Out of Control

25-Jul-08 12:00 PM by
Filed under Trailers; Comments Off on Out of Control

It's been a month since the Get Smart movie was released, and reviews have been surprisingly positive. All the fans I know of the original television series who saw the movie have enjoyed it, which is not what I expected.

What's also unexpected is the alacrity with which Warner Bros. released a sequel — or more accurately, a spinoff. Bruce & Lloyd Out of Control, which came out on DVD the same day its theatrical sibling hit the silver screen, stars Masi Oka (of Heroes fame) and Nate Torrence as their characters from the Get Smart film. While Maxwell Smart saves the world, Bruce and Lloyd get their own adventure to recover an invisibility cloak that's been stolen from Control's tech division. Here's the trailer:

Though the film hasn't enjoyed the favorable reception of Get Smart, I consider it a creative venture nonetheless. It's ingenious that they thought to use all the film's assets and actors while they were already on the set, saving the cost and effort of recreating it later. It also rides on the coattails of its big brother, and vice versa: fans of Get Smart will recognize the brand name when they see it at the video store, while anyone who hasn't seen the theatrical film but liked this lower-budget alternative may be lured to the box office. And my reservations regarding the remake of the television show may not hold true here, since this is an original adventure with original protagonists.

By the holiday season, we may see a two-disc DVD set that contains both movies. In the meantime, the spinoff can also be purchased or rented on iTunes, where a 7-minute, 90-megabyte "making of" featurette is available for free.

Tomorrow's Artificial Intelligence, Today

11-Jan-08 8:00 AM by
Filed under Television, Trailers; 2 comments.

Though the following information already exists as various comments on existing threads, I perceived the pending premieres of a pair of popular pilots prompted promotion (phew!) — so to ensure our readers stay savvy and don't miss the return of these franchises, here's a timely reminder.

On Sunday, January 13th, at 8:00 PM EST, and Monday, January 14th, at 9:00 PM EST, will be Fox's two-part The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which attempts to bring the successful Terminator movie series to the small screen. The show features a strong cast that includes Thomas Dekker (Heroes) and Summer Glau (Firefly), as seen in this trailer:

Five weeks later, on Sunday, February 17th, at 9:00 PM EST, will be NBC's debut of what could be a new Knight Rider series. This two-hour movie is what's known as a "backdoor pilot": a stand-alone film that could conceivably lead to a continuing series. Trailers such as the following have not yet shown much actual movie footage, just teasers:

Each show is based on a successful license; what could possibly go wrong?

(Hat tip to Coming Soon)

Prepare To Be Regurgitated

13-Feb-07 1:42 PM by
Filed under Films, Television; 10 comments.

Terminator 2, added this week to the iTunes Store, is one of the three best films ever made. Intense action sequences, gut-wrenchingly authentic emotions, and surprising, jaw-dropping special effects (for 1991) warrant T2 being the only film I've purchased on DVD more than twice.

I made a point of watching the film on August 29th, 1997, the supposed Judgment Day. If only the franchise had ended there: Terminator 3 is best summed up in the final words of my review. "A great movie? Yes. A great Terminator film? No."

Now, the blasphemy continues: the tenth anniversary of the war against the machines will be commemorated with The Sarah Connor Chronicles, a television series detailing the years between the second and third films. (News courtesy of StarTrek.com)

I question Terminator's capacity to exist in this medium. Are we looking at an Incredible Hulk-type "wandering hero" format, with Sarah and John Connor, on the lam from the future, doing good deeds until a robotic Mr. McGee catches up with them? Will it have the budget for action sequences that made the first two films so legendary? How will the show tie into next year's supposed Terminator 4 film? Never mind that this show will be the first incarnation of the series to omit Arnold Schwarzenegger. But hey, it worked for Predator, right? Err…

I can't think of any movie that has successfully spun off into a television series: My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Uncle Buck… well, okay, there's Buffy. So maybe the rule of thumb is that, between a movie and a TV show, at least one will bite. If so, Terminator passed that threshold long ago.

Though I'm thrilled at (and jealous of) the opportunity of an actress from my hometown to attach her name to as geeky a franchise as this, I'd rather the series had been terminated gracefully sixteen years ago.

To Boldly Go…

15-Dec-06 12:49 AM by
Filed under Star Trek; 6 comments.

The answer to my question about the future of Star Trek has come sooner than I'd like… and I'm not sure what to make of it.

One of my last posts on the original Showbits board was about George Takei's interview wherein he proposed reviving TOS as an animated series. Enough of the original actors are around to lend their voices, and the franchise has earned enough respect to deserve better animation than the original such series — so why not?

So there is a new animated series in the works… but it's for the Web only, and it's set 150 years after TNG. Granted, such a quantum leap forward was how the whole series got relaunched with TNG, but it just seems extreme in this case. Have we already explored all the possibilities of the known universe? Some would say yes, which is why there's no Trek on the air anymore. But between this and the news of a prequel film, it seems like there's too much time travelling going on (just ask viewers of the Voyager finale).

I'm an open-minded skeptic on this one. How about you?

The Kirk Identity

11-Dec-06 11:29 PM by
Filed under Star Trek; 1 comment.

Courtesy Trek Nation, Matt Damon says he would consider playing Kirk in Star Trek XI, if he liked the script… and was offered the part.

Like the article says, no one but Shatner has ever played Kirk. Can any Trekker separate the two? Could we accept anyone else? If the eleventh film is to be a potential basis for a new television series, then I think it needs to not be a prequel. Sandwiched between Enterprise and TOS, it'd be too constrained. Give us something entirely new — something we haven't seen before. Surprise us. Be refreshing!

Speaking of which, why has Star Trek always stuck to one genre? Let's have a bunch of Friends hanging out in Ten-Forward — or some sort of Section 31/CSI. Klingon Eye for the Starfleet Guy, hosted by Worf, perhaps?

What are your thoughts on the direction(s) Star Trek should take?