Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Series Novels That Would Make Great TV & Film Adaptations

October 23, 2017

I’ve read a number of series novels over the past few years I know would make great television. I got to thinking of that recently after hearing Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City is being picked up by Netflix for at least a ten-part installment of more than likely one or all of the final three Tales novels since Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis are on board to reprise their Mary Ann and Anna roles respectively. Three of Richard Stephenson’s Donald Strachey Mysteries were adapted for HereTV about 10 years ago. And of course Barbara Wilson’s first Cassandra Reilly novel, Gaudi Afternoon turned into a Susan Seidelman spectacular romp through Barcelona. And we could sure use a sequel with an equally outstanding director and cast.

All of this got me thinking. If I had the power of the green light, which series would I produce? Here is my incomplete list of some of my literary favorites:

Michael Nava’s Henry Rios’ Mysteries’ produced perhaps the most sophisticated gay male sleuth ever. Henry’s actually a lawyer and a drunk and then in recovery. The seven books take us through the worse of the AIDS crisis in the 1980’s to the final installment in 2001. Can’t say enough about this essential must-read series which would make for some outstanding television.

My second choice without a doubt goes to Greg Herren’s Scotty Bradley Mysteries. Herren’s lead character is adventurous, goofy, humpy, lives through Katrina in New Orleans, boasts a set of pot-smoking parents and not one but two emotionally monogamous boyfriends – a thrupple. Scotty is a former go-go boy who solves crimes with his retired FBI agent primary partner Frank and their mysterious international gun for hire third, Colin.

An even dozen novels comprise Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan Mysteries. Lippman’s books revolve around a former newspaper reporter who turns private eye. Many lists mention Tess Monaghan if you’re a fan of The Wire and crave more gritty Baltimore drama. Lippman delivers.

Years ago, I served grand jury duty in NYC. This was pre-smart phones, pre-ereaders. I found the first three Wraeththu books in one volume. Plopped the bible-sized book in my lap and proceeded to devour Storm Constantine’s magical world. Wraeththu are another species superior in many ways to humans with mostly male characteristics, but intersexed so they can reproduce. Fascinating reading especially in today’s world of transgender visibility. These books would make for a magically sexy adaptation. Think a Sense8 goes sci-fi pagan/wiccan sort of mystical reality.

If vampire movies ever come back in vogue again, and you know they will, Jourdan Lane’s Soul Mates series would make for some kick ass sexy gay male entertainment. Peter and Lucien would be the perfect other worldly follow-up to Queer as Folk‘s Justin and Brian.

Marshall Thorton’s Boystown series take place in 1980’s Chicago. The ten novels (as of 2017) are classic private eye with a twist. Nick Nowak is gay and unapologetic about it. He’s a man’s man character finding his way in a post-Stonewall world where his biological family has rejected him because of his sexuality. He is forced off the police force – a family business but refuses to leave Chicago. Nick becomes a private eye and solves cases like the best of them.

Jordan Castillo Price’s Mnevermind series follows Daniel Schroeder in the near future as he tinkers around as a memory specialist stalled in life until he meets the mysterious Elijah, a young man living on the spectrum. Outstanding romance future tech mash-up with great fleshed out characters. Price has an extremely popular 8-part PsyCop series, which I also enjoy but Mnevermind continues to be her series I return to with a smile.

‘Nathan Burgoine’s Triad Blood series involves “a vampire, wizard, and demon (who) form a bond in Ottawa, Canada that leaves them both a part of—and apart from—those in power in the supernatural world around them.” Burgoine’s addictive stories are begging to be adapted for the screen. Casting Anders the arrogant, sexy, demon would be the most fun.

So far I’ve only read the first book of Aleksandr Voinov’s Witches of London seriesLars which I absolutely adored. Voinov’s books are pagan romance stories which fascinate me to no end. “Lars Kendall is a solitary pagan on the Northern Path, loyal to the gods of the Norse pantheon.”
Rhys Turner hires Lars to renovate his house. Magic of all sorts ensue. Witches of London could easily be a very modern, sophisticated, more realistic Bewitched romance for the early 2020’s. Makes me imagine my own life taking off in an earth religion direction.

