If you’re a fan of NBC’s Chuck [Chuckies? Chuckles?], then you won’t want to miss Syfy’s eight-hour Chuck Marathon on Thursday, January 7th, 2010. Running from 5 p.m. [4C], the eight eps will feature guest stars like Michael Clarke Duncan, John Larroquette, Melinda Clark, Tony Hale, Chevy Chase, Scott Bakula, Bruce Boxleitner and Morgan Fairchild. The Marathon schedule follows the jump.
Sometimes the story of how a comic comes to be is almost as interesting as the comic itself [think the metamorphosis of The Middleman from spec script to comic; from comic to TV series, and from TV series back to comic…]. Deadlocke, written by Arvid Nelson and drawn by Nick Stakal, has followed almost as interesting path.
This fresh take on the Jekyll/Hyde story first saw the light of day as a young adult novel called Venomous, by Chris Krovatin. Krovatin then adapted the novel into a movie script which, in turn, has become the comic Deadlocke.
Ian Fleming’s great spy, James Bond, once said, “Once is chance; twice is coincidence, and three times is enemy action.” Tailoring that reasoning to filmmaking: a director making one great film could be chance – a confluence of events that captures lightning in a bottle; a director making two great films [let alone two in a row] could, conceivably, be a coincidence, but a director making three great films in a row – and to start his career, no less? Not a fluke.
Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air is a great film – as were Thank You For Smoking and Juno. He’s not only the real deal he’s quite possibly the most consistently excellent new filmmaker of the decade. What makes Up in the Air so remarkable isn’t just that it’s timely and brilliant – it’s that it started out to be one thing and then, when the world’s financial climate changed radically, Reitman adapted it to fit the times in a way that is, topically at least, irony free – a first for him.
Syfy announced pickups for a second season of Stargate Universe and a third season of Sanctuary today. Both series are shot in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – with SGU being shot on sets and locations, while Sanctuary is shot mostly on green screen and in CG. Filming for both series will commence in early 2010 with an eye towards a 2010 debut.
Annihilation Earth [tonight, 9/8C] harkens back to the allegorical science fiction B-movies of the ‘50s with its technology may doom us all stance.
When one of the three supercolliders in the world is sabotaged, it destroyed the French city of Orleans and the surrounding area resulting in the deaths of thirty million people. The result of the blast is the creation of an energy field that, if not contained, will turn the Earth into a black hole.
Gene Barry, best known for playing Dr. Clayton Forester in George Pal’s groundbreaking 1953 film The War of the Worlds and the dandified marshal, Bat Masterson in the series of the same name, died December 9th. Cause of death is, as yet, unknown.
Barry, who was born Eugene Klass, changed his surname to Barry as a nod to John Barrymore. In a career that spanned fifty-five years, Barry is best known to most of the world for the George Pal movie and Bat Masterson – a role he only took because it was not a run-of-the-mill Western, but rather was based on the career of a real marshal who dressed like a Eastern dandy, with a brocade vest, derby hat and a gold-tipped cane.
Once upon a time, little girls dreamed of growing up and discovering they were princesses – or of at least marrying a prince. Disney made a lot of movies based around that idea, some brilliant, some merely marvelous. The Princess and the Frog harkens back to those days and – although the film is set before and after World War I – brings a combination of modern attitudes, two [count ‘em, two] princesses, and an edge that can only be kindled by magic and dreams.
Adrian Monk found his late wife Trudy’s killer in the two-part conclusion to USA’s eight-season wonder, Monk. Then, after a bit of pondering his wife’s killer’s last words, he discovered that Trudy’s daughter was still alive. [That won’t make sense to anyone who hasn’t followed Monk, but this column isn’t for you, anyway.]
Syfy has gone the homemade route for its odd little space sitcom, Outer space Astronauts [Tuesdays, 9:30/8:30C]. The series, about the “highly distractable” crew of the O.S.S. Oklahoma, is the brainchild of Russell Barrett, who created the series and co-writes, shoots, edits, scores and plays a supporting role [Captain Bruce Ripley], among other things.
The series premiere, Diplomatic Hat, finds the crew of the Oklahoma encountering an alien vessel and inviting its crew over for pizza. Problems arise when the aliens make it clear that they want a little bit more than just the pizza – they want the Oklahoma and plan to kills its crew to get it.
With Syfy airing their miniseries event, Alice [Sunday & Monday, 9/8C], beginning tomorrow evening, they held a conference call with writer/director Nick Willing and his Alice, Caterina Scorsone where they talked about the experience of making the miniseries and some of the themes that were explored against the canvas of this updated version of the classic Lewis Carroll books, Alice in Wonderland and Alice: Through the Looking Glass.
Taking part in the Q&A swssion were: Steve Eramo [SciFiandTalkTV.com], Abbie Bernstein [iF Magazine], Lisa Steinberg [Starry Constellation], David Martindale [Hearst Newspapers], Troy Rogers [thedeadbolt.com], Julia Diddy [Fancast.com], Mike Hughes [TV America], Michael Hinman [Airlock Alpha], Fred Topple [SciFi Wire],Je Nazaro [Film Review Online] and Cassandra Farron [popculturemadness.com].
Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland is a classic tale for two reasons – it functions as a cheerfully demented children’s story and it is also a genuinely wicked satire of politics and England’s nineteenth century society through the innocent Alice’s inability to understand the bizarre behavior of Wonderland’s inhabitants.
Alice [Sunday, Dec. 6 & Monday, Dec. 7, 9/8C], Syfy’s two-part miniseries, updates Carroll’s multi-levelled work to within an inch of its life by giving us a twenty-seven year old Alice [Caterina Scorsone, Crash] who finds her way into a greatly changed present day Wonderland where Bad Things are going on.