Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ridley Scott going back to the" Brave New World"

Ridley Scott—who recently signed on to direct a prequel to his original Alien movie—is taking on another high-profile sci-fi project, producing and directing a film version of Aldous Huxley's dystopian SF novel Brave New World, The Hollywood Reporter's Risky Biz blog reported.

Scott will produce with Leonardo DiCaprio, who will also star, the blog reported.

It seems like a natural fit for Scott, who's well acquainted with dystopian futures, having directed Blade Runner.

Here's what the blog says:

The studio has brought on Apocalypto scribe Farhad Safinia to pen the script; he's expected to be working shortly.

Scott and DiCaprio also will produce via their respective Scott Free and Appian Way banners, with Michael Costigan also producing for Scott Free and George DiCaprio producing at Appian. Peter Cramer is overseeing for Uni.

Scott has mentioned casually in interviews that he's interested in the 1931 novel, which Appian Way owns, prompting a flurry of rumors on sci-fi and other blogs over the past year. But the studio details as well as DiCaprio's personal involvement always have been murky.

Now, with a writer on board and Scott Free and Appian execs meeting frequently during the past six months, the project has more momentum, though several people familiar with it emphasize that it remains at the development stage.

Brave New World is set in the year 2540 (632 A.F. in the book) in London, an egalitarian dystopian society of strictly controlled reproduction, consumerism and sexual promiscuity, seen at the time as partly a critique of the emerging Americanization of world culture. The book has previously been adapted for television but never for the big screen.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Leo's Big Gothic Red Riding Hood

Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way banner is developing a Gothic reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood with screenwriter David Leslie Johnson, Variety reported:

The Warner Bros.-based banner partnered with Johnson on horror pic Orphan, which has grossed $28 million in its first 11 days. ...

The best-known version of the story—in which a wolf disguises himself to fool a girl delivering food to her sick grandmother in the forest—was published in the 19th century by the Brothers Grimm. Earlier oral versions of the tale, which date back to the Middle Ages, are far darker and sometimes involve a werewolf rather than a wolf; the first published version, by Charles Perrault, concludes with Red Riding Hood eaten by the wolf, with no happy ending.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Watch It With Hulu:(But Only if You Live in the US!)

A month or so ago, I heard about a TV show that I'd like to watch. The show, "Warehouse 13," sounded like a mixture of "Indiana Jones," "National Treasure," "Moonlighting," etc. The only problem was that it was already into its third or fourth episode and it was on the SyFy channel.

I used to like to take an occasional look at SyFy (yes, it was Sci-Fi until recently) but since I have cut back my cable subscription, I haven't seen it lately.

There are many places that you can get rebroadcasts of TV shows and movies online. The obvious place for this one is at, which is where I first found it. When I was talking to a friend about it, they suggested a site named Hulu, ( where you can get many shows, movies and other media. I remembered the site and found that I had joined it a year or so ago when it was just starting and didn't have much to offer.

Now all of you geeks out there don't have to blast me about other, better sites as I know there are many similar sites out there. However, I think this is a good place for the online TV newbie to start exploring. If you want to offer a friendly tip that is fine with me.

Here's a few things to know about Hulu. First, you don't have to be a member, although it is free. Oh , and you have to be streaming from within the US. When you join, the system can keep up with what you have watched in the past, make suggestions about what you may want to take a look at, etc. If you download their desktop player as a member, ( it will keep track of where you left off. For example, I was watching a show one evening, fell asleep, turned off the application and my computer, then went to bed. When I came back to the Hulu desktop a day or so later, it remembered where I was in the show and started playing from there. This is almost as good as my DVD player and may be better.

They do run advertisements during the shows. The majority of the ads are from 15 to 30 seconds long and you usually get one at each break. If you see an ad that interests you, click a link and go to the advertiser's Web site and check it out. You may then return to the show/movie and go back to the ad afterward. You can also visit the advertiser's site and, with another click or two, return to your movie.

Some of the people I have talked to about Hulu seem to think that they will start charging to use this service. However, I believe that if people click some ads and buy some products, it may continue to be free. If anyone from Hulu happens to read this and can comment, let me know.


By Ron Doyle

Monday, August 3, 2009

Battlestar Galactica: Your Next Boxed Set!

Battlestar Galactica has it all: depth, darkness, beauty, brains, nuance, romance, planet-sized plot twists – and robots who look exactly like underwear models. If you think you hate sci-fi, now is the time to get over it. Suck up the spaceships; they are integral to the plot. Just give it four or five episodes, same rule as for any other box set.

The place to start is the 2003 TV miniseries. If you skip that, or indeed if you skip about at all over the course of the five series that follow, then (as the great Charlie Brooker once put it) BSG will make as much sense as a wool piano. Early on there are a few duff, missable episodes, but mostly you need to pay close attention. The plot is devilishly complex. At times it flirts with incomprehensibility. But in a good way.

The basic premise is that robots called Cylons – originally created by humans, now very much their own people – turn up after 40 years in the wilderness to nuke humanity. Only a few humans are left to flee, aboard the good ship Battlestar Galactica. Then they realise that Cylons have evolved from the shiny metal things they once were: they look human now. And some of these Cylons are living, unidentified, among them. After that, trying to guess which of our flawed heroes is a Cylon becomes a big part of the fun.

On top of that, there's a whole myth-arc about destiny and history; there are some very big space battles; and the humans have to piece together a political system that makes sense when you're on the brink of extinction. In fact, BSG is pointedly political throughout. The fighter-pilot lead character Starbuck (who was a man in the original 1970s series that started it all ) is a woman, and the whole show is stacked with powerful female characters. Series three is one big metaphor for the war in Iraq.

