2/27/2010

A few weeks back an Orca, or "killer whale", pulled a trainer into his tank at Sea World and killed her. There have been some truly tragic underwater attacks, but it made us think of some of the most memorable ocean attacks in movie history. Here we now present some of the most memorable water attacks in sci-fi movie history.

10. Jaws vs. Scuba Tank (Jaws, 1975)

This attack set the standard for all other attacks. 99% of water to surface attacks are shot by cutting from the unsuspecting victim to the underwater creature. The final battle pit the massive shark against an exploding scuba tank and it was glorious. We could just stop here, but we'll go on.

9. Giant Squid vs. Queen Latifah (Sphere, 1998)

The film Sphere,based on a far superior novel, pit Queen Latifah against an impossible giant squid. Since we don't see the attack we can only assume the rapper lost her body's U.N.I.T.Y. to the squid. The irony is that Sam Jackson not only appears in another underwater film, but manages to survives.

8. Sperm Whales vs. Aliens (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, 1986)

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock was a critical and box-office disappointment. For the sequel, they decided to take everything we love about Star Trek and dumb it down to the point of being unrecognizable. It made $133 million worldwide and was nominated for four academy awards. Go figure. The biggest battle royale came when an alien race comes to destroy all life on the planet, but gets the smack-down after hearing a whale song. Turns out aliens are big fans of new age music.

7. Colo Claw Fish vs The Jedi (Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, 1999)

In Star Wars: Episode 1, the undersea world of Naboo featured a creature that induced revulsion and horror. But, besides Jar Jar Binks, the Jedi faced off against a massive undersea creature, a Colo Claw Fish that chased their craft through the planet's core before being eaten. This led Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn to utter the sage phrase "there's always a bigger fish" implying that Naboo is home to a population of ever increasing fish that eventually swallows the universe.

6. Kraken vs. Perseus (Clash of the Titans, 1981)

A remake of Clash of the Titans is coming soon, but it was the stop motion creation of Ray Harryhausen versus the shirtless Harry Hamlin that stole the show. It took the head of the ugliest woman in the world to defeat it. Rosie O'Donnell was too young, so they used Medusa.

5. Godzilla vs. Matthew Broderick (Godzilla, 1998)

While Godzilla has been the star of 22 movies since the sixties, he finally met his match in 1998 when Ferris Bueller tricked him into becoming a living skeet shoot. It seemed like a one-sided match, but, like Mike Tyson versus Evander Holyfield, it became a battle of brains versus manipulative cheating.

4. Navy SEALS vs. Alien Water Tentacle (The Abyss, 1989)

The Abyss is a film about a group of underwater miners and Navy Seals trapped on the bottom of the ocean floor with aliens. This one almost became a two-fer since James Cameron famously fought with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio when she walked off the set during the shooting. But, it featured one of the first CGI actors in the form of the sentient plume of water that comes to investigate them. The Navy SEALS made short work of it by closing the door. All that special weapons training paid off at last.

3. Samuel L Jackson vs. Mutant Shark (Deep Blue Sea, 1999) 

Deep Blue Sea was a forgettable film about people stuck in an underwater lab with super-brainy mutant sharks, but there's one scene that stands out. Samuel L Jackson was giving a motivational speech, when a shark jumped out of the water and ate him. It came out of nowhere. Most polite sharks play slow cello music before chomping down. It's also the only time that someone dared to interrupt Samuel L. Jackson.

2. Tomatoes vs. Catamaran (Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!, 1978)

There are two types of people: those that think the parody monster film Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! is the funniest movie ever made, or the dumbest. I fall into the latter category, but it makes a nice bookend to Jaws. From "those-in-the-know" this is the funniest scene in the movie. I guess anyone that can make swimming away from a floating fruit funny must be the greatest actor ever.

1. Mega Shark vs. Airliner (Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, 2009)

The greatest attack in history is in one of the worst films in history. One of the most popular trailers ever posted to the Internet featured a giant prehistoric shark jumping 30,000 feet and pulling an airliner from the sky. It went viral and even spawned a popular info-graphic detailing how impossible it was. Now I can add prehistoric sharks to my list of reasons to be afraid to fly. That, and gremlins.

