30 Nov 2012

Marvel Casting News

I've been saving this picture for just this announcement.
A few quick bits of casting news. First, and least unexpectedly, both Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will reprise the roles of Magneto and Professor X respectively in X-Men: Days of Futures Past. They will join Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy as their younger counterparts, and Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult reprising the roles of Raven and Beast from First Class. And Hugh Jackman is in talks to appear as Wolverine, which I suspect will definately happen, considering he has appeared in literally every other X-Men film to date. I won't be surprised even further if, in the next little while, we hear about Famke Janssen, Rebecca Romijn and others joining the Future portion of the film, and hopefully making this film the third in director Bryan Singer's originally intentioned trilogy, and erasing X-Men 3 from film history altogether..

Second, SHIELD has cast yet another agent, and yet again it is not Adam Baldwin (seriously Whedon, if you're saving him for last, don't bother. We already got Coulson, everything else is just gravy). Brett Dalton, previously of Army Wives and Blue Bloods, will be playing Agent Grant, a "rising star; deadly, precise, and cool under fire — but not so great with the people skills." So... hooray.

And finally, while there is no actual casting to report, Marvel has begun the process of finding the leads for the Guardians of the Galaxy, with a short list in mind for the role of Peter Quill, a human astronaut that ends up on the team. The inclusion of Quill throws a damper on my hopes that Marvel would smarten up and make the audience surrogate for Guardians Carol "Captain Marvel" Danvers.

Via Topless Robot and /Film, and again.

BBC Weekly News

Neverwhere is my third favourite novel by Neil Gaiman, after Good Omens and American Gods. The BBC series on which the novel is based ranks somewhat lower in my Gaiman appreciation scale. The radio series, which was just announced by the author himself, I suspect will rank dramatically higher. In the above photograph is much of the cast, including Benedict "Sherlock" Cumberbatch, David "Joshua Naismith" Harewood, Natalie "Margaery Tyrell" Dormer, James "Professor X" McAvoy, David "Falco" Schofield, and Anthony Stewart "Giles" Head, with director Dirk Maggs in the back, who recently directed the BBC radio productions of the Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy. Also in the cast, but not photographed, are Sophie "Liz X" Okonedo, Bernard "Wilfred Mott" Cribbins, and Sir Christopher "it's bloody well Christopher Lee!" Lee.

Or, to put it another way, awesome. Literally inspiring awe. It will broadcast on Radio 4 sometime in the early new year.

And it's because of projects like this that the BBC and Sherlock producer Sue Vertue have announced the filming of the third series of Sherlock, which was expected to begin in January, has been pushed back to March. Because since first appearing, the shows stars have become really very famous, and really very in demand. And while Cumberbatch won't have any promotion duties on the Hobbit until this time next year (he's playing the lizard), his co-star Martin Freeman will be making certain people are seeing his film well into the new year.

What the delay means for broadcast, who knows. I suspect we still won't see anything until this time next year, as has been Sherlock's usual place on the BBC schedule. And what better way to cross promote the series and the Hobbit then then both of the stars will be out and about, talking themselves up?

What Vertue doesn't have to worry about is her husband's other show on the Beeb, Doctor Who (you might have heard it mentioned), which is stepping up the Christmas special promotion. After the Children in Need trailer and prequel minisode, they've now released some stills, and a movie poster, in the same vein as those for the previous episodes this series.

I'm sure the titular Snowmen will be menacing and all that, but from what we've seen of them so far, all I can see are deranged killer monster snowgoons.

Hit the jump for the posters.

Weekly Hobbit News

I've said before that the Hobbit has avoided the trap The Amazing Spider-man fell into, which ended up releasing a full third of it's run time in advanced promos (didn't matter how much they promoted it, it was still a terrible, pointless film). A drive home this point, some industrious person has taken every bit of footage released thus far, and edited together the ultimate Hobbit trailer, in chronological order (they messed up one bit, the stuff of Gandalf wandering around in Dol Guldur, which has to occur before he arrives at the Shire. Where it will occur in the film, I don't know).

The result? Only eight minutes have surfaced. Eight of what I'm assuming will be at least 120 minutes. And most of it is taken from the first act. The first half of the first act. Unfortunately, because their playing up Gollum so much in the trailers, what would have been the big climatic scene near the end (other then the Wargs) has had a lot of steam pulled out from under its feet.

Hit the jump to see the newest footage, a full forty seconds of Gandalf gifting Sting to Bilbo. And a cool Japanese poster.

[Review] Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style Exhibition, At TIFF

Since it was announced back in April, my anticipation for this exhibit has been building and building. Just as the Toronto International Film Festival has established itself as one of the world's great film festivals, so too has the TIFF Bell Lightbox established itself as a destination for film appreciation. After hosting the Tim Burton MoMA exhibit, and the exclusive Game of Thrones exhibition, both of which were fantastic, this time they've partnered with The Barbican, in London, to host the official James Bond fiftieth anniversary exhibit, Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style.

And it does not disappoint. This extensive, in depth, and mesmerising display is like Christmas morning for Bond fans. While I was there, a duo of teenage girls was barely able to contain their glee while viewing a piton gun. A piton gun! Now that is an appreciation of the franchise.

Hit the jump for the review, which prefers whiskey and soda to Vodka martini, and I suppose contains a minor Skyfall spoiler.

29 Nov 2012

Update Your Bookmarks

For any of you out there who, and I honestly don't know why you would want to, check in everyday, it's time to update your bookmarks. We're dropping the "blogspot" from our domain name, and henceforth can be found at, quite simply,

So, we've got that going for us.

Trailer Thursday

While I was gone last week, a host of films had the audacity to advertise themselves to the greater populace, despite my absence. This, aside from making perfect sense, is in no way infuriating, and we should probably move on.

Up first is a film that has every possibility of being terrible in every regard, and not as clever as it thinks it is (the goth-ish girl in the trailer is proof-of-concept enough for me). But still, the preview for Bad Kids Go to Hell is worth checking out for Judd Nelson's terrible beard, and Ben Browder's blink-and-you'll-miss-him appearance. Other then that, it's just teenagers dying.

Next is a film that looks like a lot of fun, though the super-stylish nature of the trailer makes me hesitant. Now You See Me is a film about illusionists who are also thieves. Now, I'll see just about any film that has to do with illusionists, but the trailer really pushes the "it's like the Prestige meets Oceans 11" angle a bit too hard. Luckily, it's pushed by Morgan Freeman, to Michael Caine. So, I guess you win, film. It stars Jesse Eisenberg, Woodey Harrelson, Isla Fisher, and Mark Ruffalo, so it's got a damned solid cast. But, it is directed by Louis Leterrier, whose movies have never had the highest level of subtlety.

Hit the jump to look at Dark Skies, and be Broken.

My Hometown Was Mentioned On The Colbert Report. That Can't Be Good...

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Canada's Grinch
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive
For Canadian readers, you can watch the segment here.

