31 Jan 2013

I'm Not Sick

At this point I think it's fairly obvious that I've become infected by some ancient, sub-tropical curse.

Ah, this is what the old Gypsy woman meant. I should have stayed away from that mummy's tomb. Damn you monkey's paw, this isn't what I wished for. THIS ISN'T WHAT!

Or, it could be that because I never get sick, I have no ability to judge the seriousness of my condition. Either way, no posts again today. Library hobos, you're on your own again.

30 Jan 2013

No Posts Today

I'm sick, and medicated, and may I say how thankful I am to live in a time when illness can be treated by a very effective and wonderful feeling little pill, and not leeches and prayer.

The regularly schedule Primeval: New World review will be folded into next week's review. Hopefully, I'll be on the mend tomorrow for the Justified review. As for your day old news, you library hobos will either have to go elsewhere today, or wait until it is two day old news. Your choice.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go vomit and sleep (hopefully in that order).

29 Jan 2013

The Coens Get Inside Llewyn Davies

There are few directors that would convince me to sit down and watch a film about proto-hipsters being sad and discovering themselves after moving from New York to California. The Coens are, in fact, the only directors who would convince me to sit through that.

One of the things I like about the Coens is they'll make a clever, odd "money-maker" (No Country, True Grit), and immediately follow it with a clever, odd, usually a little more dramatic or message heavy independent film (A Simple Man, The Man Who Wasn't There). And one type is never better then the other (except The Ladykillers. Nobody can pitch a perfect game). Inside Llewyn Davies is most definitely the latter kind of film, but is does star John Goodman (whose hair in this trailer I am all about). And aside from being a bit pretentious, I know that the Coens never take themselves as seriously as this trailer suggests.

Being Human Continues To Showcase Not Humans

Last series, Being Human did something that, outside of a long running procedural show like Law & Order, or ER, no American show would ever do: it replaced it's entire cast. And I was glad of it, because after three years I thought the premise, or rather, the execution of the premise, had played itself out at bit. But by the end of year four, I was desperate for the new series to begin, having seen the original cast pack up, and replaced with different characters.

Yes, I was a little disappointed that they decided to stick with the exact same formula of werewolf + vampire + ghost, but at least these were new, exciting, yet to be explored monster mashers. And ones that didn't cause me to want to give myself dental work rather then listen to them whine for another hour (Annie...).

Being Human returns to BBC3 on February 3rd.

Meet The Newest Faces Of Westeros

You ever just have one of those days

We're near on exactly two months away from the beginning of Storm of Swords, the third season of Game of Thrones. We've already had little teasers and production videos released, but expect the marketing to kick into high gear right about now (last year they started in January, and for four months released reedit after reedit of the same footage). We haven't gotten a proper trailer yet, but expect one soon. Instead, HBO has released some official images of the new characters we'll be introduced to this year.

Up top is Stannis wallowing in his own pity, after the Battle of Blackwater last season. After the jump, see some Brothers Without Banners, an old fish, and and a King-Beyond-The-Wall.

28 Jan 2013

To Increase Interest In A Film, Simply Add Darabont

I like the Godzilla movies, but only in a passing sort of way. Monsters movies have never been one of my great cinematic interests. So, while I understood that a Godzilla remake was happening, and did in fact register a resounding "eh" upon learn at, I am officially upgrading my "eh" to a "hmmm?" Why? Well, turns out, Frank Darabont, writer and director of Shawshank Redemption, The Mist, season one (aka the good season) of Walking Dead, and ghost writer on half a hundred other films, is doing the official rewrite on the Godzilla script done by Max Borenstein.

Of the film's title character, Darabont says:
"The giant terrifying force of nature that comes and stomps the shit out of your city, that was Godzilla. Filtered through the very fanciful imaginations of the Japanese perception. And then he became Clifford the Big Red Dog in the subsequent films. He became the mascot of Japan, he became the protector of Japan. Another big ugly monster would show up and he would fight that monster to protect Japan. Which I never really quite understood, the shift... We want this to be a terrifying force of nature."
I think he might have hit on exactly what it was that always made the Godzilla films unappealing to me, past the original: Godzilla was basically the good guy. If I'm going to watch a monster movie, I want the giant horrible thing to be the creature of mass destruction, the insurmountable obstacle standing in the heroes way. So at least Darabont is coming at it from the right direction. Now they just need to avoid the failures of the '98 film, and they should be off to a good start.

My concern now becomes, even with a release anticipated near the 50th 60th anniversary of the character, it will still have to follow this summer's Pacific Rim. And if del Toro is his usual self, that might be a bigger obstacle to overcome then just a mutant lizard.

Via Collider.

NBC Tries To Remain Relevant, Develops Western

Courtesy of Oni Press

Actually, I'd like to see this one make it to series. NBC has order a pilot based on the comic series Sixth Gun. The book, created by Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt, and is very good, follows an assortment of characters drawn together by six mystical pistols in the old west. Among the major players are Becky, independent frontier's woman in possession of a pistol that reveals the future; Drake, anti-hero and former no-good-nick looking for redemption (and riches); and a host of supernaturally maintained villains seeking to find these pistols. The first issue can be read here. For those on the fence about it, it contains monks using a Gatling gun. I think I just made up your mind for you.

The idea of a mystical old west six-shooter is nothing new to TV, considering the Colt in Supernatural's early seasons, and the entire premise of the series Dead Man's Gun. Even the idea of a Sixth Gun series is nothing new, as Sy-Fy (an NBC family station) was interested in it back in 2011. The current version is being executive produced by Carlton Cuse (Nash Bridges, LOST), who once produced the Bruce Campbell steampunk western Adventures of Brisco Country, Jr., and written by Ryan Condal. I don't know, given NBC's track record (Heroes, The Event, Revolution, Grimm) if that network is where I'd want a Sixth Gun series.

Seems like an idea better suited for FOX. To cancel.

Via ComicsAlliance.

[Review] - Movie 43

Courtesy of Virgin Produced


That wasn't good at all.

Hit the jump for the condemnation... I mean review.

25 Jan 2013

The Song Of Ice And Fire Gets Another Verse

George R.R. Martin has announced the release of a new chapter in the Song of Ice and Fire series. Hoor...wait, what?

It's not the unexpectedly early release of the Winds of Winter? It's a novella you say? O...k. It will appear in the forthcoming Danger Women anthology. Fair enough, it's probably the new Dunk & Egg short. No? Oh, what then? The Princess and the Queen. What is that? A "true (mostly) story of the origins of the Dance of the Dragons." Oh, nifty. But, wouldn't Dance of the Dragons have been a better title? He couldn't use it, you say. Because he already called the fifth full length novel in the series Dance of Dragons, despite it having nothing to do with the historical era of Westeros when the duelling female Targaryen heirs were locked in a bloody civil war that nearly wiped out the entire house, and signalled the end of the time of Dragons in Westeros, and permanently introduced a generational misogyny to the bloodline? Well, that was foolish of him.

I'm actually really excited about this, because I am enamoured with the deep history of Westeros. With the exception of the dragons, the history Martin has created feels much more real then anything, say Tolkien, invented. Maybe because Tolkien's has a deliberate biblical quality to it, while Martin's feels ripped from a textbook (which, to be fair, is probably because the majority of Westeros history is cribbed from English history). So I am all for learning more about certain periods in greater detail. Dance of Dragons, Summerhall, the Blackfyres, all periods that deserve elaboration.

