All posts by Sheldon Wiebe

TELEVISION: Eureka – There’s a New Sheriff in Town!

At he conclusion of Eureka’s [Syfy, Fridays, 9/8C] mid-season finale, Sheriff Jack Carter [Colin Ferguson] had saved the day but, because he disobeyed a direct order from Department of Defense honcho General Mansfield [Barclay Hope]. Welcome Back Carter [oh, c’mon! We all knew he’d get his job back – the question was always how he’d do it] picks up exactly where the cliffhanger left off.

Ferguson & Cerra

Mansfield has literally ordered a new sheriff of the assembly line – or at least from the genius mind of Fargo [Neil Grayston]. Not only is there a new sheriff in town, but he’s a robot. For those who have always thought that Eureka was Mayberry with geniuses, you’ll appreciate that when the new guy/bot [Ty Olsson, Battlestar Galactica, Men in Trees] introduces himself, he says, “Call me Sheriff Andy.”

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TELEVISION: Warehouse 13 – Not Just a Collection of Antiques & Curios!

Remember the final shot of Raiders of the Lost Ark, when the crated up Ark of the Covenant is placed on a pile of boxes and the camera pulls back and keeps pulling back to reveal a warehouse the size of Rhode Island? Well, Warehouse 13 [Syfy, Tuesdays,9/8C] could very possibly be that warehouse.

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When two Secret Service Agents – Pete Lattimer [Eddie McClintock] and Myka Bering [Joanne Kelly] prevent a supernaturally influenced assassin from killing the President of the United States, they find themselves assigned to a very secret installation by the mysterious, and very determined Mrs. Frederic [CCH Pounder] – Warehouse 13 .

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TELEVISION: July 4th Fireworks of a Different Kind: Chiller Programs Point Pleasant Marathon!

point pleasant

Point Pleasant was a quirky little horror/fantasy series that was snuffed out too soon. Tomorrow, July 4th, beginning at 11/10C, Chiller will run the entire series – including the five episodes that were never aired. If you miss the fun because of Independence Day celebrations, but are too adrenalized from the day’s activities to get to sleep right away, the entire marathon will be rebroadcast beginning at midnight/11C. A complete listing of the episodes follows:

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TELEVISION NEWS: Sci Fi Seeks Newcomers – Alien Nation Reboot in Development

According to Variety.com, Sci Fi is developing a new take on Alien Nation, the 1988 feature that previously spawned a spinoff series on Fox.

alien nation 1

Tim Minear – a veteran of sci-fi TV, having worked on The X-Files, Firefly and Strange World – is developing the pilot and series bible for the series, which is built upon the relationship that develops between a human cop and one from the ranks of the alien “Newcomers” whose ship crashed on Earth twenty years earlier.

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HOLLYWOOD INSIDER: Warehouse 13: Cow Poop, Chemistry and the Importance of Cookies!

On Tuesday, July 7th, the SCI FI Channel rebrands itself as Syfy and celebrates by premiering its new sf/fantasy series, Warehouse 13 [9/8C] – the adventures of a pair of Secret Service agents whose job it is to track down exotic, potentially dangerous objects worth unique powers and, as Artie, Warehouse 13’s supervisor, puts it, “Hunt down whatever is threatening to ruin the world’s day and snag it, bag, and tag it.” I recently had the opportunity to sit in on a teleconference with the show’s leads, Eddie McClintock [Stark Raving Mad, Bones] and Joanne Kelly [Vanished, Diamonds], showrunner/executive producer Jack Kenny [Titus, The Book of Daniel] and executive producer David Simkins [Blade: The Series, The Dresden Files].

Entering the Warehouse

Also taking part were: Steve Eramo, TV Zone Magazine; Bryan Cairns, Sci Fi Wire; Troy Rogers, Deadbolt.com; Alex Davies, Flash News; Julia Diddy, Fancast.com; Blaine Kyllo, Cinema Spy; David Martindale, Hearst Newspapers; Brian Truitt, USA Weekend Magazine; Mike Hughes, TD America; Jamoe Ruby, Media Blvd, and Michael Hinman, Airlock Alpha.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Cotillard Sparkles – Public Enemies Does Not!

