Monthly Archives: November 2009

Petition For Sam Rockwell’s Performance in Moon: Audiences Demand Oscar Nom

by Irma Arkus

One of the strangest and most delightful petitions to come up as of latest is that of Moon fans. The film, a directorial first by Duncan (Zoowey) Jones, has been one of the best received films this year. Along with District 9, Blomkamp and Jones are touted to have revitalized the almost always denigrated genre.

Sam Rockwell’s performance in Moon can only be called masterful and poignant and if you haven’t seen the film yet, I highly urge you to do so.

Meanwhile fans have coalesced around the idea that Rockwell should receive the Oscar nom this year, organizing a petition:

HiSciFi – Sexual Lives of Bats, Spiderman 4, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and more…

The long lost Halloween episode rises from the grave to haunt us…with goodness!

This week we bring you the sexual lives of bats, cartoons, and some major asteroid attacks…oy!

Also we discuss the future of comic book entertainment with Adam McCormick of Greyhaven Hobbies, give you the deal on Spiderman 4, Captain America, and Thor. And we give you the latest in comic books – Sweettooth and all.
HiSciFi – Sexual Lives of Bats, Spiderman 4, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and more…

Stephen King has released his novelisation of the Simpson’s Movie a bit late

Today, news hit that Stephen Spielberg and Stephen King will attempt to bring King’s most recent novel to the small screens. But I feel like I’ve already seen it.

Who can forget the much anticipated Simpson’s Movie released in the summer of 2007 with a blizzard of promotional tie-in products. (I still have my Krusty-O’s box)

While most of the tie-in merchandise from the movie release has long since disappeared from 7-11 store shelves* Steven Kings book of the film entitled “Under The Dome” was released earlier this month. As with the movie the book details the sudden appearance of an impenetrable clear dome which cuts off an average American town from the rest of the world and the resulting character drama as neighbor turns against neighbor within.

It is not clear how the novel interprets the significance of Spider Pig.

Do to the delay in release King’s publishers have attempted to market this book as a stand alone work separate from the 2007 Simpson’s Movie. Going as far as to claim that King has been working with this story since the late 1970’s. The ruse has been continued by King, remarking on his personal site that “I can’t speak personally to this, because I have never seen the movie”. Despite these claims King himself has admitted that he began writing the bulk of this work in 2007 obviously to coincide with the ‘summer of Springfield’ sparked by the movie’s release.

*a notable exception being those suspect frosted sugar cookies bearing the likenesses of our familiar friends from Springfield which for some reason still seem to be available.

Mom! Han Solo is Just Floating Above My Bed!

by Irma Arkus

Check out the Fathead’s new Han Solo design. Due to the photographic imagery, it actually does look like Han Solo hovers three feet above the floor. I am seriously considering gifting it to myself.

Fathead also has C3P0, Yoda, Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and two versions of Princess Leia (I presume one for the bedroom, and one for the bathroom). [Fathead]

Today Marks The Spot: On this day, in 1963, Doctor Who premiered on BBC TV

by Irma Arkus

This day in history marks the beginning of one of my favorite television shows of all time, possibly the show that sucked me into the world of science fiction forever: Doctor Who premiered on BBC TV for the first time, back in 1963.

Today, Doctor Who is known as the longest running show on television, and is going through quite the upheaval too.

For those unfamiliar with the Doctor, do tackle the best: all of the fourth Doctor, starring Tom Baker, as well as the new Doctor series by Russell T. Davies are my absolute favorites.

However, David Tennant, the latest of the Doctor incarnations, together with Russel T. Davies, is leaving the show, and is about to be replaced by a much younger version of himself (to think of it, he is progressively getting younger), as portrayed by the newcomer Matt Smith.

The latest Doctor Who special was “The Waters of Mars.”

It not only brought back David Tennant, but it depicted a conflicted Doctor, undergoing some interesting psychological processes. “The Waters of Mars” presented the Doctor with a dilemma.

Upon landing on Mars, the Doctor realizes that he is caught at a particular spot in time and space, marked in history books as a source of great tragedy and inspiration.

If he assists the crew of a science station on Mars, battling the alien creatures trapped in Mars water, he will potentially change the history and halt the progress of human aspiration to reach the stars. Then again, if he does nothing, where does that leave him? What kind of a timelord does that make him?

Undoubtedly, the Doctor is going through some rough patches at the moment.

Now, we await the next Christmas special, “The End of Time” featuring not only the Doctor, but also his nemesis, the only other, albeit mad, timelord in existance, known as the Master.

