Friday, 12 December 2008
After a fair time away from my blog, hopefully I will be supporting this and Mike's FlashBang site (which has also taken a break) a bit more. So, if there are any readers out there. "I'llll be back".
Terminator: 2.12"Alpine Fields"
Sarah, Cameron, and Derek work to save a family (whose unborn child will play a pivotal role in the future, of combating a biological weapon from Skynet) from a T-888. Details of Derek and Jesse's first meeting is depicted.
This raises the bar after a run of mediocre, convoluted stories. It's still not enough to stop me wanting this series cancelled. I want the Terminator Salvation movie to succeed so that further movies of the Future War are made. T:TSCC could well colour people's view of the upcoming movie.
Alpine Fields encompasses what makes a good Terminator story; a chase, a mysterious pursuer (as far as the family in this story are concerned), characterisation and future war references/scenes.
Sarah, in this episode, empathises with the Mother in that she was once this person; disbelieving but having to process, on the hoof, as to what is actually happening and why it is happening.
Derek is brought to the fore, slightly more, as parts of the story focus on the reasons why the mother must give birth and how her offsring will save lives.
I'm not expecting a Terminator film every week, but i feel that the writers have got themselves bogged down with the amount of time travellers, Riley, Sarah's maternal angst, John attempting to manage the expectations of his mother and the resistance whilst trying to enjoy his childhood like any other young man, along with the Catherine Weaver/Ellison sideline. It's all very messy.
People could argue that a long running series should focus on these issues because otherwise it wouldn't be very realistic. Hello, it's a show about machines sparking off an apocalypse.
There are far too many characters in the show. In a series like the modern Battlestar Galactica, this is fine. The characters on that show are fully formed and interesting, not necessarily likeable but interesting. I find characters on T:LTSCC irritating or two-dimensional. Sarah Connor, whose chronicles the title refers to, is often sidelined or made whingy and unlikeable; not a helpful factor for a leading lady in a long running TV show. I'm not convinced by Shirley Manson's depiction of a T-1001. The actors playing T-888s aren't particularly convincing and prove to critics of the biggest name in Hollywood (Arnold Schwarzenegger - that's 20 letters!) that there's no real replacement for his Terminator. The Razor-babe, who plays time traveller Jesse, is about as charasmatic as a garden chair. Derek isn't bad but has little time to flesh out his character, which is a shame. He spends most of the time looking as if he's about to cry. Ellison continues to be underused, with no clear sign of how he fits into the scheme of things. Riley; ok maybe the writers have got something sinister planned for her, but it's slow in coming to light. Cameron is...Cameron. What can you say about Summer Glau? It's very strange having a cute killing machine.
Alpine Fields shows, again, that the best stories link in to the future war, in a similar way to the original 1984 Terminator film.
Bring on Terminator Salvation! The trailer shows promise for the movie.
Monday, 18 August 2008
Friday, 15 August 2008
Directed by: Sean Tretta
Starring: Patti Tindall, Lindsay Page, Davina Joy, Mike Marsh
I’ve been an avid watcher of horror movies for twenty-five years now. I’ve seen trends come and go. There’s only really one movie that has scared me witless and that was The Exorcist. I’m still looking for a movie that will genuinely creep me out. For a second there, I thought it might be this low budget gem. Sadly not, but it is still well worth catching. Just make sure you watch it at night, in a low lit room…
A respected professional ghost hunter, Carter Simms, famous for debunking so-called spiritual manifestations, is offered $5000 to stay in an inherited house to research a spate of phenomena by the owner of the house. Much to her annoyance, the owner insists that she is accompanied by a writer and photographer who get more than they bargained for when they are joined by a mysterious girl who says she’s from a nearby church. She says she wants to maintain the good name of the Christians murdered there, but what is her real agenda?
Death of a Ghost Hunter purports to be a true life story. However, there is no documentary evidence to suggest that this is none other than the writer’s conceit to make the drama more effective. This worked for both The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Blair Witch project, both of which were based upon real life serial killers and urban legends respectively.
