Monday, August 25, 2008

New Job

Where the heck has the Adventures in a Strange Land blog been of late? I think the term woefully neglected might even be applicable. Well, I've been pretty crazy busy lately and I thought now would be the perfect time to stop by and let you all in on the great news.

I got a new job!

I know I know. I don't normally talk about my job specifically here, unless its been to express my utter frustration at it. Well I'm hoping all thats over now ;) I've left behind the doldrums of being a lowly office monkey, and have truly entered a brave new employment world.

I'm doing camera work for a tv show! AWESOME I know!!! And even more, the show is really cool. Back when I was working in the film industry I got to work on a few really sweet projects like X-Men 2, and A Very Muppet Christmas, but those were only for a few months. This should be a continual rush of fun, geeky coolness as I'm going to be shooting for The Elctric Playground.

The show is a news and interview show that at its core focuses on video games, but also covers anything that appeals to the gamer culture. Meaning comics, tech, music, and just plain cool stuff. And I am their camera operator for the SF area. My colleague here Jose 'Fubar' Sanchez, is the on camera guy locally, so if you ever see the show from now on most of the stuff he's in from here in the bay area will have me behind the camera.

Its truly awesome news for me. As anyone who knows me will attest I have been struggling in a job that wasn't right for me for far too long. I think this is an amazing opportunity and I intend to make the most of it.

So I'm sorry if the blog has been, or may be in the future a bit lacking. For right now at least, I need to put my head down and focus on learning the job, and doing my best.

Wish me luck everyone. Oh and if you like the show can be watched at It's also on tv in Canada on G4/Tech tv daily, and weekly on CityTV. The US distribution deal hasn't come together yet, so just check it online for now.

Thanks for understanding the lack of posts people, but this is worth it :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Is that The Spirit?!

WTF?! Is this what The Spirit is going ot be like?!??!?!

That is definitely not what I expected. This is slapstick! I thought this was a serious movie... I suppose I was just misinformed... oh sigh.

The Spirit is sure to bring us to tears one way or another on Dec 25th, 2008.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Dead Space game and movie

Dead Space is one of the few 3rd person shooters I definitely intend to play this year. I think it just looks great. Makes me really wish I had a 360. Here's a trailer for the game.

If you like that and are up for a bit more, I really recommend you check out this gameplay footage which features a bit more of a look at the in game physics, including some very cool gravity effects.

Its really pretty awesome. I love that its so dark, and the fact that there really isn't an on screen HUD. Makes the game just that much more immersive looking.

And finally in a very cool marketing tie in, there is a series of Dead Space comics, AND a planned Dead Space animated movie. Called Dead Space: Downfall, the movie is a prequel to the game and should be released around the same time as the game this October. Check out the trailer.

If you need more than that, check out the wiki, or the official page. Looks like a sweet game though. Dead Space is set to come out October 21st, '08 for 360, PS3 and PC, with a Wii version rumored to follow later.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist trailer

Oh my, its like Juno all over again. Adorable Michael Cera is now teamed up with Kat Dennings. Looks like alternative indie movies just got slightly more formulaic.... Not to say I don't still like it, but its a bit sad when everything indie becomes mainstream. Way of the world I suppose. Check out the trailer for Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist.

Yes, I know its really not at all like Juno, it just seems a bit... predictable. The movie comes out October 3rd, 2008.

new Dragonball pic

Care of SHH and Hoycinema, check out this new promotional picture from Dragonball.

I'm still not sold on whether this will actually be a good movie or not, but at least the marketing has been entertaining. I hope to see a trailer soon. The film is slated for release April 8th, 2009.

Fifa Street 3 ad

Check out this fantastic commercial for Fifa Street. You might want to make it full screen to see it in all its glory.

Totally fantastic, its like almost as cool as the urban ninja! I've been seeing this ad a fair bit lately, and I know people are wondering if its actually real. Let me assure you yes it is. Check out this behind the scenes making of the commercial vid.

Fifa Street 3 came out this past February to less than stellar reviews. Metacritic gave it a 63. Still, that said, great commerical.

Watchmen pics

Care of AICN check out these wonderful new Watchmen character posters.

Also, over at Empire Online they've got a few sweet new pictures like this one to peruse.

