It's official: John Williams is set to return as music composer for the next Star Wars film. He's 81, though. I guess they're serious about getting it done in the next two years.
I dunno, man, if these pictures are any indication, life on the various sets of Empire Strikes Back was every bit as much fun as it looked. Especially when you consider that, unlike the last time, everyone knew this one was going to be a monster hit.
The innovative RTS game series Homeworld has been picked up at auction. The original Homeworld has to be one of my all-time favorite games. It's good to see someone picking up the check to breathe some life into it.
The Battle in the Snow: Dont place unaccountable religious fanatics in wartime command. Yes, it's a classic case of mistaking a great story with an historical event, but it's still fun. Also, having ridden herd over a group of role playing engineers, I can tell you that there really are people who will debate this stuff without the slightest sense of humor.
Sure, it may have come to light more than a year ago, but I hadn't seen it. Therefore, important people hadn't seen it. Now that they have, you can too! Thirty years on, I'll bet nobody on the set of Return of the Jedi even remembers what they were doing out in that remote desert. A picture is not only worth a thousand words, it's also a way to fix moments of time.
It's been announced that Monty Python will be reuniting to make a science fiction movie. With Robin Williams. As a dog. And by "Monty Python" I mean "the surviving members," although I wouldn't put it past them to try and "ghost" the dead one in somehow. And did I mention not all the Pythons seem to have officially signed on yet? Rumors are fun!
Disney has announced that not only will there be new Star Wars films, there will also be Star Wars "spin-off" features. Every time I hear about these things I flinch reflexively, but so far they've attached very talented people to them. That doesn't guarantee against "Ishtar in Space," but it does make me cautiously optimistic.
The good news: Tom Baker has officially signed up to participate in the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special. The bad news: It may mark the end of Matt Smith's tenure. I've just now gotten used to the guy. It'd be really irritating if they up and replace him now.
Things seem to be moving fast in the "Star Wars VII" world. I've never seen Little Miss Sunshine, but I liked Toy Story 3 quite a bit, and so did just about everyone else. Bonus: intentionally or not, they seem to have let slip the next one will be a sequel to Jedi. Me, I'm thinking a "hand-the-torch" sort of thing that'll include the original cast members getting blown up or something. But who knows?
Ever wonder what the magazines on the stands in the Blade Runner movie actually said? Wonder no more! Back then, I was actually reading the magazine that "MONI" is referencing. I think it folded about ten years later.
Spies have finally gotten a look at what Robocop will look like in the upcoming remake. I think it looks mighty plain, but the single human hand is interesting. The article says there will be changes to the character as the movie progresses, so here's to hoping it looks a little more interesting at the end. And here's to hoping it doesn't suck!
Pixar has confirmed a sequel to their hit Finding Nemo is in the works. From the article, that seems to be all that's known. Pixar's sequel record is uneven in the extreme, so anything can happen. Here's to hoping it's a good anything!
Star Trek: The Next Generation is getting the Blu-Ray treatment, so expect to start seeing various appearances by cast members. Like, maybe LeVar Burton? Bonus: they also let him plug his new Reading Rainbow app.
Another day, another speculation as to what ET might actually look like. I first encountered the "critter as giant gas bag" concept in Carl Sagan's Cosmos, but I have a sneaking feeling it probably isn't original to him. Regardless, it's at least different from the "shaped like us but with an ugly face" sort of concept we usually get from Hollywood.
Believe it, or not: real developers with real money were once really serious about building a full-sized Starship Enterprise in downtown Las Vegas. The sketches all make it look legit, but I kept checking the article, suspecting a late April Fools joke. The maintenance on something like that would've been fierce.
The Spielberg science fiction drama Terra Nova has been canceled. Can't say I'm all that surprised. Ellen said it best one night, "I signed up to watch a show about dinosaurs. Where are the damned dinosaurs?" I know it's possible for TV to do good Sci Fi, even for extended periods. Battlestar Galactica, Farscape, Firefly, Babylon 5, and heck even ST:TNG. They're just common enough to show it can be done. I just wish they'd figure out that Sci-fi is more than Desperate Housewives with laser guns a little more often.
CBS, which must've bought Paramount when I wasn't looking, has made plans to release the entire run of Star Trek: The Next Generation on Blu Ray. They're apparently not just doing another tape transfer, but are instead going back to the original film masters, and re-working at least some of the CGI effects. The article doesn't say whether or not they'll change the format to 16:9. I'm thinking not, but you never know.
Trek obsessions never die: a Hollywood artist is painstakingly re-creating Star Trek: The Motion Picture TV advertisements in HD. I'm surprised at how repetitive they actually were. I'm even more surprised how visceral my reaction is to them. I almost literally feel like I'm 11 years old again.
Oh, stop it. There's quite a big difference between letting the inner 11 year old out too often and actually being that 11 year old. The frisson is quite startling.
The surviving members of Monty Python will be reuniting for a new movie! Since nowadays they're all, well, old and stuff, it'll be CGI. Hopefully there won't be any trodding in buckets, if you get my meaning.
In 2009, a group of people got the idea to completely re-create Star Wars by "crowdsourcing" the scenes in 15 second segments. Against all expectations, they actually finished the project...
While I'm not all that interested in giving the Lucasfilm juggernaut any more of my cash, a review of "The Sound of Star Wars" was interesting enough. And free!
The resurrected DeLorean Motor Company has announced an all-electric model. It runs on gargantuan versions of the same sorts of batteries my RC helicopters use, but there's no word on what the projected range might be.
Never let it be said George Lucas misses an opportunity for promotion: in honor of the upcoming Star Wars Blu-Ray release in Japan, Tokyo subways are getting lightsaber handles. They appear to be some sort of 21st century sticker. Were this installed on a lawless gaijin train here in the West, I'd estimate their half-life to be about 20 minutes but since they're in Tokyo, I'll wager they stay attached until the guy who installed them pulls them off.
So, is it a Star Trek character, or an erectile disfunction treatment? I only managed 4 out of 10. Part of me is very disappointed. Another part is stunned at that disappointment.
Folks out there are still trying to turn the video game Portal into a movie. I think this one works pretty well, although it's a little slow at the start. I think it also points out just how crucial the GlaDos character is, since I think without her it's just a fancy prison movie with a neat gun.
Ridley Scott has been named to direct a new film set in the Blade Runner universe. Details are sketchy, but the current idea is it will be a stand-alone film related to, but not a remake of, the original. If Scott's attached, it'll certainly be a pretty film. Here's to hoping it's also a good one!
Cindy gets a no-prize full of sand for bringing us news that a Star Trek theme park will be opening soon in... Jordan. Well, it's gotta get built somewhere, ya know?
Will some mysterious hairs and photographs of a "face print" on a car window be enough to conclusively demonstrate Bigfoot exists? Put it another way... would a negative finding convince the fringe it doesn't?
Me, I stopped believing when I read that, for a species to continue existing, X number of individuals must be alive at any one time. The number varied, from as low as a few hundred to as high as a few thousand, but it was always a big enough number that I'm convinced something should've been found long ago.
Microsoft seems to have also inadvertently admitted to the existence of Halo 4. That's another series that's left me behind. We got an Xbox as part of a "keep daddy sane" program right after Olivia was born in '05, but video gaming in the main room was too disruptive, so (after finishing Halo and Halo 2, among a few others) it got relegated pretty quickly to LAN party-style meetings and I went back to gaming on the PC.
Nowadays I could probably get away with plugging an HDMI cable from the Xbox 360 into my laptop and using its screen & audio with headphones. Thing is, I still can't see dropping $300 bucks on the required hardware (Kinect controller included).
Meh, more mooching off the Xbox-360 "have's" I guess...
Just before E3 news has broken that the next Star Wars video game title will be aimed squarely at the X-Box 360 Kinect controller. The idea of actually swinging a lightsaber, even virtually, is very interesting, but I'm not sure it'll be enough to make me buy a console. Sponging off friends who have them, though, that's totally legal.
So it seems electronics have become cheap and small enough to create real, functioning Storm Trooper armor. Bonus: He actually is a little short to be a Storm Trooper.
Futurama has been renewed for another season. I wasn't as impressed with this last season as I was with earlier ones, but I still thought it was funny. Here's to more bending!
