The Dark Tower (My Casting) - The Rest

In the first part of this two part blog I talked about my casting choices for tho character of Roland Deschain, The Gunslinger.

Today, I will round out my picks for the rest of the major characters.

Randall Flagg, The Man in Black
The arch nemesis of Roland. He's older than Roland but with his powers, age really isn't a factor. At one time I thought Robert Duvall would make an amazing Flagg. Too bad he's way too old for the part.

William Fichter
I've heard his name surfacing on some discussion boards and the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. William is another great "character actor" who always brings something unique to a part. I enjoy his performance in almost everything I see him in. He'd make a classic adversary.

John Malkovich
Just think for a second how awesome Malko could be as The Man In Black. You got the image in your head. Me too.

Colm Feore
A fine actor with a recognizable face. He has ties to the series as he played Andre Linoge in Storm of the Century, which is essentially another variation Flagg character. The man sent chills down my spine as that character.

Jamey Sheridan
Here's another guy with an impressive body of work, who again has ties to The Dark Tower as he played Randall Flag in the mini-series The Stand. He could easily reprise the role and I'd be happy.

Eddie Dean
The main thing about Eddie is he's an early 20's junkie from Brooklyn.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt
My top choice for the role. He's under thirty and I am always mesmerized by him on the screen. And he's played a variety of diverse characters from gritty to clean cut. He'd be great as Eddie and my first choice.

Jonathan Tucker
I've enjoyed the things I've seen John in, both TV and movies. He has a bright future and is just waiting for a breakout role. I think he be an excellent choice as Eddie.

Ben Foster
If you tried to tell me Ben Foster isn't an amazing in most every role he's played, well you'd be wrong. He constantly amazes me with his range and screen presence. He'd make an incredible Eddie.

Susannah Holmes
What we need to know about Susana is she's an African American woman from the 60's who I believe is in her mid 20's. And she has multiple personality disorder.

Naomi Harris
Rumors have swirled lately with her being the front runner. I love her acting ability and even though she might be slightly old for the part, it's a great choice. Naomi could nail it.

Rosario Dawson
Rosario is another name I kept seeing on message boards. I think she is a fine actress who body of work speaks for itself. She could easily portray the difficult role of Susannah.

Kerry Washington
There is no denying the gal has acting chops. She has handled great leada roles on the independent film level for years now. Kerry would be an excellent choice and would make an amazing Susannah.

Erica Hubbard
I'll be honest. I've seen very little of her work. But she has the right look and age to play the part of Susana. I'd bring in for a reading to see what she could do.

Jake Chambers
He's just a kid from New York City, around ten years old.

I dont know of any child actors. This one is beyond me to guess. Bring in kids and let them audition.

Obviously there's so many other pivotal characters to cast. I just wanted to touch on the main ones. You got to get the core group right.

However, I would love to see Anthony Hopkins reprise his role as Ted Brautigan (from Hearts of Atlantis), Tim Curry as Dandelo (essential the same clown character from It), as Pere Donald Callahan either Jamie Cromwell (played the same character in Salem's Lot remake) or Max Von Sydow (probably a whole Exoricist thing but I always pictured him in my mind), I always envisioned Donald Logue as the Tick-Tock Man, and Patrick Fugit as Patrick Danville.

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The Dark Tower Casting (My Casting) - Roland

One of my favorite all time series of books is going forward once again. I was gitty with excitement once I heard J.J. Abrams was going to produce and make it into a series because that is exactly what it needs to be, a seven years, 10 episode per year series with each season based on each novel. The material is too dense to pack into films. But Abrams dropped out. Enter Ron Howard, who wants to do a trilogy of movies plus TV. This is an interesting concept. With Ron at helm, it should be decent.

So that leads us to the big question. Who plays Roland Deschain, the Gunslinger? Every fan has their choice and I am no different, though my I finished the novels up long ago so some of my choices have changed because of age. Sorry, I dont like seeing 40 year old actors play early 20 somethings.

Anyways, this all leads to who I wouldn't mind seeing as Roland. In the novels when Roland meets up with the real Stephen King, it's described as looking into a mirror. I cant think of a single actor that even resembles the Stephen King. While there's never really any age put on the Gunslinger, my guess is around forty. So here are a few of my choices.

