Monday, November 17, 2014

Fall TV Madness

I must start off by saying that I don't have cable at home. Not even the basic variety with those three Canadian channels and the fuzzy-static porn one late at night. (Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. We were all thirteen once)

So I kinda have a valid reason for posting so late about the new TV season. I don't watch as many shows as before (I do have somewhat of a social life) but the ones I do have time to watch are kick fucking ass. Like Hilary Swank said recently: TV is where the good writing is at these days. Don't believe me? Take a look:


What it's about: Gotham is not exactly a superhero show but it's not exactly a procedural either. And somehow, it's also not confused. It borrows from both world without being greedy and places one foot ahead of the next very carefully. However, it is very much an origin story and follows the rules very tediously. Bruce Wayne is still a child as is Selena Kyle and Ivy Pepper (based on Poison Ivy); Penguin still holds on to a bit of sanity while Edward Nigma (The Riddler) is slowly losing his; the mafia is slowly finding it's footing and James Gordon is just starting to realize just how corrupt Gotham really is.
Production: The man behind Gotham is Bruno Heller, who also created Rome and The Mentalist. He also wrote two of my favourite episodes so far: "Selena Kyle" and "Penguin's Umbrella". The show started with a 13 episode run, but thankfully that got bumped up to 22 episodes.
Starring: Ben Mackenzie, Donal Logue, Robin Lord Taylor, Jada Pinkett Smith.
Why it's hot: Because it's an origin story. Because it is full of nods to the Tim Burton era. Because you can literally picture some scenes as comic panes. Because Jada Pinkett Smith. Because the writing is superior than most movies. Because!!


What it's about: A new season of AHS signifies a new storyline, a new American tale to be told in a macabre fashion. Freakshow tells the story of a bunch of - wait for it - freaks, who must learn to love themselves in a world where everyone fears them. There are multiple storylines but true to AHS, they will slowly and surely blend together. And what a show it will be!
Production: Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are TV Gods. Together they made Nip/Tuck one of TV's hottest dramas and managed to recreate some of that TV magic with AHS. This magic, however, would be impossible to manipulate if not for production designer Mark Worthington's skillful knowledge of the different eras. His eye was made for details! PS: Neil Patrick Harris is slated to appear in a cameo role!
Starring: Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Emma Roberts, Frances Conroy, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Michael Chiklis, Denis O'Hare, Finn Wittrock, and Gabourey Sidibe.
Why it's hot: Because did you read that casting list? Ok, enough said.

THE 100 (season 2)

What it's about: Earth has been destroyed because of the greed of men. The elite managed to escape in time and find shelter in space. Now a century later, the Sky People go back down to Earth to evaluate it's sustainability. What they do not know is that not all mankind was wiped out. And now an epic war for territory and power threatens to claim all of their lives.
Production: Considering the scope of the show and the overall epicness of it's storyline, the production team is relatively small. A few producers, a handful of writers, and a small crew of producers. That's it. I was expecting a sh*tload of useless heads with dollar signs for eyes, but nope. And Canadian bonus: the show is shot on location in Vancouver! (as if we couldn't tell by the panoramic shots of our beautiful motherland!)
Starring: Eliza Taylor, Paige Turco, Bob Morley, Marie Avgeropoulos, Ricky Whittle, Isaiah Washington, Henry Ian Cusick.
Why it's hot: Because it is clearly correcting the mistakes that LOST did with it's broad storyline of "we are all others." Because Ricky Fucking Whittle. Because of the cinematography. Because of the mystery and the "a-ha!" moments. Because Paige Turco AKA April O'Neal is in it. Because Ricky Fucking Whittle.


What it's about: Are you living under a rock? Do I have to explain? Ok ok. It's about humanity and how fucking greedy and selfish we are. It's about the dark side of man, that side we only show when there's one fry left in our plate and we see someone who is hungry but eat the fry anyway. Except with zombies and shit.
Production: The show was developed by Frank Darabont but unfortunately, he walked out after one season and has since been replaced by different showrunners with none as excellent as Scott M. Gimple. He took the reigns as of Season 4 and managed to make the show exiting again, after a slow and disappointing season 3. Viewership went up as did the action and the character development. Gimple really managed to breathe new life into...well...the dead.
Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Seven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Emily Kinney.
Why it's hot: Because season 5 sees more of Carol and Beth. Because we finally meet The Hunters. Because it's gore as fuck. Because we see less of Rick. Because Carl finally has a purpose. Because we see Abraham and Rosita getting it on.

