Sunday, 27 February 2011

Firefly Watch: Show your support, buy Browncoats Redemption

If you, like I, want to show your support for Firefly getting back on the air while giving money to 5 worthwhile charities it's time to put your money where your mouth is. Head on over to the Browncoats: Redemption site and pick up a copy of this lovely looking, Whedon endorsed fan film. Not only do the quantities sold show Fox that Firefly has a loyal fanbase worthy of their time and effort, but you'll also be helping to support the following charities: Equality Now, Kids Need to Read, The Dyslexia Foundation, The Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center and Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation.

If that wasn't enough, the film includes appearances from Alan Baldwin and Michael Fairman reprises his role as Adelai Niska. Still not enough? Well, if you pick up the remastered edition you'll also get interviews with Alan Tudyk and Ron Glass, sharing their views on the film and Firefly itself.

I just picked up a copy myself, and as a proud browncoat I wish everyone involved the best of luck with this and future projects. Here's that link again... Browncoats: Redemption

Friday, 25 February 2011

Breaking News: FX order pilot of Bendis' Powers

"Your window of reading Powers while it was still cool is running out"

This is pretty neat timing considering I was just about to head to bed, and this all exploded over twitter like a red blotchy itchy thing. @JohnSolbergFX has just revealed that Brian M Bendis' Eisner Award winning graphic novel series 'Powers' has just been commissioned for a pilot by FX. The script was written by Chic Eglee, fresh from The Walking Dead and Dexter.

Details about the filling of executive producer and director roles have trickled through as well, with both credits going the way of Michael Dinner. The man in question is responsible for having the director duty on both Sons Of Anarchy and Justified. Brian M Bendis commented "Your window of reading Powers while it was still cool is running out."

Colour me interested!


Source Code trailer

If you hadn't guessed by now, I love sci-fi. One of the best and most interesting sci-fi movies of the last few years was Duncan Jones' Moon. If you haven't seen it, get to seeing it, as Jones someone to keep your eyes on. It looks like he isn't stopping there either, as his second film Source Code is looking pretty impressive from the trailers. Just as with moon, Jones seems to have started with some key science fiction ideas, and wrapped them in an impressive and engaging script. Hopefully, that will be as true as it is in Source Code as it is for Moon, and beyond.

You can also view a short clip here, but that may be too spoilery for some!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Falling Skies trailer and TV spot

This is a show I'm really looking forward to. I really appreciate Noah Wyle's work in ER, Donnie Darko and The Librarian, and wish he was in more stuff, so I'm really glad that this looks as good as it does. While I am keen on the new Terra Nova series, I can see it being overly stylish and lacking substance while still pulling in ratings, while Falling Skies seems like it's destined to become the great little show with a heart that nobody watched. Still, get a glimpse of it now, maybe it'll be as good as these promos seem to make it feel, and a billion people will watch!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Firefly Watch: Two more! Sketchy, but acceptable.

While neither is a hundred percent affirmative, both Tim Minear and Morena Baccarin have chipped in their two cents. Two facts to remember:

1) It's unlikely that the Firefly comeback would happen without involvement of 20th Century Fox
2) Fans remember what stars they like say

@CancelledAgain (Tim Minear): @stuxmusic if I were to revisit Firefly, at least the moment, it'd have to be via 20th, as they own my ass. And other parts. [link]

@missmorenab (Morena Baccarin) “@stuxmusic: @missmorenab do you support the fight to get Firefly back on TV?” People! You know my answer is a

No, I didn't copy that badly, Morena's tweet ended there. However, it does lead us to conclude that the fans know the answer already, so when I got the following tweet, I assumed I could take it as a yes. Of course if I'm wrong about that, it'll be changed!

@kaiserjose1: @HelpNathanBuyFF @missmorenab @stuxmusic I've been to several Firefly cons w/Morena in attendance. Answer is definitely yes!

These two are definitely more on the Sketchy side, because we're only taking it for granted that we think Morena is a yes, and that Fox would head this, thus involving Minear. However, at this point, sketchy is better than no! Also, I finally found a picture of Jose Molina! Now we're rolling, the score card looks a little like this:

Firefly Watch: Sean Maher has come to the party!