In this day and age of seemingly countless versions of Mostly Haunted (almost as much as CSI style shows) it is not a surprise to see a movie tap into that interest. What is strange is the detailed and intelligent way that it is done, and for such a low budget. This movie should shame some of the more experienced directors of horror movies into making something scary. Like the Spanish zombie movie [REC], the characters in the story are believable and react to the events in a natural way as opposed to forced, acted out in dozens of rehearsals, performances.
The low budget does show on occasion. The sound levels don’t seem right as the volume dips in and out. This may have been intentional but it doesn’t seem that way. The location is right for the movie and reminded me of a stripped down Poltergeist on a couple of occasions. Whereas Poltergeist came across as a kid’s movie with adult themes, this film is a clear procedural ghost hunters movie that doesn’t get lost in the investigative process but uses it to dramatic effect. There is an excellent use of night camera footage which is way spookier than anything in Poltergeist.
The entire cast reminded me of “movie of the week” actors. Not great but not horrifyingly cringe inducing. Patti Tindall plays Carter Simms, the ghost hunter, with an earnest honesty. I can’t say that I liked the character and I don’t think we were supposed to. The script helped enormously. Every character has a voice, helping to persuade the viewer that they are watching a docudrama, not an out and out work of fiction. This is also helped by Carter Simms’ narration. Davina Joy plays the brash writer, Yvette Sandoval. She plays the part very well and like the others, is believable. Mike Marsh plays Colin Green, who handles the cameras in the house. There’s a funny scene where Colin and Yvette get high and re-enact scenes from famous movies including the “snot scene” in Blair Witch. Lindsay Page plays Mary Young Mortenson. This character starts as irritating and then goes to being downright creepy and unsettling. You really do not know what she will do next. Whilst her reasons for being in the house are signposted early on, it doesn’t matter. The final denouement might be a touch predictable when it comes but it is also very unsettling and provides a slightly psychological unnerving feeling which is lacking in so many supernatural movies.
There is about twenty minutes of what I would describe as set-up, but it is important because the movie soon shifts into the main plot and leads to an ending that leaves you wondering about, and questioning, theories on life after death.
This is a movie that jaded horror fans might overlook. That’s a shame because it deserves to get a wider audience. True, decent, low budget movies like this come along once in every decade. It looks professional and despite some confusing FX, doesn’t rely on CGI overload. What works in this film is the suggested threat and supernatural presence. Yes, you see ghosts but not quite in the way you would expect, helping the believability of the project. Allegedly shot over 9 days, costing $10,000, it looks far more expensive. I’ll be looking out for Sean Tretta. This man could be in for quite a career.
Look for this movie in all the usual outlets, Region One only at the moment.
Thursday, 7 August 2008
Ain't It Cool News report that Lethal Weapon 5 might be in the offing. I thought that LW4 was one too many. The only way that this project could have a hope is if Shane Black gets to write the entire script. I usee the superb Kiss Kiss Bang Bang as an example of Black's more recent successes. LW5 would have to be an R, in keeping with the tone of the originals, not some toned down PG-13 rubbish, with an unrated DVD - yes, like Die Hard 4.0!
Friday, 25 July 2008
I liked The Punisher, with Thomas Jane. I thought it did a good job of capturing the essence of the Marvel redux of the character a few years back. But, I wasn't sold on the Miami location and the "origin". At first, War Zone looked a little off. But, with this ultra-violent clip shown at Comi-Con, I've got a renewed interest in this. Sure, it looks a little like teh X-Box game, but at least the look is right and the origin of The Punisher has been reinstated. Check the footage out at aint it cool news:
War Zone comic con footage
Monday, 21 July 2008
Monday, 9 June 2008
So, this week's episode; "The Hub".
No one line synopsis could describe this television masterclass. It was full of subtleties and textures like a fine piece of art. An overwrought description? I don't think so. Like the very best BSG episodes, The Hub contains battle scenes, character, high drama, and the mortality of humanity reflected in the strife of the characters. It is also about resolution.
