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So, how about this gorgeous new Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer??

Wowsers!  I’ve been waiting for months for another peek at this new film after the terrific first trailer, and this sure delivered.  There’s a lot to take in.  I cannot wait for this to come out in two short months.  My tickets are purchased!  (For a great analysis of the trailer, click here.)

So it seems that 2016’s six-episode X-Files mini-series was not the end, and an additional ten episodes are coming our way later this year.  Here’s the new trailer:

I have been a huge X-Files fan since the very beginning, so I have to admit that trailer gets me excited for new episodes.  (That “Mind is I smoke?” line is great.)  We’re getting ten episodes this time, which feels like a real season, so that feels like a good thing.  However, I thought the 2016 six-episode re-launch was mostly a disappointment (click here for my over-all review, and click here for my episode-by-episode analysis) and with basically the same creative team behind the scenes I am not that optimistic the quality will improve.  I’d love to be wrong.  This once-great series deserves to go out on a high note.

Speaking of things about which I am not hugely optimistic, here comes a new trailer for Justice League:

With all the behind-the-schenes meshugoss at DC/Warner Brothers, I am certainly curious to see what kind of movie this winds up being.  Just how much influence will Joss Whedon wind up exerting over the finished product?  We’ll see very soon…

Last month was the twenty-fifth anniversary of Batman: The Animated Series, and I posted links to some wonderful articles looking back on that phenomenal show.  Here’s one more, a great oral history of the show.

So James Cameron is going to be involved with the next Terminator sequel, and it will star both Arnold Schwarzenegger AND, for the first time since 1991’s T2: Judgment Day, Linda Hamilton??  Is it still possible to make a good Terminator film after so many failed attempts??  I am dubious, but with James Cameron’s involvement I can dare to dream.

Here is a link to two video clips of Jerry Seinfeld on Jimmy Kimmel’s show, in which Mr. Kimmel asks Mr. Seinfeld whether he can still enjoy Bill Cosby’s comedy now, knowing all that we know now.  Mr. Seinfeld has long spoken of Cosby as one of his main comedic heroes (this came up a lot in the movie Comedian).  It’s interesting in these clips to see Mr. Seinfeld wrestle with this question, at first giving an automatic answer and then changing his mind as … [continued]

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Let’s begin with this awesome new trailer for season 4 of Black Mirror:

I cannot wait!!  The original British episodes of this series are works of near-genius, and I thought the recent Netflix-produced season was pretty great.  I am so glad that this show lives on via Netflix!  I can’t wait for these next six episodes.

So, wow, Colin Trevorrow is out as the director of Star Wars: Episode IX I loved Mr. Trevorrow’s first film, Safety Not Guaranteed, but his next film, and his first foray into the world of big-budget filmmaking, was the terrible Jurassic World.  So I am sort of breathing a sigh of relief at this news, though I feel bad for Mr. Trevorrow.  What is up with Lucasfilm firing all of their directors??  Josh Trank was fired from one of the stand-alone films.  Gareth Edwards apparently had the final cut of Rogue One taken away from him, and was replaced for the film’s reshoots by Tony Gilroy.  And just recently, directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were fired from the solo Han Solo film in the middle of production, and replaced by Ron Howard.  I give Kathleen Kennedy and Lucasfilm some credit, because whatever behind-the-scenes machinations went on in the making of Rogue One, the final film was a masterpiece.  We’ll see how these other films turn out.  But for now, I am hoping this news will turn out to be good news for Episode IX.  We’ll see…

This new trailer for Star Wars: Rebels season 4 looks great:

X-wings!  Thrawn!  The first animated appearance of Thrawn’s manservant/assassin Rukh (from Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire)!  Mon Mothma!  Forest Whittaker returns as Saw Gerrera (from Rogue One)!  Yavin IV!  Tarkin!  Project Stardust!  I’ve grown to quite like this show, and I am excited for the fourth and final season.

I am super-excited that The Wire’s David Simon and George Pelecanos have a new show on HBO, The Deuce!  I can’t wait to see it.  Any new work from this team deserves immediate attention.  In the meanwhile, here is a fascinating interview that TV critic Alan Sepinwall conducted recently with Mr. Simon.  It’s a great read.

This is a great interview with Lake Bell, discussing her new film I do… Until I Don’t.  I loved her debut film, In a World…, which she wrote, directed, and starred in, and so I am very excited to see her second film.

In honor of the release of the film adaptation of It, which I am dying to see, here is a list of all forty Stephen King movie adaptations, ranked from worst to best.  I haven’t seen most of … [continued]

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How great is this first trailer for Black Panther?

This looks like a fun new direction for a Marvel film to take.  I hope they really go crazy in exploring this new corner of the Marvel universe.  I loved Creed and I can’t wait to see what director Ryan Coogler has cooked up here.

Speaking of Black Panther, here is an interesting bit of speculation as to whether the same character will be appearing in Black Panther and the upcoming season 2 of Luke Cage, albeit played by different actresses.  I am sad that the Marvel films and TV shows are no longer coordinating the way they had planned to when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was first launched.

I am hoping that by the time you read this, I’ll have seen Spider-Man: Homecoming.  In the meanwhile, this is a pretty great video analyzing the reasons Sam Raimi’s first two Spider-Man movies worked, while Marc Webb’s two Amazing Spider-Man movies didn’t:

I don’t agree with every single point in that video, and I think the “Spider-Man as Jesus” bit in Spider-Man 2 is one of the film’s few off-notes, but for the most part this video hits the nail right on the head.

Oh man, it looks like What We Left Behind, the Kickstarter-funded Deep Space Nine documentary, is really coming together.  I can’t wait to see the finished product!

Sic Transit Vir (B5 fans get the reference): Sad news of the passing of actor Stephen Furst, who played Vir on Babylon 5 and Flounder in Animal House.  This article is a wonderful salute to Mr. Furst’s great work on B5, and here is B5 creator J. Michael Staczynski’s lament for the far-too-long list of B5 cast members who have passed away, all of whom are missed.

This oral history of Austin Powers is a great read and a fun look back at a film that I used to truly love.  (I haven’t seen any of the Austin Powers films in YEARS, but this article makes me want to revisit at least the first one…)

Is Robotech the greatest love story of the 20th century?  As a kid who first saw Robotech at exactly the right age to fall in love with it, I can get behind this idea!

I loved the first season of Vice Principals, and so I cannot wait for the show’s second (and apparently final) season to air:

James Cameron’s Terminator 2 is being released back to theatres?  I am in!!  I don’t need the 3D conversion, but any excuse to see this great film back on the big screen is very exciting.  Can’t wait:

I lost a decent amount of time exploring … [continued]

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“There’s always money in the banana-stand!”  I am thrilled that, four long years after the release of season 4, Arrested Development season 5 is officially happening!!  Yes, season 4 was a bit of a disappointment, but I’m hoping Mitch Hurwitz and this amazing cast can turn things around with another time at the plate.  I can’t wait.

A brief follow-up to my recent analysis of the teaser trailer for the new Star Trek show, Discovery: I’d noted in my review that it looked like they had adjusted the look of the actual starship Discovery since the initial teaser a year ago, though it was hard to get a good look at the ship in that new trailer.  However, eagle-eyed on-line fans noticed what I didn’t, which is that Jason Isaacs had previously been announced as the captain of the Discovery.  This means that much of what we see in the trailer between the first-officer played by Sonequa Martin-Green and the captain played by Michelle Yeoh all probably happens in the first episode as a prologue to the events of the series itself.  Therefore, the starship seen in this trailer is not the Discovery at all.  So we don’t know yet whether the Discovery is really going to look like that blocky, angular design seen in that first trailer.  (As I commented a year ago, I like the idea of basing the starship’s design off of an unused-by-famous-to-Trek-fans Ralph McQuarrie design for the refit Enterprise in Star Trek: The Motion Picture more than I like the execution as seen in that teaser, which looked chunky and without any of the art of Matt Jefferies’ original Enterprise design.)  Also, this likely means that Michelle Yeoh, who I liked so much in the trailer, is probably going to have a very small role on the show itself, assuming that something bad is going to happen to get first-officer Burnham (played by Ms. Green) assigned as the first officer to another captain on another starship, rather than getting her own command.  That is a bummer, since I really liked the dynamic between Ms. Yeoh and Ms. Green in that trailer.

Ordinarily we’d be well into the new season of Game of Thrones at this point in the year, but we all need to wait two more months.  This substantive new trailer will ease the pain (or make it worse!!):

Let’s also join in lamenting that the shortened seven-episode seventh season will be followed by an even-shorter final season, which will reportedly only be six episodes long.

Jon Williams recently received an honorary doctorate from Harvard University, and one of the school’s a cappella groups, the Din and Tonics, … [continued]

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Updates to the Site and News Around the Net!

Do you like the new Guardians of the Galaxy cartoon on the homepage?  We’ve made a few updates to the site, most notably finally getting some social media buttons back on the individual pages, so feel free to share away on-line and spread the MotionPicturesComics.com goodness!  I’ve also added a “portfolio” section to the site, with samples of some of my illustration work.  Go ahead and take a peek and let me know what you think.

OK, what else is happening around the interwebs?

Let’s start things off with this extraordinary, in-depth interview with David Letterman.  Sit back and enjoy this great read.  You’re welcome.

Let it be known that I believe in the Oxford comma.  Here is a great reason why.

Oh man, a new film from Edgar Wright is coming out this summer?  I cannot wait.  Look at this cast.  This looks like a lot of fun:

Here’s a trailer for Becoming Bond, which tells the story of George Lazenby and his one Bond movie (the vastly underrated On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) through what looks like a combination of documentary footage and reenactments with a great cast.  I am intrigued:

Holy cow check out this new trailer for War for the Planet of the Apes:

I cannot wait for that!!

How great is this new Spider-Man: Homecoming poster??  I love it!  There’s also a new trailer, but I’m not going to post it here because unfortunately gives away far too much of the movie’s plot.  I hate trailers like that.  I wish I hadn’t watched this one.  So click on the above link at your peril.

Meanwhile, in DC-land, this new Wonder Woman trailer looks great.  Is this film going to break the DC movieverse’s losing streak?  Here’s hoping:

This new trailer for the Justice League (the DCU movie following Wonder Woman) is a little less encouraging.

There’s nothing bad in the trailer, but neither is there anything thrilling.  For the most part, this looks like more of what we got in Batman v. Superman — dark, loud, and messy — and if that’s truly the case, then we’re in trouble.  (Though I do love that snippet of J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.  J.K. Simmons can do no wrong.  Is there any possibility that we can get him to reprise his role as J.J. Jameson in an upcoming Spider-Man movie??)

I didn’t know anything about this movie Atomic Blonde before watching this trailer, but now I am desperate to see it.  The trailer makes this look like a Matthew Vaughn type of mix of mayhem and fun; if the actual movie delivers on this promise, this one is going to be great:… [continued]

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February 27th, 2017

So, was that the craziest end to an Oscars broadcast ever???  Holy cow.  I have never seen anything like that before.  I feel terrible for all the La La Land folks, but I am also overjoyed that Moonlight won.  I loved that film.  Overall I thought the show was very solid.  Jimmy Kimmel was a terrific host.  His opening monologue was great and I liked that he was a consistent presence throughout the show, not disappearing after the first hour like some hosts do.  (His only big misfire was that terrible fake tour bit that went on painfully long.)  I was glad that the awards were fairly evenly distributed among a number of great films rather than one movie dominating everything.  I was particularly happy that Mahershala Ali (who I have been a huge fan of ever since The 4400) won.  But what people will remember forever about tonight was that ending.  My head is spinning.  Wow…

(The best response I have seen to the mix-up comes from Billy Eichner, who tweeted: “IF ANYONE FROM THE IN MEMORIUM IS STILL ALIVE PLEASE LET US KNOW.”)

Moving on…

I was saddened to read, yesterday, of the passing of Bill Paxton.  At only 61, this is a tragic loss.  Bill Paxton has been so great in so many films, from Apollo 13 to True Lies to A Simple Plan to, of course, his scene-stealing performance in Aliens, In which he has about twenty amazing, hugely iconic lines.  “Hey, maybe you haven’t been keeping up on current events, but we just got our asses kicked, pal!”

I was also very saddened to read of the passing of Richard Hatch, who played Apollo in the original Battlestar Galactica and Tom Zarek in the reimagined version.  I wrote a very morose blog post a few weeks ago about the terrible way CBS/Paramount has been treating the fans of Star Trek with their heartless effort to crush all Trek fan films, in particular the Axanar project.  Trek fans now have another reason to be pissed at CBS/Paramount, as I feel like we have lost out on what would have been a spectacular Richard Hatch performance, as the villainous Klingon Kharn.  Had CBS/Paramount not sued Axanar, the Axanar movie would have been made last year, but with the lawsuit the project was delayed.  Now, with Mr. Hatch’s passing, we’ve lost the opportunity to ever see this performance.  This is a true shame. (UPDATE: I just realized that CBS/Paramount’s lawsuit may have cost us TWO Richard Hatch Trek performances, as he had also filmed a guest role in an episode of the Trek fan-made series Star Trek: New Voyages called “Torment of Destiny,” which would … [continued]

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Coming out of the spectacular Rogue One, my excitement for all things Star Wars is riding high.  Coming to fan the flames is this awesome new teaser for the remaining episodes of Season Three of Star Wars: Rebels:

Obviously the huge bombshell is the first animated appearance of Alec Guinness-era Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the tease of a long-awaited rematch with Darth Maul.  But there’s a lot more than just that to get excited by.  There’s Saw Gerrera from Rogue One, with Forest Whitaker returning to voice the character, a super-cool crossover.  We see hints of what looks like an enormous space battle between the Rebel Alliance and a group of Imperial Star Destroyers.  There’s Mon Mothma and Bail Organa and General Dodonna, and I think we get a glimpse of Wedge Antilles, too!  I’m excited by the idea that these upcoming episodes will start to show us the assembly of the Rebel Alliance that we know from the Original Trilogy, and now also from Rogue One.  It’s also cool to see more of Admiral Thrawn.  (Is the show going to allow Thrawn to be defeated to easily?  That’d be a letdown. But, on the other hand, I wonder… the opening crawl of the original Star Wars describes what we just saw in Rogue One as the Battle of Scariff as the Rebels’ “first victory” against the Empire.  Is it possible that Rebels is going to show the Rebels LOSING this fight, and Thrawn coming out on top?  That would be very interesting, and very cool…)

I am super-excited by this first full trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming:

Holy cow that is a spectacular trailer.  The reinvention of Spider-Man seen in Captain America: Civil War was phenomenal, and this strong trailer only makes me even more excited for Tom Holland to star in the role in his own film.  I love how gently this trailer reminds you that Spidey is now firmly in the Marvel cinematic universe — doesn’t it just feel so perfect?  I love the Avengers bank-robbers and WOW that show of Spidey and Iron Man together at the end was incredible.  I loved the way the Civil War writers crafted the relationship between Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark and Tom Holland’s young peter Parker, and I am so excited that this upcoming Spidey film will explore that dynamic further.  It is super-cool that they got Mr. Downey Jr. to appear in this film.  Also — is that Ganke as Peter’s best friend??  Ganke is a character created by Brian Michael Bendis as the best-friend of Mr. Bendis’ “ultimate” Spider-Man, Miles Morales.  Have they co-opted the Ganke character to be Peter Parker’s best friend for this movie?  I’m beyond excited … [continued]

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We’ve been getting some fun teases lately for Guardians of the Galaxy volume 2.  (Great title, by the way.)  This is a solid poster and the tag-line, “obviously”, is genius.  And then there is this tantalizing new trailer:

That hits all the right notes for me.  Love it.

After the release of a series of photos, we also got our first real look at the upcoming Wolverine solo film, titled Logan, with this trailer:

While this trailer squashes any hope I might have had for a more faithful adaptation of Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s brilliant comic book story Old Man Logan (something I really never should have even dared hope for, since this X-Men series, even when it is great, has never shown any interest in faithful adaptations of classic X-Men stories), I am very happy by what I see here.  It looks like they’ve taken some of the general ideas of Old Man Logan to craft an entirely new story, and I am impressed that they’ve chosen to jump into the future and leave the rest of the X-Men franchise behind.  Hugh Jackman (sporting a crazy Mel Gibson-like beard) and Patrick Stewart both seem as awesome as usual.  I am excited for this.  (My one quibble — one of the coolest ideas of Old Man Logan was that Logan had vowed never to unsheathe his claws again, and so they make you wait a long, long, long time before you finally get a “snikt.”  From this trailer, in which we see plenty of Logan’s claws, I guess the film is taking a different approach…)

Holy cow, is there really a new Martin Scorsese movie coming out next month??  Here’s a look at Silence:

Whoo, that looks harrowing.  I am very intrigued by that trailer.

This new look at Kong: Skull Island is… well… take a look:

This trailer really shows us a lot of the shape of the movie.  Most significantly, we see the real monsters/villains of the film other than Kong.  I was surprisingly taken by the goofy tone of the trailer.  Is this movie going to balance a war-movie aesthetic with a lot of humor as well as this trailer does?  We’ll see…

Cars is my least favorite of all the Pixar movies.  As a result, Cars 2 is the only Pixar movie I’ve never seen!  So I’m not really interested in a Cars 3, though I admit that my eyebrows were raised by this weird, grim teaser:

I’m not sure I understand Disney studio’s desire to seemingly create a live-action remake of every single one of their animated films, but this trailer for Beauty and the Beast is impressive:

That’s a spectacular cast and the … [continued]

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So, I assume by now you’ve all seen this:

Who knows whether the final film will be good, but that trailer is spectacular.  There is some truly gorgeous imagery (like everyone else, I went crazy for that overhead shot of the enormous toppled statue of a Jedi Knight), which “feels” like Star Wars while also being new and different than what has come before.  That is the balance this film needs to strike.  As with The Force Awakens, this film’s whole conception is steeped in nostalgia (it’s a prequel, thus allowing us to get more of what we all loved from the original Star Wars: Darth Vader, the Death Star, classic Storm troopers, Tie Fighters and X-Wings, etc.), but for the movie to work it can’t just feel like a retread of movies we’ve already seen and loved (this was the major weakness of the third act of The Force Awakens) but like a new story worth telling.  This trailer certainly strikes that balance, hopefully the actual film will as well.

By the way, this trailer’s suggestion that Mads Mikkelson’s character helps create the Death Star in order to protect his daughter (who will grown up to be the film’s main character, played by Felicity Jones), it got me thinking: was the fatal flaw of the original Death Star — that exhaust port that allowed the rebels to blow the whole thing up with just two proton torpedoes — not an accident?  Could that weakness have been built into the Death Star on purpose??  I wonder if that is going to be what Rogue One winds up suggesting!  That would be a wild recontextualization of the original Star Wars…!!

I’m enjoying Netflix’s latest Marvel show Luke Cage (full review coming soon… I still have five more episodes to go…) and while I wish Netflix would hurry up and get Jessica Jones season two in production (click here for my review of the terrific first season), I’m decently excited for their next Marvel show, Iron Fist.  Here is the latest teaser, which is the most substantial look we’ve yet gotten at this show which is coming in March:

We’re only a few days away from Netflix’s resurrection of Black Mirror (click here for my review of the first two short but mind-blowing British seasons), and this trailer suggests that the new episodes will be just as amazing and nightmare-inducing as I had hoped.  I cannot frigging wait for this:

Oh!  And!  Looks like there will also be a FOURTH season of Black Mirror from Netflix!  Praise Jebus!

Here is a very, very brief tease for the next Planet of the Apes film:

I absolutely loved … [continued]

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Star Trek Turns Fifty and Other News Around the Net!

September 12th, 2016
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Last Thursday, Star Trek turned 50 years old!  Wow!  It was fifty years ago that NBC aired the first episode of Trek, “The Man Trap.”  It’s unbelievable that this franchise has lasted for fifty years.  I have loved Star Trek for as long as I can remember.  Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is the first movie that I remember ANTICIPATING before its release to theatres.  (After I saw the movie, I had to go back and re-watch the first three with my dad because I didn’t remember what had happened to the Enterprise or to Spock!!)  I was so excited when I heard that Trek was returning to TV with the release of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and for the next two decades Trek, in its various TV incarnations, was a weekly appointment for me.  In recent years, the production of new official Star Trek on-screen adventures has dwindled, but my love for the franchise has continued and I have deeply enjoyed Pocket Books’ continuing series of Trek novels and so many of the amazing Trek fan film projects.

In this wonderful article, Devin Faraci from BirthMoviesDeath.com passionately argues that, no pressure, he needs the in-production new Trek show Star Trek: Discovery to save the world.  I love this article, as Mr. Faraci is able to perfectly crystalize why Trek is so important, specifically its emphasis on the values of science and tolerance.  Star Trek “tells us that there’s a hopeful future where humans will stop being en masse assholes to one another, but it also tells us that it’s our responsibility to get there.”  In an equally great follow-up piece, Mr. Faraci suggests that a key reason why Trek has endured for fifty years is because it is so much FUN.  He writes: “I’m a Trekkie because I like watching the adventures of the Starship Enterprise and her crews. I like seeing ships go to warp and I like seeing phasers being shot. I like watching Captain Kirk down someone with his patented two-fisted punch. I like seeing cool aliens and I like the bright colors in the hallways in the first two seasons of The Original Series. I like the strange new worlds and I like the crazy scifi concepts that fuel the stories. I like seeing the crew bounce off one another and I like knowing that, in the end, they’re always there for each other. I like the moral conundrums and I like the hot women in miniskirts. I like watching the actors throw themselves across the bridge and I like watching the actors be called upon to deliver truly heartbreaking moments of emotional sincerity. I like the fucking and fighting and … [continued]

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More Great Stuff From Comic-Con and Other News Around the Net!

August 1st, 2016

Last week I wrote about a lot of stuff that had been released in and around Comic-Con that had gotten my nerd juices flowing.  Here’s lots more fun stuff that didn’t make it into that post!

Let’s begin with this spectacular trailer for the third season of Star Wars Rebels:

Holy cow that looks great.  I love the new shaved-head look for Ezra.  And Wedge!  Y-Wings!  And Admiral Thrawn (the villain from Timothy Zahn’s brilliant Heir to the Empire trilogy of novels from the nineties) is now officially in Star Wars continuity??  That is AMAZING!!

And here is our first look at the new Star Trek show, which we have learned will be called Star Trek: Discovery.

I must admit to being extremely underwhelmed by this.  This new ship is obviously based on a famous unused Ralph McQuarrie concept drawing for the refit Enterprise in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  While there is something cool about seeing this famous image brought to life, I sort of hate the look of this as a Federation ship.  It is ugly and boxy.  I detest the look of the J J. Abrams nuEnterprise, and I was hoping this new show would get back to the great look of classic Starfleet ships, but this feels like a big swing and a miss to me.  I’m not a fan of the new series logo either.  Oh well.  Look, this is just an early tease and I still have great faith in Bryan Fuller, Nicholas Meyer, and the other terrific writers they’ve assembled to lead this new Trek series.  But this teaser does not make me all warm and fuzzy…

By the way, for a look at a much better-looking Enterprise, and also a look at the TMP-era idea of an asteroid-based starbase, check out this short film from a few years ago from the fan-made Star Trek: Phase II (Star Trek: New Voyages) series (skip to 6:55 to see the good stuff):

Getting back to that Star Trek: Discovery tease, does the low registry number on the ship give us an indication that this show takes place around the days of the original Kirk/Spock Enterprise?  And is the “31” in the registry number an indication that this show might feature an early iteration of the secret Section 31, first introduced in Deep Space Nine, or is that just a winking joke to the fans?  We’ll see…

For a tease that has me far more excited, here’s a trailer for season four of Sherlock!  I can’t wait for the next installments of this brilliant show!!

I wrote in my previous post that Netflix was killing it these days.  More proof?  Netflix has just been [continued]

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News Around the Net: Comic-Con Edition!

July 29th, 2016

There has been a TON of cool stuff hitting the web this past week during Comic-Con!  Here’s some of what has caught my eye:

OK, I strongly disliked Batman v Superman, but that doesn’t mean I’m not rooting for DC to release some strong films.  I have always been a Marvel Guy, but I’d still love to see some awesome DC movies in the future.  Giving me hope is this terrific trailer for Wonder Woman:

I love the look of that footage, love Wonder Woman’s costume, love the golden lasso, love the trench warfare stuff, and love “what I do is not up to you.”

I’m also feeling very positive about this very solid-looking trailer for Justice League:

Bruce Timm’s spectacular animated Justice League show was very clever in their use of Batman, and the ways they were able to use him as a source of humor without mocking the character.  The tone of this trailer reminds me of that very much, and I like that.  I also quite liked the looks of all the other Justice League characters so far, especially The Flash and Aquaman.  I am intrigued.

I have had pretty much zero interest in the new King Kong movie Skull Island for the past year that I’ve been reading about its development, but all that has changed after seeing this terrific trailer:

I don’t know if the movie will be any good, but that is one spectacular trailer.  I’m intrigued at how humongous they have made Kong here.  This is a very different approach than that seen in Peter Jackson’s version (which I feel is very underrated).

Marvel, meanwhile, released this new trailer for Dr. Strange, which I am very excited for:

And Marvel’s Netflix TV universe unleashed all sorts of exciting goodness, from this great sizzle reel:

To this great teaser for Luke Cage, a show I am super-pumped for:

And this teaser for Iron Fist:

That’s a very short tease but I like what I see so far, particularly that very faithful logo.

Now here is an also-brief but also-tantalizing tease for their team-up show, The Defenders:

That logo is clever, and I love that, judging from the voice-over, Stick will be in this!!  I hope Marvel’s Netflix group can pull off this super-hero crossover as well as the film division did.

As if all that wasn’t enough, we also got the great news that there will be a season three of Daredevil.  Cant wait for all of his.  So far, Marvel plus Netflix has been batting 1,000.

Now, I don’t have too much faith in Marvel TV outside of Netflix, and the idea of an X-Men spin-off show featuring a … [continued]

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Rogue One and News Around the Net! UPDATED with Doctor Strange Trailer!

I suspect by now you’ve all watched the first teaser trailer for Rogue One, perhaps (like me!) several times:

That’s a pretty terrific trailer.  Not as instantly iconic as any of the magnificent trailers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but still pretty great.  It’s a far more substantial look at the movie than I had expected for a first teaser trailer.

My main question is: why the heck isn’t this film called Star Wars: Rogue One?  Because Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a heck of a mouthful.  I guess we’re going to be saddled with this “A Star Wars Story” business for all of the non-official-“Episode” spin-off Star Wars films to come.  I think that’s a big mistake.  Just call all of these films Star Wars: Whatever You Want Your Title To Be.  Isn’t that much more simple and direct?

As for the peek at the content of the film itself: well, I am on-record as hating prequels, but while I am absolutely DREADING the in-the-works “young Han Solo” movie, I am sort of taken with the idea of telling the story of the secret mission to steal the Death Star plans that must have happened right before the events of the first Star Wars.  That’s a pretty big piece of Star Wars back-story about which we know nothing at all, and it seems like a cool idea for a movie.

