Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Two new animated sci-fi films

So there are two big new animated movies on the horizons that I wanted to talk about today.

the first, and at this point most interesting, is the new one from Pixar and Andrew Stanton (the man behind Finding Nemo). A whole heap of interesting information hit the web today about this film, in the form of an excellent article written and hosted by Jim Hill Media that you can read here. This should be the Pixar film that comes out after Ratatouille. It is called Wall-E and is a sci fi story of love, and self discovery starring this little guy pictured here. This is Wall-E he is a Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth class, and his job is to clean up the garbage heap that the planet has become by the year 2700. Humans have abandoned the planet, opting for the opulence of swank hoverchairs in their orbiting civilization ship. a slew of Wall-E robots have been deployed to clean the human mess on earth, but over generations of neglect and disrepair this single Wall-E unit is all that is left. He is the sole life on the planet, other than his best friend a cockroach, and in him abundant time alone he has become not only self aware, but a bit eccentric. Wall-e collects human artifacts which fascinate him, but the only real information he has on humans comes from a battered old VHS copy of Hello Dolly! Thats right Streisand is in the hizzy... So what do you think happens to Wall-e when a sleek newer model robot land on the planet... well thats where things get interesting. If you want to know a bit more of the plotline, go to the article and read away. It's pretty interesting stuff. I'm not out to spoil anything though, I just wanted to give you the set-up. A few... weird things to note. Not all of the film will be in CG. As far as I understand it Hello Dolly is really Hello Dolly, and as the article notes Fred Willard has signed on to play the head of the company that makes Wall-E. Are you ready for Pixar animated toons meeting face to face with Fred Willard? I'm not sure I am. Also this sounds like it's leading to a very strongly environmental message. Is that going to play well with everyone? And finally, apparently as the script is set now there is virtually no dialogue in the entire film. Can kids these days handle an effectively silent films? I don't know.... In my opinion Pixar has always come through with great films, so I definitely won't say anything negative at this stage, but this sounds like a very interesting, very significant departure from the standard kiddie fare. We'll have to keep an eye on this.

The other film, sounds interesting too, but there isn't anywhere near as much info on it yet. According to it's a little picture being made by Handmade Films, and the Spanish animation house llion called Planet One. In it we find the titular Planet One, an alien world populated by antenna sporting eight fingered humanoids. The planet for the most part resembles 1950s American suburbia. So into this mix a human astronaut falls. Invasion rumors spread, and hilarity (presumably) ensures. It sounds to me like it could be a funny little film. Kind of like Starman, or Iron Giant. Then again it'll probably be more along the lines of Hoodwinked or Doogal. We'll see what becomes of this one too.

I've got to run, but I wanted to post this. I'll come back later and format any spelling errors or links etc. Gotta run, GoKarting. woohoo!!!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

some Heroes speculations

After last night's excellent episode of Heroes, entitled Company Man I had a couple of questions and thoughts to share... This post is totally SPOILER FILLED. So stop reading if you don't want anything given away. Also, if you don't watch and follow Heroes you'll probably find this totally confusing. If you missed the episode you can watch it online right here.

Ok, so firstly who does The Haitian really work for? He said he answers to "someone important in Claire's life", but who has more authority than HRG? Who could that be? Obviously it's not her biological parents, as they didn't even know she existed... Maybe a long long biological brother or some other relative? Just a guess...

It was a total shock to see Hiro's dad as one of the big shots behind The Company. What's his involvement in this? Why would he be tracking these specials? Does this mean Hiro, like Claire, is adopted too? Was he waiting for Hiro to manifest his powers too? Or maybe are the powers really genetic and he has powers of his own...That seems more likely, considering Claire and her parents, and would provide a good reason for him to want to be involved. But then does that mean Hiro's sister also has powers? And since Hiro's father at least knows about super powers, wouldn't he suspect that Hiro has some considering how he's been acting?

How did Thompson know what was going on in the house? Why did he show up when he did? Maybe he was alerted when Claire's brother called the police. Or maybe he has HRG's house under surveillance. But why was he so stupid as to shoot Ted? Wouldn't he have read the police report and know what Ted's power was?

