Monday, August 25, 2008

DOCTOR WHO... THE MOVIE?



Oh, PLEASE let it be true.

http://enewsi.com/news.php?itemid=13839

Now, I'm not usually the kind of guy to spread rumors. Especially ones that have been batted around for years. Decades even! But, man... never has the time been MORE RIGHT for a Doctor Who movie. Especially if David Tennant agrees to star in it.

The question is... who would be the companion?

Rose seems like the most obvious choice, but that might piss off Donna, Martha, and Jack. Oh, well. It's just fun to geek out and think about the possibilities. Meanwhile, it's going to be a tough four month wait until the next Christmas Special. Especially since THE CYBERMEN are back!!!

Can't wait...

Friday, August 22, 2008

THE GREATEST GAME OF ALL



We all know how much I love TELEVISION.

However, there just might be two things I love more than TV. A quick glance at this blog site tells you how much I love the progressive rock band YES. But there is something else... another great passion that's held me in its grip since my youth.

FOOTBALL.

Believe it or not folks, this nerdy writer guy who grew up reading comic books, watched "Yog, Monster From Space" 20 times, and can recite verbatim dialogue from obscure Hammer Horror movies... was for a brief period of time a JOCK. That was waaaaaaay back in Middle School and High School. Football was my love and the Dallas Cowboys were my team.



Sure, once I discovered girls I quickly defected to the marching band (saxophone & oboe, thank you!), because that's where all the more intelligent, more interesting, and definitely more--shall we say "experimental" young ladies--hung out.(Trust me... all the things you've heard about band camp are TRUE.) But I never lost that love of America's Game. So when I heard my favorite pro football team was coming back to Southern California for Training Camp 2008, I made sure to drop by to check out the fun. Yes, I should have been writing. But hey, you only live once.

And boy was it worth it!



No, Jessica Simpson was not there -- at least not that I noticed. But Terrell Owens and his crazy pants (note: he's the ONLY player on the field wearing long pants in the middle of Summer!) were there. I'm telling you it's just awesome to see him catch a Tony Romo pass in person. One of these days I've gotta fulfill my other fantasy and go see a Cowboy regular season game in person!

While you're there watching the team practice, you can eat hot dogs, buy tons of NFL gear (Yes, I was wearing my #82 Jason Witten jersey all day!), and best of all... go ogle real SUPER BOWL TROPHIES in person. Yeah, a great time was had by all. Even my wife, who was attending her first NFL camp, had a blast.

Now if the Cowboys can just win a damn PLAYOFF game...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

SEASON EIGHT RULES!!!



So I'm sitting around this morning, hanging with the dog and thinking how much I really should be writing... and it suddenly occurs to me: how have I NOT mentioned the GENIUS that is BUFFY: SEASON EIGHT?!!!

Seriously, folks. This is one of the BEST COMIC BOOKS out there today!

If you love BUFFY as much as I do, you're probably already reading this great new series. The conceit is that the comic book picks up right where the end of the BUFFY SERIES left off. It's written and overseen by Joss himself, so these stories are canon. And they're awesome! So what's up with the Scooby Gang? I won't ruin too much, but I will reveal that 1) Dracula returns, 2) A certain skinless member of the Trio is still alive, 3) Xander has moved on from Anya only to experience more tragedy in his love life, 4) Willow... well, is still good ol' Willow, and oh, 5) Buffy has a much more open mind about her sexuality these days.

And Dawn is a GIANT.

If that's not enough to get you to start reading this awesome series...

Dark Horse is starting to reprint the entire run in trade paperbacks, so buy those if you can't find the individual issues. Now if they would only bring back Tara somehow...

Friday, August 15, 2008

A MAN ALONE?



I think I'm the only person in America who saw THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE.

If you've been reading this blog for even the shortest amount of time, you know that I'm a HUGE X-Files fanatic. I've been looking forward to this flick for months. Well, I finally broke away from Eurekaville and caught a late show last week.

