First Godzilla teaser trailerPosted on December 10th, 2013 | By: Bert Ehrmann
On this date in 1998...Star Trek: Insurrection opens in theaters.
Happy 15th anniversary!
Is it just me, or is the fall TV season just a poor lead up to the winter one, when the interesting series launch?
Hurry up to catch this one before it ends. It seems like TNT doesn’t have a lot of confidence in this little gem by “burning off” two episodes of Mob City every Wednesday night for three weeks when this one will be done quickly. Though in an odd quirk of fate this is exactly what happened to series creator Frank Darabont’s last show too; The Walking Dead. AMC didn’t have much confidence in that show either and only ordered six episodes of The Walking Dead too before committing to any more. And the last time I checked The Walking Dead is doing okay.
The one new show I watch from this fall is The Goldbergs. It’s not a great show, but it’s good and I get a laugh or two out of each episode which makes this one worth it for me.
Christmas Day will see the departure of Matt Smith, current Doctor Who, and the introduction of new Doctor Who Peter Capaldi. The big question is when Smith leaves if a lot of the new fans of the show who watch Doctor Who for Smith will leave too?
Community creator Dan Harmon returns to the show he created, then was thrown off of, then rehired to for a fifth and final (?) season this January. I’m hugely excited about this one. Now, if only I could forget that non-Harmon fourth season of Community altogether.
Ronald D. Moore, the creator of the Battlestar Galactica reboot series, returns to TV with Helix on SyFy. This series looks to be part The Thing mixed with the movie Contagion and some zombies thrown in for good measure But fear not, Moore is good at handling material that seems already done/tired like he did so well with BSG.
This series follows two detectives (Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson) as they spend 17 years hunting a serial killer. Which sounds a bit like Zodiac, but if this series can channel even a smidgeon of the greatness of Zodiac it’ll be one to watch.
What started out as a PBS/BBC series aimed at adults quickly found an younger and non-traditional PBS audience making Sherlock as popular and culturally relevant as Doctor Who is with the teen/hipster set. Will this third season of Sherlock be more popular than Downton Abbey, another hit on PBS? I think it might.
When we last left Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) he had destroyed more than a few lives on his attempt at becoming Vice President of the country. There were enough twists and turns in the first season of the series that I’m genuinely unsure as to where the second season of House of Cards is headed.
I adore this series about Soviet spies in Washington DC that’s set in the early 1980s. It’s the perfect mix of action and a true heart felt story about making relationships and families work. With guns and explosives too.
I get the feeling that no one’s watching this show because of it’s title and it seemingly a money-grab at the The Silence of the Lambs movie franchise. Which is a real shame, series creator Brian Fuller and cast are doing some wonderful, weird and interesting things with Hannibal which is unlike anything else on TV right now.
A mishmash of cool images I’ve collected throughout the week.
I think many underestimate just how hard it is to create a good movie or TV poster. There are a plethora of amateur designers with Tumblr accounts turning out cool movie posters for fun every day. And if an amateur can create a cool poster for (say) Star Wars or Pulp Fiction, then surly they’d be great at creating real posters for upcoming releases too. Right?
Not quite. I think what many tend to forget is that the types of posters these fans of the media are creating all rely on viewers already having seen the movie they’re promoting. If you’ve never seen (say) Star Wars of Pulp Fiction then their posters can be a confusing mess of design elements that may look neat to those who are familiar with the movie, but not make sense to the uninitiated viewer.
Creating movie posters that sell something brand new the public’s never seen before is tough stuff and the posters below do that and do it quite well.
Click on any of the posters below for a larger view.
Let’s face it, most movie posters are less art than pure marketing. There are loads of posters that follow trendy design patters like “giant heads in the sky” or, more recently, posters that feature the backs of characters. That’s why I take note when the designers of a movie poster campaign do something different, like the creators of the character posters for the movie The Wolverine did this year with their character posters.
Here, rather than going for the slick photographic look almost all posters use these days, the character posters for The Wolverine are instead illustrated by, I think, old-school brush and ink. These posters are beautiful, unique and are unlike anything else I’ve seen this year.
Plus these posters show that the character poster, which has become ubiquitous and just as boring for just about every big-budget release in recent years, can be fun and interesting and well designed too.
Heck, I’d call these posters the closest thing we’ve seen to “art” in the form for a long while.
When movies star famous actors, it’s a good bet said actors will get their mugs plastered all over posters promoting said movies. While the posters for the movie Gravity do feature images of the the two lead actors, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, I wouldn’t exactly say that the posters feature the actors in a flattering light. Here, the designers of the Gravity posters decided to fill the frame with the faces of the actors, almost to the point of having the faces too close/cropped and claustrophobic, and lit the faces in a stark blue-green hue. All of which adds a subtle layer of tension, not usually found in most movie posters.
Plus it’s got the best tagline of the year, “Don’t let go.”
Another set of beautifully illustrated posters are those for Mad Men and The Walking Dead on AMC. The Mad Men poster, illustrated by a real-life 75 year old real ex-mad men illustrator Brian Sanders, is gorgeous and perfectly harkens back to the time of the series. The Walking Dead poster, by illustrator Alex Ross, is a living terror. It puts the viewer in the unenviable position of being the target of the zombie’s next meal.
If there’s a poster that totally nails the current state of politics here in the US, it’s the poster for the HBO series Veep. Here, the lead character of Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is shown sitting and dozing as a delegate of the United Nations. Plus I love the double meaning of the tagline, “Diplomacy in action.”