Also only read the first book of Charlie Cochet’s THIRDS series, a (so far) 10-part novel series based in the future where humans and therians live side-by-side. THIRDS would make an outstanding LGBTQ super hero futuristic action film franchise which could easily turn the tired Hollywood super hero trope on its head. Fun, action, and a bit of romance.

And finally I vote for making the graphic novel Wuvable Oaf into a feature film or a bizarre, niche television series. Everyone I know who reads this novel falls in love with its crazy cast of characters. “Oaf is a large, hirsute, scary-looking ex-wrestler who lives in San Francisco with his adorable kitties and listens to a lot of Morrissey. The book follows Oaf’s search for love in the big city, especially his pursuit of Eiffel, the lead singer of the black metal/queercore/ progressive disco grindcore band Ejaculoid.”

I’m sure there’s more series out there. What would you like to see turned into a television show or film?

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How to see everything you’ve ever watched on Netflix and Amazon (Engadget)

August 21, 2017
From Engadget,
Remember that obscure film title and help train those recommendations while you’re at it.

Streaming is a curious beast. One minute you’ll be enjoying the 80s vibe of Stranger Things (go watch it if you haven’t already) and the next you’ll be struggling to pick something from that overwhelming catalog. Sometimes, though, you’ll stumble on something that you’d normally never choose — a Netflix suggestion from a friend or a recent addition that had escaped your glance as you navigated Amazon Video’s curated menus.

However, once you’ve watched that movie or TV show and moved on, it may drop back into relative obscurity, reducing your chances of remembering and paying that recommendation forward many months later. You may also have watched something, hated it and want to make sure it doesn’t impact future recommendations. Luckily, both Netflix and Amazon keep a running list of the things you’ve watched (if they haven’t been removed from the catalog due to licensing agreements).

There are directions as well as one-click links to each list on Engadget.

How to stream the Mayweather-McGregor fight (CNET)

August 21, 2017

Back from my long weekend with family in Pennsylvania. It’s probably not PC of me to promote the Mayweather-McGregor fight since Floyd called Conor a faggot during the lead-up to the fight and never got called out by the boxing organization to apologize for using hate language. Ironic since together they already look like an interracial gay porn couple. But I recognize this fight is a big deal for boxing fans – set to the be the most watched fight in history, so I’ll use it as a platform to show how cord cutters are accessing premium sports events without cable or satellite. The fight is unique in that it’s pay-per-view at $99/device. From CNET,

Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor are set to enter the ring on Saturday, August 26, at 9 p.m. ET in Las Vegas, Nevada for what’s expected to be the most watched fight… ever.

As usual, the fight is only available to those who pay the nearly $100 pay-per-view fee. However, breaking from the traditional means of purchasing directly from a cable or satellite provider, CBSrecently announced the fight will also be available to stream on the Showtime PPV website or iOS and Apple TV app. (Disclaimer: CBS is CNET’s parent company.)

 

Another option for streaming the fight is to purchase it directly from the UFC . The cost is the same, only instead of being limited to just streaming on a site or Apple devices, the UFC supports quite a few devices including the Xbox One, Xbox 360, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Roku, and Apple devices.

Read the full article on CNET.
For those of you who want a violence-free evening, consider checking out DVDs of BBC’s As Time Goes By from your local library or Netflix.

Huge transparent, flexible OLED display flows like water (CNET)

July 21, 2017

Fascinating article from CNET on the future of television here now. From CNET,

Think you have your head wrapped around flexible displays? Wait till you see through this.

LG Display is the purveyor of OLED, our favorite TV technology, and the Korean manufacturer has a crazy new concept display. Billed as the world’s first 77-inch transparent and flexible OLED display, it can look like water flowing over a shelf. But it’s a TV.

  • It’s 77-inches diagonal, but can be rolled up to a radius of just 80mm. That’s a diameter of just over 6 inches, a bit smaller than a volleyball.

  • It’s transparent. LG claims 40% transparency and judging from the image below, that’s basically a window. But with moving images.

The future is now!
Read the full article on CNET.

Antarctica: Ice and Sky

June 8, 2017

Watched the Luc Jaquet (March of the Penguins) documentary on the life of French glaciologist Claude Lorius, credited as the first scientist to discover evidence of climate change. The film is not a political or activist work. It is a quiet film about Lorius’ many expeditions and his findings. I felt the film could have used more editing. Still it is important to chronicle this man’s achievements. 3 out of 5.

