Monthly Archives: March 2013

Independence Day Sequels

This information is from Nuke  the Fridge.com…

Director Roland Emmerich is gearing up for two more rounds with the aliens that wreaked havoc on Earth in 1996′s “Independence Day.”  After his action film “White House Down” is released on June 28th, Emmerich will focus his attention on making “ID Forever Part 1,” and “ID Forever Part 2.”

The films will take place 20 years after the events in “Independence Day.” Apparently, the original alien invasion force was able to send a distress signal to reinforcements before they were defeated by Earth’s military.  Here is what Emmerich had to say about the sequels.

”The humans knew that one day the aliens would come back,” explains the director, who completed two scripts with ”Independence Day” co-writer Dean Devlin and has given them to ”White House Down“ writer-producer James Vanderbilt for a rewrite. ”And they know that the only way you can really travel in space is through wormholes. So for the aliens, it could take two or three weeks, but for us that’s 20 or 25 years.”

Emmerich has been working with art department staff to see how the world will look in the aftermath of “Independence Day.”  This is what he explained.

“It’s a changed world. It’s like parallel history. [Humans] have harnessed all this alien technology. We don’t know how to duplicate it because it’s organically-grown technology, but we know how to take an antigravity device and put it in a human airplane.”

As far as the characters are concerned, actor Bill Pullman, who played President Thomas J. Whitmore, will return; Will Smith (Captain Steven Hiller) has not.  The scripts will focus on a new generation of characters, including Hiller’s stepson Dylan.

“It’s still some of the same characters, but also new younger characters; it’s a little bit like the sons take over,” says Emmerich, who promises that the first sequel will have a cliffhanger ending to keep audiences coming back for more. “The first one ends on a little success, but only enough to give the humans hope. And then in the second one they free themselves again [from the aliens].”

After the mass destruction of the original “Independence Day,” what’s left for new aliens to destroy?

“We’ve rebuilt,” Emmerich answers, with a smile. “But [the aliens] also do different things.”

Here are my thoughts: I love alien invasion movies! I also love the movie Independence Day! When it came out in 1996 I saw it in the theater 4 times! That was how much I enjoyed the movie. Yes, on Independence Day each year I take out the DVD and watch this film. It is fun, action packed and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. I have been waiting for a sequel ever since the movie came out. I think today film makers are more eager to cash in on a succesful franchise so it amazes me we have had to wait this long for a sequel. We are getting two more movies to make it a trilogy. I am keeping my fingers crossed that all of this happens!

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Adventures of Superman: Part II

Now for the conclusion of my review:

The other changed that occurred when the series switched to color was the episodes become more child friendly. The first two seasons were dark and serious and even more violent. This was toned down and we began to see more fun and lighthearted episodes. For example, in “Through the Time Barrier” a A nutty professor uses his time machine to send Clark, Lois, Jimmy, Perry and himself back to 50,000 B.C., along with a notorious gangster who decides he likes prehistoric times. Although the series did get a reputation for child friendly episodes that doesn’t mean they abandoned the more serious themed episodes. The season six episode ‘The Perils of Superman” where criminals wearing lead masks are trying to kill Perry white, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Clark Kent is as dark as any of the episodes from the first two seasons.

One of the issues that was played down and almost non-existent in the series was the romance between Superman and Lois Lane. It was hinted at and one dream episode examined the topic, but for the most part it is generally ignored. In the first two seasons Lane and Kent actually have a more argumentative relationship. This is gone by the later seasons. In the early seasons Lois often suspects Clark as being Superman but this theme too is dropped in later episodes.

One of the last things I want to talk about is George Reeves portrayal of Superman/Clark Kent. It is one of my favorite portrayals of both Characters. As I have said on other occasions as I have grown older the Superman/Clark Kent secret identity is hard to swallow. Most actors portray each character differently giving some plausibility to the situation. The interesting thing about Reeve’s portrayal of both characters is that he doesn’t play Kent as a weak, baffoon type of character that some have played him. Reeves played Kent as a tough, smart and crafty individual. Superman/kent knows the audience is in on his secret and he plays wonderfully off that. There are times Kent is in peril but we the audience knows that he really isn’t in any trouble and that does add to the excitement of the drama. We wonder what will he do to get out of trouble and keep his identity. George Reeves really did embody Superman and while others have also played the character well, he is the yard stick I use to measure others by.