Or at least, alluded to. While never specifically named, the story about a drunk man at a Santa Claus parade telling kids that Santa didn't exist happened a couple weeks ago at Kingston, Ontario's evening-and-lights parade. From the local piece of shi... I mean, newspaper:
A release from Kingston Police said the man was located rather easily by officers as he was described as "having his hair formed to look like horns that were protruding from his head."
It is a tendency of mine that whenever something like this happens, I look at the name of the arrested party. First, I check to see if it was anyone I went to school with. Then I check to see if it was any of my former students. Or it could have been someone from the university. They're the worst.

What matters is that someone from where I'm from did something so stupid it caught the attention of America's mocker-in-chief. And I suppose, since there is very little else in this story to be proud of, we can at least take a degree of pride from that.

Via the Whig.

[Review] - Primeval: New World, Season 1 Episode 5, "Undone"

Courtesy of Impossible Pictures
I didn't care for my review of the previous episode. I wrote it, I rewrote it, and stared blankly at the screen, trying to think of something to say about an episode that inspired nothing in me. So I posted what I had because I didn't want to post nothing. Looking back at my thoughts for the first four episodes of Primeval: New World, it all just seemed like so much of the same.

When it came to Eureka and Warehouse 13, I was able to work myself into a lather each week because I knew those shows were better then their recent seasons turned out to be. With Primeval, I don't have that cushion. All I have is the continuous mediocrity. It's not even bad television, it's just lazy. If it were insultingly bad, it might actually have some merit, if only mockingly. But from week to week, I'm left uninspired, and have to resort to the same "no character development, poor plotting, etc." arguments that, frankly, have become boring. I tired of writing that stuff, and I'm sure if anyone is reading these reviews, you're tired of reading them. I might as well just make a mad lib review, so I can sub out the creature's name, and keep everything the same.

I say all this because, despite living by the Swanson code (never half-ass two things; whole ass one thing), and have stuck to the idea that once I start reviewing a series, I'm sticking with it through the entire season, I was ready to give up on this one. The show wasn't improving, it was just stagnate, and I wasn't being challenged by it, as either a viewer or a writer. This preface was meant to be an apology to myself for giving up, and a promise to anyone who might be interested that it wouldn't happen again. This show nearly beat me.

Instead, it surprised me. Properly surprised. And did so by turning out a genuinely good episode. An enjoyable episode. An episode that proves this show has it in itself to be better then it has been. The trick will be keeping it at this level, which I'm not convinced it can.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that also hunt in pairs.

28 Nov 2012

Patton Oswalt'll Never Leave Harlan Alive

So, there it is. Photographic evidence that Justified is going to be just that extra bit cooler this year (as if it weren't cool enough already). That right there is Oswalt, as Bob Sweeney, standing with Timothy Olyphant's Raylan Givens. And while the title of today's post might just be a reference to a song, how many other guest stars have left the series with their characters alive? What? Many of them? Oh, well, ah... OK then.

This image also comes with confirmation that season 4 of the FX series will start on January 13th 8th with reviews on this site following a couple days after, because a review the very next day would be professional, and timely, and a bunch of other stuff I don't go in for.

Via /Film.

It Looks Pretty Damned Fun Being Green [Updated]

Because I don't listen to music that was created after 1987, the chickens singing a Cee Lo Green song in The Muppets was one of the few gags I did not get, at all. Except for an appearance on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, I had no idea who Cee Lo Green was. But he's singing with the Muppets, so I'm not much in the way of caring, he's OK in my book.

Most people probably don't remember, but when the Muppet Show began, at the end the host would be presented with a Muppet version of themselves. This idea was dropped pretty quickly in the first season, but I'm wondering if they're coming back to it. Because Jason Segel got one in The Muppets, and now there is a Lo-Ce in the back of that... convertible Rolls? Really?

Either way, it looks like Walter really is one of the gang now. Still no excuse for the lack of Rizzo...

Update: After the jump, watch Cee Lo and Kermit sing It Ain't Easy Being Green on the Voice.

[Review] - X-Men Master: Gordon Smith Exhibition, At TIFF

No photos were allowed in the exhibit.
All pictures via alternate sources.
I may have mentioned once or twice my admiration for practical special effects over computer effects. A real thing is always going to look better on film then something that has been digitally created. Chief among the practical effects I hold dear is the work of the special prosthetics makeup artist. The skill to transform actors into creatures, monsters, mutants and older versions of themselves is enviable. So it was unexpected delight that I discovered the X-Men Master: Gordon Smith exhibit at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, and an even more unexpectedly, that the exhibit was completely free.

Gordon Smith has been working in special effects makeup for thirty years, his work on display in movies such as Born on the Fourth of July, Jacob's Ladder, and five separate films directed by Oliver Stone, as well as several Canadian television series. His greatest recognition came when he was hired to bring the X-Men to life in Bryan Singer's X-Men and X2 films. This exhibition, made up mostly of Smith's privately owned materials left over after the completion of the films, highlights the creation of seven characters, and explores how the imagination of Marvel comics was initially brought to life.

Hit the jump for the review, which has a wicked tongue.

27 Nov 2012

I'll Give "I Give It A Year" A Chance

Can I say how happy I am that Stephen Merchant has escaped Ricky Gervais' grasp. I've got nothing against Gervais, he's just not my cup of tea. But Merchant, I've always felt, is the funnier of the two. Certainly the more interesting to look at at. And more deserving of praise and opportunity then Gervais and his cringe humour.

His presence is not the only thing that makes me look forward to this new comedy from, of all places, Borat writer Dan Mazer. I Give It A Year follows newly wed Rose Byrne (finally getting a starring role, and returning to her native tongue) and Rafe Spall over the first year of their marriage, and co-stars Minnie Driver and Anna Faris. So, its sort of a funnier, more British (always a good thing) answer to the Five Year Engagement. The trailer made me laugh out loud twice, chuckle once, and then I had to go to the bathroom.

Though, that last one was probably unrelated to the content of the trailer.

I Couldn't Afford Calvin & Hobbes

Some time ago, I mentioned an original Calvin & Hobbes print, seen above, was going up for sale. At the time, the highest an original Watterson had went for on the open market was $100,000. Well, that number has been put well and firmly behind us, as this latest piece fetched $203,150.

Which is, frankly, a lot of money. Certainly higher then my offer of $17 dollars and a half a tube of tooth paste. It wasn't that serious an offer, to be fair. I would have needed the tube back when they were through with it.

Via ComicsAlliance.

[Review] - Primeval: New World, Season 1 Episode 4, "Angry Birds"

Courtesy of Impossible Pictures

This week, I decided I was going to try something new. This week I decided I was going to meet Primeval: New World half way. Despite it giving me no reason to, I opted to put in some extra effort and try to establish a rapport with the program that it has shown no interest in doing itself. Because this week they were hosting some terror birds, and I wanted to look my best.

The results were surprising. Not because I gave up trying before the first commercial break, that was to be expected. I am incredibly lazy, after all. But because the show has shown a slight improvement. This episode, giant man eating birds aside, is the best thus far, which I hope is to be a regular refrain in these reviews. However, improvements aside, it remains not a very good show.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that also inexplicably have no idea what a 'hot box' is.

26 Nov 2012

Sooo... I Bought This

Or, pre-ordered it anyway. It won't be ready until June. That's OK. I can wait. I mean, I've lasted this long since the end of Game of Thrones season two without murdering that many hobos, so I can wait for Hot Toys to put this thing together.

