Steampunk

A Steampunk Three Musketeers Movie?

My first reaction to a Three Musketeers movie comming out was meh.  I love swashbuckeling movies but the 1993 Disney version was great why make another...

Then I saw the trailer above!

Wow a steampunk version of The Three Musketeers!   This could defenitly make it better.  Little did I know that flying airships is what was missing from the original Three Musketeers movie.  Then add to that Milla jovovich and I'm there.

It is scheduled for release on October 14, 2011.

 

Theater or Renter: June 2010

Theater or Renter: June 2010 includes 6 SF movies Marmaduke, Splice, The A-Team, The Karate Kid, Toy Story 3, Jonah Hex.  Will we watch? Will we rent? or do we even care? Rules of the Game: Watch the trailers. Rate the Trailer. Then share with us your comments: does the movie, it’s trailer and buzz make you want to watch it in the theater, rent it, or not interested at all, and why?

Marmaduke:

Release Date:  June 4th 2010

Listed as:  Fantasy, Family

Studio:  20th Century Fox

Director:  Tom Dey

Produced by:  John Davis, Tom Dey

Written by:  Vince Di Meglio, Tim Rasmussen

Stars:  Owen Wilson, George Lopez, Fergie, Kiefer Sutherland

The Plot / Story: Based on the comic strip of the same name by Brad Anderson.  The Winslow family moves from the country to Orange County, California and has to adjust to the new environment.  This is particularly difficult for the lovable yet awkwardly large Marmaduke, who tends to wreak havoc in his own oblivious way.(Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

First Impressions:

Marmaduke is a renter at best for me.

Positive

It has a good cast.  The trailer made me laugh at times.

Negative

I have concerns that it may be more kidsey then a family movie.  All of the early promotion materials gave me the impression this movie is more fluff.

Splice:

Release Date:  June 4th 2010

Listed as:  Sci-Fi, Horror, Thriller

Studio:  Dark Castle Entertainment via Warner Bros. Pictures

Director:  Vincenzo Natali

Produced by:  Steve Hoban, Guillermo Del Toro

Written by:  Vincenzo Natali, Doug Taylor, Antoinette Terry Bryant

Stars:  Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chanéac

The Plot / Story: Elsa and Clive, two young rebellious scientists, defy legal and ethical boundaries and forge ahead with a dangerous experiment: splicing together human and animal DNA to create a new organism. Named “Dren”, the creature rapidly develops from a deformed female infant into a beautiful but dangerous winged human-chimera, who forges a bond with both of her creators – only to have that bond turn deadly.  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

First Impressions:

Probably theater definitely renter.

Positive

Guillermo Del Toro.  Premiered at Sitges Film Festival winning Best Special Effects and Best film.  Also had a showing at Sundance and was then fought over by several studios in a bidding war to get distribution rights.  The trailer looks very interesting.  and Guillermo Del Toro.

The A-Team:

Release Date:  June 11

Listed as:  Action, Adventure

Studio:  20th Century Fox

Director:  Joe Carnahan

Produced by:  Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Jules Daly, Stephen J. Cannell

Written by:  Joe Carnahan, Brian Bloom, Skip Woods, Michael Brandt, Derek Haas

Stars:  Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton Jackson, Sharlto Copley, Jessica Biel, Patrick Wilson, Brian Bloom

The Plot / Story: (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

First Impressions:

I'm on the fence if this will be a theater or a renter for me.  This is a niche movie that will probably have a limited appeal with the chance of also attracting the action movie going audiences.  I grew up watching A-Team on TV.  I loved what they stood for:  justice and helping those in need.  I can only hope those elements are in the movie.

Positive

The casting looks the part.  Trailer impressed me, it looked good and has a very A-Team feel to it.  Derek Haas did a good job with wanted so hopefully he brings some of those elements to this project.

Negative

Initially I thought a movie of this was a bad idea but after watching the trailer that has changed.  The Loosers was so disappointing that it has left great concerns for the A-Team which is a similar style of movie.

