Star Trek Movie Rewatch: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Thursday, November 26th, 2015 | Posted by William I. Lengeman III

Star Trek the Motion Picture cast

My peak Star Trek watching years came in the seventies. Those of us who were too young to catch the show when it first aired in the mid-sixties could gorge ourselves on seemingly endless reruns of three seasons worth of shows. It was a far cry from Netflix and calling up any episode any time but we made do.

As the seventies wound down my interest in Star Trek waned and I wasn’t really cognizant of what came along later — four more TV series and a heap of movies. I sought to rectify this in the early years of the new century, watching as many TV episodes as possible and some of the movies, but my intake of the latter was sporadic.

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Check out the First Trailer for Captain America: Civil War

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Civil War was one of the biggest events in Marvel Comics roughly a decade ago, pitting Spider-Man, Iron Man and a host of other heroes against a tiny contingent led by Captain America. Marvel Studios has made a major effort to replicate the crossover impact of that event in the upcoming movie, which features a bevy of guest stars… see how many you can spot in the trailer above (hint: it’s a LOT.) Captain America: Civil War will be released on May 6, 2016.

Goth Chick News: A Final Report of the Commercial Starship Nostromo, or The Alien Saga Continues…

Thursday, November 19th, 2015 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Alien Covenant poster-smallNormally, I have a personal rule against covering the same topic twice in so many weeks. Primarily this is because I have an extremely short attention span and I assume you do as well.

But I just couldn’t let this go.

Last week we joined together to lament the assumed loss of a true Aliens sequel directed by Neill Blomkamp and ignoring the mediocre efforts that were Alien 3 and Alien 4. We also shook our collective fists as the mercurial Ridley Scott who, after foisting Prometheus upon us, originally threatened to continue the torture with Prometheus 2, but instead took a hard left turn and commandeered the Aliens sequel by turning it into connective tissue between the Prometheus and Alien storylines.

We knew this from reading cryptic Ridley Scott quotes during which he referenced if not clarified his new project entitled Alien: Paradise Lost.

However, no sooner had we begun to get our brains around this when last Friday the newswire was abuzz with fresh Scott quotations, stemming from his Thursday evening appearance and the AFI Festival (American Film Institute).

According to IndieWire, Scott remarked that the project formerly known as Alien: Paradise Lost will now be called Alien: Covenant.

But buckle up, because there’s more.

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Goth Chick News: No Happy Ending for Ripley, But Hope for Prometheus Franchise

Thursday, November 12th, 2015 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Thankfully this all happened when I was deeply immersed in “the season,” so the enormous sadness was delayed in favor of scaring the snot out of the neighborhood youngsters.

But now the news has finally had a chance to sink in, and I am forced to seek comfort in well-blended adult beverages and berating the interns.

On October 29th, writer / director Neill Blomkamp took to Twitter to shatter our hearts:

Neill Blomkamp Alien cancelled

In the two weeks since, word is that the Alien sequel is even less than “holding” and more like entirely nuked.

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Hallowe’en Post-Mortem 2015: Needle Found in Candy!

Thursday, November 5th, 2015 | Posted by Nick Ozment

Photo of a pin found in Halloween candy in Brainerd. Photo courtesy of the Brainerd Police Department

Photo of a pin found in Halloween candy in Brainerd. Photo courtesy of the Brainerd Police Department *Diligent reader: Please read to end of this blog post for an update to this story

I was watching the news the day after Hallowe’en and was distressed by two stories. The first was about a five-year-old boy who was hit by a car in Minneapolis and died from his injuries. Tragic, but it did not surprise me. Given the circumstances, it’s as predictable as knowing that every year during hunting season somebody somewhere is going to be accidentally shot in the woods. We hope that maybe this year everyone will come home safely, and if not, that it doesn’t happen to one of our own or anyone we know.

The second story took me by complete surprise. What really upset my apple cart was a report out of Brainerd that some kid had found a needle in a Three Musketeers fun-size candy!

