The Princess Bride — Whedon Style

One of my biggest pet peeves is Hollywood’s insistence on sequels, physician reboots or remakes of perfectly decent movies. There are some movies that should and must be off limits from Hollywood’s lack of creativity. The Princess Bride is one of those movies that must not ever be touched. Ever. But the writer of TPB has been talking about how he’s been trying to write a sequel.

So I’m going to give Hollywood a hand. The only way the Princess Bride should be done again, pilule be it reboot or sequel, is if it is left in the hands of Joss Whedon. And so, I’m putting on my “casting director” hat and give you all the official and only cast list for The Princess Bride reboot. This is largely inspired by the brilliant casting of the soon-to-be-released Much Ado About Nothing.

Westley: Alexis Denisof

Alexis has proved that he can play comedic and swashbuckler. This rogue demon hunter also demonstrated that he can play the lead, as can be seen in his upcoming turn as Benedick in Much Ado.

Buttercup: Felicia Day

Given that Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker have great chemistry, it would have been easy to choose Amy Acker for this role. But at the end of the day Felicia is the better choice. I mean, can’t you picture her saying the epic Buttercup line, “when I say you’re a coward, that is only because you are the slimiest weakling ever to crawl the earth.”

Vizzini: Fran Kranz

Fran has proven that he can play the “brain” in his turn as Topher Brink, and his twitchiness and quick wit (see both Dollhouse and Cabin in the Woods) would help bring Vizzini to life.

Inigo Montoya: Harry Lennix

Harry Lennix’s turn as Boyd Langton demonstrates that he can play both intense and emotional. Can’t you picture those intense dark eyes staring down Count Rugen, and with a quiet seriousness, Lennix saying THE line: “my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.”

Fezzik: Marc Blucas

No one can replace Andre the Giant. But if it was re-done Whedon-style than my choice is Marc Blucas. The way that he played Riley, he showed that he could handle a character who is good-hearted but not excessively bright. A good runner-up could also be George Hertzberg, who played the cyber-demon-human Adam in season four of Buffy.

Humperdinck: J. August Richards

Charles Gunn and Wesley Wyndam-Price fought side by side. Wouldn’t it be cool to put the two actors up against each as enemies instead?

Miracle Max & Valerie: Danny Strong & Emma Caulfield

Jonathan and Anya. Together. That is all.

Count Rugen: Nathon Fillion

After turns as Captain Hammer (Dr. Horrible) and Caleb (Buffy) I just love Nathan as the “bad guy.” His ability to play smarmy self-absorption would put a different (but equally funny) spin on the lines about “preparing the definitive work” detailing his “deep and abiding interest in pain”, which Christopher Guest had delivered with a quiet sociopathy.

The Albino: Alan Tudyk

“The pit of despair. Don’t…*cough, hack* don’t even think about trying to escape.”
Alan’s previous roles have encompassed a wide range of characters, from his humourous horror hillbilly role in Tucker & Dale vs Evil to the many faces of Alpha. I’m not sure how he would choose to play Count Rugen’s casually-sadistic lab assistant, but there is no way it would not be brilliant.

Chief Enforcer: Tahmoh Penikett

Tahmoh is awesome.

Clergyman: Tom Lenk

Lenk’s affected way of saying “vampyre” in his role as Andrew (Buffy and Angel) makes him the ideal candidate to talk about “mawwiage.”

The Grandfather: Anthony Stewart Head

Everything is better with Tony Head in it. Runner up for the role of the Grandfather could also go to James Marsters who just turned 50! (when did Spike get so old?)

So there you have it. The Princess Bride remade. This is the only way it can be done. I’ll await my royalty cheque! 🙂

Setting the Record Straight on Bane/Bain: This is My Geek Rant for the Week

I was sitting in a restaurant this afternoon, prescription having a bit of “me” time. I was working my way through today’s Globe and Mail. In the Entertainment section was a review for The Dark Knight Rises.

Do I read it? Will there be spoilers? Do I read it? I hummed and hawed. And then decided to go ahead and read it. No spoilers, thankfully. And then I came across this:

…there are touches of Rocky, as well as Die Hard, but never far are echoes of 9/11 and the U.S. financial collapse of recent years. (The villain is named Bane, which intended or not, brings to mind this year’s Republican candidate for president and his infamous corporate alma mater.)

