Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Da Vinci's Demons

*** From STARZ, the channel that brought you Spartacus and Trochwood: Miracle Day a David S. Goyer {W268} creation, Da Vinci's Demons. Goyer's credits span from comic to video games and more than a few feature films; The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel (June 14) and a big film that is shooting in Nanaimo, BC, under the title Nautilus.

So what is the gist for this new eight-part series? Da Vinci, the young man,the artist, inventor, creative genius, investigator and true Renaissance man, gets himself in and out of continuous trouble with the De' Medici's that rule over his home city state of Florence, Italy in the 1470s. This is a fictional account of events, but with ties to the people and events of the time and place.

While nudity and breasts have become typical of a US cable shows, I was surprised at the degree male nudity too. In truth none of the nudity is there for the sake of nudity, people don't get out of bed fully clothed.

The story in the first two episodes is good, both written by Goyer, but the VFx (visual effects) are lacking. Costumes and sets feel right and there is a good mystery running thru the series, even some hints that Da Vinci was up to the things proposed in The Da Vinci Code.

I'm going to keep watching this series and see what the other writers do and if the intrigue can be held. Collectively I give the first two episodes a high three stars.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Awards Disparity

"And the Academy Award goes to..." since I was five years old, I have watched this annual celebration of style, grace and glamour. The Red Carpet, has always been the most interesting part of the show, but while the 'show' reveals the best in Hollywood, none of the top films are recognized.

Here is a list of the top 20 movies of all time, courtesy The-Numbers.

Total Box 
Oscar Wins
32012Marvel's The Avengers$623.2M0
42008The Dark Knight$533.3M2-Sound/Actor Suport
51999Star Wars Ep. I:
The Phantom Menace
61977Star Wars Ep. IV:
A New Hope
72012The Dark Knight Rises $448.1M0
82004Shrek 2 $441.2M0
91982 ET: The Extra-Terrestrial $435.1M4-Sound/VFx/Score
102006Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Man's Chest
111994  The Lion King $422.7M2-Score/Song
122010  Toy Story 3 $415.0M2-Song/Animated
132012  The Hunger Games$408.0M0
142002  Spider-Man $403.7M0
152009  Transformers:
Revenge of the Fallen
161993  Jurassic Park $384.7M3-Sound/VFx
172011  Harry Potter and the
Deathly Hallows: Part II
182003  Finding Nemo $380.5M1-Animated
192005  Star Wars Ep. III:
Revenge of the Sith
202003  The Lord of the Rings:
The Return of the King

Out of this list of 20 films 3 are not considered Genre. Of the remaining 17, 9 didn't get a single award from the Academy of Arts and Sciences. In this list of 20 films only 2 received top honors of Best Picture and Best Director, so what relevance does the top awards show have on the world of film?

This year's Best Picture winner, Argo, was beaten at the Box-Office by 24 other films, 15 of which were Genre films. When Science Fiction and Fantasy create the best selling books and movies, why do we hand awards to products that generate 1/6th the sales? Like literary works the biggest awards go to obscure performances, not the best performing categories.

We need to look at other awards such as the Hugo and Saturn Awards for our brand of entertainment awards. Maybe we need a new presentation show, with the sparkle of the MTV Video Awards, but with a larger television audience than the obscure Spike TV Scream Awards