to see and a lot to talk about afterwards. Those are the movies I like most, especially when go to the movies with friends. Talk about all the scenes you liked or may not have liked, doesn’t matter as long as it moves you in any way and when there are issues that may change your mindset or may make you realise something you weren’t aware before the better.

This seems to be one of those movies – so far I like it, hopefully I will be able to see this movie soon! :)

It pays off magnificently—at the very least, Gomes and his collaborators have invented an entirely new approach for looking at the real world through an optic that distorts it, defamiliarizes it, and restores to it a rich, poetic form of truth. (..) But there are genies here too, and exploding whales, and politicians with erectile issues. It’s all in the nature of a good story, and Gomes’s stories, even if we only get six hours’ worth, could go on forever. In the real world, they’re going on still.

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Me and Mrs. Jones

Ref. Article: Hello Giggles – We wish Anna Kendrick’s brilliantly feminist parody of Indiana Jones were a real movie

Like Kit Steinkellner wrote in the above mentioned article from Hello Giggles someone’s quite busy at the moment. In this case it’s Anna Kendrick who still finds time between movie shots and appearances on talk shows to shoot a video. This time we are honored to see her in the role of Dr. Jones in the timeless scene of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade at the very end where the holy grail has to be chosen to save the life of the father of Indiana Jones. Unfortunately there are a couple of grails standning around in this cave. But you all know how that ends.

For the benefit of the Red Nose Day– the scene was adapted in a very funny way. I love the parody and the quirky dialogue between her and the 700 year old knight.

After watching this I crave for more heroines in TV and Movies and yes there are still not enough. By the way is it just me or would Anna be perfectly fitting for a lead in an adventure movie? Looking for treasures, long forgotten artefacts or something like that?

Ah, bring it on, Anna … whatever it may be.

Have fun with the video.

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Preview: Sense8, by The Wachoswkis’ & J. Michael Straczynski

Gonna get yourself connected …

Curiosity Factor: Interesting!

Ref. Article: Slate’s Culture Blog – The Wachowskis’ New Series, Sense8, may signal a return to Form.

This may a signal back to form, but is it really. Since the first Matrix movie Lana and Andy Wachowski delievered some entertaining, some complex and most of them spectacular action-driven movies.

In this case they collaborate with J. Michael Straczynski to produce a TV show called Sense8.

What do we know so far?

A few days ago the first trailer aired and what we get so far is that it is about 8 people who are somehow connected. First of all they seem to able to communicate, to hear, see and feel what the others do and where they are. This doesn’t end here – the trailer shows also that they are able share abilities and knowledge, especially about fighting skills. The scenes we get are action driven and the dialogues are short – not much is given away about the story. May they be hunted down, what lead to the connection and who do they fight or do they even fight for survival? Questions that will surely – not be answered within the first episode. ;)

What is there to be expected?

Does it look promising? Yes, it kinda does, the combination of the visual effects, the Wachowskis are famous for and J. Michael Straczynskis storytelling is something that can be craved for. Funny thing is, that J. Michael Straczynski is mentioned in the Trailer as being famously known for his script of Changeling, a movie by Clint Eastwood, starring Angelina Jolie in a heart breaking and wonderful told story about a mother who loses her child. Don’t get me wrong – I love this movie – but it feels odd to connect him with this to promote this upcoming TV show. He – being famous for Shows like Babylon 5 and Superhero stories like Rising Stars.

According to what we get so far I expect a thrilling action-driven first episode where each character still has it’s place. From this point on – further into the first season – I desperately hope for more character- and story-driven episodes.

Sense8 will be released on 5th of June via Netflix. Have fun and enjoy.

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Go for it, take your time and give it your best shot!

Ref. Article: There’s good news & bad news for Nintendo

When I read the News some years ago that Nintendo will be able on portable devices other than their own I was very excited. Don’t get me wrong – I had a Nintendo DS and still have a Wii and from all the Games out there Nintendo always provided the most entertaining for me, anyway. One of the good things nowadays is that you can choose

Then it happened – the tablets appeared – completely surprising and without any warning. Just kidding, it was about time and especially Apple grew amazingly fast within in this segment. But you already know that – or lived in a cave the past years. Sooo, what also happened was that the gaming industry started to develop games for tablets and over the years they became better and better. We got Adventure, Puzzle, Role Playing Games among many others, I kinda loved “World of Goo”, “The Wolf Among Us”, just to mention some examples.

