Film Surf Report: Super Hero Franchises Save Us From The Winter Of Our Discontent …

Santa Monica, CA — It’s Marvel’s world, and we are just lucky to be living in it, my fellow Surfers.  2019 is a marvelous year, to be sure:  Captain Marvel (March), Avengers: Endgame (April), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (June), Spider-Man: Far From Home (July), and X-Men: New Mutants (August).

Is that enough Marvel for ya?  I am sure it is for DC Comics!

Having recovered from the disappointment I initially felt after seeing Aquaman, I am happy the film did so well at the box office ($1 Billion +). Warner Bros. is happy, too, and the studio seems set for a resurgence with the light-hearted Shazam! and the dark and period-piece Joker set to hit theaters (April, October).

Meanwhile, here’s what/who’s about to hit the big screen. You may want to prepare yourself for multiple doses of Jude Law, Samuel L. Jackson, and James McAvoy:

GLASS

Here’s a Peek at  2 0 1 9:

  • Glass — Jan. 18th — M. Night Shyamalan’s follow up to 2016’s Split and Unbreakable features characters from both films (James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson) who think they are super heroes and/or villains. Looks great. Big Opening Weekend forecast, per VarietyHere’s the Trailer which premiered at Comic-Con

BRIE AS CAPTAIN MARVEL

  • Captain Marvel  March 8th — Okay, Brie Larson. Ya got your work cut out for ya. Story is set pre-Avengers in the ’90s with Nick Fury not wearing an eye patch! Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck direct. Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Tomb Raider) scripts. Jude Law co-stars (in everything!). Film sets up Captain Marvel as the Avenger to beat in the ensuing Avengers 4 where Thanos gets his due. Interestingly, Brie Larson has signed a 7-picture deal with Marvel, so guess she’s the leader of the New Avengers! Here’s the action-packed TRAILER (narrated by Nick Fury).
  • Shazam! April 5th  David F. Sandberg (Annabelle) directs. Zachary Levi stars in a story reminiscent of Tom Hank’s Big, and Dwayne Johnson is set to produce and to star as Black Adam, the villain of Shazam!, in a spinoff film, but Johnson is reportedly not appearing in Shazam! (or is he?). The Trailer Goes For Laughs (And Misses) Meanwhile, there was hope for a Superman cameo, however, Henry Cavill Has Reportedly Hung Up His Cape, per THR.

AVENGERS INFINITY WAR POSTER

  • Avengers 4 Endgame  April 29th — What was to have been a 2-parter from The Russo Bros. (see 1st trailer from them  H E R E) has now become Avengers 4 Endgame which supposedly wraps up the current group, including expensive paycheck players Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man and Chris Evans as Captain America who completes his contract with Marvel with this film. Fingers crossed that Thor survives. Black Widow must because she’s getting her own solo film! Ant-Man and Hawkeye/Ronin return, but where’s Valkyrie? Look for a big assist from Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, as well. Film is reportedly three hours long! Can’t wait.  The End of the MCU (As We Knew It) Via GQ
  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix  June 7th  — Even though this film’s release date has been moved back three times now (per THR), it still feels too soon. I still remember the Famke Janssen version of X3 (co-written by Simon Kinberg), and young Jean Grey was just okay in Apocalypse. Fox is going to the X-Well once too often, I fear. Kinberg directs. Jessica Chastain plays the Villain, who is taken from the original Comic.  Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, and James McAvoy return as does Evan Peters as Quicksilver.  Feels Ho Hum to me. Been here, done that.  Meanwhile, someone dies! Any guesses? Here’s the first Trailer. Check it out!
  • Men in Black International — June 14th —  Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Rebecca Ferguson, Kumail Nanjani, Liam Neeson and Emma Thompson topline this Sony re-boot. F. Gary Gray directs from a script by Iron Man scribes Matt Holloway and Art Marcum.  Hopes high, I think.

MIB REBOOT

  • Spider-Man: Far From Home   July 5th — Tom Holland and Marisa Tomei scored in Civil War and are rewarded with a 3-parter.  Director Jon Watts returns for the sequel. Jake Gyllenhall co-stars as the villain, Mysterio. Gotta say, Tom Holland is really winning in this role (and I am a fan of the Tobey trilogy). Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders also appear. Interesting! (They were turned to dust in Infinity War!). The 1st Trailer has a lot to discuss, considering Avengers: Endgame will precede this film in the theaters. Check out the trailer https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js“>H E R E
  • X-Men: New Mutants  Aug. 2nd — Josh Boone directs a supposedly horror-tinged film featuring a new group of mutants that will likely include Wolfsbane, Rachel Summers, and MagmaJames McAvoy returns as Professor X.  Film’s release has been delayed several times as well and has been finished for a year now.
  • Downton Abbey  Sept. 20th — Make no mistake, Lord Grantham and the Crawley Clan are the super heroes of Public Television, hence this bigscreen outing. Long live Lady Edith!
  • Joker: My Life & Times (working title) – Oct. 4th  — Todd Phillips’ (The Hangover) solo story stars Joaquin Phoenix (See the first look via Rotten Tomatoes!) as Batman’s arch-nemesis following in the notable footsteps of Caesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Mark Hamill, and most recently, Jared Leto. Here’s the details via Deadline Hollywood
  • Charlie’s Angels — Nov. 1st — Kristin Stewart headlines the new trio who are directed by Elizabeth Banks in the Sony reboot of the franchise once led by Drew Barrymore (who rebooted the TV series). Always up to re-visit the Angels & Co. Film will have stiff competition from another old chestnut, The Terminator.
  • Kingsmen 3 — Nov. 8th — Matthew Vaughn again writes and directs the final chapter of the Eggsy-Harry Hart mentorship.  Supposedly, there’s also a Statesmen spinoff in development, as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the first film and thought the second was not as good.
  • Fantastic Beasts 3 –Nov. 15th– More Dumbledore! Less Johnny Depp. FB2 was not the smash hit I’d hoped for, but the story will escalates between Dumbledore and Grindewald with a big assist by Newt. Am realizing we will eventually get to meet such wizarding luminaries as Bathilda Bagshot and a younger version of Aberforth as well as new characters like Claudia Kim’s Nagini and Zoe Kravitz’ Leta Lestrange!
  • Untitled Fox/Marvel Film — Nov. 22nd — More X-Men! Or possibly, Dr. Doom from Fantastic Four with Noah Hawley (Legion) helming. That Fantastic Four option appears to be lapsing. Or possibly, Multiple Man starring James Franco! Simon Kinsberg produces from a script by Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman).
  • Star Wars, Ep. IX   — Dec. 20th —  LucasFilm is using previously shot footage so it will be interesting to see how they deal with the untimely death of Carrie Fisher and her alter ego, Princess/General Leia? JJ Abrams returns to the franchise in the director’s chair after a troubling start. I predict the storyline for The Skywalkers gets wrapped up. No more Death Stars, please! Fisher had the last line in The Last JediWe have everything we need. Let’s hope so. Keri Russell has been cast in an as yet unknown role.

CARRIE AS GENERAL LEIA

N E X T   U P:

When Is Too Much TV …. Just Too Much?

