Sunday, March 30, 2008

Knight Rider and more

Variety has a good article that acts as kind of a preview for NBCs planned upfronts to occur this coming Wednesday. In it, we learn the next announced series from the network as well. Sure it was expected after the big numbers drawn in to the pretty awful backdoor pilot this past season, but the updated Knight Rider series has been granted a season pass by NBC. And yes I said season. According to Variety NBC has plans to air as much original programming as possible next season. They don't want to air repeats unless they have to, and although they reserve the right to change their minds of course, they are expected to grant tentative season pickups for a slew of freshman shows this week.

In the article, NBC exec Marc Graboff says that the network is moving to a system of selling not the shows, but selling adspace in general. By letting their advertising partners know that they can count on an hour of original programming: that is action adventure themed, or dramatic, or whatever is called for. Regardless of the show, the hour will be what was paid for no matter what. That way they can be assured a satisfied client. Apparently advertisers these days don't actually care as much specifically what the show is they are advertising on, but more that the knowledge that the right demographic is tuning in. Sounds like a smart move for them if you ask me.

And despite NBCs focus on pleasing advertisers more than the viewers, it sounds like we might make out alright with this new system too. We will be given more original programming than usual, and shows will have a chance to last longer, even if maybe they get shuffled a bit more. The important thing is we're going to have more new tv overall because NBC doesn't want to run out.

Besides Knight Rider, NBC is developing the new, already announced, shows My Own Worst Enemy, which is the title of the Christian Slater spy show I mentioned a few days ago, Robinson Crusoe, the Canadian show about the psychic paramedic The Listener, Kings, which is a loose retelling of the story of King David and set to star Deadwood's Ian McShane, and something called The Philanthropist.

A number of other shows are in play as well, but let's just chill until we hear what NBC has to actually say on Wednesday before jumping the gun. It's definitely interesting to see this new strategy. I hope it succeeds, and we get a few cool new shows out of it. Well that and I hope that the commitment to more shows with the same amount of money doesn't come back to bite us all in the ass with just a lot more crappy tv.

I'll just be twiddling my thumbs until Wednesday. I'm hoping for the best.
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new Indy tv spot

Nice. Just nice. :) Indiana Jones always makes me happy, and I hope he does the same for you. Check out this new tv spot for the upcoming film.



Good stuff all around. You can find it in hugemungous HD over at the official website. The movie, as we all should know, opens May 22nd, '08.
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why Mr. T rules...

In news of the totally awesome, Mr T has done it again. After pitying the fools for years now (no small feat if you ask me), and stoppin with all the jibber jabber, Mr T has finally FINALLY shown us all how to throw down a gods honest miracle when required.

According to this story, Mr T actually brought someone out of a coma with his very presence... It doesn't say exactly when this happened, but that's just how humble T is. This was probably years ago and he's only now just mentioning it. Apparently a boy in Detroit, fell into a coma back in the 80s. Although he was generally unresponsive, he would move his arm whenever anyone mentioned Mr T's name. And since he had a Mr T doll by his bedside, something I definitely wish I had, the words were spoken pretty regularly.

Then in Ts own words to Empire magazine ""Somebody told the doctors I was in town, so they called me down there. I closed the curtains and prayed. Then, as I was walking down the hall, the kid suddenly came out of the coma and hollered out."

Wow! Now that's just totally amazing; Mr. T is so The Man. Here's hoping the give him a cameo at elast in the upcoming A-Team film.
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X-Files 2 poster

Its actually kind of funny to think of the new X-Files film as a sequel. I mean obviously it is a sequel to the series itself, but technically this is the second incarnation of the franchise in its cinematic form. Despite the fact the Fight the Future was made, when? like 10 years ago?!

Anyhow, a teaser poster for the film has landed online, and I suppose its pretty cute.



Word is, there will be a subtitle to this one, but the studio and creative people are arguing over what exactly that should be. According to AICN the film, which as was already announced, is set to be a basically stand alone story and will be set some 6 years after the events of the series. it will be "removed from the alien mythology of the TV show, a throwback to the show's "monster of the week" episodes. Still, some lingering aspects from the series, like whether Scully's child will be a normal tyke, will be addressed." And of course we know this all jives nicely with the spoiler filled plot rumors that were reported earlier on this film. I'm personally still undecided on this one. It really could go either way.

X-Files 2 comes out July 25th, '08.

UPDATE - The official website is now online. Also, CHUD reports that they've heard the entire werewolf storyline is actually complete bull... we shall see...
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Saturday, March 29, 2008

more Iron Monger pics

Care of Yahoo Movies, just check out these new pictures of Iron Monger, the bad guy being played by the incomparable Jeff Bridges, from the upcoming Iron Man film. Very very sweet. Oh and speaking of which there are two new tv trailers out for the film. They are sweet, and I definitely think worth watching. Check them out here (listed as tv spot 1 and 2).





Iron Man opens sooner everyday, but it's still on May 2rd, '08.
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Calling All Robots

Not a huge story here, but Variety reports that Michael Dougherty, the screenwriter behind such gems as X2: X-Men United, and Superman Returns is at it again on a project called Calling All Robots, which is at least a cool title. The film will be an animated sci fi adventure that is to be filmed using the same techniques as the recent Beowulf.

Little else is known about Robots, other than Douherty plans to write it himself, and possibly direct, and that the plot will be a "throwback to old Godzilla movies" Maybe The government calls in robots to combat some creatures?

Anyhow, thought I'd mention it. It could be cool.
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Maguire's Afterburn

Speaking of new comic book properties being made into movies, have you heard about Aferburn yet? Based on the Red 5 Comic, Afterburn which was recently announced to be in development for the big screen as a starring vehicle for T0by Maguire with the webslinger, and I Am Legend producer Neal Moritz behind the scenes. Although the first issue only hit stands this January the book, along with the other newly launched titles from newly developed company Red 5, has received some real notice.

