3/31/2010

Looking more and more like the home run chase of 1998, another comic has set a comic book auction sales record. A copy of Action Comics number one, featuring the debut of Superman has sold at auction, setting a new record of $1.5 million, surpassing the previous record of $1 million and exceeding the $1.075 million paid for Detective Comics number 27, which marked the first appearance of Batman.

The issue originally sold for ten cents and there are less than 100 copies of the comic still in existence in varying stages of decay. This particular copy was in even better condition than the last record-holder. Eventually someone's going to just bundle a set of Action Comics number one, Detective Comics number 27, Captain America Comics number one, Marvel Comics number one, Amazing Fantasy number 15, Batman number one and demand...(cue Dr. Evil music)...100 billion dollars!

Happy trails comic book price auction record. Thanks for the shock and awe. We'll see you again next week.

ODDSMAKERS: What are the odds that a copy of Detective Comics number 27 will sell for $1.6 million?

UPDATE: Added links

3/30/2010

With DC announcing plans to release movies with almost all of the "Justice League of America" regulars - Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and Flash - a JLA movie may not be far behind. But, following Marvel's universe building will be a hard road to till.

Christopher Nolan has said he doesn't want cameos in his Batman or Superman movies, but, DC can force the issue or replace him. A new Superman script is in the works, pending a lawsuit by the Kirby estate, but if they just settle out of court they can move forward. We know Green Lantern will not have a Superman cameo, probably for legal reasons. The GL scriptwriter, Michael Green, wrote, "Any references you want to make to expand the DC world, we would enjoy." So, that could mean tie-ins galore. A Flash movie script is in development and could add cameos and world-building.

Warner Bros has been working on a live-action Wonder Woman movie for years since it would appeal to the female comic book fans. If they just add a scene with Superman flying overhead, or a copy of the Gotham Gazette they'd have the makings of a cross-over.

Marvel is riding high on the publicity of their upcoming Avengers movie, so DC cannot allow this golden opportunity to pass them by. If they do, they have no one but themselves to blame when Marvel crushes them at the box office.

TOSSUP: Which JLA member will make it to the screen first: Wonder Woman or The Flash?

Would you like to see a Justice League movie? Let us know in the comments below.

[Image from Alex Ross' Absolute Justice]

UPDATE: Minor spelling and grammar changes. Added links to Avengers.

3/29/2010

A while back, I wrote about the implausibility of Wolverine's claws, specifically their length. There's an excellent article at Comic Vine that tries to explain how exactly the claws work. The funny thing about it (to me) is how many other problems they had to solve while coming up with a solution. A partial list:
  1. Every time Wolverine retracts his claws, any blood, dirt, or other materials still stuck on them would be drawn into his arms, potentially causing infections and sepsis.
  2. Wolverine's claws are made of metal, which means they're heavier than his arms. That means that when retracted, his claws would keep sliding around inside his arms, slicing his forearms up from the inside.
  3. If Wolverine's claws came out while pressed up against something solid like concrete or titanium, they would get pushed back into his arms. I know what you're thinking; "No way, he'd just punch right through that!" Yes, he could...if the muscles that pushed his claws out were super-strong, but they're not. Wolverine only has normal strength, and the muscles on his claws are only as strong as he is.
  4. If Wolverine's claws popped out from between his fingers, like they did in the movie, he wouldn't be able to use his fingers. And the claws would slice off his fingers.
  5. On the same note, Wolverine's claws can't be extended unless his wrists were perfectly straight. If he did, the claws would come out of his wrists instead of the backs of his hands.
  6. Wolverine's claws and skeleton may be indestructible, but the muscles that control and hold them are not. That means there's one way to incapacitate and disarm Wolverine easily - rip his claws out of his arms.
The biggest problem with the Comic Vine explanation is that it's clear there's no way his claws could develop and evolve on their own. There would need to be clear design involved in his claws to solve these problems. That's why the idea that Wolverine was born with his bone claws makes even less sense.

Do you think Wolverine's claws make sense? Or is it okay because they're cool?

3/28/2010

The anti-Academy Awards, the Razzies, awarded the movie Battlefield Earth "Worst Picture of the Decade." Having seen it, I can't disagree too much. Interestingly, the original screenwriter J.D. Shapiro wrote an open letter in the New York Post apologizing and trying to explain the debacle of Battlefield Earth.

To summarize the letter, Shapiro says he got involved when he went to a Scientology center to try to meet women. While he was there, the Scientologists found out he was a screenwriter and asked him to write a pitch for a movie based on their founder's epic novel, Battlefield Earth. He did, and a studio exec liked it. Shapiro wrote a first draft of the screenplay that (according to him) was dark and complex. John Travolta himself called it the "Schindler's List of sci-fi." Shapiro claims the project went downhill when Travolta attached himself to the project and began recommending changes. Shapiro started getting studio notes that took out key scenes, added comedy, and ultimately made no sense. Shapiro says he was fired when he protested. He would have had his name removed from the movie altogether, but he made too much money (literally). And he never did get any women from it.