And now, a USS Enterprise model... submarine. Actually, it looks pretty good. If a water column big enough could be found, I wonder if scale space battles would be possible?
Update: it really is quite marvelous. Thanks, Ron!
John Scalzi's Old Man's War has been optioned for a movie. Planning for a movie is, of course, not the same thing as sitting down with a soda and a tub of popcorn, but they have to start somewhere.
Syfy network has announced they will not be renewing Stargate: Universe for a third season. I thought the writing had remained strong, although I will admit to wondering how they'd keep it from turning into Star Trek: The Intellectual Property Avoidance Exercise once they'd learned to steer their mysterious ship. Apparently the production team have been given time to retool the last ten episodes to close the story lines, so that's something, I guess.
Looks like it's goodbye Caprica, hello Blood and Chrome. Caprica's premise, the origin of cylons and their relationship with the society that created them, started out well enough but in my opinion rapidly got bogged down in a bunch of navel-gazing and angsty soap-opera drama. Sometimes it was all too easy to forget the show was science fiction at all. In the end, I thought it was barely interesting enough to keep watching. Here's to hoping their next effort turns out better!
Lucasfilm has announced plans to release all the Star Wars films in 3D. I've long ago lost count of how many different editions there've been of this franchise. Likely I'll break down and buy the Blu Ray version when it finally comes out, but that'll be it. My story, sticking to it.
I want two model sets hanging from my ceiling one day. One set will be a B-52 being refueled by a KC-135, in 1/72nd scale. Should take up a virtual box about 3x6 foot. I want the other one to be the movie Enterprise in space dock. Unfortunately I'm hopeless at scratchbuilding. That said, I'm linking this up because, while I may not be much of a fabricator, I'm a damned good mimic.
Hardware nerd? Me? Hey, at least you don't have to worry about my obsessions EATING you. The chick who sits next to me who wants a tiger rescue? Yeah, not so much.
The only unrealistic thing (well, aside from the whole zombie angle) is that the nerds wouldn't be zombies. We may not run fast, but we'll run faster than you. AND, we won't be fascinated by all the rotting lurching people-things wandering around on the streets. "B-tch?!? What part of mutha f-ing RUN don't you understand?!?"
Quick! Take a look before Lucas shuts them down! See... the thing he considers even worse than that first prequel. Watch... Harrison Ford actually working just for a paycheck. View... what can happen when the worst excesses of commercial TV execs collides with what nobody expected to become a vast empire of cash.
Ellen insists she remembers seeing this, even though it was only shown once when she wasn't much more than two. Suckage this bad would seem to be memorable, indeed.
The very first Klingon space opera is now playing at the Zeebelt Theater in The Hague, Netherlands. Well, it was, since presumably it's finished its 3 day run. Sorry, guys.
io9 has a list of new & renewed SF/adventure TV shows scheduled to start next month The Event sounds interesting, and I already quite like Stargate Universe. Heck even the zombie miniseries may be worth putting on season pass.
What better way to start a Friday than a collection of behind-the-scenes pictures from the Star Wars franchise. Some I'd seen, a few I'd heard about (slave girl sunbathing), others were totally new to me. All were worth a quick look. Enjoy!
A Logan's Run remake probably, maybe, has taken a step toward realization. Ellen's reaction to the original was memorable enough to get a write-up six years ago! There aren't very many Jurassic blogs still plugging along. Ours is probably the only one still running Flinstone-era software to manage it. Go us!
USA Today is carrying this retrospective on the... GULP!... 30th anniversary of the release of Empire Strikes Back. The story includes news that Boba Fett's character will be re-imagined as a teenager and featured in Cartoon Network's The Clone Wars series.
It looks like Sony's decided to reboot the Spider Man franchise only 8 years after it was started. This time it'll be without Raimi or Maguire. This being Hollywood, the change probably has little to do with "creativity", and a whole lot to do with SM 3's lackluster box office performance. Ah, well. I enjoyed this last brace of movies. If they don't suck, I'm sure I'll enjoy the next.
I think we may have featured it before, but an apartment done up as a star ship replica is always worth a second look. 500 square feet is, if I recall correctly, efficiency territory. Small, but cool!
The latest grist for the rumor mill is that J. J. Abrams's next project may be a Micronauts movie. I subscribed to the comic for nearly its entire run, and I still have one of the big, complicated battle cruisers sitting on top of my computer in my office. Here's to hoping it doesn't suck!
Turns out science fiction writers are, in the main, pretty much what you'd suspect: a bunch of funky, nerdy white guys working in a shambling pile of books and music. Of course, not all of them are "white n' nerdy," but the exceptions are unique enough to be remarkable.
Looks like Battlestar Galactica is getting yet another do-over, this time to the big screen. This could, and IMO likely will, end up being so much vaporware, but hey, it is Larson's property after all.
Fox has decided to revive its Alien franchise with a prequel, and it would appear Ridley Scott will be back to direct it. If nothing else, it'll likely be interesting to look at.
Looks like Disney's changed it from TR2N to Tron: Legacy. Still way too early to tell for sure, but it definitely sniffs of suckage. But that's just me.
Britain recently released all the classified materials related to UFOs (so they say), and, unlike US efforts, they actually supply a guy who'll tell you where the interesting bits are. Some of it's interesting. Some of it's mundane. All of it will be pored over and pawed through for years to come by people who will not be convinced this is the end of the story.
Ain't the human race grand?
Ghost Busters III may be coming to a theater near you next summer. Original cast and everything, it would appear. I wonder who Ray Parker's gonna steal from this time around?
The Sarah Conner Chronicles have been, well, terminated. Not a real surprise, unfortunately, since the series was likely quite expensive and was not doing well this season. Still, the writing had improved immensely during the last half of the season, and it was quite interesting to watch. I could never predict exactly where they were going, which is a big plus for me with TV shows. Perhaps Sci Fi or some other independent network will pick them up?
In the "can haz, not can haz" tennis match of faster-than-light (FTL) travel, today's service comes from the can haz team. Back in college some physics majors, after an admittedly considerable amount of beer, explained it would be quite simple to create things like time machines and FTL drives. One need only create an object about five times as massive as the sun and spin it up to a rotational speed of about 70% the speed of light. All sorts of strange travel becomes very easy when you have one of those, they said.
It would appear the advanced buzz for the upcoming Star Trek movie is very good. Yes, these were almost certainly truFen, but I quite distinctly remember the very bad buzz that came out of advanced showings of Phantom Menace. Fen may be forgiving, but only to a point.
Those of you who, like me, enjoyed the series finale of Battlestar Galactica but were still left with questions should find this "after show" interview with the principles of the series of interest. It certainly answered the main questions I had.
Those who haven't seen the finale, or are still working through the show via the DVDs, should of course bookmark it with your eyes shut and wait until you've caught up with the rest of us. I'm not going to say anything to give it away, but they sure do.
Never say Paramount lets an opportunity for milking the old cash cow go by. Now they've come up with Star Trek perfumes. This one's so nerdy it makes my teeth ache.
Not only is Fox studios making a live-action version of Cowboy Bebop, Keanu Reeves seems to have been selected to play one of the leads. Here's to hoping it a) materializes and b) doesn't suck!
A new actor has been cast to be Dr. Who for the next set of new episodes of that series. The guy's name is Matt Smith, and no, I haven't heard of him either. The whole creative team will be new for this next season, due in 2010 in the UK at any rate, so it'll be interesting to see just how well it all turns out.
Paramount is starting to publish pictures and information on the upcoming Star Trek movie. Going back to the time before the original series would seem to be just about the very last unmined area remaining. Here's to hoping it doesn't suck.
We've seen comic book heroes reboot the entire character, with Batman it's been done twice. Sometimes I wonder if it would be productive to just restart the whole Trek universe.
It would seem the on again, off again Watchmen movie is now off again. The movie is in the can, as it were, but now two studios are squaring off over just who gets to distribute it. Probably was going to suck anyway. *sigh*
Ron gets the no-prize every fanboy wants for bringing us a look at the surprise premier of test footage from the (presumably) upcoming TRON sequel. If the Wikipedia entry is accurate, we should look for this coming out in the summer of 2010. It's nice to see they're finally cutting metal on this thing, with the original leads no less, but it's (obviously) far from a finished product. Here's to hoping it a) comes out and b) doesn't suck!