According to The Hollywood Reporter the comic "is a sci-fi adventure set against the backdrop of a postapocalyptic Earth, whose Eastern Hemisphere was destroyed by a massive solar flare, leaving what life remains mutated from radiation and fallout. The story revolves around a group of treasure hunters who for the right price extract such objects as the Mona Lisa, the Rosetta Stone and the Crown Jewels while facing rival hunters, mutants and pirates along the way."

Now that's what I call a plot! Mutants and Pirates! fighting treasure hunters plundering the remains of a post-apocalyptic future. That's basically an awesome story. Right up my alley. I definitely am looking forward to seeing how this one develops. And I think it bodes well for Maguire to leave the webs behind and move into something like this. Its a bit older, and darker which is what he needs, but still serves his fans in the comic book geek-verse. Nice work.

While it doesn't say, I suspect they aren't even at the screenwriter stage yet, so this might be a ways off. But its still good that its in the works. And maybe that means we'll get Maguire's Robotech before Afterburn hits the screens. We shall have to wait and see.
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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Vote for Evil Genius

Today Warner Bothers announced they will be making a movie with possibly the greatest title ever, "I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil, and I Want to Be Your Class President". Written by Daily Show writer Josh Lieb the movie sounds like a whole lot of fun.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, "The premise centers on a chubby 13-year old boy who everybody assumes is the dumbest kid in the seventh grade. He really is an evil genius and the third-richest person on the planet, with a secret compound beneath his unsuspecting family's modest suburban home. He hides his identity to keep himself safe from his enemies and because he can't legally claim his empire until he turns 18.

The story concerns the boy's attempt to prove himself in the eyes of his do-gooder father by being elected class president. Unfortunately, the tactics he uses to stage coups in Central America prove to be less effective in running a middle-school campaign."

Terminator 4 helmer McG is set to produce and hopefully direct. I can honestly see this being a wonderful new family film too. It's got a kind of Codename Kids Next Door, meets Cats & Dogs, meets Dexter's Laboratory, meets Election kind of feel to it :) I sure hope it turns out as fun as it sounds. My only thought: casting is critical. Is Spencer Breslin too old? probably... Well, they better just discover some great unknown talent, because with the right actor in this film, it could be golden.
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Death Ship: the movie!

ok, actually its not really called that, but damn. That is a fine name for a film if ever I saw one. Actually, there is a new film in the works to be called Countdown, which is to be a big screen adaptation of an old Twilight Zone episode called Death Ship.

I can't say I remember the episode myself but it was written by Richard Matheson, who also wrote the original book I Am Legend, so I'll say that's a pretty decent pedigree. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the story itself revolves "a group of astronauts who land on a planet only to find a crashed spaceship and corpses that eerily resemble their own. They then must piece together where they are and whether they might in fact already be dead. " DA DA DUMMMM...

I know, that's a very Twilight Zone kind of story. Just awesome, and creepy, and kind of sci fi all rolled together. That's definitely my kind of story alright. I really loved that old show. I know Outer Limits had a bit more sci fi to it, but Twilight Zone was more consistently well written, at least for most of the series.

When I was in high school, I actually adapted a Twilight Zone episode into a stage play. It was based on the episode called Five Characters in Search of an Exit. I had a lot of fun putting it together, and I think it turned out pretty well. Although, transcribing the episode, and then editing it into what I needed was a bitch at the time. At least I got a good mark in Drama class for it... I suppose this anecdote doesn't have too much to do with Death Ship and the upcoming film Countdown, but I am interested to see how the film comes together, sounds like a cool story. And space madness is always something that can be exploited well.

Watch the original episode (in sections) right on your beloved Youtubes. Later.
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the new Nowhere Man

Ahh Nowhere Man, a television series remembered by few, but I'll wager, beloved by all those that saw it. It only lasted one season back in 1995, but it was all around excellent. The show starred Bruce Greenwood, as a man who found himself unexpectedly at the center of a huge conspiracy to 'erase' his entire life. Its a great show, and now on dvd, and I really recommend you check it out. And today Variety reported that there is a new Nowhere Man in the works... Although my hopes were high for a few fleeting moments, it unfortunately has nothing at all to do with the old one. I suppose it's just a solid title. sigh...

That said, this Nowhere Man doesn't sound too bad though. It's being brought to us in comic book form for now, by Hugh Jackman, Marc Guggenheim (creator of Eli Stone), and Virgin Comics. Much of the plot is being kept under wraps but its being likened to I Am Legend and features a future society "where mankind has traded privacy for safety".

The comic is expected to be just the first of many media fronts for Nowhere Man. I mean what kind of a comic being developed by Hugh Jackman isn't destined for the big screen?! Although as the article suggests Virgin may wan to develop the title first into a video game or some other form of entertainment. I think assuming it's any good at all, we can plan see this story in all its potential cinematic glory, starring Hugh Jackman, one day in the not to distant future.

And I definitely give my kudos to Hugh Jackman on this one. He's made a great name for himself in comic book movies. Why not go right to the source and make the comics himself? Here's hoping Nowhere Man, in all it's incarnations, is a winner.
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Next Avengers trailer

Although it officially debuted on Marvel.com today, here is the trailer for Next Avenger: Heroes of Tomorrow. that's been sitting on youtube for two months now. This is Marvel's next direct to dvd animated film and is set to come out August 28th, '08.



I have to say, I'm definitely a fan of the new look. The trailer is really just a teaser, but the team; which was an original creation for this film, have a great vibe to them. Its like the creators just got to take what was best from all the current heroes and make even awesomer new one. Check out this pic of the team in action poses :)



For a better look at the film I highly recommend you check out the behind the scenes featurette on the Doctor Strange dvd, you can also see it online via IESB. It is really excellent. I know I'm definitely looking forward to this dvd. So far the Marvel animated films have been excellent, here's hoping this one will continue the trend.
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Monday, March 24, 2008

Yelchin as Reese

Anton Yelchin, the actor who brought you such roles as 'that kid from Alpha Dog', and the underwatched Charlie Bartlett is soon to be a household name in J.J. Abrams new Star Trek film. But, either because he's leading a charmed life, or he's just really that good an actor, Yelchin is now reported to be 'in talks' for another great role in a huge franchise, The Terminator.

