Saturday, February 28, 2009

JJ Abrams Redeems Self & Reassures Fans [Wondercon 09]

JJ & company made a surprise appearance today at Wondercon to prove to the fans once and for all that he was the right person for this job & we won't be disappointed.

In almost an eerie fashion, Abrams & cast members Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto & Zoe Saldana consistently spouted out praise for the original Trek. They were eloquent, well spoken & seemed to have a real love & respect for the Trek that came before. That or Abrams had them memorize some brilliantly scripted answers to convince us of that fact. In multiple instances, Abrams referred to the team behind this new Trek as a mix between those who "live and breathe Trek" and those who are "idiots." The result, says Abrams, will work for fans & non-fans alike. Fans with a knowledge of Trek will be rewarded & non fans will see what inspired Abrams to make it in the first place, what made him realize he would be "jealous" if anyone other than him got the directing gig.

Here's JJ, explaining where he stands once and for all,

...if we were just to make the movie for fans of Star Trek we would be limiting the audience enormously. And the truth is, because we love this, because we are beholden to you, because the fans of Star Trek are what allow us to make a version of Star Trek at all, I can assure you that we making this movie for you. It goes without saying, although it is important that we say it. I have taken some flack for saying in the press "we are making this for future fans of Star Trek" as if we don’t care about the existing fans. That could not be farther from the truth. We love and are beholden to the existing fans of Star Trek and one of the ways we made sure this movie is going to make you happy is we had this great range of points of view with the producers, one of whom is Bryan, who had never seen an episode of Star Trek at all…then we have got Bob Orci who is an absolute avowed Trekker, so we have this great balance. So the answer to your question is that there are a million references and the story adheres to canon pretty much as well as The Original Series adheres to canon, the movie really does. I mean that. You all know, even with The Original Series, there are some contradictions. But the truth is: we love it. And as someone who was not a fan to begin with, I’ve come to appreciate and understand and actually feel jealous I didn’t get hooked earlier so I can understand how amazing the show was.

But it goes much beyond Abrams. When the actors were asked about what was most rewarding for them working on this project, Quinto responded "getting to know Leonard" and Saldana similarly replied "meeting the original cast know how excited they were and how much they blessed this entire project." Chris Pine (who called Trekkies/Trekkers the "best fans in all of fandom") even showed a pretty good familiarity with TOS & a great respect for Shatner when answering a question about his favorite episodes. After doing an evil Kirk impression from The Enemy Within, Pine elaborated,

"That would be up there - the evil captain Kirk, the split Captain Kirk one. [Also the episode] where he fights Finnegan, [Shore Leave]. When [Kirk] wrestles the young boy, [in Charlie X], I think, I don't know if I would do that. I think what I found about watching the old series is, Mr. Shatner's incredibly funny. I think it's the same humor he brings to Boston Legal, in a whole different way. It's that twinkle in his eye, that you think anything can happen. It is that something I couldn't recreate for the life of me."

To avoid straight up doing a Nimoy impression, and to give himself room to bring his own interpretation to the role, Quinto didn't start watching TOS until after he was on set when he would keep episodes playing in his trailer. To prepare for the role, he mostly read about "the world and about character" and talked & worked with Nimoy.

The only things these guys seemed to love more than the original Trek were each other. Watching the panel, one definitely got the impression that this set was amazing to work on. Quinto described Abrams as a "magician" and "wizard" & Pine explained that their director was never a "dictator" on set, that they all became a family and hopefully that will translate to the fans & we'll accept the new version. Additionally, Quinto said he saw the movie Friday night and was blown away,

"I couldn't speak for like 20 minutes after and I'm not like that. It is such a ride. It is so succeeds on a lot of levels."

For Pine, the best thing about the Trek experience was getting the "opportunity to meet people he now calls his friends." Awe.

Abrams even gave some love to the "greatest group of extras" who were "spectacular" and "tireless" and partook in an impromptu rap session, Abrams beatboxing, Pine MCing. Hilarity.

Some other tidbits - Abrams asked Kevin Smith to watch the film so early in the process because Smith is "painfully honest" and has a "wonderful point of view." As for the Cloverfield sequel? Abrams' got a "pretty sweet" idea, but wouldn't move forward unless they had the proper creative impetus,

It better not be a business decision. You better be inspired to do something. That way, you did it because you cared, not because you think you can make a buck.

Oh yeah, and we got to see the world premiere of the new Star Trek trailer, which, in all honesty...was pretty effing awesome. I stand by what I thought when I saw those four scenes a couple of months ago - this movie is going to rock.

Good work appearing at Wondercon, JJ. You've redeemed yourself in my eyes and hopefully in the eyes of uneasy fans everywhere.

For more photos from the panel, click here. See full post

Follow Us On Twitter During Wondercon!

Since internet is proving difficult to come by and we may not get most of our interviews up until tonight, we encourage you to follow us on Twitter for updates & info througout the day!

Just click here and follow along!

Yesterday we had a great roundtable with the group from Wonder Woman and today brings Watchmen (which we got to see last night), Knowing, Astro-Boy, Alien Trespass, Pandorum, Nine, Up & Terminator.

Enjoy! See full post

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Trades Watch the Watchmen

well, this is curious and curiouser. the trades have weighed in on a movie opening next weekend called "watchmen," and they don't seem to be particularly fond of it. the curious part about this is not that someone doesn't like a zack snyder movie, but that these reviews actually have me MORE excited to see the film than i was before. the maelstrom of opinions that has resulted from this first round of critic screenings has not only confused me into somewhat suppressing any pre-conceived notions i may (ha) have brought to the table, but also convinced me that the conversation around the film will be a particularly lively one, which - given that the film will be a completely needless (if not very entertaining) entity unless snyder has somehow used the tools at his disposal to elevate, subvert, or otherwise explore the watchmen saga in ways in which it hasn't been already - is about as much as you can hope for from an adaptation like this.

kirk honeycutt over at the hollywood reporter is a gentleman whose opinion i tend to entirely disregard, as it is often, how you say... inane. he refers to watchemn as the "first real flop of 2009" - as he predicts a tremendous opening frame (there i go with that variety-speak) followed by a precipitous drop in box office returns. had i been unfamiliar with watchmen, i would have been pretty bummed out by honeycutt's remark that "the fight scenes don't hold a candle to asian action," but if i were in charge of the adaptation that would have been somewhat deliberate... yet methinks that snyder wasn't able to resist the temptation to go all out in the few action beats the story provides, and if he fails to make them kinetically interesting, well... consider me entirely unsurprised, as 300 wasn't one of the decade's worst films because of dialogue, alone. all that being said, having not seen the film i can only think the remark is simply exhibit B of honeycutt not getting it... an ominous harbinger of non-fan reaction.