I also love the world of the 1950s. The Superman comic had him fighting exotic and equally strong and alien villains. The show has him fighting the average and everyday crooks at a time when organized crime was at its zenith. I like the more realistic criminal he faced. It grounds the show more in reality for me. The clothes, the cars and the primitive technology of the 50s and it is all part of the tone of the show that give it its charm. I know many younger people do not like older shows..even ones from the 60s let alone the 1950s…so it may be harder to convince a younger person to give the show a try. I do highly recommend it though. It is a well done show and even the special effects, though not as good as today’s standards, do fit the tone of the show and does not detract from the enjoyment whatsoever. So give Adventures of Superman a try!

Adventures of Superman: Part I.

The Adventures of Superman. Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! (“Look! Up in the sky!” “It’s a bird!” “It’s a plane!” “It’s Superman!”)… Yes, it’s Superman … strange visitor from another planet, who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men! Superman … who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands, and who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way! And now, another exciting episode, in The Adventures of Superman!

Superman is by far my favorite Superhero and Adventures of Superman is still a favorite of mine. I have been working my way through the entire series on DVD and it amazes me how enjoyable it is. I will never forget the first time I saw the series. I was in a Catholic school and I was about 10 years old. One afternoon my entire class was taken to the Church basement and no reason was given. When we got there we saw a movie projector set up and chairs waiting for us. There was also popcorn! I still had no clue what we were about to see. I sat with anticipation and curiosity as the room grew dark and the projector tuned on and started to hum. Suddenly on the screen with all fanfare was the title screen for Adventures of Superman!! My head was about to pop with excitement! I was in heaven!! We saw one color episode, “The Seven Souvenirs” and one in black and white, “The Deserted Village.” I was hooked on that show and within a few years when cable TV came to town I was able to view more episodes. Ah, those were some of my most fondest memories.

Produced between 1952 to 1958. The series starred George Reeves as Clark Kent/Superman with Jack Larson as Jimmy Olsen, John Hamilton as Perry White, and Robert Shayne as Inspector Henderson. Phyllis Coates played Lois Lane in the first season with Noel Neill taking over role in the second season (1953). I must admit the show is pretty formulaic, with an assorted gangsters and criminals trying to commit some crime which will drag Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen into trouble that will require Superman to rescue them. Even though it is a predictable formula it never grows old or tiresome. The scripts were creative in bringing new colorful characters to keep it interesting. The shows first two seasons were reminiscent of 40s film noir style and absent from the series was Superman’s number 1 arch nemesis, Lex Luthor.

To say that it stuck to a formula does not mean the show didn’t change. It did change over the seasons. One of the changes showed great foresight. The first two seasons were in black and white as all shows and the overwhelming vast majority of TV sets were in the 1950s. After the second season an executive got the bright idea of filming the episodes in color realizing that color TV was going to be the wave of the future and that the color episodes would be more valuable in syndication. He was right. Starting in season three until the end of its run,  Adventures of Superman were in full color…even though it would be 10 years or more until the majority of Americans could view it in color. By then color TVs were growing in popularity and availability and the majority of TV shows changed to color.

To keep this review to a digestible level I will bring you part II on Wednesday. Come on back!

Comic Book Men

I love the show Pawn Stars on the History Channel. It has become a very popular show and has inspired other similar shows. Today I want to reccomend one of the shows which Pawn Stars has inspired: Comic Book Men. The show is from director Kevin Smith and it takes place at his comic book store Jay & Silent Bob’s Secret Stash. The show opens and closes with Smith surrounded by the employees of his store (Walt Flanagan, Bryan Johnson,Mike Zapcic and Ming Chen) talking about what happened at the store that week, which we then see in the episode. Sadly, the show is bookended with Smith talking to his crew but he is not seen in the episode at the shop too often.

Like Pawn Stars what we see are people coming in to sell or buy rare comic books or toys and props related to comic book characters or superhero.science-fiction movies. Many of the items brough in are things that are of interst but the real interest of the show is also the colorful charcters of the show. I stole this from Wikipedia and it is the back ground information on all the people on the show.

Kevin Smith – The owner of the store, and a filmmaker and author whose films include Clerks, Chasing Amy and Red State, and whose books include My Boring-Ass Life. Smith has been a comic book fan since he was a child, and has gone on to write such comic book series as Daredevil, Green Arrow, and Batman: Cacophony.

Walt Flanagan – Smith’s friend since high school, and the manager of Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash since 1997. Flanagan has also appeared in small roles in Smith’s films, and is a comic book artist himself, having illustrated Smith’s miniseries Batman: Cacophony and Batman: The Widening Gyre. He co-hosts the podcast Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave! with Bryan Johnson and Brian Quinn.

Mike Zapcic – Zapcic is described as having an “encyclopedic knowledge of every issue of every comic known to man”, which he utilizes at Secret Stash, where he began working in 2000. He co-hosts the podcast I Sell Comics! with Ming Chen, and lives in Long Branch, New Jersey with his wife, Julia and their sons, Mitch and Daniel.

