Archive for July, 2007

ALAN KISTLER REVIEWS: The BBC’s “Jekyll”

Monday, July 30th, 2007

What if the story of Jekyll and Hyde were based on a real person, a true case? And what if there were someone alive in the present day that had the same horrible curse?

This is the premise of the new BBC mini-series Jekyll (premiering this Saturday on BBC America), written by Steven Moffat, the creator of the British comedy “Coupling” and writer of several episodes of the new “Doctor Who” series (such as "The Girl In The Fireplace" and "The Empty Child"), and envisioned by both him and Jeffrey Taylor.

BBC%20jekyll.jpg

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One New Episode of Heroes Will Be Several Months Late

Monday, July 30th, 2007

See, now this is exactly what I meant about not knowing what the big stories are while you’re at Comic Con. While I was outside of the room with thousands of others hoping in vain to get in to NBC’s Heroes panel, Comic Book Resources was inside reporting on what was going on. It’s Monday morning now, and I only just learned that in addition to the entire cast being there, Kevin Smith made an appearance because he has signed on to do one episode. Read more about it like I had to with this article.

Cpl. Otter’s Tips for the Con

Sunday, July 29th, 2007

The San Diego Comic Con is both exhausting and exhilarating. There’s and overload of things to see and it seems like you get to see so very little of it. It is both very frustrating and a heck of a lot of fun.

As I wrote before, when you’re actually here, you’re only able to see a tiny little bit of everything going on, and the people reading on the Internet at home are the ones getting the big picture and all the breaking news. Since there’s not much in the way of news stories breaking from the con that I didn’t get from the Internet, I thought instead that I would share a few tips I’ve learned after coming here the past two years.

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Our own Cpl. Otter reports from Comic Con

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

Cpl. Otter doesn’t have the link to get in to the blog, so I’m reposting this here for him.

I am here in San Diego for the Big Geek Weekend. I guess that makes me a big geek. Are there any other Monitor Dutiers here? I went Wednesday for Pre-view Night. On Thursday, I went with my family to Disneyland, but I’m back at the Con for today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday). Sunday is still up in the air, but if I do go, it will likely only be in the morning.

It’s crazy busy here. The convention itself is sold out for the first time ever. I thought about trying to write something for Monitor Duty, but the fact of the matter is that when you’re in the midst of it here, it’s almost impossible to know what is going on. I was excited to get back to the hotel today in order get on the Internet and find out what actually happened.

So far, I’ve only been to one panel- the DC Nation one at 6:00 Friday. By the time I got back to the hotel, Comic Book Resources had already posted a write up on it. I have been able to get a few autographs- Paul Dini, Greg Horn, Scott Shaw! and some others. For anyone who read my previous post on the Toronto Comic Con, I did find Lianna K, wearing her Power Girl outfit again.

I could post pictures and video of what I’ve seen here, but I won’t be able to for at least another week and a half, when I’ll be back at my home computer. By then, it hardly seems like news any more and there are hundreds of other people posting similar items as I type this. Would anyone still be interested?

On Saturday, I’m going to certainly try to be at the Heroes session, wearing my “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World” t-shirt. So will thousands of other people, I’m sure.

The rape of our collective childhood continues

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

My biggest complaint about television cartoons is that they don’t allow you to see the humanoid animals eating poop. Thankfully, movies don’t have that limitation, which is why the same industry that brought you giant robots peeing can now show you Alvin the chipmunk eating poop.

Thank God. I was worried they’d go for something wholesome and positive. Let’s hope the movie also has their chipmunk girlfriends dressed like skanks while Theodore belts out “Sexual Healing”.

Spock in Stereo

Friday, July 27th, 2007

The casting for Spock in the upcoming Star Trek movie produced by J. J. Abrams was announced at comic-con yesterday.

Leonard Nimoy will reprise his role and Zachary Quinto (Syler from HEROES) has been cast as the younger Spock.

Abrams also announced that they are trying to figure a proper way to have William Shatner in the film as well.

The younger Kirk hasn’t been cast as yet. Likely whomever will be cast will have shown to have chemistry with Quinto in auditions.

Filming should start in November. Release date has been set for Christmas day of 2008.

It is springtime in the world of Star Trek again.

Batman: The Dark Knight Teaser Trailer online!

Friday, July 27th, 2007

The Dark Knight Teaser Trailer hit YouTube…and was yanked before I could even link to it!

However, Cinematical stayed on the case and followed along with DC’s Comic Con teaser game which eventually gives a link to the video. Now you can see it at WhySoSerious.com

UPDATE: I should mention, it’s just a teaser trailer. No pictures from the movie at all, just a slowly revealed Bat-symbol over some dialogue. Not a big deal, really. It’s probably pretty cool if you’re watching it in a theater and this starts revealing itself, but if you’re looking for substance you’ll have to wait for the next trailer.

Horton Fills 90 Minutes of Time

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Jim Carrey returns to the world of Dr. Seuss. Thankfully, they didn’t try for a trifecta of gawrshawful live action adaptations of Mr. Geisel’s works; this one’s animated. It’s a start. Hopefully there won’t be any striped-hat-as-penis jokes this time.

