In the “I’m not sure about this” category, BBC and IDW have announced a bizarre crossover “event” between Star Trek: TNG and Doctor Who, involving the Borg and the Cybermen, with the entire galaxy at risk. (What? Not the Universe?) Erm, ok. I mean, I love TNG and I adore The Doctor, but just because both are beloved sci-fi franchises doesn’t mean they work well together. That said, some veteran writers of each series are behind this eight-issue series, including Scott and David Tipton, (Star Trek: Infestation) with a “helping hand” from longtime Doctor Who writer Tony Lee.
I mean, would you really want to see a Buffy/Twilight crossover? Not unless it was just so Buffy could kick Edward’s scrawny, gitter-covered arse. Harry Potter teaming up with the Halliwell sisters? Pass. Kirk and O’Neill, fighting the Goa’uld and Klingons? I think not.
Just look at the ways the two shows treat time travel. In Star Trek, it’s a rare and dangerous occasion. In Doctor Who, well, it’s what he does. All the time. With ease. Imagine how annoyed Picard will get with The Doctor running around the bridge in a fez! I mean, if it’s going to be funny….
Word is, however, that it’s not going to be in the least bit funny. From the IDW press release:
Launching in May, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION/DOCTOR WHO: ASSIMILATION2 will feature fan-favorite villains the Borg and the Cybermen as they create an unholy alliance resulting in potential disaster for all humanity. Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise find themselves joining forces with the Doctor and his companions, with the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance.
My point is, teaming up characters in the same “universe” is fine but this one feels forced and seems like it has the potential to be a disaster. But I don’t wanna be a Scrooge and since I love both of these shows, if they can pull this off, I would be a happy geek. Lord knows, the Cybermen and the Borg have a lot in common and I bet The Doctor would get a real kick out of experimenting with the replicators to find the optimal recipe for fish fingers and custard…
The series hits stores in May.
Tomas Alfredson’s exceptional theatrical adaptation of the classic John le Carré spy novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [my CNN.com review] is coming to DVD and BD on March 20th and while the DVD screener I got last year is nice, I can’t wait to see how the wonderfully muted color palette used by director Tomas Alfredson and cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema looks in high definition. If done right, it should make you feel even more like you’re being swaddled in slightly damp corduroy. In a good way of course, because you’ll have a bottle of scotch or a pitcher of martinis, too.
With a superlative cast of Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch (don’t get me started on how brilliant Sherlock is…), David Dencik, Tom Hardy, Ciarán Hinds, John Hurt, Toby Jones, and Mark Strong, TTSS easily made my top ten of 2011 [CNN.com and indieWIRE.com] and while I love (Oscar winner) The Descendants, I wouldn’t have complained if writers Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan had picked up an little gold man last month.
Continue reading Home Vid News: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (x2) Coming to DVD/BD
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Ellen DeGeneres, Demi Lovato and 20 members of Congress have so far signed on to support a campaign started by bullied Michigan high school student Katy Butler on Change.org, urging the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to change the “R” rating of the upcoming Weinstein Company release Bully to “PG-13.” The MPAA has cited “some language,” as the reason for the ‘R’ rating. Specifically, “fuck” is apparently uttered 6 times.
Ooooh. six whole times, eh? Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. There, that’s 8. You gonna rate my blog post ‘R’ now, too? Does the MPAA realize that kids hear far worse than that before they get off the bus in the morning and bullied kids would love it if all they got was the occasional swearing at. These kids are being abused, mentally and physically until they kill themselves or others. What kind of a society do we live in where a film that has the potential to help stop this epidemic but is given a “restricted” rating because the word “fuck” is uttered 6 times?
“We’ve got the MPAA’s attention, and with nearly 300,000 signatures and support from celebrities and politicians, there’s now a national movement of people calling on the MPAA to drop the ‘R’ rating for Bully,” Butler said. “As someone who lived through bullying day in and day out in school, including having my finger broken by bullies, this film is too important to silence with an ‘R’ rating. Everyone should have a chance to see Bully.”