Enough has been said elsewhere about the beautiful nature of Hot Toy's sixth scale figures. They look better then the humans they represent. The actors are the ones breaking the uncanny valley with these figures. But I said to myself, I said "I won't buy any of them until I can have an Agent Coulson figure." Because this was before Coulson was going to be a thing, and I thought I had just saved myself some money. Turns out, not so much, though at $174 US, it's one of their cheaper figures from the Avengers line.

Still, I think the only other one I'd want would be the Loki (which is gorgeous). Then pose the two together to act out that scene. Then have Coulson mock Loki, cause he's coming back with a regular TV gig, while Loki gets stuck in Thor sequels, during which he'll probably die. Whose the ubiquitous franchise presence now, bitch! Of course, if I got Loki, I'd probably need Black Widow, so I could recreate the "mewling quim" scene. Best scene in the movie, that. Then a Bruce Banner would be helpful, could create a little "sickness riddled India" playset. I'd need a Tony though, with a little cattleprod...

Excuse me, I need to raise the credit limit on a couple of my credit cards. I'll see everyone tomorrow. Until then, there are some more pictures of the Coulson figure, plus the specs, after the jump.

Chevy Chase Is Confused As To What People Like [Updated]

Namely, him or Community.

So, after a really rather good week (more on that as this week progresses) off, I return to find my DVR stuffed with crap I should probably watch, and a back log of news, announcements, trailers, and other crap online I'm meant to find interesting. But all of that took a back seat when, on Sunday, I saw the above add while watching a Simpsons rerun (Lisa The Greek, classic). Luckily, the channel reran the add every damned break, so I had plenty of opportunities to make certain I wasn't loosing my mind.

An Old Navy ad reuniting Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, and Juliette Lewis for a scene from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. But with pants.

So, I jumped over to the old internet to make certain I hadn't returned to some horrible alternate timeline where Chevy Chase is apparently widely recognisable and successful, despite being, you know, Chevy Chase. So I was gladdened to discover upon searching "Chevy Chase Old Navy" that all that came up were reports that Chevy had left Community for good.

Yes, apparently Chase has worked a deal with NBC allowing him to leave the not overly popular or successful (but brilliant) sitcom before the completion of the fourth season, airing on Feb 7th (for now). Considering that NBC would like nothing more then to burn the series to the ground, I do not expect a fifth season to become a thing, and yet am left scratching my head. Is this a long past deal that were just now hearing about, or are they still filming episodes? They had a thirteen episode order, which was meant to premier in October (then Nov, then whenever). Shouldn't they have finished filming before now? Shouldn't the actors all be off filming pilots for other sitcoms that NBC won't like, or taking roles in daring yet exciting films that will catapult Alison Brie to the front of the list of respectable, talented actresses working today... or, whomever...

[Update: Apparently there are two episodes left to film, which will not feature Chase. However, the season finale, most likely the series finale, was filmed out of sequence, so it will feature Chase, though how much depends on how good an editor they've got on staff. So... there you go.]
I can't say I'm upset. I've felt that Chase should have been written out at the end of season two, when his storyline came to a natural conclusion that resolved the character, allowed the rest of the group to become tighter, resulted in Jeff reevaluating his feelings for his father, and the Dungeons and Dragons episode being one of the best the show has ever done. Instead, NBC insisted Chase stay, he was shoehorned back in, and had nothing to do all last year. Chase is right in his insistence that he never gets the funny lines, because the writers don't know what to do with him anymore. Season two was his spotlight, while season three was his stumble off the stage and land in the orchestra pit. Season four can only be his slow limp backstage with a tuba stuck on his left foot.

All that being said, I'd still probably go see a new Griswold Vacation movie if they made one.

Via CBC.

[Review] - The Who: Quadrophenia, And More

"People always ask, 'what's it like on tour?' And I say, 'It's the same old shit.' But it's good shit."

So claimed Pete Townshend at the end of the evening, in a rare moment of pause during a show that sees he and Roger Daltrey play through Quadrophenia, in its entirety, and a collection of the Who's more celebrated hits without intermission or break of any kind. Which, considering they are both on just this side of 70, is remarkable in and of itself. But that the music sounds just as crisp, as emotional and as honest as they day is sprung from them makes watching the Who a humbling experience. Very quickly it sets in that you are watching much better humans then you. An advanced form of evolution that functions at a level we lesser folk can never hope to match.

And it's still some very good shit.

Hit the jump for the review, which does not hide the admiration I have for these men.

23 Nov 2012

Sudden Death!: The Musical

[The author is on holidays this week. Regular features, like reviews and lists and three day old news will return when he does. Next week. Until then, you'll get a daily video, and you'll like it.]

I hate musicals. But I like movies where people die pointlessly. So I'm conflicted. Oh, and spoilers, people die pointlessly. While singing. Agh, conflict!

Actually, Sudden Death! is really quite good. It's not at Dr. Horrible levels, of course, but it is absurd and violent, and the songs are pretty funny. And it co-stars Chuck's Mark Christopher Lawrence, and Hellboy's Doug Jones. And a special guest star that appears half way through that made me giggle.

22 Nov 2012


[The author is on holidays this week. Regular features, like reviews and lists and three day old news will return when he does. Next week. Until then, you'll get a daily video, and you'll like it.]

This 1985 documentary, loquaciously called Dinosaur!, and hosted by Christopher Reeve, is a real joy to watch. Science has marched on since then, so many things they discuss in the documentary have now been overturned, and frustratingly, they insist on using Brontosaurs, which was never really a thing, but I can think of fewer, better ways to spend an hour.

Couple things. First, while the presence of Deinonychus might seem a bit cliche now, remember that this special was made in 1985, eight years before the general public really knew what a raptor was. At the time, it was irregular, and most welcome.

Realise too that, had anyone other then Steven Spielberg directed Jurassic Park, or if an ILM technician hadn't been a bit too ambitious, and made a CG mock up of the T-rex stalking prey, the stop frame animation seen in this special is likely what Jurassic Park would have looked like, and how Spielberg had intended on making the film. Until Jurassic Park, this sort of animation was the most advanced method for creating dinosaurs on film.

And for my money, still one of the best. I mean, look at how pretty they look...

21 Nov 2012


[The author is on holidays this week. Regular features, like reviews and lists and three day old news will return when he does. Next week. Until then, you'll get a daily video, and you'll like it.]

Seed, directed by Tyson Wade Johnston, has one shade of an idea, but not enough of one to sustain itself for the full length of the short film. Dull at the start, unfocused in the middle, and unexplained at the back, which would be fine, if the short also gave us any details at all about what it's meant to be about, so that we can figure it out for ourselves. Considering it is the story of a man walking through the desert, I suppose we should be as glad it's as active as it is.

20 Nov 2012

Trailer Tuesday

[The author is on holidays this week. Regular features, like reviews and lists and three day old news will return when he does. Next week. Until then, you'll get a daily video, and you'll like it.]

Last week, a host of trailers for films and series were released, and this seemed as good a place as any to leave them.

