31 Oct 2012
Axe Cop And Ron Swanson Share More In Common Then What Is On Their Upper Lip
Whenever I read Axe Cop, I cannot help myself but imagine Bruce Campbell as the bemoustached protagonist. It's the bone structure: with a chin like that, Campbell has to come to mind. Until I watched this animated short, possibly a teaser to the promised FOX Sunday animated show (which if it is, FOX, I will take back nearly every bad thing I have ever said about you, and even buy a season of Glee on DVD if it makes you not cancel this show). Now, I understand, that there is no one else, in the world, who could possible be Axe Cop then Nick Offerman. Nick "Ron 'Axe Cop' Swanson" Offerman. Ron Cop. Sounds like a used car dealer. Axe Swanson. Sounds like an eighties action star.
Axe Swanson it is.
(As an aside, I struggle to understand how the series will cope with the sheer insanity of the comic. I figure the basic format of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, with the absurdity of The Tick would be a close approximation. We shall see, I guess).
Via Topless Robot.
[Review] - Mockingbird Lane
|Courtesy of NBCUniversal|
Let me start by saying I've always been more of an Addams Family guy then a Munsters fan. No particular reason, but it meant I was coming into Mockingbird Lane largely fresh, as I'm sure much of the 18-26 demographic NBC covets so much was as well. While I was familiar with the characters in the abstract, this was an opportunity for the show to really impress me, to get me hooked, as any and every pilot should.
And it didn't. It didn't feel like it was everybody's full effort on display, and by the end of the hour, not only was I not interested in seeing any further adventures of the Munsters, but I actually had to give NBC a bit of credit. Certainly it was a massive waste of $10 million, but nothing in the pilot was worthy of being picked up for series. If only they had been a little more conservative in their spending, they wouldn't have felt the need to burn the pilot off in an attempt to recoup their losses, and Mockingbird Lane would have remained one of the thousands of pilots that never see the light of day.
Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that have started to notice their body is going through some changes.
Labels: NBC, Reviews, TV
30 Oct 2012
Doctor Who To Explore The Depths Of Time And Relative Dimension In Space
|Courtesy of the BBC|
Good news everyone, and by everyone, I mean Doctor Who fans, and by Doctor Who fans, I mean people like me who are frustrated by the lack of episodes that take place inside the TARDIS herself, outside of the control room. Over the course of the entire franchise, we've only seen scant glimpses of the sexy thing. Romana's abandoned room, the Zero Room, the Wardrobe, a good chunk of The Invasion of Time was set inside the various labs and workrooms, including the Cloister room, and the "engine room" in the '96 film. But until last years The Doctor's Wife, the corridors had yet to be seen on the returned series. But, after that episode was finished, the corridor sets, as seen above, were kept up at BBC Cardiff, as a permanent set, just waiting to be used again.
And that time has come, according to reports. One episode in the forthcoming second half of series seven, as written by Steve Thompson, and currently referred to as Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS, will delve into the deeps of the machine. Which makes me giddy. I honestly believe there are too few episodes that use the TARDIS as a plot point, and that we should see outside of the control room more often then we do. So, this is a step in the right direction, then.
Via the Mary Sue.
Ron Swanson Wants You To Grow A Moustache
November is almost here, and with it comes the prostate cancer awareness campaign Movember, in which men across the world are encouraged to grow a moustache. And who better to act as spokesperson for such an honourable plight then the modern incarnation of the Saint of Facial Hair, Nick Offerman.
As someone who sports much of a moustache, I've always been hesitant to shave it off and start from fresh. Little did I know the trick was eating a raw onion. So... I'm still not going to do it. But I will support Movember by continuing to wear my own soup strainer.
[Review] - For A Good Time, Call...
|Courtesy of Focus Films|
And while this is certainly a refreshing change of pace, it is not the whole film, and does not distract from the flaws.
Hit the jump for the review, which maintains a phone line of its own: 1-900-SPOILERS (its mostly husky voiced women ruining films for you).
26 Oct 2012
The only reason I'm posting this is because I needed something to pad out the day, not because I care. Because I don't anymore. The first useless trailer for A Good Day to Die Hard didn't inspire any great feelings in me, and this second trailer, mostly just the first with dialogue added to it, makes me feel nothing. Neutral. Zip. And because of that, I will compensate for the lack of delivered emotion with being overly negative and cynical (more so then usual).
This is going to suck. Suuuuuck.
Posted by MR. Clark at 15:00
Labels: Movies, Trailers
Weekly Marvel News
|Courtesy of Marvel|
Marvel has also provided an official plot description of Iron Man 3, which compared to last week's Thor description, is frustratingly vague:
"Marvel Studios’ “Iron Man 3” pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy's hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?"Hit the jump for the Iron Man 3 teaser poster, SHIELD casting news, and quite a bit of X-Men/Wolverine updates, for a change of pace.
Weekly Hobbit News
|Courtesy of Viacom|
Reports are surfacing now that while he was on set, which he can not discuss, he filmed a brief cameo for the films. When interviewed recently by Playboy, and asked if he was appearing in the films, Colbert answered, "Could be," then refused to answer any more questions on the subject. The Hollywood Reporter ran with this, and discovered that the "news" man will in fact be appearing in the second of the Hobbit films, The Desolation of Smaug. As to whom, and how large a role he will be playing, no word, though one expects it to be a minor role or cameo. And while his slightly Vulcan like ears might make him a good elf, I feel Colbert is better suited (literally, most days) to play one of the men of Lake-town. Who better to feel the news for Middle Earth then the man who recently gave himself the title of "Western Culture."
Hit the jump to see the first TV spot for the Hobbit.
25 Oct 2012
The Evil Dead Remake May Very Well Swallow Your Soul
The full trailer is after the jump. I've included this teaser for the trailer up top because the actual trailer is incredibly gory, and because the teaser features Bruce Campbell saying "where's your art film now, baby?"