Bryan Johnson – A longtime friend of Smith’s, who, while not officially an employee at Secret Stash, can often be found behind the front counter. Like Flanagan, he has appeared in a number of Smith’s films. In 2000, he wrote, directed, and starred in the movie Vulgar, which was based on the clown cartoon featured in the intro of Smith’s film, Clerks, and which premiered at the Toronto Interntational Film Festival. He has also written comic books, including Karney and War of the Undead, both of which were illustrated by Walt Flanagan. He co-hosts the podcast Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave! with Walt Flanagan and Brian Quinn.

Ming Chen – Chen first met Smith through the fansite he created in dedication to Smith in 1995, which led to Chen being hired to create the View Askew Productions website. Today he continues to work on all of Smith’s online properties, and is the technical expert at the Stash. He co-hosts the podcast I Sell Comics! with Mike Zapcic, and in his free time, he does pro bono website work for two non-profit organizations, Street Poets Inc. and The Kenny Gordon Foundation. He has a wife, Debbie, and two children, Lillian and Harrison.

This show is a celebration of all things nerdy and geeky. Yes this truly is a version of Pawn Stars for the nerd set. It is broadcast on AMC Thursday nights. Tonight it starts at its new time, 10:00pm. If you have not seen it I recommend giving it a view it is very enjoyable.

Do Not Feed the Trolls!

Ah, the wonders of the internet! Prior to the internet I enjoyed certain movies in relative peace not knowing that I wasn’t supposed to like them. Until I got on the internet I never knew that some movies were so hated by the fandom of certain franchises.  For example in 1989 I went to the theater to see the new Star Trek movie, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. The theater was full and people were laughing (the movie had raised the level of comedy since Star Trek IV), I enjoyed the story and had a very good time. It wasn’t until somewhere in the early 2000s did I learn how hated that movie is among the rest of the fans of the franchise. I never knew until then that I was not supposed to like it. I never got the memo.

All who follow my blog know that I am a huge fan of the Godzilla franchise. Well, last June I joined a message board devoted to the franchise and that hatred for the 1998 American Godzilla movie and the 2004 Godzilla: Final Wars by the majority of the fans on this site is palpable! Again, I never got the memo I was not supposed to like these films!

Then there are other places on the net which feature trailers for upcoming movies and message boards to discuss upcoming movies. On these sites you have members crying foul and saying this movie will suck even before they see the film. It fits the very definition of prejudice. On one of these sites there was a member, who hates the movies of Christopher Nolan, who is 100% convinced that the new Superman movie, Man of Steel, will suck and be the worse Superman movie ever made. This person said they will wait to borrow the movie from the library just to confirm how awful it really is. Talk about confirmation bias!

Then there is Ain’t It Cool News…This web site run by Harry Knowles is a great place to learn about up coming movies and reviews for the movies as they come out and a lot of other behind the scenes information. Just don’t read the talk back section. No wonder it was successfully parodied in Kevin Smith’s movie “Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back.” It is filled with trolls just trash talking everyone and everything.

Maybe it is my age. I am not sure of the demographics of the people on these sites but I suspect they’re young. It can be a challenge for someone who enjoys science fiction movies, and who enjoys following the making of these movies before they come out, to find intelligent and meaningful discussion in these places. I will continue to look for news and find these rare discussions that make this hobby enjoyable. I just need to ignore the trolls.

Godzilla filming locations

Comingsoon.net is reporting the following…

Canada.com has revealed that the production for the remake  of Godzilla has  found a home and it’s in the city of Nanaimo in British Columbia. Here are  the details they’ve revealed:

Gareth Edward’s sci-fi reboot  of the city-destroying Godzilla is being filmed across Vancouver Island this  March, from Nanaimo’s Old Victoria Road to Ladysmith and Shawnigan Lake. More  than 300 crew members are expected to land in the Harbour City for the eight-day  central Island shoot and have pledged to use local extras, staff and  equipment.

The film, whose working title is  Nautilus, did a casting call in February for extras and recently notified  residents along Old Victoria Road that filming is about to begin. Joan Miller,  the North Island film commissioner, says Vancouver Island will make up the first  shots for the new take on the legendary radioactive monster, which is set to hit  theatres next year. Crews will stay in Nanaimo hotels for three days while they  shoot the scenes downtown and Ladysmith area before they move onto Shawnigan  Lake.
Read more at http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=101682#k90Ipq4HfhlsW6li.99

 

More info…

Hot off the presses

BURBANK, CA, March 18, 2013 – Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures announced today the final principal cast for the upcoming tent pole “Godzilla.”  Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, and Juliette Binoche are starring in the film, with David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston.