That being said, don't get distracted, George. You got work to do.

Via The Mary Sue.

So, Looks Like J.J. Abrams Might Be Doing Star Wars After All

The number of directors that have officially declared they either turned down the job (Joss Whedon, Matthew Vaughn) or have stated they didn't want the job (J.J. Abarms, Guillermo del Toro, Brad Bird, Steven Spielberg) or were considered and didn't get the job (Ben Affleck, Jon Favreau) for directing the new Star Wars film for Disney was almost enough to make fans think it would never move past the early development stage. Everyone seemed to have the same basic reasons: I'm too busy, or, who would want that job? Turns out, at least one of those names might not have been telling the whole truth. Like when he said:
“There were the very early conversations and I quickly said that because of my loyalty to Star Trek, and also just being a fan [of Star Wars], I wouldn’t even want to be involved in the next version of those things. I declined any involvement very early on. I’d rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making them.”

LOST/Fringe/every other damned show on TV producer, and Star Trek director J.J. Abrams has been given the director's chair on the presumptive flick, according to Deadline. This has not been confirmed, as far as I can see, by either Abrams or Disney, so I'm a little hesitant to mention it. But reports are, despite his past insistence that he wasn't interested in directing the picture, Abrams has taken the job.

If this is true, any speculation about what the new film might look like is just that: speculation. However, I think it does spell a very clear reality for any further Star Trek films: they will be Abramsless. And it's not because of some absurd notion that someone can't be involved in both franchises, it's that as a human being, I doubt he could. Future films would be in (various stages of) production at the same time, and juggling the two sci-fi giants would be impossible. Which, I'm actually OK with. I feel, like Marvel has done with the various Marvel films, that a change of creative direction can serve a franchise better in the long run, rather then striping a single person clean of their creative juices. The Bond films have done the same for part of their life, and they've lasted fifty years (the ones that share the same director tend to be the least effective).

Abrams has long held that he is more in tune with Star Wars. When he got the job on Trek, he flat out admitted that Wars was his wheelhouse, and that he sought to bring that sort of sensibility to the Trek film. I felt that it worked in his favour, not being a fanboy for the material, which allowed him to make decisions not motivated by an emotional attachment to the characters or setting (Vulcan), and resulted in a very good film. My worry might be that he is that he is too close to Wars, and depending on how closely related it is to the originals, that might present issues. Or, Abrams could be a professional who knows how to do his job. Could go either way.

If this is true, and Abrams has taken the job, I think what Wars fans should be happy about is that a smart, imaginative director has been hired, so that at least the new film has a chance of working. Disney looked at their success with Avengers, and the continuing creative failure of the Pirates films, and opted to go with someone who will respect the material and make a good picture, rather then someone who might just throw some stuff together with the knowledge that the movie will make money no matter what they do. A good, successful film might not be any different from a bad, successful film to a studio executive, but it matters a lot to audiences, and I'm glad they are taking that into consideration.

I still only barely care. I take the Trek side of this argument. I'd rather have Spock over Yoda any day of the week.

Via The Guardian and Ubergizmo.

[List] - The 9 Best Palisades Muppet Toys

Between 2001-2005, Palisades Toys produced what is perhaps the single greatest toy line, ever (no hyperbole there. I hate hyperbole). Originally a celebration of the 25 anniversary of the Muppet Show, the resulting 9 series (and many exclusives) of Muppet toys were a love song to the creations of Jim Henson (Palisades also produced a limited series of Pink Panther figures of equal quality). The company went bankrupt in 2006, resulting in many announced figures being cancelled, including the first wave of Sesame Street figures, which would have brought the likes of Bert and Ernie, Oscar the Grouch, and Guy Smilie to the same fully realised form.

Collectors have since regarded the Muppet line as something of lightning in a bottle, achieving so much in a short amount of time, and with a level of quality that can't be hoped to be matched. That no other company has tried to pick up where Palisades left off is both surprising, and understandable. Would you want to follow them?

Below, I look at the 9 best figures produced by Palisades. Not best in terms of over all quality, but best in that against all odds, these things exist, and the world is the better for it. Hit the jump for the list.

24 Jan 2013

The Last Weekend In March Stands To Be Quite Good

Courtesy of the BBC

We already know that Game of Thrones will begin it's third season on March 31st, and for ten glorious weeks provide us the vein spasming relief that only constant evisceration and nudity can cure. What we also now know is that on the preceding day, Saturday March 30th, on both sides of that slowly yet increasingly widening ocean known as the Atlantic, Doctor Who will commence the second half of it's seventh season. And for seven wonderful week give us the timey-wiminess that comes recommended as part of a regular television diet by 11 Doctors, including an additional dose of Gaiman (helps strengthen teeth, and terror reflexes).

Later that same week will see the end of Justified season 4. I'd say an early candidate for best week of the year.

Via Den of Geek.

Muppets Get Liotta, Retroactively Screwed

Ray Liotta has signed on for a role in the upcoming Muppets film, currently known as The Muppets... Again. No indication how big the role will be in the film, currently beginning production at Pinewood Studios, London. It will be his second time appearing with the Muppets, after a cameo in Muppets From Space, and the first actor to appear in two Muppets movies since Elliott Gould, in Movie and Manhattan.

In other news, I've long not giving the Academy Awards any sort of consideration. They are a relic of the old industry days, and receiving one is the farthest thing from an indication of actual achievement or quality. It is a miserly, self perpetuating ego machine that should be put down like a lame horse. Point in fact, last year, when the Muppets were nominated (and won) for Man or a Muppet (not the song from the film that should have been nominated, but anyway), Bret McKenzie and whatever Muppets that might have accompanied him, were not allowed to perform the song at the event. Robin Williams once sang a song about invading Canada at the Oscars, but the years the Muppets get a shot, suddenly the tedious, over-drawn snooze fest needs to save on air time.

I mention this because it was been announced that Adele will perform her nominated earworm Skyfall live this year, on top of whatever Hope and Crosby-style intro host Seth MacFarlane does. Last year, there were two nominees. This year, there are five, including one from Les Mis (an original, added I'd assume just so it could get nominated). Will they all be performed, or only Skyfall, possibly during the expected Bond tribute?

In any case, fuck you Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. You don't deserve the Muppets. They're better then you.

Via Den of Geek and Collider.

[Review] - Justified, Season 4 Episode 3, "Truth and Consequences"

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television
For three episodes now, I've been struggling with a feeling in the back of my head. It starts around the time the cold open begins, and subsides about an hour later. Something I couldn't put my finger on until now: I think that season four might be my favourite of Justified. And I say that having only seen three episodes. But why, I ask my inner critic. What sets this season aside from the others, each as entertaining and of a quality to this?

For the first time, I feel as though the forces of the greater world of the show are driving the plot, rather then just Raylan doing something he knows he shouldn't. Season one was his obsession with Boyd, season two was his family history with the Bennett's, and season three was his sticking his nose into the business of Quarrels. This season, save for the precipitating event of finding the bag in the wall, Raylan is not driving the action. Art, more then anything, is forcing the story forward. And in the process, really for the first time, we get to see the Marshals do some real Marshaling. This isn't fugitive of the week, this is a full blow investigation. And because we're focused on the day to day of their lives, it is also giving us a better chance then we've had to get to know them as people, rather then gun hands to back up Raylan when he gets into a spot.