(i coudln't find a picture of mr. honeycutt, so here's another picture of annie clark!)

his comment that "armageddon never looked so cheesy," on the other hand... doesn't sit well with me, as armageddon in watchmen should aesthetically be as vile, sickening, and ultimately cleansing a spectacle as possible.

it's justin chang's review over at variety that really echoes my initial impressions of the project, and the one i must hope the finished film embarrasses. his opening salvo that although watchmen " cries out for equally audacious cinematic treatment, the novel has instead been timidly and efficiently streamlined by David Hayter (X-Men, X2: X-Men United) and Alex Tse, who struggle to cram as many visual and narrative details as possible into the film's 161 minutes," is - to my mind - the most damning critique i've yet encountered. he says that watchmen is a "fanboy's (ed: or girl!) delight... that is ultimately undone by its own reverence; there's simply no room for these characters and stories to breathe of their own accord, and even the most fastidiously replicated scenes can feel glib and truncated."

chang, who seems a bit more in touch with the material, ices the proverbial cake by saying, "Wavering in tone between seriousness and camp, and absent the cerebral tone that gave weight to some of the book's headier ideas, the film seems to yield to the very superhero cliches it purports to subvert." yikes.

now, i've read a lot of early fan reactions, from the bright and geeky likes of devin faraci over at chud and drew mcweeny over at.... wherever he's at right now, and they've both had only slightly reserved raves. harry knowles - whom LQ proclaimed the ultimate geek - also loved it for the most part, though his opinion is not exactly... well, you know... and now his wife is posting a needless and particularly banal music column that's capped off with that nauseatingly juvenile avatar they've created for her which makes me cringe every time... and to think, that site used to be my home page... anyhoo, where was i?

right, so the fans seem to be loving it (SERIOUSLY, LQ POSTED A VIDEO "REVIEW" FROM SOMEONE WEARING A WATCHMEN T-SHIRT. that shit is NOT a review. A REACTION that's interestingly germane to the conversation on this site? ABSOLUTELY. But... oy... fighting a losing battle much, david?) , which is great, but this returns the dialogue to my greatest reservation about fandom in general... that fanboys / fangirls / fanchildren seldom seem to want what's best for them. early word suggests that snyder made this film explicitly and exclusively for the fans, who apparently just want to see their favorite iconic images pop off the page... and, if i determine that this approach is reflected in the final product, i will be convinced that the project was doomed from the outset. in this convention culture, where respect for audiences or source material is too often supplanted by fan-service, things are played too safe... toes are seldom stepped on, and the most insignificant of changes (i'm looking at you, squiddy) ignite an apocalypse of fan outrage that would make tetsuo blush. kanedaaaa!!!! the more beloved the franchise, the more slavishly faithful the resulting film... and you don't need me to tell you that watchmen is the radiohead of the graphic novel community. the radiohead? yeah, whatever, it may be a contrived analogy but this site could do with a few more radiohead shout-outs.

and my concerns about this movie have always stemmed from the fact that - out of all the graphic novels i can think of - watchmen has the most potential as a film... there are so many ideas brewing about, so many directions in which one could take them... jettisoning certain elements in favor of digging deeper into others... or understanding that the story could not be improved upon in its current incarnation, and using the copyright as an excuse to transpose alan moore's ideas into a new paradigm... sure, as far as financial feasibility is concerned, a studio is hampered, and the rights didn't come cheap (or easy), but if there can only be one watchmen movie... if there's only one shot at it, i'd rather - purely as a matter of principle - have it be an artistic swing for the fences and a big sweaty failure than an easy pop fly... boo on these analogies.

george lucas is the only person that can be blamed for the origin trilogy. but if watchmen is bad - or worse, a bore - i blame the fans. kind of. mostly the creative team and the studio and nancy grace (cause why not?), but also kinda the fans. oh no. but i don't think it's going to be bad... at worst, it will be... poor. i've said time and again that i will be shocked if i'm not thoroughly entertained... but despite my doubts, i'm more excited to see it now than i've ever been, because thanks to the trade reviews i'm all but guaranteed that the dialogue about adaptations in the world of green screen - and the relationship between film and graphic novels that has been sublimating on this here blog and elsewhere around the net - is only going to be become louder and more involved after watchmen actually hits... and that could be the greatest achievement of zack snyder's career. See full post

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Let The Right One In Deleted Scene?!! [Geekgasm]

Remember the time I effing loved this movie? Oh yeah, I still do. The DVD comes out on March 10th and I can't effing wait. If you also can't wait and need a Swedish teenage vampire fix, just click here or watch below!

[Source] See full post

Where to find us at Wondercon!

Some of the ATF team will be heading up & over to Wondercon this weekend for the very first time! Should be interesting to attend a convention where we don't know the ins & outs already. EruditeChick will be bringing us some interviews with the talent and we'll both be watching the big panels and reporting right to you! Keep an eye out for our Twitter page, which will be updated frequently throughout the weekend.

So where will we be? Here are the big panels we're attending!

6:00: WB Animation: Wonder Woman DVD Premiere
11:55: Secret Watchmen Screening!

11:30: Warner Bros: Watchmen (Zach, Dave & Cast!)
12:30: Summit: Astro Boy, Knowing
1:00: Overture: Pandorum (Ben Foster!)
1:30: Alien Trespass (Eric McCormack! Also I love this movie!)
2:00: Paramount: Star Trek (You'll have to wait and see - very special guest coming)
2:45: Focus: 9
3:30: Disney•Pixar: UP
4:30: Warner Bros.: Terminator Salvation (McG & some cast!)

1:15: Chuck (Zach Levi!)

And If we're still around,

4:00: Buffy: The Musical (Cause we know all the damn words)

It's gonna be a great weekend with great food, great talent and really shitty weather. WOOHOO!

Although it should be noted...where's Fox? I heard supposedly Mr. Jackman had to run off to another country after the Oscars, but...can someone explain to me ANY conceivable reason Fox thought it would be a bad idea to bring, oh I don't know, someone other than Hugh? Like maybe THE REST OF THE EFFING CAST??!!?!? THE NEW MUTANTS?!?!?! You have Ryan Reynolds, perfectly cast as Deadpool, who knows how to work a crowd, in your damn movie, and you're NOT BRINGING HIM TO A SINGLE CONVENTION?! Fox...I'm a little upset with you, not gonna lie. You are lucky the trailers make the movie look so fun. Cause we're in a fight. No Ryan Reynolds. Please.

Rant over.

P.S. Here's the info on the Watchmen screening

Three-day and Friday only members have an opportunity to receive a free pass to a special Friday, February 27, 11:55 PM IMAX screening of Watchmen courtesy of WonderCon & Warner Bros.!

Drawing will be held at WonderCon, Friday, February 27 only. Members (3-day and Friday only) will draw a ticket for the opportunity to receive a free pass, while supplies last.

Go to the WonderCon Boutique Booth (#242) for a chance to win from 5:00-7:00 PM.

See you there! See full post

Another Chance to Win Watchmen Companion Book!

Hey readers,

Yesterday I posted a link to the AV Club's Watchmen Companion Book contest, but Spout is having one too!

To enter, just head here.

Questions you must answer to win below

Tell us which movie you think should be turned into a graphic novel, for a chance to win the graphic novel version of Waltz With Bashir. Tell us which film has the best production design of all time, and you could win a companion tome to the forthcoming film, Watchmen.

I'm totally entering the Waltz with Bashir contest too... See full post

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Harry Knowles Breaks His Silence [Watching the Watchmen]

Say what you will about Harry Knowles, THIS is a review I've been waiting for. You can't deny Harry is a true fan, and since I am a true Watchmen fan, I wanna hear opinions from people who love it like I do. Below I've posted some highlights of the review.

To start,

This is a completely different experience. For the first time in my 22-23 year relationship with the characters and universe of WATCHMEN, there is something entirely new to dissect, talk about, argue about, get enraged over, get drunk over, fight over and to fucking love!