 

 

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Surf Report: What’s To Eat In Your Earthquake Kit? (Now is a Good Time to Stock Up on Beefaroni)

405 FWY ON FIRE Santa Monica, CA — The current LA Heatwave and the years of being reminded that Los Angeles is in the Hot Zone that is way overdue for a major quake has started me thinking about Earthquake Preparedness.

I have a hastily thrown together Earthquake Kit but where in the hell did I put that thing???

This story is about preparing for The Big One (or whichever likely Natural Disaster is heading your way!) and having food stored in one’s Earthquake Preparedness Kit that is not just dried and tasteless.

Good Food, indeed.

Now, where did I hide and/or conveniently misplace that box of important Earthquake Survival Food Stuffs?  Ah yes, there it is stashed against the back wall of the closet crammed full of Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, luggage, and assorted boxes for appliances that I just can’t seem able to toss. In the aftermath of a disaster, it will be so easy to locate (sarcasm!).

EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS KIT 0LD BOX      OLD EARTHQUAKE KIT CONTENTS

Unearthing this box (pardon the pun) and discovering its contents is a snapshot of the ’90s which is most likely when I packed it:  Rice Cakes (yuk!), Unfrosted Strawberry Pop-tarts (they don’t even make those anymore! Hope they are still good!), Generic Chocolate Chip Cookies, Mini-Cans of Pork ‘N Beans, canned Tuna (toss!), Saltine Crackers (to go with the Tuna, natch) and one package of D Batteries (but no flashlight). Love those Carbs!

Thank God I have opened this box and can now throw everything away (with the exception of the batteries and those Pop-tarts!)

Time. To. Start. Over.

Water, however, you most likely have not purchased Enough Water.

You have that emergency jar of Peanut Butter. So you are good for the first two hours of what could be a 2-week ordeal following The Big One.

Time to put some thought into What Are You Going To Eat Following An Earthquake?

There’s food in your freezer, to be sure. Hopefully, you will be able to access that food. In a best-case scenario, you will have 24-48 hours in which to grill whatever protein is frozen, so that’s two days covered. Your neighbors will be doing the same or relying on you to share, and vice versa. Keep that in mind.

Also, local restaurants with gas grills that work will most likely be serving up anything they can following a Big Quake.

Get extra water. Keep a flat of water in the trunk of your car. Do it. It’s easy.

EARTHQUAKE CUPBOARD      EARTHQUAKE WATER

Now comes the hard part: Stock up on food that will not only last but is also nutritional and not just junk. The Good News is most of these items are probably on sale right now at your local supermarket:

  • Bagged Nuts in the Shell (like salted peanuts)
  • Canned Fruit (pineapple slices, etc.)
  • Dried Fruit
  • Protein Bars (breakfast bars, etc.)
  • Canned Beans (chili, black, navy, pork and) This means you will also need a Can Opener. Perhaps, put that Swiss Army Knife in your Earthquake Kit. (That’s more of a Note to Self.)
  • Beefaroni (You loved it as a Kid. You will be surprised at how good it will taste when there is nothing else to eat. Also, it’s always on sale at Ralph’s for $1/can.)

So, that’s week one right there, however, a big Snag exists: Caffeine.

IMG_1640

If you are like me, you NEED that cup (or two) of Hot Coffee every morning. In the event of an Earthquake, think about how you are going to get that caffeine.  I get a headache if I don’t have my morning coffee.

Provided the gas has not been shut off, you can always switch to Hot Tea. However, that’s best case scenario. Most likely, the gas will be shut off along with the electricity. So, can you imagine boiling water on a grill just to make Hot Tea or instant coffee (yuck!)?

Get a Thermos.

Other Stuff to Have Handy and/or Reserved Specifically in Case of Earthquake:

  • Toilet Paper (along with a bucket with a top that seals)
  • First Aid Kit(s) that includes bandages, peroxide and antiseptic cream.
  • Batteries (for flashlights, head lamps, radios)
  • Portable Radio (I put my old Walkman in my Earthquake kit – batteries included)
  • Head Lamp (the kind that attaches to the brim of a hat)
  • Fire Extinguisher (You must know how to use it.)
  • A Good Book (what novel will comfort you in a time of emergency and stress? Might I suggest The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings as you will need to really get away!)
  • Tent and Sleeping Bag (I keep mine in the trunk of my car. Your home might become unsafe.)

TOILET PAPER ROLLS      FIRST AID KIT     TATTERED TOLKIEN

Well, fingers are crossed that we are all as prepared as we can be when and if The Big One actually hits.  Remember where you stash your Earthquake Kit. Buy extra Water.

Time to check on those old Pop-tarts!

 

N E X T   U P:

Female Characters Who Are Long Overdue for Their Own Movie!

BLACK WIDOW MOVIE

 

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TV Surf Report: Adaptations Of Podcasts, Games, Graphic Novels & Music Have Hollywood Aflutter (Books Are Still Cool, Though)

WATCHMEN FEATURE CAST

Santa Monica, CA — The Adaptation Trend has been in full-swing for several years now as Hollywood seeks to break through all the clutter with Intellectual Property Titles that audiences are already predisposed to like (and will thereby, tune in).

Maybe, your great idea should live as Something Other Than A Screenplay … first.

It’s not just popular movies and best-selling books that are being adapted as series, either:

  • Video Games (World-building is a new buzzword!)
  • Podcasts (Did you go to the App Store and Vote for your Favorite?)
  • Magazine & Newspaper Articles (An Evergreen resource!)
  • Songs (Dolly Parton, You Are Talented!)
  • Foreign Series (adapted for the US market)
  • Graphic Novels (about Super Heroes, natch)

HALO

Here’s the latest crop of Adaptations in active development and headed to your streaming device in the very near future:

