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Shatner Confirms Star Trek 3 Role! (Article) - 9/29/2014 9:32:32 AM

 It's a cool gimmick, but it makes no sense at this point and would likely undermine the credibility of the younger cast - as if all their work has still meant nothing in lieu of Shatner and Nimoy (though many feel that way).  The only way I could see it being done organically is if they implemented something like the Guardian of Forever, but then there would have to be a reason for them to either jump into the future or drag Kirk into the past and that's the tricky part.  There's also the chance that they'd recycle the scene they originally wrote for Shatner as part of the 2009 movie - which is actually okay on paper - but it kind of takes advantage of a very specific setup at the very end of that movie which I don't think they can adequately duplicate.  Basically, it's a birthday greeting from Kirk to Spock Prime that Spock has and watches, maybe showing it to his younger self to help convince him to stay on the ship and give the friendship another go.  

Gotham: Pilot Review (Article) - 9/26/2014 4:23:56 PM

Given what it is and how many inevitabilities are really built into the story being told (at least if the core audience is to be satisfied), I think it's off to a good start.  I disagre with redhairs, though - I don't think Kyle is the weakest link thusfar and if she's creepy, well... consider the material.  In this case, that's a GOOD thing, and if she's stalking Bruce, then it sets up their relationship as Batman and Catwoman.  For me, the weak link is Fish Mooney.  The very name kind of defies all credibility, even in this universe, but between the name and the portrayal, it's just a little more camp than this series needs.  If this were a show firmly set in the present and wasn't trying so hard otherwise to create a quasi believable and realistic atmosphere, I'd be okay with it, but with the almost 70's design and feel of the city and such, the idea of someone like her working at all for Falcone, even as a potential rival, is just ridiculous to me.  Both in fiction and reality, the mob has been fairly close knit - whether we're talking Italian, Irish, Chinese, etc. - and traditionally, the different mobs, if you will, have been somewhat defined along racial lines and have not usually been as friendly with or directly tied into one another.  I just don't buy that someone like Mooney - who is really the only truly modern-looking character in the whole show to this point - would or even could be where she is. Maybe if they didn't tie her so directly to Falcone I could find a way to roll with it, but this is the only element that truly has me worried.  Then again, taken at face value, even Mooney is an entertaining character, so hopefully there are some surprises that will make her work better.  I think the most successful element of the pilot besides Gordon (who works better as played by McKenzie than I ever expected) is Cobblepot, who is easily the Norman Bates of this world at the moment and is even sort of set up that way with Fish's comments about him being a son to her (whether she means it or not) and the fact that Cobblepot's mother will appear as played by Carol Kane.  

Mania Review: Noah (Article) - 3/29/2014 11:37:33 AM

I echo ddiaz28's sentiments.  I've heard of some Christian and conservatives complaining, but for the life of me, cannot see why.  So far, everything I've seen indicates a movie that hews fairly close to the Bible's original story, and the fact that it's embellished in places is a given since it would have to be just to make a feature-length film.  As for any environmental message, I don't know because I haven't seen it.  I'm someone that believes in global warming and believes in the regional effects of manmade pollution, but wonders how humans could have done as much damage as some claim in fewer than 200 years of industrialization - especially if the Earth really is over 4 billion years old as some of the same scientists claim.  That aside, I don't think it was the environment that people were screwing up at the time of Noah as much as it was each other.  In the Bible, it's a humanity that has completely turned away from God - save for this one family - and that was why the flood was sent.  In any case, I'm eager to give this a shot and wish there were more movies like it.  As a Christian, I am often frustrated by some of the more standard, tamer "Bible movies" that get made and released - particularly those that continue to cast Fabio look-alikes as Jesus when, in fact, were Jesus in human form today, we'd probably see and mistake him for an Islamic terrorist or something.