As Bruce Campbell pointed out yesterday, people tend to forget the original Evil Dead wasn't funny. Like, at all. Yes it was low budget, and that creates a certain level of unintentional humour, but the subject matter was played straight. It was only in the later instalments that Raimi and Campbell added in the one liners, the sight gags, the Three Stooges references. Much like Raimi's Spider-man trilogy, which eventually devolved into near-parody (maybe it's his coping mechanism for becoming disinterested in the subject).
So, the Evil Dead remake, by Fede Alvarez, and guided by Raimi and Campbell, sought to reclaim the original spirit of the film: mindless, gory violence. And going by this first trailer it appears like they've achieved just that. Looks like Campbell mixed up a extra large batch of his special fake blood, cause it is everywhere. As is an endless parade of death, dismemberment, possession, torment and one evil bastard of a book.
It also hits many of the check marks you'd expect from an Evil Dead film.
- Someone chopping off their own hand (with an electric knife, no less).
- What might be a 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88.
- Tree rape.
- Raimi-cam (I'm torn about this. Campbell said specifically that the movie is not shot in Raimi style, but I guess this POV style camera movement is just as much a part of the Evil Dead films as it is Raimi's own style. Plus, it's the most effective way not to show the beastie.)
- What appears to be a work shed.
Hit the jump for the full trailer.
Ron Swanson Has Some Parenting Advice
This preview of tonight's Parks and Rec Halloween episode brings us the Ron Swanson guide to parenting (a subject very absent from the standard teachings of Swanson). And as you can see, Ron approaches it in the same manner in which he approaches all things: correctly. It's not his fault the kids don't know what's good for them.
Tonight also features appearances by Jean-Ralphio, Lucy Lawless, and Breaking Bad's own Mike, Jonathan Banks as Ben's dad. This had better be the best episode ever.
Want To Hear Bryan Cranston Describe Killing A Chicken
Want to hear it in uncomfortable detail? So uncomfortable that host TV's Craig Ferguson is clearly unnerved by the whole thing. As were, I expect, the CBS executives who were uncertain what to do while the star of the best show on TV just keeps at the tale, trying, pawing desperately to find the laugh line to end the story on, and then [spoilers] doesn't [/spoilers].
'Cause it might just be one of the funniest things I've seen on TV in a while.
24 Oct 2012
[Review] - Boss, Season 2
|Courtesy of Lionsgate Televison|
Hit the jump for the review, which suffers from a rare brain disorder that causes it to see spoilers.
Labels: Reviews, TV
For Those That Always Wanted The Pictures On Ancient Vases To Fight It Out
I make no apologies for who or what I am. I like my theatres sparsely populated, I like my food crunchy, I like my mythology Greek, and my video games to scroll from the side. So, when I stumbled across the trailer for Apotheon, and it satisfied two of those requirements, I got excited. Then I watched the damned thing, and good gods, this thing looks gorgeous. Like, I had to take a moment afterwards to catch my breath, gorgeous. It will be released on Steam sometime in the new year, and that is good enough for me.
Via Topless Robot.
Bruce Campbell Makes A Reasonable Argument For the Evil Dead Remake
I don't like remakes. I don't see the point of them. Most are just retelling a story that didn't need to be retold, but with actors the youths will recognise, in order to make a quick buck (or not that quick, Total Recall). Unless the film makers are willing to change things drastically, to tear down the story and characters, and rebuild it anew, but then why not just make your own damned film, and leave the original the hell alone.
So, I go into the Evil Dead remake with trepidation. However, having Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi on board as producers does help. And now, knowing exactly how much they were involved, and seeing how excited Bruce is about the whole thing, has reduced my level of cynicism from "it doesn't matter who you vote for, nothing gets done" to a more reasonable "I got food poisoning there once, and haven't went back since."
There Are Some Long, Hard Times To Come
And I can't wait much longer. Luckily, if this first, early look at season four of Justified is any indication, nothing much is going to change. Raylan shoots some folks, and everyone goes home happy (happiness is not guaranteed).
23 Oct 2012
Nothing Like An Old-Timey, New Fangled Good Time
If there is one thing I like, it's a western. If there is one thing I like just a slightly bit more, it's a western with anachronistic technology. So, Bioshock Infinite looks right up my alley. This trailer, comprised apparently entirely of game footage, seems like something I'm going to have a hell of a lot of fun playing. And it looks absolutely beautiful.
Can't say I'm loving the trailer music though. Lets hope the game keeps that stuff to a minimum.
Community Has A Very Special Message For Us
Eventually, the fourth season of Community will air. And when it ends, it will undoubtedly be the end of the series as a whole. So it is important to soak up all the brilliance while we can. Even if all we get is a minute and a half, largely silent-Chevy moment. I mean, even Chang was funny, for the first time in years.
NBC, please find a personal message to you, after the jump.
Being An Avenger Takes Its Toll
However the movie actually turns out, this first trailer for Iron Man 3 looks amazing. As the headliner of the MCU, the Iron Man movies have a lot more weight on their shoulders, to look impressive, to feel real and at the same time be a comic book film, and to be the films that really anchor the viewers to the world of the MCU.
When the second movie came out, everyone wondered if they would eventually adapt the Demon in a Bottle storyline, the seminal work of Iron Man's run. And it looks like they might be touching on it here, as they did in the last one. Except instead of booze, it's glory that is tearing Tony Stark's life apart. As Tony seethed in the Avengers, he isn't a soldier. He isn't a god. He isn't trained, or infected, or altered in anyway. So it makes sense that of anyone, after the events of the Avengers, that he would be the one suffering the most. Which is important, both for us the viewer to see that heroics have a cost, but for the character. He, more then the others, has been built up over the years. For the film to work, he needs to start low again, and fight to rise.
And holy hezmada, does he fight. And against a possibly autonomous suit, too. Ben Kingsley looks excellent as the Manderin, and that last shot is just pretty. My only hope is they avoid turning Pepper into a damsel in distress, a role she has (at times, narrowly) avoided thus far.
22 Oct 2012
Giant Eye Appears In Florida. Peacock And Spotlights Expected Any Time
Last Wednesday, a giant blue eye washed up on Pompano beach, near Fort Lauderdale. It was immediately taken to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute for identification. While what sort of creature might possess an eye of this size was not immediately known, experts have said it "likely came from a marine animal."