First up, Tiny Fey and Paul Rudd's new film, Admission. The trailer makes it quite clear that this is meant to be a comedy with heart, possibly landing just to the left of a chick-flick. I like Rudd, especially when he's pulling double duty as comedian and dramatic lead, as in Our Idiot Brother, or Dinner For Schmucks (despite the rest of the film, Rudd was, and as he usually is, solid in that film). And Fey hasn't had a real disappointment yet (Baby Mama comes closest), but the real draw for me is Wallace Shawn in a supporting role, so I'm game.

Up next is the trailer for Netflix exclusive series House of Cards. David Fincher's adaptation of the British political thriller, which drew heavily on Shakespeare. The trailer looks like something from HBO, which I gather is Netflix's intention. No matter, Kevin Spacey looks to be in top form, as always, and is reason enough to watch the show.

Hit the jump to feel The Heat, see what Sam Raimi has done to Oz, and to learn the ABC's of Death.

19 Nov 2012

Minisodes Are Cool

[The author is on holidays this week. Regular features, like reviews and lists and three day old news will return when he does. Next week. Until then, you'll get a daily video, and you'll like it.]

So, I guess that's a "no" to the Yeti returning to Doctor Who in the Christmas Special. However, it is a "yes" to at least one Sontaran, and Madame Vastra & Jenny, everybody's favourite trans-species Victorian lesbians. But we knew that was coming, eventually. I mean, how could it not.

Anywhoo, what I like the most about this trailer for the special, titled with a certain economy, The Snowman, is the bit at the start begin Smith and Coleman. They clearly have a rapport, which will hopefully translate to the screen.

After the jump, you can watch web exclusive prequel, which premiered on the Children in Need telethon last week, entitled The Great Detective.

16 Nov 2012

A Storm Approaches

Four and a half months.

What other show could get away with no ident, no title, no image or description, just a blasted date, and still make me have to change my now flop-sweat stained pants (I hope that's flop-sweat).

I'm on holidays next week, so I felt that leaving you with the agony of knowing that Game of Thrones has once again begun to tease us, as the four and half month wait is made all the slower by the network drawing attention to it, would be funny to me. And it is.

Have a good week, library hobos.

Via Den of Geek.

Weekly Hobbit News

The Hobbit has a big fight ahead of itself, a fight that The Two Towers and Return of the King failed to win. And that is in the realm of final credit song. Enya's song for Fellowship of the Rings felt so perfect, that even Annie Lennox's "Into The West" paled in comparison. Of course, what would you expect from Enya, who had included Lord of the Rings references on many of her previous albums. So, Hobbit, the move is yours.

And I'm afraid it has already failed, with the release of Neil Finn's version of The Song of the Lonely Mountain, which compared to the version that was heard in the trailer, just doesn't get me going at all. the dwarves version is melodious and sombre and awesome. This version is way too folksy and light, and carries none of the weight of the words, no matter how many anvil clashes they put in there.

Hit the jump to see many new TV spots for the film.

Weekly Marvel News

- Set pics from Thor: The Dark World have appeared, and seem to contain the good look at the Dark Elves, with whom Thor will be doing battle. The vacant, placid looks of their masks make them look like something Steven Moffat might come up with for Doctor Who. And I mean that in a good way; I think this design looks appropriately creepy.

- SHIELD has cast two more of it's agents. Brits Elizabeth Henstridge and Iain De Caestecker (Coronation Street, The Fades) have been cast along side Clark Gregg and Ming-Na, as Agent Jenna Simmons and Agent Leo Fitz respectively. Described in the casting notes as "[coming] through training together and still choose to spend most of their time in each others company. Their sibling-like relationship is reinforced by their shared nerd tendencies - she deals with biology and chemistry, he's a whiz at the technical side of weaponry." So, and not to get buried in archetypes, but the Willow and Xander of the piece. Lets all just hope the "sibling-like relationship" is maintained, and not devolves into belligerent sexual tension.

Marvel is working at the pilot for the SHIELD series with the intention of having it ready for the spring pilot season, during which ABC would be utterly stupid not to green light it. It seems to me that they are right on track, in terms of casting, to make this deadline. Clearly, from Marvel and Joss' end, they've been working on this at least as long as they were working on Avengers, so really, it just about getting the pieces in place and getting it filmed.

Hit the jump for two rather spoilery tidbits about Iron Man 3, so if you don't want to have two possible surprises ruined, don't look (you know you want to look, don't you).

[Opinion] - Exploring The Codename: James Bond Theory

For fifty years, movie goers have watched James Bond crash cars, seduce women and not age. And that last one can become a bit of a sticking point as you watch the films, and all of Bond's supporting characters get older around him. The decades past, tensions between nations grow and subside, and the idea of Bond being a Cold War relic becomes less and less believable as the actors remain in their forties, while that period of history drifts further away.

Fans, being the industrious obsessives that they are, developed a theory. Known as the Codename Theory, it was apparently originally developed by Robert Wade, one half of the writing team that has co-written every Bond films since The World Is Not Enough. When making Die Another Day, amongst the various references and shout outs to the older films, there was an idea of having Sean Connery cameo in the film, and the theory was developed to explain the presence of two Bonds. The idea was eventually abandoned, but found new life on the internet, as it offers a nice way to handwave away the ageing issue. Martin Campbell, director of Goldeneye and Casino Royale, reportedly favoured the theory, and made Daniel Craig's first Bond film with it in mind, while not making it explicitly canon.

After the jump, we'll examine how the theory holds together, where it falls apart, and my own personal version of the theory that helps things make a little more sense. Spoilers for all Bond films, including Skyfall, contained within.

15 Nov 2012

Make Me Watch ESPN Football Coverage? Inconceivable!

I don't get America football. At all. So I have no idea what the hell they are going on about in these clips. Except for all the Princess Bride references. Those I got. Because it is awesome. This video is apparently 30 minutes of coverage, boiled down to just the references, which are nicely random and the announcer guy seems a lot more into it then the other guys.

Is this a regular thing on ESPN? Is there some nerd in the teleprompter booth, who gives days random themes? Have they ever done a Jaws reference-athon? Do I really care? Are you sick of me talking in hypotheticals yet? Do I have a rock in my shoe?

Via The Mary Sue.

It Gets Fuller

It's a lie. I know it is. I look at my own nose-skirt every morning and think and wish and hope and pray to a  dear and shiny lord of facial hair, but it never fills in the way I want it to. And I look around, at those who sport a full Reynolds, or a near instantaneous Panayot Hitov, or a thick, illustrious Offerman. And I curse them. To their hair covered faces, I curse them. Then I recede to my own dark recesses, and weep, hoping the tears shall nourish my lip, and causes the growth to begin again, like a farmer's field after a fresh rain. But the crops never come...

But when Nick "Axe Swanson" Offerman tells me it gets fuller, I suppose I feel a touch of hope.

Via Uproxx.

[Opinion] Saturday Night At The Movies

Courtesy of TVO
If you aren't Canadian, this post might mean nothing to you. In fact, if you aren't from Ontario, you probably won't even know what I'm going on about. But it means a great deal to me. TVO, the public television broadcaster in Ontario, has decided to cancel mainstay program Saturday Night At The Movies after 38 years.