Possible Star Trek 3 Plot (Article) - 3/22/2014 1:21:08 PM

 I'd like to see them deal with New Vulcan in some way and the effects that the original Vulcan's destruction has had on the survivors, long term.  Particularly with Spock Prime being there and not really being in hiding as to who he is, I would think that some of the older, more traditional survivors might feel like their culture of "logic" and relative neutrality might be threatened by their severely reduced numbers and even closer affiliation with Starfleet and the Federation now that they've had to rebuild.  One reason I think this needs dealt with is because I don't see this cast returning for more than one more film - especially without JJ Abrams and given that INTO DARKNESS did not go over quite as well with the fans as originally hoped. My bet is that they do one more feature and then spin-off a new story with a new cast in the form of a television show, but one that takes place in the rebooted timeline - sort of like AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D., perhaps. Granted, it sucks that this could be the first and ONLY film with the cast on its actual "five year mission" - which should have started at the beginning of INTO DARKNESS - but whether or not it is their last, I think Paramount should hedge its bets and try to address some of the potential and lingering consequences of the first film and, particularly, to the Vulcan people.  It might even give them a chance to do successfully what STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER failed at doing, which would be to provide a Vulcan villain.  At his age, Spock Prime has "grown" such that he's no longer devoted solely to pure logic, and since he said at the end of the 2009 film that he found the actual planet where New Vulcan would settle, it stands to reason that whether he hides who he really is or not, he probably has some sort of leadership role in the new Vulcan colony.  His influence, then, could certainly change what the Vulcan people become - especially with so few to start over and basically rebuild the Vulcan race - and, as on Earth, that kind of change often meets with intense, often violent resistance.  

Bates Motel Season 2: Who is Norman Bates? (Article) - 3/8/2014 3:58:18 PM

 I found the first episode of the season less than satisfying, and as most of you should know, anyway, "Shadow of a Doubt" is the title of another Hitchcock movie.  What always bothered me about this show is the same that bothered me about "Hannibal," which is the obvious fact that they're cashing in on the cinematic version of the "original" material.  Granted, Bloch's original novel is basically the same story that's in the movie with Anthony Perkins, but though not nearly as glamorous, I would have rather seen them take on the story of a Norman Bates more as he is in the books than in the movie.  I have trouble believing that there is sufficient reason for this Norman Bates' problems.  Not only does he seem to look and dress fairly normally and even have relations with several women/girls, but at this point, his mother is really anything but the possessive witch that even Hitchcock's movie depicts her as becoming.  In the books and the movie, Norman eventually kills his mother because she was that way in life, and he does so at a very young age - not too much older than he is in the show.  The original Bates character was, of course, modeled in part on Ed Gein, who was actually a model prisoner after being caught.  Much of his pathology stemmed from certain specifics surrounding his upbringing which really are not in evidence here, including the seclusion and social isolation of being raised on a Wisconsin farm in the early 20th century.   Thus, I'd hate for the show to end with the explanation for everything being that, well, Norman was "mentally ill" and though it wasn't obvious at first, he inherited it from his mother.  

Amazing Spider-Man 2 Countdown Trailers (Article) - 12/2/2013 10:39:18 PM

 'Not a hater, but this is nothing.  In fact, that last shot looks like the video game! Though not my favorite (anything), I liked 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man in part because of its more grounded take on the character(s) (Lizard notwithstanding).  The only thing making me skeptical about Amazing Spider-Man 2, besides the number of villains (which seems to have no end), is the fact that two of the main writers are Orci and Kurtzman from Transformers and the rebooted Star Trek.  The first Transformers was okay and I like the two new Treks, but most of their appeal for me is in the direction and acting.  As writers, I've yet to see anything from Orci and Kurtzman that I really respect.  Also, I saw a bootleg of the AMSM2 trailer from Comic-Con and some of the dialogue is almost cringe-worthy.  As writers, they tend to wear their themes on their sleeves... so to speak.  Hopefully, I'm wrong, but... we'll see.  For now, though, these teasers do nothing for me.  They may as well be shots cut from the first film.  

Man of Steel: Blu-Ray Review (Article) - 11/19/2013 1:13:23 PM

 I'm late getting to this, so odds are nobody will see, but while I really enjoyed MAN OF STEEL watching it in theaters, I agree there are problems.  People may differ on what they want out of a Superman story/movie, but if he's not a hero acting heroic at least most of the time, then he's not really Superman.  There is some heroism in the movie - Superman does catch Lois when she (literally) falls from the sky a few times - but most of what he does is in the rhealm of basic self-defense and defense of those closest to him. Goyer defends this by saying that this about him BECOMING Superman, the hero, but frankly, it feels like a cop-out by someone that had to rush a script together and basically put Superman into the BATMAN BEGINS template.  Batman is the sort of anti-hero whom you expect to sometimes act a bit cold, and a story about him struggling to find his heroism is more acceptable, but Superman is expected to have been raised a hero by the Kents and to be that hero by the time he dons the cape.  I'm not sure what, exactly, he could have done, but there should have at least been an acknowledgment on Superman's part about how much destruction he and Zod were causing and the potential loss of life.  There isn't, and it's frustrating.