I for one, feel a little safer knowing that they suspect that it "likely" came from some giant under-water thing, and not some massive terrestrial animal. And while some scientists seem content to assume it came from a giant squid, whose eyes are known to easily dislodge (we'll put that image into the subconscious for later), I think the actual answer is clear: Cthulhu has sent it up from his sullen, dark leagues, to keep a watch over us. And soon, after he has fully woken from his millennial slumber, he will rise to reclaim it, and in the doing, will make our flesh into his own, through both the mashing of his jaws, and finer needlework.
Do not gaze directly at it, for any image that carries his gaze becomes yet another of his unblinking eyes, adding to the multitude of blinking eyes he already has, but blinking in a strange unison, so as to make it seem artificial or at the very least, very discomforting.
Via the Toronto Star.
Science Ruins The Avengers
Astronomer Phil Plait rose to his currently level of notability outside of the scientific community when he dissected all the ways in which Armageddon is a terrible film, from a scientific point of view (leaving all the other points of view for the rest of us to pick at). And while picking apart movies is no longer his primary concern, on occasion, he does use his powers for good, and explains why just because something looks cool does not mean it is science-approved.
As he has now done with the Helicarrier from The Avengers. And considering that this is a movie that contains quantum magic, a cosmic cube, gamma rays, and Hawkeye's improbably aiming skills, I suppose the Helicarrier is as good a target as any.
Via The Bad Astronomer himself.
Save The Date, For Save The Date
Despite a rather tepid title, this trailer for Save the Date looks fantastic. At times it seems to play a little too hard at the "indie vibe," but it looks exceptional. And maybe it's just me, but it looks all the more interesting considering stars Lizzy Caplan and Alison Brie are playing somewhat against type. I don't know why, but when I first watched this, I immediately thought, based on their previous works, they were playing the opposite roles they normally would. Which, if the actor can pull off, is always refreshing.
I'm just glad that Brie is getting better, and higher profile roles, and that people are finally realising that Lizzy Caplan is awesome at pretty much everything.
[Review] - Argo
|Courtesy of Warner Bros.|
His followup, the "based on true events" Argo, is no less compelling. However, it lacks a wholeness that made The Town as full and rich as it was. Argo seems more like a very nicely decorated room, inside a model home. Everything is where it should be, but no one is every going to live there.
Hit the jump for the review, which contains no spoilers. Because these things happened thirty years ago. The spoiler time limit has expired.
19 Oct 2012
Weekly Hobbit News
Another week, another batch of Hobbit photos, and we've still got two months until the film comes out. What makes these notable is the inclusion of Elijah Wood as Frodo, thus confirming that the Lord of the Rings bookends concept has survived the extension of the Hobbit into three films.
And... that's it, really. It was a slow week. Other then Ian McKellen's announcement that he nearly didn't agree to do the films. Then he did. So that settles that. Hit the jump for the other photos.
Doctor Who News
Good news, Whovians! Official confirmation that Neil Gaiman's second episode of Doctor Who, following up his Hugo award winning episode from last series, will in fact air during next years final batch of series 7 episodes. Not only that, but it will be the penultimate episode of the series, the place The Doctor's Wife original held back in series 5 before it was bumped. It will almost certainly offer a wonderful place to leave the series off, if Moffat's finale disappoints as much as the rest of his recent episodes have.
As detailed by Doctor Who magazine, here is how the spring season will look, creatively. It should be noted that this is the first time since the show returned that someone other then the showrunner has written multiple, unconnected episodes in a series. Toby Whithouse had two in the first half, and Neil Cross and Mark Gatiss both double up in this second half.
706. Written by Steven Moffat. Directed by Colm McCarthy. (Filming now)
707. Written by Neil Cross. Directed by Farren Blackburn. (Not filmed)
708. Written by Mark Gatiss. Directed by Douglas Mackinnon. (Filmed)
709. Written by Neil Cross. Directed by Jamie Payne. (Filmed)
710. Written by Stephen Thompson. Directed by Mat King. (Filmed)
711. Written by Mark Gatiss. Directed by Saul Metzstein. (Filmed)
712. Written by Neil Gaiman. Directed by Stephen Wolfenden. (Not filmed)
713. Written by Steven Moffat. Directed by TBA. (Not filmed)
Hit the jump for pictures of Matt Smith and Jenna Louise Coleman currently filming in London, presumably on episode 706.
Weekly MCU News
Of course, the biggest news to come from Marvel already came out. I wrote about it briefly at the beginning of the week, but I feel it bares repeating:
Clark Gregg is reprising the role of Agent Phil Coulson for Joss Whedon's SHIELD series.
Which is, of course, fantastic. But other stuff happened in Marvel news this week. I mean, none of it really matters. Because none of it involves Coulson. But I'll still report it. I'm not biased like that.
Some big news, if you like scheduling details. Ant-man has been given a release date, which means Edgar Wright needs to get up on this thing, and fast like. Oh, don't worry, he's got time to put the touches on The World's End. Ant-man has officially been given the release date of November 6th, 2015. Which is big for two reasons.
First, that is post Avengers 2, which means the chances of seeing Ant-man or Wasp in Avengers 2 probably just bottomed out. Which also means Ant-man will officially be part of Phase 3, which will also likely contain Thor and Cap trilogy enders, and who knows, Doctor Strange maybe, if he pops up in Thor 2. Black Panther? Dare we suggest a film based around one of their many female characters? It also means that Phase 3 will begin the same year as Phase 2 concludes, which also suggests Marvel will be ramping things up in Phase 3. They average 1.5 films a year now, will they be looking to push that average to a solid 2? Maybe even 2.5? Who knows, it's still half a decade away (kind of).
Hit the jump to get a glimpse of the new Iron Man, find out who won't be appearing in any Marvel sequels, and find out what Thor 2 will be about.
