Most Interesting DOCTOR WHO Clip Yet

At least for the Christmas Special, this is the most informative trailer yet released. As short as it is, most of the scenes are brand-new, we hear Sir Ian McKellen’s voice in character (Minor spoiler: It’s awesome!), and we get a sense of how Jenna-Louise Coleman’s Clara behaves.

My favorite part was the bit about Clara dragging the Doctor (Matt Smith) by the hand. (“That’s always me!” Hilarious.) From all the talk of snow, one might expect the episode’s logline to be “Winter Is Coming” — but apparently that one is already taken.

From this and all the other clips and photos seen so far, it would appear that Richard E. Grant does nothing but sneer in this episode; he’s a better actor than that. I really like the music used in this clip; is it from the episode?

DOCTOR WHO’s Xmas present arrives in America at 9 p.m. on BBC America on Christmas Day.

The TARDIS Gets a New Interior!

tardistopIn addition to introducing a new companion, the DOCTOR WHO Christmas Special, “The Snowmen,” will see the debut of a new console room in the TARDIS!

The new set was designed by production designer Michael Pickwoad, and the BBC have released this teaser photo — which appears to be the top of the main console. This will be the TARDIS interior for the Doctor and Clara at least through the back eight episodes of series seven in 2013.

This design — from what I can see of it — certainly is a departure from the Doctor’s current “desktop.” And it looks like the central console will be well-lit, at least. All that Gallifreyan writing is interesting, but I think there’s too much of it, and it’s too big.

In the words of the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) himself, “I don’t like it.” But perhaps it will grow on me. Like coral.

Ready for THE Man of Steel?

Well, I’d say 93 percent of my doubts about next summer’s Man of Steel have been put to rest by this trailer. This is the visually dazzling work we’ve come to expect from Zack Snyder (Watchmen, Sucker Punch). The only lingering doubt is the storytelling; will Snyder be able to win over the audiences that need to be led by the hand through a movie.

I’m not entirely sure we need to see Superman’s origin retold again, but if there’s a good story attached to it, well, why not? The Amazing Spider-Man managed to put a fun spin on Spidey’s beginnings, so it can be done. And perhaps familiarity will help the audience.

I’m still not sold on Kevin Costner as Pa Kent, and he’s certainly not shown in the best light here. But Costner got more screen time than Russell Crowe as Jor-El.

Man of Steel takes off on June 14, 2013.

Xmas Surprise! Guess WHO is Voicing the Snowmen?

If you weren’t already climbing the walls in anticipation of the DOCTOR WHO Christmas Special, this news should drive you over the top: Sir Ian McKellen will be providing the voices for the titular monsters in “The Snowmen.”

I know, right? Who even thought the snowmen would talk, let alone with the imperious tones of Magneto and Gandalf the Grey/White? I can’t wait to hear what McKellan does with the role(s).

In the meantime, here are some more cool new photos from the Dec. 25 show:

THE WALKING DEAD 3.8: “Made to Suffer”

TWD30806What more could one ask from a midseason finale? This episode boasted a daring rescue, deaths, disfigurement, walker slaughter, startling revelations, violence, gore, a shocking return and a reunion of long-lost brothers. About the only thing missing was a really, really BIG explosion, but I’m glad the budget was spent on more amazing zombie prosthetic effects.

One of the problems TWD has (happily) created for itself was how to come up with something to top previous episodes, many of which have felt like final episodes themselves. But this installment had action and emotion, and when it was all over, Andrea had the entire mad tableau of Woodbury lying at her feet: In a room covered with snapping walker heads, the Governor, with a shard of glass in right eye, sat weeping over the corpse of a little girl biter.
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Have a Very Mythos Christmas!

cthulhutreeHere we are, in the depths of the shopping frenzy for the holidays, counting down the time left for grabbing gifts. I absolutely hate venturing out into the traffic jams to crawl to a mall to buy stuff people don’t really need just to “prove” that I really love them.

I cannot stand those rapid crowds, so I am very much an online shopper. I’m perfectly willing to indulge in the gift-giving frenzy; I just want to obtain the stuff I’m giving from a distance. Give me over a mall with no parking spaces any day!

This is a wonderful Christmas tree* that I found on The Lovecraftsman website and I just had to share it. It put me in mind of that holiday classic, “The Festival.” Don’t we all wish that instead of trudging to the in-laws’, we could spend this Yule-tide in the curious fishing village Kingsport, descending into secret caverns and riding uncanny beasts so hideous that the human brain cannot bear to remember them?