Oh, just buy the lot and watch them. These people deserve your money


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Review of Biography Channel's Harry Potter Kids DVD!

Personally, I enjoy The Biography Channel so I was very excited to have the opportunity to watch this DVD since I missed the original broadcast. And I was not disappointed. I just wished it could have been longer than 50 minutes.

The program begins with the background story of the Harry Potter books and the author J.K. Rowling. Warner Bros. bought the rights six months after Scholastic Books published Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The search for the child actors to play Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger happened in 2000. 40,000 children were considered. In this program, J.K. Rowling compared the search to the one for an actress to portray Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind in 1939.

The program continues with a brief account of Daniel Radcliffe who was officially announced to be the one to play “Harry Potter” on August 21, 2000. There are a few interview clips of him through the years. His other acting projects like December Boys and Equus are also mentioned. I enjoyed a clip of a scene he did with Dame Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall) in his first film, BBC’s David Copperfield.

Emma Watson was the next “Harry Potter” kid to be mentioned. After a short review of her background, there were a few comments from media sources on how she evolved into a young woman through her years of acting the part of “Hermione Granger” in the past five Harry Potter films. Her college plans were mentioned. At the time this program was filmed, the Deathly Hallows kiss was more of a future consideration than it is now.

Then, Rupert Grint and his background were discussed. Positive comments were made about his acting as “Ron Weasley”. His movies Thunderpants and Driving Lessons were mentioned.

Although a lot of the information is already well-known to Harry Potter fans, there were a few details I enjoyed discovering. For example, I didn’t know the Bloomsbury Publishing office was above a Chinese restaurant. From photos of his parents that were shown in the program, I can see Daniel Radcliffe’s resemblance to his mother. And poor Emma Watson had to wear dentures in the first two films because she lost some of her baby teeth during shooting. There are a few more details, but I think a fan of the “Harry Potter Kids” should get the DVD to find out what they are.


District 9 director already thinking about a sequel

Neill Blomkamp, the South African writer-director of the upcoming sci-fi drama District 9, has yet to find out whether his movie will catch on with wider audiences the same way it did with folks who saw footage from it at last week's San Diego Comic-Con.

But the filmmaker said that he would be happy to return to the film's universe if it became a box-office smash. "If this film is successful, if audiences want another, whatever, District 10, I would love to do it," Blomkamp said in an exclusive interview this week in Los Angeles. "It's a very personal film, and it's a universe and a place that I find incredibly creative. I'd love to go back to that universe."

The movie deals with the arrival of a million insectoid aliens, derisively called "Prawns," in a massive ship over Johannesburg, South Africa, and the uneasy coexistence between humans and aliens 28 years later who live in the grinding poverty and violence of a township-like camp. The action is set in motion by a low-level bureaucrat, played by newcomer Sharlto Copley, who heads an armed force that enters the slum, District 9, to make way for a forced relocation of the aliens. When things take an unexpected turn, Copley's Wikus van der Merwe finds his life turned upside down, and he is forced to question his assumptions and forge an uneasy alliance with an alien and his young son.

Blomkamp said that if audiences wanted something different from him, he was working on something else that would no doubt appeal to the same audience, even if the project went in a slightly different direction.

"I have another science fiction film now that I want to write for the rest of the year," Blomkamp said. "That I think may be the next one, and I'm incredibly into [it]. It's quite different, and it's a unique idea, but I'm very into it."

Describing the tone, he said it would feature a similar combination of grand ideas and great action set pieces: "It's similar," he said coyly. "I mean, it's a very different film, but it's a very similar genre, I suppose."


Friday, July 31, 2009

In the works: a movie starring subatomic particles and two Star Trek captains! has posted an interesting review of a new movie that highlights the study of space and touches on particle physics in a unique and fun way.Dave the Photon Courtesy of Jupiter 9 Productions.

Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey blends education and entertainment though the use of 3D computer-generated animation and footage from seven NASA space missions, including the Cassini Huygens mission to Saturn.

Audience members will get a tour of the outer planets and moons of our solar system while meeting the movie’s cast of characters, which includes a photon, neutrino, proton and an evil genius, The Void, who represents “nothingness” and seems to have traits similar to dark matter and dark energy. A number of celebrities lend their voices to characters, including former Star Trek captain William Shatner as The Core, a figure that represents the sun and knowledge, and, arguably, all visible matter.

From a press release:

The full voice cast includes Chris Pine (Captain Kirk in J.J. Abrams’
upcoming “Star Trek XI” feature film), Samuel L. Jackson (”The Spirit,”
“Pulp Fiction,” “Star Wars”), Hayden Christensen (”Jumper,” “Star Wars”),
Amanda Peet (”X-Files Movie 2,” “The Whole Nine Yards”), Robert Picardo
(”Stargate Atlantis”), Jason Alexander (”Seinfeld”), Tom Kenny (voice of
“Sponge Bob Squarepants,” “Transformers”), Sandra Oh (”Sideways,” “Grey’s
Anatomy”), Brent Spiner (”Independence Day,” “Star Trek: Next
Generation”), James Earl Jones (”Star Wars”), William Shatner (”Boston
Legal,” “Star Trek”), Mark Hamill (”Star Wars”), Neil Armstrong, Doug
Jones (”Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Abe Sabien - Hell Boy”), Abigail Breslin
(”Little Miss Sunshine,” “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl”), Spencer
Breslin (”The Happening”), Gary Graham (”Alien Nation,” “Enterprise”),
and Janina Gavankar (”The L Word”).