The Karate Kid:

Release Date:  June 11

Listed as:  Action, Drama, Family

Studio:  Columbia Pictures

Director:  Harald Zwart

Produced by:  Jerry Weintraub, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, James Lassiter, Ken Stovitz

Written by:  Christopher Murphey

Stars:  Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith, Taraji P. Henson

The Plot / Story: This is a remake of The original Karate Kid The Karate Kid Remake Trailer.  A 12 year old Detroit kid moves to China with his mother.  Due to cultural differences he makes the class bully and enemy.  With no friends, in a strange land, Dre has nowhere to turn but maintenance man Mr. Han, who is secretly a master of kung fu. Han teaches Dre that kung fu is not about punches and parries, but maturity and calm.  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

First Impressions:

Skeptical of the remake, I have concerns that those values from the original will not be maintained.  I may have to wait for early reviews before I can make a decision on whether I will even watch it.

Positive

Loved the original film.

Negative

Concerns over how they will keep some of the spirit of the original film due to some of the fundamental changes.

Toy Story 3:

Release Date:  June 18th

Listed as:  Fantasy, Family

Studio:  Pixar Animation Studios

Director:  Lee Unkricha

Produced by:  Darla K. Anderson, John Lasseter

Written by:  Michael Arndt

Stars:  Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, John Ratzenberger, Don Rickles, Estelle Harris, Wallace Shawn, Blake Clark, Jodi Benson, Michael Keaton, Ned Beatty, John Morris

The Plot / Story: Andy is now heading off to college and plans to put the toys into storage in the attic but his mom accidentally donates them to the Sunnyside Daycare.  Woody, Buzz and the whole gang meet new toys at the daycare for better and worse. Learning of Andy's sadness over their loss they must fight to find their way back to Andy's house before he leaves for college.(Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

First Impressions:

Theater

Positive

Really enjoyed the previous 2 Toy Story Movies.  The cast is stellar.   Trailer looks good.

Jonah Hex:

Release Date:  June 18

Listed as: Superhero, Westeren

Studio:  Legendary Pictures, DC Entertainment

Director:  Jimmy Hayward

Produced by:  Akiva Goldsman, Andrew Lazar

Written by:  Screenplay: Neveldine & Taylor  Story: Neveldine & Taylor, William Farmer  Characters: John Albano, Tony Dezuniga

Stars: Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, Michael Shannon

The Plot / Story: Jonah Hex is a scarred drifter and bounty hunter of last resort, a tough and stoic gunslinger who can track down anyone... and anything. Having survived death, Jonah's violent history is steeped in myth and legend, and has left him with one foot in the natural world and one on the "other side." His only human connection is with Leila, whose life in a brothel has left her with scars of her own. But Jonah's past is about to catch up with him when the U.S. military makes him an offer he can't refuse: in exchange for his freedom from the warrants on his head, he must track down and stop the dangerous villian Quentin Turnbull. But Turnbull, who is gathering an army and preparing to unleash Hell, is also Jonah's oldest enemy and will stop at nothing until Jonah is dead.(Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

First Impressions:

On the fence between theater and renter.

Positive

John Malkovich a plus.  Superhero movie a plus.  The steamPunk elements borrowed for the film it makes for a more fantasy version of the Wild West but one that I enjoy.

Negative

The trailer was not terribly exciting border lining on the boring.


[reus name="Fandango"]

[reus name="Netflix"]

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Cool Steampunk Cakes

Check out some of these awesome cakes baked for the Cake Central Steampunk cake contest.

This one cleverly titled Steampunk Cake by the Artisan Cake Company won 1st place.  I love the detail on the wheels.

I really like the look of the Steampunk Venus De Milo by Gonzuela.  If only she had a pair of goggles on her head.

This Professor Gearheart's Otherwhen Machine by Spense got Honorable Mention.  My vote would give this first place, it's so Steampunk.

Thanks very much to Emerian Rich for sharing this with us

Interview: Ryan Copple from Riese the Series

Riese6I recently interviewed Ryan Copple from Riese the Series: Is this your first video series?

Yes, this is our first foray into a serialized media. We've all worked on smaller projects, such as pilots and short films. It's been good practice to prepare for something as big as Riese.
That sounds interesting.   Most of the best series have a rich story arc knitting all the episodes together.  This is a good sign for the series.

Why did you decide to make a steampunk series?