What do you think the greatest ocean attacks are? Let us know in the comments!
August 17, 1968 - February, 2010
Joshua Andrew Koenig, the son of Walter Koenig, was found dead in a Vancouver park. The official cause of death was not released, but suicide, and Mr. Koenig's father, who is best known for playing Pavel Chekov on Star Trek: The Original Series, said his son "took his own life." The 41-year-old actor had been battling clinical depression and was missing for a week, prompting celebrities to use Twitter to try to find him. Andrew established himself as an actor in his own right with a recurring role on the 80s sitcom Growing Pains as Richard "Boner" Stabone. He also guest-starred in an episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine and recently played the Joker in the fan-film Batman: Dead End. He was also a film-maker and out-spoken activist for human rights in China.

Walter Koenig, and his wife Judy ,said, "The Koenig family thanks you for your kind thoughts at this difficult time. It means a lot to them and they are very appreciative of the support they are receiving. Each of these emails will be printed and bound in a remembrance book." I'm sure this is a sad day for the family and our hearts go out to them.
 
If you wish to contact the family to express condolences, then go to the Official Andrew Koenig Memorial.
[Image Source: walterkoenigsite.com]

UPDATED: Added cause of death and some other biographical facts.

2/26/2010

[Pic of the Week from CostumeCraze]

One of your favorite posts is the hideous collection of Watchmen movie costumes, but now you can dress up in "sexy" Iron Man 2 armor from Costume Craze. It kind of loses the point of wearing armor if you strap on knee-high boots, since they just shoot you in the knee caps. Although, the company also has a "Whiplash" costume which looks OK on someone with a good body, but there's always some big boy who decides to wear a costume three sizes too small and ruin things for the rest of us. On with the news...
  1. Despite the failure of Heroes, two new superhero shows are coming. NBC's The Cape, about an ex-cop who becomes a superhero to vidicate  his reputation, and ABC's No Ordinary Family which has Michael Chiklis (Fantastic Four) as the father of a superhero team. While this season will be a bad time for sci-fi network shows, but a bumper crop of superhero shows. Is this a sign of good things to come, or a remake of The Greatest American Hero? Since they're both dramas, probably not.
    ODDSMAKERS: What are the odds that Michael Chiklis, aka The Thing, will cry?
  2. David Goyer, one of the co-writers of The Dark Knight, is writing the script for the new Superman film titled Man of Steel. This will usher in a trend of movies named after tag lines like "The World's Greatest Superheros" instead of Fantastic Four and "Webslinger" instead of Spider-man.
    TOSSUP: Will Man of Steel be The Dark Knight or Superman Returns?
Give us your two cents in the coments!
What season is this anyway?
BBC America is debuting the time-travelling science-fiction show Doctor Who on Saturday Apr. 17 which is two weeks after it premieres in the U.K.
The new show will include the 11th regeneration of the Time Lord, Matt Smith, a new companion, Karen Gillan, and a new head writer -- Steven Moffat, who will take over for Russell T. Davies. Moffat has been with the series since 2005 and wrote some of my favorite episodes. Including Blink, which won him a "Bafta Craft Awards", and The Girl in the Fireplace which won the show two "Hugo" awards. I'm excited about the new season, but not the new Doctor. Am I the only one that thinks he looks like Jay Leno's inbred cousin?

Are you looking forward to the new season of Doctor Who? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!

2/24/2010

There's been a renewed interest in pulp novel heroes from the '30s and '40s, and now the studio that's producing this year's Green Hornet is planning a movie based on the wildly popular character Doc Savage, the so-called "Man of Bronze." Created by Lester Dent in 1933, the star of books, radio, a campy 70's movie and numerous comics, trained since birth to almost superhuman levels of human development. He was a world-class athlete, adventurer, doctor, lawyer and Indian chief traveling the world fighting evil.

Sam Raimi, who's working on a Shadow reboot, was attached to this project at one time, but Shane Black, the creator of  Lethal Weapon, The Long Kiss Goodnight and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang has taken over writing and directing. I have to admit I don't know a whole lot about the character. I really liked the comic books from the '90s and the 1975 movie is hilariously bad, so this one should be interesting.

What do you think of a Doc Savage movie? Have you ever even heard of him? Let us know in the comments!
[Image source: DC comics]

2/22/2010

**SPOILER ALERT** If you haven't seen Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and don't want it spoiled, don't read this post. Either check out another post or check out the movie at Amazon.com.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (hereafter referred to for convenience as Transformers 2 ) was a horrible movie. I'm not even going to debate that with anyone. But even if you liked the movie for some reason, there was a moment that proved once and for all that the director Michael Bay had no understanding of the Transformers concept, other than giant robots punching each other. That moment, of course, was the one where Sam Witwicki gets seduced by a nubile college coed named Alice, who turns out to be a Decepticon that chases him around the campus.

