Tagged: Terminator

REVIEW: The New 52 Futures End #1

FuturesEnd1

FUTURES END #1
Written by Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen
Art by Patrick Zircher

I won’t lie to you, this book’s got me confused.

It starts in the semi-distant future of the time of Batman Beyond, a world that has been taken over by the latest iteration of Brother Eye, a sentient satellite/robot/thingy, which has taken over the world in Terminator-esque fashion.  In an attempt to Fix What has Gone Wrong, Batman Beyond/Terry McGinnis comes back in time to kill someone, a person not specifically named as of yet, but since in this story, they maintain that now it’s Mr. Terrific who built Brother Eye, one might be able to guess he is the target.

The thing is, Terry has not gone back in time far enough.  He landed fives years in our future, a time where Michael Holt has already created Brother Eye and is in the process of introducing its technology into society.  Terry says they’re seven years too late, but he landed five years in the current DCU’s future, which means he should have landed about two years in its past, relative to our present, which would be a little bit before the narrative of the New 52 even started

AUSTIN-crossEyed

Timeline worries notwithstanding, another big problem here is that we’ve already seen Brother Eye in the New 52, in the pages of Dan Didio and Keith Giffen’s OMAC, and he had no connection to Mr. Terrific at all.  At the same time the Mister Terrific book was going (and I was enjoying it) and there was no mention of any Brother Eye technology at all.  Indeed, when they ended the book, they tied it into the coming Earth 2 title instead.  If one wanted to go there, one would have to assume that this book spoils to some degree the events in the aforementioned Earth 2, wherein Michael is currently in somewhat dire straits.

I must assume it will be explained, but we’re once again in a position where DC seems to be reversing itself on the storylines of a new universe that’s not yet even three years old.  This appears to be the third version of Brother Eye in only five years, and the fourth in total.  In the previous iteration of the DCU, Brother Eye was created by Batman as a fail-safe system to take down his fellow heroes should the need ever arise.  The system gets out of hand…

and they have to take it down, a goal at which they only partly succeeded, as various OMACs kept popping up in various places.

In the New 52, Brother Eye is back in control of a single OMAC, in the person of one Kevin Kho.  After the brief (but enjoyable) run of his title, he popped up in various titles, most recently the Suicide Squad, mere weeks ago during the events of Forever Evil.

(And this is all over and above the original OMAC series created by jack Kirby during his brief but creative period that he was at DC, a period that also brought us The New Gods, another stable of heroes too good for DC to not keep using.)

So I’ve no idea how these stories from the current DCU will be tied to the new facts presented in this first issue of the weekly book (which got a tease last weekend as part of Free Comic Book Day.

The story as presented has some obvious parallels to The Terminator, but older DC fans will also recall the MaxiMegaCrossover Armageddon 2001, where a hero of our time chooses to take control of the world, forcing a person to come back to the past, discover which her is was, and stop them.

The book suffers from a weakness not of the story, but the premise itself.  Taking place five years in the future of the DCU, it can be safely assumed that the events of the story will never come to pass, so we’re effectively reading a just short of a year-long(more on that in a moment) “imaginary story” that will have no impact or connection to the ongoing narrative of the regular titles.  Such stories are lots of fun to read in graphic novel or other one-shot format, but 40-odd issues at three or four bucks each?  Not so sure.  I mean, Trinity was entertaining, and Countdown…a bit less so, but both ended up being very expensive stand-alone stories, and they got a lot of people quite annoyed as a result.

They’ve certainly started the death toll quickly, with one major DC down already, and one super-team which was getting positive press for apparently getting a major spot in the book…suddenly not.  But again, since the book takes place in a nebulous future that will almost certainly never take place, there’s no sense of loss at all.  I expect we’ll hear neither hue nor cry at these, or any deaths in the book, as even the most casual reader will suss the fact that they Won’t Really Count.

There’s another weekly starting in October that will connect with Futures End in some way.  I think it takes place in the present in the DCU, which, if so, would still be later than when the string of events supposedly started.  How they’ll connect, or if it will be a story you could enjoy on its own, we shall have to see.