And that can only lead to good things. For us, I mean. These people's lives suck.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers which, like Raylan, must KBO.

23 Jan 2013

Lake Bell Debuts In A World...

From the LA. Times
I don't usually pay attention to film festival news, which you might think is odd for a cinephile. But really, if the film is worth seeing, and gets a release, I'll probably end up seeing it. And I don't want to bother with all the ego stroking that can accompany many film festivals, especially Sundance. But a piece caught my eye today, of a review of a film written, directed and starring Lake Bell, titled In A World..., cribbed from Don LaFontaine infamous movie trailer line. As one might expect, the film concerns voice over actors.

I have liked Bell since her days on Boston Legal, and have suffered through many romantic comedies based on her involvement alone (thanks for that, Bell). I've long been disappointed that someone as obviously funny as her never managed to break out of the "best friend" role in the majority of her films (though that may have more to do with Hollywood politics then Bell herself), with her biggest starring role to date being in the lamentable Surface series. Her work in Children's Hospital is a better showcase for her talents, and not surprisingly, many of her co-stars from the show have found their way into her debut film, about a woman trying to break into the largely male dominated world of voice overs. The reviews I've seen of it so far have been positive, criticising only a late film dip into melodrama, but makes up for it by being one of the few humorous entries in the festival this year, that don't also deal with sexual dysfunction.

I hope it finds a distributor, as I'm now very keen to see it.

Via /Film, and the LA Times.

Iron Man's Father To Birth James Bond

I don't understand how there haven't been more films made based on the life of Ian Fleming. The man who invented James Bond was as badass as James Bond, but a real person. He consulted with the Americans when they were setting up what eventually became the CIA. As a foreign journalist, he travelled the world before, during and after the war, which is why Bond is so well travelled a spy. Despite no espionage training whatsoever, he was chosen to work in Naval intelligence against the Nazis. As I learned at the recently closed Bond exhibit at TIFF, the plot of Casino Royale was based on an actual mission Fleming carried out against Nazi bank rollers (though he lost to them, inadvertently contributing to their war effort). He played golf with Christopher Lee regularly.

James D'Arcy played him in 2011's Age of Heroes (with former Bond villain Sean Bean), about a mission Fleming organised for his 30 Commando unit, but other then that his exploits have largely taken place on the small screen, including once by the awesome Charles Dance. They can add one more to the list, as Dominic Cooper (Captain America) will appear in the title role of Fleming, a four episode mini-series set during the war in London, and explore his relationship with Muriel Wright (played by Annabelle Wallis), who would inspire Fleming's Bond girls in his future novels. The series will be produced by Sky in the UK and, oddly, BBC America across the pond, with a hopeful broadcast day of late this year.

Via /Film.

[Review] Primeval: New World, Season 1 Episode 9, "Breakthrough"

Courtesy of Impossible Pictures
Primeval: New World returns after an extended break. In 2012, the new show was highly inconsistent to say the least, but was improving little by little. My question when we left was, can it keep up the level of improvement, or will it slip backwards?

The answer, based on this episode, seems to be "Ask Again Later." Because after it was done, I struggled to develop any sort of opinion on it at all. It wasn't a strong episode, but it had it's moments, while not lapsing wholly back into it's former condition.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that also have a double frozen in the basement.

22 Jan 2013

Can DVD Save Dredd 2?

I loved Dredd. Considering that the comic it is based on is (or was originally) a satire, I thought it came at the subject with the right amount of seriousness, while not taking itself as seriously as Nolan's Dark Knight Rises. It struck the right tone, and balanced that with a simple, economic storyline that allowed the characters, not the plot, to drive the narrative. It was also a hell of a lot of fun, and should be used as a benchmark for others that follow in the "I want to make dark comic movies" trend (with Avengers happily occupying the counter argument).

But it did not make a lot of money. Or, any, really. The North American take was less then $14 million, with Britain (Dredd's country of origin) making up most of the rest of the eventual $32 million box office. Despite star Karl Urban's enthusiasm for the project, and plans for a sequel and a third, all parties agreed that $50 million in the US was the magic number to get a sequel done. It obviously fell short of that.

The hope was that DVD and bluray sales might bolster that number, and Dredd's future, and there may be some hope there. From the press release:
DREDD claimed the number one spot on the DVD sell-through and Blu-ray charts with 650,000 units sold, making it the best-selling new release title of the year. Blu-ray units accounted for nearly 50% of week 1 POS at retail. In addition, the critically acclaimed thriller, starring Karl Urban (Star Trek) as the titular character Judge Dredd , was the top film download for the week, outpacing all other titles in digital sales as well.
Now, there are no dollar signs in there, and it is early days yet. But as Firefly and Futurama can attest, having strong DVD sales can extend your cinematic life longer then expected. A lot of Dredd's box office problems had to do with poor promotion (US), and lack of theatres playing it (in the UK, almost no showings were offered in 2D). Home viewing increases chances of people watching, especially considering the fantastic word of mouth the film had, and a desire to see it from those that just couldn't find it at their local back in September. And, right now, it has no major competition in the market. Might the DVD number be enough to get Dredd back on the screen? Even a scaled down, direct to market feature wouldn't be objectionable so long as Urban returned as Dredd.

Surely he could take a bit of that juicy Star Trek money and push it the Judge's way, eh?

Via Den of Geek and Collider.

Zombieland Returns From the Dead

I've always felt that movies are the better medium for story, while television is the better medium for characters. That is, of course, mostly untrue, and movies without characters are unintelligible, television without story is dull, and either without either are directed by Michael Bay. A better analogy might be films are short stories, television are novels. I'm always interested in how writers and creators approach the various mediums, is my point.

For instance, Guillermo Del Toro originally wrote the Strain as a TV series, only to be turned away by the major networks and cable stations. So, he adapted the script into a novel with writer Chuck Hogan into a dark, twisted, gory trilogy of novels. Novels that were successful enough that FX ordered a pilot.

The same sort of reality faced the film Zombieland, which was originally written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick as a TV series. They too were turned down by the major networks, so they adapted their pilot script, and several season one ideas into the movie, which was the last zombie movie I saw that I fully enjoyed. And it showed (the origins, not my enjoyment). Several of the core concepts to the film (the rules, the slow reveal of character motivation, the Incredible Hulk-style hoboness of the characters) would have worked well in episodic format. The film was a hit, and well liked, and talk of a sequel abound after the release, as it does with every film nowadays. Then nothing.