Still, Nintendo was and always will be one of the greatest Gaming Developers and the step to develop games for other devices, in this case for iOS is in my opinion a good one. According to the above mentioned article – I don’t think that there are any bad news, I hope that they will take their time and will bring fantastic games on iOS. Furthermore developing special games (apart from the ones for their own hardware) gives them the opportunity to have their own team, in my experience it seldom worked to adapt an existing game from one platform to another.

Go for it, Nintendo, bring it on and 2017 is a good year as any other! The fans will wait and if you take your time it will surely work! Me, I’ll stay curious and until then there will be the chance to make a replay on World of Goo! ;)

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Preview: Doctor Who – The Three Doctors, again!

The Rule of Three

Curiosity Factor: Total Ninja!

I am so very excited, some days ago I received the Free Comic Book Edition of Doctor Who. There were three stories, each containing a short story with the 10th, the 11th and the 12th Doctor. They are all connected to the actual running Comic Series by Titan Comics.

For a bit more than a year now Titan Comics has the rights to publish Doctor Who Stories as comics. Before them IDW, an american publisher had the rights and I take this point as an opportunity to thank IDW for the good job they’ve done, especially because they treated the characters and stories with respect to the original, sometimes even more than the authors of some TV episodes.

Back to “The Rule of Three” – from the very first moment when I read that Titan Comics will take over, therefore Doctor Who Comics will be back in Great Britain and they are going to publish series for the 10th, the 11th and the 12th Doctor I was very much hoping for a crossover. Having watched “The Three Doctors” (1972/1973), “The Five Doctors” (1983)” and “The Day of the Doctor” (2013), loving each and every episode. I like what the authors do with a situation like this – one meeting himself somewhere in time. This is completely Timey-Wimey-Wibbly-Wobbly and the Heart of every Doctor Who Episode.

What is going on?

This time the 10th, the 11th and the 12th Doctor will meet for an adventure through space and time. My hopes – like for many Whovians – were that the 9th Doctor will also be there. Not this time, it seems. I started reading the comic series which is dedicated for the 9th Doctor only and I dare say – they did a very good job, which is also very fitting for the other series. There are different authors and artists placed, each one working his own stories, some of them even having new companions for their Doctors and each one accomplished to bring the beloved character from the screen to the page. Through the years I learned that this is not an easy task.

What do we know so far?

There is an interview within the Free Comic Book Day Special Edition but they are not giving much away. It will be an 5-issue-miniseries, written by Paul Cornell with art by Neil Edwards. Paul Cornell wrote some scripts for the TV show, maybe some of remember the episodes “Human NatureFamily of Blood” (2007), in my opinion some very fine stories, well written – this gives us something to hope for.

The story will take part in Paris – and will not have any connection with “City of Death”, a classic Doctor Who Story, written by Douglas Adams. Not every Doctor Who story

My hopes include – funny dialogues and panels, fine art, a timey wimey story and a bit of action. So far the people from Titan Comics proved that they not only pay respect to the characters and stories that drive this show – they also showed how much they love it.

When will it be available?

In the upcoming Previews Catalogue (#321, June 2015 )it will be possible to place an order, so far the following dates have been announced.

#1 – 12th August 2015
#2 – 19th August 2015
#3 – 26th August 2015
#4 – 02nd September 2015
#5 – 09th September 2015

As you may imagine already – as soon as the order form is available I will order it! ;)

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Dream a little dream …

Ref. Article: Why you should daydream more (in 3 minutes)

In February this year Huffington Post published an article about how important daydreaming is. In my humble opinion, without talking to experts on this issue I think so, too. When I was a kid I loved to daydream, at any possible occasion. Daydreaming helped a lot not getting bored, a valuable lesson and I never got bored ever again, not even while waiting for a long time in a queue – may it be in the waiting room at the doctor or at the supermarket.

Daydreaming enhances creativity

Instead of telling our children to stop it we should embrace the fact that they do it and encourage them. It helps build creativity, to think about stories, ideas and in this dawn and age where productivity became more important in our society creativity has the chance to change. So many countries, companies and societies are evolving and therefore we urgently need dreamers who do think the impossible, just because every other states that is not possible. Dream the impossible and then make it work.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”- Nelson Mandela

I imagine the picture of people like Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and Nelson Mandela among many others wandering around daydreaming. It’s also kinda easy to see people like Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman and J.K. Rowling and what they may gain as authors but this is also important for everyone else. Creativity can be helpful in every area, starting with leisure activites, family, friends and business.

Daydreaming reduces stress

Everyone one of us is sometimes confronted with a situation that seems to be unsolvable for the moment, this leads to a stress momentum. The typical stress management recommendation is to find time to relax, let your mind wander and rethink the whole situation. For me it seems very similar to daydreaming – let your mind wander, think about other things, a book you currently read, the characters and or about the movie you just saw and why it moved you.