The movie features the voices of two Captain Kirks (veteran William
Shatner and Chris Pine, star of JJ Abrams’ upcoming “Star Trek” movie)
and two Darth Vaders (James Earl Jones and Hayden Christensen) — a firstfor Hollywood and a first for the galaxy.

The movie is expected to appear in theaters worldwide sometime in 2010 in IMAX and conventional 3D format. It is the brainchild of Jupiter 9 Productions producer Harry Kloor, who has Ph.D.s in physics and chemistry and has written for the Star Trek franchise.

The movie was initiated by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as part of the outreach program for the Cassini Huygens space mission in 1996. About once a week for the nine months leading up to the film’s release, its creators will post video clips and supplemental educational material on the film’s Web site.

The main Web site has limited movie clips available so far, but computer-generated images posted with the story look amazing. It doesn’t look anything like your typical education-based film, and the story definitely seems worth a read.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Smallville: Movie rumours, Season 9 Superman costume!

Reposted from

RUMOURS of a Smallville spin-off movie have been around for a while.

They have been fuelled by the expectation - now turning into frustration for many - that at some point soon Tom Welling's young Clark Kent has to put on the costume and fly.

That has led to fan-created images, including the one featured above which has been circulating online for months and gives some idea of the call for Welling finally to become Superman.

But, thanks to San Diego Comic-Con, we now know a costume of some kind is coming to Smallville - not the classic costume depicted here but a costume nonetheless.

More on that below, and be warned this report does include some spoilers.

The rule of 'no tights, no flights' was established by original producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar at the start of the show but is probably wearing a little thin as we prepare for Season 9 to air on September 25 in the USA.

Talk of a movie surfaced most recently on Ain't It Cool News, which quoted a source saying the show would end in May, 2010, and be followed at Christmas that year by a feature film called Metropolis. It wasn't clear whether this would be a TV movie or a theatrical release.

Apart from finally taking the character forward after nine years, a Smallville movie might well solve a larger problem. A recent court case over Superman copyright revealed that Warner Bros could be sued by the heirs of the character's co-creator if the studio fails to make another film by 2011.

Such a project would also answer the demand from the fans who want Tom Welling to play Superman on the big screen.

We were given the latest information on the future of the show at San Diego Comic-Con, where Welling made his first appearance at the convention and a preview trailer for Season 9 was screened.

Smallville-hoax-suit.jpgThe Smallville panel was preceded by hoax reports flooding the internet. One said select visitors to Comic-Con were being shown a one-piece blue Superman suit made of leather with red sleeves and side panels, and with no cape or trunks. Another said people were being handed flyers featuring the costume, although the image allegedly on the flyer (pictured right) turned out to be a fan drawing.

As E! Online reports, the truth was revealed when the panel screened footage for Season 9 which showed Clark in a new supersuit: it's all black, not made of spandex, and has a silver Superman logo on the front and a black trenchcoat that doubles as a cape. There is no clear image to show at this point.

The preview footage began with the words 'The world's greatest hero has risen' appearing on screen followed by 'And he is not alone' as all the various guest superheroes flash past. They included Supergirl, even though Laura Vandervoort is not returning to the show.

The sneak peek also showed Callum Blue as Major Zod (he's not yet a general), Brian Austin Green as Metallo, Clark and Lois getting steamy, and Lois fighting in the future.

Notably, everyone on the panel stayed silent when asked if there would be a Smallville movie in the future.

They have a finale planned if this is their last season, but it would change if they are picked up for a tenth run.

In an interview with Matt Dentler's indiewire blog in May, Allison Mack, who plays Chloe Sullivan, believed the show would definitely get a tenth season.

She said: "The latest with Smallville is that we have another season [after this season's finale on May 14]. Tom has signed for two more, so the show will go until season 10."

And she revealed that she would leave in the ninth season: "I will be completed with my contract next year, and I am looking for new and exciting ways to carry out my character's exit."

Many other cast and crew members have left over the years. Executive producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, who developed Smallville, quit after seven seasons and Todd Slavkin, Darren Swimmer, Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson took over as showrunners.

Slavkin and Swimmer then departed in February (before the end of the eighth season) to produce the new version of TV drama Melrose Place, which premieres on September 9.

That leaves Souders and Peterson in charge of the upcoming Season 9, joined by Welling who is now a co-executive producer.

Many cast members have exited too, including Michael Rosenbaum, Kristin Kreuk, John Glover, Annette O'Toole, John Schneider, Laura Vandervoort and Aaron Ashmore.

With ratings for the show sliding over the years, the creative team will have a challenge ahead, especially with a Friday night slot. USA viewing figures show Smallville's Season 1 attracted 5.9m, peaking at 6.3m for Season 2, then for subsequent seasons declining to 4.96m and 4.4m, up slightly to 4.7m, then down to 4.1m, 3.77m and 3.74m.

And now fans are worried that the show is being moved to Friday nights in the USA, often regarded as the 'death slot' that kills any programme.

It's obvious the series has to evolve - even the name Smallville no longer applies, given that it's almost entirely set in Metropolis, so let's hope this new prototype Superman suit seen in the Comic-Con trailer is just the start of a journey to get the character and the show flying high.

The UK air dates for Season 9 have not yet been announced.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009



Jeff Bridges promises the new TRON is just as groundbreaking as the 27-year-old original.

The 59-year-old actor and star of the original film came to Comic-Con to help present early footage from TRON: Legacy, due in 2010.