And that pretty much sums it up for my Fall viewing habits. If you haven't started any of these shows and you're not some super busy human being with priorities and stuff, you have no excuse not to start these. Why are you still reading this? Get on it! Go, watch TV, warp your mind!

Candles are out,
Eleven's Ink

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Musical Wishlist

So I've been very lucky this past year and got to saw musical acts I never thought I would get the chance to see; thanks in part to great friends. And this summer of music festivals and guitar solos only fed that desire to see more of my favourite artists on stage.

I mean, I got to see Joan Jett, Three Days Grace, Grimskunk (twice!), Apocalyptica, The Offspring, Jason Derulo, Obey the Brave (singer is the hottest person alive), METALLICA (!!), Motley Crue, Weezer, Billy Talent, Lana Del Rey (♥♥), Cypress Hill (that almost made me die). I also discovered new acts such as Messhugah, August Burns Red, and Veil of Maya.

And I also got to see Ice T perform with his group at Heavy Montreal, when I didn't even know he would be there. Or that he was in a metal band!? I feel like no summer can top this one though. But then again, next year is the tenth anniversary of  Montebello's Rockfest and let's just say it's hyped. Can you feel my excitement??!!

So in preparation for next year, this is a list of artists I want and WILL (feel that determination?) see perform. I won't take no for an answer. :)

  • System of a Down
    • There is no way in hell that I am going through another year without seeing these beasts perform live. I will walk through hell if I have to.

    • She's Danish, she's trippy, she's unique, she's bold. Yeah, her music pretty much rocks.

  • Diplo
    • Diplo is the sole reason why I enjoy any form of EDM/Trap music. He's a god and I'm a disciple. Feed me your music, Diplo!

  • Green Day
    • This is purely for nostalgic reasons. Green Day was a staple of my generation and I would probably die if I ever get to see them. Legit, die!

  • Placebo
    • You couldn't meet a more devoted Placebo fan even if you entered a Placebo forum on a Placebo website. I love all their songs and would love nothing more than blazing out to their music. *Dreams*

  • Lana Del Rey (outside venue)
    • Yeah, I saw the Queen of Dark this year and it was everything I was hoping for. But I was going through a rough patch with a person-who-called-me-a-friend-but-was-really-a-snake, and so her melancholic sound and depressive lyrics got me a bit down. I want to redo this but in a nature setting. I want to feel her sound through the wind

  • CottonMouth Kings
    • They brought an urban rock band to Montebello's Rockfest this year (Cypress Hill - I consider them urban rock, k?) so I'm hoping they continue that trend and invite CMK on the stage. That would be - wait for it - dope!

  • Childish Gambino
    • I had TWO opportunities to see this bad-ass lyricist beat the stage to a pulp and missed BOTH opportunities. If I am lucky enough next year, I definitely plan on being front row to rap along to Backpackers and Bonfire. And errthing else this oreo sings about.

There's so many more acts I want to see like AlunaGeorge, Kid Ink, Modest Mouse, London Grammar, Shlohmo, Marina and the Diamonds, and the list goes on! Who knows, maybe my wishes will come true!! :)

What artist has you tripping lately?

Candles are out,
Eleven's Ink

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cheap Gas on Dull Days

Merp. It's Tuesday, there's no holidays this week and it's super ugly outside. Add to that the fact that my burning relationship with someone very important to me has turned to ashes. I normally would feel crippled and sluggish but my day actually started out well.

I got to the gas station, which was busier than an anthill on picnic day, and was surprised with the good news that there was no more regular gasoline but that I could get supreme gasoline for the same price. Um, bonus!

So I walk (through a sheet of rain) into the store to pay for this super awesome deal when I'm knocked over by another (mini) super awesome deal. The man ahead of me had a gasoline coupon for $1.00 off with any purchase of gas over $25.00. He didn't put that much gas in so gave me the coupon. Doesn't sound like much, but the gesture was very much appreciated.

