Saturday, April 30, 2011

Doctor Who, Day of the Moon, first thoughts

Remember, Spoilers!

What the....!

Okay, I did not see that coming.

Obviously, as a Time Lord, we are meant to assume that this is the Doctor's child.

And the episode itself showed us that the little girl is supposedly Amy's.

So, we are meant to extrapolate those two things into believing the the child is the child of Amy and the Doctor.

Sorry.  Don't buy it.

Especially with the great Amy and Rory stuff in the episode.

I'm a huge fan of Rory Williams, a huge fan of him ever since he dedicated himself to protecting Amy in the Pandorica for 2000 years.

"I was there." - The Doctor speaking about the Roman Empire.

"So was I" - Rory the Roman.

And the fact that he has access to those memories, and that Amy is aware of that dedication as well, makes it impossible for me to believe that Amy and the Doctor are going to procreate.

Especially considering the moment we witnessed between River and the Doctor.

How heartbreaking was that?

"First time for everything!" - The Doctor

"And also the last." - River Song

It's strange, because in a way it is also exciting.  For us, it is a beginning.  River and the Doctor's relationship has moved on to a new level.  For her to kiss him like that means that their relationship is that type of relationship for her, meaning that it is about to be that for the Doctor.

Which gives another reason to think that there is no chance that the little girl Time Lord is the daughter of the Doctor and Amy.  Not only are Amy and Rory rock solid, but the Doctor and River appear headed that way also.

What if the little Time Lord is the daughter of River and the Doctor.  And, as I postulated last week, River is the daughter of Amy and Rory.  Meaning that the picture Amy saw was a picture of the little Time Lord's mother as a baby.  River Song, as an infant, in the arms of her mother (the Little Time Lord's Grandmother), Amy Pond.

I like that theory.

Anyway, a few of the other things in the episode that were interesting,

I loved the ways they remembered their encounters with the Silence.

And the way they solved the problem of the Silence was awesome.  Love when the show uses huge historical moments in such clever ways.

So, it appears that the Silence aren't really the mystery of the series, the child Time Lord is.

The Impossible Astronaut.

Great red herring.

Also, how great was the Doctor being imprisoned in Area 51?

Pretty cool.

Not really sure what episode might help in understanding, but I can tell you what episode it made me think of...

The Doctor's Daughter, from Season 4.

Until Next Time, Can't wait for next week.  The Doctor, Pirates, and mermaids.  Cool.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Doctor Who, The Impossible Astronaut, first thoughts

As River Song would say,


IF you haven't watched the episode yet, perhaps now is not the time to read this post.  It is written with the understanding that you have already seen the episode.

So.... if you're still here....

I'll get started.

And there really is no other place we can start other than where the episode really got going...

With the death of the Doctor

When it was announced that one of the main four characters would die in the opening, speculation seemed to center on River and Rory.

I believed all along that it would be the Doctor.

My theory was that we would see where the Matt Smith incarnation of the Doctor would die.  Meaning when Matt Smith finally left the role, it would come back to this.

Rory died last year (brought back first as an Auton and later thanks to the rebooting of the universe courtesy of an exploding TARDIS), so I didn't think it would be him.

And we all know when River dies, as it happened in Series 4 way back when we and the Doctor first met her.  (Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead, and I'm wondering now if the title of the first episode was a little more significant than we realized.)  More on that in a little bit.

Obviously Amy is safe, so clearly that left the Doctor.

And the Doctor it was. But he is killed again right in the middle of his regeneration cycle, meaning he doesn't regenerate and is dead for real.

Ignoring for the moment what an inconvenient loophole that is for Time Lords, I find it hard to believe that this is really the end for the Doctor.

As Amy pointed out, "Time can be rewritten," and that seems to be an important theme in Moffat's work.

Hell, the Christmas Special this year was primarily based on that idea.  (And I'm loving that it is on as I'm writing this.  Thank you BBC America.)

Then there is the fact that the Doctor went to this death quite willingly, admonishing Amy, Rory, and River to let it happen.

"I've been running, faster than I've ever run, and I've been running my whole life.  Now it's time for me to stop."

Admittedly, that sounds a little final, so maybe the Doctor even believes this is for real; that he has to actually die, but time, as we all know is quite wibbly-wobbly, and there is more to this than that of which we are aware.