@Sean_M_Maher: @Taxicr OF COURSE I WOULD BE ON BOARD if @NathanFillion acquired the rights to the show!

What more needs said?

Three down, (at least) 6 to go!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Superman 2: As originally conceived and intended

I managed to catch 'Superman 2: The Richard Donner Cut' at the Glasgow Film Festival, and the night before I watched the originally released Richard Lester version. The two versions of the film are as different as possible, and of course, there is a better version out of the two...

First, let me set the scene:

In the Lester cut, a lot of ridiculous stuff happens and as I previously found out, Lester seems incapable of making a Superman film that makes sense. What follows is just a little list of the things that I noticed when watching it:

1. As if it is a sign of things to come, in reaction to Ursa beating a redneck at arm-wrestling, General Zod (having been on earth for about 10 minutes) actually rolls his eyes. Not only have we seen that Kryptonians are pretty stuffy and almost devoid of humour, but if Zod had that humorous bone in his body, his character would have been a whole lot different.

2. This happens in both versions, but there are scenes in the Donner version which are also in the Lester version, purely because the Donner version was incomplete without them. I may just be comic illiterate, but does Zod have telekinesis? When approached by the cops with a gun, he snatches the gun by using his heat vision on it and then moving it with his mind, which is not a power that Kryptonians have on earth. While it is true that the original writers invented a whole load of powers for Superman in the early days and that this may have been one of them, it was only the ones that stuck and became part of his list of powers that should have been used.

3. This extends itself to the fight in the Fortress of Solitude, in which Superman uses a plastic S shield to stop Non from attacking him. This is pure ridiculousness and I my eyes popped out of my head when it happened.

4. AND it also extends to Superman projecting many variations of himself across the Fortress in order to confuse Zod and his cohorts.

5. AND yet again, during that same fight all four Kryptonians display the ability to project some sort of white energy beam from their hands. Completely stupid, and a power that does not exist.

6. Possibly because the original Donner scene includes Marlon Brando and he doesn't appear in Lester's version at all, Clark regains his superpowers simply by finding the green crystal at the partially destroyed control centre in the Fortress. Is that really enough of an explanation of how he reaquires his superpowers? No.

7. This one can be pretty much put down to how Richard Lester did things, the big fight outside the Daily Planet has shots of people on the street who are going about their daily lives, after earthquakes and explosions. There is actually a guy who goes to eat ice cream when Zod, Ursa and Non begin to blow the pedestrians down the road, and it flies off and hits someone in the face. Then during the same fight, there's a guy making a phone call, who falls to the ground and continues talking BECAUSE APPARENTLY THIS IS NAKED GUN.

8. The disappearance of Gene Hackman in the lead up to the big fight at the Fortress. This is pretty much because the actor was pretty defiant that if Donner left, so would he. This is also the reason that he doesn't appear in Superman 3.

9. And the icing on the cake? Superman erases Lois Lane's memory by kissing her. This is just juvenile.

And to keep this open minded, here is a list of the ridiculous stuff in the Richard Donner cut:
1. The reusing of the first Superman's plot that sees the hero wind back time by going around the earth backwards. It's dumb, but allowable on account of it making sense within the context of the original story.

And that's it.

Here is some of the awesome stuff that you get in Donner's cut in comparison to Lester's:
1. Gene Hackman deserves his starring role, as his appearances aren't fleeting as in the Lester cut, in fact he plays a much more prominent role. This is because most of his work was left on the cutting room floor due to his insistence on only working with Donner. It's odd, as Hackman's performance is delightfully hammy, which should fit into Lester's almost entirely hammy original, but it doesn't. Here however, it's a lovely little detour, and we get almost two times the amount of Hackman than what we see in the original.

