Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Odds and Ends

Hey folks,
Took a short break from blogging the London trip, partly to give Kat a chance to organize the photos. 900 shots takes awhile to manage.
In the meantime, I'll talk about a couple new things...

ANDROMEDA STRAIN on A&E. Based on the book by Michael Crichton, this new four-hour mini takes the story far beyond the Wildfire Lab and poor Piedmont, AZ. A satellite crash is followed by the deaths of everyone in a tiny Arizona town, save two: an old alcoholic and a colicky baby. Cause of death: near-instant coagulation of a victim's blood.

The Army cannot handle this biohazard, so Project Wildfire is activated by Gen. Mancheck (Andre Braugher). A team, led by Dr. Jeremy Stone (Benjamin Bratt), includes an ex-lover (Christa Miller), a military doctor with whom Stone has clashed before (Rick Schroder), a married biochemist (Viola Davis), and a Chinese expatriate doctor with a shady past (Daniel Dae Kim); they have a super-secret and ultrasophisticated laboratory under the desert, where they will try to save the world from this fast-acting and universally lethal organism.

Trouble is, the Army is keeping secrets of its own, not the least of which is a conspiracy between a presidential advisor and an ambitious colonel to secure samples of Andromeda, while a brazen reporter (Eric McCormack) struggles to unlock the mystery of the Andromeda Strain... and survive the conspiracy's murderous intentions when he gets too close to the truth.

The miniseries is well-acted and moves at an appropriate pace. Suspension of disbelief becomes a bit difficult when time travel and suboceanic thermal vent mining and other bits of weirdness are invoked-- Crichton has become a "kitchen sink" type of science fiction writer of late, and this mini plays into those tendencies-- such that the clean, linear storyline (and climactic race against the clock) are souped up with lots of explosions, teams of killers stalking busybodies, and more.

It's definitely watchable, but re-watchable... not so sure.

Dr. Jeremy Stone - Benjamin Bratt
General George Mancheck - Andre Braugher
Dr. Charlene Barton - Viola Davis
Major Bill Keane, M.D. - Rick Schroder
Dr. Tsi Chou - Daniel Dae Kim
Jack Nash - Eric McCormack
Dr. Angela Noyce - Christa Miller
President Scott - Ted Whittall

WRITING- I'm getting a bit done here and there. I have two competing storylines that are taking up my thoughts these days. Gonna have to figure out which one I can ride to victory, so to speak. Lucky for me, neither one's been done in the urban fantasy genre.

Speaking of which, I'm pretty damned sick of vampires and werewolves. I know they're popular but c'mon, there are OTHER supernatural critters out there! Argh.

INCREDIBLE HULK- Just read the novelization last week (I know, I'm spoiling the movie for myself, big deal), but if they make the movie Peter David novelized, it'll kick ass. That's all I'm sayin'. Get the taste of Ang Lee's HULK out of your mouth and go see this. Should be awesome.

That's all I have for now. More London blogging soon!

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