30 Mar 2012

Joss Whedon Talks About... Damned Near Everything

Photo courtesy of Marvel
"I’m never interested in movies where you don’t care about the people you’re watching, and that’s my biggest quibble about horror, that kids have gotten stupider and stupider. And people say, “Oh, it’s horrible! They are all tortured for 90 minutes, but it’s okay because they’re not very likable”. And it’s like, what part of that sentence was supposed to sell me?"
Joss Whedon's got a hell of a year ahead of him. Cabin in the Woods, which he co-wrote and produced, is finally getting released after three+ years, starring (then unknown actor) Chris Hemsworth, who is co-starring in Whedon's second directorial effort, The Avengers, which Whedon also wrote. Later in the year comes his bare-bones Much Ado adaptation starring a host of Whedon regulars, including Amy Acker and Nathan Fillion, who may get a chance to bring back the Hammer of justice if the Dr. Horrible sequel gets the green light, as has been teased recently.

Den of Geek sat down with Whedon while he was doing double duty promoting Cabin and Avengers in the UK, where they both come out in April. The interview reaffirms the statements that Whedon made a couple weeks ago, that Marvel let Joss make the movie he wanted, and didn't pressure him as much as certain studios make have in the past. He elaborates, saying:

"Everything I’ve done, everything has been delayed, had the release date pushed, my shows have been pushed to mid-season, or shut down briefly... So, it’s so much a part of the process. The only thing that went exactly the way it was supposed to was Dr Horrible, and that was because the studio was me. And I like the Me Studio, because apparently I don’t have to wait for the right weekend."
A cynic might think that all this is an elaborate ground work being laid in case the movie bombs, or sucks, and Whedon can take the blame and Marvel can move on, except for three things. One, Joss isn't the sort of guy to tow the company line like that. Despite comments in the past that he only ever wanted to be a company man, he loves to speak his mind, so we can assume that him saying that the Avengers is his movie isn't code for "it was Marvel's movie from beginning to end." Two, they've already been here, with Iron Man 2. Marvel caught flack from Jon Faveau, from Downey Jr., and from fans, for forcing the S.H.I.E.L.D subplot into the middle of that movie, to needlessly tease the Avengers. Marvel, this is a movie that self teases. You're good. And they are, having moved on and knocked two out of the park with Thor and Captain America. Three, I can never think of a third thing, I should really stop saying "three things."
I highly recommend checking the interview out at Den of Geek.

Bros Before Mari0s

For those that aren't aware, Mari0 is a combination original Mario Bros. and Portal. Basically, Mario runs around with a portal gun.

This video is of four guys trying to play it together, and proving exactly why people don't quest anymore. Because it's funnier to leave the guys in your party behind.

Via Topless Robot.

HBO Goes Too Far

HBO has released six new clips from the first episode of Game of Thrones season 2, which if you've been under a rock for the past two months or so, starts this Sunday. These are actual clips, whole segments, taken from the episode, not just the same scenes cut and re-cut into an endless parade of trailers, each with a different theme, despite the fact they all include the same dialogue and sequences, but in amazing new orders. The longest is just over two minutes long, the shortest less than 30 seconds. All together, they are equal to HBO putting out just under a fifth (assuming the premier to be fifty minutes long) of the episode. A full fifth, with no context.

I haven't watched them. Just like my aversion to spoilers, I want to enjoy the episode for the benefits of the narrative, instead of unconsciously wondering where each clip is going to pop up.

Oh yes, and apparently the actor who plays Robb Stark is dating the girl who has been hired to play the new assistant on Doctor Who. I have no opinion on this, unless it results in the greatest cross over ever. Get on this, internet. Winter is coming, silence will fall.

If you want to watch the rest of the provided clips, hit the jump.

[Review] - Dirk Gently Series 1 Episode 2 - "White, Black Eyes, Strangely Erotic"

Photo courtesy of the BBC
 Ah, St. Cedd's College, Cambridge. In another world, this was the home of most certainly not a Time Lord, hiding in exile, his chambers the secret home of a time travel device, and the arrival point of a bored horse and his robot master.

In this day and age, Time Lords are for BBC One. This is BBC Four, and Dirk Gently might be back on track. Dirk returns to the place of is greatest disgrace to help his old professor. Within moments, the robot he's meant to be protecting is gone, the professor is dead, and his office may hold the clue to unravelling the mystery, if Dirk isn't arrested for suspicion of murder first.

Back is the half hearted embrace of science fiction, back is the ever doubting voice of reason that is Susan, and back, most importantly are the laughs. Though, for the first time since this series began (and I'm including the pilot), we actually feel for Dirk, as a person.

Hit the jump for the rest of the review.

29 Mar 2012

George R.R. Martin, In Conversation

A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Game of Thrones Exhibit in Toronto, Ontario. a detailed account of this event can be found here. To open the exhibit, George R.R. Martin sat down for a long interview, Q&A, and read an excerpt from the forth coming (two years, in his own estimation) sixth volume, The Winds of Winter. Linked above is the portion of the night where he did the reading, though the entire interview can be watched starting here.

I warn you though, Martin himself is engaging and interesting. The interviewer, on the other hand, is incredibly annoying, and frankly would have ruined the night had I been there in person.

Via Topless Robot.

Well, This Is Going To Suck

Photo courtesy of Marvel

Marvel has announced the tracks to be included on the Avengers soundtrack. Just... here it is.

1. "Live to Rise" - Soundgarden
2. "I'm Alive" - Shinedown
3. "Dirt and Roses" - Rise Against
4. "Even If I Could" - Papa Roach
5. "Unbroken" - Black Veil Brides
6. "Breath" - Scott Weiland
7. "Comeback" - Redlight King
8. "Into the Blue" - Bush
9. "A New Way to Bleed (Photek Remix)" - Evanescence
10. "Count Me Out" - PUSHERJONES
11. "Shoot to Thrill" - Theory of a Deadman
12. "Wherever I Go" - Buckcherry
13. "From Out of Nowhere" - Five Finger Death Punch
14. "Shake the Ground" - Cherri Bomb
Additional track on the international release:
15. "Pistols At Dawn" - Kasabian
Full disclosure, I only recognize about half these names. Partly because when it comes to music produced after 1988, my knowledge drops off pretty quickly. The half I do recognize, I remember as being terrible. I see a AC/DC cover in there, and maybe someone can educate me further, but this just seems like an unlistenable lineup of music.

Joss Whedon loves his music. especially indie music. It was a huge part of Buffy, having a new band on every week. It played well there, because it fit within the context it was used. My hope is that none, or very little, of this music is actually used in the film, and that the score by Alan Silvestri, which Whedon has already said blew him away, is the primary source of music in the film. I don't want to see Cap dealing with the wasted centuries he's missed by having a good cry, listening to Evanescence. Unless he is soundly mocked for doing so. By Iron Man. Or Hawkeye. You think they'll have a snark off?

One last thing. Movie soundtracks, are they really still a thing? I haven't bought one since cassette tapes were still the preferred format.

Via ComicsAlliance.

Adam Savage Makes A Reasonable Argument For Science

This is the speech given by Mythbuster Adam Savage (he's not a scientist, but plays one on TV) at the Reason Rally held in Washington DC this past weekend. The event was a gathering of secular individuals, promoting science and, well, reason. Savage does a good job not name checking any specific deities or religions in his speech, and because of that, what it is more than anything else, is a rallying cry for science. This should be the PR campaign for science; he even quotes Neil deGrasse Tyson in the middley bit.