Of course, we only have his word for all this. Knowing writers' capacity for self-delusion, and the fact that Shapiro's other writing credits include Robin Hood: Men in Tights, I'm skeptical that his original draft was that great. I mean, it was based on Battlefield Earth, a crappy novel to begin with. If anyone knows where to find that original draft, I'd like to see it. Interestingly, there's a review of what claims to be the real first draft of the Battlefield Earth screenplay, written by first-time author Corey Mandell. From the review, it sounds pretty much verbatim of what the final script turned out to be. I wonder where the chronology works out; did Shapiro write a first draft that was thrown out and replaced with Corey Mandell's? Or did Mandell just polish up Shapiro's? Or is Mandell Shapiro's pseudonym?

What's your take on the screenplay and the apology? Let us know in the comments.

3/27/2010

August 16, 1930 - March 24, 2010
Robert Martin Culp, 79, a prolific American actor, Emmy-award winning writer and director passed away this week. His death has an eerie connection to an anniversary.

The quintessential tough-guy, Culp's big break came in 1965 when he, along with Bill Cosby, starred in the secret agent show I, Spy. The show broke the color barrier on television and made them household names. Not only did he star in the show, but he wrote the pilot and directed several episodes. Mr. Culp also appeared in several episodes of The Outer Limits, the video game Half-Life 2 and was almost the lead in the series Space: 1999.

I remember him co-starring in the The Greatest American Hero as FBI Agent Bill Maxwell. The show's premise was that a high-school teacher gets an alien suit that gives him superpowers. Maxwell's job was to keep the guy from killing himself or hanging up the cape for good. The eerie connection? His death comes less than one week after the anniversary of the first airing of the show on March 18, 1981.

The guy was a class act, and had a great sense of humor. In 2007, he reprized his role of Bill Maxwell for a skit on the stop-motion animation show Robot Chicken. He also appeared as a regular on the comedy series Everybody Loves Raymond.

Happy Trails Mr. Robert Culp. Thanks for the memories.


You can share your thoughts on Robert Culp in the comments.
[Image from AP]
UPDATED: Corrected spelling and grammar 

3/26/2010

USBGeek has many really cool items, but they also have some dumb ones that could land you in jail.

First, the "Bluetooth Retro Handset" which looks like an old telephone handset without the cord. When I was young, I lugged a car phone around and this seems like a great way to recreate the experience. What is the point of having a bluetooth headset if you have to hold it in your hands? I'm pretty sure these would get you locked up in California.


Second, we have the "Handgun USB Drive" which looks exactly like a 3-inch handgun. I had a switchblade comb that almost got me incarcerated in Washington DC. I'd recommend showing this to airport security while singing "bomb ba-ba-bomb bomb."

Which is the dumber idea?

3/24/2010

I promised myself I'd stop tinkering with the blog this month, but I couldn't resist letting you all know that we're adding a more robust commenting feature using Disqus. You'll still be able to comment as a guest or use or several other popular login options. But, a Disqus account gives you the ability to do more. Here are five good reasons:
  1. Simplicity - Disqus lets you collect all the comments you have scattered over the blogosphere and keep an eye on responses and reactions to them.
  2. Rating - You can rate comments and start earning points for well done comments from others in the community. 
  3. Identity - There are lots of commenting systems out there and some are specific to the website, but with Discus you can have the same login and avatar anywhere that supports Disqus. This lets you build an online identity as the coolest commenter out there.
  4. Gravatars - Disqus supports Gravatars (Globally Recognized Avatars) which means you only have to change your avatar once if you find a cooler, better one.
  5. Popularity - Discus is a widely respected and utilized commenting system and is featured on major blogs like Mashable. It wouldn't do any good to join Disqus if it's only used on this blog and "Jerry's House of Candles." You can join with confidence.
The main reason for the change is that Blogger's commenting system is one step above a string and two tin cans.
Why not get started by letting us know what you think of the new commenting system?

Fans everywhere were relieved to hear that Chris Evans has agreed to ruin not only The First Avenger: Captain America, but the entire Marvel franchise as well. The Internet was abuzz over fears that the comic company would give the role of Steve Rogers to an actor that would take the role seriously. Marvel was looking at a short list of actors to lead not only Cap film, but the entire Avengers franchise as well. Director Joe Johnston searched long and hard for an actor that would convincingly highlight the humor and slapstick comedy that is the hallmark of the "Star Spangled Avenger." Thankfully, Evans is well known for drama-killing roles in Cellular, The Nanny Diaries and Sex Academy. Chris showed real leadership qualities as wisecracking Johnny Storm in the Oscar-nominated Fantastic Four movies. Recently, comic book lovers everywhere were shocked by the news that actor John Krasinski, who won a dramatic award for the critically acclaimed Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, might be cast and bring credibility to the character. It's expected that in the next few days they'll be announcing that Nazi war villain "Red Skull" will be played by Carrot Top.

