Monthly Archives: September 2009

Heroes Starts Again. The Fourth Season Begins!

by Irma Arkus

Heroes premiere has brought back the familiar faces, in a familiar fashion, and that just might not be enough to start-up a dying franchise.

After such poor story-telling for two whole seasons, and introducing so many characters that even devotees’ heads were swimming in confusion, it is hardly believable that we will suddendly get swept up in Heroes craze again.

Yeah, the Heroes times were good once upon a time, but they are no longer around.

Still, I gave the fourth season a shot, and it looks like the writers at least, are back on track.

While admittedly, the two hour prolonged special was, for the lack of a better word, boring, the overly-complicated plot lines have been somewhat simplified, and the core characters have been brought back.

Peter Petrelli is still one-power-at-a-time kind of guy. And labouring to the point of exhaustion as an ambulatory worker. He is staying away from dear mommy, and brother, because Noah is actually Sylar, whose mind has been bent to imagine himself being Noah – courtesy of Matt Parkman who made a deal with mommy Petrelli.

The return of Nikki Sanders is something to rejoice in. Nikki was killed at end of last season, in a beautiful, self-sacrificing act. But miss pure H20 has regained consciousness, and now, like Storm, she cannot be killed, just drained.

Claire is also back, and in college. Suspicously, part of me wanted for the show to perhaps try cutting down on so many arbitrary characters, and settling on a little bit of college growing pains. But thankfully, even the writers took better aim at Claire’s destiny, and her college experience was quickly marred by a suicide of a creepy, over-achieving roommate.

But who can resist introducing new characters? Not writers for Heroes.

A far crisper, cleaner, more sanitized version of Carnivale shows up, bearing familiar faces. Robert Knepper, sporting the worst Irish-y accent, reveals himself to be a man with a dark plan involving our Heroes. He is going to be the organizing force that will tap into the Heroes we know (and used to kind of love, says Irma resentfully!)

Which brings me to the two cutest characters alive: Hiro Nakamura and Ando Masahashi are back in Japan, rescuing cutenes for the world.

All is going to be alright, if the start, though lackluster, continues to weave in a great story. Then we’ll all be glued to our screens again.

Lilly Allen Against Piracy? The Pirates Respond…In Song

by Irma Arkus

Few days ago, Lilly Allen surprised the media by being relatively upfront over the fact that her recent album has been a download favorite. On her blog, she writes “I think music piracy is having a dangerous effect on British music…For new talent though, file sharing is a disaster as it’s making it harder and harder for new acts to emerge.”

Whoow Lilly, the last time we checked at HiSciFi, the new talent has been emerging using exactly these very tactics you criticise. New bands are constantly gaining new audiences (and landing those juicy contracts) by releasing their first albums via torrents and mp3 sites such as myspace.

But what do I need to say, when Dan Bull has it covered:

HiSciFi – Starz Animation on 9, iRobot Poetry, Mars

This week we bring you Starz Animation who made the animated feature “9” come to life.

The animated feature “9”, created and directed by Shane Acker, has been awaited in anticipation by fans of fine animation, and it has set a new bar for animation.

We are joined by David Steinberg of Starz Animation who is calling us from Starz Animation Toronto studio, a facility that made “9” into the animation feature of the year.

We also have Jason Christie, author of iRobot poetry whose work, though published for 3 years now, has only been gaining fans. Not only is his work turned into a theatre play, but there are fans who animated the poetry.
HiSciFi – Starz Animation on 9, iRobot Poetry, Mars

Fringe 2.1

by Irma Arkus

One of the most anticipated premiers is the second season of Fringe. So, I present you with review of the first episode, because tonight is the night!

Starting with a man appearing from “somewhere” only to run into a man’s home, rendering him unconscious, then proceeding to crush his own facial bones like crunchy playdough, and then inserting a small, three pronged device onto the upper palate of his mouth and that of the unconscious man, turning himself into an identical looking man. Meanwhile, the scene of the initial accident is determined to be between the crunchy faced man and Olivia’s vehicle in which she appears not.

Bishop evaluates the car, and realizes that there is a kind of time lag involved. Olivia suddenly appears (a delayed reaction of kind), rupturing the windshield of the car hours after the accident, only to be confirmed dead upon examination by a physician.

So…I kid you not, Olivia dies in first 3 minutes, and that is one hell of a start for a show that features her as the major protagonist.

Appearance of another young, sexy, female FBI agent allows Peter to gives her and us the summary/introduction of the Fringe division.

Turns out, the Fringe division is also in danger of having all of its funding cut and Massive Dynamics is intent on keeping it open and working.

The crunchy faced man is determined to be from a parallel universe, a soldier, and not necessarily a male either. He unveils that a communication method between the two dimensions exists, and is ordered to kill Olivia, who has incidentally just recovered from being clinically dead.

The crunchy faced man has not only some very soft facial features, but an incredibly bouncy step too. Pretending to be a nurse, failing to kill Olivia by strangulation, she jumps out of the building, landing on her two feet like a cheetah. Eventually, she gets shot by Charlie who tends to watch over Olivia like a guardian.