And while we all know that you can’t judge a film by its trailer, this first trailer is pretty terrific.  I love that, like The Force Awakens, this Star Wars film seems to be anchored by a strong female character in the lead.  I really enjoyed Felicity Jones’ work in Like Crazy, and she looks terrific here in the lead as Jyn Erso (I had to look that up on-line).  I like the Seven Samurai type feel to the film, of a motley crew of criminals and scum gathered together for a mission.  (It’s interesting that Warner Brothers’ next big DC Universe movie, Suicide Squad, is also based on a similar premise.  I am curious to see how similar those two films wind up being.)

It’s pretty cool to see those shots of Star Destroyers and the Death Star being assembled.  I’ve heard rumors that Darth Vader will be appearing in this film (which would be awesome if done right), but so far they have kept him hidden in this trailer.  (There is a shot of a figure in black kneeling before a pillar of light which resembles how Vader would communicate with the Emperor but that figure doesn’t look like Vader to me.)

I’m eager to learn more about the many new characters … [continued]

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New Project in the Works and News Around the Net!

March 16th, 2016

So one of the reasons that there haven’t been any new comics up on the site for quite a while is that I’ve been working on a variety of other illustration projects that I hope will someday see the light of day.  One of them is a graphic novel proposal called Loved with the very talented Sherri and Anna.  Here’s a little peak:

https://twitter.com/AnnaOlswanger/status/709396910025609217

Motion Pictures Comics fans on twitter, please retweet and help me share this!  Thank you!!

Just yesterday came the official announcement of a fifth Indiana Jones film, to be released on July 19, 2019.  Yes, 2019.  Sigh.  How can anyone think this is a good idea?  Harrison Ford will be MORE THAN A DECADE OLDER than 2008’s Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and he was already way too old in that film to be at all convincing in the role.  (Though, to be fair, Harrison Ford was the least of that terrible film’s myriad problems.)  As much as I would love for the Indy films to be wrapped up with a great film, rather than the dud that was Crystal Skull, it’s just hard for me to fathom that this film could possibly be any good.

The biggest question that press release leaves me with, which I haven’t sen anyone writing about yet online, is what sort of involvement will George Lucas have in this new Indy film?  These films have always been a collaboration between Spielberg, Lucas, and Ford, and Steven Spielberg has always publicly deferred to George Lucas in terms of the direction that the films would take.  Has that changed for this third film?  I’m interested to learn more…

Speaking of bad ideas involving films based on characters played by Harrison Ford, this Young Han Solo film is still apparently actually happening.  Ugh.  I have zero interest in a Young Han Solo story.  Enough with the prequels!!

In happier news, has the glow faded yet from last week’s extraordinary trailer for Captain America: Civil War?

That trailer is astounding, and that’s before you even get to Spider-Man.  Seriously, how mind-bogglingly incredible is it that Spider-Man, whose film rights have long been owned by rival studio Sony, is actually appearing in a Marvel Studios film??  It’s extraordinary, on a level with Donald Duck and Daffy Duck sharing the screen together in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?  I love how many Marvel characters are appearing in this Cap sequel.  I love the “I could do this all day” call-back to the first Cap film (a line that, remember, I sorely wished had been reprised in The Winter Soldier).  I love that shot of the Scarlet Witch doing whatever the heck she’s … [continued]

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The Dark Tower, Ghostbusters, and News Around the Net!

So, it looks like the long-gestating film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series is finally, actually happening!  I am thrilled by the casting of Idris Elba as Roland Deschain and Matthew McConaughey as the Man in Black.  (And extra points to Mr. Elba for his great Dark Tower joke on twitter, confirming his casting!)  Those two are both perfectly cast.  (And if Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul actually gets cast as Eddie Dean — a part he was BORN to play — this film will have absolute perfect casting.)  I am concerned, though, by the rumors that the Dark Tower film is not going to be a direct adaptation of Mr. King’s first Dark Tower novel, The Gunslinger, but rather some sort of mishmash of several later books in the series.  Dark Tower fan Quint at aintitcoolnews has posted an in-detail look at the direction in which it looks like this Dark Tower film’s script is going to go.  I can understand why the filmmakers might want to make these changes, but in a world in which we’ve gotten such faithful book-by-book adaptations of the Harry Potter and Hunger Games novels, I am disappointed that the Dark Tower films aren’t taking that same approach.  So, for now, consider me excited but nervous.  A bad Dark Tower film would be heartbreaking.

The first trailer for Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters film was released last week:

As many others on the internet have already commented, it’s not a great trailer.  I like the visual “look” of what we see here, but this trailer didn’t make me laugh once.  I’m also confused as to whether this film is a sequel to the previous two Ghostbusters films, or a reboot?  I’d assumed it was a reboot, but the text in the opening of the trailer seems to suggest otherwise.  Is that just the studio’s marketing department trying to remind audiences of this franchise’s legacy?  The rest of the trailer certainly looks like the story has been rebooted from scratch, but we don’t see enough to tell for sure.  So I am confused.  (Personally, I would LOVE for this film to be a sequel rather than a reboot.  But I suspect that’s not the case.)

Meanwhile, an enterprising fan re-cut a far snappier version of this trailer that is worth checking out:

In other news…

One of my friends sent me this great article that expresses an idea that has been a theme of my writing about movies: that a major criteria for evaluating the success or failure of a film should be its rewatchability.  This is a terrific article and I wholeheartedly agree with this notion.

Holy cow, SNL’s Jay Pharaoh … [continued]

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Can Nicholas Meyer Save Star Trek a Second Time? And News Around the Net!

February 29th, 2016
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I was of course excited several months back when news broke that a new Star Trek TV series was in development for CBS All Access.  I have loved many of the big-screen Star Trek adventures, of course, but Star Trek belongs on TV.  Star Trek began as a TV series, of course, and the vast majority on canon Star Trek adventures, hundreds and hundreds of hours, have been on TV.

We still know nothing about what the TV show will be about, what era it will be in, even what timeline in will be in (the “prime” timeline of all the previous TV shows and movies, or JJ Abrams “nuTrek” timeline from the past two movies).  But my excitement raised by many notches when we learned a few weeks ago that Bryan Fuller would be the show-runner of the new show.  This is an amazing choice, probably the best possible choice.  Mr. Fuller has a lot of actual Trek experience.  He was a writer on both Deep Space Nine and Voyager.  In the years since, he has become a phenomenal show-runner, helming a number of critically acclaimed shows such as Dead Like Me and Hannibal.  This makes Mr. Fuller a seemingly perfect combination of someone who has deep Trek love and Trek experience, while also very much being a new, fresh voice at the helm of a Trek show.  I couldn’t be happier.

Or so I thought.  Because then last week the news broke that Nicholas Meyer would be joining the writing team of the new show.  This is unbelievable, jaw-on-the-floor, earth-shattering news.  Mr. Meyer is, in my opinion, the very best writer to have ever worked on Trek in any of it’s many incarnations.  He is responsible for the very best Trek, the Trek that most feels to me like my most beloved incarnation of the series.  Let me explain.  Mr. Meyer wrote and directed Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  He wrote most of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.  (He wrote everything that takes place in 1986.  Mr. Meyer takes over the story with Spock’s classic line: “judging by the pollution content in the atmosphere, we have arrived in the latter part of the twentieth century.”)  He wrote and directed Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.  Has Trek ever been better than those three films??

Mr. Meyer truly saved Star Trek back in 1982 with The Wrath of Khan.  Remember, Star Trek was cancelled after only three seasons on NBC in 1966-1969.  It was something of a miracle that the series was resurrected in 1979 with Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  But that film didn’t quite get the tone of Star Trek right.  … [continued]

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News Around the Net!

I’ll have a lot to say about the long-anticipated return of The X-Files very soon.  In the meanwhile, here is a fantastic 45 minute interview with X-Files creator Chris Carter and writers Glen and Darin Morgan, who were key writers on the show who returned to write episodes of the revived series.  Great stuff.

I love that J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot team stunned everyone last week with the release of a trailer for a movie no one knew anything about, 10 Cloverfield Lane, to be released in just two months, in March!  Check it out:

I well remember the fun when the original Cloverfield was announced and we all struggled to figure out what the heck the deal was with this movie no one seemed to know anything about.  I feel like the film is not well thought of these days, but I absolutely loved the experience of seeing Cloverfield in the theatre — I thought it was very intense and a lot of fun.  I’m excited that the Bad Robot team has once again produced a Cloverfield film under everyone’s noses.  It’s so hard to do anything in secret these days!  I think that J.J. Abrams’ well-known “mystery box” philosophy has often been misused (flat-out lying to everyone for months by saying that Khan would not be the villain of Star Trek Into Darkness comes to mind), but I do love the idea of being totally surprised by a film.  Will 10 Cloverfield Lane have any actual story connection to the first Cloverfield?  Or are they just using Cloverfield as a nickname for a film made in secret and designed to surprise audiences?  Frankly I’d be happy either way.  That first trailer looks great and I am jazzed to see this film.

Why do I love Judd Apatow?  Sit back and watch his hilarious and profane introduction of Amy Schumer at the Critics Choice Awards, in which he veers off-script to slam the Golden Globes for putting The Martian in the comedy category:

How funny is that??  Love that dude.

Here are some interesting teases at the planned fifth season of Arrested Development.

I’m digging Star Wars Rebels and this preview for the second half of season two is terrific.  I’m especially jazzed by the glimpses, in the final seconds of the trailer, of the much-looked-forward-to confrontation between Ahsoka and Darth Vader (her former master).  This has been a moment fans have anticipated ever since Ahsoka was first introduced as a young padawan of Anakin Skywalker in the very first episode of the Clone Wars cartoon, back in 2008.  I hope this does not disappoint!

This is cool: HBO On-Demand is now offering what they’re calling The Godfather Epic[continued]

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January 4th, 2016

Let’s kick things off today with this gloriously wonderful new trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2:

I loved every single second of that!!  Can’t wait for this movie.

This is a wonderfully in-depth profile of visual effects genius John Knoll, who also happens to be the guy who came up with the idea for Rogue One.

I’ve written a lot about CBS’ misguided, fan-disrespecting effort to squash the Star Trek fan film Axanar.  Here’s a wonderful opinion piece that does a great job of summing up the whole situation and my feelings on the matter.  I wish CBS would drop this lawsuit — as J.J. Abrams and Justin Lin had promised they would!! — but that doesn’t appear to be happening and I am abandoning hope that Axanar will ever be made.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here is their incredible short-film Prelude to Axanar:

xxx… [continued]

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So, holy shit, I am seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens a week from today!  That a new Star Wars film, featuring the cast of the Original Trilogy, is so close to being a real thing that I can see, is incredible.  I expected that someday there would be new Star Wars movies, but I never really thought we’d see any of the original main cast back onscreen in their roles.  Is the film actually going to be good, or will it be a Kingdom of the Crystal Skull level catastrophe that we’re all going to regret?  I’ll know soon!!  I’m very excited.  I’ve been saying for years that I would love to, in my lifetime, get to see another great new Star Wars movie on the big screen.  Let’s see what happens.

In the meanwhile, in Star Wars news, here is a phenomenal short interview with Oscar Isaac, who has become one of my very favorite actors (in killer roles in Inside Llweyn Davis, Ex Machina, A Most Violent Year, and Show Me a Hero) and who plays X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron in the new film.  (I have successfully avoided spoilers in learning anything other than that about the character!)

The first trailer for Captain America: Civil War came out a few weeks ago, but I don’t think I’ve written about it yet.  For a first teaser, it’s a hell of a thing:

I love that trailer, and I am really pumped for this movie which really seems like it could be called The Avengers 3.  But what I love about the trailer is the way that, despite all the huge number of Marvel characters who will be popping up in it, this film really does feel like a Captain America film, with Cap front and center and the Bucky story-line (begun in The Winter Soldier) moving forward.  I love how it looks like they’ve taken Bucky/The Winter Soldier and used him as the crux point for the Civil War storyline (from the terrific Marvel Comics mini-series written by Mark Millar and illustrated by Steve McNiven in which Cap and Iron Man split the Marvel universe heroes over their differing opinions on a law requiring that all superheroes give up their secret identities in order to be trained and regulated by the federal government).  The trailer looks amazing.  It’s yet another way in which we can see the enormous richness and complexity that has developed in the Marvel cinematic universe so many years and movies into it.  I continue to be thankful that this incredible cinematic undertaking — a sprawling universe of interconnected films — exists.  A film like Civil War can exist … [continued]

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#BringBackMST3k!!  Joel Hodgman has launched a kickstarter to bring back Mystery Science Theatre 3000!!  I’ve backed the project, I hope you all will too!

Prepare to lose your afternoon, comic-book fans.  Alan Moore (author of Watchmen, V For Vendetta, From Hell, and so many other great works) answers a TON of questions in this great Q & A thread.

As the release of The Force Awakens draws ever closer, this in-depth interview with J.J.Abrams will help tide you over.  (Nice to hear him admit to script problems on Super 8 and Star Trek Into Darkness.)

In other Star Wars news, you’ve gotta love this super-detailed fan theory laying out the case for Jar Jar being a trained force-user who was secretly behind all of the events of the prequels.

Sacha Baron Cohen & the great Mark Strong have fun with spy movie tropes in The Brothers Grimsby?  Sign me up:

I wish Pixar would stick with creating original films rather than sequels, but it’s hard to feel too unhappy about this new teaser trailer for Finding Dory:

I’m also quite happy with the latest, most substantial look at Netflix’s upcoming Jessica Jones show, the adaptation of Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Gaydos’ phenomenal comic book series Alias.  I am really hoping this doesn’t disappoint.  We’ll know very soon!!  This trailer is great:

I don’t think I’ve written anything yet here about the news that a new Star Trek TV series is in the works!  (Albeit one that won’t actually air on TV — it’ll only be available on CBS’ All Access digital subscription service.)  I love the idea of a new Trek series, it is too-long in coming.  Star Trek belongs on TV.  But obviously my degree of excitement in this new venture will be determined by who is involved, and the subject matter of the show.  (The most pressing question is not just the era of the show — Kirk’s era?  Pre-Kirk?  Next Generation era?  Beyond Next Gen? — but rather the timeline.  Will this new show be set in the timeline of the original Trek shows and movies, or the rebooted J.J. Abrams universe?)  For the moment, the involvement of Alex Kurtzman (who co-wrote the terrible scripts for the two rebooted Trek films, as well as several of the abominable Transformers films) does not give me joy.  But hope springs eternal.  And as for the show’s only being available digitally, I am OK with that.  I’ve long felt that CBS/Paramount should play to Trek’s built-in fanbase by using digital platforms to deliver new Trek shows to the fans.  (Why not use a Netflix or Amazon model to help pay for the creation of … [continued]

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This substantive look at the upcoming X-Files revival has me giddy with anticipation.  Please don’t let me down, Chris Carter.

I’ve learned over the years not to trust trailers, but holy cow this trailer for the new Coen Brothers film looks AMAZING.  Check it out:

I’m loving this new trailer for Season Two of Star Wars: Rebels.  Season One was OK, but the episode with Darth Vader that aired over the summer made me a true believer.  Can’t wait for what’s next.

This is fun: seven things that you (probably) didn’t know about Who Framed Roger Rabbit.  (I love that movie!!)

This is an amazing, in-depth interview with the great Richard Kind, digging deeply into many of the best roles he has played throughout his career, up-to and including Bing Bong in Inside Out.  Once you’re done reading that, then may I suggest you clear your schedule and enjoy this two-hour conversation with Mr. Kind from Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show:

You’re welcome.

Marvel just added another film to Phase III (am I correct that this means that Phase III will consist of TEN films?  That is incredible.) — Ant Man and the Wasp!  Love that Ant Man (click here for my review) is getting a sequel, and I love that title.  (Marvel also has announced three un-named films for release in 2020.  Presumably those three films will be the start of Phase Four?  I love that Marvel is planning so far ahead.)  (And what is to be made of the rumors that Marvel is going to drop The Inhumans from their Phase III slate, as a middle-finger towards the Marvel TV folks, now separated from the film division of Marvel Studios?  That is being denied by Marvel, but I wonder.  I wrote recently about my concerns that all the recent behind-the-scenes changes at Marvel Studios have not all been for the better.  It will probably be several years before we see how this all plays out and we’re able to get a true sense of the repercussions of these moves.  I still have faith in Marvel Studios.  I don’t want that to change!!)

Brad Bird’s The Incredibles 2 also now has an official release date!!  Fifteen years is a long time to wait for a sequel, but I have faith in Brad Bird (despite the stumble that was Tomorrowland) and can’t wait to see what he is cooking up.

This is an interesting short piece on the monologue that Jonathan Nolan wrote for Christian Bale to deliver for use in the first trailer for Batman Begins.

So the 70mm version of Quentin Tarantino’s new movie The Hateful Eight will [continued]

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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 … [continued]

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This video is amazing.  It’s a nine minute mash-up of clips from lots of great movies to create the notion that there is one bar in which a lot of famous movie characters meet up. Check it out, it is great (despite the mis-spelling in the opening title):

How about that love for Carlito’s Way?? Fantastic.  (Click here for my recent review of Carlito’s Way.)

So, what the heck is going on over at Marvel Studios?  There’s a lot happening behind the scenes that is starting to get reported.  Some of it is exciting, some of it very worrying.  The major event is the move of Marvel Studios, run by Kevin Feige, out from under the control of CEO Ike Perlmutter and over to the direct control of Disney (who bought all of Marvel a while back).  There have been many reports over the years of Ike Perlmutter’s tight purse-strings — limiting budgets for the Marvel films and leading to tough negotiations over salaries with the films’ stars — and his vindictiveness — directing Marvel’s publishing and merchandising arms to de-emphasize the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, because the rights to those film series are owned by Fox.  Although that has been continually denied by Marvel, the last year has seen the FF comic book –which has been published since 1962 — cancelled, and the removal of FF and X-Men characters from t-shirts and other merchandise (posters, toys, etc.).  Kevin Feige has been praised by many as the key driving creative force behind the success of Marvel Studios’ films, and so the idea of his having more creative control on his own, away from the supervision of Mr. Perlmutter, and perhaps larger budgets for his films, is very exciting.  On the other hand, I think the characterization of Perlmutter as a crazy billionaire is overly simplistic and denies his large role in Marvel’s reinvigoration as a publisher this past decade, and the creation and successes of Marvel Studios in the first place.  I’m also mystified by the way the Marvel Creative Committee seems to be being blamed for various Marvel Studios problems, as described in this weird piece by Devin Faraci at Birth.Movies.Death.com.  I love Mr. Faraci’s work (and later in this post I will link to some wonderful articles on his site, one of my very favorite web-sites), but his article about the Creative Committee doesn’t make much sense to me.  The Creative Committee is a small group of people from Marvel’s publishing arm: Joe Quesada (an artist who rose to the position of Marvel Editor-in-Chief in the aughts and who is one of the major reasons why Marvel was … [continued]

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This trailer for SPECTRE is pretty great:

I am tremendously excited for the reintroduction of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. and Blofeld to the Bond films — for the first time in four decades!! — and I really hope they don’t blow it.  This new trailer looks large-scale, and I am thrilled that this story looks to be combining threads from the first two Daniel Craig films, and the organization that was named as QUANTUM in the second film, with the mythology of SPECTRE.  Casting Christoph Waltz as Blofeld is genius.  The two things that worry me about the trailer is the re-appearance of the done-to-death idea of Bond going rogue from MI6, and all the hinting that Blofeld is somehow tied to Bond’s past.  I hate this oh-so-common trend in movies that the hero and the villain must be intimately connected.  The Joker didn’t shoot Bruce Wayne’s parents and I am not excited by the idea that Blofeld and Bond have some long shared history.  Well, I will hold my concern in check to see what the filmmakers have come up with.  Anyways, this trailer is slickly made and has me very excited to see this film.

(Click here for a wonderfully in-depth analysis of the SPECTRE trailer.)

The entire Back to the Future trilogy is being re-released back into theatres???  I am there!!  (Click here for my review of Back to the Future’s 25th anniversary screening on the big screen…)

As readers of this blog know I have been pretty disappointed by DC’s recent slate of direct-to-DVD animated films.  But I’m pleased that DC Animation mastermind Bruce Timm seems to be returning to the fold, and I am quite curious at the idea that he is overseeing an animated adaptation of Alan Moore & Brian Bolland’s violent and disturbing Batman: The Killing Joke.  How could that possibly work without having all of its controversial edges shaved completely off?  I dunno, but I’ll admit I am curious.  And the news that Mark Hamill will be playing the Joker has me delighted.  They’d damn well better be casting Kevin Conroy as Batman/Bruce Wayne!!

I can’t wait for Netflix’s Jessica Jones series!  Brian Michael Bendis’ Alias was brilliant.  I hope this adaptation lives up to the original.

I am impressed by the vibrant, colorful costumes seen in these peeks at Bryan Singer’s upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse film.  It’s fun to see these Marvel-movie colors in a Fox X-Men film, which has used mostly far more stripped-down, color-less looks.  I felt that X-Men: Days of Future Past was a great conclusion to Mr. Singer’s X-Men films (click here for my review) and I wish this new film was a … [continued]

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It’s Comic-Con in San Diego, and so lots of cool stuff has been popping up all over the web lately.  Let’s take a look!

I am a little dubious about Batman v Superman, but damn if this lengthy trailer isn’t pretty cool:

I mean, come on, who ever thought we’d actually see a Batman vs. Superman movie??  I love that this trailer showcases the Man of Steel supporting cast — I’m glad they’re being included in this film.  And I do love the liberal usage of imagery from Frank Miller’s seminal The Dark Knight Returns.  I just hope this film tells a good solid story and doesn’t waste too much time building up a future DC film universe to compete with Marvel.  (I was surprised they included Wonder Woman in this trailer, and I wonder how large a role she plays in the film.)

I cannot wait for Netflix’s Jessica Jones series!!  Love this first look.  Glad to see Luke Cage is involved.

This is a great write-up of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel.  Sounds cool.  Hey, the entire panel is on-line!

I can’t quite believe this is real!  Here is (a very shaky recorded version of) the profane, violent Comic-Con trailer for Deadpool!  Fox is really releasing this??  Wowsers!

I’m also intrigued by this shaky leaked version of the trailer for DC’s Suicide Squad.  This movie is either going to be completely lame or unbelievably awesome.  I don’t think there’s much chance of a middle ground… I hope we get an official release of this trailer soon so we can get a better look at all of these characters.  UPDATE!  Here’s a high-rez version:

A trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse was shown but sadly hasn’t yet found its way on-line.  Too bad, the trailer sounds cool.  (Though I really feel like Days of Future Past was a wonderful conclusion to Bryan Singer’s X-Men films and I think it’s time to re-set these films and start telling new X-Men stories set in the present day (or, as the first-film was so wonderfully captioned, “in the not-too-distant future”…)  And Hugh Jackman, please stop teasing me with the possibility of an Old Man Logan film!  ‘Cuz that would be AMAZING!!!

The Game of Thrones panel sounds like it was fun.  Here’s even more info.  Aww, heck, just watch this!!

In other news…

This is a wonderful first article from Birth.Movie.Death’s Devin Faraci from The Jerusalem Film Festival.  He makes a fascinating point about the stories of Jerusalem connecting to the stories told in films.  It’s a really thoughtful article.  I can’t wait to read more about Devin’s experiences at the festival.

I … [continued]

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News Around the Net!

Some momentum on two exciting Stephen King fronts!  There’s been a little bit of movement on the planned adaptation of The Dark Tower.  I’m not holding out too much hope, but I’d love to see it.  Meanwhile, looks like another Stephen King adaptation might take the idea that has been floated about The Dark Tower adaptation combining a TV show with a movie and beat it to the starting line: the latest announcement about The Stand is that it will be an eight-episode miniseries for Showtime, followed by a movie.  OK, that is an interesting and sort-of bizarre idea.  Curious to see where that goes.  In less-great Stephen King news, True Detective director Cary Fukunaga has left his planned two-film adaptation of It just weeks before the start of production.  That’s a huge disappointment.  I was excited to see what Mr. Fukunaga’s distinct voice would do with It.  Oh well.

Love this new trailer for Stephen Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies.  Spielberg and Hanks making another film together?  I am in!

I am very excited to see Inside Out, but that doesn’t mean it’s not too early to start anticipating Pixar’s NEXT original film!

Oh man, this new trailer for Macbeth, with Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard, is amazing!!

Macbeth has always been one of my very favorite Shakespeare plays.  I cannot wait to see that.

To my enormous surprise, Marvel Comics’ new Star Wars comic books have all been kind of awesome.  (I’ve been particularly interested in their depiction of just how Darth Vader discovered that the rebel who blew up the first Death Star was his son, and of Vader’s reaction to that important piece of information, thus proving that the Emperor lied to him about Padme’s death.  That’s a great story and something I’m frankly shocked hasn’t been tackled before now.)  Their latest issue of Star Wars had a pretty major twist that is, apparently, now completely part of Star Wars canon.  I’ll be interested in seeing where that story goes…!

It is really starting to look like a fifth season of Arrested Development is actually going to happen!  Huzzah!  Yes, Netflix’s fourth season was a far cry from the greatness of the show’s original three seasons on FOX, but still, further stories of the Bluth family is cause for rejoicing.

They’re making a Layer Cake sequel (click here for my review of the original film), starring Jason Statham???  That is such a weird idea, I’m not quite sure what to make of that!

I would love to someday see a really good Tron film, so for that reason I am bummed that Disney has pulled the plug on Tron 3.  But … [continued]

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“The date is set!” — The X-Files returns to TV on January 24, 2016!  Please don’t disappoint me, Chris Carter!!

This is a great article listing 10 Making-Of Documentaries That Are Better Than The Actual Movie.  In many of these cases I don’t actually agree with the “Better Than The Actual Movie” part, but these are certainly ten of the very greatest documentaries about the making of specific movies.  These are all essential viewing for movie fans.  (The only one of the ten listed that I haven’t seen is Cleopatra: The Epic That Changed Hollywood.)  Hearts of Darkness is endlessly fascinating, one of the best movies about movies ever made, period.  I wrote about The Sweat Box, the documentary that Disney doesn’t want you to see about the making of what became The Emperor’s New Groove, here.  It’s fascinating and heartbreaking.  The documentaries on the Alien Quadrilogy are magnificent, particularly the staggeringly no-punches-pulled version on the Alien 3 blu-ray.  (The doc on the original DVD release was edited by the studio who felt that some of the behind-the-scenes material was too honest and raw.)  I have written endlessly about the amazing Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Appendices (elaborate, hours-long making-of documentaries) on the Extended Edition DVD/blu-ray sets.  (Click here for my thoughts on the behind-the-scenes material from An Unexpected Journey and here for my thoughts on The Desolation of Smaug.)  And I am glad this list also included two of the many magnificent making-of documentaries on the DVDs and blu-rays of Ridley Scott’s films, all of which was masterminded by Charles de Lauzirika.  Dangerous Days is an exhaustive look at the making of Blade Runner, and though Prometheus was a bomb, the four-hour long look at the making of that train wreck, titled Furious Gods, from the Prometheus blu-ray set, is amazing.  (By the way, Charles de Lauzirika also masterminded all of the Alien documentaries on the Quadrilogy set, making him the king of this list of making-of documentaries.)  I highly recommend all interested film fans track down these documentaries, they are wonderful.

