Thursday, July 30, 2015

Gregory Smith directs baseball-centered episode on "Rookie Blue"; Clive Barker's "Imajica" may soon be filmed for a television or cable miniseries by Josh Boone or Kevin Smith

It’s good to see Gregory Smith’s directorial career continue with an episode of “Rookie Blue” rerun tonight, called “Home Run” (link ). (Smith had played "Ephram" on "Everwood".) 
Baseball is well in Toronto, with the Blue Jays there (and Bryce Harper’s “clown question” quote in 2012 on a Nats road trip to Rogers Stadium).  Some of the police help set up a community baseball game, where Gail (Charlotte Sullivan) needs to meet a woman who will help determine if she would be a good adoptive parent of a girl from Africa.

The sandlot baseball field is small, surrounded by high chain-link fences.  On one play, a batter is thrown out at before getting to first on a ground ball that goes into center field – that wouldn’t happen. Then, someome hits a fly to center, and after the center fielder catches the ball, he is suddenly shot in a drive-by shooting, which sets up the investigation of gang-related activity.

As usual, Toronto, with all its skyscrapers, looks sharp in the background;  but the greater degree of socialism (and paid healh care) doesn’t seem to prevent serious problems with crime.
Smith (as Dov Epstein, the geeky cop) doesn’t appear as often as in other episodes.  He’s busy directing. Smith has dual American-Canadian citizenship.  Smith is sometimes compared to the younger Canadian (also Toronto-born) actor Richard Harmon, also a fan of US football.  It’s interesting how many actors and film producers grew up around Toronto, where film production seems to be one of the most important industries.
How does Canadian football compare to US, and does soccer compare to US football and baseball in popularity in Canada?

There is some other big news.  Today, on Twitter there was some impromptu discussion of Frank Herbert’s “Dune” series, along with the David Lynch movie, which led to more about “Lord of the Rings” (Toiken, with the New Line trilogy) and that led to talk about Clive Barker’s “Imajica”.  I see that Teleread has an article from Nov. 2014 announcing that director Josh Boone (and/or Kevin Smith) will adapt “Imajica” as a television series, story here. No word as to cast or which network, most likely cable (something like SyFy), or conceivably even Netflix original.  Lionsgate/Summit have reportedly looked into it. The 900-page novel would lend itself to being broken into at least two films (remember that “Twilight” and “Hunger Games” generated whole series.) The interpretation, from a religious viewpoint, of the story will be controversial to some people.  I don’t see the project on Imdb yet.  But the material calls for Imax 3-D.  Barker's ability to convey what other worlds look like and what it is like to be there in them is unprecedented in fiction. 
Wikipedia attribution link for photo of Rogers Center by Mike Russell and U Cinternational,  under Creative Commons Share Alike 3.0 license.  I was in Toronto in 1982 (and near it in 1992).  

The second picture, from my train set, looks like my concept of the First Dominion (aka "Heaven") in Barker's novel. Heaven may not survive the ending. The mountain wall is the "Erasure". 

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