Let us know in the comments what can we expect from Captain America played by Chris Evans.
UPDATE: Changed picture

3/22/2010

Author Dean Koontz is a prolific and highly successful suspense novelist, but has fared less well in movie adaptations. When he originally wrote the treatment with Kevin J. Anderson for a sequel to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, it was as a mini-series for the USA Network. Unfortunately, Koontz left the project due to creative differences, and the film was produced without his name. Koontz ultimately went on to write a trilogy of novels based on his ideas. Now Koontz is getting a rare second chance. The film rights for Dean Koontz's Frankenstein: Prodigal Son have been sold to 1019 Entertainment with the intention of producing an original feature film. Koontz is confident of the project; here's hoping they do him justice.

Do you think this project will work out? Let us know in the comments.

3/19/2010

"Please help me move out of Aunt May's house..."
 [Pic of the week from SciFiWire]
Members of the International Church of Jediism keep getting in trouble for not removing their cloaks. Last week Chris Jarvis, 31, was kicked out of a job center for refusing to remove his hoodie. The handbook of the UK Jedi Church states: "Jedis must wear a hood up in any public place of a large audience." Chris whined, "Muslims can walk around in whatever religious gear they like, so why can't I?"

First, I'd have more respect if he had the guts to wear an actual Jedi cloak and not just a jacket. Second, Muslims get in trouble for wearing religious gear all the time. Third, where is this rule coming from? Did Qui-Gon refuse to remove his cloak for the Gungan king Boss Nass? Did Obi-Wan Kenobi refuse to take off his hood when he met Luke Skywalker? It doesn't make sense.

Oddly enough, this makes me have more respect for the fan that got kicked off a jury for wearing a Star Trek uniform. May the force be with the news this week...
  1. Marvel's all excited because, Spider-Man is now a member of the gainfully unemployed. "He's fired very publicly at a big press conference," said Spider-Man group editor Stephen Wacker. "Jonah embarrasses him and news agencies won't touch him. He can't sell his photos anywhere. He's left without any prospects in the worst economy in three generations." There are many reasons he could have been fired. Doing the same thing that Eddie Brock did in Spider-Man 3 is insulting. [Splashpage]
    TOSSUP: Which is a worse name to go through fourth grade with: Stephen Wacker or Dick Butkis?
  2. Recently, Alice in Wonderland producer Richard D. Zanuck said, "[Star Wars creator George Lucas has] really been an innovator like nobody else. He’s the Thomas Edison of our time." Which makes sense, because I hear they're releasing a version of Edison's 1910 Frankenstein DVD with digitally inserted clips of the monster shooting Han Solo first. [LA Times / io9.com]
  3. TOSSUP: If you found $200 thousand dollars on the ground: Would you rather buy a Avatar "Na´vi Curved Dagger replica" or Morpheus' Matrix Katana?
  4. Studios are giving veiled threats to force competitor's movies out of the few 3-D capable screens. Paramount Pictures is telling theaters if they choose not to show it in 3-D, they won't get a 2-D copy. This means they couldn't show the film at all. I predict that this time next year studio executives will go into the octagon to fight it out for 3-D-capable theater owners. I've already got my ticket. [CompanyTown]

What do you think of this week's news? Let us know in the comments!

3/18/2010

The Battlestar Galactica / Beastie Boys "Sabotage" mash-up video has exploded on the Internet since being uploaded, but only a privileged few have gotten to know the creator Katie King, otherwise known by her YouTube name as katamaran78.

How did she find the clips she used? Did it really take her ten days to make the whole thing? Why would Admiral Adama pimp-slap Captain Kirk?

Find out in our exclusive interview with Katie King:
Welcome Katie. What was the motivation behind the Battlestar Galactica "Sabotage" mash-up video?
I'm known amongst my friends in the BSG fandom for having really crazy, funny ideas. I have done a couple of videos before, both the typical "scenes set to music" type of vids. When I got the idea for the "Sabotage" video, it just struck me as being something that would be funny to make, as well as an interesting editing exercise. I guess you could say I did it for the lulz, really.

How did you get the idea to re-cut these two very dissimilar products?
'Sabotage' has been one of my favorite videos since it came out in '94. I was in high school at the time, so it was an iconic part of my teenage years. I'm always listening to music with an ear for making a video, but when I randomly heard 'Sabotage' on the radio a couple weeks ago, it just hit me that it would be interesting to re-edit. I remembered a few of the shots from the video and started wondering if I could re-cut it with BSG footage. The first thing that came to mind was Admiral Adama's mustache and that was the first thing I went looking for.