On the Comedian,

Through it all, we see Rorschach’s twisted sick view of society. We lose a bit of his respect he held for the Comedian – and a touch of the disdain others had for him. Just a touch, but it is softened ever so slightly – maybe not so much through the actions of Snyder and the filmmakers, but simply because Jeffery Dean Morgan is so great as this character. At times he reminds me of Mickey Rourke’s turn in THE WRESTLER. There’s a sadness, a madness & a genius all at play here. Morgan is basically a completely new actor to me, since I don’t really watch GREY’S ANATOMY or SUPERNATURAL… but this is a breakthrough role for him. Don’t worry – he’s still the unforgivable cock that he was in the book, but honestly… I liked his character more than I did in the book.

On Ozymandias,

If any character is given the short shift in the film, it is Ozymandias. We get a very truncated version of his story here. A very light touch on his Alexander obsession. You don’t get his obsession with Alexander fully. Or that he gave away his parents’ fortune to rebuild himself anew.

More excerpts after the jump!

On Dr. Manhattan,

Billy Crudup’s Dr. Manhattan. He never once felt silly or weird. He was beautiful, otherworldly, human and a god on earth. When Manhattan spoke I was stunned. It was absolutely NOT the voice I ever heard in my mind. I always imagined the voice of a God. I don’t know. Perhaps, Orson Welles. Instead, the voice is of someone that has seen things that he hasn’t the capacity to dumb down to a normal perspective of us. He sounds like a scientist. Someone that is absolutely no longer one of us, but was once one of us.

On Laurie (the character I've heard the most complaints about...and by character I do mean actor...because a lot of people say she sucks. I hope she doesn't),

Malin Akerman’s Laurie Jupiter. She’s bored and a bit bitter. She isn’t constantly whining about her mother nearly as much as she did in the book – and frankly I’m a bit glad. Watching that would be a bit much I think. But she feels like someone who can no longer relate or tolerate her lover. And frankly, that’s the soul of her character. She’s a woman in transition. She is transitioning from being what her mother wanted her to be. She’s moving from being Jon’s anchor to human reality, from whatever he sees.

On Rorschach,

Jackie Earle Haley IS RORSCHACH. Now the sad thing is… no matter what Zack could have done, we never would have had nearly enough Rorschach. Seriously. I have never been satisfied with the amount of Rorschach that exists. His monologues from Journal entries. Everything about him. The audience loved everything that Rorschach does. Be it with the mask, without the mask, empowered, allegedly helpless, grownup or as a child. Rorschach is a brilliant character. He’s Travis Bickle with a mask. He is the hardest version of BATMAN and less gaudy than JUDGE DREDD. Rorschach is the ID of those wishing vengeance and retribution. He is great. Truly great.

On Nite Owl,

Patrick Wilson’s Dan Dreiberg/NITE OWL. I’m a big Dan Dreiberg fan...ere – I think there’s a slight reimagining of Dan / Nite Owl. He has given up the cowl. He no longer patrols the nights. He hangs out with Hollis Mason, because at his heart – he’s the hero that WANTED to be a hero. There’s no pain or anguish that drives him. He did it because he dreamt of being a hero. He is a genius. He has the determination to learn to be an incredible fighter. But when the Keene Act occurs – he’s too much of a boy scout to “Break the Law” – he wants to uphold the law. But during his flaccid existence – he hasn’t completely gone to pot. He still maintains himself. He isn’t a hardened badass physique, but he seems soft – not as a fatty, but he isn’t happy in his life. He doesn’t know what to do if he isn’t a hero. He doesn’t know how to live without being a hero. He wallows in the memories. But those days have never left his mind. I love the character. YES, he still has trouble getting it up. Yes, the costumes help. And you better believe they fuck in Archie. But more importantly, you see that when he puts that costume back on, he pops back to life. And he loves it. That’s the soul of the character… and always was to me.

On Silk Spectre 1,

Carla Gugino’s SALLY JUPITER. First off… who doesn’t love Carla Gugino? Seriously? The Comedian / Silk Spectre 1 indiscretion is unbelievably tough. But as rough as it is, there is something in how Carla plays her that is never fully defeated. Sure it gets stopped as it does in the comic, but frankly… there’s something going on in this scene that I couldn’t see in the comic. I’m not saying she’s wanting this to happen, but there’s something there that makes you not so surprised that she and Blake would hook up later. There’s a kink at play that I can’t entirely dismiss.

On its length,

Honestly, if I have a complaint it is that the film feels brief to me. Two hours and 40 minutes and it went by like a blink for me. I easily would have patiently sat for another 2 hours, but that’s me.

On Zach (for david),

This is a movie. One that got cheers from my audience. That had wildly enthusiastic lovers – and those that dismissed it entirely. How someone can watch this film and come away thinking it is entirely about slow motion fighting is BEYOND me.
If for some reason you hate Zack Snyder’s filmic style – I’m betting right now you’ll despise this film and overlook everything else that is so incredibly dead on... Zack’s style and direction absolutely worked for me. I love his stylized fighting as filmed. After watching shitty superhero fights for way too long, it did feel good to see these characters get it right. The violence, the sex and the weight of the material is intact, though truncated to a 2 hour and 40 minute running time.

On what didn't work,

Frankly. The new ending. I just don’t like it as much as the ending of the books. As the movie nears its ending, it felt like it was rushing to an established conclusion...NOW – does this ending change RUIN the film for me. No. But it will always be one of the reasons I’ll push people to reading the book. There’s just a reality to adaptations. You lose things.

On the scene that obviously inspired Saw and I'm happy Harry mentioned,

Rorschach’s handcuffing the kidnapper/murderer to the big woodburning heater is still there. But giving him the hacksaw and setting the place on fire telling him to saw through his own arm is gone. Why? SAW. Rorschach does something different. I accept that loss.


I WATCHED THE FUCKING WATCHMEN AND FUCKING LOVED IT! It isn’t the perfect 5 hour wet dream that I always dreamt of, but I love it. I can’t wait to see the dialogue you all have with this film, with each other and with us here at AICN.

There you have it, folks! The ultimate fanboy loved it. But also readily admits it isn't perfect. Which I appreciate. Click here for the full review. I'll have my own opinion on the matter this Friday.

In other news, head here to enter to win the Watchmen Film Companion Book and here to learn about the nine big changes in Watchmen, from comic to screen.

See full post

Free Play: Double Feature

I'm introducing a regular feature, if you will, to ATF...because I can. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Free Play, in which I point you towards amazing games that you can find online for free to waste occupy your time. I'll also indicate approximately how much time you will probably spend playing each game. This first entry shall start with a [BOOM] double feature! Music puzzler Auditorium and tongue-in-cheek indie game You Have to Burn the Rope.

Check out the games AFTER THE JUMP!

A feast for your eyes and ears, this simple puzzler has you dragging icons around to redirect the flow of sound to get music to play. Easy to learn and terribly addictive.
Created By: Dain Saint and William Stallwood
How Addictive: 5/5 (Time Vortex)

You Have to Burn the Rope
Not so much a new game experience as it is a commentary on a classic style. You'll only need to play it once (2 minutes) to get to the real treat (and point) - the credits. Make sure you watch them!
Created By: Kain Bashiri
How Addictive: 1/5 (A Charming Amusement)
See full post

Video Watchmen Review [T Minus ALMOST NO TIME!]

