January 24, 2009

Cowboy Bebop...Woah!

It's been announced that Keanu Reeves has been cast to star in a Cowboy Bebop movie. Personally, I couldn't be more thrilled, he makes an obvious choice for the lead role of Spike Spiegel.

Cowboy Bebop, a japanese anime television series (also one anime movie), is set in a future where there's been a huge lunar explosion, forcing mankind to colonize the solar system. The setting is a mesh of futuristic, old west, noir, kung-fu and jazz (Firefly fans take note!) The colonized planets and asteroids are sometimes lawless and rough, so bounty hunters or 'Cowboys' are often used to track down criminals.

In this setting we have the crew of the Bebop, who are themselves bounty hunters. They all have mysterious pasts that are alluded to and expanded on in various episodes:

Spike Spiegel - bounty hunter with a shady past that he doesn't talk about, not even to his best friend Jet. He's fast with a gun and even faster with his hands and feet, being a kung-fu expert. Typically uncaring and uninterested, but often hot-headed...especially when it comes to his nemesis, the gangster Vicious.

Jet Black - former police officer, he's got an artificial metal arm to replace the one he lost. Spike's best friend, Jet is older and rock steady. He pilots the Bebop.

Faye Valentine - a female thief, gambler and compulsive shopper, she joins the cast early in the show. She has amnesia after being woken from cryogenic freeze.

Ein - a Welsh Corgie 'data dog' the crew rescues early in the series, only to adopt as a ship's mascot. The dog is hyper-intelligent.

Ed - Radical Edward is a young hacker, the last member to join the crew. Ed's whimsical and weird, often found sleeping (series creators refer to Ed as having the personality of a cat).

The music for the show is wonderfully performed by Yoko Kanno. There are songs in all different styles, from jazz to rock...let's hope some of this makes it to the movie.

January 23, 2009

'A Moment that will Define a Generation'

On the 20th President Barack Obama, our first black President, was sworn into office.

I was just pulling into one of my stops when I heard him sworn in (with that unfortunate flub). Later, while driving to my next stop, I got to hear the latter half of his speech.

He struck a great tone coming in, saying what everyone expected him to say and some things that I think everyone hoped he would say.

Even though I didn't vote for him, I'm glad he's in office. Not just for what he represents, but for the positive change he can make, both in America and in the world's view. Too many saw Bush as a bully or even a villain, surely he's put us into questionable moral positions (Iraq and Guantanamo Bay come to mind).

For the first time since Ronald Reagan, I feel a renewed hope in the American Dream.