Bridges notes that when TRON was released in 1982, the Internet and personal computers didn't exist. The futuristic tale took viewers to a digitized virtual world, a concept that was decades ahead of its time.

Despite modern moviegoers' everyday interaction with technology, Bridges says he "can guarantee you're going to get the same kind of pop with this one. Everything's going to be super-ized.''

Filmmakers showed some concept sketches and a brief, never-before-seen clip.

Joe Kosinski, Director of Tron, reveals that the sequel was shot using James Cameron’s very own groundbreaking 3D camera system.

“We used a brand new generation of the Pace/Cameron system developed by Vince Pace and James Cameron,” says Kosinski. “I think we’re the first film to use full 35mm sensor cameras in a 3D rig.”


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

'Battlestar Galactica' producer dies

Harvey Frand, Emmy-winning producer of "Battlestar Galactica," died in Los Angeles after a brief hospitalization for respiratory problems. He was 68.

Frand began his TV producing career in 1985 with "The Devlin Connection," Rock Hudson's final series. He went on to produce the 1985-87 version of "The Twilight Zone" as well as "Beauty and the Beast," "The Young Riders," "Lazarus Man" with Robert Urich, "Pretender" and "Strange World." For his work on "Battlestar Galactica," he won an AFI Award, the 2005 Peabody Award and a 2008 Emmy and is currently nominated for a second Emmy Award.

Mary McDonnell, star of the series, said in a statement, "Harvey had a remarkable gift as a producer. He always made the person who was voicing needs and concerns know that he was truly listening despite the fact that you knew he was juggling hundreds of others simultaneously."

Writer/producer Bradley Thompson said, "He would constantly challenge us find creative ways to make the piece work within the constraints of physical and financial reality. And if he felt we needed that something extra... say a nuclear explosion or two... to make the story play, he'd go to the mat to make it happen."

Born in Philadelphia, he studied political science at the U. of Pittsburgh. After working with Students for Kennedy in college, he started out at NBC news. As an executive for Warner Brothers he oversaw production on the 1973 David Janssen series, "Harry O."

In addition to his work in series television, he produced more than 20 pilots and movies of the week. He also produced the 1974-75 Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' "Sweet Bird of Youth" starring Christopher Walken and Irene Worth.


Get paid to shorten urls!

Megan Fox is unapologetic about 'Jennifer's Body'

The horror comedy Jennifer's Body stars Megan Fox as a possessed high school girl who devours her male classmates. Fox talks nasty, gets bloodied up and even vomits black goo in screenwriter Diablo Cody's homage to high-school horror movies, but Fox promised she wouldn't totally give up her sex appeal in the grisly film.

"Oh, this movie gets so sexy," Fox said at a press conference last week in San Diego. "You better put on your f--king sexy shoes for this movie."

To entice her fans, Fox described the film's dalliance with girl-on-girl action. "There's a relationship between my character and Amanda [Seyfried]'s character that is, I mean, I guess depending on who you are, it's either a common relationship that you grew up with or not, but there's sort of a hint of a little bit of a lesbian relationship that happens. There's a girl-on-girl kiss. I feel like it's an homage to that, but we poke fun at how common that is in horror movies."

Also, the very premise requires Fox to turn on her charms. While most men would still likely volunteer for mutilation just for a night with Fox, the film operates on the premise that Jennifer has to lure her victims into vulnerable positions. "Before every kill, there is a seduction that occurs," she said. "These boys have to be seduced into getting close enough to this dead girl for her to devour them. So I think I'm pretty sexy in the movie."

Even with sex appeal, Jennifer's Body will show a different side of Fox. She has hinted that perhaps her other films did not exploit her full range of abilities. "Oh, you mean from Transformers?" she said. "How are they different? Well, obviously there's no distractions. There's no robots to distract you from whatever performance I do give."

At least Fox owned up to her full responsibility for her work in Body. "So if it's terrible, you're going to f--king know that it's really terrible," she said of her acting. "That, of course, is intimidating, but I think the character was so much fun for me. I wasn't sure what I was doing. I was just trying to have fun with it. I sort of felt like I was being able to make fun of my own image, sort of, to how some people might perceive 'Megan Fox' to be. I was just flying freely, and I hope some of it worked."

Jennifer is a pretty foul-mouthed flirt before she goes psycho, let alone after. "What I loved about the movie is it's so unapologetic and how completely inappropriate it is at all times," Fox said. "That was my favorite part about the script and about the character. It's fun to be able to say the s--t that she got to say and get away with it and have people find it charming."

As for getting icky, there are not one but two vomit scenes in Jennifer's Body. First, she unloads on best friend Needy (Seyfried) in the first reveal that something is not quite right with young Jennifer. "You revisit it in the pool scene," she said. "It happens again later in the movie. Special effects did a rig that clamps onto my ear. It goes around the back of my ear, and then I bite down on it on the side of my face. It projectiles, it's a tube, it projects whatever that material was. It was pretty intense. I think it was worse for Amanda, because she's the one that got puked on. I was the one doing the puking."


Monday, July 27, 2009

'Battlestar Galactica: The Plan' is Finished !

Source: Airlock Alpha

It can take a long time to put together a "Battlestar Galactica" movie, especially one which writer Jane Espenson said took both her and director Edward James Olmos to go line by line through the script to make sure every aspect lined up with the backstory of the critically acclaimed SciFi Channel series.

Although work on the film began soon after the final season of "Battlestar Galactica" wrapped last year, Olmos told attendees at a Battlestar Galactica Orchestra concert Thursday night in San Diego and the next day at a San Diego Comic-Con panel that he just wrapped "Battlestar Galactica: The Plan" last week as the network gets ready for an October premiere.

