December 22, 2008

Mistborn Trilogy

Rather than list each book, I decided to compile the characters from all the books into one listing. There are actually few new characters between the three books. This series is by a fairly new author, Brandon Sanderson, who is quickly becoming one of my favorites to read. I believe these books would translate well to the big screen with the potential for some outstanding fight scenes. Done properly, they would rival the fight scenes in Matrix. If you mixed Ocean's 11 and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon into a pot and gave the characters 'magical powers,' the Mistborn series would be the result.

Cinescape: "Author of the critically acclaimed instant fantasy classic Elantris (2005), Brandon Sanderson returns with the first novel of his new Mistborn Series. After 1,000 years of oppression the memory of hope has all but faded in a mist-haunted, dust-ridden world where powerful Great Houses rule the serf-like Skaa with a cruel, bourgeois hand. In one of the Lord Ruler's hellish prisons, however, Kelsier discovers he is one of the Mistborn, a select group of individuals with impressive, metallurgic powers. Together with a band of elite, cutthroat criminals Kel wrenches his way upwards to stage a coup of unprecedented proportions, but are his powers alone enough to topple the immortal dictator known as the "Sliver of Infinity"? Staunch fans of Elantris no longer have to defend their new favorite fantasy author; with a riveting opener to an intriguing new series Sanderson is here to stay. Be sure to check this book out."

Dramatis Personae

Ellen Page as Vin - The main character in Mistborn is Vin, a 16-year-old thief on the streets of Luthadel, the capital city of the Final Empire. The story follows her life as she comes into her own as one of the Mistborn, people who can use ingested metal particles to enhance their abilities, both mental and physical. She begins on a journey to find out who she really is as she fights against the Final Empire and the Lord Ruler. With her help, along with the "crew", Kelsier, Vin's mentor, plans to lead a revolution and save the world at the same time. Vin is very petite with dark hair.

Gerard Butler as Kelsier - the Survivor of Hathsin, and one of the greatest Mistborn Allomancers of all time. He escaped from the Pits of Hathsin where he had been forced to work as a slave, and wandered the world. After being contacted by a skaa hoping for rebellion, Kelsier strikes up his loyal crew with a new contract: the fall of the Final Empire.

Colin Firth as Dockson - Kelsier's long time friend and right-hand man. He is not an Allomancer, but he seems much more intelligent than the rest of the crew gives him credit for, and they give him a lot of credit. He does his best to keep Kelsier grounded and takes care of the administrative duties for the crew.

Kevin Durand as Hammond, or "Ham" - a member of Kelsier's crew, and a Pewterarm. Pewterarms, or Thugs, have the ability to burn pewter, which allows them to greatly enhance their physical capabilities. While burning pewter, a Thug can fight or perform physical labor longer than any normal person, and is also many times stronger than his or her normal self. Ham enjoys philosophical bouts, especially when the receiver of his wisdom is Breeze. He is known for his trademark vest, that he wears without a shirt no matter the weather.

Eddie Izzard as Ladrian, or "Breeze" - a member of Kelsier's crew, and a Soother. Soothers have the ability to burn brass, which allows them to soothe or guide emotions in a particular direction. A Soother can affect a single person or all the individuals in a particular area. Breeze likes his wine, almost as much as he likes himself. Though a skaa (a member of the lower class) himself, Breeze acts as though he is the most genteel of nobles, speaking and dressing as the aristocracy does.

James Cosmo as Cladent, or "Clubs" - a member of Kelsier's crew. He is a Coppercloud or Smoker, who have the ability to copper, which allows them to hide themselves and others from "Seekers". The area hidden by a smoker is known as a coppercloud (Hence the name). He along with the rest of his apprentices are able to shield their hideouts from the Ministry's Allomancers. He is an older man, gray and winkled, with a sour dispostion. He is also the uncle to Spook, an unofficial member of the crew.

Jason Dolley as Lestibournes, or "Spook" - one of Clubs' apprentices, and a Tineye, which allows him to enhance all five of his senses. Tineyes are often used as lookouts and scouts because the can see in near-darkness. He hails from the east, and as such speaks with a strange dialect. He is only a little younger than Vin and is quite enamored with her.

Alexander Skarsgard as Lord Ruler - The ruler and "God" of the Final Empire. Nobody knows who he is or where he came from. All that is known is that since his Ascension, the Deepness was driven back and the world has lost hope.

Oded Fehr as Marsh - Kelsier's brother and a Seeker. He is willing to take down the Final Empire, no matter the cost. Marsh used to be the leader of the rebellion against the Lord Ruler, but has given up trying to change the world.

