Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Actress Carrie Fisher Passes Away

The year 2016 does not want to end quietly. With only a few more days left, Carrie Fisher, most famous for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars Saga passed away today; she had suffered a heart attack while flying from London to Los Angeles on December 23. She was 60 years old.

photo: Copyright Lucasfilm 2016. No infringement is intended.


Ms. Fisher was an actress, a much-sought-after script doctor, a best-selling novelist, an advocate for mental health, and a mother.

She had just wrapped shooting Episode VIII of the newest Star Wars Trilogy, continuing her role from The Force Awakens (Episode VII)  as General Leia Organa. But she will always be remembered for playing Princess Leia in the Original Star Wars Trilogy: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Princess Leia broke the mold of the damsel in distress. She was smart, tough, commanding, beautiful, and just as handy with a blaster as space cowboy Han Solo. Then as now she was an inspiration.

Condolences to her daughter, mother, family and friends. Carrie Fisher will be missed.



Saturday, December 24, 2016

Fantastic Four. Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

The Fantastic Four, once Marvel Comics' flagship title, now a series canceled since 2015, was like the Star Trek of comic books: a group of adventurers boldly going into the unknown frontiers of space and time and other dimensions, meeting the challenges head on and bringing back that knowledge to help mankind.


Art: Anthony Castrillo. Characters Copyright 2016 by Marvel Comics. No infringement of those rights is intended.


Apparently Marvel Comics decided to stop making FF comics as they don't own the (potentially) lucrative film rights, which they sold off to 20th Century Fox for relatively cheap in the late 90s while undergoing bankruptcy proceedings. Why make new stories in the comics which might fuel the competition's movie coffers? It makes (dollars and) sense, but it still stings.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby crafted 102 issues together as writer/co-plotter and artist/co-plotter respectively. They gave us not only our flawed quartet of heroes in Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, Ben Grimm/The Thing, Susan Storm Richards/Invisible Woman and Johnny Storm/Human Torch, but Doctor Doom, Annihilus and the Negative Zone, the Silver Surfer, Galactus, the Black Panther, Mole Man, the Watcher, Skrulls, the Puppet Master, the Inhumans (Black Bolt, Medusa, Karnak, Gorgon, Triton and Lockjaw), the Frightful Four, and so much more.

There's a gold mine of stories there, enough for several movies. Since Fox tried three times to bring the FF to the big screen and failed, maybe in a few years they might sell the rights back to Marvel so that their film arm Marvel Studios might make a truly great Fantastic Four film.

To the Pogo Plane, everyone!

Kong: Skull Island trailer goes BIG

King Kong roars back to life, and onto to the big screen.

Kong: Skull Island looks terrific, with a great cast including om Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson and John Goodman.

The studio behind it, Legendary Pictures is setting the stage for their new GIANT Kong to face off against Godzilla in just a few years.

Let's Get Ready To Crumble!


Friday, December 23, 2016

Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 Trailer

"Showtime, a-holes!"

That phrase will be on everyone's lips and t-shirts next summer, thanks to Chris Pratt's charisma and the deft writing and directing of James Gunn in reassembling his misfit Guardians of the Galaxy for new exploits in the sequel.

The new trailer has got it all: laughs, spectacle, Baby Groot, button pushing, beautiful multihued people, great 70s rock music. Enjoy Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2.


Saturday, October 8, 2016

Great Minds Kill Alike

John Wick: Chapter 2, the sequel to the killtastic John Wick, has a brand new poster, which is reminiscent of a piece of business we did here at Bad News From Outer Space when we re-watched the Star Trek: TOS episode "Bread and Circuses". See for yourself what we're talking about.






Here's the ad for Keanu Reeves latest kill-shot-to-the-head movie.


Star Trek is a Registered Trademark and Copyright 2016 by CBS, Inc. No infringement of their rights is intended with this parody post.  John Wick 2 is Copyright 2016 by Summit Entertainment.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Indiana Jones and The Animation Genre

George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford have committed to another Indiana Jones adventure for 2019.

I prefer my Indiana Jones at the age he was - late 30s - when we first met him in Raiders Of The Lost Ark. What if we could always have Indy at that perfect age?

Filmmaker Patrick Schoenmaker and friends put together an amazing little teaser trailer showing us a version of Indiana Jones we've never seen, an animated version. With great attention to detail, good character designs, beautiful backgrounds and color scheme, Mr. Schoenmaker proves Indy could live in a different medium, one where Dr. Jones does not have to age.