"It took seven months to edit the picture," Olmos said. "It was 10 to 12 hours a day, and the hardest job I ever done. But I will say that you guys are going to love it. You will freak out, and will keep you busy for another three years."

Doing a backstory piece based on asides from characters is tough, especially with "The Plan" that covers the entire length of the series, as well as before the events first featured in the 2003 pilot.

"When we started to nail it and try to figure out what was the story, we knew they had a plan, they did this and did this, but didn't want it to feel like a clip show," Olmos said. "It felt really difficult."

Espenson, who previously did work on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Dollhouse," and is the new showrunner for the "Battlestar" spinoff series "Caprica," said she was quite knowledgeable about "Battlestar Galactica," especially through some of her past writing stints on the show, but still needed some help to make sure every piece of history fit perfectly into the already established canon.

"There was a lot of watching episodes and of reading of old scripts," Espenson said. "You can read the scripts faster than watching the film, but then you have to wonder if the scene actually got shown, so I would have to go find it on film."

Another thing it allowed Espenson to do was look at different scenes already existing in the series, and take a look at what she could create on in scenes that were originally out of sight.

"We would look to see if we could continue a scene, like what happened on the other side of the door when [someone] walks into the room," Espenson said. "It's different from most writing where you let yourself go and relax so that you can hear these people talking into your ear. But for this, you can't let yourself go at all. You have to be analyzing."

"Battlestar Galactica: The Plan" debuts on DVD Oct. 27, and is expected to air on Syfy sometime in November.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Updates on Thor & Captain America Movies!

Thor found its Norse war god in Chris Hemsworth, and Natalie Portman and Tom Hiddleston have also joined director Kenneth Branagh's comic-book adaptation, and on Saturday at Comic-Con, Marvel Studios production president Kevin Feige said to expect more casting announcements soon.

"I think we're nearing, closing in on Odins and Heimdals and the Warriors Three, which we're excited about," Feige said in a group interview in San Diego, where he was promoting Iron Man 2. "We're about halfway through prep. We start filming in January."

Feige estimated that about 30 percent of Thor would take place in the present day, which suggests a film favoring the historical Norse mythology.

Meanwhile, Feige said that The First Avenger: Captain America is on the production path after Thor, so it will be a bit longer before they cast Cap. "I think it'll be a few months," Feige added.

Prep is fully underway on Captain, though, even though director Joe Johnston has not even wrapped his current production. "We already have some concept artists working on it," Feige continued. "Joe Johnston's finishing up Wolfman now, but he comes with us and we're already deep into the script and was in the office last week with us. He starts officially, and we open the offices officially in October."

As for the previously announced casting, Feige described why Hemsworth made the perfect movie Thor. "You know what, it's one of those rare things that doesn't happen often, but people like me always say it so it probably sounds cliche," Feige said. "We auditioned a lot of people. We did a lot of screen tests. We put a lot of people on video, and one guy just kept popping out, and it was Chris. You realize, regardless of what he's saying or how he's saying it, you're engaged with him. It's that movie-star quality which I think he has, and, thankfully, looks like Thor, which is a good combination."

Feige looks forward to introducing San Diego Comic-Con audiences to his Thor cast in 2010. "You know, this is my 10th year, so I'd be disappointed if I'm not here next year.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Star Trek: Screening at an International Space Station Near You!

Staying true to its name, "Star Trek" film will be trekking its way in space. NASA will be screening the sci-fi flick aboard the International Space Station.

Paramount Pictures gave a copy of the J.J. Abrams film to NASA's Mission Control in Houston, Texas to upload it to its space station.

Astronaut Michael Barratt said he will watch the film while aboard the ship, 220 miles above the Earth.

He said in a statement given to Access Hollywood, "I remember watching the original 'Star Trek' series and, like many of my NASA coworkers, was inspired by the idea of people from all nations coming together to explore space."

"'Star Trek' blended adventure, discovery, intelligence and storytelling that assumes a positive future for humanity. The International Space Station is a real step in that direction, with many nations sharing in an adventure the world can be proud of."


Comic-Con 2009: Tyrese Gibson in for Transformers 3! Yeah!

SAN DIEGO – With “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” a resounding box office success this year, it is only natural for conversation with one of the film’s stars, Tyrese Gibson, to shift to discussion of a third film.

“Absolutely,” said Gibson when asked what was happening with a “Transformers 3.” “It’s in motion.”

In interviews following “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” director Michael Bay made remarks saying he wanted a break from big blockbusters, saying that he was in the process of working on a dark comedy. Gibson reassured fans that Bay would indeed be getting behind another “Transformers” film.

“Michael Bay, he definitely needs to take a break from (“Transformers”), understandably so, but this is the movie — the biggest movie he’s ever directed in his life,” said Gibson. “And so, he can keep producing all of these other projects, but he is officially the king of geeks.”

Gibson’s role in “Revenge of the Fallen” was markedly smaller than his role in the first “Transformers” film, a fact he claimed he was sure was going to be remedied for a third installment.

“I will absolutely be back,” he said, “and my part is going to be bumped up.”


Friday, July 24, 2009

MacGyver: The Complete Series on DVD: At last, learn how to assemble a high-tech helicopter from left-over tooth picks

Ever wanted to build a rocket with nothing but a paddle pop stick, a cotton bud and a head of lettuce? MacGyver could do it. Armed only with his wits, Swiss Army knife and backpack/busy box, MacGyver -- played by Richard Dean Anderson in the action series that began in 1985 -- would bring down the baddies with his crazy-ass inventions; all the while looking sharp in fine '80s fashions and a mighty mullet.

