If you like a bit of conniving, plotting and skulduggery with your sex and violence, then Spartacus: Blood and Sand [Starz, tonight, 10/9C] just may be the show for you. This very extreme new series is shot in the same manner as Zack Snyder’s epic 300 – apart from a few sets, and its props, the rest is CG. The result is a rich and gorgeous – if peculiarly colored – world.
Don’t forget, this weekend Encore’s Big 80s Weekend marathon. Almost every awesome movie from the 80s is going to air starting Christmas Day, highlights include all the John Hughes movies, Fast Time At Ridgemont High, Back To The Future, Goonies, Wall Street, Purple Rain, The Blues Brothers, Weird Science and more. I looked at the full list last week and couldn’t find a dud in the bunch. I’m back home in MD, so I’ll be able to watch all this 80s goodness on EncoreHD. Just an amazing line up of nostalgia. Also this weekend they will be debuting a brand new documentary about the late, great John Hughes called “Don’t You Forget About Me,” featuring appearance The mini-press release and full list is after the break.
For today’s TV round up we have news on SyFy’s Holiday movie line-up including another one of their weird made for TV Movies. TV.com happenings, and Starz announced its December/January slate. Let’s start with SyFy news because, as you all know I’m in the tank for SyFy (still think the name is dumb).
Legend of the Seeker Marathon – November 5
My new favorite show isn’t on Network television it’s airing in Syndication. The Legend of the Seeker is an awesome swashbuckler that fantasy fans need to seek out (pun intended). The marathon will give fans a chance to catch up and relive six favorite episodes from the first season of the epic fantasy series, and also serve to introduce the show to Syfy viewers who may not have experienced it. Combining elements of fantasy, adventure, magic, mystery and romance with state-of-the-art visual effects and a high level of action, the series is an adaptation of internationally best-selling author Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth book series. This is pretty dumb programming, Legend of the Seeker is one long story arc, yes you can jump in at any point, but to get all the nuances you have to watch it from the beginning. What’s the point of a 6-episode marathon with random episodes?
Lucy Lawless is back in the saddle again – literally as Starz gave their latest show Spartacus: Blood and Sand a big Comic-Con push, even though it doesn’t debut until January, 2010. It shows they have a lot of faith in this show. Now we have the official trailer, which is looking pretty darn epic and sweet. The official press release is below and I’ll see if I can get Miss Lawless on the phone in the next few weeks. Here’s a link to the official trailer.
Starz Inside has quickly become one of my favorite series of television documentaries. If you are a fan of Pop Culture, this series is made for you. In the last few months they took us inside Pixar Animation, gave us an in-depth look at the creators of Animation, showed us men behind some of our favorite Video Games, and this week, on June 10, we Starz Inside shows us genius’ behind our favorite comic books. This is the summer of the Superhero film so naturally this amazingly detailed documentary starts off in the obvious place – showing us how the film industry has embraced Comic-Books. We see some footage of the upcoming the upcoming Hellboy II film. The documentary focuses primarily on the history of comic book films. Starting with the aforementioned Hellboy II then delves into the history of some of the pulp films from the 40s with some vintage clips. The do a really nice segment on the Superman and Batman films
It’s amazing seeing this little segment because it shows just how cyclical this business called show is. And the more things change, the more they stay the same. The doc touches a bit on how Capital Hill investigated comics during the 50s. Apparently there was a sexual relationship between Batman and Robin. This witch hunt led to the creation of the Comic-book code, but it ended up scaring Hollywood. I want to watch Fritz the Cat! Wow, talk about racy. Did you know Stallone and Eastwood were both up for Superman? What makes the Starz Inside Series so strong is that they always attack a topic that most stodgy documentaries would avoid. They do it and handle their topics with love and care. The reverence the producers have for this material really comes through, without being pretentious or stodgy. It manages to strike just the right tone. The pacing and amount of material covered is just right. Starz Inside: Comic Books Unbound premieres June 10, at 10pm.
Final Grade A
EM Review by
Originally posted 6.07.08
Those crazy, crazy folks at Starz network is airing Grindhouse next Monday, March 31st in it’s complete entirety. So if you missed it in the theaters before the Weinstein’s split it and didn’t get a chance to catch the bastardized DVDs this is a great opportunity to catch it uncut and unedited. My only question is why is Starz running this on a Monday? What are they thinking? This should be a Saturday night premiere. I’m going to have to Tivo it because this is a “school” night.
Starz presents Grindhouse, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s homage to exploitation B-movie thrillers Monday, March 31 at 9:00 p.m. Over three hours, the two feature-length films, turned into a double-bill, complete with fake trailers, missing scenes and bad film stock will be shown in its entirety, the way it was originally screened in movie theaters. In Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror, a small-town deals with an outbreak of murderous, infected people called “sickos,” and a gun-legged stripper named Cherry (Rose McGowan) and her martial arts-wielding boyfriend (Freddy Rodriguez) take on the zombie army. Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof has a psycho named Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) stalking and killing beautiful women with his ‘70s muscle car.
Grindhouse features fake movie trailers directed by Rodriguez, Rob Zombie (Halloween, The Devil’s Rejects), Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) and Eli Roth (Hostel, Hostel: Part II).