“It is fine to be committed to work, but our minds need time to recover and our bodies need to move.”
― Annika SorensenTake Stress from Chaos to Calm

Daydreaming in the daily schedule

We became a “busy society”, always on the run, personally I think that it begins – or even started already in some countries – to reduce that in a natural way. We – as a society – start to rethink our values, is it money, is it friends, family or leisure activities. In doing that we also reduce the stress factors each and every one of us has to face each day.

You may take your share of daydreaming on your way to work, while jogging – still being aware when you have to pay attention to your surroundings. Even some minutes during the day will help a lot, lay down the newspaper, close your eyes and relax, if music helps then use it.

The article in the Huffington Post referred to a study, published on psych central which describes how the research was done and what effects can be expected.

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Review: Birdman

A thing is a thing, not what is said of that thing.

Rating: Great, 8 of 10

This is the story of an actor who became famous for playing a specific role. Michael Keaton plays Riggan Thompson, the actor who played a superhero character called Birdman in the 90s and is now – decades later – working hard on his career, especially as an actor in a Broadway Show based on the Raymond Carver Story “What we talk when we talk about love”. The story starts with him sitting in midair, talking to himself – and believe me this is not the strangest thing you may see in this movie.

During the story we meet his daughter, some colleagues and loved ones from his past. Each person, played by actors like Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts and Zach Galifianakis get some fine moments within in this story, some involve Drama, Love, Betrayal and Letdown – they play right in the cards of the story of the main character and his Self-Doubt, his Misery and all his Fears.

Sam: Truth or dare?
Mike Shiner: Truth.
Sam: That’s boring.
Mike Shiner: Truth is always more interesting.

Apart from the script and the actors the movie – due to the camera technique that was used – often gives the audience the feeling that it was shot in one continuous take. I got that feeling especially when Michael Keaton and Edward Norton were having a conversation on the street. The style reminded me a bit on Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope, a movie that is famous for being shot in only ten takes. It gives this movie a quite authentic and very atmospheric feeling.

Young Birdman: It’s a beautiful day. Forget about the Times… everyone else has. Come on. Stand up! So you’re not a great actor. Who cares? You’re much more than that. You tower over these other theater douchebags. You’re a movie star, man! You’re a global force! Don’t you get it? You spent your life building a bank account and a reputation… and you blew ’em both. Good for you. Fuck it. We’ll make a comeback. They’re waiting for something huge. Well, give it to them. Shave off that pathetic goatee. Get some surgery! Sixty’s the new thirty, motherfucker. You’re the original. You paved the way for these other clowns. Give the people what they want… old-fashioned apocalyptic porn. Birdman: The Phoenix Rises. Pimple-faced gamers creaming in their pants. A billion worldwide, guaranteed. You are larger than life, man. You save people from their boring, miserable lives. You make them jump, laugh, shit their pants. All you have to do is…
[Riggan snaps fingers, and explosions occur, shooting starts, soldiers get shot, choppers fly and shoot, one gets shot down]
Young Birdman: That’s what I’m talking about. Bones rattling! Big, loud, fast! Look at these people, at their eyes… they’re sparkling. They love this shit. They love blood. They love action. Not this talky, depressing, philosophical bullshit.
[Birdman shoots laser in giant mechanical bird above the building, it screeches]
Young Birdman: Yes. And the next time you screech…
[Riggan screeches]
Young Birdman: … it’ll explode into millions of eardrums. You’ll glimmer on thousands of screens around the globe. Another blockbuster. You are a god.
[Riggan starts flying]
Young Birdman: See? There you go, you motherfucker. Gravity doesn’t even apply to you. Wait till you see the faces of those who thought we were finished. Listen to me. Let’s go back one more time and show them what we’re capable of. We have to end it on our own terms… with a grand gesture. Flames. Sacrifice. Icarus. You can do it. You hear me? You are… Birdman!

In the end I ask you to give the soundtrack a try, before I saw the movie a friend recommended to listen to the soundtrack. I listened to some and it may seem strange because they are played by one drummer but it sounds great and it gives the movie a very special feeling, it’s very own atmosphere. It works amazingly well during the movie!

So, all the respect and praises the movie got so far are well earned.

Riggan: [to Birdman] Bye-bye. And fuck you.

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The first step is always the hardest …

… and congratulations are in order! Great News, Alicia Witt’s first full lenght studio album will be availabe by tomorrow.