But here’s the thing – Dan Didio has already let slip that all three weeklies (the third being Batman Eternal, which is quite good so far) will not all be a year long, as the past weeklies have been, but will all be ending in March of 2015.  This certainly gives the impression that something will be coming in April of 2015, which only happens to be the 30th anniversary of Crisis on Infinite Earths.

So DC has effectively gotten people to already half-discount the current story, making it seem like it’s nothing more than a prologue to Whatever’s Coming Next.  It’s the exact same mistake they made with Trinity War and Forever Evil.  They sold Trinity War as a Big Event, but as soon as news (and the solicitations) for Forever Evil came out, interest in Trinity War all but ceased as people assumed that FE was the real Big Event.  It’s a process they’ve been using since Infinite Crisis, but now that people are hip to the move, interest in the current book drops as soon as news (or even just rumors) of the next Event come to light.  Forever Evil has ended, though the last issue of the book has been delayed over a month, resulting in several books coming out that take place after the ending.  And largely, save for Dick Grayson, not a heap of a lot seems to have changed. Lots of rebuilding, some strained relations between folks who knew Grayson, but pretty much it seems to be back to first position.

Mixed into the coming months is also Grant Morrison’s next mini Multiversity, which also deals with other worlds of the DCU, and will (assuming it doesn’t get delayed, because how could that ever happen on a Grant Morrison book?) will also be ending next Spring.

So DC has certainly done a good job of getting people interested in next April.  Problem is, there’s a whole Gorram year between now and then, a year full of books that DC needs to keep people interested in.  If people start to get a whiff of a Clever Theory that DC plans to pull another massive change to their books, we may end up with a year-long lame-duck session, with people dropping books they presume (correctly or no) are going to go away, which will only serve to make that more likely a possibility.

In short, DC needs to make its books exciting and engrossing right now, and not dangle a carrot into the future and ask us to trust them.  Sorry but fool me…lessee, carry the four…

Let’s just say I hope we’ll all be here come next April.

The Secret World of Arrietty Opens Tomorrow

The Anime adaptation of Mary  Norton’s classic novel The Borrowers, known as The Secret World of Arrietty, opens tomorrow across the nation. Walt Disney continues its associate with Studio Ghibli with this release, featuring a stellar array of American vocal talent as seen in this picture with Amy Poehler, Bridgit Mendler, and the legendary Carol Burnett.

The G-rated film features the vocal talents of Mendler, Poehler, Burnett, Will Arnett, David Henrie, and Moises Arias. The movie was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi from a screenplay by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa. Producers of the English translation, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, hired Karey Kirkpatrick to handle the screenplay.

Residing quietly beneath the floorboards are little people who live undetected in a secret world to be discovered, where the smallest may stand tallest of all.

Arrietty (voice of Bridgit Mendler), a tiny, but tenacious 14-year-old, lives with her parents (voices of Will Arnett and Amy Poehler) in the recesses of a suburban garden home, unbeknownst to the homeowner and her housekeeper (voice of Carol Burnett). Like all little people, Arrietty (AIR-ee-ett-ee) remains hidden from view, except during occasional covert ventures beyond the floorboards to “borrow” scrap supplies like sugar cubes from her human hosts. But when 12-year-old Shawn (voice of David Henrie), a human boy who comes to stay in the home, discovers his mysterious housemate one evening, a secret friendship blossoms. If discovered, their relationship could drive Arrietty’s family from the home and straight into danger.

Notes:

  • Hayao Miyazaki is one of the most influential and admired filmmakers working in animation today and is a major figure in the Japanese cinematic landscape. His films have inspired moviegoers and colleagues around the world, from Pixar’s John Lasseter to fantasist Guillermo del Toro to Chinese director Tsui Hark, and consistently top the box office in his native Japan.
  • Director Hiromasa Yonebayashi, a top animator at Studio Ghibli, was responsible for the animation in a signature scene in “Ponyo,” in which Ponyo runs atop ocean waves.
  • English language voice talent director Gary Rydstrom is a seven-time Academy AwardÒwinning sound designer/mixer (“Terminator 2: Judgment Day”). He joined Pixar Animation Studios as an animation film director in 2003.  His directorial debut for the studio was the Academy Award®-nominated short film “Lifted,” and he directed the short film “Hawaiian Vacation,” which was released with “Cars 2” in June 2011.
  • Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are highly successful producing partners whose films, separately and together, include The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, E.T., Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, the Indiana Jones films and the Jurassic Park films. In total, Kennedy and Marshall have earned 11 Oscar® nominations.
  • English language screenplay writer Karey Kirkpatrick’s credits include Spiderwick Chronicles and Over the Hedge, which he also directed (with Tim Johnson).