Let me get this straight, a bullied 17 year-old who has had bones broken by bullies is doing what basically every right-thinking person in America should be doing. 285,000 signatures is all fine and good, but why aren’t there 3,000,000? Where are all the celebrity parents supporting this petition? 20 members of Congress is great, but what about the other 515? Surely they can’t condone bullying and surely they can’t believe that a few utterances of the word “fuck” trumps the good that can be done by kids seeing this film.
The film is set to be released on March 30th, so there’s not a lot of time to get the MPAA to re-thing their dunderheaded vote. Go here to sign the petition.
Read the sign-on letter Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) wrote to his congressional colleagues and their letter to the MPAA insupport of Bully, here. See Ellen DeGeneres’ segment on the film, here.
Here’s the trailer for Bully. I can’t seem to get it to embed.
Congratulations to director Kirby Dick and producer Any Ziering for the pickup of their powerful new doc The Invisible War by Cinedigm Entertainment Group and New Video. I saw the film at Sundance and in addition to being a great film, it’s extraordinarily important in these times of increasing violence against and institutionalized subjugation of women. [Trailer and other videos at the bottom.]
In my wrap of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival I wrote of the film: “A heart-breaking and shocking look at rape in the military, Dick’s film details the pain, shame, horror and lasting damage caused by the attacks as well as the shocking hypocrisy and cover-ups endorsed by the military establishment.”
Some stats from the US Department of Defense:
20% of ALL servicewomen have been sexually assaulted while serving.
Women who have been raped in the military have a PTSD rate higher than men in combat.
An estimated 500,000 women have been sexually assaulted in the US military.
In 2010, according to the Department of Defense, there were 3,158 case of sexual assault within the U.S. military. It is estimated that more than 80% of those who are sexually assaulted don’t report it.
The film presents many more statistics, equally as disturbing.
While the subject matter is grim and at times the film is emotionally tough to watch, I will categorically say that this is a film everyone must see, especially educators. It’s a film that could potentially cause a sea change not only in the halls of Congress but in the high schools of America.
At the Q&A following the Sundance world premiere, a 17 year-old young woman in the audience stood up and said that while she had never been physically assaulted, verbal abuse was the norm in her school and she felt that every high school student needed to see the film because boys were not being raised to respect women. It was another poignant moment in the most emotional Q&A I have ever witnessed.
Continue reading “The Invisible War” and the Ongoing Subjugation of Women in America
This is my favorite new band and I’m telling you all to go to You Tube, watch their stuff and then buy their CDs. Seriously. Now.
Even though “We Are Young” is a big hit (and an amazing song) I suggest you start with their debut Aim and Ignite and then move on to Some Nights. Nate Reuss’s voice is extraordinary and the rest of the trio (Andrew Dost and Jack Antonoff) play everything else, pretty much. Reuss uses his voice like an instrument and even the occasional use of the vocoder simply adds another instrument to the mix. Their first album, heavy on the string arrangements and personal storytelling in the lyrics brings The Decemberists’ The Crane Wife to mind. (It’s not a concept album, though.)
I’ve only listened to Some Nights twice, so I hope to post a more complete review next week.
In the meantime, here’s a couple of videos. The first is an acoustic version of “We Are Young (feat. Janelle Monáe)” which might actually knock me out more than the album version. First of all, Reuss and Monáe are so damn nice to look at, right? She’s absolutely stunning! I met her once, very briefly after a show at South by Southwest. After putting on an amazing, high-energy performance that knocked the audience on its ass, she was so wiped out that she could barely speak. Maybe she was saving her voice, but she suddenly seemed a small (she is a pretty slight young woman) and almost timid thing and genuinely awed by the fact that she’d just blown us all away. The second video is of a live performance of the beautiful ballad “The Gambler” from their first album.