I enjoyed the hell (heh) out of this movie. As a fanatic, it gave me exactly what I wanted: intense and intimate scenes of Mulder and Scully six years down the road, some big philosophical questions to ponder, some action, and an awesome ending with a BIG SURPRISE. Like I said, I just DUG this flick. If you are an X-Files fan, go see it.

The performances by David & Gillian are just phenomenal. I read reports that they were having trouble re-connecting with their characters after being away from them for so many years. OK... maybe so. But in the intervening years, they've also become even better actors. This, plus the added time to fine tune performance that comes with making a movie versus the daily-speed-grind of television ultimately equals some acting that just blew me away. Honestly... there's a scene in the middle of the film between Scully and the ex-preacher dude (Billy Connolly) that's just like a master acting class. Awesome stuff.

As for the story itself... it reminded me of something from Season Five or Eight. Very dark. Gruesome. But with a human cause ultimately as the root of the horror. My only big complaint with the film is the fact that the most horrific elements of the plot are not revealed until HALFWAY through the movie. Sorry folks... but in a horror movie, that's a bit too long. That's not to say that there aren't scares early on. In fact, I love the (SPOILER ALERT) opening sequence which intercuts the opening kidnapping with the grisly discover of a body in the snow. There's also a cool action/chase sequence in which (SPOILER ALERT) one of the film's leads dies in a shocking and unexpected manner.

My favorite part of the movie is the film's climax.

(MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD -- YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!!!). Not only does Mulder have to be rescued by Scully -- a nice reversal from the first X-Files movie, FIGHT THE FUTURE, in which the exact opposite occurs -- but SKINNER shows up (Yup, the "hyde!") to kick a little ass. And after all this, the big philosophical question raised in the film -- does Scully believe in science or faith -- is left COMPLETELY OPEN. You get to make up your mind as to what action she takes. Now, as a fanatic, I KNOW in my heart what choice she makes and why. But you might think differently. That's the beauty of the ending. It asks US to choose, engaging us as viewers and letting us participate in the drama. As a result, I found myself pleasantly haunted by the film's ending... I just kept thinking about it for days, contemplating all the thoughts that must have gone through Scully's mind before she did what she did.

It's just great, subtle, but emotionally engrossing writing. And yes, I'm jealous.



OK. What if you don't like The X-Files? Will you like this movie?

PROBABLY NOT.

Unfortunately, I don't think I WANT TO BELIEVE is going to win any new fans. Not now. I think it will fare much better with time, and 5 - 10 years from now folks will see it as a great coda to the series. But right now it's just going to get misunderstood and ravaged by people looking for simple, big-budget, loud, action-oriented Summer fare. Which, BTW, is not an unrealistic expectation. I believe that this film should have been released in October for Halloween, and that doing so would've added another $20 - 30 million to the U.S. box office receipts. That's because it would have given horror fans who can't stand the thought of seeing SAW 5 an intelligent horror alternative. (And no, that's not a knock on the SAW-franchise, because I saw the first one and loved it, and even saw--no pun intended--the second one, too.)

But in the end, none of this matters... because I'm gonna buy this DVD the day it comes out.

So what's my recommendation for the casual viewer?

Hmmm.

If you like "arty horror" or Alan J. Pakula flicks, GO SEE IT in theaters. If you're expecting a more traditional horror-action movie, wait to catch it on DVD where your expectations can be tempered by the comforts of home. And, hey, watching the final bow of this great pop culture achievement in the luxury of your living room might just be more appropriate anyway. After all, the X-Files started life on the small screen. Maybe that's the way you should bid a fond farewell to it...



Finally... I just want to say "THANKS" to Mulder, Scully, Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz, and anyone else who helped bring me so much joy all these years. It's been a great ride for me, too.

Monday, August 4, 2008

THAT BAWDY 70s SKETCH



I'm officially OBSESSED with THAT MITCHELL AND WEBB LOOK.

And you can be, too. Check it out Fridays on BBC America. The clip above is called "Bawdy 1970s Hospital" and it's second to only the original "Numberwang" as my favorite all-time sketch. (And that's saying something...)

Enjoy!