It's funny, people have really taken to branding us a "steampunk series", which I don't 100% agree with. Don't misunderstand, I love the steampunk genre, and there are lot of elements we drew from it for the show. I love all the anachronisms in steampunk and the way you can meld eras together to create an entirely new world. We are, however, not having this story take place in a Victorian-era, which is more typical of steampunk. That's why we always try to say steampunk-inspired - we were heavily influenced by the story elements and aesthetics of it, but it would be unfair to the genre itself to say we were totally steampunk.
I've often felt that genre is more of a trap than an aid to marketing.  Creators should always feel free to transcend the genre labels applied to them.

What other steampunk books/series/comics do you like?

[reus name="Last Exile"]I haven't read that many steampunk books yet, though people have been giving me a list that I need to get through. I'm more familiar with the film and television aesthetic. My personal favorite is 'Last Exile', an anime series that people often put with steampunk. The story is great, and the designs and aesthetic is wonderful.
Last Exile is a great series.  The story is brilliant and the show is truly well designed.  I have to say the same about Riese.  While I haven't seen the your show yet, the materials you have made available exhibit those same qualities of design and aesthetic.  The look and feel of your site and trailer have only added to the excitement around the series.

If you had to compare Riese to another series/movie, what would you compare it to?

If I had to pick, I'd say it's a cross between.
The emergence of the Webseries allows the return of the serial: a singular story told over multiple installments.  As a fan of the format, I cannot wait to see what you are going to do with it.

How did you decide to make an Alternative Reality Game (ARG)?

We wanted to create an adventure that would help draw viewers into the world of Riese before we launched. By immersing them in the story even before the show began, we thought it might make players feel more connected to the show as they've been introduced to many of the elements already.

What was the ARG creation experience like?

Well, it's still going on, and it's both exciting and daunting at the same time. I'd say the biggest challenge is keeping up with everyone. You can spend days and days creating puzzles that you think will be challenging, only to have them solved in 15 minutes.
I feel your pain.  We have been toying around with the idea of building an ARG for my next book.  There is a lot to consider and too many variable to consider before release.

What has the response to the ARG been?

Positive so far. My biggest regret is that we lack the resources to make it as expansive as we would have liked. We've kept it pretty small in scope this time, but I know that we have another one planned for down the road that'll be even bigger, assuming the show succeeds.
It would be a great thing if there were an open source ARG engine to make construction easier for everyone.

What tech are you using to make the series?

One big technological asset has been shooting with the RED One. It's an amazing digital camera that has absolutely revolutionized film. It also makes more sense to use for us, as a webseries, because our content is going straight to computers. Shooting on film, while beautiful, would be overkill for a project such as this where the picture quality won't translate to streaming as it does on HD television screens or movies. With the RED we can optimize our media platform and do it economically.
The RED cameras produce wonderful video.  It should set you up for multiple versions of the video.

How many people are involved in making the series?

Too many to count off the top of my head - we've got the creators, producers, costumers, set designers, writers... the list goes on and on! We're incredibly blessed to have each and every one of them on our team though, as we couldn't do it without them.

Do you have plans for merchandising the series? (t-shirts, statuettes, dvds)

When we launch we'll also be rolling out our merchandise store, which will feature apparel and other smaller accessories. Eventually we plan on selling episodes digitally and DVDs. In addition, we're also developing an iPhone card battle game to tie-in with the show.

Sounds interesting.  I cannot wait to see the series.

Goggles for Hard Negotiations

Captains Goggles

Every airship captain needs a well made pair of goggles, but not every captain has the charm and panache to pull off a successful negotiation. So for those rare instances that "negotiations are hard", because no self respecting airship pirate negotiates often, the kind cunning pirates over at the HMS Ophelia have brought us the captain's goggles.

The captain's goggles are made from brass and leather, with an attached Gatling gun for extra leverage in those moments of hard negotiating.

Check the link below to pick up a pair for yourself.

Captain's Goggles for when negotiations are hard.

Abney Park's New Album: Aether Shanties

Abney Park have announced a new album to be released the summer of 2009.

aether_shanties

The 12 track of the album will be:

  1. Under the Radar
  2. Wanderlust
  3. Building Steam
  4. Until The Day I Die
  5. My Life
  6. The Derelict
  7. Throw Them Overboard
  8. Victoria
  9. Aether Shanty
  10. The Clock Yard
  11. Everything That Came Before Is Ending
  12. To Far To Turn Back

I can't wait to hear it!