Therefore, the question is raised, how will they get around this?  I have a feeling that that is what the majority of the first half season arc will be about.

The other question raised by the frantic opening, is what exactly the Doctor was hoping to accomplish with his frenetic running around attracting the notice of Amelia Pond throughout history (and remaining oblivious to Rory even as the Doctor in a cool fez waved to him from the middle of the Abbot and Costello movie)?  Clearly the Doctor was up to something with all of that running faster than he's ever run before.

Just before the Doctor is killed, we discover that this Doctor (the Stetson wearing Doctor, Stetson's are cool) is actually two hundred years older than our Doctor, and after we see his death, we find out that our Doctor is blissfully unaware of the future that supposedly awaits him, giving Amy, Rory, and River knowledge that he doesn't have.  Knowledge that will apparently set in motion the death the of the Doctor, but presumably save the world as well.

Having a Doctor from 200 years further in the future set up an exciting moment, for the first time ever in our sight, and probably the only time in their relationship, the Doctor and River each know all about their relationship, whatever exactly it is.

Later in the episode, River opens up a little bit to Rory about how difficult their relationship is.  When River first met the Doctor, he knew everything about her although she had never seen him before.  When the Doctor first met River (in Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead) she knew everything about him (including his true name) even though he had never seen her before.  They've been traveling in opposite directions the entire time, except for this brief moment.  The end of the Doctor's life (although still before the end of River's), so he has already met the River who had never met him.  He and River, for the only time ever, are approximately in the same place as far as their relationship is concerned.  Too bad it doesn't last very long, and a few remembrances of Easter Island and Jim the Fish are all that we get to see because their are bigger fish to fry or dams to build, since that apparently is what Jim the Fish is doing.  (I apologize for the fish fry pun.)  It is a great moment, made even more poignant when River talks to Rory about the difficulty of traveling in different directions.

"The trouble is, it's all back to front.  My past is his future.  We're traveling in opposite directions.  Every time we meet, I know him more; he knows me less.  I live for the days I see him.  But I know that every time I do, he'll be one step further away.  The day's coming when I'll look into that man's eyes... my Doctor, and he won't have the faintest idea who I am.  And I think it's going to kill me."

Which, of course, in a way it does.

River Song is a fantastic character, Alex Kingston plays her masterfully, as that monologue was expertly given, and I love how we are riding along with the Doctor in this relationship, learning a little bit more about River with each meeting, knowing some things about her future that she does not, but recognizing that she knows a lot more about the Doctor's future than he does, and that we really still don't know who she is at all.

Now, of course, Amy and Rory know some things about the Doctor's future of which he is unaware as well, and that sort of shakes up the dynamics inside the TARDIS a little bit, Amy and Rory having such important information that the Doctor isn't privy to.

Not sure how long that will play out, especially since the episode ends with Amy trying to kill the little girl/impossible astronaut.  I'm pretty sure the Doctor won't let that attempt go without an explanation.

Right before then, Amy announces she's pregnant.  But she seems to give it a lot more import than just a normal announcement of impending birth, as if there is something sinister about this pregnancy.  She tells the Doctor that this is information that can't wait, which gives it a lot of import considering everything that is going on at the time, including her knowledge of the Doctor's impending death.

Why do you think that is?

Here's an interesting thought, considering that Amy's last name is Pond, a body of water, what if River (also water related, hmmm) is actually the daughter of Amy Pond?

I don't know.  Seems plausible though, doesn't it?  There is clearly something hugely (no pun intended this time) important about the baby in Amy's belly.

I think that the reason she felt she had to tell the Doctor about being pregnant is because the Silence in the bathroom told her to.  "You must tell the Doctor what he needs to know and what he must not know."  Obviously what he must not know is about his impending death, and apparently what he needs to know is about her pregnancy.  Since the Silence is somehow controlling Amy, making her tell him, that could explain the urgency with which she tells him at such an inopportune time.

Speaking of, what were your thoughts on the Silence?

An enemy that you forget as soon as you stop looking at them are pretty intriguing.

At least they suit up.  They are classy if deadly, scary aliens.

Last season, we were warned that "The Silence Would Fall."

We still aren't exactly aware of what that might mean, but its possible that silence already has fallen, but since you are only aware of the aliens while you see them, most of the time we forget completely that these aliens are everywhere.

