Sunday, September 10, 2006

New Blog!

I've begun a new blog to take advantage of Google's updated Blogger Beta system: roadkillbuddha.

I'll be leaving the View From Oblivion up as an archive.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

And So It Begins...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Everybody's Watching YouTube

New York Times: Thanks to YouTube Fans, 'Nobody's Watching' May Return from the Dead

USA Today: Video Stream Turns Into Deluge

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth of July...

...courtesy of Alex Ross.

Dear She-Hulk...

...I'm pretty sure we're on our third chance by now, at the very least. (Click to enlarge the covers above and you'll actually be able to read the word balloons).

Monday, July 03, 2006

Crack? Seriously?

So the space shuttle launch was scrubbed this weekend because astronauts were trying to smuggle crack into outer space? That seems to raise more questions than it answers, honestly.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Mysterio Man

Rumor has it that Bruce Campbell's recurring character in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man flicks will finally get a name in the third movie: Quentin Beck, better known to Spidey fans as Mysterio.

Sounds good to me. When Bruce signed my copy of If Chins Could Kill at the Houston premiere of Man With The Screaming Brain, I told him that I thought Raimi should make him the villain of the final Spider-Man film (last I read, Raimi was planning on doing 6 or so), giving him the longest origin story in movie history. Bruce didn't care for the idea, saying that the supervillains have to spend too much time in elaborate make-up. I pointed out that he wore a ton of make-up as the aging Elvis Presley in Bubba Ho-Tep, to which he simply replied that everyone wants to play the King, baby. During the Q&A that followed, someone else asked Bruce why Raimi didn't give him a larger role in the Spider-Man movies, to which Bruce replied that (a) if not for him, the multi-million-dollar franchise would be known as The Human Spider, and (b) he's the only person in the movies who consistently defeats Spider-Man.

A "movie version" of Quentin Beck/Mysterio appears in the videogame based on Spider-Man 2. When Spidey isn't worrying about Dr. Octavius' physics experiment or trying to stop his villainous rampage as Doctor Octopus, he has to contend with Beck, a Hollywood stuntman, special effects artist, and supervillain wannabe. Beck publicly accuses Spider-Man of being a fraud and challenges him to an arena competition. After his humiliating defeat, Beck returns as Mysterio and uses his illusions to stage a ridiculously unconvincing alien invasion. Amusingly, not only does Bruce Campbell narrate the Spider-Man 2 game, but when Mysterio is trying to impersonate an alien, he says "Klaatu Barada Nikto," the famous phrase from The Day the Earth Stood Still that also serves as the magic incantantion that Bruce (as Ash) screws up in Raimi's Army of Darkness.

The trailer for Spider-Man 3 looks awesome, and the only thing that would make the movie better is if we get to see Bruce Campbell purchasing a giant fishbowl to use as a helmet for his costume. In the meantime, I'm going to see about transplanting Ash's head onto Mysterio's body...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Why Nobody's Watching

A year ago, when the Global Frequency pilot escaped onto the internet, I wrote a blog post suggesting that Internet Voting could greatly improve the quality of television programming. Instead of leaving it up to network executives to decide what America wants to watch, TV pilots could be posted on the internet, allowing audiences to select the new lineup for each season.

After all, Family Guy and Futurama were both "uncancelled" after people voted with their wallets by purchasing copious amounts of DVDs.

The networks look like they might be getting their feet wet with a few online contests. FX solicited comedy shorts to promote the return of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," offering the winner the chance to turn their idea into a pilot with a $50,000 budget. Comedy Central is running a similar Test Pilots contest to procure more content for Motherload. And fans of "The Office" can enter their homemade promos for the show in NBC's contest.

YouTube has proven that my Internet Voting model is viable, and the networks seem to be paying attention. "Nobody's Watching," a pilot that the WB inexplicably passed on, has become extremely popular on the video-sharing website, and may find a home on television after all. Check out part 1, part 2, and part 3. (Battlestar Galactica fans will recognize "Billy," a.k.a. Paul Campbell, as one of the leads). And NBC will be using YouTube to promote its fall lineup this year.

It's time to send the focus groups home. Every broadcast network and cable station should just cut to the chase and start uploading all of their pilots directly onto YouTube. Let viewers vote for what they want to watch next season. Seriously, why isn't this a no-brainer?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Stephen Colbert, the Superfriends, and the Legion of Doom

I stumbled across this Daily Show clip of Stephen Colbert covering the 2000 election on YouTube this afternoon. I was looking for a clip from this week's Colbert Report about Superman's supposed homosexuality, but this is even funnier.