Chiwetel Ejiofor as Sazed - A Terrisman from the Northern Dominance of Terris. He is a Keeper, whose purpose is the preservation of knowledge, which they accomplish by storing memories in metals. They make sure to recite these memories to young Keepers before they die so nothing is lost. Sazed specializes in religion. Keepers can also store other attributes into their metals, such as strength, speed, weight, memory, senses, etc.) for later use.

Ryan Gosling as Elend - A nobleman, and son of Straff Venture. He is heir to the Venture House, though not by the choice of either him nor his father. Elend is not interested in the balls that he must attend to "keep up appearances" and spends his time reading at these events. He is an academic who enjoys studying political science and debating with his friends how they could make the world a better place.

Sam Shepard as Lord Straff - Elend's father and head of House Venture.

Ben Foster as Zane - Straff's Mistborn bodyguard. ßPin It

December 19, 2008

The Hunger Games

This is one of the best books I've read in a while! While it is aimed for the young adult market, it is suprisingly mature and well wrote. This is one I wouldn't be surprised to see made into a movie and would do very well as a movie. It is the first in a trilogy, but stands well on its own.

Barnes and Noble - "In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival."

Dramatis Personae

From District 12

Samantha Droke as Katniss Everdeen- The narrator of the story and the female tribute from District 12. At age 16, Katniss volunteers to enter the 74th Hunger Games after her sister is chosen to be a Tribute. Her father died in a mine explosion; since then, Katniss has become the primary supporter of her mother and younger sister. She gets food by hunting illegally in the forest outside District 12. Because of this, Katniss has strong survivalist instincts, and is a wonderful archer. Katniss has straight black hair, which she normally pulls back into a long braid, olive skin, and gray eyes. She scored an eleven on the survival test.

Michael Welch as Peeta Mellark- The male tribute from District 12. He is the son of the town's baker, and has two older brothers. On live television, Peeta first confesses his lifelong love of Katniss, having had a crush on her since the time he first heard her sing when they were five years old. He is skilled at camouflaging and baking. He's also a wrestler and lifts weights by carrying 50 pound flour bags. Peeta is of medium height, has a stocky build, "ashy blond hair that falls in waves over his forehead", and blue eyes. scored an 8 on the survival test

Alfred Molina as Haymitch -As of the beginning of the book, he is the only living District 12 winner of the Hunger Games. Because of this, he assumes the role of mentor for both of District 12's tributes. Haymitch is, until Peeta and Katniss force him to sober up, a drunk, because of years of training hopeless tributes. He is described as paunchy and middle-aged. During the Games, he "speaks" to Katniss through his giving of gifts, or lack thereof, though he does not do this for Peeta. Katniss finds herself in dislike of Haymitch, but Peeta says that it is only because they are so alike.

Cheryl Hines as Effie Trinket -The Capitol's "representative" to District 12. She is very unhappy with her post because District 12 is the poorest of the districts, and she wishes to be moved to a better District. This results in her consistently making horrible remarks to Katniss and Peeta, while thinking she is being polite. Effie is almost always bright and bubbly, has a "scary" white grin, and wears a bright pink wig.

Talon Torriero as Gale- Katniss's best friend, whom she met while hunting in the forest four years ago (as of the first book). Gale is the oldest child in his family, and also feels responsible for feeding his two brothers and sister. Katniss thinks Gale can have any girl he wants, which she can tell "by the way girls whisper when he walks by in school." Gale has strong opinions about the Capitol, which he often voices to Katniss in the safety of the woods, and which cause him to have a distaste for those who are better off. He has black hair, olive skin, and gray eyes.

Ryan Simpkins as Primrose Everdeen- Katniss Everdeen's sister. She is, against all odds, picked as the female tribute from District 12 at her first reaping, but Katniss volunteers in her place. Prim is described as being very pretty, with a face "fresh as a raindrop, as lovely as the primrose for which she was named." She has a goat named Lady, which her sister got for her, and a cat named Buttercup. Katniss sees that many people have a fondness for her, genuinely liking her. Prim has light hair and blue eyes, unlike most citizens of District 12.

From Other Districts

Jared Leto as Cinna- Katniss's stylist. Cinna, in comparison to the majority of Capitol residents, looks very normal and natural: his hair is "close cropped" and "appears to be its natural shade of brown", and he has green eyes. He requested the lowest District, though as of now, it is not known why. Throughout the novel, he becomes good friends with Katniss.