Attention men and women of the 2nd Massachusetts Militia Regiment:
Just in time for the TNT premiere of season 2 this summer, Warner Home Video has announced a release date of June 5th for the season 1 DVD and Blu-ray sets of one of my favorite new Sci-fi series of last year, Falling Skies. A fantastic balance of suspense and action with a healthy dollop of heebies and jeebies, Falling Skies was a welcome addition to the summer TV season. It ended the season as cable TV’s #1 new show of 2011 and if this preview is to be believed, season 2 looks to ratchet up the Skitter killing excitement!
Until this year, the only big time film industry awards show I had ever been to was the Independent Spirit Awards and it’s been almost 10 years since the last time – and who can forget Elvis Costello’s “surprise” opening of the show with (“What’s So Funny ’bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding?”). I had never been invited to any of the guild awards shows and to be honest, I was pretty curious about them. We all know about the Golden Globes and how fun they seem to be (how many drunk winners can you remember over the years?) but what about the SAG awards? PGA? WGA? Well, this year I finally got invited to one and to my surprise, it was a lot of fun.
Continue reading An Evening at the 2012 ACE Eddie Awards
It’s been a little over three weeks since Bingham Ray passed away and I have read countless tributes, obits and stories, almost all of them touching and heartfelt. In my head, The Bingham Show has been running a regular time slot since his passing and maybe I should have written more, sooner, but I just couldn’t. Of course the idea that it will get better over time is silly and I ought to have known better. Anyone who has lost someone close to them knows that it doesn’t get better with time, it just gets…different.
Bingham was one of the first and kindest and most inclusive mentors I had in the business and one of my closest friends, too. He was quick to understand where Eugene Hernandez and I were going with indieWIRE, always had time for the new kids in school and unlike some other people in the business (you might have a guess or two), Bingham didn’t seem to take himself overly seriously. That didn’t hold true for film, of course. For Bingham, film was serious business but it was the business of wonderment…of the joy, sadness, horror and happiness that a good film can bring.
Moose, Scott and Bingham at the Siasconset Casino on Nantucket
Continue reading The Bingham Show
This year, after an eleven year absence, I made my return to the Sundance Film Festival and yes, there were a lot of changes but as the saying goes, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose! There were new hotels and condos, new restaurants and a much better transportation system but there were also the same old throngs of pseudo celebs and their hangers on that were only there for the gifting suites, club nights and seemed to not even know there were films being screened. Like I said, the more things change….
The Sundance lineup always looks good on paper. There are dozens of films from directors both new and unsung that virtually no one has seen, including one (Amy Berg’s West of Memphis) so fresh that producer Peter Jackson literally hand-carried the print to Utah from New Zealand!
A Singular Doc Experience
An emotional moment at the Q&A for Kirby Dick's "The Invisible War."
By the time the awards were handed out on Saturday night, it seemed like many categories had six or seven favorites, although a few were pretty obvious. One of those obvious winners (to me, anyway) was Kirby Dick’s The Invisible War which won the audience award for documentaries. A heart-breaking and shocking look at rape in the military, Dick’s film details the pain, shame, horror and lasting damage caused by the attacks and the shocking hypocrisy and cover-ups endorsed by the military establishment.
Why was it obvious to me that it would get the audience prize? Simple: I have never seen an audience reaction and a post-screening Q & A like this one. Not in over 20 years and well over 150 film festivals have I seen a crying standing ovation with an audience full of senators, US representatives and celebs, including Mary J. Blige, who is writing an original song for the film. Packed with stories and statistics that can do nothing but inspire action and outrage, The Invisible War is a perfect piece of advocacy filmmaking.
Continue reading A Bittersweet Return To Sundance: Great Films and an Even Greater Loss
The first of my Bad Robot Action Movie Sundance mini-films. All fest I am going to be taking little clips of people, places and things and blowing them up, dropping giant rocks on them or rolling cars into them.
Not because I don’t like them, but because it’s fun! For example, I am very font of both Mynette and Dana, but it’s funny. Get it?
This is courtesy of a terrifically fun new FREE iPhone App called Action Movie FX from Bad Robot and J.J. Abrams!