Much like the tunnels behind the warehouse our fearsome fivesome (with the outstanding addition of Mark Sheppard, who played Badger on Firefly, Romo Lampkin on BSG, and has also been in The X-Files, Star Trek: Voyager, Dollhouse, Chuck, and Supernatural, in other words, pretty much every awesome sci-fi thing ever) arrive at towards the end of the episode.

Which, of course, brings us to the interesting discover that Rory and River make down there.

Look familiar?

It appears to be the same TARDIS room featured in last season's episode The Lodger.

Where the Doctor got a roommate.
This is what I'm really loving about Moffat's tenure on the show so far.  Everything matters.  The title of the very first River Song episode seems to play into what's happening now, almost three years later.  What seemed to be an episode outside of the greater arc last year apparently has everything to do with the arc this year.  Every little thing matters.

With that in mind, I figure that at the end of each of these first thought posts I'll suggest an episode (or three) that is worth a closer rewatch based on what we just saw.

Clearly, for this episode, that is The Lodger, but the first two River Song episodes, Silence of the Library and Forest of the Dead, might be worth a gander as well.  You can't really go wrong with those outstanding episodes anyway.

Until Next Time, the series is off to quite a breathtaking start, and I can't believe it will be a week  before we find out what happens next.  Remember, Look Behind You!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Some More on Sarah Jane

I am still feeling shock and sadness at the passing of Lis Sladen.  There have been quite a few tributes in the past day that really get to the loss many of us are feeling.

I realized as I thought about why this has hit me so hard that Sarah Jane Smith has been a part of my life practically my entire life.

I first was introduced to Doctor Who by watching random Tom Baker episodes on PBS (usually completely out of order, which meant the greater stories the episodes were a part of were completely lost on me, but it was fun and slightly scary so it didn't bother me too much that I never really knew exactly what was going on), and on many of those episodes, Sarah Jane was the companion.

A plucky reporter, that despite being human and (gasp!) female, often showed the same bravery and abilities as the Doctor himself, Sarah Jane was a strong character that stayed with me throughout my life after the Doctor and I lost touch (or PBS stopped showing episodes).

When Doctor Who returned in 2005, I was very excited, but didn't have BBC America, and therefore was late getting back to the party.  I always meant to, but it took Netflix putting all of the first four seasons for me to get caught up in time for season 5.

However, a couple of years after the return, Russell T. Davies started a spin-off series featuring my favorite companion, Sarah Jane Smith.  The first season of The Sarah Jane Adventures actually aired on SciFi (now known as SyFy), and that was a channel that I had.

I actually watched The Sarah Jane Adventures before I watched any NuWho. 

It was as if she had never left my television screen.

Sarah Jane started on Doctor Who in 1973, and as recently this season has been on The Sarah Jane Adventures.  Elisabeth Sladen has been playing this character longer than I have been alive, and I have been a fan of this character and connected to this character since I was a child.  It is rare that a person is tied to one character for such a long period of time, and when someone has been connected to a character for such a long period, it shouldn't be surprising that myself and so many others feel so connected to her and therefore, feel this loss so keenly.

Three of the still living Doctors who have had Sarah Jane as a companion, Tom Baker, David Tennant, and Matt Smith, have paid tribute.

From Tom Baker's website

Sarah Jane dead?  No, impossible!  Impossible.  Only last week I agreed to do six new audio adventures with her for Big Finish Productions.
She can't be dead.  But she is: she died yesterday morning.  Cancer.  I had no idea she was ill; she was so private, never wanted any fuss, and now, gone.  A terrible blow to her friends and a shattering blow for all those fans of the programme whose lives were touched every Saturday evening by her lovely heroic character, Sarah-Jane Smith.

Happy memories with Lis.  Here we were having fun during a filming break.
 Picture © James Clevett
Lis Sladen was very important to me, you know. When I joined the little world of Doctor Who, Lis was already a star.  She had an enormous success with Jon Pertwee.  She was good pals with the Brigadier, our beloved Nicholas Courtney; she knew all the regular directors.  She was adored by Barry Letts, the producer who cast her in the role.  She always said she was Barry's girl.  It was for that reason she decided to leave the show.  But it was not necessary at all.  The fans adored her, Philip Hinchcliffe, our new and glamorous producer, adored her, so did David Maloney, her favourite director.
Terry Walsh, the regular stunt man adored her.  Once in deep, dark Wooky Hole caves Lis was almost swept away in a small boat, fifty feet from a terrifying black hole that looked like the entrance to hell.  In a flash Terry Walsh dived in and caught the boat and all was well, thanks to the devotion of Terry.  Lis was safe and and the show could go on.