Let's hope the now-confirmed RoboCop revival does for that franchise what the new Dark Knight series seems to be doing for Batman. I'm not holding my breath, but it would be nice to see everyone's favorite super-cop in a decent vehicle. As it were.
The good: Neal Stephenson has a new book coming out!
The bad: It's 1000 pages long!
I actually have no problem reading monstrous door-stops in principle. It's just that I've found that all too often in order to read a really nifty 300 page novel, I'm forced to wade through a 1000 page book. Seems to me the longer an author's been around, the more they benefit from an editor. Unfortunately it seems the reverse is the truth in practice.
It would seem the very early buzz about the upcoming Indiana Jones movie bears striking similarities to the early buzz for Lucas's last attempt to recapture his glory days. Last time around, I stuck my fingers in my ears and sang "LA LA LA LA" really loudly until I could get to the theater and see Phantom Menace myself. I won't be fooled again! Especially when I'm the fool!
Or the fool who follows him. Something like that. Why yes, Olivia has been making us watch Star Wars about once a week for the past six weeks. Why do you ask?
Dreamworks has acquired the rights to the popular manga Ghost in a Shell to develop as a live action property. Spielberg himself took an interest, although his name does not seem to be directly attached to the project. Here's to hoping it doesn't suck!
It would appear Hollywood's taking another crack at bringing Dune to the big screen. I quite liked the Sci-Fi channel's miniseries version, and strongly believe the only way you can do such a sprawling novel justice is in a multi-part treatment. Of course, Peter Jackson showed with LOTR that it's possible, but the rarity of his success proves it to be the exception, not the rule.
Anyway, best of luck to them and here's to hoping it doesn't suck!
One of my favorite "authors who don't write fast enough," Neal Stephenson, has a new novel due out this September. Last I'd heard, he was still mucking around in the universe he created in Cryptonomicon, but the blurb in the announcement doesn't seem to directly relate to that world.
It would appear there's finally more to the rumored Watchmen movie than a lot of spilled ink. It's been, good lord, close to twenty years since I read the thing, but I remember it being very good albeit very complex and quite simply too long. Distilling that thing down into movie format will be a very challenging task indeed. Here's to it not sucking!
Making the rounds: Lucasfilm has announced Clone Wars will be a CGI animated feature film to be released this August, with a series to follow in the fall. The look of the clips I can see make it seem as if they've brought Ralph McQuarrie's original storyboards to life, which is a good thing. What remains to be seen is if they concentrated on the look more than the story, which would be a bad thing.
I guess it's finally getting about time to show Olivia the originals, because when Lucasfilm starts its typical carpet-bomb promotion of this one she'll definitely put it on her list.
Robert Jordan fans in the peanut gallery may be interested to hear there'll be one last Wheel of Time novel written. Not, of course, by the recently departed Jordan, but by an author hand-picked by Jordan's wife. From the article, it would seem the final volume was well under way when Jordan passed, but nowhere near finished. So it would seem it won't be an "imagining", but the completion of a rough draft.
Those with a Sci-Fi or astronomical interest should find this collection of "space art" of interest. One of the best things about SF conventions, for me at any rate, was the opportunity to see originals of these sorts of paintings. The difference between what was on the cover of a book and what was on the painting it was made from could at times be breathtaking. I couldn't afford the prices then, but soon I may just. Beats the hell out of a velvet Elvis.
Fans of everyone's favorite bending unit will be pleased to find out Futurama has returned. First a DVD release, hitting the stores this week, then a televised airing on Comedy Central next year. We're not much for buying TV series on DVD, but this'll definitely end up on our season pass list.
Oh, and one other thing... if any of you get the cable channel ION, keep an eye out for Terry Pratchett's Hogfather. Our Tivo's set to scoop anything with his name on it, and it spotted the popular Christmas special. Olivia's monopolized the TV, otherwise I'd post the exact date, but I think it's in about two weeks. Mark your calendars!
Mike P. gets a no-prize with a bullseye on the back for bringing us this bit of Star Trek fluff. I got a real chuckle out of NCC-1.
Open for business: a light saber training school in New York. It's so nerdy it makes my teeth ache.
Buffy and Firefly fans will be excited to hear creator Joss Whedon is scheduled to return to the small screen next year with a new series called Dollhouse. I tried several times to get into Buffy, but it never hooked me. Firefly didn't last long enough for me to even find it. Still, the guy has a big reputation, and the concept sounds interesting enough. Eliza Dushku is easy enough on the eyes to at least tune in the premiere. See you next season!
The lead in Shaun of the Dead has been named to play Scotty in the next Star Trek movie. This apparently completes the preliminary cast, consisting of nobody else I've ever heard of.
Ron gets an armored no-prize for being the first to bring us a review of Halo 3. From this review, it seems to be Good, and Verily (zombie multiplayer mode!) However, I'm not at all sure it's enough to make me go out and buy a console. But stranger things have happened!
Robert Jordan, author of the popular Wheel of Time series (among other things) has died of cardiac arrest at the age of 58. I saw Jordan at a convention about ten years ago, and he didn't look at that great then. Gone too soon, but at least he leaves behind a legacy and a legion of fans.
Spiderman star Toby Maguire has been announced as the producer for the upcoming Robotech movie. Never much got into Robotech myself, but with the massive success of Transformers, it seems likely this film will get made. Sometimes Hollywood's lemming tendencies can be a good thing. Well, assuming it doesn't suck, of course.
Futurama is scheduled to return in late November. The details are kinda complicated, but it does seem as if those of us who don't want to purchase the DVD will be able to see the episodes on Comedy Central. I think.
Farscape simply refuses to die. Which I think is a good thing! Sure, the episodes will only be a few minutes long each, but that's better than nothing, and it could introduce the thin wedge needed to bring the whole thing roaring back. Assuming it doesn't suck, of course.
First Battlestar Galactica, now Doctor Who. Well, in general any hour-long series seems to reach its peak at about season four, so if they both stay well written to the end it could be worse. At least both of them will be able to wrap up their story lines.
The first "trailer" for the upcoming Star Wars-based animated TV series is up. I couldn't get into the original's 5-minute episode format. I'm not sure if this one will follow that pattern.
The full theatrical trailer for Transformers is now available. It's a sad movie indeed which can't be made to look interesting in two and a half minutes, but if nothing else it sure does look like it blows up real good. Here's to hoping that it also doesn't just blow.
It would seem nearly official that Battlestar Galactica's 4th season will be its last. I thought the previous season started strong, but stumbled and got bogged down in a bunch of navel-gazing drama at the end. If they have an endpoint, maybe we'll actually see the story advance again.
Hey, at least they see it coming. SciFi pulled the plug on Farscape so fast they didn't even have time to save the sets.
Making the rounds: the Terminator franchise has been sold and development on a new series by the purchasers has begun. Without Arnold or, more importantly, Jim Cameron, who knows where this will all end up?
Slashdot linked up news of The Making of Star Wars, which bills itself as the "definitive" account of how that movie was created. By using a previously unknown collection of interviews conducted by a Lucasfilm publicist made with the principles between 1975 and 1977, the author was able to create what he termed, "as close to an oral history as I could."
Considering that modern interviews with said principles tend to produce a lot of, "I just don't remember" quotes and screwy, "Nerd! Nerd! Get away! Get away!" looks, getting these sources to the public should be a real achievement. Well, to nerds anyway.
Get away! Get away!
Joshua gets a mind-bending no-prize for bringing us this first look at Valve's add-on game for Half Life, Chapter 2. Called "Portals", it introduces what has to be one of the more interesting "weapons" I've ever seen in a shooter: a gun that creates wormholes that hook one surface to any other surface, regardless of actual location.
I dunno about this one. I tend to be in the "blast them all, let God decide" camp, so subtle solutions to elegant puzzles are often lost on me. Still, definitely something to look for.
While we've been going to a lot of movies lately, we obviously haven't been going to the right ones. Otherwise I'd have long since known about the latest Transformers trailer making the rounds. Definitely not something for Olivia, but definitely something for a late-summer movie night.
Assuming it doesn't suck, that is. Hollywood's track record on Japanese-originated superhero stuff hasn't been that great IMO. We'll see!