It's hard to watch the social campaign in the US. Most places in the reasoned world, if there is a topic of discussion, the topic actually gets discussed. There is debate, between people who actually know what they are talking about. In the US, everyone picks a side, and sees who can yell loudest. These rallies are a prime example. Everyone get together, a couple superstars of the movement give speeches (often inflammatory), and whichever side isn't paying for the space gets to stand across the street with hastily made signs and all the cuss words they can muster.

Douglas Adams famously called himself a "radical atheist", to make certain people knew he wasn't on the fence about it. These days, both sides of the religious coin can be accused of militancy. Richard Dawkins, one of the so called Horseman of the secular movement, at this very rally, advocated bullying the religious. Was he serious, or satirically drawing attention to behaviours that are already travelling in the opposite direction? It won't matter, because it's just shouty noise, designed to get the other side all riled up, so they can make shouty noises back at them.

Savage's speech is less aggressive. It promotes non-confrontism, turning the other cheek, despite being shouted at the crowd. That there are no opinions when it comes to science, there is only what is, and what isn't. That the world can be tested, and that results can be repeated, or can be busted. The scientific method is beautiful in its simplicity, and though it, we can enjoy the wonders of the universe.

And he wears a damned fine hat.

28 Mar 2012

Iron Man 3 Sees Returning Cast, Lacks Gay Perry

Photo courtesy of Marvel

According to the casting sheet for Iron Man 3, the first post Avengers film from Marvel, shooting will take place in North Carolina between May and September of this year, presumably to be ready for a May or June release next year. It also specifies which characters will be returning to the franchise.

Two-time Academy Award nominated Robert Downey Jr. will reprise his roles as as Tony Stark, an industrialist and master engineer who builds a powered exoskeleton and becomes the technologically advanced superhero, Iron Man. Scarlett Johansson will return from “Iron Man 2" playing Natasha Romanoff aka “The Black Widow”, and Gwyneth Paltrow plays Stark’s closest friend, love interest, and business partner Pepper Potts. Don Cheadle, who replaced Terrence Howard after the first “Iron Man”, returns as Lt. Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes – Stark’s personal pilot, chief aviation engineer for Stark International, and one of Stark’s closest friends.
The sequel is being written and directed by Shane Black who wrote the original Lethal Weapon, and directed Robert Downey Jr. in the film Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang, a movie I highly recommend to anyone who hasn't seen it, especially if they didn't see it with a date whom they quite liked at the time, but later turned out to be a real bicycle, and every time you watch it, somewhere in the back of your head, without any warning, though usually around the time the dog eats the finger, a memory will flare up and you can sit through the rest of it without remembering the smell of stale bong water and sadness.

Ah... Black may have suggested that Iron Man 3, which will be more Tom Clancy than Transformers, might have a connection to nanobots. This is nothing new in the Iron Man comics. Hell, Pepper had an nano controlled Iron costume for a while there. Can you imagine Paltrow in the suit?

Myself, I would have liked something more along the lines of the Armor Wars storyline, or at least using a character like Ghost as a villain, but Black wants to avoid what he feels was the major weakness of the second film, guys in suits punching one another. Trust me, that was not the weakness of Iron Man 2. It was one of the saving graces of Iron Man 2.

Black Widow's presence probably backs up the spy aspect of the new film, and possibly, if they decide to stray into Ultimates territory, a love triangle between her, Tony, and Potts. For anyone who read Ultimates 2, possibly even a villainous turn in the second Avengers. They've already got the Abomination in a cooler somewhere, I'd see a movie where an evil Avengers took over America. I'd watch the hell out of that.

Via /Film and Complex.

Weird Al's 30 Rock Theme Song

One of the simple joys of life is making up words to TV theme songs that don't have. Last Thursday, the master of making up words to songs, Weird Al, gave words to 30 Rock's jazzy tune, as well as terrorized Tracey and Jenna by being the best at what he does. And what he does isn't very nice... to other recording artists, who have to be careful not to include words that rhyme with foods or bodily functions in their music.

It's good, but pales in comparison to the greatest word/tune match up in the history of television, which you can view if you hit the jump.

An Internet Minute Is Like A New York Minute, But With A Lot More Porn

Via Intel

According to Intel, by 2015, "it would take five years to view all the video content crossing IP networks each second."

This is not a challenge. I repeat, this is not a challenge. Do not do this. It will kill you. To death.

Via Geekologie.

Wolverine Or Batmen? Super Optical Illusion

What do you see? Two Batmen getting ready to engage in some slash fiction lovin' at sunset, or Wolverine, with a Spanish goatee?

I think the correct answer is obvious.

Via ComicsAlliance.

27 Mar 2012

Even This Would Have Been Better Than The New 52

Full disclosure, I've always been a bigger DC fan than a Marvel. I tend to talk more about the Marvel movies because, Batman aside, DC's movies have all been ass. Just absolute bottom gravy of the worse variety. Marvel has been able to out produce DC, and in recent years, the quality has been, well, marvellous.

But the heroes of the DC universe are so much more appealing. I love Iron Man, and dig me some X-Men, but Batman, Green Arrow, Deadman, even Plastic Man always take the cake (especially Lex Luthor. He loves cakes). That's why DC continues to puzzle me. they have the better line up of heroes, they have a more diverse group of villains. With all these properties, why are they wasting time on Green Arrow TV series for the CW, which best case will be Smallville, with the potential for actual superheroism? Why they can't seem to make a Superman movie without is being a remake of the Superman movie from the seventies? Why can't they decide if Wonder Woman should wear pants? Why do they all, in general, seem to be afraid of women-folk? The disorder extends to their comics, which, like all things, eb and flow in terms of quality, but I have found, with a single exception, the New 52 to be terrible, and not worthy of my time or money (the exception is Demon Knights. Vandal Savage eating a dinosaur practically made my year. All Star Western had potential, but lost me along the way).

And yet, and yet, this is the company that has given us the Animated universe, The Brave and the Bold, the Lego Batman games, the direct to video animated films, and the Dark Knight trilogy. Marvel can't seem to get their shit together for anything else, but they've managed to make The Avengers. Where is the Justice League movie? Would we even want one if DC offered it to us. I'd rather they spent the money on bringing back the series, but anywhoo...

In short, up top is a pretty kick ass picture, all obviously custom made, since the real Lego series only extends as far as Sups and WW. My favourite is The Question, in the top left. Lego, hear me. I will pay you many of my very best monies for an actual Lego figure of Vic Sage.

My challenge to you, internet, is make the villain equivalent. I want to see Bat Mite, Deathstroke, and King Shark. Get on this!

Via Geeks Are Sexy.

Joss Whedon Calls Iron Man's Triangle "Ass", Remains King Of Geeks

Joss Whedon loves symbols. Be they slices of processed cheese, or small, brain damaged girls, his work has shown his reverence for how powerful something simple can be when imbued with deeper meaning. So, it's of little surprise that, when directed by Marvel to have Iron Man upgrade his suit yet again in his upcoming Avengers film, that the chest plate would revert to the circle. Because, in his words, the triangle is "ass". Which it was.

Honestly, of all the things that didn't work in Iron Man 2, that was the most perplexing. Lets take something that has been iconic for forty some odd years, and make it angular, for the sake of trying to look cool. It didn't even make sense in context; his glowy chest magnet battery thing didn't become triangular after he invented a new element (that the was the moment the disbelief came crashing to the ground, for me. I'm good with extra dimensional aliens posing as gods, but Tony inventing a new element in his basement was too much for this writer). And everyone knows that circles are better than triangles. Triangles have corners, which can be dangerous to children, and can put eyes out if not handled safely.