Rain kept falling and people kept coming in the store and by the time I get to my turn, the power went out. I'm just about ready to panic and drop my all-is-okay act by roaring like a hungry lion from the steppes of Africa, when the girl at the cash informs us that the machines still work for payment. Yes, not gonna be late for work!

Pay my gas, thank the lady, thank the man, walk back into the rain, run to my car, get into it, blast Lana Del Rey, and I get back on the road. Only to be stuck in traffic. I'm thinking lady luck wouldn't stop her streak just yet, surely not now, not to me... so I decide to give my shortcut a try and...OMG, made it to the bridge in five minutes! Lana sings about fucking her way to the top and I'm singing about speeding my way to the stop.

So I finally reach my parking spot only to find that it's full. Now I'm gonna be late. So I text my boss to say i'll be late and to my surprise I get a "I will also be late lol" text back. To me, that only means one thing: I have time to pick up coffee.

Finally, I get to my desk with my coffee, my smile, and a positive attitude.

That's how you turn a day around! :)

Candles are out,
Eleven's Ink.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The King of Horror

People are not only rushing to Starbucks to get a taste of pumpking spice this Fall; it seems like everyone wants a piece of Stephen King's work as well. He's producing new material, adapting old work, and even collaborating at remaking some of his most well-known masterpieces.

In the works right now are remakes for It, The Stand, and a controversial sequel to Creepshow. King is also busy with two TV shows, Under the Dome and the somewhat successful Haven. And if that wasn't enough to keep a King busy, the court is buzzing with news of a 11/22/63 adaptation for Hulu. Omg!

So to celebrate all of this royal news, I thought I'd go down memory lane and highlight my top ten favourite Stephen King adaptations. I'm a 90's kid, I practically ate those for breakfast.


10. Needful Things

Year: 1993
Director: Fraser Heston
Actors: Max Von Sydow, Ed Harris, Amanda Plummer
Summary: A stranger comes into town and soon thereafter, strange things begin to happen to the townspeople of Castle Rock, a recurring setting for King stories. King is known for his jabs at religion and the occult. And he doesn't shy away from that here, with the story being a parallel to human greed and corruption (represented by the devil.) This movie's cover always terrified me as a kid, with that shopping bag with the hand and head presing on it. Reason why I don't touch pregnant bellies, to this day.
Interesting Facts: Amanda Plummer, who portrays the young Nettie Cobb, can be seen in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire as Wiress. Also, Sydow's character, The Devil, is seen driving an indestructible black car, possibly the same as in Christine, another King project.

9. Apt Pupil

Year: 1998
Director: Bryan Singer
Actors: Ian McKellan, Brad Renfro, David Schwimmer
Summary: An older gentleman with a secret from his past befriends a young man with an odd fascination that enthralls both of them and sends them down a spiralling vortex of lies, deception, and murder.
Interesting Facts: I still remember seeing the previews for this movie when I was twelve and it scared me. Haven't seen this movie since I was a teen, but still vividly remember the awkward tension between the two men, and this before I even knew what homosexuality was. Bryan Singer, who directs this movie, later went on to direct McKellan in the X-Men movies. Also, watch out for a small role from Joshua Jackson, who was just starting to transition into more mature roles.

8. 1408

Year: 2007
Director: Mikael Håfström
Actors: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson
Summary: Following the death of his young daughter, an author dives into a world of deception and speculation and must somehow reconcile the two in order to save his sanity...inside a haunted hotel room.
Interesting Facts: This is the second "haunted house" story from King that has been adapted to the big screen, after The Shining, to gain both commercial and critical success. And those two movies share a further connection. The axe used by the fireman at the end of 1408 is the same axe that Jack Nicholson uses in the famous "Here's Johnny!" scene. Both films were also partially shot at the Elstree studio in London.