Otherwise, I like it, and it does feel like the next logical step in terms of an approach to a Superman movie.  As far as the unlikelihood of Superman actually beating Zod, I would argue that Zod is all about protecting and restoring his people, and when he's finally loses ALL of them, his emotional state might make him a little sloppy and careless, particularly towards the end.  I know, it sounds like a stretch, but it's the only feasible explanation and, for me, it suffices - if only because I enjoy the rest so much.  I just wish the movie had been made under different circumstances and maybe by a different team of people.  Warners only made the movie when it did and with the people it did because it was under the legal gun to get a Superman film before cameras by 2012 or else lose all rights to the Siegel and Shuster estates.  If I'm not mistaken, this - combined, perhaps, with a creative decision - is why we don't see Jimmy Olsen or even a character standing in for him (the character "Jenny" is not a photographer).  Now, I fear we're stuck with David Goyer and Zack Snyder essentially running the whole DC feature film program, and that is something that I just don't think will work.  Marvel may have Kevin Feige and a gameplan ultimately linking its movies together, but it still recognizes the differences in the characters and seems to at least try to get DIFFERENT writers and directors to tackle that material - i.e., the director from Game of Thrones doing the similarly-designed THOR sequel.  If the rumors are true, it means that they're also cramming way too many characters into the upcoming Batman Vs. Superman, about which I have serious misgivings despite wanting it to work.  

Star Wars Rebels Logo, Art, and Details Revealed (Article) - 7/28/2013 2:03:27 PM

This looks like "the ghost" of General Grievous from Episode III.

Unforgiven Remake with Samurais? (Article) - 7/16/2013 11:46:34 AM

Unforgiven is a western/cowboy movie about an ex-outlaw who sets aside his set of self-imposed moral restrictions to use his skills as a former killer to join two others and essentially bring justice to a rape victim and collect the promised reward.  It makes sense as a samurai movie if only because, like the samurai, the so-called cowboys of the western genre are independent spirits with certain codes that they live by - like Bushido, I think, being a code of the samurai.  I do agree that this remake retains a bit too much of the original movie's aesthetic - for example, it's almost funny to see most of the men dressed like western cowboys while the women seem to be the ones that are mostly in traditional Asian/Japanese clothing - but there's no denying that they have the right and it really does look very well-executed. 

Star Trek 3 to Film Next Year?! (Article) - 7/15/2013 11:48:57 AM

The cast doesn't know jack. That was proven years ago when Saldana predicted that filming on what became "Into Darkness" would start in 2010.  They're just trying to keep up anticipation and excitement for the franchise. My guess is that there will be one more film with this cast and that either someone else will direct, with Abrams as a very hands-on executive producer, or Paramount will once again have to wait on Abrams and we'll have another 3.5 to 4 year wait.  In any case, as fun as it can be sometimes, I think this version of Trek is a flash in the pan.  Most of the people that like it are the ones that wouldn't have touched Star Trek in the past, and I don't think it was ONLY Abrams' overwhelming love of STAR WARS that got him to jump ship from Paramount to Disney to do Episode 7 before finishing out the Trek trilogy.  Word is that while Paramount has the film rights to Trek, Viacom still controls merchandising rights to the original characters in their original TV incarnations and refused to quit selling merchandise with the original cast's likenesses at the behest of Abrams, who actually wanted to try to all but completely REPLACE the original cast's association with the characters of Kirk, Spock and the others by only selling merchandise with the new cast's likenesses.  It makes sense considering that at first, Abrams refused to touch Star Wars because he was already committed to HIS version of Trek. Apparently, now that he's been blocked from truly stealing Trek away from its past and completely reinventing it in the public's consciousness, he's probably lost a lot of interest.  Either way, the franchise seriously needs some new writers.  "Into Darkness" has a very promising first half, but then feels as if the writers either ran out of time or didn't know how to craft a truly original and satisfying conclusion, so they gathered and strung together bits and pieces of previous, often better episodes and movies (namely 1982's WRATH OF KHAN), switched some details around and passed it off as an ending.  I also think it was a mistake for them to make "Into Darkness" such a direct continuation of the last film, waiting until the very last scene to start the 5 year mission, which should have encompassed at least 2 films and began with this year's entry. 


Date Joined: January 9, 2007