(via Captain Robert)

Captain Robert and Public displays of Affection

Captain Robert from Abney Park is a little defensive in his latest post about disruptive behavior during rehearsal.  His language is a little gruff:

A little Whiskey or a little rum…okay, A LOT if Whiskey…and they are all over each other. In front of the rest of the band, in front of fans, in front of my kids.

It started as ass grabbing, arms around each others shoulder, dancing, pretending it was a joke…but as the months went on it turned into more. Mooney eyes, pretend kisses leading into real kisses, leading into full on tongue swapping! IN THE MIDDLE OF FUCKING SONGS! And the worst thing is, when they do it, their guitars rub together, and that messes up there playing, and then we got to start the songs all over again (Captain Robert)!

I don't know Robert personally, though I wish I did.  It would be easier to wrap my head around this.

Some people don't like public displays of affection

I know many of these people, and in fact I have been married to one for 12 years.

I am a little concerned that Robert could be labeled as homophobic for his rant.  Honestly, it doesn't take much these days to earn the label.  I have even been accused of Homophobia, and I am gay!

My impression of Robert

From reading his blog, listening to his music, and watching his videos, I tend to believe Robert is a dedicated and passionate about the future of Abney Park, and anything he sees as a threat to that would engender his rage.

His band mates not focusing on rehearsal is just the sort of thing I can see him flying off the handle about.

Leave the children out of it

I wish Robert would have left his children out of this.

I have mixed feelings about the effect on children of seeing grown people making out, but invoking the kids doesn't help his argument.

Personally, I would rather my kids (if I had any) see a public display of affection than to see me (I don't know if Robert was drinking or not) and my friends imbibing copious amounts of whiskey and rum.  I wish the kids had not been mentioned.

The other sides of the story

I really wish we had the other side of the story.  The nature of Robert's actions will be under a cloud of suspicion until we know the opinions of the other people in the room.

I hope Robert is right that this is not homophobia, but honestly, we cannot know one way or the other until we hear from the others.

Captain Robert - Abney Park, and Rasputina In San Franscico?

The Universe keeps hinting that I should move back to San Francisco:

Jan 23rd - 25th

The Edwardian Ball

(the San Fran One) will feature:

Abney Park, Rasputina, Jill Tracy, The Ghosts Project, Kinentic Steam Works, Dark Garden, City Circus, Vima Dance, Rosin Coven, Vau De Vire Society, Cirque Berzerk, Miz Margo, Delachaux, Agent Ribbons, Fou Fou Ha, and a millioin billion other acts that are too small on this flyier for me to read!

Abney Park will be playing Friday Night with Rasputina.

If you are in the area, and get to see the show, send me a review.  It sounds like a great show!

(via Captain Robert)

A Second Life Location: Magic Of Oz

For awhile now, Second Life has amazed me with its very realistic settings and endless options. There are writers, poets, artists, and voice actors there that astonish me with their level of talent. Recently, my friend Dream teleported me to a place I thought could never be recreated. The Magic of Oz SIM is a themed build based on the books and movie "The Wizard of Oz". I was fortunate enough to be able to chat with one of the creators Candy Cerveau.

Emz: Candy, thank you for taking time out of your busy launch weekend to speak with me. This place is awesome. How many people did it take to build this place?

Candy: A great deal of the SIM’s incredible look is due to the builder, Jenne Dibou. She took our ideas and thoughts and turned them into something more magical than we ever dreamed possible. Yet she never sacrificed utility for beauty or performance for flash. The buildings are all fantastical, but they are not mere decoration. Each area was carefully planned to be a useful space. She is really incredibly talented.

Emz: Very talented indeed. What inspired you to build this SIM?