7. The Dark Half

Year: 1993
Director: George A. Romero
Actors: Timothy Hutton, Michael Rooker, Amy Madigan
Summary: A writer must battle his writer's block while also trying to stop his alter-ego from taking over his life.
Interesting Facts: King wrote this novel shortly after revealing his own alter-ego/pseudonym, Richard Bachman. This was also his last novel that he wrote before going sober, with his struggles depicted as the main focus of duality in the book. It's very auto-biographical! And look out for Sheriff Alan Pangborn, a character who appears in other King works! The transition to film was directed, with some disappointment, by George A. Romero of "Night of the Living Dead" fame.

6. Cujo

Year: 1983
Director: Lewis Teague
Actors: Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro
Summary: A young mother, coming to grips with her failed marriage, takes her son along for a ride to the local mechanics. Shortly thereafter, they are attacked and terrorized by a sick Saint-Bernard.
Interesting Facts: I watched this movie AFTER watching Beethoven and another, less popular, film called Man's Best Friend. I was just starting my fascination for horror flicks and especially King flicks. So needless to say that it stuck with me throughout the years and Dee Wallace's performance still haunts me. Nothing quite as emotional as seeing a mom trying to defend her child. Sadly, an animal DID die during production; the main Saint-Bernard died during production of the movie.

5. Children of the Corn

Year: 1984
Director: Fritz Kiersch
Actors: Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, John Franklin
Summary: Typical storyline. A young couple get stranded in a small, secluded roadside town and must fight for their lives against a cult of murdering children. (Yikes!)
Interesting Facts: This was Hamilton's year, as she also appeared in the movie that would make her a household name: Terminator. I didn't even know it was Hamilton who portrayed Vicki until I wrote this blog. Haven't seen this movie in forever and so was surprised to see such a recognizable name. Also, the kid who plays Isaac (John Franklin) still creeps me out. He's just like...a grown up version of Isaac. This shouldn't be!! lol Go check his bio, dude still looks like a child from the cornrows. (Yikes!)

4. Misery

Year: 1990
Director: Rob Reiner
Actors: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Lauren Bacall
Summary: In the same vein as The Fan, Misery tells the story of an author who is rescued from a car crash by a woman who claims to be "his number one fan." It doesn't take long before admiration turns into obsession.
Interesting Facts: I didn't read this novel so was kind of surprised when I found out that Bacall's character isn't in the book as I find her to be the prime example of publishers in a movie so heavy on the hate towards editors and publishers. I mean, why didn't King come up with this character? He hates those people more than anyone else in the world. I also like that they made a nod to another King story when Annie references The Shining when she mentions that "a guy went mad in a hotel nearby." King is big on using characters and settings in a multitude of novels, so it's fun when the screenwriters keep that whimsical tradition.

3. The Mist

Year: 2007
Director: Frank Darabont
Actors: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden
Summary: A small town (duh!) is terrorized by otherworldy creatures following a freak storm that leaves most of the townspeople trapped inside the supermarket.
Interesting Facts: Frank Darabont is no stranger when it comes to adapting King novels into quality movies; he is the mastermind behind The Shawshank Redemption AND The Green Mile. Also, Frank Darabont brought Holden, Jeffrey DeMunn, and Melissa McBride with him when he started work on The Walking Dead. If it's not enough that King admires Darabont's body of work, he congratulated the director by telling him that "I am genuinely frightened by your adaptation." I would have pee'd myself right there.

2. The Shining

Year: 1980
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Actors: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd
Summary: A family struggling with their own problems move into an isolated hotel where not everything is as it seems. Before long, the family must battle a supernatural force that threatens their safety and their sanity.
Interesting  Facts: There are complete University classes just about this movie and all of it's hidden meanings and symbolism, so I won't even attempt to pretend I know them all! Like this blogger who did an amazing job at breaking down the elements of this movie. That dog scene though...

1. Carrie

Year: 1976
Director: Brian De Palma
Actors: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving
Summary: A religious zealot who abuses her child is forced to watch her daughter develop telekinetic abilities that are quickly growing out of control.
Interesting Facts: First book from King that I ever read and also the first movie I saw that was based off of his work. Carrie has left a mark on Hollywood and this story has been remade twice, once for television and again last year. Amy Irving reprised her role as Sue Snell in the sequel The Rage: Carrie 2.

I suddenly have the urge to do a movie marathon this weekend.

Candles are out,
Eleven's Ink

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Rattlesnakes and Psychopaths: Inside the mind of St-Vincent.