Besides, circles have pi.

The King of Geeks needs no crown. He has a ginger beard.
Courtesy of Marvel.

Via First Showing.

The Face Of Space

Quirks and Quarks is a weekly science program on CBC Radio, hosted by Space enthusiast Bob McDonald. This past weekend, his guest was Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, who came to share his favourite summer recipes, and give advise on how to throw a really kicking patio party.

Or, you know, how it's important that manned space exploration continue. Probably more the latter, really. More in his field.

Dr. Tyson makes a good point. He says that, to study one specific field will result in incremental advances in that field, but to study broadly, and boldly, will result in discovers we couldn't anticipate, that will have far reaching effects on a number of fields. He uses the example of the hospital, how none of the machines that we use to diagnose, treat and cure diseases were originally made by people working in medicine, or discovered by medical researchers. X-rays, CAT scans, MRI, all have very practical medical applications, but were all discovered by someone working in an entirely different field of study.

Thus is the major benefit of space research. The inventions created to result in the incremental advance of getting a human into space can have far greater effects on us here at home, in ways that are impossible to imagine. The microchip is an excellent example, the seeds of which began because of investments NASA made in tech firms, trying to develop faster, smaller, lighter processors for the ships (less weight equals less fuel). It's entirely possible that without NASA and the Apollo missions, cells phones, laptops, cheap PCs and Apple wouldn't exist, at least not as they do, and not for some time. It took the incredible task of getting a man on the moon to push forward such a vast technological leap forward.

Imagine what we could do today, if we had the means. Last time, we changed the world.

For more Quirks and Quarks, check out their site here.

I'm An Infant Now, Infants Are Cool

Photo via Digital Spy

Meet Valentine, an American 2 year old with just the best parents in the world. They've taken the time and effort that other parents would spend on teaching their children to, you know, speak, and go to the toilet in places that aren't their pants, and decided instead to dress their daughter as each and every one of the 11 regenerations of The Doctor.

And, with another child on the way, they expect to do it all again with other characters from the series. While they're thinking Master, that's really only four costumes. Might I suggest primary companions? Little Amelia, Tiny Jamie, ity bity K-9?

If you're going to make the internet love you, while making certain your children are horrible embarrassed later in life when they find out what you did, you might as well go all hat.

Via Digital Spy, where you can view each regeneration.

26 Mar 2012

Someones Been Reading My Christmas List; New Doctor Who Trailer

Most of the clips from the above trailer are clearly from episode three, the spaghetti western, which is one of only two episodes we know anything about (the other, the fifth, features the Weeping Angels, and they're no where to be seen). Though, some quick shots of some other exciting looking stuff can be glimpsed. Is that Cleopatra running about? And Father Weasley, fresh off his turn on Being Human (the British one, not that American rubbish). And a snowed in Dalek? Or an eye stock, at least.

Could it be, with an old west episode, and possibly an ancient Egyptian one, that this series of Doctor Who could be taking the show even further back to it's routes, with a focus on historical set pieces rather than alien ones, as the show was originally intended, way way back in the day? If so, I don't think I'd have that much a problem with it.

Speaking of things I have a problem with,

Photo courtesy BBC America

Everyone remember Matt Smith's first publicity shot with the TARDIS. He looked like Christopher Eccleston's emo son, all hair and jacket, and not a bow tie to be found. In short, it was a picture of the actor with the TARDIS, not a shot of the character, and forgive me, but that's what I actually care about. I want to know what she'll be doing on the show, not if she can stand upright beside the prop. Though, it is a very nice jumper. I reserve all judgement until I actually see her perform, and she'll likely do a very fine job, and be a great addition to the cast (or at least, be no worse than Mel or Peri), but I'm still allowed to be disappointed.

Can I say, also, what the hell, BBC? This is one of your premier shows. This is a British institution. This is The Doctor. So why have both of these updates come from BBC America? When, exactly, did they become the guardians and purveyors of your prize? I get that you like the popularity the series has gathered in the states since the show returned, but that doesn't mean you give them the keys to the car. Next thing they'll be off doing doughnuts in the mall parking lot, meanwhile you have to pay for replacement tires, and I think this metaphor has gotten away from me. Shape up BBC One, this is your baby. Take care of it. The Americans will only let it get fat.

The Deadliest Game Is Powerless Against Such A Mustache

Honestly, this Media Design School video, from James Cunningham, is truely one of the funniest, geekiest things I've seen in a while, and I spent the weekend looking up videos of monekys dressed as the 4th Doctor riding dogs dressed as a Tauntaun.

It reminded me of Sky Captain and the World of Tomrrow, a movie I don't hate as much as everyone else. If you do hate Sky Captain, don't hold it against this video. Give it a watch.
Via /Film.

"Community" Creator Dan Harmon Talks About... Damned Near Everything

Community is probably the most culturally aware show that has ever aired. One of the reasons it's struggled to find a broad audience is that, to truly enjoy it, you need to have a certain amount of background knowledge of movies and TV. The show relishes in obscure references (a My Dinner With Andre episode? Really?) and a razor sharp satirical wit that is equalled only by early seasons of The Simpsons.

Dan Harmon, the creative force behind the show, is part of the reason for any success the show has had. Now that it's back (Thursdays at 8 on NBC), and the question of renewal rears it's ugly head, Dan takes ten minutes to answer for frank questions about the past, present and future of the show.

I like that he singles out Peep Show, the fantastic Channel 4 programme starring Mitchell and Webb. It does have more of an emotional core than Spaced, a show that, despite my love of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's work since, I'm not actually that big a fan of. Mitchell and Webb are certainly heirs to a greater legacy, that of great comedic teams, their generations Fry and Laurie. I, like Harmon, highly suggest you go out and find Peep Show. Do it. Do it now.

It's streets ahead.

Via Collider.

"T-Rex Trying" Succeeds

Photo courtesy of Hugh Murphy.

A couple months ago, I stumbled across Hugh Murphy tumbler page, which at the time featured a couple brilliant cartoons under the heading "T-Rex Trying..." Since then, Murphy's page has exploded in popularity, as has the content.

Like Dan Walsh's Garfield Minus Garfield, which highlights the depressive reality of a man's slow decent into madness, T-Rex Trying... follows the continuing futile efforts of a theropod just trying to get by in life.

Some may view his endless inability to accomplish even the most simple of tasks as sad, wonder why he doesn't simply give up, and stick to what he is good at, presumably inspiring fear and imagination in small children, and eating lawyers off of toilets. Others may prefer instead to view each failure as another example of his endless optimism, that despite set back after set back, the T-Rex never gives up, and takes on each new challenge with the same enthusiasm as the last, no matter the outcome.

Via ComicsAlliance, and Hugh Murphy.

23 Mar 2012

Pick A Side, We're At War

Poster courtesy HBO

There's just over a week left until season 2 of Game of Thrones begins, and HBO is ramping up it's marketing campaign. Along with some new posters, they've released a series of campaign ads for each of the Houses, asking you, with whom do you side. I'm a Stark man myself, though the magnificent bastardliness of Tyrion Lannister is enough to make me switch sides. The North May Remember, but A Lannister Always Pays His Debts (I apologize for the amount of geekiness in that last sentence).

To see the campaigns and pledge your allegiance, hit the jump. Also, see one of the single greatest examples of marketing I've ever seen, though be warned, if you haven't seen season 1, it contains a single, massive, glorious spoiler, so be forewarned.

Itchy and Scratchy, The Movie?