Why was that moment so awful? Not so much in terms of story. I actually found that moment one of the few unexpected plot twists in the movie, so that was kind of refreshing. But here's the problem that occurred to me later on: it undermined the entire concept of the Transformers.

2/19/2010

  1. Dolph Lundgren, the German action star from the 80s and star of Masters of the Universe said,


    "I'm not really interested so much in guys flying from building to building, in funny looking suits. I think it's more for little kids, and that's obviously a very CG-driven film, where you can take anybody off the streets and make them a superhero, and that's what the common man likes, because they can dream about being a superhero."
    While he just has sour grapes because his action hero career took a nose dive, he does raise a good point. Most superhero movies do have a target audience of kids and teenagers, with the notable exception of Batman Dark Knight. I think that's a good thing in a way, but will probably always hold the genre back. [Comic Book Movie]
  2. OVER-UNDER: Although it looked cool, I count exactly five people that bothered to dress in costume for the Star Wars lightsaber battle flash mob, which is when a large group of strangers agree to meet and perform a weird act before dispersing.
  3. Some startling news about Tim Burton, the director of the upcoming Disney film Alice in Wonderland. First, we found out he thinks twins are creepy, now we find out he hates cats and that shaped his view of the Cheshire Cat. Is there anyone in this film that he doesn't hate? Soon, we'll find out he thinks people that make hats are psychopaths, supports abolishing the monarchy and tells blond jokes incessantly with a straight face. Like the one about eighteen blonds going to the movie theater...
  4. TOSSUP: Which USB hub would scare your dog more: The Darth Vader Hub with light up eyes or the Doomsday Hub which uses a key and three switches to activate an explosion?
  5. Erstwhile readers may wonder why we don't report on a lot of upcoming production news, but two of last week's biggest stories have been debunked by Warner Bros. If we'd reported on the rumors that Christopher Nolan, the director of Dark Knight, was working on a Superman reboot and that a sequel to the revisionist superhero film Watchmen was coming we'd have had to post retractions since the head of DC calls them "all rumors." But if you guys and girls want us to publish more early production news just let us know in the comments.

2/17/2010

The First Avenger: Captain America (2011) is the key for a whole slew of Marvel movies coming up, including The Avengers, so they're focused on getting it right. I'm getting a little nervous, because it would be really easy for Joe Johnston to mess up Captain America, especially after the debacle of Wolfman (2010).

There are lots of rumors going around about the flick, so we'll list the highlights:
Costume - As is usually the case, Captain America's superhero costume gets a revision. Here's how the director, Joe Johnston, describes it, "The costume is a flag, but the way we're getting around that is we have Steve Rogers forced into the USO circuit. After he's made into this super-soldier, they decide they can't send him into combat and risk him getting killed. He's the only one and they can't make more. So they ...give him a flag suit. He can't wait to get out of it." I have mixed feelings about this. Some costumes you can get away with changing (ex. Wolverine, Daredevil or Batman), but, some costumes are so iconic that it's hard to accept the character any other way (ex. Superman, Spider-Man). He wears a flag. It's not like he can wear a pair of blue jeans and a red shirt holding a trash can lid.
    Casting - They've said everyone from Chris Pine (Star Trek), Ryan McPartlin (Chuck), Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill), Jensen Ackles (My Bloody Valentine) and Will Smith (Independence Day). Johnston said, "Well, we're testing five or six guys. The youngest is 23 the oldest is 32. Most of the guys in the war [are] just kids, 18 or 19, but we want to go a little bit older. We have to have somebody locked in before I leave March 1st for London." I would rather see an unknown play him, but I understand a movie this big needs star power.

    Villains - The primary villain will, of course, be the Nazi villain with a serious acne problem known as Red Skull. I wouldn't be surprised if Baron Zemo, the Nazi mad scientist makes an appearance as well. He has also said that HYDRA, the world-wide subversive organization dedicated to global domination, would play a big part in the film.

    Bunk mates - Joe Johnson has said that The Invaders, a World War II superhero team, will appear in the movie. I've never heard of them, so if anyone has any information I'd love to hear about it. They're hoping this will open the film to a more international audience. It would be cool if we'd see Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in the film, however, since they've already established him in modern day it would raise a lot of questions. They could all be answered by cryogenics though.