  • My Glory Was I Had Such Friends at Apple. J.J. Abrams and Jennifer Garner produce/star in this 13-episode adaptation of Amy Silverstein’s memoir about her circle of women friends who helped her as she waited for a live-saving transplant. Premieres in late 2019.
  • The Watch at BBC America. Based on the Discworld novels by Sir Terry Prachett (Good Omens), eight episodes of the punk rock thriller with misfit cops have been ordered.
  • Joyland at Freeform. Stephen King’s novel about a college student working a summer job at an amusement park gets adapted for a pilot. Chris Pena (Jane the Virgin) scripts.
  • It Takes Two at FOX. The memoir of Property Brothers, the home improvement reality series with the photogenic twin brother contractors is being adapted as a half-hour comedy. Cue obnoxious laugh track! Daily Variety Has The Scoop.
  • Ranger at CBS. The novel by James Patterson gets adapted for pilot development.
  • Dracula at BBC One and Netflix. The Sherlock maestros, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, adapt Bram Stoker’s classic novel into three 90-minute episodes (or movies).
  • Whites at NBC. Matt Tarses adapts the British restaurant workplace comedy for Will Arnett and the US audience.
  • Limetown at Facebook Watch. Based on a podcast about a Pulic Radio reporter who investigates the disappearances of hundreds of people in Tennessee, Jessica Biel (The Sinner) stars. Ten episodes ordered. Deadline Has The Details.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia at Netflix. This seems like a big deal to me as these books are evergreen stories that can be re-made for each generation. Seems like Netflix aims to create a Narnia Universe and create series from there while making features from the main titles. Am a bit surprised Disney/Fox allowed the option on these books to lapse. Smart buy, Netflix.
  • Wheel of Time at Amazon.  Series order for this action fantasy drama adaptation of Robert Jordan’s best-selling books, wherein, Magic exists, but only women can wield it. Rafe Judkins (Agents of Shield) writes and EPs for Amazon Studios and Sony Pics TV.
  • His Dark Materials at BBC One and HBO. HBO Acquires Broadcast Rights Outside The UK, per Deadline.  Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) directs this massive TV adapation of Philip Pullman’s fantasy novels with a cast that includes James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Dafne Keen (Logan). Production is underway in Wales on S1. Meanwhile, the BBC Orders 2nd Season of 8 Episodes.
  • Foundation at Apple TV.  David S. Goyer (DaVinci’s Demons, Krypton) and Josh Friedman (Snowpiercer, Sarah Conner Chronicles) get 10 episodes to adapt Isaac Asimov’s SF trilogy about the 1000-year saga of people defying the Galactic Empire. Hmm. I wonder if George Lucas read these books prior to Star Wars. Just a thought!
  • Run Away at Netflix. Adaptation of Harlan Coben’s novel and part of an overdeal that encompasses 14 of Coben’s books.  He has two other series on Netflix:  Safe starring Michael C. Hall (Dexter) and No Second Chance.
  • Shogun at FX. A new adaptation of James Clavell’s novel gets a 10-episode order.
  • Hey There Delilah at TBD.  The Plain White Ts’ hit tune is headed to TV. I love this song and am not discounting this effort. Oh, what you do to me!  Songs That Should Be Adapted For TV, via EW
  • Slaughterhouse-Five at Epix. Gale Anne Hurd EPs this adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s famous novel with Universal Cable Productions. Patrick Macmanus (Happy) scripts.
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife at HBO.  Series order for Steven Moffat (Doctor Who) to adapt the Audrey Niffenegger novel about a married man who travels through Time. A feature adaptation was released in 2009 starring Rachael McAdams and Eric Bana, which I did not see because I loved the book too much.  Looking forward to this version, though!
  • Less Than Zero at Hulu. The Bret Easton Ellis novel was made into a film in 1987 which starred Andrew McCarthy. Here, a pilot has been greenlight starring Austin Abrams (The Walking Dead) in an ensemble of privileged college kids up to no good in Palm Springs. Craig Wright (Greenleaf, Lost) scripts.
  • The Vampire Chronicles at Hulu. Anne Rice, Christopher Rice and Anonymous Content exec produce this series based on 11 of Rice’s Vampire Chronicles books which center on Lestat who becomes a vampire in medieval Paris and continues a long journey of immortality with stops along the way as a rock star, an otherworldly adventure with The Devil, and a body snatching. Looking forward!
  • Batwoman at The CW.  Greg Berlanti (who else!) EPs this comic adaptation with a crossover event on the horizon within The Arrowverse.  TV gets its first gay super hero.
  • Y at FX.  Diane Lane, Amber Tamblyn, and Timothy Hutton star in the adaptation of DC Comics’ Y: The Last Man, a post-apocalyptic world where only one male mammal has survived. Pilot order.  Michael Green (American Gods) scripts and EPs.
  • 68 Whiskey at Paramount Network . Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment produces this half-hour dark comedy adaptation of  Charlie Golf One, an Israeli series about a diverse group of medics stationed in Afghanistan.  Sounds a lot like M*A*S*H to me! Howard is set to direct. Roberto Benabib scripts.
  • Quantum and Woody at TBS.  The Russo Bros. (Avengers: Infinity War) and the screenwriters from Ant-Man & Wasp adapt this super hero Valiant Entertainment Comic inspired by the characters Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes played in White Men Can’t Jump. Only they have super powers. Pilot order for a TV series based on a Comic that is inspired by a Film. Triple-threat!
  • Halo at Showtime. 10-episode series order for this popular video game from Microsoft with Amblin producing this futuristic conflict. Kyle Killen scripts and EPs with Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) set to direct.
  • Fortnite at TBD. ‘Tis only a matter of time as this is the game of the moment. The Most Important Video Game on the Planet
  • Watchmen at HBO. Damon Lindelof (The Leftovers, Lost) delves back into the Alan Moore graphic novel source material and assembles a stellar cast of Super Heroes that includes Jeremy Irons, Regina King, Tim Blake Nelson, Don Johnson, and Louis Gossett, Jr. Nicole Kassell (The Leftovers) directed the pilot. Series order. Interestingly, Lindelof says his take is more “remix” than adaptation of the graphic novel with some new characters to explore.  More world-building! Damon Lindelof Loves A Sad Ending – New York Public Library Interview
  • Midnight’s Children at Netflix. The 1981 Salman Rushdie novel about India’s independence from British colonialism centers on one character who is telepathically connected to 1,000 other people born at the same hour in 1947. Series order.
  • Invincible at Amazon. Robert Kirkman’s popular comic gets an 8-episode hour-long animated series order for this adult superhero multi-generational story about fathers and sons.
  • Dolly Parton Songbook at Netflix. Parton follows up her successful NBC adaptations of Coat of Many Colors and Jolene.
  • Nightbreed at SyFy. Based on best-selling horror author Clive Barker’s short story collection and graphic novel, Cabal, series explores race relations in America, only the races are humans and monsters. Hmm. Morgan Creek and UCP produce.
  • Resident Alien at SyFy. Based on the Dark Horse Comics title about an alien posing as a Colorado doctor who surmises Humanity might not be worth saving. Pilot order.

INVINCIBLE

  • Tender is the Night at TBD. Colin Callender (Wolf Hall, Little Women) has optioned F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final novel for television with an international co-production likely as the story is set in the South of France and recalls Fitzgerald’s romance with his wife, Zelda.
  • Welcome to Night Vale at FX. A fictitious radio show covering the supernatural news in the Southwest USA. The popular podcast gets adapted by Sony TV.
  • Wolverine: The Podcast via Stitcher. Now, this is interesting. Marvel Studios has launched a 10-episode podcast murder mystery with Logan as the primary suspect based on The Long Night storyline. Richard Armitage (Berlin Station) voices everyone’s favorite grumpy mutant. Check Out The Trailer To The Podcast Here.
  • Les Miserables at BBC. Victor Hugo’s novel about Jean Valjean, a man sent to prison for stealing a loaf of bread, gets adapted (again).
  • Catch-22 at Paramount Network (formerly Spike). George Clooney EPs and directs a 6-episode adaptation of Joseph Heller’s book.