Fans of the new Battlestar Galactica, and those who enjoy blooper reels in general, should find this season 3 gag reel a hoot. As far as I can tell, there aren't any real spoilers in here (I'm pretty sure the spoiler they warn about is bogus), at least if you've followed the season so far. They all certainly seem to be having a good time, and really, who wouldn't?
Not sure how we missed it, but almost exactly one year ago it was announced that Sam Raimi has signed onto a project developing Terry Pratchett's The Wee Free Men into a movie. Look at it this way: we're one year closer to actually seeing it!
Slashdot linked up news that the script for the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones series is now complete. They're apparently all set to begin filming some time in 2007, with a target release of 2008. Lucas's revival of the Star Wars franchise was, to me anyway, a disappointment. I can only hope that as part of a team he does a better job. Olivia will be (good God) right at 5 at that point, so there's even an outside possibility she'll get to see this one in the theater.
Hopefully she'll be old enough not to shout out, "look mama! It's cornbread!" when the snakes come on the screen.
For whatever reason tonight, I put on the music of Homeworld, the only video game which had a soundtrack that I would listen to for the fun of it. This lead me to Wikipedia, which then reminded me of what I'd always known, that the ships in that video game were essentially based on a book I'd inhaled and then memorized when I was 10 years old...
Welcome to The Terran Trade Authority. Spacecraft 2000 - 2100 (upper part of the site, third from the left, Wikipedia entry is here), is a book that has stayed with me to this day, which I found (of all places) in my 6th grade school library. The thing is basically a future-world encyclopedia of Gear. Spaceships, in fact. In action, and otherwise.
In 1978, when it came out, Star Wars had only just detonated over the landscape, and Star Trek was nothing but stale reruns. Far, far from today's dozens of Sci-Fi series on their own channel. Anything that had anything even vaguely rocket-ship-like would be swirled into my hands like rare dust into a hungry black hole.
Its optimistic and realistic view of humanity* was refreshing for the time (really even to this day), and the ships, like those of Star Wars, weren't glittering chrome and needles. They were used, and worn, and streaked. They were real, and not all of them made sense. They existed to me, in a strange sort of way.
I checked the book back in some time in early 1980, and I never saw it again. In spite of that, I sometime think of them to this day.
And here I go rediscovering it all with just four days before Christmas. The Lord definitely has a sense of humor, he does. But that's OK.
Yet another thing to read to Olivia. Some day. If I'm lucky.
Time to throw the dice...
* Yeah, we'd made it through, and were doing OK. There were other civilizations way more advanced than ours, but as long as we didn't screw with them they left us alone. And when they screwed with us, well, it didn't always go their way.
J. K. Rowling fans may be interested to know the next, and apparently final, Harry Potter book has a title. A kinda spooky one, even. Personally, I've never read any of them, even though basically everyone I know who has loves them to death. I think now I'll save them for when Olivia is older, and we'll read them together.
Oh, be quiet you. Only Ellen gets to make fun of me when I get mushy.
Joshua gets a no-prize that keeps breaking the tank for bringing us the latest development in the Halo universe. Real time strategy games tend to fray my nerves, but I do like them. Maybe this'll be a "second game" to think about when H3 finally comes out.
If this purported preview of a "Next Gen Star Wars" video game is for-real, things are looking up again for action gaming in everyone's favorite space opera universe. No word on what sort of platforms it would be available for, but if trends are followed one would assume at least X-box 360 and PS-3. And, hopefully for me, PC as well.
Again, assuming it's not just a giant hoax. Definitely something to watch.
Making the rounds: a playable multiplayer demo for Halo 3 will be available this spring. There's also a movie floating around out there somewhere, and apparently there are new multiplayer maps for H2. Woot!
Also from Slashdot, the latest news on Halo-3. Depending on the price, that edition with the helmet sounds mighty tempting. Hey, if you're going to be geeky and play video games in the basement, why not go all the way?
The real question for me is, can I really justify buying a whole X-box 360 for just one game. One of those, "your money or your life?" dilemmas.
I'm thinking! I'm thinking!
Slashdot linked up news that the planned Halo movie has been cancelled. Looks like the studios decided to play a game of chicken with the production team, but they didn't blink. Microsoft still owns the rights, and Peter Jackson's name still appears to be attached. We may yet see Master Chief bashing grunts. In his Warthog.
While the translation can sometimes be a bit weird (activate sparklers?), this Finnish fan-film appears to be a reasonably well-crafted "what if" that combines the Star Trek and Babylon 5 universes. The effects look downright spectacular, considering only a few could've been lifted from their respective series and movies. I'm sure those on the left side of the peanut gallery will also get a kick out of who's on the intro's list of "dominating conquerers."
Also from fark, the premiere of Battlestar Galactica, the Resistance, a "webisode" series of short films that follow developments leading up to the series premiere in October. First one's already up. Since they're only 4 minutes long, it's kinda got the feel of a cartoon strip in the paper, but I imagine things will flesh out nicely as time goes on.
Even after the first webisode, I can see they didn't completely trash everything. I couldn't see any way out at the end of the last season. Now I think I can see some of the directions they're heading.
Fark linked up this shot-by-shot comparison tracking the changes between the original Star Wars theatrical release and its latest DVD release. The results reveal what I'd thought all along... Lucas leveraged his extra money and advanced technology to make the film better in many different ways, some of which I'd never noticed in twenty-five years of watching the original.
Heresy, I know, but it never did make all that damned much difference to me who shot first, especially if it meant I got to see more and cooler X-wings and TIE fighters. It's all about the gear, man, the gear!
Slashdot linked up news of a CGI-enhanced edition of the original Star Trek TV series. For now looks like it'll just be re-done FX sequences, but you never know what they'll come up with once they open up the vault.
Oh, and don't worry about the Edith Keeler joke. Already seen it in three different places.
While I'm a huge fan of the new Sci-Fi series Battlestar Galactica, I'll admit that its oft-criticised use of conventional "Earth stuff" like suits and neck ties, Hummers, various weapons, and other things bothered even me a bit. I rationalized it by deciding that, since this was a TV show with a budget, they just didn't have the time or the money to make everything look futuristic and different. In my mind, whenever I saw one of these clashing items, I simply thought to myself, "insert expensive effect here." The show was plenty good enough to watch for other reasons.
Then I read this blog entry by show creator/producer Ron Moore, in response to a viewer complaining about precisely this thing:
The props are all deliberate choices that imply more than just a passing connection between our world and the world of Galactica and there are deeper connections yet to come.
So it would appear to not be a case of budgeting, but of some long-thought-out plot twist yet to be revealed. Now, this is the guy who ended the second season of his highly successful, and already renewed, series by having the humans surrender to the cylons. He's capable of anything.
Which is most of what I enjoy about the series. You never can tell quite where it's going, but (to me at least) it's always fun getting there.
Can't wait for the October premiere!
Space.com is carrying news of yet another Star Wars-based venture:
U.S. director George Lucas has given permission for the Star Wars'' saga, which lasted for over 13 hours, to be shortened to a production of just 20 minutes, officials from Britain's Reduced Shakespeare Company said Tuesday
Sounds sorta like the 30-second theater thing, only live action, and without bunnies.
Slashdot linked up news of a possible re-appearance of new Babylon 5 "adventures":
The thrust of the news is this: straight-to-video BABYLON 5 adventures...involving B5 characters in an anthology format...should arrive late next year. Written and directed by JMS.
Now, I've heard so many rumors and proposals fly around various entertainment conventions so often they make Dulles airport look like a mosquito bog. Most, and I mean most, never see the light of day. Since this is coming from JMS, series-creator J. Michael Straczynski, it has a little more cachet, but not much.
If nothing else, something to keep an eye out for.
It would seem the on-again/off-again new season of Futurama is, well, on again. Looks like all the original voice actors have signed on as well. Bender rides again!
Space.com is carrying news of some ambitious Mars-based programming coming soon from the Discovery Channel. Unfortunately it would appear to be slated for the Science Channel, that which we do not get at the moment*. Maybe we'll pick it up on re-runs somewhere?
* Our love of Tivo and my pathalogical hatred of cable boxes combine to keep us on the ol' basic cable standard. Which is still enough for us to usually have about 20 hours of programming stored at any one time. The upcoming cable card-based systems and new HD-Tivos may finally free us from this basic wasteland, but considering what the cost of the new gear will be, perhaps not any time soon.