Honestly, the big problem with these full-length movie versions of Dr. Seuss books is NOT the disturbing sight of a forty-year-old comedian in heavy makeup doing schtick while destroying all of your fond memories of a beloved children’s book. Actually…………… okay, actually that IS the big problem, but what I’m saying is that there’s a more fundamental problem which even this beautiful animated version may have difficulty overcoming.

Simply put, Dr. Seuss books are simple and short. When they were adapted into television specials, the books had to be greatly padded with songs in order to fill up 22 minutes (sans commercials). Going to feature film length of 90 minutes or more? That’s when you get the Grinch’s backstory about how the Whos mistreated him.

I love The Lorax. The Once-lers, You need a Thneed and all that. But I’d hate to ee it padded out. A 90 minute movie with five or six different short adaptations of Seuss stories would be so much more entertaining than coming up with Horton improv to fill time and depart from the heart of the story.

By the way…in case you aren’t creeped out by the live action Cat in the Hat, you will be.

You will be.

Get Smart

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart? Looks like he manages to make it his own character while playing it true to the spirit of Don Adams. I was worried that he’d do an Adams impersonation. Anne Hathaway as agent 99 should be good; I’m a sucker for her.

Too bad that the shoe phone thing is totally irrelevant in the age of the iPhone.

King of Kong

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Not a new trailer, but I just discovered this one. It’s opening in theaters in three weeks.

This is the big geek weekend!

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Comic Con in San Diego is this weekend, so plenty of movie companies have been saving their fanboy movie announcements for the convention. There will also be plenty of comic book news. My buddy Chuck Dixon has had a major announcement which he’s been keeping close to the vest…reportedly involving his writing an ongoing series featuring a character he’s written before. Batman? Punisher? Robin? Perhaps Teen Titans since Robin is the leader? I’ll let you know when it’s made public.

Robert Zemeckis’ new movie “Beowulf” has its trailer debut. I was hesitant to watch this one because Robert Zemeckis has this annoying tendency to ruin his movies by intentionally telling you how the movies end in the trailers. Fear not, you can watch this one. It doesn’t reveal anything aside from a naked Angelina Jolie (and no, that’s not some lure to get you to watch the trailer; she’s shot from the neck up).

I must be the only guy who feels nothing looking at Angelina Jolie. She’s so over-hyped and I just don’t get the appeal. It’s not like she’s Jennifer Connelly or anything.

So… Beowulf, eh? I read the book, back in college. Frankly, it’s boring. I think it’s a Citizen Kane thing where you have to respect it as a monumental influence on all that came later, but because it’s been so influential it’s hard to appreciate on its own merits.

Want to know the entire story of Beowulf? This is, I suppose, a spoiler, but it’s not much of one:

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Watchmen movie

Friday, July 27th, 2007

The guy behind the “300” movie adaptation is now tackling one o the most impossible-to-adapt comic books ever: “Watchmen”

At the Comic Con they’ve announced the cast list. I didn’t even do any Googling of the names before posting this because I like my first reaction better: 5 of the 6 are unknowns to me, whereas I’ve heard of Billy Crudup and will probably kick myself once I look up his name, but the important thing is that it’s not a bunch of stars.

Just my personal opinion, and probably one that many of you hold as well…but I think movies are better when they’re free of meddling, powerful stars. I’m glad Tom Cruise, Jude Law and Keanu wanted too much money.

As for the movie: I really do wish them the best of luck. They’re trying to adapt a book that is almost pivotally mid-1980s, and I don’t know how it will work post-Cold War. The length is a problem, too. I once thumbed through my well-worn hardcover, mentally whittling it down to just the essentials to make a three-hour movie. Simply put, you have to start sacrificing the babies to come up with a movie. And let’s face it, a good director wants time to play, not just to jump through every scene as fast as possible. Imagine how lovely the scene where they take out Archie could be if you give it some time to play out and show off the beauty of Nite Owl’s flying ship. Say, ten, fifteen minutes out of the picture for that chapter alone.

It’s possible to make Watchmen into a movie, I’m sure of it. But it really would work better as a mini-series on TV.

Doh!

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

The other day, I tried to post an image showing what I would look ‘Simpsonized. Somehow I screwed up -cough- lousy HTML..
ANYWAY, here is what I MEANT to post…

And here’s the link…

http://www.simpsonizeme.com/index.php#

Drew Carey is the new host of the Price is Right

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

The man himself, Bob Barker’s successor, just announced in on the Late Show.

I love that.

The return of Celebrity Deathmatch?

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

“Get a toast together and make it quick
We’ve gotta make room for Andy Dick…”
“Christmas Time In Hell”

I’ve been rejoicing at the story of Jon Lovitz giving a long-overdue beatdown to Andy Dick.