Who was Claude hiding from The Company? also where has Claude been for teh last 15 years? Presumably he hasn't been living on the streets of New York since then...

What's the significance of the Deveaux building in New York? I mean the exchange of baby Claire, Isaac's apartment, AND Claude's sanctuary with the pigeons. That seems a bit too coincidental.

Where is The Haitian taking Claire now? and man, wasn't that a great end for the episode. HRG is soooo cool. What a fantastic and touching moment. I think that Claire would want to probably go try to find Peter, but I think The Haitian will take her to his higher up person.. oh hey, just a thought, but what if Nathan really does know about Claire, What if he always knew about Claire and he is really the man behind The Haitian... that might be a bit too complicated. Still might be interesting.

Finally what do you think will happen to Ted and Matt? Will Matt become HRGs new partner? In a way I hope so. Those guys had a great chemistry on screen. Will HRG even be put back in the field? I mean do you think Thompson really trusts him? Cause I don't think so. And now without The Haitian to wipe everyone's minds, how can ever expect to contain the story?

Will the world really learn about the Heroes? I think so, and soon.

Last night episode showed exactly why I love the show. This is the best kind of television. The kind that makes you really want more.

some fantastic four 2 rambles

The new issue of Empire magazine has a good article on the kids from Weta and the work they did on the surfer for The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Unfortunately it's not available online, or at least as far as I can tell, but still if you're interested I'd recommend going out and reading through it at your local newsstand. Other than that check out this nifty new teaser poster for the film that was just revealed this weekend at New York Comic-con. Pretty sweet eh?

Are you guys stoked about this film? I'm not a huge fan of the first FF movie, but I don't know if I've mentioned this before here, but alongside Spider-Man, the Silver Surfer was always my favorite comic book character. He's got a great simple design, and an excellent backstory. Sometimes people complain that he's too cerebral, and not action orientated enough for mass appeal. He also, at least in the comics, spent a lot of time brooding... but wouldn't you brood if you one day woke up to realize that you'd been responsible for the deaths of more than a few entire civilizations, and were despised throughout the galaxy? Sounds kinda depressing to me.

We'll see how it all plays out in the movie. I'm sure they've changed things around a bit, but I know they are hoping the Surfer is popular as Avi Arad has said in the past that if FF2 is successful. they would like to spin him off into his own film (possibly an origin story). exciting! Anyhow, the real question isn't really about how cool the surfer will be, I have faith that he will be sufficiently badass, the real question is what exactly will Galactus look like? I suspect rather than a giant guy in a purple suit they'll go for something more akin to what they did in the recent Ultimate Galactus storyline, where Galactus was portrayed as a free consciousness manifested through a series of nearly indestructible swarm-like robots that destroy planets for sustenance.

Anywhichway, I'm getting excited. The film hits theaters June 15th, and expect marketing to kick into high gear around the time Spidey 3 is released in early May. Until then check out this cool Flickr site with all sorts of FF2 related photos, oh and watch this awesome new tv spot for the film...

Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscar Winners '07

As if you didn't know, The Oscar's we're last night and I personally thought it was a very good show. I had a successful Oscar party with lots of good people, good food, and fun. Really thats the best way to watch any of these kinds of event shows, alongside good friends. The show itself was pretty decent in my opinion, nothing was super shocking or went over the top, but I personally like it more for the films themselves than any potential spectacle. And even though I know some people will disagree with me, I really enjoyed Ellen DeGeneres as host. I thought she did a pretty good job of creating a tone with her family friendly mildly deprecating humor. No it wasn't as charged a show as other years, but like the fashions in general being a bit muted, I think that at this year's Oscars people didn't want to be as divisive as years past.