First look at The Secret World of Arrietty

Walt Disney has released the first images for their forthcoming Japanese import The Secret World of Arrietty.

Residing quietly beneath the floorboards are little people who live undetected in a secret world to be discovered, where the smallest may stand tallest of all.  From the legendary Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Ponyo) comes The Secret World of Arrietty, an animated adventure based on Mary Norton’s acclaimed children’s book series The Borrowers.

Arrietty (voice of Bridgit Mendler), a tiny, but tenacious 14-year-old, lives with her parents (voices of Will Arnett and Amy Poehler) in the recesses of a suburban garden home, unbeknownst to the homeowner and her housekeeper (voice of Carol Burnett). Like all little people, Arrietty (AIR-ee-ett-ee) remains hidden from view, except during occasional covert ventures beyond the floorboards to “borrow” scrap supplies like sugar cubes from her human hosts. But when 12-year-old Shawn (voice of David Henrie), a human boy who comes to stay in the home, discovers his mysterious housemate one evening, a secret friendship blossoms. If discovered, their relationship could drive Arrietty’s family from the home and straight into danger. The English language version of The Secret World of Arrietty was executive produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, and directed by Gary Rydstrom. The film hits theaters Feb. 17, 2012. (more…)

NYCC 2011 Cosplay: The Biggest %$#@! Hand Cannon I’ve Ever Seen…

…along with Wonder Woman, the Terminator directing traffic, Cobra Commander giving free hugs, the no-so-White Queen, and the cutest little Dalek ever. Let’s take a look, shall we?

The Point Radio: ‘Twilight New Moon’ Exclusives

The Point Radio: ‘Twilight New Moon’ Exclusives

Love it or hate it, this weekend TWILIGHT NEW MOON dominates pop culture. We’ve got an exclusive visit from stars Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner direct from this week’s whirlwind red carpet premieres, plus new air dates for LOST and CHUCK and it’s true, a Whedon will be writing TERMINATOR.

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‘Dollhouse’ provides employment for Whedon regulars Glau and Denisof

‘Dollhouse’ provides employment for Whedon regulars Glau and Denisof

In a recession, you do a mitzvah find work for your friends and people you’ve worked with before. No one follows that maxim more nowadays than Joss Whedon.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Whedon’s Dollhouse added five new cast members: Summer Glau (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Firefly/Serenity) as Bennett, a Dollhouse employee who shares a past with character Echo (Eliza Dushku); and Alexis Denisof (Angel) is a US Senator heading a witch hunt to track the hidden organization. Also joining up are Battlestar Galatica veterans Jamie Bamber, who will play a charming businessman and husband to Echo; and Michael Hogan joins the cast hoping to stop a killing rampage.

We also understand that Keith Carradine (Dexter) becomes an arch rival of Dollhouse leader Adelle, but we can’t figure out what role he played on Buffy the Vampire Slaye— oh! He must have been one of the Gentlemen from “Hush”.

National Film Registry Recognizes SF, Fantasy

National Film Registry Recognizes SF, Fantasy

Every year, the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry names 25 films for historic preservation.  This year’s list was announced yesterday and we applaud the inclusion of several genre offerings including The Invisible Man and the first Terminator film.  The Perils of Pauline, the first movie serial, makes the list and is seminal for the way it influenced moviemakers and storytellers, notably comic book writers, ever since.

Here’s a look at this year’s list:

The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
John Huston’s brilliant crime drama contains the recipe for a meticulously planned robbery, but the cast of criminal characters features one too many bad apples. Sam Jaffe, as the twisted mastermind, uses cash from corrupt attorney Emmerich (Louis Calhern) to assemble a group of skilled thugs to pull off a jewel heist. All goes as planned — until an alert night watchman and a corrupt cop enter the picture. Marilyn Monroe has a memorable bit part as Emmerich’s "niece."