At 48 minutes, very nearly.

Kids Want To Use Their Phones During Movies, Are Dumbasses

The Hollywood Reporter recently hired a firm to survey users of social media, to find out exactly how they  are interacting with conventional media. The results, you will agree, are ridiculous, and a clear sign that as a society, we have failed. Horribly.

75% of total people surveyed agreed that using a phone in a theatre is rude and distracting, which it is. It also defeats the purpose of going to the theatre to see a movie: to immerse yourself in the experience, and the narrative. To put away reality for a couple hours and be swallowed up by the fantasy.

Over 50% of people aged 18-34 prefer to use their phones, and would actively seek a theatre out that allowed them to do as much during the film. Said Jon Penn, one of the pollsters:
“Millennials want their public movie going experience to replicate their own private media experiences.Having dedicated social-media-friendly seats, or even entire theatres, can make the movie going experience more relevant and enjoyable for them.”
To read my reasonable, educated, scientifically unbiased response to these plugged-in youths, hit the jump.

[Review] - Dirk Gently Series 1 Episode 1 - "Sometimes It Takes Multiple Attempts To Achieve True Randomness"

Photo courtesy of the BBC

Ever had one of those days that would make even Mother Theresa kick babies? Dirk Gently (Stephen Mangan) has.

But something just isn't right. I don't mean in the film, I mean with the film. Since we last saw Dirk, and his partner (assistant) Macduff (Darren Boyd), something has gone off. Perhaps it was the somewhat unexpected pressure of building an entire series around these characters, even if it is only three episodes. But some of the paint is pealing off this Austin Princess, and I'm desperately hoping it gets a fresh coat.

Dirk is more Clouseau than Sherlock, and comparisons to the infinitely enjoyable BBC One are unfounded. In fact, they operate nicely as the antithesis of one another. Sherlock's world is one of order, of detection and determination, where hard, emotionless reason can widdle away motive and humanity until all that is left is bare fact. Watson is his counterpoint, a warm, gentle man seeking a place in a world that he left behind, and returned to changed, but looking to make a connection to anything. Creator Steven Moffat languishes in sharp, precise dialogue, filled with a delicate Stephen Fry sort of wit.

Dirk, on the other hand, imbues his world with chaos. If follows him like the wafting scent of brie, amoung the least controversial of cheeses. Dirk's world is one that falls apart when touched, where reason means nothing, where the untenable, the unreasonable is preferable to the obvious. Dirk operates under the assumption that everything is interconnected, that he is always drawing closer, even when it feels he is moving further away. He is given MacDuff to work against, an empty man, unable to assert himself, no more meaningful than Dirk's only approach. Howard Overman, while obviously able to write copious amount of dialogue, does so with a hard bluntness, that can descend into obscenity to illustrate a point. He does this with greater effect, and I believe greater joy, on his superior series, Misfits.

There is one comparison between them, and that is neither cares for the people they work for. Sherlock cares only to solve the case, not for the benefits it might serve to others. Dirk is a selfish prick, taking cases for the money, or, should it come his way, fame and glory. Sherlock knows he's great. Dirk's just a liar.

For more of this review, hit the jump.

22 Mar 2012

CBS Interviews SpaceX CEO, Searches For Possible Nazi Moon Base

That's ridiculous. Nazi's don't have a moon base, that's Newt Gingrich's thing.

I'm a big fan of SpaceX, if only because there's a better chance of them, or one of the other private space firms, getting people into space before NASA does. And work in NASA's favour too, since they'll be able to rely on SpaceX vehicles to get into space, and spend (what little) money they have on the research and development of satellites, probes, experiments and all the sciencey stuff that actually produces results. Getting into space is a small part of the whole, but absorbs the majority of the time, effort and cost.

So long as we don't let any of these companies name themselves Weyland, we should be fine. Unlike those idiots who named their cybernetics research group Skynet. They're just asking for trouble.

Via the Bad Astronomer.

Beetlejuice 2 Not A Reboot, Still A Terrible, Terrible Idea

Beetlejuice easily places in my top ten films. I think it's probably the best expression of Tim Burton's vision and humour, and Michael Keaton's best role, all 17 minutes of it. I watch it every year at Halloween, on TV, with commercials, despite owning it on DVD, because that's how I've always watched it, like Christmas Vacation.

Seth Grahame-Smith, author of the highly over rated Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and writer of Tim Burton's upcoming Dark Shadows, has made some comments about his involvement with the Beetlejuice 2 script.
“This will be a true 26 or 27 years later sequel. What’s great is that for Beetlejuice, time means nothing in the afterlife, but the world outside is a different story.”
Which clarifies an idea that this would be a reboot instead of a proper sequel. Which, I have to ask, why would you put a '2' on a reboot other than to needlessly confuse people?

He went on to say he would rather die than tarnish the legacy of the original. Which is good, despite being a bit hyperbolic. Except that this is a terrible idea to begin with. The focus of the first film was the Maitlands, played by Gena Davis and Adam Baldwin. There would be nothing I'd love more than to see Adam Baldwin reprise his role, especially since he is currently basking in his Jack Donaghy-comedy brilliance, but how would they explain how the ghost got that fat and old?

The thing you want to avoid is making Beetlejuice the focus. The original worked because Keaton was only onscreen for 17 minutes. He isn't a protagonist. he isn't really an antagonist. He's the Macguffin, the thing to keep the plot moving. Have him terrorize a new dead couple would be fine, but it's really just treading over old water, and therefore, what's the point. Sure, they'd be new, modern ghosts, all hip with the computers and such, which could provide for some interesting set pieces, but what I desperately don't want to see is Beetlejuice trying to use an iPad, with "hilarious results."

I've heard some say the Dark Shadows trailer had hints of Beetlejuice-esque humour, and if that's true, then hurrah, I'll probably enjoy it. Myself, I saw more shades of Mars Attacks, and you're mileage may vary on that, mine certainly did. The smarter money, though, is that Beetlejuice 2 will never happen. It certainly sounds better than the Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian Kevin Smith was offered back in the nineties, but I just don't see this ever becoming anything other than Michael Keaton's desperate attempt to reclaim former glory. When this falls through, look for him trying to push a post-Nolan Dark Night Returns.

Via Collider.

Before Battlestar Galactica, There Was... Never Mind, SyFy Sucks

[Full disclosure: I wrote this piece yesterday, when a pretty cool trailer for the Battlestar prequel series Blood and Chrome was kicking around. You probably saw it. if not, too bad, because since yesterday, SyFy has taken down this trailer, and replaced it with massive disappointment. they've announced that because everyone loved the trailer, and was excited for the series, that instead of giving it to them, they'd release in on the web instead. Because they hate it when people like them. It's why they cancelled Eureka. It's why Warehouse 13 probably won't have a season 5. It's why they went the "sometimes Y" route with their vowels. Because SyFy hates joy.

I'm too pissed to write anything new, so here's the article as was written yesterday, when there was a cool trailer for it at the top instead of a man dressed in a plastic suit.]

I loved Battlestar Galactica. I stop watching it on DVD at the end of Season 4.0 though, because I thought the ending sucked, and the discovery of a burnt husk of a civilization, therefore destroying every hope and dream the series had created to that point was more in keeping with the tone of the series as a finale.

The trailer above, for the young-Adama centric first Cylon War prequel, has me asking some very specific questions.

