Well, the new trailer for the 2014 Godzilla movie is coming to town. Well, it’s actually already arrived and boy does it look good. Even to me, and I’m usually quite cynical and pessimistic about remakes, especially when they involve things I love. But I’ve watched the trailer at least five times now and am quite optimistic. They at least appear to be taking Godzilla seriously.
Take a look at the trailer if you haven’t seen it yet and let us know your thoughts on it.
Of the wide variety of articles in this week’s Common Room, one of the most fascinating is Laura Miller’s “Desecrating Poe,” posted over at Salon. Her scathing review of the new Fox TV show “The Following” includes commentary on art, beauty, and the artistic portrayal of violence. Sample quote:
Violence in popular entertainment is usually discussed in absolute terms: Either you think it should be reined in quantitatively or you defend it in blanket terms, as a matter of free speech. This bogus polarity obscures an important question: How is it used? Eyes are gouged out in “The Following” because the mutilated female corpses (all young and pretty in life) make a ghastly spectacle and enable Carroll to torment Hardy with talk of severing the victims’ ocular muscles one by one. Eyes are gouged out in “King Lear” to indicate that the play’s social order has descended to sub-human brutality as a result of the main character’s refusal to see the truth. It’s the same violent act, but in the latter case it is replete with meaning and induces an elemental despair, while in the case of “The Following” it’s just gleefully lurid.
Follow the link for the rest of the story, including many discussable points.
In other news and commentary:
Bloggers and C.S. Lewis fans: Review blog Pages Unbound is hosting a C.S. Lewis read-along throughout the month of February. Ways to participate include reviewing Lewis books or hosting discussions on your own blog, sending in guest posts to the Pages Unbound proprietors, and simply following along to read and/or comment on Lewis’ oeuvre.
Artemis Fowl author Eoin Colfer has been chosen to write one of eleven new Doctor Who short books, and the big speculation of the week is that J.K. Rowling may be chosen to write another. Colfer’s much-revered name was the first to be released; other news will hopefully be coming soon.
A series longer in the making than Harry Potter released its finale on the eighth of January: Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time epic began with The Eye of the World in 1990 and now, after Jordan’s death in 2007, has been completed (from Jordan’s notes) by Brandon Sanderson with A Memory of Light. Jordan’s story is known for worldbuilding almost unrivaled in its depth and range, a cast of characters large enough to fill a decent-sized small town, a high page count–fourteen books averaging over 800 pages apiece, a fantastic magic system, a handful of repetitive descriptors, and–to its loyal fans–a great deal of awesomeness. One of those loyal fans happens to be writing this blog post, and can hardly stand the wait for her copy to come in the mail.
Brandon Sanderson’s release post offers some final details: for instance, that Jordan himself wrote the ending before he died, and why the ebook release has been delayed. Also, Tor art director Irene Gallo toured the bindery as the book was in production, and posted a long set of pictures from the process.
There are rumors–again, only rumors, but still–that Universal may be getting the rights to create a Middle-Earth theme park. It seems likely that a satisfactory recipe for lembas will be as difficult to come up with as a satisfactory recipe for butterbeer.
As a result of varying factors, I only have time to throw together a variety of news stories and other things I found of note. First, a hat tip to The Torch Online, as I first saw many of these stories referenced on their site. So here goes…
If you haven’t heard, Elijah Wood has been cast to appear in the upcoming Hobbit film. If you’re wondering how Frodo, who Wood played in the LOTR films, gets into The Hobbit, in which the character doesn’t appear, then you’re not the only one. Please note the linked story has some spoilers about how they plan to incorporate Frodo. In related news, Ian McKellen & Andy Serkis will be reprising the roles of Gandalf & Gollum respectively. If you’re interested, TheOneRing.Net is the place to go for news & speculation. Speaking personally, I can’t help but think that this movie will end up being visually spectacular but will bear little to no resemblance to the actual source material that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote. More’s the pity.