Last week, with the release of Prometheus on DVD and blu-ray, the above screenshot caught people's attention. It apparently, in the course of a paragraph, merges the Prometheus (and Alien) franchises into the same universe as Blade Runner. This has since been revealed to be not true, and just a little bit of fun the producer was having with the sort of detail obsessed fans that blow up the text on computer screens to see if it gives anything away.
But it made me remember a thought I had after I saw Prometheus earlier this year. Aside from all the other thoughts I had about Prometheus earlier this year. The Alien franchise, for all it's space and ET adventures, isn't actually all that sprawling. The first three films all take place within fifty years, the first two on the same planet, or at least the same sector of space. Small character groups, few confirmed details about the larger universe. Pretty much anything could be happening elsewhere, and we'd never know it. So...
What if Firefly/Serenity took place within the Alien universe?
This isn't as crazy as it sounds (certainly no crazier then Blade Runner), as I will outline after the jump.
18 Oct 2012
Robert Zemeckis Really Needs To Let This Go
|Courtesy of Disney.|
I have a script [for a Roger Rabbit sequel] at Disney, and we’re just waiting for all the executive changes to settle down there.I'm not uneasy about this prospect because Bob Hoskins has retired, and I think without Eddie Valiant, a follow up would be a pale, anemic copy of the original. It's because I honestly feel that not every movie demands a sequel, even popular or successful ones, and that Framed stands on its own, proud and unique. And that any followup would be a pale, anemic copy of the original (how many of these "twenty years later" sequels have been worth it?). Even that script they had ready back in the day about Roger fighting the Nazis isn't appealing. If Zemeckis wants to make a Toon Squad film, he can go right ahead. Just be decent and leave Roger Rabbit out of it.
I suppose we should all be grateful at least he's not taking about Back to the Future 4.
SyFy Has A New Show, Which At First Will Be Great, Then Loose Steam, Then Get Unceremoniously Cancelled To Make Room For More Reality TV Bull$#!t
This teaser for Defiance looks pretty solid. Good looking efects, nice alien makeup. And the cast is top notch, including Julie Benz (Angel, Dexter), Mia Kirshner (24, L-Word), Jamie Murray (Dexter, Warehouse 13), and Tony Curran (Van Gogh on Doctor Who). Plus, Canadian national treasure Graham Greene (Red Green, Dances With Wolves). And the show has been developed by Rockne S. O'Bannon, who created Farscape, so that alone is enough to get me to tune into the first episode, at the very least.
Alter Egos Is Yet Another Deconstruction Of The Superhero Genre. Yay...
Unlike Kick-Ass, or Defendor, or Super, Alter Egos actually has super powered super heroes. So it's more like Chronicle. Or The Incredibles.
I suspect the biggest impact this movie will have is that it is the first non-Kevin Smith film to be distributed by Kevin Smith's ridiculously named Smodcast Pictures, the independent company he set up to distribute Red State. I'm not saying Alter Egos doesn't look good. It does. I especially like the whole "secret identities cause mental illness" idea. But I'm betting this becomes a cult favourite at best. Which, unfortunately, is just the way things go sometimes.
17 Oct 2012
The Future Home For The Future Museum, For The Man Who Invented The Future
A few weeks back, I mentioned the successful campaign (championed by Matt Iman) to fully fund the Tesla Science Centre, an organisation wishing to transform Tesla's former lab in New York State into the first North American museum honouring the brilliant inventor. The building was at risk of being bought by a developer, and required $850,000 to purchase. So the internet gave them $1.375 million. Cause sometimes, the internet is awesome that way.
And now the deal is done. The property, seen above, is now under the ownership of the Science Centre, who will be using the surplus to improve the facilities, because after two decades of disuse, both the grounds and the dilapidated building are in need of serious repairs. But, it is a couple steps closer to making this museum a reality. And a couple steps closer towards getting me to visit New York State.
Damn, doesn't it just scream old-timey science lab. You can practically see lightning bolts striking that tower.
Blofeld Is Pleased; Goldfinger Silently Bides His Time
|Artist's interpretation. Via NASA|
Yale University’s Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics has announced the discovery of a planet in orbit around 55 Cancri. What makes this discovery amazing (apart from all the other planets we've discovered in orbit around stars that is not our own) is that, according to their analysis, the planet's core could be up to one third solid diamond, and the surface largely molten graphite.
Let me explain. Diamonds are simply pieces of carbon which have been put under extreme pressure. Chemically, there is no difference between the diamond on an engagement ring, and the graphite tip of your pencil. Only time and pressure. So, remember that the next time your significant other asks you for jewelry. But concentrations of carbon are rare on Earth, which is why diamonds are rare, and heavily localised. And because scientists still haven't gotten it around their heads that not every place might be like Earth, the same assumption was made about every other planet in the universe (scientists can be dumb some times). This planet is good evidence that these assumptions are wrong.
But how do we know, you may ask. Well, good question. We observe planets by watching for them to pass between us and their local star. By watching these transits, we can determine a lot of information. How far away it is from the star, the length of a year, the composition of it's atmosphere based on the reflection and refraction of light through the planet, and the size and mass. Once we know the mass, astronomers can make very educated guesses on what the planet is comprised of, to account for it's behaviour (a smaller, high mass solid planet will behave differently then a larger, low mass, gaseous planet, etc.)
According to the team of Nikku Madhusudhan and Kanani Lee, of Yale, and Olivier Mousis, of the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie in Toulouse, France, the planet's behaviours make sense if the core were comprised of diamond, iron and silicon carbide. And considering the planet orbits it's star every 18 hours, and the surface temperature is upwards of 2100 degrees Celsius, the surface is most likely molten graphite.
This is why planatary exploration funding needs to be increased, across the board. Federal, state, provincial, national, multinational, private, public, and the little girl next door's lemonade stand. Discoveries like this are the only thing that increase our knowledge, and understanding, of the universe. We can't know about it unless we investigate, and we can't investigate if we can't afford it. And knowing more has never been a bad thing.
In fact, knowing more is only ever what stops bad things.
Via The Toronto Star.
Watch The Maker, Understand You're Not As Good As This
The Maker, by Christopher and Christine Kezelos, from Zealous Creative productions, is haunting, and beautiful, and touching, and I'm just going to shut up and let you watch.