    Location - Steve Rogers origin has him sent to the war front, so it's no surprise that most of the film will be set in Europe. Again, this should help keep the "non-US" people in the world from boycotting a film that is so pro-American.

    Do you think  The First Avenger: Captain America will be a hit or a bomb? Let us know in the comments!

    UPDATE: Added Jensen Ackles to the list of actors and HYDRA to the list of villains.
    My brother and I LOVE the hilariously geeky Galaxy Quest (1999) movie about a bunch of actors from a cult television show (i.e. Star Trek) being kidnapped by aliens to live out their roles in space. To us, it's the perfect homage to Star Trek and everything about it: from the quirkiness of the show, to the insanity of its fans and everything in between. Which is why it's no cool that, over ten years later, a couple of replica toys are coming out.

    The N.S.E.A. Protector Spaceship model looks awesome and would have fit charmingly next to my Star Trek Enterprise model if it hadn't been broken so many years ago...sigh. The Nebulizer Pistol and VOX Communicator (Galaxy Question?) also looks sweet and will look admirable next to my Star Trek phaser pistol which, thankfully, has survived the years of abuse (those Klingons won't kill themselves you know).

    More importantly, this may be an indication that the film will finally get the respect it deserves. Maybe one day we'll see a surreal Galaxy Quest convention. Will there be an anniversary DVD? Could there even be a sequel? Man, that would be awesome.

    What do you think? Would you pay to see a Galaxy Quest sequel or buy the toys?
    [Image Source imdb.com]

    2/15/2010

    I guess I should probably weigh in on this movie, since it's the biggest movie of all time and my brother already posted his review a long time ago. My opinion on Avatar? Good, but not great.

    I think I would've enjoyed it more if it hadn't been directed by James Cameron. Besides the fact that he's a sadistic egomaniac, I can never forgive him for the monstrous travesty of Titanic. But here's my feeling on Avatar: there's a lot of hype behind it. It's in 3-D. It has the most advanced computer-generated motion-capture we've ever seen. It has eye-popping scenes. It has very imaginative alien life-forms. The press is fond of saying it took fifteen years to make, because we didn't have the technology to create it fifteen years ago when Cameron conceived of it. Well, that's nonsense. There's nothing in Avatar that couldn't have been created even twenty years ago. It just would have been done with traditional hand-drawn animation. Not as impressive, but it would have been essentially the same story.

    Speaking of story, let's take a look at that, since all the gushing praise and heavy breathing about the visuals drown that out. As I stated before I even saw the movie, even the most enthusiastic supporters of the movie say the story is not great. And it isn't. The story is essentially recycled, Dances with Wolves in space. The characters are almost universally two-dimensional with wooden dialogue. None of them have any real motivation explained to us; they walk out as stereotypes (the nerd, the tough guy, the psycho commander) and end as stereotypes.

    I know a lot of people will argue that the story isn't really the point, which is exactly my point. Have we as movie-goers become so enamored with visuals that that's all we demand? In ten years, will we have movies with literally no story or characters, just a lot of cool CGI effects that we can gawk at? Well, I think Avatar is a step in that direction. The movie fails my B-Movie Test, where you imagine the same movie filmed for ten million instead of five hundred million with unknown actors and cheap special effects. If that had been the case, Avatar would have gone straight to DVD without question. So I give the special effects an A, but the movie itself gets a C+.

    What do you think of Avatar? Let us know in the comments!

    2/14/2010

    One of the problems with accurately predicting technology of the future is that it doesn't exist yet. Obviously. So the tendency is to extrapolate based on existing technology. That's why sci-fi movies and TV shows in the fifties imagined home computers in the year 2000 as being massive refrigerator-sized boxes. Nobody could imagine that computers could one day be made small enough to fit into a cell phone.

    Something similar happened when the SETI project was established. It seemed a simple enough project; Earth generated radio signals with powerful ground-based transmitters that reached into deep space. The theory was that every society similar or more advanced than Earth's would send out similar radio signals. All we needed to do is scan for those radio signals and we'd find proof of extraterrestrial life.