Indiana Jones character copyright 2016 Lucasfilm/Disney.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Batman Day

So yesterday, September 17, was the third annual celebration called Batman Day.

I don't know if you get a free ice cream cone (Gotham Chocolate Chunks With Extra NUTZ) or free pancakes, or what have you.

Anyway, here is my all time favorite Bat-artist, the late Marshall Rogers. A belated Happy Batman Day, everybody (except cowardly criminals: you will get a Bat-fist to the face on Batman Day).

http://66.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_maqjvpOhF21rx5px6o2_500.jpg

Batman: Copyright 2016 by DC Comics, Inc. Original Artwork Copyright its respective rights holder.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Hanging With Spider-Man

Teaser poster for 2017's Spidey reboot, done under the successful creative leadership of Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige.



Saturday, August 6, 2016

A Song to Combat The "Heat Wave "

This has NOTHING to do with science fiction, Star Trek, Star Wars, comic books, or anything like that.

But it's hot in Los Angeles. Damn hot.

So, here is the classic song "Heat Wave" as sung by the incredible Joan Osborne. She kills it. (For extra fun, the original poster WestLAGuy included the 1960s version by Martha and The Vandellas immediately following Joan's version.)


Copyright 2016 the Respective Rights Owners. No infringement of those rights or the original YouTube poster's rights is intended.

The Music From U.N.C.L.E.

Good grief but there have been so many mediocre big screen movies of late. Every summer seems to be filled with so many turds.

Last year though, there was a gem among the duds in the form of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Director Guy Ritchie and company created a breezy, bouncy, comic action movie, with a solid main cast in Henry Cavill (Solo), Armie Hammer (Kuryakin), and Alicia Vikander (Gaby). I enjoyed the chemistry between these three leads and would very much like to see another adventure. Perhaps the home video and foreign returns will warrant a U.N.C.L.E. sequel. We can only H.O.P.E.

In the meanwhile, here is a great energetic music piece by composer Daniel Pemberton.



Robots Got Talent - Dancing Robots Prove It

I like robots.

You like robots.

Who doesn't like robots?

Well, how about 1,007 tiny robots. All dancing in unison. (originally found on Gizmodo)


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Anton Yelchin, 1989 to 2016

Actor Anton Yelchin, who had quite a resume for a young actor, passed away earlier today at the age of 27. Mr. Yelchin guested on television shows such as ER and NYPD Blue, and appeared in films including Charlie Bartlett, Alpha Dog and Terminator Salvation.

Perhaps Mr. Yelchin's most visible role was that of  Ensign Chekov in the new Star Trek films, including the eponymous reboot in 2009, Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) and July's upcoming Star Trek Beyond. Mr. Yelchin's Chekov was at turns funny and quirky; an altogether extremely likeable portrayal.    

The investigation into the cause of his death is still underway, but it appears he was pinned to a brick mailbox by his still running Jeep Cherokee. Gizmodo reports, "Fiat Chrysler earlier this year recalled certain Jeep Grand Cherokees for their “rollaway” risk after drivers were injured when they mistakenly thought they had shifted their car to park."

Our condolences to Mr. Yelchin's family and friends.


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Going Into Major Reshooting

Oh, my. What is going on with Rogue One: A Star Wars story?

You get a promising up and coming director in Gareth Edwards to helm your Star Wars story, which is written by top established writers in Gary Whitta and Chris Weitz. Going into it, Lucasfilm and Disney executives knew that this was an offbeat tale - it was a one off story about the group of rebels that managed to steal the Death Star plans that they then deliver to Princess Leia, which opens the tale of the original 1977 Star Wars film. There was not going to be a Rogue One: Part II, or anything like that; it was a standalone film set in the Star Wars Universe.

However, after the massive success of the JJ Abrams-directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Episode VII), the powers that be want Edwards flick to appeal to a "four quadrant" audience (that's males and females, viewers aged 25 years and under, and over 25 years old).  In other words instead of getting a cool, dark, serious combat movie that was likely to appeal to most Star Wars fans and much of the public, they are reshooting a large chuck of the movie to appeal to EVERYONE. 