Some posters that didn’t quite make the cut include the TV series American Horror Story, True Blood, Strike Back and Sons of Anarchy.
Back in late 2003 the newspaper the Fort Wayne Reader was just starting up and I was asked to write a pop-culture column for them. Work was started on the paper months in advance of the first issue being published and one of the things the publishers of the Reader did in those early days was to reach out to TV networks and cable channels for screeners of TV series and movies to review for the paper.
That’s how I got to watch the new Battlestar Galactica TV mini-series a few weeks before everyone else.
Though the copy we received was missing some special effects shots in places, I was none-the-less “blown away” at how good the mini-series was when I was totally prepared for it to be a bust since it had suffered from months and months of negative publicity beforehand. Fans, myself included, didn’t like the idea that a sci-fi classic was being rebooted without the participation of the original creator nor the fact that one of the lead characters of the original series was now going to be played by a (gasp!?) woman!
I think what we forgot to take into account was that it’s the 21st century so why not shake things up a bit and have a woman play a role originally meant for a man? And while we might have some nostalgia for the original 1970s Battlestar Galactica series, looking back in retrospect the series wasn’t all that great so there was a lot that could be improved on.
But from the moment in the new mini-series that the Cylons came pouring out of space in search of vengeance against losing a war decades earlier against humanity I was hooked and couldn’t wait for the next part of the story. Simply put, BSG was one of the best sci-fi shows ever and probably one of the best TV series of all time too. It’s certainly one of the best series of the first decade of the 21st century. BSG dealt with all sorts of taboo subjects like abortion, terrorism, genocide, military rule, etc., etc., etc., that was all done in the guise of sci-fi so it didn’t come off as that controversial. In fact I’m not sure there’s been ANY series sci-fi or not since that’s dealt with as many heavy subjects as BSG did throughout its run.
And let’s not forget to what the TV landscape was like when the BSG series premiered in ’04. Shows like Lost, Veronica Mars, The Wire, The Sopranos, Arrested Development and the UK version of The Office were all airing new episodes when the BSG series started. To say this was an extremely special time for TV would not be an understatement. I don’t think we’ve had such quality of shows on all at once since then.
I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that the Sci-Fi Channel didn’t have much hope in BSG attracting viewers, that’s why the BSG mini-series premiered in December of ’03 with the regular series not starting up until months later in October of ’04. I think Sci-Fi was caught by surprise that the mini-series was so well regarded by critics and fans alike, was watched by so many and received as many accolades as it did. Heck, the mini-series received three Emmy nominations — when does that happen EVER for sci-fi?
One of the things I liked best about BSG was that series creator Ronald D. Moore began recording commentary podcasts that would be released after each new episode aired. These podcasts revealed behind the scenes goings on at the show, what was cut from each episode and where scenes were filmed and how things were tied together. I can only imagine the amount of work Moore put into each episode and then to also invest time recording podcasts on top of all his other duties too was immense.
Now that I think about it, the only way I can relate to how much I loved the series, how much I enjoyed each new episode, was that BSG was so good it literally hurt when each new episode ended.
In the last decade the Sci-Fi Channel, now Syfy, hasn’t aired anything to the quality of BSG. While other networks draw viewers with shows like The Walking Dead (AMC), Doctor Who (BBC America), American Horror Story (FX) and Falling Skies (TNT), all sci-fi/horror series that would seemingly be at home on Syfy, instead that channel has come to rely on cheap reality shows like Fangasm, Ghost Mine and Heroes of Cosplay and cheaply made movies like Sharknado in order to fill the hours. And while these shows might garner some viewers, they’ve also driven away hoards of sci-fi loving viewers like me to other channels. I used to love the SCI-Fi Channel for its programming like BSG, Farscape, MST3K and Sliders to name a few. But honestly, Syfy has changed so much that I can’t say that I’ve watched all that much on that channel the last five years.
But all is not lost. There are several shows scheduled on Syfy in 2014 that look like they might be a return to the greatness of series like BSG. One of which is a Ronald D. Moore created Helix that’s set to debut Friday, January 10. The same time BSG used to air “back in the day.”
All episodes of Battlestar Galactica are available for streaming on Netflix and Amazon and the series is also available on Blu-ray.
One of the most underrated movies in recent memory, The Mist, will be coming to TV via The Weinstein Company with the involvement of Frank Darabont.
Bob Weinstein, interviewed separately from his brother, said he was developing original projects that would be in tune with his horror- and action-oriented Dimension brand, along with several shows based on movies he has overseen for the company. He is preparing a pilot based on the “Scream” films for MTV, for instance, and developing a proposed 10-part series with Frank Darabont, based on Dimension’s film version of Stephen King’s “The Mist.”
Yessss! I LOVED The Mist!
Featuring Andy Helfer and Bill Sienkiewicz’s classic Shadow series from 1987! Following Howard Chaykin’s classic mini-series Blood & Judgement, Helfer and Sienkiewicz story stands on its own as one of the most surreal Shadow tales of all time! Contains issues #1-6 of this definitive Shadow story!
They’re BACK! 25 years after Topps’ original “DINOSAURS ATTACKS!” trading cards took a bite out of candy counter sales, the original Eclipse graphic novel written by creator Gary Gerani returns, this time released in its entirety with pencils by Herb Trimpe and paintings by veteran illustrator Earl Norem.