Until now. According to i09, Amazon has purchased the series, and will distribute it digitally, as part of their attempt to take on Netflicks (who is too busy trying to take on HBO to notice). They also acquired some casting notes being used to cast the series, picking up where the film left off. They are as follows:
Tallahassee is still kind of a snarky weirdo, but he seems to have a much less spiky relationship with Columbus. He and Columbus have a pretty amusing thing where they riff on the fact that Steven Seagal movies always have three-word titles like "Marked for Justice" or "May Cause Diarrhea." But Tallahassee also dispenses homespun wisdom about how to feel happy with your life. He also tells a weird story about being in a trailer park with a perpetually nude Matthew McConaughey. He also has a somewhat heartwarming scene where he tells Columbus that he's been wandering aimlessly for a long time, but maybe he's been put here for a reason — to help Columbus and the others.
Columbus is much the same, except that he tracks down his grandma and grandpa (Bubbie and Peepaw) only to find them recently zombiefied. Also, Columbus is trying to deal with his newfound relationship with Wichita, after their first kiss. He has started calling her "Krista," her real name — but there are some problems, especially after she finds him reading a book about fatherhood. He tries to organize a romantic scavenger hunt for her in the IKEA they're camping out in, but it goes kind of horribly.
Wichita is still trying to look after Little Rock, trying to teach her math with problems about someone stealing from a liquor store and jumping on a train going 42 miles per hour, with a cop chasing in a car going 88 miles per hour. We also learn a lot more about Wichita's backstory, including how she ran away from her father after he had her stealing people's Christmas presents — and later, she found out she had a sister who was also being a grifter with her dad.

Little Rock seems actually kind of excited about meeting Columbus' grandparents, before they turn out to be zombies. And she shares some of her own backstory, about how her dad parked her at a school while he went off grifting on his own — and then yanked her out of school right before a dance that she was looking forward to.

Fred and Ainsley are two office workers at the start of the zombie apocalypse, obliviously complaining about problems with their iPhones and getting the wrong order at Starbucks, which they admit are "first world problems" with a hashtag — while people are being disembowled just outside the window they're not facing. Tallahassee shows up to bring them their lunch orders, wearing a green polo shirt.
Aside from the addition of the two new characters, seems like the vision for the show hasn't changed much. Except I know I would be hesitant (and so might a lot of viewers) to watch the show without the original cast. And by original cast, I mean Woody Harrelson. Forget the rest, but could anyone really fill Tallahassee's Twinkie loving shoes? Or, could Harrelson be coaxed back to TV(ish) for the first time since Cheers ended? Or is a show like this too much of a gamble, with Walking Dead getting so much press for being creatively unstable, and the whole zombie thing growing ever closer to collapsing in on itself (please)?

Via i09. Twice.

[Review] - Fringe, Season 5

The gang's all here. Courtesy of FOX      
Back when Fringe began in 2007, it was in the middle of something of a sci-fi renaissance on American television. LOST was still on, and everyone was clamouring to repeat it's success. Battlestar was one of the most critically lauded shows on any network. Sarah Conner Chronicles brought the Terminator franchise to the small screen, Stargate Atlantis was only midway through it's run, Eureka had just begun, and Heroes lingered still. Yet to come were the lifeless Flashforward and the doomed Alcatraz, heralding the end of the late decade resurgence of the genre. Now, with the removal of Fringe, the field is empty, save for Warehouse 13 and Breaking Bad (which I think qualifies as a premier example of hard science fiction). Fringe was the last of the crop, now replaced with fantasies like Game of Thrones, Once Upon A Time, Grimm, and all those horrible vampire shows meant for the prepubescents.

I'm sad to see it go. It was a shelter in the storm, this show. A refuge one could escape to, and know that what you were to see was probably not going to make a lot of sense, but it was going to be a lot of fun. So it was disappointing when the final 13 episode run turned out so blasé, and the finale itself so tepid and predictable. It wasn't their best effort, and took the show out with more of a whimper then a bang. Which is a damned shame, cause when this show was firing on all cylinders, it packed a hell of a bang.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers for the finale, the final season, and the series as a whole. In this universe, at least.

21 Jan 2013

"It's Jurassic Park With Food"

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs was a great film. It was the first animated movie in a long time that I thought was zany. Animated movies aren't zany anymore, what with Pixar making everyone believe that they all had to have heart. I'm all for heart, but every once and a while I want a man-child dressed in a cooked turkey.

So, despite it's terrible title Cloudy 2: Revenge of the Leftovers (really, Sony, did Cloudy With Another Chance of Meatballs make too much sense?) has been on my radar since it was announced, and I'm anticipating the first trailer for the film from the writers of Horrible Bosses. Above is the first proper look at the film, due out on September 27th, where the Jurassic Park influences are on clear display (note the costume choice for the female lead).

So, it's a follow up to a movie I love, with strong references to my favourite movie of all time. Yeah, I think they've sold one ticket at least.

To The Pain

Remember that film from a few years back based on the Twilight Zone episode, called The Box? A couple will receive a million dollars if they press a button, the catch being that when they press it, someone, somewhere, will die. The Brass Teapot reminds me of that, but with more dark humour, and masochism.

I have not been impressed by Juno Temple yet, though others have and keep casting her in films. This looks like it has potential, though I am wary that the ending might be just another "they learned their lesson and are richer for having each other" garbage, though the militant Hasidics make me hope this might have a Coen Bros. bite to it. Hopefully, they'll end up terrible people, and one of them will die.

[Review] - Gangster Squad

Courtesy of Village Roadshow Productions
As the advertising sold Gangster Squad, this is not a good film. The trailers would have had us believe this was a taunt, gripping human drama set against the mob wars of LA in the post war, film noire era of the forties. A time of greed, corruption, and murder. It wanted us to think this was L.A. Confidential, or Chinatown. That these were serious men doing serious work, with serious purpose. This is not that film.

Delayed from September in the wake of the Aurora shooting, the studio obviously had no idea what to do with what they had, and presented it in the way they usually do with period pieces of this type: they played up the hats, the guns, the gams. What they failed to hit on in anyway was the humour. This movie is a farce, played straight, but a farce non the less. I'm looking at reviews that are saying that Squad is a ham-filled smirk-fest that under performs to expectations. I would argue that they have missed the point.

This isn't a serious picture. This is a cartoon.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that greased the wrong cheese and got pinched.

18 Jan 2013

Red 2: Even Redder

I will confess, I still haven't seen Red. I meant to, but then didn't, then I remembered, but it was a Sunday night. Later, I watched Jurassic Park and remembered about half way through I meant to watch Red, but I wasn't going to turn off Jurassic Park. Nedry was about to get eaten. It's a highly satisfying part of the movie. Plus later, other stuff happens that is cool. Anyway, never saw Red. I'll watch it this weekend, I promise. I mean, I was probably going to see Gangster Squad, despite the reviews, but... you know what, I'm sure I'll find the time.

I therefore have no frame of reference for Red 2, other then Bruce Willis seems to be in every damned film suddenly. What I do have a reference for is that the film is directed by Dean Parisot, who directed Galaxy Quest and little else. And Quest is a fantastic film. It's one of those rare examples, much like last year's Cabin in the Woods, of a satire that is also an excellent example of the genre they are satirising.

So, what I'll do is watch Red, then maybe see Red 2. It's out in... August. OK, so I've got some time then.

Fringe Ends Tonight

For those that have stuck with it, Fringe airs it's 100th and final episode this evening, in a two hour series finale, teased above. Really, 100 episodes is about 50 more then this show needed, but for all it's faults, there were enough high points to make up for it. I had intended on reviewing each episode from this final season, but I kept forgetting when it was on (thanks for the two nearly back to back extended periods off, jackasses), and then thought, screw it.

I'm glad I didn't though, because this last season has kind of sucked... anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself, because I will review the season, and series, next week. For now, just watch the two hour finale tonight, and remember that in another universe, things are better then they are.

