scifi series

The Star Trek Movie Franchise Is Headed Backwards (VIAB)

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Believe me when I say that this article and title is right on the money. While both Trek movies from 2009 combined made over a billion dollars, I believe Paramount is not thinking long-term enough. Fine, the new director Robert Orci has written a boatload of tv shows and some great movies as well as serving as either producer or executive producer. Star Trek 3 will be his first outing at least that is what I found on IMDB. I’m not so keen about this idea because this is not the normal course of action to hire directors especially on big movies like Trek.

On the Fly II with Eric Stoltz, makeup artist/sfx Chris Walas from the first movie became the director of the sequel. Sadly, anyone following David Cronenberg’s work has a hard act to follow regardless. Walas taking over the reigns for the Fly 2, while it had some good moments, failed to rival or even come close to the first. Let’s move to Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation which was headed by Phil Tippet. Star Wars fans and other great visual f/x movies will know that Phil’s great talent is making great visual f/x. Trying to follow the very skilful job that Paul Verhooven did in the first Starship Troopers was next to impossible much like the same problem Walas had. The budget was smaller to fit a smaller story and except for nudity to keep me awake there was very little to watch. I love Phil and will always have a place in my heart as he played the Rancor monster in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Another example is Frank Marshall. He has been a phenomenal producer and executive producer. One could almost watch any Spielberg movie and see Frank’s name. He had also turned to directing and has had some modest success. His first movie was Arachnophobia but I believe his better movie was Alive which was based on the plane crash in the Andes Mountain. However, Congo adapted from Michael Crichton’s book of the same name is sadly forgettable. All these examples are to help illustrate that hiring Robert Orci maybe a mistake given the track records of those I mentioned. However, let us look forward to a future where Paramount can be happy with the future of Star Trek.

Taking a cue from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Paramount needs to re-establish the Star Trek Universe (STU). Let’s start with mentioning the original series (TOS) that started the franchise. We then get three Star Trek movies one of the best Trek movie of all times. Star Trek gets back to tv with The Next Generation (TNG). Trek 4 makes a big splash with Nimoy taking the director’s chair and making this a more accessible film for non Trek fans. Trek 5 is nearly killed by Shatner’s hand but 6 makes up the last movie for the original cast and ends their run on a high note. TNG then takes over with their turn on the big screen: Generations and First Contact (their best movie by Frakes). Luckily another Trek series on tv comes into play Deep Space Nine (DS9). TNG fires back on the screen with Insurrection also directed by Frakes but lacks any real bite like First Contact. Star Trek launches Voyager (VOY) on the small screen. TNG makes one last movie Nemesis (worst ever). The last Trek series is called Enterprise (ENT). And then the two movies by JJ Abrams. Got that? Moving on.

Why did I go through all that? To showcase my Trek nerd cred… sh’yeah. More importantly, where do we go with STU? Abrams movie gave us a rebooted Trek universe that can allow us to do anything or do it all over again. Let’s do some creative planning and make this next movie a launch for bigger things. I believe the time is right for another Trek series on tv. Last year, there were rumors of two series in the vein of CSI. UHM, OK? But I would rather see 5 year missions or show how TNG, DS9, or VOY might fare in this alternate Trek history Maybe we get a Picard with hair? A female Data? Or nasty Ferengis as was once visioned by Roddenberry? Think of the possibilities for use fans and for the fans of the future. In between, lace these series with movies on the big screen and empire for Paramount can rise though not as mightly as MCU but still better than the Spiderman franchise over at Sony. Now is the time to plan big.

Paramount Pictures is taking a huge risk naming screenwriter Roberto Orci to direct the next film in the Star Trek movie franchise, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the the following video.

According to an exclusive report in Variety last week, Orci, whose screenwriting credits include work on Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, will team with J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay to write the threequel. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are expected to reprise their roles as Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock.

Good news, right? If only it were that simple. Instead, history shows the franchise is suffering decelerating returns. According to The-Numbers.com, Star Trek earned a combined $578.6 million including box office, DVD, and Blu-ray revenue. Star Trek Into Darkness earned $540.4 million on the same basis. Orci is taking on a turnaround story.

via The Star Trek Movie Franchise Is Headed Backwards (VIAB).

‘Arrow’ Season 2 Finale Recap: ‘Unthinkable’ – Hollywood Reporter (SPOILERS)

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Ye have been warned about the spoilers ahead so I’m doing it one more time – STOP READING THIS!!!!

