Monday, December 30, 2013

Realities Unlimited #6

This episode takes a look at Marvel films, Doctor Who, The Musketeers and the Top 13 movies of 2013.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Sherlock Teaser

With a teaser trailer for the next season of Sherlock appearing suddenly online, can the return of Benedict Cumberbatch {180} and Martin Freeman {121} as BBC's favorite detective duo be far away?

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Fall TV 2013

This fall sees the major US television networks offer up much more genre fair than we've seen in a long time, 17 shows a week. Incredibly FOX, which used to offer us more than any other network, only has two, both on Monday night.

NBC and ABC both offer three shows. ABC expands its Once Upon a Time franchise with a Wonderland spin-off and the highly anticipated Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. a spin-off itself of the Avengers series of films. NBC brings Revolution and Grimm back, while introducing Dracula right after Grim of Fridays.

CBS, like Fox only gives us two shows, both on the same night. Thursday's start with The Big Bang Theory and follows with Elementary, but no new series.

The one network that seems to be catering to fans of Sci-fi and Fantasy is Warner Brothers' The CW. 7 series, three of which are new this season. The week starts off with Beauty & The Beast moved to Mondays. Tuesday starts with The Originals, in the same time slot as ABC's SHIELD, The Originals tells the story of the original vampire family, then at 9pm season nine of Supernatural. Wednesday is Amell-day, as Stephen Amell returns for season 2 of Arrow, and a preview of next year's Flash series, then at 9pm the premier season of The Tomorrow People staring younger brother Robbie Amell. The very busy Thursday night starts with the fifth season of Vampire Diaries followed by the new period drama Reign, about Mary Queen of Scots.

fox network logo
Almost Human
Nov 4
Sept 24
NBC network logo
Sept 25
CBS network logo
The Big Bang Theory
Sept 26
NBC network logo
Oct 25

Once Upon a Time
Sept 29
fox network logo
Sleepy Hollow
Sept 16
The CW network logo
The Originals
Oct 3
The CW network logo
Oct 9

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
Oct 10
NBC network logo
Oct 25

The CW network logo
Beauty and The Beast
Oct 7
The CW network logo
Oct 8
The CW network logo
The Tomorrow People
Oct 9
The CW network logo
Vampire Diaries
Oct 3

The CW network logo
Oct 17

CBS network logo
Sept 26

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

**** The new franchise of Star Trek films has taken us into a new universe, or an alternate timestream of the same universe. Either way, this is the same people with a divergent time period, and this new Star Trek Into Darkness gives us a new look at the same stories from a new perspective.

Director J. J. Abrams did a great job of keeping from us who the villain really was, until late in the film, and the mixed question of who's really the villain here, them or us. One wonders if this isn't speaking to the USA and the Middle-East?

Being a lifelong fan of the series, I was pleasantly pleased to see the references to the old series. When Kirk and crew are headed to the shuttle craft, Sulu calls for Shuttle Bay 2 "Please have the trade ship that we confiscated during the Mudd incident last month fueled and ready." I really hope to see Harcourt Fenton Mudd at some point during the new franchise of films, as he was one of the few recurring characters, having appeared in two episodes of the original series and one animated series episode, he could have been the blueprint for Lucas's Hon Solo too.

The action is continuous throughout the film and at one point, about an hour forty-five in, I thought we were pretty much done. A reversal of the Wrath of Khan death scene seemed a fitting end to the film, but Abrams had one more action sequence up his sleeve. And Spock went on an emotionally charged chase and hand-to-hand battle with the enemy.

One of the many themes woven into the film is that Kirk is still trying to find his way, and needs to learn to trust others around him. He doesn't trust Scotty's good judgement and relieves him of duty, turns out Scotty was right. As a captain he has a great crew, he just needs to trust them, instead of trying to do it all himself.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Catching Up to Doctor Who

Seven seasons of Doctor Who has given us 100 episodes, plus specials and minisodes. That's a daunting amount of television to watch for a person #NewToWho. I would suggest someone being introduced to the Who Universe start with the current Doctor, but there are so many things that get missed, and maybe a few episodes that don't need to be seen to get you up to speed.

Torchwood, Sarah Jane and lots of other material that is in my Doctor Who episode list can always be gone back to if you want to get the full Whovian Experience. Steven Moffat, lead writer / Executive Producer, spent Season 7 showing the range of things that Doctor Who the show can be; Space Adventure, Western, Comedy, Action, Paranormal, past, present and future. These things are important to keep in mind when pulling someone into Doctor Who, what kinds of show do they like. This is what they should watch first, if they like heavy Sci-Fi, Asylum of the Daleks (7.1), if they like comedy Sci-Fi, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship(7.2). The second episode any #NewToWho fan should experience is Blink (3.10). After that they should be ready to take a catch up course in Who.

One way to get up to speed with about 14 hours of Doctor Who is to watch all of season 7, 13 episodes plus minisodes (see the order here).