[List] - 8 Nerd Songs

I've never been a fan of musicals. I've always felt that if you've got something for the characters to say, have them get to the point and just say it. That way they don't have to waste time rhyming. Counter to that argument is Abed's line from the Community christmas episode: "I'll understand every scene/'Cuz they'll sing what they mean/ Instead of making a face."
But, I do like music. Some music. It depends on what it is, and the context of use. Use of a well placed song can elevate a scene in a movie or episode by accenting the themes or emotions without overpowering the senses (see Breaking Bad's use of Crystal Blue Persuasion last year). For the opposite effect, see the CW's standard "no background silence" policy.

Nerd properties have a tendency to either birth or inspire a lot of music. And because perhaps the defining characteristic of the nerd is their ability to love (shut up, obsession is a kind of love), the nerd song has the potential to express more heartfelt affection for the subject matter then any rock anthem about Suzy, or Rosie, or Angie or Layla ever could. And the potential for fellow nerds to return that affection for the song is equally great.

Here are eight songs that have sprung forth from the great chasm of nerdom, that burrow into the ear and play themselves into our hearts, or something. Hit the jump for the list.

17 Jan 2013

The Hobbit Comes To DVD

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Early reports are that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be coming to DVD and bluray around easter. April 17th is the current date listed by some retailers for the theatrical release of the film, in both conventional and 3D editions. Reportedly, the bluray 3D edition will split the film over two discs, much the same as the Lord of the Rings extended editions were. The conventional DVD's will remain on one disc.

Despite the fact that, at one time, I owned both the theatrical and extended editions of the Lord of the Rings, I will not be purchasing this initial release of the Hobbit. I saw it, and wasn't blown away by it the way I was LotR a decade ago, and I know that the extended editions will be out in late November/early December, in time of the holidays and the release of The Desolation of Smaug. So I'll be picking that version up. So long as it's on DVD. I don't buy into that bluray bullshit.

Via Den of Geek.

Archer Returns Tonight

To celebrate the premier of season 4 of Archer on FX, here is a compilation of many of the insulting nicknames/historical and literary references the show has down thus far. I just... love this show so much, and wallowing in a chucky soup of bawdy intelligence is just one of the reasons (jungle cats, another big reason).

So watch it tonight, or else something bad will happen to someone you tenuously know, like a co-worker, or your favourite fast-order cook. Nothing too serious, don't worry, just unfortunate. Inconvenient at best. But you'll have to live with the guilt of knowing it was all your fault.

Via Uproxx.

[Review] - Justified, Season 4 Episode 2, "Where's Waldo?"

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television

Two episodes in, and it is clear the writer's this year have been eating their Wheaties. While the episodes have been a little lean on plot, the dialogue has taken on a league of it's own. The dialogue on Justified has never been stiff, but so far this season, it's been the difference between a grade school recital and Woody Allen at his best. It still remains flowery and overly described, which works in the southern context and adds rather detracts from the charm. But now it has turned more to minutia conversations, long rambling explanations that tend not to go anywhere, half spoke thoughts and a back and forth that would make the best vaudevillians proud.

Too bad the episode title reference would be lost on any country where Waldo isn't called that (otherwise known as all of them).

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that also insist on making Art's life hell.

16 Jan 2013

What Is Going On

Here is Gary Busey - stay with me now - explaining Hobbits. Badly. And poorly. Hell, he's not even describing Hobbits. He's certainly describing something, and I'm sure he was aware of what it was, but it resembles in no way anything in this world, real or fictional. A cross between dwarves and pest control, best I can figure. To me the more puzzling thing is the tablet on the ground he keeps looking at to crib notes off of. What was he reading exactly? Had he prepared this lunacy beforehand, or was he reading the Hobbit entry from Uncyclopedia?

More likely, it was a recipe for lentil soup.

Via The Mary Sue.

Axe Cop For President

FOX has released another clip from their upcoming Axe Cop series, featuring yet another of the Ask Axe Cop segments that I hope will pepper the show like some kind of seed-based spice. Fennel, mayhaps. Anyhoo, in this rousing adventure, Axe Cop is President, and continues to be voice magnificently by Nick "Axe Swanson" Offerman. I love that his American flag pin is an American flag axe.

(As a complete aside, just yesterday I was saying that I don't feel that an American candidate could get elected today sporting facial hair. They'd have to shave it off before the campaign. Or during, in sort of crazy "shave for votes" nonsense.)

Remember kids, Axe Cop is the axe we can believe in. 

Via ComicsAlliance.

There's No Time To Explain "I Can Explain"

On the heels of everyone insisting there was no time to do so, this week everybody is begging to explain. Make up your mind, people.

Via The Mary Sue.

15 Jan 2013

This Is Our World, But They Are Welcome To It

I can't help but feel there is a lost opportunity in this Game of Thrones Season 3 teaser. I like the concept, but wouldn't it have been more effective to see the raven flying through the various landmarks of our world, only to start flying through the landmarks of theirs. The ruins of Winterfell, Harrenhal, Kings's Landing. And the three eyed bird is a pretty obscure reference for the show (not readers of the book, we get the importance). But it hasn't been seen since season one.

Still, the teaser manages to set up both Bran's storyline (the raven) and the event that readers know is coming and that I'm not going to spoil, by having that haunting version of the National's Rains of Castamere playing over it all. And it does it all without showing a single frame of new content. Damn you HBO.

A storm approaches, and it isn't winter (though that too, you may have heard, is coming).

Batman Rises And Begins To Return To Arkham Forever... And Robin

Courtesy of Rocksteady Games

As they did in the lead up to Batman: Arkham City, Warner Bros. has registered for 15 new domain names for the supposed prequel to the Arkham games, giving gamers a hint at where the franchise might be going. They are:
  • arkhamuniverse.com (Arkham Universe)
  • batmanarkahmuniverse.com (Batman Arkham Universe)
  • batmanarkhamarises.com (Batman Arkham Arises)
  • batmanarkhambegins.com (Batman Arkham Begins)
  • batmanarkhamdarkknight.com (Batman Arkham Dark Knight)
  • batmanarkhamknight.com (Batman Arkham Knight)
  • batmanarkhamlegend.com (Batman Arkham Legend)
  • batmanarkhamlegends.com (Batman Arkham Legends)
  • batmanarkhamnight.com (Batman Arkham Night)
  • batmanarkhamorigins.com (Batman Arkham Origins)
  • batmanarkhamstories.com (Batman Arkham Stories)
  • darkknightarkham.com (Dark Knight Arkham)
  • dcarkhamuniverse.com (DC Arkham Universe)
  • dcarkhamverse.com (DC Arkhamverse)
  • thearkhamuniverse.com (The Arkham Universe)
 I think we can eliminate some of these straight away. Any that don't start with Batman are right out, as are any that play on the names of any of the recent films. Also gone are any that simply upscale the size of Arkham, as the last game did (there were jokes in the game to that effect. Arkham World, and what have you). By my count that leaves Legends, Origins and Stories as the possible contenders, and any of those would be fine titles for a prequel. Right now, mark my words, one of those three options will be the final title.

What do we know about about the game? Not much. We don't even know it will be a prequel. The last anyone heard, Rocksteady, who developed the previous two games, was working on a game set in the Silver Age, which everyone took to mean an Arkham prequel. Paul Dini won't be writing it (or wasn't hired to write anything, which would have been the first thing done, before development started). And Mark Hamill won't be returning as the Joker, as he announced after the last game came out (it was largely reported as his retirement, but he later qualified his statement, saying he'd return to the role if he felt he could top his performance from Asylum, which let's be honest here, neither he nor anyone else probably could).

