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Big Ass Shark: an interview with Briar Lee Mitchell [SPOILERS]

July 25, 2014

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Book: Big Ass Shark

Author: Briar Lee Mitchell

Publisher: Permuted Press

Plot: There’s a shark. It’s big.

Details: This isn’t a review, but I have mixed my thoughts on the book into the questions, and Briar was kind enough to answer them without getting pissed off.

In short: the book is good.

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Oli: The tone seemed to be somewhere between jaws and piranha(not the pervy remake). Was that intentional?
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Briar Lee Mitchell: No, just started with the story and let the characters take me where they wanted to go.
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Oli: I’ve often heard that line…’the characters took me where they wanted to go’. How exactly does that happen? Which parts did the characters not follow your plot outline?
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Briar: When I write, I know the beginning and most of the ending. As the characters come to life in my head, sometimes things they do or say can lead to interesting side stories to develop or help explain major plot points. Letting characters do that is one of my favorite things about writing. Rigid outlines make me crazy.
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Oli: The main character was a wannabe actress called misty. One scientist was a grumpy Scot(at first). The biggest prick was a Japanese guy who harpoons a whale. Did you know you were skating so close to parody?
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Briar: There was intentional humor…however no, I wasn’t picking on any groups when I selected good guys/bad guys. If it looks like parody, that is unintentional.

Read more…

Best of Trek: Star Trek VI // The Undiscovered Country

July 19, 2014

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Plot: The Klingons have over-mined their moon, Praxis, making half of it blow up and endanger their home planet somehow. According to the UN, they have 50 years before it becomes uninhabitable [judging by how smoggy it looks in TNG episodes, I'd say Klingons can tolerate quite a bit]. Spock volunteers Kirk to escort the Klingon Chancellor to peace talks on Earth, and Kirk invites everyone to dinner so he can insult the eye-patch commander with a Hitler reference. Before long, the Chancellor is dead, the Klingons are angry and Kirk is arrested for assassination. McCoy is also arrested due to gross incompetence. Chekov is Russian.

Subplot: Spock is training Samantha from ‘Sex and the City’ to be the new Spock. Scotty, Uhura and Chekov do their jobs, the same jobs they’ve always done. Sulu is captain of a ship he’s willing to fly apart to get more screen time.

What’s so good about it?

After Star Trek 5, Kirk meets Howard the Duck would’ve been regarded as a step up, but this one goes way beyond that. I don’t like to do comparisons because most of the Trek films are shit, but this one is definitely in the top three, probably behind ‘Wrath of Khan’ and ‘Insurrection’.

Insurrection?

Yes. The one in my head where there’s an actual insurrection, preferably involving Romulans or Klingons, and not just Picard and other old people running away from flying robots trying to transport boring people onto a ship neither deadly nor particularly dirty and…it wasn’t even their home planet, why couldn’t they just…

The Klingons

If you’ve read ‘The Final Reflection’, which was the first book to flesh out Klingon Culture, you’ll know how interesting they are. They’re not as one-dimensional as the Original Series often paints them to be…yes, they like to fight, but they also like to strategise, drink, fuck, laugh etc., and some of them even like to do these things with other aliens.

In this movie, you get one guy [the Chancellor] who is quite charming and respectful, and you get another guy [Chang] who is a wolf in wolf’s clothing. I really don’t know why Kirk doesn’t suspect him as one of the traitors as soon as he steps off the transporter pad. He looks like a killer, and every line he says is laced with threat. Not sure about the Shakespeare quotes though… Read more…

Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero-One

July 13, 2014

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Be warned, this is not really an analysis of the character, more a look at why she was wearing that skin-tight uniform and why it was such a problem with some people.

Written by 2 Takes Frakes

SOME BACKGROUND ON 7 OF 9, FIRST:
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Jeri Ryan has aged pretty well, but in The Nineties, she was a blonde
bombshell with bulging eyes and puffy lips like some anime character
and a really nice rack. But more, even than this, she was – and is -
fairly talented. In a lot of ways, having landed the role of an
unassimilated Borg in STAR TREK: VOYAGER, around this time, she proved
herself to be the precursor to Cylon #6 of Battlestar Galactica.

The Seven of Nine character would first appear in the two-part episode
“Scorpion” and after a massive publicity campaign, VOYAGER’s sagging
ratings jumped sky-high. Her form-fitting catsuits and Ice Queen
demeaner proved a huge hit with fanboys. She was born into a Human
family which had been assimilated by The Borg. Her birthname was
Annika Hansen, and even though Seven’s connection with The Borg had
been severed, once she became part of VOYAGER, she never reverted
back to her original name. But she did have lots of flashbacks, over
several seasons, regarding her Human childhood. Still, Human emotions
remained difficult for her to contend with as she found herself
becoming VOYAGER’s Science Officer – echoing Mister Spock, in some
ways.

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In every other way, however, Seven of Nine – with plenty of help from
Jeri Ryan’s hot body – was raw sex-appeal. She started out wearing a
silver catsuit that was kind of ribbed, in an interesting way. And her
ASSets were enhanced to the Nth degree with this “uniform,” but the
raised collar had caused her some problems. Eventually, we would see
Seven of Nine in the standard, form-hugging catsuits worn by Deanna
Troi (Marina Siritis) of STAR TREK: The Next Generation. And like
Marina, Jeri had more curves than a bowl of oranges. Read more…

Message for Richard Kelly [The Sucking - script notes]

July 6, 2014

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FAO: Richard Kelly

Subject: Notes on ‘The Sucking’/scene ideas

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Hey man, as requested, here are some notes I’ve made on ‘ The Sucking’. I know it’s taken a while, but you said you’d be busy on that Box sequel for a few months, so I thought it’d be better if I stretched out and took my time. The script is only 20 pages old so far, but will defo be done by the end of the month. I think it’s looking pretty good…could even be your golden ticket back inside the factory, if JabbaWonka’s in a forgiving mood…

Btw, these are just notes I’m making as I write. Let me know what you think/what you hate etc.