According to sites like The Hollywood Reporter, Academy Award-nominated writer Tony Gilroy is reworking the script and possibly overseeing some reshoots. Also, noted 2nd Unit director and stunt maestro Simon Crane is working his action magic as well.

Hopefully Gareth Edwards' movie is still in there once all the reshoots and reediting are done. I guess we will see this December.

May the Force be with them.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Star Trek Beyond Goes On An Adventure In New Trailer

Now that's what I'm talking about!

Paramount Pictures FINALLY held their little soiree Friday to promote the release of Star Trek Beyond, which is one of the crown jewels in their possession and celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.  Yahoo Movies has a brief write up with some nice photos (here).

The first trailer released in December was underwhelming to say the least (here). I wonder if they considered the irony of how the Beastie Boys' song "Sabotage" which played over the entire trailer helped to subvert any momentum they were trying to build with the teaser.

This new trailer Paramount unveiled on Friday (here) is the right way to go: we get strange new aliens (with the great Idris Elba as the new antagonist), new locations, action, adventure, drama and amazing visuals (including lots of cool new uniforms for our Starfleet heroes) - and no Beastie Boys.  (I'm fine with the Beasties making a sonic appearance in the movie, just not as the primary musical backing in a Star Trek movie trailer.)

 


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Billion Dollar Movie Club

I have yet to see Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice.  The movie opened HUGE in March, breaking/setting records.

But then word of mouth spread, and week two, week three, and more came and the movie's fortunes dwindled. Oh, it made money for Warner Bros. studio and the producers (to the tune of $863 million worldwide).

But we live in a cinematic world where $863 million is a disappointment.  We live in a moviegoing world where there are - to date - 24 films that have grossed more than $1 BILLION each (that's domestic + foreign grosses).  That's BILLION, with a "B",

Batman and Superman are the oldest known superheros around today, having first been published in comic books in 1939 and 1938 respectively.  They both have had successful turns in theaters.

But finally putting them TOGETHER in one blockbuster movie, oh, this should have been another Billion Dollar Baby.  But only if the movie was good.

When it was announced that WB was releasing a movie featuring Batmand AND Superman, not only were the rapid fanboys interested, but it got the general public's attention.  They WANTED to see a movie which, for the first time, featured these two legendary, mythical, American heroes.

But WB fumbled that ball and made a grim, dark joyless movie.  And the public told those closet to them to sit this one out.  Go see Zootopia or see Deadpool again.

In comparision, Sony recently revealed that in next year's reboot of their Spider-Man movie series, titled Spider-Man: Homecoming, Robert Downey Jr will appear as Tony Stark (and likely in his Iron Man getup too).  That sentence got not only the fanboys' attention, but the public's as well.

Mark my words, that sentence is worth at least $500 million in movie tickets worldwide.  And since this new Spidey movie is being produced for/with Sony by Marvel Studios head-honcho Kevin Feige and his brain-trust, it should be as enjoyable as the best Marvel movies.  If it's good, there's the other $500 million, and you have another Billion Dollar Baby.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Star Trek Legacy Celebrated In New Poster Art

Way cool new Star Trek poster artwork from Joshua Budich, via Gizmodo. Mr Budich titled it, "To Boldy Go."


Art copyright by Joshua Budich. Star Trek is a Registered Trademark of CBS Studios, Inc.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Evolution Of Spacecraft Control Panels

Gizmodo has a neat look at the evolution of control panels on real spacecraft.

Here's the Space Shuttle Discovery in 2011.

Image: Ken Thornsley/NASA via Gizmodo.

"I live my life a quarter light-year at a time."

Here's the teaser trailer to this summer's new movie "Fast & Furious Final Frontier," aka "Star Trek Beyond."   One question: Who gets to play the Vin Diesel role?  ("I live my life a quarter light-year at a time.")



Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Doctor Will Tease You Now

The first teaser trailer for DOCTOR STRANGE, Marvel's Master of the Mystic Arts. The movie opens in November.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Daredevil and Elektra Art by Bill Sienkiewicz

Artist extraordinare BILL SIENKIEWICZ nails another great cover for Marvel's Daredevil title. (Image copyright Marvel, from Comics Alliance)







Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Scully, It's Me - Bond. James Bond.

So the much anticipated 10th Season of The X-Files came and went (it was only six episodes).  And just a few months ago the latest James Bond adventure SPECTRE was out in theaters.

