Archive for September, 2011
Here is a quicky “micro” review of Syfy’s Morlocks, which debuted this past weekend and starred Stargate: Atlantis‘s David Hewlett and Robert Picardo.
Aside from the two actors, the plot itself was very Stargate-ish. It involves a time rift at a military base created through an experiment created by a scientist (Hewlett) that was continued without his knowledge for the secret “Project Eloi”, but expeditions into the near future find a devastated landscape and the deadly monstrous Morlocks (see what they did there? No? Go watch The Time Machine – at least the original – or better yet read the novel.) When the Latch – the device that controls the rift – is left behind in the future, a team must retrieve it before the rift expands and the entire world is in danger of being swallowed. It also had a touch of Outer Limits to it.
Despite Hewlett’s presence, the technobabble that he handles so well seemed reduced. Acting was average, which is to say pretty decent for the Syfy Saturday night movie. Some of the character’s motivations were just unconvincing. And I had several problems with the climax that I can’t really talk about without spoiling it.
The movie is quite graphic and bloody. NOT KID FRIENDLY. The special effects as as expected on the low budget side, but again were decent for the Saturday night movie.
Still, it wasn’t a bad movie – far more to my tastes than the schlock monster movies, and it was good to see David Hewlett again.
Although hardcore fans called for a boycott of the release, it seems that it didn’t stem the tide of fans purchasing Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray. In the first week, 1 million copies were sold worldwide, setting a new record for a Blu-ray release. And that doesn’t include the individual trilogy releases (which didn’t include the extras).
Not bad for a nearly 35 year old franchise, but when you start marketing 13 months ahead of time, you get results.
Fox, having previously produced I, Robot based on the stories by legendary SF writer Isaac Asimov, will draw from the author again with his novel The Caves of Steel. Relative newcomers Henry Hobson and John Scott 3 (Maggie) will direct and write, respectively, and Simon Kinberg (X-Men: The Last Stand, Elysium) will produce under his Genre Films banner.
The Caves of Steel takes place three millenia in the future, where humans on the overpopulated Earth live in massive enclosed structures (giving the name to the book), and distrust robots to the point of them being completely banned from the planet. Robots aren’t banned on the colonized planets, however, and a “Spacer” ambassador trying to loosen the restrictions on Earth is found murdered. Homicide detective Elijah Bailey is charged to investigate the murder – but he is forced to team up with an investigator provided by the Spacers – R. Daneel Olivaw, who looks human but is in fact a robot.
The 7th series of Doctor Who apparently is being delayed as rumored, according to Doctor Who Magazine. Reportedly shooting won’t begin until February 2012, too late for the usual start in the Spring, so the start of the series will be delayed until the Fall. How it will be broken out, or if the series will be split again and some of the episodes being held until 2013.
Thor just came out on Blu-ray and DVD last week, and now his Avengers partner Captain America gets his time next month with the release of CAPTAIN AMERICA: The First Avenger in three formats: 3-Disc Blu-ray 3D/2D, DVD and Digital Copy combo, 2-Disc Blu-ray 2D, DVD and Digital Copy combo, and DVD. Read on to hear all about it.
Here is a sneak peek of the first season finale of Alphas, airing next Monday, September 26th at 10pm ET/9pm CT on Syfy!! The Alphas team is taking on their hardest project yet as they go up against their nemesis in Red Flag. Dr. Rosen realizes that his daughter is now caught up in the mission and is being followed by Red Flag. You’ll have to watch the clip and tune in to the season finale to see just how personal the task at hand may become as the Alphas seek to keep damage to a minimum.
Note that Warehouse 13 will return in two weeks with its own season finale, “Stand”.
Syfy has renewed two of its previous unscripted shows, Hollywood Treasure, which features Profiles In History auction house founder Joe Maddalena for 6 episodes, and Haunted Collector (sort of Ghost Hunters meets Friday the 13th: The Series) for 12 episodes.
A new unscripted show was also announced with a six episode order. Called Dream Machines, it follows two brothers who recreate some of the fantastic vehicles seen in movies in TV (think like the TRON light cycles!) as real working machines.
Disney just announced plans to construct a new land as part of it’s existing Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World themed to James Cameron’s Avatar franchise. Cameron, producing partner Jon Landau and Lightstorm Entertainment will work closely with Walt Disney Imagineering to develop the plans, and expect construction to start in 2013.
Disneyphiles familiar with the creation of Animal Kingdom park are aware that when it was built, a planned section of the park was never built due to budget cuts, called “Beastly Kingdomme”, an area to be filled with creatures both magical and mystical. In fact, the Dueling Dragons rollercoaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure park (now called Dragon Challenge as part of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter) was originally designed for Beastly Kingdomme but scrapped with the area. By the sounds of it, this new Avatar land would likely take the still-undeveloped location, and perhaps even incorporate some of the area’s original designs, with new theming.
I’ll definitely provide updates as they come in over the next couple years.
The first sequel to Avatar is scheduled to hit screens on Christmas 2014.
There wasn’t a lot of genre stuff going on at the Emmys last night, but there were a few highlights. Although Game of Thrones was nominated 13 times, it only won one (aside from a Creative Arts award announced last week) – Peter Dinklage won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister. Jim Parsons won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory.
On other Creative Arts Emmys (where the genre shows tend to do well), Futurama won two, for Outstanding Animated Program and Outstanding Voice-Over Performance (Maurice LaMarche as Lrrr/Orson Welles). The Walking Dead also won for Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup.
Other little tidbits – the pre-filmed open included Leonard Nimoy as “Television Network President” (apparently a late replacement for Alec Baldwin, reportedly upset they cut a joke at NewsCorp’s expense – it was aired on NewsCorp-owned FOX), and Marcel Vigneron was briefly shown during the open wearing his Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen shirt – although he and his show were not nominated or otherwise part of the Emmys (and I still haven’t heard confirmation that it is or is not coming back).
Current Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat was in the audience, but for Outstanding Writing for his Sherlock mini-series. Alas he didn’t win (nor did Sherlock pick any of for it’s 3 other nominations), losing to Julian Fellowes and his Downton Abbey (which is an excellent series as well).
Are you looking forward to tonight’s season finale of Eureka? Need a little hit in the meantime? Here is a video where the cast talks about the Town of Eureka, how it was “created” and why. And don’t forget to tune in to Syfy at 8pm ET for the finale. Then we just have to wait for the holiday episode…