The nurse is found dead, killed by Charlie, and next to her body is the three pronged device which allows for metamorphosis of these warriors from the other side. Peter uses the technology for a political manouver, extracting more funds for the Fringe division.

At very end, Charlie turns out to be possibly, maybe, someone entirely else.

The End. Now you’re ready to watch more Fringe!

Marvel’s Superheroes Galore Coming to a Theatre Near You: Thor, Spiderman 4, and Captain America

by Irma Arkus

The latest update on the upcoming Marvel films, is that everything old is new again, and superheroes are lining up to collect the box office cash.

Sam Raimi is coming back for another stab or two at Spiderman. Yes, Spiderman 4 is about to return, as are the usual suspects: Toby Maguire is definitely returning for the role, despite the initial hesitance, and so is Kirsten Dunst. Not only are these two engaged in Spiderman 4, but there is also Spiderman 5 planned for 2013.

If there isn’t a grain of sand in Spiderman 4, I’ll be severely disappointed.

The First Avenger: Captain America is bringing Steve Rogers onto the big screen. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely are screenwriting, and both are known for their extensive contributions to one of the most infuriating film franchises to date: The Chronicles of Narnia.

No announcements on casting choices yet, and the inital call for Barrowman to pick up the cape have been largely panned by homophobic American audiences. The film is set for 2011 summer, but it seems to be still oscillating between the ears of writers and executives, because there seems to be no progress in producing the actual film yet.

Let us hope that Captain America is not depitcted as yet another coming of Jesus.

Thor, on the other hand, has been set for 2011, and seems to already heading in full force. Not only is Kenneth Branagh directing, but casting is chock full of impressive names: Natalie Portman is playing Jane Foster, Samuel L. Jackson is returning as Nick Fury (and will be doing that a lot), Tom Hiddleston is Loki, Brian Blessed as Odin, and even Thor has been cast with Chris Hemsworth *grumble grumble*

Meanwhile, we are all awaiting Iron Man 2, hoping that Disney’s acquiry of Marvel will not have such a large impact on future of superheroes everywhere. And that, my friends, is wishful thinking.

HiSciFi – Fair Copyright w Geoffrey Glass

This week we bring you Geoffrey Glass who is an outspoken critic of lobbying efforts by movie and record industry to reform copyright in Canada. The corporate efforts to reform copyright are astounding, as recent Townhall meetings in Toronto were filled with pro-corporate lobbyists who simply pushed out the consumer advocacy and artist perspective.

Now is your time to be heard. Visit or

The simple way to respond?

HiSciFi – Fair Copyright w Geoffrey Glass

HiSciFi Needs Your Votes!

by Irma Arkus

It is time for the CJSF, our host station, awards!

And you are invited to throw in your vote as well!

VOTE HISCIFI! Vote for Irma!

I will chop off your legs and replaced them with artificial limbs made of PURE GOLD!!!

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Ahhhh, nothing like a day of self-promotion…

The Hobbit Must Go On!

by Irma Arkus

We all watched LOTR in awe…and immediately concluded that Peter Jackson absolutely must make The Hobbit. At least that was what I had at the back of my brain when I peeled my butt off the theatre chair after watching Jackson’s magical New Zealand elf parade.

Unlike JJ Abrams with Star Trek, Peter Jackson actually DID bother to READ the books, and even (I know, shocking!) do some additional research.

“Here is someone,” I thought, “who did his research, aaand happens to be a total geek.”

I was in love. And so was the rest of the world.

But who knew that The Hobbit was also embroiled in lawsuits and legalistic schemes?

Your copyright laws in effect: Tolkien’s estate trustees filed a lawsuit against New Line production. They demanded up to $150 millon of theatre proceeds for the LOTR movie.

That too happens when you read btw.

Additionally, the trustees blocked the filming of The Hobbit until settlement.

OK. So, in the end Peter Jackson did not end up filming the Hobbit, but the settlement has been resolved and Guillermo del Toro (another one who reads apparently), will proceed to direct The Hobbit.

According to Christopher Tolkien: “New Line may now proceed with its proposed films of ‘The Hobbit.'”

Thanks Mr. Toklien for sharing your dad’s work of literature 36 years after his passing… [Reuters]

Lena Headey Cast for “Game of Thrones”

by Irma Arkus

Excitement a plenty this week, with announced Lena Headey joining the cast of most excellent George R.R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones” in production by HBO.

The announcement delights the fans of novel and actress alike, as Headey, according to Martin himself, fis an excellent choice of casting for the Queen.

David Benioff is penning the adaptation for the series, and the roster of actors is growing, and impressively so.

Papua New Guinea: The Undiscovered Flora & Fauna

by Irma Arkus

“Fanged frogs, grunting fish and tiny bear-like creatures” have been identified in a volcanic crater in Papua New Guinea.

The pristine habitat is host to numerous species unafraid of humans, untouched by civilisation. Until now that is…

A giant rat, potentially largest in the world, has been identified along with numerous species of frogs, birds and insects never seen before.

Papua New Guinea’s forests are currently undergoing a devastating deforestation efforts, disappearing at an alarming rate of 3.5% a year, and yet they represent untold plethora of fauna and flora that has not even been encountered or recorded. [Guardian]