It's extremely impressive that it only took you an amazing five days to edit the video together. There are clips from so many clips from different episodes of BSG. Did you already know what clips you were going to use, or did you have to watch every episode to find them?
Going into making the video, I knew that I wanted 'Viper' and 'Raider' shots for the car chase scenes and humans fighting and running for their counterparts. There are only a few episodes that feature a large amount of each, so I went looking for those scenes first. I have a pretty photographic (and some would say scary) memory about the show, so most of the time, I knew exactly where to look. For many of the scenes that matched almost perfectly, such as Apollo pointing at his head and Tigh listening to the music 'in the frakking ship,' I knew chapter and verse where to go. A lot of times, I ripped one large action scene to get a single two second bit from it and discovered five more pieces I could use. Most of the shots came from just a few episodes and a lot of it was luck on my own part. I definitely didn't have to watch the whole series again, though I'm planning to over the summer.

Who was the first person you showed the finished product to?
My husband was beside me on his own computer during most of the editing process, so every time I finished a ten second section, I gleefully forced him to remove his headphones and watch. He swore he would get sick of the song, but I think he still likes it even after hearing it a couple dozen times. I teased my fandom friends that I had something funny coming soon and even told a few of them what I was up to, but until I posted the video on Youtube and linked it on Livejournal's Battlestar Blog, no one else had seen it.

Everyone obviously enjoys your work and it's been featured on blogs from Wired to io9. Were you surprised and excited by the response after you  uploaded it last week?
I've been in a state of shock since Tuesday, I think. I remember talking to my husband after I finished it and saying 'wouldn't it be funny if it went viral?' Viral at that point meant maybe 50,000 views in a year. Not 200,000 in ten days (plus 75,000 on the side-by-side). That completely floored me. When it started trending on Twitter and my friends sent me emails saying (in jest) 'I hate you...you're on Entertainment Weekly's site now,' it became the most surreal experience of my life. The highlights have been mentions from Craig Engler, SyFy's Senior VP of Digital, and from Bear McCreary, the composer of the show's music, who I am a huge fan of. I had a nice little back-and-forth over Twitter with Maureen Ryan, the television columnist for the Chicago Tribune, which was really fun, as she always has been one of the biggest BSG fans in the media.

You obviously have a lot of skill at sound and video editing. What kind of equipment and software did you use?
I put it all together in Adobe Premiere and did a little bit of post-production in Adobe After Effects. I use a pretty souped-up (when I bought it) HP PC that I pray will make it through every render. I've had several people ask me for an HD version of the vid, but alas, I made it in standard def.

I imported the original Sabotage vid and marked every scene change in Premiere, which helped immensely when I was editing and made the process much faster. I've seen a few people call me out for saying it only took about 10 hours, but it's true. I just work super fast.

Are you planning to make any more video mash-ups?
More vids, yes. Re-creations like this, probably not. I have a really cool idea for my next video that will take it beyond the stereotypical fanvid. I have the music picked out, as well as the story I want to tell. The test shots have been working nicely. If I can pull it off, and do it well, it will not only be an interesting tribute to the show, but also a portfolio piece for me professionally. It will take a lot of time and work, so don't hold your breath waiting for it.

Music usage is the most difficult thing about a fanvid. So many comments I've gotten have been along the lines of 'I love this song/show and will go out and buy it now.' I wish record companies could see that and realize that fans and word of mouth are the best exposure that money can't buy. I have one idea that will never come to fruition simply because of the song and band I want to use is extremely protective of their work and would rip it down before ten people saw the vid.

You describe yourself as a “media-obsessed chick who digs all things sci-fi.” So, where do you see the sci-fi genre going in five years?
 I hate to say it, but I see a lot of dumbing-down and blurring the lines between sci-fi and what people perceive as sci-fi/reality shows, especially on television. Sci-fi as a genre has tended to pander to the most common masses recently for the sake of ratings and box office receipts, while really good quality sci-fi is getting lost in the shuffle. One of my favorite movies is Children of Men, which was science fiction that made you think about the human condition, as well as being a very well-done movie...yet it was a relative failure at the box office. Movies like 2012, where the word FICTION should be lit up in neon, are the ones that people flock to in droves. While I don't blame studios and networks for wanting to make as much money as possible, the quality of storytelling is going to decline for the sake of bigger explosions and better popcorn sales. We've moved away from the campiness of the 70s and 80s, to the humanity-exploring late 90s and early 00s, but the campiness is making a comeback. Shows like The X-Files, Babylon 5 and Battlestar Galactica are few and far between.

You're obviously a big fan of Battlestar Galactica based on your  "million frakkin' ants" video and other clips you've uploaded. What drew you to the show?
I actually avoided it for the first two years, as I remembered the original show and how campy it was. My coworkers actually watched the new BSG and talked about it every Monday, which got me a little interested, but not enough to watch. One night, Sci-Fi Channel (as it was at the time), ran a marathon of episodes and I caught one around 3am. The very first scene I ever saw was in 'Resurrection Ship II', when President Roslin promoted Adama to Admiral. I'd actually been a fan of Mary McDonnell for years, so I was surprised to see her in the show at all. Then, I remembered the watercooler talk around the office about her character, and went out the next morning to buy seasons one and two on DVD to prepare myself for season three, which was just around the corner. I was able to tell Mary McDonnell that story at a convention in Spain last month and she loved that the scene was my first time seeing the show, as that particular one was her favorite in the whole series. What has kept me in the fandom is not only the show, but the amazing people from all around the world who I've met and become friends with all because we like the same television series.