Yelchin is in negotiations to take on the role of Kyle Reese, the father of John Connor and badass resistance fighter played by Michael Biehn in the first Terminator film, for McG in the upcoming Terminator 4 film. According to the Hollywood Reporter story "Reese, one of the children who survived a machine-driven nuclear holocaust, befriends Marcus (Sam Worthington), an early edition of the Terminator cyborg played in previous films by Arnold Schwarzenegger. " Interesting eh? I don't think it had been revealed that the character, Marcus was going to be a terminator himself... Isn't he supposed to be the star of the new series? How is that going to work???

As a side note the story goes on to indicate that Crash writer / director Paul Haggis is in talks to work on the script for the sequel. Could the director's chair be far behind? or is that maybe just wishful thinking. We'll definitely have to keep an eye on this one.

Oh an on a semi related topic, a viral site, that AICN speculates is connected to Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has popped up online at www.enitechlabs.com. There are seven videos so far on the site that explain how the company is tracking tachyon particles to 'take pictures' of the future. Watch at your own risk, while I haven't made it through them all I hear the last one is a bit crazy.
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Two cancelled as others begin

With the early upfronts starting to leak out of the end of last week a few announcements in the workd of tv were bound to happen.

As expected, Jericho has been canceled. For an interesting and kind of sad take ont he end, check out Matt Mitovich's pre-announcement interview with star Skeet Ulrich over at TV Guide. And although not 'officially' announced yet, exec producer David Eick recently told Sci Fi Wire that Bionic Woman was also dead.

But with those shows ending, others begin. David Eick wasted no time, moving directly from Bionic Woman to a new project, a television adaptation of Children of Men. Yes, the same Children of Men that was in the theaters last year. Apparently, Eick wants us to explore how depressing a death obsessed future can be on a weekly basis. My thought.. small doses is best.

But since we're on the Sci Fi channel kick, they also announced a number of other new scripted shows. True Believer, is set to be kicked off with a backdoor pilot (a sci fi movie?), and according to Sci Fi "The contemporary dramedy centers on a 20-something comic-book nerd who hires a washed-up real-life superhero to be his crime-fighting sidekick and to teach him the ropes." could be cute I suppose.

Sci Fi also announced The Stranded, which I talked about a bit before. And the newly greenlit Deputized, a "two-hour pilot written by Joe Gazzam. The dramedy centers on an average guy who suddenly finds himself possessing special abilities after being accidentally fitted with an alien exoskeleton that cannot be removed. He is enlisted to serve on an intergalactic police force." hmm, I smell hijinx!

In what's obviously an act of sheer desperation, Sci fi has greenlit Alice, a modern day retelling of Alice in Wonderland. I assume they'll get someone like Zooey Dechanel to star in this one as well. Especially as it's coming from the same writers as last years Tin Man. And finally, you knew it was coming, the long rumored Battlestar Galactica spinoff, Capricia has been greenlit as a backdoor pilot (they love those) for early next season. The new show will follow the rivalry of two notable families on Capricia, some 50 years before the events of Galactica take place. Supposedly concerned much more with the inner personal lives of the characters, exec producer Ronald Moore has likened Capricia to Dallas. Seriously.

Pushing aside all of this science fiction, The Hollywood reporter has a story about two new comedies coming to CBS that are sure to be fantastic. Amy Smart, whose film career has never really seemed to take off in the way it should've, has stepped into the show Meant to Be. In the show Smart plays "a wealthy young gallery owner in New York who elopes one night only to be thrown from her 40th-floor balcony en route to her honeymoon. She becomes a "Meant to Be," helping people on Earth head in the "meant to be" direction before she can go to heaven.... wow. That doesn't sound like a comedy at all. That sounds like Touched by an Angel crap. Amy Smart. Whatever are you doing?! The other show up for CBS stars the man who in a perfect world would be a big big star, Fred Savage. Titled Single White Millionaire, not too much is known about the show except that its generally speaking a "comedy about an unassuming millionaire (Savage) in his 30s who is ready to settle down".

Yawn... wake me when something interesting goes into development...
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Cera the Pilgrim

Indie favorite Michael Cera looks to be taking on a comic book role now that he's finally done with all the Juno hype; that of Scott Pilgrim. No it's not a superhero at all, its actually another indie fav, that seems quite suited to Michael Cera's unique charms. Scott Pilgrim is specifically an action/comedy series that according to wikipedia follows a "23-year-old Canadian Scott Pilgrim, a slacker, hero, wannabe-rockstar, who is living in Toronto and playing bass in the band "Sex Bob-Omb." He falls in love with American delivery girl Ramona V. Flowers, but must defeat her seven "evil exes" in order to date her."

Awesome. Defeat the seven evil exes and win the girl. How hard can that be... The film is on the fast-track and will be directed by Shaun of the Dead star and director Edgar Wright. Although I haven't read the books myself, they always appealed to me as really cute looking, and something I absolutely intend to pick up when I get the chance. This project definitely sounds like it should be a lot of fun. We'll see how it develops.
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Justice vids

Coming from the truly awesome side of music video world, check out these two absolutely awesoem videos from French electronic duo Justice. DVNO is all about the 80s retro graphics, and D.A.N.C.E. is the kind of vid that you want to freeze frame on every 1/2 second to figure out whats going on. Check em out.

DVNO


D.A.N.C.E.


Too bad the sound quality on the DVNO vid isn't better, but you can check out more of their stuff on their Myspace page. Its good stuff :)
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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Dr. Horrible the musical!

Weird, weird, weird. Yet totally awesome. According to Cinematical your hero and mine NPH, aka Neil Patrick Harris recently let slip rumors of a project he was working on with fan favorite director Joss Whedon. Well it's not a big project, but since the cat was out of the bag Joss explained all over at his website, and man is it ever cool sounding.