Never one to turn down a loose buck, Lucasfilm is preparing to release another "limited edition" Star Wars DVD set:
In response to overwhelming demand, Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release attractively priced individual two-disc releases of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Each release includes the 2004 digitally remastered version of the movie and, as bonus material, the theatrical edition of the film. That means you'll be able to enjoy Star Wars as it first appeared in 1977, Empire in 1980, and Jedi in 1983.
I wonder if they'll clean up the originals, or just do a straight transfer? If the latter, fans may not be as happy as they think they will, as a remastered transfer almost always has better picture quality.
Slashdot linked up news Sci-Fi is going to develop a new "prequel" series based on the Battlestar Galactica universe. I'm actually not that happy about this. Sure, it'll be nice to see some more interesting SF on TV, but it's been my experience that whenever one of my favorite producers starts up a second series, the original suffers a noticeable decline in quality. I like BSG a lot, would be a shame to see it go downhill because the producers are too busy.
Slashdot linked up news of yet another Star Trek film. This time they're going prequel on us, doing the "starfleet academy" thing they've been talking about for years. So far the guy who created Lost (and a bunch of other stuff) has been attached to the project, but no mention of any of the long-time Next Generation folks has been made.
BBCnews is carrying this update on the upcoming Star Wars TV series. They're supposedly planning for a 100 episode run. That should be easy if it doesn't suck, but even if it does if Lucas is bankrolling it it may not matter. I'm a little worried about the "much more dramatic and darker" comment... part of what I liked about the early films and didn't like about the later ones was the humor. It's fine to be dramatic, but to me to get a really big emotional commitment to drama, you first have to make me laugh. Lifting people up means they have farther to fall, that sort of thing.
They've got until 2008 to sort it all out, so we'll see.
Kicking around some scale model forums I discovered that a new kit of the Millenium Falcon has been released. 18" long, 350 parts, yours for a cool $160 (at current exchange rates). A bit pricey, but actually quite in line with other high-detail new tech Japanese kits. I'm jonesing for one of those Polar Lights Enterprises myself, but I'll admit this looks fiddly-icious.
Slashdot posted these crib notes from someone who attended a convention session with Ron Moore, the creator/producer/writer of Battlestar Galactica. While good as a general overview, I was hoping for some more detail about where the series may be going next season. This season's finale tossed the series down a completely unexpected road, and I have no idea where it may be going next (which is generally a very good thing, but still...)
Slashdot linked up news from none other than Billy West that there's a new season of Futurama in the works. It's unclear (to me anyway) if it'll be broadcast or involve some sort of DVD release. Either way, it should be a lot of fun!
Billy also reveals political leanings which should warm the hearts of most peanut gallery members.
Slashdot posted up news that everyone's favorite gay Trek actor is going to be playing the role again:
Star Trek: New Voyages has announced several new additions, including original series writer David Gerrold and original series actor George Takei (Sulu).
No, I'd never heard of it either. Apparently its some sort of fan-produced series. Considering Paramount's well-deserved reputation for being absolutely savage protecting its Star Trek franchise, I'm quite surprised this is even allowed to exist.
Takei was on the Howard Stern show for a whole week after Stern moved to Sirius, and he was really an amazingly good sport about it all. Nice to see he gets to continue working with a character he seems to enjoy.
Slashdot linked up news that the Ender's Game movie has been delayed once more. This is actually almost good news, since the reason for the delays has been that nobody's managed to produce a good script yet. I'd rather wait and get something good than rush it and end up with Battlefield Earth II.
We now have well, everything. I can personally think of better things on which to spend my own $2500 (hint: rhymes with "ice sickle"), but if someone out there actually picks one of these packages up I will be duly impressed if I ever visit your house.
Just, you know, keep the ears off while I'm there. Olivia might want a pair.
To commemorate the release of the final Star Wars film to DVD, Slashdot linked up this academic dissection of the films in which the author makes the argument that they're really just one gigantic post-modern art flick:
The Dark Side, on the other hand, is all about conscious control, structure, order, and design. Emperor Palpatine, the embodiment of the Dark Side, taunts the despairing Luke in Return of the Jedi, "Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design," and we are led to understand in Sith that it was Palpatine himself who set the entire plot in motion by manipulating the Force toward Anakin's virgin birth. Palpatine is the emblem of the artist as clockmaker or puppet master, the omniscient manipulator of his hapless characters for the purposes of a satisfying narrative payoff. At the end of Jedi, in a scene out of Pirandello or one of Ashbery's own plays, the characters assert their autonomy and kill their author.
A little on the propeller-head side for those not steeped in Things Filmic, but definitely of interest for those of us who are.
My Steam updater (an online game news channel) announced a really nifty bit of artwork related to Half Life 2 is up for auction. I like the piece, but the price is already far too high for a print, at least for me. I once heard an artist call prints "art byproduct" and tried to get us all to promise not to buy them. While I think she overstated the case, the difference between a print and an original is striking and most definitely worth the price, if you can afford it. Really expensive prints are (again in my opinion) not much more than pricey posters.
Looks like Halo, the Movie's chances just got a helluva lot better:
The Oscar-winning creative team behind the "The Lord of the Rings" films, including director Peter Jackson, has been named to run the production of the upcoming film based on Microsoft Corp.'s blockbuster "Halo" video game, the company said on Tuesday.
Jackson and his wife, Fran Walsh, will serve as the executive producers for "Halo," which is targeted for worldwide release in mid-2007 by Universal Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox film studios.
Now, having seen Meet the Feebles (under protest, mind you), I know that Jackson is quite as capable of making a turkey as anyone else. But, considering his recent track record, I'll mark this one down in the "plus" column.
So where does your favorite Sci Fi show come in on this "top 50" countdown? I saw familiar faces all the way through the list.
No, I'm not a nerd for clicking through all 50 pages. Now give me back my pocket protector.
Looks like they're trying to squeeze some money out of the ol' Enterprise again. It would seem the old guard of Berman et. al. have submitted some sort of treatment to Paramount, so it's far from a done deal. Personally, I really would like to seem them let it lay fallow long enough to get some new faces in the guiding seats at Paramount. Berman and company did very well in their time, but I'm not sure Paramount's executives (notoriously protective of their pointy-eared cash cow) will let them explore new enough territory to make it all worthwhile.
While it was first shown a week or two ago at Comic-Con, the first "teaser" trailer for the upcoming movie Doom is now available on-line. It might actually be good. Then again, even Battlefield Earth looked good as a trailer. Gonna keep an eye on this one anyway, if nothing else might end up being movie night material.
Fans of the new Battlestar Galactica series should find this in-depth NY Times article on the show and its creator, Ron Moore, of interest. I did manage to finally catch the premiere of the 2nd season on Sunday, and (IMO) it was the best continuation of a cliffhanger I've ever seen. I have no idea where the show is going, but I'm deeply interested in watching them get there.
Slashdot linked up news that a Futurama movie is now in the works. Going straight to DVD, so who knows what sort of quality we'll get. Still, anything that gives Bender fresh lines (as it were) should at least be worth watching once.
Set your Tivos, mark your calendars, program your [ugh!] VCRs... Battlestar Galactica's second season premieres tonight. I really liked the first series, as much as I did
Stargate Farscape (although for different reasons). Here's to hoping they continue to Not Suck!
Fox and Universal have acquired the movie rights to the Halo franchise. As fans of Hitchhiker's Guide (good) and Battlefield Earth (bad, very very bad) know, rights do not gaurantee a movie, but it is a positive step.
I wonder if they'll have a Puma in it?
Bleary-eyed "first-viewers" just now returning from the theater may find the story of how the first and only full-sized Millennium Falcon was built. No word on what exactly became of the thing. Considering Lucas's pack rat-like tendendices, I wouldn't be surprised to find out it was stored away in boxes in a Marin warehouse somewhere.
Damion gets a dark and mysterious no-prize for letting us know a sequel to The Dark Crystal is in the works. With the original writer on board and the technical know-how of a Henson organization twenty-five years more experienced, I can only hope the thing eventually shows up, and Does not Suck.