To ease your fears!

I can't effing wait. I'm gonna love it. Will I be dressing up when I see it at midnight on the 5th? I just might. Here's hoping we get to see the opening credits again at Wondercon! Please oh please!!

From Ponder Pop

By the way, click here to watch Rorschach's first scene, which is undeniably awesome. See full post

Steam-Powered Gaming

I recently got a new computer, bidding Captain Old, Old Laptop farewell, and welcoming General Shiny Strong Desktop, and, since I play a ton of games, took this opportunity to re-acquaint myself with PC gaming. The first thing I did was pop the 2004 hit Half-Life 2 into my disk tray, since I'd never could play it on the Captain. But then a strange thing happened. The disks didn't install as usual, and a program named Steam took over. Little did I realize that these disks I'd been hanging onto for years were now obsolete, and that I would be ushered lavishly back into PC gaming by Steam.

Steam is, essentially, iTunes for games. Created by Valve (the gods who bestowed Portal upon us), It has an ever-growing library from most major publishers - Final Fantasy's Square Enix just hopped onboard - and is fantastically easy to use. Here's how it works...

You download Steam (like downloading iTunes) and create a free account. Finding and buying games is also similar to iTunes. Give your credit card information, and the game is yours, but that's where things get all happy and fun. Steam keeps a games list linked to your account of every game you own, whether the game is installed on your computer or not. This means you can uninstall and reinstall games on a whim, and save yourself all the hassles of hanging onto disks. And when you up and buy a new computer, just install Steam, sign in, and you've got all your games right there. On a standard cable modem connection, you can install a full game in about 10 minutes. Oh, and Steam also features a community with friends lists, chat, and voice chat, so you can link up with friends for online games.

So...who the hell cares? The industry does, and here's why. Steam may not be news to many people. It's been around for over 4 years, but it is a comforting glimpse of the future for the entire games industry. The industry is gradually transitioning to digital distribution (say goodbye, Gamestop), and Steam shows how it can be done properly. This is important because it means the industry is providing the service customers want early-on, exactly what the music industry failed to do, which prevents piracy from becoming the standard for gamers before the industry can catch up to digital distribution. It also means cost-saving. Games are getting more and more expensive to make - tens of millions of dollars - while the average price of a video game hasn't budged in the last 20 years. If more of the price of a game can go back to publishers and developers instead of Gamestops and disk-printers, that's more money that can be used to make the next game.

Digital Distribution is a scary thing for a lot of us. It summons images in our heads of icky iTunes sound quality, or DRM that keeps you from playing downloaded songs on anything but an iPod, or the terrible video quality that comes from buying a movie digitally, versus going out and buying a Blu-ray. But for games, you're getting exactly what you'd get in the store, avoiding the middle-man and getting the game saved to your account so there's no disk to lose.

You may not play many (or any) PC games, but whether you play on a computer or on an XBox 360, sooner or later you'll be buying all your games online. You're in good hands.

P.S. - Braid, the brilliant and beautiful XBox Live Arcade game, is coming out for Windows on March 31st, most likely available on Steam. Now you have no excuse not to play this game. See full post

Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark Official Press Release

It's officially official, folks! Press Release below.

Turn Off the Dark
Opening Night: Thursday, February 18, 2010
Preview Performances begin Saturday, January 16, 2010

Directed by Julie Taymor
Music and Lyrics by Bono and The Edge
Written by Julie Taymor and Glen Berger

SPIDER-MAN, Turn Off the Dark, will open on Thursday, February 18, 2010 at Broadway’s Hilton Theatre, 213 West 42nd Street (preview performances will begin Saturday, January 16, 2010).

Directed by Tony® Award-winner Julie Taymor with 22-time Grammy® Award-winning Bono and The Edge creating new music and lyrics, SPIDER-MAN will be written by Julie Taymor and Glen Berger.

SPIDER-MAN is produced by Hello Entertainment/David Garfinkle, Martin McCallum, Marvel Entertainment/David Maisel, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Jeremiah Harris.

SPIDER-MAN is produced in association with Omneity Entertainment/Richard Weinberg, the Mayerson/Gould/Hauser/Tysoe Group, Patricia Lambrecht and Jam Theatricals/S2BN Entertainment.

Julie Taymor is best known as director of one of the most successful musicals in Broadway history, Disney’s The Lion King and the film Across The Universe. Bono and The Edge are half of one of the most popular rock bands of all time, U2, who will be making their Broadway debut with SPIDER-MAN.

Drawing from over forty years of Marvel comic books for inspiration, SPIDER-MAN spins a new take on the mythic tale of a young man propelled from a modest rowhouse in Queens to the sky-scraping spire of the Chrysler Building, the bustling offices of the Daily Bugle, through the dizzying canyons of Manhattan, to new vistas never before seen. The musical follows the story of teenager Peter Parker, whose unremarkable life is turned upside-down—literally—when he’s bitten by a genetically altered spider and wakes up the next morning clinging to his bedroom ceiling. This bullied science-geek—suddenly endowed with astonishing powers—soon learns, however, that with great power comes great responsibility as villains test not only his physical strength but also his strength of character. Spider-Man’s battles will hurtle the audience through an origin story both recognizable and unexpected--yielding new characters as well as familiar faces--until a final surprising confrontation casts a startling new light on this hero’s journey.

The principal creative and design team for SPIDER-MAN includes Daniel Ezralow, Choreographer (Across the Universe, The Green Bird); George Tsypin, Sets (The Magic Flute, The Little Mermaid); Eiko Ishioka, Costumes (Academy Award® for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Tony Award® nomination for M. Butterfly, the opening ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics); Donald Holder, Lighting (Tony® Awards for The Lion King, South Pacific); Jonathan Deans, Sound (Fosse, The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil, Young Frankenstein, Ragtime); and Teese Gohl, Musical Supervisor (Across the Universe, Frida). Additional members of the SPIDER-MAN creative team will be announced at a later date.

Casting for SPIDER-MAN will be announced soon.

Group tickets now on sale. Single tickets will go on sale June, 2009. For more information about group tickets, visit the Spider-Man website at or by calling 1-800-Broadway.

An origin story! Who would have guessed. But hell, I'm gonna be there. Group tickets now on sale?! Quick, let's find 20 people and buy tickets! SPIDERMAN. I loved Across the Universe (shut up, david) but please no Evan Rachel Wood. That girl will not be able to sing 8 times a week. See full post

Monday, February 23, 2009

watchmen round-up / more important musings

with LQ at wondercon for the time being, here i am with your daily watchmen fix. and it's not my fault that it's a pan. but seriously folks, this movie is going to be awful. by which i clearly mean full of awe. talking poop about watchmen on this blog before i've seen it is oddly evocative for me of those "messing with sasquatch" ads. ugh, i really hope i love this movie, cause i don't know if i have the energy to defend any kind of dissenting opinion round these parts. for what it's worth, the following opinion doesn't necessarily reek of wise authority.

courtesy of which is not exactly the most incisive bastion of geek-related thought.

"I didn't hate Watchmen, but I didn't love it either," says a longtime HE reader who managed to snag a ticket to the London premiere, which ended a couple of hours ago.