CRIMETOWN

  • Crimetown at FX. Another Podcast gets adapted. Crimetown is from the creators of The Jinx. Organized crime and city corruption in Rhode Island take center stage. S2 Looks Into Detroit’s Corruption.
  • Inside The Church of Chili’s at NBC. Inspired by an article in GQ Magazine, this ensemble comedy centers on Super Trainers who travel across the country opening new franchises of a successful restaurant chain. Conde Nast partners with Sony TV.
  • The Lord of the Rings at Amazon. Warner Bros. TV is producing a prequel series adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkien classic novels set in Middle Earth. No Showrunner set yet. Not Ready Until 2021!
  • I Know This Much Is True at HBO.  Mark Ruffalo stars in and EPs this 8-hour miniseries adaptation of the Wally Lamb best-selling novel, playing dual roles (Loved It!).  Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) writes and directs. High hopes for this one.
  • Nancy Drew at NBC.  The teenage sleuth and her best friend get an update (again) after CBS passed on a previous incarnation.  Ah, The Secret Is In The Clock!
  • The Name of the Rose at TBD.  John Turturro and Rupert Everett topline this 8-hour miniseries adaptation of the Umberto Eco best-selling novel.
  • The Blinds at TBD. Neil Sternberg’s novel was just published a year ago (August 1st) and was scooped up by Sony TV three weeks later. Story centers on a Texas town, wherein, all the residents or either former criminals or victims of crimes. The Twist is everyone has had their memories erased and has a new chance to begin again. A Thriller.
  • The Haunting of Hill House at Netflix.  Timothy Hutton is to star for Paramount TV and Amblin in this adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s classic novel.  Ten episodes have been ordered straight to series. Mike Flanagan directs.  Here is the T R A I L E R. Premieres Oct. 12th. GQ Calls Hill House TV’s First Great Horror Series.
  • Black Samurai at STARZ. An update of Marc Olden’s novels and a 1977 film courtesy of Jerry Bruckheimer, this is an action-drama about an American soldier who trains with a Samurai master. Common stars and also EPs.

A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES

  • A Discovery of Witches at SKY.  Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer topline this adaptation of Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy.  Premieres January 17, 2019 in the US on Sundance Now, AMC’s SVOD service as well as Shudder, the streaming service specializing in Horror. It was only a matter of time before Witches got hot again! Oxford locations! I’m in. Here’s the very enticing Trailer.

GOOD OMENS POSTER

  • Good Omens at Amazon. Limited series produced by BBC Studios based on the book by Neil Gaiman & Sir Terry Pratchett about the Earth’s final days. Hour-long comedy stars David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Jon Hamm and Frances McDormand. Here’s the T R A I L E R (which I found uneven and unfunny).!
  • The Changling at Annapurna.  No buyer yet for a TV version of Victor LaValle’s novel about a newborn and his parents.
  • Ascendant at Starz.  Veronica Roth’s last entry in the popular YA Divergent series gets a TV adaptation following a lukewarm last feature film. Smart move.
  • The Rook at Starz. Stephenie Meyer (Twilight) sold this project to the BBC last year, and now Lionsgate is on board to produce for Starz, however, Meyer has since left the series which is an adaptation of Daniel O’Malley’s novel about an amnesiac in London with a shady past as a British Secret Service agent.  Emma Greenwell, Joely Richardson, and Olivia Munn star.
  • Homecoming at Amazon. Julia Roberts stars in this political thriller based on a podcast about government conspiracy. Two seasons ordered! Anonymous Content and Universal Cable produce. Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot) scripts. Sissy Spaceck and Bobby Cannavale also star. Premieres Nov. 2nd, and here’s The Trailer
  • Today Will Be Different at HBO. More Julia Roberts! JR is attached to star in this miniseries version of Maria Semple’s novel.
  • The Nix at HBO. Nathan Hill’s fun novel gets Meryl Streep as its matriarchal lead.
  • The Passage at Fox. Justin Cronin’s very dark alternate future where a vampiric plague has drastically changed the United States still haunts me. Series order for Midseason with a January 2019 premiere. This book greatly disturbed me (but in a good way). Will take a wait and see approach as the casting does not thrill me. Mark-Paul Gosselar stars.
  • Tales of the City at Netflix.  Unclear if this latest adaptation is based on Armisted Maupin’s columns and books or the successful Showtime re-boot of the PBS Masterpiece original adaptation. Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis are set to return to Barbary Lane in San Francisco.
  • The Witcher at Netflix. A group of young people hunt demons in this series based on Polish novelist Andrzej Sapkowski’s books.  Sean Daniel (The Mummy) produces.  Buffy 2.0 anyone? Henry Cavill (Mission: Impossible, Superman, Justice League) has signed on to star. Wow! Check out Henry Cavill’s Recent Post on Instagram!
  • Agatha Christie Mysteries at BBC One and Amazon.  Ordeal By Innocence is the latest of these evergreen properties that are getting re-made following recent updates to And Then There Were None (which Lifetime broadcast) and Witness for the Prosecution (Acorn). John Malkovich stars in the upcoming ABC Murders.

Not all adaptations work, so take heart, Scribes, as there will always be room for a terrific original idea. In the meantime, get to work on that Podcast or Graphic Novel.

N E X T   U P:

Female Characters Who Deserve Their Own Story.

TRINITY

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Surf Report: An American (Surfer) in Paris – Epilogue

BW SELFIE AT LOUVRE

Paris was always worth it and you received return for whatever you brought to it. —  Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Paris — The month-long stay has come to a close.  That last bottle of Red Wine has been drunk and placed in my building’s recycling bin. Sheets and towels have been laundered in a washing machine (that is also a dryer) with directions in French, so fingers crossed there.

Literary Paris, meaning those wonderful books set in Paris, has nothing to do with contemporary Paris. The magic of Paris that you discovered in great books still exists, but you will not find it where you hope to find it. Nor will the hundreds of other people with your same idea and/or itinerary.

As in Life, it’s all about the Journey and not about the Destination.

I journeyed to Paris, planned my Life so that I could spend a month there and really see/feel/live some life there. Thumbs up. Am so glad I did it and am so grateful for the friends with whom I shared the experience: Walking everywhere. Stopping for Drinks anywhere. Finding that fantastic bowl of fish ball soup on a rainy day. Praying in Notre Dame. Praying in Saint-Roch. Praying in Saint Sulpice.

I did a lot of praying.  In Notre Dame, I gave thanks for my family. In Saint Roch, I gave thanks for friends who are no longer on the planet. In Saint Sulpice, I gave thanks for Creativity, for good books and stories that spark my own imagination.

SEINE NOTRE DAME SELFIE      STAIRS AT RUE AU MAIRE DIRECTOR SHOT

Realizations.

At the Musee Louvre, I had a big Realization. I mean, really big.  Here it is:

I am not really that into Religious-themed Art.

You’ve seen one gorgeous masterpiece Madonna & Child, you’ve seen them all.

Is that sacrilegious? Possibly.  At the Louvre, there are hundreds.  I was unmoved. Just not for me. I prefer Sculpture, Greek and Roman mythology. And, there were just too many people crowding around every piece of Art, angling for that Selfie (and getting in the way of my own, darn them!).

I may not be a Louvre Person.

Or, I think I would prefer to tour the Louvre at night after closing, preferably when there is a murder investigation ongoing a la The Da Vinci Code. When you exit The Louvre, you pass La Pyramide Inversee, which plays an important role in Brown’s thriller, which is very much religious-themed. Tourists crowd around this imposing sculpture and snap selfies (as one does).

