27 January 2020

A Lovecraft Cinematic Universe?

H.P. Lovecraft’s classic story, “The Colour Out of Space,” is one of my all-time favourites. So I’m relieved to see that the reviews for the new film based upon it, directed by Richard Stanley and featuring Nicolas Cage, have been generally positive. It’s at “84% fresh” right now at Rotten Tomatoes.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to see it myself — the film doesn’t appear to be in wide release, and is not currently playing anywhere in Milwaukee — but see it eventually I shall!

(Alas, the film title uses “Color” not “Colour” in its title. Pity. I’ve always found amusing Lovecraft’s adamant use of British spelling in all his works, despite being American himself. And as a Canadian, “Color” just looks wrong.)

This review at Ars Technica, in addition to including a nice slideshow of stills from the movie, has a brief explainer called, “Why Aren’t There More Lovecraft Movies?” But it looks like we will be getting at least two more, including The Dunwich Horror. This in particular looks intriguing:
“With Dunwich Horror, we'll go on campus and get back to Miskatonic University… We'll also get to deal with the Necronomicon, the black book at the core of the mythos.”
I really hope that this new “Lovecraft cinematic universe” does not disappoint fans of the original tales!

17 January 2020

No second season for the Watchmen

As I noted a couple of weeks ago, HBO's series The Watchmen is superb, almost a perfect sequel to the original comic series.

Alas, it looks like there will be no second season. While the first season presents a complete story and ends very well, I must confess that I'm a little disappointed. Among other things, I wanted to learn the fate of Nite Owl. But if Damon Lindelof isn't interested in returning to the world then there's no point in HBO putting out some inferior product.

Nothing ever ends? Looks like Watchmen did... But it least it ended well.

(Thanks to C. Robichaud for the tip.)

16 January 2020

Christopher Tolkien RIP

J.R.R. Tolkien’s son and literary executor Christopher Tolkien has died at the age of 95.

Namárië! Nai hiruvalyë Valimar.
Nai elyë hiruva. Namárië!

(More information available at The Tolkien Society and TOR.)

13 January 2020

A brief reflection on the Witcher and the Mandalorian

So I've been watching "The Mandalorian" and "The Witcher" over the past couple of weeks, and enjoying both quite a bit. (I'm not done either yet, but probably will be by the end of this week.)

I suspect that one reason for my enjoyment is that both series strike me as (heavily edited) post-play role-playing game campaign reports. (In the case of "The Witcher," the campaign is the story-line involving the main character and his bard sidekick, at least through the first 6 episodes or so).

Speaking of "The Witcher," this interactive timeline is pretty amazing. (But this alternative opening credits is ... less so.)

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I'm a Canadian political philosopher who lives primarily in Toronto but teaches in Milwaukee (sometimes in person, sometimes online).