Mark Pellegrino
Mark is a classic "character actor" in every sense of the term. You see him show up all the time in stuff, especially television. He nails the role and makes it his own. Yet he's never been the lead. I think he could handle the job of Roland. Plus the man has horror/fantasy street credit with major roles in Dexter, Supernatural, Lost, and the new Being Human series. He'd be my first pick.

Richard Burgi
I have no idea why, but somwhere in the middle of the Dark Tower series, this is the guy who kept envisioning as Roland. He pops up in and after seeing him in Hostel II, I think he'd bring a unique intensity to the role.

Holt McCallany
Holt is another one of those guys you tend to see in a lot of roles. Most recently as the main character in the new FX series Light Out. I add him to my list because of the intensity he could bring as Roland. He'd have an outside shot at being a kick ass Gunslinger.

Timothy Olyphant
He's the most recognizable actors on my list. Timothy has bounced from small screen to big screen with ease over his career playing a variety of different characters. You want intensity. He can do it. You want heart felt. He can do it. The guy is amazing and would shine as Roland. He'd be my second choice.

Now I want to address a couple of the actors, not all of them, who's name are circling the rumor mill to play Roland Deschain.

Viggo Mortensen
Dont get me wrong. I think Viggo is a great actor. I think he could play the part and really make Roland a tormented soul. I also think his low key acting style might work in favor of the character. But I see him as too much of a big name to be the Gunslinger. I also think the same thing about Javiar Bardam.

Jon Hamm
I think he's an interesting choice. And I'll be honest. I haven't seen a lot of his work as an actor. But I see him as the "All American" type of guy. You know, the guy next door. He seems too clean cut to be Roland. Could he handle it? Maybe. It'd be interesting.

As for some of the other "big names" like Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. Please dont let them anywhere near this. I cant even image them as The Gunslinger.

More to come on who I would cast as the other major players.

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The 2010 Colts (Thoughts On An Interesting Season)

A couple of days removed from yet another painful "one and done" playoff outing by my beloved Indianapolis Colts, cheering hard since the late 80's, I'm left thinking about a season filled with what might have been. A season filled with injuries. And yet, with Peyton at the helm victory seemed possible.

Regular Season
The beginning of the season seems like years ago. Watching the unknown Arian Foster run over the Colts shotty defense as the Colts fell to the Texans one knew it'd be an interesting season.
Every week was a battle. But not too many people it was going to be any different than Colts win the division and make the playoffs. Not until Peyton's four game skid where he looked as bad as Curtis Painter. Hey, everyone goes through slumps. Peyton seemed to be trying to do too much as he thrown just as many TD's to the opponents as he did for the Colts. Not a successful formula.
But they righted the ship and won out the last four games. Tennessee. Jacksonville. Oakland. Tennessee (again). All of them must win games for another AFC South Title. And this time looked good, not great, doing it.
The team finished 10-6 and set more records. With all the injuries to key players, I find it amazing this team was able to win ten. So many people came in as either street free agents or from other teams practice squads. It is quite an accomplishment.

The Playoff
You dont lose opening round playoff games at home. I repeat. YOU DONT LOSE OPENING ROUND PLAYOFF GAMES AT HOME.
Dispite the offense being inept at times, the defense allowing huge amounts of rushing yards allowed, a bone head roughing the kicker call; the Colts had this game won with 50 yard Vinatieri field goal. All they had to do is kick the ball off deep and make a couple of stops. Game over. Let's head to Pittsburgh.
Instead the kick off coverage was beyond terrible and allowed Cromartie to return the ball to midfield. One play later, the Jets are in long FG range, which with their kicker isn't an automatic. Then out of nowhere Head Coach Jim Caldwell calls a timeout. This play will forever be questioned. Jets came up with an offense play and executed it making the FG attempt a chip shot.
Game over.

