NBC has posted the 11 episodes aired so far from its series Heroes on its web site for a limited time. If you want to catch up, this is a good, free way to do it. Personally I'm going to wait on this one for DVD – the TV landscape and my life are just too cluttered at the moment to try and keep up on a weekly basis. Since it has a continuing story arc it also looks like it'll be more fun to devour in rapid succession than with interruptions and commercials. But hey, if you don't mind sitting in front of your computer to watch a bunch of episodes, Heroes does look like a pretty good series and should be encouraged.
Some parents take their kids down to the Santa at the mall for their annual Christmas photo – I decided to celebrate the season by posing my daughter with our pal Jay Edwards at Cartoon Network in Atlanta. Note the awesome Meatwad pinata and the weird Christmas topiary surroundings. I'm told this was the impromptu set for some bumpers taped for the Adult Swim Christmas Eve block, but I guess we'll all have to wait for Christmas Eve to come along before we see exactly what they cooked up for us.
So Merry Christmas, or Hannukah, or Solstice, or Festivus, or whatever you celebrate. May your holiday be as weird and wonderful as mine is turning out to be.
Joseph Barbera was responsible for warping the minds of millions around the world in the 20th Century through cartoons. He died of natural causes at his home in Studio City, Los Angeles on December 18, 2006.
Hanna and Barbera's 17-year partnership on the Tom & Jerry series resulted in 7 Academy Awards for Best (Cartoon) Short Subject, and 14 total nominations, more than any other character-based theatrical animated series. Hanna and Barbera were placed in charge of MGM's animation division in late 1955; however this was short-lived as MGM closed the division in 1957. Following this they teamed up to produce the series The Ruff & Reddy Show, under the company name H-B Enterprises, soon changed to Hanna-Barbera Productions.
Hanna-Barbera Productions became by the late-1960s the most successful television animation studio in the business, producing hit television programs, such as The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, and Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! by the end of the decade.
And a compilation of Hanna-Barbera logos (and others) by some YouTube dudes.
The reviews from Fantastic Fest trickle in, slowly. This one is for Renaissance, which I like to call Blade Runner Lite. The film got a (very) limited U.S. release in September, and apparently just got released on DVD in Greece. (?) Presumably it will see a DVD release in the States early next year. Maybe. Read the Stomp Tokyo review of Renaissance.
Entertainment Weekly has the good fortune to provide us with a sneak peek of snapshots from the Tarantino/Rodriguez anthology Grindhouse. Tarantino and crew were all over Austin this past summer and fall - watch for a cameo by the Paramount Theater with Snakes on a Plane on the marquee. QT & Co were even in attendance on the opening night of SoaP, though it was at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, not the Paramount.
I'm hoping we can count this as a comeback film for Robert Rodriguez. He hasn't done anything since Once Upon a Time in Mexico that I thought was even vaguely worth watching. Sorry, Sin City fans - loved the comics and even sat through the re-cut version of the movie, but the only thing that caught my attention was the Carla Gugino's nude scene.
Got back from Vegas and immediately turned 'round to hop a plane for Silicon Valley. Haven't seen much of it as I've been sitting Elizabeth while my wife attends the AGU conference in San Francisco, but I did manage to finish and post that review of The Host I promised.
Korea has never had much luck with giant monster movies. First there was Yongary, the bargain-basement Godzilla knock-off from the deep. Then came Wangmagwi, the monster so mysterious that only a handful of Korean movie buffs have laid eyes upon him. Then the awful A*P*E, a cousin to Kong only in that a gorilla suit was employed during filming. Pulgasari was next, the misbegotten minotaur created at the whim of Kim Jong-Il (no kidding!) and finally things came full circle with Yonggary (aka Reptilian), a late-nineties remake of Yongary that managed to be even less pleasing than the original.
Despite this tortured history, I was still looking forward to seeing Korea’s latest kaiju offering: The Host.
This is the first good reason I've seen to purchase an Xbox 360. When they come down to the under $200 level then I'll be there with cash in hand to play Earth Defense Force X.
As part of an elite fighting force, the player must defend earth from innumerable monstrous foes. These include aliens and UFOs, giant mechs, gargantuan ants and spiders, and, essentially, Godzilla. It is a veritable smorgasbord of b-movie enemy fare. Trawling across a variety of locales, you will acquire some 400 weapons across seven categories blasting bad guys. That's basically it. If you are looking for depth, search elsewhere, but if you like the idea of keeping your trigger finger depressed nonstop while buildings and foes explode on a constant basis, this may be your game.
An enhancement they should just build into Mail - the ability to select a message and send a "follow-up" to the same recipient with the same subject and the original message quoted in the body of the new message. Installs easily and just works. Thanks to Greg Welch for a good idea well-implemented.
For the next three days I'm in Las Vegas attending the International Film Festival Summit. I haven't seen much but the airport and the hotel lobby so far, though I can tell you that my room at the Luxor overlooks the Sphinx's ass. (Pictures to come.)
Any mention of Vegas always puts me in mind of Pia Zadora, not only for the fact that she dominated the stage at The Sands Hotel for a while, but also because it is the town where members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association were wooed before they crowned her "Best New Star" in 1982.
Expect updates this first part of the week to be scarce, though I do have a review of The Host mostly finished and should be able to post that Thursday or Friday at the latest. I'm also hoping to say at least a few things about film festivals and independent film based on what I see at the Summit. Or maybe I'll just have some tips on poker strategies.
IGN's "top film franchises" list honors Godzilla - sort of.
What was I just saying about lists? IGN pads what must be a slow news month with a list of the top 25 film franchises of all time. Godzilla rings in at #18, which is kind of ridiculous given that the big G is the longest-running and most prolific fictional character created exclusively for the screen (James Bond and Sherlock Holmes were both literary characters first).
I'm guessing "top" in this context means "the ones we like best" given that #25 was is the Saw franchise. There's just no way they're not going to include The Matrix and the Police Academy franchsies, neither of which is as historically significant as Godzilla and should therefore have appeared before the big G did.
See? This is why I hate "best of" lists. They get me in a bad mood and I sound all whiny.
Not only has the number of magazines and websites devoted to entertainment expanded exponentially, but those magazines and websites now put out a new list issue nearly every quarter, which means hardly a week goes by that Entertainment Weekly isn’t promising to reveal “The 50 Best Sports Movies On DVD,” or Q isn’t touting “The 1001 Greatest Songs Of All Time.” The overkill has robbed the listing process of a lot of its novelty, which may explain why readers yawn or grumble when we reveal our lists.