The project, Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog is a web series that has just started filming and is written and directed by Whedon. While only announced to be consisting of 3 ten minute long webisodes, Joss described it as "the story of a low-rent super-villain, the hero who keeps beating him up, and the cute girl from the laundromat he's too shy to talk to." And NPH is starring as Dr Horrible. With none other than Nathan Fillion of Firefly fame is starring as his opponent, Captain Hammer. And Felicia Day, who played Vi on Buffy, rounding out the cast.

This is so crazy it honestly just might work. I love this kind of weird web stuff, and I bet from this creative team we could get something really fun. Also, NPH can actually sing. Just check out this video of NPH and Jason Segel singing the Confrontation from Les Mis... classic.


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Snake Eyes revealed

Two absolutely kickass pictures of Snake Eyes from the new G.I. Joe film have been released, and they are awesome. Ray Park plays the man in black and I think everyone can agree, he looks spot on perfect in the suit. Check these out, and click to enlarge...





As a comparison just check out this picture of the comic version of snake eyes. Obviously the first pic above is trying and succeeding admirably, of basically duplicating this pose. very sweet. In this recent article on the film, The USA Today interviewed director Stephen Sommers on the character and he said "He's the world's greatest ninja, but he's also next-generation. He's not afraid to use a sword one second, and a split-second later he's pulling out his Glock," and "His chief nemesis is arguably the world's other great ninja, Storm Shadow. The two grew up together, were blood brothers and now are mortal enemies."

I know I can't wait to see what Storm Shadow looks like, and with Lee Byung-hun, who as far as I can understand it, is the Korean equivalent of George Clooney, set in the role I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it won't be too long.

G.I. Joe is shaping up very well, I am so stoked that this is coming together finally. Can't wait for whats next :) The movie doesn't come out though, until August 7th, 2009.... The waiting game is on.
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Deception trailer

Check out this trailer for Deception, starring Hugh Jackman and Ewan McGregor.



I'm not sure... Does McGregor's acting seem kind of stilted? Or is it the writing. I'm sure it'll be very twisty to say the least. Deception is set to ocme out April 25th, 2008.
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It's David's Situation

Are you an old skool fan of the Mr. Show show? Well if so then you're in luck my friend, because comedy genius duos Bob Odenkirk, and David Cross are teaming up again for a television project called David's Situation. A pilot, co-written by Cross and Odenkirk, and set to film this May, follows David Cross who stars as himself. In the show "He leaves Hollywood to move into a suburban, gated community where he has two roommates, a right-wing conservative and a liberal hippie." Standard sitcom fare? maybe, but from the likes of these two I hope that it will be much more.



For updates on the show, there's always www.bobanddave.com
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Iron Man and Wolverine toon update

Both Iron Man the animated series and Wolverine and the X-men have found a home. Nickelodeon will air both series exclusively starting in the first quarter of '09. 26 glorious episodes of animated goodness will be broadcast for each series and I have to say I'm definitely excited. Despite the lackluster performance and storytelling in the recent Fantastic Four cartoon, I love it when superheroes hit the small screen, and cartoons with heroes can be really great. We'll have to wait and see how these two turn out. For it's part, I will say I've been digging the solidly written new Spectacular Spider-Man animated series. With episode 4 having just aired this weekend its turning out very cool and fun. I hope these new toons can continue the trend. Oh and check this pic out. I don't know if I've seen any actual pictures of the Iron Man cartoon yet. Pretty interesting style. It's not what I was expecting at all, but I think that could be a really good thing. Hopefully we'll get more on these two shows before next year, because I am eager to see how they approached these characters for myself.

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Fantastic Four no more???

Is it just me or is Chris Evans kind of a chump? This past week he made statements to MTV saying he doesn't think there will be another Fantastic Four film. As we all know Evan's played Johnny Storm, aka the Human Torch in the films, to decidedly mixed reviews. When asked by MTV, he said “I’m pretty sure we won’t do [another] one. I’m assuming that one is a closed book.”

His reasoning? In his words “After the first one was released we got wind of potential titles and plots [almost immediately], and I’ve heard nothing from anyone at Fox [yet], We had all planned on doing [another] one but if there were going to be a third I think a week after the second one was released we would have heard.” ... hmm. I'm not so sure that makes sense. I think more likely Marvel is just re-prioritizing a bit. I mean, do you think we've seen the last of the Spider-Man films? Of course not. Marvel is just going to let some of their other characters have a chance. I mean they can literally only make so many movies at once. And especially now that they are trying to reign in their various licenses and produce their films 'in house' as it were, they really are on a short leash as to what can be done when. So is Fantastic Four 3 more of a priority than say a Captain America film? I don't think so. But does Marvel want to make a FF3? I bet you they do. Despite the acknowledged shortcomings of both the previous FF films, I think fans and filmmakers alike agree that the series has potential. Besides, even if they weren't critical successes; they were financial ones and in many ways that more important in determining the future of the franchise. The closest Marvel itself has come to making a statement on it is that Marvel pres Kevin Feige has mentioned that the Silver Surfer spinoff movie has been moved to the forefront of development. That sounds exactly like re-prioritizing to me.

Evans in a move sure to piss fanboys off (well at least it pisses me off), continued his talk noting that “It takes up a lot of time. It’s a big commitment,” and “I’m happy with walking away.” Of course he quickly followed that up by saying how is the Human Torch was to ever make a cameo in a Spider-Man or a Hulk movie, he'd be all for it... sigh... what a dick.

Despite all this, it should definitely be noted that Evans' costars from the first two films, Jessica Alba and Michael Chiklis have both gone on record as saying they look forward to another Fantastic Four movie, and have both even suggested potential plotlines.