The story picks up where episode 4.07 ended, with the captured base star going FTL. The base star's hybrid is conforming to the mission originally stated by jumping the ship closer to the Resurrection Hub; a mighty beast of a ship that contains all the information and technology to manage all the cylon resurrection ships. Destroying it means that all the Cylons become mortal, like us mere human beings. But before the hub is destroyed, the number three cylon, De'anna, must be resurrected and brought back for questioning about the final five cylon's identities; because she has seen them.
Each time the ship jumps, President Roslin finds herself talking to Elosha, the long dead spiritual leader of the colonies. Elosha shows Roslin her dying self on a deserted Galactica and tells her that she has stopped loving people and switched off to what makes her a woman. Adama, Starbuck, and Apollo are weeping at her bedside, waiting for her to die.
Meanwhile, on the base star, confused as to what the hybrid is doing, the rest of the boarding party are trying to communicate with the hybrid. Baltar thinks he is making progress, but it is an Athena that works out that the hybrid is chasing the Hub.
During a mission brief it is clear that the human pilots heavily mis-trust their cylon equivalents, especially as part of the mission is for the cylons to tow the "cold" vipers to confuse the base stars.
Going against the agreement with the cylons, Roslin takes aside Helo and orders him to bring De'anna straight to her upon capture and return to the basestar. Helo is not comfortable with this, but says that he will comply. He's a soldier to the last. Roslin cites human security, but I reckon that Helo knows this decision will come back and bite them.
At the hub, one of the Cavils has already brought De'anna back, to get her to mediate between the cylons who are at civil war. De'anna responds to the revelation that humans and cylon collaborators are on their way to destroy the hub, by killing the Cavil.
Cylon heavy raiders arrive, towing colonial vipers behind them. The vipers are powered down to stealthily approach the hub, to then disable its FTL drive. De'anna is rescued and the assault team get back to the base star. During the battle, Baltar attempts to casually convert a cylon centurion. As he is relating a story about mastery and slavery, an explosion rips the centurion apart causing shrapnel to slice open Baltar's mid-riff. Roslin discovers him, immediately attending to him and administering morphine whilst applying a compress bandage to stop his bleeding. During this time, Baltar confesses to being complicit in the Cylon destruction of the colonies, albeit unaware of what was happening until it was too late.
Roslin responds by removing Baltar's bandage, allowing the wound to remain open.
As the base star jumps, upon the assault team's return. Roslin receives another visit from Elosha who points out that what Baltar has done is not all bad and who is she to determine who should live and who should die. Panicking that she might have been responsible for Baltar's death, she hurries to try and save him.
Despite what she has learnt about herself and her actions, Roslin still insists that she speak to De'anna, freezing the cylons out of the discussion. De'anna toys with Roslin, and points out that information is all that she has left to bargain with, especially with there being no back up to resurrect to.
The base star jumps back to the Galactica's previous coordinates, where Adama is waiting in a raptor. He meets Roslin and she tells him that she loves him.
I don't get moved by just any movie, TV show or piece of music but, boy, did this episode kick me in the nuts. Despite Roslin's sometimes caustic attitude, seeing her weak and helpless in her deathbed is still not an easy image. It can be related to by a great many people, sadly. Cancer is a major killer, and it's easy to be moved at seeing a strong person debillitated by the illness. Seeing Adama breaking down by her bedside, cradling Roslin's corpse, was also not an easy thing to watch, unaffected.
The scenes where the hybrid screams "Jump" leading to scenes of Roslin in full introspective mode were well done. Wether these were visions or Roslin's self-analysis remains to be seen. Quite why she should be accused of insensitivity as a leader, I don't know. Perhaps Roslin's sub-conscious is judging her actions.
Roslin is a complicated character that I don't tend to like a whole lot. Mary McDonnell plays her faultlessly and her performance was another great highlight of this episode. James Callis never ceases to amaze me with his acting. In this episode, he went from bragging to dying. His calls for Roslin to stop removing his bandage were chilling, and a counterpoint to the repetitious nature of the base star hybrid;
"Please don't do this to me"
I was convinced that it could have been James Callis' final scene as Baltar, given that season 4 is the last.
Another chilling scene that would have been best followed by an ad break, to lengthen tension, was when De'anna toys with Roslin and makes it look as if Roslin is one of the final five. Bear McCreary's music punctuates the viewers shock and realisation of...well, nothing.