Public Enemies is definitely a Michael Mann film. Every shot [every shot selection] is beautifully composed and designed to pull the audience through the story. The production design, set design, costuming – all are amazing. Marion Cotillard makes Billy Frechette, John Dillinger’s last girlfriend, an engaging character with whom we can empathize. And that it!

Public Enemies

For a film that moves along as briskly as Public enemies, it seems to be otherwise bereft of heart. Johnny Depp’s performance as the PR savvy bank robber, John Dillinger, is so introspective that it’s hard to believe that he could charm Frechette, let alone the press. Christian Bale’s Special Agent Melvin Purvis is even relatable than Depp’s Dillinger. I guess we’re supposed to figure out his distaste for some the tactics that were used to make associates of Dillinger to talk by his infinitesimally deeper squint.

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DVD REVIEW: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li – So Close…

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is one of the better attempts to adapt videogames for film. It doesn’t quite make it, but it is entertaining and the ton of features shows that they were trying really hard to get it right…

Chun-Li Box Art

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-li is a movie that features some of the wittier martial arts choreography to be filmed in the last few years, and there’s a clever – even wistful – parallel father/daughter arc that shows Chun-Li [Kristin Kreuk] to be treasured by her father [Edmund Chen], and Bison’s [Neal McDonough] daughter used solely as a repository for the last of the goodness in his soul.

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DVD REVIEW: Bob Funk – Odd Mix of Genres Works Better Than You Might Expect

Bob Funk is a curious little movie. Based on the long-running play of the same name, by Craig Carlisle [who adapted and directed the movie], Bob Funk is the story of an alcoholic, the titular Bob Funk [Michael Leyden Campbell], who has so totally ruined his life that he is fired from his job as Vice-President of Funk Futons by. his. mother [Grace Zabriskie]!

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Why? Besides leaving vital paperwork unfilled on a regular; besides the always coming in late – and usually spattered with coffee [he manages to bump onto the same woman every day, spilling his coffee]; besides his utter lack of people skills, his behavior puts the company in double jeopardy by missing a deadline with some paperwork necessary to keeping Funk Futons from being stripped of its business licence and by harassing a new employee, opening the company up to a sexual harassment lawsuit. [It’s when Bob fails to accept responsibility for the harassment that Mom fires him.

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MANGA: Continuing Series: Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka, Vol. 3 and Oishinbo A la Carte: Sake, Ramen & Gyoza

Pluto 3

This is the first of an irregular series of reviews that will follow a number of titles through their runs – or at least, as far as the publishers allow. This review will cover two manga that are practically polar opposites: Pluto, Vol. 3 – a series that reworks a classic Astro Boy/Mighty Atom tale in a darker, more dramatic manner [think Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns as opposed to the Adam West Batman TV series], and Oishinbo A la Carte: Sake and Ramen & Gyoza – a series about the creation of an ultimate menu of Japanese cuisine.

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GRAPHIC NOVEL: Razorjack: Collected Edition – Watchmen Colorist John Higgins Produces Harrowing Horror Tale!

GRAPHIC NOVEL: Razorjack: Collected Edition – Watchmen Colorist John Higgins Produces Harrowing Horror Tale!

John Higgins is best known as the colorist of the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons classic graphic novel, Watchmen. With Razorjack, he bounds onto that rarefied level of creativity as writer/creator, artist and colorist.

RJ_COLLECTED_COVER

In simple terms, Razorjack is the tale of a horrific creature – the titular Razorjack – who lives to destroy [and by destroy, I mean the universe] and the all-too human cops who stumble into her path. Allow me to quote from the back cover blurb:

“Three college kids inadvertently create the opening from the alternate universe of The Twist Universe and become a focus for the evil that is Razorjack.

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