I recently read Jerry Weintraub’s terrific memoir: When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead.  Mr. Weintraub was a music producer who worked with Elvis and Sinatra, and in his later years he became a movie producer as well, most notably working with Steven Soderbergh on Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen.  The book is terrific — Mr. Weintraub is a wonderful raconteur and, man, does he have some great stories to tell. I highly recommend it.  Here’s a link.  In a related story, birthmoviesdeath.com recently posted this loving look back at Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy.  I never thought too highly … [continued]

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Trailers!

Wow, looks like the studios have all started selling their 2015 movies pretty hard lately!  This past week has seen a flood of new trailers for some big upcoming films.

It all started, of course, with that look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  What a great trailer.  As I wrote last week, I remain dubious that this film is going to be any good (though I am beginning to dare to hope), but wow, this is a pretty perfectly cut trailer.  It’s been very interesting to see how universally loved this trailer seems to have been, across the internet.  Let’s watch it again, shall we?

Oh man.

Moving on, soon after the Star Wars trailer dropped we also got our first peek at Batman v Superman:

Unlike the Star Wars trailer, this trailer has been pretty roundly criticized across the interwebs.  I think the hate is a little much, personally.  This is a not a home-run trailer, but I don’t mind that DC is giving us a more serious, grim version of their super-heroes, in contrast to the Marvel approach.  I am glad a main story-point for this film seems to be the public’s questioning perhaps rejection of Superman as a hero.  That’s certainly understandable after the carnage that Supes was involved with at the end of Man of Steel.  And while I think Batman’s line about making Superman bleed is pretty dumb (and I’m definitely not yet liking the highly-modulated new Bat-voice), I do have a lot of love for the Frank Miller The Dark Knight Returns inspired look of Batman’s anti-Superman armor.  I am very intrigued by this film.  I can see a lot of ways in which it can stumble, most primarily under the weight of all the announced cameos as Warners seems increasingly desperate to ape Marvel’s success with The Avengers.  But boy, wouldn’t it be cool if this Batman/Superman crossover film — something we’ve never seen before — was actually good??  We’ll see…

We also good our first good look at Fox’s upcoming Fantastic Four film:

I’m very uncertain what to make of this film.  I love the FF dearly.  This might prove to be a great film, and I am certainly hoping it will be.  But it feels like it’s a decade too late.  After the last few years of Marvel films, in which we’ve seen superhero films that were able to be both compelling and also incredibly faithful to the essence of the characters from the comics, what I want to see on screen is the FF I know from the comics, not this weird un-superhero version.  I am not very excited right now for this film.  Prove me wrong, … [continued]

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UPDATED WITH THE FORCE AWAKENS TRAILER! News Around the Net

Late-breaking update to my last post — take a gander at this new trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens!!

WOW that is a hell of a trailer.  I love hearing Mark Hamill’s voice-over, echoing his words to Leia in Return of the Jedi.  Love the shot of the crashed Star Destroyer… and I love even more seeing the Millenium Falcon fly into what looks like the guts of that ruined Star Destroyer!  And that last shot and that last line… wow.  It’s very weird seeing a very old Han Solo, but I sort of love it.  I still don’t know if this movie is going to be any good, but I have huge love for this trailer.  Pure bliss.

This is amazing.  Just trust me.

This is a great article on Dune from The New Yorker from a little while back.  It is indeed curious that Dune has not penetrated the pop culture the way The Lord of the Rings or Star Wars has.  But for those of us who know and love Dune, it is a treasure.  (And I do love all of Frank Herbert’s five sequels, even though they are imperfect.  Sadly the Dune novels written after Frank Herbert’s death by his son Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson have, for the most part, disappointed.)

Please lord let this be true.  Seventeen additional episodes of Arrested Development??  Let’s do this.

Hey, season two of True Detective is coming!  Can’t wait:

I’m also fairly eager for the third season of Orange is the New Black:

I was surprised by the glum tone of the first trailer for Marvel’s Ant Man.  This new trailer is far stronger, though I’m still a little surprised at how serious they’re making the film look.  Is that really the tone?  I do love that train gag at the end of the trailer, though.

In other Marvel news, this raised my eyebrows: Marvel can’t make a Hulk stand-alone film because Universal retains the rights to any Hulk solo film?  Wow, that is a crazy tangle of legal red-tape.  This doesn’t bug me too much because as awesome and perfect as Mark Ruffalo is as Bruce Banner, I think the Hulk functions best in a supporting role rather than carrying his own movie.  I do hope, though, to someday see a Guardians of the Galaxy/Planet Hulk crossover story-line movie.   I’ve tried to avoid too heavy spoilers for Age of Ultron and the upcoming slate of Marvel films, but various bits and pieces that I have heard and read lead me to suspect that might be coming a few years down the road, and that is awesome.

This new trailer for Terminator: Genisys[continued]

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Don’t tease me, universe!  I desperately want this news of a possible resurrection of The X-Files to be true!!

The X-Files

I am thrilled to have three cartoons from Motion Pictures included in JOMIX — Jewish Comics; Art & Derivation, an exhibition currently open in New York City.  Click here for more details!  I was also delighted to get such a nice mention in this review of The Jewish Comix Anthology The Anthology is still available for purchase at amazon!

This is an older article, but Rolling Stone’s The Last Days of 30 Rock is a magnificently in-depth look at the life and end of Tina Fey’s wonderful sitcom.

Keeping us on a similar topic, I loved this A.V. Club look back at Newsradio, listing their ten favorite episodes of that late great series.

I love listening to comic book author Brian Michael Bendis talk, usually on the wonderful wordballoon podcast.  His recent appearance on the Nerdist podcast is hugely entertaining.

After losing Leonard Nimoy last month, we also lost the great, woefully under-appreciated Harve Bennett.  Mr. Bennett was critically involved in the “trilogy” of Trek films: Star Trek II, III, and IV.  Most importantly, without Mr. Bennett’s involvement, Star Trek II might never have happened after Star Trek: The Motion Picture underwhelmed.  Mr. Bennett and writer/director Nicholas Meyer are the men who saved Star Trek.  Harve Bennett is responsible for what, to me, is the greatest iteration of Trek, those three films.  Star Trek would not be the franchise that it is today without Harve Bennett.  Rest in peace.  (You can learn a lot more about Harve Bennett by reading this wonderful eulogy on badassdigest.com.)

We also recently lost Sam Simon, who was one of the key creative voices in the early (and best) seasons of The Simpsons.

On a more upbeat note, watch this:

I am super-duper excited for Captain America: Civil War.  The idea of adapting that great comic book story-line for the Marvel cinematic universe is genius.  They should probably be calling it The Avengers 3 rather than Cap 3, but whatever.  Looking further down the road, I am thrilled that it looks like The Russo Brothers, after directing The Winter Soldier and then Civil War, will be directing the two-part Avengers: Infinity War films.  It’s been clear for a long while that Joss Whedon would be stepping aside after Avengers: Age of Ultron, and if it wasn’t going to be Mr. Whedon, I am delighted that the Russo Brothers are taking the lead in guiding Marvel’s Avengers franchise.  These next few years of Marvel movies are going to be amazing.

Kevin Smith is making Mallrats 2…?  Okay…  … [continued]

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This is a great article revisiting Stephen King’s final three Dark Tower novels.  I absolutely adore these books, and I am not at all in the camp of Dark Tower fans unsatisfied with the ending of Mr. King’s magnum opus.  I spent quite a while reading and writing about the Dark Tower series a few years ago.  Feel free to follow these links to revisit the journey with me: Entering The Dark Tower — The Dark Tower Book I: The Gunslinger – The Dark Tower Book II: The Drawing of the Three – The Dark Tower Book III: The Waste Lands — The Dark Tower Book IV: Wizard and Glass — The Dark Tower Book V: Wolves of the Calla — The Dark Tower Book VI: Song of Susannah — The Dark Tower Book VII: The Dark Tower — Return to the Dark Tower — The Little Sisters of EluriaMarvel Comics’ Adaptation of The GunslingerThe Wind Through The Keyhole.

If you, like me, are starting to get very sad about the impending end of Parks and Recreation, then it’s time to fall down the rabbit hole of this epic Twitter exchange of great Parks & Recs clips between Alan Sepinwall & Linda Holmes.  Here’s just a tiny taste:

Oh my god I am going to miss that show.

Holy cow: a Wet Hot American Summer sequel is happening — with all of the original cast — as an eight-episode Netflix series???  That is bonkers!!

This is a terrific article about the central “text” of Star Trek, and the challenges that must be conquered in terms of making future good Star Trek stories, on the big-screen or (hope hope hope) back on TV.  I don’t agree with all of his points, but this piece was written by someone who gets and loves Trek, and I think he has the right idea.

Speaking of Trek, I sure wasted a lot of time watching these old trailers!

We just recently passed the tenth anniversary of the airing of the pilot episode of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica, “33.”  Wow.  I remember watching that when it aired.  (I also watched the mini-series when that aired, about a year-and-a-half before the series kicked off in the States.)  I can’t believe it was that long ago!!  Here is a great, in-depth look back at the greatness of that pilot, and here is a nice Q & A from show-runner Ronald D. Moore.

This is a great list of twelve Simpsons characters who actually evolved.

This concept art for an Alien sequel, developed by Neill Blomkamp, is ludicrously tantalizing.  Ripley and Hicks together again??  … [continued]

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News Around the Net

Well, everything I have seen or read so far of the Terminator reboot Terminator: Genisys has looked abysmal (and good lord I hate that ridiculous title more each time I write it).  But I have to admit this trailer is intriguing:

I love how the first half looks like it’s the behind-the-scenes of what we already knew happened just prior to the start of the original Terminator film, and then when Sarah Connor crashes that truck through the department store window we see that we’re in some sort of alternate timeline.  I am curious how they’ll explain the cause of this alternate timeline, but I like much of what I see so far.  She looked ridiculous in the early photos that were released, but here in the trailer I can see why Emilia Clarke was cast — she’s fantastic as Sarah Connor in this glimpse.  And while I still think that including an aged Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film was silly, seeing old Arnie and CGI young Arnie and the new Terminator played by Byung-Hun Lee is exciting, they all look pretty great.  My biggest concern is how horrible Jai Courtney seems as Kyle Reese.  Absolutely none of Michael Biehn’s charm and presence.  I still think it’s pretty likely this film will suck, but at least this trailer makes me somewhat excited and curious to see the film, so that’s a big step-forward in terms of T-5’s marketing.

In more important sequel news, the new James Bond film will be called Spectre.  Excellent.  Ever since The World is Not Enough, I have been dreaming of the return of Blofeld to this series.  The first trailer for that film featured a glimpse of a bald Robert Carlyle, and at the time I dared to hope he was playing Blofeld.  Not so.  That character has been tied up in lawsuits for decades (all stemming from a conflict over who wrote what for Thunderball back in 1965).  But finally last year that lawsuit was resolved, and I am thrilled that SPECTRE is finally returning to the Bond series.  They’re playing coy, though, as to whether Blofeld will be in the film.  It’s hard to imagine that he wouldn’t be, unless Bond 24 is a long tease for the villain’s return in the next film, Bond 25.  I could see that happening.  But for now, I am really hoping that Christoph Waltz (who is starring in the film, reportedly as a character called Oberhauser) will be Blofeld.  That would be amazing.  I am thrilled the film is called Spectre, I love that return to the old Bond style of the villain’s name being the title.  (Ex.: Goldfinger.)  The only thing that would have … [continued]

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News Around the Net

Bill Watterson drew the poster for an international cartoonists’ festival, and it is awesome.

I’ve been really enjoying Kumail Nanjiani’s podcast The X-Files Files.  In each episode, Mr. Nanjiani and a guest host analyze two episodes of The X-Files, working their way through the series in order, starting from the very beginning of the show.  I’ve only listened to a few episodes, but they’ve all been great.  I started with this one, in which Mr. Nanjiani and Devin Faraci from badassdigest.com discuss the two-parter that began season 3, “The Blessing Way” and “Paper Clip.”  One of my favorite episodes is the very first podcast, also co-starring Mr. Faraci, in which the two discuss the first two episodes but also share their feelings on the whole series over-all.  My favorite part is their hilarious discussion of the dreadful second X-Files movie.  (Here are my thoughts after seeing that flick, if you’re interested.)  This is a great podcast, I am hooked!

I need to carve out some time to watch this: A recreation of The Empire Strikes Back made by over 500 individual fan-made versions of every shot from the film.  Sounds crazy!

This is awesome: what if famous album covers were just a small part of a much larger picture?  So funny and so clever.

So last month Marvel Comics killed off Wolverine.  Yeah, that’s gonna last.  But in the meanwhile, in honor of his “death,” enjoy this hilarious illustrated summary of Wolvie’s convoluted back-story.

Here’s a trailer for Jurassic World:

That’s a pretty solid trailer.  I love the use of the classic John Williams theme on piano at the end of the trailer.  The visuals are certainly gorgeous, and Chris Pratt is a great choice to anchor the adventure.  I don’t love what we glimpse here of the “hybrid dinosaur” angle.  One flaw of the original Jurassic Park sequels was the need to keep coming up with new and different dinosaurs.  The third film tried to use the Spinosaurus as their bad bad dinosaur and it didn’t work at all.  I hope this hybrid idea doesn’t come off as silly.

I like this nostalgia-based trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies:

This is a nice attempt to place this final film within the context of the epic story woven by the previous five.  It remains to see if the film delivers on that promise, but there are worse ways to market the new film than showing some of the best moments from the previous ones.

I’m not sure I believe that Blade Runner 2 will ever happen, nor do I think it’s a great idea.  Of course I’m … [continued]

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The Force Awakens and News Around the Net!

So the new Star Wars film is going to be called The Force Awakens?  Sigh.  Someday I would love to be really EXCITED by the announcement of a new Star Wars title.  While The Force Awakens is certainly a better title than The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, it seems very nondescript and bland.  It also seems to imply that somehow the Force has been asleep or not present during the events of the previous six films, which puzzles me.  What’s most interesting is that this new film is no longer being referred to as Episode VII.  I am all for dropping the numbers — I prefer subtitles over numbered sequels, and at a certain point the high sequel numbers just get silly.  But it means the new “main” trilogy won’t be distinguished from the spin-off films that are also being worked on.  That is likely Disney’s intent, as they wouldn’t want those spin-off films to be seen as any less important than the “main” films.  (Though I suppose it’s also very possible that the film will still be identified as Episode VII in its opening crawl.  We should remember that, for the Original Trilogy, the episode numbers weren’t really used in the advertising of the films, including their logo designs and posters.  They were only identified as Episode IV, Episode V, and Episode VI in their opening crawls.  It was only with the prequels that the episode number became so prominently incorporated into the titles and logo designs of the films.  Hmmm.  It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out with Episode VII.  I do very much like the idea that J.J. Abrams and his team are returning to the approach used by the Original Trilogy when it comes to the episode numbers.)

Speaking of Star Wars, this is fun: five minor actors from the original Star Wars trilogy who you didn’t realize were in everything you liked.

Who doesn’t love spending a little time reading about The Shawshank Redemption?

I wasn’t at all interested in NBC’s live telecasts of Peter Pan or The Sound of Music.  But A Few Good Men?  I’m in!!  Boy I hope this happens, and with a great cast.  You want me on that wall.  You NEED me on that wall!!

This is cool: as an alternative to the hideously ugly U.S.S. Enterprise re-design from J.J. Abrams’ films, here is a very cool looking, fan-designed, souped-up version of the Big-E that hews very closely to the ship’s original design from the Original Series.  Matt Jefferies’ design from the sixties ain’t broken, friends.

This is a great, fun interview clip with Benedict Cumberbatch.  Behold his perfect Jar Jar … [continued]

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Marvel’s Phase Three and The Infinity War!

November 3rd, 2014
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Marvel Studios wowed fandom yet again last week with their announcement of a hugely ambitious slate of films leading up to a third and fourth Avengers film in 2018 and 2019.  My reaction?  Pretty much bliss!!

I still remember the excitement of seeing Iron Man for the first time (click here for my original review), and the glorious post-credits tease regarding “the Avengers initiative.”  Very quickly after the opening success of that film, Marvel Studios announced their ambitious, never-been-done-before plan of a series of additional stand-alone super-hero films (Captain America and Thor) that would then lead to a team-up of all the individual heroes in The Avengers.  It’s so easy to forget what an unbelievable idea that was at the time, just a few short years ago.  True, Iron Man was a success (creatively and financially) but could Captain America and Thor possibly be turned into successful, interesting films?  Neither felt like an easy character to adapt to the big-screen.  And could these very-different characters possibly be brought together into a crossover film that would feel remotely convincing?

Well, of course, it worked, and it worked like gangbusters.  Not only did all the individual films work very well (surprisingly, it was Iron Man 2 that wound up being the weakest of the bunch) and wind up being financially successful, but there were seeds of story-lines that wove through the films that provided lovely connecting tissue between the films.  The Avengers wound up feeling like a true culmination of the story-lines begun in each of the individual films, in addition to being a hugely entertaining work all its own.  The result is a model of an interconnected cinematic universe that had never been done before, and that now is being desperately imitated by every studio in town.

The films from Iron Man through The Avengers were nicknamed “Phase One.”  The post-Avengers films, leading up to this summer’s Avengers sequel, Age of Ultron, are Phase Two.  So far, the Phase Two films have been pretty terrific.  Iron Man Three, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy have all been pretty great.  The final two Phase Two films are this summer’s Age of Ultron, for which I have high hopes, and what feels like the Phase Two epilogue, Ant Man (for which I also have high hopes, though the very public parting-of-ways between Marvel and director Edgar Wright has really shaken my faith in that film, which was Mr. Wright’s baby for so many years).  If there’s any criticism to be wielded at the Phase Two films so far, it’s that other than Guardians of the Galaxy, they’ve all been sequels.  … [continued]

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News Around the Net!

Let’s begin today with these fantastic clips from The Simpsons Live, the recent Simpsons musical extravaganza at The Hollywood Bowl featuring Conan O’Brien, Jon Lovitz, Hank Azaria, and others.  These clips are amazing.

Prepare to lose several hours from your day perusing this ranking of the 114 greatest characters from The West Wing.  The ranking is ridiculous, but the character write-ups are great and the videos accompanying many of the write-ups are phenomenal, wonderful highlights of some of the best moments from that great show.

This is awesome: What Star Trek the original series would have looked like in widescreen.  Check out how gorgeous that 48-years-old television show looks!!  Unbelievable!!

Speaking of Star Trek, with the amazing HD remastering project of Star Trek: The Next Generation nearly completed (the seventh and final season comes out on blu-ray in December), I am desperate for CBS to do the same with Deep Space Nine, my favorite of the Trek TV series.  I really mean desperate.  Bill Hunt from the phenomenal web-site The Digital Bits has an excellent editorial on the topic, addressing this question of whether or not CBS will take the plunge and remaster DS9.  When I first started buying blu-rays, as astounded as I was by the picture and sound quality, I looked at my vast collection of DVDs and vowed to myself that I wouldn’t go out and re-buy blu-rays of films I already owned on DVD.  Many years later, and I am proud of myself for sticking with that vow, almost 100%.  With one huge glaring exception.  I have bought every single blu-ray set of a Star Trek TV show released so far.  The Original Series, The Next Generation, and Enterprise.  I am such a huge Trek fan that I just couldn’t resist.  The improved picture quality was irresistible.  Even more so were the INCREDIBLE special features on Next Gen and Enterprise, produced by Roger Lay, Jr. and Robert Meyer Burnett.  (Those special features really set the standard for what I wish EVERY great TV show or movie had on their DVDs/blu-rays: exhaustive documentaries made with love, along with lots of other fun stuff including deleted scenes and out-takes.)  CBS, I am ready to give you my money!!  PLEASE release a re-mastered version of DS9, and DOUBLE PLEASE let Mr. Lay & Mr. Burnett continue their efforts to finally produce substantial making-of special features for this, the greatest of the Trek TV shows!! #ds9onblurayplease

Hitfix’s Drew McWeeny has released another phenomenal installment of his series Film Nerd 2.0, in which he discussed his approach to guiding his two young sons through the world of media, when and how he introduces them to … [continued]

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Did you know that genius Calvin & Hobbes cartoonist Bill Watterson recently drew a few new comic strips?  I sure didn’t!!  Here’s the whole crazy story of how master artist Bill Watterson wound up collaborating with Stephan Pastis on his comic strip Pearls Before Swine.  And here are the cartoons.  Wow.  Holy cow am I jealous of Mr. Pastis!!  Well done, sir!

In last month’s News Around the Net post, I noted the 30th anniversary of both Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.  This summer also marks the 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters (holy hell, the summer of 1984 was AWESOME), and, to celebrate, the film is getting re-released to theaters on August 29th!!  Mark your calendars!  I’ll certainly be there.  (I love these sorts of revival screenings and wish the studios would do this far more often with their great films of yore.  As it happens, I’ve been able to see Ghostbusters a few times on the big screen in the last decade-or-so — click here for my thoughts on a screening of the film from 2011.)

And, sticking with Ghostbusters for just a moment longer, this is an awesome 30th anniversary infographic.

Gillian Flynn (author of Gone Girl) and Dave Gibbons (the artist of Watchmen) have collaborated on a short comic-book story.  Here it is, and it’s great.

This collection of Lucas Lee’s fake movie posters from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World really made me laugh.  I love that movie!!

This is a great, great list of the five best episodes of Mystery Science Theatre 3000.

I love this fantastic look back at two classic Newsradio episodes.  My lord that show was great.

Here’s another great stroll back down TV memory lane (as well as another reason to dearly miss the great, late Phil Hartman): a look at one of the very best episodes of The Simpsons, and one of the very best half-hours of television ever: “A Fish Called Selma.”

The Wachowskis are working on a ten-episode sci-fi show for Netflix, and the co-showrunner will be Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski?  OK, I am interested.

Speaking of Netflix, is Rosario Dawson going to be playing Karen Page on Netflix’s upcoming Daredevil show?  That would be awesome.

This is a fun article: Kramer, Meet Feldman: 19 TV Bizarros.

Joss Whedon has some fascinating thoughts on the state of super-hero movies today.  I cannot wait to see what he has in store for us with The Avengers: Age of Ultron.  Meanwhile, is Nathan Fillion going to be in Guardians of the Galaxy???  Holy cow that’s … [continued]

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Ok, I thought the first Guardians of the Galaxy trailer was awesome, but this new one is even better.  I cannot wait for this!!

The only good human…!!”  I can’t wait for July 11th!!

I’m also really loving this peek at Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar:

Oy vey, this is what they’ve decided to call the Batman vs. Superman movie?  Devin over at badassdigest has it exactly right.  (Devin also has some very smart things to say about the state of the Spider-Man film series here.)

For the longest time it seemed like Marvel Studios was doing everything right with their film series, while the Marvel properties at the other studios (like Spider-Man), not to mention Warner Brothers with all their DC Comics properties, were floundering.  But the last week has seen quite a lot of alarming news coming out of Marvel.  First was word that Drew Goddard was out as show-runner of the Netflix Daredevil show, which was a huge disappointment to me.  (I really loved Mr. Goddard’s collaboration with Joss Whedon: The Cabin in the Woods.)  Then came the collapse of Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man film.  There’s a behind-the-scenes story that none of us know yet, but whatever went down, Edgar Wright has left the film that he’s been planning for literally YEARS.  The only reason Marvel is making an Ant-Man movie is because of Mr. Wright’s passion for the character.  (Ant-Man isn’t exactly a big name character!)  With Edgar Wright (the talented director behind Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim Versus The World, a film that I absolutely adore) directing and Paul Rudd cast in the lead, Ant-Man was a film I was super-excited about.  But with Edgar Wright out and word that they have also thrown out the script he co-wrote with Joe Cornish, I don’t know why Marvel is continuing with the film.  With the movie’s announced release date just a year away, this looks like a huge train-wreck in the making.  Is the golden age of Marvel Studios already over?  I hope not, but I am definitely worried.

A new Elmore Leonard adaptation?  With an awesome cast?  Yes, please:

OK, one more trailer for you, an adaptation of Mark Millar & Dave Gibbons’ comic book series The Secret Service:

I’m not quite sure why the film has been re-titled Kingsman, but whatever.  The comic book was awesome and that trailer is promising.  I’m loving Colin Firth as the James Bond-esque character.  This could be a lot of fun.

This past June 1st marked the 30th anniversary of the release of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.  Wow.  Here’s a wonderful retrospective piece on the film[continued]

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This “Modern Seinfeld” twitter feed is pretty amusing.  I guess the premise is these guys are coming up with Seinfeld ideas, if the show was being made today.  This one really made me laugh: George gets dumped for being a “toilet texter.” GEORGE: “What else are you supposed to do in there?!” JERRY: “I can think of a couple things.”

This is awesome: A New Yorker’s Tour of Ghostbusters.

Did you catch the second Robot Chicken DC Special earlier this month?  So funny.  This DC All Access video contains some of the great bits, and a peek behind-the-scenes:

This article about Police Academy sort of makes me want to re-watch it!  I haven’t seen any of those films in YEARS, but Police Academy #1-4 were HUGE parts of my childhood!!

How Gravity should have ended:

A new animated Batman short by Bruce Timm (mastermind behind Batman: The Animated Series) in honor of Batman’s 75th anniversary?  And it’s a retro pulp adventure?  And Kevin Conroy voices Batman?  YES PLEASE!

The funniest thing about this new trailer for 24: Live Another Day is the “red-band” text that opens it:

I have absolutely zero interest in the film Sabotage, but this article’s description of star Josh Holloway as “America’s Sean Bean” made me laugh and laugh.  HAS Mr. Holloway actually lived to the end of a movie he’s been in…??

I learned about Operation: Paperclip as a kid from The X-Files.  It was real, and represents a fascinating (and morally ambiguous) era of American history.  I was pleased to see it referenced as part of the fictional S.H.I.E.L.D./Hydra back-story in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  More on Operation: Paperclip and the Marvel universe can be found here.… [continued]

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Is a TV-show adaptation of Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Avon Oeming’s wonderful comic-book series Powers finally going to happen?  This project has been developed for YEARS, most recently at FX, but now it seems there’s a 10-episode order from Sony Pictures TV for Playstation, whatever the heck that means.  Powers is a phenomenal comic about cops in a world of super-heroes (click here for my detailed thoughts on the series) and, if done right, this could be a fantastic TV show.  I hope this actually comes together.

Is the new 24 twelve-episode mini-series going to be more like seasons 1-2 of 24 (good) or seasons 3-8 of 24 (not-so-good)?  Dunno.  Nice to see this first trailer, though there’s not much here to get me excited, just yet:

We also, at last, have our first glimpse at the long-in-the-works Sin City sequel.  The trailer is good but not great.  Here too, I need a little more to really get me excited.  I desperately want this movie to be good, but I think the time for a sequel may have passed.  Crossing my fingers on this one.