I wasn't into sports when I was a kid. Nor were my parents. So while others would come together on a Saturday night to watch the hockey game on CBC, my family turned the UHF dial to 38, and watched Saturday Night At The Movies. For my entire childhood, Elwy Yost (father to Speed writer and Justifed creator Graham Yost) came into our homes each week, and in a gentle, almost grandfatherly way, opened my eyes to film. Nearly every first viewing of films I now cherish, I saw on Saturday Night At The Movies. The first time I saw The French Connection, it was on TVO. The first time I saw Charlton Heston shake his fists at the Statue of Liberty, it was with Elwy. I fell in love with Alfred Hitchcock, and admired John Wayne during the weekly double features. I was mesmerised by Bela Legosi, and felt sorrow for Boris Karloff during a Halloween special. And I'm fairly certain the first time I encountered James Bond, it was on a Saturday night. One of my clearest memories was watching The Fearless Vampire Killers with my father, not wanting to admit I didn't like it, because I thought he was enjoying it. Turns out, he didn't like it either, but thought I was. So we both watched the entire film, thinking the other was having fun, while we were both miserable.

Elwy Yost introduced the idea of film to me. Until then, movies were cartoons made by Disney that my folks would take me to see once a summer. Elwy introduced me to legends. His interview archive (boasting over one thousand long format sit downs), which still plays to this day between features, is one of the best in the world. He spoke to actors, directors, screenwriters (probably my earliest interaction with the concept of being a writer), cinematographers, set designers, and other technical behind the scenes people whose names you rarely hear, let along see interviewed. He didn't care about the sexiness, he cared about film. He wanted to understand and share the love these people had for what they created.

Elwy retired in 1999. He showed Jaws and Speed as his final movies: his favourite film, and his son's first film. At that point, I think Speed was the most recent film the programme had ever shown. Since Elwy left, the show has changed formats slightly, adding a third feature in the dead of the night, and showing more and more current films. But it resisted turning into an art house show. The programme was never pompous or smug. It didn't think that film was a singular art form. It was, and remains to this day, a celebration of the simply joy of movies. It was a cinephile's love letter to the object of his affection. And turned so many of us into the same.

According to Lisa de Wilde, CEO of TVO, the network needs to cut $2 million, which includes firing 40 employees, as well as cutting programming. The cuts come mostly because of the boondoggle that is the Ontario Government, so if we're suffering the loss of a cultural cornerstone in this part of the world because of Dalton McGuinty's ineptitude, then it's just another reason I'm glad to see the back end of him. The network is apparently retooling, to focus on the children's education and political science aspects. However, I would say that their children's block is doing just fine, and that they might want to try to keep some of their adult viewers. I remember a time when I looked forward to the weekends, to National Geographic on Saturdays at 7, before the films started, and some British comedy on Sundays at 9. If I may, might you save some of the money you spend on licensing and repeating the latest British celebrity hanging out with their favourite animal, or gallivanting across some barren waste land? While TVO was also my introduction to Black Adder, Father Ted, and Fawlty Towers, there are only so many times you can watch Joanne Lumley hang out with cats.

What can we do? First, go here, and sign the petition, to try and convince TVO to change its mind. Second, with hockey on lockout, turn the dial over to TVO and watch the films. Show TVO that the program ratings are more the just stable. Show them that we still want to watch. Third, donate. If the problem is money, then lets give them money. There are few causes I actually support, but this is one of them.

Fourth, and this applies to TVO directly, show better films. Show films of relevance, and of legacy, and of entertainment. This Saturday, the first show is Changing Lanes, with Ben Affleck. It is not a good film. It certainly isn't a film that Elwy would have shown, and while that shouldn't be the metric by which you choose your programming, it should at least be a consideration. Last week was The Great Escape, The Train and the Quiet American. A terrific lineup, a blend of old and new, of classic and current. No child is going to be inspired by Changing Lanes, unless it inspires them to mediocrity. But a whole world view can be altered by watching a really good film for the first time.

I know.

So sign the petition. Donate to the network, specifying that the contribution is for Saturday Night At The Movies. Use Save #SNAM on Twitter, if you do that sort of thing. And watch. Just watch. Because, as it stands, it won't be around for much longer.

Via The Toronto Star.

14 Nov 2012

Monty Python Takes On Sherlock Holmes, Sort Of

Them again. But not Eric.
Back at the turn of the millennium, I remember reading a story about how Michael Jackson and Joe Millionaire (remember that guy?) were going to appear in a film together, wherein Joe was a guy who thought he was a TV reporter, and would constantly talk to the camera despite, in universe, there being nothing there. Now, this would have been horrible if it had been made, so points to whomever put a stop to it.

In the same way, Douglas Adams never succeeded in making that film with John Cleese, where Cleese was to play the president of the UN during an alien invasion. After humanity challenges the aliens to sports contests, the only events humans end up being able to win at are the freak events, like those in Ripley's Believe It Or Not (squeezing through a tennis racket, fitting in a box, etc). Essentially Space Jam, but with Adams and Cleese, instead of Bill Murray and Michael Jordon.

So, when I read this casting announcement, my "don't get too excited, this sounds like crazy rather then news" alarm went off. Benedict Cumberbatch has apparently agreed to star in a film called Absolutely Anything. In this film, he will play a teacher, who is gifted the ability of magic by space aliens. The exact description:
"The story revolves around a teacher who discovers he has magical powers and can make things happen with the wave of his hand. He can wipe out classrooms of badly behaving students and bring people back to life. But he experiences mishap after mishap as he tries to learn how to use these powers."
O...k... Sounds zany. The aliens will be animated (what isn't clear is if this will be a Roger Rabbit sort of thing, or just a mash of CG), and voiced by John Cleese, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam. Robin Williams will also be doing a voice, and Gemma Arterton will be co-starring along with the Sherlock/Hobbit star. Which in itself is worrying, because aside from maybe Tamara Drewe, that girl has appeared in a long list of terrible films (she clearly needs a better agent).

The film was written by Gavin Scott, who among other things, wrote for the Young Indiana Jones Adventures, and has had a hand in a host of children's movies over the past three decades, and will be directed by Terry Jones, which will make it his first feature film in nearly twenty years.

Via The Mary Sue.

Justified Runs For The Hills

Last year, as season three of Justified was ending, creator Graham Yost said that they weren't going to be introducing a Big Bad for season four, that if anyone emerged as an arc-villain, it would be someone already established on the show. I took this to mean maybe Mykelti Williamson's Limehouse might reevaluate his place in the world, or Adam Arkin might return for a reoccurring role as Chicago crime boss Theo Tonin. Or that Boyd might finally step out of the shadows and claim his rightful place atop the mountain of crime that is Harlin. Or, that Ava might just smite them all, and turn to running Harlin herself, Mags Bennent-style. Turns out, nope, we're getting some new folk round 'bout these parts. And they're from the hills...

Raylan will head into the mountains of Kentucky, which the plot of season 2 skirted around, and encounter him some hill folk there. Isolated, and... disturbed individuals, lead by Cope Entiss, who is yet to be cast. There Raylan will encounter a woman - of course he will - who might share a history with Raylan  - of course she will - which will undoubtedly cause troubles for Raylan down the line.