1) In the finale episode, it was revealed that the show takes place thousands of years ago, before human civilization on Earth began. Except for Bob Dylan, whose music is fourth dimensional, apparently. Is this trailer implying that Led Zepplin's music works the same way? Does the level of awesomeness of the classic rock dictate how far back through time it reaches? Could this explain why Nickleback only has one song, because it just keeps looping back on them, over and over, as the same song?

2) So, this is basically the original Battlestar series properly remade. Because the cylons will be classic cylons, the ships will be classic ships, the uniforms the classic uniforms. Basically everything but the characters. And with more random cafeteria sex? I say more, because look at Lorne Greene, and tell me he doesn't like a bit of the rough.

3) That first shot in the trailer looks terrible, as does all that 'game change' crap at the end. Maybe they thought they were promoting a wrestling match?

4) Will Edward James Olmos bookend this thing, like Frodo in the Hobbit movie? Will he be drunk and depressed? Will he smash something against the wall, and then appear to pass a gall-stone?

All these questions, and more, will almost be answered, and then some stupid plot twist will make everything not make sense again, and then the writer's will just say "frak it, it was angels!" at some point, TBA.

The Doctor's New Assisstant Announced, Schedule Revealed, Stephen Moffat A Liar

If I have one complaint about Doctor Who since it's return, it's that, despite all the geekgasmic love over David Tennant, the Russell T. Davies era was pretty much crap. Some great stand alone episodes, but some horribly unbearable ones as well.

If I have two complaints about Doctor Who since it's return, it's the companions. Or rather companion, because there has been only one, really. Rose, a woman from modern day London(!). She actually made sense, since many viewers didn't know the Doctor or the TARDIS, and needed a reasonably familiar surrogate to take them on the journey.

Then came Martha, a woman from modern day London(!), but she's smart. She's almost a doctor. get it? A doctor with the Doctor? Except that only lasted half a series, then she was just Rose, but even more annoying (I know, get off, OK?). Then came Donna, a woman from modern day London(!) who isn't Rose, but is exponentially more annoying.

Enter Stephen Moffat, who said he was going to shake things up, because London isn't the entire universe. So he introduced Amy, a woman from modern day slightly to the left of London(!). But she's got a boyfriend see, and he's a bit of a putz. And River, a woman from somewheresomething timey-whimey.

Enter again Stephen Moffat, who allowed Amy and Rory to exit gracfully and happily in the last series. Only to bring them back. And left them again. Only to bring them back. But he promised, in the next series, they will leave, finally, and in his words the Doctor would "meet someone new in the last place he'd expect."

I was excited. Because, time was, there were multiple companions. Some were women. Some were men (as a friend of mine once said, "the TARDIS needs boys"). Some were aliens. Some were from the past. Some were aliens from the past. One was a robot dog! This is Stephen Moffat, the sky is the flipping limit. It could be anything. We could get a sarcastic tree person, or a pair of wise cracking boots, or that lesbian Silurian from the last series that really does need her own series, or at least a one off special. This is going to be awesome.

Or, it'll be a woman. The woman up top, specifically. Jenna-Louise Coleman, who worked on the soap Emmerdale, but also appeared in Captain America (though I just watched it two nights ago and can't recall seeing her. She played 'Connie' apparently, if that means anything to anyone). We know nothing about the sort of character she'll be playing, only that Moffat has said "It’s not often the Doctor meets someone who can talk even faster than he does, but it’s about to happen." So, she could still be really interesting, and not from, you know, Guildford.

But wait, there is more. Moffat has confirmed that this series will carry over into next year, with Ms Coleman making her appearance in the Christmas Special. Amy and Rory will depart in episode 5, during an encounter with the Weeping Angels, which Moffat confirms will kill someone this time. Whether it will be a terrible head snapping kind of death, or a live-yourself-to-death sort, is yet to known, though the smart money is on Rory, in the past, with unending dedication to Amy.

The second half of the series will conclude in 2013, the 50th anniversary of the series. So presumably, we'll be getting a series and a half next year, plus whatever else they've got cooking for the 50th.

Which will include Daleks, despite Moffat saying he was done with them. Because he's a liar.

Also, Benedict Cumberbatch definitely, certainly, 100% honestly won't be appearing in Doctor Who. Unless he does.

Via the BBC, which has an interview with Ms Coleman, and Den of Geek, which has everything else.

21 Mar 2012

These Otters Look Like Benedict Cumberbatch. That Is All

There are no words.

Red Scharlach, we bow to you. Please, go and give him all the points you have in your many pockets.

Watch Ruin, Understand You're Not As Good As This

Do yourself a favour. Hit the jump, and watch the fantastic animated film Ruin, by graphic artist Wes Ball. His background is working on DVD/blu-ray animations and special features. Attack of the Clones was like 90% CGI, and compared to this, looks like a Hannah-Barbara cartoon.

Full disclosure, if I were the last human living in a Life After People world, I would spend all day pushing crap out of skyscraper windows.

Lies, Damned Lies, And The MPAA

My views on piracy tend to reflect Neil Gaiman's, in that most people become a fan of something, or someone, after having it recommended to them, and borrowing a copy of the book, movie, episode, or what have you. Piracy can actually increase interest in an author, and make a person more inclined to track down other examples - legal ones - of that author's work.

Look at the movie Taken. It was "released" online a year before it hit theatres. The producers were convinced that no one would see it, because it had been shared online. When it was eventually released, people flocked to it in droves. It grossed $9 million in the first weekend, and was popular enough to generate on a new action-hero career for Liam Neeson, and get itself a sequel. Why? Because not everyone had seen it online. Those that did recommended it to their friends,and family, and they went to see it in the theatres.

Hell, producers have already figured this out, kind of. It's not uncommon to see five to ten minute clips surface online the week before a movie is released.

Piracy is not the problem that the movie industry, and music industry, and comic industry, and adult filom industry all claim it is. Does it effect business, sure. But, as the video above points out, in a most irreverent fashion, never trust a number until you do the math.

After the break, check out Neil Gaiman's thoughts on piracy. And keep circulating the tapes.

Bowser Was A Rapist, Peach Was Into Bestiality, And Mario Was A Terrorist

Cracked has had a rough go of it. Starting off as a humour magazine trying, grasping, hoping to be half as funny as Mad. That went bust. Then they turned to the internet, and quickly carved a niche as being able to produce more daily lists then anyone else about random shit, with lots of jokes about male reproductive organs and the glory that is Teddy Roosevelt.

In the last couple years, as they've turned the article research over to readers and the writing over to up-and-comers, the columnists' have ventured into comedy videos. And while the quality pales in comparison to College Humor or Funny or Die, they do have a few gems.

After Hours is my favourite, and has returned for a second season. I like this show because it doesn't pretend to be anything it isn't. No bad acting, no contrived scenarios. Just a bunch of friends arguing endlessly about menial shit, about which they are endless informed, because in the real world, people have encyclopedic knowledge of every Mario game ever made, but lack the social skills to escape a small, tight knit group of friends. But there is always that one guy who is too geeky for even this group, and is appropriated shunned because of it.

I highly recommend checking out Season One over at Cracked.com

20 Mar 2012

The Muppet Walk Of Fame

Time was, the Hollywood Walk of Fame acknowledged actual accomplishment.

Not really, as any inductee has to pay around 30 grand to actually get a star. And this fee is usually paid by whatever company the 'star' is currently doing promotions for. Usually, it’s people that don’t deserve to have a sandwich named after them. Buying achievement is not an achievement, it is shameless self promotion.

That being said, everyone once and a while someone gets a star to honestly deserves it. Mel Brooks got one in 2010. So did Ray Bradbury, in 2002. And today, The Muppets do as well. I'm not naive, them getting a star on the day their DVD is released is obviously a publicity stunt bought and paid by Disney, but it doesn't make it any less nice.