Each year, when I read about Paleyfest, I am insanely jealous and wish I could go to all of the panels.  Here’s a phenomenal rundown of the Parks and Recreation panel.  This is required reading for fans of Parks and Rec.  Lord I love that show. I can’t believe it’s survived cancellation as many times as it has, and it was just renewed for another season!

So, they’re really truly going ahead with Ghostbusters 3?  Without the participation of Bill Murray?  With Harold Ramis having just recently passed away?  With Ivan Reitman now saying he WON’T return to direct the film?  You know, for years and years I wanted this movie to happen, despite the huge risk that, so many years later, it’d be impossible to recapture the alchemy and make a film that was any good.  But now I’ve really soured on the whole idea.  Is it in any way conceivable that a Ghostbusters 3 could be any good?  Not to me.  This lengthy interview with Ivan Reitman is a fascinating look at the process behind this eons-in-development sequel, but I just think it’s a totally misguided notion.

Now, Brad Bird working to develop The Incredibles 2?  That is a sequel I can get behind!!!  I would love to see that come together.

I am absolutely tickled at the idea of Marvel Studios moving to a pattern in which they’d release one new movie each quarter.  That is an awesome dream!

Then there’s Fox, who still owns the rights to several Marvel series, including … [continued]

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First up, a big thank-you to everyone who has backed the kickstarter for the Jewish Comix Anthology!  This 250-page hardcover will feature the work of 47 Jewish artists, including Art Spiegelman, Harvey Pekar, Robert Crumb, Will Eisner, Joe Kubert… and me!  There’s only a week left to back the project, so please click here to get in on this!  There are some great backer rewards, including a just-added opportunity to own some original Motion Pictures cartoons by yours truly!  That’s right!  Would you like to own the original version of one of these three cartoons…?

MotionPictures.TheHobbit.sm

MotionPictures.DarkKnightRises.sm

MotionPictures.StarTrekIntoDarkness.sm

Click here to view the kickstarter and purchase those cartoons!  Thanks everyone!

OK, moving on… I have watched this trailer a LOT.  I have an excited feeling that this movie is going to take the world by storm.  (I hope so!!)

Oh man I can’t wait for this:

And this!  (It’s always apey-est just before the dawn…)

As if that Guardians of the Galaxy trailer I posted above wasn’t cool enough, they’ve also just released a new poster with a phenomenal tag-line.

Speaking of super-hero film news, Fox made some headlines recently with the announcement of the cast of their new Fantastic Four film.  I for one am crossing my fingers.  I have always loved the FF and nothing would make me happier than an amazing Fantastic Four movie.  But the casting seems to be rather off the mark.  I don’t mind Johnny Storm being black.  Michael B. Jordan is an awesome actor, I am happy he is in the movie.  And he seems like the only one of these four actors who feels like the right “fit” for his character — in this case the young, brash, fun-loving Johnny.  I am more worked up by skinny Jamie Bell being cast as Ben Grimm!!  And I like Miles Teller, he was phenomenal in The Spectacular Now (click here for my review), but he is WAY too young for Reed Richards.  In fact, ALL of these actors are too young, the FF should all be 30-somethings not 20-somethings.  I hope they have something good up their sleeves, but this casting doesn’t seem to indicate they plan on being too faithful to the comic book characters.  (At least, not the original FF.  Marvel comics’ “Ultimate” universe, created a decade-or-so ago, featured a teenaged FF.  But while there have been some great Ultimate universe stories, I was never that taken by that interpretation of the FF.)  And in a world where Marvel Studios exists, where they have been making amazing Marvel movies that are VERY faithful to the comics, I have little patience for another bad Fox-made FF movie.  Well, hope … [continued]

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In one of my earliest posts on the site, I wrote my own follow-up to the famous Comics Journal article “Martin Wagner Owes Me Fifty Bucks,” in which I listed several comic book series that remained tragically never-completed by their authors.  At the top of the list was David Lapham’s magnificent series Stray Bullets.  This independently published, black-and-white comic book blew me away as a teenager.  I still think it stands as a magnificent achievement, which makes the fact that the series stopped publication in the middle of a story tragically painful.  Mr. Lapham is still working in the comic book industry, and for years and years I have been hoping that he would some-day return to this series and complete his story.  It looks like that day has finally arrived, as Image Comics has listed Stray Bullets on their publication schedule for March, 2014.  I hope this is real!!!

Devin Faraci at badassdigest.com has listed his Ten Most Disappointing Films of 2013, and at the top of his list is Star Trek Into Darkness.  What Mr. Faraci wrote about the film so perfectly sums up my feelings that I don’t think I ever need to write another word about that terribly disappointing film.  Here is Mr. Faraci:

This isn’t technically a ranked list, but I saved this for last on purpose. There were many months leading up to Star Trek Into Darkness that allowed me to roll with the movie’s punch, but even still this broiling heap of nonsense left me deeply despondant. JJ Abrams had totally proven me wrong with Star Trek 2009, a movie that while not great was filled with heart and adventure and managed to work despite extraordinary script flaws. Star Trek Into Darkness brought back both the cast who made the first film live and the script flaws that almost sank it, except this time the script flaws were not going to get upstaged. Into Darkness is dumb, it’s complicated for no reason, it features reveals that are meaningless to the plot and it pisses away Star Trek‘s most name-brand villain in a plotline that disrespects hardcore fans while being meaningless to the coveted new audience. Star Trek Into Darkness is a movie so bad that it fails on almost every conceivable level, including mewling fan service. This isn’t the worst film of the year… but it’s without a doubt the film that squanders the most talent, money and good will. 

Amen.  (If you’re interested, here’s my review of Star Trek Into Darkness.)

Love this trailer for Christopher Nolan’s new film, Interstellar.  I don’t have a clue what the film is about, and that’s just the way I want … [continued]

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This is fantastic: The Seinfeld reunion episode from Curb Your Enthusiasm season #7, edited together.  Enjoy!

This is a great site that lists the various actors and actresses who played multiple characters in different Bond films.  Great fun for the Bond fans out there!

Speaking of Bond, there was BIG NEWS last month that the James Bond movie producers and MGM have finally ended the nearly fifty-year-long legal battle with Kevin McClory, the co-writer of Thunderball.  I’ve known about this rights conflict before, of course (it’s what led to another studio being able to make the competing Bond film, Never Say Never Again, that was released the same year as Octopussy), but what I didn’t realize was that this rights situation was what was preventing MGMN’s bond films from using Bloefeld or SPECTRE.  My reviews of the Daniel Craig Bond films have been lamenting the absence of those two classic villains, and I am overjoyed at the idea that now the way is open for Bloefeld to be revealed as the head of Quantum, and/or for Quantum to be revealed as a branch of SPECTRE.  I desperately hope the next Bond film walks through this now-open door!!

Hey, comic book fans: I’ve recently discovered two comic-book-related tumblrs that I am now obsessed with.  First is John Byrne Draws, which is chock-full of absolutely gorgeous scans of Mr. Byrne’s original art from the decades that he has been working in the industry.  There was a long, long time during which John Byrne was my very favorite comic book artist (and writer!), so this was a real treat.  Then there is comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis’ tumblr, which is a showcase for two things: 1) amazing, extraordinary scans of classic comic book art from across the decades — work by many different artists from many different eras, being linked only by being some of the finest comic book art ever drawn, and 2) Bendis’ incredibly open, honest, funny and insightful Q & As with his fans.  Both aspects of the tumblr are equally valuable — together, they’re an irresistible time-suck for me.

This is a fun article on 10 parts of the Indiana Jones films that bother the writer.  I hugely agree with numbers 4 and 5.  (Don’t worry, the article only focuses on the original Indy trilogy, rightly ignoring The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.)

This Star Trek reference-laden conversation between a Netflix employee and a customer is apparently real, and it is amazing.

This is a great article on two of my very favorite novels: Isaac Asimov’s The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun.  Oh man do I love those two … [continued]

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This is fantastic: Tom Hiddleston (who played Loki in both Thor movies and The Avengers) doing a phneomenal impression of Owen Wilson, had Owen been cast as Loki.  Check this out.

West Wing fans!  Did you see this clip of Allison Janney performing The Jackal on The Arsenio Hall Show?  This is an obscure reference, but one that any die-hard West Wing fan will appreciate:

This blog from Kevin Smith gives an intriguing update on his fast-developed, absolutely bonkers weird-sounding new movie, Tusk.  Click here for even more info.  Despite being an enormous fan of Kevin Smith, I still haven’t seen Red State.  I want to see it, for sure, since I can’t imagine not having seen one of Mr. Smith’s films, but it just doesn’t interest me that much.  So far, I am bummed to say that Tusk is trending the same way, but it’s such a loony concept that I am intrigued.  It’ll be interesting to see how this develops.

This is a great short little retrospective of Jim Henson’s life and work.  I very much want to read Brian Jay Jones’ biography of Jim Henson, it sounds like a really fascinating book.

OK, this is a very geeky link, but I loved this.  An enterprising photoshopper has created images showing how awesome the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast would have looked in Original Series uniforms.  So great.

There are a lot of stories cropping up about behind-the-scenes issues on the pre-production of Star Wars: Episode VII.  Seems Disney is pushing for that 2015 release date, come hell or high water.  More info here.  I hope it’s all just talk.  I don’t have much hope that I will ever again in my lifetime see a great Star Wars film, but that little ember of hope does still exist, deep inside me.  Like Fox Mulder, I want to believe!

Chris Claremont is, I would argue, single-handedly responsible for the incredible popularity of the X-Men today.  Mr. Claremont wrote The Uncanny X-Men comic book, and a truck-load of spinoffs and mini-series and annuals and other special events, for a jaw-dropping seventeen years, from the ’70s into the ’90s.  (In one of the great injustices of the medium’s history, he was sort of pushed off of the series when his work began to be overshadowed by the popularity of the superstar artists working at Marvel in those days.)  A new documentary about his career — focusing on that incredible seventeen year run on the X-Men — has just been released, and I am dying to see it.  This is a fantastic article about a recent screening of the film, followed by a Q & A [continued]

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Want to loose an hour of your life?  Spend some time reading through the comments section of this article that poses the question: what is the single best episode of any genre TV show ever?  I don’t agree with all the responses, of course, but I agree with a LOT of ’em… and they all make me want to devote the next year of my life to go-ing back and re-watching all of my favorite sci-fi shows…!!

Can you believe The Simpsons is entering its 25th season???  That is just insane!  Here is a great interview with current Simpsons show-runner Al Jean.  I have about two years’ worth of Simpsons episodes sitting unwatched in my Tivo queue.  I still love The Simpsons but somewhere along the line I just lost my eagerness to see the new episodes as they aired each week… and now it’s been many, many months since I have watched one of the latest episodes.  It’s hard for me to believe this has happened!  Maybe this will get me excited for the show again: the news that Guillermo del Toro directed the opening couch gag segment of this year’s Treehouse of Horror episode, that aired last night.  Cool.  I haven’t watched the episode yet, but it just might be time to dip into my queue and check it out!  Click here to watch the entire opening segment, and to hear more from Guillermo del Toro about creating that elaborate sequence.

This is interesting: Pixar’s in-development film The Good Dinosaur has had its release date pushed back by A YEAR AND A HALF.  Wow.   That means that 2014 will be the first year without a new Pixar film since 2005.  On the one hand, I am pleased to see a major studio taking the time to get a movie done right, rather than rushing to meet a release date.  On the other hand, while I don’t know the full story, I feel badly for the original director, Bob Peterson, who was removed off the film he had helped to create and develop.

From J.W. Rinzler’s upcoming book The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, io9 has collected a fascinating (oops, wrong Star franchise) list of 10 things you probably didn’t know about Return of the Jedi.  This is a must-read for all Star Wars fans.  Speaking of Star Wars and i09, I also love their list of the 9 least-competent Jedi.  I don’t know anything about the expanded universe characters, but they’re certainly right on the money about Qui-Gon Jin.  (And Ben Kenobi.  And Yoda.  And Luke.)

I’ve been very critical of Star Trek Into Darkness on this site.  … [continued]

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This is an old clip (it’s from 2012), but I just saw it for the first time and loved it: a revival of “Who’s on First” with Jimmy Fallon, Billy Crystal, and Jerry Seinfeld!

This made me laugh a LOT.  Ladies and gentlemen:  Good Will Batman.

This is an interesting article on the production of season two of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom, a show I find enjoyable though frustrating.  (I was fascinated to learn the reason that season two only ran nine episodes, rather than ten.)

Bill Hunt runs one of my very favorite web-sites out there, The Digital Bits.  He recently wrote a phenomenal editorial calling Paramount to task for their terrible treatment of the Star Trek films on DVD/blu-ray, specifically the disappointing blu-ray release of Into Darkness (in which Paramount created all sorts of special features for the movie but, instead of putting them all on the blu-ray, released individual featurettes to different vendors to be exclusive material just for them… making it impossible for Trek fans to get all of this material unless they wanted to go out and buy eight different copies of the blu-ray, each from a different vendor).  I agree 100% with everything Mr. Hunt wrote.  Well done.

Speaking of Star Trek Into Darkness, Devin Faraci at Badassdigest has written a brilliant evisceration of the film and a disturbing analysis of how co-screenwriter Bob Orci’s conspiracy “Truther” theories about 9/11 made it into the film’s story-line.  The idea that those sorts of nonsensical ideas about 9/11 made it into any big-budget blockbuster would be concerning, and the thought that these notions are a part of a Star Trek film — a series justly known for its progressive, liberal tackling of modern-day issues — is hugely upsetting to me.

This is a terrific interview with the show-runners of the new Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. show, Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen.  This husband and wife pairing can be overshadowed by Jed’s more-famous brother Joss (who is executive-producing the show), but I have loved their work on Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (Maurissa KILLS on the musical commentary track!), and even some terrific Terminator comic books they wrote for Dark Horse comics a year or two ago.  I have a lot of faith in their talents.  I hope all the ingredients come together for this to be a great TV show.

Can this be true?  The blu-ray release of Paul Feig’s The Heat (click here for my review) features a commentary track by the original MST3K guys??  Well, I am definitely buying that blu-ray now!!

So… the new Robocop is a Cylon??

So…R.I.P. Futurama… again.  In honor of the show’s recent cancellation … [continued]

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Ben Affleck is Batman? And Other News Around the Net

So Ben Affleck will be playing Bruce Wayne/Batman in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel (currently titled Superman vs Batman).  How about that?  I have very mixed feelings about this announcement, but this isn’t coming from a place of being an Affleck hater.  Quite the contrary, I have been a fan of Mr. Affleck since the beginning of his career (I’m talking School Ties days!).  I’ve always enjoyed his work.  I think he’s a terrific actor, equally adept at playing comedy or drama.  I’ve always thought so, but what really made me a fan of Mr. Affleck was listening to his candid and hysterical participation in the commentary tracks for Kevin Smith’s early films, specifically Mallrats and Chasing Amy.  Mr. Affleck is OK in Mallrats and superb in Chasing Amy, but he is so funny, so genuine and so likable on the commentary tracks that I was solidified as a huge fan of his.  When considering Mr. Affleck as a superhero, one must of course consider Daredevil.  I am in the minority here but I am a big fan of that film.  I think it’s great, a nice serious take on the Daredevil character, and I thought Mr. Affleck was terrific in the title role.  I have always been bummed we never got a sequel (particularly since the narrative was positioned, at the end of the film, for a sequel to take on the classic Frank Miller Daredevil story-line “Born Again,” which I would KILL to someday see on a movie screen).

So why am I having a hard time imagining Mr. Affleck playing Batman?  To be honest, I’m not sure.  It might be that he is just too big a name for the role.  He’s a great actor, but not necessarily the type who vanishes into his different roles.  I am wondering if he as Ben Affleck is too well known to portray this character — will be be able to see Batman when watching him, rather than Ben Affleck?  Or is the issue that I have always found him to be a very likable performer — might he be TOO likable to portray Batman, a very grim character?

I am dubious, but on the other hand I am pleased that Warner Brothers are shooting high and looking to assemble a high-profile cast for the Superman sequel.  We’ll all see how it turns out on July 17, 2015…

In other news:

This could be one of my favorite articles I’ve ever read on-line: Devin Faraci at badassdigest.com on How Lost and The X-Files Are Exactly Like All His Failed Relationships.  So funny, and his analysis of those two shows that both collapsed in the ninth inning is … [continued]

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Let’s begin the day with this phenomenal article from badassdigest.com about how Optimus Prime’s death defined a generation of kids.  Do you want to understand the depths of my geeky heart?  Then read that article.  My parents wouldn’t let me see Transformers: The Movie in theatres, but I was allowed to rent it on video.  I didn’t cry, but I was shocked by the brutal deaths of all my beloved characters in the film’s opening minutes.  When Optimus Prime bought the farm I was changed forever.  I had loved the Transformers before, but one viewing of Transformers: The Movie sealed that flick’s place in my heart forever.  “Megatron… must be stopped.  No matter the cost.”

Boy, those crazy guys and gals at badassdigest.com have a direct line into my psyche these days, because while the experience of seeing Transformers: The Movie was seminal, so too was my discovery of Voltron.  This magnificent article examines the mysterious origins of Voltron, a show that combined and repurposed several different Japanese cartoons.  Oh my lord I loved Voltron.  The continuity of that show — the way story-lines flowed from one episode to the next — was a staggering discovery to me as a kid, and I fell in love hard.  To this day, I have a love for long-running continuing stories in any media (Movies, TV, books, comic books, etc.), and I think that began as a kid when I discovered Voltron and Robotech…

I just discovered Jerry Seinfeld’s web-series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and it is magnificent.  I love stand-up comedy and I loved Seinfeld, so no surprise I think this series of shorts of Jerry hanging out with his very funny pals is phenomenal.  With this project, Seinfeld has inched even closer to truly having made a show about nothing.  Genius.  I have already watched them all.  If you haven’t seen this, click on the above link immediately.

Want to watch Ewan McGregor tell a hilarious story about filming the Star Wars prequels?  Jump to 7:50 below:

So far I am very, very excited for next year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.  My only cause for worry?  The film’s very unimpressive redesign of the Sentinels.  I wish they had stuck a lot closer to the classic, iconic original design by John Byrne.  The Sentinels aren’t just any robots, they have a very specific look, and this isn’t it.

As for this summer’s X-Men movie, I have already written my review of the good-but-not-great new Wolverine solo film, The Wolverine.  Click here for a fascinating interview with Chris Claremont, who shares his thoughts on the film.  Chris Claremont didn’t create the X-Men or Wolverine, but in … [continued]

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News Around the Net: Comic-Con Edition!

Lots of cool news coming out of Comic-Con this week!

Let’s begin with the hilarious Game of Thrones “In Memoriam” video:

Look!  It’s Caesar and his Ape Council!  Awesome.

The Simpsons is going to do a crossover episode with Family Guy?  Awesome!  Even more exciting?  The Simpsons is also going to do a crossover with the cancelled-again Futurama!!!  Oh boy I can’t wait for that.

Speaking of crossovers, in news that I found VERY surprising, DC/Warner Brothers have announced that the follow-up to Man of Steel is going to be a Batman/Superman film.  As much as I love all the allusions, in the announcement, to the seminal Superman-Batman grudge match in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns (and I love the Frank Miller-inspired Batman/Superman logo that you’ll see if you scroll down this article) I must confess to not be so excited that they are rushing into a crossover film.  I felt that Man of Steel had a lot of flaws, but it was a terrific reintroduction of Superman.  I’d love to see them get a little deeper into exploring this new incarnation of the character, before throwing him into a Batman crossover film.  Plus, since it seems clear that Christian Bale will not be reprising the role, wouldn’t it be weird to introduce a new Batman in this crossover film, without a stand-alone film of his own under his belt?  The whole thing feels to me that they are rushing things in order to combat Marvel’s success with The Avengers.

Still, if done right, a Batman/Superman film could sure be awesome.  I must admit that despite my qualms, there is some geeky excitement there.

I feel similarly about Marvel’s announcement that The Avengers 2 will be called Age of Ultron The deadly, humanity-hating robot Ultron is a classic Avengers villain, and the thought of seeing him realized on film should be tremendously exciting.  And it is, for sure.  It’s just that I am really thrown for a loop since after seeing Thanos at the end of The Avengers, and with the cosmic Guardians of the Galaxy set as one of Marvel’s Phase 2 films coming before Avengers 2, it seemed like Marvel was setting the stage for a big cosmic story with Thanos as the main bad-guy.  I thought that was such an awesome plan.  I am very uncertain, now, as to how Ultron is going to play into all that.  Is Thanos going to be held until The Avengers 3?  That is a looong way away!

Adding to my uncertainty is the specificity of the subtitle of Age of Ultron.  That is actually the title of a Marvel Comics crossover series that … [continued]

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News Around the Net

New production video for The Hobbit!  Yay!

Do you have $275 burning a hole in your pocket?  Then why not consider buying yourself (or me!) a print of Drew Struzan’s gorgeous Dark Tower painting (originally featured in Frank Darabont’s vastly underrated adaptation of Stephen King’s The Mist)?

Star Trek geek red alert!  This is an outstanding, in-depth article about the special effects of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, including a focus on the brilliant redesign of the USS Enterprise for that film (which still stands, in my mind, as the definitive version of the Enterprise).

Speaking of Star Trek, this is an interesting — albeit completely wrong-headed — defense of Star Trek: Voyager.  The writer is correct in lamenting the complete absence on TV these days of the type of optimistic, humanistic sci-fi that Star Trek embodied.  And he is also correct in praising the strong female characters of Voyager, and the way that, on the show, “female authority was assumed and unquestioned.”  That’s still a surprisingly forward-thinking and not-all-that-common point of view for a mainstream TV show.  Unfortunately, I wish Voyager was actually the groundbreaking show that writer remembers.  I’m afraid to say that Voyager was derivative and boring, a show that totally failed to follow through on any aspect of its strong premise, instead presenting us with rehashed, watered down versions of Trek stories we’d seen done before, and far better.  It’s the worst of the Trek series by quite a wide margin, in my opinion.

Boy, I loved Ender’s Game when I first read it a decade or two ago, but the more I learn of Orson Scott Card’s political views, the more disappointed I become.  Meredith Borders at badassdigest.com has written a concise and powerful evisceration of Mr. Card’s most recent anti-gay rights statement, and I think it’s worth a read.

As a weirdly connected follow-up piece, allow me to recommend this spotlight on the life of Conrad Veidt.  I didn’t think I knew who he was, until I ready the article and realized that I did (and I bet you do too, if you’ve ever seen Casablanca), but I didn’t know about his incredible life.  Very cool short article.

Nothing particularly revelatory in this first teaser poster for Captain America 2 I’m excited that they will be adapting Ed Brubaker’s fantastic Winter Soldier storyline — I hope they don’t stray too far from his original story.  We’ll see.

Oh, I love this possible premise for a sequel to This is the End!  I can’t imagine we’ll ever actually see that, but if they made that movie I’d be there.

Let’s end with the most awesome thing I have seen … [continued]

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OK, this is the greatest thing I have seen in a long time (BUT BEWARE SPOILERS IF YOU ARE NOT UP TO DATE WITH GAME OF THRONES!!!)

I love The Princess Bride!

I’ve completely lost faith in M. Night Shyalaman over the past decade, but that being said I still think Unbreakable is his best film, and I would so love for the long-rumored sequel to someday happen.  The one flaw with Unbreakable, in my mind, is that the story feels incomplete — it feels like the first act of a larger story.  So every time Mr. Shyamalan talks about a possible sequel, I am happy.

So this is interesting: in the months after the success of Skyfall, there was a lot of talk that Bond 24 and 25 (the next two Bond films) would be two connected films.  That was denied by the Bond producers.  But amidst the recent news that Skyfall Director will be returning for the next Bond film, the 24th, comes this rumor that Mr. Mendes is going to commit to helm the 25th Bond film as well!  I love the idea of a two-part Bond film, that would be super-cool if that happens.

Zack Snyder (director of Man of Steel) and Bruce Timm (mastermind behind Batman: The Animated Series) are collaborating on a Superman short film in honor of Superman’s 75th anniversary?  Awesome!

I have Superman because of my huge anticipation for The Man of Steel (which I hope to see this weekend!!), so now’s as good a time as any to read this terrific piece looking back at Superman II!  That film was a HUGE part of my childhood…!!

There’s been a lot of rumors flying in recent weeks about the inclusion of the character of Quicksilver in both Fox’s upcoming X-Men movie, Days of Future Past, as well as the Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ upcoming Avengers 2.  It will be fascinating to see how this all shakes out!

(Speaking of Days of Future PastNixon!  Love it!)

Anytime anyone is talking about Escape From the Planet of the Apes, I take notice!

And with that, my friends, I wish you all a great weekend.  I’ll be back next week with my thoughts on Man of Steel, season four of Arrested Development, and cartoons making fun of Star Trek Into Darkness.  Hope to see you all back here soon!… [continued]

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First of all: Arrested Development.  Sadly for me, life has intervened and, despite my years-long anticipation, I have not yet seen a single second of the new Netflix season.  But rest assured, friends, that very shortly I will be devouring these new episodes and I will be back here, of course, with my detailed thoughts.  Hopefully very soon!!

This will take some time to read, but boy is it worth it: the Onion A.V. Club’s in-depth, career-spanning interview with comedian Patton Oswalt.

I wasn’t nearly as in love with Skyfall as the rest of the world seemed to be (click here for my original review), but I am excited by the news that, contrary to reports from late last year, Sam Mendes just might return to direct the next Bond film.  I hope that happens.  No let’s bring back QUANTUM and make them a real, SPECTRE-like threat to Bond!

This is hilarious and I have never loved George Takei more.  Click here to see Mr. Takei’s written responses to various bigoted anti-gay marriage protesters.

Speaking of Star Trek, I love this piece about a non-Star Trek fan who discovered Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.  I still feel strongly that the under-loved Deep Space Nine is the strongest of the Star Trek series.  Sigh.  I miss the days of great new Star Trek on TV every week…!

Still speaking of Star Trek, this is a fantastic piece that dissects crazy, ill-advised efforts that J.J. Abrams went to in order to mislead folks (OK, flat-out lie) about the identity of the character Benedict Cumberbatch was playing in Star Trek Into Darkness.  I was tremendously disappointed by the Trek sequel (click here for my review) and this article supports and further fleshes out many of the points I made in my review.

I posted the first teaser for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show, but I don’t think I ever posted the longer, three-minute version.  Check it out.

Same goes for this deliriously huge trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s new film Pacific Rim.  This was released a few weeks ago already, but if you haven’t seen it yet, you should take a look:

I lamented the cancellation of Star Wars: The Clone Wars a few weeks ago, so I am happy to see that many of that show’s key creative players are involved in a new, in-the-works Star Wars animated project, set between Episodes III and IV.  I still feel terribly disappointed that the Clone Wars story was cut off unfinished.  Dare I hope that this new series will resurrect some unfinished story-threads and characters from the Clone Wars series…?

I’ll leave … [continued]

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News Around the Net!