Fark linked up news that Microsoft is "serious" about making a movie out of Halo. It's possible... Halo had a pretty strong story that could probably be fleshed out into a feature film. However, so far nobody's managed to pull this off with any other game franchise, so who knows. It's also very early in the process, and I've heard rumors like this about other games (Half-Life) that went absolutely nowhere. Still, fun to think about!
Hey, even How Stuff Works has gotta pay the bills, ya know? And what better way to do so than running an article giving the lowdown on how a lightsaber works? What I would've given to have had one of these in the fifth grade. I guess it's just as well I didn't; explaining headless bullies to the principal would've been... tricky.
Jeff gets a commercialized but no less cool no-prize for bringing us this amusing pseudo-article.
First genuine review of the next Star Wars movie comes to us courtesy of Fark, and it's actually rather positive. I guess I'm going to owe my brother a pizza if this movie knits the whole thing together and suddenly transforms the other two's suckage into class.
The new Star Wars movie was shown to reporters and reviewers last night, and the current buzz is it's not a kids movie at all:
"Episode III Revenge of the Sith" is the first "Star Wars" tale to receive a PG-13 rating. The movie was screened for reporters Tuesday night at Lucas' Skywalker Ranch, and the PG-13 rating "for sci-fi violence and some intense images" is well-deserved.
The action is relentless and includes sequences more dark and disturbing than anything previously seen in the tragic Skywalker soap opera.
Which is bad if you have a kid in the, say, 4-10 year old range. But might be good if you have a 4-10 year old inside you who's been flinging popcorn at screenings of the past two films. We'll see...
Slashdot linked up news "from the source" concerning new developments in the Star Wars universe. Lucas has now confirmed both a full-length (30 minute) 3D animated series based on the much shorter Clone Wars series, as well as a live-action TV series. The live-action variety will be set between episodes III and IV, and apparently will not concentrate on the same characters as the movies.
Lucas has always been a better producer than director, so I'm actually optimistic about this stuff. We'll see!
BBCnews is carrying the first (that I've seen anyway) review of the upcoming Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Their verdict: definitely doesn't suck, probably could've been better.
Of course, one review does not a hit or bomb make. I'll wait for the rest of my normal reviewers (both professional and friend) before I figure out whether or not I need to find a babysitter, wait for the DVD, or pass completely.
Richie gets a no-prize strong with the force for bringing us a place we can see the new Star Wars trailer that hasn't been crushed out of existence yet. This looks pretty good, but then again so did the trailers from the last two. Going to take a "wait and see" with this one.
Fans of the recently cancelled Enterprise should find this Toronto Star articleof interest. It does a nice job of summarizing just where the TV Sci-fi scene is headed. Includes comments from Enterprise's Joleen Blalock, as well as Farscape's Brian Henson and Battlestar Galactica's Katee Sackhoff.
Sci-Fi just announced Battlestar Galactica has been picked up for a second season. In spite of some glaring plot holes (water blowing out into space means it's lost forever, sealing a hole in the hull of a fighter with a flight jacket, etc.) I still think it's probably the best new SF show on TV right now. I like it about as much as I liked Farscape (which is to say, a lot), but for different reasons. So if you haven't seen it yet, give it a shot!
Update: Ron Moore's "Blog" provides more insight into the series and where it's going after the renewal announcement.
Slashdot linked up (and then promptly crushed out of existence) a French site carrying dozens of production stills from the upcoming Star Wars - Episode III. Fortunately in the comments we found this mirror, so get them while they're hot!
This one might not suck. We'll see...
Slashdot has this roundup-and-commentary about various efforts to save Enterprise, which was recently cancelled by Paramount. The most interesting idea was giving Babylon 5's J.M. Straczynski control of the franchise, but this was later withdrawn by the man himself.
Fark linked up the latest Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trailer. It looks good, but then again so did Battlefield Earth and Phantom Menace.
Meh. I have a small child. By the time I'll be able to see it on DVD, how good it is will have been long determined.
While the Farscape miniseries has exited the stage, the cast are still busy with other projects. SaveFarscape has these links to interviews with Claudia Black (Aeryn Sun) and Ben Browder (John Crichton) giving us an update on what they're up to lately. Looks like I may have to put Stargate on season pass after all.
Fans of Enterprise (yeah, it's still on season pass at my house, but I think I'm liking Battlestar Galactica better)* may be interested to hear Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis are scheduled to make an appearance on the season finale. As Riker and Troi no less. Goofy, wooden looks and lots of cleavage will, of course, feature prominently.
* Oh shut up. What part of "Cats, Science Fiction, and Anger" don't you understand? If we were socially well-adjusted we wouldn't spend so damned much time on a web site, would we? Now wipe that idiotic smirk off your face. Don't make me set my phaser to "deep fat fry"!
A quick reminder: the new Battlestar Galactica series starts tonight. Early buzz is very, very good on this. I liked the mini they ran last year, so we've definitely got a lock on this thing. Can't be any worse than Lexx at any rate.
My nephew's all-time-favorite toys just seem to be getting more and more popular. The latest thing to come down the rumor mill is Steven Spielberg's involvement in a new Transformers movie:
The director has announced he will follow next year's The War of the Worlds with a live-action tale of the mechanical heroes who disguise themselves as cars, trucks and jets.
This rumor seems to have been floating around the net since July; the most recent info I can find says he's going to produce but not direct. Something tells me I know where my brother will be the day this thing finally opens.
Slashdot linked up note of a pre-release review of the upcoming Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie. In a nutshell: damned funny. This is one of those "good buzz" things you want to hear before a film is released, and gives me cause to move the flick into my "might not suck" category. This is a Good Thing.
Slashdot linked up news that a new concert series featuring music from the Final Fantasy video game series is on the way. Never played them, but the reaction from dot-heads was pretty positive. To-date, the best music I've ever heard in a video game was from the original Homeworld, but I'm not a huge console fan, so I'm sure there's a lot I've missed.
Slashdot linked up news that new trailers for both Speilberg's War of the Worlds and Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are up. The first isn't all that informative, but the second lets us see what Depp-as-Wonka will look like.
Pardon me, I have to go wipe the drool off Ellen's chin now.
Slashdot linked up news that a new Babylon 5 theatrical release is in the works. Shooting starts in April, Straczynski is credited as the writer. Woot!
Slashdot linked up news that James Cameron's next project is a hybrid-cgi film based on a series of Japanese graphic novels. Apparently he's planning to do both a 3-D and 2-D version of the film, using technology developed during his Titanic documentary Ghosts of the Abyss. Due out in '06. Woot!
Because the Farscape "mini" premieres tomorrow at 9 pm. After sitting on our TiVo for two years, we're finally going to watch the last regular episode tonight. I mean, if it didn't end for us, it didn't end at all!
Slashdot linked up final info on the LOTR - Return of the King release. 4 discs, with the "recut" feature clocking in at a whopping 4+ hours across two DVDs. I always thought Tolkien's books would be better done as a 12+ hour miniseries instead of a set of movies. Who would've predicted that Peter Jackson would get away with doing both?
Warner Bros. studios has given the green light for "Terminator 4" to begin production next year, despite doubts that the movie star turned politician will be free to take on more enemies, Daily Variety reported.
After a year in development, the latest film in the hit movie franchise will return under the direction of "Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines" director Jonathan Mostow, the industry daily said.
The only problem I had with T3 was the dumb plot, poor dialog, and wooden acting of everyone else. Maybe if we're lucky it'll just go straight to DVD.
Slashdot linked up this nifty Ebay auction:
HAL 9000 is the Cinerama 160 degree Fairchild-Curtis lens used to film the actual scenes from HAL's point of view for "2001". It also doubled as the prop, the eye of HAL 9000. HAL is one of the few artifacts left from the movie 2001.
Cool also for the trivia point that the camera filming HAL's point of view was the actual camera you saw in the film.
See Joshua? Toldja ya shouldn't have bought that TV. Why, for... 25 times more, you could've had this!
So, like, you all have your VCRs and/or TiVos set to record the upcoming Farscape miniseries, right? Right?!?
Gah. Phillistines. Don't look at the trailer then. You're not worthy.
(But everyone else should take a look. Here's to hoping it doesn't suck!)