"I'm not a cinema snob and can take a decent loud popcorn film in my stride as much as an animated Israeli documentary or the latest from Shane Meadows. I read one early Watchmen review (if you can call it that -- it was more of an ejaculation of words) that seemed to praise the movie purely on the basis that it existed, and that any fan of the comic books should be grateful that a movie of Watchmen simply exists.

"I don't think this is good enough, and is definitely not the right attitude to take. I think anyone who sees Watchmen, whether a fan previously or not, [can't help but] walk away disappointed that it didn't live up to its potential.

"What I want more than anything in my popcorn movies is a bit of consistency. I'm led to believe that the big blue Dr. Manhattan is the only truly superhero in the film, but in that case, why are all the other Watchmen able to leap like agile cats and fight with the power of ten men? I understand that this is an alternate universe where Ozymandias is the smartest person in the world, but just because he's pretty clever doesn't mean it makes sense when towards the end of the movie he comes accompanied by a new breed of big Antarctic cat with huge fucking ears.

"All I ask for is consistency in the world which we are seeing, and the movie will work. If this stuff is going to make sense, that's fine -- explain it. Tell me why he has a big cat, don't just throw it in there."

in lighter news, i pwned the oscar poll, but LQ was a worthy competition. sure, the awards are disgustingly actor-centric, but if you're watching the show that celebrated a beautiful mind, crash, chicago, etc... for a celebration of art rather than for the glitz and the glamour, you're watching the wrong show. also, the oscars were by default the best oscars in history because of WERNER EFFING HERZOG. the 6% boost in ratings was clearly a direct result of his presence.

and now, i must go watch the final futurama film on blu-ray. so long, suckers.


aintitcool linked to some more official reviews, most of them largely positive, all of them from people familiar with the graphic novel. looks like fans that don't mind a little bit of flexibility or have reasonable expectations are enjoying it quite a bit. again, very curious what the non-fans will think. See full post

FYI [Quick Thought]

I got first place in my Oscar pool! But tied with Danno & david...and lost the tiebreaker.

But my strategy of picking the obvious choices seemed to work out pretty well. Normally I do two ballots or have to go with my favorites on some. Not this year!

One ballot, got 20/24. The four that I missed were literally the four surprises - Sound Mixing, Doc Short, Foreign Lanuage Film & Best Actor. If only I had trusted Dave Karger at the end there. Garrrr.

Also, I happened to think it was a terrific show - I loved the numbers, I did, I don't care what anyone says, and I ALWAYS love me some montages. Plus, being an actor, I quite enjoyed the actor tributes (david...not so much) and I liked having no idea who was coming on stage to perform. How awkard and brooding was RPatz? How gorgeous was Natalie Portman?

Also learned last night that La Maison en Petits Cubes is just not available online and what I posted was only a 28 second clip. But you'll be happy when you finally get to see it - it's worth the wait.

Getting on a flight to LA now! We will have full, extensive coverage of WonderCon featuring especially exclusive access.

And now, one of my favorite speeches of the night (oddly enough, this was the only time God was thanked!)

See full post

Sunday, February 22, 2009

81st Annual Academy Awards Predictions!

This year is turning out to be one of the most predictable in years. Granted, we won't know just how predictable they are until tonight, but if you look around the internet for predictions, you'll notice that not many awards are up for debate. Mostly what we have are frontrunners and potential upsets, with some locks here and there and a couple that are semi up in the air.

Hey, is it weird that Cameron Diaz wasn't in He's Just Not That Into You? Also, she just MISPRONOUNCED Kaufman (he's the dude who wrote the script for the only movie you were ever good in, remember?) then made a big deal about saying Synecdoche correctly. That was beyond awkward. Phil Hoffman & Charlie Kaufman are so uncomfortable right now. Sorry, I have the Spirit Awards on. Anyway. Oh crap, Kaufman just pronounced Josh Pais' last name incorrectly. He was my teacher. Ok, really moving on now.

So, below are my guesses for the winners of the 81st Annual Academy Awards! For all of the categories.

Also, keep in mind that RARELY do all four acting Oscars go to all four obvious choices. Remember Alan Arkin upsetting Eddie Murphy and Marion Cotillard upsetting Julie Christie. I highly doubt that the four winners will be Rourke/Winslet/Ledger/Cruz as those are the four obvious choices. Expect to see a shake up, most likely in Supporting Actress.

Best Picture

Obvious Choice: Slumdog Millionaire

As david would say, duh city.

Possible Upset: Milk

I don't think any film can break Slumdog's inexplicable (ok, slightly explicable, but only slightly. muh) awards season sweep, but if one's gonna do it, it'll be Milk. I feel like when the Academy took a look at this category on their ballot, and thought "You know...Slumdog's actually pretty overrated" and wanted to vote for something else, they'd lean towards the one that would make the best statement. Frost/Nixon? Um. No. Not winning. The Reader? Shove it, Harvey. Benjamin Button? I'm the only person ever who loved that movie, but I feel like people would groan if it won the big one. Milk, however? It's a well made film that tells a really important story, especially considering the current political climate surrounding gay rights. It's the only film that could win and leave everyone satisfied at this point. Except for those people who loved Slumdog, I guess.

Best Director

Obvious Choice: Danny Boyle

Possible Upset: Yeah Right

Best Actor

Obvious Choice: Mickey Rourke

But It Could Go To: Sean Penn

Possible Crazy Upset: Richard Jenkins

This year has been a battle between Penn & Rourke for as long as we all can remember, but so were Daniel Day Lewis and Jack Nicholson at the 75th Oscars, right? What if Richard Jenkins pulled an Adrian Brody? I's not gonna happen, just...throwing it out there. Ultimately I think Rourke has the momentum, the story & the performance and will take the big prize. Though Danno is still with Dave Karger in thinking Penn will take it, largely because he won the SAG award and the academy is mostly made up of actors.

Best Actress

Obvious Choice: Kate Winslet

But It Could Go To: Meryl Streep

Possible Crazy Upset: Melissa Leo

Sorry, Anne, but it's not your year. I thought you were amazing, but it's not your year. Kate Winslet more or less has it in the bag, as she's been nominated a bajillion times and never won and all that and it is pretty nuts that it doesn't say "Oscar Winner" in front of her name during the trailers for her films. But Meryl hasn't won in 15 years and she's...Meryl. This could be the big surprise of the night.

Best Supporting Actor
Will Win: Heath Ledger, as he should

Best Supporting Actress

Obvious Choice: Penelope Cruz

But It Could Be: Viola Davis or Taraji P. Henson

I'm counting Marisa Tomei out cause she has an Oscar and Amy Adams out cause she has red hair. My personal favorite out of this bunch is Penelope Cruz (if Rosemarie Dewitt got the nomination this year, my choice may have been different) but Nate Silver's numbers are going with Henson, and Nate is rarely incorrect. Viola Davis is the favorite to overtake Penelope, though I don't think she should.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Obvious Choice: Slumdog Millionaire

Possible Upset: The Reader

But I sure as hell hope not. Fuck The Reader even more than Slumdog Millionaire for taking Dark Knight's spot in the Best Picture category.

Best Original Screenplay

Obvious Choice: Milk

Possible Upset: Wall-E

Possible Super Upset: In Bruges

Assuming Slumdog & Rourke take the other big ones, this category will be the "Thanks for playing, Milk, you were great" one. It would suck if the movie was shut out all together and I don't think Academy members would let that happen. If this award goes to Wall-E, I smell a win for Sean Penn...

