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News Around the Net

Prepare to lose the rest of your day.  Mad Men screencaps with Parks and Rec quotes.  You’re welcome.

Who said it: Donald Trump or Lucille Bluth?

I am intrigued by this trailer for Jon Favreau’s live-action The Jungle Book.  This trailer is gorgeous.  Will the film be good?  My curiosity is certainly piqued.

Here’s another very brief peek at Netflix’s upcoming Jessica Jones series.  I’m really itching for a more substantial look at this show, but this new very short spot is sweet.

I’ve spent some time lately catching up with Jerry Seinfeld’s amazing Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.  It’s pretty much perfect entertainment for anyone who loves Seinfeld, and anyone who loves comedy.

I’ve also been hugely enjoying catching up with some fantastic podcasts.  First up is the always great Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show.  These in-depth two-hour interviews with actors and comedians are extraordinary.  So funny and so fascinating.  I’ve been listening to years and I’ve still barely scratched the surface of the almost 250 shows that Mr. Pollak has done.

I’ve also been digging Kumail Nanjiani’s The X-Files Files Each show features Mr. Nanjiani and a rotating series of guests discussing two episodes of The X-Files.  They’re watching and reviewing the entire series in order, from start to finish.  This is a great reminder of when The X-Files was great and when nothing was more fun than deeply analyzing its mysteries.  This is a great way to build excitement for The X-Files’ much-anticipated return to television in January.

I was introduced to The X-Files Files when I read about it on Devin Faraci’s Birth.Movies.Death., and I’m also digging Mr. Faraci’s podcast The Canon, in which he and Amy Nicholson discuss one movie a week, debating its merits and legacy and deciding whether they think that film merits inclusion in “the canon,” their made-up repository of only the very best films.  Often they pit two films against one another (such as their great episode debating Alien versus Aliens, or Annie Hall versus Manhattan).  This is a great listen.

I enjoyed this article about Essential Star Trek novels.  I have read every one of these books and they’re all great, though titling the article “That Even Non-Trekkers Should Read” is a mistake, as other than Peter David’s Imzadi, I can’t see non-Trek fans being interested in any of these books.  But re-title this post “That Every Trek Fan Should Read” and then we’d be on to something.  Lots of love in this article to several old-school novels from several decades ago.  I still remember reading Vonda M. McIntyre’s The Entropy Effect (one of the very first Pocket Book Star Trek novels — that company has now been publishing Trek fiction for decades) and having my mind blown by a story that felt much more twisty and dangerous than any of the classic Trek episodes had ever been.  What would be on my list of my favorite Star Trek novels?  I actually wrote a post about this several years back listing some of my favorite recent Trek novels.  But that wasn’t a list of my all-time favorite Trek books.  I’d definitely have Peter David’s Vendetta, as well as Q-in-Law, on my list.  Also Keith R.A. DeCandido’s Articles of the Federation, Diane Carey’s Dreadnought!, J.M. Dillard’s The Lost Years, Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens’ Federation, Excelsior: Forged in Fire by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels, and David Mack’s Destiny trilogy, David R. George III’s Crucible trilogy (particularly the McCoy book), definitely some books from the post-finale DS9 series… hmmm, maybe this is a post I should write one of these days!

This is a fun article, suggesting 6 changes made to the Star Wars Special Editions that actually improved the films!  I actually agree with most of this, with the exception of #5, the replacement of the Emperor’s scene in The Empire Strikes Back with new footage shot with Ian McDiarmid.  In theory I am totally supportive of the change.  It feels right to have McDiarmid, who played the Emperor in Return of the Jedi and all three prequel films, be added into Empire in place of the woman with monkey’s eyes.  It’s the execution where everything falls apart.  The hologram effect looks terrible, far too well-lit, and the new dialogue (intended, I guess, to obscure the issue of Luke Skywalker’s parentage) makes a muddled mess out of the scene.

What should we make of all of Ridley Scott’s recent talk of a Prometheus sequel?  Ridley Scott has a habit of talking about films he has in development that he’s never actually going to make.  Is this any different?  It’s somewhat hard to imagine the disappointing Prometheus (click here for my original review) is actually going to get a sequel.  On the one hand, I’d love to see Scott find a way to redeem Prometheus’ mis-steps and actually tie everything together and make another great Alien film.  On the other hand, Prometheus was such a mess I sort of just want him to leave well enough alone.  Some of Scott’s comments are intriguing, suggesting that a Prometheus sequel would be titled Alien: Paradise Lost.  I love the idea of Prometheus being more directly connected to the original Alien and the mythology of that universe.  On the other hand, isn’t that what Jon Spaiht’s original script for Prometheus did?  (Click here for great insight on Spaiht’s original intentions for the film, which for the most part sound like they would have been awesome.)  But that apparently wasn’t satisfactory for Ridley, who brought on Damon Lindeloff to rewrite the script removing the most direct connections to Alien and turning the story of Prometheus into something of a muddled mess.  (Clearly the third act of Prometheus was originally structured to explain how the alien ship crashed on LV-427, to be found by Ripley and her unfortunate crew in Alien.  Except the film as it was released takes pains to tell us that the events happened on LV-223, an entirely different planet.  And the alien creature that is birthed in the final moments of the film is different from the xenomorph seen in Alien.)  So Should I be excited that Scott has apparently reversed course and wants to tie Prometheus into the Alien universe more directly with a sequel, even teasing a Ripley connection?  What about the Alien sequel that Neill Blomkamp is apparently working on, that promises the return of Ripley and HicksScott confusingly says that film is still going to get made, along with his film and possibly multiple Prometheus sequels.  Really?  I’ll believe this all when I see it…

Christopher Lloyd has shot a new short film in which he reprises the role of Doc Brown from Back to the Future?  Here’s a teaser for what will apparently be on the upcoming 30th anniversary blu-ray set of the trilogy.  Ok, color me intrigued at least, though I have a hard time imagining how this could actually be any good…

C’mon back soon for my thoughts on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, HBO’s powerful mini-series Show Me a Hero, lots of exciting fan-made new Star Trek product, and Kevin Pollak’s new documentary: Misery Loves Comedy.  I’ve got a lot cooking here and I will try my best to keep the blogs regularly coming on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays!  Thanks for reading!

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