As for the films themselves, well I spent the last few weeks really trying to catch up on all the ones I hadn't seen. It's been some great film watching, but I still have a couple of big ones left. It seems like especially this year with all these smaller and limited release films being nominated that catching up on them all is a bit tougher. I did however manage to see the BIG winner last night, The Departed, and I personally really liked it a lot. In terms of best film... well, I suppose with the ones nominated it had to be between that and Babel, and yeah Departed does really deserves some accolades. For you're convenience here's a list of the winners:

Best Picture - The Departed
Directing - Martin Scorsese (The Departed)
Actor - Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland)
Actress - Helen Mirren (The Queen)
Supporting Actor - Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine)
Supporting Actress - Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls)
Animated - Happy Feet
Art Direction - Pan's Labyrinth
Cinematography - Pan's Labyrinth
Costume - Marie Antoinette
Documentary - An Inconvenient Truth
Documentary Short - The Blood of Yingzhou District
Editing - The Departed
Foreign - The Lives of Others
Make-up - Pan's Labyrinth
Music (score) - Babel
Music (Song) - An Inconvenient Truth
Animated Short - The Danish Poet
Live Short - West Bank Story
Sound Editing - Letters From Iwo Jima
Sound Mixing - Dreamgirls
Visual Effects - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Adapted Screenplay - The Departed
Original Screenplay - Little Miss Sunshine

There were only a few unexpected upsets last night. Alan Arkin winning Best Supporting Actor over Eddie Murphy, Happy Feet over Cars, and Melissa Etheridge with her Inconvenient Truth song over any of the three Dreamgirls ones. I'm personally disappointed that Jennifer Hudson won Best Supporting Actress, but I suppose that's just life... On the other hand, I was pretty happy to see Pan's Labyrinth do so well. Overall, based on my predictions I only got 9 out of 24 correct. Not so great :( On my ballot at the party last night I managed to get 13 right, but I still lost the pool. Ah well, next year might be better for me. How did you guys do? did you have good Oscar fun last night? or did you not even care?

Hope Monday morning is going well for you regardless. Lates.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Aqua Teen and Underdog trailers

First is the excellent and confusing trailer for Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters. I haven't been hearing very good early word on this one, but man I totally love those crazy fast food kids. As long as I get to see Meatwad, Master Shake, Frylock, Carl, and maybe a few Mooninites, I'll be content. Sure it might be better suited to short form tv, but I sure can't blame them for trying something. Also here's the awesome new poster for the film. Seriously its like something out of Heavy Metal magazine... I love it :)

This next trailer is just cute. I've never watched the cartoon as a kid, but I assume there are a few of you out there who are pretty familiar with Underdog. I think it looks like a fun family film. Check it out.

Check it out

A friend of mine Kelly has a really great blog that I'd like to recommend. And not just because she's offering a Zune to one lucky blogger that links to her, honestly Kelly has a great blog that I enjoy immensely.

It's called A Yoga Coffee Outlook, and while she may not talk about comic books, and sci-fi films, she still somehow manages to entertain me. In fact, it's probably the lack of geek topics that draws me to Kelly's blog. In some ways she's totally different than me. At least technically I believe she's a republican. She plays lots of poker and seems to thrive on the challenge of gambling. She has some views on relationships that I'm pretty sure I totally disagree with. And really I don't think we live on the same planet when it comes to money. Frankly, I would probably never get along with her in real life.

But Kelly is totally true to herself. She's honest and sweet. Her blog is heartfelt and funny. Sometimes I roll my eyes while reading it, but I am always entertained, and I always keep reading. So you should definitely check it out. Might be for you, might not, but it can't hurt to click the link below and have a look.... also you might just win me a Zune :)

Kelly at A Yoga Coffee Outlook is giving away a Zune MP3 Player

PS - I like my Zune in Chocolate

Thursday, February 22, 2007

RE: Extinction trailer

Check out the sweet Mad Max zombie stylings of the post apocalyptic trailer for Resident Evil: Extinction.

Once again the lovely and talented Mila Jovovich looks to be shining through with another solid winner of a film. Really, she can do no wrong. Check it out :)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Flashback 03 - First Kiss

Firstly, please forgive me if I'm not totally accurate with the dates here. Because I get pretty confused when I try to figure out the timeline of my personal history. Frankly, there is just way too much stuff that all happened around the same time, and it gets not only extremely confusing but downright impossible timewise. Of course I think certainly that much of this blurred confusion can be attributed to the somewhat excess of chemical agents in my body over a number of my formative years... of course I'm talking hormones here... whatever did you think I meant? Despite the lameness of puberty though I did manage to meet a few girls from time to time. I thought I might tell you today about my first kiss. It shouldn't be too long a story, and possibly just interesting to me.