Via The Mary Sue.
16 Oct 2012
Pixar Gets Viral
Pixar has launched what I believe is their first viral marketing campaign (correct me if I'm wrong about that), with an official website for Monsters University, the setting for their next film, Monsters University. How about that.
This thing is detailed. Every link is clickable, and packed with the sort of obsessive quality we expect from Pixar, and did not receive with Brave. Each school has full facilities, book lists, course schedules. There is,(or will be) an Alumni page. It has a temperature readout at the bottom of the page! Temperature, in a fictional place! I'm fairly certain this website is more detailed then the collage I actually went to is. Not their website, the actual physical college had less thought put into it then this site.
I've been browsing it for a few days now, and I want to go there.
Via First Showing.
If You Are An American, Do This For The Rest Of Us
I'm not an American, so a letter from me to the President isn't going to make no-never mind. But to any Americans reading this, please do as Bll Nye asks (always a good plan anyway) and send letters to the President asking him to restore the budgets for planetary exploration.
Why? Because when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, it was with an American patch on his sleeve, on the back of an American rocket, paid for using American tax dollars. And it changed the world. It doesn't matter who pays for this stuff, it benefits everybody.
And that's not to say there shouldn't be other countries trying to get to where the Americans are, or help fund or develop technologies to accomplish these tasks, because they should. They need to. But the Americans have been at this the longest, they have the labs and the structures and the people in place that make it such a smaller step forward for them. And the Americans cutting their NASA and science budgets, considering they are such a small line item in the total yearly budgets, makes no kind of sense.
Because landing a rover on Mars is good for everyone. Landing people on Mars is better for everyone. Finding out if life exists in the massive, moon-spanning ocean under the ice of Europa is fantastic for everyone. And yet, America once again, has the majority of the power.
America: don't screw this up for the rest of us.
Via The Mary Sue.
See, Now I'm Disappointed
It's quite clear that the early promo picture for Mockingbird Lane was simply rubbish. Had it been more in line with the looks of this trailer, I would have been far more excited about it. And thus, disappointed when it was announced that NBC had spent $10 million dollars on the pilot, and decided not to pick it up for series. Then been excited again when they announced that they'd be airing that pilot as a TV movie for Halloween. Then disappointed again, in general, in life.
It's got to suck to be Bryan Fuller though. I mean, it has to be. His series get no respect. Cancelled after one episode is his worst track record yet. This trailer looks premium Fuller, something I just can't imagine Hannibal being.
Via Topless Robot.
[Review] - Seven Psychopaths
|Courtesy of CBS Films|
It is, in short, brilliant. And devilishly funny. And incredibly violent. And very self aware.
Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that would really like to help write a screenplay.
15 Oct 2012
|Dammit Fillion, this has nothing to do with you!|
Joss Whedon kills the things we love. He knows this. And he accepts this. Tara wasn't brought back by a magic wish, Wash is a leaf on the wind, and Penny isn't doing any more laundry.
But just this once, Whedon is doing us all a solid. A big, Clark Gregg shaped soild.
Agent Phil Coulson is officially part of (and the first actor cast for) the SHIELD series.
Announced over the weekend at the New York Comiccon, during a surprise appearance by Gregg at the Ultimate Spider-man panel, via a video featuring man-about-town Joss Whedon and Marvel up-and-up Kevin Feige, making this captain awesome sauce official.
How excited am I about this? Since I first read it, and then verified the ever loving fudge out of it, I've been speaking in strange metaphors and haven't been able to get Huey Lewis' Power of Love out of my head. And I've tried. And now the Q-tip is stuck.
SHUT UP RON, THIS DOESN'T CONCERN YOU!
I've been saying this is obvious for a while now. Just search Coulson on this site, and see how many posts pop up. And now that it's official, I wonder how long it's been planned. Honestly, I'm curious how long Whedon and Marvel have been working on SHIELD together, and if Coulson has always been part of the plan. Is this why Coulson's fate was as ambiguous in the film as it was, but never fully resolved?
All that has been announced is that Coulson will be on the show, it hasn't been announced how he will be on the show, obviously wanting to leave something a surprise for the (now significantly increased number of) viewers. Most internet-people are guessing resurrection (coming back as the Vision is the ever popular choice), with the TV series being based between Iron Man 2 and Avengers being the popular second (I wonder, might a reality warping cellist be involved in his return?). Folks are also falling on the flashbacks or limited screen time options, but I figure Whedon knows what he has with both Gregg and Coulson. This guy is the star.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to find a way to get this smile off of my face. It's freaking me the hell out.
Via /Film, and a host of others (I did more research on this one story then I did through all of grade school).
Ron Swanson Would Like A Word With You On A Subject Very Dear To His Heart
It's about time someone set the record straight about this so called 'bacon shortage' everyone is going on about. And like all things in life, that someone is Ron Swanson.
It is also the single greatest "The More You Know" ad NBC has ever done. Just remember: bacon, like sizable supplies of ground chuck, if kept in a desk, will begin to smell in time. Refrigerate appropriately.
Hit the jump to hear Nick Offerman, on David Letterman, sing a song he wrote for his wife, about how much he would like to have the sex with her.
The World's End Looks Like A Fine Place To Be
That is the first teaser poster for the upcoming conclusion to Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, The World's End. Being released in August next year for those in the UK, and just in time for Halloween for North America, the film will follow five childhood friends on a pub crawl, ending at the fabled World's End pub. All the while, it will send up ultimate disaster films.
To say I'm looking forward to it is something of an understatement.
Here, finally, is the trailer for the second Alfred Hitchcock film to be released this year. The first was HBO's The Girl, which stars Toby Jones as the director, and covers his obsessive relationship with Tippi Hedron. Hitchcock is a theatrical release starring Anthony Hopkins as the director, and Helen Mirren as his wife. This film covers the director's effort to make Psycho.