This DIY agent earned a cult-following and managed to enter popular culture as people around the world would face calamities such as keys locked inside a car, a broken coffee machine or Vista with the inevitable pondering: 'What would MacGyver do?'

Now you can study the ways of the master of un-disaster by grabbing this DVD offering which will serve you better than watching a thousand dodgy youtube affiliate program videos.

Go on! What are you waiting for! You know you want to...


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Twighlight: Vampire Love For Sale!

USA/Wannabe vampires can now suck up some “Twilight” love — ummm, read fashion — at department store Nordstrom. The retailer has announced a deal with Summit Entertainment for an exclusive clothing and jewelry collection inspired by the upcoming film “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.”

“Twilight,” of course, is the smash hit movie romance ($382 million global box office) about a teenager (Bella Swan) and her forbidden love for a vampire (Edward Cullen) and all the blood-sucking complications that can bring. “New Moon” is its sequel, due in theaters this November.

Shoppers can find their plaid tunics, “Team Jacob” T-shirts or “I love Edward” heart pendants starting October 1. The collection, created by Awake Inc, “reflects the mood and spirit of the film,” according to a press release. Prices range from $32 for a T-shirt to $58 for a jacket.twilight3

An Entertainment Weekly blog described the line as “supercute” but bemoaned the lack of life-size cutouts of heartthrob Robert Pattinson (Edward) in a suit for sale. That’s him at right with Kristen Stewart (Bella).

Nordstrom is also holding events in stores in advance of the release of the second installment of the vampire saga, including advance screening parties, and has launched an online countdown on a special website.

But if you’re trying to re-create a bare-chested werewolf look, don’t go to Nordstrom — there’s no love there. You’re on your own.


Chevrolet announces the 2010 Camaro TRANSFORMERS Special Edition!

DETROIT - Fans of the new Camaro and the blockbuster TRANSFORMERS movies can now combine their love of the car and the films with the Chevrolet Camaro TRANSFORMERS Special Edition announced today at Comic-Con in San Diego.

"When the first TRANSFORMERS movie was setting box office records, we had countless customers asking to purchase the 'BUMBLEBEE' Camaro," said Karen Rafferty, product marketing director, Chevrolet. "Now, they can buy one with the new Camaro TRANSFORMERS Special Edition. Streets all over North America will be buzzing in no time."

Features such as an EPA-rated 29 highway mpg on the V6-powered Camaro, Bluetooth phone connectivity, USB connectivity, XM Satellite Radio and OnStar combined with TRANSFORMERS design cues add to the car's status as a 21st century sports car.

"Hasbro is thrilled to team up with Chevrolet and excited to see the Camaro TRANSFORMERS Special Edition come to market for our fans to enjoy," said Samantha Lomow, Global Brand Leader for TRANSFORMERS at Hasbro. "The yellow Camaro with the black stripes has become so iconic and closely associated with the BUMBLEBEE character that this edition was a natural fit for both companies."

While the aggressive styling of the Camaro is unmistakable, true TRANSFORMERS fans will notice some of the unique, but subtle features of the Camaro TRANSFORMERS Special Edition.

The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro TRANSFORMERS Special Edition includes the following:

* AUTOBOT® shield on the driver and passenger side panels
* AUTOBOT® shield on each of the four wheel's center cap
* AUTOBOT® shield embroidered on interior center console
* "TRANSFORMERS" logo on driver and passenger doors' sill plates
* "TRANSFORMERS" logo embedded into the hood rally stripes
* High-gloss black center rally stripe package
* Manufacturer's suggested retail price of package: $995

Dealers are now taking orders for this car. Customers can order the TRANSFORMERS Special Edition as either a Rally Yellow LT or SS model. The optional RS appearance package can also be added.

The V6-powered Camaro uses a 3.6L engine with variable valve timing to optimize performance and fuel economy. It is SAE-certified at 304 horsepower (227 kW) and 273 lb.-ft. of torque (370 Nm). A six-speed manual transmission is standard with the 3.6L engine; a Hydra-Matic 6L50 electronically controlled six-speed automatic, with TAPshift control, is available.

The high-performance Camaro SS is equipped with a powerful 6.2L V-8, with a choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Manual transmission-equipped models receive the LS3 engine, SAE-certified at 426 horsepower (318 kW) and 420 lb.-ft. of torque (569 Nm). It is paired with a TR6060 six-speed transmission.

A new, L99 V-8 engine is used on automatic transmission-equipped SS models. It is based on the LS3, but also includes GM's fuel-saving Active Fuel Management feature. It is SAE-certified at 400 horsepower (298 kW) and 410 lb.-ft. of torque (556 Nm). It is matched with a Hydra-Matic6L80 six-speed transmission that helps delivers an EPA-estimated 25 mpg on the highway.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Star Trek Original Series Season 2′ and movies are coming to Blu-ray!

More ‘Star Trek’ titles on the horizon as Paramount announced it will release “Star Trek: The Original Series Season 2″ on a seven-disc Blu-ray set, as well as individual Blu-ray releases of the original motion pictures. Both Blu-ray products will hit stores on Sept. 22.

The Blu-ray release of Season 2 of the original series will contain all 26 episodes including one of the more well known titles “The Trouble with Tribbles” (1967). The beautifully remastered episodes (if Season 2 is anything like Season 1) will be presented in 1080p at 4:3 format, with audio options of DTS-HD Master 7.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono.