Looking To 2011
1. First and foremost, pay Peyton. Pay him a lot. He's got anywhere from 3-6 years left. Get him locked down.
2. Upgrades to both offensive & defensive lines. I know it's easier said than done especially with the salary cap issues. But is obvious this team can’t run the ball when they need to and can’t stop the run when they need to. More help is needed either via draft or free agency.
3. Free Agents I'd bring back
- Antonio Johnson: The best run stuffer on the team and starting to come into his own.
- Joseph Addai: The best all-around back on the team. He is far more valuable in Indy then elsewhere. Their track record is let RB walk at the end of the contract. I dont think you can do it this time around.
- Charlie Johnson: Versital offensive linemen who could slide to G if they pick up T in the draft or free agency.
- Adam Vinatieri: Best K in history. Don’t let him walk.
- Melvin Bullet: If he is able to come back healthy, he is a good SS. If he can’t stay healthy, he's a good backup.
- Clint Session: He's their best hitting LB who makes the most big plays. The Colts have a habit of letting these type of LB leave via free agency. I hope Session is not one of them.
- Kyle Devan: Over achiever who can backup both guards and center spots.
- Dominic Rhodes: The old vet still has a little gas left. He gives you a return man, and a hard runner (though I'd limit him to 5-8 carries). Plus you can take away the energy factor he brings to the team. The only factor would be his price tag and if it'd be too high.
- Tyjun Hagler: Not sure why he wasn't brought back before all the injuries happened. He's a fine back up to both outside linebacker positions.
4. Players I'd cut
- Bob Sanders: He's gets paid too much to be on the field 2 games a season. I love the way Bob plays, but his often hurt ass does no good for this team.
- Kelvin Hayden: He's one of the top paid CB in the game and rarely plays like one. Sure he'll pick one and off on occasion take it to the house. But even more he gives the opposing WR too much cushion to make easy catches. They defense can do just as well with Powers & Tryon starting.
- Anthony Gonzalez: A former 1st round pick has done nothing but be hurt the last two year, after a promising rookie campaign. With the emergence of Collie and Garcon, there's no need for Gonzo and his contract. Peyton has proved that with practice time, he make many reciever successful in this offense.
5. Jim Caldwell needs to be seriously re-evaluated as the Head Coach of this team. I enjoy his approach, but too often he seems clueless. I would seriously look into other options. John Gruden or Ron Riveria would be acceptable replacements.
6. The one good thing about all the injuries is several young players got valuable game experience. Jacob Tamme, Blair White, Mike Hart, Brody Eldridge, and Javarris James should be weapons at time next season. Pat Angerer, Kavell Connor, Cornelius Brown, and Jacob Lacey should see plenty of time on defense. If nothing else these guys should help improve special teams.
7. Off season conditioning. Every year the Colts battle injuries. Their team looks like a MASH unit. Each NFL team has injuries but this team always seems to have more than average. I blame this to their lousy off season conditioning program and not them being "small" players. These guys are pros. Playing football is their job. Preparing to play a season is part of that job. Get these guys in earlier and start conditioning. It would help in the long run.

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My Meaningless Best of 2010 Lists

I thought why not put together a little best of 2010 list to emcompass all my interests.

** These are only the films I've watched which were released this year. Many of which I have yet to see.

Best Horror Movie: [REC 2]
[REC] 2
Since I haven't seen many horror movies which come out in the final few months of the year, this is my pick. The sequel picks up where the first one ends. Except the story is completely different. There's a huge supernatural element involved. And lots of shaky camerwork and darkness.

Best Comedy: Hot Tub Time Machine
Hot Tub Time Machine
A group of friends try to relive old glory and take a weekend getaway to old party place, where they end up going back in time to their one big weekend where it all changed. A funny movie with a great cast and a heart.

Best Drama: Winter's Bone
Winter's Bone
Beautifull shot in this modern noir tale set in the Ozarks has a teenage girl searching for her missing father, who has jumped bail. Seedy characters of tweekers, cops, and mountain folk make the task all the more difficult. A damn fine movie.

Best Sci-Fi: Splice
A sci-fi/horror hybred but still. Even with the few faults I have with the movie, it is still a great tale about the horrors what could go wrong when splicing DNA.

Best Documentary: Cropsey
A disturbing documentary which makes forces you to look at prejudging alleged criminals based on their pasts. It all centers around an abandoned mental institution and a bunch of missing kids.

Movie Which I Should've Hated But Loved: MacGruber
MacGruber (Unrated Edition)
Yes, this movie is utterly stupid. I had no business laughing my ass off as much as I did. But in the end, it was one of the better "shut off your brain and laugh" movies I've watched in a long time.

** Since many shows start in the fall and end in the spring, I've based my decisions on programs either aired during that specific time frame or shown in it's entirity during 2010. And my choices come from only the programs I tend to watch.

