07 June 2008

Radar Blips - Crossworlds

The Year:

The Players: A Rutger Hauer film

The Take: As it turns out this may not have been released in the US

Is this about a newspaper puzzle?: That would be crosswords, and a movie about a solving crossword might be better.

Why you should see it: Pretty much a really poor man's Matrix with a trio of portal hoppers. The plot is incoherent and the movie is pretty lame, but its always fun to watch Rutger in action. The trailer isnt too bad though. Maybe just watch it and call it a day.

The Babylonian Captivity - Soul Hunter (1x02)

Well, the CG effects arent as annoying if there arent any space battles. This episode involves a guy that captures spirits from people as they die... actually he sorta helps them die too. Its a fairly interesting episode with varying religious views of the soul. Still, seems like an over acted cheap version of Trek, but at least this episode offered some good intellectual sci-fi.

06 June 2008

Box Office Showdown: Panda vs Wall*E

Behold the box office earnings (in millions) for Pixar and Dreamworks (CG films only). You may need to click it to get a good view. Of course Dreamworks is green for Shrek and Pixar is blue because I like blue.

Thus far, both companies have released 8 films and they will be duking it out with their 9th releases this month. I think most people would have to give Pixar the edge in quality as their weakest A Bug's Life still mightily swats the Dreamworks gaffes Shark Tale and Shrek the Turd. As for earnings, the little green ogre of Dreamworks has kept the race pretty close.

Personally, I expect WALL-E to widen the gap over Kung Fu Panda, but early Panda reviews are strong... so who knows. Also, Dreamworks has Madagascar 2 this fall, while Pixar doesn't release its next (UP) until next summer. So come Christmas, Dreamworks may be in the lead moneywise.

What do y'all think?

Radar Blips - Mirrormask

The Year: 2005

The Players: The Jim Hensen Company (Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal) and written by Neil Gaiman (Stardust)

The Take: $1 Million - but never really released in theatres

Muppets?: Nope. Freaky CG creatures, like seriously creepy.

Why you should see it: The movie gives off a Labyrinthy vibe. I kept expecting Hoggle to show up, but it is much darker and more twisted. Its about a circus girl who goes into her imaginary world and is attacked by, well basically by "the nothing." She has to find the titular mirrormask to escape. So, the creepiness comes from little Sphinxes that eat books, and some crazy goth puppets that sing "why do birds suddenly appear" in a minor key (trust me, its creepier than it sounds, check it out below). There are plenty of creative and odd visuals even if the story itself moves a little slowly at times (but doesnt The Dark Crystal too?). I don't know if it will achieve classic status, but its worth checking out.

The Babylonian Captivity - Midnight on the Firing Line (1x01)

So, these guys that look like meaner versions of lizard Ferrengi's (Narns) and the "feather heads" (really just long hair that sticks up AKA Centauri) used to be at war. The lizard people attacked the feather heads and the other species on the Babylon 5 station disprove, but are wary of getting involved because they are all war weary.

So far, I am not blown away. The effects are horrible. I am sure at the time they were "cool" but no way were they good. All of the space cut scenes were CG and cheap CG at that. I mean stuff that would look bad in a Mentos commercial. That really took me out of any of the "tense" moments. But the make-up on the aliens is surprisingly good - aside from the bad hair makes me an alien species.

The music and cinematography also are pure cheese. Still, the show wasn't too bad. It kept my attention in spite of not knowing who all of these characters are - and there are a ton. Don't worry Babylon 5 fans, I will give the show a chance. I remember it taking a while to get in to most of the Trek series, so I imagine that the best is yet to come.


The Babylonian Captivity

So, in the spirit of The Galactica Endeavor, I have decided to invite you loyal (or casual as the case may be) readers along as I finally undertake to watch the series Babylon 5. I am a big fan of the Star Trek series Deep Space Nine, especially the last 4 seasons in which the ongoing dominion war story develops. I have heard so many people say the Babylon 5 is better that I at least believe it must be OK. At the very least, it seems to be an essential experience for self proclaimed sci-fi fans like me.

My exposure to the series thus far has been minimal. Mostly, I seem to recall some dude with like feather hair or something, but I am not even sure if that was really even Babylon 5. So off we go.

05 June 2008

Baby Avengers Assemble

Again, this looks like a good pilot for a series, but maybe not a great stand alone film. It does look better than I expected, but I think the whole teen take on heroes is a waste for these DtVs for "mature" audiences. Now Iron Man has been in 4 of 5 of the DtVs, I think we have been amply iron fortified. Why not do a mature X-Force film? I doubt Cable is gonna make it to the big screen any time soon.

01 June 2008

Sex Sells at the Box Office

Sex and the City was a surprise (at least to me) hot this weekend earning $56 million, while Indy cooled off a little to a still large $46 passing the coveted $200 million mark. Meanwhile Iron Man out earned Narnia which limped past $100 million this week. Iron Man continues to threaten a $300+ million take. Next week brings Kung Fu Panda, Dreamworks latest Shrek style farce. We will have to see if it does more of a Shrek style performance or gets stung like Bee Movie.

#1 Iron Man - $276,625,000
#2 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - $216,881,000
#3 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - $115,674,000
#4 What Happens in Vegas - 66,074,000
Sex and the City - $55,740,000
#6 Speed Racer - $40,558,000