Friday, February 27, 2009

Freaky Friday

No "Dollhouse" comments tonight. Nothing worth typing anyway.

Can’t believe that “Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li” had a budget between 50-60 million dollars!? This is not going to end well. And speaking of video game adaptations...

“Max Payne”

Remember when I said that I sorta liked the screenplay, but had reservations about casting? It wasn’t just the casting. I’m assuming Max Payne is a thrilling game, but you wouldn’t know it by this film. A plodding, wannabe 70s styled thriller that pretends to have a supernatural element -- makes even less sense on screen. The action packed third act just wasn’t enough.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Splinter

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Surprisingly good. This low budget flick doesn’t break any new ground, but makes the most of what it has: cool creature effects and a claustrophobic setting -- Jill Wagner doesn’t hurt either. Starts off with a couple getting carjacked and eventually trapped at gas station with a bloodthirsty monster lurking outside. Solid acting, good dialogue, interesting characters -- the carjacker even gets an arc! Director Toby Wilkins has an unofficial Splinter blog here.

There are plenty of low budget filmmakers out there looking for something to shoot, so a script like this is always worth writing. Now that I’m *finally* done with my werewolf spec, I’ve already started something a little less ambitious.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dollhouse: Target

UPDATE: Viewership dropped from 4.7 to 4.2 million viewers. The 18-49 demos were also down.

Better than the pilot, which isn't saying a heck of a lot. We got more info on Alpha's rampage, Echo's handler and Echo becoming more aware of her situation. The biggest question tonight's episode raised for me was, 'Is The Middleman coming back for another season?' The ratings for last week's premiere were pretty decent for a Friday night, around 4.6 million viewers -- not "Ghost Whisperer" numbers, but still decent. I'm interested to see if folks came back for seconds...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Story Starters

Couldn't let Friday the 13th go by without some of these

Attempts to contact Aliens date back more than 150 years

Canada's Stonehenge

Mexico unearths mass grave from Spanish conquest


Newspaper claims car thief transformed into goat

Liveblogging Dollhouse

9:10pm The dream date thing was okay...

9:12 I could do without the theme song. Makes me sleepy.

9:15 Amy Acker. Yay!

9:17 How about putting some locks on the mindwipe room?

9:23 Chicks with glasses = smart.

9:25 Why not get a real negotiator?

9:35 Uh-oh. Echo's starting to short circuit. Can't believe we're at the halfway point already. Not a lot happened.

9:40 You can't fight a ghost! Seriously?

9:46 We have a mission!

9:58 The last ten minutes or so were good, but overall this was one of the season's weaker pilots -- even "Own Worst Enemy" started off stronger and had a much better grip on their concept. Didn't even feel like a Whedon show. Maybe there's just too much going on. The concept would be great as a feature, but not so much as a series. Hopefully, "Dollhouse" will find its legs after a couple of episodes.

Dollhouse on Friday

Still not entirely sold on the concept. Entertainment Weekly gave the pilot a B-. The buzz has been somewhere between mixed to lukewarm, but anything by Whedon is worth checking out -- right? I’ll be live blogging the 9pm premiere (EST) -- I’m sure I won’t be the only one.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fringe: Ability

Great episode last night. There are times when it feels like the writers have been digging through some discarded “Alias” scripts, but I think the overall quality of the show has improved since it came back from the break -- and now we have to wait until April for new episodes?

Monday, February 09, 2009

Aliens Vs Predator - Requiem

So glad I didn’t see this in theaters. Better action than the first installment, but a weaker story and a little too dark for my taste -- I mean literally too dark, there were times where I couldn’t see who was killing what.

I have give “Transformers” credit, because it did a superior job of weaving humans into a story about battling aliens. Seriously. They’re mostly fodder here, zero character development. If you could mash up the first and second film, this could have been a fun ride. Another thing missing from the “A vs. P” films is the psychological battle, people revealing their true selves and motivations. Sure, there was action and gore in the now classic films, but there was also a lot of back stabbing, cowardice and devious plotting going on too. Instead, we’re stuck with lame stock characters and their boring lives. You’re practically rooting for them to be killed the minute they’re introduced.

Lots of winks and nods to the franchises ain’t enough to pull of an entertaining film. The unproduced, futuristic script of “Aliens vs. Predator” was a much better concept -- and probably too costly to pull off.

Friday, February 06, 2009

The Vampire Diaries

An example of the “Twilight” effect? The CW is developing a series based on the novels about a girl caught up in a love triangle with two brothers who also happen to be vampires. Sounds like a good fit for their audience, especially with Kevin Williamson involved. My old pilot spec had a supernatural love triangle -- along with every genre cliche imaginable, but maybe it's salvageable.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Push

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Don’t know what to make of this one. Intriguing idea with a solid cast, but the trailer screams cheesy, low budget effects. Flying guns? Government baddies after folks with special powers. Reminds me a little bit of “Firestarter” -- which didn’t have a lot of fancy effects either, but was still very effective. Also reminds me of a certain lame TV series that I now refuse to mention by name. Like that "series", "Push" has a comic book that helps fill in the gaps. Curious to see how it performs this weekend.

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