9/30/2009

What the world needs now is Oz...more Oz
For some reason Todd McFarlane feels like we need yet another version of "The Wizard of Oz". Surprisingly enough, he has a "dark" take on the veritable fable based on his 'The Twisted Land Of Oz'(NSFW) toy line. He feels that with the 70th anniversary of the 1930's film the time is right to destroy more childhood memories. "I've always been a believer that the reason remakes don't work is that they stay too true to the source material." McFarlane said, "Hopefully we'll have a new script in the next month or two, and then we'll be a lot closer to seeing whether it will grab some true momentum or whether we're heading into development hell here." My question is: "What's the point?"

While it's hard to come up with an exhaustive list since some remakes don't us the name Oz in the title ("Tin Man" for example), I count about twenty-four to thirty different interpretations of "The Wizard of Oz". From a short film in 1910, to the classic 1939 version with Judy Garland to a 1995 Russian version. Some have been in the theaters while some have been on television. Isn't that enough? Is it really necessary to do yet another remake?

There's a fascination these days with taking beloved children stories and remaking them into fantasy horror pieces, but two in particular have been in focus for decades: "Wizard of Oz" and "Alice in Wonderland". Obviously, the most famous one right now is Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" which comes out next year.

Personally, I thought the idea of taking a children's fable and updating it was cool and shocking the first time I heard it, but by now it's lost it's charm. In fact the only way to make it shocking nowadays is to make it unrecognizable ("Zardoz", I'm looking in your direction). By that point, I think the creator would be better of leaving the topic alone and just making something original.

McFarlane is obviously talented and his "Twisted" line of toys is very successful, but he should just stick with remaking "Spawn" and be happy with it.

What do you think? Is it time for another reboot of the land of Oz?

9/28/2009

From the "Aint-it-Cool...kinda" file comes word of a full-scale replica of the Daleks made entirely out of matchsticks. Brian Croucher, 66, spent over two years making the replica because of the best of all reasons: His wife said he couldn't do it. "I did a Dalek because my wife Hazel bet me to do it as a challenge. Because I had made the five foot motor launch I wanted to make something bigger with more detail."

Using special modeling matchsticks (didn't even know they existed) he tirelessly worked on it in his living room for two hours a day. Besides caster wheels to let it roll around it even has a voicebox to say "Ex-ter-min-ate, ex-ter-min-ate!"

Because the 5' 3" death-bringer takes up space in the sitting room he's willing to let it go. "I want to sell it," he said. "I'm prepared to listen to offers and sell it to the highest bidder."

9/25/2009

We present this week's Sci-Fi news and opinions. True or False?

  • A movie based on the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe toy line is finally being developed. This new explosion of toy-to-movie franchises from the 80s will finally help justify the hours we spent playing with dolls.
  • The popular sci-fi movie "District 9" portrays Nigerians almost exclusively as lower-class gangsters with a penchant for cannibalism. Add this to their already poor reputation as email scammers and they have a major image problem. The new tourist campaign "Nigeria: Good People, Great Nation" probably won't change anyone's mind on the country.
    ODDMAKERS: Odds this will anger Americans who already think they already have a lock on the term "great nation".
  • Dick Durock passed away at the age of 72. The actor, best known for his role as "Swamp Thing" in the movies and television series, will always be remembered as one of the greatest B-Movie sci-fi actors of all time.

9/23/2009

The season premiere of Smallville is this week and, frankly, I'd be more interested in a giant festering pimple on Rush Limbaugh's butt. Not only did it jump way over the shark when they brought Lois Lane to Smallville, but they consistently and desperately introduce new characters and plotlines that are way outside of the Superman continuity. The Legion of Superheroes was OK, but Doomsday?! I won't even go into how they got rid of the token black guy in the whole town of Smallville.

That said, two things give me hope: First, in the season finale they kill off Jimmy Olsen. My first thought was, "What? How could they kill Jimmy?" But then, they put in the twist that his little brother James is at the funeral. Get it? No? Well, then, Chloe hands him a camera. That's right. The Jimmy in the show isn't the Jimmy Olsen from the Superman years, but his older brother. I always did think he was a little too old.

The second thing is that they're introducing Brian-Austin Green as "Metallo". Better than the ultra-lame version from the Superboy series though, he looks like something out of "Virus" as a patchwork of medical mishaps.

Add that Clark is going to stop being the whiney little baby he has been and you have the makings of a possibly mediocre series.

Oh, Smallville, you've disappointed me so many times before and I keep coming back. Thou art a harsh mistress.

BONUS: Watch some promo clips from the next seaon here Mark's Sci-Fi / Fantasy Blog

9/02/2009

We present this week's Sci-Fi news and opinions. True or False?

  • Now that Disney has bought Marvel Entertainment, the company is going to ruin the comic book characters we know and love.
    OVER\UNDER: The word "Spider-Mouse" will be used 4025 times in articles describing this merger.
  • If Futurama didn't include the original voice actors, as was feared, the show would have been doomed or not aired at all.
  • The Movie "Teen Wolf" is getting a reboot into a new film
    television series. This film
    show is guaranteed to be better than "Teen Wolf 2" as long as they don't recast Jason Bateman.
    TOSS-UP: Who is more likely to ruin werewolves for the next ten years: Jacob Black from "Twilight" or George from "Being Human".
    UPDATED: Turns out it's a TV show not a movie.

  • The most pirated movie this week is "Twilight", this is almost as surprising as "The Day the Earth Stood Still" being number ten.
    ODDSMAKERS (0-100%): Chances that "Batman and Robin" will be next week's most pirated film.
UPDATE: RESULTS
* OVER - The word "Spider-mouse" is now over 2,400 results in the news search.
* 0% - The most pirated movie this week is "Year One". "Batman and Robin" isn't even in the top ten.

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