The reason the second story came as such a shock is that I have informed people for years that the whole razor-blade or needle in the candy story is an urban legend. It is one that has been reinforced periodically by well-meaning local police departments and (lazy) journalists, causing hysteria that whips parents into a bag-checking frenzy. They comb through the stash checking each individual piece. There are even some local medical centers that offer free x-ray screenings of Hallowe’en candy! The number of cases where these efforts have averted a child inadvertently getting a free but unwanted tongue piercing? Zero. Nada. Zilch. Because it’s never happened. The time and resources would be just as well used sending search crews down into the sewer looking for alligators. Urban legend.

…Until now, I thought, with a sinking heart. Here is a case, apparently, of an urban legend being copy-catted by someone and now entering the banal realm of fact.

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A New Star Trek TV Series is in the Works

Monday, November 2nd, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

USS Enterprise-smallHollywood Reporter is reporting that a new Star Trek TV series is in development, for broadcast in early 2017.

The new series will be the sixth live-action show to be based on Gene Roddenberry’s original creation, which ran from 1966-67 on NBC. It will be produced by Alex Kurtzman, co-writer of the 2009 reboot Star Trek and its sequel Star Trek Into Darkness, for CBS Television Studios. It is scheduled to premiere in January 2017 with a preview episode on CBS, before it moves exclusively to CBS All Access, an on-demand and streaming service.

The new Star Trek will introduce new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and new civilizations, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966… A search is under way for a writer to take on the cult hit. The franchise is poised to celebrate its 50th anniversary as the original series debuted Sept. 8, 1966…

CBS TV Studios distributed the original series, which was produced by Paramount Television and Desilu Productions. Created by Gene Roddenberry and starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, the series ran for three seasons and 79 episodes from 1966-67 on NBC and became a monster hit via syndication. It spawned an animated series (1973-74), a series of feature films — starting in 1979 — and four TV follow-ups including The Next Generation (1987-1994), Deep Space Nine (1993-99), Voyager (1995-2001) and Enterprise (2001-05).

News of a new Star Trek TV series comes as the franchise has been mired in rights issues between CBS and Paramount after Viacom merged with CBS in 2000. CBS Corp. absorbed Paramount for television, while Paramount Studios — the company that distributed the films — went to Viacom.

No news yet on what time frame the series will take place it, although it is reportedly not linked to the new movie franchise. Read the complete article here. (Hat tip to io9 for the news.)

Goth Chick News: Pride, Prejudice, Zombies and Seth Grahame-Smith

Thursday, October 29th, 2015 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies poster-smallAs you probably know by now, the author-side of Seth Grahame-Smith is fond of taking classic tales and turning them into horror stories. And if you’ve ever read one of those stories you might be of the mind that he’s a better screen writer / producer than he is an author.

Or at least I am.

Case in point: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was one of those books I couldn’t get my hands on fast enough back in 2010, having been previously gifted with a copy of SGS’s book How to Survive a Horror Movie (which to this day never fails to make me chuckle). But in spite of the fact it debuted at number four on the NYT’s Best Seller List, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter felt a little like SGS had conscripted a public-domained biography of Abraham Lincoln and stuck in some paragraphs here and there about vampires.

No – it actually felt a lot like that.

Which is primarily why I never backtracked and read SGS’s previous foray into this reworked genre, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Published in 2009, the idea for the novel came from SGS’s editor at Quirk Books. Using Jane Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice as a platform, it was suggested that SGS mix a zombie plot into the novel; which is precisely what he did, comparing the entire creative process to doing “microsurgery” on Austen’s original text.

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Forbes on the Tragic Failure of Jem And The Holograms

Monday, October 26th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Jem And The Holograms-smallLast week Box Office Mojo reported that Guillermo del Toro’s gothic horror film Crimson Peak “crashed and burned into 2,984 theaters to the tune of an estimated $12.8 million.” So what did it make of Jem And The Holograms‘ historically bad take of one-tenth of that total this weekend, $1.3 million from 2,413 theaters? It calls it one of “the year’s biggest flops… the fourth worst opening for a film in more than 2,000 theaters.”