Anyway, Bryan Singer apparently isn't satisfied with the "Is Superman Gay?" controversy, and is trying to stir things up even more by saying that the end of Superman Returns changes Superman forever. Sci Fi Wire has the story.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Rebooting Trek

By now all serious and casual Star Trek fans ("Trekkers" and "Trekkies," respectively) are aware that the eleventh Star Trek movie will be produced and directed by J.J. Abrams, of Lost, Alias, and m:i:iii fame. This is, for the most part, great news. Abrams' proven creativity, success, and industry clout might actually make it possible to get the Trek franchise back on track, a feat that has seemed nigh impossible for many years now. It's enough to fill even some of the most cynical among us with a glimmer of hope that Trek XI might actually be a good movie.

But as I look forward to what could be, I also find myself looking back to what might have been. The last time the rumor mill had a "name" attached to a future Trek project, it was J. Michael Straczynski, creator of Babylon 5, the revolutionary science fiction series that many fans described as "Star Trek done right." It seemed natural that if anyone could revive the Trek franchise it would be him, even though it was hard to imagine what anyone could do to breathe life back into the Star Trek universe.

Now that the Abrams announcement has been made, however, we no longer have to imagine. Bryce Zabel has posted the treatment he and Straczynski pitched to Paramount on his blog, For What It's Worth. You can read for yourself what their take on a new Trek series would have been.

The proposal calls for a complete reboot of Star Trek, essentially giving the Original Series from the '60s the same treatment that Ron Moore later gave Battlestar Galactica. Citing Marvel Comics' Ultimate line as an example of what they were striving for, Straczynski and Zabel wanted to take the best elements from Classic Trek (such as the relationship between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy) and give everything a modern update.

This is an idea I endorse whole-heartedly. Star Trek continuity has become so glutted after decades of piling it on that it cries out for a fresh start. However, when I described the pitch to my filmmaking partner Victor on the phone today, he stated unequivocally that Straczynski's idea never stood a chance of being implemented.

"Do you remember the outcry from Battlestar Galactica fans when the new mini-series came out?" he asked. And he had a point. Compared to Star Trek's, BSG's fanbase was practically non-existent (just a frak-tion of the size, as Vic would say), yet they managed to raise quite a stink about the changes that Moore made to their beloved series. Now consider what the reaction from the obsessively -- the disturbingly -- passionate Trek fans would be. There might be riots. Seriously. Because if there's anything that Trekkers are afraid of, it's change.

But it sounds like they've got nothing to fear from Abrams' crew. If anything, it sounds like Trek XI might be the exact opposite of Straczynski's vision.

According to a recent article at Movies Online, everyone involved in the project, including Damon Lindelof, Bryan Burk, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (all of whom have worked with Abrams on Lost, Alias, and/or Mission Impossible 3) is not only a long-time fan of Gene Roddenberry's venerable creation, they're also steeped in Star Trek continuity and minutiae. Their knowledge of Trek lore spans not only the decades of movies and television series, but the decades of novels as well.

Someone on Abrams' Trek XI crew is quoted as saying:

"We're very mindful of being totally true to the mythology... and this is not a case of trying to come in and be so clever that you're going to reinvent everything. It's a case of coming in and using the stuff you know is great and you know really works and not violating anything that's come before it." (italics mine)

While some in the Straczynski or Moore camps might criticize this as a slavish devotion to continuity, you've got to admit that creating a new Star Trek movie that doesn't contradict any aspect of Trek's 40 years of (internally inconsistent) continuity is a hell of an undertaking. I admire their dedication, but I don't envy their burden of keeping the obsessive-compulsive legions of Star Trek fans satisfied. That's an impossible mission.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

World War Z

Hoo-boy, I loves me some zombies. Max Brooks, author of the The Zombie Survival Guide, has a new book coming out in September, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War...
It began with rumours from China about another pandemic. The reports were fragmentary and confused. A world still reeling from bird flu and limited nuclear exchanges had had enough of apocalypse. Most people just wanted to rebuild their lives. Then the cases started to multiply and what had looked like the stirrings of a criminal underclass, even the beginnings of a revolution, soon revealed itself to be much, much worse. Faced with a future of mindless, man-eating horror, humanity was forced to accept the logic of world government and face events that tested our sanity and our sense of reality. Maybe, Brooks argues, the zombies brought us back to life. Based on extensive interviews with survivors and key players in the ten-year fight-back against the horde, World War Z brings the very finest traditions of American journalism to bear on what is surely the most incredible story in the history of civilisation.
According to SCI FI Wire, it's already been optioned by Hollywood:
Paramount Pictures acquired screen rights to Max Brooks' upcoming satirical novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, to be produced by Brad Pitt's Plan B, which outbid Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way for the rights; the book deals with the aftermath of a war against a legion of flesh-eating zombies and is due in the fall, Variety reported.
Meanwhile, according to the book's publisher:
Max Brooks is the author of 2003’s prescient Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead. He has since received hundreds of awards and honorary degrees from around the world. Last year he received the joint Papal and UN citation, Pro Humanitate.
Seems only right, considering how much the man has contributed to the world's anti-zombie efforts.

Self Storage Tips

For more Self Storage Tips, check out the Irony Coast channel.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Self Storage Tips #2: Lost