Don’t Ask Me About My Business

PA-Spector-jpg_115959In preperation for seeing Al Pacino play Phil Spector in the new HBO movie, the appropriately titled Phil Spector, here is a chance to see all of your favorite Al Pacino bits in a neat little package.  Let’s hope that 88 Minute’s isn’t included; nobody wants to remember that.

HBO Adapting American Gods, Adam Losing His Shit

American_godsYou kids these days. You don’t know how good you have it.

In my day, television was a wasteland. L.A. Law and Murder She Wrote were the best dramas we had. Golden Girls and Roseanne were the only comedies worth a damn. Reruns of M.A.S.H. and The Cosby Show were a viable alternative to pretty much anything new on television. The most popular shows were Growing Pains and Who’s the Boss. GROWING PAINS. 

But now? Now you have your Mad Men and your Homeland and your Game of Thrones and still all you do is complain. Fine, says HBO, you want more? How about if we take Neil Gaiman’s sweeping re-imagining of mythological beings set in the modern world and turn it into an epic series? Will that slake your insatiable thirst for high quality entertainment, you ravenous little fiends?

I would have murdered your entire generation for a few seasons of 30 Rock back in the day. Instead I’m stuck fondly remembering that Small Wonder was filmed before a live studio audience.

[Via Dread Central]

Over Three Minutes of Game of Thrones Season 2 Visual F/X Footage!

Dragons! Battle of Blackwater! White Walkers! Exclamation Points!

For those that are reading the books, what are the chances Jar Jar Martin is actually able to wrap up the entire series in even a quasi-satisfactory fashion?

Trailer Park Two-fer: After Aperture & A Making of Game of Thrones

For those of us (me: late to the party, you: probably should have played it by now) who’ve played Portal 2 and were left with the question of, “Well…what’s next?”, someone has ginned up an answer using Valve’s Source engine.  Pretty moving:

Curious about what it takes to bring Game of Thrones to life? Well, BE CURIOUS NO MORE!!

High Falutin’ Fantasy

(New contributor thegreekdog has arrived; your reading list is squarely in his sights.)

There is some cross-genre pollination as between video gamers, comic readers, and fantasy readers. If you’re knowledgeable about arrow-studded ACLs preventing one from fighting dragons, you’re also likely knowledgeable about the newest Batman retcon, and you’re also angrily awaiting George R.R. Martin’s next book (the dude has to write faster, if only because the HBO show is going to catch up with him). In any event, I spend much of my time reading fantasy and science fiction. I skip around a lot. I may be reading a book published in 2011 (see below) or I may be reading a book published in 1959 (yes, yes, I’m a Philistine for not reading Starship Troopers until now).

In any event, I like classifications for my fantasy reading pleasure. There’s kid fantasy (David Eddings), there’s classic fantasy (LOTR), and there’s realistic fantasy (GRRM or GoT or whatever acronym we’re associating with the overrated series written by a walrus). There’s also realistic and high-falutin’ fantasy. And that brings me to Steven Erikson.

Steven Erikson (a Canadian, but we won’t hold that against him) has written one of the most epic fantasy series I’ve ever read: Malazan Book of the Fallen. If you want more biography, history, etc., hit up Wikipedia.

Erikson writes fantasy novels that are ultra-realstic in the vein of GRRM. People die. People die a lot. People that you care about. That’s surely not the only “realistic” part of realistic fantasy, but that’s the part that gets people like me to keep reading. And Erikson delivers that.

Erikson also delivers to the thinking man a version of philosophy that’s hard to resist (if you’re a thinking man… or woman). Once you get through the first book, which is as ponderous as LOTR and quite hard to follow, you’ll be treated to a treasure trove of great stories and grand philosophical ideas. There’s the mortals turned gods; there’s the philosopher king and his godly assistant; there’s a sergeant that plays the fiddle; there’s a guy that eats too much; and, of course there are dragons. There are discussions of the meaning of life, why people go to war and fight, what it means to sacrifice, and what is love. It’s a funny and intelligent series. It completely took over my personal life for the last six months. And, at the risk of killing your ability to do anything other than read ponderous fantasy, I highly recommend the series.

And, to complete matters, I literally cried real, big boy tears for the entire last two chapters of the last book.

So, start with Gardens of the Moon (published in 1999) and read through The Crippled God (published in 2011). Thank me later.