 

The companies also announced that principal photogr…aphy began today on location in Vancouver.

Gareth Edwards is directing the film from a screenplay by Max Borenstein, Frank Darabont and Dave Callaham.  Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni are producing with Mary Parent and Brian Rogers.  Alex Garcia and Patricia Whitcher are serving as executive producers alongside Yoshimitsu Banno and Kenji Okuhira.

 

A presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, “Godzilla” will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, except in Japan, where it will be distributed by Toho Co., Ltd.  Legendary Pictures is a division of Legendary Entertainment.

 

Slated to open on May 16, 2014, the film is expected to be presented in 3D.

 

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

In my review of Star Trek: The Motion Picture I will be reviewing the director’s cut. The first of  along line of Star Trek films came out in 1979, ten years after the cancellation of the original series. I won’t go into the history of the making of this movie,or how it came into being, that really isn’t the focus of this post.

This movie has been dubbed Star Trek: The Motionless Picture. Robert Wise was the director who had numerous great films under his belt. He won an Academy award for Best Director for the 1961 movie, West Side Story. He also directed science-fiction classics The Day the Earth Stood Still and the Andromeda Strain. Although the movie did make $139 million on a $46 million budget it was basically panned by critics and fans alike for being dull, boring and plodding despite state of the art special effects. I will give a short synopsis of the movie and then review both the pros and cons.

Synopsis: A large cloud has invaded the galaxy destroying Klingon war ships and space stations. On Vulcan Spock is under going the Kolinahr discipline to purge himself from his remaining emotions. When he sense an intelligence somewhere in the galaxy he stops the process. Meanwhile a newly designed USS Enterprise under the command of Captain Will Decker is in space dock. Admiral Kirk convinces Starfleet to take command of the Enterprise to intercept the cloud.

Enroute to the cloud Spock meets up with the Enterprise and joins as science officer. Ilia, the Deltan navigator of the Enterprise is abducted when the crew first encounters the alien cloud. She is sent back to the ship as a robotic artificial life form to learn about the crew. As tensions mount between Admiral Kirk and Commander Decker (temporarily demoted to that rank) the crew encounters what is at the center of the cloud. It calls itself V’Ger but it turns out to be an old earth probe, Voyager VI, that had been repaired by a machine planet and returned to earth to complete its mission. In order to evolve and learn more V’Ger unites with Ilia and Commander Decker.

I will first state the CONs:This movie can be slow and prodding at times. Todays movies are paced faster but even in 1979 it was a slow movie. Production was delayed and the release date was not changed so at the time of release the theatrical version could not be changed much to Robert Wise’s chagrin. The color scheme, looking to pay homage to 2001: A Space Oddesy, was bland and uninspiring.

PROs: I must admit, even in 1979 the nostalgia factor influenced me. It was 10 years after the series had been canceled (back then when I was in my mid teens that was an eternity. I love the almost 5 minutes of seeing the new updated Enterprise. The old series used to show the Enterprise from very limited perspectives so the showing off of the new ship was, and still is, a wonderful sight to behold. I also enjoyed how all the crew are reunited. The redesigned bridge is wonderful too. When Spock returns to the Enterprise and walk on the bridge unexpectedly it is like the king has returned. A very dramatic moment and my favorite scene in the movie.

I enjoy the story too. Some fans complain about the story being nothing more than a retread of the series episode The Changeling where Kirk and the Enterprise encounter a machine that is returning to earth join with its creator. While I do admit there are similar elements it doesn’t bother me. Finding out that at the heart of the cloud was V’Ger an old  Voyager VI was an unexpected and creative twist that I enjoyed in 1979 and still enjoy in 2013.

I may be in the minority enjoying this movie, but I am used to that. There are other franchises where I may like a movie that others do not. I think my enjoyment of the series is due to nostalgia. The movie does play into that. If you did not grow up in the 60s and 70s watching the series on cable waiting for the movie to be made then you might not understand the nostalgia. Many fans that grew up on Star Trek: The Next Generation or Star Trek: Deep Space 9 do not often understand the nostalgic attachment to the first movie.

Jurassic Park IV has found its Director!!

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/61465

Aint it Cool News is reporting that independent film director Colin Trevorrow will be directing Jurassic Park IV which is due in theaters June 14 2014. Like Gareth Edwards, who is directing Godzilla (which started filming TODAY), these independent directors can be very good at character development and getting emotions out of their actors. Although he is an unknown Spielberg seems to have faith in him so I wish him well and look forward to the next instalment of the franchise!