So let me take you on a journey to 'back in the day', I believe I was 13, I was on summer vacation, I presume it was just before grade 9. I hadn't ever had any luck with girls in the past. I was weird, and somewhat geeky. I'd been on only one date before with a girl I met at a school dance. That didn't go very well though, and I never went out with her again. No, I'm not going to relive that horror story to you. Don't worry, you're just missing my awkward lameness. Anyhow, this summer I had started hanging out with some new friends; we spent a lot of time at the beginning of the summer hanging out in basements playing Street Fighter II, and listening to the metal stylings of Iron Maiden. But soon enough we got bored with that, and moved onto bigger and better things. Like roaming the streets of Toronto at night, having roman candle fights in the park, lighting things/each other on fire, and generally degenerating into young hooligans. Soon though even this wasn't enough, what else could some young men about town get up to? Why drinking of course.

First thing we tried was the old standard.... steal your parents liquor and replace it with water. Little here, a little there and no one will be the wiser. Well, I guess we didn't realize how much we'd taken because we got completely busted the next day. Cut to next weekend and we decided that a different approach was needed. I don't know what you call it wherever you're from but to the kids of Toronto it was Shoulder Tapping. Basically that's going to a liquor store and asking some stranger to buy for you. In Ontario all beer and liquor are controlled by the government and sold only through official outlets of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Nothing at your local convenience store, nothing at the big grocery store, everything is only available at The Beer Store or The Liquor Store. Anyhow, we successfully booted out way into a 12 of Molson Export and a mickey of peach schnapps that night and had what was to be the first of many drunken mights in Winston Churchill park. There's a heck of a lot more to our young drunken stupidness that summer, but I'll leave that up to your imagination.

The girl came in near the end of the summer. For my purposes here I'll call her Jen, and she'd just moved to town like literally 2 weeks before I met her. There's really only two things you need to know about Jen to understand why I fell for her: she was British, and she had a nose ring. After that nothing much else mattered. I met her in the park one Saturday evening. She was out walking with her sister and a friend who were both over from England for a few weeks to help her with the move. As she walked by she asked us for a light for her smoke and young love was born.... God I'm rolling my eyes at myself writing this.

There's a well known code with guys. you and your buddy are at a bar and you meet two women. It's usually decided before you ever start talking to them, but if not, there is a decision made within the first few seconds as to who is going for who. I'd guess much the same thing happens on women's side of things. One of the rules about this decision though, is that generally once its made, you don't change around. Sure, if there's a really obvious match that you realize after talking for a few minutes, then maybe, but generally you stick with the gameplan. Well, I didn't exactly do that this time. I ended up going for the girl who was leaving town. And my friend made a play for Jen. Since of course we were stupid, drunk 13 year olds though, none us made a particularly good impression.

However Jen decided to take pity on us, probably because we were her age, and the only people she knew in the country. Thank goodness for small wonders. So Jen started hanging out with us whenever we could. We started going to clubs with her, lots of them would let you in underage after putting a mark on the hand to show you couldn't drink. Of course the first thing we'd do is go to the restroom and furiously scrub the fresh marker off our hands and then be good to go. So we all hung out. A week or so after we all met, Jen's friend went home, and it was just us guys and Jen. Maybe a week or so after that, my buddy who had been wanting to make a play for Jen went out of town for a week, and that's when things got complicated. Honestly I never wanted to go against the code, but damn I mean I was 13. I couldn't control my hormones.

So we went out one Sunday night in early August. Her, me, and her sister. I think the only way I was able to make it through the night without a total spaz out was that I was still trying to convince myself that I wasn't interested in her. But, it was summer in the city, a nice romantic purple sky night, and all of a sudden I found that her sister had mysteriously left us alone. Sitting there in her backyard, listening to The Orb, and what did I do with this perfect timing? I totally choked.

Yup, That's right I stood up and said good night. Practically ran out of her house, cause I realized what was about to happen and I was seriously about to have a heart attack. Of course, I was kicking myself the second I left for not having the balls to go through with it. And what happens? But second chance comes a callin. Half a block away and Jen calls after me from the sidewalk. Embarrassing much? oh yeah. So she kind of accusingly says to me "Geoff, just wondering what exactly you didn't kiss me?" and what do I do in response... I start to stammer saying something about the code etc etc, and then halfway through the sentence my brain finally FINALLY tells my mouth to shut up. Something along the lines of "you're an idiot. Just STOP TALKING!" So I did. Then I kissed her and that was that.