Here we are on Bessie right at the beginning of my time on Doctor Who.  
Picture courtesy of the BBC
So when I replaced Jon Pertwee, it must have been an anxious time for Lis; it was a very anxious time for me.  Following in the big footsteps of Jon was daunting.  Tom Baker?  Never heard of him.  And so we started on the first story under Barry Letts as director.  We did the location stuff first and I just obeyed orders; running about, with the Brigadier and that silly car Bessie Trotwood, I think it was called: too small for me, but also in its own way a "character". Jon loved cars.  
But back in the rehearsal room things were quieter and there was time to put in little details, time for Lis and me to get acquainted, time for me to try and make a little mark, so to speak.  And Lis laughed at my silly antics; yes, she did, she laughed me to success.  We both came from Liverpool, that small detail helped.  We both loved old movies.  And quite suddenly Lis and Ian Marter and Tom Baker were a trio.  It is so consoling when one is sad and bereft to remember the good times, the laughter, the glamour; yes, the glamour: we three switched on the lights at Blackpool!   A very great honour.  We performed a little melodrama directed by (guess who?) yes, David Maloney! And now Lis was adored by Ian Marter and Tom Baker too.

Switching on the Blackpool illuminations.  Picture © Blackpool Council
And it never ceased. And in the evenings Lis, would simply disappear back to wherever we were staying and the rest of us would often be raucous!   And too soon she decided to leave; no fuss at all, all was calm.  And Philip Hinchcliffe gave her lovely farewell party at the Hilton.   Those sweet memories of happy days with Lis Sladen, the lovely, witty, kind and so talented Lis Sladen.  I am consoled by the memories.  I was there, I knew her, she was good to me and I shall always be grateful, and I shall miss her.
From David Tennant
I just can't believe that Lis is gone. She seemed invincible. The same woman who enchanted my childhood, enchanted my time on Doctor Who and enchanted generations who have watched her and fallen in love with her – just like I did. I feel very honoured to have shared a TARDIS with Sarah Jane Smith, and I feel very lucky to have shared some time with Lis Sladen. She was extraordinary.

From Matt Smith
What struck me about Lis was her grace. She welcomed me, educated me, and delighted me with her tales and adventures on Doctor Who. And she also seemed to have a quality of youth that not many people retain as they go through life. Her grace and kindness will stay with me because she had such qualities in abundance and shared them freely. I will miss her, as will the world of Doctor Who and all the Doctors that had the good pleasure to work with Lis Sladen and travel the universe with Sarah Jane.

Finally, in closing, it seems appropriate to show Sarah Jane's farewell scene from Doctor Who.  She asks the Doctor not to forget her, small chance any of us could.  She also says she will say hello to the Brigadier, which is a wonderful moment, considering that the Doctor Who universe just lost him as well.

Farewell Sarah Jane Smith, farewell Lis Sladen, thank you for all you have given us.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

For Sarah Jane

Sarah Jane Smith, the Doctor's truest companion, was brought to life by the amazing talent of Elisabeth Sladen, who passed away suddenly today.  The last companion of the third Doctor (probably my overall favorite Doctor)

and the first companion to Tom Baker's iconic, scarf wearing fourth Doctor (the first Doctor I ever saw on television, and the intro to the series for an entire generation)

Sarah Jane Smith was Doctor Who to many many people.

With the return of the series in 2005, Sarah Jane returned to the series in the David Tennant episode in Series 2, School Reunion.

The return of the popular character led to Sarah Jane getting her own spin-off show, The Sarah Jane Adventures, which has run for four fantastic and award winning seasons.

The Sarah Jane Adventures saw David Tennant guest as the tenth Doctor in the third season, and saw Matt Smith guest as the Doctor in the fourth season in an episode that also featured the Doctor's companion that directly preceded Sarah Jane, Jo Grant.

By also being a part of the 20th Anniversary Special The Five Doctors (which had a different actor playing the first Doctor since William Hartnell had passed away), Sarah Jane has been a companion alongside all but the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth doctors.