I'll see both, and reserve judgement and comparison until then. This trailer for Hitchock certainly makes this film seem more of a comedy then a drama, though part of me hopes for a tone closer to the fantastic Churchill biopic The Gathering Storm, which managed to balance the comedy and drama of a similarly larger then life figure. Also, it looks as if this film focuses less on how much of a lecherous horn dog Hitchcock actually was.
After the jump, see the two spectacular posters for this film.
12 Oct 2012
Doctor Who, P.S.
I had many problems with the Doctor Who mid-series finale, The Angels take Manhattan. One I didn't mention in my review was how I immediately felt that Amy and Rory's departure was unfair to Brian, Rory's dad. And to us, who having only known Brian (played wonderfully by Mark Williams) for two episode, yet immediately fell in love with him. Yes, the dangers were explained to him, but to simply never know what happened to his children seems a spectacular kind of unfair, even for Moffat.
Now we know. This semi animated short (and featuring a voice over by Arthur Darvill) details the unfilmed scene written by Chris Chibnall, titled P.S., that gives Brian his closure. Considering it was written by Chibnall, and not by episode scribe Moffat, I suspect this was never meant to be included in the actual episode. More likely, it was meant to be the sixth and final sequence of the Pond centric web series Pond Life, which was also written by Chibnall, and aired the week before the Asylum of the Daleks.
Via Topless Robot.
Avengers News Is Alternatively Hilarious, Unlikely
The general rule is, when you explain the joke, it makes it less fun. But like so many things, Joss Whedon is the exception to the rule. And who knew there would be a deeper explanation to Tony Stark's Shawarma line in the Avengers? And who would have guessed that Nicholas "Xander" Brendon would have been the one who basically wrote the joke? And that Whedon would wait fifteen years to use it.
Hit the jump for a ridiculous Avengers 2 rumour that is barely worth reporting on.
Weekly Hobbit Update Is Oddly Dutch
Another round of banners have been released for The Hobbit, making me think if Warner Bros is worried this thing isn't going to make any money. Each is themed after a particular scene from the book, one of which is Gollum and the Riddles in the Dark.
And once again I have to voice my concern about the focus the marketing campaign is putting on Gollum. Yes, he was the stand out character from the first trilogy. Yes, the technology was ground breaking (ten years ago). And yes, aside from Gandalf, he provide a form of instant recognition amongst non Tolkien fans. But what does Warner's expect will be the backlash when those who haven't read the books discovers that Gollum is only in one scene. Even if each of these Hobbit films is only two hours long (which is a gross underestimation), his entire role in the Hobbit will amount to maybe twenty minutes of six hours. Does that really warrant his predominance in the ads?
Hit the jump to see the other three banners, plus get a look at the newly announced Hobbit Lego set.
Knowing that taking even a simple position on Star Wars can illicit the sort of hate filled rage usually reserved for Middle East conflicts, I will now make three statements. These statements, I believe, are unimpeachable. No matter your opinions of the specific films, of the various sequences of films, or any other aspect of the films, these three truths are true, no matter what.
Truth #1: The prequel trilogy is inferior to the original trilogy.
Truth #2: Of the prequel trilogy, Revenge of the Sith is superior to the other two.
Truth #3: Of the original trilogy, Return of the Jedi is inferior to the other two.
It's that last one I want to focus on. This article was inspired by this piece in Wired, which in turn was inspired by this article, detailing the now famous 'Machete Order'. For the uninitiated, the Machete Order is an optimum viewing order for all of the films. It goes Star Wars, Empire, Episode II, III, and Jedi. Having had some time to waste recently, I decided to give the Order a try. My results? It's a pretty strong narrative path. Also, I'm never watching Episode II again. It's been years, and I had forgotten how utterly terrible it is. In fact, I can now say with near certainty that I never have to watch any of the prequels ever again (actually, since I just downloaded the Rifftrax for Episode I, I'll have to watch it at least once more. First time since 2002, yay...). It's my personal opinion, but the prequels just aren't worth it.
But when I got to Jedi, maybe it was because the flaws of the prequels were so close to my mind, I saw the cracks, that have always been there, more clearly. It's a good film, it just has a lot of problems. It was perhaps the clearest sign that troubles were waiting for us with the prequels, if only we had listened. Problem is, Jedi was my entry into Star Wars. It was the first of the films I saw. I hate nostalgia, and try to ignore it whenever I can. But part of me has a hard time letting go of the Ewoks; the lazy reuse of the Death Star; the fact that between his turning himself in and the lightsaber battle, Luke does very little in the film; that nothing about Luke and Leia being siblings makes any sort of sense. Logically, I know that Empire is the superior film, and that Star Wars is historically important to the world of film. But I can't let go of Jedi.
So, I started thinking, what could be done to make Jedi match how I feel about it? Can anything be done? The answer, I think, is Revenge of the Jedi. A film that does not exist. Using pieces of information about what the original design of the film was going to be, that have filtered down through the decades since Jedi's release, can we piece together something that might have been better? Hubris, you may say. Blasphemy! To which I would reply, I think hubris and blasphemy is a pretty good description of the prequels. And I'm certainly not claiming that this is a superior version. What this is, is an interesting thought experiment.
Hit the jump for my vision of Revenge of the Jedi. Fair warning, this one is long.
11 Oct 2012
Michael Crichton Was Apparently A Liar
|Something I will never eat, illustrated by Sammy Hall|
Science is awesome, most of the time. But for every Deep Field picture of the edge of time, or discovery of a fundamental particle, or creation of terrifying robots, sometimes it can be a real buzz kill. Like today, with the announcement by a joint team from the University of Copenhagen and Murdoch University in Perth, that DNA has a half life. And that half life is very short. Well, short in a geologic sense. 521 years. Not even a millennium.
The team, led by Michael Bunce and Morten Allentoft examined 158 bones of an extinct giant bird called the moa, native to New Zealand. These bones were all discovered within 5 kilometres of each other, and were all well preserved, allowing the scientists to examine exactly how much the DNA within these bones had degraded. Determining the age of the bones, and the condition of the DNA gave the researchers the number 521 as the half life (the amount of time it takes for half of the bounds to degrade).
