James Cameron’s Avatar, a wildly ambitious mix of live action and photo realistic, 3-d animation, just began filming in New Zealand. Everything I’ve read about this film indicates it’s going to be a monumental step forward in film technology and presentation, and possibly a monstrous financial disaster. Of course, that’s what everyone said about Titanic, which went onto grab a boatload of Academy Awards and over a billion dollars in ticket revenue. WETA, the fine people behind the effects for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, are on board for Cameron’s latest foray into sci-fi megalomania.
Our last commentary episode also marks a first, in that the Third Guy called in from London with tales of errant police boxes, playbills aplenty and dodgy internet connectivity. Oh yeah, and we commented on Last of the Time Lords, and were none too kind to it, sending it to bed without diner and making it think long and hard about what it had done.
JJ Abrams, the creator of Lost and Heroes, is also the driving force between a new reboot of the Star Trek franchise starring the original Enterprise crew during their first missions. All well and good, and I’d rather see JJ Abrams tackle Trek than Rick “yeah, I’ve been out of ideas since the mid-90’s” Berman, but apparently he’s cast Simon “Shaun of the Dead” Pegg as Scotty. Pegg has appeared in Doctor Who and I have no doubt of his genre bona fides….but Scotty? Something about that just doesn’t work for me.
English parents are sure to be irritated within seconds of their children unwrapping their presents and pulling out this mask, which not only portrays the lovely face of a Dalek/Human hybrid, but also modifies the wearer’s voice. Why anyone would want to be reminded of the excreable Daleks in Manhattan episode is beyond me, but I guess it beats a Toclafane mask.
I think I hear the angry, thundering hooves of the apocalypse. Rumour has it McG, the director of the execrable Charlies Angels movies, and Vin “Pitch Black” Diesel may make a fourth Terminator movie. While Diesel’s not a terrible choice for a Terminator, McG isn’t fit to shoot a one-year-old’s birthday party. Let’s hope this one rots in development hell.
Warren, Steven and Chris the Third Guy yandered on for a record-breaking 30 minutes before commenting on the Sound of Drums, the penultimate episode of Series Three and not a bad bit of adventure and mayhem besides. At the very least, it’s better than Last of the Time Lords, coming up next week.
The Daily Star, a rag of dubious merit, is reporting that Season 4 of Doctor Who will feature the fanwankiest finale ever. Check out the story for unlikely spoilers, but suffice it to say the proposed end of season 4 will feature pretty much every companion ever to grace the new series. Absurd, yet compelling, much like a car accident.
Ever stumble across a film in the video store named similarly to the latest blockbuster, but with a tiny budget, no stars and terrible special effects? Well, apparently there’s an entire industry built up around these “mockbusters,” which make a surprising amount of money. Noted travel author Rolf Potts talks to the people behind Transmorphers and Snakes on a Train for insights on rip-off cinema.
One of my personal favorite Doctor Who villains, the Sontarans, are back for season four. And as an added bonus, their leader will be played by Christopher Ryan, the “cool” guy on the Young Ones. One potential pitfall is that Ryan is not a tall individual, but you’d think that the Sontarans, being clones, have been radically redesigned for the new show. Especially since the Sontarans were mentioned on the Sarah Jane Adventures as being “the most ridiculous looking creatures in the galaxy.”