On a rare alignment of the planets and my work schedule, I was able to watch the second season finale of Arrow live. To boot, we were also treated to a sneak peak for the upcoming Flash series. In a nutshell, I was overjoyed in that one hour of prime time television.

Let me begin with the only negative point with the finale. Seeing Starling City go up in flames and the chaos was great and awesome but we’ve seen this before in the previous year. Please, the writers and show runner of Arrow, I implore you, don’t make the Starling City go up in flames again next year. Yes, the ante has to get bigger next year but no more city destruction. The growth of this show has to be focus on its characters.

Last night, Oliver gave an amazing  speech to Slade who was not killed in the end. He had thank Slade for giving him the strength to survive the island, to see his family again, and to becoming a true hero. This was one of the things I loved – this fundamental switch within Oliver this season who killed throughout season one and had made a promise to his best friend Tommy at the end of his life. As with each episode in season two, we hear Oliver’s monologue but this sounds more like a mantra that he would be saying to himself, “To honor my friend’s memory, I must be someone else. I must be something else.” That journey was completed. If the show can give this amazing arc to Oliver, his supporting players must also have something interest to show us to make us care about the show. Diggle was given some dedicate show time on his past and which included a mission with The Suicide Squad  but alas Felicity – nothing. I LOVE Felicity and I would encourage more to be done with her. Let’s not make her just the brains of the outfit and becomes the alternate damsel in distress.  Make her into someone else and something else. One word – Artemis.

On the plus side, this season has ramped up its action sequence to an amazing level. They have mastered the use of “powered” people effectively while at the same time made it believable and grounded despite the effects of Mirakuru. By grounded, I mean, more physical action as people can get tossed across the room ala Roy, Slade and his minions. Hell, I was wondering about this one throw Detective Lance suffered through and how it played up in the finale. Nicely done.

Going back to Slade, one of the big revenge deeds was killing Moira Queen; Oliver’s mom. Slade had mentioned that there needed to be one more death before this all ended. This question lingered as to who and Oliver thought that it was he who had to die. When was talked out that notion, Slade and his minions started to attack Starling City. When that was ruled out, Laurel was kidnapped and brought to Slade. He had wanted revenge for the loss of Shado and taking Laurel was the logical choice. However, we get a seen where Oliver brings Felicity to the old mansion and tells her to stay there until everything blows over. Oliver then tells her that Slade has the wrong woman and it was her that he loved not Laurel. WHAT? THE? FUCK? Thankfully, this played out differently as the true nature of the one more death Slade was talking about was his own. He knew that Oliver would have to kill him in order to end this conflict and thus destroying the person Oliver had become. However, Oliver played Slade as Felicity was in on the plan…later, and was able to inject the cure for Mirakuru when she was very close to Slade. Hooray for Felicity for being the hero. Oliver gives his great speech and now the heart break lingers as Felicity’s feelings for Oliver will not be reciprocated anytime soon.

Hopefully, I will get a chance to bring this show up on my podcast as it well worth the time to discuss this further. In the meantime, the other highlight of the night was the new teaser promo for The Flash.

PLUS the extended trailer for The Flash.

 Let’s talk about the finale of Arrow, shall we?

True to form, The CW comic-book drama paid off a season’s worth of build-up with the “biggest fight” to date between Oliver Queen and Slade Wilson. With the help of some friends, Oliver and Co. left no stone unturned in their face-off, culminating in a life-altering moment for the Arrow. Would Oliver kill Slade, or would he cure him of the Mirakuru? Oliver chose the high road, a decision he would not have been able to make in season one.

Wednesday’s finale, “Unthinkable” (which could refer to a few of the episode’s developments), also set up a drastically different world for season three. Oliver may or may not have declared his love to Felicity, Thea abandons ship, Laurel may be on the road to becoming Black Canary and Roy may be embracing his superhero abilities. The Hollywood Reporter highlights the biggest revelations and cliffhangers from the season closer.

via ‘Arrow’ Season 2 Finale Recap: ‘Unthinkable’ – Hollywood Reporter.