Very nice stuff eh? This film just looks awesome :) Look for it in theaters on May 6th, 2009.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Princess and the Frog teaser

Here it is, the long awaited ;) teaser trailer for Disney's The Princess and the Frog. Don't you just love the Randy Newman.

Is it just me, or does something about this movie just seem, horrible. The movie is slated for release on December 25th, 2009.

Venom movie

Well it looks like Avi Arad was right. As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Venom the brain eating, symbiotic, psychopath alien from Spider-Man is coming to the big screen. A script apparently has being written by Mean Creek writer / director Jacob Estes, but SONY is reportedly looking for other writers to tackle a new draft. Also interestingly the studio is apparently not sold on Topher Grace as the Eddie Brock / Venom character. I think, despite the poorly written character in Spider-Man 3, the issue definitely was not with Grace's performance, so I would hope he in fact stays in the role. I'd definitely like to see him become a bigger star.

Whatever happens though I'm sure well get more on Venom as it develops, and as suggested by LR, why not tie it into the proposed Spider-Man 4, currently slated for summer 2011? We'll see how Sony deals with this though, as I'm sure it'll be a tricky movie to bring to life.

Hulk vs. ...

One of the next films in Marvel's direct to DVD animated line-up is Hulk vs... Apparently it's really two short films comprised of fights between Hulk vs Wolverine and Hulk vs Thor. Check out these two preview trailers.

With the relative success of The Incredible Hulk, Marvel seems well placed to take advantage and ride the mean, green, marketing wave, with both this title, and Planet Hulk slated for release next year. This film specifically should find its way to shelves in January of '09. I know I'm looking forward to it.

Marvin the Martain movie

Marvin the Martian probably the most lovable alien ever created, besides ALF of course, is set to come to the big screen. The property is reportedly being developed as a blended live action / CG film to be aimed at a family friendly audience for Christmas 2009 or 2010.

Producer Steve Crystal, explains the film as a "Christmas story, with Marvin coming to Earth to destroy Christmas but being prevented from doing so when he’s trapped in a gift box."

Currently the project is out to writers and directors. More on this project as it develops.

Depp is Mad

It's really not at all unexpected, but according to reports, Johnny Depp has been cast in Tim Burton's re-imagined version of Alice in Wonderland. Reports have it that Depp has been offered the role of The Mad Hatter, a part I kind of think he was destined to play. Other than Depp though, and the rumored casting of Mia Wasikowska, not much is known about the project. Still this is some good solid casting.

We'll hopefully find out more about this and the feature length adaptation of Frankenweenie soon.

Web of Shadows trailer

Looks like another sweet game coming this fall, Spider-Man: Web of Shadows. I am definitely stoked by the symbiote as zombies motif. And of course the big reveal at the end of this trailer. Check it out.

The game is slated to come out October 21st, for all platforms.

X-Men First Class planned

It seemed destined that we'd get another entry into the X-Men universe of films. But who would've thought this newly announced one would be it. X-Men: First Class is now rumored to be in development at FOX, with Zak Penn at the helm. If true, the film could follow the 2006 mini-series which featured a version of the original X-Men team in all new stories packed with cameo appearances. The team in the miniseries specifically included Cyclops, Beast, Marvel Girl, Angel, and Iceman, although I wonder if perhaps this film would instead follow the film universe's continuity of characters in their early adventures. I suppose that would really only necessarily exclude Angel from the mix, but maybe we can get a young Storm or someone to replace him.

This is good news if true. I'd really like to see a young version of the X-Men. Maybe with a slightly less convoluted story than the grown up X-Men films. Hopefully this will all pan out. More on this as, and if it develops.

HP: ATHBP trailer

Finally here for you're enjoyment the trailer for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

The movie is coming out December 11th, 2008.

Tyrese as a Thundercat?

While this isn't much more than a snippet of a rumor, its a good indication that things are still on the move for a planned Thundercats movie. If you'll remember, there is a film in the works for the coolest kitties on Third Earth. Last we heard the movie has a draft script, by Paul Sopocy, and a director, Gears of War game helmer Jerry O'Flaherty, although it's still at the early stages of development and is sure to change as things move forward. The movie was announced by Warners as a CG property with an eyed 2010 release. Of course we can't know exactly what is still true on the film front, but at least we're getting a bit more. And its from the unlikely source of Transformers actor Tyrese Gibson.

