Entry for January 05, 2007 — sites and genre

Friends, I've mentioned the following at the D&D3.5 "Vanished Lands," "Dimension Corps Online," and "Black SciFi/Horror/Fantasy Fan" Yahoo Web clubs (run by me, Steve M.R., and Cecil R.W., respectively), so I might as well gather them and discuss them here:

-Over New Year's weekend, David I.S. and I looked online to find when "Star Trek 2.0" is on television. Unfortunately, the remastered episodes of the classic 1960s space opera are airing in syndication late at night or early in the morning on weekends. We hope that Thomas K.Y. will be able to record some with his TiVo. http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/news/article/25835.html

-Dave and I watched the Cartoon Network's rebroadcast of "Hellboy: Sword of Storms," which we liked. Mike Mignola's angular style is well-suited to animation (as in Disney's "Atlantis"), and we have "Hellboy: Blood and Iron" to look forward to before the next live-action horror/conspiracy sequel, "The Golden Army."

-Cecil R.W. and I liked the premiere of "Afro Samurai" on Spike TV. I found it to be violent, somewhat derivative in plot and cyberpunk setting, but well-voiced by Ron Perlman (of "Beauty and the Beast," "The Name of the Rose," "Teen Titans" and "Hellboy"), Samuel L. Jackson ("Pulp Fiction" and Mace Windu in the "Star Wars" prequels), and Kelly Hu ("Scorpion King"). The animation was reminiscent of some of the better work in "The Boondocks." http://www.afrosamurai.com/

-Other upcoming animated direct-to-video adaptations of comic books include Marvel Comics' "Iron Man," the D.C. universe's "The New Frontier," plus another potential "Star Trek" cartoon (http://trekmovie.com/2006/12/13/cbs-considering-new-animated-trek-series/).

The "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle" computer-generated flick looks promising, with dark back-alley creatures, nicely choreographed martial arts, and some goofy humor. General anime news can be found through the links at http://www.mania.com/53221.html

-Of live-action genre trailers now available, Frank Miller's "300," a loose retelling of the battle of 300 Spartans against the Persian "Ten Thousand" at Thermopylae, looks to be as stylish and bloody as "Sin City," with computer-generated backgrounds like "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow."

I also hope that "Day Watch," the second of three Russian horror films begun in "Night Watch," will be widely released. I expect "Ghost Rider" to be similar to spring genre flicks such as "Daredevil" in middling quality and box office. Speaking of modern fantasy, "Highlander: Origins" looks promising, if only to this fan of the first movie ("There can be only one!") and the well-made television series with Adrian Paul.

"Highlander: the Series" prefigured the story arcs, humor and drama, and writing of "Buffy: the Vampire Slayer" and the revived "Doctor Who," IMHO, just as "Hercules: the Legendary Journeys" and "Xena: Warrior Princess" helped develop the creative conditions for the current renaissance in fantasy (filming "Lord of the Rings" in New Zealand, for example) and comic book movie adaptations (director Sam Raimi went on to make "Spider-Man").

In the coming weeks, I look forward to the return of regular genre television, including "Heroes," "Smallville," and "Stargate SG1." Speaking of metahumans and adventurers, David I.S., Kim A.G., and I didn't play "City of Heroes" this past week, due to postholiday catching up on other things. Here's another shameless plug of a friend's Web sites: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/dimensionalcorpsonline/

On the other hand, the face-to-face D&D3.5 "Vanished Lands: Halmed Desert" fantasy game is back up to eight role-players, including Paul J./"Rache," his girlfriend Bre, and newbie Doug H./"Dimgo," who replaced Otis D./"Ali" and Robert F./"Ubat!"

Byron V.O./"Kemosh" has successfully participated via videoconferencing, and he and Dexter V.H./"Faelonia" have plans for side adventures, while Greg D.C./"Janus'" play by e-mail also continues. We'll see how much time I'll have for this component.

That's in addition to the other regular Tuesday night guys: Beruk A./"Kunal," Brian W./"Mumtaz," and James B./"Ib" (and Greg as "Killian"). For more "Broken Chains" updates, visit http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/

Janice and I have a relatively quiet weekend planned, since we've either been on the road or hosting friends and family every weekend for the past month or so! I'll try to discuss in greater depth my autobiographical information, genre preferences/reviews, and nongaming events in upcoming postings. Have a good weekend, -Gene