Longtime fans of the show are no doubt feeling a great loss today.

I know that I am.

Sarah Jane Smith, you will be missed.

Rest in peace, Elisabeth Sladen.  My thoughts and prayers are with your friends and family who are feeling this loss even more greatly than your many fans.

Before Its Time: Mercy

I'm finally getting over my ilness of the last week, and there are many things that I am behind on, not the least of which is my blog!  So, back from the brink of death I bring you a post on a show that didn't survive being at the brink of death, my second post on a show that ended too soon,


Last year, Mercy came in third in the 6th Annual Josh's Choice for Best New Show of the Season, and upon further reflection, I'm not sure that I don't actually like its finished product better than the finished product of the  the second show on that list FlashForward.

Here is what I wrote about Mercy in that post...

Such a good show, I really hope it returns, although I'm doubting it.  I don't know why more people didn't give this show a better chance.  Some people complained that it was a little too reliant on the emotional stuff, but it did the emotional really well, and unlike another super soapy medical drama (looking at you Grey's) the characters are smart and believable and so are the situations that they find themselves in.  I'm much more willing to buy into the dramatic and emotional stuff when I can believe and connect to the characters, and I definitely can with Mercy.  I never could with Grey's and that is why this, in my opinion, is the far superior show.  Sadly, the ratings follow Grey's Anatomy.
Every episode of Mercy is now available on Netflix instant viewing, so if you are a fan of medical dramas and you haven't checked it out yet, perhaps you should.

The characters are very original, which is helpful in a genre that is so overdone.

Like Nurse Jackie and HathoRNe before it, this show takes the medical drama through the eyes of the nurses, particularly three of them.

Veronica is ostensibly the main character, and she is your typical head strong nurse who feels she knows more than the doctors she is supposedly under.  However, she has reason.  She has just returned from serving a couple of tours in Iraq, where she has seen and learned things that doctors in the hospital couldn't know.  Of course, she has returned with more than just knowledge; she also has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the show deals with that throughout the fantastic one season.

Chloe (and how is this for a nurse's last name) Payne is played superbly by Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum Michelle Trachtenberg.  At first she appears to be simply the prototypical new nurse that graduated at the top of her class but finds the real world is a much different place than the classroom.  However, her character grows quickly and realistically into one of the strongest characters on the show, and often serves as the voice of reason as well as the heart of the series, not to imply that she doesn't have her own difficult decisions to make (and she doesn't always make them in exactly the correct way, either).

Sonia is the beautiful and fashionable one, your typical shallow sorority girl type, but as the series develops that doesn't hold.  In fact, her main storyline throughout the season might be the deepest and most interesting.

It is also unquestionably a soap.  Veronica returns from Iraq having cheated on her husband with a doctor in Iraq and has perhaps fallen in love with that doctor.  Upon returning home she is unsure whether to try and save the relationship or not (despite the fact that Mike, her husband, has no clue about her infidelity).  That decision is complicated when it turns out the doctor that she had an affair with in Iraq has gotten a transfer to Mercy hospital in order to be near her.

Let the drama begin.

But, like I said in the JCFBNSOTS post, the drama comes from believable situations and believable characters.  My problem with Grey's Anatomy is that far too often, it is through the characters' own stupidity that the drama arises.  It makes it hard to be invested in the outcome when the problem could have been so easily avoided.  That is never the case in Mercy.

Sadly, the show never got the audience that NBC hoped it would, and the show was canceled after just one terrific season.

Until Next Time, check this fantastic show out on Netfllix.

Monday, April 11, 2011

You Have, As Always, Eight Minutes (My Review of Source Code)

The sophomore effort of Duncan Jones (son of David Bowie) does not disappoint.  While not as perfect as Moon, Source Code is still one of the best time travel movies of all time.  Unlike the recent Denzel Washington thriller with a similar premise, Deja Vu, Source Code sticks to rules that it sets up and has a far more believable science in its science fiction, sticking to a multi-verse view that is really the only plausible way that time travel could exist.

