28 May 2010

Moving on to June

This year is just zipping by.

Yesterday, 38 Studios and Big Huge Games celebrated their one year anniversary. BHG flew up to Maynard, and it was a day of feasting, gaming, and revelry. Remind me to never again drink beer before noon. I'm too old and fat to partake of such extravagances so early in the morning.

On the gaming front, I've been wondering if I've completely lost my GMing muscles or not. I suppose I'm a little rusty. I need to jump back on the bike and pedal a little bit harder. It's been over three years since I've run a campaign of any length or depth. Right now, I'm committed to running two of them.

The first is that Star Wars (Saga Edition) game I'm sure I've mentioned here at one time or another. I've got a lot of work to do so that next session will be a fun-filled destructo-fest for the players.

The second is my New Untouchables Cyberpunk 2020 campaign, which I'm resurrecting for a group at work. I started the game in Virginia at Mythic, but it was cut short by the loss of a number of my players. I always regretted that; it had a lot of potential, I thought. I figure this is my chance to see if I was right or not.

I've also been delving into other games, at least insofar as reconnecting with them goes. One of those is Alternity. Man, what a great system that was! I can feel the tugging of GM ADHD coming on, and I ... must ... RESIST! Though I may run a one-shot for some folks at work, anyway, for old time's sake.

I also picked up a bunch of the new Talisman 4th Edition stuff, but haven't played it yet. I wish my son could read, because we'd be playing right this second if he was literate. As it is, he's getting the idea of written language. I wish there was a reading/writing boot camp I could send him to.

I've more or less given up on freelancing again. I keep coming back to the topic, mostly because I miss it so damn much. But just because I've resigned myself to not freelancing again doesn't mean I won't if the right people ask me to (hint hint).

I think that this (long holiday) weekend is going to be a nice one if my kids can keep their internecine strife to a minimum. There's a coffee shop here in Hudson that looks promising, and I'd like to head over there with my laptop and see if I can do some mental exercises (not to mention work on my campaigns). Plus, if I do end up getting some freelance work heading my way at some point, it'll be nice to know if the place is a good place to work on stuff.

That's about all, in a nutshell. Overall, I'm very positive about the future right now (as I usually am on presentation day). I've still got a couple of things I need to get done (enroll Stephen in kindergarten, which involves him having a physical exam and probably getting some shots), as well as register my car (which has been a comedy of errors, let me tell you). June is the month to do it, since my VA registration expires in July. Joy!

All for now...

11 May 2010

Neuromancer, the Film

I was briefly excited when, a couple of years ago, I heard that William Gibson's Neuromancer was going to get a film treatment. Like the Lord of the Rings, Neuromancer is a seminal work of its genre. The people who are fans of the book and, by extension, William Gibson (its author), are very particular. The movie, if it ever gets made, will need to be done properly. Even if it's made, and made well, not everyone will be pleased. A director's (or writer's) vision is subjective.

Then I learned who was set to direct: Joseph Kahn. Not being familiar with his name or his work, I set to finding out just what this guy had directed, and what made him special enough to direct a film based on one of my favorite books. What I found out dismayed me. At that time (and currently, it seems), he's done very little outside of music videos and automobile commercials. His single feature film credit is Torque, a (in my opinion) truly awful movie that tries to be The Fast and the Furious on motorcycles.

I'd caught Torque on cable TV one night, a long time ago. At the time, I felt like I was watching a train wreck. The movie was so horribly bad that I couldn't peel my eyes away. I couldn't believe that something that terrible, that preposterous, that ludicrous, had actually gotten any kind of funding at all. Period. End of story.

Flash forward to me learning that the freshman director who had thrown Torque together was the same man who had been entrusted with making Neuromancer into a feature film. If I'd been reading a book on such a topic, I'd've thrown it across the room in disgust.

Don't get me wrong. I'm sure Mr. Kahn is a wonderful guy. Really. But the single movie he's made, which I had accidentally watched one lazy evening, gave me very little confidence in his ability to lift Gibson's vision from the pages of Neuromancer and apply it to the big screen. This wasn't a Britney Spears video, after all, or a derivative motorcycle action flick.

There wasn't much news about the movie after that. Rumors circulated that Hayden Christensen had been slated to take on the role of Case, the novel's "hero." I wasn't real thrilled with that choice, either, given Hayden's performance in the Star Wars prequels. Then again, I've heard from other sources that he can actually act, so long as George Lucas isn't directing him. So any misgivings I had about the choice of actors was mitigated somewhat.

From the looks of things, the Neuromancer film has been in development limbo for a long time. I learned just yesterday that Kahn is no longer directing. Instead, Vincenzo Natali has been chosen to replace him. This comes as a relief to me. Although I'm not familiar with all of Natali's works, I am definitely familiar with Cube, which he wrote and directed. Cube wasn't a high-budget film, but it was quirky and enjoyable, so I'm hopeful that Neuromancer, if it gets off the ground, will be somewhat better than it might have been under Kahn.

There is a god, it seems.