Second way would be to watch all of the Matt Smith episodes, season 5-7, plus specials and minisodes (see the order here). This route should start with Blink, from season 3 and then season 4's Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead, before The Eleventh Hour to start season 5. Altogether this should total about 47 hours of viewing.

If you need a longer look at the Crazy Man in a Blue Box, then the list below should give you a full range of the series, and give you ample viewing between now and the November 23rd 50th Anniversary episode.

1.1 - Rose
1.2 - The End of the World
1.3 - The Unquiet Dead
1.6 - Dalek
1.8 - Father's Day
1.9 - The Empty Child
1.10 - The Doctor Dances
1.12 - Bad Wolf
1.13 - The Parting of the Ways

2.4 - The Girl in the Fireplace
2.5 - Rise of the Cybermen
2.6 - The Age of Steel
2.8 - The Impossible Planet
2.10 - Love and Monsters
2.13 - Doomsday

3.X - The Runaway Bride
3.1 - Smith and Jones
3.2 - The Shakespeare Code
3.6 - The Lazarus Experiment
3.7 - 42
3.10 - Blink
3.12 - The Sound of Drums
3.13 - Last of the Time Lords

4.8 - Silence in the Library
4.9 - Forest of the Dead

5.1 - The Eleventh Hour
5.4 - The Time of Angels
5.5 - Flesh and Stone
5.8 - The Hungry Earth
5.9 - Cold Blood
5.10 - Vincent and the Doctor
5.11 - The Lodger*
5.12 - The Pandorica Opens
5.13 - The Big Bang

6.X - A Christmas Carol

   Space [charity special]
   Time [charity special]
6.1 - The Impossible Astronaut
6.2 - Day of the Moon
6.4 - The Doctor's Wife 
6.5 - The Rebel Flesh
6.6 - The Almost People
6.7 - A Good Man Goes to War
6.8 - Let's Kill Hitler
6.10 - The Girl Who Waited

6.12 - Closing Time*
6.13 - The Wedding of River Song

7.1 - Asylum of the Daleks
7.4 - The Power of Three 
7.5 - The Angels Take Manhattan
   P.S. [minisode] (scenes not shot)
   A Good Man Goes to War - 2 Days Later [minisode]
   The Great Detective [minisode]
   Vastra Investigates [minisode]
   Songtaran Carols [minisode]
7.x - The Snowmen
   The Bells of St. John: A Prequel [minisode]
7.6 - The Bells of St. John
7.7 - The Rings of Akhaten 
7.10 - Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS
7.11 - The Crimson Horror
7.12 - Nightmare in Silver
   Strax Field Report [minisode]
   Clarence and the Whispermen [minisode]
7.13 - The Name of the Doctor

*skip both or neither.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Doctor Who Spin-offs

I know that in my review of The Crimson Horror I made the suggestion of the possibility of a Paternoster Gang spin-off, but a recent read of Doctor Who TV shed some light on other derivative possibilities.

Along with the Paternoster Gang they speculated the creation of a UNIT series. U.N.I.T. has appeared in only about four episodes during the Matt Smith years, so are the fans really ready to see a military and science, earth based series about aliens? The same question I guess could be asked about the proposed Jo Grant Adventures to replace the dearly departed Sarah Jane, of The Sarah Jane Adventures on CBBC (Children's BBC).

Taken February 6, 2013
The most desired series would be the Adventures of Captain Jack and River Song, a fan desired pairing that has been around for a long time, but got some traction in Vancouver, Canada when actors Alex Kingston{19} and John Barrowman {67} both appeared in the series Arrow. The idea of the pan-sexual Captain Jack Harkness and the overtly flirtatious River Song, wife of the Doctor, together on vortex manipulator excursions boggles the mind with awesomeness.

Of course there has been a huge amount of talk amongst fans of a possible creation of a series featuring Strax, Jenny Flint and Madam Vastra, I think could be called The Case-Book of the Paternoster Gang. The Gang, headquartered in 1890s London, solves mysteries similar to Sherlock Holmes of the same era.

Appearances of The Paternoster Gang:

-A Good Man Goes to War
   A Good Man Goes to War - 2 Days Later [minisode]
   The Great Detective [minisode]
   Vastra Investigates [minisode]
   Songtaran Carols [minisode]

-The Snowmen
-The Crimson Horror
   Strax Field Report [minisode]
-The Name of the Doctor

We have two long-version episodes coming later this year, the 50th Anniversary Special on November 23rd and the Christmas Special on Christmas Day, after that we have to wait till fall of 2014 before we see more of Doctor Who. It would be nice to have something in the interim to tied us over.