Maybe they should just let Chris Evans walk away. Maybe he should just go make more movies like London. haha.. ok, enough of that. I'm pretty positive there will be another FF film, whether it comes in any kind of a timely manner, or who is involved I wouldn't want to say, but I do think it will happen. And as for Evans, you can read the rest of his interview here. And my advise to him, would be to not badmouth his own films...
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The Wolf Man cometh

Back in January there was a lot of buzz going around the net about what was happening with The Wolf Man remake. Universal has pledged to remake a number of their classic movie monster icons, and while I think fans are in favor of new adaptations, it would be criminal to totally fuck up something as beloved as Dracula or The Mummy. The Wolf Man has been in development with the very talented Benicio del Toro set to star, since 2006. But actual work has really only hit its stride this year. In January a scuffle ensued after director Mark Romanek, who is honestly better known for his music videos than feature films, decided to leave the film over creative differences. The directors chair was a tempting offer and a number of potentials came into focus. Notably, fanboy despised Brett Ratner briefly looked like he was in the prime spot, but eventually the studio settled on Joe Johnson, the director who brought us Jurassic Park III, and Jumanji.

Shooting began at the beginning of the month and already phtotos have started to leak out, perhaps to quell the tide of bad cell phone pics Universal has decided to release a few glossy pics of The Wolfman in all his glory. Care of Comingsoon check out these great first pics of Benicio in full make up.



Pretty awesome eh? Apparently the make up takes about three hours to put on, and one to take off. The Wolf Man is set for release on February 13th, 2009.
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New Speed Racer posters

Care of Warner Bros, via Comingsoon.net check out these great new Speed Racer posters. Pretty sweet. Click to enlarge.









Speed Racer hits the big screen on May 9th, 2008.
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Stranded to Sci Fi

SciFi channel is teaming with Virgin comics to develop a tv series based on the comic book The Stranded, about a group of five regular people from different walks of life who one day 'wake up' and realize that they are actually aliens with superhuman abilities who have been stranded here on earth for years. They come from a planet called Standfire, and a killer from another world has come looking to destroy them. While the comic series doesn't come out until a bit later this year, you can check out what seems to amount to almost the entire first issue online at this preview site. As for the tv series' development, we'll have to see how quickly things can get up and running.

It seems like a sort of generic comic in and of itself, but we don't get too many tv series like this and I applaud any efforts to bring more of a Roswell feel back to the airwaves. We'll see if it turns out any good I suppose. This is the first project to come to fruition from the Virgin comics / Sci Fi Channel partnership initiative that hopes to expand current and new properties across multiple media platforms.

More on this show as it develops.
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Two new ones for the kids

Two interesting sounding projects being developed now, look like they might turn out to be really fun family films.

First up, from the woman who brought us The Nanny Diaries, and the recent Nancy Drew, Tiffany Paulsen is writing a film called Rocket Ship. The story is "about a father and son who move to New Mexico and uncover a large shiny object buried in the desert behind their home. The discovery triggers events beyond their wildest imaginations." hmm. I wonder whatever the object could be...

Sounds like it could be fun, depending on the direction the story takes. Maybe more exciting though is the mention that Paulsen is also writing "Further Adventures in Babysitting" for Warner. Now there's a film we need a sequel too :)

The other film in development is How to Train Your Dragon, an animated film being put together by Dreamworks. This film, a bit further along in the process than Rocket Ship already has a release date of March 26th 2010. A voice cast including Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (aka McLovin) has just been announced and it sounds like a very cute film. The story, based on a book by Cressida Cowell, follow Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, an 11 year old Viking boy who must capture a wild dragon as a rite of passage. If he can't capture one he will be exiled from the tribe. Along the way Hiccup has to not only capture his own dragon, but help his friends find their own too; and face off against the rival gang of young vikings from the Hooligan tribe. Sounds like a fun, somewhat silly story. And as luck would have it there are five sequels to the book out already. So assuming all goes well, we might be getting to know Hiccup the viking quite well.

We'll have to see how these films develop in time. They sound like they could be pretty fun though. Silly kids stories or not, I enjoy a good family film from time to time. Hopefully these both will be worth it.
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Cyclops being adapted

No, we're not talking about the Marvel character of X-Men fame here, but instead another comic book to be film property. Cyclops is an original graphic novel by French writer Alexis Nolent; and according to Variety, Warner's has just snapped up the film rights. Set to be directed by 3:10 to Yuma helmer, James Mangold, Cyclops sounds like a pretty interesting socially conscious' sci fi action film.

According to Variety the film is set in the near future and "concerns mercenary forces whose soldiers wear Cyclops-like cameras in their helmets and broadcast in real time to both central command and living rooms. One mercenary chosen to lead an elite squad begins to realize he isn't fighting for freedom and justice as much as for commerce."

Sounds pretty socially relevant if you ask me. One of those films where the audience is brought right along with the character in a straightforward story arc. Also, it'll probably be just a pretty cool action film to boot. Maybe if we get more films like this made someone will finally get around to adapting The Forever War. Anyhow, Warner's is planning on fast-tracking Cyclops, and we should hear more on it soon. Right now they're busy finding a screenwriter to bring the story to life. More on this as it develops.
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Thanks Arthur C Clarke

I just wanted to send a quick shout out and say thanks to famed sci fi writer Arthur C Clarke who died this past week at the age of 90. He was a great, ingenious writer who worked prolifically for many years. Most famously known for 2001, and its sequels I personally never got into that specific series. What I did LOVE though was Clarke's Rama series. Rendezvous with Rama, and its sequels are some of the best science fiction I have ever read period. There's even been talk of a film version of the project, but its been stuck in development hell for a while now :( Aside from that, I really enjoyed one of Clarke's other famed novels, Childhood's End. Which explored a really interesting very 'real world' type of story of what if benevolent and mysterious aliens came to earth to be our friends, but hid a great secret... I'd definitely recommend you check both of those books out, or if your into end of the world scenarios, there's always his famed Hammer of God story, but I feel that's a bit dated at this point.

Surprisingly, or perhaps not, Clarke is also widely credited as being part of the team that initially proposed / invented the modern communication satellite. Work he did while in the RAF back in the 40s that garnered him a Nobel prize nomination in 1994.

Have a look at this video Clarke made a few months ago. Its obviously made, as a time capsule of his thoughts. The reflections are sentimental but appreciated. This is really a man I'm glad we got a chance to hear.