If you still need an X-Fix - shaken not stirred - what if David Duchovny played James Bond?  This was posed to me by friend of the blog David O.  Here is my answer.



The X-Files is copyright 2016 by 20th Century Fox. James Bond is copyright 2016 by Danjaq LLC, MGM, Columbia. No infringement of thoee rights is intended with this parody.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Pump Up The Volume, Mr. Scott

From the turntable to the Trektable.

Some genius edited a bunch of kinetic Star Trek clips to that great old school jam Pump Up The Volume by MARRS.


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Silent Running - Making The Movie

Silent Running was originally released in March 1972. It was a modestly budgeted (made for about $1 million) science fiction film, but one with a very big environmental message which is still relevant today: We have to protect our forests. 

A documentary crew followed director Douglas Trumbull and his cast and crew as they made the film, primarily shooting on the decommissioned US Navy aircraft carrier Valley Forge in California. This is one of the better documentaries showing the behind the scenes goings on of a great film.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Non Spoiler-filled Review

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

We return to that galaxy far, far away with “a story about a boy, a girl and a universe.” Ads for the original 1977 Star Wars movie used that tagline, and as this latest Star Wars film cribs from, as well as pays homage to, its parent film, it is appropriate for this story as well.

The boy is named Finn, the girl is called Rey and the universe consists of several new planets,  creatures and many new interesting characters all setting up the story for a brand new Trilogy of Star Tales.

It pays homage to previous Star Wars movies with the little droid with information that everyone is looking for – here the adorable BB-8 instead of A New Hope’s trusty R2-D2 – and a planet destroyer called Starkiller Base substituting for the Death Star. A black robed, masked villain named Kylo Ren (a very good Adam Driver) following in the jack-booted steps of Darth Vader. We also get a new wise old ancient creature, along with familiar yet updated stardestroyers, stormtroopers, TIE fighters and X-Wings, fascist empires and resisting rebels, and a desert planet that many mistake for the earlier films’ Tatooine (it’s a new planet called Jaaku).

This is the first Star Wars movie without the involvement of creator George Lucas, and it shows. Director J.J. Abrams, who co-write the script with Empire/Jedi veteran Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt, and his team have created a thoroughly modern Star Wars film. Yes, there are other nods to the original movies overseen by Lucas, like the dissolves and wipes, another rousing John Williams score, lots of practical sets and creature effects a la the Original Trilogy, rather than the CGI overload of the prequels and most recent fantasy blockbusters such as The Hobbit Trilogy.

The Force Awakens is more modern in having a strong, capable and likable female character in Rey, played by British up and comer Daisy Ridley. Abrams after all was the creator of the hit television series Felicity and Alias featuring strong female leads in, respectively, Keri Russell and Jennifer Garner. Other new characters, most prominently Finn the stormtrooper with a conscience - another Brit, John Boyega, who uses an American accent, in contrast to Ridley who keeps her British accent - and hotshot pilot (is there any other kind?) Poe Dameron, played by Oscar Isaac, are instantly likable.

I will admit my eyes misted up a bit when Harrison Ford’s Han Solo first appears alongside his constant companion Chewbacca the Wookiee (Peter Mayhew), and when Princess Leia’s theme was played over Carrie Fisher’s first appearance in the movie.

The movie’s story structure and pacing is more contemporary, which honestly was a little jarring at first. Lucas previously stated he had a very specific style in mind for his Star Wars movies: people spoke a certain way, major themes were repeated throughout the series, and he guided the movies he didn’t direct as producer and editor. The Force Awakens is the first Star Wars movie where Lucas had no involvement whatsoever, so naturally it will feel different, if not “off.” Abrams and crew used current film-making techniques and styles with camera cranes and helicopter shots which the original films never used.

Without giving anything away, I was thoroughly engaged by this movie. I embraced the new characters, loved seeing old friends again, and was swept up by this new story (the homages to the original film did not detract from enjoying this new tale). The visuals, such as seeing TIE fighters silhouetted against a blazing sun and the Millennium Falcon performing aerial acrobatics, are amazing. It is setting up a new story arc that should thrill us as did the older films.

Plus, we only have to wait two more years for Episode VIII (due out in May 2017), instead of three years like we had to endure between episodes of the Original Trilogy and the Prequels.

The Force is with us once again.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Riddick 3, Audience 0

In this edition of Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy (NOT!), io9 reports that Vin Diesel just. won't. let. Riddick. die.

