It’s a girl, it’s a machine, it’s the new Terminator

January 12, 2008

Summer Glau (Cameron) and Thomas Dekker (John Connor): The TV remake comes with an ominous tone and a high body count. (Jill Greenberg/FOX)ANDREW RYAN
From Friday’s Globe and Mail

Arnold Schwarzenegger warned us that the Terminator would return.

Along with several other catchphrases, the actor-turned-politician flatly informed moviegoers “I’ll be back” in the original 1984 film version of The Terminator and repeated the message in two successive sequels.

And the Terminator has come back, but on television, and this time the killing machine from the future is a sullen high-school girl with a wardrobe from Gap. Hasta la vista, baby.

Currently engaged in his role as Governator of California, Arnold is nowhere to be found in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Sunday on Fox and E! at 8 p.m. and Monday at 9 p.m.), but he’s there in spirit. In keeping with the movies, the TV remake comes with an ominous tone and a high body count.

Replacing 24 on Fox’s Monday-night lineup for the foreseeable future, The Sarah Connor Chronicles is the most ambitious launch of this strike-decimated TV season.

Large of budget and grand in scope, the midseason series revisits characters from the Terminator movies, with sharp focus on the mother-daughter relationship between the new Terminator named Cameron - an obvious nod to franchise creator James Cameron - and the strong female character of Sarah Connor, arguably the toughest single mom in cinema history. Meet the new Gilmore Girls.

Sticking closely to Terminator movie mythology, the two women are united in their fierce protection of John Connor (Thomas Dekker of Heroes), the supposed future leader of the human resistance that will rise up against the machines. [read the full article at Globe and Mail]

Galactica’s Aaron Douglas headlines Dallas All-Con

January 8, 2008

Battlestar Galactica’s Aaron Douglas plays Chief TyrolFans of Science Fiction, Anime, Renaissance Arts, Costuming, Collecting, Film, Television, and even Women’s Roller Derby will be converging on the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Addison (Dallas) Texas on March 7th-9th, 2008. Only one event can draw such an eclectic group together; Dallas’ extraordinary convention: All-Con.

All-Con’s three-day event schedule features Hollywood celebrities and caters to ranges of interest from the general public to fans of the exotic.

Aaron Douglas headlines the line-up of stars from television and film. Battlestar Galactica’s season finale revealed four of the Cylon “final five” humanoid models… all aboard the Galactica! As fans prepare to watch the final season, Aaron Douglas (Chief Tyrol) makes one of his final convention appearances before the action begins on the Sci-Fi Channel. Come and meet this remarkable actor at All-Con in Dallas. After season 4 of Battlestar Galactica begins, you may never be able to look at him in the same way again.

Also appearing all three days are Star Wars: Return of the Jedi actors Sean Crawford who portrayed “Yak Face” on Jabba’s sail barge and Tim Dry who was the Whiphid in Jabba’s palace. Tonya Kay who became “Creature” for season one of televisions Who Wants To Be A Super Hero, and Burton Gilliam (instantly recognizable for the characters he portrayed in epics such as Mel Brook’s Blazing Saddles and Back to the Future III) round out the celebrity line-up. All the celebrities will be speaking in discussion panels throughout the weekend and convention attendees will have the opportunity to chat briefly one-on-one with the actors during scheduled sessions. Fans may bring their own comic books, action figures, posters, DVDs, etc. for stars to autograph and every actor will also have photos available.

Participation events at All-Con for 2008 include a Cosplay Competition, 4th annual Ms. Star Wars Pageant, Model and Diorama Contest presented by Wilco! Models, Rocky Horror shadow cast performance, Super Hero Sunday Pageant, Women’s Roller Derby Fan Dinner, Discussion Panels, Workshops, Game Shows, Droid Hunt, and the traditional Saturday night Costume Contest which offers a $200 cash prize for the Best-of-Show winner.

Special activities and programming geared for kids aged 15 and under are scheduled for mornings and mid-days. (Persons under the age of 17 must be accompanied by their parent or guardian at all times during the convention.) Families who might not have ever considered attending a fan convention will be treated to a family friendly environment. After 5pm, parental guidance is encouraged.

Among the customary convention events attendees may find themselves in the Art Gallery, gazing into the Video Theater at either Anime or independent films, cheering on their favorite stormtrooper in the Imperial Olympics, discovering newfound treasures in the Dealer’s Room, watching late-night Burlesque, or captivated by demonstrations put on by costumers, women’s roller derby teams, renaissance reenactment groups, or exhibiting organizations with a myriad of interests. Always a treat, Artist Alley is populated with artisans ready to demonstrate their crafts for your entertainment, amusement, and education.

Participating organizations and clubs for 2008 include Scarborough Faire Renaissance Festival, Assassination City Roller Derby League, Wilco! Models, Mu Epsilon Kappa (UNT) Anime Club, Los Bastardos Rocky Horror shadow cast, 501st Legion’s Imperial Star Garrison (Star Wars costuming), the 6th Fleet Colonial Defense Fleet (Battlestar Galactica club), the Austin Browncoats (Firefly / Serenity club), and Galactic Productions (celebrity bookings). Prize support for the weekend is supplied in part by Lucasfilm Ltd., the Sci-Fi Channel, The Sabre Vault, and ADV Films. The registration sponsor for 2008 is NVidia.

For those who desire the full convention experience, the hotel has reduced its rates for rooms booked before February 15th using the booking code of: “ACN”. (Friday and Saturday nights the scheduled content runs through 2am, making an on-premise room to retire into a recommended plan.)