Kermit already has one, received in 2002. So does Jim Henson, in 1991. But now the whole gang gets a star, making them the first non-humans to get a collective star.

Jim would be proud, I think.

Via CBS.

Henson Studios Returns To Television, On Both Sides Of The Pond

Photo via the Muppet Wiki, courtesy of Disney.

If you're a fan of The Muppets, the past twelve months have been a very good year. If everything works out, it could remain this good for a while longer. Production companies are realizing they can still make money off of puppets, and are cashing in.

BBC is in talks with Henson Studios, the originators of the Muppets, to create a new Saturday night chat show, currently titled No Strings Attached. Like any other chat shows, Leno, Letterman, Norton, and their kind, the show would feature interviews with celebrities, sketches, and monologue comedy. Unlike other chat shows, this one will be hosted by a new puppet creation from the premiere puppet factory. The show is expected to launch on BBC One.

As was reported just before the November release of The Muppets, NBC has ordered a pilot from Henson Studios, about a Southern California family whose neighbours are muppets (that's little 'm' people, it's important). Titled The New Nabors, I'd like to dispel something about these reports. This is not a new Muppet Show. You can tell because of the involvement of Henson Studios, not Disney. Disney owns the cast of The Muppet Show, the name 'Muppets', and all the TV and film rights to those characters. This will not be Gonzo and Kermit and their ilk living next door. From the description, this sounds more like ALF, which NBC aired in the 80s. Though considering how horrible ALF sounded behind the scenes, we should be shooting more for the Sci-Fi Channel hit Farscape, which was produced by Henson Studios, used muppets extensively, and was well loved by cast, crew and fans alike.

Via Deadline.

That does not negate a return of the Muppets to TV. The success of the film has caught Disney's attention, and as "marketing chief and channels manager for Disney in Europe, the Middle East and Africa," Tricia Wilber said at a recent conference:

"What we'd do is ask what's the right opportunity for the franchise. If you went down the television series route it could play on the Disney Channel but it could also play in primetime on a free-to-air network. We would look at a variety of different models."
I think the biggest mistake is thinking that The Muppets are just for kids. Fall down that hole, and the subversive quality of the Muppets is lost. They are for everyone. Have you ever actually watched an episode of The Muppet Show? They get some serious crap past the radar. Which was Jim Henson's intention, after the success of Sesame Street, to make a show with his characters, for adults. The pilot was called "Sex and Violence." That should be an indication of the initial content. So, Disney, if you want to move forward, don't treat this like a kids thing, which has been your problem since your bought the rights tot eh characters in 2004. It's why all those made of TV movies sucked, and why Jason Segal's didn't. He wrote the movie to appeal to himself. So treat a new Muppet Show the same way you would treat any sitcom, like ABC's own Happy Endings, or NBC's Community. Or, treat it like The Muppet Show.

It's time to get things started.

Via the Guardian.

Is It Real Tuesday, Or Movie Tuesday?

Much has been made of the HD battle, and the victory of blu-ray. Of the mighty HD format, with it's crisp images and extended content. Honestly, I could give a ripe bin. I hate blu-ray. I hate the HD format in general, but blu-ray especially. Why, you ask yourself, is that patch of skin on the back of your calf always so dry? Who cares, pay attention.

Since Sony won the war of the formats, they've been pushing the market towards an all HD experience. Look at the flyer for your local electronics shop. All the video ads are for blu-ray, all the equipment ads for HD. Despite all this, the response has been mild at best. What was touted as the replacement for DVD has turned into a digital age Beta player, a contemporary for DVD, not a superior. Thing is, even with blu-rays dropping in price, DVDs remain cheaper, depreciate faster, and have a larger catalogue of available titles. Blu-ray sales continue to decrease. Some might argue that this is the effect of the digital format, but I don't buy that. Yes, the kids enjoy being able to watch whatever, whenever, on a four inch screen, but there will always be a market for the physical format. Being able to hold and keep something, and watch it properly on a large screen, is something you learn to appreciate. Too much of the market is focused on the shortsightedness of youth, ignoring the the stable purchases are made by more mature buyers.

You need no further proof of the failure of the blu-ray than the combo packs some companies (most commonly Disney) have been putting to market. The blu-ray, DVD, and digital all in one box, with a big price tag. That they can't convince people to by just the blu-ray alone is a sign of bad business, and the combo is desperate. Most TV series are only released on DVD, a trend that doesn't appear to be changing, as the only studios willing to sink the money into the format are the US cable networks, which still rely on the DVD as support.

What is reprehensible is the devaluing of DVDs by reducing or eliminating additional content on the discs entirely (without discounting the price proportionally). Again, Disney is the worst culprit, the recent Marvel movies coming with barely a gag reel attached. Gone are the days of one or two disc sets; welcome now to the bare bones, and the blu-ray era. If you want to see any special features or deleted scenes, you must buy the blu-ray. It is senseless formatism (coined, feel free to spread it around), a petty, bullish way to push people away from the DVD. I hate it, and I hate the tactic, but it's not working. Despite my chagrin, I'm not changing. The movie is what I'm looking for, first and foremost, and I can't miss what I've never seen. It just feels like being back in the days of VHS, or in the early days of the format, when features were few and far between, and that is a step backwards.

Blu-ray will never be what they wanted. At best, it'll fade as the digital format takes over, leaving DVDs as the backup format, to linger, for us who like holding the case, and the whir of the machine. Those of us who still keep a working Super Nintendo and VCR.

All of this has been a very long introduction to The Muppets DVD release, which because it is Disney, has nearly no bonus features. Most depressingly, no deleted scenes, of which there were many. You could buy the blu-ray, which has them, and other special features galore. But, if you're like me, you'll be picking up the DVD and have to be content with what you can scrounge online, like the above deleted scene.

To check out another deleted scene, and a couple behind the scenes videos, which are brilliant and you need to watch and make me hate Disney's decision about formats all the more, hit the jump.

CSI: Seasme Street? Or, Law & Order: MUP

The Happytime Murders is moving forward.

The deranged concept for a film is a combination of Roger Rabbit, The Muppets and that episode of Angel where the puppet show was sucking the souls of a children. Brian Henson, who directed the first two Muppets films made after his father's death, and was heavily involved in the creation and production of the series Farscape, will direct the film about a world where puppets and humans live together. A series of murders result in a Bogart-style PI hunting for the killer. This sounds fantastic, from beginning to end. Except for one thing.

Katherine Heigl is set to star. And she is terrible.

Seriously, unless she's playing the corpse, she could single-handedly bring this film down. Hopefully, she'll complain about the puppets getting too much attention, or being inappropriate towards her, and they'll fire her and bring on somebody worthy of starring in a Henson production.

Let's hope this is the first of many Henson movies to make their way to theatres in the coming couple years (I'm looking at you Fraggle Rock and Dark Crystal sequel).

Via the Hollywood Reporter

[Review] - The Muppets

Photos courtesy Disney, via The Muppet Wiki.

Lets get something straight. The Muppets never went away. Despite what the PR campaign for the latest Muppet movie may have suggested, Kermit and Co. have been around since 1976 and have never been far. Certainly, since their purchase by Disney in the early days of the millennium, they've been relegated to B-star status, appearing in a seemingly endless string of half-assed made-for-TV specials, and appearances on Hollywood Squares. But they were there, all the same, just waiting for the right kind of magic to come alone.