I am always on the prowl for new music, scouring the underbrushes of the jungle of noises and sound to unearth a new beat, one from leather drums nobody heard before. It's not that I want to bring a trophy back and show off the rarest catch; I'm just bored easily and constantly trying to trap new prey.

And the next victim to fall is Anne Clark, better known as St.Vincent. She is like a lone wolf who howls in the night, not for mating ritual purposes but rather to share her melancholy with the rest of the animal kingdom. And she doesn't seem to give one fuck about who answers the call. Afterall, she does have a bark that matches her bite.

So to celebrate this call from the wild, this echo of enchanting music, I will review each song from St.Vincent's fourth studio album, self-titled and released earlier this year. Enjoy!

The album's opening track is infused with an opium trip reminiscent of Kate Bush and the era of 80's psychedelic pop. It's up-beat and odd but not so odd that you're left wondering what it is you're listening to. It's experimental and sets the tone for the rest of the album.
Rating: 5/5
Memorable Lyrics: The only sound out here is my own breath / and my feet stuttering to make a path / am I the only one in the only world?

Birth in Reverse
This track was released as the lead and only single for the album. It's very daytime and has a folk vibe to it, not unlike Lykke Li's sound. It's definitely a dance-all-out-while-being-alone-in-your-underwear song.
Rating: 4/5
Memorable Lyrics: This too will haunt me through the war / laugh all you want, but I want more / 'cause what I'm swearing, I never sworn before.

Prince Johnny
I don't particularly like songs like this usually. It's still keeping up with that very 80's vibe but in a down tempo kinda way. I'm literally expecting rain clouds to appear when this song is played. There is so much lingering and nostalgia to it that it's borderline depressive.
Rating: 3/5
Memorable Lyrics: But honey, don't mistake my affection / for another split in pennystyle redemption / cause we're all sons of someone's.

Huey Newton
After hearing this song, I finally realised who this artist reminded me of. And that is Morcheeba. There is a certain trip-hop vibe to St.Vincent's music and it's not always a bad thing, but I found the nod to classic trip-hop a bit overused in this song. A bit scaled back and I would have loved this!
Rating: 3/5
Memorable Lyrics: Fuck-less, porn sharks / toothless but got a big bark / live children, blind psychics / turned online assassins.

Digital Witness
This song has a really weird 60's vibe to it, and not in a good way. It would be perfect for a mid-afternoon gathering, if people our age actually did mid-afternoon gatherings. But we don't. So this song clashes with the youthfulness and experimentation of the other tracks. It's all about caring but not showing you care which I never understood. Yeah, it's just confusing.
Rating: 2/5
Memorable Lyrics: People turn the TV on and throw it out the window, yeah / get back to your stare / I care, but I don't care / Oh, oh, I want all of your mind.

I Prefer Your Love
What is sweeter than a tribute to the love between a mother and her child? Nothing, that's what. And although the lyrics are sweet and the music is calming, there's just something about the way she compares a motherly love with that of Jesus'. It's not only NOT necessary but it's just gratuitous. I don't feel that religious ideology coming through as well as, let's say, Sinead O'Connor does in her music. It just doesn't feel genuine.
Rating: 2/5
Memorable Lyrics: Sure as mother licking a finger / wipe the blush and smudge from my cheek / and wonder what will become of your little one / but all the good in me is because of you.


Back to dramatics! After a slump of sad songs, she comes back with something a bit more theatrical. It pulls you in all the right directions without confusing you or getting you lost in your tracks. It's just a very well produced song and surprisingly, it's not a single.
Rating: 4/5
Memorable Lyrics: Memories so bright, I gotta squint just to recall / regret the words I've bitten / more than the ones I ever said

Bring Me Your Loves
Yet another upbeat and energetic track to get things back in the groove. It reminds me a lot of Robyn or even Bjork, in the sense that it's all about being the one who cares for all and on a personal level, I can relate to this. So definitely my personal favourite off of this album.
Rating: 5/5
Memorable Lyrics: I thought you were a dog / but you made a pet of me / bring me all your loves, all your loves / I wanna love 'em too, ya know.