Mark your calendars folks... the original three Star Wars films will hit the shelves in long-awaited DVD form September 21st. In the meantime, you can read all about what, exactly, went into creating them:
The process: First, [John Lowry of Lowry Digital Images] analyzes the film and notes its biggest problems, be it dust or softness. Then he sets parameters for the restoration software. The computer system divides the film into segments and applies fixes, identifying flaws by comparing neighboring film frames. Lowry and his team check the processed scenes daily, frame by frame.
Sorry purists, word on the street says this'll be the re-(re-re-re)-released 90s versions, not the stuff that was in the theaters in the 70s. Doesn't much matter to me, I liked just about everything that was added and could tolerate some of the sillier stuff. But I've been called a cinematic Phillistene before.
Fark linked up this brief tidbit about "Trekkies around the world" and their differences. Looks like it was done in part to plug the upcoming Trekkies 2 movie. Never did manage to catch the original, even though as I recall it was well-regarded. Proof positive that not all SF fans are thirty-something men living in their parent's basement.
Slashdot linked up this comprehensive WIRED article detailing both upcoming anime features as well as a basic history of the field. Includes notes on three really big releases coming out from each of the best-known directors.
I used to think the early-90s SF Encyclopedia's "fortunately, the hinted-at three prequels have yet to be made" crack on Star Wars was mean. Then I saw them. Well guess what, looks like we might be inflicted with another set:
Now industry insiders are predicting the director will make the follow-ups, which pick up where 1983's Return of the Jedi left off, despite insisting he would never be lured into filming them.
Now, back when we were all lusting after a new set of Star Wars films (circa 1988 or so), rumors like this would float up about once or twice a year, so I'm definitely not holding my breath (or nose). I can only hope that Lucas just produces these next ones, and lets other people direct and help out in writing.
Well, it appears that George Lucas has finally named the last installment in Star Wars - The Revenge of the Sith (Episode III).
Our only hope is that someone other than him wrote the thing...
Slashdot linked up Ghost in the Shell 2, which is due in theaters later this summer. We really enjoyed the first one, might try to figure out a way to see this one. Ms. Tiny Toes makes it a little challenging, but them's the breaks. :)
Remeber that little kid who played Anakin in the "first" Star Wars movie? As part of a photoshop contest FARK linked up what he looks like today. Kinda reminds me of Rick
Well, we missed them when they went by, but SaveFarscape has transcripts of recent on-line chats with Farscape cast & crew.
Those who want a general update on the status of the upcoming miniseries will want to read Brian Henson's chat, while fans of the show will not want to miss Ben and Claudia's channeling of Laurel and Hardy that happened a few days before. Maybe now we'll finally watch the last episode... it's been sitting on our TiVo for over a year now!
Slashdot just linked up the news that, among SF's upcoming new shows will be an adaptation of Larry Niven's Ringworld:
Based on Larry Niven's RINGWORLD series of novels, a four-hour mini-series is in development. In the future four explorers crash on an artificial structure in deep space, a mammoth ring that circles a distant star. Exploring this strange place, the humans discover that there is life here and secrets that could change the universe forever.
I enjoyed the first Ringworld book immensely, and liked the second and third. Here's to hoping that a) it becomes a reality and b) it doesn't suck. SciFi's track record on such adaptations is actually pretty good IMO. Ellen and I have both liked pretty much everything they've come out with so far, so I think the odds of it sucking badly are pretty low at this point.
More as we find it out!
Oh, for those of you who don't know WTF the Ringworld is, from the Wikipedia entry:
The "Ringworld" is an artificial ring about a million miles wide and approximately the diameter of Earth's orbit (which makes it about 600 million miles in circumference), centered about a star, and rotating to provide an Earthlike artificial gravity, with a habitable flat inner surface equivalent in area to millions of Earth-sized planets. Walls 1000 miles tall along the edges keep in the atmosphere. The Ringworld could be regarded as a thin slice of a Dyson sphere, with which it shares a number of characteristics.
As I recall, the book describes the way it looks from a distance as a blue ribbon forming a wide loop around a candle flame. Players of Halo will know automatically what this looks like, although I believe the original Ringworld is much larger than Halo.
Well, regular readers already know Farscape is coming back, but now Sci-Fi has made it official. Most people thought it unlike the series would come back to the Sci-Fi channel, as it was widely understood that neither party (Henson productions being the other one) was contractually obligated to the other. Bah, who cares about party politics as long as we get our show!
Woo hoo! New Farscape news:
Farscape will be returning as a 4-hour mini-series. The mini-series is in production now, back in Sydney, Australia. Claudia Black, Ben Browder, Gigi Edgley, Anthony Simcoe, and Raelee Hill are all reported to be signed up. The mini-series was written by series creator Rockne S. O'Bannon and executive producer David Kemper, and is being directed by Brian Henson. Filming began December 15th, 2003 and is expected to run until mid-March 2004.
Release date is "late 2004, early 2005" right now, so it looks like all us 'scapers may have a nifty Christmas present to look forward to. At least the darned thing is becoming a reality, and not some pipe dream as I'd feared for quite some time. WoOt!
Fark linked up this very cool "fan movie" based on Star Wars. I've only gotten through part 1 so far, but the quality of production is quite impressive, considering they don't have George's millions to spend. Cheesy? Well, yes, this is Star Wars after all. But it's certainly no worse than the past two films.
Five decades after Godzilla made his feature film debut, the mutant lizard is being put out to pasture.
Size apparently does matter, especially at the box office, where the franchise was floundering. And so Japanese studio Toho Co., which created the rubber reptile, announced Thursday that it would retire the big fella after this year's finale.
Read entire article here.
No- Prize to Rich!
Cobb leads us to this update on the progress of "Enders Game -- The Movie". Looks like they've hired some heavyweights to do the second draft of the script. It's still a long way from being shown on the screen, but this is definitely progress.
The original three "Star Wars" films among the most anticipated on DVD will be released in the digital format Sept. 21 in North America, LucasFilm Ltd. and 20th Century Fox announced Tuesday.Read entire article here.
A price for the package and international release dates were to be revealed later.
A very Sci-Fi No Prize to Rich!
Fark linked up this AZ central article detailing the latest Phoenix college literature course offered... on Science Fiction.
Personally I have no trouble at all with it. It took someone pointing it out for me to realize that SF is one of the very few literary genres created in America.
Well, I know at least one person out there is going to be interested in news they've cast Zaphod's role in the upcoming Hitchhiker movie. Those of you going "Zaf-who?" can just take my word that it's important. No, I've never heard of him either.
Fark linked up this Reuters story claiming the Sci-Fi network has in fact picked up Battlestar Galactica for development into a series.
I thought the premiere was quite good. Did a nice job of updating, and wasn't as remarkably cheesy as the original. It remains to be seen if they can solve the "find a new planet, deal with a disaster, move on, find a new planet, deal with a disaster, move on" problem that helped torpedo the first series. Of course, it hasn't stopped Star Trek.
I can't help but be irritated that they'd pick up a new, unproven show that costs 1.5 million per episode yet dumped Farscape, which reportedly cost two thirds as much. Bitter? Me? Never.
Fark is linking up a rumor site that says Star Wars may actually continue to episodes 7, 8, and 9.
The only way I'd see the next set of "Star Wars: Destroying Your Childhood Nostalgia" movies is if Lucas used the proceeds to finance a trip to the moon.
There probably aren't any people (in the US at least) between the ages of, say, 33 and 45 who haven't seen Logan's Run, and I'll wager there are a lot of people outside that range who have seen it as well. I think my brother and I watched it every time it was a "movie of the week" on ABC or CBS or NBC (in the 70s cable was something phones used). We were big fans of the TV series too, which was so bad it lasted exactly half of one season. It'd been years since I'd seen either, so when I noticed the movie's listing on TiVo for Turner Classics, I immediately selected it.
Ellen had never seen it at all, and her verdict was, "good lord. Were people in the 70s just retarded? That movie was stoopid."
To which I replied, "Well, it wasn't stupid to a 10 year old. We thought it was slick!"
"You're not 10 years old anymore. You just act that way. What do you think now?"
"Well... it sure has a lot of pretty colors!"
Which is, of course, guyspeak for, "the women aren't wearing much."
Still, it was a pretty movie, so I wondered if there were some trivia resources available for the flick. Sure enough, The Logan's Run FAQ floated right to the top of a google search.