Edward James Olmos turns in yet another great perfomance, despite his limited contribution to this episode. So does the VFX team, with another realistic battle sequence.
Lastly, special mention must go to the beautiful score by Bear McCreary. His score often underscores a good scene, to make it great. None more so than in The Hub. The theme running through the sequence of the hub mission is haunting and comparable to his theme for Kat in The Passage. It really gets across that the destruction of the hub doesn't necessarily make us better human beings for it. The expression on Helo says that, too. More can be read on Bear's blog. I can't wait for his Season 4 CD to some out for this particular peice of music.
Sunday, 8 June 2008
Friday, 6 June 2008
Thursday, 5 June 2008
Tuesday, 3 June 2008
I just had to post this article from aint it cool news, written by "Moriarty"
I’m not much for the nerdstalgia that has turned every single studio in town into a remake/reboot factory. I think it’s short-sighted and stupid, and in the long run, we’re cannibalizing our business by only indulging this pathetic need to destroy every single franchise we ever cared about. It’s all driven by marketing departments and research groups, and there’s nothing honest or organic about it.
My biggest question to the studios is this: what are you going to be remaking in 20 years? If you refuse to greenlight original visions right now, and all you’re doing is this cinematic grave-robbing over and over and over and over again, then what are you going to do 20 years from now?
At some point, this cycle has to end. Either that, or we’re on our way to being the music industry, and that’s fucking terrifying.
For those of you who feel like there are still unanswered questions about the world of THE TERMINATOR, or who just can’t get enough of seeing James Cameron’s original story expanded way past the breaking point, you’re going to finally get your wish and see the future war in the upcoming TERMINATOR: SALVATION, which is meant to kick off another trilogy of films.
Will it? Well, if the ending that today’s spy sent us is any indication of what to expect, I don’t think a sequel is going to be something anyone needs to worry about. Instead, the filmmakers might want to consider the Witness Protection Program.
Why? Oh, man, just read the following, and keep in mind: this is a rumor. I don’t have the T4 script here, and I’m not saying that this IS the ending. Just that this rumor is so batshit crazy I had to share it with you guys, and I’ll start digging to see what I can come up with. If this is how it ends, then the destruction of this franchise is complete, and James Cameron can rest assured that he remains the only person to ever make any TERMINATOR films I give a shit about.
Take it away, Dr. Silberman:
"Alright so the main character is a cyborg named Marcus. For some background, Marcus was a criminal who was executed in 2003. He donated his body to Project Angel which was involved with SkyNet. They take his body and make a terminator out of him so he's a terminator skeleton but has living muscle/skin and a beating heart too. At the end of the movie John Connor is fighting a T800 model 101 and loses. He dies and the top resistance people come up with a plan to help the resistance keep fighting on. The resistance feels that it's important to keep the image or idea that John Connor is still alive so the resistance keeps going. So they rip off Marcus' skin and put John Connor's on the skeleton so now Marcus is John Connor."
It sounds terrible! I agree with most of Moriarty's initial points, that Hollywood is currently grave robbing old ideas, and not always for the good of the people who made the films popular in the first place. I disagree about T3. Although not as great as the first two films, it was still entertaining and I loved the ending.
The Sarah Connor Chronicles isn't a bad TV show, yet this new trilogy will trash the show's logic.
I'm open minded enough to hope that McG sees sense and changes this piss-awful ending. Assuming that it really is a spoiler.
Monday, 2 June 2008
My most frequently visited forum is the Marillion OnLine Forum (MOLF for short). I don't spend much time on any other forum. I've made a good many friends in the real world from using it and it works as a one stop shop. It's largely populated by intelligent people so a great many views are posted on a multitude of subjects. There's the usual downsides; people who can't take a joke, Mods that sometimes make questionable decisions hidden behind anonymity, fans that take their fandom far too seriously, people hiding behind a double-login, and the usual WUMs (Wind Up Merchants). But overall, the experience of using the forum is a good one.