Oh this song brought me back to summer when my close friend left for a few months to go back home (across the sea) to visit his sick father. It was a tough time and he always reminded me that this would only make our relationship stronger, and it did. So this resonates on such a deep level that I'm still feeling those good vibrations.
Rating: 4/5
Memorable Lyrics: You said, "Honey, quit your worrying" / Distance is exactly like a blowing wind / we're putting out the embers and tiny flames / and keepin' the big ones burnin'.

Every Tears Disappears
And back to sad songs. It's not necessarily bad, but it's so referential that it's almost a caricature. I just don't take this song seriously. It's passé, it's deja-vu, it's just synth over synth over dramatic lyrics. It's not bad, it just gets lost in this sea of awesome songs.
Rating: 2/5
Memorable Lyrics: Oh, what about the pain / don't ask me how / I just know that it fades / hey-hey-hey

Severed Cross Fingers
The closing track is very retro and brings it back full circle to the opening track. This album is very experimental as I said above and this song kinda combines all the elements of the album into one. That is what is great about this album, especially this song, it's that it's hard to pin-point exactly what generation influence St.Vincent. if it's not a trip-hoppy 90's beat, it's an 80's infused synth sound. If she isn't whispering a la 60's, she's talk-singing a la 2000's. it's great.
Rating: 3/5
Memorable Lyrics: When you're calling, ain't calling you back to you / cause i'll be side stage, mouthing lines for you / humiliated by age, terrified of youth / I got hope, but my hope isn't helping you.

I kinda want to listen to the album again now. That first song keeps me coming back for more and hopefully, it will do the same for you! Enjoy!

Candles are out,
Eleven's Ink

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Orphan Black: One of a Kind

If you are a fan of science-fiction, badass chicks, illegal experimentation, or you are simply a Canadian, then you surely have heard of Orphan Black. If you have not, you either live under a rock or are too busy recruiting zealots for The Proletheans. So sit down, grab some popcorn and read why Orphan Black is TV's hottest new show!

**This post may contain spoilers.

Same Chick, Different DNA

Orphan Black can seem confusing at first, especially when you try to explain it without spoilers. No worries, the whole premise of Orphan Black is laid out frantically by fan-favourite Alison Hendrix, one of many lead characters played by Tatiana Maslany, in the third episode of the first season. So you won't have to wait long to know why Alison looks like Beth who looks like Sarah who looks like Katia who looks like Rachel who looks like Cosima who...well, you get it. All these chicks are running around trying to figure out why they look alike and although it may seem cliché at first, the writers find enough wit between them to branch out of the mould (pun intended), once the secret is revealed. So take note, Maslany plays ALL of these characters. And the acting is beyond incredible.

Location Shots

Being from Canada and having visited Toronto multiple times, it's quite fun to catch glimpses of the city being passed off as Minnesota or a generic North American town. It is never explicitly revealed that the setting is in Toronto, with no mention of the city ever being dropped by characters, but there are several key buildings and artifacts that mark it as a product of the maple leaf.
  • Cars have clear Ontario licence plates;
  • They use money that can be identified as Canadian;
  • They mention nearby Canadian cities (and mock the suburbs);
  • Bridgepoint Health (Holla University of Toronto!) is used as the Dyad Headquarters. So is Don Jail;
  • Jim's Restaurant is used as the meeting point for Helena and Sarah (both played by Maslany.)
  • Check out this link for more on-screen clues.
"That Shakira-Haired Look-A-Like"

Helena is quite possibly the most terrifying "bad guy" to ever be introduced to television. Contrary to all the other characters played by Maslany, Helena was raised to believe that she was flawed, a product of evil, and that she must eradicate all the other look-a-likes. But like all good villains, Helena is self-tortured, corrupted, and confused. Add that to her manic hair-do and *batshitcrazy* attitude, and guys, you have yourself TV's most fucked up villain.

The Proletheans

It's hard to talk about these weirdos without spoiling too much and I really want everyone to watch this show without knowing all of the details. But these guys are the creepiest group of people to roam TVland since The Others. They do terrible things in the name of religion and then believe that they are righteous and above everyone else. They are basically the Westboro Baptist Church. How fucking creepy is that! They're Amish mafia.