The spin-off Caprica is getting extremely mixed reviews, are you a fan of it and would you like to see more BSG spin-offs?
I've watched the whole series from the beginning and have slowly been coming around to it. The show is building nicely and I enjoy the world-building and history behind it. It will be interesting to see where it goes. It's certainly not BSG though. Far from it. But I like it.

As far as spin-offs go, there's an interesting rumor going around from SyFy and Ron Moore himself about something in the works, though not necessarily a series. I would absolutely love to see the missing year on New Caprica, as would a lot of fans. The lives of the Final Five before they came to the Colonies would be a strong story. The mythology geek in me would like to see something about the Lords of Kobol and the exodus of the Twelve Tribes. The first Cylon War would make for excellent series fodder.

Who do you think would win in a space battle? Captain Adama or Captain Kirk?
First, I assume you mean Admiral Adama ;) (EDITORS NOTE: Good catch Katie)

This was addressed in an article on DVICE a while ago in which the author declared Galactica the winner by a hair. Then 10,000 Trekkies descended and frothed at the mouth that the Enterprise would win based on its theoretical weaponry. Personally, I say Galactica is a tougher old gal than people give her credit for.

I'll just say that Adama dropped Galactica through a planetary atmosphere, and it frakking made it back to tell the story. I doubt the Enterprise could do the same.

The Enterprise was made to seek out new life and explore strange new worlds. The Galactica was made to kill you. And it will.

In a fistfight? Adama once killed a Cylon with his bare hands and a flashlight. Kirk would probably try to seduce it (if it were female). However, Kirk isn't above cheating.

If it were Adama vs. Picard, they would probably just swap books. I guess I'm a little biased.

Anything you'd like to share with the fans of your work both present and future?
Well, I know I'm at 14:59 of this 15 minutes. And when I post my next video, I'll be flooded with people saying "it's not as good as the last one!" I'm not trying to make something better, I'm trying to make something different. Nothing will replicate the unexpected success of the 'Sabotage' vid, so I'm not going to even try. I'll just enjoy the process and sharing the final product. If people like it, great. I hope they do.

Thanks for the interview Katie. What did you guys think of the interview? Why not jot a note in the comments?
[Image from geekadelphia.com]

3/17/2010

There's a very impressive remake of the American rap rock group Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" video recut with clips from the science fiction television series Battlestar Galactica.

The vid exploded on Youtube nine days ago and it's already up to 197,900 views. When I first saw the Battlestar Galactica "Sabotage" video I wasn't too impressed since people set music to video all over Youtube. That is until I found out that is an almost shot-for-shot remake of the 1994 video by katamaran78. I've added some screencaps of the more impressive shots and the video after the jump.





The amount of time and care involved is mind-boggling and it's a great addition for any Battlestar Galactica fan.

Watch the video below and then compare it with the original here.


How do you feel about the video? Let us know in the space below.
On March 18, 1910, the first film adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was released by Thomas Edison Studios. A silent film considered too scary in its day, the twelve-minute film was thought to be lost until a print was discovered in the seventies. Now it's available online through the wonders of YouTube. The only thing that would make this film better is if it had used some funky steampunk technology. Click here to check it out.

What do you think of Frankenstein (1910)? Leave a comment

3/15/2010

Doctor Who, the British time-traveller, is returning to television on Saturday Apr. 17, and here's a run down of what we know so far.

Matt Smith, at 27, plays the eleventh regeneration of the Doctor, wearing suspenders (braces), a bow tie, tweed jacket and emo haircut covering his gargantuan forehead. He describes his take as "a little reckless. He'll walk into a room and have a million things to do. And, as opposed to knowing exactly how to get out, he'll take it up to the precipice: don't know, don't know, don't know, and boom, there's the idea. And it's a bit mad and reckless." Although he admits the angst of the character is unavoidable, he wants to have fun with it.

Karen Gillan plays Amy Pond, the Doctor's new companion and describes herself as "Amy's a sassy lady, funny and passionate, and her relationship with the doctor has a really interesting dynamic... She has a love for him, a really deep love for him. But not romantic." She also likes wearing short skirts.

The TARDIS, the Doctor's time-traveling whip, will be getting a make-over after crashing during his regeneration. The control room will be three times the size of its predecessor, with a spiraling staircase and various anachronistic items scattered around the room like television sets, record players and a swing. I've seen some mock-ups and, while it is a huge difference, it makes me wonder if it's just for show or they're planning to do more bottle shows on the ship.

The feel of the show is said to be leaning more towards a fairy-tale style "like Twilight." As scary as this sounds, it kind of makes sense since Moffit's style has always had an unsettling sense of unreality. If they don't over do it, this should be fine.