Jem And The Holograms was a much-loved 80s cartoon produced by Hasbro, Marvel, and Sunbow (the same team behind G.I. Joe and Transformers). Featuring the plucky Jerrica Benton, whose father left her virtually flawless hologram technology that allowed her to disguise herself as a beautiful pop singer, Jem was the brainchild of comics writer Christy Marx (Sisterhood of Steel, Conan, Red Sonja). Forbes writer Scott Mendelson sees the massive failure of the live-action version as a genuine tragedy.

The film took a source material that is over-the-top colorful and over-the-top exciting, filled with larger-than-life characters and musically-charged action sequences where Jem and her friends had to both be kick-ass rock stars and kick-ass crime fighters at the same time, and made a toned-down, muted, and overly patronizing “young girl gets in over her head due to fame and artistic success and forgets what matters” fable that basically penalized its young heroes for wanting and achieving success and power…

It was the kind of film that Josie and the Pussycats spoofed a decade ago, and basically operated as a dark-n-gritty origin story that spent the entire film building up to the possibility of maybe seeing a Jem movie that Jem fans wanted to see the first time out in a would-be sequel. Okay, so a cheap film that spit on the source material bombed, who cares right? Well, here’s the rub: The overriding message of Jem and the Holograms is that a girl-centric action cartoon from the 1980′s doesn’t deserve or justify even 5% of the resources given without a second thought to boy-centric properties cashing in on 80′s nostalgia.

Read the complete article here.

Goth Chick News: Sony Dumps Freaks of Nature All Over Us Next Week

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Freaks-of-Nature-Poster-smallTalk about throwing in everything but the kitchen sink…

This little gem caught my attention just like anything else with a “red band trailer” – which is probably the point. But unlike most of the gore-fests that are NSFW, this just might be the most brilliant bit of film making I’ve come across in recent memory.

First off, a big studio is dropping it. Not to be outdone by Columbia (which had Zombieland) or Universal (which had Shawn of the Dead), Sony is now apparently stepping up to bat with its own not-sure-if-I-should-laugh-or-gag offering, Freaks of Nature.

Second, the cast is massive and includes Nicholas Braun, Mackenzie Davis, Josh Fadem, Joan Cusack, Bob Odenkirk, Keegan-Michael Key, Ed Westwick, Patton Oswalt, and even Vanessa Hudgens and Denis Leary for crying out loud.

I mean, these are all people who fans are actually still looking for.

Okay, maybe not Joan Cusack so much… but you know what I’m getting at.

Considering the stars involved, Freaks of Nature still managed to fly under the radar, possibly because the title was only just announced this week, even though it hits theaters next Friday. In case you’re keeping track, that’s a pretty clandestine approach for a horror movie with a Halloween release.

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The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes: Tying in the BBC Sherlock Special

Monday, October 19th, 2015 | Posted by Bob Byrne

Special_VictorianCostumeBack in July, what seems to be the most popular ‘The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes’ post appeared here at Black Gate. I looked at what I think went wrong with season three of the BBC’s Sherlock. I included the just-released ninety-second, ‘first look’ video for the upcoming Special, to be aired around Christmas. And I pointed out it seemed to be full of the “Look how clever we are” bits that I lamented in my post.

Now, just about everyone, including myself, loves that the Special is set in Victorian times; unlike the episodes in the first three seasons. Cumberbatch and Freeman would be given their first (and quite likely, only) opportunities to play Holmes and Watson in the Doyle mold. I view it as a chance for the show to get back on track and reclaim the multitude of fans it lost during season three.

That trailer was a fun little look at the Special and a second trailer came out earlier this month. “Fun” is not a word I would use. This is clearly not going to be a cute little Christmas episode, or a hunt for the owner of a goose and a hat (not a goose with a hat). In fact, it’s not about the yuletide at all. As you can see, it’s going to be some very serious business.

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