Thankfully she will publish it via iTunes, Amazon, on CD and Vinyl! Special thanks for the last – from my side anyway. I bought her last EP on iTunes and I am happy, so I’m looking forward to the new songs. I added a live performance of one of the songs on the albums below – it was a live performance on Oprah. Enjoy.

“.. it’s been a long time coming, but I’m so excited to tell you that my first full length studio album, Revisionary History, is finally here.
Revisionary History is produced by Ben Folds (who also plays drums, bass, guitar and did background vocals on the record) and features 2 tracks mixed by 7 time Grammy winner Michael Brauer.
I’m beyond-words proud of this record and I’m so excited to share it with you at last. ..” – ALICIA WITT

She alone is talented enough to provide with an album full of beautiful songs, mainly played and accompanied on the piano but she also have some friends invited to play with her. Ben Folds & Michael Brauer also appear on some of the songs.

Let’s see – first of all – give her new album a try, listen to it and if you like it buy it. :)

PS. Enclosed the music video “Anyway” (2010)

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Do you miss him, already?

Ref. Article: Will there be a “DoctorWho” Crossover?

Here we are again – actors who have to be persuaded to go back to the role for which they became famous for. In this case Benedict Cumberbatch & Martin Freeman, they well earned the fame they got through their performances as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

This time – we are waiting for Season 4 to air! So far they announced that there will be a Christmas Special this year and we can assume that Season 4 will air in the beginning of 2016.

What is there to be expected – what do we hope for, especially because it seems to be the last season:

– Moriarty returns, I still believe that this is a hoax, he is criminally insane enough to make video tapes before his suicide attempt, puts it on a server, connect it with an alarm clock and let it be broadcasted right after his death. Wouldn’t have happened for the first time on screen.
– Moriarty returns, in real and we will never know how he survived the bullet in his head. Sherlock and Moriarty will have a fight where both of them die in the end, again.
– Moriarty returns, he was Holmes real brother all along, Mycroft was adopted.
– Doctor Who appears, introduces Clara to both of them, they travel to the Victorian Age, solve a case that involved a murder by a two headed monster which withheld some important information about the whereabouts of Gallifrey and the four of them (Sherlock, the Doctor, Clara & Dr. Watson) travel to Gallifrey to find out it was there all along. What a Christmas Special Crossover this would be – could be a crazy two-parter broadcasted on the same evening. Ahh, forgit, this will never happen.
– Irene Adler returns, they will solve a case together, fall openly in love and will ride into the sunset on a bike along the Thames. Ooooh, skip that, this sounds even more ridicolous than the one with Doctor Who.

Just joking a bit but as long as Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss are involved there can be anything happening, apart from the SciFi-Alien stuff, anyway. I would love to see Lara Pulver in her role as Irene Adler again, and I agree that if it fits into the storyline Mark and Steven will get it right. They proved more than once that they can pull any trick out of the hat!

One last thing – I loved the article by iDigitalTimes, especially the 35 spoilers with the interviews included. Wonderful references, thank you very much.

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Revisiting … Cups, before they’re gone!

Ref. Article: The Barden Bellas sing ‘Cups’ in New ‘Pitch Perfect’ Clip
Usually … sorry … sometimes artists don’t want to be remembered for the “thing” they became famous for.

For example, many years ago I’ve seen Little Richard and the whole audience screamed for ‘Long Tall Sally’. He played it at the very end of the show, it kinda seemed that he wanted to be recoginzed for his other songs, his performance.

Another thing – it is difficult for many of us to see Harrison Ford and not think of Indiana Jones or Han Solo, even Sean Connery is still connected of being one of the actors who played James Bond. William Shatner and Leonard Nemoy will always be remember for Kirk and Spock and their friendship, not forgetting Tom Baker who will still be THE Doctor for so many. Okay, I admit these are very famous examples and all those actors surely had some difficulties to get rid of the connections, some of them embraced this connection and worked woth it and some of them learned to live with it.

Furthermore – there are two sides to a situation like that – for one thing the artist moves on and wants to be recognized for the work he produces / publishes afterwards and on the other side there is the audience still hungry for their heroes, the characters and stories they love.

In this very case I Anna Kendrick is amazing according her drive, energy and humour. She gets asked for singing the cup song anytime anywhere and she is not getting tired of performing it in talk shows, making a music video and then revisiting it in the 2nd part of Pitch Perfect. Many will say that other actors do that, too and there is money and fame involved – yeah, I get that – but in this case it doesn’t seem that way. She enjoys it, hopefully long enough.

Funny, gorgeous and talented … not a loser at all! ;)

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