So, does the new Doctor Who sound like Nirvana or a nightmare? Let us know in the comments!
Updated: Corrected spelling and grammar

3/14/2010

While the LA Times interview with Christopher Nolan about his Superman script doesn't have much in the way of his Superman script, it does have tantalizing information on the third Batman film. In it, Nolan confirms that he's not going to cop out. The third movie will tackle the fact that Batman ended up a wanted fugitive in The Dark Knight. He's also approaching the third Batman as an ending to the story, not just an attempt to keep the franchise going. I think that's a good approach, and it's an exciting idea that we'll have a Christopher Nolan trilogy of Batman movies. It also seems to indicate that Nolan will not be directing a fourth Batman movie. If so, he will have left some big shoes to fill.

Are you excited about the third Batman movie? Leave a comment.

3/13/2010

So it's been confirmed that Christopher Nolan is writing a script for a new Superman movie. However, he's not slated to direct. Personally, I'm good with that. While I thought Nolan was a fantastic director in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, his real strength was the way he constructed a compelling, powerful, and faithful story. Hopefully, he can do the same thing with Superman that he did with Batman. The funny thing is to read his interview with the LA Times about the Superman script he's writing, and see how they managed to fill page after page with almost nothing to report. Nolan firmly resists almost all the reporter's efforts at teasing info. About the only tidbits we get are that he will approach Superman the same way he did Batman, make Superman the only superhero in his world (in other words, no Justice League), and that he wants to cast famous actors in cameos. That's it. But I'm still excited. I personally hope he makes Brainiac the villain, because Lex Luthor's been done to death.

What do you think of Christopher Nolan writing Superman? Chime in the comments.

3/12/2010

    Who Says Star Wars Costumes Have to Be Expensive?
    [Pic of the Week from LA Times]

    Daylight Savings Time (DST) starts March 14th, and while Arizona kicked DST to the curb years ago, I know many people struggle under the old "Spring forward, fall back" rule. It started me thinking about space travel and DST. Can you imagine what would happen if astronauts had to adjust their clocks to keep up with Earth time? With their day length of 24 hr 39 min, Mars-dwellers wouldn't have two much trouble, but what about Moon astronauts adjusting for a day 29 days long? Turns out they don't even bother with all that nonsense and just use Coordinated Universal Time, which is less subjective. So, score one more point for Arizona! It's like we're living in space.

    This week's news covers Mad Magazine, 80s Video Game movies, the Phantom and Internet Explorer dying...finally. On with the news...
    1. Sergio Aragones, the artist of the gut-busting Groo the Wanderer, has done it again. MAD Magazine has a series of strips parodying Avatar in their next issue and I may just buy my first copy in ten years. Check out a sneak peek at \Film. It's amazing how specific the jokes are.
    2. TOSSUP: There has been only one good video game-to-movie translation, Tomb Raider, and yet a movie based on Space Invaders and another on Missile Command is coming soon: Which 80s game would you rather see made into a live action film: Q-Bert or Donkey Kong? [SciFiSquad]
    3. Looks like we'll finally get to see the abominable mini-series on the classic superhero Phantom after all. SyFy just announced that they'll be airing it in June. This is a full six months after it aired in Canada and one viewer described it this way:

      "I am Canadian and I don't consider myself lucky at all for seeing that. I had to play the d*** thing mostly on fast forward, too many flaws to even count them. Acting was really poor, storyline, well, you don't care too much...action sequence very poorly executed and the costume, yeurk... "
      I can't wait. [ComicBookMovie]
    4. Happy Trails: Because GoogleYouTube and pretty much the entire Internet is dropping support for Internet Explorer 6, a mock funeral was held for the ten-year-old browser. For it's time, it was highly advanced and reached a peak market share of 95%. Considering there are elephantine zero-day exploits for IE8, however, it's hard to imagine people still use it, but 15 to 25 percent of surfers still do. These people probably also wear "Members Only" jackets and use Windows 2000. [Nerdlogue]
    What do you think of this week's news? Don't just lurk there, let us know your awesome opinions in the comments!

    I stumbled across this fan-created poster for a potential Superman/Batman movie, and it is just too cool to ignore. I found it at Sardonic Sister, but I don't think that's the original source. If anyone knows who created it, let me know, so we can give credit.

    Like the poster? Hate it? Found one better? Sound off in the comments.

    3/11/2010

    In our tradition of recognizing the death of C-level actors just who because had brief roles in a science-fiction-type film decades ago a small but significant role in science-fiction entertainment, today we honor the death of Corey Haim. Because He was in the vampire flick, The Lost Boys, Watchers, and the Stephen King TV movie Silver Bullet. Happy Trails.

    UPDATE: The original version of the post was sarcastic and disrespectful to Corey Haim's memory. My sincere apology to all parties involved.