Duncan Jones shows off, yet again, his ability to do a lot with a little.  Although this isn't as small budget as Moon (which amazingly was made for just 5 million dollars), Source Code looks like it was made for much more than just 32 million dollars.  Jones is able to use special effects to great effect, and handles the story, visuals, and characters with precision that belies the fact that this is only his second feature film.  Especially considering that this is a fairly complex and potentially convoluted story.  Yet the direction of Jones, script by Ben Ripley, and performances by Jake Gyllennhaal, Michele Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, and Jeffery Wright, all combine to keep the plot understandable, but also intriguing and sufficiently full of twists and turns.

The film certainly has a similar idea to Deja Vu, but, like I said, works far better.  There are also traces of the old television show Quantum Leap (which the movie acknowledges through a nice cameo from Sam Beckett himself, Scott Bakula) and the classic repetitious plot film, Groundhog Day.  Like Groundhog Day, Source Code manages to keep repeating the same time period over and over again fresh and interesting, and in the case of Source Code it is only eight minutes being repeated as opposed to an entire day.

Ultimately, Duncan Jones continues to impress me and has added himself to a list of directors whose films I will go see immediately upon release, a list that includes the Coen Brothers, Christopher Nolan, Darren Aronofsky, David Fincher, Alfonso Cuaron, and Guillermo Del Toro.

Until Next Time, do yourself a favor and go see what I consider to be the best film of 2011 so far, Source Code.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Answer for that LOST Sized Spot in Your Soul?

Recently I decided that I was going to do some of my LOST style after episode writings on the new season of Doctor Who, mainly because I love the show, some of my posts on the show so far have been popular, and because without LOST, the over-analyzing part of my brain has been jonesing for something to dig into.

It turns out that choosing this season of Doctor Who might have been even better than I could have ever imagined.

Recently, the blog BLASTR (sort of ridiculous name, but my blog is called Fat Train, so can I really talk?) which is connected to the television station SyFy (don't even get me started on that name) listed some facts about the upcoming season of Doctor Who, one of which definitely caught my eye...

"You may suffer from revelation fatigue by the end of it. And a lot of things - perhaps a couple too many - are not wrapped up in the story itself, but are ongoing mysteries to be sorted out later. This show is getting like LOST, designed to be picked over on the internet! Let's hope it doesn't take seven years to get some answers!"
So, there you have it.  This season is "designed to be picked over on the internet," just like LOST.  And luckily, I am the blogger willing to do it.

Hope you'll join me for the ride.

The season starts soon, so if you haven't watched Doctor Who before, the time to get caught up is now.  Seasons 1-4 of the new Who is available on instant viewing in Netflix, and the Tennant Specials and Season 5 are all available on DVD or iTunes.  Get started now!

Until Next Time, The Impossible Astronaut airs Saturday, April 23rd.  See you here afterward?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Stuff on Sequels

Why does Hollywood insist on sticking us with sequels?

Do we really need a fifth Final Destination or a fifth Fast and the Furious?

This year we are getting both.

Do we really need a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean or a fourth Scream (which, incidentally opens next week)?

This year we are getting both.

Do we really need a third Paranormal Activity or a third Transformers (our childhood still being destroyed by the direction of Michael Bay)?

This year we are getting both.

Do we really need a second Kung Fu Panda or a second Hangover?

This year we are getting both.

You have to admit.  The lack of originality is getting a little out of hand.

Look, sometimes a movie needs a sequel, the story demands it.

One of my favorite movies of all time is a sequel.

One of the best films ever made is a sequel.

But just because a movie does well, doesn't mean it has to have a sequel.

Sequels that are better than the original are extremely rare.

Sequels that do better than the original in the box office are extremely rare.

I want movies to be made when there is a story to tell.  When the characters and the plot are interesting and intriguing, when the action is natural and not repetitive, when there is real growth for the characters involved, that is when I want a movie to be made, not just because the audience knows and likes the characters and so we rush them out there again without any real reason to do so.

I know that studios don't often like to take chances on new (and unproven) stories, and would rather roll with characters that have already done well at the box office once (or twice, or three, four, or five times).

But look at it this way.  Without some original stories, we'll run out of films that can have their part two!

I would just like a year where it doesn't feel like the sequels outnumber the original films.  I know that isn't the case, but it certainly is in the case of which films get the most marketing behind them.  If Hollywood had their way, we would only know about the sequels.

Until Next Time, don't even get me started on remakes.

Really?  Why?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

In Brightest Day...

As you no doubt know (or you would know if you happened to read my Summer Movie Preview, specifically part two on the films of June), I am very excited for the Green Lantern film, and have high hopes.

