I had a bunch of things I meant to post yesterday, but ended up getting all political instead. (I am heartened, though, by the news that at least some organizations are seeing a funding surge. And there’s at least one doctor advocating for civil disobedience when the law would threaten the rights and well-being of patients.)

But! The point of this is to post the other stuff!

I neglected to mention this on the 16th, but I have my usual post up at SF Novelists, talking about audience expectations, and whether it’s better to be wrong or right about where the story is going.

Next, I’d like to point you at a friend’s Kickstarter project, for The Urban Tarot Deck. The existing art for this is pretty awesome; I own a print of the Princess of Swords, and kniedzw has the Magician. I’ve been hoping for years that he’d be able to finish the deck (and must confess to a hope that if this project is a success, he’ll finish his Silhouette Tarot, which I like even more). So mosey on over to take a look, and if you like what you see, send a few bucks his way.

(Okay, full truth? I am sorely tempted to shell out silly amounts of money to be on one of the remaining cards. A bunch of the models for the existing cards are friends of ours, and I love what Rob did with them; it would be nifty to see what he’d do with me. But, um. Kind of silly amounts of money, for something I cannot even pretend is a business expense.)

Third, cogent analysis of why John Carter tanked. I confess that if anybody ever makes a movie of my books, I would love to have control over various aspects . . . but then I see what happens when somebody with no distance from the subject gets to run the show, and I reconsider. I’d like to believe I would be sensible enough to listen to other people’s advice, but who knows? I might be just as short-sighted and detrimental as Stanton was.

Fourth, fellow geeks of a certain stripe may be interested in the trailer for a live-action Rurouni Kenshin movie. I have to admit, watching it breaks my brain a little; I’ve been a fan of the anime for (ye gods) nearly half my life, and Suzukaze Mayo is the voice of Himura Kenshin. The guy in the trailer . . . is a guy. (When a friend told me they were filming a live-action movie, I asked, only half-joking, whether they were going to cast a woman as Kenshin.) But there are things flashing by in the trailer that have me bouncing in my seat; does that gatling gun mean we’re going to get Aoshi and the Oniwabanshu stuff? I must watch and see. 🙂

And, to make five (non-political) things, I leave you with The 25 Most Awkward Cat Sleeping Positions.

0 Responses to “Pick-a-mix”

  1. mrissa

    I was hoping for Oniwabanshu stuff too. Yes. The Gatling gun seemed to imply that very very strongly.

    • Marie Brennan

      I think it would be a good selection, if the movie is using material from the anime; there’s enough meat there to make a decent plot, without being too tangled up in backstory, or too complicated to cram into two hours.

      I mean, I wouldn’t object to seeing the entire Kyoto season filmed (if this one turns out well). But that would be a rather large undertaking for a non-episodic format, so in its absence, I’m hoping for Aoshi.

      • alecaustin

        I am kind of wondering what they’d have to do to to Seijiro in order to keep him from looking ridiculous? But yah. Aoshi does seem very likely, given the gatling gun.

        …I wonder if they’ll cut or alter the thing with Hannya’s arms? It seems like that would be hard to get right in a live-action format.

      • mrissa

        I wouldn’t object to seeing the entire Kyoto season filmed either, and that’s probably what I’d go for. But yes, Aoshi would probably be a better place to start.

        • Marie Brennan

          Well, you know. We can’t expect every movie studio to gamble the way Warner Brothers did on Harry Potter, launching into a seven-film project and hoping it won’t crash and burn. 🙂

          • celestineangel

            HBO miniseries? 😀

            (… I wonder who would end up sleeping with whom…)

          • Marie Brennan

            Oh lord.

            . . . it really doesn’t work, at least not without brain-breaking levels of rewriting. Only Shishio and Yumi are really an HBO couple; who else are you going to show having (unenjoyable-looking) sex? Sano and Megumi? Kenshin and Kaoru?

            I read an article at one point that referred to the HBO-drama genre as “Blood, Tits, and Scowling,” and Rurouni Kenshin really doesn’t have enough of the latter two to qualify.

          • celestineangel

            Yeah, the only reason it even came to mind was because, well, around the eyebrow-lifting sex, HBO tends to do right by their miniseries. There might be a lot of sex between people who never saw each other in the source material, but they don’t scrimp on the plot, either.