Art Direction

Obvious Choice: Benjamin Button

But It Could Go To: Slumdog (blech) or Dark Knight. Which would be cool. But it won't happen.

You can't deny that Benjamin Button was beautiful. If you do, you are a liar and an idiot. I said it.


Obvious Choice: Slumdog

But It Could Go To: Benjamin Button

Super Crazy Upset: Dark Knight

Go Wally!

Best Foreign Film

No obvious choice here! It's a toss up between Waltz With Bashir & The Class. If I had to pick one, it would be Waltz with Bashir, because it's new & innovative and deserves a freaking award for being a foreign animated documentary, COME ON.

Best Documentary

Obvious Choice: Man On Wire

Possible Upset: Encounters at the End of the World or Trouble the Water

Man on Wire's got it in the bag

Sound Awards

Obvious Choice: Dark Knight

Possible Upset: Wall - E or Slumdog...if Slumdog wins these, I swear....THROW DARK KNIGHT A BONE

Best Animated Feature

Wall-E. Done and done.

Best Costume Design

Obvious Choice: The Duchess

I don't think it's going to anyone else. Frilly costume dramas usually rule this category.

Best Documentary Short Subject

Obvious Choice: The Conscience of Nhem En

But It Could Go To: The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306

My only blind category this year. I'm going with Conscience because it's won all these awards and seems to be the frontrunner, but I've heard rumblings that Witness could overtake it.

Best Editing

Obvious Choice: Slumdog

Possible Upset: Dark Knight or Milk

I didn't think Milk's editing was anything amazing, but it's getting upset talk. Dark Knights editing - you loved it or you hated it. My guess it when it comes to the members of the academy (mostly actors...) marking a ballot, they are gonna go for the one that plays with time and is all cool! Which would be Slumdog.

Best Makeup

Obvious Choice: Benjamin Button

Possible Upset: Hellboy 2

If the Academy just REALLY HATES Benjamin Button & everything it stands for

Best Special Effects

Obvious Choice: Benjamin Button

Benjamin Button created some new shit and don't the ones that create new shit always win? I mean, you can't argue with me on this one. If something else wins, I'm pissed

Best Song & Score

Obvious Choice: Slumdog for both, for song specifically, Jai Ho

Possible Upset: Wall-E, but it won't happen :(

Best Animated Short

Obvious Choice: Presto

But It Could Be: La Maison en Petits Cubes

Possible Upset: Lavatory-Love Story

I loved all three of these. Presto is Pixar's best short since 2001, but the Academy is known now for overlooking Pixar in this category and giving it to the folks who don't win the feature length oscar every year. I'm thinking it'll go to the beautiful La Maison en Petits Cubes.

Best Live Action Short

Obvious Choice: Toyland

But It Could Be: New Boy

Possible Upset: The Pig

This one is tough for me. I know I'm gonna end up marking the Holocaust one - Toyland - but I LOVED New Boy and would rather that one pull it out in the end. Both New Boy & The Pig have more to say than Toyland. I'm very curious to see what happens.

So there you have it! Hope this helps you in figuring out your Oscar pool. Unless you are coming to my party. In which case, please don't beat me. I really wanna win this year. See full post

Oscar Video of the Moment!

In honor of Oscar Sunday (official predictions from ATF to come soon), I'm posting a video from last years Oscars of New York City actor/blogger/potential lawyer/political activist/really smart guy Danno, naming every Best Picture winner before they come up on the screen. It only starts filming around the 70s, but it's still effing impressive.


See full post

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Buffy The Vampire Slayer in 4 Minutes

Oh, Buffy. How I miss thee. Thanks for getting me through middle school & high school. I loved Xander, Oz & Spike, never Angel. Is that weird? Also, there was a time during season 2 where I owned EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF BUFFY MERCHANDISE THAT EXISTED. This is no longer the case.

Anyway, Io9, which often makes me happy, did not disappoint today. Thanks for the tip!

Buffy, the Vampire Slayer (Abridged)
See full post

Oscar Animated Shorts! [Oscar Watch]

Just got back from seeing the Oscar nominated shorts at the IFC Center. Overall, they were fantastic and it felt great to see a whole bunch live action short films that were truly top quality. Great stories, great filmmaking, innovative, interesting, NOT BORING. I don't know how many film school short festivals YOU'VE been to, but if the answer is more than one, then you need to go to IFC immediately so you can see what the short form is actually capable of.

Here's how the live action shorts ranked for me:

1. New Boy
2. Toyland
3. The Pig (though my cohorts and I disagreed on this one)
4. On The Line
5. Manon on the Asphalt

Here's what the New York Times had to say about two of my favorites,

The most interesting live-action candidates — “New Boy” [from Ireland] and “The Pig,” from Denmark — are concise, witty excursions into complicated contemporary realities. Both deal with the growing pains of multicultural Europe, and they do so with more wryness than didacticism. Rather than teaching lessons in tolerance, they show how tricky such lessons can be, to teach or to learn.

Toyland is the Holocaust drama of the group, and for most of it I was thinking to myself "Oh, here's the Holocaust frontrunner, yaawwwnnn", until one particular moment, and if you've seen the film, you know what I mean, that made me realize just WHY it's getting the attention its received. And I couldn't stop crying.

Ultimately though, I prefer New Boy, and I hope the Academy agrees with me on this one. I wouldn't by any means mind if Toyland won, it was great, but New Boy touched me in a way none of the others did. It's genuinely hilarious & unexpectedly moving. I was gonna post the trailer here, but it gives waaaay too much away. So. Don't watch the trailer.

Now on to animated shorts. While the live action shorts were great, the animated ones were FANTASTIC. In my opinion. Here's the Times,

If the live-action shorts are characterized by realism and local knowledge — each offering a few moments of immersion in the particulars of individual or family life — their animated siblings explore the universality of film language. The five employ various visual techniques, traditional and newfangled, but what they have in common is an almost complete lack of dialogue.

This is a tough category. Each short had something unique to offer. Oktapodi was bright, short & sweet, This Way Up was British slapstick comedy at its finest (with a dash of surrealism thrown in of course), Presto is Pixar perfection, Lavatory/Love Story is simple, delightful joy and La Maison en Petits Cube is beautiful & moving and manages to be both quiet & epic at the same time.

If I had to narrow it down to three for the win it would be: Presto as the frontrunner, La Maison en Petits Cube as the artsy alternative and Lavatory - Love Story as the potential upset/dark horse. I'll have trouble finally settling on one when I fill out my Oscar ballot tomorrow. Though it must be said - Pixar knows how to deliver, and Presto is their best short in years. They've lost this category 7 years running, which I think ultimately plays in its favor.

Below you will find all five nominees for Best Animated Short. To watch my favorite from the ones that almost made the cut, Jack & Karen, click here. I beg of you. It's only 3 minutes. Watch it. It was the only one that made the audience break out into applause.

La Maison en Petits Cube (Pieces of Love)


Lavatory - Love Story


This Way Up See full post

Friday, February 20, 2009

Why I'm Proud To Have Never Watched The Hills

While googling "oscar predictions" in preparation for Sunday, I came across this little number from Brody what's his head from The Hills, or I guess Bromance or whatever,

I've been in Hawaii and will actually be flying back during the Oscar show on Sunday. This year seems pretty exciting -- a lot of good movies.

