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News Around the Net

February 5th, 2021

I’m excited that season two of Ron Moore’s Apple TV+ series, For All Mankind, is coming soon!  Here’s a trailer:

I quite enjoyed the first season, so I’m eager for more.

Here’s our first look at The Nevers, which was supposed to be Joss Whedon’s return to TV before he walked away from the series a few months ago, and also the pandemic cut the planned 10-episode first season down to six.  So… I’m not sure how excited to be about this show:

That trailer looks solid if not overly original.  I’m not sure yet if I’ll be watching this, but I certainly haven’t ruled it out.

This is a beautiful, new trailer for Disney’s upcoming Raya and the Last Dragon (though beware, they do spell out a lot of the film’s story in this lengthy trailer):

That looks solid (and thankfully feels less like a rip-off of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra than the first trailer did).

This is a fun new trailer for Godzilla vs. Kong:

That looks pretty epic!  Will the film be any good?  Hard to say.  I thought the 2014 Godzilla was OK, and I quite liked 2017’s Kong: Skull Island, though 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters was a huge mess.

I’m intrigued by this trailer for an upcoming indie film called Tango Shalom:

I’m a big fan of Roger Meyer Burnett, who was involved as an editor in that film.  (Mr. Burnett directed Free Enterprise, and he was a key player in the fantastic documentaries that accompanied the release of Star Trek: The Next Generation on blu-ray.)

This is pretty wild — a fan-made effort to replace all of the Data scenes from Star Trek: Picard with a “deep fake” recreation of Brent Spiner from the TNG era.  It’s remarkable how much better even this very rough fan-made effort looks than the de-aging visual effects used on the show, which never looked quite right to me:

Whaaat?  A sequel/continuation of Batman: The Animated Series might be in the works…???  That would be amazing!!  (But only if the key creative voices from the original show are still involved…)

This is exciting — Warner Brothers has released, for the first time, an HD version of Babylon 5!  The series has apparently been remastered and the original footage rescanned in 4k, while the special effects and all composite shots have been upscaled to HD from the original footage.  This is very exciting, because the show has, until now, only been available in SD, and the original DVDs are, sadly, a mess.  As of now the HD version of the series is only available for streaming (on HBO Max) or digital download, so I dearly hope the show will be released to Blu-ray eventually.  Also, of course, I dearly wish someday the studio would spend the money to actually go back into the special effects, which were only ever created in SD, and create new HD versions.  Many of the original effects artists, such as Adam “Mojo” Lebowitz, have been saying for years that this is a doable project.  I doubt that will ever actually happen… but I can dream… in the meanwhile, the existence of an actual HD version of the series makes me very happy indeed!  And bonus points to Warner Brothers for releasing the series in the proper, original 4×3 aspect ratio!!  (The DVDs were a cropped 16×9 version…)

Sadly, the other recent Babylon 5 news is tragic: Mira Furlan, the wonderful actress who played Delenn on Babylon 5, and also the frenchwoman Danielle Rousseau on Lost, has passed away.  Click here to read a beautiful tribute from Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski.

This is a fascinating article on the original 70mm release of The Empire Strikes Back from back in 1981, and an analysis of the differences between the 70mm prints and the 35 mm prints of the film.  Because the 70mm prints were made first, George Lucas & co. continued tweaking the film in the few weeks they had before finalizing the 35mm prints.  The result was that, unbeknownst to many, two different versions of Empire were released to theaters.  Give this great article a read to learn more!

I was sad to read that voice actor Tom Kane has suffered a stroke that has left him largely unable to speak.  I’ve known and loved Mr. Kane’s work on the Star Wars animated series, voicing many characters including Yoda, C3PO, Ackbar, Admiral Yularen, and the narrator on The Clone Wars.  I wish Mr. Kane good health and hopes for a recovery.

Click here for an interesting in-depth article on Pixar and director Pete Docter (who directed Soul and Inside Out, among other great Pixar films).

The third MCU Spider-Man film is looking like a wild romp through the multiverse, with rumored appearances of many actors from both previous iterations of Spider-Man movies (the Tobey McGuire era and the Andrew Garfield era).  Now comes another very exciting rumor: that Charlie Cox will be reprising his role as Daredevil/Matt Murdock from the Marvel Netflix shows!  That would be very cool!!

Click here to read a lengthy, very interesting interview with comic book author Brian Michael Bendis, looking back on his fantastic run on Daredevil with artist Alex Maleev.  I can’t believe it’s been twenty years since that run began!!  I still remember reading those early issues and having my mind blown.

Click here to read the latest update from George R.R. Martin, who has apparently written “hundreds and hundreds” of pages of The Winds of Winter in 2020, but still has “hundreds of more pages” to go.

Finally, click here for an interesting, in-depth interview with Jon Favreau on the making of The Mandalorian.

Have a great weekend!  I hope to see you all back here on Monday!

Click here to purchase my “Maclunkey” Star Wars/Highlander mash-up t-shirt!

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