            There’s have to be extra sex between everyone else, because you know Kenshin never touched Kaoru. Not for a loooong time. (Because he thought he didn’t deserve to be happy? Just out of being a gentleman? A little of both, and more to boot?)

            Ah, it’s a dream that some other channel might make a miniseries out of it that wouldn’t involve the “Tits and Scowling” part.

          • Marie Brennan

            True, HBO does good work (around all the uncomfortable sex).

            If it weren’t for the fact that Tsuiokuhen makes it pretty clear he slept with Tomoe, I would totally read Kenshin as a virgin, who spent his teenaged years slaughtering people and never really made that transition when he should have. As it stands, I think you’re probably right: a combination of penitential control and gentlemanly instincts.

          • celestineangel

            Now that has me thinking about another favorite episode: the one where everyone (especially the young women) are obsessed with the Western practice of men giving rings to women when they ask the women to marry them. And Kaoru becomes convinced Kenshin has asked her to marry him, and Kenshin is oblivious until (Sanosuke or Yahiko?) clues him in and then poor Kenshin basically BSODs. (And poor Kaoru, when she realizes it was all a misunderstanding.)

          • Marie Brennan

            Kenshin is so adorable when he BSODs. ^_^

          • celestineangel

            Completely. ^_^ I had to go delete another icon so I could upload this one, which I believe might be from that episode. Even if it isn’t, it’s still adorable. XD

            But the whole BSOD due to Kaoru thinking they’re engaged, knowing about Tomoe, makes me wonder how much of it was because of his previous marriage. (Trust me to take a funny episode and bring angst into it. :D)

  2. celestineangel

    OMGs, the Urban Tarot! I pledged, and I pimped, and OMGs, I need this to happen!

    • Marie Brennan

      I really hope he’s able to raise the money, yeah.

      • celestineangel

        And I was silly and commented before reading the entire post and Rurouni Kenshin live action movie yes please. Huge, huge fan of that anime too. Saddest. Animated. Movie. Ever.

        • Marie Brennan

          My god, the OVA. <cries all the tears>

          • celestineangel

            I still feel the need to either go drink heavily or paint yellow smiley faces desperately over many surfaces when I just think about it.

            (Aaaaand, oddly, I have no Kenshin icons, so here, have some Inuyasha.)

          • Marie Brennan

            I was just thinking I need a Kenshin icon. <g>

            I’m actually playing a LARP character based on him. The mechanics include characters having a dark side that tries to take over periodically . . . it’s sort of tailor-made for the rurouni/hitokiri conflict.

          • celestineangel

            I’ll probably end up with a few before the end of the week. XD

            Ooooooo! Yes, yes it is.

            Once, I played in an anime-based RPG where we were all supposed to come up with original characters based on anime worlds. My character was Kenshin and Kaoru’s daughter who I totally made up. Wow, that was a long time ago. Haven’t thought about it in years. Can’t even remember her name, probably because she hated it and insisted everyone call her just “Himura.”

          • Marie Brennan

            This is for Kindred of the East, which, well . . . let’s just say you can make something better out of the source material if you try really hard. <g> I wanted to play a Japanese character, and I wanted something vivid, so I went trawling through my anime and such, and latched onto Kenshin because that inner conflict maps over so well. Then — because the game takes place in the modern day, and it’s hard to explain a century-old character with a newbie sheet — I replaced the Bakumatsu with World War II. And then, fretting over how it was hard to make the backstory plausible for a female character, I remembered that KotE includes a flaw that says after you died and came back from Hell, you came back in somebody else’s body.

            . . . which is how I turned Himura Kenshin into a transgendered vampire. <g>

          • celestineangel

            . . . which is how I turned Himura Kenshin into a transgendered vampire.

            That… just might be the best sentence ever typed in the (mostly) English language….

          • Marie Brennan


            And I might have named my character Shinomori Tachirou in his mortal life, and Sagara Junri after coming back from hell.

            Not that I’m dropping hints right, left, and center for any fellow player who can spot them or anything.

          • celestineangel

            *snerks* Not at all.

  3. marumae

    I’m of two minds of the John Carter flop debacle, someone on the comments of the article made a very good point, I highly doubt a studio would hand over the reigns of advertisement to a director solely because he *bullied* them. If Lucas can’t do it then I doubt the writer of Wall*E can, no matter how well it did, especially Disney. I don’t think our Mickey Mouse overlords would allow that. If they did I’m extremely disappointed because I loved both Finding Nemo AND Wall*e and the message they deliver so this notion of a shiny eyed, blinded by his own love of the material, bullying Stanton depresses me. Those were great movies, if it’s true it sucks to know he’s essentially a jackass.