Elle Fanning as Rue-The female tribute from District 11. She is twelve years old and has dark brown skin and eyes and is about Prim's, Katniss' younger sister, size. She is given a 7 by the Gamekeepers on her survival skills. She is very knowledgable on plants, showing Katniss the leaves that will draw out Tracker Jacker poison, as well as Mockingjays, whom she loves to sing to. She can also jump from tree to tree.

Jesse Plemons as Cato- The male tribute of District 2 and a Career. His age is unknown. He received a 10 from the Gamemakers. He is large and vicious and is excellant with a sword and spear, as well as being very strong.

Danielle Panabaker as Foxface -She is the female tribute for District 5. Her age, real name, and score is unknown. Foxface is a nickname Katniss gives her. She has red hair. She is very clever and craftly, relying on stealing food from other tributes to survive. ßPin It

December 18, 2008

Children of God

Publisher's Weekly: Russell follows her speculative first novel, The Sparrow, with a sequel that will please even readers new to her interplanetary missionaries. Having returned from a disastrous, 21st-century expedition to the planet Rakhat, Jesuit Father Emilio Sandoz, the sole survivor of the mission, faces public rage over the order's part in the war between the gentle Runa and the predatory Jana'ata fury more than matched by the priest's own self-hatred and religious disillusionment.

In the sequel, he is forced to return to Rakhat with a new expedition more interested in profits than prophets. When they discover the planet in turmoil and the Runa precariously in power, the temptation to interfere is more than they can withstand. As in her first book, Russell uses the entertaining plot to explore sociological, spiritual, religious, scientific and historical questions. Misunderstandings between cultures and people are at the heart of her story. It is, however, the complex figure of Father Sandoz around which a diverse interplanetary cast orbits, and it is the intelligent, emotional and very personal feud between Father Sandoz and his God that provides energy for both books.

On Rekhat

Hugh Jackman as Father Emilio Sandoz- Ideally, Jackman would reprise his role from The Sparrow movie.

Micheal Chiklis as Father John Candotti- Same for Chiklis.

Micheal Greyeyes as Father Danny Iron Horse- Danny is to be the Father Superior of the new mission to Rakhat. He is described as large, of Lakota/French/Swedish descent, but his features portray the Lakota line. He is one of the foremost political scientists in the Jesuit Order and is considered a candidate for Father General one day.

Eric Stoltz as Father Sean Fein- from Belfast, Ireland, Sean speaks with a heavy Irish accent. He is described as having flaming red hair and a fiery dispostion. He is a chemist who sees "chemistry as Holy Order and Sacred Beauty." He is going to Rakhat to study their nanotechnology.

Javier Bardem as Father Joseba Urizarbarrena- Joseba grew up wanting to be a terrorist, coming from a family who were actively involved in the ETA. He went on to study ecology at the university and began to see humans as a virus. He wishes to go to Rakhat to be apart of a society that is living in balance with their world.

Olivier Martinez as Carlo Guiliani- Carlo is a ruthless member of the Camorra, the Neapoliton mafia. He is extremely good-looking and has excelled at everything he's attempted, giving him a very large ego. He is funding the mission to Rakhat in hopes of setting himself up as Emperor, as well as establishing trade with the locals that would bring untold riches back on Earth. He is married to Gina and is the father of Celestina.

Brian F. O'Byrne as Nico d'Angeli- Nico seems to be simple-minded, but hides an inner depth that few see. He is essentially Carlo's thug and he is fiercely loyal to him. He develops a deep affection for for Emilio. He also enjoys singing opera and has a very fine voice. He is described as having liquid brown eyes in a skull that was a little small for his body.

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Frans Vanserhilst- Frans is a mercenary and pilot of the mission to Rekhat. He has spent many years in space and was exposed to cosmic radiation that altered his DNA. He is obesely overweight due to this change and no amount of exercise or diet can stem the weight gain. He hopes by traveling to Rekhat science will have discovered a way to fix his condition in the 40 years he is gone. He is described as square and fleshy, with bright blonde hair and blue eyes.

On Earth

Frank Langella as Father General Vincenzo Giuliani- Reprising his role from The Sparrow.

Ntare Mwine as Pope Gelasius III- The first African pope. He is in his sixties and lean, with deep, wide eyes. Mwine is a little young for the role, but he has the patient, soothing voice one might expect from a pope.

Diane Lane as Gina Guiliani- Gina, Carlo's wife, is a love interest for Emilio. She is a very capable woman and we can conclude she is quite attractive, as she attracted Carlo's eye for a time. She is raising Celestina on her own, as Carlo works in space and never comes home. She has attempted divorce several times, but Carlo convinces her to stay each time. ßPin It

December 17, 2008

The Sparrow

In 2019, humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when a listening post in Puerto Rico picks up exquisite singing from a planet which will come to be known as Rakhat. While United Nations diplomats endlessly debate a possible first contact mission, the Society of Jesus quietly organizes an eight-person scientific expedition of its own.