I’ve enjoyed reading Howard Kurtz’s writing — about politics, and about media — over the years.  He screwed up big-time in his reporting about Jason Collins’ coming out as gay.  But hoo, boy, this video of him getting mercilessly grilled — on his own CNN show — about the incident is pretty brutal.  Click here to see a very uncomfortable fifteen minutes.  I was like a deer in the headlights — I couldn’t look away.

Another great season (thank goodness it’s not the last!!) of Parks and Recreation has recently wrapped up, and so once again Hitfix’s Alan Sepinwall has another great post-season wrap-up interview with Parks & Rec’s show-runner (who also has been playing Dwight’s cousin Mose on The Office for the better part of a decade).  Click here to read the full interview.  (Fortunately, soon after that interview was conducted, the news broke that Parks and Rec has indeed been renewed for a sixth season.)

Is Star Wars the most over-rated franchise ever??  Click here for another fantastic opinion piece from Badass Digest’s Devin Faraci.  One fantastic film and one very good film out of six?  It’s sort of hard to argue with that…

Speaking of Mr. Faraci, here is a great interview with Iron Man 3 director/co-writer Shane Black, and Marvel Studios head-honcho Kevin Feige.  (If you missed it, my review of Iron Man 3 is here.)

If you’re a comic book fan and you don’t know who Len Wein is, it’s time to learn.  Click here for a wonderful interview with the man who had his hand in creating the All-New X-Men back in the ’70s.

I’ve been waiting for Alfonso Cuaron’s next film for a while (I think Children of Men is pretty much a masterpiece), and this first look at Gravity has me drooling:

Jack Bauer might return — but not in the long-talked-about movie, but rather in a new 24 TV series?  That is a wild idea!  I loved 24 when it began, but the series’ formulaic story-telling caused me to lose patience by the end, and I didn’t actually watch the last season.  But with better writing, I definitely think there is still life in the character and the franchise.  I am bummed the movie never happened, but I’d definitely check out a new 24 TV series.  It’ll be interesting to see if this goes anywhere…  UPDATE!  It’s happening!  24: Live Another Day will run 12 episodes and premiere next May.  Wow.  Could it be good?  (That spin on the Die Another Day Bond title doesn’t impress me.)  Chloe, open a socket!

So they’ve finally made a movie of Ender’s Game?  Feels like this … [continued]

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Holy cow, this sneak peek (first shown at Wondercon) of Guillermo del Toro’s new film Pacific Rim is spectacular:

AAAARGH — Futurama has been cancelled AGAIN??  Sad news.  I definitely consider myself blessed that Matt Groening’s show has risen from cancellation not once but twice already, but that’s not stopping me from hoping that the still-fantastic sci-fi comedy will somehow resurrect itself yet again.

I was also bummed by the news that Star Wars: The Clone Wars has been cancelled.  Not a shocker that the show was a casualty of Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm, but still a disappointment.  I haven’t been a die-hard fan of the show, but I have watched quite a few episodes, particularly of the later seasons.  The show came a LONG way from the embarrassingly terrible animated film released a few years back.  The animation has become quite spectacular — the action scenes are out of this world amazing, and even the character animation has become really quite good.  I have enjoyed the show’s explorations of the sci-fi universe, and it’s been a pretty adult, action-packed show.  Not GREAT Star Wars, but very very good Star Wars.  I can understand Disney’s wanting to start fresh, but it seems like a huge wasted opportunity to not allow the show to finish its run and wrap up its stories.  After five seasons, it really felt to me that The Clone Wars was building to something — and that the series was cut off mid-stream, with story-lines and character arcs unresolved, means that the show won’t have much of a future life.  Who’d want to start watching the show’s hundred-some odd episodes, now, knowing that the show ends unfinished?  It seems crazy to me that Disney didn’t allow the show to have at least one more season to complete its story.  It’s a shame and a waste, both creatively (because the story is left incomplete) and financially (because wouldn’t Disney be able to make a lot more money off of the show in future years, through syndication, DVD/blu-ray sales, etc., if it had been completed??).

This is a fantastic, well-reasoned article comparing Marvel’s currently-running big crossover series, Age of Ultron, very favorably with what is happening these days with DC’s “New 52.”  I agree wholeheartedly.

I also agree wholeheartedly with this piece by Devin Faraci, arguing how wrong-headed the depiction of James T. Kirk’s taking of the Kobayashi Maru test was in 2009’s Star Trek.  That film showed Kirk brazenly cheating on the test, which Devin argues is a complete misunderstanding of what was suggested in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  I think Devin is 100% correct, and that Kobayashi Maru scene is one of … [continued]

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The great Dick Cavett has a phenomenal piece up at nytimes.com on all of the recent Tonight Show silliness.  This is definitely worth a read.

Also worth your time: the moving words of tribute posted at AICN in remembrance of the great Roger Ebert.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these Arrested Development posters!!  May 26th just cannot come soon enough!

And speaking of things I love love love — this trailer for Man of Steel:

That is just spectacular, action-packed and emotionally rich.  Kevin Costner’s delivery of the line “you are my son” just kills me.  If the film delivers on half of the promise of this trailer, we are in for a hell of a ride this summer.

And here is the final full Star Trek Into Dark Knight (I mean, Into Darkness) trailer:

That’s a very solid trailer, showing us more than we saw before though still keeping most of the film’s major plot points under wraps.  We still don’t know if Bennedict Cumberbatch is playing Khan or not, which frustrates me but I guess we’ll all know for sure pretty soon!  I am also interested to see how they undo all the damage we see poor old Enterprise taking in this trailer.  Are we already going to see a refit-Enterprise in this rebooted film series?  (That actually gives me hope that the next Trek film will see fit to bring the design of the Enterprise back a little closer to the classic original or, even better, to the refit-Enterprise of the first six Trek movies, which to me still stands as one of the most gorgeous space-ship designs ever, far superior to the bulky monstrosity of the Enterprise in J.J. Abrams’ films.  We’ll see…!)

I always get excited when an original sci-fi film (not an adaptation, not a sequel or prequel or re-imagining) is released, and Neil Blomkamp’s Elysium — his follow-up to the phenomenal District 9 — looks absolutely dynamite.  Take a peek:

Here’s a terrific Q & A with Ronald D. Moore, a long-time Star Trek writer (he was a key creative force on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and the creator/show-runner of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica.  (Part two of the Q & A is here.)  Mr. Moore has been absent from television for too long now, I hope the series he is working on for Sy-Fy comes together.

This is a great behind-the-scenes pic from Ridley Scott’s original Alien.  And these are also great, showing off the gorgeous model-work used to bring the refit U.S.S. Enterprise (still the greatest of all the Enterprise designs) to life in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.[continued]

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News Around the Net (and a rant about Prometheus!)

So, OK, bloody disgusting ran an article that Fox doesn’t know what to do with a proposed sequel to Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, and that the source of the problem is that when Lost’s Damon Lindelof re-wrote Jon Spaihts’ original Alien prequel script into what became Prometheus, he turned a one-shot film into the start of a trilogy, except now he isn’t returning for film two and so Ridley Scott and Fox are left holding the bag with no idea where to take the story next.  The article is pretty fierce in attacking Mr. Lindelof, and no surprise he has responded to defend himself, saying that Ridley Scott and everyone at Fox all wanted Prometheus to be the start of a trilogy and explaining why he isn’t returning for the sequel.  I have no reason not to take Mr. Lindelof at his word, but the real story to me, here, is how clear Mr. Lindelof’s comments illustrate the brain-dead decision-making that went into the making of Prometheus.  Mr. Lindelof comments that the whole idea was that, if/when they made a sequel to Prometheus, they didn’t want that sequel to be the already-made original Alien.  They wanted room to explore the story further, to tell what he describes as a “parallel” story to the events of Alien and its sequels.  That’s why instead of making the planet that they find in Prometheus LV-427, the planet where Ripley finds the crashed ship and the alien eggs in Alien, they decided to set Prometheus on a different planet (despite the fact that they kept in the film the Engineer’s ship that looks exactly like the one Ripley found, crashing at the end so it looks exactly like what we saw in Alien.  Guess those Engineers just crashed their ships on LOTS of barren planets, huh?  So stupid!!).  Am I the only one who sees how easily the filmmakers could have had their cake and eaten it too?  Had they stuck with Jon Spaihts’ original plan, the events of Prometheus would have beautifully lined up with what we saw in Alien, explaining who the Engineers were and how their ship carrying Alien eggs wound up crashed on that planet… and meanwhile, had the movie ended exactly the way it did, with Dr. Shaw and David’s head surviving the Engineer’s rampage and setting off in search of the Engineer’s home-world, they could have  had their “parallel” story-line right there, continuing to explore Shaw’s adventures in future films without connecting any further to Ripley.  Am I right or am I crazy??  Once again I am struck by what an enormous, jaw-dropping missed opportunity Prometheus was.  (Click here for my original review [continued]

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This high school-set Game of Thrones parody, School of Thrones, is fantastic.  Worth it for the awesome opening credits alone.

I often wax poetic about my love for the great, much-missed The Larry Sanders Show.  My buddy Ethan e-mailed me this link to a terrific interview with Jeffrey Tambor (who played Hank “Hey Now!” Kingsley), filled with stories about his work on the show.  A great read.

Louis C.K. has a new stand-up special on HBO in April.  Love this trailer:

I must say I am shocked that, despite the BIG success of 2007’s The Simpsons Movie (I can’t believe it was that long ago, already!), they are not working on another one.  That’s a shame.

I have spent a long time looking at this awesome infographic that lays out the entire backwards-and-forwards structure of Christopher Nolan’s fantastic film Memento.  Wild.

I was VERY excited to read that an extended cut has recently been discovered of “The Wounded” and several other episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation.  I hope some of this footage eventually makes it onto the blu-rays!  I LOVED the extended cut of “The Measure of a Man” on the season 2 blu-ray, and I would kill to see some more extended cuts of episodes in the future…  And “The Wounded” is one of my favorite TNG episodes!  (I love O’Brien!)

Speaking of Trek, a new teaser trailer was released a few weeks ago:

Solid trailer.  God I hope this movie doesn’t let me down.

Speaking of trailers — I still can’t believe they really made a movie of the deliriously unhinged, profane comic book Kick Ass.  And now they’ve made a sequel?  This new red-band trailer is great.  The kids have grown up, but this could still work.  (Though holy cow, how huge is Aaron Taylor-Johnson — who plays the titular geek kid turned super-hero, Kick Ass — now??  It’s weird to see puny Dave Lizewski so pumped.)  I LOVE that they used Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s super-villain name from the comics!  And Jim Carrey is in this???  This movie is going to be crazy.  I can’t wait.

I’ve never seen Veronica Mars, but if this is true that a Kickstarter campaign has successfully lead to the show’s revival as a movie, that is super-cool.  I am all for the rescue of fan-favorite, cult properties.  Serenity 2, anyone??  (No, says Joss Whedon.  Sigh!!)

Christopher Guest (A Mighty Wind, Best in Show, Waiting for Guffman) is masterminding a new show for HBO?  Yes, please!

Hmmm… are there any other HBO shows coming up that I’m looking forward to?  Oh, yeah, there is one:

[continued]

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Awesome new Iron Man 3 Trailer & News Around the Net!

I am absolutely loving this new Iron Man 3 trailer:

This movie looks fantastic from what we have seen so far.  I love seeing Tony really challenged.  I love the idea of connecting this film to the Avengers not by featuring other super-heroic characters, but by exploring the psychological ramifications of what Tony went through in that film.  I love what we have seen of Ben Kinglsey’s interpretation of the Mandarin as a media-savvy terrorist.  I love the teases of what looks to be some great action set-pieces.  It’s Shane Black working again with Robert Downey Jr.  I am in.

I am intrigued by this announcement of The X-Files Season 10 in comic-book form.  And I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Faraci’s statement that the time is ripe for an X-Files revival.  I posted a lament when the date for the alien invasion came and went a few months ago, with no sign of the massive X-Files third movie I had been hoping for.  I would love to see that remedied someday, before all the actors get too old.  A man can hope…

I am always too busy over the summer to watch The Daily Show, a fact which eased my initial dismay when reading this announcement that Jon Stewart is taking 12 weeks off from the show to direct a film.  What’s particularly fascinating is that Mr. Stewart isn’t planning on directing a comedy, but rather an adaptation (that he has written) of the book Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival.  The book was written by Maziar Bahari and Aimee Molloy, and tells the true story of the detention and torture of Mr. Bahari, a BBC journalist, for 118 days in Iran.  Viewers of The Daily Show might recall Mr. Bahari, as he appeared on the show both before and after his ordeal.  One of the pieces of evidence used against him by the Iranians, who accused him of being a spy, was a previous comic appearance he had made on The Daily Show.

The fact that Warner Brothers seems to have no idea what to do with all of the DC Universe super-hero franchises they own, exhibited by their inability to get a Justice League movie off the ground, would be hilarious if it wasn’t so disappointing to folks like me who would love to see a whole slew of kick-ass DC movies.  Here’s hoping Zack Snyder’s Superman film doesn’t disappoint.  Going back to Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale seems like a desperation move to me.  Though I would rather see Christian Bale back in the bat-suit than Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as had been rumored. Look, I think Joseph Gordon-Levitt … [continued]

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At last!  Our first glimpse at footage from Game of Thrones season three!

This is a very funny article: Six Horrible Aftermaths Implied by Movies with Happy Endings.

Here is a terrific, in-depth interview with the show-runner of the phenomenal Parks and Recreation, Mike Schur.  It’s no coincidence that the first half-hour of last week’s Parks and Rec double-episode felt like it could have been a series finale — that’s because it was designed to have served as such, had NBC not ordered nine additional episodes for this season.

Kristen Wiig will be appearing in the new episodes of Arrested Development??  And she is playing a young version of Lucille Bluth?  Brilliant!!

I just wrote about Layer Cake the other day, and I am excited that Matthew Vaughn — who also directed Kick Ass (click here for my review) and X-Men: First Class (click here for my review) — in addition to producing the next X-Men film (the adaptation of the seminal Days of Future Past that will be directed by Bryan Singer, returning at last to the franchise he began) has also signed on to produce Fox’s upcoming Fantastic Four film (which will thankfully be a total reboot, scrapping the two lame films directed by Tim Story).  I love that crazy comic book writer Mark Millar (who wrote the comic book Kick Ass, which Mr. Vaughn directed as a film) will be overseeing Fox’s upcoming super-hero films (X-Men, Fantastic Four, etc.) and I really love that his frequent collaborator Mr. Vaughn also seems to be stepping into a larger supervisory role.  It’s obvious that Fox is attempting to shamelessly imitate the success of Marvel Studio’s crossover Avengers film, but if it results in more great super-hero films for us, then I have no problem with that!

Speaking of Bryan Singer’s upcoming X-Men film, Days of Future Past, I really hope he’s serious about fixing what Brett Ratner did to the franchise in the catastrophically disappointing X3.  If they’re playing around with time-travel and alternate timelines, this is a golden opportunity to at long-last course-correct this franchise back to what worked in the first two X-Men films.  I home Mr. Singer can pull it off.

Sticking with super-hero movie news for a second, this is an interesting comparison of the Spidey-Suit in this past summer’s The Amazing Spider-Man and the far superior, re-designed look for the sequel.  (And I agree with the author of that post — MY cooler of haterade for Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man ALSO runs deep!  Here’s hoping the sequel is better.)

And here is an AWESOME look at Ben Kingsley in Iron Man 3!  I … [continued]

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News Around the Net

Sad news that actor Robert F. Chew, who played Proposition Joe on The Wire, has passed away.  Close your eyes, Joe.

In another piece of sad news, writer Peter David recently suffered a stroke.  Mr. David is a prolific author of novels and comic books, and I have been loving his work for well over twenty years.  His run on DC Comics’ Star Trek series in the eighties is one of the things that got me into comics, and I still think those comics rank among the very best Star Trek stories ever told, in any format.  He’s written a number of Trek novels, as well, with Q-in-Law (with the inspired pairing of Q and Lwaxana Troi) and Vendetta (the best Borg story ever told, and what I so wanted First Contact to be) being my favorites.  For any fellow fans of Mr. David out there, here is how you can help.

In my review of Django Unchained, I compared Quentin Tarantino’s film to Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles.  A recent “behind the scenes pic of the day” at aintitcoolnews featured a wonderful shot from Blazing Saddles, and if you’re looking to waste some time, I encourage you to scroll down and read that article’s really fun talkback section, which is filled with quote after quote from that spectacular film.  (Puts me in the mood to pop Blazing Saddles into my DVD player right now…!)

Speaking of Django, apparently there is a teensy tiny connection between Django Unchained and Pulp Fiction.  OK then.

Trekcore has posted an extraordinarily in-depth seven-part interview with Roger Meyer Burnett, one-half of the duo responsible for the wonderful special features on the new Star Trek: The Next Generation blu-ray sets.  Here is part one.  Mr. Meyer is absolutely correct in that, until now, the Star Trek films and TV shows on DVD/blu-ray have NEVER had the type of quality special features that they deserve.  The feature-length documentaries on the TNG season 1 and 2 blu-ray sets are a big part of why they scored so high on my list of the Top 10 DVDs/Blu-Rays of 2012.  They are amazing, and interesting and informative even for a long-term, hard-core Trek fan like myself.  This interview with Mr. Burnett is phenomenal, and will be of interest to all Trek fans out there.  GREAT WORK, Trekcore guys!

With the return of Arrested Development inching ever closer, some great new info has been coming out about the new season.  I CAN’T WAIT!!!  “One giant 700-minute Arrested Debelopment”???   Bring it!

Speaking of the return of beloved TV shows… a Bored to Death movie???  PLEASE LET THIS HAPPEN!!!

Here are some nice [continued]

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Have you seen the fake Arrested Development shows that have been popping up around Netflix?  (Mock Trial with J. Reinhold, anyone?)  Brilliant!!

I have long ago lost all faith in M. Night Shyamalan, but my goodness this trailer for his new sci-fi film, After Earth, looks terrific:

“Fear is the mind-killer.”  Heh heh.

Here’s a trailer for the new end-of-the-world comedy, This is the End, featuring Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, and a heck of a lot of other very funny people (Paul Rudd, Michael Cera, Jason Segel, Martin Starr, Mindy Kaling, and more), apparently all playing themselves:

In a similar end-of-the-world vein, here’s the first photo from Simon Pegg’s The World’s End, re-teaming him with Nick Frost and Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz).

Steve Carrell and Jim Carrey are dueling Las Vegas magicians?  And the film also stars Steve Buscemi and Alan Arkin?  OK, I’m in!  Here’s the trailer for The Incredible Burt Wonderstone:

Well, I wrote about the first one-minute “announcement” teaser for the new Star Trek film, Star Trek into Dark Knight (ahem, I mean, Into Darkness), and I wrote about the nine-minute IMAX preview that was shown before The Hobbit. But I didn’t write about the first full official teaser trailer that was released a week or so ago:

That’s because there’s not that much more to say.  There’s not much in here that’s too terribly different than what we saw in the announcement teaser.  It’ll be interesting to see the full context of Pike’s ominous declaration that “there’s not an ounce of humility” in Kirk.  Pike was Kirk’s biggest champion in the first film, and while I agree that the Kirk we saw in that film DIDN’T have an ounce of humility in him — he thought he was the smartest/toughest guy in the room at the beginning of the film and all the way through — it’ll be interesting to see how/why Pike changes his view.  I hope this results in some growth and mellowing for this version of Kirk.  The Captain Kirk I remember was definitely an alpha male, but that didn’t often tip over into outright arrogance.

Boy, for five seasons of Lost I thought Damon Lindeloff was the MAN.  Then came that last season of Lost. And Prometheus. And so I think it’s good news that he will not be returning to script the Prometheus sequel (if that ever actually gets made).

I’ve got lots and lots of new movie reviews coming soon, my friends!  See you back here soon!… [continued]

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News Around the Net!

Arrested Development lives!!  This photo of Buster from the upcoming new episodes (I’m hearing Spring 2013?) really made me laugh.

Rumblings of a Dr. Horrible sequel continue to, well, rumble.  Could this actually become a reality next year?  Hoping hoping hoping.

Yeahbutwha?  The star of the new S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series will be the killed-off-in-The Avengers Agent Phil Coulson??  I love Clark Gregg and love the idea of him headlining a new Marvel Universe TV show, but how is this possible?  Does this mean the S.H.I.E.L.D. show is set in the past?  Very curious…

This is a fascinating article by screenwriter Jon Spaihts on his original ideas for Prometheus, back when the film was without-question an Alien prequel.  (Mr. Spaihts apparently wrote five drafts of the film, before handing it over to Damon Lindelof for further revisions into the film that was actually shot.)  Hindsight is of course twenty-twenty, but boy Mr. Spaiht’s ideas as he describes them sound far superior to the film we actually got.

I love the idea that Emily Blunt (originally in the running to play the Black Widow in Iron Man 2, and I must say I think she would have been FAR better casting that Scarlett Johansson) is rumored to now be up for a role in Avengers 2. I hope this happens.

I am fascinated by the massive HD remastering project necessary for the release of Star Trek: The Next Generation on blu-ray.  (I loved the sample disc, though I haven’t yet shelled out for the complete season one, released a few months ago.)  Because Next Gen was edited on videotape, each individual has had to be re-edited from the original film negatives — the scale of the endeavor just boggles my mind.  Trekcore has posted a fantastic interview with the re-mastering team.  Here also is an interview with the CBS producers overseeing the project.

Speaking of Star Trek: The Next Generation, last month marked the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Next Gen. Here is a fantastic interview with Ronald D. Moore (one of the key writers for Next Gen and then Deep Space Nine, and of course also the creator and show-runner of the re-launched Battlestar Galactica) on the occasion of Next Gen’s 25th anniversary.

Back in 1990, fans went crazy when they noticed an Alien skull hanging as a trophy in the Predator’s ship in Predator 2. Here is a much less-cool sort of inter-sci-fi-movie crossover.  (Well, the idea does have a crazy sort of inspiration, I guess, but the problem is it just doesn’t really make any sense…)

Edgar Wright, Nick Frost, and Simon Pegg’s third film together (after … [continued]

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Did you enjoy the new Hobbit trailer I posted last week?  If you haven’t seen them, here are all of the other alternate endings to that trailer.

Uh oh.  Looks like Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt has dropped out of work on the sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, apparently because Fox is rushing the film to meet the release date the studio had chosen.  This is not a good sign.

This past weekend, on the eve of Treme’s season 3 premiere came the good news/bad news that HBO had renewed the show for a fourth and final season (four seasons was apparently David Simon’s ideal length for the run of the show), albeit a shortened season.  The exact length of this shortened fourth season, what Mr. Simon refers to as “season 3.5,” is TBD.  I’m bummed the show couldn’t swing a full final season, but I’m thrilled that HBO is at least giving Mr. Simon and his team some episodes to bring their television masterpiece to a conclusion of their choosing.

Well,  now I know why Robot Chicken did a DC Comics special this year, rather than a fourth Star Wars one.  It’s because Seth Green and many of the rest of the Robot Chicken gang are working on a whole new Star Wars parody show, Star Wars Detours. This first trailer is funny, though I’m not sure why this is a whole new show and not just more Robot Chicken…

Speaking of Star Wars, it looks like Episode II and Episode III will be getting a 3-D theatrical re-release in 2013.  I sat out the Episode I re-release (I must admit I was a little tempted, but that film is just so bad I couldn’t see spending the money, even though I was curious about the look of the 3-D), and I’m not that much more interested in seeing Episode II. But seeing Episode III back on the big screen, and in 3-D?  That just might have my ticket.  But I am really waiting to see if they re-release the Original Trilogy.  Any excuse to see those films on the big screen again is exciting for me, no matter how much new digital fiddling Mr. Lucas and his minions have done…

This is an interesting list of the Top 5 Best-Acted Moments in a Steven Spielberg Film.  I definitely agree with numbers 5, 4, and 1, not so sure about 3 and 2…

I was already interested in Judd Apatow’s new film, This is 40, and this interview with Robert Smigel and Albert Brooks, both of whom are appearing in the film, has … [continued]

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Raiders of the Lost Ark is being re-released to theaters!!  IN IMAX!!!  I am so there.  Here’s a trailer!

My mind is reeling with the possibilities of Days of Future Past, the newly-announced upcoming X-Men film.  I agree with every suggestion on this list of 10 cameos that would be great to see in the X-Men sequel.

They’re really making Kick Ass 2?? And they’re courting Jim Carrey to appear in the film??  I am so happy.

While I’m on a role with super hero movie sequel news, this is a great idea.

I loved the early seasons of The Office, but I’ve been dissatisfied with the last few years and I finally gave up on the show about halfway through the last season.  But with the recent news that this coming season will be the show’s last, I’m considering tuning back in to see how things wrap up.  We’ll see…  (Here’s some more info on the end of the show.)

Looks like Ron Howard’s proposed TV-and-film adaptation of The Dark Tower has hit another snag.  I have nervousness about the idea of Akiva Goldsman being involved in the scripting, but boy would I love to see this incredible property done right.  I agree 100% with Devin’s opinions in that piece (both about wishing fervently that Viggo Mortensen would take the title role, and feeling that a  cable TV series adaptation is the best way to go, rather than a film trilogy…).

Sad news that actor William Windom, who played Commodore Matt Decker on the Classic Star Trek episode “The Doomsday Machine,” has passed away at age 88.

“Meanwhile, at the Legion of Doom…”

Wow, that is targeted exactly to my funny bone.  Can’t wait!… [continued]

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In response to this summer’s lousy Spider-Man reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man (click here for my review), comes this great article on 10 Remakes that Got it Right.  There are some really intriguing films on this list that I have never seen, but have been immediately placed on my “to-watch” list…

It’s old news by now, but I haven’t yet waxed poetic on this site about how excited I am that Peter Jackson has expanded his adaptation of The Hobbit from two films to a trilogy!  Very exciting.  The hints of obscure bits of story from the Lord of the Rings appendices that Mr. Jackson is going to be filming in order to flesh out the story are even more exciting still.  The battle of Dol Goldur??  Awesome!!

The new X-Men film is going to be Days of Future Past??? That’s hugely exciting, but also very worrisome.  Days of Future Past is one of the greatest X-Men stories (heck, one of the greatest comic book stories) of all time.  The idea of that being adapted into a film is extraordinary!!  Bravo to Bryan Singer and xx on taking on this iconic story.  But the thought of a BAD version of Days of Future Past would be horrifying.  I was burned by X3′s brutalization of the Dark Phoenix Saga (probably THE greatest X-Men story of all time), and that’s a pain not easily forgotten… I am crossing my fingers and toes about this one…

Speaking of Bryan Singer, why the heck is he still developing a Battlestar Galactica movie?  Do we really need another version of Galactica, after Ron Moore’s fabulous TV series…?  The only place to go is down…

I am excited to see DC’s upcoming animated adaptation of Frank Miller’s seminal “Last Batman Story” The Dark Knight Returns. (DKR was a strong source of material for Christopher Nolan’s final Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, as I noted in my review.)  However, this first trailer leaves me underwhelmed in the extreme.  This trailer should have been slow, spooky, and reverent, selling us on a world that had moved on without Batman.  Instead, it seems to be selling a zippy animated adventure.  I hope this doesn’t reflect the tone of the finished product.