Those hopes are even higher after viewing the footage from Wondercon in San Fransisco last weekend.

Check this out, and any fears you might have had will probably be a little relieved.

This looks amazing.

Until Next Time, we are moving ever closer to the start of the summer movie schedule.  If you haven't already, check on my thoughts on the movies of May, June, July, and August.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Winter is Coming...

I don't know if you've noticed, but lately, most of the good television is on cable, not the networks.

Each year I do my Josh's Choice for the Best New Show of the Season Award, and this year is proving to be extremely difficult, as there is only one network show that I feel extremely confident in recommending.

On Cable, meanwhile, in the last few years we have been introduced to numerous well-written and amazingly produced television shows, including The Walking Dead this season,

 and HBO's Treme last season.

Starting in just a couple of weeks is HBO's newest drama, based on what is without question the best written Fantasy series of all time, George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire, and more specifically on the first book in the series, A Game of Thrones.

The pictures and previews have been fantastic, and fans of the books (myself most definitely included) have been, understandably, very, very excited.

Yesterday, HBO released the first 15 minutes of the first episode.  Check it out.

Until Next Time, you have to admit that it looks amazing, and, for this portion of the story at least, it is very true to the book.  This will definitely be a show that I am watching.

Trust Your Doctor

BBC America has released a full trailer for the new season of Doctor Who; I for one, cannot wait.

If you are reading via an rss feeds, you might have to click to the blog in order to actually see the video.

Until Next Time, remember to check here after the episodes to discuss the season that Steven Moffat promises us will change everything.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Thoughts on the Summer Movie Schedule 2011 - Part Four

I honestly thought about not dealing with August since nothing really looks that exciting for this month, but why start something if you aren't going to finish it, so here is the concluding post on the summer movie schedule.

For Part One (MAY) click here

For Part Two (JUNE) click here

and For Part Three (JULY) click here

And now onto the most underwhelming month release wise (do you ever notice that people are either overwhelmed or underwhelmed but very rarely just whelmed? why is that do you think?*)...




A prequel to The Planet of the Apes franchise.  Apparently we learn how they came to power.  It stars James Franco, Andy Serkis (Gollum in The Lord of the Rings) as Caesar the Ape, and Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter), which is a pretty good cast, but I'm going to need to see a trailer and hear a little more about this film before I can even think about committing to giving it a shot.


I suppose this has some potential; I like Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild), and the premise is somewhat intriguing.  The director worked as an Art Director on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Fight Club, but that doesn't guarentee he'll be any good behind the camera himself (although those credits don't hurt any either).  Ultimately, since there is literally nothing else out about this film yet, I can't tell you what I might think.


Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman star in this twist on the old Freaky Friday type story.  Two friends whose lives have gone in opposite directions after growing up together somehow switch bodies.  Hilarity and life-lessons no doubt ensue.


Jonah Hill in a movie about babysitting.  What could possibly suck about this film?  Although it does also include Sam Rockwell.  And I do love me some Sam Rockwell.

Seriously.  What's not to love?



The hilarious Danny McBride (from the outstanding HBO comedy Eastbound and Down) and the red hot Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland and The Social Network) team up in a comedy about a lazy pizza boy (Eisenberg) who has a bomb that will go off unless he successfully robs a bank strapped to him by a bumbling criminal (McBride).




Umm... yeah.  I guess I like that the subtitle is a Bond reference.  The first of these films was actually an alright little ride, especially for a kid's movie.  But the audience from that film (and the stars of that film) have probably grown out of it.  Really, I'm not sure that this film should have been made.


Seriously?  Why?  Recently, Justin (Caveman Go) Tiemeyer and I were discussing what films Arnold Schwarzenegger should do once his time as Governator was over (and if you weren't aware, Justin is an Arnold Schwarzenegger expert), and while we had plenty of tongue-in-cheek suggestions (Kindergarten Cop 2: It is a Tumor, a sequel to Junior and Twins where the characters from each of those movies are actually quadruplets and all four get pregnant, Jingle All the Way 2 where the toy is an Arnold action figure that comes to life and is life-sized and tries to Terminate everything, and many others in the same vein; although, admit it, you would go see any of these movies) we had one idea that would actually probably be an awesome movie: a new Conan the Barbarian, where Conan is king and retired from adventuring, but is forced into action one last time.  Instead, they are rebooting the series in a completely unnecessary way.