In a recent interview Tyrese stated that he is in negotiations for the project and while he wouldn't confirm anything, he indicated that there are a number of options in terms of what role he would play. Whether this means a voice over role in a animated film, or a live action part is unknown, but he suggested that we should get more information soon.

Of course the obvious guess for a part is Panthro. Is that racist... I think especially if its an animated film though it really wouldn't matter who he plays. I think this is a good sign regardless. Tyrese needs another good action film, and anything that bring the Thundercats closer to cinematic reality is a good thing. We'll just have to wait and see if this develops into more than a rumor.

For the latest info and more on the planned Thundercats movie, check out The Thundercats Lair message boards. These really guys know what they're talking about.

Wonder Woman animated trailer

Here is the trailer for the new direct to dvd animated Wonder Woman film.

Looks pretty cool eh? I'm a bit behind on the DC direct to dvd film series, having still not seen Superman: Doomsday or Gotham Knight, but I will say if this is anywhere near the quality of Justice League New Frontier, it will be amazing. The voice cast for this film is already impressive on its own. Keri Russell voices Wonder Woman, and it also features Nathan Fillion, Alfred Molina, Virginia Madsen, Rosario Dawson, and Oliver Platt. In terms of story, I believe this is an origin tale punctuated by an attack on mankind by god of war Ares. Definitely sounds cool to me; Wonder Woman, has a good simple story and I'm genuinely looking forward to this.

Wonder Woman is slated for release in February '09.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Hellboy II: The Golden Army review

There are a lot of things to really love about Hellboy II: The Golden Army. The film has deep and resonant character developments giving much more insights into the players than the last film. It also looks like a dream in autumnal shades of gold and sepia, with lighting that manages to both hide and reveal character reflective of the story and tone of the moment. And maybe most significantly, the characters, the costumes, the creatures look utterly believable and out of this world. They slide effortlessly into the world of Hellboy, suiting the magical underbelly of a world that exists right below our unsuspecting noses. Far more impressive than the first solid Hellboy film this movie sees legitimate growth in almost every way. But all that said there is something about the movie that just never grabbed me in the way the first film did. I respect this film a lot, I think it may actually even be a better movie than the original, but I can't say I loved it as much.

Despite the fantastic set design, and creature work something about the main plot just never quite did it for me. The story is about a (what is he an elf?) prince who is trying to reclaim the former glory of his family throne. To do this he intends to gather the pieces of a fragmented royal crown thereby breaking the covenant of peace made between his people an mankind, and use the power to awaken the Golden Army, who for all intents and purposes are giant possessed robots. This is all set against the character backdrop of Hellboy and Liz Sherman sorting through their troubled relationship, and Abe Sapian finding a true love for the first time in his life. It's a story with beasties galore, and huge fight scenes, and spectacular stunts, and creepy crawlies, and intense drama, true love, heartbreak, singing, and kitty cats... A film that really has it all.

But something still didn't grab me. As I said, I think it may have something to do with the plotting. Maybe it was the fact that I didn't feel invested in this disposed royal family of elves, maybe I didn't believe the love story with Abe. The plotting just didn't hold my attention, which is odd, considering I did enjoy many of the character moments, and overall found the personal arcs to be satisfying. Something... maybe just that intangible magic was lost on me though.

I still enjoyed this film, and think that perhaps on repeat viewings I would appreciate it even more. It's worth watching, at least on dvd. Hellboy II has a lot to offer despite my unspecific misgivings. My hope is that a third and even better film will be made based on the success of this film.

Batman Brave and the Bold trailer

Check out this trailer for the upcoming Batman: The Brave and the Bold series. It is truly retro-tastic!

You can read up on the series in this interview SuperHeroHype did with producer James Tucker and character designer Andrea Romero. Its very interesting stuff. The show, like the old comic book, will feature Batman in various team up adventures. In the show, some of the people we'll see the caped crusader partner with include Blue Beetle, Plastic Man, Aquaman, Green Arrow, The Atom, Black Canary, Booster Gold, Adam Strange, Dr Fate, Jonah Hex and more. Check out a more complete list including some of the confirmed villains on the wiki page.

I am definitely excited to see how this series plays out. And some of these characters are great and have never gotten their due screen time before. I just hope it doesn't come off too young.

the show is slated to premiere on Cartoon Network on Nov 14th, '08.