See preview for The End of Time below:

SGU: The Misery Must Go On

by Irma Arkus

The latest episodes of SGU left me dangling on the sidelines.

For one, our demands to see our heroes outdoors were answered with a smart, time-travelling short, where a potential loop enabled survival of the Destiny.

The outdoors was dangerous. Not only was the crew quickly succumbing to a dangerous and deadly bacteriae, but the planet itself was crawling with…creepy crawlies.

This week though, marks the spot of the painful character development. Once again, the crew is mostly swimming in the sea of desperation, as psych evaluations uncover the surfacing of suicidal behaviours.

While the usual suspects are doing yoga and jogging circles across the bow of Destiny, Young is experiencing further clashes with Colonel David Telford. Who knew that Phillips Lou Diamond would make for such an excellent baddie?

One thing is for sure, Diamond is growing into a villanous presence, perverting what Young cares for the most, his already-shaky marriage.

But the claustrophobia felt by the Destiny’s crew is something that the viewers are already familiar with, and unlike on BSG, the crew is not relating to each other, or having any semblance of private lives, if not for any other reason, then for the fact that they are not busy enough, or even better yet, for the overuse of the convenient communication stones that allow them brief visits to Earth.

They are painfully attempting to maintain their relationships at home, rather than ensuring the development of new ones. And these are literally holding them back from progress on the ship.

Scott’s teen affair, for example, is exposed as a teen pregnancy that instead of an abortion, resulted in a fruitful birth of a boy. Too bad that the mother is hopeless, abandoned, looking for salvation in a new job of an exotic dancer.

Eli’s mother, on the other hand, is shown to be ill from not just anything, but AIDS, contracted via (EDIT: an accidental stab from an needle). Where is the sarcophagus when you need one I ask?

There are some signs that this small group of characters that SGU writers have been focused on is about to expand. For one, I noticed the appearance of Zach Santiago, a Vancouver veteran actor, and a relation of an acquaintance. I expect to see a lot more of Santiago, and development of characters that thus far sat at the sidelines.

The stones are problematic. Thus far, they’ve served only in as much as to introduce further clashes between Young and Telford. Furthermore, Scott noticed a strange shared memory feed from Telford, due to the use of the stones. Either they are about to become a major problem, or their use will be minimized.

I do hope to see some sunshine, some action, some substantial movement of the crew. Something? Anything?

The one character that does stand out is Robert Carlyle’s Dr. Nicholas Rush, whose cantankerous, manipulative, yet logical nature excels at being masterful, dangerous and interesting at the very same time.

Until next week, that is.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

by Irma Arkus

One of the biggest, and yet, strangely uncelebrated production jumps from video games to the silver screens, is Prince of Persia.

The uber-successful franchise of video games that started during the era of Commodore 64, has transitioned nicely onto contemporary consoles. Prince of Persia is one of those games that had enough magic, substance and anxiety to keep generations of gamers interested.

Now, the film version of the game is coming out, with Jake Gyllenhaal as the Prince Dastan, and he is joined by Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina, and Gemma Arterton.

The Romans and The Greeks Are Back!

by Irma Arkus

The Greeks (and Romans, countrymen) are back! For one, while not sci-fi related, but a definite personal favorite, “Rome” the series, is finally approved for a film treatment. I did a little dance around the living room, celebrating the return of Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo. Admittedly, I am not a huge fan of the buddy-cop comedies, but when you turn them into raucus Greco-Roman stories, it seems I can’t get enough of them!

This also bodes well for Kevin McKidd and Ray Stevenson who, by all accounts, should have experienced a kind of stardom after the wrap-up of the series.

Stevenson did a fantastic job as “The Punisher” and is generally an actor that I am eager to see more of. But watching “Outpost,” a zombie-nazi-sci-fi action thriller, was one of the longest and most painful experiences of my life. And “Babylon Fields,” a pilot for another, more intriguing television show about zombies, was excellent, but never took off.

McKidd similarly had his try at “Journeyman,” a soft-drama with a supernatural, time-travelling twists, that ended with a whimper after a season.

But that is only the begining of the Greco-Roman revival.

The legendary “Clash of the Titans” (1981) is revived with a remake. Perseus has to save the love of his life, Andromeda. In the midst of this “Operation Save Andromeda,” Zeus of course, interferes continuously, forcing Perseus to face numerous challenges.

