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Ok, ready to lose the rest of your day?  You might recall that this past summer, FXX ran a marathon of every single Simpsons episode ever.  Well, apparently a bunch of the best writers for Hitfix.com decided to list their favorite episodes of each day of the marathon.  Five writers each picked their two favorite Simpsons episodes from that day, and wrote about them.  Click here and thank me later.  This is a staggeringly wonderful walk down Simpsons memory lane.  It’s been way too long since I have revisited some of these classic episodes.  Reading those articles makes me want to blow off work for the next week or two of work and just watch old Simpsons DVDs…

Click here for a terrific interview with Nicholas Meyer.  Mr. Meyer is pretty much single-handedly responsible for all of the very best Star Trek ever made.  He wrote and directed Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and wrote and directed Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and he wrote the vast majority of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.  (He wrote everything that took place on present-day Earth, starting with the immortal Spock line: “Judging from the pollution content of the atmosphere, we have arrived in the latter part of the twentieth century,” all the way through to the escape with the whales.)  Nicholas Meyer is the reason for the odd numbered Star Trek curse (in which fans noticed that the even-numbered original Trek movies are far superior to the odd-numbered ones).  I had no idea he was involved in this Harry Houdini project for the History Channel, but now I am very interested in seeing it!  Mr. Meyer doesn’t work nearly enough to suit me.  It’s fascinating that the History Channel film is based on a biography of Houdini that Mr. Meyer’s father wrote.  The whole interview with Mr. Meyer is terrific, but I particularly loved his answer, at the very end, when asked his opinion of the J.J. Abrams Star Trek films.  “That’s changing the shape of the bottle.”  (Read Mr. Meyer’s comments to understand the context.)  That is very well-put, and I 100% agree.

StarWars.com has released animatics for four unmade episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  These are four full-length episodes, with complete voice performances and sound effects, it’s just that the rough blocky animatics were never taken to full animation.  These are great episodes, well-worth the time of any fans of the show.  Anakin and Obi-Wan investigate the death of a Jedi on Utapau (a key location in Episode III) and discover that General Grievous is about to acquire a terrible weapon with ties to the secret of the construction of Jedi lightsabers.  The show had often kept Anakin and Obi-Wan separate in its later seasons, so it’s great seeing these two together again.  I particularly enjoyed seeing the show finally address Anakin’s reaction to the departure of Ahsoka (in the second episode), and the awesome chase/smack-down with Grievous (that begins the fourth episode).  Good stuff.  (I hope that someday these animatics are released on DVD, and also that Lucasfilm releases the rest of these animatics for unmade episodes.  The Clone Wars Legacy short shows glimpses of animatics for a never-released Asajj Ventress episode that is intriguing.  I wonder how many others were made before the show got cancelled?)  As I’ve written about before, though the Clone Wars animated show started out very rough (the animated movie — which was just the first few episodes edited together — was extremely weak), the show developed into a very entertaining, rich exploration of the Star Wars universe, giving the saga of the years-long Clone Wars a breadth and scope that they never had in the films.  It’s a huge shame that the show was never allowed to finish its run (because when Star Wars was sold top Disney, they didn’t want to allow this Cartoon Network show continue).  It would have been super-cool to see the show catch up to the opening of Episode III.  Watching these great unfinished episodes is a reminder of how much juice was left in this show’s tank.  A real shame.

Gotta love NASA.  In honor of their missions momentous number, the astronauts involved with ISS Expedition 42 have recreated the poster for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  That is awesome.

I know I’m way behind on this, but I only just recently watched True Detective.  I’ll be posting a review soon.  Suffice to say, I loved it!!  Anyways, if you’re a fan of the show you, like I, will eat up these two interviews with the show’s writer Nic Pizzolatto: this interview from buzzfeed and this one from Alan Sepinwall at Hitfix.

So, fifteen years later, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is getting a sequel?  Here are some photos.  I’d like to be excited, but I’m not quite sure what to make of this project.  Michelle Yeoh is back, but director Ang Lee is not.  I’d love for this to be good but I wouldn’t say my hopes are that high…  (In an interesting related story, it seems that many theatre chains are saying they won’t show this film, which is the first feature film made by Netflix.)

I adore Paul Feig, I think he is a huge talent.  If he did nothing else in his life other than Freaks and Geeks I would still be a huge fan.  But of course, he’s done lots of other great things, and after the terrific Bridesmaids he’s become rather high profile.  So I am very saddened to read that he is attached to direct Ghostbusters 3, an all-female reboot of the series.  Ugh.  There was a while there when I really wanted Dan Aykroyd to get a third Ghostbusters off the ground, but now I am convinced that this great series should be left alone.  If Paul Feig wants to make a movie in which a group of funny women hunt ghosts, then great!  Just don’t call it Ghostbusters!!  Why force your brand-new film to be compared to one of the greatest movies ever made?  Just let it alone.  But I guess hen a studio has a name with franchise potential, that’s not gonna happen…

This is a fun article listing 25 Superhero Graphic Novels to Binge-Read Right Now.  The best ones listed are Brian Michael Bendis & Sara Pichelli’s Ultimate Comics Spider-Man vol. 1 (which introduces the new young non-white Spider-Man, Miles Morales, one of the greatest new Marvel characters of the last few decades); Brian Azzarello & Lee Bermejo’s The Joker (a gritty, street-level Joker yarn), Mark Millar & Steve McNiven’s Old Man Logan (a phenomenal tale set in a nightmarish possible future of the Marvel Universe, in which a very old pacifist Logan goes through hell); Greg Rucka & J.H. Williams III’s Batwoman: Elegy (which explores the young lesbian new Batwoman, Kathy Kane, and her complex family history, accompanied by some of the most gorgeous comic-book art I have ever seen); and Joss Whedon & John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men: Gifted (the beginning of Mr. Whedon’s triumphant run on X-Men, one of the finest X-Men stories ever told).  The article is crazy to include the atrocious X-Men: Messiah Complex convoluted crossover.  Ignore that one at all costs.

I started today with The Simpsons, so why not end with The Simpsons as well?  This is a phenomenal, in-depth article on the making of one of the very best Simpsons episodes ever: “Homer at the Bat.”  Over twenty years ago, that episode conquered The Cosby Show and the Olympics in the ratings, and heralded the start of what I would consider the golden age of The Simpsons.  Great stuff.

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