Clarke will definitely be missed, he was a talented and unique voice. Thanks for everything.
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Dark Horse and Universal

Last week, Dark Horse Comics and Universal Studios signed an exclusive 3 year production and distribution deal, which should hopefully help get a number of great new titles into development faster and better than before. Just finishing work together on Hellboy II: The Golden Army it looks like this deal will set the stakes for a slew of potential future Dark Horse films. Of course, Dark Horse is probably best know for some of their licensed titles that would most likely not be included in this partnership like Star Wars, Conan, Buffy, and Indiana Jones, but I think this still bodes well for everyone.

Under the agreement Universal will get exclusive creative access for film development of all of Dark Horse's stable of characters. Which is cool especially for those of us who might be getting a bit burnt out on the strict diet of superhero films. In the recent past Dark Horse has brought such diverse properties to the screen as 300, Sin City, 30 Days of Night, and AVP2. I know I'm looking forward to what they can come up with under this deal. So far the only project they have announced in development is R.I.P.D. which seems to be about a group of undead cops working for the Rest In Peace Department of heaven, tracking down escaped demons, and the like. Check out this wiki list of Dark Horse titles though. That's a good starting place to speculate what we might see emerge from this deal. Some that stick out to me as obvious choices, BPRD, Concrete, Give Me Liberty, Ghost, Groo, Rex Mundi, Grendel, Marshall Law, The Goon, and Usagi Yojimbo.

Hopefully we'll get some big news on upcoming projects soon. This should be really fun :)
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Friday, March 21, 2008

Berg on Dune

Well it looks pretty official now. After months of rumors, Peter Berg has been officially announced as the director of a brand new film adaptation of Frank Herbert's classic sci fi novel Dune. Berg, actor come director has recently been upping his game with films like The Kingdom, and Will Smith's newest opus Hancock. He's also the executive producer behind one of tvs best shows, Friday Night Lights. He is a likable guy, a decent actor, and a solid director. I don't know that he'll ever be Spielberg, but the man definitely does have some chops, and this project is a real win.

While I, along with every other sci fi fantasy geek out there, love Dune in all its forms; all of the previous adaptations of it left something to be desired. I don't want to go off about it because it's late, and Bernard will get on my case when I say something wrong here, but Dune is just one of those properties that does not seem to lend itself to adaptation very well. The story is grand, maybe too grand for a film. But I know I want it to work.

Berg has talent, and since this project is still at the stage where its being shopped out to writers, I'll gladly reserve judgment for the time being. Let's keep our fingers crossed that someone out there can get this thing right this time.
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James Carson online

In sort of an odd little story this week. Comingsoon.net mentioned how this famed movie artist and production designer James Carson has launched an official website. The weird thing is, obviously, why is this news? I mean did they report when I started AIASL?! no... exactly. Well, unlike me, Carson is an incredibly talented illustrator, and has worked on a ton of amazing projects over the years. If you've ever gone to the source on these kinds of things, found the artists personal blogs and kept your eye out there, you often find the really juicy stuff. Just talk to any of the Gaiman or Whedon fans out there. They know ;)

So what exactly is on the James Carson official website?! Well a LOT of stuff. Odd and fantastic production art from all sorts of films, like Pirates of the Caribbean, Spider-Man 3, I Am Legend, MI:III, Men in Black II, Hulk, and on and on... The one that really got me sucked in though was Carson's take on the ultimately doomed film version of Superman Lives to be helmed by non other than Tim Burton. I really recommend you check out his gallery. It's pretty awesome stuff to see what might have been if only things had been different...

That reminds me of a story. if you've got some time, go check out this great audio story. I love alternate realities...
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Tropic Thunder trailer

A few days ago the official trailer for Tropic Thunder was launched and I was pretty surprised at how different it was from the teaser. Looks like it could be a really funny film. I'm not totally sold yet, but the talent is just so great... I have to think we'll get something interesting at the least.



Ok, haha, Robert Downey Jr. is pretty funny :)
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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Madagascar 2: on the move

Check out this preview trailer for Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. In the clip the film is called Madagascar 2: The Crate Escape but that's since been changed. I think it looks pretty cute.



I like the penguins most :) Which is good cause they're supposedly going to be a new tv show based on them on Nickelodeon sometime soon.
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The Legion of Superheroes is over!

Just put that headline in the most evil supervillain voice you can imagine... and you'll get the picture. Ok, actually this is really rather sad news. The excellent Saturday morning cartoon Legion of Superheroes is ending its run after only 2 short years on the air and 25 episodes. As a fan I have to sad I am very bummed out.

The Legion, in case you don't know are a team of young superheroes in the 31st century who fight great sci fi types of villains, often with awesome tech powers. The Legion itself is huge, spanning the galaxy and featuring many many heroes all with different powers. In the same way that say, the Green Lantern Corps protect space in our century, the Legion does what the traditional Science Police cannot.

The cartoon has been for the most part excellent, and easily lives up to DC signature quality in their animated fare. What bugs me is that its ending at all. It seems like Warners pulls the plug on all of their animated superhero shows just when they are getting great. Look at Justice League Unlimited, The Batman, and even the oft maligned Teen Titans (I think we can all live without more Krypto the Superdog episodes). It's really annoying to the fans. And while I'm happy they are planning to continue the superhero tradition with the long awaited Batman: Brave and the Bold rumored to be finally coming to the small screen, I can't help but be upset with their callous treatment of the shows I really love.

There are two more episodes of the series to air yet. The final one entitled Dark Victory will probably deal with the villain of the season Imperiex, and as fate would have it, is listed as a "part 1"... yep, cliffhanger season / series finale. Dammit. This sucks.

