There are plenty of sci-fi movies and such on the horizon, and it's time once
again for us to tell you what to think about them. Unfortunately for you, we
rarely agree. So take from these opinions what you can. Stupid free will!
Your esteemed panel of previewers:
- Jayme Blaschke, fictional chief.
- Joe Crowe, handsome devil.
- Mark Finn, lead spinebuster.
- Peggy Hailey, books barista.
- Shane Ivey, executive pooty-toot.
- Rick Klaw, ape liason.
- Jason Myers, movie gladiator.
- Kevin Pezzano, anime playground attendant.
No Release Date
Neil Gaiman's MirrorMask (www.sonypictures.com/movies/mirrormask)
Jason: Gaiman is my hero. Which means he's due for a Wachowski-sized
grumpy fan backlash any day now. I saw ten minutes of this at the San Diego
Comic Con. It looks absolutely gorgeous. If it gets released at all in theaters,
it'll make less money than Donnie Darko but live forever on the shelves
of discerning art nerds everywhere.
Joe: There's no release date for Johnny Punchclock and
Sally Housecoat, but it just played at Sundance for the entertainment elite
up on their ivory horses. With a name like Gaiman, it's gotta be good.
Rick: I'm a little worried about the story since Gaiman has
proven to be a one-trick pony with his ideas, but with Dave McKean behind the
visuals this could easily be one of the most graphically interesting films of
Kevin: Written by Neil Gaiman, directed by Dave McKean, and
done by Henson? I am there.
Mark: We'll see about this one. Gaiman's biggest problem
is that he's not very good with endings (see also: Jonathan Carroll). Since
Hollywood already has a Tim Burton, why would we need a British version
to go with it?
Peggy: Finn, I get you on the endings problem, but I'm taking
a wait and see attitude on this one. 'Cause I like Jonathan Carroll, endings
inertia be damned.
Jayme: Wow. Dazzling is the first thing that comes to mind.
I loved the Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, and this looks like
it takes that Henson legacy and amps it up to the 10th power. I'll definitely
be in line opening day — if any of the crummy theatres around me choose
to show it.
The War of the Worlds (www.pendragonpictures.com)
Rick: This is indeed something to celebrate, a (potentially)
faithful version of Wells' classic novel. I predict this will be better than
than the Spielberg/Cruise farce.
Jason: If it has those glossy BBC production values, I'm
Peggy: Hey, you've got to admire the sheer British sneakery
of pretending to film a whole 'nother movie so that their production wouldn't
get shut down by Spielberg & Co.
Jayme: I desperately want this to be good. Its heart is in
the right place. Shoestring special effects can be forgiven, but the coarse,
pedestrian direction on display in the trailer doesn't fill me with confidence.
War of the Worlds meets Masterpiece Theatre?
Mark: Will the Martians discover Sudafed before they get
wiped out by the common cold? Do I smell a sequel? You betcha! I hear the tripods
will be cool, at least. That's something. And you have a choice between this
and the Tom Cruise version. Do you like your SF gay or not-gay?
Joe: Foppery vs. Martians! They'll thwonk 'em with their
bumberchutes! But the big question is: How in the name of faggots and peas are
we from the Colonies going to see this?
Sin City (co-directed by Frank Miller; www.sincitythemovie.com)
Joe: It's the Year of Frank! If this one has a magic bracelet
in it like Elektra did, I quit.
Mark: I was initially skeptical about this film, but after
seeing some of the painstakingly recreated scenes, I became a believer. I think
this movie is going to rock. Visually, this will equal Sky Captain. Mark
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (http://hitchhikers.movies.go.com)
Joe: If they don't sell a towel as part of the movie merchandise,
someone is an idiot. Jason: Hey, I already have a promo towel.
Sadly, it's barely big enough to dry my dishes.
Rick: Who the hell knows? The trailers look good. The whole
love-triangle thing makes me nervous.
Mark: Call me cynical, but I'm not looking forward to the
Disneyfication of this book series. Doesn't mean it won't be good, but I'm still
not relishing the Mouse getting his money-grubbing four-fingered hands on it.
Kevin: It looks surprisingly close to the tone of the original.
Count me in.
Peggy: See, I want a Hooloovoo. Or maybe an extra Zaphod-head.
I'm just not sure how well this will translate to film — some things are
just funnier when you read them.
Jayme: The trailers look promising. But this is one that
you struggle to keep expectations low, because the potential for disaster is
so high. But they've got the sperm whale! How can you not get excited about
the death plunge of the sperm whale!?
Shane: Why does Marvin the Paranoid Android look like GIR
from Invader Zim now? Will being a cute robot with a giant head make
suicidal Marvin funnier?
Man-Thing (straight to Sci Fi Channel; www.scifi.com/manthing)
Jayme: If this isn't worse than the execrable Return
of the Swamp Thing, I'll be surprised.
Shane: This one is sliding fast down the rungs of movie crapitude.
Next stop: Straight to the Dealer's Room tables.
Mark: Sci-Fi Channel? HAW HAW!
Peggy: Thank the gods they got rid of Farscape so
they could devote their time to QUALITY sci-fi programming. Sheesh.
Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith (www.starwars.com)
Joe: WOOKIEES. WOOKIEES. WOOKIEES. Other than that, not too
Rick: Great trailers, but really who cares anymore?
Mark: Will George Lucas wrap up the dumptruck-sized plot
holes? Or will it be more of the same? I don't know if even the wookies can
save this one for me. Sorry, Joe.
Jayme: If this follows in the footsteps of the final hour
of Attack of the Clones, then I'll be very happy indeed. If it follows
in the footsteps of the first hour of Attack of the Clones, then Lucas
deserves all the crap fanboys fling in his direction.
Jason: Angry, disappointed, disenfranchised, disenchanted
sci-fi fans, please please please boycott this movie. I want good seats, and
I don't want to have to smell your eau de lingering bitterness.
Peggy: I love me some wookiees, and the thought of a whole
army of 'em gets me kind of tingly, but I'm not sure that this is reason enough
to see the movie. I would say that I'd rather stay home and watch the original
movies, but Lucas has taken that away from me, too. Filkin' Lucas.
Kevin: Lucas already owns my soul. He might as well get my
last seven bucks, too.
Shane: See, the problem is, this movie is being directed
and written by George Lucas. George Lucas is an absolutely terrible writer and
director, with too much ego and money to admit his own failings. How can he
possibly make the choices that would be necessary to make this movie good?
I'll see it twice, max.
"Smart-mouthed Web sites shouldn't make me
They wouldn't like me when I'm angry."
NBC's Hercules miniseries (with some muscular guy, Timothy
Dalton, Sean Astin, and Leelee Sobieski; www.hallmarkent.com)
Joe: Kevin Sorbo, the Lee Majors of the
1990s, has colored this character forever. In your face, mythology!
Rick: Is this the Hobbit version?
Mark: Thank God Tim (Prince Barin) Dalton finally got some
work, and this time, it's nothing cheesy! At last he'll be part of a class-act
production . . . oh, wait . . . did you say NBC miniseries?
Well, at least Sean Astin isn't going to be typecast . . . is he?
Shane: "I can't carry this dog of a miniseries, Mr.
Hercules — but I can carry you!"
Jayme: If they open with Herc slaughtering his wife and sons,
okay, I'm in. If they open with wacky anachronistic banter, I'm out. Simple
Peggy: No Xena? Not watching.