    But what's happened over the past fifty years is that new technology, such as satellites that broadcast focused radio signals towards Earth, has made radio signals much fainter. In fact, it's believed that within a few years, Earth won't generate any detectable radio signals at all. If another alien race followed the same technological path, then there's no way we would be able to detect them, unless they actively broadcast those signals to us. Of course, that's assuming they haven't developed a technology that we can't even imagine that would make radio transmitters look like those refrigerator-sized computers from the fifties. Now SETI just looks kind of...quaint. Sort of like if someone in the 1800s said, "Say, I've got an idea! Let's set up a project to detect alien Morse code! Because of course, every planet would be using Morse code! I mean, what else would they be using?" Or in the caveman era, if someone said, "Hey, let's all look around for rocks with drawings on them that aliens might have thrown into space! Because what else would they be using to communicate?"

    What do you make of SETI? Let us know in the comments!

    2/12/2010

     
    [Pic of the week from OddballComics]

    Stan Lee must have read last week's TWiG and got scared of becoming irrelevant because he's teaming up with Archie comics to produce a comic book and television series called "Super Seven" with him playing a major role. The press release says, "It’s the story about seven aliens who find themselves stranded on planet Earth after their spaceship crashes, only to be befriended by none other than Lee himself.  Taking them under his care, Lee becomes their leader and enables them to resume their lives as superheroes on earth." How do aliens "resume their lives" on Earth as superheros? Does that mean they were superheroes in space? And how does being a geriatric comic book writer qualify one to be a leader to a bunch of aliens? I doubt these questions will be answered, but Excelsior true believers! On with the news...
    1. TOSSUP: Which home theater would you rather have: The bridge of the Star Trek Enterprise or Chancellor Palpatine’s office from Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith? [GeekTyrant]
    2. I've expressed my doubts about Don Cheadle being able to play War Machine in Iron Man 2 and its nice to know I'm not alone. In an interview the director, Jon Favreau, said, "Don's a guy I understand, but he makes choices that I don't always understand. But now, just wrapping up a week ago and seeing how he finished off this performance and how he arced it through...He didn't allow Rhodey to be a two-dimensional supporting character." It made me realize Don could play the character against type, so now I'm excited about it. It's too bad he refuses to do a War Machine spin-off.
    3. Disney is so excited about Tron: Legacy, the sequel to the 80s computer film, that they've already started making plans for a Tron television series, called Warriors of Tron for 2011/2012. TOSSUP: Would you rather watch a Tron show if it was live-action or animated? [Geektyrant]
    4. Here's my Haiku review for Smallville Absolute Justice, about Clark meeting up with the members of the disbanded superhero group the "Justice Society of America":
      Bright lights bring smiles
      Cold villain and men bring yawns
      A poor man's Watchmen
      OVER\UNDER: Based on the success of this show, there will be five more Smallville specials in the next year.
    5. Tim Burton, when talking about the creepy twins Tweedledee and Tweedledum from his upcoming Alice in Wonderland film said, "...Any kind of twins. There's always something scary about them, in a way. Or there can be." I'm going to start a campaign to flood the premiere with twins so we can watch Tim Burton freak out. Email us at geektwins@gmail.com if you're in.
    6. TOSSUP: Twilight werewolf star Taylor Lautner has signed on to star in the movie based on the 80s rubber toy "Stretch Armstrong." The plot is described as "an uptight spy who inadvertently exposes himself to a formula that allows him to physically stretch his body to great lengths. With his new found ability, the spy is forced to not only re-adjust to everyday life, but also to rethink his own crime-fighting tactics." Which is scarier: the casting or the plot? [SplashPage]
      ODDSMAKERS: What are the odds that the 18-year-old actor will still be playing a teenager at 33-year-old like Jason Earles on Hanna Montana?
    Happy Anniversary:
    • Feb. 9, 1995 - Space Shuttle astronaut Bernard A. Harris, Jr. becomes the first African American to perform a space walk, thirty years after the first in 1965. In 2008, he appeared in Microsoft's "I'm a P.C." ad campaign.
    • Feb. 11, 1938 - BBC Television produces the world's first ever science fiction television program, a 35-minute adaptation of a section of the Karel Capek play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) , which coined the term "robot" for its artificial biological humans enslaved by humanity. In 2009, the television show Dollhouse names the evil mega-corporation Rossum Corp.
    Don't just sit there reading. Join in and let us know what you think in the comments!

    2/11/2010

    Here's our joint review of GI Joe: Rise of Cobra. The following review takes place in real time...
    Warning: Contains spoilers if you care.

    Plot: A group of covert military specialists, code-named G.I. Joe, race to stop an evil weapons dealer, Destro, from unleashing a weapon that threatens to destroy the world.