The Farscape Movie is Officially Happening

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I had to make sure of what the date was before I posted this. Back on April 1, it was reported the Netflix was getting new episodes of Firefly; I got punked for a bit. Now, the reports for a Farscape movie was months ago which I kept in the back of my head as to not to get too excited over the prospects. Reading this morning news, I could not be pleased by the news and the process of a new Farscape movie is in the works. However, after reading the article below, I was kinda dumbstruck by the “premise” of this new film. I will be talking about this in the next podcast and would like to hear your thoughts on this matter. Are you happy with a new Farscape movie? Do you wish for another Farscape series? Or should Farscape receive a rebooted treatment? Let me know on this blog and your comments might show up on the podcast.

Back in February we brought you news that a Farscape movie was supposedly in the works. Now Rockne O’Bannon, creator and showrunner of the original series, has confirmed that the movie is, in fact, happening.

Confirmation comes by way of TV.com:

Just a little bit of, maybe interesting, information to report. ;-p Texting me from WonderCon, a very good friend of mine (@PaulBurrows) just left the Showrunners Panel at [WonderCon]. A panel member, non other than Rockne O’Bannon, the co-creator ofWarehouse 13, Defiance, and Revolution… who was also Farscape’s creator and showrunner – has indeed CONFIRMED a Farscape movie is happening.

via The Farscape Movie is Officially Happening.

Where In The World Is Malaysia Airlines Flight 370? Conspiracy Theorists Take To The Internet | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

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Millennium-movie-1989

Let me begin with this note up front. This entry is in no way to make light of this terrible situation. The goal of this blog is to point out how art imitates life and vice versa. Many times, I get in awe of scientific concepts on scifi shows and when times catches up to make those concepts a reality, I am blown away. So, going back to the Malaysian Airlines flight 370, this brings up scifi themed movies and shows that brings up the point, “Can a plane simply disappear?”

Remember Amelia Earhart? Her famous journey to fly solo around the world and still to this day, neither she nor her plane have been ever recovered. Yet, science fiction leads up to believe that on Star Trek: Voyager Season 2 Episode 1 “37” Amelia Earhart was found in a cryo-stasis by the Voyager crew. So how did Amelia appear on the almost opposite side of the galaxy? Alien abduction.

Another plane related tv series was Lost. This series finds survivors of a plane crash on a remote island filled with secrets. After 6 seasons of episodes, not all the questions posed were answered but did not diminish this great show.

Let’s not forget the tv mini series called The Langoliers created by Stephen King. A red eye flight from Boston to LA, a handful of passengers wake up to find everyone else missing including the crew.

In the late eighties, there was a movie called Millennium not to be confused by the tv series by Chris Carter (X-Files). This movie dealt with humans from the future replacing all the humans moments before a plane crash with fake replacements. These future humans were trying to save humanity by bringing people from the past, who were going to die, to the future where they would live out their lives.

Now, go back farther to a little know Airport movie. This really started the whole disaster movie genre like Earthquake, The Poseidon Adventure, and The Towering Inferno. Like with all disaster movies, we were treated to an all star casts but unless you grew up in the late 60’s/70’s you will not know many of the stars. However, the success of this movie gave us: Airport 75, Airport 77, and Airport 79. If you want to know the premise of 75, watch Airplane. 77 shows us a plane crashing into the ocean in the Bermuda Triangle. 79 dealt with the no longer running Concorde – the plane that could travel twice the speed of sound.

Last but not least, one of the few books, an actual books not comic books, that I read as a kid was called The Ghost of Flight 401. This story was based on the real plane crash of Flight  401 which met its demise in the Florida Everglades near Miami. From the few details I remember, this book was more about ghost sightings of the deceased crew members appear on other flights. I could be wrong but the connection with the sightings were due to the salvage pieces from Flight 401 being put into other planes. Creepy yes but reading this stuff was truly fascinating.

Let’s all hope, from the searchers involved to the family/friends of those on board the Malaysian Airlines flight 370, that they are all able to have closure soon.

Details concerning the sudden, Saturday disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight 370 continue to trickle in. Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, the head of Malaysia’s Civil Aviation Authority, said the missing Boeing 777 carrying 227 passengers presents an “unprecedented mystery.”

Here’s what we do know: The flight disappeared on Friday night/Saturday morning en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The plane was at cruising altitude (35,000 feet) and weather was more or less clear. Air traffic controllers in Vietnam say contact with the crew disappeared about 120 nautical miles east of the Malaysian town of Kota Bharu, and radar signals suggest the plane may have turned around before losing contact.

via Where In The World Is Malaysia Airlines Flight 370? Conspiracy Theorists Take To The Internet | Fast Company | Business + Innovation.