This, on top of Patton Oswalt's reoccurring role, the need to resolve Winona's story, the continuing rise of Boyd, and (can we hope for) a return of Dickie Bennent and his flock-of-seagulls-caught-in-a-wind-storm-and-pushed-into-a-powerline hair style.

This is going to be good.

Via Uproxx.

[Review] - Primeval: New World, Season 1 Episode 3, "Fear Of Flying"

Courtesy of Impossible Pictures

Congratulations Primeval, you came this close to being interesting. Then you weren't.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that will bury under your skin, and eat your spleen.

13 Nov 2012

The Return Of Hard Science Fiction?

Here is the first trailer for The Europa Report, a movie in which next to nothing is known, other then A-Team star Sharlto Copley is in it.

But this teaser gives us a couple places to guess from. First, anyone who is into astronomy (and exobiology especially) should know that Europa offers the best location and chance within our Solar System of finding life. Not ancient, extinct fossilised bacterial life, like what we expect to find on Mars, but honestest to goodness complex life.

Europa is one of the moons of Jupiter, and is covered in a vast ice sheet. Beneath this ice sheet, it is theorised, exists a liquid ocean, kept liquid by the stresses placed on the moon by Jupiter's gravitational pull, and kept warm by pressure vents, much like in our own oceans. On Earth, water is essential to life, and most life began in the seas. And extremophiles, those organisms that exist in environments where nothing else could exist, are common here on Earth. So, a liquid moon is the best of all possible places for a form of aquatic extraterrestrial life to develop.

That all aside, the trailer very much brings to mind 2001, in terms of the tone I sense from the footage. Is it possible, in this day and age, that a director has successfully made a quite, hard science fiction film? One that treats the subject matter with both respect and believability? That is will trust the audience to have a certain intelligence and openness to the ideas, rather then the story? That it won't rely on gimmiks and shocks to entrance us, but rather let the tale speak for itself?

Of course, it could just as easy become a Cthulhu story, I suppose.

Via Den of Geek.

Aaron Sorkin's Newsroom Sure To Improve Next Season

Courtesy of Dreamworks Television
We already know that Patton Oswalt will be appearing on the best show on TV (no, not that one. Or that one. The other one) this coming season. And we know that he won Halloween with the help of a Mythbuster. And now comes word that he has been cast, along with his United States of Tara co-star Rosemarie DeWitt, in the second season of HBO's The Newsroom. Both actors have secured reoccurring roles on the program, Oswalt as the new VP of Human Resources, and DeWitt as a lawyer representing the network in a wrongful termination suit.

If I had to guess from those descriptions, I'd say DeWitt is being set up as a love interest for Jeff Daniels' McAvoy, himself a former lawyer, and someone with whom he can some belligerent sexual tension, while also alienating Emily Mortimer. As for Oswalt, while his dramatic star is rising, I can't imagine they hired him without the intention of utilising his comedic talents. And considering his position high up in ACN, can we assume he'll mostly be interacting with Sam Waterson? Can we hope for that? Can we make that plea to Aaron Sorkin now? Can we refocus the show on Sam Waterson and Patton Oswalt getting drunk and bitching about stuff that makes them sad?

Because I will pay many of my very best monies to watch that show, HBO. Get to retooling.

Via /Film.

Nobody Does It Better - Now With More Harmony

Continuing the 007 theme that has dominated my interest, and thus this site, for the past week, and will continue well into this week, here is the iconic James Bond theme, performed a cappella style buy Nick McKaig and Trudbol. Doing classic themes in a cappella is something they do with some regularity, and a healthy amount of talent. Enough talent to simultaneously enjoy them, and envy them with loathsome ire.

So, you know what I'll be doing today.

Via Topless Robot.

12 Nov 2012

[Review] - Skyfall

Courtesy of MGM
Skyfall is a success in every way that Die Another Day was a failure. Where the latter took a blunt, nod-and-wink approach to celebrating Bond and his history, Skyfall take the more subtle road. There are references to the past, but except for once, the impression is not that the film as looked out at the audience and given them a nudge. Perhaps the best quality of the film, and the best way the producers could celebrate the franchise, is by making a film that makes a very strong case for being the best Bond thus far.

By proving that, unlike other long running series, like Star Trek, Bond doesn't need to constantly reinvent itself. That unlike the Bourne series, which seems to have went pear-shaped after four films, Bond remains relevant, and impressive after half a century. By making a film that is the best of Bond, that embraces what is iconic, and shirking off the laughable and the ridiculous. And that sometimes, the old ways are the best ways.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers which serve Queen and country.

Lego Movie Might Be One Of The Greatest Things Ever

Earlier this year, when it was announced that Warner Bros was making Lego: Piece of Resistance, I was excited. The guys who made Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, making a story about a Lego universe that is being destroyed by blocks being glued together, incorporating all of the licensed materials, including the DC Heroes that Warners owns anyway (no word on how the Disney purchase of Star Wars will effect their appearances, if they were to appear at all). How's that not going to be fun.

I can't be, because look at this cast. Chris Pratt (Parks and Rec) as the hero Emmett, being joined by Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, and Channing Tatum in various roles. And now they have announced that Will Ferrell will be playing the main villain, President Business, with Liam Neeson playing his henchmen, Bad Cop. But the real news is the casting of Alison Brie (Community) and Nick "Axe Swanson" Offerman as members of Emmett's strike force, with Offerman playing a pirate obsessed with getting revenge on President Business.

This movie might suck, and be a complete mess, but at least it won't be for lack of trying.

Via First Showing.

Bonds. All Of The, Bonds

Some ambitious fellow has made a supercut of all 22 James Bond films that existed before two weeks ago. Taking five minute segments from each film, in order (first five minutes from Dr. No, second five minutes from From Russia With Love, third five minutes from Goldfinger, etc, etc), it has been put together as a full feature length tribute to the world's greatest spy.

Of course, it doesn't hold together at all. A much more ambitious project would have been to take sequences from each of the films and edit them together so that it made a brand new feature that made a sort of sense. I'm sure that it could be done. Just not by me.

Via /Film.

9 Nov 2012

This Is The Way The World Ends

This isn't a review, or anything of substance. It's just that last night on Parks and Rec, Ron Swanson encountered Mike Ehrmantraut, and it was everything you could hope for, in that it produced this image:

Forget robots, space aliens, ancient old ones, or damned dirty apes. These two men, and the last bacon-wrapped shrimp, is how the end begins. I always hoped it would be this way...

Every Single Cast Member Of The Hobbit Is Looking At You

There are two relatively new trends in movie posters these days. The first is the group shot, trying to stuff as many character into the frame as possible. We've seen this with Toy Story 3, with the Muppets, and recently with the dwarves for the Hobbit. The second trend is the very close, stand alone image of the star. I blame the minimalist poster for 40 Year Old Virgin for this, and until recently it has been almost exclusive to comedies. but action movie, in an attempt to display intensity, have been getting in on the game.

