Monthly Archives: December 2008

HiSciFi is Back from Vacay!

Oh, you guys missed us. I know. But happy new year! You may have been wondering what’s going on, so I’ll give you the downlow. We’ve had “snowmageddon” for a few weeks – I am not kidding, that is what they actually called it – for a few weeks, Vancouver has been covered in the white stuff and if was the cause of much panic, and no-show.

So, what did I do? I went for a much deserved, and long awaited vacation.

Don’t ask too many questions. Just know that I’ve missed doing the show, and everyone is antsy to get rolling again. So, show time!!!

Irma Arkus

V-Con: Greg Milne w Chad Mah of AE

Greg Milne pokes questions at Chad Mah of Anime Evolution.
V-Con: Greg Milne w Chad Mah of AE

V-Con: Greg Milne w Angela Malek

Taped live at VCon, Greg Milne “the Man” interviews Angela Malek.
V-Con: Greg Milne w Angela Malek

HiSciFi – Irma…All by myself

This week is a bit lonely, so it’s just me, myself and I, bringing you news in SciFi.

Grumbling about Cable TV, introducing new Sam Raimi’s show “The Legend of The Seeker,” and my complaints about Will Smith…that and more!!!
HiSciFi – Irma…All by myself

The Return of Alien!

by Irma Arkus

After all my constant whining (it seems that execs actually download and listen to HiSciFi, or so I’d like to believe) it’s official! Aliens are coming back in full force!!!!

Today, announced is the return of Alien franchise, Sigourney Weaver in tow to reprise her unforgettable and unmatched role as Ripley. It may be interesting to note that at first, the role was cast for a male actor, only to hand it to Weaver. It still resonates as one of the major female-centered action films, against one of the most frightening creations ever invented – the highly adaptable, acid, double mouthed predator of all times – Aliens.

That is not even the best part though. Scott Ridley is also joining the production as director and producer.

This will be fantastic!!!!

For more information, check out the article in the Daily Express.

Heroes: From Bad To Better?

by Irma Arkus

So, that guy, Mohinder Suresh, goes through some kind of Kafka-esque metamorphosis, and attacks Maya, gluing her to the wall for a bit. How long I could not tell you. Though, long enough for Nathan Petrelli and Tracey walk into his lab, and get trapped. Meanwhile, Papa Petrelli gets all superpowered, and dusty Pinehurst gets all gleamy, instantaneously becoming a centre of activity.

But wait! While Suresh is shaking Papa Petrelli’s hand, and Maya is overjoyed at having her powers stripped away, Nathan and Tracey are still in Suresh’s lab, trying to pry loose their bonds.

Meanwhile, Peter is attempting to kill his brother Nathan, then future Peter exchanges place with present Peter, which is supposedly in order to crystallize the events of the future, and emphasize that the end of the world is coming.

Oh, no! There is also H.R.G who dies at end of season II, gets revived by the company, and then walks in to a less than surprised family. He goes back to work, leaving Claire at home, only to have Sylar, who is obviously too busy to trim his brows (what with all those planned killing sprees,) attack her. Two episodes later though, company man H.R.G. calmly accepts working with Sylar.

Sylar believes himself to be a good guy…for about 2 seconds that is. And then quickly has a change of heart. And then again good guy, and family guy, saving Peter even from murderous rage of Papa Petrelli, only to turn all sour again.

We even catch a glimpse of future Sylar, who is, actually, a nice guy with a kid. Single dad and all. His kid calls Peter “uncle.” Peter even gets his power – not by the mere absorption method as in the past, but some more unexplained, strange method.

And then there is Hero, who gets even cuter by becoming literally a man with a brain of a 10-year old. He in fact becomes so cute, that he turns into a giant boring potato.

Hey, don’t despair! There is also a special appearance of Seth Green and Breckin Meyer as two nerdy dudes who sell comics…and read them. A lot.

What does all this mean? Who are all these people? I have no idea. But if you, like myself, have been trying to keep track of Heroes plot lines, then you have my sympathies.

The third season of Heroes is at this point well under way. The 12th episode has broadcast this week, and it finally got the characters under way. Bad guys are finally bad guys, and good guys are finally good guys. Yet, there are so many characters at this point, that it is difficult to sum up the progression of this season’s events.

Let’s face it, even the interruption of the writers strike cannot explain why this show, this monumental show that has captivated geeks and normals alike, went from cool to suck.