    There's an excellent obit in the LA Times called "License to Cry" about how Corey Haim's death wasn't just the almost stereotypical death of another failed child actor. Corey Haim was in a different category.

    What do you think of the death of Corey Haim? Tap the comments.

    3/10/2010

    To call the new trailer for Tron: Legacy good is like saying Adam Richman kind of likes food. It's amazing.
    Here's the Official Plot Synopsis:
    TRON: LEGACY is a 3D high-tech adventure set in a digital world that’s unlike anything ever captured on the big screen. Sam Flynn (GARRETT HEDLUND), the tech-savvy 27-year-old son of Kevin Flynn (JEFF BRIDGES), looks into his father’s disappearance and finds himself pulled into the digital world of Tron where his father has been living for 25 years. Along with Kevin’s loyal confidant Qora (OLIVIA WILDE), father and son embark on a life-and-death journey of escape across a visually-stunning cyber universe that has become far more advanced and exceedingly dangerous.
    What I love is how they've updated all the little things in the original movie to new heights. The costumes glow, but not in the way the original did. The disks look like they have a life of their own, and the light cycles look like they go 500 miles a hour. Wow. Check out the trailer after the jump and follow the links to the high resolution screencaps on SlashFilm.
    Are you more or less excited about Tron: Legacy now? Let us know in the comments!
    We'd like to welcome two new additions to the Blog Roll:

    Nerdlogue
    http://www.nerdlogue.blogspot.com/
    Description: "A blog and podcast dedicated to discussing, reviewing, and giving a nerd take on all things nerdy. Opinions, reviews, news coverage, and everything related to technology, movies, etc..."
    Why: You know a blog is good when you find yourself wishing you'd written a post. He's a geek. We're nerds. Can't we all just get along?
    Favorite Post: Internet Explorer 6: You Won't Be Missed

    Truth On Cinema
    http://truthoncinema.com/
    Description: "Truth On Cinema is a place to find honest and insightful opinions on movies and cinema. I'm not a journalist, nor a professional movie reviewer, I'm just a regular guy who is obsessed with movies and loves to share my opinions."
    Why: We try and report on movie news, but this guy goes in the trenches to cover festivals and go the extra mile. He's the Indiana Jones of entertainment bloggers.
    Favorite post: Wait, What? The Hurt Locker vs. Moon... The Rest of the Story

    [Image source: thinkgeek.com]

    3/09/2010

    On this day, in 1967, the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Devil in the Dark" aired the third appearance of the now famous "Vulcan Mind Meld" as Mr. Spock uses his empathic technique to access the mind of the alien rock monster Horta. William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk, described this as "exciting, thought-provoking and intelligent, it contained all of the ingredients that made up our very best Star Treks." The mind meld was originally created for the episode "Dagger of the Mind" as an alternative to hypnosis because, in part, they were afraid they'd accidentally hypnotize viewers at home.

    Bonus Link: Watch The Devil in the Dark episode at cbs.com

    What are your favorite Vulcan mind melds? Let us know in the comments!
    [Image source:memory-alpha.org]
    Well, Avatar didn't win Best Picture at the Oscars. Frankly, I'm relieved. Not just that James Cameron is an egomaniac who doesn't need any more stroking of his ego. And not just that Avatar even being nominated as Best Picture seemed to me more a publicity stunt than serious recognition. No, I'm relieved, because if you consider the truly great science-fiction films that didn't win an Oscar, you'll see that Avatar would have gotten something that far better films should have received. Here's a list of the 10 greatest sci-fi films that didn't win an Academy Award.

    2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
    Blade Runner (1982)
    Planet of the Apes (1968)
    Forbidden Planet (1956)
    Metropolis (1927)
    Star Wars (1977)
    Alien (1979)
    The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
    War of the Worlds (1953)
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

    UPDATE: This list has been greatly expanded and updated. Go to the new version for more detail.

    3/05/2010

    Batman becomes a victim of the recession...
    [Pic of the week by moviemoron.com]
    This week's news covers expensive comic books, Star Wars mascots and proves that James Cameron is an imbecile while Michael Bay is a wonderful human bean.
    1. I'd love to see the face of the guy who was famous for paying $1 million to buy Action Comics #1 (which marked the first appearance of Superman), only to have his fame snatched away three days later when someone else bought the first Batman comic for $1.08 million. Kind of like the guy who bought the Mark McGuire baseball only to find out it wasn't a record breaking ball after all. He'll say it was about his love for the comic, but at night he'll sit in the corner weeping like a little girl. Collectors are losers. [CBR]
      TOSS-UP: Which would you pay more for: Richie Rich #1 or Marvel's Civil War #1?