So perhaps, I prefer Books to Portraits! Sorry, Michelangelo & Co.

MONA LISA SIGNAGE BW SELFIE LOUVRE

Here are a few things I would do differently:

  • Go in the dead of Winter and stay two months or longer.  May was great, but there were just too many Tourists and too many lines for every effing landmark. Also, the last few days were getting kinda toasty!  Paris has a lot of cars, and the pollution was getting to me, as well. I can see myself in Paris, wearing my Winter Coat, sitting at a café drinking something warm and surrounded by friends.
  • You cannot see everything you want to see in a finite amount of time, so don’t try to see everything, and save a few things for next time. (Looking at you, Les Catacombs.)
  • Get a Credit Card That Does Not Charge Foreign Transaction Fees,  each time you make a purchase. This requires Advance Thought & Action.
  • Find a neighborhood that prides itself on being quiet! The Oldest China Town in the Marais is not where you want to stay if you like to read in bed or on the couch or indoors. Early morning food deliveries and late night restaurant patrons are noisy.
  • Get out of Paris more often. I have friends who live in the South. If I stayed longer, I would hop a train and visit.
  • Bring an adapter that works in France (not England).
  • Leave my cool cuticle kit corkscrew at home. It got confiscated by TSA in Dallas on my return flight (having passed inspection in LA and in Paris!). I miss it even though I never used it.
  • Bring or rent a bike helmet and use the city ride share bikes to get around and to explore. (Did I mention that I have blisters on my feet from walking everywhere?!)

LE CELTIC BREAKFAST         LA PYRAMIDE INVERSEE           RUE AU MAIRE STREET SHOT            AVEC CLAUDETTE ON PONT DES ARTISTES

Exit: Stage Right.

On my last morning, I sat at Le Celtic, my favorite sidewalk café, enjoying one final Petit Dejeuner, watching the locals head to work when I noticed a very tall man standing in front of the café clearly trying to decide whether or not he should eat there.

You should eat here. It’s good.

Warily, he takes my advice. Turns out he is an American. His name is Bernard, and he is seated next to me thanks to Florian, the server, who knows to group the Americans together and away from everyone else. It’s our voices. We speak too loudly for the French. No, we do. We really do. Americans need to learn to keep it down a bit more.

Bernard has just arrived in Paris that morning. Jet-lagged and discombobulated, he is just beginning his adventure as I, relaxed and satiated, am ending mine.

It’s like a closing farewell scene from The Hobbit or The Fellowship of The Ring but without all that talk about saving The Shire, tankards of ale, or nasty hobbits. I am the wizened Gandalf.

I give Bernard all my best Paris tips (which were given to me by my friend, Claudette). His next stop that very day is Roland-Garros, so we have a robust discussion about Tennis, who will win, which court to watch, etc. The time flies by and before you know it, I stand to bid him farewell. I pay Florian and thank him (in French)  for his many kindnesses.

Pay it forward, Bernard! I tell him as I take my leave, meaning do the same for someone else on his last day of his Parisian adventure.

A month earlier, I could barely converse with a corrupt Portuguese taxi driver or correctly enter a door code to get in my own building, and now, here I am telling this blissfully ignorant American how best to enjoy Paris starting with what to eat for breakfast and the fastest way to Roland-Garros via Le Metro.

C’est la vie! That’s Life for ya.

N E X T   U P:

Is It Time To Pull Up Stakes and Move to France?

FOR RENT SIGN AT 2507 3RD     SEINE RIVER ACROSS FROM NOTRE DAME

 

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Surf Report: An American (Surfer) In Paris – Part 3

LE CELTIC BREAKFAST     EMPTY CHAIRS AT JARDIN DU TUILERIES

Week Three: In The Groove

Paris — I have got it together now. Am getting up early. Am going for walks along The Seine. Paris sleeps in. Those red wine comas have that effect on ya. This river city is really lovely when most of its inhabitants are still abed.

Have found a sidewalk café I like a lot: Le Celtic. Have been stopping there regularly for a Petit Dejeuner (juice, croissant, chocolat chaud). The morning sunshine is just perfectly golden as you sit outside at the little tables, savoring that first hit of caffeine.  Aah, formidable!

Shower. Go see a landmark. The Louvre? Sure. Or, take Le Metro to Roland Garros. Easy.

Thank you, Google Maps.  In Paris, scores of tourists walk the city staring at their smart phones, but what you don’t know is that they are following walking directions via this great App.  No need to ever get lost again. Vive Technologie!

A Moment of Zen in the City of Light.

In a vacation filled with many wonderful moments, I had A Moment at the place I least likely expected one: Notre Dame.

One morning, I got up early intending to walk along the river so as to walk off last night’s heavy cheese and bread course when I found myself at the city’s most famous cathedral. Normally, there are a gazillion tourists milling outside but on this particular early morning, no one was yet about so I had it all to myself.  There was even a door open admitting parishioners to the 8 AM service.

Bells were tolling and they tolled for me.

What a pleasure to have Notre Dame all to oneself to stroll leisurely, to read about its fascinating history (which includes its earliest incarnation as the Cathedral of St. Stephen) and to listen to the singing from the service.  A moment of Zen in the City of Light. Sitting there, surrounded by history, I could not help but think of my father, my family, and gave thanks for all who encouraged me to make this trip which was 54 years in the making.

NOTRE DAME SELFIE        FENETRE DU GLASS INT NOTRE DAME

The Road to Roland-Garros Includes A Stop for Hot Chocolate.

As a lifelong tennis player, visiting Roland-Garros (aka, The French Open) is a Thrill. I have seen this clay court Grand Slam tournament played for decades, and it’s always been one of my favorites.

I follow tennis with the enthusiasm that most Kentuckians follow basketball: I love it and can talk Tennis all damn day! Yes, I am that guy. My favorite player is Roger Federer, the Swiss Maestro.

Surfing Hollywood And Roger Federer Dress For Success

I take the subway to R-G during morning rush hour for Parisian commuters, so the train cars are packed like sardines in a can.  I let a few go by thinking one will come along that is less crammed full of humanity, but none do.  Finally, I squeeze in just like everyone else.

Amazingly, commuters can stand in a crowded subway car and read a book.  Now, that’s relaxed. I stand uncomfortably and wonder what books everyone are reading!

After my transfer, I arrive at the stop for R-G which includes a little walk to the stadium.  I pop in to a café and enjoy a Chocolat Chaud at the bar like the pro Parisian that I now am. The guy next to me wears a suit and has an R-G badge.  He is working security for the stadium. He drinks two espressos.

ROLAND GARROS       LENGLEN STADIUM BW SELFIE

The first match I watch goes three sets and lasts 2.5 hours. I unwisely choose a seat on the sunny side of the court, but hey, it’s morning sun, so I should be okay.  By the time, the match is over, I feel as though I have been burned, baked and buried by the now very intense French sunshine. It’s the hottest day of the year so far in Paris.

I am fried. A French frite.

It’s a long day, but a good day as I watch a few more matches, chat with some really fun people, stop and listen to some roving minstrels before making my way through the security gauntlet and head back to the subway for the return trip to my apartment where there is a cold shower waiting for me.

