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Last week I went down a rabbit hole of watching fan-edited “modern trailers” for classic films.  Check out this terrific trailer for The Empire Strikes Back:

I also absolutely love this trailer for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan:

I’m a huge fan of the Paley Center and everything they do.  They have lots of great content available online — I encourage readers of this site to take a look.  It’s a treasure trove!  Here are a few examples of recent material that I’ve enjoyed:

This Parks and Recreation reunion from 2019:

Alan Sepinwall interviews Hank Azaria and Amanda Peet, discussing the final season of Brockmire:

Here’s a great hour-long interview, from Collider, with Ronald D. Moore, in which he discusses his work on Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, For All Mankind (the recent Apple TV series that I loved), and Outlander:

And here’s another great Collider interview, this one with Paul Feig:

So, wow… after years of rumors, Zack Snyder will be completing and releasing his version of Justice League!  I never thought this would actually happen.  Mr. Snyder directed Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman, building towards a planned two-film Justice League epic.  But following the poor reviews of Batman v. Superman, his plans were curtailed… and then he would up leaving the post-production of Justice League following a family tragedy.  Justice League was completed by Joss Whedon.  There were aspects of the film I enjoyed, but not enough to say I thought it actually worked.  For several years we’ve heard rumors about Mr. Snyder’s original almost four-hour cut, and all of the storylines he’d filmed that were excised from the theatrically released version.  While I am unconvinced that Mr. Snyder’s original version will wind up being much better than the theatrical version (many/most of the problems in Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman can be laid squarely at his feet), I am certainly very interested in seeing what he’d planned.  It’s also cool that this release on HBO Max won’t necessarily be edited down to a two or three hour version.  The articles suggests a four-hour-long version, perhaps separated into chapters, might be what they release.  I’m intrigued!

(Interesting aside: not long after the news of Zack Snyder’s cut of Justice League broke, Suicide Squad director David Ayer tweeted that a nearly-completed version of his original cut of that film also exists!  Suicide Squad went through a famously difficult post-production period, and the film was apparently dramatically re-edited late in the game in an attempt to strike a lighter, more humorous tone.  It’s hard to say who is ultimately responsible, but the finished film was terrible.  Would … [continued]

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Josh Reviews For All Mankind Season One!

I signed up for Apple TV, just so I could watch this new show from Ronald D. Moore.  And I have no regrets!  Mr. Mooore was one of the best writers on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and he was the creator and show-runner of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica, a show I absolutely adore.  For All Mankind, created by Ronald D. Moore, Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi, tells an alternate history of what might have transpired had the Russians won the space race and beat the U.S. to landing a man on the moon in 1969.  That sounds like it could be a dark version of history, but the show is remarkably positive and aspirational, taking the approach that the continued competition between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. led to the U.S.’s not abandoning the Apollo program after Apollo 17 in 1972.  This was one of my very favorite TV shows of 2019!

The show depicts this alternate history in a fascinatingly considered, documentary-like approach.  The series isn’t a fake-doc, but it has the gravitas of a period piece chronicle of an important time in history; it just so happens that this history is fake!  It feels like an alt-history version of From the Earth to the Moon.  I thought it was fantastic, a wonderful piece of speculative fiction that was fascinating and thrilling.

I was delighted by the many little details and moments that show us how the show’s alternate history diverged from our reality.  It’s fascinating to hear, on the radio, that Ted Kennedy cancelled his party at Chappaquiddick in order to attend NASA hearings following the Soviet’s moon landings… and then, later in the show, we learn that, untarnished by that tragedy, he’s elected President!  (It’s also fascinating to hear reports, later in the season, that President Ted Kennedy winds up embroiled in a sex scandal involving Mary Jo Kopechne — who, in reality, died at Chappaquiddick in 1969.)

As I noted above, I was very surprised and taken by the idea that, far from this show’s being some sort of dystopia, we see that many remarkably positive events spiral out of the U.S.’s loss of the space race to the Russians.  We see that NASA succeeded in creating a lunar habitat; that public pressure led to the inclusion of female astronauts far earlier than actually happened, and how that change then led to the passage of the E.R.A. in the seventies (while the E.R.A. was never, in reality, ratified).  These are just a few of many examples!  I love how, on the show, the discovery of ice on the moon in 1971 (far earlier than happened in … [continued]

Browse Josh's Portfolio and the Comic, Reviews or Blog archive.

News Around the Net: Comic-Con Edition!

Hi friends!  This past week was the San Diego Comic-Con, and as a result there has been an awesome flood of news about all sorts of geeky things.  Let’s review some of the highlights, shall we?

Here’s the first teaser trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.  I don’t love that title (is the second “the” really necessary?) and I think the “The Defining Chapter” tag-line they are going with in this trailer and on the posters is silly, but I dig this trailer.  These Hobbit films have not lived up to the expectations established by the phenomenal Lord of the Rings films, but I have still enjoyed them a lot and I am eager for the third and final film.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron footage that screened sounds cool.  I am intrigued by this glimpse of Ultron Mk. 1.

This is a pretty terrific interview with Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige.  Interesting stuff covered.  Someday the true story of what went down with Ant Man and Edgar Wright is going to be told, and it is going to be fascinating.

This description of footage of Batman v Superman sounds interesting.  Are they really using some of Frank Miller’s  designs from The Dark Knight Returns?  I’d love to see this footage.  DC’s plan of stuffing lots of Justice League characters into this Man of Steel sequel seems worrisome to me, but on the other hand this first image of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is pretty great.

People seem to have been bowled over at the footage that screened from Mad Max: Fury Road.  (I can’t believe this movie finally got made and is being released!!!)  I am very, very curious to see what George Miller has crafted after so much time away from this franchise.  This first teaser, made up of some of the footage they showed at Comic-Con, is pretty great:

Here is a teaser trailer for Kevin Smith’s Tusk:

Just what the heck is this film going to be, and could it be any good???  I dunno, I am not hugely optimistic, but I’ll admit I am damn curious and that’s a pretty great trailer…

Ronald D. Moore (one of the best Star Trek writers and creator and show-runner of the modern version of Battlestar Galactica) just did a fantastic Q & A on reddit.  Prepare to loose a large amount of your time reading this.

Dr. Julian Bashir will be appearing on Game of Thrones?  Awesome!!  I grew to love Alexander Siddig’s work on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (my favorite of all the Trek series) and I have often felt that he is a great … [continued]