The second season was slow-witted, barely-there kind of progression, mostly involving Sylar trying to regain his powers, while in tout with Maya the Murderess and her brother. This is, I can vouch, the most I can remember from less then memorable season II.

The third season hit fast and hard. I guess since writers had time to mull over their complex ideas, drafts, and do those boards with criss-crossed little lines between characters, they threw seemingly everything in the blender, and then added a few more characters to boot.

The editing of both the story, and the video, have been sloppy during third season. That, and the fact is, at some point, nonsensical bits, such as Claire the Cheerleader “proving herself” (whatever that may be) which involved numerous episodes of her kicking ass, seemed to clash against faster-paced stories, mostly involving Sylar & co.

I am not the enemy of non-linear storytelling. No, quite the opposite. But the storytelling of Heroes in its third season feels rushed, the connections between heroes are so random, so heavily interwoven, that the dialogue and storyline progression is seemingly random, heavy and overwhelming.

While having numerous characters allows for complex storytelling, all this time travel, sloppy transitions, lack of taking the time for characters to understand and mull over the overarching events that have the potential to change the entire world, has been hampering the viewership from enjoying this unique television show.

Heroes has brought superheroes into bedrooms and living rooms of people who, until now, could have cared less about men in capes and shiny pages of comic books. That is commendable.

But failing to organize on screen is costly. It unnerves the fans, lowers your ratings, and ultimately gets you cancelled.

Now that we are nearing the end of the half season, Heroes staff has a chance to recoup, reorganize its thoughts and writing.

The truth behind all this is that the writing staff attempted to show that there is no ultimate good vs bad. But do it sloppily, and you will end up with a mass confusion, nooone to cheer for, and overhwelming sensation that the show you loved, just got a little closer to the “i don’t care” zone.

The Next Doctor Who: DVD Cover Released

by Irma Arkus

The cover for DVD release of this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special is out, and I am not quite certain what to make of it. Enclosed is the image for your viewing pleasure.

click on above to enlarge.

NEW TV: Doctor Who Knockoff On Its Way

by Irma Arkus

BBC announced a new science-fiction show, or specifically “Doctor Who-like show,” that will feature Steve Coogan.

The show, Brave Young Men, is described as a time-travelling saga featuring a school caretaker teaming up with a civil servant from future, preventing events that would lead to disasters.

The show will, of course, have a good dose of humour, and is described as mix of existing Doctor Who and Torchwood. First episode is all about beer that is implicated in a future virus.

Oshii’s “Sky Crawlers” to Premier

by Irma Arkus

The Sky Crawlers, Mamoru Oshii’s latest film production, will premier on Dec. 12th in New York.

Based on Hiroki Mori’s novel series, the animated film was released in Japan in August of 2008, followed by appearance at 65th Venice Film Festival, where it won the Future Film Digital Award.

Thus far, the reviews from the festival circuit have been excellent.

The story of The Sky Crawlers involves some of the best motifs of science fiction, as it depicts a civilisation that has abolished physical conflict and war. Instead, to provide a psychological release for humanity’s violent tendencies, concept of corporatized faux conflict is provided in the form of gladiator matches involving teens flying sophisticated, yet nostalgic war planes, the genetically engineered Kildren.

Kildren, or Kirudore, are adolescents who do not age, until that time when they are shot down, dying for the sake of entertainment. Worst is, that many of them have no memories, no origins, and the mystery of their incepeption fuels the story.

One kirudore, Yƻichi, arrives to the base, and has superior fighting skills, yet he has no memories of past. Will he reveal the secrets of the kildren?

Oshii’s film promises beautiful and sophisticated animation, in both 2D and 3D, and a kind of pastiche between Top Gun, WWII, and the obligatory anime romance.

Can’t wait to see it!

20th Century Boys, The Movie: Trailer Released

by Irma Arkus

Live action version of Naoki Urasawa’s famous manga series, 20th Century Boys, was announced earlier in the year. We’ve been promised a biggest cinematic event of its kind, as the project entails over 600 million yen, and has over 300 actors involved. Aside from the size of production, the cinematic treatment of 20th Century Boys will be a trilogy.

Well now, this complex story arch that follows the characters from early childhood into a complex adulthood, (and yes, there are obligatory giant robots involved,) is out in France????

Okay, not quite certain as to its release date in North America. Either way, the lengthy trailer has been released.