Long breaks between Muppet films isn't anything new either. Certainly, at 12 years, this break has been the longest. But, like good comedy and celebrity deaths, the Muppets tend to come in threes. 79, 81 and 84 were the originals, what you might call the Henson Trilogy, made when the man himself was still alive, and the Muppets were at their peak. Fast forward to 92, 96, and 99, and the rebirth of the Muppets. This era saw the Muppets adapt classic works, a logical career move in what we must remember are theatre performers. This period also saw their (brief) return to TV with Muppets Tonight. And then, as Disney took over, and uncertainty loomed, they faded into the memories of those of us who still get teary-eyed when we hear those first couple notes of Rainbow Connection. Kids, at best, might have caught Muppets From Space, easily the weakest of the films, on cable on a lazy Sunday, but have no emotional connection to these frogs, and bears, and chickens and things (these children also have terrible parents, who clearly have not been teaching them the important things in life). And clearly, some people forgot about them.

But not Walter. Read the full review, after the jump.

19 Mar 2012

A Child May Be Awesome, Or Not. Maybe

Today in random coolness, comes a hand written letter received by a meteorologist from a child. This letter is very good, better still if it turns out to have come the mind grapes of an actual child, and not some internet hoaxer, which they usually do. Until Snopes uncovers the truth, be kept warm by the knowledge that somewhere, there is a child that will one day rule us all.

To see the letter, in all it's glory, hit the jump.

Updated - Snow White Looks Grimm

See what I did there? Like always in Hollywood, there are two rival movies coming out this year sharing a plot. This time it is Snow White. I was interested in neither of them as they were being cast and filming, and upon release of the trailer for Mirror, Mirror, my interest remained at zero. It obviously is going to be successful at what it is meant to be: a Disney-like fairy tale that capitalizes on slapstick humour which young kids adore and parents suffer through. I wish it well, knowing that I will never sit through it.

Snow White and the Huntsman, on the other hand, has my attention.

Certainly the best cast of the two (even Stewart, who is talented when given a script to, you know, act from), and the better looking of the two. It also, for all the weird 'Joan of Arc' stuff that has been added, appears to capture dread and terror of the original German fairy tale. Now, if it ends with someone getting their eyes pecked out, or melting, I'll be satisfied.

It doesn't matter anyway. The definitive take on Snow White was written years ago by Neil Gaiman, in his wonderful short story Snow, Glass, Apples. Read it, and you'll never see Snow White the same way again.

UPDATE: After the jump, check out a five minute long preview of the movie.

Prometheus Has Landed... Again, But Better

The international (read: European) trailer has arrived for Prometheus. It is slightly better then the one I posted earlier. Being European, it is slightly more cerebral than the American trailer, which went more for the tense action side of the things. Enjoy it.

Really, I wouldn't have posted this at all, but I don't want to post about Michael Bay, speaking to Nickelodeon upfront meeting about his vision for a new live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, in which he said, and this is true, that the turtles will be aliens. And you know why? Because Michael Bay doesn't read. Four words wwere too much for him, so he read the last one, and even thought, "screw that, turtles are boring", so yeah. Alien 'turtles', which aren't mutants, and probably won't be teenaged ninjas either. Screw you Michael Bay. You, and all your crap ideas about ruining things that were popular in the eighties.

Do The Space Blind Get Space Seer Dogs?

When I was little, I thought living in space would be cool. When I was little, I thought potateos were hiding something, and that if I consentarated real hard, I could trap someone in a bubble, and watch them float away. many of these things turned out to be true. But the older we get, and the more we know about living in space, the more we realize, to quote Dr. McCoy, medical expert in all space realted medical cases, "space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence."

Head over to Sci-ence.org to see the rest of the comic.

Prometheus Has Landed

The movie I'm most looking forward to this summer isn't The Avengers. It isn't The Dark Knight Rises.

It's Ridley Scott's totally not a Alien prequel Prometheus. And that wasn't true a couple months ago. All the shadow talk from Scott, and the casting bits as the impressively diverse group of up and coming stars grew larger and larger didn't interest me at all. Then the first trailer hit, and I was struck. It was captivating. I couldn't help but watch it over and over again. It inspired me. It looked hard and cold, and stylish and smart. It looked good.

And this one looks even better.

There was actually a teaser for this trailer that appeared earlier this week, which contains two uncut shots not included here. The first was the so called 'Space Jockey' opening, whatever that implies. The second was of Noomi Rapace struggling against something trying very desperately to get at her face. Something pale. Something skittery. Something that wants to hug, if I'm not mistaken. Now listen to that desperate scream 1:55 into this trailer.

I respect Scott for building a huge mythology based in a single universe; fictioneers have been doing it for centuries. It is the foundations of mythology, to develop new facets of a world. It is quite obvious that the ship they discover here is the same ship that Ripley and co. discover on LV-426, the one filled with eggs, that eventually give rise to the xenomorphs that terrorize every other film in the franchise. I get that Scott wants people to see the film on it's own merits, not as part of the Alien series, especially considering how crap that series has gotten. But don't deny the connection. Embrace it. Predators was able to overcome the same problem by being good (relatively speaking).

And I expect Prometheus to be great.

16 Mar 2012

Jurassic Park Re-released... In 3D... Damn

Photo Via Jurassic Park.com

I love Jurassic Park. I've said so many times. So news that it'll be re-released to theatres next year in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the film's initial release makes me very happy. What makes me less happy is the news that it'll be a 3D release.

I hate 3D. Hate it with a fiery passion that goes unmatched on this or any other Earth. It's hard to watch, adds another $3 to the cost of my tickets, and most importantly, provides nothing new to the medium. Unlike IMAX, which provides depth and scope to the viewing experience, 3D weakens the image, and distracts the viewer from the action on the screen. As a cinephile, it offends me. It's a gimmick, and one that I hope fades soon.

Nothing would make me happier than to see Jurassic Park on the big screen again, but as it is, not with a pair of crappy plastic glasses stuck to the front of my face.

Nathan Fillion Instantly Makes Things Interesting

Photo Via Wikipedia

In 2010, Percy Jackson and the Olympians was released, as an attempt to plunder another successful children's book series, to serve as a replacement for the waining Harry Potter series. Which made sense, since Percy Jackson is basically Harry Potter, but with Greek Gods rather than witches. The film was met with a resounding 'meh'.

And yet, Hollywood never gave up on an opportunity to make money, and are pushing ahead with a sequel no one asked for. And I am officially looking forward to it, with the announcement that Nathan "Mal Reynolds" Fillion will play Hermes, Messenger of the Gods.

I'm going to use my incredible powers of having seen everything Fillion has done, and guess that his Hermes will be a wise-cracking, sarcastic smart ass with a tendency to get into trouble, and a hidden streak of bravery. Just a hunch.

Via The Hollywood Reporter.

In Which We All Agree That Clancy Brown Is The Greatest Lex Luthor, And Everyone Goes Home Happy

I think everyone is in agreement that the Justice League voice cast is pretty much the best versions of the DC Comics characters ever, better even than the comics on which they're based (certainly better than post-52). It's why they keeping getting brought back, for the animated films, for video games, for guest appearances at birthday parties, which gets awkwards when Kevin Conroy thinks he'll be preforming for a house of ten year old, but it's only me sitting in a batmobile-shaped bed frame.

So, it really shouldn't be a surprise when Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes decided to use voices for the first time, they'd use the best voices. The only one confirmed by the trailer above is Claney Brown, but hell, even that is enough for me. Tim Daly and Kevin Conroy would be awesome, but so would Adam Baldwin and Diedrich Bader.