Jen and I dated for maybe 2 months total. She was pretty much out of my league, at least for the time being anyways. And I was destined for much better things, once I got my head out of my ass. Granted that took a good 14 more years... Jen dumped me right after the Aerosmith concert, forever tainting my enjoyment of the band. And I never really found out why she did it. But I was really kind of too stupid for my own good back then. Oh and yes, I totally made up with my friend that I had snaked. So everything worked out. Happy, healthy, well adjusted Geoff here now. hooray.

So that's the whole story. At least that's how I remember it. Off now. Talk to you all later.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Corddry is a Winner

So I just saw Daily Show alum Rob Corddry's new tv show. It's a traditional style sitcom on FOX, called The Winner. I've seen two episodes so far and I have to say its not too shabby. Even though I generally have really stopped liking almost all sitcoms, there is no denying it when something is just plain funny. So yes, while the more conventional trappings of the show, like the god awful laugh track, does get on my nerves, there is a level of quality comedy that I can't help but enjoy. That's not to say the show is perfect but it definitely has its moments.

If you liked Corddry on The Daily Show I think you'll like this. His same kind of offbeat humor is abundant here. Like Colbert and Carell before him, Corddry has a quirky sense of humor that makes his new project work well for the most part. There's not much to say about the show really... I mean its a sitcom. This one follows Glen who in the opening credits informs us that today he is the richest man in Buffalo NY, but it wasn't always that way. From There we enter the meat of the show, back in 1994. And I really think that the show being a period piece makes it work better. I don't know if its intentional or not, but I feel like maybe some of the "sitcom antics" are really more of a crack on traditional sitcoms, than a joke unto them self. But maybe that's a bit too Meta. Anyhow, the rest is pretty straightforward, Glen lives with his parents even though hes a 34 year old virgin. He works at a video store, and his best friend is the 14 year old boy next door, whose mom he has a crush on. He's a total goof with the ladies, and overall just socially retarded. Making for a number of foolish predicaments especially with women. Not much else you need to know, I liked it, but I'm glad I saw more than just a single episode to warm up to. The closest thing I might liken it to would probably be Chris Elliott's 90s show Get a Life. I really loved that show, and while this isn't quite as zany or implausible as that show was I could honestly see it catching on; at least in a cult comedy niche. Also, the show comes from creator Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy fame, so I'm sure it'll have at least some strong initial support through those fans.

What do you guys think? Go over to the Family Guy website and you can watch 4 full episodes of The Winner right now. I'd still like to see the pilot as it might explain more about the character as a rich man in the present day, but its unfortunately absent from this batch. Regardless though, its not too hard to follow along ;) The show officially premieres on FOX on Sunday, March 4th.

Heroes is sweet

I've really been enjoying Heroes these past few weeks. Its all the big build up to what I expect will be a great end of the season. I'm liking what I see, even if sometimes the execution isn't perfect. Case in point, in both last week's episode Run!, and last night Unexpected, Ando (James Keyson Lee) did a pretty piss poor job of acting his little side quest storyline. It was totally wooden, and just naggingly annoyed me. In fact the entire Hiro / Ando story is a bit lame at the moment. That's a real shame considering it was definitely one of the strongest during the first half of the season, and one of the main reasons the show became so popular. Maybe that just gets on my nerves because I generally think of Ando as one of the better characters in the show. That said, some of the other characters are starting to really come into their own. Considering it's a large an ensemble cast with complicated individual stories, Heroes is definitely doing a decent job of progressing everything in turn. If you missed last night's episode and care about this stuff I'm going to mention a spoiler or two now, so either go watch it here or just stop reading now if you don't want to know.

I was really happy and not actually surprised at all to see Simone die at the end of the episode last night. her character has been annoying me for a long time now, and was potentially going to bog down the very interesting Peter storyline. On that note, I'm loving the Peter / Claude storyline. Christopher Eccleston is doing an excellent job, and I LOVED the escape scene where Peter did something unexpected last night. Sylar is also quickly becoming one of my all time favorites. With him constantly gaining more and more power and on the other side Peter taping into all these new abilities, I think that the next time they meet we'll definitely see a kickass fight.