Separated @ Birth… Scifi Style Part 20

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tron like cars

This is one of those moments where I am going to show my age. On the left is a Dodge Durango with the cool LED lights but for a million Spaceball bucks, can you name the tv show car on the right?

AutomanWhen the original Tron came out, everyone tried to have this futuristic look but these f/x were very primitive. These computer generate f/x were amazing to look at on the big screen and then ABC had a tv show called Automan back in 1982. Here’s the premise:

Automan (the “Automatic Man“) follows the adventures of a police officer and computer programmer named Walter Nebicher (Desi Arnaz, Jr.), who had created an artificially intelligent crime fighting program that generated a hologram (Chuck Wagner) able to leave the computer world and fight crime. via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automan

Here was the trick and the main issue or problem with the series; Automan would only come out at night when there was less power consumption of electricity. Hence, the lighted f/x would only work at night for the main character, his car or any other contrast he created. As daylight approached, he would make a comment that he can feel toasters and coffee makers coming online and that he had to go back into the computer until the nighttime. Thankfully, this Tron vampire never lasted more than one season. Granted, the cool thing about this show was to see the Autocar in action. To give the Autocar an interesting feel, anytime it had to make a turn, the car would make a quick 90 degree angle left or right. How this was achieve was through editing the film back then. The car was heading in one direction and then the film was spliced on the car going down in another direction. This was a very cheesy f/x was one that was very cheap to make.

Overall, this computer scifi look has been one of my favorite looks and wish I could created the same look on the cheap. Still, with life imitating art, there are some signs of having this look now. Take a look at the pic below from the Tokyo Motor Show

DSCF3159_verge_super_wideThis Tron-style Kawasaki concept, called the J, is an electric motorcycle where the front “wheel” splits into two. The J eschews handlebars entirely for a pair of “arms” that can be manipulated into different positions to prioritize speed or comfort.  Click here to see more

“Daredevil” Leads Marvel & Netflix Multiple Live-Action Show Deal – Comic Book Resources

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daredevil-leads-marvel-netflix-multiple-liveaction-show-deal

The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) today announced an unprecedented deal for Marvel TV to bring multiple original series of live-action adventures of four of Marvel’s most popular characters exclusively to the world’s leading Internet TV Network beginning in 2015. This pioneering agreement calls for Marvel to develop four serialized programs leading to a mini-series programming event.

Led by a series focused on “Daredevil,” followed by “Jessica Jones,” “Iron Fist” and “Luke Cage,” the epic will unfold over multiple years of original programming, taking Netflix members deep into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen, New York.  Netflix has committed to a minimum of four, thirteen episodes series and a culminating Marvel’s “The Defenders” mini-series event that reimagines a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters.

Produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Television Studios, this groundbreaking deal is Marvel’s most ambitious foray yet into live-action TV storytelling.

via “Daredevil” Leads Marvel & Netflix Multiple Live-Action Show Deal – Comic Book Resources.

Wholly crap, Disney!?! Talk about launching a preemptive strike against DC. Not only does Marvel have the lead of produced individual superhero movies and the first superhero team movie under their belt but this move to the small screen and using Netflix to deliver the content is going to be groundbreaking. Yes, shows like Walking Dead and Arrow are the current darlings of traditional tv watching but Netflix has proved shows like House of Cards, Arrested Development, and Orange is the New Black are going to be the new way to deliver original content and Disney is making a wise bet.

While on the subject of Arrow, for a while, DC looked like they were going a different route, counter to Marvel’s films, and produce superhero shows like Amazon and The Flash on tv and not having straight movies. Disney has Agents of SHIELD which has sucked on the teats of the past, current and now future Marvel movies but has delivered a lot of suck ass content. This was probably not the best and fully developed idea but things can change. As for DC,  while we are getting a Superman/Batman movie, a JLA movie seems to be even more in jeopardy in light of this new Disney moves. DC and Warner Bros. do not have the financial capital to bankroll such a long-term plan all on their own. With Marvel’s Phase 2 is in progress, Phase 3 already in the works, and this Netflix deal, Disney and Marvel is already 5 to 10 years ahead of DC/Warner Bros. My only hope is that audiences won’t grow tired and bored with superhero movies.Hopefully when DC  finally gets their act together watching superhero movies will still matter like the first Superman movie with the late Christopher Reeves and not passe like 3D.