Here are my predictions for the winners:

Best actor:
Sean Penn

Best actress:
Angelina Jolie

Best supporting actor:
Heath Ledger

Best supporting actress:
Marisa Tomei

Best picture:

Do you agree? Drop me a comment and let me know what you think of the Oscars this year.

Need I say more?

How about just a tiny bit more. Idiots make me upset. There, I'm good now. See full post

Spoilers, Vader and Interactive Charts! [Oscar Fun!]

Thought I'd share my fun Oscar discoveries from the past couple of days, courtesy of Slashfilm & Spout.

First up, from the Fine Brothers, who spoiled 100 movies in 4 minutes, (but didn't ruin anything for me cause I skipped over their Oldboy spoiler HAH,) comes Spoiling the Oscars, in which they spoil every Best Picture winner plus this years nominees, in under 5 minutes. Watch at your own risk.

Here are the movies they spoil, if you wanna make sure to pause it when they get to one you haven't seen!

Wings, Sunrise, The Broadway Melody, All Quiet on the Western Front, Cimarron, Grand Hotel, Cavalcade, It Happened One Night, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Great Ziegfeld, The Life of Emile Zola, You Can’t Take it with You, Gone with the Wind, Rebecca, How Green Was My Valley, Mrs. Miniver, Casablanca, Going My Way, The Lost Weekend, The Best Years of Our Lives, Gentleman’s Agreement, Hamlet, All the King’s Men, All About Eve, An American in Paris, The Greatest Show on Earth, From Here to Eternity, On the Waterfront, Marty, Around the World in Eighty Days, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Gigi, Ben-Hur, The Apartment, West Side Story, Lawrence of Arabia, Tom Jones, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, A Man for All Seasons, In the Heat of the Night, Oliver!, Midnight Cowboy, Patton, The French Connection, The Godfather, The Sting, The Godfather Part II, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Rocky, Annie Hall, The Deer Hunter, Kramer vs. Kramer, Ordinary People, Chariots of Fire, Gandhi, Terms of Endearment, Amadeus, Out of Africa, Platoon, The Last Emperor, Rain Man, Driving Miss Daisy, Dances with Wolves, The Silence of the Lambs, Unforgiven, Schindler’s List, Forrest Gump, Braveheart, The English Patient, Titanic, Shakespeare in Love, American Beauty, Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, Chicago, Lord of the Rings The Return of the King, Million Dollar Baby, Crash, The Departed, No Country for Old Men, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Milk, Frost/Nixon, The Reader, Slumdog Millionaire

Next up, Chad Vader acts out this years Best Picture nominees.

Next up, everything you always wanted to know about the Academy Awards but were too afraid to ask. So they claim. Film historian David Parkinson compiled some pretty fun data and made this crazy awesome interactive information thingie! And yes, I believe that's what it's officially called. Crazy Awesome Interactive Information Thingie. Stop judging me and click here already. P.S. The hair section leads us to believe that Amy Adams doesn't have as good of a shot tomorrow as some blogs are predicting! I'm sticking with Penelope Cruz, but we'll write out our official Oscar predictions tomorrow.

And finally, Best Week Ever talks to us about 20 movies we didn't realize were Oscar winners. Though, for the record, I TOTALLY knew Happy Feet won cause I was like "...what?" when I lost that category two years ago. Though it WAS probably better than Cars, I always just assume Pixar has it in the bag. Still bitter over Shrek beating Monster's Inc, grrrrr.

That about does it for fun Oscar crap! See full post

The Crazies Gets Creepy One Sheet [I Heart Horror]

Just released! The official one sheet for the remake of The Crazies, George Romero's 1973 classic horror film. Here are some plot summaries I stumbled upon.

A biological weapon gone awry is only the start of problems in the little town of Evan’s City, Pennsylvania. Bouts of insanity in the populace are leading to murder and rioting, until the US Army turns up - and things really start going to hell.

The military attempts to contain a killer man-made virus that causes death and permanent insanity in those infected.

Terror! Permanent Insanity! Murder! Riots! Man Made Virus! Small Town! Timothy Olyphant! Oh yeah, did I mention Timothy Olyphant is starring? He is...attractive...sign me up!

The Crazies will be released in theaters September 25, 2009. Aw, not Halloween? Does Saw own Halloween? I'm like, 17 behind on that series.

[Source] See full post

Meme of the Week [Wee!]

Look, I love memes, I do. That's just the way it is. Deal with it, Cate Blanchett.

Was looking through my google reader and came across this AV Club post that got me all excited.

There's a new meme sweeping the internet (so I have declared!) that uses Wikipedia, Quotations Page and Flickr to serve up a whole bunch of silly awesomeness.

First, go to Wikipedia and click on "random article". The name of the article is your band name.

Second, go to Quotations Page and click on "Random Quotes". The last four or five words of the last quote is your album title.

Finally, go to Flickr and click on "Last 7 Days". The third picture is your album cover.

Here are my results!

Calendar Reform - People Our Parents Warned Us About

Republic of Alba - Coming With All My Heart

Bad. Ass.

Post yours below! And feel free to link to pictures. See full post

Watchmen Round-Up 2/20/09

Shit. They're not playing around.

It's only 1pm PST and already a host of new Watchmen tidbits are floating around the interwebs. Let it begin.

1. New Watchmen Viral Video

Holy crap this is cool. IT'S JUST SO COOL AND WEIRD. It's a Veidt Music Network (VMN) special from 1983 and it really feels like an old MTV bit. Cracks me up. There are also a couple clips from the opening credits in there :). Love it.

2. Watchmen Trailer Recreated with Motion Comic

What I love about this is how much it actually matches the trailer. I know people have differing opinions on Snyder recreating the exact frames from the graphic novel, on this very blog in fact!, but I think it's awesome. And this video demonstrates just how close he gets it.

3. Good Reviews

You've heard a lot of about negative reviews on this site, but that's about to change. As it turns out, the fanboys are flipping for the film, and hopefully that's what I'll be doing too. Here are some choice phrases, courtesy of Slashfilm.

Wil Wheaton: “It’s the best movie inspired by a graphic novel that I’ve ever seen.” … “Watchmen is faithful to the book. It respects the book. I swear by the beard of Zeus, it feels like the book. Yes, there are some cuts, but they serve the release and don’t disrupt or betray the narrative at all.” … “I can’t think of a better, more faithful, graphic novel adaptation, ever. Nothing else even comes close.”

Ain’t It Cool News reader Ramses II: “Yes, it’s long but yes it’s extremely faithful to the graphic novel, to the point that the sex and violence is almost HARSHER than I remember it being in the comic.” … “a huge, beautiful, angry, dirty, faithful, sigh of relief of a film.”

Latino Review reader Bentley Mustafa: “I have to say Snyder knocked this one out of the park...I knew there was going to be some slo-mo, but I didn’t think he overdid it. All in all, fans of the book are going to more than pleased with the film.”

Andrew Fenton on AdelaideNow: “It lives up to the hype, it’s faithful and doesn’t wimp out on any of the things you’d expect it might.”