Best Horror TV: Supernatural, Season 5
Supernatural: The Complete Fifth Season
Season 5 ended an incredible five year story arc as Sam and Dean Winchester try to stop Earth from being ripped apart by Satan and Angels. A more satisfying conclusion to a story there has not been.
(And them came season 6)

Best New Series: Boardwalk Empire
This new HBO drama is packed with the stuff which makes a great crime drama - great actors, great writing, and a great story of the power of Atlantic City during Prohibition. Also includes plenty of bloodshed, nudity, & cursing.
Honorable Mention: The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead: Season One

Best Animated Series: The Venture Bros. Season 4
The Venture Bros: Season 4, Vol. 1The Venture Bros.: Season 4, Vol. 2
The antics of The Venture family keep getting better every year. Throw in all the side plots with other unique villians, heroes, and secret organizations and it's a stew of awesomeness. A funnier and more messed up cartoon, you will not find.

Best Comedy Series: Parks and Recreation, Season 2
Parks & Recreation: Season Two
The show really come into its own during this season as it become much more of an ensemble piece. Pawnee has never had more potential and with the additions of Rob Lowe and the highly under rated actor Adam Scott, this can only get better.

Best Drama Series: Fringe, Season 2
Fringe: The Complete Second Season
There is so much happening in this season it makes your head explode. The characters are great. They suck you in and make you feel for them. I love the storylines. The whole season epic conclusion in the alternate world couldn't leave it more wide open for a potential amazing season 3.

Series Which Should Never Had Been Canceled: (tie) Party Down
Party Down: Season 1Party Down: Season Two
Starz canceled the hilarious this and yet very touching show after only two seasons. Terrible idea. This show about an LA Catering company full of wanna be actors was great stuff.

FX hung this one out to dry after poor ratings. Too bad because this series had more layers than an onion. At the end of it all the entire season clicked together.

Cant Believe I Waited So Long To Start Watching This Series: Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad - The Complete First Season
For no other reason than not having the time, I put off this show. Over my recent vacation I started the short seven episode season one. I was hooked by the end of episode two. A unique show which runs the gammit of emotions, I am going to get through the next two seasons before number four begins. Guaranteed.

** I tend not to read books the year they are released, so these are the best books to cross my path all year.

Graphic Novels: Walking Dead vol. 1-5
The Walking Dead: Compendium One
This new to me comic, I started just before the TV series started. And I am glad. It is bleak, depressing, horrific, and nihilistic at every turn. It's chalked full of pure human emotions. This is nothing short of brilliant.

Novel: Devil in the White City by Eric Larson
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
Nothing like a fact based book combining the fascinating details of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago and America's first serial killer A.A. Holmes. What's even more amazing is how these two subjects overlap.

Horror Novel: The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan
The Strain (The Strain Trilogy)
A horrifying new take on vampires and a precise procedural drama based on the plague caused by the vamps makes this unique and entertaining read.
Runner Up: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Favorite albums released in 2010: I enjoyed all five these albums and listend to each a great deal.
The Black Keys Brothers

Eminem Recovery

Deftones Diamond Eyes
Diamond Eyes

Jimmy Eat World Invented

Kings of Leon Come Around Sundown
Come Around Sundown

Best Event Attended: Ring of Honor's Final Battle 2010
I only attended about a half dozen live events this year. The fewest in a many years. This event sucked me in for the opening bell and had me clinching the guardrail the entire night. It's been awhile since I've been sucked into a show as hard as I was that night in Manhattan.

Favorite Matched Watched: Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker, Wrestlemania 26
WWE WrestleMania 26
The match of year? Probably. Two icons battled in a rematch of 2009 on the "biggest wrestling stage there is". It was an epic battle which put an end to the great HBK's career.

Biggest Disappointment: Indianapolis Colts losing the Superbowl.

Coolest New Place Traveled: San Diego
I didn't travel to many new places this year, for work or personally. San Diego barely beat out Key West.

Most Awesome Food I Never Ate Before: Pho
This Vietnamese noodle delight is heaven. So glad this cuisine has come to my hometown. Eat it now. Eat it often. Delicious!

Favorite Beer of the 2010: Aventinus
This is the year which I really got into craft brews. I've been leaning that way the last couple of years, but in 2010 I tried countless flavors from microbreweries all across the US. This is one I keep coming back to again and again. Old Rasputin and Dark Horse Perkulator Coffe Dopplebock are both a close second.

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