    Monkey Migraine: Okay, I hated GI Joe: Rise of Cobra with a passion. Its the essence of what I'll call a big-budget B-movie. They had a terrible script, a terrible director, and terrible actors, but threw money at it until it worked. Imagine this movie with everything the same (script, actor, director), but with a budget of ten million dollars. Without the special effects, it would have been bargain-basement straight-to-DVD material.

    Now that that's out of the way, let's start the dialogue. My first argument is that this movie had almost nothing to do with the original eighties' cartoon. Discuss.

    MauriceM: I disagree in the sense that, to me, they created new characters based on the concept behind the original. Duke was...well Duke. Scarlett had red hair and a crossbow. Zartan was the master of disguise he was supposed to be. Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow were ninjas. I didn't recognize any others.  Did you buy Destro and Cobra commander?

    Monkey Migraine: The problem I had is that the characters were the old characters in name only. Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow were pretty much the only recognizable characters. Yes, there was a character named Duke. But he was nothing like the old Duke. This guy was a rookie loser, as opposed to the cool, confident leader in the old cartoon. Scarlett had red hair and a crossbow, but she was also arrogant and used a laser-guided crossbow with exploding arrows. Zartan wasn't the Cajun chameleon he was in the cartoon, but a regular mercenary who was physically altered to look like the President...once. Destro was an arms manufacturer named McCullen who gets a metal face at the very end. And don't get me started on Cobra Commander, otherwise known as the Doctor.

    In fact, everything in the movie was like that...in name only. GI Joe in the movie wasn't the American military organization filled with interesting, unique experts in every field from the cartoon. It was a UN international fighting group with a bunch of anonymous soldiers, and a handful of slightly more distinct soldiers that formed the main characters.

    Imagine this...change the name of the organization from GI JOE to Fighting Force, give all the characters new names (Duke becomes Luke, the Baroness becomes Lady Warrior, etc.). Would the movie still make you think "Hey, GI Joe?" The answer, to me, is no. There's nothing wrong with fleshing out the characters, but so many changes were made that it's almost unrecognizable as the original.

    MauriceM: You're right. The characters became generic people with familiar names. Ok. How dramatic was Marlon Wayans? In every interview he talked about how people may find it hard to accept his "dramatic" debut. What exactly does he consider dramatic acting? Ray Parks was awesome as the unrecognizable Snake Eyes, although I found his flashbacks distracting and pointless. 

    Monkey Migraine: Yeah. I knew that movie was in trouble when I heard two words: "Wayans brother." That one scene of him confiding in Scarlet was laughable. Maybe his idea of drama is no fart jokes. His character was as dramatic as Jar Jar Binks.

    Speaking of casting, when I heard they were casting the kid from "3rd Rock From The Sun" I was horrified, but tried to stay hopeful. I thought maybe he might pull a Heath Ledger and surprise me. Then he came on-screen. I had to stop the DVD and rant at my wife for five minutes. They covered his face with a mask and dubbed his voice for most of the movie. So what, I ask, was the point of casting him at all? Why not just cast someone with the physical and vocal presence to begin with: Hire Kane from the WWE. I wonder if the director owed the kid a favor or something. And poor Ray Park. Another non-speaking role. He never gets a break.


    MauriceM: The action scenes were creative and eye-catching, but I could have done without the "Accelerator Suits" to create inhuman CGI fight scenes. The movie felt like cotton candy to me. Sweet and delicious, but there was nothing there to fill you up once you left the theater. They never even bothered to answer the fundamental question of why the evil group is called "Cobra" instead of "Group of Really Evil Guys."

    My final score is C+ since it could have been a worse and had some pretty good action scenes.

    Monkey Migraine: D.

    What do you think of G.I. Joe? Let us know in the comments!

    2/08/2010

    To say I'm a fan of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series is an understatement. I consider the book series a major influence in my life and my writing. (If you've never heard of the book series or the TV series or the radio series or the recent movie, then you should try one of them. Or all of them.) That's why I was eager to read the fifth novel, Mostly Harmless. And I was very disappointed with the finality of it. Even Adams himself admitted that he didn't like the way he ended the series and planned to release a sixth one, but his death a few years later meant we would never have an official sequel.