Evelyne Brochu

Evelyne Brochu may not be recognized outside of La Belle Province but here in Québec, she's a household name, notably appearing in Aveux and Polytechnique. She guest-stars in the first season and is promoted to the main cast for the second season. Although she is a native of Québec, her characters is of French decent and she pulls off the French accent effortlessly. She eases her way into the dramatic narrative and cements her place by the end of season 1.

Product Quality

If you've watched the show, that sub-header is a Big Pun (aha that was also a pun. You know, the rapper?! Nevermind.) I don't like bashing home-grown products but Canadian television is usually crap. Like below crap. Quality is just not there and there is no standard in television producing. Yeah, Orphan Black not only changed the rules of the game, it created new ones. The technology and the effects on this show are comparable to none, and above all. The way Maslany interacts with herself as different characters in one scene is breath-taking. Peter Jackson should take note.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Jordan Gavaris as Felix;
  • The pacing of this show has more adrenaline than 24;
  • Vic the Dick.

From the minute you start the show until it's incredible season 2 finale, you will be left breathless and heaving, scratching the screen for season 3 to start. I swear you will not be dissapointed!

Candles are out,
Eleven's Ink.

Friday, September 26, 2014

11/22/63 Fantasy Cast

Wow. It's been so long since I actually opened this account, let alone write an entry. But I was so excited when I found out that Hulu was working on a web series based on 11/22/63 by Stephen King, that I just couldn't contain myself any longer. Guys, another King series!!

So it's very easy to get lost when adapting a book to the small screen. I find it almost more painful to watch than a silver screen adaptation that robbed the gold from the soul of my favourite book. If it can't be adapted into something better, than don't touch it. Right?

And I am so biased when it comes to King adaptations because frankly, they can't go wrong. They just can't. There is too much framework and solid foundations in Stephen King's body of work that it's almost impossible to fuck it up. People have been adapting King novels for over three decades, ranging from Carrie to The Shining and without forgetting the abysmal yet still entertaining Storm of the Century.

Lately, King has been dropping bricks for novels and his two latest projects, Under the Dome and 11/22/63, have both been critical and commercials successes. Under the Dome was not only a fantastic book, but Brian K. Vaughn (peace be upon him) also managed to make it into a top-rated TV drama which saw it change major key elements that grounded the book in science-fiction, while still retaining that very quirky side of King that either makes or breaks the tone of the work.

I'm just thinking about It, where King's macabre view on childhood was mixed with a somewhat comical view on adulthood. It was a perfect blend of horror and slapstick. Or how about Pet Sematary, where we have zombie cats and murderous children all wrapped up in the same movie. It blended scare and laughs brilliantly.

With that being said, I hope they keep the quirky style that has been attributed to King while not being afraid of exploring the macabre and mysterious point of view of one of America's most recognized author.

You can read my Under the Dome Fantasy Cast blog entry here and see how my wishlist did not come to life. At all. lol. Still wish they had picked better actors. Buggers.

Now on to my top ten list of characters I believe should carry forward with the adaptation and which actor I would like to see portray them. Enjoy!

Milo Ventimiglia as Jake Epping AKA George Amberson

Jake Epping is the protagonist of this time-travelling story but also the antagonist, in the sense that he is creating all of these problems by changing what was. And who better to play Happy-Yet-Sad than Milo Ventimiglia, the king of the happysad face. He also has the ability to play older and younger quite well as evidence by his portrayal of Peter in Heroes. Overall, Milo has the sex appeal and charm to carry the weight of a character that is both troubled and optimistic, both in the past, the present, and the future. Take note Hulu, I want Milo.

Gemma Arterton as Sadie Dunhill

Sadie Dunhill is the typical 60's woman; soft, gentile, and loyal to her man. And what is great about this character is her willingness to become a modern woman; a desire that sets off a chain of events that puts Jake's mission in jeopardy. King has always been good at writing strong female characters, and he doesn't disappoint this time again. So it took all of one second to think of Gemma Arterton in this role: she's young, she's soft-spoken, and she can pull off the complexity of Sadie's character.