Random Meanderings…

Here are just some thoughts running through my brain today…Godzilla starts shooting in two days. Yesterday actor David Strathairn signed on. He will join Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Olsen in the cast. Academy Award Winning actress Julitte Binoche is rumored to have joined the cast but has not been confirmed yet. This is a movie I will really struggle to stay spoiler free. I am such a huge fan of the genre that I have a desire to know almost everything! I hope that the design of the monster gets either officially released of leaked somehow. But I am not holding my breath waiting for it. Sometimes scripts get leaked but if Godzilla’s script gets leaked I won’t read it. I don’t mind certain spoilers but I wouldn’t want the entire movie spoiled for me! I am sure at some point soon photos from the set will leak out. Those I am eager to see. I am following some of the stars and crew on Twitter and Facebook so I am sure some news will break.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson played the lead actor in Kick-Ass and its coming sequel.
Bryan Cranston was in Argo and is also in the show Breaking Bad. Elizabeth Olsen
is the younger sister of the famous Olsen twins and recieved rave reviews for
the movie Martha Marcy May Marlene. Juliette Binoche won an Academy Award
for best supporting acrtress for the 1996 movie The English Patient.

In a few day, March 19th to be exact, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray. I have heard so many mixed reviews on this film. I think I have read an equal amount from people who loved the film, hated it and were ambivalent. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy was certainly darker in theme than the Hobbit and from my readings this movie was more whimsical that the Rings Trilogy. I am alright with that I know at the heart of the story it is a children’s book, a magical adventure. The Rings trilogy is a darker story so I am not expecting the Hobbit to be dark. Darkness had not crept into Middle Earth at this time. I have faith that the time all three movies are done the Hobbit trilogy will weave nicely into the Lord of the Rings. I will give my review as soon as I see it!

The Blog/Message board and internet world is still full of rumors for the 2015 Justice League movie. Several sites have stated that Christopher Nolan will be producing all the future DC related Superhero movies for WB and that the Justice league movie is being tailored for Christian Bale’s return as Batman. You know what? I am not buying any of that. I do think the Justice League movie is struggling but I do not think these rumors about Christopher Nolan & Christian Bale are true. My understanding is that they want to move on to other projects. If the rumors turn out to be true, I will be the first to admit it!

May will be here before you know it and next month will be my one year anniversary of this Blog. So right now I am gathering up a list of the big summer movies due out this year.  So stay tuned to this channel!

The New STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Teaser

There is a new Star Trek Into Darkness teaser trailer and it shows some footage not seen in other trailers. This trailer focuses on Captain Kirk and as usual the good Captain has himself in some hot water. This post does have some Spoilers!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RxZcxkFZZP0

This is one of my three most anticipated films of 2013. The other two are The Man of Steel and Pacific Rim. I really enjoyed 2009’s reboot Star Trek. Even though I have been a fan since the early 70s and love the original series and the original crew the 2009 movie is my favorite Star Trek movie. This trailer, along with the other trailers I have seen, seem to insure that Star Trek Into Darkness will be my new favorite Star Trek movie.

One of the reasons is that it seems to be a movie I will enjoy more is that it looks to be filled with action and adventure. Some of the criticisms the 2009 movie received by some of the more rabid fans is that because that movie also had a sense of action and adventure, it was said to have been a dumbed down version of Star Trek. I couldn’t disagree more. Star Trek has a reputation of being cerebral and an intellectual Science Fiction franchise.

I do not think that reputation is well deserved. Yes, Star Trek, specifically, the original series, did have though provoking episode that dealt with current social problems of the day. Star Trek: The Next Generation is more cerebral than the original series. While I also love the Next Generation some of the episodes, that dealt with more intellectual themes are a bit boring to re-watch today.

I have no shame in admitting that I love action and adventure and my desire for great intellectual science-fiction is not very high. I do enjoy science-fiction that does make us look at ourselves and our current state and the directions in which humanity is moving, but I also do not want it to be heavy-handed or preachy. I think the 2009 Star Trek did strike a good balance. We saw good character development juxtaposed with entertaining action and adventure.

Star Trek Into Darkness seems to also strike that same balance, character development, SPOILER ALERT…we do know that kirk gets in trouble and may actually temporarily lose his command, along with great action and adventure. The trailers pull me in and even in the short time span of a trailer I am lost in the viewing. That is what I look for in a movie and Star trek Into Darkness seems to be able to deliver on that promise of escaping into a world we have not experienced.

The movie opens May 15!

Since I just completed my review of all 29 Godzilla movies, I will , starting Friday, review all the previous Star Trek movies leading up to the new movie.