Personally, I'd like to see more of the Arkham DC universe. Or, at least, Gotham proper (and Bludhaven). I feel like, even going back in time, the Joker relationship and storyline has been played out (and rather concluded). Time to flex the muscles a little, broaden the scope. Bring back Kevin Conroy, because obviously, and get the rest of the DCAU voice actors to reprise their roles. Tim Daly (or George Newbern), Susan Eisenberg, maybe a touch of Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern. Make it a true best-of-the-best game. Or, go another route, and make a complete Bat-family title. Catwoman, Robin and Nightwing were in the last game, how about having Oracle make a physical appearance, or Black Canary? Huntress, Batgirl (any of them, but my heart belongs to Stephanie Brown), Batwoman, the Question, more the Gotham PD. The series has managed to be one of the best versions of Batman in any medium, and I want to see more.

Just, stay away from Man-Bat (you know, Rocksteady would probably make it work)

Via ComicsAlliance.

I'm Betting This Still Doesn't Happen

Universal has announced that Jurassic Park 4 will be in theatres June 13th of next year, missing the 20th anniversary by almost exactly a year. This is, however, the only thing they have announced, and why I'm giving this story the biggest, saltiest grain of salt my giant bag of massive salt grains has in it, and so should you.

There is no director. There is no cast. There is no script, other then a draft handed in by Rise of the Planet of the Apes writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. That Spielberg is producing is only a given considering he holds the rights. Let me be clear: there is no movie here. There is an intention that, in less then a year and a half, the studio intends to turn around an entire special effects laden (and 3D, oy) adventure picture. And my money is it won't happen. For all the above reasons, and that a Jurassic Park 4 has nearly happened a half a dozen times already, and has not happened. Now, that's a bit like saying I've never been killed horribly in a tiger mauling: it's not to say it won't happen, but the longer it goes without happening, the better my chances of it not (statisticians will try to tell you the longer something goes without happening, the greater the odds it will. Statisticians are a sad lonely group, who enjoy ruining other people's fun).

If they hire a director, if they assemble a cast, if they start to shoot, then maybe I'll be convinced. I don't know if I'll be happy, but I'll be convinced. While Jurassic Park is my favourite movie, a film which I have undying love and support for, the third film suffered from massive script problems (you don't kill off everyone you're going to kill within the first ten minutes of arriving, then have no one get et for the rest of the film) and the second wasn't even a Jurassic Park film (ask me about that later, I'm busy now). It doesn't appear to be heading towards remake territory, what with the 4 and all, which we can all be thankful for, but there doesn't appear to be many other places for it to go otherwise. Until something substantial happens, I'll just keep playing Operation Genesis, and be happy

Whatever happens, it probably won't be this nonsense. Probably.

Via Den of Geek.

14 Jan 2013

One Man Is 13 Dwarves

This acappella version of the Misty Mountains Cold, featured heavily in the Hobbit advertising (and the soundtrack, being the dwarves' theme), is better then the version that played at the end of the film. I said before the film was released that the version the dwarves sing sounded better, and that analysis held up after seeing the film. And this version, with all parts sung by the same guy, Peter Hollens, is simply amazing.

Seeing how some people utilise their talents on the internet to create wonderful things makes me sad sometimes. Or, at least what I think is sad. It matches how sad was once described to me. Like a sharp jutting pain in my right mid-abdomen, with occasional vomiting. That's sadness, right?

Via The Mary Sue.

Roger Rabbit Returns, In Word Form

I honestly don't know how I missed this, back when it was announced in December. Actually, I do know. It's obscure enough to have been missed by most, I'd think. It sure as hell took me by surprise.

Gary K. Wolf, author of Who Censored Roger Rabbit, the book which inspired the film (and personal favourite) Who Framed Roger Rabbit, will be releasing a third book in his Rabbit series, Who Wacked [sic] Roger Rabbit. According to the official release, the third book is timed for release around the 25th anniversary of the film, this November.

The new book will reunite Eddie Valiant, Roger and Jessica Rabbit, and Baby Herman. The plot concerns Eddie being hired as security on Roger's new film with Gary Cooper. It will be published exclusively as an ebook by Musa Publishing, whom Wolf has published with before. In the statement, Wolf said:

"I try to always be at the forefront of my craft. That includes the way my writing is presented to my readers. Digital publishing is clearly the future. It's the way books are headed, so I'm heading that way, too."
I'm a fan of the previous two books in the series. The original was set in contemporary times (early eighties), and featured comic strip characters who spoke in word bubbles that typed out what they spoke. It was a weird variation on the Private Eye genre, and gave us the film, so it deserves a certain respect. The second, Who P-p-p-plugged Roger Rabbit wasn't a sequel to either the film or the book, and you have to give Wolf credit for not completely jumping on the film's bandwagon. It placed the characters in the film's time, and had them act more like the characters in the film, but the comparisons largely end there. It was much more hard boiled and gratuitous then the film ever could have been, and among other things featured Jessica's six inch tall twin sister, who gets in a relationship with Eddie, with all the innuendo that goes along with such an arrangement. It's not as good as the first book, but still worth a read, if only for the "what the hell?" factor. And, because of the obscurity of them, the only way to get a copy is in digital format now, so I'm alright with Wolf taking his publishing in that direction.

I'll read it when it comes out this November. And I may even review it. And every day between now and then, I'll be shocked as all-get-out that it exists at all.

Via Gary Wolf.

[Review] - Hitchcock

Courtesy of The Montecito Picture Company
There is always that line that must be walked when making a film about a historical figure, the line between mimicry and embodiment. Is it of benefit to the film to make certain that the actors look and sound exactly like those they are playing, or is it enough that they manage to inhabit the character's motivations. Philosophically, it's the question of what makes a person a person. Too often, the attention to too concentrated on getting the look right, and the script (and actors) miss the mark on the characterisation. Alternatively, if little attention is paid to appearance, it can alienate the viewer.

Hitchcock takes both paths with it's principle characters. And despite it's categorisation as a bio-pic, the focus is less on Hitchcock's history as it is on his methods. The only thing it really bio-pics is Psycho.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that were very close to their mother in their youth.

11 Jan 2013

Books Of Things People Like Have Chapters

Courtesy of me.
For those of us waiting for George R.R. Martin to finish The Winds of Winter, the Sixth book in the Song of Ice and Fire (commonly known as the Game of Thrones) series, every time he publishes or reads a chapter excerpt, it is a combination of glee and pain. Glee because, yay new content, and isn't it all so exciting we get to find out what happens next. And then the pain of knowing that we could still be waiting years until the whole thing is done, and that out of context snippets are little more then a tease. People scoff at my continuing meth metaphor when it comes to these books and this TV show, but it is apt, people. Apt!
I occurs to me that I didn't mention up there that Martin has released a new chapter on his website, which hilariously (and somewhat awesomely) is still very much stuck in early millennium web design (purple text on lilac back!). It concerns Arianne, and is one of what I assume to be many chapters largely concerned with catching up new characters to what has been transpiring so far.