2. This is a biggie, obviously. This version has Marlon Brando. In the original, Jor-el's appearances have been substituted with ones featuring Lara, Clark's mother. The scenes here have more emotion and feeling in them, and of course, its always great to have brando's original footage restored in all it's glory. I'm unsure why Lester felt that he needed to lose the emotion on Clark's face during these scenes, but for me it's one of the most impressive selling points of the Donner cut of the film.

3. The build up scenes with Zod and co are menacing, rather than silly like they appear in the original. While the scene on the moon is exactly the same, when they reach earth, the way they act and the way that the people react to them is very odd in Lester's version. There is a sub plot about Non not being able to control his powers when he comes to earth, which doesn't make sense, and thankfully is gone and he actually becomes  much more terrifying in Donner's cut.

4. Lois finds out Clark is superman in a much more convincing way. She doesn't just stumble upon it like in the original, she is brilliant reporter who is very savvy and in this version she becomes convinced that Clark is Superman, and chases after that fact until he is revealed. It's much more believable here and to be honest, when Clark Kent trips and falls into a fire in the original it is so out of character, that it is just stupid.

5. The fight in the street is genuinely gripping rather than the hammy crap in the first cut. The bit in which Non crashes Superman under the street is much shorter and it's purely just down to two facts. a) Donner is a better film-maker than Lester, and b) this cut has the benefit of time and being created by fans of the original series of films.

6. This may seem like a small thing, but after having the introduction to Superman 2 and 3 ruined by Lester, it was lovely to see the original titles in space come back. It really sets the mood for the big epic Superman film you are about to watch, and it gives you a brilliant chance to hear John Williams awe-inspiring score.

Donner's version of Superman is incredible, and its astounding that the Lester version made it to cinemas while this was effectively thrown in the bin. It's even more astounding that Lester got the chance to make Superman 3, killing the franchise as he did. Sure, there was a Superman 4, but the less said about that the better. The Donner double header is exactly what it should have been in the beginning, and now I know what I would change if I had a time machine. If you haven't seen the Richard Donner cut of Superman 2, you haven't really experienced superman at his best, and now is the time to see it.

At the end of both films, we see how Lester's version and Donner's much superior version compare in one single scene. In Lester's version, we see Superman carry the flag to the Whitehouse and say to the president "Sorry I've been away so long, I won't let you down again.", marking a very closed minded 'American' stance on the film, even when the film opens with a scene in Paris. However, in Donner's version, we see Superman fly over the earth, as it's protector. He has given up his powers for the one he loves, yet ultimately, his destiny is greater and he gives up the one he loves to protect the Earth. Sure, you could say that Superman fights for 'Truth, Justice and the American way' but that doesn't mean that he wouldn't protect the rest of the world if it needed it. It's what Superman truly means to the entire world that encapsulates that final image, and for me it sums up what a greater gift Donner's cut is than Lester's.

If you get the chance to see  Donner's cut in a cinema like I luckily did, please go. You will not regret it.

Firefly Watch: two writers are on board too

In bringing a television show to life, maybe the most important people needed are creators and writers. Only in special circumstances do these people get the recognition they deserve. In the world of Joss Whedon, the writers are an extension of himself, and the wonderful ideas he has. The most wonderful ideas he had were put into a television show that was played with and broken by the network it was on before it even hit tv screens. This 14 episode show was so engaging and brilliantly created that it not only spawned a movie and a comic series, but is still loved and held onto by fans 9 years later. This is in no small part owed to everyone involved.

Which is why I am more than happy to report (about 3 days to late, mind) that two key writers have put their hands up to be counted too. Jose Molina, writer of two Firefly episodes 'Trash' and 'Ariel' and executive story editor on the entire series, has tweeted in support of Fillion's message, saying "For what it's worth, I've told him I'd drop what I was doing and follow." Then, the brilliant Jane Espenson, writer of Firefly episode 'Shindig', chimed in and tweeted "I'm there, if needed."

I salute you both, and would add you to the wall if only I could find a picture of Jose Molina! If I find one by the next instalment of Firefly Watch, you'll be on there!

Firefly watch: Jewel Staite's on board!