I'm really excited to see next week what happens with Matt, Ted and Mr. Bennet (aka H.R.G.), I just hope people start to get their true allegiances sorted out soon. I want to know who is going to end up as a good guy and who will be bad. My prediction is that Nathan will turn really bad at some point. He'll cross the line, maybe even kill someone, and not be able to turn back. Even though he will end up fighting against his brother. Especially since he's already been bought off by Mr. Linderman (newly cast with the incomparable Malcolm McDowell), I don't see how he can get around it. Although with that of course, you have to wonder... if Jessica is being paid by Linderman as a hitman, why is he sending her after Nathan who he recently invested so much money in? ah, questions, questions... At least with Heroes I know we'll get some answers soon enough.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Aliens: War Games

Well I'm not too sure about this overall. But AICN had an interesting post about this proposed micro-series being set up for FOX. Nothing is definite, and after you read the AICN article and check out the film you will probably know why. Sure everything sounds great... but is it?

Aliens: War Games is, as far as I can tell, a pitch for a Clone Wars style micro-series (2 minute interstitial style episodes) in the Aliens universe. While initially the obvious reaction to this is fuckin-a rights!!! have a look at some of these designs.

The project is being put together by a company called Bluefields Creative. Go check out the semi-animated pitch reel for this project on their website here. Just click on the Animated Boards link. My honest reaction as soon as I drop the fanboy crap is firstly that 'woah, can they really make a cool hardcore Aliens show for tv and not screw it up'? I mean is there really any way that the Aliens won't be totally washed out and bland... we can't upset the overprotective parents in the audience. And by de-fanging the critters, aren't we denying some of the basic badassedness of them? think about it. Of course, that's not a given I suppose. Maybe there's a way to do it so that the aliens are still bloodthirsty and hardcore, I don't see it, but maybe. My second worry though, is I think, even more justified. What's new about it? Really; what's new? Simple as that. Cause I really like the first 3 (yes 3) films, I've read a few of the comics, which are amazing by the way, and I've read maybe 6 or so of the expanded universe novels, which are crap by the way, and I've got to say for the most part the Alien franchise has not lived up to it's sizable potential. I think we can really all agree on that too. I don't like being an apologist, I like AVP for what it is, I don't want to see the series die; but I want something new. Some re-invigoration is sorely needed and from what I can tell from what I see here, this project is really just more of the same. Sure it'll be cool to see the Space Marines and Aliens all toonified, but where is the story going? Are we talking Starship Troopers style? Because while I seriously love that property I would MUCH rather see the Alien story go the way of The Forever War. Which by the way, definitely itself needs to be put on the screen one day. This on the other hand appears to be going the easy, 'hollywood' route; and I find that troublesome.

Anyone else out there have an opinion on this? What is really needed to resurrect this franchise, and could this be it? What do you think about a cartoon Aliens? And can they possibly make it as dark as it should be on network television? Thoughts? Comments?

The Dark is Rising

There are a couple of seminal books from my childhood that made a big impact on me. They inspired me, kept me a bit of a dreamer, and got me interested in not only becoming a lifelong reader, but a lover of good drama, fantasy, and especially science fiction. The list of books would have to include the Narnia series, The Hobbit, The Tripods trilogy, and The Dark is Rising series to name just a few.

The last of those is finally going to be adapted to the silver screen and I am very excited. Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising sequence, as its called, follows a group of kids, particularly a young man named Will Stanton as they battle the ancient and mysterious forces of evil. It's a somewhat basic good versus evil story with some of the Arthurian legends rolled into it, but the execution is fantastic. There's an almost Da Vinci Code style mystery and the kids must unravel it before the forces of evil break into our world. I remember the books, it's a series of 5 total, as being simply mesmerizing. I'm very excited to see how the adaptation goes. After the mixed bag we got in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe's adaptation, I'm cautiously optomistic that this will turn into a great fantasy / mystery film series that can succeed where some of the other recent "family fantasies" have failed.