On the subway, I am Sunburned Dead Man Walking. Totally zombie-like. You know the guy. Vacant stare. Possibly mumbling.

Sometimes, I learn, Paris can kick your butt … even when you are in the groove.

N E X T   U P:

Lessons Learned. What I’d Do Differently. Unexpected Thrills.

An American (Surfer) in Paris – Continues

BW SELFIE AT LOUVRE

 

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An American (Surfer) In Paris – Continued

LOUVRE SELFIE              EIFFEL TOWER AVEC SANDY

Day 10: My Feet Are Killing Me.

Paris — I live at the beach in Santa Monica, CA, so when I think about going on holiday, I don’t want to go to the beaches in Mexico or Hawaii (usually). I crave a big city, urban nightlife and energy that is not Los Angeles (car-driven), so New York, Montreal, London, Prague and Paris are high on my list of places to visit.

Boy, my feet sure are sore from walking around so much! All that concrete and all those cobblestones take a toll on a surfer’s tender footsies. I fear I can no longer Hang Ten. Serious blisters on both feet, people!

Literary Paris.

Over the years, some of my favorite novels have been set in Paris, so it’s no coincidence that I should want to visit the city Hemingway called home during A Moveable Feast, or the museum where symbologist Robert Langdon fled a crime scene in The Da Vinci Code, or where a young man from the Auvergne was made a vampire in The Vampire Lestat.

Such is the power and influence of a good book. You can cover a lot of ground retracing these literary steps. I did exactly that, and it was pretty exciting.

Be forewarned, though: Shakespeare And Company has moved since Hemingway’s time here, and the Priory Keystone is nowhere to be found within the church of Saint Sulpice, and most notably, the infamous Theatre Des Vampires is not listed on Trip Advisor!

(Am assuming this is due to the extremely high mortality rate of audience members, but how cool would it be if it were?! Perhaps, the upcoming Vampire Chronicles television series will change that. Looking at you Christopher Rice and Paramount TV.)

One can take many a literary-inspired tour, though. Why not? ‘Tis a great way to see Paris:

Hemingway’s Paris – A Walking Tour

Da Vinci Code Walking Tour of Paris

HEMINGWAY IN THE TUILERIES      SHAKESPEARE AND COMPANY

Walk Like A Parisian.

For my first week in Paris, I was lucky to spend a lot of time with a friend who lives here. I got the inside scoop on how Parisians live, how they deal with the constant roving packs of tourists (and high season has not yet begun), where they like to eat and to relax.

The surfer in me is drawn to the river, The Seine. I stroll its banks every day, enjoying that famed French sunlight, just taking it all in. River Cruises motor up and down all day packed with tourists seeing Paris by boat, people imagining what it must be like to live in one of the fantastic old buildings where most of the balconies have welcoming flower boxes recently planted for Spring.

One of the coolest things to do is to picnic along the bank, which many many people do because it’s affordable (and fun). Cheese, wine and bread. Easy.

In local news, the Festival of Bread just concluded, and an immigrant’s son won the coveted prize of Best Baguette!

One of the most helpful articles I’ve read is from Conde-Nast Traveler on How To Avoid Looking Like A Tourist In Paris Unfortunately, I read it after I arrived wearing my gaudy white sneakers and supremely unchic American backpack. Ironically, the article is entitled The Essential Things to Know Before You Visit Paris.

There are a gazillion places selling esharpes (scarves) and man-bags. Especially, bags. There are stores everywhere selling handsome bags.  It’s a bit overwhelming to choose and also a bit annoying because I have these exact items at home in Santa Monica.  I just did not bring them with me. Woulda coulda shoulda!

monet-claude-seerosen-41828-g

Dream vs Reality

When you imagine seeing the Mona Lisa for the first time, it’s just you standing quietly and gazing at Da Vinci’s portrait and wondering what all the fuss is about.  It’s a lot smaller in person.

What you don’t see in your imagination is the crowd of people behind you jostling for position trying to snap their Selfie and arguing with their companions on where to go for lunch.

Crowds. I don’t like ’em.  Paris is full of them. I can’t get away fast enough. So, it’s to the riverbank I go, to walk at my own pace on the uneven cobblestones (did I mention how much my poor feet hurt???), to find an empty bench, to enjoy that famous Parisian light that has been so much discussed in books and in film.

I lucked out when a friend and I went to see Claude Monet’s Water Lilies at Musee de l’Orangerie . It was raining, and there were only the brave few walking with umbrellas through the Tuileries.  My friend, who lives in Paris, was shocked. She had never walked right up to the museum before without waiting in a long line. These paintings are magnificent works of art that are impressively displayed for your enjoyment. Hope you can see it on quiet day.

Thank you, rainy weather.

N E X T   U P:

It took years of Practice and Hard Work,

But I Finally Made It To Roland-Garros!

An American (Surfer/Tennis Player) in Paris – Continues!

NADAL AT ROLAND GARROS

 

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Tech Surf Report: Westworld’s Robots and the Virtual Reality of Ready Player One Could Be Here Sooner Than You Think

STATION F CAMPUS EXT    CROWD AT STYT ACCENTURE STAGE

Paris — Cybersecurity. Artificial Intelligence. Ethics. Mobility. Transparency.

These are the hot button issues discussed this week at the impressive campus of Station F, home to France’s premiere private sector-funded start ups, where Bloomberg’s Technology division assembled an impressive array of billionaire Tech titans, government officials (France, Italy, the US), and social disruptors.

Make no mistake, we are already living in The Matrix. Our digitally created universe housed in our phones is more engaging than the real world around us as evidenced by Everyone Constantly Looking At Their Phone. All that’s missing is Agent Smith.

Our world is already the mind-bending setting of Inception. We are all potentially Jason Bourne. We just haven’t gone on the run. Nor have we been DELETED … yet.

300px-TheArchitectMatrix     CHRISTOPHER WYLIE

Capitulate Or Be Deleted.

One person has been deleted, though: Christopher Wylie, the American whistleblower of Facebook’s ties to Cambridge Analytica, whose appearance at Sooner Than You Think highlighted the 2-day tech summit.

After news broke in The Guardian and The New York Times that Wylie implicated Facebook selling its data, the social network banned him, effectively deleting Wylie from the internet as Facebook also owns Instagram, WhatsApp and all those sites that require you to log on using your Facebook ID. Deleted from The Matrix.

Wylie, living his own real-life Three Days of Condor, is now working with the FBI on the Russia probe as well as meeting with members of the US Congress on both sides of the aisle. He’s also calling for the British Parliament to hold another vote on Brexit citing the incontrovertible evidence of a fouled election.

Democracy is not harmed by more democracy, he says.

WESTWORLD HBO

Macron: Tech For Good.

Paris represents the gateway for Europe’s ecosystem of technology businesses and development. This week, French President Emmanuel Macron met with tech leaders challenging them to move forward with E T H I C S  front and center in their corporate agendas.