In happier news — Larry David, Dave Mandel, Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer (key players on Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Greg Mottola (Superbad, Adventureland, Paul) are working together on a new movie for HBO?  Can’t wait!!… [continued]

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Yes, this really is an enormous oil painting depicting The Death of Jennifer Sisko at Wolf 359.  Love it.

I’ve really been loving the first season of Lena Dunham’s HBO show Girls. For anyone out there who is similarly digging this weird, funny show, allow me to direct you to this fabulous in-depth interview with Ms. Dunham and her fellow show-runner Jenni Konner.

I agree with pretty much every selection on this list of 15 superheroes who deserve a great reboot.  I’d have the Fantastic Four as number one on  my personal list.

Speaking of super-heroes: this is old, but somehow I just recently stumbled across this wonderful depiction of Peter Dinklage as Wolverine.  Genius.

Parks and Recreation is my favorite comedy on TV right now.  The show just wrapped up a great fourth season, and I’m pleased it was renewed for a (short) season 5.  Here’s a great interview with show-runner Mike Schur on season 4.

I think it’s super-cool that, to promote the upcoming release of season 1 of Star Trek: The Next Generation on blu-ray, they’re screening two season 1 episodes in theaters around the country.  I love that idea, and I wish it was something studios did a lot more of.  But why oh why did they choose to show “Datalore” and “Where No One Has Gone Before”???  Urgh, those are two very weak episodes.  Ordinarily I would jump at this sort of thing, but I don’t think I’m that interested in seeing those two episodes.  Two bad.  (For the record, if we’re picking first season Next Gen episodes — which is tough, because that first season is VERY rough — I’d have gone with “Hide and Q” and “Conspiracy.”)

Here is a terrific post from Devin at badassdigest.com on how to Take Back  the Nerd: Five Ways to be a Good Fan.  It’s a great piece, and I agree 100%.… [continued]

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I’ve gotta open with Alan Moore’s article about his feelings on the Guy Fawkes mask from V for Vendetta (his brilliant comic book series, published in 1982) is now being used by protesters of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.  The piece is a fascinating read (and if any of you haven’t read the brilliant V for Vendetta, do so immediately!!  The film adaption is OK, but the original graphic novel is genius.).

Alan Sepinwall on Hitfix posted an article in honor of The Simpsons’ 500th episode (a ludicrously incredible milestone) asking fans to pick their favorite Simpsons episode.  The article currently has nine pages of comments and is still going strong.  You’ve got to read them — it’s a wonderful trip back down through memory lane, remembering classic Simpsons episodes.  By the way, my pick?  “Homer the Heretic” (in which Homer decides not to go to church and winds up having the best day of his life, then starts his own religion, then finds himself trapped in a fire from which he must be rescued by his friends of other faiths, “be they Christian, Jewish, or… miscellaneous.”  “Hindu!  There are seven hundred million of us!”).

And if you’re looking to kill any MORE time, check out Mr. Sepinwall’s follow-up post asking fans to pick their favorite Simpsons quote: “Pick Only One Favorite Simpsons Quote? That’s unpossible!” That article has NINETEEN pages of comments and they’re all so much fun to read through.  My favorite Simpsons quote?  “Man alive!  There are men alive in here!”

Capone at AICN has posted the start of a fascinating interview with David Wain.  I am very excited for his new film, Wanderlust, starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston.  Here’s the red-band trailer and here’s the green-band trailer.  They’re quite different and both are very, very funny.  (I especially love the green band trailer for including lots and lots of Party Down’s Ken Marino, who co-wrote the film with Mr. Wain.)

If you have eight minutes and forty-two seconds to spare, I encourage you to check out this video montage of Nic Cage’s 100 greatest quotes.

I’ve been watching this slightly-extended version of The Avengers’ Super Bowl spot a LOT lately.  I REALLY hope this movie is good!  In all of these trailers it still looks pretty small-scale to me, which has me worried… and I think the new versions of both Thor’s and Captain America’s costumes both seem a little more “costumey” and less real than the versions in their individual films.  Still, it’s nice to finally see a glimpse of the extra-terrestrial bad-guys (please let them be Skrulls please let them be Skrulls) and that circular pan of all the heroes … [continued]

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Let’s kick the day off with a wonderful analysis on AICN about Why Star Trek II Works So Well.  The piece is a wonderful love-letter to Star Trek II (which happens to be one of my very favorite films of all time), and it’s a very thoughtful analysis of why the film is so ridiculously awesome, even thirty years later.  (THIRTY years!  That’s crazy, right??)

Speaking of Star Trek, I’m starting to get excited about the high-def upgrade of Next Gen for blu-ray.  This before/after comparison video is pretty staggering.  (Follow the site’s advice and expand the video to full screen, so you can get the full effect.)  If Farpoint looks that good, I can’t wait for the later seasons.  (And Deep Space Nine!!!)

Did you know there was an alternative, rejected main song for Quantum of Solace? And it was sung by Shirley Bassey??  Give this a listen:

That is a fun case of cinematic might-have-been.  “Where is the solace that I crave?”  That makes me laugh and laugh.

I love movie posters.  I have quite a few hanging in my home!  So I really enjoyed this look at the top ten movie posters of 2011.

Speaking of cinematic might-have beens… I enjoyed the first six-episode season of The Walking Dead, but for some reason all of the season two episodes are still sitting unwatched in my DVR.  Maybe show-runner Frank Darabont’s outster the news of all the apparent behind-the-scenes turmoil has cooled my interest.  This detailed letter from Mr. Darabont to AICN reveals a major story that Mr. Darabont was planning that will now never come to be, and it’s a damn shame.

Is there a possibility that there might actually be a Party Down movie???  I highly doubt it, but man would that be great.  Click here for my reviews of season one and season two of this brilliant, tragically cancelled-before-its-time TV show.… [continued]

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Check out this sneak peek at Game of Thrones season two!  AARRGH, I can’t believe we have to wait until September!  (But I’m intrigued by the rumor that seasons 3 and 4 will shoot back-to-back and will comprise a two-season adaptation of the third book, A Storm of Swords.)

Speaking of waiting, looks like Star Trek 2 (or whatever they’re gonna call it) finally has a release date: May 17, 2013.  That’s a long four years after the 2009 release of the first (or eleventh, depending on how you’re counting) film (which was itself delayed from its originally scheduled release in December, 2008).  Here’s hoping the film is good after such a long wait, and that Paramount can get the third (or thirteenth!) film rolling with a little less down-time…

While we’re on the subject of Star Trek, check out these fascinating early-draft versions of the famous “space… the final frontier” opening monologue.

I love Devin Faraci’s recent piece on the increasingly crazy Frank Miller.  Click here to read The Devin’s Advocate: Frank Miler is an Asshole, but I Still Like His Work.  I wholeheartedly agree.

Interesting the hear that David Simon feels that four seasons is his ideal length for Treme.  God, I love that show.  Season three is definitely happening, so I really hope HBO give sMr. Simon and his team their desired fourth and final season.

There’s a new trailer out for John Carter (of Mars).  I wish I was more excited about this film.  The trailer looks absolutely gorgeous, but I am really not loving the glimpses we’ve seen of Taylor Kirsch so far in the lead role.  Maybe I am letting bad feelings from his appearing in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (as Gambit) get to me.  Or maybe it’s that Disney’s butchering of the title (it should be called John Carter OF MARS!!!) that has me uneasy.  We’ll see.  I’m crossing my fingers big-time on this one.

Speaking of movies coming out this spring, Joss Whedon’s film Cabin in the Woods looks like it’s finally, FINALLY getting released after sitting on the shelf for two years.  Love the new poster.  I don’t really know anything about this film other than the fact that Joss Whedon directed it, but that’s enough to get my butt in the theatre.  (UPDATE:  A trailer was just released and now that I’ve watched it I know MORE about this film than I wish I did!!  BEWARE SPOILERS, and watch at your own peril.)

And speaking of movie adaptations that I should be anticipating but aren’t (I’m referring back to John Carter (of Mars), now, not Cabin in the Woods!), comes word that the [continued]

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This is a fantastic article from the New York Times about how baseball dugout payphones are the last bastion of the landline.

The web-site io9 always has some great lists, and I particularly enjoyed their recent list of 10 stand-alone episodes that totally represent their respective shows.  Choosing “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” for The X-Files was a great choice.

Quint from AICN has begun posting reports from the set of The Hobbit. Check out Part 1 of his Unexpected Journey here.  Meanwhile, Peter Jackson has recently posted the fourth video diary from the set of The Hobbit, this one focusing on the film’s 3-D effects:

Did you catch that glimpse at The Hobbit’s official logo, there at the end?  Cool!!

This review of the Star Wars saga on blu-ray from Chud.com is interesting — especially the “fuck you” opening (early in “the lowdown” section)!  The reviewer has some interesting comments on all the films, particularly Empire. (Though his rating both The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones as better films than Return of the Jedi is lunacy.  Jedi is flawed, absolutely, but still way better than those two prequels.)  (By the way, so far I have held firm in my vow not to purchase the saga on blu-ray.  I’m itching to watch the series again, and I will admit to a morbid curiosity as to what has been changed in this latest version of the films, but I’m still avoiding paying almost a hundred bucks for something that I know will, in the end, just sadden and/or anger me.  Still, if anyone wants to give it to me as a GIFT…!)

But the articles that have really reminded me of my love for Star Wars, and that have got me thinking about re-watching the series, is Drew McWeeny from HitFix’s series of FilmNerd articles about showing the Star Wars films, one at a time, to his young kids for the very first time.  These articles represent some of the finest writing Mr. McWeeny has ever done, and if you’ve ever enjoyed a Star Wars film, these are well-worth your time.  It’s fascinating to re-experience these films through the eyes of someone who has never seen them before.  Consider, if you will, two boys who have seen the Clone Wars cartoons but not the films.  They think Anakin Skywalker is the hero of Star Wars.  Reading how they react to what the film series is REALLY about is poignant and mind-blowing.  Start with Drew’s article about showing his boys the original Star Wars (A New Hope) and go from there.  Here’s his piece on Empire, and then his pieces on Episode I, Episode [continued]

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Click here for a wonderful look at the films of the Coen Brothers.  This fellow re-watched all of the Coen Brothers’ films (which sounds like a wonderfully fun project, by the way), and writes about his impressions of their body of work.  It’s an impressive article, and I love his assessment of the Coens’ wonderful characters, who “verge on caricature yet have a vivid particularity that makes them hard to forget and easy to return to.”  That’s a good a description as I have ever seen!

I love this look at Six Comedians We Wish Would Return to Stand-Up!  I wholeheartedly agree.  (There are some wonderful video clips embedded in that article.)

Motivational posters inspired by The Wire?  Awesome.  (This piece on badassdigest.com selects some of the best.)

This fascinating oral history of the very short-lived Dana Carvey Show makes me want to track down those episodes and watch them immediately.

I am a big, big fan of Dave Sim’s sprawling comic book epic Cerebus, the unprecedented “300 issue limited series.”  It gets pretty crazy (and, at times, pretty unreadable) near the end (I am a subscriber to the theory that Dave Sim went insane while working on his magnum opus), but the vast swaths of the story that are good are REALLY REALLY GOOD, some of the finest comic books ever created.  It’s fun to see some writers giving Cerebus some much-deserved attention these days.  Click here for a lengthy excerpt from the Comics Journal’s recent look back at the series, and I also am really enjoying the series of pieces running at comicbookresources.com, written by a writer who is reading through the complete epic for the first time.  Click here for part one, and here for the even stronger part two.  Although I personally choose to believe that the Cerebus story ends on the final page of Rick’s Story, I appreciate this author’s debunking the commonly-held notion that the last hundred issues of Cerebus are entirely without merit.  He writes, and I agree, that it’s only in the series’ final stretch of issues — Dave Sim’s bizarre exegesis of the Torah — when the comic really becomes unreadable.

This is a great piece by A. O. Scott of the New York Times about three summer 2011 movies worth debating.  I’m sad to say I haven’t seem any of them yet, but this wonderful article reinforces the desire I already felt to try to track all three films down as soon as possible.  (The fact that I haven’t seen Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life but I have seen Cowboys and Aliens makes me feel a little sad inside.)

Can [continued]

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Lots of fun geeky goodness has been spilling out onto the nets recently, mostly because of the annual San Diego Comic-Con.

Did you miss the teaser trailer for The Avengers at the end of Captain America? Check it out here. Pretty sweet.

Speaking of teasers, here’s one for The Dark Knight Rises.  I’m intrigued as to how definitive an ending Christopher Nolan is planning on giving his Bat-films.

Here’s another teaser for one of next summer’s big films — though this isn’t just a teaser, it’s a full-length trailer for the Spider-Man reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man.  The trailer is well put together, but I still can’t muster up too much excitement for this film.  I hate that they’re rebooting the series, and that we have to sit through another version of Spidey’s origin.  Just re-cast the roles and tell a great new Spider-Man story.  Why start over from zero??  Frustrating.

Now this is more intriguing: it’s the much-discussed abandoned introduction sequence to Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns, in which Superman explores the ruins of Krypton.  I can understand why it’s not in the movie (the whole scene is perfectly summed up in Superman’s one line to Ma Kent, that all he found at the end of his long journey into space was a graveyard), but it’s still a pretty cool sequence.  I love Supey’s crystalline Kryptonian ship, and I love the huge S.

It’s Peter Jackson’s third production diary from The Hobbit! Rejoice!

Oh, Lost, will you ever stop breaking my heart?  If you are (or WERE once, like me) a fan of Lost, this hilarious “lost” scene from season one, that was unveiled at Comic-Con, is a wonderful piece of genius.  (But Damon Lindeloff’s comments about why they didn’t answer one of the most annoying, to me, lingering questions from season 5 — just who was shooting at Sawyer and co. from the other boat — makes me CRAZY.  CRAZY!!!)

Sooo… is Prometheus an Alien prequel or not???  AAARRGH!!!  I’m desperate to know, but either way, a new sci-fi film from the great Ridley Scott has me excited.

We’ll see what people say about the set once it’s released, but for now I stand by my comments that I do not plan on purchasing the blu-ray set of the Star Wars films.  Still, I did begin salivating at the report that the set will include never-before-seen deleted scenes from the Original Trilogy, and this teaser trailer for those deleted scenes is pretty awesome:

Speaking of George Lucas, it seems that he and his collaborators have FINALLY finished Red Tails, the film about the Tuskegee Airmen from WWII, about which Mr. Lucas has been talking … [continued]

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My friend Rabbi Ethan Linden has written a wonderful article on his blog about HBO’s recently-concluded Game of Thrones mini-series (which I LOVED) and some broader thoughts about the fantasy and sci-fi genres.  Here’s an excerpt:

People love to make fun of the superhero comic book genre, the fantasy genre, and the science fiction genre, both in movies and in books.  This is unfortunate, because all three of these types of fiction provide some the most fertile ground for the creation of words that, though different from our own in important ways, nonetheless allow us to reflect on the realities of our customs, cultures and institutions.  For some reason, these three genres are often considered to be “nerdy” or “dorky” and the typical mainstream reviewed will often make a snide remark about the intended audience for these types of fictions before launching into a review of the actual material in front of them.  (Take a look at this New York Times review of the TV series for a prime example.)  That these genres are taken seriously is a shame, because great fantasy, science fiction and superhero stories can be among the best ways we have of thinking deeply about who we are.

You can read the rest of Rabbi Linden’s terrific post here.

This is a superlative article, over at Hitfix.com, listing 25 Movie Sequels That Hollywood Should Have Made.  The list is spot-on, with excellent choices both common (Serenity) and obscure (Devil With a Blue Dress).  Warning: reading this will make you a little sad that sequels to these films do not exist, while X-Men Origins: Wolverine does.

Check out this great new trailer for the adaptation of John Le Carre’s novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.  Looks phenomenal.

Speaking of trailers, Steven Spielberg has finally released a new film, his first since Munich in 2005!  (What’s that, you say?  He directed an Indiana Jones film in 2008?  No, no, you’re wrong, there’s no way Mr. Spielberg could have had anything to do with that train-wreck.)  Anyways, take a look at the trailer for War Horse.

Cars 2 didn’t really interest me, but I’m looking forward to the next Pixar film:  Brave.

Here’s a look at the latest Mission Impossible film: Ghost Protocol.  None of the first three Mission Impossible films have been as great as I’ve wanted them to be, but I’ve enjoyed them all, so I’d be excited for this fourth installment even if it wasn’t Brad Bird (The Incredibles, The Iron Giant)’s live-action directorial debut.

Here at last is our first teaser trailer for John Carter (Of Mars).  Is it possible this is going to be good?  … [continued]

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I have had to reevaluate my opinion of Adam Carolla after listening to his marvelous interview (well-over an hour long) with the great Albert Brooks.  This is a MUST-LISTEN, friends.

Attorney General Eric Holder has challenged David Simon to produce a sixth season of The Wire??  That is awesome.

This expose on the dramatically underlit images found at many big-chain Boston-area movie theaters is very frustrating to read.  Every time I read about an amazing theatre chain like the Alamo Drafthouse, I wish there were better movie theatres in my area.

I need to own this poster.

This is a great article about when to show Star Wars to one’s kids.  I’m going to face this dilemma in a few years!  The follow-up piece is great, too: when to show the Indiana Jones films to one’s kids!

Io9 has weighed in on the 10 Best Star Trek Episodes.  It’s an interesting list.  I’m thrilled by how well-represented Deep Space Nine is, but having an episode of Voyager on the list really nullifies any credence the writer might have.  And “The Void” of all episodes?  Decent, but I could name about a hundred Trek episodes from the other series that are superior.  For my own list of my favorite Star Trek episodes of all time, click here.

I am very excited by the report that the phenomenal comic book series 100 Bullets just might become a TV show on Showtime100 Bullets is one of the finest comic book series of recent memory.  Click here for my thoughts on the series.  Now, I’m not holding my breath for this proposed TV show to actually happen, but damn would it be cool…

In my review of Super 8 last week, I mentioned that I felt the monster in the film (directed by J.J. Abrams) was quite similar to the monster from Cloverfield (produced by J.J. Abrams).  Don’t agree with me?  Then check this out.  Case closed, I think!… [continued]

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Following up on my review of Source Code, which I posted yesterday, click here for a wonderfully spot-on assessment of all of the myriad problems with the film’s ending.  It’s a sweet ending that felt right when I walked out of the theatre, but like the rest of the film, if you think about it for more than five minutes, it totally falls apart.

Here’s a very funny trailer for 30 Minutes of Less.  I love the idea of Jesse Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari as buddies.  I’m looking forward to this one.

Here’s another trailer — this is for the very low-budget indie sci-fi movie Another Earth.  I don’t know anything about this film, but my curiosity is piqued.  It’s always interesting to see sci-fi elements mixed with drama (rather than action).

This is awesome.  Lucasfilm Animation’s new building is shaped like a Jawa Sandcrawler.

It’s really happening!  The Avengers has begun filming!!  Here’s what Joss Whedon had to say on the matter.  Funny as always.  Boy, The Avengers is happening, The Hobbit is happening… this is all very exciting!  Now if we could just get the next James Bond film into production, then I’d be over the moon.

I’ve written before about how I think the way some people defend bad movies by saying “oh, it’s not a movie you’re supposed to think about” is incredibly stupid.  Here’s a well-reasoned support of my opinion.

This is a beautiful article but it also made me kind of sad.  No matter how much we might try to read all the books we want to read, or watch all the films we want to see, or listen to all the music we want to listen to, the simple mathematical truth is that we’re all going to miss almost everything.

I’ve always thought that the next Star Trek TV show needs to move the story forward (the same way Next Gen did after the original Star Trek), not backwards.  Apparently I’m not alone in that thinking.  Trekmovie.com has put together a fascinating piece on the pitch for a new Star Trek TV show that Bryan Singer, Chris McQuarrie, and Robert Meyer Burnett put together in 2005-06 put never actually presented to Paramount.  I would have watched that show!

This is a great defense by Nordling of AICN on the experience of seeing movies theatrically.  I agree with him wholeheartedly, but I wish there were theatres like the Alamo Drafthouse here in Boston.  It kills me to go to a movie and have people talking on their cell phones or texting or doing other annoying things that distract from actually watching the movie.

Finally, … [continued]

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Though I think the quality of his films has dipped considerably in the last decade or two, I remain an enormous Woody Allen fan.  So I tip my hat to Juliet Lapidos from Slate Magazine who just watched every single Woody Allen film and summarized what she’s learned.  It’s a wonderful piece — well-worth your time.  (I’m also pleased that to learn that, after her massive re-watching project, she concurs with my long-held opinion that 1997’s Deconstructing Harry was Mr. Allen’s last truly great film.)

Here’s also a fascinating ranking of Mr. Allen’s films into categories (from the “masterworks” to the “bad”).  There’s not too much I can disagree with about this listing!  It’s pretty spot-on, I think.  A few quibbles: I think Hannah and her Sisters and What’s Up Tiger Lily should be bumped up to “great,” as should Play it Again Sam, Deconstructing Harry, and Zelig. Bananas deserves a spot in the “Masterworks” category, and I’d bump The Purple Rose of Cairo down one notch to the merely “great.”  And Scoop definitely needs to be shifted down into the “bad” category.  OK, I guess I did have some objections!  But still, over-all, a terrific list.

Speaking of obsessive-compulsive types, check this out: a complete guide to every single sneaker Jerry Seinfeld ever wore on Seinfeld.  Very cool (and just slightly frightening).

So, Rise of the Apes (which was originally called Caesar) is now Rise of the Planet of the Apes? Wow, the title just became simultaneously way more awesome and also way, way stupider.  I can’t wait!  (By the way, did you watch the new trailer???)

I’m not sure what makes me happier: that we’re actually getting a new Planet of the Apes movie this summer, or that in New Zealand right now they’re actually, finally, for-real, filming Peter Jackson’s two-film adaptation of The Hobbit. Have you seen the first new production diary? I have tingles.  I’m not kidding!  Peter Jackson was a true innovator with the video diaries that he posted back in the day, chronicling the making of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and then King Kong, and I have fond memories of devouring those whenever they were released during the pre-production and production of those films.  It makes me so happy that they’re finally back, and that The Hobbit is at long last under-way.  CAN’T WAIT FOR MORE.

Are we really just a few weeks away from Thor? I really want that movie to be good, but I’m a bit nervous.  This very positive early review has me optimistic, though!

I’ll be posting a piece soon with my thoughts on the last few DC animated projects … [continued]

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My friend Ethan e-mailed me this terrific article from Salon.com, entitled “Will Future Generations Understand The Simpsons?” It’s a great piece analyzing how pop-culture references might date once-great shows like The Simpsons, Seinfeld, etc., rendering them incomprehensible only a few years later.  I’m not sure I entirely agree, but it’s a really interesting read.

As regular readers of this site might recall, I read the first four books of Stephe King’s magnificent magnum opus the Dark Tower series earlier this year.  I’ve taken a little break to read some other things, but I’m eager to begin book five some-time soon.  I thought I only had three books left in the series but now, to my delight, it looks like I have four!  That’s because Stephen King has just announced that he’s written a new Dark Tower novel, to be published next year!  Very exciting news.

I have written before, many times, about Mike Mignola’s amazing comic book series Hellboy, and also about the phenomenal spin-off series B.P.R.D.  So I was shocked to learn that long-time B.P.R.D. artist Guy Davis is departing the series!!  Very sad news.  Mr. Davis is one of the greatest comic book artists working today, and his idiosyncratic style has defined the B.P.R.D. series for almost a decade.  To honor his departure, the fine folks at comicbookresources.com have assembled seven great moments from Mr. Davis’ B.P.R.D. run.  Take a look.

Have you, like me, been reading about the phenomenal events every year at the Paley Center for Media, jealously wishing that you could be there?  (Want an example?  How about the recent Undeclared reunion panel, followed by a Freaks and Geeks reunion panel??)  Well, huzza!  The Center has FINALLY begun to make DVDs available of some of their panels!  There are many great panels that remain unavailable, but 44 popular panels are now available on DVD.  I will definitely be ordering some of these!

There’s a HUGE interview up with Kevin Smith at The Examiner that is a terrific read, if you have a chunk of time.

Have you seen the glorious new trailer for J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Spielberg-homage film, Super 8? Check it out here.  That’s a terrific trailer.  I am VERY intrigued and excited for this film.  How fun is it to finally see that Amblin logo again??

Have you seen Conan O’Brien’s idea for a replacement for the color-coded National Alert system?  It would be the Nic Cage Terror Alert System.… [continued]

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This is a pretty funny assemblage of 1980’s movie references.  Don’t miss Topher Grace’s dynamite Marty McFly impersonation that comes at around 2:30.

I was sad to read of the passing of famed composer John Barry. He’s responsible for so many pieces of iconic James Bond related music, it’s staggering.  He wrote the scores for eleven Bond films, including Goldfinger and From Russia With Love.

In happier Bond news, is it possible that Javier Bardem will be the villain in the next Bond film?  James Bond vs. Anton Chigurh?  What an inspired idea!

In even-happier-than-that Bond news, comes this casting possibility.  I really hope these casting rumors pan out!  I’m very excited with the way Bond 23 looks to be shaping up so far…

Click here to read The New Yorker‘s fantastic profile of Guillermo del Toro.  It’s a lengthy piece, stuffed full of delicious tidbits of information on the many projects that he has in the hopper (and some — like The Hobbit with him as director — that sadly will never be).  I really hope that his adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness actually happens.

I’m a dreamer, and I dare to dream that someday we’ll get another awesome X-Men movie.  (I adored X-Men and X2, but was disappointed by X3 and thought X-Men Origins: Wolverine was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.)  I’m starting to think it just might be happening when I read articles like this about The Wolverine, the upcoming film directed by Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Black Swan), written by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects), and based upon Chris Claremont & Frank Miller’s famous, amazing Wolverine mini-series from 1982, set in Japan.  My hopes are VERY high for this one, gentlemen.  Please don’t let me down!

The moment I knew was coming has arrived: Brandon Routh is officially not playing Superman in Zack Snyder’s upcoming film.  Readers of this site know that I am a fierce defender of Superman Returns, and in particular I thought Mr. Routh was phenomenal as Clark Kent/Superman.  I totally understand that Mr. Snyder wants to set his film apart from Bryan Singer’s film, but I’m still really disappointed that we’re not going to get a whole series of films with Mr. Routh in the lead.  It’s a big disappointment.

And, I must add, this rumor that Jessica Biel is up for the role of Lois Lane has me VERY worried.  Urgh, that’s a terrible idea.  But then I read that that Jessica Biel rumor is just that — a rumor.  OK, whew, I thought, bullet dodged.  But then I read … [continued]

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News Around the Net!

One of my favorite web-sites these days is Badassdigest.com — you should definitely check it out if you’ve never seen it.  They’ve had some great pieces up recently, such as Devin Faraci’s simple, rational piece about why you should avoid purchasing the just-announced Star Wars saga on blu-ray, and this article decrying the ridiculous people who are putting together a version of Huckleberry Finn with then “offensive” language removed, and this scary story of a Lost fan who won the lotto using the cursed numbers (“the numbers are bad!!”).  They also linked to this illustrated history of the Batmobile, which is really fantastic (and extraordinarily thorough!!)  Seriously, the site is great.  Check it out.