Going further, the team also set a maximum life span of viable DNA at between 1.6 and 6.7 million years. After this, the DNA, even preserved in perfect conditions, would be unusable. Which made the headlines, because it means that Dino DNA will be pretty much nonviable.
What this means is, with the maximum set at 6.7 million, we can at least look forward to possibly sequencing the DNA of the wholly mammoth, the Tasmanian tiger, the dodo bird, possibly even Neanderthals or other human relatives. Sequenced DNA means we might have a chance at cloning these animals in the future. What it also means is, any idea of creating a cloned dinosaur, or building a real life Jurassic Park, are gone. Which, lets be honest, despite all our hopes, was never really an option.
But I'm warning you right now science, you stay the hell away from warp drive. I need to cling to something.
The Big Ending To The Little Shop Of Horrors
I'm going to start this post by saying, I love downer endings. Especially if the rest of the movie wasn't building towards it. I'm on record in my belief that When Harry Met Sally would be dramatically improved if Sally got hit by a bus at the end. Endings where all the hero's work is undone in a moment of senseless agony, movies where someone dies suddenly, movies where, for no reason other then sometimes bad things happen, a bad thing happens.
I'll also admit that I'm not that big a fan of the 1986 remake of Little Shop of Horrors. I'm a big fan of the 1960 original, so I'm going to say my issue with Frank Oz's version is probably the singing. Not a fan of singing, me. If you have something to say, just say it dammit. And stand still!
My opinion of the film has always been slightly higher because I knew that Oz's original ending to the film involved the main cast all being eaten, the plant going to seed, and the monstrous alien plants consume the entire Earth. It was a mythical ending that made the film better by it's extreme nature, it's shrugging off the cliche of a happy ending, and actually having some balls.
And now it's a myth no more. As it turns out, the footage was actually filmed, but discarded and poorly maintained. And since some poor footage surfaced in the late nineties, producer David Geffer has been restoring the footage, which is now available, fully integrated, on the blu-ray release of The Little Shop of Horrors: Director's Cut. And it's pretty damn fun. Fun enough that I might just give the film another shot.
Via Topless Robot.
Had This Happened, It Would Have Sucked
I've never been that upset that Jurassic Park 4 never materialised. While the original film is my favourite movie, Lost World: Jurassic Park isn't really a Jurassic Park movie (ask me about that later, I'm busy now), and Jurassic Park 3 was simply average, and that made it all the more depressing. So, a fourth film has never been high on my priority list.
And then I saw these. The basic idea was, the fourth film would focus on further genetic mutations of the dinosaurs. Jack Horner's book How To Build A Dinosaur, detailing the possibilities of turning off certain genes to turn a chicken into a dinosaur, was originally meant to be a companion to the film. These images are apparently concept art and made to pitch the concept to Amblin. Done by Carlos Huante, they are made to represent a dinosaur/human hybrid that one of the script drafts by John Sayles and William Monahan contained.
To say that they are horrible is a massive understatement. According to Huante, as soon as Amblin executives caught sight of them, they killed the whole project immediately, which I think we can all agree was the best decision anyone in Hollywood has made, ever. A move in this sort of utterly nonsensical direction would have doomed the franchise to a direct to DVD, bargain bin after a month future, just like Hellraiser.
While insisting on making a fourth film at the least prevents them from rebooting the franchise, can we at least all agree that making an intelligent film wherein dinosaurs eat people is an idea that doesn't need any punching up, especially with this sort of absolute stupidity.
10 Oct 2012
It Has Always Been Full Of Stars
The eXtreme Deep Field is a Hubble project that compiles all the pictures of galaxies taken by the Hubble's cameras over a very narrow field, and creates an image like that above. It's called Deep Field because of the depth of space these images can reach. The furthest galaxy seen in the above image is 13.2 billion years old. Keep in mind the universe itself is only 13.7 billion years old. This image nearly looks to the edge of time, the very perimetre of existance itself.
How narrow a slice of space does this image cover? Something like this:
Everything in the top image is contained within that little box just under the moon. And everything within that top image is a galaxy. Not a star, but a collection of stars and nebula and pulsars and black holes thousands of light years wide, containing billions of stars. And, as we've recently learned, planets are very common in orbit around stars within our own galaxy, no reason to think otherwise elsewhere. So, from sure a small keyhole of the surrounding void, we are looking at the entire history of the universe, with the potential trillions of trillions of possible worlds.
Remember that line from Contact, "I'd say if it is just us... seems like an awful waste of space."
Hit the jump for a video simulation that flies us through the untold distances of the Deep Field.
Oh My God, The Green Squares Are On Fire!
I've always enjoyed video games for what they are, while I'm playing them, but never went out of my way to bury myself , like I do film. Except SimCity. It was one of the first computer games I owned, and I've always made a point of buying the new editions as they are released. I love the mechanics, the structure, the level of detail. Having to balance every element just right, while reacting to chaos. Or, building up a utopia, and unleash a giant eye monster on it.
Actually, I'll be perfectly honest, the part I like the most is the terrain builder. I'll spend hours sculpting the land, making the area perfect. I could care less about the city half the time, but building a network of islands for it to exist on, now that's good fun.
So, I eagerly await the release of what appears to be an insanely detailed game.
Via Topless Robot.
Voyager Has Left The Building
If by "the building" you mean the solar system, then yes, yes it has. Maybe.
Yes, the Voyager 1 probe, launched in 1977 to explore our outer solar system, and eventually leave, carrying with it a message of friendship and imagination designed by Carl Sagan, has done it's duty. Or at least, has gone where no one from this planet has gone before. Literally. It is farther out then anything man has ever made. In September, it was approx 122 AU away from the Earth. In non-space talk, that's 18 billion kilometres. And there is evidence now that is has officially left the solar system.
The video above is from Deep Sky, and features Dr. Meghan Gray explaining the history, and the accomplishments of the Voyager project.
9 Oct 2012
Castle Done Firefly Style
Can I just say, I'm surprised it took this long for one of these to appear.
(Bonus points for including all the Firefly references from the show, in the clips).
Via The Mary Sue.