Let’s avoid the dystopian Gaming future of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, shall we? Let’s not create Artificial Intelligence that we have to destroy (Blade Runner) or that wants to destroy us (HBO’s Westworld,  Syfy’s Battlestar Galatica, Starz’ American Gods). These were the talking points with the Elite of Tech.

If science fiction authors (Philip K. Dick, Michael Crichton, Cline) can imagine this Technology, it’s because that tech already exists in some form.

Human beings started to become Cyborgs the moment we put on a pair of shoes or eye glasses, says tech futurist Jurgen Schmidhuber.

HARRISON IN BLADE RUNNER

The Internet of Things.

Globalization is here, and Technology is the tool that will enable us to solve the world’s greatest problems (climate change, mobility, space travel).

The science discussed in Source Code is real. The space trash that wreaks havoc in Gravity is already out there. Colonization of Mars using robots is where we are heading, not fiction.

And, there are Bad Guys out there in the world who wish to use Technology for their own personal gain and not for the greater good (i.e., SPECTRE). Wylie notes that Cambridge Analytica is just one of many many companies manipulating tech like Facebook.

It will all be here Sooner Than You Think .

(You can find videos of all the fantastic Speakers at Bloomberg.com)

SELFIE WITH TENNIS DAD SAIBAL       BADGE STYT

 

N E X T   U P :

An American (Surfer) In Paris – Continues

SELFIE AT SUNSET ON THE SEINE

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Surf Report: An American (Surfer) in Paris

SELIFE ABOVE THE SEINE     AVEC CLAUDETTE ON PONT DES ARTISTES

The Pacific Ocean is still really cold.  There has been very little surf all Winter.  So, while the Spring winds warm the water, I am off on holiday in search of Friends, Fromage, and A Moveable Feast.

Day One: They Arrive

Paris — At Passport Control in Charles de Gaulle airport, I feel groggy from the 9-hour+ flight from Dallas and forget to say Bonjour to the police officer and say Hello instead and am met with a frown as the woman officer reluctantly stamps my passport and moves me on and out (as there are hundreds eagerly waiting to enter France behind me).

Customs doesn’t give me a second look as I make my way to outside Baggage Claim where I am met by many gypsy cab drivers offering rides to the City. I brush pass them and head outside to join the line of people (no one) hailing official taxis in the taxi line where there are many cars waiting for passengers.

I choose Taxi over Train because today is a designated Strike Day by the railways who are protesting the government, Macron, etc. Whenever I have been in France, the trains always go on strike. The strikes are set to continue through June.

SEINE RIVER ACROSS FROM NOTRE DAME     MOTORCYCLES ON RUE BEAUBOURG

I hop in Taxi #1.  My driver is Manuel. He is Portuguese and speaks fluent French but no English. Merde. Having anticipated this exact situation, I hand him my hand-written address for my Paris apartment written on a buckslip (with my name on it). He is unimpressed and also not exactly sure of where my street, Rue au Maire, is located in the 3rd Arrondissement, known as the Marais – I exhaust all of my high school and college French in the first minute.

Thankfully, the quick 35-minute drive into the City Center is pleasant: All the trees are a verdant green and fully leafed out. Ah, Springtime in Paris.

Manuel locates Rue au Maire after a misdirection or two, and scoffs at me when I offer my credit card to pay the 50 Euro flat rate. He points to a poorly handwritten sign (in French) that should clearly explain that he doesn’t accept credit cards because of no machine. Whatever, Manuel. I pay in cash just to get out of the cab.

(Note: I brought Euros with me before leaving the US.)

RAINY COBBLESTONES     RUE AU MAIRE STREET SHOT

I walk along the medieval narrow cobbled street to my apartment found on VRBO (emailed to me as a suggestion from a friend in Kansas City): 15 Rue au Maire.  The door code does not work, so I look up and yell my friend’s name who pokes her head out of the 4th floor window, waves hello and promptly comes down and lets me in our building, my home for the next month.

The apartment looks a lot like the photos posted on the website but A LOT SMALLER.  The photographer must be brilliant at manipulating perspective, I determine. It’s clean, though: a small, yet deceptively spacious loft-style home that has been recently renovated with new hardwood floors, a new sofabed, a wall console, a very nice and compact kitchen, and very well designed bathroom with a sliding door.  The table and chairs look a little like their photo from the website but also a lot SMALLER as if hit by a shrinking ray gun. I feel three times too big to sit on them.

TINY CHAIRS

15 RUE AU MAIRE APT 4A

Welcome to the Land of Cheese, Bread and Wine

My first night, I learn that one hits the cafes from 5 -7 in the afternoon and drinks only wine (as the cafes are tourist traps and not known for great food unless it’s a great café). Dinner is at 9 pm.  I beat my jetlag by adhering to this schedule: Drinks first and a late meal somewhere else. I am exhausted and yawning, but I am now on Paris time.

Among the first meals I enjoy in Paris is a shared evening with friends visiting the City from the South.  It’s Ascension Day – one of five holidays in May in France, so many restaurants are closed, but not our destination: Pain Vin Fromage

PAIN ET FROMAGE DANS PARIS      FINE FRENCH WINE

Since we are Americans, we are seated downstairs as far away from the regular customers as possible so as not to disturb them with our unusually loud voices and dreadful accents.

The service is slow to start, but once begun, the meal is indeed a pleasure: Cheese Boards consist of selections of cheeses based on the region of France where it is produced. Lots of crusty bread (seeded with poppy and sesame) and fine Bordeaux which is perfect on a rainy evening. A 3-4 hour meal elapses, and we are the last to leave.

It’s a rainy night. The ancient streets are wet and deserted but safe. Walking. I will be doing a lot of walking.

Ah Paris, I could get used to you.

N E X T   U P:

An American (Surfer) in Paris – Continues!

LOUVRE SELFIE

 

 

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Surf Report: Another Mother’s Day, Another Onslaught of Emails Asking You To Buy Stuff (Which Is Annoying When Your Mom Is Dead!)

MOTHERS DAY

Paris, France — For the last several weeks, the emails have been arriving fast and furious urging me to not forget to buy something for Mom.

Take Mom to Brunch!

Buy Mom Some Flowers!

It’s Not Too Late to Celebrate Mom!

Important Story Point:

My mother died 34 years ago.

That’s not stopping Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, or Delta Airlines from hitting me up twice daily, though. These are just three of the hundreds of emails from other companies now occupying my virtual trash bin.

Clearly, the algorithm has not yet been invented to alert these companies to that fact that they are barking up the wrong tree, beating a dead horse, or talking to the hand.

Some days, I am merely annoyed. Other days, I feel slightly bummed knowing that people are out there celebrating their mothers, and I haven’t even heard my mother’s voice in decades.

I feel saddened that I can barely remember the sound of my mother’s voice.

This is where Dead Mother’s Day comes to play. It’s the holiday I created with some dear friends many years ago. We, the adult children of mothers who have passed on, gather on Mother’s Day to participate in the celebration.

For many years, we met at my house in Santa Monica, enjoyed brunch, lots of champagne, and hours of laughter as we shared memories of our Moms, what they taught us, how they continue to influence us, and how much we continue to miss them.

This year, I am in Paris, and on Mother’s Day, I am meeting some friends both old and new to celebrate our wonderful mothers with some very special food and plenty of fine French wine.