Check out the books, and other reviews of them, on Amazon. I would highly reccomend them as I know it would really make a great gift for most readers out there; even yourself. :)

The film version of the books is slated, for now at least, to be released late this fall at the end of November, but I wouldn't be surprised if it gets pushed back a bit, as filming is only slated to start next week. That said, I could see the studio wanting to rush through things for the Xmas season. And seeing as there is Henson company involvement here, they might not have too many visual effects to work through in post, assuming they are using more mechanical FX than optical. Either way, I'm hoping for the best. We'll have to keep our eyes on this one.

The Black Donnellys

There is an awesome new NBC show that starts next week that I want everyone to check out.

It's called The Black Donnellys and follows four brothers in New York who get mixed up with the mob. It's set in modern times, and is kinda like Goodfellas or A Bronx Tale, but with some nice filming techniques that remind me a bit of say... Usual Suspects. The show was set to premiere on March 5th, but NBC has recently decided to put Studio 60 on hiatus (perhaps permanently?) and bring the Donnelly boys in early. So please set your Tivos to February 26th right after Heroes and check out this really very stylish new show. I saw the full pilot episode on a Netflix exclusive preview dvd for this second half of season one of Heroes, and really loved it. I will be more than happy to see this take the place of the lagging Studio 60. Check out an official preview for the show over at, or just watch this trailer off YouTube below.

Amazingly, the series is based on, or at least inspired by, a true family of Irish immigrants to Canada, called Donnelly, who ended up getting involved in a horrible blood feud that became quite famous over the years. The show is being brought to us by Paul Haggis of Crash fame.

Don't forget, it actually starts Feb 26th...

Overseas adventure

Hey all, long time no talk :)

I had all the best of intentions of letting everyone know last week, but got too wrapped up in all the prep work to manage a post. Sorry, about that. But the good news is that I've just returned from a fun filled super exciting vacation abroad to England. Yup it may have been short, only 5 days, but it was sweet. I've never been to England before, and I have to admit, I loved it. Officially Erica and I were there for the wedding of her cousin Iain, which was out in Gillingham, Kent (about an hour outside of London) but we also got to spend an all too short 3 days in London.

It was really a great time, I loved London cause there was just so much going on. So much cool history everywhere, and just a great atmosphere. It reminded me of some of the best parts of New York. Sure there were some weird things, like the fact that everyone seems really unhealthy, eating crap food, and drinking non stop, but just getting to finally see all the places I recognize from Doctor Who made it all worthwhile.

I'm just getting back to a regular sleep schedule, and finally starting to be caught up on day to day, wedding, and work stuff so hopefully I should be getting back to posting on all sorts of regular, fun stuff again very soon. Until then, stay cool...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Power of the Dark Crystal moves forward

Thank goodness... I just wanted to put this out there in case you end up hearing it. A few days ago Film Ick reported that The Power of the Dark Crystal had been placed on hiatus officially and unofficially, scrapped. Apparently though this is not the case at all. I'm sure they didn't mean to get their facts wrong but in classic internet snowball fashion the story was picked up by Dark Horizons, and then became a big thing for a few (relative internet) minutes. Thankfully someone up in Henson HQ has responded to the rumors and squelched them before it hits press bigger than it has already. The Power of the Dark Crystal is moving forward well and they are expecting to wrap production on it by the end of the year, for an Spring '08 release.

This is good news; I'm pretty excited to see what the mastermind behind Samurai Jack and Clone Wars can do with this universe :)

which film site is best?

One of the (many) things I really don't like about online film sites, especially the medium sized ones like Film Ick, are that they sometimes report things prematurely. Or their sources aren't always accurate. Granted when you get too big like AICN you have to deal with no end of jackasses on the forums. In most cases, I really just want to basic news, I want to be told if it's a rumor or unconfirmed, and I want that to be that. I like reading film news websites, it's practically my hobby, and definitely the most searched for theme on my computers. That said, as a public service here are a few of my personal opinions on some of the film sites I surf:

AICN (Ain't it Cool News) - good reliable news, high quality reviews, they tell it like it is, and let you know if something is a rumor or not. They also have more resources than anyone in terms of spys within the industry. On the downside, stories can be incredibly biased, and while surfing the forums is necessary sometimes to find that picture that the studio has just ordered be officially taken down, they are full of the worst kind of movie bitches and assholes online. That said, everyone and their mother read this site.