    When I heard they wanted to have another author write a new Hitchhiker's novel, I was skeptical. To me, having someone else write a sequel to another author's book series without the original author around to consult with is often a travesty. And the fact that the author they chose (Eoin Colfer) is best known for writing children's books didn't make me feel any better. Maybe I will one day read the final result, And Another Thing, but I have a deep-seated fear that it will ruin one of the most cherished milestones in my life. At best, it seems like the result can only be considered very good fanfiction. But I'll probably end up reading it, anyway.

    Of course, my perspective is not biased at all by my own attempt at a sixth Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy novel, Really Wild Things, now available at fanfiction.net.

    2/06/2010

     
    [Pic of the week from The Daily Weird]

    Sorry, the TWiG is late this week. My son had a high fever, and the dog ate my homework, and my brakes failed as I crashed into the US Open. The above picture is almost as cool as Graham Curson, 36, who married his wife Samantha, 26, while dressed as the Star Wars villain Darth Vader. Who is almost as cool as Ramona who had her father give her away as Darth Vader while she got married at a comic convention. And these are almost as cool as Darth Vader opening the New York Stock Exchange. But, none are cooler than having Snoop Dogg and Darth Vader debut a new line of Adidas sneakers. Bow-Wow-Wow. On wit' da news baby...
    1. ODDSMAKERS: In many Marvel films, Stan Lee, the developer of Spider-Man and many of the popular Marvel characters, inexplicably pops out of the background somewhere. But, so far he's still waiting for a call about appearing in the Nordic superhero film Thor. What are the odds that Stan Lee's cameos will be phased out of future Marvel flicks? [ComicBookMovie]


    2. Caprica, the prequel to the hit sci-fi television show Battlestar Galactica is as thrilling as a toothpaste convention, so it's no surprise that the show is tanking in the ratings. I think the idea of seeing what led the Cylons to "wanna kill all humans" is a good idea, but its way too slow. In fact, as I'm thinking about....Zzzzzz


    3. Jon Favreau, the director of the upcoming superhero movie Iron Man 2 was asked in a Twitter "Does Iron Man 2 take place before or after Hulk movie?" He said, "Before." This makes no sense, because at the end of Iron Man General Ross talks to Stark about helping him with his "little problem." Although, since they never say what that the problem is, they could change it. I'm betting Jon's pulling our leg.

    4. Green Lantern, the galactic superhero with a green power ring, is shaping up to be a unique superhero film. While a few superhero movies had scenes in space, this one is going to be a perfect marriage of science-fiction and comic books. Check out the concept art for "The Guardians", Kilo-wog and more here. Also, if you're into spoilers, they claim to have a copy of the 2008 script. I'm not, so don't wreck my flow in the comments.


    5. TOSS-UP: Which would you rather eat at your Superbowl party: Han Solo in Guacamole Carbonite or the 33 ft (10 meter) long "Great Wall of China" made out of chocolate?
    Happy Anniversary
    • This week, on January 31st, 1606, Guy Fawkes died for planning to blow up the British Houses of Parliament in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. His life and death would be the inspiration for the graphic novel V for Vendetta by Alan Moore. The novel was named one of "The Top 100 (English-Language) Comics of the Century" and became a moderately successful motion picture in 2005.
    • This week (February 1, 1893) Thomas A. Edison finishes construction of the first motion picture studio, the Black Maria in West Orange, New Jersey. In 2009, 80 years later, there are over eighty major movie studios worldwide.
    • February 1, 2003 – Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates during reentry into the Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard. Its odd that, although separated by twenty years, two major shuttle disasters would occur within two weeks of each other.
    • On February 4, 2004, Facebook, an online site where people can meet and post messages to each other is founded by Mark Zuckerberg. Originally limited to college campuses, it was opened up to the world and has replaced MySpace as the premier social networking site with 1,191,373,339 monthly visits. 
      What do you think of this week's news? Let us know in the comments!

      2/03/2010

      The 82nd Academy Award nominations are out and we get a few juicy nominations. Avatar and District 9 have been nominated for best picture, of course, but here's the shocker: We will now be required to say "the Oscar-Nominated Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen."

      That's right, the Michael Bay film is getting a nod for "Best Sound Editing", which is kind of like getting an award for being the loudest kid in the room. Whether you loved or hated the flick, this just doesn't sound right. This is right up there with "the Oscar-Nominated Norbit" which was nominated in 2008 for "Best Make-up."

      This will add to Bay's already massive ego. Let's collectively take three steps back as Michael Bay's noggin expands, precariously tottering on his skinny little neck.