PAIN ET FROMAGE DANS PARIS   FINE FRENCH WINE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fellowship is a cure-all for old wounds, tightly held grievances, and emotional bruises. Not everyone remembers their mother fondly. Not everyone is blessed with a loving mother. Not everyone wants to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Hence, the annoying emails and how they can disrupt one’s life.

Sante! to my loving mother, Frances Bond, on Mother’s Day.

I love/loved her dearly and am thankful for being her youngest child. She always reminded me to Count My Blessings of which I have many, even on those occasional dark days where sometimes, it feels I have none.

This Mother’s Day, in Paris, I count my many blessings and give thanks for my mother who gave me both Roots and Wings.

MOM & DAD WEDDING DAY

N E X T   U P:

Postcards From

An American (Surfer) in Paris.

SEINE RIVER ACROSS FROM NOTRE DAME

Wish You Were Here!

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TV & Film Surf Report: (Don’t) Be Scared – Horror Is Now Trending On All Screens Which Is Great News For Killer Clowns, Swamp Things, And … Nuns!

A QUIET PLACE EMILY STFU

Santa Monica, CA — With the recent success at the box office of the innovative trifecta of movies A Quiet Place, Get Out, and Stephen King’s It, the Horror genre is on quite a roll.

So much so, I have almost forgotten Universal’s dreadful launch of its Dark Universe franchise with the miscast Tom Cruise in The Mummy. So so bad. Universal, however, is not giving up on Horror, though, as it has another sequel to John Carpenter’s successful Halloween franchise hitting theatres in October and recently won a bidding war for James Wan to produce and to direct Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers

Television knows a Good Trend, so expect TV to follow.

Or, has it already been leading?

Ahem, American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, Twin Peaks: The Return, The Exorcist, The Frankenstein Chronicles, Ash vs. Evil Dead, Midnight, Texas, Hannibal, and Penny Dreadful ring any bells?

Sad news for The Exorcist at Fox which has been cancelled after two seasons as well as for Ash vs. Evil Dead fans as Starz Cancels Horror Series After 3 Seasons

Personally,  Horror is not my genre of choice (although, I loved Penny Dreadful on Showtime). And yet, I did see all of the Wes Craven Scream movies, and I do feel that Stephen King’s Carrie is a classic. I never saw any of the Nightmare on Elm Street films nor did I buy a ticket for The Conjuring franchise which is expanding each year including a 3rd Annabelle Spinoff and New Entry, The Nun

ANNABELLE 3

Annabelle 3 opens July 3, 2019, which is a major opening date so New Line expects this film to be a big hit. James Wan executive produces. The Nun hit theaters Sept. 7th and Opens to a Heavenly $135m Worldwide, per THR.

I gotta say, though, I really enjoyed Get Out, but I thought it was more Thriller than Horror film (up until the last few minutes). Tip o’ the hat to screenwriter Jordan Peele who totally deserved winning both the WGA Award and the Oscar for Best Screenplay.

GET OUT WGA

A Quiet Place is that rare hit for Paramount Pictures, so expect the studio to get in business on a long-term basis with actor/director John Krasinski who also toplines the studio’s TV reboot of Jack Ryan which is set to air via Amazon (in August! renewed three months before it premieres!):

Amazon Renews Tom Clancy’s JACK RYAN

Krasinski really made you care about that family (who we knew nothing about, backstory-wise) as they tried to survive Alien-esque monsters attracted to sound. Kudos to those child actors. Terrific. The film is still in theaters, and the studio has already Put A Sequel in Development

As for Stephen King’s It, actors Bill Hader and James McAvoy have signed on for the sequel. So, prepare for more Pennywise. Director Andy Muschietti promises It: Chapter 2 Is So Scary You’ll Need Adult Diapers

As already noted, Jamie Lee Curtis is set to return in the next installment of John Carpenter’s Halloween franchise, as well. David Gordon Green and Danny McBride scripted the Sequel

Lots of movies in this genre (including remakes of The Grudge and Pet Sematary) coming down the pike headed directly for either the metroplex or your various devices, including Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

JAMIE LEE CURTIS HALLOWEEN 2018

Meanwhile in TV, here’s what’s cooking across All Platforms:

  • Lovecraft Country at HBO. Jordan Peele (Get Out) adapts Matt Ruff about a guy traveling across America in the ’50s and coming across monsters.  J.J. Abrams EPs.
  • Into the Dark at Hulu. Dermot Mulroney and Tom Bateman (Da Vinci’s Demons)star in this unique series from Blumhouse Television that revolves around one holiday each month.
  • What We Do In The Shadows at FX.  Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnorak) adapts his own feature film for TV as a half-hour comedy which follows three vampires who have been roommates for hundreds of years. Looking forward to this! Well done, FX.
  • Swamp Thing at DC Digital. James Wan executive produces. Mark Verheiden and Gary Dauberman write and EP.
  • V-Wars at Netflix with Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries) fanging up once more in a 10-episode adaptation of a novel. Haven’t read it (yet).
  • The Order at Netflix. A college freshman joins a secret society that includes a lot of monsters. 10 episodes ordered.
  • NOSA42 at AMC is an adaptation of the Joe Hill novel about a woman who tracks a man who steals the souls of young children. 10 episodes ordered.

PURGE

  • The Purge at USA/SyFy. One day each year, murder and mayhem are legalized in this TV adaptation of the Blumhouse film.
  • The Vampire Chronicles at Hulu. Paramount TV and Anonymous Content settled on Hulu for those 11 Anne Rice novels featuring The Vampire Lestat, however, they have yet to announce an international distributor, so fans worldwide await that news. Bryan Fuller (American Gods, Hannibal) was attached to EP but quickly bowed out for undisclosed reasons, so Christopher Rice (Bone Music, Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra) exec produces without a showrunner.
  • The Passage at FOX. Ridley Scott EPs the adaptation of Justin Cronin’s novel set in the not-too-distant future where a military experiment gone wrong unleashes a vampire plague upon the continental US. Really loved this book which was so disturbing on so many levels.
  • The Haunting of Hill House at Netflix. Timothy Hutton stars in this 10-episode adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s novel.
  • The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch at Netflix. This spin-off from The CW’s Riverdale goes much darker. Series order (20 eps!). Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men) Stars, Per Vulture.
  • American Horror Story: Apocalypse at FX.  Joan Collins toplines the newest season of Ryan Murphy’s successful franchise which promises a crossover return to both AHS: Murder House and to AHS: CovenHere’s the Trailer, Per Rotten Tomatoes. Premieres Sept. 12th on FX.
  • The Birds at BBC. Am really looking forward to this British re-make of the Alfred Hitchcock classic.
  • The Witcher at Netflix. A group of young people hunt demons in this adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s books. Sean Daniel (The Mummy) exec produces. Sounds like Buffy 2.0 to me!  Henry Cavill (Mission Impossible: Fallout, Justice League) set to star. Eight Episodes Have Been Ordered, Per Nerdist.

the-passage

 

N E X T   U P:

Death of The Daily Campus at SMU

THE DAILY CAMPUS

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