I tend to use it everyday, so shock of all horrors, since yesterday it's been out of commission. I feel slightly lost without it, sad to say. I want to see what my friends think of the Stephen Moffat penned episode of Doctor Who; see if anyone has received their tickets for the Foo Fighters this coming Saturday.
Cynically, I'll be interested to see how much is "lost" when it gets up and running. The Tangerine Dream forum has suffered from being rebooted in the past.
Sunday, 1 June 2008
Saturday, 31 May 2008
Booked up for:
Foo Fighters - 7/06/08
Blue Oyster Cult - 11/06/08
Iron Maiden - 5/07/08
no man - 29/08/08
Porcupine Tree - 19/10/08 Indigo 02
Tangerine Dream - 1/011/08 The Forum, London
Fish - 16/11/08 - SBE, London
- a current distraction of mine.
I didn't bother with the US Office after seeing clips that used the same set ups and script as the awesome UK Office. I missed out. So, I've been catching up. One of the many reasons I watch it, is to look at the sexy office girl Pam Beesly.
is cute, and more approachable than your average on screen lovely. And she's in her thirties so I don't feel too bad about looking at her.
Thursday, 29 May 2008
"I feel that Star Trek owes a great deal to the music of Jerry Goldsmith. His work for the movie series is just amazing. However, in my opinion, Alexander Courage is responsible for the musical heart to the world of Star Trek. I feel that if you were to strip away everything, bit by bit, in order of importance, the last thing you would be holding in your hands would be the sheet music for the opening fanfare to the Star Trek Main Theme. To me, that small piece of music is and always shall be Star Trek."
Wednesday, 28 May 2008
H eventually made an entrance right by us. That was pretty much all I saw of him as the venue isn't geared up for an audience. Had I known how tight the venue was I still wouldn't have queued up early. The social side of these gigs is as important as the music.
Cover my eyes - h
Bell of the sea - h & p
Enlightened h & p & r
You're gone - h & p & r
Go -h & p & r
21st century - h & p & r
See it like a baby - h & p & r
Answering machine - h & p & r
Marbles 1 - h & p & r
Don't Hurt your yourself - h & p & r
Uninvited guest - h & p & r
Faith Mad jack and el pres join the throng!
Man of 1000
The view didn't get better than this, it got far worse
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
BSG fans should check out this blog: http://darthmojo.wordpress.com/
It's from one of the pre-vis artist working tirelessly to sweeten the BSG stories with all that cool eye candy we get to see, to improve and enhance the human stories. Who could forget the sight of the classic Raiders and Centurions rendered in their full glory in Razor.
The blog contains reviews and stuff but the real interest is of the reports on how the CG work is going on in the series. Quality!
Witchblade is about a New York cop, Sara Pezzini, who finds she is destined to wear the Witchblade; a device that gives the wearer phenomenal power. Like Buffy, a woman is chosen to wear it in every generation. Not only does Sara find herself battling the usual evil threats, she has a constant battle with those that want the power of the Witchblade for themselves.
The comic book has been made into a US television series with Yancy Butler and a Japanese manga series.
No actress has been announced for the role, yet. Fan boys are crying out for Megan Fox (Transformers), but I'd got for Jill Wagner (Blade TV series). In my view, Wagner has the looks, figure and sassiness for the role. Also, she's proved to be a kick-ass heroine in the TV series Blade, based on another comic book. C'mon casting agents, give her a call.
It made a whopping $126 million during the four-day Memorial Day weekend making it the second biggest Memorial Day opening behind last year's "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" with $139 million.
In it's first five days, 'Skull' managed to rack up $151.1 million - the fifth highest first five-day gross of any film, and just $1 million shy of "Spider-Man 2".
Overseas, Indy4 made $160 million through Monday in its first weekend - making it the fifth biggest foreign opening weekend ever, just beating 'Revenge of the Sith'. It sits only behind the most recent 'Pirates,' 'Spider-Man' and 'Harry Potter' sequels along with 2006's "The Da Vinci Code".
This is all despite the harsh online reviews from trusted movie review websites and the subsequent advertising of these views in the UK press. It shows, once again, how flame proof the saga is despite outcrys against George Lucas' input to the strange direction that the plot took.