    HOWEVER, what I think happened is, Disney was distracted by other projects and didn’t pay this as much attention as they perhaps should have and just LEFT advertisement to the duty of the director and when buzz for the movie wasn’t generated or as high as they hoped they started the “Stanton made us!1!!” theory and most likely, Stanton-not quite ready to launch into his first live action movie, didn’t do what he was supposed to do and had no readily available advice on how to properly market, film and make a live action movie. The first trailer for the movie confused the fuck out of me, I was like wha…what is this about what? what?! I’ve never read (or been interested in Burroughs) so I wasn’t like YAY! I was like…OH the guy who wrote Tarzan did this? Hmmm (more of a Kipling and Jungle Book fan but the implications of that are another topic all together too).

    • Marie Brennan

      I don’t know that the word “bullied” is merited, but I do know there have been cases in the past of directors being excessively controlling micro-managers, who ended up undermining their own efforts because they didn’t want to listen to what other people were saying, and couldn’t be forced into cooperating. (And directors who similarly ignored advice, and turned out to be right for it. I don’t have a citation to back this one up, but I’m told Disney haaaaaaaaaated their first look at Pirates of the Caribbean, and wanted to make Verbinski reshoot with a different actor for Jack Sparrow. We are all very glad that didn’t happen.)

      I wouldn’t call Stanton a jackass for it, though. Foolish, yes, and badly lacking in perspective. But if it’s true, I feel more sorry for him than angry at him.

      • marumae

        I don’t know that the word “bullied” is merited, but I do know there have been cases in the past of directors being excessively controlling micro-managers, who ended up undermining their own efforts because they didn’t want to listen to what other people were saying, and couldn’t be forced into cooperating.

        True, I know some directors can be excessively controlling and hard to work with. Apparently one of the directors of the Wizard of Oz was like this.

        I wouldn’t call Stanton a jackass for it, though. Foolish, yes, and badly lacking in perspective. But if it’s true, I feel more sorry for him than angry at him.

        Well the quote of him saying they all “tip toe” around me and work very hard not to make me angry rubbed me the wrong way, it struck me as a jackass thing to do by using the threat of temper tantrums to get their way because everyone is so busy kissing their butt. This could be a triggery thing with me because I have known several people like this and it’s frustrating as hell to live with them. So apologies for that, if he was just a director who had a naiive vision that he wouldn’t see any contradictory opinions too I can feel sorry for him.

  4. starryniteynite

    Ah, JOhn Carter. I tend to agree that the beginning of the end was removing “of Mars” from the title–I had no idea that it took place on Mars until rather late in the game. (I think it was actually at your Oscar-watching party, noe that i think about it)

    The way I see it, there were aliens in the first preview, so its not like they were hiding the fact that it was a sic-fi movie–they just succeeded in making it look like a particularly odd adaptation of the story of Pocahontas. I may be in the vast minority of women, but I had no interest in seeing it until I knew it took place on Mars.

    I mean, really, the movie’s setting should not be a surprise to the audience.

    I actually saw it opening weekend, and quite enjoyed the movie itself, but it had no chance to turn a profit between the horrible ad campaign and the bloated budget (both caused at least in part by the director’s self-congratulatory fanboy-ness and his lack of live-action experience).

    • Marie Brennan

      It was clearly science fiction; it just wasn’t particularly interesting-looking science fiction. I very much agree that the early trailers gave you zero reason to want to see it.

      The movie itself . . . kind of meh. It was pretty, but the story was very lumpy and uneven, and missed some big opportunities to do more interesting things with itself.

      • starryniteynite

        Well, I do have to admit much of my enjoyment didn’t come entirely from onscreen…I think I entertained myself during the slow ‘pretty light show at the Temple of Issus’ by trying to count the number of planets on the diagram of the solar system and trying to work out *when* in the history of the solar system the Mars stuff could be happening and still be accurate.

        A few of us from SOFIA are planning to MST3K it on Friday–I’m looking forward especially to the pained moans of the poor Mars Science Lab guy we’re dragging along with us.

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