Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008

Class Reunion

“The Stolen Earth” is a wonderful and sometimes frustrating episode. Wonderful because it skillfully brings together not only all three of the series in the Russell T. Davies Whoniverse, but also numerous other elements from his four seasons of Doctor Who. It also truly kicks off the big finish of Season Four and ends with a big ol’ insane cliffhanger. It’s maybe frustrating for all the same reasons, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a hell of a lot of fun.

The story begins immediately where “Turn Left” ended. The TARDIS materializes on Earth and the Doctor (David Tennant) and Donna (Catherine Tate) are expecting disaster. But instead, all is perfectly calm; indeed, it’s a Saturday. Regardless, the Doctor remains unnerved by Donna’s meeting Rose, which indicates to him that if she can travel from one parallel world to another, then the walls of the universe are breaking down. (If only he’d seen her earlier in the season!) They head back to the TARDIS and no sooner do the doors close then strange things begin happening on the Earth. The TARDIS interior shakes and the Doctor runs to the door, swings it open and before you can say Han Solo, the planet’s gone. The TARDIS hovers in the empty space where the Earth once was.

To read the rest of the recap for the penultimate episode of Season Four, click here to visit The House Next Door.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Teasing Watchmen

Bullz-Eye has published a teaser piece for the Watchmen set visit I attended in January. This is only a tease and I'll be writing much more about the visit later, as we get closer to the release date.

From the article:

If you’ve journeyed out to the cinema and battled crowds to see The Dark Knight, chances are you got to sneak a peek at one of the most hotly anticipated comic book big screen adaptations. Yeah, yeah, I know, everyone seemingly says much the same about every comic book movie. Just as soon as Iron Man comes out -- a movie labeled “Best. Comic Book Movie. Everrrrrrr!” -- The Dark Knight comes along a few months later, and everyone is busy saying the same thing. In fact, I’d imagine there’s a segment of the movie-going public that’s really starting to tire not only of the fawning but the comic book movie trend in general. Surely there’s more to big budget filmmaking than capes, cowls, webheads and weirdos, right?

Enter Watchmen...

Read the rest of the article by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Spaced: The Complete Series

It’s difficult to write about Spaced without first mentioning the intense industry adoration that surrounds it. Here are just a handful of the many quotes in the press release from people whose names you know only too well:

“The one, the only…Spaced. Accept no substitute.” – Quentin Tarantino

Spaced is utter brilliance…a series for, well, anyone who has ever lived.” – JJ Abrams

“…like watching a Kevin Smith film if Kevin Smith had any real talent.” – Kevin Smith

“I laughed hard and I hate comedy.” – Judd Apatow

“The first TV show to combine my love of Star Wars, Evil Dead, and funny Brits. If I had grown up in England this show would be the documentary of my life.” – Eli Roth

“…the sole reason I bought an all region DVD player. Now you have no excuse! Buy this and be officially cool.” – Bill Hader

“Annoyingly good.” – Eddie Izzard

Can Spaced possibly live up to all this hype? Find out by clicking here to read the rest of this DVD review at Bullz-Eye.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monk: Season Six

Monk is one of those shows that just keeps trucking along, season after season, doing variations on the same. Its formula -- a detective/mystery series with an obsessive-compulsive central character -- is so perfect that the biggest mistake it could ever make is to mess around with the way it’s done. The mysteries themselves are rarely all that intriguing. Sometimes we know whodunnit, sometimes we don’t, and sometimes we don’t even care. What keeps the show going is Tony Shalhoub, whose performance as the personally flawed but professionally brilliant Adrian Monk is so endlessly amusing that he’s taken home the Emmy for Best Actor in a Comedy three times out of five nominations.

Since writing this piece, Shalhoub has scored yet another Emmy nomination for his work on Monk. Read the rest of the piece by grabbing a wet wipe, clicking here and heading over to Bullz-Eye.

Monday, July 21, 2008

With or Without You

Since I was away from my desk this week, Steven Cooper ably filled in for me on the Doctor Who recap.

Each year the rigors of the production schedule require the Doctor Who team to film two episodes simultaneously. Previously, this resulted in both the Doctor and his companion being largely absent from one episode (“Love & Monsters” in Season Two, “Blink” in Season Three). This year, showrunner Russell T. Davies took a different approach, deciding to have separate “Donna-light” and “Doctor-light” episodes. So while David Tennant was spending a week-and-a-half confined to a single set in “Midnight,” Catherine Tate was out filming this sprawling epic, which takes its impetus from a simple question: What if Donna had never met the Doctor?

Read the rest of the piece by clicking here to "Turn Left" into The House Next Door.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The X-Files: Revelations

There was a time when I was an X-Files fanatic, but that was way back during its first season in ’93 and ’94. The series lost my viewership about halfway through its second season, and I only sporadically tuned in over the many seasons that followed. Why the falling out with Mulder and Scully? The arcing storyline about little green men and government conspiracies held zero interest for me. I’m not saying it was bad TV – clearly, Chris Carter and Co. built an engaging empire on aliens and chain-smoking suits that the public devoured – but I was always interested in the standalone tales, the monster of the week that eventually became the monster of the month. So when it was announced that a new X-Files movie was happening, and that it would be a standalone tale un-tied to its infamous arcing mythology, I got just a little bit excited.

This collection of eight episodes was chosen by creator Chris Carter and exec producer Frank Spotnitz, and it’s been deemed ideal primer for the upcoming film, The X-Files: I Want to Believe. If what’s on this set is anything to go by, then the film should certainly deliver some chills and make believers out of the uninitiated.

To read the rest of the DVD review for "The X-Files: Revelations," click here to visit Bullz-Eye.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Molto Bene

In addition to overseeing the seasonal story arcs, Russell T. Davies writes more scripts for Doctor Who than anyone else, and he does it every year. He has mostly provided crowd-pleasing tales, but he’s occasionally gone off the beaten path and given us something deeper to chew on, such as “Love & Monsters” and “Boom Town.” I once wrote that Davies could “pen an entire episode with just the Doctor and Rose sitting in the TARDIS talking to each other, and it’d be one of the highlights of a given Doctor Who season.” With “Midnight” he comes as close to that supposition as could probably be hoped for at this point. It may well be his finest Who achievement yet. “Midnight” sees Davies throwing caution to the wind and showing uncomfortable truths about the Doctor, as well as about humanity. “Midnight” isn’t necessarily a complex story, but it is a daring and disturbing one that for perhaps the first time in the new series is aimed squarely at adults, and doesn’t bother to take younger viewers into account—although maybe it acknowledges that kids are growing up along with the series and maybe they’re ready for more challenging fare.

Bask in the glow of Xtonic radiation by clicking here to read the rest of this recap at The House Next Door.