UPDATE 03/31 - well after looking at my DVR listing for upcoming shows to record it seems that yes there definitely is a part 2 for the final story, entitled Dark Victory, which explores Brainiacs turn to evil. Damn that Imperiex; always causing trouble. Thank goodness we'll get at least some sort of resolution. But really, this show is just great. It sucks that it's ending :(
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Heavy Metal again

Heavy Metal, the once popular erotic and violent sci fi, fantasy magazine that inspired two movies, looks set to spawn again. The ever-awesome director David Fincher, has teamed up with Kevin Eastman (creator of the Ninja Turtles) who now owns the publication, and Tim Miller, whose animation house Blur Studios will handle the film. The trio will each direct a segment of what is conceived as an eight or nine part interwoven film. The other directors will be announced soon, but word is we can expect the same trademark adult themed gruesome erotica as the past films.

I was a fan of the first film. I think most people were. I liked it because I saw when I was definitely too young ;) But the 2000 sequel felt somewhat lackluster to me. I get that the film could be something great, I'm just skeptical that it will be. That said I think Fincher is fabulous and am definitely interested to see what he does in the realm of fucked up animation. I just hope we don't end up with shock for the sake of shock, you know?

As for the storytelling, I sure hope they get a decent script. A decent single script. Because while I love short stories, both of the previous Heavy Metal flicks were really loose on even the thematic connections. Other than the great artwork of the magazine, there were definitely some great stories there. I know that I personally first discovered counter culture writer Harlan Ellison in the pages of that magazine. And I think we need a strong voice like his to anchor this new film. I hope it comes together. We'll have to wait and see where this goes I suppose. Like I said, it could be great...
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A storm of Segel

One of the funniest young comedic talents to come out of the Apatow camp has to be Jason Segel. He has been great in everything I've seen him in. From Freaks and Geeks to How I Met Your Mother, and Knocked Up he is always awkwardly entertaining. And like a lot of Apatow's other crew, he's really not traditionally handsome, but damn he is funny.

His new film Forgetting Sarah Marshall is starting to get some good buzz now. Check out the trailer.



Nice eh? The film comes out on April 18th, '08 and I hope its a big hit. The film is being directed by first timer Nick Stoller, who cut his teeth on Apatow's Undeclared. If you want even more, you can check out this blog. Should definitely be a good one.

But that's not all, Stoller, Segel, and Apatow have another project in the works, according to Variety they've set up a film called Five Year Engagement with Universal. The film described as "a bawdy, couples comedy, charts the five-year engagement of a man and his fiancee, following the ups and downs of their relationship." It will be written by Stoller and Segel, with Stoller set to direct and Segal to star once again.

But even that's not all! More exciting new, and this is probably the coolest one yet. In the film Sarah Marshall, Segel's character stages a musical version of Dracula that he's written starring puppets. Yes seriously, check out this vid of Segel in character introducing us to Dracula :) Anyhow, all of the puppets made for the film were custom made by the Henson creature shop. And Segel had such a good time with the experience that at a general meeting with some of the Henson execs he got up the courage to pitch his idea for a new Muppet movie to them, and they loved it. According to Variety, Segel and Stoller are both attached and will once again team up to write the script.

Finally... This is a time of war, we need a new Muppet movie. And we definitely needed a new take on it. This sounds like it could be exactly what's called for. I love the Muppets and really look forward to this kind of fresh influence. Segel and Stoller, sounds like a team to watch.
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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Even newer Speed Racer trailer

Wow. I seriously love how fun this looks. This film will be awesome. Check the great new trailer out...



So cool :) Speed Racer comes out May 9th, '08.
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Lost Boys: The Tribe trailer

After all the stupid hulabaloo over whether both Coreys would make it back for this next chapter in the Lost Boys saga, its finally almost here, and I think it looks pretty cool. Lost Boys: the Tribe has a trailer now, so check it out.



And if your interested in more, MTV has a number of interviews and whatnot with the cast. Should be a good time. Coming to dvd this summer.
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TV on the rebound

Finally there are a few things to watch on television. Finally, finally I won't have to wait through another round of My Dad is Better than Your Dad, or the dreaded Moment of Truth. The times they are a changing. It seems like development deals are all over the place these past two weeks or so, and spirits are high with old shows finally starting to return to the airwaves and new shows getting their due. The writers strike may have claimed a few casualties along the way, but ultimately it was a necessary step that I think really will help the industry. Now the question remains, will SAG follow suit and walk off the job this coming summer... Hopefully that's not why the deals seems so fervent recently, hopefully people aren't just working in desperation preparing for the next big blow. We'll have to see where we are in a while...

For now lets be happy. Lost is, and has been going strong for the last few weeks, Juliet's episode not withstanding. This past weeks Sun and Jin story was simply fantastic, and next week we'll finally get to see what happened to Michael in this seasons mini cliffhanger. Very exciting stuff. I thought that the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles finale was excellent. Brian Austin Green as an addition to the cast is perfect and if a second season does get approved I sure hope he returns permanently. Breaking Bad has a wonderful season finale. And some of the new shows that are starting up like New Amsterdam show potential. It's a good time for tv.

The really solid show that no ones watching Friday Night Lights has been renewed for a third season. This show has been on the verge of cancellation for a while now, but this new deal NBC has struck is really interesting. According to Ausiello's report over at TV Guide, NBC has partnered with Direct TV and will share costs on the show. Direct TV will probably getting first crack at airings, followed in suit by NBC. Weird I know, but anything to keep the show on the air is good.

And speaking of shows that you thought were gone getting a comeback, NBC looks to be renewing the uber long, and mostly annoying ER for a 15th season. sigh... just so long as my hero John Stamos has a job. In actually exciting news though the rumors of Scrubs return for a final season look to really by true. Scrubs is going back into production for an 18 episode final season, only its moving over to ABC!

New shows are making their appearances all over the place too at the moment. Obviously New Amsterdam, but there's Canterbury's Law (apparently a courtroom version of House), Unhitched, Oprah's Big Give all of which have had premieres in the last few weeks. And upcoming shows Miss Guided (which I think honestly looks funny), and The Return of Jezebel James. I haven't had a chance to check these all out but whether they last or not, I definitely would like to investigate more. Metacritic has a good run down of shows upcoming for this mid season.

