I had a startling revelation recently about Harry Potter that completely changed how I view the series. It all happened when I was on vacation and bought Stephen King’s son Joe Hill’s most recent book, The Fireman. It’s been compared to his version of his father’s post-apocalyptic story The Stand. The Fireman is a tale about a world being burned down by a mysterious fungal spore that cause people to spontaneously combust. The main protagonist gets infected shortly after she gets pregnant. Her last dying wish is to somehow give birth to her child while staying alive amidst a world that is quickly burning down. If you have no idea how this relates to Harry Potter, just give it a minute.
Rogue One has been an absolutely smashing success amongst fans and critics and is likely to become another huge hit. The film was risky seeing how it’s technically the first big budget Star Wars film that doesn’t feature Jedi or any member of the Skywalker family. But what it does show that there is an audience that is desperately hungry to see new portions of the Star Wars universe explored?
When my grandpa passed away, he didn’t want to be buried. He also didn’t want to be cremated and have his ashes kept in an urn or thrown off the side of a mountain or into the sea. You see there’s this company that compresses your remains and make a vinyl record from them. You can have just about anything printed on it. If want you can record your own karaoke rendition of Don’t Fear the Reaper played by the carbonized remains of your mortal form. Personally, I kind of found it a little creepy. It felt like you were having your body preserved by a taxidermist then having yourself mounted in a rocking chair forever.
I've always been a huge video game snob. I've followed the industry for years; while other 12-year-olds were outside, skating around parking lots, I was inside, busy reading the latest news from E3 press conferences. I'd like to think that one day, maybe 20 years from now, when a bunch of French dudes sit around and develop the video game equivalent of auteur theory and make it cool to name drop famous game designers in casual conversation (like Hideo Kojima, Warren Spector, Shigeru Miyamoto and Peter Molyneux), I'll be vindicated for all of the time I've spent glued to my screen and following the industry.
With the episode title of Star Wars VIII finally revealed, the internet has been abuzz with speculation about the significance of the title The Last Jedi. It’s kind of confusing since the entire original trilogy is essentially about Luke being the last Jedi. If you want to get especially anal, you could argue that Obi Wan and Yoda were the last Jedi in the original trilogy until they transferred that title on to Luke. The most obvious thing is that the last Jedi in Episode VIII is referring to Luke who set himself into self-imposed exile after Kylo Ren slaughtered his new Jedi in the academy. Presumably, he’s going to try and train Rey who will take on the titular mantel of The Last Jedi. But wait just for a second there. What if we were to propose a far more radical significance behind the title of the Last Jedi? What if it’s in reference to the extinction of the entire Jedi order and Sith orders?
If there’s one name gamers and cinephiles alike have come to despise it’s Uwe Boll. He’s a German director who’s made a surprisingly good living grabbing the rights to middle tier game franchises and through some faustian pact with a dark god managed to con famous talent into starring in his terrible videogame movies. But in some ways he’s like a real life Max Bialystock living out a modern version of The Producers. Thanks to a German tax loophole, he’s been able to keep going by exploiting the law as a way to lure investors, despite the fact his films almost always lose tremendous amounts of money. Many countries offer tax incentives, if you film there, and employ a certain percentage of your crew from the local populace. Germany has those tax rebates, but without any of the restrictions of needing to film in Germany or use Germans as your crew.