Thanks to Dark Horizons for the info.
Sunday, 25 May 2008
Saturday, 24 May 2008
Some believe that they always have been here, but I remain a sceptic. Judging from some of the facts in this story I doubt it was a Poltergeist that was really haunting this family but something else entirely. But, hey, what do I know, right?
Check out the story at this link and make your own mind up.
Joe Quesada, Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics, announced today that award-winning horror novelist Brian Keene has been named as the writer for a new Devil Slayer series, debuting this Fall under Marvel's Dead of Night horror brand (part of the adult-themed MAX line).
"Brian's writing a four-issue series reinterpreting the bad-ass character Devil-Slayer," said Quesada. "We're going to be looking at this character in a new, MAX light, and tie directly into some key events going on in the world today, in the classic Marvel tradition."
Both the creators and the company are tight-lipped about specifics, but Keene has confirmed the new series will take place on the frontlines of Iraq.
"When I was six-years old," Keene said, "my father took me to the newsstand and bought me issues of The Defenders, Man Thing, and Captain America. I took them home, read them, and immediately abandoned my childhood dreams of being an astronaut or a cowboy. Instead, I wanted to write for Marvel Comics. I'm pleased and honored to finally see that become a reality."
Here is a sneak peek of early character designs for the all-new Devil Slayer.
Any of you remember It Bites? Well any self-respecting prog rock fans should. Now fronted by the multi-talented and hard working talent that is John Mitchell.
Thanks to an article by Charlie O'Mara at Silhobbit
It Bites have announced an autumn tour to promote their forthcoming Tall Ships album, which should be out in the summer. The band will be playing the following dates with Touchstone:
Friday 26 September - Islington Academy, London
Saturday 27 September - Rios, Leeds
Sunday 28 September - The Point, Cardiff
Tuesday 30 September - Pacific Rd Arts Centre, Birkenhead
Wednesday 1 October - Academy, Newcastle
Thursday 2 October - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
Saturday 4 October - Academy 3, Manchester
Sunday 5 October - Robin 2, Bilston
Monday 6 October - Komedia, Brighton
They will be playing their rescheduled CRS gig at the Montgomery Hall in Wath-Upon-Dearne on Saturday 12th July.More info will no doubt arrive at the It Bites Official Site.
My short review of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
I do feel that it went a little too light. The sense of danger apparent in the previous three (certainly Raiders) was missing. I still liked it and recommend people go see it for themselves.
From the website Cinematical;
Simon Pegg is, like nearly everyone else in the film industry, over in Cannes promoting a new film. While doing the rounds for How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, Pegg revealed his next project to IGN.
"I just finished a script with my writing partner Nick Frost, and that is called Paul, and we're going to shoot it later this year or early next year. It's a road movie set in America about two British comic book geeks that get into an adventure across America. Write what you know as they say." I think it sounds downright charming -- and you know their geekiness will be excused all over this fine nation simply because of their accents.
Pegg has a director in mind for the film, but refused to reveal the name, saying only "It's someone really cool." Start guessing!
He also gave a bit of an update on the third installment of the Cornetto Trilogy, The World's End, rumored to be a sci-fi doomsday piece. "Edgar is off doing Scott Pilgrim and then we'll get back together and do our third one together, provisionally title World's End. But that was a premature announcement from Universal, and it's probable that the title will change."
Pegg, Frost and Wright have to be three of the hardest working guys in the business these days -- and there isn't a single project they develop that I doubt or sneer at. And even when there's not much to report, I know you readers out there will get all wound up too.
I wouldn't say that I'm a massive Hulk fan. I can name the few Hulk related stories that I like, from the books, and they all involve Wolverine. Surprise!
I didn't think Ang Lee's troubled Hulk movie was all that bad. Edward Norton is not an actor that I particularly like, but I do like the look of this latest movie The Incredible Hulk. From what I've seen of the trailer, it kicks ass! I don't care about the look of the CGI. The Hulk is a very difficult character to get right and I still have memories of Lou Ferringo in green makeup.
Anyway, check out the clip, here
Innovative use of an NYPD squad car!