Ostensibly, it was because Andy Dick had told Jon Lovitz the last time they’d met, “I put the Phil Hartman hex on you! You’re the next one to die.” Jon had hoped for an apology, while Dick didn’t recall saying it. (Jon doesn’t drink and Dick is rarely if ever sober, so you can guess who might have the better recall.)

However, the resentment goes farther back. During a Christmas party at Phil Hartman’s house, Andy Dick had reintroduced Brynn Hartman to cocaine after a decade of sobriety, and five months later Brynn shot Phil while she was inebriated.

Jon’s buddy Dennis Miller had him recount the whole affair for his radio show. Download. Listen.

Way to go, Jon!

Nerds can murder

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

Over at penny-arcade I found a blog from the strip’s writer indicating that he could not stop being fascinated with this article.

I read it. There’s a couple of interesting angles, including a proclaimed possibility of discrimination against nerds, which is proclaimed by the murder suspect in question.

Purportedly the subject is also a big deal in Linux social circles, although his OS iteration reshapes hard drives to the point where if they break, retrieval for your data is probably impossible, which is the cost of effective information compression. The fact that he is a Linux re-designer is probably the only reason this subject is in Wired magazine.

The author apparently leaves it open to dscussion throughout the article whether or not Mister Hans Reiser murdered his wife, highlighting one question throughout the entire article, but I think the article’s writer is being a bit too artistic given his subject matter. As a matter of license he has samples of the murder suspect’s Linux code spread throughout the article, wherever it would be artistically fitting, in his judgment.

The last part of the article has part of the code which would seem incriminating except that Hans Reiser’s company, Namesys, which worked on his project, consisted of many individual and the statement about death written into the code wasn’t written by Mr. Reiser.

The article is fascinating, worth reviewing, not especially well-written beyond what is needed to get me hooked, and artsy enough to be disgusting. It is a Wired article in every way. It tells you just short of what you’d want to know, given what it has already told you.
Just like what I just did.

Rare glimpse of the brown tufted Alan Moore

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

The reclusive Alan Moore has decided to make a public appearance at the grand opening of a new American comic book shop. The nice thing is, we will all have the opportunity to attend, as it will be televised.

Liveblogging “Ghost Rider” pt. 5

Monday, July 16th, 2007

An unexpected ending. Nice!

Well, okay, not unexpected in that it’s an established character who can never have a resolution or there’d be no stories (i.e. sequels…cash). But the whole movie, Cage’s character is trying to find some way to escape the deal. Finally, the devil tells him that his work is finished and he’s free to go. Faced with the prospect of the devil purchasing another soul, probably through the same kind of trickery that Mephistopheles used on him, Blaze rejects it and says that he will use the Ghost Rider to do good.

How many people could take that kind of burden, especially with Eva Mendes (and the possibility of a normal life with her) standing right there? It makes me want to see what the next movie will be, once free of the origin story which is, in many ways, formulaic. (Fight your way up through the baddies, each with his own shtick, and then take on the Boss.)

This movie had some flaws but it’s amazing to see it tanking in the Tomatometer ratings when it’s hardly a bad film.

Now. Some of the things I didn’t like.

I realize I’m in a minority but I just hate property damage. Sorry, I can’t divorce myself from the thoughts of how much it’ll cost to repair the road, how expensive panes of glass are, how unfair it is of the rider to be destroying people’s cars.

Yes, I have the same problem with every superhero movie. It’s why I can’t get into the “Hulk Smash” thing.

Sam Elliot should have been more integral than just showing the Rider where he has to go, handing him a gun and then leaving.

Every time I see Eva Mendes, I wonder how old Cage is supposed to be playing in order to be the same age as her.

The hellfire thing…why would hellfire bother demons? And how can Ghost Rider “kill” them by sending them to hell? I keep expecting them to show up and say, “Well, where was I going to go, Detroit?”

Oh, and I can’t believe I was right about the girlfriend thing. Biggest cliche in the movie; I wish superhero movies in particular could move past that one.

Liveblogging “Ghost Rider” pt. 4

Monday, July 16th, 2007

It was nice to see Blaze’s appreciation for the cops. The scene in jail was great.

Oh great. The devil’s kid saw Ghost Rider and Simpson exchanging looks. He’s going to kidnap her, isn’t he?

Liveblogging “Ghost Rider” pt. 3

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Sorry for the delay. Right in the middle of posting, Movable Type decided to upgrade its system! Thank goodness for the back button.

I cannot remember the girlfriend’s name, but she just came into Blaze’s huge loft. (You’d think a celebrity would have raving fans camped outside. She found it easily enough; it must be public knowledge.)

So this segment covers his transformation and first outing of Ghost Rider, plus the scene with the Beef Council guy. Would it be fair to say that Sam Elliot elevates the movie completely? The camera loves him, and though I’ve guessed enough about his character’s background, it’s also clear he’s the voice of salvation for Blaze. So far, there are crosses in every shot of Elliot.

Not much else to say. Back to it.

Oh. I know it’s supposed to be a disturbing voice, but I find the Ghost Rider’s voice a little too… I dunno… fakey?