      Here are the geek-worthy rundowns:
      • Avatar: 9 nominations for Best Picture, Director, Art Direction, Cinematography, Editing, Original Music Score, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects.
      • District 9: 4 nominations for Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Editing and Visual Effects.
      • Star Trek: 4 nominations for Best Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Makeup and Visual Effects.
      • Sherlock Holmes: 3 nominations for Best Art Direction, Original Music Score, Sound Mixing.
      • Fantastic Mr. Fox: 1 nomination for Best Animated Feature Film.
      • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: 1 nomination for Best Sound Mixing.
      UPDATE:Transformers has been nominated for seven Razzies, the awards for worst films of the year, so maybe it'll help offset Bay's ego to the size of a small moon.

      What do you think of the Oscar nominations this year? Let us know in the comments!
      [Image from hollywoodroaster]
      Eugene Wesley "Rod" Roddenberry Jr, the son of the late Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, is producing a reboot of an old 70s television pilot of his father's, called The Questor Tapes, as a potential series. This goes so far back, I only have a flickering image in the back of my brain, but it's burned in there none the less: the image of rows and rows of bodies going back as far as the eye can see.

      Intended as the pilot for a television series in 1974, the movie followed an android who goes searching for his creator, a robot designer named Dr. Emil Vaslovik. Following clues left in his creator's "programming tapes," the robot, named Questor, travels the world being hunted by an evil organization. The pilot had a twist ending that literally blew my two-year-old mind. *** Spoiler Alert: After a long world-wide search to a hollowed out volcano, Questor finds out his creator was himself an android from a long line of robots that went back to the "dawn of time" each programmed to create a successor to protect mankind. *** Roddenberry abandoned the project over creative differences with the studio, but Rod said repeatedly that the concept behind the character lived on in Star Trek: The Next Generation's Data and Star Trek: Voyager's Doctor.

      This is one of those few ideas that actually deserves a reboot, since the original is kind of derivative, although Rod insists that it will be faithful to his father's vision. The original concept is full of possibilities in that 70s drama theme of a single man wandering the world doing random acts of kindness, but a reboot could expand on the concept and really make something happen.

      Gene apparently believed "the show had the potential to be bigger than Star Trek." Unfortunately, Roddenberry was kind of a one-hit wonder when it came to television. His other science-fiction shows Genesis II, Planet Earth and Strange New World all crashed and burned. Two shows based on  unproduced screenplays Earth: Final Conflict and Andromeda had modest runs, but didn't exactly set the world on fire. Still, if you're going to be a one-hit wonder, you could do a lot worse than the global phenomenon that is Star Trek. I'm looking forward to it and, as aside, you can watch the whole TV movie in all its seventies glory on YouTube.






      [Image from Roddenberry.com]

      What do you think of another Gene Roddenberry series? Let us know in the comments!

      2/01/2010

      Thanks to the new Star Wars trilogy, we have a deeper glimpse into the training required to become a Jedi. One thing that struck me is the constant warnings about falling to the Dark Side. Let's review some of the ways that someone can end up on the Dark Side, according to the Jedi:

      Hate leads to the Dark Side
      Fear leads to the Dark Side
      Anger leads to the Dark Side
      Jealousy leads to the Dark Side

      That all makes a bit of sense. But then Yoda dropped these bombs on us:

      Love leads to the Dark Side
      The fear of loss leads to the Dark Side
      Emotional attachment leads to the Dark Side

      So for a Jedi to remain on the Light Side, they have to avoid any feelings of anger, hate, jealousy, fear, love, and any emotional attachment to anyone or anything. It seems like it would have been easier to explain what doesn't lead to the Dark Side. It sounds like the average Jedi would either have to be a robot or have a lobotomy. Frankly, it seems far easier to fall to the Dark Side than it is to stay on the Light Side. Some might argue that illustrates the struggle all humans face to resist evil. So why are there so few Dark Jedi?

      In episodes 1-3, they say that the Sith have been gone for a thousand years. You're telling me that in a thousand years, no Jedi has fallen to the Dark Side, except two of them? With the number of Jedi being trained and indoctrinated and struggling to resist the Dark Side over a thousand years? Maybe that's why the Jedi like 'em young, because it's easier to brainwash a child with the mind-numbingly restrictive way of life a Jedi has to follow. Even monks who live in a monastery on a lonely mountain in Tibet and have taken a vow of silence, poverty, and chastity think the Jedi are too uptight.

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