And the Hobbit had touched on this already, with a very near image of Bilbo and his sword Sting. Not Warner Bros has released a host  of new poster images, for every single member of the dwarf group, plus one of Cate Blanchett (which looks like she's giving use the middle finger) and one of course of Gollum (I still maintain including him so heavily in advertising is a mistake), but not of Hugo Weaving.

They've also released a few vertical banners (which include Weaving), to counter those horizontal ones they release a few weeks back. I like them generally, but feel that one two make use of the vertical space - Bilbo and the Wargs, and the dwarves climbing the mountin. If it weren't for the fact that the sexy dwarves are getting all the attention in the mountain banner, that image might have been one of my favourites thus far.
I think it is clear that Warner Bros took a lot of pictures of the actors, and is very keen on using every single one of them before the movie comes out. They are aware there are another two films after this they'll have to promote, right? Right?

Hit the jump to see the rest, including the banners.

Doctor Who News Is Gaimany

Courtesy of the BBC
I feel conflicted about the Cybermen in Doctor Who. They are probably the most popular enemy that has never had a truly great episode. The closest they've come is the Second Doctor serial, The Invasion. Inconsistencies in the writing of the species has lead to decades of uneven adventures. And I think the problem is, they are a wonderful idea, but (clearly) difficult to build a story around. Last year's disappointing Closing Time was a perfect example. The Cybermen are great to build tension, but usually deflate when the nuts and bolts (I apologise) of the story force a direct confrontation. The best use of the Cybermen in recent years (and I mean decades there) was their cameo in The Pandorica Opens, with the gripping arm sequence (sorry again) and the chomping head casing.

So I am ambivalent with the reveal that Neil Gaiman, who pretty much wrote a definitive Doctor Who story last time, will be tackling the silver menace in his penultimate episode this series. Gaiman is a first class writer of horror and suspense, as well as just about everything else, so if anyone has a shot of writing a good Cyberman story, its Gaiman. But still, that track record sides rather soundly in the back of my mind, glaring at me like a crazy on the bus.

However, to temper this, is the additional announcement that the episode will also feature Warwick Davis (Willow, Harry Potter), Tamzin Outhwaite (EastEnders)and Jason Watkins (Dirk Gently, Being Human) as "…a band of misfits on a mysterious planet." So... that is awesome. Seriously, that is a fantastic cast. Watkins along would have been worth the price of admission, but Davis as well. Brilliant. While I still fully support the return of Rupert Graves as big game hunter John Riddell to the show eventually, and I don't think Gaiman will be able to top The Doctor's Wife, it sure as hell looks like they're going to try.

Hit the jump for a fan-made trailer for a rather good Sherlock/Doctor Who mashup, which has more Tennant then I was expecting.

[List] - 9 Innocent Bystanders Whose Day Was Ruined By James Bond

All pictures courtesy of MGM
James Bond, the world's greatest spy. For 50 years, and in 22 (as of today, 23) films, he has amazed us with his death deifying stunts, his apparently invulnerable liver, and his constant need for sexual gratification, to fill the dark, lonely hole that has been carved out of his heart by the ceaseless, meaningless killing...

What we fail to notice in this cacophony of awesome is how much of a utter jerk 007 is. How many innocent people he interacts with in the course of his duties, and how much he doesn't stop to think about how his actions affect other people. I'm not talking about the dozens of women he has tossed aside (and, statistically speaking, infected with VD), or gotten killed. Nor do I refer to the megalomaniacs he campaigns against, or the countless sidekicks, henchmen, and hired goons he disposes of without a second thought, mostly in agonising ways you wouldn't wish on your ex-wife's mother.

I speak here of people unconnected to the spy trade. The people not employed or seduced by the Big Bad. I speak of the everyday folk, the people like you and me. The tourists, the natives, the Regular Joes, whose life unluckily crosses paths with Britain's finest, and because of that chance, have their day completely ruined.

Hit the jump for the list.

8 Nov 2012

At Least The T-rex Hasn't Been Digitally Replaced With A Walkie-Talkie

[That's right Spielbergo, you're never living that one down.]

I've mentioned before about how much I don't think Jurassic Park (or any movie) needs to be in 3D. And how I'm not excited over Jurassic Park being rereleased in 3D, despite the fact that it is my favourite film.

Despite all that, some of you library hobos might be interested, so with the unveiling of the first poster and the first trailer for the rerelease, I give them to you, so that you might have something to pretend to look at while the librarian eyes your screen, suspicious that you are (in fact) watching Korean pornography.

Hit the jump for the trailer.

Will Everything Proceed As The Internet Forsees?

With the sale of Star Wars To Disney, and the promise (threat?) of a new trilogy of films, the question now becomes: who takes over from Lucas? Someone like Christopher Nolan, who is able to balance the visual with the cerebral? Someone like Seth Green, who has an established relationship with the series, respects it, and would certainly be able to take it in new directions? Personally, I think Disney should take the same tact that Marvel has, and hire a new creative team for each film, to prevent the sort of creative stagnation that has already been the downfall of Star Wars.

One fan believes that Disney should keep it in house, and has put forward Brad Bird's name for contention. Now, myself, Bird is my favourite of the Pixar creative team, his output the most consistently innovative and superior (sorry Lasseter, but the Cars films count against you), and he directed my favourite of the Pixar films, The Incredibles. Not to mention years of service (and helping to get the show to series) on the Simpsons. A multiple Emmy and Academy Award winner for animation and writing, with last year's Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocal, he moved from animation to live action and proved more capable then fellow Pixar director Andrew Stanton at working with practical people. For years, he's been trying to get 1906, a film about the San Fransisco earthquake, off the ground, and is now working on a film known only as 1952, with writer Damon Lindelof (whatever that ultimately means).

He is passionate about animation, insisting that it is an art form, not a genre (a position I share), and would certainly bring a sensible, artistic eye to the Star Wars universe, perhaps using CG in the way George intended, without going overboard, as George did. As an option, he is more then valid, has a track record with Disney, and makes for an excellent first candidate. While I don't twit, feel free to use #GiveItToBradBird over on the twitter fields if you support this choice too.

I suppose the next question is, is he a Star Wars fan?

Via First Showing.

Today Is Brought To You By The Letter SPACE

If I had children, this is how I would teach them the alphabet. Of course, these ships would need context. So, I suppose I'd also have to show them all the TV series, films, and news that feature these ships, but that is just the sort of sacrifice I'd make in order to make certain my child was literate.

I have four problems with the chart (shocking, I know). First, the quinjet isn't a spaceship. There were briefly a couple that could be used in space, but mostly they are (as the name suggests) jets. To be equally fair, I can't think of an actual starship that begins with Q, so I may have to concede this one. Second, as much as I like Mass Effect, N really ought to be the Nostromo from Alien. Distinctive design (unlike the Normandy), and it's a classic of the genre. Third, if Challenger and Orion are being included, then V really ought to be the proper Voyager, the probes sent into deep space, designed by Carl Sagan, carrying a message of greeting and peace. And finally, with Destiny already filling out D, why pick a third tier ship like the Korolev to fill out K? I'm assuming it was desperation, as there also seems to be a lack of K named ships.