GeekTyrant: “a Watchmen fan’s wet dream.” … “I truly enjoyed every second of the film. It was two hours and forty-five minutes of balls out awesomeness. For me the movie didn’t feel that long at all, the time just flew by.” … “The action in the film was freakin breathtaking, the fight scenes were choreographed extremely well and brutal as all hell.” … “The acting in the film was marvelous!” … “I think fans of the graphic novel are going to appreciate the film more than those that have not read it yet”

DoorQ: “It’s fucking awesome.” … “[Watchmen] was considered too violent for mainstream audiences. Too dense. Too verbose. Snyder took that story…and he fucking nailed it.”

And can we all take a moment to commend Warner Brother's for just being awesome? For all these treats for the fans? The clips, the photos, the viral videos (which I don't think help bring in more money, but are just awesome for the fans), the screenings, the Q&As, the convention appearences, etc? THIS is how you market a genre film and I love it. Star Trek, take some lessons. See full post

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Well, now that things are legitimate...

Ruminations on Star Trek, Part 1

Just kidding about the title...I've always wanted to contribute more to this blog, but I'm not exactly sure what's stopped me...lack of anything worth reading to say? lack of time? fear?

Probably a healthy dose of all of the above.

So, finally, I have a night off, something I felt worthy of sharing, and I suppose two out of three is reason enough to start.

So, as you might have gathered, I've been thinking about Star Trek a lot lately; not necessarily the new JJ Abrams geek-fest which is likely to entice and please all of us--although those men and women who proudly grew up loving ol' Bill T. and the gang can happily cyber-flog me if the movie is terrible--but the whole universe in general.

I have always been fascinated by Sci-Fi, have watched essentially every series that even remotely, vaguely, somehow involved space, whether it was great (BSG circa 2000s; Star Trek: DS9 [the later seasons]) or terrible (Mission Genesis--remember that?), and even fancied myself an amateur star gazer in my later years--when I still lived in an environment where you could see more than just the most highly visible stars in the heaven on any given, cloudless evening.

But now, I begin to wonder what exactly attracted me to the entire concept in the first place?

Gene Roddenberry, may he continue to rest in peace, originally created the concept of Star Trek to showcase his ideal view of a future of harmony and peace...I mean, its not that difficult to see exactly what he was trying to accomplish--I mean the show was hugely diverse for its time, and featured lead characters of Japanese and Russian heritage (Cold War much?); not to mention Mr. Roddenberry took it a step further and introduced the ultimate 'other' concept by having poor half-little-green-man Mr. Spock as one of the central characters.

Yet lately, every scrap of Star Trek seems to be focused on one thing: war, war, war.

Enterprise, the most recent series to fly the Star Trek banner (although, technically they conveniently left that moniker out), featured a way between a species those of us in fandom had never heard of before, and likely will never hear of again. At the end of both Voyager and DS9, we saw Federation star ships pitted against foes the likes of which Roddenberry in the 60s probably conceived of, but never really felt necessary to bring into the living rooms of Americans every week.

Then there's Nemesis, Insurrection, and of course First Contact...and then the impetus for this inaugural post, the Star Trek book franchise, which is currently dominated by the greatest foe the Federation has ever seen: THE BORG.

So, what exactly is my point in all of this?

Not reallllllly sure. I just wonder if Star Trek is living up to the dream, when suddenly it seems as if the whole concept has been turned into some nightmare.

I'm rambling...this isn't the last of this...stay tuned.
See full post

All Things Fangirl Gets Real

Just a quick announcement!

We now own, so if you ever wanna recommend us to your friends, you don't have to worry about saying that whole "dot blogspot" business.

With the domain name come fancy schmancy email addresses! You can now reach all the ATF contributors individually at: - webmaster - specializing in television/film - specializing in comics - specializing in music/film theory - specializing in games See full post

NEW ST. VINCENT ALBUM GAH!! (david wets self)

this probably wont be as controversial as my last post... and is only fan-ish in that it's something for which my love for reduces me to a drooling shell of a fan-man.

this makes kittens inspired by kittens look like giulianis inspired by giuliani... and that is a truly unfortunate video.

follow here to learn!

oh, also, her music is RIDICULOUS.

anticipate! See full post

Watchmen Round-Up 2/19/09

With only a couple weeks to go, expect there to be tons of Watchmen news sprouting up every day.

Today, we bring you a whole bunch of goodies so get ready.

1. Courtesy of G4 - The first official Watchmen review

Some key points:

"Watchmen is not a bad film, but it’s not a great one either."

"I left the theater thinking, 'Well, it could have been a lot worse.'"

"Obviously, Snyder was shouldered with a difficult task. Watchmen is not an easy story to understand, although you can turn back the page and re-read something: The intricate layers of interpersonal relationships, the slow build up of action, deep characterization and back story. How do you fit all of that into a three hour film?

The answer is, you don’t. And Snyder didn’t. While it’s clear that great pains were taken to try and stay as true to the graphic novel as possible, this is almost to the film’s detriment. What the Watchmen ends up becoming is a series of enjoyables to watch, yet plot-bare vignettes featuring characters you know little about, unless you’ve read the book."

"All of this -- weird montages, no sense of time and place, little character development -- leads to the pacing of the movie being horribly off."

"As one girl put it to me after the movie ended, 'It was like I almost fell asleep and then boom! I was awake! And then it got all weird and sad, and I wanted to sleep again.' Ouch."

"While watching, I couldn’t help but think the people who didn't read the novel were probably completely lost. "

" were enjoyable and boy, was it beautiful to look at. The cinematography was fantastic and it was amazing to see the images from the book come alive so vividly and with such painstaking precision. Great costumes and meticulous attention to detail gave the film an incredible visual appeal"

"Oh, then there were the fight sequences. Every time someone got punched in the face, I found myself wondering how they weren’t dead on first, brutal, vicious contact. Wonderfully choreographed and beautifully executed, no one can say that this film skimps on bone crunching. There are plenty of well-placed and -- dare I say -- classy moments of blood and gore that will leave you reeling and wanting more."

"Snyder also pulls amazing and genuinely heartfelt performances out of his actors. The cast is incredibly strong -- most notably, the pairing of Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach, and Patrick Wilson, as The Nite Owl."

"Other highlights include Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian, who brings sincere darkness to the role, and Billy Crudup as Doctor Manhattan."

"If there is one weakness in the cast, it’s the performance of Malin Akerman as Silk Spectre. Akerman’s performance sums up the entire movie -- great to look at, but hollow."

"Initially, I didn’t have a problem with its ending. Now, I’m starting to have a huge problem with it. Its ending doesn't carry the same kind of emotional weight or message as the book. It also seems forced. It’s less character-centric and more centered on creating big action."

Well. Okay. So I'm beginning to lower my expectations, that's fine! Listen. I know this movie will have problems. I just don't think Well, we'll see.

2. Courtesy of Io9 &, six new clips featuring Sally Jupiter, a lot of the Comedian being a badass & parts of the Dr. Manhattan sequence I saw a couple months ago. Which, by the way, is gorgeous. Here they are for your viewing pleasure:

3. Courtesy of MTV, Zach Snyder explains why he is such a fan of slo-mo

So why does he like using slo-mo?

”[It] helps me to enjoy the face-smashing even more”

That's all for today, folks!

Are you nervous? Or do you not care and plan on enjoying it anyway? See full post