First Nathan Fillion woke up the sleeping Giant that is the Firely fan community, the Browncoats. Then today, Jewel Staite responded to a tweet enquiring about her thoughts on the movement.

Q) @Taxicr: Any comment on the group organized to get @NathanFillion the rights to Firefly? Would u be on board?
A) @JewelStaite Is the pope catholic?

We can confirm that the pope is in fact Catholic and that Jewel Staite is in fact on board with returning to Firefly. I have put together a little board of all the actors (even if their characters are deceased) and the two head honchos of the show Joss Whedon and Tim Minear. Any time we hear anything new on availability or willingness to do the show, I'll do a wee update!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Nathan Fillion would happily be Mal Reynolds again

When Entertainment Weekly asked Nathan Fillion 'Would you (do) Firefly again?' he responded with the answer that all of us Browncoats would want him to say: "Yes. Yes... If I got $300 million from the California Lottery, the first thing I would do is buy the rights to Firefly, make it on my own, and distribute it on the Internet."

What an utter champ. Of course, this sent Firefly fans into a frenzy, and very quickly a web domain was purchased. is where you'll be able to pledge money towards this situation becoming a reality, and get new episodes of Firefly (or Serenity 2) on the way. Not only do I love this idea, I also think that it is going to get a huge response from the fans. The only problem is, even if it gets enough to make even one episode, will the remaining members of the crew even be able to come back?

For starters, even Fillion may be in bother getting time off from his hit TV show Castle. He's got a contract and if Firefly were to work, it may have to be in conjunction with Fox (however crazy that may seem to work with the network that messed up not one but two of Whedon's shows) and Castle resides at ABC. Not to mention that Morena Baccarin is currently contracted with ABC too, working on V. Adam Baldwin on the other hand is with NBC, while he plays the role of Col John Casey (rather brilliantly, I might add). Summer Glau is in a slightly better position as while she is currently contracted with NBC with The Cape, it's pretty certain it's living out it's last days.

Sean Maher, Jewel Staite and Gina Torres are in a fairly open position and I think they would keen to return to the good ship Serenity. Also, while both Ron Glass and Alan Tudyk's characters kicked the bucket in the feature film, they both appear free to return to the show, depending on where in the story the new episodes would be set.

However, imagining Firefly without Baccarin and Baldwin is hard, especially if the story were to pick up after the events in Serenity, with the crew already two men down. It all depends on how willing the network's would be to let their stars go off and star on a rival network's show, and then it further depends on how willing the rest of the cast would be willing to actually come back to Firefly.

The big one for me is Whedon. He's currently very busy working on the Avengers movie, and if that goes well, I would imagine more of them would be on the way to take up more of the good man's time. However, it wouldn't be certain his involvement is required past one instalment, and even if it were, it wouldn't mean he couldn't be involved with other projects.

I for one, urge anyone who has interview time with the cast members of Firefly that they ask the important questions and find out if they are as up for returning to the show as Fillion. I would also like to thank Nathan Fillion himself for sparking the hope inside every Firefly fan that it would continue, and wish him good luck in the California Lottery!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Thor trailer and thoughts

This trailer is brilliant... up until the last 10 seconds when it becomes clear that specific scenes are using gimmicky 3D. Oooh look at this giant monster come to towards you! I'm not 10 any more, things don't need to jump out at me for me to enjoy it. It's not like Thor is the hot new thing from Marvel, and all the kids are like 'Whoa! Thor!' in fact, I think of all the superheroes in the upcoming Avengers movie, kids will be the least interested in Thor (or Hawkeye, but that's just because he won't already be drilled into their conciousness). So, Marvel, who the hell is the 3D element of this aimed at? (and don't say 'the audience') Of all the movies released with an extra dimension in mind, I can see no reason for this to be one of them.

Speaking of 3D in super hero films. What about the Avengers? Is that going to be in 3D? I would have to imagine Joss Whedon isn't keen. Pure speculation of course, but still.

Anyway, on with the trailer...

Terra Nova trailer

A new TV series from Stephen Speilberg about dinosaurs? Sweet!