This is why non-geeks should not write movie reviews for comic book-based movies. Bane has been a villain in the Batman-verse for years! Heck, Joel Schumacher even butchered him in Batman and Robin and made him nothing more than a dimwitted lackey for Poison Ivy, and that was back in 1997! He is not named for Mitt Romney’s company!!

Bane appeared as a villain in DC Comics in 1993. He was THE adversary of Batman, who not only spent months and months elaborately planning the destruction of Batman but actually ended up breaking Batman’s back!

While fighting with Killer Croc (Detective Comics #660), Bane explains his name with all the subtlety of a brick: “I am BANE! The bane of everything that gets in my way! The bane of anything that lives!” He takes his name from the dictionary definition of “bane”: a cause of misery or death. Any attempt to connect this to Romney is just silly, a stretch too far to be passed over without mockery. The nuttiness, it seems, it not restricted to the Globe and Mail. On his radio show on Tuesday, this slice of conspiracy pie was served up by none other then El Rushbo himself. Rush has boasted in the past about broadcasting with half his brain tied behind his back… just to make it fair. He must have tied the knots a bit tighter than usual on Tuesday.

/Geek rant over. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Science Fiction in China

Let me say that I am impressed with this book. James McGrath has done an awesome job pulling together different scholars to examine the interaction between science-fiction and religion.
Check out my previous posts:
‘Sorcerers and Supermen’ in James’ McGrath’s Religion and Science Fiction
From Dr. Frankenstein to Topher Brink
Mis-Reading Star Trek? Exploring Danna’s Chapter in ‘Religion and Science Fiction’.

Today, hospital we’re looking at Eriberto Lozado’s article, sale “Star Trekking in China: Science Fiction as Theodicy in Contemporary China”


The thing I love about science fiction is that it does several things. First, it explores what will happen in the future because of policies we have now. It asks the question, “What will our society look like in x-number of years because of this worldview, this technology, these ethics?”, and explores both the good (world peace) and the bad (apocalypse) possible outcomes. Second, it reflects our dreams for the future. It asks the question, “What do we want our society to look like?” Third, it examines what makes us human. It asks the question, “how are humans unique?” And fourth, science fiction is ultimately a reflection of where we are in the present, just projected onto the future.

In his essay, Eriberto Lozado looks at the science-fiction of China, and how it is both different and similar to western science-fiction.
Early on, Chinese science fiction was influenced by translations of western sci-fi imports, largely due to the May 4th movement, which rallied the imperialist ideologies of the Chinese government.

By the 50’s, Chinese sci-fi was beginning to be influenced by Russian sci-fi:

…science fiction from the Maoist period was heavily structured by Soviet science fiction styles and techniques, such as the preference for stories that explore the uses of current science and technology instead of hypothetical scientific advances…science fiction stories were part of an effort by the [Maoist] state to popularize science. (67)

Overall, the main difference between Chinese science fiction and western science fiction is that the former is nationalistic in orientation, where the latter is universal.

To put it this way: In the west, we have the Star Trek ethos. One day in the future, all peoples will join together to be apart of a Federation of planets and the goal is to live in peace and harmony with each other. Our equality is more important than our individual cultures. Chinese science fiction, on the other hand, is about “the search for a modern Chinese society and its place in the world.” (pg 70).

While I have not been exposed to much Chinese science fiction, it is interesting how this theme of nationalism is prevalent in much of China’s current story-telling.

Take movies. I have been impressed with the quality of story that can be seen in Chinese films over the last couple of years. Movies like Bodyguards and Assassins, Fearless, and Legend of the Fist, are all action/kung-fu movies in which a main theme is the establishment and preservation of Chinese national identity in the face of internal strife and external threats.

Lozado talks about the various media that are used to explore science fiction, (including the ever-growing popularity of video/computer games), saying that “Science fiction movies are well-represented among the Western and Hong Kong movies that people watch in China…” (pg. 73), and he mentions Star Wars as an example.

Does anybody know if there are any good Chinese science fiction movies or television shows available on this side of the world?