Drew over at Hitfix has also had some killer articles up recently that are well worth your time, such as this epic interview with Edgar Wright (seriously, anyone out there reading this who hasn’t seen Scott Pilgrim vs. the World needs to remedy that RIGHT NOW) and this in-depth conversation with The Social Network director David Fincher.

Speaking of in-depth conversations, those fine folks at the Onion AV Club have posted a wonderful career-retrospective interview with the great Jon Lovitz.  This is a great read.  (Thanks to my buddy Ethan for sending this my way!)

Sir Ian McKellan starts filming next month on The Hobbit, reprising his role as Gandalf the Grey.  Say Hallaluyah!!

So, they’re actually making a fifth Jack Ryan movie, with Chris Pine cast as the lead?  I’m not sure how I feel about that.  I guess I hope that they can pull it off.  I have a lot of faith in director Jack Bender (a prominent director from Lost) and I do think the series still has legs.  I absolutely adore The Hunt for Red October, and while I like all three follow-ups I don’t think any of them quite succeeded on all cylinders.  I’d love to see another great Jack Ryan film.  Will this be it?  One can hope…

I’ve got LOTS more reviews of 2010 movies (and some TV shows) coming up in the coming days, and I’m hard at work on my Best of 2010 lists (which I expect to post at the end of the month), so keep checking back to MotionPicturesComics.com!… [continued]

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Apparently police officers in Pittsburgh spent eight hours investigating “the most grisly murder scene in 35 years” before discovering it was, in fact, a movie set.  Pretty funny.

The breaking news this week, of course, is that Jon Favreau won’t be returning to direct Iron Man 3.  I’m somewhat disappointed.  I like Mr. Favreau as a director, and I think he was a key component of the first film’s success.  And I like it when the creative teams for these super-hero sagas remain consistent from film to film.  (Look at what happened to the X-Men franchise once Bryan Singer departed after X2.)  On the other hand, as much as I adored the first Iron Man (click here for my original review), I think the second one was pretty mediocre (click here for my review of Iron Man 2).  So maybe some fresh blood is in order.  I’m a little nervous about just what Marvel has planned following their grand Avengers crossover film in 2012.  How does one go back to making Iron Man movies after The Avengers?  I hope they find a talented, steady hand to guide this franchise forward.  (And psst!  The Mandarin would be awesome!!)

Speaking of Marvel, last week they released the first full trailer for Thor, and it’s a much more substantial look at the film than I’d been expecting.  I really want this film to work, but I’m still a little dubious as to whether they’re going to be able to pull off all of the Asgardian stuff convincingly.  Fingers crossed….!

Speaking of trailers, have you seen the preview for the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, On Stranger Tides? Click here to check it out.  Is this going to be any good?  So far it certainly looks of a piece with the previous three films, despite Rob Marshall’s taking over from director Gore Verbinski.  On the other hand, I was never all that wild about any of the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, so it’s difficult to get too excited about the prospect of a fourth (and possibly a fifth and sixth) installment.

Since I’m posting links to trailers, I guess I should also note that, sigh, Paramount has released a trailer for the aren’t-they-missing-a-word-in-that-title third Transformers film, Dark of the Moon.  Click here to check it out.  It’s actually a pretty clever, well put-together trailer.  If I hadn’t seen the first two Transformers films, I’d probably be pretty excited.  But I did, so I’m not.  (Also, many on-line writers have already noted how the trailer is basically just a souped-up version of the original teaser trailer for [continued]

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The casting announcements have been coming fast and furious for the new Spider-Man film, but I just can’t muster up much excitement.  I simply think it’s a terrible idea to re-boot the Spider-Man franchise, which felt to me like it still had a ton of gas in the tank (despite my dislike of Spider-Man 3).  Take the recent news that Rhys Ifans will be playing The Lizard in the new film.  That should be exciting news — I think the Lizard is a great Spidey villain.  But I’m just bummed that they’re finally using The Lizard in a Spidey film and the great Dylan Baker — who appeared as Dr. Curt Connors in ALL THREE previous Spider-Man films — isn’t going to get to play the character.

Speaking of big announcements about which I just can’t muster up too much excitement is the news that George Lucas will be releasing the Star Wars movies back to theatres in 3D, as well as the follow-up announcement that they’re also working on 3-D conversions of the Indiana Jones films.  On the one hand, any excuse to see the Star Wars and Indy films back on the big screen is exciting.  (After having so much fun seeing Back to the Future back on the big screen, I’ve been hoping that other studios would follow suit and bring some of their best films back to theatres so we can enjoy them as they were meant to be seen.)  But I’m not so excited about the 3-D conversions.  That has the potential to be cool, but a big part of me would really just rather see a beautifully restored 2-D print of those films.  Also, Lucas has unfortunately decided to release the Star Wars films one per year, in order of episode number — which means he’s starting with Episode I, and we won’t get to see The Empire Strikes Back until something like 2016!!  That stinks!

I’ve been interested in the upcoming sci-fi film Skyline ever since seeing the trailer.  But I’m even more interested now, after reading Mr. Beaks’ great piece at AICN about how Colin & Greg Strause basically made the film independently, free from studio oversight or interference.  I can’t wait to see what they’ve put together.

Check out this amazing web-site that contains a treasure trove of footage of Andy Kaufman performing throughout his career, arranged chronologically.  Astounding.

I’d never heard of this movie before seeing the trailer, but now I’m intrigued:

The combination of Andy Serkis (who played Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films) and Simon Pegg is genius, and it’s exciting to see John Landis directing again!

Like most viewers, … [continued]

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Quint over at AICN has posted an amazing, career-spanning interview with the extraordinarily talented Drew Struzan.  Mr. Struzan has illustrated many of the most iconic movie posters of the last several decades — posters I’m sure you’d recognize for all of the Indiana Jones films, the Star Wars films, the Back to the Future films, and so many more.  The man is an incredible talent.  I have already ordered my copy of The Art of Drew Struzan, and I can’t wait for it to arrive!

The AICN seaman has also been posting a really fun series called The Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day that is definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already been following it.  Maybe you’ll want to start with this one that has done far worse than kill you, he’s hurt you, and he wishes to go on hurting you.  Heh — fits right in with my current run of cartoons!!

A fun animation test for the abandoned Roger Rabbit 2 project, from 1998, has recently surfaced on-line.  Worth checking out.

This recent brief interview with Joss Whedon, discussing his work on the upcoming Avengers film, has been making the rounds of the net but it’s worth reading if you haven’t seen it yet.  I love Mr. Whedon’s comment that “I would like to put these actors in a room and just make Glengarry Glen Ross.”  Boy would I happily pay to see that!!

This is an interesting list of the 33 Greatest Movie Trilogies of all time, as voted for by readers of Empire magazine.  There are some weird choices (I think the terrible fourth entries in the Die Hard and Indiana Jones series would disqualify those as trilogies — and what the hell is the Star Wars prequel trilogy doing on that list???) but it’s a fun read.

So actor Robert Wuhl, who once played a sports agent on the TV show Arliss, is now hosting an actual sports radio show?  That’s pretty funny.

I love this:

[continued]

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I am speeding ahead with Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, and loving every page.  (Click here if you missed yesterday’s review of Book II: The Drawing of the Three.)  Now comes word that Ron Howard and Brian Grazer have acquired the rights to the series, and are planning a trilogy of films AND A SIMULTANEOUS TV SERIES.  Here’s the juiciest quote from Deadline.com:

The plan is to start with the feature film, and then create a bridge to the second feature with a season of TV episodes. That means the feature cast—and the big star who’ll play Deschain—also has to appear in the TV series before returning to the second film. After that sequel is done, the TV series picks up again, this time focusing on Deschain as a young gunslinger. Those storylines will be informed by a prequel comic book series that King was heavily involved in plotting. The third film would pick up the mature Deshain as he completes his journey.

WOW.  That is an awesomely ambitious idea.  I hope this comes to pass, and that Ron Howard is up for tackling this dense, dark saga.

Here’s an intriguing rumor that Judd Apatow might be returning to television!  It’s hard to know, at this early stage, just how involved Mr. Apatow would be in this proposed show — surely nowhere near as centrally involved as he was in Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared.  But nevertheless, this is cool news.

Sooo… in celebration of the 75th anniversary of 20th Century Fox, the studio is sponsoring a series of one-night-only screenings, in different cities, of some of their most well-known films.  That’s neat.  Except take a look at which film is showing in Philadelphia.  What did those poor Philadelphians do to deserve that???  And what numbskull at Fox considers that one of the the studio’s best films??

OK, so I might need to make a trip to London.

Some cool pics have recently leaked from Captain America: The First Avenger.  I am really excited that Marvel has made the bold choice to set the film during WWII rather than the present day.  I hope we have some great Indiana Jones-style Nazi-stompin’ in our future.

[continued]

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If you’re a member of facebook, check out this list (compiled by a key contributor to The Digital Bits, my favorite DVD/blu-ray-related web-site) of films that he’s still waiting to be released on DVD.  It’s a hoot.  While I’m discussing the Digital Bits, here’s something cool: In anticipation of the upcoming release of all four Alien films on blu-ray, they have posted an extensive look at the making of Fox’s amazing Alien Quadrilogy DVD box set from a few years back.  This was originally published in the book The Digital Bits: Insider’s Guide to DVD.  Since all of this material will appear on the blu-ray set, this is well-worth a read, if you’re a fan of these films.

The deleted scene from Return of the Jedi that was shown at Star Wars Celebration V has been taken down from youtube, but as of this writing it can still be seen here, so check it out.  It’s a cool moment showing Luke’s constructing his new lightsaber, and Vader trying to speak to his son through the force.

Speaking of Star Wars, I have waxed poetical many times on this site about the magnificence of Adywan’s e-edit/restoration of Star Wars: A New Hope.  (I am sick of referring to it as Episode IV.)  Here is a phenomenal visual guide to over 500 of the changes/fixes that Adywan has made.  If you have any way of getting your hands on this film (and fanedit.org is a good place to start), then do so immediately.

This is an interesting article about a new book about the Bond films: The Man With the Golden Touch: How the Bond Films Conquered the World. This is a book I need to read!  By the way, I don’t agree with the author of the article’s closing thought that the recent films have been entirely without artistic merit.  I was disappointed by Quantum of Solace, but didn’t think it was a complete catastrophe.  I also am not nearly so down as that writer on Pierce Brosnan.  I love Brosnan as Bond.  He was just in some bad Bond films.  (His first two were strong, but his last two — The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day — were TERRIBLE.)  But I don’t blame Brosnan for what went wrong in those films.  It’s a shame that MGM’s financial woes have put a halt to the series for now.  But James Bond Will Return.  Someday, I guess.

There’s a nice defense of Tom Cruise by Nick Nunziata over on CHUD, and I must say I agree wholeheartedly.  Speaking of CHUD, I was very sorry to read of Devin Faraci’s [continued]

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Has the pain of the end of Lost faded yet?  (Click here for my thoughts on the finale.)  Wanna rub some salt in the wound?  Then be sure to check out this video compilation of all the questions Lost left unanswered.

Here’s another great video from collegehumor.com: a Star Wars google ad parody.  SO FUNNY!!  This is well worth two minutes of your time.

Movie adaptations of Philip K. Dick stories have a pretty terrible track record.  But I’m pretty excited about this one.  Click here for a trailer for The Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt (who really should have been the Black Widow in Iron Man 2).

Has Rob Reiner finally made another good movie?  Check out this trailer:

I’m intrigued by that sweet trailer.  Rob Reiner had one of the great winning streaks of all time when he directed This is Spinal Tap, The Sure Thing, Stand By Me, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, Misery, and A Few Good Men.  But with the exception of The American President, it’s been a long, loooong dry spell since then.  Here’s hoping that Flipped represents the master’s return to form!

Whee, still more great trailers to see!  Here’s the second peek at Scott Pilgrim vs The World (about which I must admit I know very little, but these trailers have hooked me), as well as our first glimpse at Part One of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

CHUD is running a fantastic list of the Worst CGI in History that is sad, funny, and well-worth your time.

See you all back here tomorrow!… [continued]

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I have an extensive series of posts, that will be running over the course of the next month, in which I write about my revisitation of Arthur C. Clarke’s four-novel Odyssey series which began in 1968 with 2001: A Space Odyssey — as well as the two film adaptations (of 2001 and 2010).  On Wednesday of this past week, literally moments after I had typed the final words of my review of Mr. Clark’s fourth and final Odyssey novel, 3001: The Final Odyssey, I read the sad news that Mr. Clarke had passed away at the age of 90.  What sad news.  This detailed obituary from the New York Times is worth a look.  Mr. Clarke was a giant in the world of science fiction, and he will be sorely missed by all of his fans world-wide, including this one.

Some big trailers have hit the web recently.  Check out this terrific new trailer for Iron Man 2, as well as this intriguing glimpse at the I-can’t-believe-this-actually-got-made sequel to Tron.  How great is Bruce Boxleitner in that trailer?  How about that glimpse of (newly-minted Oscar winner) Jeff Bridges?  Both films look fantastic, and I fervently hope they both can deliver.

Speaking of Jeff Bridges, I wanted to direct your attention to this great recent piece from aintitcoolnews.com, in which Jeff Dowd, the inspiration for “the Dude” in The Big Lebowski, waxes poetic about Mr. Bridges.

And speaking of films I hope will deliver, here’s a sneak peek at Robert Rodriguez and Nimrod Antal’s upcoming movie Predators.  Is it possible that we might finally be getting a truly kick-ass Predator film that can hold its own with the Arnold Schwarzenegger original?  I am beginning to hope…  (At the very least, they have settled on a phenomenal title, one that echoes James Cameron’s Aliens, the sequel to Ridley Scott’s film Alien.)

Finally, all of the fans of Lost out there need to be sure to check out my favorite article of the month: The Real Problem with Midichlorians.  I COULDN’T AGREE MORE WITH THIS ARTICLE.… [continued]

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News Around the Net: Previews!

February 11th, 2010
,

OK, enough looking back on 2009.  Let’s look forward to 2010!

Quite a number of intriguing new previews for 2010 movies have recently appeared.  Let’s take a look…

Let’s start with one of the greatest things I have seen in a long time.  It’s the trailer for Ricky Gervais’ next film, Cemetary Junction.

Bring on the Schindler’s List jokes!  Oh my.

Hot on the heels of that, in terms of unbridled awesomeness, is the fantastic new trailer for Kick Ass. Click here to check it out.  Kick Ass is a terrific comic book (click here for my thoughts on the series), and I am overjoyed at the way that trailer indicates that directer Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Stardust) and his team have brought the book to life.  Can’t wait.

Another film that I can’t wait for is Christopher Nolan’s Inception:

I don’t have any more of a clue of what the film is about, after watching that second trailer, than I had after watching the first.  But who cares.  I relish not having the entire film spoiled by the trailer.  And Christopher Nolan (Memento, The Dark Knight) can pretty much do no wrong in my book.

Next, in the “does this REALLY exist??” category — Disney has actually made a movie version of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice??  And it stars Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel (who I will follow pretty much anywhere after his terrific work in Judd Apatow’s short-lived TV series Undeclared)?  And it also stars Monica Belluccia and Alfred Molina???  Is there any hope that this could actually be any good?  Sigh, probably not.  Take a look and judge for yourself:

Speaking of Jay Baruchel, click here to check out the new red-band trailer for She’s Out of My League, a comedy in which he’s starring.  Don’t know much about this flick, but it looks like it might be amusing.

Red Riding is a trilogy of films based upon the true man-hunt for the “Yorkshire Killer” who terrorized England in the ’70s & ’80s.  I am fascinated by this project — a trilogy of interlocking films, all being released at once?  Wild!  I hope this plays here in Boston.  Check out the trailers for all three films, each named for the year in which they take place: 1974, 1980, and 1983.

Finally, you all know that Robert Rodriguez is actually making a full-length movie of Machete (one of the fake trailers from Grindhouse), right?  Check out that original Grindhouse trailer once again in all its NSFW glory, and ponder the potential wonder of the feature version.

[continued]

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Lots of great Lost analysis out there.  Click here for EW‘s Jeff Jensen’s in-depth write-up of the season 6 premiere.  I’m a big fan of “Doc” Jensen’s weekly Lost write-ups — they’re always insightful and ridiculously detailed.  Click here for Mr. Jensen’s interview with Lost masterminds Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindeloff, and click here for collider.com‘s interview with Mr. Lindeloff.  Both contain some tasty morsels of hints about what awaits us in season 6.  (And here’s a great interview with Mr. Jensen himself in which he discusses Lost‘s final season.)  On a less serious note, check out this very funny (and also super-detailed) review of the season 6 premiere from bestweekever.tv.  (The graphic of Jacob’s note to the Temple-Others is phenomenal.)  Lastly, this review of the premiere from chud.com is worth your time.  This dude has a Lost re-watch blog that I often checked out while conducting my own Lost re-watch project.  I hope you all enjoyed my extraordinarily lengthy list of the burning questions left hanging after Lost‘s first five seasons.  Can’t wait for tonight’s episode!

Click here for a terrific interview with comedian Patton Oswalt.  Click here for the Onion A.V. Club‘s interview with Aziz Ansari.  Both are great conversations with two very smart and funny individuals.

Speaking of interviews, for anyone out there who loved A Serious Man as much as I did (read my review here), you MUST read this phenomenal interview with Fred Melamed.  Mr. Melamed is the actor who portrayed Sy Ableman, one of the my favorite new characters that I saw created on screen in 2009.  The interview is a hoot, particularly when Mr. Melamed declares his effort to “bring the pompous, Jewish, overweight, rabbinic figure back to the center of American sexuality.”

Bill Waterson, the amazingly talented creator of Calvin & Hobbes, is well-known for having pretty much disappeared from planet Earth following the end of his beloved comic strip.  He hasn’t granted interviews, he hasn’t appeared at conventions or other gatherings of comic strip artists, and he hasn’t allowed any licensing of his characters.  So die-hard Calvin & Hobbes fans like myself took notice when he agreed to an e-mail conversation with a reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  Click here for the question-and-answer exchange!

This is very disturbing. Back to the Future Part III is officially ruined for me forever.

That’s all for today!… [continued]

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News Around the Net!

News broke yesterday that Sam Raimi’s planned Spider-Man 4 has been scrapped, and the studio is going ahead with a total reboot of the series.  DeadlineHollywoodDaily broke the story.  Personally, I’m bummed by this news.  Though Raimi & co. broke my heart with the atrocious Spider-Man 3, the first two Spidey flicks were so great that I really wanted to see him come back and try to return to the greatness of those first two films.  I hate that his run on the character is ending on such a low note, and the idea of rebooting a series that is only eight years old and wildly successful just seems insane to me.  But hey, I’m the guy who also wants to see Bryan Singer make another Superman film.

I have not read any of the Twilight books, nor seen the movies, nor do I have any intention of doing so.  But this piece over at CHUD about why Breaking Bad (the fourth and final Twilight book) MUST be made into a movie is absolutely hysterical.

Behold the weirdest wedding video I have ever seen.  This dude had his friends in the wedding party act out scenes from Superman II.  I am at once awestruck and disturbed.

Speaking of slightly-insane Superman fans, a few weeks ago I stumbled upon photos of this guy who decorated his office cubicle as the Fortress of Solitude.  Check it out:

fortressofsolitudecubicle

You can find the full story behind his crazy construction project here.

Then there’s this incredibly bizarre stop-motion animated interview with Fantastic Mr. Fox director Wes Anderson.  Except Wes Anderson is played by Jason Schwartzman.  You read that right.  Check it out.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, a super-cool new trailer for Iron Man 2 came out last month.  Take a look.  I was an enormous fan of Iron Man (read my review here), and have high hopes for the sequel.  Don’t break my heart, Mr. Favreau!  (By the way, in re-reading my review of Iron Man, I can see that I was sure that the Mandarin would be a key villain in the sequel.  It’s not looking that way… so I’m wondering whether that character factors into the story at all.  I certainly hope he does!)

Speaking of trailers, let me lay a few more on you.  Here’s a sort of weird new trailer for Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe’s latest collaboration: Robin Hood.  Take a look.  This seems like familiar ground for Scott and Crowe, and I can’t say that I have been lying awake at nights waiting for a new version of the Robin Hood story.  That being said, … [continued]

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obamasignarresteddevelopmentsm1

Love that photograph.  (I first saw it here.)

My friend Andy recently pointed me in the direction of a terrific web-comic called XKCD.  It’s a self-described web-comic of “romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”  My buddies who work in the computer world picked this comic as their favorite.

Here’s an interesting article that compares various shows’ original pilot episodes with what actually made it to air.  I was particularly intrigued since I recently saw Joss Whedon’s original, unaired pilot for Dollhouse that was rejected by FOX (it was a special feature on the season one DVD set), which Steph and I agreed was FAR superior to the pilot that aired (and, frankly, superior to ANY episode that actually aired during the first season!!  The two episodes that FOX never aired, that pilot and the epilogue episode Epitah One, were far far better than any of the 12 episodes that were actually broadcast.  But that’s a blog for another time…)

Here‘s an interesting list of one fella’s thoughts on the 10 best series of the 21st century so far (2000-present).  Some interesting choices there.  Love his description of season 1 of Battlestar Galactica (though beware a spoiler for that season’s shocking finish if you’ve never seen it!).

Click here for an absolutely fascinating, lengthy look into Spike Jonze’s almost decade-long effort to bring Where The Wild Things Are to the big screen, from the New York Times.  I cannot wait to see what he has created.

There’s a really intriguing new trailer out there for Up in the Air, the new film from director Jason Reitman (Juno, Thank You For Smoking) and starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Jason Bateman, Danny McBride, and Zach Galifianakis that looks spectacular.

Last year I wrote a piece that I called My Farewell to Heroes, in which I vowed to stop watching that incredibly disappointing show.  Luckily (judging by the consistently terrible reviews that the third season of the show got) I was able to stick to my vow.  Life is just to short to watch shitty TV.   Anyways, there’s an amusing review of the third season DVD set up at DVDactive.com (a terrific DVD/Blu-Ray site) by someone who shares my disdain for the show.  Worth a read.

I’ve breen pretty down on the movies of summer 2009.  My feeling has been that this was one of the more disappointing summers in recent memory.  But a recent article by Devin Farici over at Chud, listing his 10 best movies of summer 2009 just might cause me to change my tune.  I haven’t yet seen Moon, Away We Go, or World’s Greatest Dad (missed ’em in theatres, but … [continued]

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Welcome back to Motion Pictures!  We’ve got lots of great stuff coming your way in the next few weeks (including my LENGTHY dissertation on Inglourious Basterds, coming on Wednesday).  For now, let’s see what sorts of fun stuff has hit the web recently:

James Cameron has finally made another movie!  And after almost two years of teases, we have at last been graced with a trailer — check it out here.  I don’t hate Titanic — not at all.  I happen to think, though, that it’s one of Cameron’s weaker movies — because I absolutely adore the two Terminator Films, Aliens, The Abyss, and True Lies.  Those five films are all pretty much masterpieces, in my book, so I have been bummed that Mr. Cameron has gone a decade without making a new film.  But that drought is finally at an end!  Let’s hope Avatar is good…

Some other interesting trailers have hit recently:  Here’s a glimpse at the long-delayed The Wolfman.  It’s got a great cast (Benicio del Toro, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Hugo Weaving, and Emily Blunt) but the year-long delay and lots of rumors of problems with the film have me skeptical.

Then there’s the latest Michael Moore joint, Capitalism: A Love Story.  Check out the trailer here.  That should be interesting…

Earlier this month, when I was looking for an image of the crows from Dumbo for my Transformers cartoon making fun of the ridiculously infantile (not to mention offensive!) Skids and Mudflap, I came across this fascinating list of the Nine Most Racist Disney Characters.

In a recent interview with Europe’s Sky TV channel, Quentin Tarantino listed his twenty favorite movies of the past twenty years.  It’s a pretty bizarre list, hence Chud‘s article titled Is Quentin Tarantino Totally Fucking With Us?  (Unlike the author of that piece, I for one was THRILLED to see Unbreakable on that list!!)

Finally, take a gander at this:

Been there, man.  TOTALLY been there.  I can’t wait for this!  Might have to bite the bullet and sign up for HBO for a few months so I can see the much-heralded Seinfeld reunion…… [continued]

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New Trailers!

Some great new trailers have hit the web in recent days, and they have quite a lot in common with one another in some fascinating ways.

First up, we’ve finally been given our first substantial glimpse into what Terry Gilliam has cooked up in his new film The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, and, as one might expect, it is spectacularly bizarre.  I cannot wait to see Heath Ledger’s final performance.  Click here for the trailer.

Is that not enough cinematic weirdness for you?  Then check out the trailer for Tim Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland.  That man was born to make this movie.  I just hope it has a little more life to it than Burton’s version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory did.

Are we on a roll yet?  Continuing the theme of visionary directors adapting famous books, take a peak at the newly-released second trailer for Spike Jonze’s adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are.  That looks absolutely marvelous, doesn’t it?

Finally, speaking of visionary directors adapting famous books, here‘s a long-anticipated (by me, at least) look at Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones that is absolutely haunting.  Can’t wait.… [continued]

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More Goodness From Comic-Con!

Battlestar Galactica vets Hamie Bamber (Lee Apollo) and Tahmoh Penikett (Helo) will be together again on the season 2 premiere of Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse! Click here for more details.

Speaking of Dollhouse, any interview with Mr. Whedon is always worth a look, and this piece contains some tantalizing glimpses at the unaired Dollhouse episode “Epitah 1” (which screened at Comic-Con and sounds super-cool) as well as hints at a sequel to Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (one of my favoritest things ever)!!

So wow, Capone over at AICN has a report from Peter Jackson covering about 10,000 upcoming projects, all of them enormously exciting!!  Click here to get an update on The Hobbit, District 9, The Lovely Bones, Tintin, and more!

The Sci-Fi channel (urg, I really don’t want to call it Sy-Fy) has posted video from all of its Comic-Con panels.  Perhaps, like me, you couldn’t care less to watch video of people talking about Stargate: Universe — but be sure to check out the full hour-long panel about Battlestar Galactica: The Plan and Caprica!

Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill will be lending their vocal talents to The Simpsons?  Awesome!  Here’s some additional info that came to light at Comic-Con on the season’s upcoming 20th (20 years!  Unbelievable!!) season.

I am disappointed, but not terribly surprised, to read that Kevin Smith might have to change the title of his upcoming buddy cop movie (starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan), A Couple of Dicks.

By all accounts, the Iron Man 2 panel was pretty awesome.  (Click here for a description.)  Why can’t some of this footage be found on-line??  Grrr.  But here’s another interesting tidbit of Marvel movie news: some hints about the line-up for the upcoming Avengers movie!  Some interesting choices.  I really hope that they use Millar/Hitch’s magnificent Ultimates series (which I reviewed here) as the basis for this film.