A feature of “Star Trek: The Original Series Season 2″ on Blu-ray will allow you to seamlessly toggle between the digitally enhanced and original broadcast versions of the series.

The seven-disc set will contain hours of interactive bonus features, featurettes, and clips via BD-Live. iPhone users will have additional toys to play with as they will be able to use their iPhones as remote controls (a feature branded ‘Mobile Blu’) to download Star Trek content. The disc set will be released on Sept. 22.

Jump 13 years to the motion picture releases starting in 1980 which featured the original ‘Star Trek’ cast. The “Star Trek: Original Motion Picture Collection” was released back in May ‘09 on Blu-ray and contained all six of the original ‘Star Trek’ films. Now the films will be available individually, when they also hit the streets on Sept. 22.

Those films headed for Blu-ray Disc as individual titles include:

‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’
‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’
‘Star Trek III: The Search for Spock’
‘Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home’
‘Star Trek V: The Final Frontier’
‘Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country’

None of the films are available for pre-order yet. I’ll keep you posted on any artwork and availability.


"New Moon" Director Chris Weitz Spills the Beans!


Weitz is still developing New Moon's computer-generated effects -- including a new take on Edward Cullen's "sparkling" effect, which drew criticism in the first film -- and is just weeks away from delivering a first cut.

"I am about two weeks away from showing my director's cut to the studio," Weitz told us. "I've got some wolves with fur, and some wolves are still invisible, basically. And some wolves are kind of like...what look like Claymation versions. We are still in the late R&D phases of what Edward looks like when he's hit by sunlight, what the vampires look like when they're hit with sunlight, the diamond effect, and also the hallucinatory effect that Bella has when she hears Edward's voice and she imagines him there."

Upon Stephenie Meyer's insistence, New Moon's werewolves and vampires will be grounded in reality -- the Wolf Pack's transformations will pop, and the Volturi will remain true to Meyer's descriptions.

"Our aim was to make them look like what it says they look like in the book, and not to be too fancy about it," Weitz explained. "You know, it was very important to Stephenie that, for instance, the werewolves transform very quickly and that they look like wolves, that we not have this kind of magical, Lon Chaney-esque long transformations, and I think the reason behind that is to give a sense of their reality."

"I think that was important for the Volturi as well; they're not levitating above the ground, they're not surrounded by mystical auras, they are creatures who actually exist and they're very specific, they're very stylish, they're very elegant, they're very dangerous. Essentially, it's really faithful to the book.


Once his initial cut of New Moon is submitted, Weitz will have about three months to fine-tune his film. His due date to complete a final cut will come just weeks before New Moon is set to premiere:

"Ironically, I think it's the day before Halloween. I believe October 30 is our drop dead date when it's time to start striking the print, or we're in big trouble."


Weitz has brought aboard familiar collaborators to work on New Moon, including Oscar-nominated composer Alexandre Desplat (who scored Weitz's The Golden Compass). But will Desplat carry over the fan-favorite "Bella's Lullaby" theme composed by Twilight scorer Carter Burwell, played famously by Edward in the first film?

"Alexandre Desplat has just started working on his music for the film, and we are just starting to put together what bands are on the soundtrack, so it's kind of like keeping ten plates spinning at once," Weitz said. "But it's all good, because we've got Alexandre Desplat, who I think is one of the greatest film composers living, and because of the strength of the franchise that I inherited, a lot of bands are really interested in working on the soundtrack."

When asked about "Bella's Lullaby," Weitz confirmed that it would reappear -- at least, in some form. "I think yes, because like any franchise, there are certain themes that become familiar. I suspect he's going to transpose it in some manner, and most of the music will be entirely new to the franchise because his style is somewhat different from Carter Burwell's. But I think that there is some value to having some kind of familiar leitmotifs running through the entire series."

Speaking about the music in New Moon, Weitz revealed that requests have flooded in from bands who want to contribute to the soundtrack; after all, the first Twilight film helped launch alt-rock band Paramore into the pop culture stratosphere. In talks to appear on the soundtrack are none other than Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Kings of Leon.

"Fortunately, I'm not at the stage where I have to turn anybody down yet, because everything is still kind of up in the air," Weitz shared, "but I am surprised at some of the bands that have said they're interested. It's kind of great. The criterion will still always be what's right for the movie at that given moment, but Thom Yorke is interested; we might, if we're very lucky, get Kings of Leon to do something... it's exciting to be able to have access to this kind of talent."


Megan Fox: Queen of the Screamers!

In a recent Poll at ( Readers were asked to vote for the Queen of horror movie screamers

The all-time favorite “scream queen” — she who shrieks loudest and longest — belonged to “Halloween” original Jamie foxLee Curtis, who was followed by another veteran, Janet Leigh, in the classic Alfred Hitchcock flick “Psycho.” The vote: 51 percent Curtis to 15 percent Leigh.

But it was “Transformers” beauty Megan Fox who voters most want to see claim the crown. She was favored by a whopping 53 percent of the voters over No. 2, “Harry Potter” actress Emma Watson, who had 15 percent of the vote.


Star Wars Defeats Star Trek! Really?

Repost from (

In a poll at AOL's scifisquadvoters said they preferred the “Star Wars” movie franchise over the “Star Trek” films by a margin of 21 points — 56 percent “Wars” to 35 percent “Trek” — and that’s even after this summer’s giant hit “Star Trek” movie ($379 million at global box offices and counting).