Yes, Pitch Black (2000) was good - a lean, muscular lower-budgeted sci-fi action thriller where Diesel really had a presence about him as the convict Richard B. Riddick with the spooky see-in-the-dark eyes.

Chronicles of Riddick (2004) spent some big bucks to only go waaay overboard and create an ass-load of backstory and shit around Riddick, making a shady convict anti-hero into a mythological prophesied space god (or something).

Since Chronicles didn't do gangbuster biz, Diesel and writer/director David Twohy tried to go back to basics with the modestly budgeted Riddick (2013). Audiences everywhere shrugged - what was this movie even about?

Now that Diesel's profile has been raised by the admittedly fun Fast & Furious franchise, Vin wants to do ANOTHER Riddick movie for the six people still interested in the character, AND do a TV series tie-in set in the "Riddick Universe."

Come on Vin, you might have a small, and I mean small, cult following around the Riddick character, but after three movies that received wide releases over a 13 year period, and only managed to gross on average just over $46 million each - audiences has spoken: they simply don't care for this character.

The mercs didn't catch up to Riddick, but audience indifference surely did.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Happy Back To The Future Day

Happy Back To The Future Day, everyone.

Though don't you think it's time to update that analog Flux Capacitor for a digital model? Just a thought.





(pic from AlienRobotZombies.com)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Saturday Morning Cartoons (as we remember them) Are Officially Extinct


Kids growing up today have access to animated entertainment 24/7. They can get their favorite 'toons On Demand, off the web, or if they want to do it the old fashioned way, watch Cartoon Network or Boomerang for their all day cartoon fixes. They can not only choose the traditional network/cable fare but also Original Animated Video, anime, and webtoons  Additionally they can watch these 'toons on their various mobile devices.

Back in the day, a kid lived for Saturday mornings, when you'd get up early, pull out your favorite boxes of cereal, and zonk out to nothing but cartoons for several hours.

Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes cast, Superfriends, Fantastic Four, Spider-man, Herculoids, Smurfs (for the younger set), Tom and Jerry, Flash Gordon, Grape Ape, Wacky Races, Bullwinkle,  Scooby Doo, Where Are You, Thundaar, Young Sentinels, Space Ghost, and on and on and on.

Now, those days are offcially over. The CW, the last holdout of Saturday morning cartoon blocks, aired their last Saturday morning cartoons September 26 according to this article on Engadget.

Blog In The 80's has this cool chart showing the Saturday morning cartoon schedule from 1979 to  1990.

So, this Saturday, raise a bowl of your favorite sugarfied cereal to the days of olde, and maybe watch some Scooby Doo or Dungeons and Dragons on your iPad.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Upcoming Horror Film Will Show You The Way To Eternal Life!

There's a new fang in town, and his name is Stephenson.

If you like vampires, and vampire movies - let's face it, who doesn't - then check out "The Gospel According To Stephenson."

Writer/director/friend-of-this-blog John Schuermann is taking a new approach to the vampire mythos with his upcoming horror/thriller/satire in which a purported vampire uses our current pop culture obsession with all-things-fanged (see The Strain, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Being Human, The Twilight Saga quadrilogy, True Blood, the 30 Days Of Night multimedia franchise, Anne Rice novels) to literally start a new religion based on "eternal life - guaranteed!"

The movie's website reveals the film is "as much a social satire as a horror film, features substantial social commentary and comedy elements, with science vs. religion and the conflict between the skeptic and the believer as its central themes."

Here is the website where you can view the proof of concept trailer: http://www.stephensonmovie.com

Beginning September 14, the filmmakers start a fundraising campaign through Seed & Spark to raise (in an undead fashion, no doubt) capital for the movie. If you like smart, independent cinema, consider a worthwhile donation and get some cool swag in return. It's a win/win for everyone.  

Monday, August 3, 2015

Goodnight Mommy - Horror Movie Trailer Delivers The Creeps

Science fiction movies are my bread and butter, but horror movies can still totally fascinate me.

This movie, called "Goodnight Mommy," from Austrian filmmakers Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, looks creepy as all get out.  It centers on a woman recovering from facial reconstructive surgery and her two young boys. The kids start to question if the woman behind the bandages is truly their mother or someone - or something - else.

I found the movie at The Playlist. It opens in theaters September 11.


Two words: bug eating! Ewwww.