Other possibles are Angie and Artie, wards of Clara, now that they've seen other worlds and creatures. I think we are past any talk of bringing back Amy and Rory for their own series, but we could see a return to 1969/70 and The Adventures of Canton Delaware III (Impossible Astronaut, Day of the Moon), but I think that story-line has played it self out. Where else could we see a spin-off come from?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Review: Oblivion

** I'm not much of a true fan of Tom Cruise. He's one of those actors I can take or leave. After having enjoyed him in both, Knight and Day and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, I thought why not give this Sci-Fi venture of his a try?

I have to say that I'm not a fan of what I call the Night Effect; where just from watching the trailers I can figure out the twist of the movie. For this movie I was bang on.

Beyond that was this a good film? I was okay. If a friend wanted to see it I wouldn't recommend it, unless they were huge Tom Cruise fans, or one of those people that needs to see nearly every science fiction film made.

I felt in a fast paced scene of spaceships flying around the United States, that it was making up for the fact that there hasn't been a Top Gun sequel. Since releasing April 19, 2013 to June 25, 2013 it made $89.0M in North America. That's how much Monsters University made in its opening weekend.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Da Vinci's Demons

*** From STARZ, the channel that brought you Spartacus and Trochwood: Miracle Day a David S. Goyer {W268} creation, Da Vinci's Demons. Goyer's credits span from comic to video games and more than a few feature films; The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel (June 14) and a big film that is shooting in Nanaimo, BC, under the title Nautilus.

So what is the gist for this new eight-part series? Da Vinci, the young man,the artist, inventor, creative genius, investigator and true Renaissance man, gets himself in and out of continuous trouble with the De' Medici's that rule over his home city state of Florence, Italy in the 1470s. This is a fictional account of events, but with ties to the people and events of the time and place.

While nudity and breasts have become typical of a US cable shows, I was surprised at the degree male nudity too. In truth none of the nudity is there for the sake of nudity, people don't get out of bed fully clothed.

The story in the first two episodes is good, both written by Goyer, but the VFx (visual effects) are lacking. Costumes and sets feel right and there is a good mystery running thru the series, even some hints that Da Vinci was up to the things proposed in The Da Vinci Code.

I'm going to keep watching this series and see what the other writers do and if the intrigue can be held. Collectively I give the first two episodes a high three stars.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Awards Disparity

"And the Academy Award goes to..." since I was five years old, I have watched this annual celebration of style, grace and glamour. The Red Carpet, has always been the most interesting part of the show, but while the 'show' reveals the best in Hollywood, none of the top films are recognized.

Here is a list of the top 20 movies of all time, courtesy The-Numbers.

Total Box 
Oscar Wins
32012Marvel's The Avengers$623.2M0
42008The Dark Knight$533.3M2-Sound/Actor Suport
51999Star Wars Ep. I:
The Phantom Menace
61977Star Wars Ep. IV:
A New Hope
72012The Dark Knight Rises $448.1M0
82004Shrek 2 $441.2M0
91982 ET: The Extra-Terrestrial $435.1M4-Sound/VFx/Score
102006Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Man's Chest
111994  The Lion King $422.7M2-Score/Song
122010  Toy Story 3 $415.0M2-Song/Animated
132012  The Hunger Games$408.0M0
142002  Spider-Man $403.7M0
152009  Transformers:
Revenge of the Fallen
161993  Jurassic Park $384.7M3-Sound/VFx
172011  Harry Potter and the
Deathly Hallows: Part II
182003  Finding Nemo $380.5M1-Animated
192005  Star Wars Ep. III:
Revenge of the Sith
202003  The Lord of the Rings:
The Return of the King

Out of this list of 20 films 3 are not considered Genre. Of the remaining 17, 9 didn't get a single award from the Academy of Arts and Sciences. In this list of 20 films only 2 received top honors of Best Picture and Best Director, so what relevance does the top awards show have on the world of film?

This year's Best Picture winner, Argo, was beaten at the Box-Office by 24 other films, 15 of which were Genre films. When Science Fiction and Fantasy create the best selling books and movies, why do we hand awards to products that generate 1/6th the sales? Like literary works the biggest awards go to obscure performances, not the best performing categories.

We need to look at other awards such as the Hugo and Saturn Awards for our brand of entertainment awards. Maybe we need a new presentation show, with the sparkle of the MTV Video Awards, but with a larger television audience than the obscure Spike TV Scream Awards

Monday, March 11, 2013

Movies for 2013

A chronological list of movies I may be interested in seeing this year. 

Stars indicate how much I want to see it.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
January 25
Escape form Planet Earth
February 15
Oz the Great and Powerful
March 8
The Croods
March 22
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
March 28
Iron Man 3
May 3

Star Trek: Into Darkness
May 15

May 24
After Earth
June 7

Much Ado About Nothing
June 7

Man of Steel
June 14

Monster University
June 21
Now You See Me
July 3

July 19

July 19
The Wolverine
July 26
August 9
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
August 16

I, Frankenstein
September 13
Ender's Game
November 1

Thor: The Dark World
November 8
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
November 22

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
December 13

Leave a comment if I missed anything.