Also releasing an excerpt from a forth coming book is the  BBC, via the Guardian's Children's Books page. To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who, the BBC will be releasing eleven short stories, each written by a different children's author of note, each concerning a different Doctor, released each month between now and the November 23rd anniversary. The first, by Eoin Colfer, called A Big Hand For The Doctor, features the original incarnation, and can be glimpsed at here, as the old man takes on something called The Soul Pirate.

No other authors have been announced for the remaining ten stories, though it should be said that an author of note and high regard, who is no stranger to children's literature, Doctor Who, or the short story format, has been decorated for his contributions to the series already, and would a damnedable shame if he didn't contribute something other then his forth coming episode to the celebrations.

Continuing with Who's 50th, Big Finish has offered up a solution to the issue of age and availability, and an alternative to the series if a multi-Doctor episode doesn't happen. Nicholas Briggs, known to viewers as the voice of the Daleks and Cybermen and several other of the baddies on the show, has written and directed a 100 minute audio drama entitled The Light at the End which will band together Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, and Paul McGann as Four through Eight, otherwise known as the still living originals, in a multi-Doctor story that will see the Doctor's middle age come together to prevent their own destruction. Along for the trip will be Louise Jameson as Leela, Sarah Sutton as Nyssa, Nicola Bryant as Peri, Sophie Aldred as Ace and India Fisher as Big Finish exclusive companion Charley Pollard.

As much I want to see a multi-Doctor story occur on screen (Eight. Bring back Eight, Mr. Moffat), this is something that simply could not be possible on the series. Age along would introduce too many nasty continuity questions for the hardened fans. And honestly, it'd be too bad to see something this size get put together, when inevitably someone would be wasted. Big Finish has a proven track record with this sort of stuff, and this story promises to be amazing.

Via George R.R. Martin, and the Guardian, and Big Finish.

A Long Time Ago In An Awkward Silence Far, Far Away

This recut of the original Star Wars has been cracking me up. The joke is so simple - Darth Vader can't hear through his helmet - and otherwise leaving the original scenes in tact, it's like watching a guy slip on a banana. What really sells it isn't Vader's exasperated "WHAT?", it's the facial expressions (especially Peter Cushing) that make sense in both contexts.

You really get the impression that in this universe, Vader is the guy in the office no one wants to be assigned a project with, but is the boss's nephew or something and no one can say anything about how useless he is.

Via The Mary Sue.

[List] - 9 Of The Best Logo Gags

As a cinephile, I take delight in those little gags that passive movie goers maybe wouldn't notice or appreciate. Outtakes at the end, jokes in the closing credits, in film references to other films, unacknowledged cameos, etc. But by far, my favourite gags are those that incorporate the studio logo. With many of the studios measuring their existence in decades (and as of last year, a couple in centuries), the logos have become iconic and much loved. Which makes messing with them all the more fun.

After the jump, watch some of the best.

10 Jan 2013

Muppets Casting Gets One Right

Courtesy of NBCUniversal
Rumours abound that Tina Fey is up for the female role (presumably not the femme fatale, if Hollywood casting is any indication) in the new Muppets film, currently title The Muppets... Again. If so, this is certainly a step in the better direction then either Ty Burrell or Ricky Gervais. Fey has the perfect personality to go with the Muppets, a performer born to costar with them. If true, this is fantastic news.


Except once again I can't help but feel that Disney is giving the Muppets the shaft. They lost Christoph Waltz, and have replaced him with three TV stars. Not that TV stars aren't actors, but the last film was filled with primarily TV actors too. I mentioned this issue with the cameos. It seems like bargain celebrity appearances. Not at all in keeping with the old days, when the biggest stars in the world hung out with Kermit and the gang. Is Disney still so on edge about the Muppets they aren't willing to plunk down the cash for some top tier A-listers?

If you're going to play the music, then light the gorram lights!

Via Den of Geek.

Axe Cop: Now With One Hundred Percent More Motion

Courtesy of FOX
Axe Cop, the animated series based on the webcomic co-created by a child, will see it's premier on July 27th at 11 pm, a time I didn't even know FOX broadcast original content at. The series, lead by Nick "Axe Swanson" Offerman, will also feature the voices of Megan Mullally, Patton Oswalt, Ken Marino and Peter Serafinowicz, otherwise known as a great fucking cast.

Suddenly I want to rewatch the Amazing Screw-on Head pilot. Suddenly I want Mike Mignola and Bryan Fuller to give that show another shot, if FOX is trying to compete with Adult Swim for adult oriented irreverent animation. Suddenly I've run out of things to say.

Via ComicsAlliance.

[Review] - Justified, Season 4 Episode 1, "Hole In The Wall"

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television
Justified has never been one to make a big deal out of itself. It knows it's cool, so it's premiers and finales have a tendency to be subdued. Yes, there are conflicts and resolutions, and there is always some gun play, but it has managed to avoid the sort of spectacle events that can over power and drag a show down. Hole In the Wall is no different. It's business as usual for Raylan Givens, picking up an unspecified amount of time since last season (though considering the series thus far has had a very concentrated time line, we can expect not that long), and was a steadfast example of the series' consistent above-the-average quality.

And Raylan found a new way to punch a person with a car. That's always fun.

Hit the jump to read the review, which contains spoilers that sure as shit ain't Santa Claus.

9 Jan 2013

So This Happened

This being the interent, I'm certain there is a percentage of persons out there disappointed that Coulson won't be nude.

I, for one, am always glad for pants.

Via The Mary Sue.

Sci-fi Western. Where Have I Heard That Before?

Actually, that is completely unfair. Aside from a couple early shots in this trailer, there is very little similar between Firefly, and Syfy's new series Defiance, starting April 15th (with reviews on this site following soon after, because why not), otherwise known as the reason Jamie Murray wasn't on Warehouse 13 as a regular this past season. My hope is that this series, with a complex science fiction concept and a large number of characters with different and competing motivations will be a return to the sort of quality we got with Battlestar Galatica, and not say the sort of quality we got with these past seasons of the Warehouse 13 and Eureka. Or Alphas. Or anything on Syfy right now, really.

The only interesting thing I know about the series is it shoots on the largest film set ever built in Canada, in some warehouse in Toronto. So, there you go. The series also stars Julie Benz and Tony Curan, and will have a MMO game that ties into the series concurrently. So, Syfy is going broad concept on this one. Let's hope it pays off.

The makeup is reminding me of Earth: Final Conflict something awful though.

Girl Meets Boy, Girl Kills Boy, Girl Keeps Killing Boys

I honestly don't know what to think about this trailer for Girls Against Boys. It starts off looking like a really bleak revenge flick and then it gets weird. Like, costumes, and Dexter-style dismemberment's, and grindhouse style sexploitation weird. I'm not sure if it's meant to be ironically alluring, or actually alluring, or if you find it alluring that really means you're sick, why would you get turned on by that, and now they're coming for you because men are gross, and or ick (don't forget, Archer starts next Thursday).

A Logical Mission

Leonard Nimoy has one of those voices that, aside from being instantly recognisable, commands respect. You believe what he is saying because it has that undefinable quality, the gravitas. Like Stephen Fry, or Morgan Freeman, even if he is saying something completely ridiculous. I used to love watching Ancient Mysteries, just to here him talk.