All-Con is an annual convention open to the public to attend, experience, and participate. Advance tickets for access all three days are only $25 for adults and $12 for children aged 3-12. Tickets may be purchased at Titan Comics, 3701 W. Northwest Highway in Dallas, or using a credit card at http://www.All-Con.org/tkt.html

Registration forms for the competitions (Ms. Star Wars, Cosplay, Model/Diorama, Super Hero Sunday, Saturday Night Costume Contest), art gallery, and independent film submission, and remaining dealer space may all be found at the main website: http://www.All-Con.org under the heading “Forms”.

All-Con, Dallas’ extraordinary 3-day convention is March 7-9, 2008 and takes place at the Dallas Crowne Plaza, 14315 Midway Road, Addison, Texas 75001. The doors open at 10am on Friday morning (for 11am seating at the first event) and content runs through 5pm on Sunday with brief closings after 2am Friday and Saturday night for next-day preparations. Celebrities charge a nominal fee for autographs to cover their costs to travel and to appear.

All media contacts, advertising requests, event sponsors, exhibitor inquiries, and general questions should be sent to: info @ All-Con.org where they will be routed to the correct department and responded to within 24 hours.

Keanu stars in "Day Earth Stood Still" remake, sadly

August 30, 2007


In 1951, when Michael Rennie embodied the alien Klaatu in Robert Wise’s The Day the Earth Stood Still he brought sensitivity and nuance to the role of a herald trying to understand humanity’s better nature, while delivering a warning to governments not to take their appetite for war into space, or else face Earth’s destruction from otherworldly forces.

Born out of the aftermath of atomic bombs dropped on Japan to end World War II and the start of the Cold War, the film stands as an iconic and prophetic protest against violence, politics, technology for the sake of waging war, and possible global annihilation over petty ideological conflicts. It is a message film whose message is still relevant today. Day is widely recognized one of the greatest science fiction films of all time, if not THE best (box office withstanding).

This week Twentieth Century Fox announced its plans to go The Invasion route and inflict another unnecessary and inferior update on moviegoers. For their remake of Day they have elected to totally miscast Keanu Reeves in the role of Klaatu, an actor capable of delivering as much depth and subtlety as IKEA furniture and who best sums up emotion with a dazed telegraphed “Whoa!” Perhaps Fox thinks classic means “not-franchisable-if-it’s-not-in-color.”

Let’s us hope the studio hires a director gifted enough to overcome the limitations of its leading man, or at least the sense to convert Keanu’s footage to CGI and animate over him. It could be that Fox is taking its cue from “Transformers,” sinking the budget into special effects and betting that a really cool CGI robot Gort will be the true star.

Sci-Fi On-Demand Channel ‘Illusion’ Launches in October

August 18, 2007


Illusion On-Demand, the first and only dedicated science fiction and fantasy on-demand channel is launching nation-wide this October.

Illusion On-Demand say in a press release this week that the channel will offer a wide variety of programming which includes live-action premieres, award-winning films, anime and news, Illusion wants to define the new face of Sci-Fi culture.

Launching with a library of over 300 programming hours, Illusion is confident that Sci-Fi lovers will find a new top destination on their VOD lineup.

Now and Then, Here and There
Included in Illusion’s initial lineup fans will find the acclaimed anime series “Now and Then, Here and There”, VOD premieres of several BBC series including “Strange”, a monthly selection of camp in the form of the “Troma Creature Feature” and the original roundtable discussion series “Analog: The Science of Fiction” moderated by editors of the renowned Analog: Science Fiction and Fact magazine. Also included in the initial lineup will be award-winning features, shorts, mini-series and the first shows on television dedicated comic book news and interviews.

Dekker Dreyer, president of Illusion, explains what makes Illusion On-Demand unique, “When my partners and I imagined an all sci-fi /fantasy VOD network we really had to work backwards. We decided that our programming needed to have a good mix of premieres, exciting movies, but all the while celebrating the classics. The sci-fi audience is very smart, and my partners and I have taken great care to program a diverse lineup that fans will really enjoy.”

Illusion’s respect for the fans and the people that made the genre great can be seen in the special events they’ve been a part of as they’ve built up to the coming Fall launch; events such as their recent tie-in with Hero Initiative and The CGC which brought fans together with industry legend Stan Lee on an Illusion-sponsored yacht during San Diego Comic Con. The event benefitted comic creators in need.

For the latest news about Illusion visit the official website, www.illusiontv.com. An upgraded site with Illusion’s lineup and web exclusives will be launching in early September.

Illusion will be launching free to the consumer in millions of homes via carriers like Verizon Fios on October 1st, 2007. Call your local cable operator to find out if Illusion will be available in your area.

Cinemacomics!

August 14, 2007

Jay Carvajal started out writing screenplays over ten years ago and continues to do so today. He is a lifelong comic book reader and is currently adapting several of his screenplays into comic book format.

His company, Cinemacomics, publishes quality comic books with a cinematic feel to them. The stories are self contained and run for as many issues as needed to tell the tale. Jay collaborates with truly talented artists and his several titles are accomplished with style, originality and great passion for the graphic medium.

“A sequel will always be a possibility if there is fan interest and a story to be told that will be as entertaining as the first,” says Jay.

During the coming years, Westerns, Sci-fi, and everything in between will be published at Cinemacomics and all will have a beginning, middle, and an end to each story.

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