Also, Planet Express Ship is a much better P.

Via The Mary Sue.

7 Nov 2012

Statistically, At Least One Of These Women Left Pregnant

Courtesy of @TinyMaster
I'm excited for the release of Skyfall this week. Excited enough, that I recently went back and rewatched the previous 22 Bond films, in order, to prepare myself. And one thing you notice more when you watch them together, then when you watch them apart, is exactly how much of the sex that James Bond gets up to. In the older films especially, 007 will drop everything, including stalking the villain, if it means he'll get to play bed-tag with a lady person.

So this infographic is fun to look at. It breaks down each film by the number of women, the number of liaisons Bond has with said women, where these liaisons occurred, and how many of the women died shortly there after (that number is probably the most disturbing).

The results? Craig's Bond is the most chaste (and also the most fatal), Brosnan was the most likely to use an actual bed, while Moore is the Bond most likely to have a regular prescription of penicillin. Live and Let Die, notorious for getting a big rapey on Bond's part, has the most loving, followed by From Russia With Love, while Quantum of Solace has the least.

Also, "back at Guantanamo" is now my favourite euphemism for sex, and Dr. Molly Warmflash is my favourite Bond girl name, ever.

Hit the jump to examine the "nymphographic."

You Know Who Knew Enough To Wear Condoms? The Romans! And Theirs Were Made Of Sheep Intestine

In Windor, Ontario, a hospital CEO has credited a 30 percent increase in child births over the past few weeks to the January release of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. According to David Musyj, and with no actual scientific evidence to back this up, this small boom could have been caused by the predominately female-read "book" trilogy, which detailed a dom-sub BDSM relationship. Robin Milhausen, an associate professor of human sexuality at the University of Guelph, agreed that the books might possibly, maybe have had some effect, except probably not (I'm paraphrasing).

Setting aside that the books are barely literate tripe, that are a perfect example of how something of lowest common denominator quality can be enormously popular by benefit of being both accessible, undemanding and unremarkable simultaneously (much like the Da Vinci Code), this idea has very little merit. For there to be a real correlation, a study would have to be done charting the number of recent mothers that had read the books before becoming pregnant, and establish that reading the books in fact lead to an increase in sexual activity, which led to the pregnancy.

Considering that this "effect" is localised entirely within Windsor, and that nowhere else is attributing these books to an increase in births, I can draw a second, just as likely conclusion: the people of Windsor don't understand how birth control works. It's just as valid a guess as Musyj's, but far less likely to end up as a line item on a national news broadcast. BDSM is, when done properly, a notoriously safety-oriented business. So, the sort of person who might be inspired to bring whips and ropes into the bedroom would probably also take the time to make certain they were being safe in their underparts.

Because nothing would put a crimp in their breath play then a colicky infant in the next room.

Via CBC.

[Review] - Primeval: New World, Season 1 Episode 2, "Sisiutl"

Courtesy of Impossible Pictures
The second episode of this new Primeval shows signs of improvement, but this is still only a shadow of a show. The characters remain empty skins, with none demonstrating individuality, and only present to exchange bits of exposition, in order to move the action along to the next creature bit. If everybody moved their dialogue one character to the left, nothing would change. There are no personalities at play, and nothing to make the characters endearing, so they can largely be ignored.

And considering the tepid pace of the action, so too can that. Which really makes one wonder, if you can ignore the characters and the action, is there a point in watching the show at all? If these two episodes are indicative of the rest of the series, I'd say no.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that were initially mistaken for an eel.

6 Nov 2012

The Face Of Space Vs The Man Of Steel

Courtesy of DC Comics
While the question of where exactly Metropolis is meant to be on the eastern seaboard of the US may never be answered, science may well have settled the question of where Krypton, the destroyed home of Superman, once was. And who else could settle such a mystery then Neil deGrasse Tyson?

According to DC Comics publisher Dan Didio, a staffer working on Action Comics reached out to the internet-favourite astronomer for assistance on a storyline, during which Superman searches for his home planet. Tyson, known for having called James Cameron out for improper star positions in Titantic, and for pointing out Damon Lindelof's problems with distance in Prometheus, was more then able to lend them a hand, and delivered a viable candidate.

The star in question, a red dwarf designated LHS 2520, sits 27.1 light years away, in the Corvus constellation. This distance is approximately the age of Superman in the current comics run, though that creates issues in and of itself, as Jor-El's ship obviously had faster-then-light capabilities, able to get the infant Kal-El to Earth while he was still an infant. A correlation between the distance and age of Superman would only apply if he had only just arrived on Earth, and emerged a fully grown man (I've given up on the New 52 - that isn't what actually happened, is it?).

As thanks for his contribution, Tyson has been incorporated into the comic, appearing (as seen above) in Action Comics #14. It also marks the latest change in Krypton's location, after the Richard Donner movie implied it was several galaxies away, and John Bryne's run in the late eighties placed it within 50 light years. Both of those sources also placed it in orbit around a red giant, rather then a dwarf.

Either way, it remains both fictional, and destroyed (unless they retcon that too... the destroyed bit, not its fictionality).

Via The Mary Sue.

How Many Have You Seen?

As a cinephile, I would be remiss if I didn't post this video of IMDb's Top 250, along with 53 other deserving films, boiled down to two and half minutes. It's a lot of fun, but suffers from a major problem. At two and half minutes, each film on the list would normally only get one second each. Pushing that number up to 303 means each film gets less then one second.

Except, some movies are given more then their share of time, with 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Big Lebowski, Full Metal Jacket and many others getting multiple plugs. Hell, practically the entire Avengers roaster gets a look. With means some movies, like Duck Soup, get a split second glimpse, and that's all.

Still fun, though.

Via the Mary Sue.

Myth Busters Set To Break Bad

Back when the first episode of Breaking Bad aired earlier this year I, along with most of the internet (and creator Vince Gilligan), immediately called for the Mythbusters to take the show to task. What with all their body dissolving, and giant electromagnet-evidence wiping. The show might be the most well written, best acted, best damned show on TV, but they must be held accountable to science just like the rest of us.

Don't you just love it when you get what you want?

Gilligan and series star Aaron Paul will guest in the first of at least two Breaking Bad themed episodes, examining the plausibility of some of the shows more extreme feats of science. Said Mythbuster-by-day Adam Savage:
“Obviously there’s a lot of fertile material to play with, so things that happen on the show have been ending up on our list of stories to tackle for a couple years now. And when Vince said in an interview that he’d love to see a Mythbusters/Breaking Bad crossover, we reached out to him directly and the response was overwhelming positive."
When I say at least two episodes, that is because the first will cover only two incidents from the first season, including the practise of dissolving bodies in hydrofluoric acid, which Savage described as "terrifying stuff." Hopefully, they won't stop there, and see if it will in fact eat through a porcelain bath tub, and a couple floors of a house. The giant magnet will have to wait for a follow up, which Savage thinks will be no problem getting additional material for, saying, “Those guys have been so much fun with technology and science that there’s a lot that we could do with them.”

What other "events" from the show would you like to see them test? Maybe explode a wheelchair, and see if they can blow half of Buster's face off?

Via Uproxx.
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