Deliverance (1972)
Four Atlanta professionals (Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronnie Cox and Jon Voight) head for a weekend canoe trip — and instead meet up with two of the more memorable villains in film history (Billy McKinney and Herbert Coward) in this gripping Appalachian "Heart of Darkness." With dazzling visual flair, director John Boorman and cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond infuse James Dickey’s novel with scenes of genuine terror and frantic struggles for survival battling river rapids — and in the process create a work rich with fascinating ambiguities about "civilized" values, urban-versus-backwoods culture, nature, and man’s supposed taming of the environment.

(more…)

Whedon Gives ‘Dollhouse’ Update

Whedon Gives ‘Dollhouse’ Update

When it comes to Joss Whedon’s new television series Dollhouse, "playtime" is the last word on anyone’s lips.

The upcoming Fox show has experienced some pretty serious road bumps since its inception. A reshoot of the series pilot was ordered, shifting the originally shot first episode into the second episode slot. Soon after, a filming hiatus was announced to refocus the tone and direction of the series. Most recently, the full season pick-up of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has left some Whedonites wondering whether there’s an adequate prime time slot for Dollhouse.

Now, Joss Whedon’s breaking the silence about the mishaps on his blog, Whedonesque.

"Basically, the Network and I had different ideas about what the tone of the show would be," Whedon writes. "Their desires were not surprising: up the stakes, make the episodes more stand-alone, stop talking about relationships and cut to the chase. Oh, and add a chase. That you can cut to. Nothing I hadn’t heard before on my other shows (apparently my learning curve has no bendy part) but frustrating as hell given our circumstances – a pilot shot, scripts written, everybody marching together/gainfully employed… and then a shutdown."

Despite the hardships, Whedon states that "nothing essential has changed about the universe [of Dollhouse]. The ideas and relationships that intrigued me from the start are all there (though some have shifted) … and the progression of the first thirteen eps has me massively excited."

Whedon also writes that Eliza Dushku’s performance is nothing short of "strong, radiant and unmistakable," calling her an actress "who could coast on talent and never ever does."

"Some things I’d intended to hold back are laid out much sooner," Whedon continues about the show’s pacing, "and some are rolling out more slowly." Part of these pacing issues, he clarifies, include the full scrapping of the original pilot in favor of the reshot version. He doesn’t say whether or not the original pilot is still set to be the series’ second episode despite previous reports.

Other than that, there are some casting changes, as the Dollhouse head of security, Laurence Dominic (Reed Diamond), is sticking around the show longer than the single first episode he was originally planned for.

"Most of my problems seem to involve my actors making themselves indispensable," Whedon concedes, then clarifies: "This is the good problem kind."

The first promos for the series, marked only as "coming soon", began airing during the World Series broadcasts and looks pretty cool.

Review: ‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’ Episode #206

Review: ‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’ Episode #206

Note: Click here to relive the past episode!

This Week’s Operation: “The Tower Is Tall But The Fall Is Short
From Fox: “What would a T-1001 need with a Doctor? Sarah, John and Cameron may soon find out as they track down another name on their list. Elsewhere, a woman from Derek’s past surprises him in the present.”

Damage Analysis
“The Tower Is Tall But The Fall Is Short” is the first episode of [[[Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles]]] in two weeks, and it’s about as good as the show typically offers. There’s interesting character development, including the introduction of a new player in the war against the machines.

The episode focuses largely on Catherine Weaver, the secret liquid metal Terminator in charge of ZeiraCorp. As per the episode summary, it looks like Weaver is not a T-1000, but a T-1001. Big difference, folks. It’s an established fact that Terminators can impersonate preexisting humans, but this episode insinuates that the Weaver we know has been impersonating the true Weaver for at least a couple of years. Catherine’s awkwardness around her daughter Savannah makes a lot of sense given that, well, she’s a robot and the kid’s a kid. Not exactly a match made in heaven, unless you’re Arnold Schwarzenegger. Shirley Manson might not have the sickest acting chops on the planet, but she pulls the part off serviceably, all the while adding an interesting new villain in the mix. And, once again, we feel awful for poor Savannah, who has no idea that mommy dearest has more in common with a toaster than she does with her.

(more…)