Since Comic-Con is also a place for news about, you know, comics, I’ll close with a piece of comic-book news that should get any true comic fan very excited:  Planetary #27 is finally being released in October!!!  Can it possibly live-up to the hype generated by the years-long delay?  We’ll see!… [continued]

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News Around the Net (Comic-Con Edition!)

So, wow!  After the recent Comic-Con the web has been flooded with all sorts of teases about upcoming movies, TV shows, and other geeky goodness.  Here’s some of the best stuff that I’ve found:

After so many years of speculation and false starts, the sequel to Tron is finally, actually happening!!  Check out the STUNNING trailer here.  It’s going to be in IMAX 3-D??  I’m THERE.

I cannot believe they’re actually making a Jonah Hex movie.  (And with Josh Brolin, no less!)  Check out the poster.

The ending of Lost revealed?  Um, not quite.  Check out this video from the Lost panel!  Quite a lot of additional footage from that panel can be found here.  For some reason, Michael Emmerson’s fake audition for the role of Hurley isn’t included, but you can find that here.  Funny stuff.

Here’s a pretty bad-ass trailer for Season 2 of The Clone Wars.  I actually found the first season to be fairly watchable, and this glimpse at the next season looks pretty promising.

You know what it takes to sell real estate?  The same thing it takes to re-make one of the most brilliant TV shows of all time.  Well, AMC’s version of The Prisoner, starring Ian McKellan and Jim Caviezel, is nearly upon us.  Check out this lengthy trailer.  I must say, that looks pretty damn intriguing!

Amongst all of this glorious fun is the extraordinarily troubling continuing story about the newly-resurrected Futurama‘s uncertain future.  This report from the Futurama panel at the con is grim indeed.  Can’t everybody just make nice already?!!

That’s all for now — have a great weekend everybody!!… [continued]

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News Around the Net

Here’s a fascinating/hilarious article assessing the Ghostbusters‘ Risky Business Plan.  Those of you in finance, take note!  And, speaking of Ghostbusters, here’s a link to 50 Reasons Why Ghostbusters Just Might Be The Greatest Film of All Time.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles show-runner Josh Friedman has a lengthy, funny, and sort-of-sad assessment of the cancellation of his show that is worth checking out.

Here’s an interesting piece about the Seven Director’s Cuts That You Didn’t Realize That You Wanted.   I DEFINITELY would love to see an alternate cut of The Fountain!

I loved this article about the 10 Most Polarizing Films of the Last Decade.  I strongly disagree with some of his opinions (I really enjoyed both Watchmen and Fahrenheit 9/11, while I had absolutely no patience for Eyes Wide Shut), but I was THRILLED to find someone other than me who loves the criminally underrated Vanilla Sky!!  Follow the link and join the debate.

Here’s another great list: The fine folks at DVDActive.com (one of my favorite DVD-related web-sites) have put together their list of the 10 Franchises That Deserve Better.  It’s a great read, and I am in full agreement with most of their choices.

Did you happen to catch William Shatner’s appearance on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien last month?  Check out the clip on Trekmovie.com.  It’s worth watching for the insanity of the last 30 seconds.

Have a great weekend, everyone!  See you back here on Monday!… [continued]

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News Around the Net

Good news, everybody!  Futurama lives!!

So Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck) is joining the cast of 24 next season?  Time for the Battlestar Galactica actors to learn what the members of the ensemble from The Wire have discovered: they’ll never again be in a TV show as good.

Did you see The Daily Show’s John Hodgman’s uproariously funny speech at the 2009 Radio and TV Correspondents’ Dinner?  Not to be missed.

A nice farewell to Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles can be found on Composer Bear McCreary’s excellent blog, as he lists his 15 favorite moments from the show.  (They are all excellent choices.)  This show had its flaws, to be sure, but I am really disappointed that we won’t be getting a third season.  (By the way, Bear was also the composer for the reinvented Battlestar Galactica throughout its run.)

Speaking of The Terminator, the fine folks over at filmschoolrejects.com have posted an interesting list of 20 Things We Didn’t Like and 10 Things We Did about Terminator: Salvation.

I don’t play videogames, but I must admit that this trailer for Lucasarts’ new Star Wars: The Old Republic trailer is ridiculously cool.  I wish we’d seen half that much bad-assery in the prequels…

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog has made his first appearance on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien!  Watch him make fun of some hippies here.

Have a great weekend, everybody!  See you back here on Monday!… [continued]

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News Around the Net

Click here for a terrific three-essay series that delves into the first three Indiana Jones films.  These are all really well-written pieces, filled to the brim with love for the cinematic adventures of Dr. Jones.

Clever tourists wrecking the world one monument at a time.  Don’t think — just follow that link.  You won’t regret it.

Click here for a fascinating list of the twenty best non-fiction books for people who think they hate to read non-fiction.  I need to get on this, having only read two of the items on this list!

I’m not exactly recommending this lengthy essay, because I disagree with it wildly, but it’s sort of bizarrely fascinating two see two individuals who really don’t seem to like Star Trek at all go on an enormous length about it as they revisit the first six Trek films.  (Well, one of the two authors seems to be a fan, but he doesn’t seem to put up much of a fight whenever the other one bashes the series.)

Speaking of Trek, here is a link to a lengthy, fascinating Q & A that’s been going on over at Trekmovie.com between Star Trek screenwriters Bob Orci & Alex Kurtzman and a number of fans who, like me, had lots of questions about elements of the new movie’s plots.  I really respect Mr. Orci for engaging with the fans in this way — though I feel most of his responses are pretty flimsy.  Check it out and see what you think.  (UPDATE:  Still MORE Q & A with Mr. Orci & Mr. Kurtzman can be found here!)

It’s pretty obvious that the new Star Trek movie was pretty heavily influenced by the action and dynamism of Star Wars.  But have you considered just how deep those similarities run?  Shocking!  (And hysterical.)

Let’s close with three intriguing trailers: Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey Junior, the bizarre-looking Nine and (can you believe it?) Toy Story 3.

That should keep you all good and busy until tomorrow!  See you back here then!… [continued]

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News Around the Net!

Big dumb summer movie trailer alert!  It’s the new trailer for Transformers 2, filled with lots of robot smashing action, and the new trailer for G.I. Joe, filled with Ninjas and, um, Eiffel Tower smashing action!  Sigh.  Hard to believe these two iconic and beloved cartoons of my youth are both now big-budget blockbuster movies coming out this summer.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if there were both really awesome?  Isn’t it sort of sad to know that they definitely won’t be?

For a peek at a movie that might actually be good, click here to check out District 9, the new sci-fi flick directed by Neill Blomkamp and executive produced by Peter Jackson (The Lord of The Rings).  Color me intrigued.

Keeping up with the trailers, here‘s a glimpse at the new film from Francis Ford Coppola, Tetro.  I never saw his last film, the critically-demolished Youth Without Youth, but this looks really interesting.  It’s a new film from Francis Ford Coppola!  Of course it looks interesting!

Did you know that Robert Rodriguez is working on a new Predator film??  If it happens, it’ll be called Predators (in a clever nod to James Cameron’s sequel to Alien, entitled Aliens).  Check out the tantalizing details here.  I need to see this movie RIGHT NOW.

So it’s been ten years since The Phantom Menace, huh?  Here’s an interesting look back.  I agree with this fellow’s thoughts about the two Phantom Menace trailers (among the finest trailers ever crafted), but I certainly don’t think anywhere nearly as highly of that dreadful turd of a movie as he does.  (You can read my memories of first seeing Episode I in theatres here, and my thoughts on the movie looking back almost a decade later here.)

Did you not have enough Star Trek content here on the site for the past two weeks?  Then check out this great piece from the Onion A.V. Club: “Space Racism is Bad and 17 Other Not-So-Subtle Lessons Learned From Star Trek.”  If you’ve never seen it before, you MUST scroll down to the clip of William Shatner’s Kirk reading the Preamble to U.S. Constitution in selection #12, from the absurd Trek episode The Omega Glory.  “WE… the… PEOPLE… not written for thekingsorthechiefsortherichorthepowerful but for ALLTHEPEOPLE!”  Classic Shatnerian magnificence. 

Since seeing J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek film, I’ve been enjoying reading all the different reactions on-line and in the press.  I always enjoy Alexandra DuPont’s film reviews when they appear (not often enough to suit me) on aintitcoolnews.com, and her take on the new film is well worth your time.  (I remember well … [continued]

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News Around the Net!

Let’s begin the day by my pointing your attention to two great pieces recently from The Onion A.V. Club: this article about 25 great albums that work best when listened to from start to finish, and a spirited defense of the recent seasons of The Simpsons that lists 10 episodes from the past 5 seasons that stand among the series’ best.

If you haven’t seen it yet, click here to watch the new trailer for Sacha Baron Cohen’s new movie Bruno.  For a little more detail on some of the sequences that you get glimpses of in the trailer, click here for a terrific write-up of the 25 minutes of footage that screened a few weeks ago at SXSW, the theatre-owners convention.  How is he able to still fool people with this stuff after all the publicity that surrounded Borat?

I am not a big fan of Broadway musicals.  That is putting it mildly.  So I’m not exactly doing cartwheels at the news that there is a Spider-Man musical in the works.  And I was completely befuddled to read that they’re working on a musical based on Groundhog Day!  What a bizarre notion.

By the way, speaking of Spider-Man, has director Sam Raimi admitted what was immediately apparent to discerning movie-goers about an hour into the film — that Spider-Man 3 was just terrible?  Well, sort-of.  Click here to read his interesting comments.  Since a Spider-Man 4 seems inevitable, this gives me a smidgen of hope that perhaps we will see a return to the high quality of the first two Spidey films.  What could possibly go wrong, right?

Harlan Ellison is a brilliant Sci-Fi author.  He’s also responsible for one of the finest hours of Star Trek ever committed to film: the Original Series episode “The City on the Edge of Forever.”  He is now suing Paramount and the WGA.  You have got to read his hilarious press release all the way to the end.

So there’s going to be a James Bond museum?  And I thought Christmas only came once a year.

Finally, did you know that some people are getting all bent out of shape about a Chuck Jones Looney Tunes print that parodies Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper?  Well, they are.  In these troubled times, aren’t there more important things that we should be worrying about?  Like the enormous size of the nacelles on the U.S.S. Enterprise in J.J. Abrams’ new Star Trek movie??… [continued]

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News Around the Net!

Have you seen this?  Jon Hamm (Mad Men) plays Lex Luthor in this short from Funnyordie.com, asking for bailout money for Luthorcorp.  Genius!

Out-there director Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation) is making a film of Maurice Sendak’s beloved childrens’ book, Where The Wild Things Are?  What an insane, inspired notion.  Check out this wondrous trailer.  This is a movie I need to see.

Speaking of trailers I really want to see, I didn’t know anything whatsoever about Sam Mendes’ (American Beauty) new film, Away We Go, before I saw this new trailer (mentioned at the Motion Captured blog over on HitFix.com).  It stars John Krasinski (Jim from The Office) and Maya Rudolph (from SNL), and now that I’ve seen the trailer I am very excited for this film!  

I love this new poster for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek movie.  I need this in my home.

Speaking of Trek, there’s been some interesting pieces posted on-line lately about the use of Bryan Tyler’s magnificent score for Children of Dune in the trailers for the new Star Trek film.  This article summarizes the confusion nicely.  I am fascinated by this stuff.  Tyler’s score was also used extensively in the first trailer for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.  I loved both of the Sci-Fi channel’s Dune mini-series, and it tickles me to hear snippets of the score being used all over the place these days!

Come back here tomorrow to read my thoughts on a terrific older film from director Guillermo del Toro, The Devil’s Backbone!… [continued]

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News Around the Net

March 12th, 2009

So have you all seen Watchmen yet?  I am eager to hear people’s thoughts.  Roger Ebert has seen it twice, and after his first review he felt he needed to go back and write about it again.  Pretty interesting.  Speaking of Ebert, I really loved reading his recent tribute to his partner, Gene Siskel, on the tenth anniversary of Gene’s death.  Don’t leave that page without watching the video of the two of them on the Howard Stern show, which is posted at the bottom.  

George Lucas has apparently begun casting his Star Wars TV show.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

Have some money to burn?  Then have you considered adorning the wall of your home or office with this damn dirty ape?

In anticipation of the new Star Trek movie, Devin Faraci over at CHUD has been reviewing every single original Star Trek episode.  (Or, at least he was, before the pace of his articles slowed to a crawl.)  But he seems to be back with his review of episode 17, “The Squire of Gothos.”  This episode is, for some reason, considered a classic of the Original Series, but in the cold light of 30 years of hindsight, we must acknowledge that it’s pretty bad.  Anyways, Devin’s reviews are always HYSTERICAL, and this one is no different.  

Let’s end where we began, with Watchmen.  Was my lengthy pre-movie-release dissertation on some of the themes of the graphic novel not in-depth enough for you?  Well then have I got the web-sites for you.  Clear your afternoon’s schedule, and the click here and here.

Don’t forget that, since January, I have been on a new schedule in which I ALWAYS post a new blog on Friday (even though there is no new cartoon on that day).  So don’t forget to check back every Friday to see what’s cooking here!  Coming up tomorrow is a look at some of the great DVDs that I’ve been watching recently.  See you then!… [continued]

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News Around the Net

Haven’t done one of these in a while…

Here’s some of the fun stuff floating around the interwebs these days:

The Simpsons has moved to HD!  This has apparently necessitated a change in the show’s iconic opening credits sequence, which has remained constant for 19 years.  (Can you believe it’s been that long??)  Fear not, fans, the new credits sequence is quite spectacular.  It follows the general pattern of the old opening, bringing us through Springfield — from Bart writing on the blackboard to Homer working in the plant to Lisa in band class to Marge shopping with Maggie, etc etc.  But there are a LOT of great new gags, and new appearances by many of the popular characters who weren’t around when the show originally launched (Groundskeeper Willie, Otto, Ralph Wiggum, Pattie & Selma, Sideshow Bob, Apu and his Octuplets, and many more).  And the new animation is terrific.  If you missed yesterday’s episode, check out the new opening by clicking here.  Note that the couch gag is, of course, just this week’s version — that ending joke will continue to change every week.  By the way, after watching this clip, do you find yourself missing Bleeding Gums Murphy?  (He’s one of the characters Bart used to skateboard past, who has now been removed.)  Don’t worry, he’s still there!  Check out the pictures on the wall behind the kids in Lisa’s band class…

Just like the year when there were two asteroid-hitting-the-earth movies (Deep Impact and Armageddon) or the year when there were two volcano movies (Dante’s Peak and Volcano), this year there are two Mall Cop flicks coming out.  Perhaps you, like me, chose to pass on Paul Blart: Mall Cop, starring Kevin James.  But you might still be interested in Seth Rogen’s much, much darker take on the idea.  Click here to see a trailer for Observe and Report.

Speaking of trailers, Quentin Tarantino’s let’s-go-kill-some-Nazis flick Inglourious Basterds (yes, that is how the title is spelled) has a teaser trailer that was just released.  Click here to check it out.

Is Joaquin Phoenix melting down before our eyes, or is this all some kind of hoax for the documentary that Casey Affleck is apparently filming about Phoenix’s attempt at a rap career?  I have no idea, but click here to watch his truly bizarre appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, and judge for yourself.

If you’re a Watchmen fan who is chomping at the bit for the movie to be released (Match 6th is coming!!), then you definitely need to click here to watch the teaser for the Tales of the Black Freighter direct-to-DVD release. 

Finally, I … [continued]

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News around the Net and 24 Returns!

January 13th, 2009
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Not to distract anyone’s attention from MotionPicturesComics.com, but I wanted to point out to y’all that Drew McWeeny, one of my favorite writers over the years at Aintitcoolnews.com, is now writing for HitFix.com and his blog (about movies, DVD, and lots of other fun, related stuff) is definitely worth checking out.  I’ve always enjoyed Drew’s writing over the years (he was known as “Moriarty” over on AICN), particularly his articles on all of the many many DVDs that he watches.  Those DVD pieces, in particular, were among my inspirations when I started this blog.  

McWeeny’s new blog attracted a lot of attention last week when he posted a lengthy open letter from one of the producers of Watchmen about the on-going litigation between Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox over the film (and Fox’s attempts to stop Warners from opening the film as scheduled in March).  If you are at all interested in this story, you should click on that link and read this fascinating letter.  Another recent post of interest drew my attention to a phenomenal evisceration of Ben Stein’s recent “documentary” Expelled (if you haven’t heard about this film, it’s a defense of creationism and an attack on the theory of evolution) by none other than famous film critic Roger Ebert.  This is an older article (Expelled was released last year), but it is a terrific read.

But enough of all that — let’s talk about the first four hours of 24‘s much-delayed seventh season (it was supposed to have launched LAST YEAR at this time, but was scuttled by the writers’ strike), which premiered on Sunday and Monday nights.

I have made no secret of my opinion that, for some time now (since, oh, I’d say about season four) 24 has been crying out for a total reinvention.  Keep Jack, keep the adrenaline-pumping real-time format, but start telling some entirely different types of adventures.  For too long now, 24 has been telling the same types of stories over and over and over again, usually involving some variation on the following themes:  a terrorist captures someone and forces them to help with a nefarious plan… Jack tortures someone for information… there’s a lot of technical talk about access codes and opening sockets and someone gaining access to a weapon or a code or a piece of equipment that they can use to menace the United States… Jack winds up on his own with no one to trust, because there’s a mole or multiple moles in the government agencies trying to stop the bad guys… and meanwhile there’s a lot of intrigue in Washington involving the President trying to make some big decisions about important world … [continued]

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Happy Thanksgiving and News Around the Net!

November 26th, 2008

The folks over at aintitcoolnews have posted something very cool — a slightly tweaked version of the new Star Trek trailer.  It’s basically the exact same trailer, with one big glorious change made to the very last shot.  This isn’t a fan-made hoax, this is a real first glimpse at something cool from J.J. Abrams’ new movie.  Now, this addition to the trailer could sort of be considered a spoiler, so beware (although this particular plot point has been pretty common knowledge since the movie was first announced over two years ago, and I have no doubt that it will feature heavily into trailers that will get released closer to the film’s opening).  Anyways, it’s pretty neat, so check it out here.

I have a lot more to say about the Star Trek trailer, but I’m holding it in for now.  In the mean-time, there have been a LOT of words about the trailer written all over the web, and here are my two favorite pieces so far:  Devin over at CHUD (Cinematic Happenings Under Development) identifies a lot of the fears that long-time Trek fans like myself have over the new film, while Moriarty at AICN expresses a much more optimistic and excited view (which is where I’m at when I’m not getting insanely crazy over the idea that this new film seems to be ignoring established Trek continuity like the back-story that Robert April was the first captain of the Enterprise.)  OK, deep breaths…

In other news:

Wired Magazine has an amusing article on The Five Awesomest TV and Movie Spaceships.  I still think the refit U.S.S. Enterprise (from the first 6 Star Trek movies) is my favorite, but this fellow’s picks are pretty good, too.

There’s a neat new motion-poster out for the new Terminator movie.  See the thing in motion here (give the image a minute to get going), or click here to see a still of the poster’s final image.  Cool poster, but if this movie winds up actually being any good I will be stunned.

Can someone explain to me why Fox isn’t making lots and lots of X-Men sequels?  OK, the third one stunk, but it made a lot of money, right?  There are so many great X-Men characters and comics that are just waiting to be made into awesome films — what’s going on?  Instead, Fox is making spin-offs (there’s the Wolverine movie coming out this summer, inexplicably titled X-Men Origins: Wolverine; and they’re also working on an Ian McKellan-free Magneto spin-off titled, oh yes, X-Men Origins: Magneto), and now word comes that Fox is gearing up for an X-Men PREQUEL.  Read Variety’s story here.  A PREQUEL?  … [continued]

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News Around The Net

November 4th, 2008

A pretty slick new trailer for the seventh season of 24 is on-line here.  After a dreadful sixth season and a two-year hiatus, it’s hard for me to muster up much enthusiasm for the return of this once-great show…but the trailer is snazzy, and hope springs eternal!  We’ll see…

Joss Whedon updates his fans on the status of his new show Dollhouse here.  There have been a lot of rumors about trouble on this show, and Joss sets the record straight in his always hilarious style.  I’m not exactly reassured, but a new Joss Whedon show is something to anticipate, so I’m hoping for the best.  Hope it lasts longer than the killed-WAY-before-its-time Firefly.  Sniff.

Speaking of sci-fi, as we count the days until the the final batch of Battlestar Galactica episodes being to air, the web-site Galactica sit-rep has a pretty thorough update on all things Galactica.  Check it out here.

You’ve all probably heard that Terrence Howard, who played Tony Stark’s buddy Rhodey in Iron Man, has been replaced by Don Cheadle for the sequel (coming in 2010).  Entertainment Weekly has an interesting theory as to why the change was made, and you can find that here.  Whatever the reason, I’m disappointed by the switch, as I really enjoyed Howard’s performance in the first film and hate this kind of continuity change mid-series.  That being said, Don Cheadle is a tremendous actor, so this could be worse.

Let us end with the greatest and weirdest story I’ve read in a long time.  Is Fox planning on re-making Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (the FOURTH of the five original Planet of the Apes films)???  Check out this story.  I can’t imagine that a) this will ever get made, and b) that if it did, it would be any good.  Still, what a bizarre and wild idea!!!

Lots of movie and DVD reviews coming in the next few days… and tomorrow, we have a special guest reviewer from across the pond give us his thoughts on the new Bond adventure, Quantum of Solace (which doesn’t open here in the States for two more long weeks)!!!  See you then!… [continued]

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Second Chances…

October 23rd, 2008
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A trailer for the fifth and penultimate season of Lost has made its way onto the internet.  Check it out here.  Nothing earth-shattering, but its enough to get my anticipation building for the return of the show in ’09.

Speaking of building anticipation, some new footage from Watchmen aired recently on Spike TV and is now, of course, up on YouTube.  Check it out here.  The first half is mostly familiar to those of us who pored over the amazing first trailer, but the second half is mostly new stuff.  Visually, this footage is incredible — Zack Snyder has really nailed a number of iconic moments from the acclaimed Graphic Novel.  Will the film live up to our hopes?  We’ll find out on March 6th…

Finally, due to nothing more than my own incompetence, yesterday’s cartoon (recapping Pirates of the Caribbean 2) went up pretty late in the day, so if you missed it just click on Comic Archive to check it out.… [continued]

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Coming Soon!

September 29th, 2008

There’s a new, longer trailer out for Frank Miller’s The Spirit, the movie-version of comics pioneer Will Eisner’s comic book.  And, well, I have no friggin’ idea what to make of this.  Looks like it’ll either be brilliant of completely unwatchable.  Guess we’ll all find out together on December 25th.

Interested in some more fun trailers? 

Here’s a new one for Bryan Singer’s film, Valkyrie.  Mr. Singer has taken a lot of hits recently, as rumors are swirling that Warners’ next Superman film won’t be a follow-up to his Superman Returns but rather another reinvention of the franchise.  (I am VERY disappointed by that idea, as I’m one of the people who loved Superman Returns and I’m intrigued to know where Singer would have taken his story.)  His latest film, Valkyrie, has been bouncing around the release schedule for the past year, which many saw as a lack of confidence in its quality by the studio.  It was initially scheduled for release in October, then pushed back to February 2009, then back to Decmber 26th.  Will it be as good as this trailer?

Here’s one for Oliver Stone’s W.  Josh Brolin is George W. Bush, Elizabeth Banks is Laura Bush, Richard Dreyfuss is Dick Cheney, James Cromwell is George Herbert Walker Bush, Scott Glenn is Donald Rumsfeld, and Jeffrey Wright is Colin Powell.  At the very least, I am intrigued.

For a look at another sure-to-be controversial film, take a gander at this trailer for Bill Maher’s documentary Religulous.  This could be the film that I am most looking forward to this fall.

Have you seen this peak at Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman Begins & The Dark Knight) as John Connor?  That’s great casting, although I have every confidence that I will ultimately be bitterly disappointed by this movie…

Finally, here’s something to get your blood pumping for the next Bond film, the oddly-named Quantum of Solace.  It gives a way a good chunk of the film’s plot, so beware of that.  But damn does it look good!  Can’t wait.… [continued]

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News Around the Net

September 16th, 2008
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There’s a great, in-depth interview with Jon Favreau on his plans for Iron Man 2 (and 3!) to be found here.  Some really interesting tid-bits to be had.  I have a lot of faith in Favreau and am really excited to see what he and his team cook up over the next two years.

I love movie posters, and here’s one I think you might enjoy as well:  Kevin Smith has posted the new poster for Zach and Miri Make a Porno, his upcoming movie starring Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks.  If you follow that link, be sure to also scroll down a bit to see the poster design that the MPAA rejected.  Pretty funny, the both of them!

This is old news, but I’ve mean meaning to mention it:  Don LaFontaine passed away earlier this month.  Don’t recognize his name?  Well I guarantee you’d recognize his voice.  He’s the famed “trailer guy,” whose deep tones graced the narration of so many movie trailers over the years.  A fascinating trip-down-memory-lane sampling of his work can be found here.  

Hope to see everyone back here tomorrow!… [continued]

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News Around The Net

LOTS of fun stuff continuing to hit the interweb in this past week, after the San Diego Comic Con.  Check out these links:

Creepy new trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince can be found here!

Is the new Terminator movie going to be any good?  I doubt it.  But is this poster pretty cool?  Why it surely is.

Speaking of posters, some gorgeous new posters for the Watchmen movie can be seen here.

The entire hour-long Battlestar Galactica panel from Comic-Con (hosted by KEVIN SMITH!) is on-line here.

If you’re going to go see the next X-Files movie, this somewhat humorous recap of the final two rather lame seasons of the show can be found here.  Of course, the movie doesn’t deal with any of that stuff.  But its a fun trip down memory lane, as well as a reminder of why I haven’t rewatched any of the episodes from those final years of the show recently!

And finally, who better to sum up the entire Comic Con experience for those of us who couldn’t attend than Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.  He is merciless.

OK, that should keep you all off the streets for the next little while…… [continued]

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News Around the Net

Every now and then a great, cancelled-before-its-time TV show earns a magical second chance. My favorite recent example of this is the staggeringly underrated Futurama. This wonderfully bizarre and hysterical show, created by Matt Groening, was cancelled back in 2005, but it was revived last year for four direct-to-DVD movies. The first, Bender’s Big Score, came out this past November. The second, The Beast With a Billion Backs, is nearly upon us. Check out the trailer:

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/36905

If you don’t know what the twist of the story is going to be from the DVD’s title, the last line of the trailer spells things out pretty clearly.

In other news, the creator of the Pringles can died last month, and was buried in…oh yes, a Pringles can. Could I make that up?

http://www.suntimes.com/news/nation/983051,pring060208.article

Finally, in sad news, Alexander Courage died last week. He was a tremendously talented film composer and arranger…but his most famous work was probably writing the theme to the original Star Trek series. There aren’t too many pieces of music more iconic. What a giant. More information on his life and work can be found here:

http://trekmovie.com/2008/05/28/star-trek-composer-alexander-courage-dead-at-88/#more-2013

That’s all for me for today!… [continued]