Hal Holbrook as Al Templeton

Al Templeton is the man that starts the fire but doesn't stay around to see its path of destruction. He's a very mysterious character and has a small but pivotal role in the novel. That is why I hope they expand his role for the Hulu adaptation. So many questions derive from this character: how did he find the timeloop? What does he know about the future that makes him so determined to send Jake, specifically, to the past? Why doesn't he keep this for him and take over the world? I know Holbrook is on the verge of dying but this man is flawless when it comes to drama and mystery. He has the face for it! Somebody give this man a role with substance!!

Scott Patterson as Deke Simmons

If the term "Bromance" had existed in the 60s, Deke Simmons and Jake's relationship would have been the perfect embodiment of it. Deke is not only Jake's best friend in Jodie circa 1960, but he's also his confident and helps Jake move along in his mission. I have a soft spot for Deke because he just doesn't know how to be mean-spirited. If there was ever a character that gave me hope for humanity, it's Deke Simmons. Scott Patterson has those charming eyes that would make anyone believe in him. And yes, another The Event alumni on the list.

Monica Potter as Mimi Corcoran

Mimi Corcoran is an odd character in the sense that she doesn't fit the 60's Texas era. I always suspected that Mimi knew more than she let on about Jake/George and the whole timeloop but it's never explicitly written in the novel. So I really hope they cast a big name to play this part and expand her character to someone more dubious or all-knowing. And I'm a sucker for Monica Potter's dramatic timing and southern flare.

Derek Luke as Harry Dunning

Harry Dunning is the janitor at the school that Jake works at prior to him jumping back in time. He's a very soft-spoken, quiet man who shares his childhood horror story with Jake, which touches the latter's heart so much that he jeopardizes his mission in the past to reconcile Harry's traumatic and violent childhood. During this time, Jake stumbles upon the kids in Derry. You know, the same kids who battled an evil clown in another King novel... Plus it would be the perfect role for Derek Luke, since he still has those boyish looks even though he's far from being a boy.

Lili Taylor as Ellen Dockerty

Ellen Dockerty is the quintessential stuck-up teacher that everyone had at least once in their lifetime. She plays by the book and her loyalty to the rules of life are challenged when she meets George/Jake in Jodie circa 1960. It takes a special kind of charm to pull off this kind of character because Ellen is both tough yet maternal, impulsive yet instinctive. And Lili Taylor proved more than once that she can play a character with dual personalities. Mel Gibson's Ransom, anyone?

Michael Stahl-David as Lee Harvey Oswald

This is where it gets interesting. Lee Harvey Oswald is the man responsible for gunning down and assassinating former president, and civil rights activist, John F. Kennedy. King's approach to this historical event is both well-researched and thoroughly detailed. Although he manages to humanize Oswald, he also doesn't back down from the hard facts: Oswald was deranged and believed himself to be a messiah of sorts. It won't be easy to play this part, but I believe Michael Stahl-David would be perfect at portraying Oswald, insanity and all. Whoever gets cast will surely have a lot of material to work with so I'm expecting a flawless performance for this part.

Sarah Roemer as Marina Prusakova

Another The Event alumni! Sarah Roemer is the only person I had in mind when thinking of Marina Prusakova, Oswald's mouthy yet loyal Russian bride. She stole my heart with her portrayal of Leila in The Event, and I'm hoping she does the same as Prusakova. It's going to be a tough part to play since the role Prusakova played in the assassination is both theoretical and documented, with everyone agreeing that she was kept in the dark about it all. I hope they venture with this role and flesh out the character of Prusakova as she was both the lover and the confident of Lee Harvey Oswald. Nobody knew him like she did.

Gil Bellows as James Hosty

James Hosty is the real life detective who worked on the JFK assassination and King took that ambiguity (a lot of conspiracy theorists believe Hosty played a part in the assassination) to insert Hosty into the narrative of 11/22/63. Throughout the novel, it is implied that Hosty has some sense of what is going on with Jake/George and every good mystery show needs a snoopy detective. And Gil Bellows personifies that characterization flawlessly. If nobody in this list gets cast except one, I hope it's Gil Bellows.

Agree or disagree with this fantasy cast? Either way, I think King fans are in for a treat! :)

Candles are out,
Eleven's Ink

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