Here, he isn't talking nonsense. Here he's talking about NASA's Dawn mission, a craft designed to study Ceres and Vesta, two of the largest objects in the asteroid belt (technically protoplanets). Asteroids are very important things to understand, in part because they are largely the remains of the earliest formation of the solar system. But also because of future mining and other commercial possibilities, and because rogue pieces of rock represent the greatest stoppable space based danger to the planet, and our species, that is out there. We need to study them to know where we came from, where we might be going, and how to stop them from making us leave.

Via The Mary Sue.

8 Jan 2013

Guillermo del Toro Fights Monsters, Finds Magic, And Worships Old Ones

One consistent thought I had while watching The Hobbit was how much I'd have liked to seen what Guillermo del Toro would have done with it. As I mentioned in my review, you can see many places, both in terms of set and creature design and in the tone of some scenes, that del Toro was still present. But I still would have liked to have seen him at the reigns.

We have to content ourselves with the half a hundred other projects he's associated with (and the reason he ultimately dropped out of the Hobbit). Such as At the Mountains Of Madness, one of the tentpole stories of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. Del Toro was set to start production on a version of it starring tom Cruise, when the studio backed out. At the time del Toro claimed to be alright with the move, as Ridley Scott's Prometheus "more or less covered the same ideas." Flash forward to now, and del Toro has changed his tune. Prometheus made money, despite being horrible, which undoubtedly eases the studio's concern, and Tom Cruise is still very interested (and his interest alone can keep a film on life support). Del Toro has now adopted the opinion of "Lovecraft got there first," which pleases me to punch.

The question becomes, when exactly he intends on making it. He already has a lot on his plate, and has now added one more in the form of Dark Universe with DC Comics. The team based film will feature Swamp Thing, Deadman, The Spectre, both Zatanna and Zatara, and John Constantine (tine as in whine, not teen). Last August, when Warners announced the Justice League film, I made the argument that the Trenchcoat Brigade, or Justice League Dark, or the Book of Magic would be a smarter place to start building a cinematic DC universe, if only because it would immediately separate the DC films from Marvel through the use and acceptance of magic. DC apparently agrees, and has decided to develop this project alongside the Justice League film. This excites me, so much more so then the Justice League film ever will (mostly because I don't believe it will ever happen).

Amongst all the other questions, one has to wonder who Ron Perlman will play.
Via Den of Geek, and again.

Justified Starts Tonight

So... watch it, OK. Otherwise, I don't think we can be friends anymore.

NBC Lies

Courtesy of Aviv Or

Specifically, Bob Greenblatt, who at the Television Critics Association Winter meeting said concerning Community, and I quote, "...absolutely hopeful it will lead to a fifth season. I'd love nothing more than to see it continue."

Which I guess explains why they've put the full force of the network behind promoting the series, getting out the word about the fourth season, which has been given all the respect the previous seasons have received, in terms of length, premier dates and creative control.

Or, what Greenblatt said was pure, unfiltered, baldfaced lies (everyone knows the truth has a beard). NBC wants to drown Community like an unwanted litter of kittens. If it weren't for the fact they want to get whatever money they can out of it, they never would have aired season four. Or, burned it off against something like the Oscars, or Princess Kate's first ultrasound. They want it, and everything else that is clever on their precious Thursday nights to die. They want to reorganise, to take "a broader approach to comedy" that will involve less "sophisticated" programmes. Which is a delicate way of saying they want to make comedies that are generic and base-oriented, that don't require thinking or a certain level of required intelligence to watch. They want to make dumb TV, which will pretty much fall in line with the rest of their schedule. They got rid of 30 Rock, will bury Community, and as sad as it makes me, once Office is gone, so too will Parks and Rec, as the combo of the two together was the only thing keeping Parks alive.

And once those shows are nothing more then memories on a DVD, I'll have no reason to watch NBC.

After the jump, my parting words to NBC, just as delicate and assuring as their's have been.

7 Jan 2013

Stan Lee Has Connections To Marvel

I never realized until now that Lee wasn't in X2. And I was just now reminded of how utterly terrible Fantastic Four 2 was. Thanks, internet. I had nearly forgotten that it existed at all.

Via The Mary Sue.

Hockey Is Back, But Do I Care

It’s over: Deal to end lockout reached Sunday morning
The players (no actual players pictured)

So, the news is good for anyone who enjoys NHL hockey. The lockout is (will be) over.

My bad. When this began, I figured that was it, pack it in for the whole season. And to be fair, I stuck by that belief, while everyone else was fording the river optimistic. And in the end, it wasn't dedication to the fans, it wasn't a bi-lateral union of ideas, or a love of the game that brought them back. It was the threat of a multi-season crippling lawsuit, from which the sport would never recover. After a 16 hour bargaining session, both sides walked away (their general disposition at the time has not been recorded), and just like that, we have hockey again. Except, not really. The contract still has to be voted on by both sides, but it'll pass, because if either side is seen to be holding things up, they'll be hung, drawn and quartered by irate fans.

Of which I'm not one. Not right now. Current details suggest a 50ish game schedule starting as early as next week, with all games played within the conferences. But this isn't September. They aren't coming off training camp, and I no longer have a thirst for the game. What I have is a stone hearted apathy, that set-in sometime around October. I couldn't even muster any excitement for the World Juniors. The teams won't be playing as well as they might have coming off of last season, and the rinks certainly won't be as full (less so in those regions where the rinks are never full). Any tickets I had that weren't already wiped out will undoubtedly be invalidated, as they were mostly for out of conference teams, and those that aren't certainly won't be happening on the original schedule. And right now, I could care less. Give me my money back, and call it a season anyway. Chances are slim I'll be seeing a game in person this year, and chances are just as slim that I'll catch a game on TV. My enthusiasm had it's limits, and the lockout found them, and proceeded to beat them to a bloody pulp.

And for that, they'll receive a five month penalty where I just won't care what happens.

[Review] - This Is 40

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Annnd... I've had enough of Judd Apatow. After the massive disappointment (and apparently ironic title) that was Funny People, I had hoped that This Is 40 might be a return to form of sorts. As it turns out, the form on display here appear to be the only one Apatow has, and anything else is an outlier, an anomaly not fit for documentation. This Is 40 is an narcissistic waste of far too much of an audience's time, wasted on unlikeable characters in a go-nowhere plot, whose funniest scene was an outtake that played over the credits.

After watching it, it ruined the rest of my day. I was in a literal funk for hours after watching this film.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that don't really care.

4 Jan 2013

The Fine Line Between Appreciation And Dating Yourself

Here are most of the popculture references from Quentin Tarantino's non cowboy-and-slavery related films, in about five and a half minutes. Despite the fact that I've become less of a Tarantino fan as the years have went on, and have no intention of seeing Django Unchained, even though it is part of my favourite genre, I still feel the need to celebrate anything that contains such a high level of obscurity.

Via The Mary Sue.

And Now A Thing Not To Watch In Polite Company

Specifically, the latest red band trailer for the Evil Dead remake.

I just rewatched Cabin in the Woods for the first time since the spring, and I have to say, it makes this film look all the more unnecessary. Aside from the fact that this film appears to be hitting all the same points the three original films did (there appears to be a bad Mia, and a little goody two-shoes Mia), it also doesn't seem to be saying anything new within the contexts of the genre. Switching out Ash for Mia makes it conform even more with the standard horror trope of having a heroine at the centre of the plot (even if she does appear to die repeatedly).

So, the anticipation level decreases yet again to the level of "where exactly is the paperjam?"
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