    2. The University of Mississippi wants to replace their old school mascot with Star Wars' Admiral Ackbar. Lucasfilm is laughing about it now, saying "Lucasfilm is flattered that our Star Wars fans" but they'll descend on them like the Death Star if they try it. "It's a trap!"[starwarsblog]

    3. Michael Bay, the director of the first two Transformers movies, said that the times have been rough and that he wants to help the economy by making Transformers 3. Bay said, "When you say yes to [a] movie like this you automatically give 3000 people jobs. 1000 for the toys. 2000 for the filmmaking." That's just the kind of guy Michael is. He makes movies for the warm, fuzzy feeling in our hearts. Next, he'll be making a sequel  to The Island to help the earthquake victims in Haiti. [io9]
      OVER\UNDER
      : Transformers budget was $150 million, the second was $200 million, the third will be $1 billion.
    4. James Cameron's ego is well-known, but reports are that the Academy Awards committee is so scared he'll walk out of the Oscars that they've put the kibosh on a planned skit by Sacha Baron Cohen and Ben Stiller mocking Avatar.  Here's the description:

      "Our insider informs us that Baron Cohen planned to appear onstage as a blue-skinned, female Na’vi, with Stiller translating 'her' interplanetary speech. As the skit went on, though, it would become clear that Stiller wasn’t translating properly, because Cohen would grow ever more upset. At its climax, an infuriated Baron Cohen would pull open 'her' evening gown to reveal that s/he was pregnant, knocked up with Cameron’s love child, and would go on to confront her baby daddy as if s/he were on Jerry Springer."
      He insists that "if they want to poke fun at Avatar Sunday, that's OK." [Scifisquad / Scifiwire]
      ODDSMAKERS: What are the odds that they'll do the Avatar skit? If so, what are the odds Iron Jim walks out?
    Happy Anniversary:
    • This week, on March 3rd 1933, the movie King Kong opened in Radio City Music Hall. The film was ground-breaking in terms of stop-motion animation and special effects, making the gigantic monkey one of the world's most famous movie icons. Over 50 years later, the movie is remade using today's cutting-edge special effects to become one of the biggest blockbusters of all time.
    What do you think of this week's news? Sound off in the comments!
    Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010) comes out today, and when a movie adaptation comes out I try to read the original story so I can sniff self-righteously "the book was better." I thought about reading the original novels and realized that I have no interest in them. Now, I admit I'm just a typical "ugly American," but I don't think I'm alone.

    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll are available to download for free from Project Gutenberg, but I doubt anyone is going to bother. Here are three reasons why:

    3/03/2010

    "The world's greatest detective has finally met his match" by being cast in the moronic, but fun, straight-to-DVD Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.

    When I saw the trailer for "The Asylum" knock-off, or "mockbuster," of the block-buster movie Sherlock Holmes I couldn't wait for another horrible film. Instead, I actually found myself enjoying it.
    Here are the five most popular posts from last month here on Geek Twins in case you want to catch up.
    1. Top 21 Lists of Sexy Babes in Science-Fiction
      Not surprisingly, people like to see lists of sexy babes.
    2. James Cameron Calls Out the Raincoat Brigade for Avatar
      Oddly enough, most people find this post by looking for Neytiri's powder-blue nipples. Sorry guys. You'll have to wait for the unrated DVD for that.
    3. Top 10 Human Cloning Mistakes in Movies and Television
      This is an essay on the common goofs people make when portraying cloning.
    4. What the Green Lantern Movie Costume Might Look Like
      We can only hope the real costume is half as cool as this fan pic.
    5. No Flight, No Tights, No Point?
      A rant on the pointlessness of Smallville's "No Flights. No Tights" policy. Apparently, this touched a nerve in many.

    3/01/2010

    When I was younger, I had a crush on Princess Leia. That crush was solidified by her infamous slave girl outfit in Return of the Jedi. But back then, there was no Internet and I had no friends who were into Star Wars as much as I was. So it was years later before I discovered how many people shared my Leia fantasies. The surprise I felt was nothing compared to when I stumbled across the fascination with Aayla Secura.

    Who's Aayla Secura? That's what I was wondering when I came across her name. Turns out, she's the Twi'lek (a.k.a. blue lady with the head tentacles) seen briefly in the new Star Wars trilogy in the Battle of Geonosis in Attack of the Clones and when she's killed in Order 66 in Revenge of the Sith. Yet she captured the hearts (and other areas) of male geeks everywhere. Before the movies, Aayla made her first appearance in Dark Horse Comics' Star Wars: Republic series. George Lucas liked her so much that he put her in the movie. After her breakout role standing around and getting shot, Aayla had an actual speaking role on the Star Wars: Clone Wars TV show, where they gave her a French accent. As if she wasn't sexy enough already.

    I agree, she was pretty hot. Yet the amount of enthusiasm heaped upon Aayla Secura puts her on a whole other level. She was ranked number nine in the Hottest Sci-Fi Girls article at UGO.com. Considering her popularity in proportion to her screen time, one could say she's more popular than Slave Leia, if that's possible.

    BONUS LINK: Check out this slightly NSFW pin-up from 1nch at deviantart.com, one that combines the old crush with the new crush, to which all male geeks say "thank you."

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

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