What the Jesuits find is a world so beyond comprehension that it will lead them to question the meaning of being "human." When the lone survivor of the expedition, Emilio Sandoz, returns to Earth in 2059, he will try to explain what went wrong... Words like "provocative" and "compelling" will come to mind as you read this shocking novel about first contact with a race that creates music akin to both poetry and prayer.

Dramatis Personae

The Crew

Hugh Jackman as Father Emilio Sandoz- Father Sandoz is of Puerto Rican descent and small in stature. He likes to wear a long goatee, which coupled with his dark complexion, gives him the look straight out of the Spanish Inquisition. Emilio is very outgoing, personable, and quick to laugh. After his return home, he is withdrawn, very sick, and prone to angry outbursts.

Mia Maestro as Sofia Mendez- Sofia is of Sephardic descent (that is, her ancestors were Spanish Jews). She is very beautiful, dark and exotic. She is also highly intelligent, being the foremost expert in her field. She is essentially an indentured slave and works tirelessly to repay her debt and thereby earn her freedom. Because of this, she has developed little to no social skills and often feels out of place with the other characters.

Helen Mirren as Anne Edwards- Anne is in her late fifties, with fine, white hair and a runner's body. She's never had children and has taken very good care of herself and it shows. She has a vibrant personality and is "compact, quick, and intellectually fearless". She is a biological anthropologist with experience in emergency medicine and becomes the group's Doctor/Den mother.

Peter Fonda as George Edwards- George, Anne's husband, is a retired engineer. He pairs well with Anne, having a quick wit to go along with her sense of humor. He also completely trusts his wife, often joking about Emilio and Anne's relationship being more than friendship. He is described as having "a good face...full of humor and welcome...a full head of silver hair but with the alarming leanness one associated with chronic HIV or toxic hyperthyroidism, or aging runners." He's a daredevil and is in tent on enjoying life to the fullest.

Jim Parrick as Jimmy Quinn- Jimmy Quinn is the youngest of the group. He is the astronomer who first discovers the radio signal from Rekhat. He is described as "not handsome. The nose was too long and no particular shape, the eyes too close together and set deep as a monkey's, the semi-circle smile and the red curling hair like scribbles in a child's drawing." He is somewhat unsure of himself and is also a bit clumsy. He is enamored with Sofia and struggles to hold his feelings inside.

Frank Collison as D.W. Yarbrough- D.W. is an older priest who is in charge of the mission to Rakhat. He is the head Jesuit priest in the Texas area and speaks with a deep Texas twang. Anne also refers to him as the ugliest man she has ever seen. He has a long broken nose, a cast eye, and a loose-lipped grin that shows very crooked teeth. D.W. has a military background in the Marines; he is the Captain and pilot of the mission. He also has a history with Emilio, being the priest who found Emilio on the streets and set him on the path to priesthood.

Lambert Wilson as Marc Robicheux- Marc is a priest who specializes in art, a naturalist and watercolorist from Montreal. "Blond hair graying at 43, he remained one of those perenially youthful looking men, soft-spoken and gentle-eyed." He is one of two members of the crew who did not know each other before the mission

The Society

Frank Langella as Father General Vincenzo Guiliani- The Father General is the leader of the Jesuit order. He is in his late seventies and described as "a big man, attractively bald, straight and formidible in his old age." He has the task of discovering what happened on the mission to Rakhat and protection Emilio from the rest of the world as he heals, both physically and spiritually. He also holds Emilio in high esteem since they were in Jesuit school together. He is actually a year younger than Emilio, but because of the affects of relativity, Emilio only aged about 5 years where 38 years passed on Earth.

Micheal Chiklis as Father John Candotti- John is from Chicago and is brought in to help care for Emilio. He has the demeanor of an 'average joe' and becomes Emilio's closest friend. John has a knack for putting people at ease and has a gift for forgiveness. He is also good with his hands; Candotti creates many utensils and tools for Emilio to use due to his injury. He likes to quote his favorite movies (usually comedies) and has a game with Emilio where the other must guess the source of the quote.

Ronald Guttman as Johannes Voelker- Voelker is the secretary for the Father General and sees the world in black and white. He has a poor opinion of Emilio and is constantly at odds with Candotti, who defends Sandoz at every turn. Voelker is Austrian and should have an accent from that region. I've pictured him as bookish and somewhat out of touch with the ways of the world. ßPin It
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