David Tennant in Fright Night

 A remake of a cult classic film  about a young boy who discovers his next door neighbor is actually a vampire.  He recruits the help of a magician charlatan, in the original played by Roddy McDowall, but in this version played by the tenth Doctor, David Tennant.  I might see it just for him.



It stars Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, and Rashida Jones (Karen on The Office, Ann Perkins on Parks and Rec), so it might be worth checking out.


Again.  Seriously?  Why?  Didn't they call the fourth one The Final Destination?  As in "no more"?  Clearly they forgot.  This movie was old and overdone when the first Final Destination came out.

Until Next Time, Summer certainly seems to go out with a whimper.  But, overall, there seem to be a few films that might make this a memorable summer.  What films are on your can't miss list for the summer months?

* congratulations if you recognized this as a quote from the new animated series Young Justice on Cartoon Network

Friday, April 1, 2011

Thoughts on the Summer Movie Schedule 2011 - Part Three

More movies!

For my thoughts on the summer schedule in regards to MAY

And my thoughts on the summer schedule in regards to JUNE

click on the above clickables...

For a look at the films due out in July, you are in the right place!




Or as I like to call it, Dark Side of Hollywood: Michael Bay is Still Allowed to Make Movies.  Yeah, I will not be seeing this.


Yeah.  Luckily there are better things to do on the July 4th weekend than the movies.


Although, even with my annoyance with Julia Roberts, the return to comedy of Tom Hanks might be worth watching.  I doubt this is one I have to get to on Opening Day or anything, but if I get a little tired of hanging out on the lake day after day after day of the holiday weekend, this might be worth checking out.



The incomparable Jason Bateman, Charlie Day (Charlie on It's Always Sunny), Jason Sudekis, and Jennifer Aniston star in this film about three friends who conspire to murder their horrible bosses.  I'm probably in based solely on the cast.


And this is a no based solely on the awful sepia colored movie poster.

Although I do have a mad crush on Anne Hathaway.




Thanks to the fact that my mother made a trip out of the country 15 or so years ago, I got to read the first three Harry Potter books before they blew up here in the States.  I was at midnight release parties for The Goblet of Fire on in book stores, and have seen all previous of the seven movies at midnight releases as well.  If you aren't as pumped as I am for this film, chances are we might not get along.


One of my earliest memories is seeing the first Winnie the Pooh movie in theaters.  It was showing at an old theater near the University of Chicago where they would show movies for kids in the daytime on Saturdays and my mom took me.  We set in the balcony.  It was awesome.  Now, my niece is a huge fan of Winnie the Pooh (although she came to love it through the new Super Sleuths cartoon where there is some girl named Darby that runs around with the animals of the Hundred Acre Woods instead of Christopher Robin, still weirded out by that), and I have no doubt that seeing this movie will become one of her earliest memories and no doubt she will love it.  (No doubt, I will too.)




When it was announced that Chris Evans would be playing Steve Rogers/Captain America, I admit that I had my doubts.  Then pictures of him in the costume were released and my fears subsided a little.  With the release of the above trailer, I find myself no longer worried in the least, and instead extremely pumped for this film.


In a recent post by friend of the blog Justin (Caveman Go) Tiemeyer about this very film, I commented that I liked it when it was released earlier this year under the title No Strings Attached.  Look, I'm a fan of Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake (at least in terms of acting), but the trailer doesn't make it appear as if this film will be treading any new ground, and No Strings Attached (starring another That 70's Show alumnus, Ashton Kutcher, as well as Oscar winner Natalie Portman) was actually very, very good.  This is probably going to be a fun film, but it hurts it a bit that there was already a fantastic film this year with the exact same premise.  I'm not the only one who is making the joke about this movie already having been released this year, either.  When I put Friends With Benefits into the search bar on IMDb to get the link for the title here, No Strings Attached was the first movie it offered me.






I don't care what you think, I am super pumped for this film.  With Indiana Jones/Han Solo and Not James Bond under the direction of Jon Favreau (Iron Man), I truly believe this movie is going to be far better than it has any right to be.


This one, on the other hand, will probably be even worse than we can even imagine.


Until Next Time, July is shaping up to be pretty hot in terms of movies.  (I apologize for the terrible pun.)