Let us celebrate the season in a fashion that might please H.P. Lovecraft himself: “O Cthulhu Tree, O Cthulhu Tree, how lovely are your tentacles…”

*No discrimination implied. Show me a Mi-Go menorah, etc., and I will feature it!

New Trailers Headed to a Theater Near You!

Man-of-Steel-poster-handcuffsDec. 14, just one week from today, will be a big day for fans of movie trailers, as three highly anticipated trailers for big 2013 movies will make their debut. Conveniently, in most regions these should all be attached to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which opens that day.

Here’s what to look out for next Friday:

  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • Man of Steel
  • The Wolverine

If you are lucky enough to catch The Hobbit at an IMAX theater, Paramount is showing a nine-minute preview of Star Trek Into Darkness – but if you’re stuck in a conventional theater, you’ll just get a normal trailer. I am not so much looking forward to The Wolverine, but maybe some great footage will convince me to give the flick a chance.

During the last week of December, you can expect to see the trailer for The Hangover 3 – in which the producers give up and just move the whole Wolfpack formula back to Las Vegas.

Also, stay on your toes and keep an eye peeled for Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim trailer. He plans to drop it this month, but there’s no telling when it will happen. So be on the lookout for giant robots and monsters!

Amazing Spider-Man 2 Casting Update

jamiefoxxelectro1It’s been a while since I’ve checked in on the upcoming sequel to this summer’s The Amazing Spider-Man, so let’s catch up on the major developments since the beautiful and talented  Shailene Woodley was cast as bombshell Mary Jane Watson.

Oscar winner Jamie Foxx has agreed to play the villain, Electro. This is great on several levels: Foxx is a great actor and Electro is a fine pick from Spidey’s rogues gallery. His power (controlling electricity) is very visual – and since lightning/electricity is one of the easiest special effects to render – heck, the Emperor was zapping everyone with Force lightning way back in 1983’s Return of the Jedi! – I expect the battles with Electro to be absolutely spectacular.  But what are the chances that Foxx will wear Electro’s classic mask, with the lightning bolts shooting out of his face? (Not good, I suspect…) Perhaps the best thing about this casting is that Foxx seems really into the role:

“Electro is a great character. I met with the director, Mark Webb, I met with Andrew Garfield [Spider-Man], and we talked…. I think Electro will be an exciting character to play because he’s a… genius electrician-type person, and he gets the short end of the stick from the whole world, and the next thing you know he turns it on.

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Star Trek Into Darkness: First Teaser Trailer(s)

The teaser trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness has done its job well, making me want to see the movie, but it accomplishes that feat by showing what I consider to be a lot of great stuff; more than usual in “teasers.” We are able to piece together the bones (no pun intended) of a story.

And, as if this great teaser isn’t enough, the Japanese version contains an extra scene, and it is a gobsmacker, hinting at a reprise of something major that happened in a previous movie. I will place that clip after the jump, because it could be considered spoilery…

Here is the American trailer:

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There Should Be Only One!

The director of the completely superfluous Highlander reboot, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, has abandoned the project, citing that old favorite, creative differences. I assume he wanted to be creative, which must have horrified the producers of the remake. (Hello? A remake is creatively bankrupt from the word go, so don’t try to excuse them.)

highlander1Fresnadillo helmed the workmanlike 28  Weeks Later, and tried to bring a little something different to the sequel to Danny Boyle’s masterful 28 Days Later, so Fresnadillo was probably one of the better choices for the new project-that-no-one-asked-for.

Sadly, the remake idea is not dead; Summit Entertainment – which inflicted the Twilight franchise on movie theaters everywhere – is now looking to start over after almost a year in preproduction under Fresnadillo. One shudders to think about Summit execs demanding a teen love story for the immortal hero. However, it is possible that this major shakeup will prompt lead actor Ryan Reynolds to search for another franchise to ruin latch onto.

If you’re dying to see a Highlander film, go rent the real thing, THE ONLY ONE: the 1986 original, starring Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery and Clancy Brown in his greatest villain role, all directed by Russell Mulcahy. And no one is going to improve on the soundtrack by Queen!

But what do you think? Is there room for a modern reimagining of a 1980s classic?