Playpen

Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 15:12 on 24-03-2012, Arthur B
Also, am I the only one who thinks the picture quality in that montage of everybody's eyes starting to glow is really, really bad?

I guess it's because the montage is cobbled together from stock photos from various sources.
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at 15:06 on 24-03-2012, Robinson L
Re: The Host trailer
Arthur: I like how they try to imply that the characters aren't all a big homogeneous lump of Midwest whiteness.

... Which strikes me as a little bizarre. I mean, isn't the standard apologia for Hollywood's horrible white-centrism that movies about people of color won't appeal to mainstream (white) audiences? Also, am I the only one who thinks the picture quality in that montage of everybody's eyes starting to glow is really, really bad?

Dan: I'm kind of down on XKCD these days, but I thought this one was quite funny.

So do I. Ahh, formal logic jokes.
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at 21:41 on 23-03-2012, Ibmiller
Well, as someone who actually quite liked the book The Host, I'm actually quite excited about the film.

Except I wasn't impressed by either Gattaca or Simone, so I think the director will prove something of a liability.

And it's being released in March (what is up with high profile adaptations dropping in March this year and next, anyway?). Which is a sucky month - even if Hunger Games seems to be defying the trend.

Plus, what is up with the casting. I mean, Ronan is quite good, but she seems much more suited to Wanderer's
second body
than Mel's.

Oh, well.
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at 18:15 on 23-03-2012, Dan H
I'm kind of down on XKCD these days, but I thought this one was quite funny.

Although the one before was the usual lolrandom bullshit.
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at 17:31 on 23-03-2012, Andy G
I think there's even an allusion to the famous skull scene here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vifVEg7NepI
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at 17:23 on 23-03-2012, Arthur B
It has Jeremy Irons in it, which instantly makes it more Shakespearean.
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at 17:14 on 23-03-2012, Andy G
Be fair, it's closer to Hamlet than Hercules is to Greek mythology!
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at 17:06 on 23-03-2012, Sister Magpie
So why not animal Hamlet with a happy ending? (Also, there's a suck-up counselor
in both, for another mark in the "squint or miss them" parallels. Though he
doesn't die either in Disney's version.)


I guess I feel like "Prince turns into a frog" is enough to make it the Frog Prince because that's the hook there. (The princess didn't turn into a frog in the original, of course, but it's been done many times since.)

Where as with Hamlet the whole thing is about Hamlet being ordered by the ghost of his father to kill his uncle for usurprising the throne, and him working up to doing it. The Lion King is about a lion who mistakenly feels guilty about his father's death, grows up in the wilderness with a couple of guys and returns to the claim the throne after the evil Uncle's taken over.

It's not just the happy ending, it's that I can barely see anything in common in the two stories, particularly since "exiled prince returns to claim throne from usurper" seems like such a common trop in itself.

I had a cousin who loved Kimba, btw. When that movie came out my aunt was all about how it was Kimba.
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at 13:53 on 23-03-2012, Arthur B
I don't remember that bit. All I remember is cave... and more cave... and more cave...
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at 13:45 on 23-03-2012, Wardog
I can't believe the high drama of the cheetos eating scene didn't make the trailer ... I mean DAMN.
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at 11:06 on 23-03-2012, Arthur B
I like how they try to imply that the characters aren't all a big homogeneous lump of Midwest whiteness.
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at 10:21 on 23-03-2012, Wardog
...Haha! Trailer for The Host. Really it should just consist of somebody sitting in a cave for ages...
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at 07:38 on 23-03-2012, Axiomatic
Watching Sovereign of the Damned, Alasdair?
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at 06:41 on 23-03-2012, Sunnyskywalker
Oh, very interesting about Kimba! I had not heard of that. Just when I think they can't do any more to prove themselves bigger intellectual property bullies, too.

As far as the Hamlet parallels, I think it isn't much looser an adaptation as some of the others, if that's what they really were thinking. Eg, I haven't seen the Princess and the Frog yet, but from what I've heard, it has very little in common with the original tale except the prince-turned-frog part. Not that it could be, the original being so short, but I think "wannabe restaurant owner in New Orleans" is a bit of a stretch from the original "princess with a golden ball," and I don't remember the princess turning into a frog first. (The end of The Frog Prince, Continued, yes, but that also sounds not quite like what Disney did.) So why not animal Hamlet with a happy ending? (Also, there's a suck-up counselor in both, for another mark in the "squint or miss them" parallels. Though he doesn't die either in Disney's version.)
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at 06:23 on 23-03-2012, Melissa G.
From what I was given to understand, The Lion King was a rip-off of Kimba The White Lion. This little article thing sums up the similarities between them. There was a similar theory when it came to Atlantis and Nadia Secret of Blue Water. Basically...Disney rips off anime...OR DO THEY!?
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at 00:57 on 23-03-2012, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Oh god I am watching the best anime ever. I just saw Count Dracula mug a New Yorker.