Old fun shows like How I Met your Mother (with upcoming guest star Britney Spears! and new love interest Sarah Chalke!), Big Bang Theory, and I believe New Adventures of Old Christine are returning with new episodes this week. And ratings powerhouse Grey's Anatomy is coming back in two or three weeks as well. Of course my wife is probably most excited about the premiere of the new (and British) Bachelor series. But I personally am more into the new season of South Park which started this past week, and the always entertaining Big Brother.

The Hollywood Reporter has put together a snazzy little article about shows 'on the bubble' and where we might find them once upfronts are announced for next season. Check out their list as well. Some of the things I find it most interesting that they speculate that Terminator should be coming back, which is awesome, and makes sense with the buzz that is sure to grow as the new movie gears up for release. Jericho, the show saved by the fans, is not likely to make a comeback though. Rumor has it the producers had two versions of the final episode shot, one for if it gets picked up, and one if it isn't. Shows that should probably be canceled are likely to comeback: Prison Break, According to Jim, and Moonlight; and others like Reaper and Aliens in America are not. And the really ridiculous Knight Rider series looks like it will become a reality.

Finally a few brand new shows are on the horizon for us to speculate about. Totally unasked for, the CW is planning an updated version of Beverly Hills 90210. NBC looks to be signing Christian Slater into his first regular tv role as a Jekyll & Hyde style character who one day wake up from his boring suburban life to find that his alter ego is a super spy. Mitch Hurwitz, the man behind Arrested Development is putting together a new primetime animated show for FOX called Sit Down, Shut Up about a self centered high school faculty. And the short lived 90s show Cupid, about a man who believes Zeus has given him the mission of matching couples, is making a comeback on ABC in a new re-imagining.

We're sure to get more info on these and more as we move into the Spring. One thing for sure, tv is definitely on the rebound; both on air, and in development. And this revitalization is exactly what we need now. The break has far been too long. Thank goodness for television.
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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Incredible Hulk trailer

Here it is kids, the one you've been waiting for... The brand new full length trailer for The Incredible Hulk, which opens in theaters on June 13th.



You can check out a number of great high rez screen grabs from the trailer including a good shot of The Hulk and one of Abomination over at IESB.net. So now that you've seen it, what do you think?

I want it to be great, I really do.... and that's about as far as I've got with that. Maybe I need more time to absorb it all.
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Final WALL-E trailer

I have to admit I actually laughed out loud at points while watching this 3rd and apparently final WALL-E trailer. Check it in HD here. This movie will be so much fun :)



WALL-E opens on June 27th, 2008.
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Monster Zoo on film

Comic writer Douglas TenNapel's upcoming graphic novel Monster Zoo has been preemptively optioned by Paramount and Sam Raimi for development for the big screen. TenNapel is probably best known as an animator and creator of beloved fan favorite Earthworm Jim, but his comic books have gained some notice too. One of his books, Creature Tech is the all time fastest selling Top Shelf book ever. And both Creature Tech and Tommysarus Rex are in development as films at other studios.

What is Monster Zoo though, well besides having a really intriguing name, not too much is known. It is a new graphic novel that will be published by Image this spring; pre-order it here, and tells the story of "a young boy who discovers his local zoo contains critters much more frightening than the ordinary collection." As of now, Sam Raimi has only committed to produce, but hey, any involvement by him is a good sign.

This sounds like it could be a cool project. We'll have to see how the book is when it comes out and decide from there.
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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Punisher: War Zone online



The Punisher: War Zone official website has launched. So far there's not too much there, just two small photos and a place to register for future updates, but I recommend you go check it out anyhow. There's a pretty cool opening flash animation, and the sound design of the site is very nice. Very... Punisher. You can check it out at www.punishermovie.com
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The Road, book to film

Last weekend the library in my neighborhood of Noe Valley re-opened after more than two years of renovations, the mayor was there, and it was this whole big ceremony. My wife Erica and I, being active community members (not really) decided to check it out (mostly for a shot at meeting San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom). After the ceremony we went into the new library, which was extremely nice, and I felt somewhat obligated to check something out. So I picked up the first two volumes of the One Piece manga, and an audio book of a title that struck me as very familiar. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy.

Back in January I mentioned the next project on deck for Viggo Mortenson, and Charlize Theron, would be a post apocalyptic film based off a 2006 Pulitzer prize winning novel, The Road. And once I realized that this was what I held in my hands I eagerly took a listen.

I think you have to be of a certain mindset to enjoy an audio book. I personally love them. I spend a lot of my day with an ipod headphone planted in my ear and find that every now and again, to just let myself drift away to the sounds of someone reading to me is absolutely amazing. It's super relaxing but keeps me focused. And I really need that kind of centering sometimes.

Having finished listening to The Road today, I have to say I was amazed. It is a fantastic, and tragic story set against the backdrop of a bleak and grey world. The style of writing is stilted and plain, but amazingly poetic. I completely understand why many people compare Cormac McCarthy to William Faulkner. It is Americana, pure and simple. Only Cormac's America is the broken shell of what once was. I haven't read too many post-apocalyptic books before, maybe a few, but this was definitely the best 'real world take' on what the future could hold. It is scary, really scary. The plot follows a man, and his son as they walk the road. Headed south and west, across the country, stumbling through a world in perpetual cloud, covered in ash. I suppose its supposed to be after the bombs have fallen, in a nuclear winter, but thats never explicitly said. The world that is seen in The Road has been in this state of decay for a number of years, maybe 10 or more. And its gotten to a point where even the Mad Max style lawlessness and the blood cults of cannibals have stopped for the most part. It is a world on the very edge of death. There are no more birds, no more trees, no more living anything. It is really the end. I kept hoping that it would have some sign of hope, and while it does ultimately show some for people in themselves, there is no refuge for the world at large in the book. I was moved by how sad this story is.

I am definitely looking forward to seeing how they screenwriters handle the ongoing internal monologue of the book. If the beauty and poetry can translate from the words onto the screen. This could be a fantastic film though. It is so emotionally charged, that it could be just heartbreaking. We'll see, I am definitely excited to keep my eye on The Road now more than ever though.
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