The Hobbit Is Turning Into The Avengers, It's Releasing So Much Stuff
The above image is a screenshot from the new Hobbit inspired web (and app) game, Riddles in the Dark.
I know Ron, but I don't, I'm afraid. It's the one thing we disagree on. However, I love the Hobbit chapter, Riddles in the Dark, so I'm all for this additional form of advertising for the forthcoming movie.
In other Hobbit news, and surprising no one, Warner Bros has (kind of) announced that late quarter 2013 will see the release of the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey special extended edition. This confirms that, despite splitting one book into two films, into three films, there will still be enough material left on the cutting room floor to follow the suit of the Lord of the Rings. Late next year suggests a release schedule similar to LotR, with the theatrical edition coming in the fall, and the extended editions coming in time for Christmas.
What isn't known is if the extended editions will be available on DVD and blu-ray. Personally, I hate blu-ray. It's not a replacement format, and is doomed to obscurity. You can tell by the fact that most blu-rays are sold paired with DVDs. If it were a replacement, DVD's would have been discontinued, rather then manufactured at the same, if not higher rate, then blu-rays. All it is now is a cash grab, and one that many companies use to screw us sensible DVD loyalists out of special features (I'm looking squarely at you, Disney). The special editions of Lord of the Rings were a pretty big feather in the early days of DVD's cap, and I would like to see that continue. But a dark place in the back of my mind makes me think Warner's will screw us, and release half editions of the extended cuts on DVD, and everything on blu-ray.
Release everything on DVD, Warner's. I'm warning you now...
Via The Mary Sue, and Den of Geek.
This Is The Sound The Earth Makes
You know why science is amazing? Because charged particles emitted by the Sun can interact with the Earth's electromagnetic field, producing radio waves that our modern technology can detect, using satellites like the Radiation Belt Storm Probes, and translate into audible sound. And that sound can then be posted to YouTube, so that humanity can listen to it, and be humbled.
So, go on. Be humbled.
Via The Bad Astronomer.
[Review] - Taken 2
|Courtesy of EuropaCorp|
Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that once had a particular set of skills, but don't any longer.
5 Oct 2012
So Beautiful... Should Have Sent... An Impressionist
What better way to end the week, then with a picture of Vincent Van Gogh's The Starry Night, as created by pictures of galaxies, gathered by the Hubble Space telescope. The results, the work of astronomy student Alex Parker, is nothing short of stunning. Apparently, the idea came to him during the Hubble's 22 anniversary, and began with him downloading the Top 100 Images. He then used those 100 pictures over and over to recreate this masterpiece of human imagination.
Thing is, the universe is so vast, galaxies so plentiful, and we've gotten so good at looking out at them, you could just as easily do this again, without using duplicates.
Marvel Phase 2 Continues To Be A Thing
Honestly, it seems like every day there is something new coming out about Marvel's Phase 2, so I'm just going to start gathering it together, and dumping it at the end of the week.
Iron Man 3 is expected to release the first teaser trailer towards the end of the month, while they finish filming following a brief break while Robert Downey Jr got over an injury sustained on the set. Above is a new set image, showing the newest power suit, apparently the Mark 47 (or, Mustard Armour) standing along side the Iron Patriot, which is now thought to be a repaint of the War Machine armour. Until that gets proven wrong, and somebody comes up with a new theory.
Thor: The Dark World seems not to have slowed production any, despite star Jaimie Alexander being "horribly injured" during filming. According to the actress' Twitter feed, the undisclosed injury could have been much worse, possibly resulting in paralysis. She was seeing specialists, and is undergoing physiotherapy and a heavy drug regiment. What this means for the film is yet unknown. Alexander's Sif was expected to have a much larger role in the sequel, as early set pictures have suggested. Whether her scenes will be shifted to the end of the production schedule, or the role will be reduced and shifted to other characters, like the Warriors Three, is yet to be seen. The actress herself is hoping for the former. Here's hoping she has a speedy recovery.
Hit the jump for some Captain America news.
Animation. Why Did It Have To Be Animation
Patrick Schoenmaker is, clearly, a very talented artist. And he's using that talent to create an Indiana Jones animated show, on his own, just for fun. Or, you know, if someone happens to see these promo images, and becomes interested (cough...George...cough), it could totally become a real thing.
I would watch the hell out of this show, for two very important reasons: first, I'm loving Schoenmaker's style. It's sharp, stark, and lacks the overriding Asian influence you see more often in modern animation (that's not racist, it's just not my prefered style). Second, an Indy series that is largely George free can only be good for the franchise. Clone Wars is certainly better then any of the prequel films. Plus, a cartoon isn't limited by time, age, or actor availability. It can take place between films, after films, or jump around through time as it pleases.
Somebody with money, jump on this thing, and make it happen. And for everybody else, hit the jump to see his concept art, as well as some Star Wars and Gremlins pieces. Or, check out Schoenmaker's blog, where he has posted a (very) short clip of a temple floor collapsing.
[List] - 3 Other Marvel Properties That Could Work On Televison
|Courtesy of Marvel|
And now they're going to do it again. Because they're taking the MCU to television. I think people have glossed over how big a deal this is. Marvel intends to have both multiple films and a TV series all taking place in the same universe, concurrently. Events in one will (presumably) effect the other. This will be a huge undertaking, and one that has never been considered before. Because it's crazy.
Which got me to thinking. If they pull this off, it could be the beginning of something bigger. Dare I imagine a future where, along with multiple films, we have multiple series airing on ABC, all taking place in the MCU. A future where the majority of the Marvel Universe is represented on film in some way. Is this even possible?
I've mentioned a couple ideas in posts over the last couple months, but today I choose to elaborate on what were originally fleeting thoughts, but have dug into my brain, and won't get out. After the jump, I provide the outlines to three possible series, based on Marvel properties, that I feel would work as TV shows, in conjunction with SHIELD. I've also suggested who I think would do the best job running these shows, and who should star in them. I have chosen the best people for the job, availability be damned.
Hit the jump to look at the pitches.
Labels: Avengers, Featured, Joss Whedon, Marvel, Paracosm, TV