Although the doc appears to be in French during the credits, the film is actually in English.

Merchant Ivory’s ‘Maurice’ Gets Another Walk on the Beach (Variety)

May 19, 2017

The article, ‘Maurice’ Gets Another Walk on the Beach published in Variety is a total geekfest for film lovers and those interested in film restoration. It’s also short enough to scan and marvel at the delicacy of older film and the painstaking process some companies take to bring these masterpieces back to life for new and future generations. At the top of this list (with Criterion) is Cohen Media Group who is overseeing 30 Merchant Ivory restorations.

Read the full article at Variety.

Hulu Live TV

May 6, 2017

Hulu expanded their services this week adding cable replacement (Live TV) to their streaming service package. Coming in at $39.99/month Hulu boasts via TechCrunch,

…channels including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and local affiliates, along with ESPN, CNN, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, FX, USA Network and many more.

Hulu also announced that it’s signed a deal with Scripps Networks Interactive to bring their channels — including HGTV, Travel Channel and Food Network — into the on-demand and live TV service.

Hulu  Live TV is the fifth of eight cable replacement services due out by the end of 2017. How’s that for Live TV cord cutting options?

Check out Tom’s Guide for Hulu Live vs. YouTube TV vs. Sling vs. Vue vs. DirectTV Now: Face-Off!

How Do You Organize Your Watching?

April 20, 2017

How do you keep up with all the new content being acquired by streaming services? There should be a way for our viewing devices to organize everything for us. Until that happens, I keep an analog list in a note on my laptop of all the series I’m currently watching. Once a month I go through the lists online of what’s coming to the services I’m subscribed to (currently Netflix and Amazon Prime). That’s easily done by googling “What’s coming to ___ in ___ ?” (insert streaming service and month). Then I add the start dates to my Google calendar to jar my memory. Awkward and clunky doesn’t even begin to describe this analog nightmare. But it works for now and keeps me on top of most content. New shows creep in that have hovered out of my radar now and then such as Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why which I’m currently watching. Oh, and part of my duties at the library is to order DVDs, so I add another layer of DVD watching to the mix from shows that are either on other streaming services or currently only available on DVD.

Confusing? Absofuckinglutely. Is your method any easier? Please consider sharing in the comments.

Roku has hired a team of lobbyists as it gears up for a net neutrality fight (Recode)

April 6, 2017

If you’re as confused about Net Neutrality as I am – what is it about this issue that makes me have to read the definition each time I look at a new article – check out where Roku stands and what they are doing to further their cause.

From Recode,

Roku appears to be arming itself for the coming net neutrality war.

The web video streaming and hardware company has plenty at stake as the Federal Communications Commission prepares to pull back rules that require internet providers to treat all web traffic equally.

For Roku and others in the business, an end to the Obama-era protections could make it harder — or, in some cases, more expensive — to offer content or services to customers at top download speeds.

That’s why Roku has hired a pair of Republican lobbyists through an outside government-affairs firm, according to a federal ethics reports filed this week, specifically to focus on net neutrality. It’s the first time the company has ever retained lobbyists in Washington, D.C.

Read the full article at Recode.
From Google definitions,

net neu·tral·i·ty
noun
noun: net neutrality; noun: network neutrality
  1. the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.

 

Hidden Figures

February 13, 2017

hidden-figures

What a wonderfully uplifting film, Hidden Figures turned out to be. In my mind, the perfect way to educate is to entertain. Which is exactly what Hidden Figures did so right. It was packed with blatant racism and sexism. But through it all, the women supported each other, their families, and had so much smarts between them, they disintegrated the glass ceilings. Not an easy task to do. And why haven’t we heard of these women before? We all know the answer to that. Which is why films like Hidden Figures are so needed to change the tide, color and gender of the historical figures taught in school. When we celebrate everyone, we raise the bar for all. Inclusion and acknowledgement are not something to fear. They are an attainable goal to set our sights on. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe proved to be the triple crown for this film. Taraji in particular commanded the screen and displayed her acting skills in a role the antithesis of what she does on Empire. Such a treat spending two hours with these women teaching the world that quietly young women of color made important contributions to the successful history of our space program. 4 out of 5.


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