But Trekkies can take heart, 69 percent of the voters think the latest film, which was billed as a “reboot” of the franchise that dates back to the 1960s TV show, is the best science fiction movie of the summer compared to only 21 percent for “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”

What do you Think!


Tackling Writing Challenges when writing Stories /Comics Difficult Super Powers

Reposted from:

All superpowers could be potentially problematic. However, these powers make it unusually difficult to write an interesting story.

1. SUPERSTRENGTH. Superstrength is generic and cliched. It’s very difficult to intrigue a reader with a character whose main power is superstrength. Fight scenes will either be no challenge (since he busts through absolutely everything) or no fun to read (since all he does is bust through everything). Probably both. Hardly anything will challenge him. Locked in a cell? Bust out. Locked out of a building? Bust in. Girlfriend’s in trouble? Bust up the villain.

Mix it up: Limit his powers. Maybe he only has super strength when his adrenaline hits a certain level, so he has to stay hyped if he wants his powers. Or maybe his super strength only works against certain materials. (Though that would be difficult to logically explain, it would at least be a handy limit.)

2. SUPERSPEED. Speedsters are nearly as problematic as heroes with superstrength. If your speedster is faster than a speeding bullet, nothing that can challenge him can catch him, and nothing that can catch him can challenge him. Got a villain? Your speedster can just take the villain’s sword and stab him with it. Plus, there’s no way to add a ‘ticking clock’ sense of urgency. If he can run around the world in hours, he can meet any time limit or deadline easily.

Try this: Bring their speed down a ton. I’d recommend somewhere between 60 mph (a cheetah) and 400 mph (a fast car). Then, even if they can’t be caught on foot, cars and helicopters might still pose an interesting challenge. I’d make sure to add in some sort of restrictions for the usage of their speed. Do they tire easily, like the aforementioned cheetah? Do they start off slow and get faster with momentum? There are many possible restrictions, and I’m sure there’s one that would work with you and your hero.

3. INVULNERABILITY: Ahh, invulnerability. This appeals to many new writers, because it makes their character so ‘amazing’ and ‘impressive’ that they can’t be killed. However, invulnerability does not a good superhero make. Superman was clearly a victim of this, even with his vulnerability to Kryptonite. However, Smallville addressed this somewhat. Nearly every Smallville villain had a chunk of Kryptonite available, which forced Clark to fight like a normal human a good percentage of the time. To a lesser degree, Thing (Fantastic Four), Iron Man, Martian Manhunter, Claire and Sylar from Heroes, and various others are invulnerable as well. If your hero cannot be hurt, let alone killed, there’s nothing on the line. Sure, his friends might be in danger, or his kids, or his love interest, but there’s always that extra ‘oomph’ of tension when the hero might die that just can’t be duplicated otherwise.

Limitations: This is probably the toughest to limit well. At the very least, give him his own brand of Kryptonite. However, I’d very much advise toning his invincibility down a ton. B. Mac defines ‘invulnerability’ as ‘the point at which a typical human criminal could not conceivably endanger the character’. Will you be able to write interesting fight scenes with competent thieves, if not regular people? It’s hard to make up supervillains on the fly.

4. TIME TRAVEL: This one’s pretty simple to explain. If they can go back in time, they can cancel out anything negative that may have happened, which basically retcons a good chunk of your story. This is a problem because the reader just spent the last 30, 50, 100 pages reading about exactly what happened, and going back in time to redo it just wasted their time. The reader hates it when you waste their time.

Limit it a ton: Have it take them back a maximum of five minutes, or maybe even less. Thirty seconds would be interesting to work with. Or perhaps they can go back in time as far as they’d like, but they can’t interact with anything, since having two versions of the same person at once would mess with time-space. If they could only watch, that would dissuade them from using their powers. (I’d advise that you skip over the extra time, if you take this route).

5. SHAPESHIFTING: If you can turn into anyone or anything, that doesn’t leave much that you can’t do. Even if it’s limited to people, you could (theoretically) turn into a weight-lifter and fight someone brawn-for-brawn, but then turn into small child and crawl to your safety through a narrow space. The same goes for animal shifters (like Beast Boy from Teen Titans), but translate ‘weight-lifter’ to ‘tyrannosaurus rex’ and ’small child’ to ‘mouse’.

Fixes: Limit them to a certain number of forms. Keep them stuck in a chosen form for a set length of time. Or perhaps give them a limit like ‘the person can’t be in the room, but must be within 30 miles’. Be careful, though, not to let it get too complex, or the readers might have trouble remembering the specifics.

6. TELEPATHY: Mind-reading is the focus here. Mental communication is much less of a problem than being able to read someone’s mind. If your hero can read minds, that takes a number of plot twists off the table. Betrayal, for example. The telepathic character could see it coming a mile away, unless it’s sudden. Plus, if your telepath is anywhere near the villain at any point in the story, they’ll know 100% of what’s going on right off the bat, which takes away the need for an entire novel to figure things out. If your character is telepathic, nothing anyone could ever do would surprise them.

It is redeemable though: Being telepathic is an entirely mental power. Perhaps it’s a highly uncomfortable feeling, to read someone’s mind, like being out in public, in the cold, without any clothing. Or even worse, like that borderline-painful, overly-sensitive feeling you get when you have the flu, but mentally rather than physically. Or perhaps they can only read certain minds, or under certain conditions. Or maybe they can just skim the surface. Character X could be angry about an argument they had with a side character, but all the telepath would get is the feeling of anger and the side character’s name/face from Character X’s mind.

What do you guys think? Are there any problems you feel should have made this list? Do you disagree? Thanks.