EDIT: And then he bought a hamburger!!!
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at 00:48 on 23-03-2012, Michal
Well, Mufasa's ghost shows up at one point. And Timon & Pumbaa are supposed to be Rosencratz & Guildenstern-like but they don't actually act much like Rosencratz & Guildenstern at all and don't die.

Um.

That's all I got.

Maybe they thought the scene where Gilgamesh and Enkidu go see the queen while holding hands would be too controversial?

Gilgamesh: History's first bromance.
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at 00:13 on 23-03-2012, Sister Magpie
I've heard the Hamlet reading before but I still don't get it. His father is killed by his brother so his brother can take over the throne. And nothing else from Hamlet.
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at 23:07 on 22-03-2012, Dan H
Plus they did okay with The Lion King, which wasn't based on a well-known story as far as the public knew (at least, I don't remember it being marketed as "kid-friendly Hamlet").


I'm just commenting to say that I am such a *colossal idiot* that it never occurred to me that The Lion King could be seen as a Hamlet retelling.

In my defence, they did make some slight variations. Like only the bad guy dying. Although I think if you try really, really hard you could sing "I have of late - but wherefore I know not - lost all my mirth ..." to the tune of "Can you Feel the Love Tonight."
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at 20:09 on 22-03-2012, Sunnyskywalker
To clarify, I wonder if studio execs think a scene where the heroic leads essentially skip in together and go, "Mommy, we want to go on a quest..." and she tells the best friend to take care of her baby wouldn't be manly and heroic enough. Real heroes don't have mommies. Or hold hands. With anyone ever. And not acting within extremely rigid gender roles on screen would end civilization or something, so it's too scary to fund.
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at 20:04 on 22-03-2012, Sunnyskywalker
Maybe they thought the scene where Gilgamesh and Enkidu go see the queen while holding hands would be too controversial?

Now I'm trying to think of which other widely-known texts are not being adapted twice every five years. It's too bad they botched Troy so badly, because now Sean Bean probably won't ever get to star in The Odyssey (or, given their renaming pattern, perhaps it would be called Ithaca), and that might have been fun. And where are all the Oedipus Rex movies? Everyone's heard of Oedipus! There's a sphinx, a prophecy, a dude killing a stranger who happens to be his dad in a fit of rage, incest, and eyeball stabbing. Where's the modernized adaptation where Ed doesn't know about his sealed adoption and ends up killing some jerk CEO who cut him off in traffic and marrying his wife, only to have the company tank?

Anyway, I think at this point Disney has established "princesses" as practically a brand in its own right, and anything with a title like "A Whole Bunch of Princesses Engage in Practically Canonical Song-and-Dance Numbers" ought to fit their model just fine. Plus they did okay with The Lion King, which wasn't based on a well-known story as far as the public knew (at least, I don't remember it being marketed as "kid-friendly Hamlet").
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at 18:59 on 22-03-2012, Michal
Two words: brand recognition. Studios don't want to take risks, they want to stick to familiar franchises or stories that everyone has already heard of.

So where's my Epic of Gilgamesh movie?
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at 17:32 on 22-03-2012, James D
Hackneyed? How so?
I thought it was pretty original, not so much that it was time travel, but rather how it worked. Plus I liked the flying fortress idea.
And I felt the characters were all quite well-written, not with tremendous depth necessarily, but they all had distinct personalities and weren't too cliche. I guess without really hashing out the finer points we might just have to agree to disagree.

Wolfe has the occasional urge to attack cliche genre fiction head-on, with varying results. Free Live Free turned out pretty well I think, The Wizard Knight turned out really well, but An Evil Guest turned out pretty poorly. Oh well.
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at 17:25 on 22-03-2012, Andy G
"If they're going to do fairy tale retellings, why can't they at least try some different ones for a change?"

Two words: brand recognition. Studios don't want to take risks, they want to stick to familiar franchises or stories that everyone has already heard of.
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