C.H.U.D. (Cinematic Happenings Under Development) - solid reporting, good reviews, excellent interviews, little to no bullshit. Unfortunately bad site design makes me not enjoy reading it.

Dark Horizons - good Australian (i think) based site. Solid news, fun atmosphere. Their RSS feed is broken though and that makes me crazy. The don't get the news scoop very often either, but they always have the posters, one sheets, and trailers I'm looking for.

Latino Review - very solid site, with a good design and flow, When they're on, they're on, and they've gotten the scoop on AICN more than once. They are very good about having solid early script reviews and analysis too. Worth checking out.

Film Ick and Movie Poop Shoot - both kinda crap. Film Ick is new and bothers me. I've only ever really gone there for super spoilery stuff too. And I feel guilty about reading that level of spoilers in the first place. MPS is the Kevin Smith inspired creation that has the Jay and Silent Bob trash talking bitchy feel to it. Both these sites have a bloggy atmosphere with what seems to me little remorse for crossing the lines. These sites have their place, but I always feel a bit dirty surfing here.

Variety and The Hollywood Reporter - the source. These guys are profesional and don't get things wrong. They're also stiff, boring, and full of analytics that I don't care about. Wading through these sites can be slow going. - maybe my current favorite news site. They aren't interested in unfounded rumors, and they never cross the spoiler line. They have solid, fast, and current news. You know what you're getting when you go there. High quality reporting and a nice site. Also, partnered with Superhero Hype!, and Crave online.

All of these sites have their own feel to them, and some might resonate with you more than others, or just be more appealing to your sensibilities than mine. Others likes IMDB, and my favorite blog, USA Today's Pop Candy have some film resources and definitely in PCs case link to the varied and scattered film stories of the web. This is handy as news really does come in from all over. The collection of it and then presentation is key. I want my site here, just to be a blog, regardless of if I've sometimes put something up that's mostly just news or not. I am always going to put my opinion on the subject in there too. So if you like me and want to get a few newsy tidbits, along with my thoughts please stick around. And if you're looking for one or two real film news focused sites to maybe add to your RSS reader, I would have to recommend Coming Soon, and AICN over the others. Hopefully that helps you manage you're way around this crazy world wide web of ours a little bit more. And that brings me to the end of my PSA. Back later with more. Until then. peace.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Joss Whedon off Wonder Woman film

Sad but true. I can't say I was ever a huge fan of the character, although I liked What Greg Rucka did with the series, and the Joe Kelly (i think?) JLA books featured her very well. But that said, I definitely AM a big fan of Joss Whedon, so this is kind of depressing news. If you head over to Whedon's corner of the 'verse you can read the reasoning in his own words. But basically it says he wasn't coming to agreements with the studio over the script. He phrases it in terms of creative differences, and them simply not seeing eye to eye, and even though I know it happens all the time with films, it's still annoying.

Maybe Joss will use this opportunity to get onto some great new personal project, that finally, hopefully, actually gets a chance to succeed.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Supercool Music App

This is hands down the coolest little application that I've seen in a long while. iConcertCal is an iTunes plugin, that you can download and install simply, which scans the music folder on your hard drive, then coordinates with Ticketmaster and other online ticketing sites as well as specific venues themselves, and displays a calendar of upcoming concerts in your area! And it all works in the iTunes window!!

It seems to work very well, although I've only tried it here at the office, I've already found a few newer shows that I didn't know about. I did try manual adding a few names of bands that weren't already on the crawlers search list (because that music's not on my work computer), but I'm not sure if it worked or not as nothing new showed up. It's not a super advanced program or anything, I just like it when someone comes along and uses technology to complete the obvious connections. This is a great little tool, and I'm sure it will get even more functional as times goes on. Seriously, I don't know why Apple isn't doing this themselves and then selling you the tickets directly. I'm sure they could make a tidy profit. But then again, they'd probably overcharge, and I bet something like that is already in the works anyhow.

Go check this out. It's really a great little plugin, its free, and I don't think you'll regret getting it.