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Film title: The Sucking [TBC]

Setting: Hong Kong [Kowloon side, away from the bankers/spoilt rich kids]

Budget: Whatever you can scam out of leftover D.D. fans…

Genre: Bizarro

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Plot: Not sure if you remember all the details, but here’s a recap anyhow.A guy discovers that in order to gain access to unknown knowledge of the Universe and how it works, he has to suck the talent out of local artists. But there’s a catch. The artists must have genuine talent, or he will feel sick and possibly even die. Like Russian Roulette, only with quantifiable talent instead of bullets. So, the bulk of the film consists of him going around different art galleries and communes of Hong Kong [Fo Tan, Kwun Tong, Cattle Depot etc], trying to understand what is and what isn’t good art. And if he finds some good stuff, he starts killing and sucking. Also, his sidekick is an 18 year old girl he met on the internet, who worships every move he makes but understands little about art. Obviously, he dominates her, but to make him a little more sympathetic, he is aware he is dominating her and tries to guide her into standing up for herself more. Of course, when she does, he knocks her back down. He’s a complicated dude, and a real human being. Or human being witch. The emotions are the same anyway. It’ll work.

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Scene ideas [various, no real order or design behind them yet...]

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1] The main guy has sex with the 18 year old in dominant positions. He’s always in control. Intercut this with scenes of him trying to tell her to disagree with him or stand up for herself.

[The 18 year old could become a 14 year old to give us more edge/sleaze] Read more…

Game of Thrones Season 4 Review [Spoilers]

June 19, 2014

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There are about fifty thousand characters in this show at present, but there were four who dominated this season:

Oberyn

The Hound

Arya

Tyrion

[Special mentions to Davos, Tywin, Jamie, Brienne and Littlefinger, but they did pretty much what was expected]

First up, the imp. It was obvious Tyrion would be strong, he always is – he just gets all the best material even though half of the season forced him to sit on fake straw in a prison cell and wait for people to come and talk to him.

Remember when Ned Stark was in the same cell? Not half as interesting. As honourable as Ned was, listening to him talk was like watching a footballer being interviewed. Of course I would like not to be executed, but I’m just taking things one day at a time. It’s really out of my hands, it’s up to the gaffer [Joffrey] whether I live or not. Of course I’m not happy to be in this cell, but if I sit hard, keep my head down then hopefully I can get the fuck out of here and back to that shitheap of a castle up near Sunderland or wherever.

Tyrion on the other hand, said this [to Pod]: ‘I’d like to think that if I had engineered his [Joffrey's] death, I wouldn’t have left myself to stand gawping in front of everyone when it happened.’

And this [to Bronn]: ‘You’re an evil, amoral bastard, but that’s why I liked you to begin with.’

Then there was the trial, where Tyrion channelled late 80’s Sean Penn and told the posh half of King’s Landing to go fuck themselves. Great stuff. I did wonder where all those soldiers who had seen Tyrion step up at the Blackwater had gone to, but I guess they were all too low-born to get into the throne room for the trial. People do gossip in King’s Landing though, so it must’ve been publicly well-known that Joffrey was a dick and Tyrion wasn’t.

Maybe they did know and that’s why a lot of people were cheering Oberyn in the trial by combat? Or maybe it’s because he elaborately spun a spear around his head? Read more…

FICTION: Not another Mishima

June 15, 2014

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…Lisbon and I’m picking up the fire and lighting the thing, but it’s the wrong one, it’s green. ‘I want the blue one, Gena.’
‘What?’
‘I wanna smoke the blue one.’

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I don’t love her.
I do.
I don’t.
I do.
Don’t mess it up.
Think ahead, post-sex. Imagine the after part.
I do love her.

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Back in the same bar as the night before, we sit listening to two Slovenian girls and two Slovenian guys tell us about the history of the commune.
Ben sits close to the woman. I sit with my back against the wall, on the floor.
‘So this place used to be a prison?’

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I used to make films and edit them, but then I thought: why am I editing these things? What gives me the right to put an order to the beautiful, wild shit swirling around in that head of mine?
I shot it, so it must mean something. Read more…

John dies at the end [thoughts + spoilers]

May 20, 2014

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Film: John Dies at the End

Director: Don Coscarelli [guy who did Phantasm films]

Writer of the book [not sure about the screenplay]: David Wong

Genre: Bizarro sci-fi

Starring: 2 guys you don’t know, Paul Giamatti, Toto.

Is Clancy Brown in it? Yes.

Does he play a prison guard? No.

Why not? No prisons to guard.

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I’m not writing for anyone that pays, so I’ll skip the intro/preamble and the through line argument and just write down some random notes.

Note: I’ve never read the book, but I have seen the film, so that’s what I’m going off.

It’s an empty world

First thing I noticed was a lack of parents. A lack of anyone, actually. The restaurant at the beginning doesn’t seem to have any waiters or waitresses or even customers except David and Paul Giamatti. There might’ve been a maitre’d when Giamatti first entered, I can’t remember, but if there was, they didn’t appear again.

Neither John nor David lives with their parents. The only oldies in the whole film are Giamatti, the police officer and Clancy Brown. Read more…

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