For me, what would make the game, would be a wise ass Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern, making Lego green light projections, but I guess they have to save something for next time. And, if that is Mark Hamill at the end, the man is a beautiful, beautiful liar.

So, This Is Probably Going To Suck

I honestly didn't mean that as a pun. I honestly have no idea if Barnabas Collins actually drinks blood in Dark Shadows. I honestly don't anything about Dark Shadows. But now we have the trailer for the film version, directed by Tim Burton, and it looks... well, it is obviously a Tim Burton film. I'm a fan of Burton's, don't get me wrong. When he's good (Beetlejuice, Big Fish, Sleepy Hollow) he's very good. But when he's bad (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Planet of the Apes, Batman. Yes, I said it, Batman. Get over it), he's very bad. And maybe it was because I wasn't expecting the soap-opera acting-style comedy, but I have to say, I'm going to ere on the side of caution with this one. I'll still see, make no mistake. I just.. don't know.

OK, so I looked up Dark Shadows on wikipedia (what, I'm not going to devout serious time to this) and it turns out it was a campy Gothic soap opera. So, maybe Burton and Co. got it bang on. All I know is that no one can get Michelle Pfeiffer to overact like Tim Burton.

15 Mar 2012

When I Was Young, The Internet Was Called Books

So, after 244 years, the Encyclopaedia Britannica will stop publishing a print edition, concentrating on its online and other digital resources. It's a sad, sad day for print resources. Yes, they are cumbersome, and go out of date as soon as they are printed, but a digital resource can't sit, unused on a shelf for years, gathering dust and yellow pages, and the smell of must and knowledge, only to be opened by some inquisitive lad, who makes the mistake of breathing in and inflaming his asthma.

You kids today have it too easy. What with your keyword searches, and digital references, and "Who the hell is James Madison?" I'd shake my stick at you disapprovingly, but my back is acting up again. I think I'll go lay down.

Via CNN.

If You're Not Careful, A Spoiler Will Kill You And Everyone You Love

I hate spoilers. They ruin lives. They take wonder and joy and crush it like it's a kitten on Arbour Day. So I am all in favour of creating a list of rules concerning spoilers, even if the guy from True Blood looks like he just woke up from a good nap to film this video, with all the enthusiasm of someone who would rather be eating a hot pocket than reading a teleprompter and not getting that he's meant to be making the funny.

This video is personal for me, as it features Julie Benz, and I had the season 4 finale of Dexter spoiled for me by a national newspaper. "Was that the one where she..." Was assimilated by the Borg, and then Dexter has to decide where or not to shoot her, all the while struggling with the notion that his friend and companion may have been turned into a monster? Yes, that’s exactly what happened. Thats it exactly.

Themed Shoes - Come To Save The Princess, Stay For Your Chest Exploding

I don't understand the obsession with shoes, by men or women, I'm not sexist. Shoes are shoes. I own two pair. And a pair of boots, but that's different. They are boots: they serve a purpose. And don't give me none of this sandals crap, sandals are just shoes that didn't apply themselves in school. Why would I want to wear half a shoe, and expose my feet to all sorts of air and sand and tetanus? That sounds insane. You're insane.

For those that think shoes are something they should have lots of, today we have geek offerings. First up, classic Nintendo hand painted heels. Those pictured above would be great for a day out with the gals, while the underground/castle inspired ones are definitely best left for a serious night out. I have no opinion on the Zelda designs. Link can go stuff himself in a pot for all I care. See all the designs, and purchase them here.

Those are at least practical. The second choice offered in today`s showcase are more for that chic fashionista that is whiling to suffer for her style. And trust me, suffer she will in these H.R. Giger inspired Aliens high heels.

Just... my toes hurt just looking at that. The only way they could possibly be less comfortable/more dangerous would be if they had a tiny little ball bearing in the heel. I hope this is just one of those crazy internet things, and that no one ever, ever actually tries to wear these. Because it will all end in tears.

Via Geekologie and The Great White Snark.

WB And FOX Hate Joss Whedon, Disney Not So Much

Photo via Marvel

I like Joss Whedon. He makes good stuff. Sure, he kills the things we love, but we love the things he kills. And in a couple months, we'll be getting his vision of The Avengers on the big screen, which is amazingly only the second feature film he's directed, after Serenity. Later next month, his often delayed Cabin in the Woods, which he co-wrote and produced, will finally see the light of day, and Whedon's been out on the PR trail, talking about his hopes and dreams, and his past failures. His terrible, terrible failures.

“My heart was on the table. I was so into it. And I could tell the executive I was talking to was just completely thinking about their schedule and their window and it was like I was talking to a wall. It was a different language. And I drove away from the meeting and I actually said to myself like, how much more indication do I need that the machine doesn’t care? I got back to work and they cancelled Firefly. And I was like ‘it was rhetorical! I wasn’t asking for more!’”

That was Joss Whedon's description of what I can only guess was one of his worst days ever. Because the thing he was pitching to the disinterested exec? A Batman movie. This would have been 2003, about the time that Christopher Nolan got the OK to make Batman Begins. Would I trade The Dark Knight for Joss' Batman? Hell no, but I'd be interested in what such a thing would look like. I have a feeling that Joss might be the only man capable of adapting Harley Quinn to the screen successfully.

It's interesting to pause here, though, and reflect on Joss' career. Buffy the Vampire Slayer on the WB, until it was cancelled, and moved over to UPN (which was owned by Paramount). Angel remained on the WB where it was unceremoniously cancelled by the network during the fifth season. A Batman pitch would have been presented to the WB (different division, but hey, follow me on this). Joss famously came this close to making a Wonder Woman movie in 2005/2006 before the production company backed away from the project. That company? The WB.

Now Joss finally has his chance to get into the world of superheroes, with what is easily Marvel's biggest risk to date, and I think Joss is one of the few directors who can pull it off. All of his series were ensemble pieces, so he is used to moving multiple characters within the same story. Firefly had ten main characters (eleven if you count River's feet). Avengers has about that many, and that is including Loki. Joss has proven that he is comfortable with the big action pieces and special effects, and is probably the best resume he could have had for getting this project. And you know what, Marvel and Disney must have thought so too.

"But it was like comics, because they didn’t interfere. I told them ‘this is the kind of movie I want to make’, and they said ‘all right, make that movie’. And that is what happened. And they were as unmeddlesome as any studio I’ve ever worked with, even though they had the very strict touchstones that had to happen. So it was a weirdly free experience."

So, perhaps this is a lesson to Joss in the future. Stay away from FOX and the WB, stick with the people who actually let you make your films. So far, that has been Disney and Universal (who gave Serenity a chance, gods love 'em).

And speaking of Disney, they've unleashed a new series of posters for The Avengers, including one, seen above, featuring Maria Hill. Her first actual appearance in a piece of publicity! Not that I'm a huge fan of Hill. I would have preferred they went with Ultimate Carol Danvers, thus setting Ms. Marvel up for a sequel, but I'll trust Joss for now.

I don't actually like these posters, as they are obviously head shots on CG bodies, and not great ones at that, and Maria again looks like she has a serious bowel obstruction, but it's nice to see the entire team (save Coulson. We need one of just him, sitting quietly, cause you know that means he's just resting) represented. See rest of the posters here.

The Avengers opens May 4th. Cabin in the Woods opens April 13th. Joss Whedon's Batman remains a dream. The return of Firefly... we can only hope.

Via Den of Geek, and again. Also, ComicsAlliance.

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