Primarily I was interested in where it was filmed, and sure enough as I suspected it was in a mall. In Texas, of all places. Lots of other cool/funky stuff like extra scenes and continuity goofs, basically everything there is to know about the film and the TV show.
Cheesy? Absolutely. But who doesn't like cheese?
Meryl brings word that Babylon 5 may be making a comeback. I started watching "B5" because it was the only well-mixed Dolby pro-logic series on TV at the time (ST:TNG was good, but the sound sucked ass). I stayed because the characters were cool and the stories were interesting. I even got Ellen hooked on it, which lead to this somewhat surreal exchange (after, oh, about 3-4 glasses of wine):
Ellen: "Yeah, that Sheridan guy is ok I guess. But I like that other one..."
Ellen: "No no no. The other one. The one with the funny eyes."
Ellen: "No goddammit!" [scene changes on TV] "Him"
Ellen: "Yeah. I like him. I think he's sexy."
At which point I took away the wine. Well, more likely I probably just drank it.
Where was I... oh, yeah... anyway, while not quite on the level of Farscape (which didn't get a nice neat ending like B5 did), this is still worth watching.
Slashdot linked up yes Virginia, Farscape will return! 4 hours, while not another season, should be enough to wrap up the storylines and give all us fans a nice big sendoff. Yipee!
After more than nine months of silence, there's a reasonably credible rumor going around about Farscape continuing. We've had the last episode sitting on the TiVo for nearly a year now, don't have the heart to watch it. Maybe now we will!
Yeah, I know, preliminary. Could turn out to be nothing. But still...
Update: Slashdot featured this article from a different source, which seems to confirm it. Says it'll be a stand-alone mini-series, "independent" of the SciFi channel. Could still turn into vaporware, but for now it's very good news!
According to this CNN article, we're probably going to get another installment of "V", the hit 80s sci-fi miniseries about "visitors" taking over the earth. I liked the miniseries (as I recall there were actually 2 of them), but thought the series that followed was flat boring. They've got the original writer/producer on board, so here's to hoping for better quality!
Slashdot noted this press release stating that Neon Genesis Evangelion will get turned into a live-action movie some time soon. No, I'm not sure what it is either, but I know people who do.
Looks like Chewie's going to be in the next one. Still keeping my fingers crossed that somehow it won't suck, but am not holding out a lot of hope.
The first T3 trailer I saw just screamed "retread", looking as if they'd just recycled the last plot and changed the actors. However, after seeing this newly released trailer, I think I'll have to upgrade the forecast from "complete waste of time" to "has potential." No more than that though. Still keeping my fingers crossed for Matrix 2.
The final theatrical trailer is available for the new matrix movie. Visit this site to download it. I'm really, really hoping this movie doesn't suck. So far it looks good, but that's what I thought about S.W. Episode I.
Huzza! Cowboy Bebop premieres April 4th. Ok 3, 2, 1 let's jam...
We always tell people to go put on their tinfoil hat, but really, are we doing them a service? I mean, what sort of foil? How do you shape it? Should it incorporate a pie tin? These are important questions! Well, as a public service, we're proud to present a genuine how-to on building the thought-proof cap you need to prevent those annoying abductions.
There's a Terminator 3 trailer out now. Cameron only got writing credit, and it looks an awful lot like the last. I don't know, looks like they may have jumped the shark with this one...
Slashdot is reporting the release date for the Cowboy Beebop movie is January 2003. Mark your calendars!
Also, Cartoon Network seems to have aquired the rights to three new anime series. Hopefully they won't feel the need to mangle them very much.
Everyone knows what whackballs Star Trek fans are, right? I mean, who else does such wacky stuff? Well, 1) only a very few fen take it to that extreme, and 2) Star Trek fans aren't the only ones who do such silly things.
We're on the ramp up to what look to be the last episodes of the series, so you'll be hearing a lot about our favorite SF show for awhile. Found this interesting writeup which gives a more cynical, and realistic, reason for the show's cancellation... the new CEO doesn't like space shows.
Is a lobotomy just required surgery for all upper mangement types?
Thought the effort to save Farscape was dead? Think again! Fan groups have actually created their own commercials to air in many major markets (ha!) on November 24th. W00t!
Slashdot is carrying a brief review of the IMAX version of AotC. In brief: if you liked it, go see it, if you didn't, don't, if you haven't, well, your choice, but apparently it didn't add that much to the experience.
Starwars.com is carring this really nice article on why you should buy letterbox videos.
Everyone has a favorite movie or movies, ones they essentially memorized by watching over and over again on TV or video. Mine were the Star Wars trilogy, Ellen's was The King and I. I'm sure you have one too, some big sweeping classic you haven't seen on the big screen in years, if ever.
Go out and buy the letterbox version of this film on DVD and give it a quick viewing. I gaurantee that within fifteen minutes you'll spot countless details you simply didn't know existed. In some cases, entire scenes will seem different, and overall it'll be like watching a new movie.
Unless you're my mom, who refuses to buy a DVD player because she doesn't have any DVDs. And no, she doesn't see the logical contradiction. :)
[The poster] just wanted to let everyone know that there is major backlash against the Sci-Fi channel from fans about the cancellation of Farscape. They appear to have miscalculated the Fans. For the past few days Sci-Fi's main office has been inundated with faxes, e-mails, and phone calls to keep the show alive for its 5th season. CNN Headline news also ran a story on the effort yesterday. What it boils down to is that at $1.5 million USD per episode the greatest science-fiction show on television is too expensive for Sci-Fi to produce. Even the top Executive at the Sci-Fi channel (Bonnie Hammer, Executive Vice President and General Manager), which is one of Farscape's biggest fans is currently only operating in figure head mode and is being made to keep quiet. Most think she would speak out in favor of the show but is worried about the status of her job at the moment. If you have any questions about what you can do to help out, just pop over to Farscape World for the best information. There is also a website setup for detailed up to the minute information about the struggle to save Farscape over at the main Save Farscape site including information being supplied under the table y a Sci-Fi channel mole. :)
After all the coverage Sci-Fi has stopped the construction crews assigned to tear down the sets and have re-entered negotiations regarding the show. The Jim Henson company that is responsible for the show's creation is also currently courting executives from Showtime and UPN about moving the show to another network for the 5th and future seasons.
Looks like it's working. Keep it up!
Maru! I thought I should post this .
MIB (men in black) are no longer going to be MIB's, the are going to be MIG's(men in grey)
Here's a pretty cool article about a new, "mysterious", crop circle near stonehenge. Yet another case of guys with too much time on their hands twiddiling the knobs on peoples' reality.
I've read in several places that south England, around Glastonbury and the 'henge, is very much like California is to the US... full of really odd people. Anyone else ever heard this?
Bizzarely, this dinky little story actually drives traffic to our site, so I'm gonna link up this Matrix Reload story too. They're closing down whole chunks of Syndey, AUS, to film this thing, which just goes to show that Aussies know a cool think when they see it. I just hope It Doesn't Suck.
Get up Trinity... Get up...
According to this report, a "new" Rocky Horror movie is in the works. It's unclear whether this will be a remake, a new film, or YASRHD (Yet Another Stinking Rocky Horror Documentary). Ellen should have some choice comments about this one. She has the whole script of the original memorized.
Can U guess the UFO thats supposed to be real? Click Here to Find Out
I can never get enough of watching those kind of shows. Anything about black holes and Ufo's are just neat.
Slashdot is reporting two reviews of the upcoming Star Wars film, one from the BBC and one from The New York Times. Variety magazine reports here what I've already heard, that the buzz is good, this one should be fun. Of course we're going to go see it, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed this time.
If you want to watch Farscape but have never seen any of it before, be sure to tune in at 8 pm. They're running "farscape uncovered", which provides a very nice catch-up to all the goings on. I'm not sure you'd feel lost, but this'll be sure to prevent it. Enjoy! WATCH! :)
Only 3 more days until new episodes of Farscape! WOO HOO! This is easily the best SF show on television today. Enterprise is good, but it's got nothing on this. One of Ellen's & my favorite rituals is to get something nice for dinner, a bottle of wine, eat & drink same, then scarf a tub of Ben & Jerry's (mint chocolate rocks) while watching this show.
Should I be worried that her favorite character is monstrously evil?
Should I be surprised!? :)