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Box Office: Scott's Lies, Quarantine Defeated by Disney's CHIHUAHUA (Article) - 10/12/2008 10:55:49 PM

I saw "City of Ember" too, and thought it was half-decent for what it was: basically an adaptation of a juvenile/young adult fantasy novel about a dystopia. There's a lot of suspension of disbelief needed, but certainly no more than this summer's "Journey to the Center of the Earth," for instance. Overall I thought it worked for its target audience as both an adventure story and allegory of life under a broken and corrupt government. ***SPOILERS*** Certainly Bill Murray's line about putting together an "investigative committee of experts" to look into the critically failing generator drew a hardy laugh among the adults in my audience who have heard this too many times from our own "leaders" recently. And for the record, the creature was not a giant mutated rat, but a giant star-nosed mole - look it up, they're nasty looking little critters. ***END SPOILERS*** Hey Jarrod, what happened to the Mania staff reviews of current theatrical releases? There hasn't been a new review since Babylon A.D. on Labor Day weekend. Having seen that movie myself, I can understand their reluctance to go back into the theaters... but since then we've had a number of genre movies including City of Ember, Quarantine, Blindness, Igor, and Ghost Town. What gives?

Bonham Carter and Hathaway Play Queens in Burton's WONDERLAND (Article) - 10/8/2008 5:56:56 AM

I hope Burton manages to find a role for Christopher Lee in here somewhere.

Box Office: Disney's CHIHUAHUA Takes Down the Eagle Eye (Article) - 10/5/2008 9:20:51 PM

Just got back from seeing Blindness (apparently one of the few, given that it came in #12 with about $2M). It was brutal. Think "Children of Men" meets "Lord of the Flies" meets "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" with some Romero thrown in for good measure. Despite being hard to watch, I thought it was a good movie - not the best in this sub-genre, but solid (for the record, I have not read the book, so I don't know how it compares). I'm not quite sure why so many of the critics seem eager to bash this flick. Julianne Moore was excellent. If you're the type who can stomach a depressing collapse-of-society type of movie, you'll probably find it rewarding. If you're looking for singing Chihuahuas, look elsewhere.

Update: Director Rumor Debunked for 28 MONTHS LATER (Article) - 10/5/2008 12:39:20 PM

Loved the first movie, the second was just OK IMO. I could go for a trilogy.

TV Feature Interview: Ghost Hunters (Article) - 10/5/2008 12:35:01 PM

This is really the only worthwhile ghost/paranormal hunting show on TV. The British ghost hunting series on the Travel Channel, with its cheesy seances, is laughably over the top by comparison. I do appreciate the fact that they seek to debunk things as much as possible. While it makes it disappointing when they don't find anything, it does make the inexplicable all the more exciting. Plus, you gotta love it when they bust somebody. Paranormal tourism has become big business at hotels and tourist traps, that having the Ghost Hunters find something means more revenue for the business. When the Ghost Hunters investigated the Queen Mary, only to have their equipment tampered with to make it look like an unseen force had pulled down some sheets on the bed, the guys handled it very professionally and in a non-accusatory way. But it was obvious that the woman in charge of the Queen Mary's paranormal tours was soooo busted! LOL Seriously, Ghost Hunters is a great "guilty pleasure" type of show.

LAIR OF THE BEASTS: Do Mammoths Still Roam? (Article) - 10/5/2008 12:17:01 PM

I'd really like to see this happen... but I sincerely doubt that we'll ever see a live mammoth. They were creatures of the plains and tundra (as opposed to their smaller cousins the Mastodons, which were forest creatures), so most of the time they would be wandering in the open and visible to aircraft. Even remote areas of the north have a good deal of small aircraft traffic (since roads are not viable in much of those regions), and if there were any mammoth populations still around. I would think there would have been other sightings from aircraft since the WWII-era sighting. I remember when the news broke a few years ago about the Wrangal island Dwarf Mammoths (an apparent contradiction). As with most island animals, natural selection tends to decrease their size over the generations, leaving the mammoths stranded on the island about the size of hippos. Given that mammoth populations were thought to be extinct (at best) 8000 years ago, it was pretty exciting to realize that there were some mammoths roaming the planet at the dawn of man's earliest civilizations. And as somebody who has always had an interest in crypto-critters, it's always fascinating to hear about pockets of populations which survived long after their brethren have long since vanished. I'd love to see science uncover a similar pocket of surviving mammoths, but I really don't think it will happen. I wouldn't be surprised however, if we do see science manage to clone a mammoth, or perhaps a mammoth-elephant hybrid in our lifetimes, given the rapid advances in genetics. I think that's the most likely means by which we'll get to see these magnificent creatures first-hand.

Del Toro Talks HOBBIT and FRANKENSTEIN (Article) - 10/5/2008 8:07:26 AM

It's great to see Del Toro actually trying to understand the mindset of the WWI generation in order to make an adaptation which actually understands the original book. And on a more pure fanboy level, I see in the linked article that Del Toro is going to revise the Wargs to look like wolves, which is as they're described in Tolkien's writings. As much as I love Jackson's vision, when the giant hyaena design of the Wargs first hit the screen, it was a major WTF-moment for me. I'm looking forward to del Toro's take on Frankenstein too, and I hope he gets around to filming Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness." Del Toro seems to be going down my list of favorite authors in his film projects... just throw in a Ray Bradbury adaptation and my movie-going life will be complete! Zaldar, it was announced some time ago that Peter Jackson will be producing The Hobbit and its sequel, while Del Toro will be directing them.

First Trailer for Horror Remake UNINVITED (Article) - 10/3/2008 10:43:01 AM

The original Korean horror movie is known in English as "A Tale of Two Sisters." I recently watched it and it's easily one of the best horror movies of the past decade. Just to be clear, I'm not one of those types who thinks that all Asian horror is superior to American horror. That said, there's no way that this remake is even going to come close to matching the original.

FRINGE Picked Up for Full Season (Article) - 10/3/2008 10:15:31 AM

Things are not looking good for a lot of last year's genre series. TSCC, Chuck, and Pushing Daisies have all premiered to their lowest-ever ratings. And Heroes - which I believe is already contracted for a full season - had a 42% drop compared to last season's premiere episode. Fringe actually had a shaky debut as well, but the ratings have increased once it was in its regular slot with House as a lead-in. I hate to admit it, but the progam schedulers at Fox actually got it right by matching Fringe with House.

FRINGE Picked Up for Full Season (Article) - 10/3/2008 6:09:11 AM

I'm definitely enjoying Fringe. John Noble's mad doctor got me hooked from the beginning, and now the other characters are starting to grow on me. The atmosphere is suitably creepy, and the stories are disturbing enough to truly make this a worthy successor to the X-Files (and the timing is perfect given that the last nail was driven into the X-Files coffin with this summer's lackluster movie). The future of TSCC is much less rosy. EW reported last week that unless there's some drastic improvement in the ratings, Fox is very unlikely to order the remaining episodes of the season.

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snallygaster
Date Joined: June 15, 2006