Cowboy BeBop ends

I just finished watching the final disc of BeBop. Steven said he got “mugged” by the ending (his minireview here). I am frankly, dazed.

Interestingly, Madeline Ashby at Tor.com is beginning a rewatch of BeBop, which is pretty timely! I have to agree with everything she said about the series as a whole in her first post on the first episode:

Bebop has what most live-action SF television from English-speaking countries does not: a definite end date, a genuinely compelling story, great production value, interesting speculations on technology and a merciful lack of deus ex machina. It’s a series set in the future, not about the future, and is thus liberated from making any sweeping statements regarding the future. Perhaps for that reason, the world of Cowboy Bebop is neither a sun-dappled utopia nor an unforgiving dystopia. We watch it from the point of view of bounty hunters, so we see the dirty cops and the crime syndicate lowlifes and the mom’s basement-terrorists with delusions of grandeur, but 2071 remains a recognizable iteration of our current world. Ganymede fishing trawlers can be converted to achieve escape velocity, bounties on cross-colony fugitives can be paid from ATM’s, hyperspace toll gates are vulnerable to bugs in proprietary software and need regular firmware upgrades. Its most optimistic prediction is also its most accurate: every colony from Io to Titan is full of signage in Chinese, Arabic, and Spanish. There are brown people, black people and pale people with dreds, turbans and mohawks. Watanabe’s future is off-planet, and everybody’s there.

Given how strongly I loved this series and Champloo, I wonder if there’s a good label for this type of anime genre. What do space cowboys and samurai breakdancers have in common?

Anyway, my comment on the ending is as follows:

Continue reading “Cowboy BeBop ends”

Galactica news, good and bad

The great news: another Galactica TV series is in the works. And Caprica renewed for another season. With Caprica and SGU, I’m really set to enjoy a summer of sci-fi (on Syfy).

The horrible news: They are still serious about a reboot of Galactica as a movie. Helmed by Bryan Singer of the “I had a chance to reboot Superman and made it lame” fame.

the battle for the box

The Set-top Box Wars continue. Amazon is offering $20 in video download credit to anyone buying a Roku XR or Roku HD until March 31; the Popbox is due to be released in a few weeks (here’s a hands-on demo at SXSW); and now Google is getting into the act with hardware built by logitech and running Android and Chrome. Oh and don’t forget Boxee.

It’s starting to feel like that scene in Moscow on the Hudson where the guy collapses while trying to choose coffee (one of only two scenes I remember from that movie). Just like cell phones, I’m basically paralyzed by (as yet unreleased) choices. I do have my Netflix Wii disc preordered (which was free, admittedly).

Incidentally, I’m still waiting for a Certain Otaku to review his Popcorn Hour. You know who you are 🙂

Back to Middle Earth this July

Filming for The Hobbit (parts 1 and 2, back to back) begins in July!

On his website, Ian McKellen, who plays the wizard Gandalf, announced that “The Hobbit’s two films start shooting in New Zealand in July. Filming will take over a year. Casting in Los Angeles, New York City and London has started. The script too proceeds. The first draft is crammed with old and new friends, again on a quest in Middle Earth. The director Guillermo del Toro is now living in Wellington, close to the Jacksons’ and the studio in Miramar.”

In another report from New Zealand, an insider says The Hobbit will be filmed in 3D.

Remember back in the days they were filming LOTR, when we would obsessively reload TheOneRing.Net? good times. I don’t think I have the same compulsion this time around.

Worth noting that the “official” movie blog for The Hobbit hasn’t been updated in over 2 years.

And while we are talking the Hobbitt, it should be noted that Sir Peter Jackson is no longer fit to play a cameo role.

comment registration

One thing I value about this blog is that I still have loyal readers despite my long hiatuses and delays in posting. I can always count at least one or two comments on a post at minimum, and often from people who have never commented before. This is possible because of the open commenting policy here, but that’s also a weakness in that it allows spammers a toehold. The spam filter has been doing its job but lately more and more are sneaking past the defenses, and I am worried that it will get worse form here.

The question is the usual one facing a blog with a nascent community. Do I limit comments to registered users only, thus slamming the door on the casual readers who will probably never comment again? Or do i leave the door open in the hope that signal stays higher than noise?

I guess I could also install a plugin to auto-close old comment threads to see if that mitigates the problem. And there are math captcha plugins like I used before. But these are just symptomatic solutions.

So, lets see what you all have to say about it. What would you prefer? Whats your advice?