Saturday, January 28, 2012


Because so many people seem to care about it, let's address the elephant in the room: is the voice in the film of Haywire's star, Gina Carano, really hers?

Yes and no. Director Steven Soderbergh said the following in an interview here:

That's not really her speaking voice. We spent a lot of time in post working really hard on her voice, and we used every trick imaginable that's used on records today — in the editing, in the pitch. We combined five different readings in one sentence. We wanted her to sound different — not like Gina, but like her character, Mallory Kane. So that took a lot of work, and we worked really hard on it. That was the point of it. Everyone under the age of 30 is terrified of Gina, but Mallory is someone new.
Now, to a more important question: does that matter at all?

No. Hell no.

What matters is that Gina Carano kicks ass, and Haywire is a fun ride in large part because of her menacing (and occasionally sexy) presence. She strides through the movie beating the living shit out of one Hollywood male star after another, a larger than life avatar of the power of women in film today, should we want to go there.

Nah, let's not go there.

She's a great female action lead in a fun B movie that has all the cool camera work of any Soderbergh film. Her acting is on par with that of most action leads, which is to say that she has few expressions and uses one, her scowl, most of all. I can live with that.

Haywire won't win any awards, but if you're in the mood for nonstop action with a new, fresh star, see it.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Music to fit my mood

Tonight and during moments of working on No Going Back, these two Snow Patrol songs are perfect.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Defining moments

Every single one is a barely altered repetition of the countless others that have preceded it for as long as humans have existed and that will follow it until we vanish.

That knowledge means absolutely nothing in those moments, for each one is ours, uniquely, personally, irrevocably ours.

When we're young, we should expect them, but we rarely do, for we are young.

As the years go by, we stop expecting them, because we are old and believe we have seen them all, but we are as utterly--though differently--wrong as when we were young.

At night, when I bolt awake as if struck by the hand of the past, they crawl after me, dark troops assaulting the last stronghold of my mind.

Yeah, such dramatic language, but they are the very essence of our internal drama, so they've earned that indulgence.

Strange where writing takes you. Or not strange at all, but rather the proper places writers, artists of all sorts, need to visit.

Back to them for me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Underworld Awakening

Let's see how this one stacks up to the previous film in this series.

Kate Beckinsdale in skintight latex and corset outfit?
Vampires fighting humans?
Vampires fighting lycans?
Stylized gray-scale look?
Illogical new powers for Kate?
Illogical new powers for lycans?
A plot you must never consider closely?
Entirely expendable supporting characters?
So why did I go see this movie--and the previous two?

The first four check marks, of course.

To be fair, the original Underworld actually had a mostly reasonable plot that you could follow without wanting too much to throw your popcorn at the screen. This one doesn't worry about maintaining a sensible, consistent plot--but it does give you naked Kate on the floor with strategically placed bits of mist covering her private parts. The filmmakers must figure that as long as you're absorbed by her awesomeness, you won't mind their many other failures.

For the most part, they were right with me. I wanted a bit of violent, stylized brain candy, and in Underworld Awakening, I got it. I can recommend it, though, only if you liked the previous two and are in the mood for more of the same.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My favorite song of the moment

is this one, "Lonely Boy," from El Camino, the new album from the Black Keys.

The video cracks me up, too.

Monday, January 23, 2012

On the road again: Chattacon, day 5

I'm home safely, which is good considering how much of today we spent driving in fog and drizzle with lunatics tailgating us. I am always amazed at the number of people who seem oblivious to the weather going on outside their vehicles.

I have brought home a bit of a sore throat and so am fighting a cold. I need to fight it successfully, because I'm getting on another plane Sunday morning.

Back to work for now.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

On the road again: Chattacon, day 4

After a very late night, I slept as late as I could, then packed and headed off to my one panel of the day, a Q&A with all the special guests. The questions were good, though at times Toni had to seed us with them.

After saying a lot of goodbyes, I headed out for the first part of a two-part drive home.

Toni makes the case that Southern Fandom and its conventions are different from other fan groups. If the energy of Chattacon and the younger ages of at least a decent percentage of its attendees are any indicators, she's right. I certainly had a good time at this con, and I look forward to the next southern con that invites me to be a special guest.

Now, though, the giant sword-wielding gorilla that's sitting on my shoulder 24X7, my novel, summons me. To it, I must go.


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