Candy: Malkavyn Eldritch and I were looking to create a SIM for our main store locations and we wanted a theme build. I have always loved the Oz books and the movie as well, so it seemed a perfect match. We found Jenne and we worked with her to get the concept of what we wanted. Our goal with the SIM was to interpret the world of Oz differently than had been done before, while still keeping to the spirit of the books. We also wanted to put our own unique spin on the parts of the build that would be the main stores for the two of us. The Witch's Castle was given a Steampunk/Tim Burtonesque feel, while the Emerald City drew more upon natural and elven themes. Our overriding dream for Magic of Oz was to create a place where people could go and be taken out of the realm of the ordinary in Second Life. A place to explore and to experience, to shop and to relax, to dream and to love. A place that is magic. We think we achieved that and hope visitors think so as well.

Emz: Well I for one, definitely admire your vision. For those who don't know what your Second Life stores are about, can you tell me the name and what you specialize in?

Candy: Eye Candy and Treasured Visions. Malkavyn does hand drawn eyes and textures. He is graphic artist, so he works only from scratch. No photosourcing. I make jewelry and accessories. I tend to specialize more in the "elegantly casual" style of jewelry, but I do have some more whimsical type of work as well.

Emz: Your stuff is really crafted well. I just found a free box with “Halloween Eyes” that I can’t wait to try on. Magic Of Oz is amazing. How long did it take you guys from concept to finish date to do this?

Candy: Jenne is a super fast builder and we did it in 3 phases. Basically we got the SIM the first of August 2008 and began plans. So the entire thing only took two months start to finish.

Emz: That is fast for a build of this magnitude.

Candy: Yes indeed. Jenne is in Europe and so each morning we would wake up and a huge portion would magically appear!

Emz: Sounds very exciting.

Candy: It really was so much fun. The story of Oz is such a rich one and there are so many wonderful parts to it that it was hard to choose what to feature.

Emz: I like all the dark features you have here with the flying monkeys and the large skull on the hill. Is there any little secret or feature that you find particularly interesting?

Candy: The secret lab in the Witch's Castle is fantastic! Very "mad scientist". It’s hidden in the right side of the Witch's Castle

Emz: Congratulations on completing this. It's really awesome. Thank you so much for your time.

Candy: My pleasure, Emz. Thank you.

I was able to explore the area for some time and found many hidden gems here. If the pictures don’t amaze you, the features will. Right now there are tons of little shoes around the SIM that when clicked, give you free things. There are also a number of boxes, pumpkins etc… Keep an eye open and click things.

The Witch’s Castle Features: Steampunk architecture, hammock to lie in, perches to see the whole valley, skeleton fountain, elevator, flying monkeys ride.

Scary Tree / Graveyard Features: laying dead pose and sinking in lava pose.

Munchkin Land Features: Shops, park benches, a nice promenade.

Emerald City Features: Emerald throne, many little meeting or discussion areas, Oz’s curtain, 3 levels of fun activity, beautiful emerald gems.

Center of town Features: Watch The Wizard Of Oz by clicking the sign on the giant tree, follow the yellow brick road to Munchkin land, tree attack, stairs to Witches Castle.

Cool things to buy:  Jewelry, specialty eyes, clothes, bodies, hair, and these gear tattoos inspired by the designs of Da Vinci.

These are the various ways I risked my life to bring you these pictures: I was trapped under a house Wicked Witch Of The East style. I was attacked by trees. I got to be Oz for a little bit. And, I was attacked by monkeys.  I am really scared of monkeys people!

Magic of Oz launched on October 3rd, 2008.  If you would like to visit Magic Of Oz, click here: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Magic%20of%20Oz/130/152/0

Elegant Candle Powered Stirling

Jo-Stirling-Eng-2 I am a fool for stirling engines, and well steam engines of all kind, but this collection of candle powered amaze me and make me smile. The candles in question are simple tea lights. O, I want one of these so bad! I wonder how much one would cost, how loud are they, and how much space they will take up in my office.

Definitely check out the rest of the pictures at DVICE and the video of one of these Stirling engines in action below. I love this stuff.

(via DVICE)

More Steampunk Star Wars

LordVaderHere are some more brilliant pics from a distinct and refreshing set of Steampunk Star Wars Set. The steam powered Vader and Jabba the Hut are my favorites, but the solar weapon wielding Death Star is really cool too.

The whole series is interestest re-envisioning many classic Star Wars characters. There are many beautiful pics on the site, float around for a bit and take it all in.

(via Eric's (not me) Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Idea: here and here)

JabbaDesktop