Sam Worthington, newly minted from his success as the nicer, heartfelt Terminator, in “Terminator: Salvation,” and “Avatar” is starring as Perseus. The film is overloaded with familiar faces and special effects, a kind of “2012” with a Greek myth edge, including Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Mads Mikkelsen, and Jason Flemyng.And then, surprisingly, there is “Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief.”The film is obviously aimed at family adventure crowd, and even I tend to watch an occasional stab at the genre, even if it has been Nicholas Cage-d as of lately.

Kevin McKidd is starring as the angry Poseidon. Percy Jackson is Logan Lerman, a fresh faced, pretty teen who will assuredly be the next big thing that most of us will never understand or care about, and there are also Uma Thurman, Pierce Brosnan, Catherine Keener, Steve Coogan and Sean Bean.

So there we are. Lots of deities, Greek gods, angry Romans, and an occassional appearance by Zeus and Poseidon.

John Safran’s Cooking Show Pilot

A while back one of my friends forwarded me the John Safran’s TV special “John Safran vs God” which left me panting for more. As it turns out, Safran is a bit of a autobiographical essayist with a dash of comedy, and a twist of ballderdashery that reminds of Sasha Baron Cohen’s wiley interviews with unsuspecting participants.

Unlike Cohen though, Safran is right now a new face, still unrecognized by North Americans, allowing him a greater degree of freedom to experiment with various interviews and identities.

I highly encourage you to check out his new show, “John Safran’s Race Relations.” Must warn you that initial impetus for the show is a bit lessened as material wears thin in the latter episodes, but the series is yet another Safran’s personal odyssey exploring his open wish to marry a Eurasian girl (identity yet to be determined) rather than court the local Jewish girls.

But Safran also asks the tough questions. For one, he questions the “stick with your tribe” philosophy which is a somewhat racist and culturally insular, yet socially tolerated position on interracial or better yet, intercultural couples.

However, today I want to share with you the true genious of John Safran: his Master Chef pilot. I must warn you – it is highly graphic and does involve a lot of blood.

Let’s Talk Apocalypse: The Road

by Irma Arkus

I understand that the economy is bad, and as per usual, when that happens we turn our attention to the post-apocalyptic visions of future, or even worse, corporately-owned future in which we feel entirely powerless to resist our pinstriped overlords. And during the last few years, we’ve seen some real movement on the post-apocalyptic stage in terms of entertainment.

On TV, we’ve watched Lost, a group huddling together, fighting unknown people and mysteries after a horrific plane accident. Then we watched (correction, some of us did) Jeremiah, travelling across the lands wiped by a deadly plague, and Jericho, a town surviving in a land after a massive nuclear war across 30 American cities.

On the silver screen we’ve hungrily watched Will Smith battle transformed remnants of humanity in I Am Legend, and much more importantly, we experienced Children of Men, a masterful depiction of post-apocalyptic society facing loss of all hope.

But now awaits us something equally delightful, and I hope, as equally important. Penned by Cormac McCarthy in 2006, The Road is meant to engage us in another human survival story. The feature film by the same title has an enviable roster of actors, including Viggo Mortensen, Guy Pearce, Molly Parker, Robert Duvall, Charlize Theron, and Garret Dillahunt. Yes, that’s 2 for Deadwood, but I digress.

The Road is a simple story that packs a punch. A father (Viggo Mortensen) and a son are facing a harsh landscape in a post-apocalyptic future. Nature packs a punch, even when cities are intact. Many lost hikers and misguided adventurers are lost on annual basis, because surviving tends to be more difficult than most suspect.

In this world though, nature is corrupted by an event that covers the sun with its thickened ash cloud covers, so much so that breathing is often difficult, and even plants have given way to death rather than life. The world that the father and the son are attempting to survive in bears the remnants of human depravity. The only remaning social graces are cannibalism and willingness to commit acts of gruesome violence.

The father’s only goal is to ensure the survival of his child, and with that, perhaps gain a vision of a more hopeful future. They traverse great distances, going south.

McCarthy is a master of the written word. The last film production that was based on one of his novels was the masterful No Country For Old Men. The Road received that many more positive critical responses.

It is also an important work from an environmental perspective. While many tout climate change as a great force for building more tourist locals closer to polar bears and penguins, most scientists are concerned with disturbances to climate patterns that may result in death of countless species of animals and plants, ultimately destroying not only their habitat, but our own as well. The Road succinctly cuts through our ignoble ignorance and presents us with the worst case scenario in harsh, realistic terms. And the end result is simply Horrifying Hopelesness.