‘Zeroids vs. Cubes’ Coming Soon!

There is no doubt that Gerry Anderson, the creator of iconic series like The Thunderbirds, Terrahawks, UFO, Space: 1999 and Space Precinct, is a creative genius.

That being said, I don’t think that he ever really grasped the potential of the Internet, as a creative avenue to enhance his existing series, or introduce new ideas, which doesn’t seem to be an area that his son, Jamie, is neglecting.

His most recent effort, Zeroids vs. Cubes, is a web series based on characters from his 1983 series, Terrahawks, which revolved around a Earth-based force (similar in some respects to The Thunderbirds) that come together to face the alien threat of Zelda and her robotic Cubes.

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.

Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful!

Terrahawks wasn’t the best Anderson series (I’d give that honor to either Space: 1999, UFO or perhaps Space Precinct–an incredibly underrated series that, if it were not for issues of an inconsistent tone would have probably been much bigger than it was) but like most of his shows, it was fairly obvious that he invested a lot of energy in vehicle design and special effects.

And while Zeriods vs. Cubes will be a cartoon and not necessarily the best medium to reflect Anderson’s typically excellent special effects, it will be worth seeing if it only introduces the world of Gerry Anderson to a larger (and Internet-bred) audience.

What Lies At The Heart Of Horror

I don’t claim to be a particularly deep person, though I think I understand what it is that’s at the heart of my enjoyment of horror movies.  I think that a good horror movie makes me feel.  Generally speaking, I have in the past been relatively numb to much that went on around me.

Living in such a way not only isn’t true to the way humans are supposed to live; it’s not true to what we are, which tends toward the communal.  it’s also not true to any attempt to being in touch with the Natural world around us, despite the glee which we tend to either to pave it over or otherwise beat it into submission.

A good horror movie–or a entertaining, well-done movie of any type, really–allows me for a little while to step out of the conventions and straitjackets that society impose, and to touch a purer, more primal self.

Which is probably why movies like Annabelle and Ouija are so mediocre:  They both hint at fears and emotions linked to something old and primal, but don’t deliver, because they do so so hesitantly and tentatively that it seems barely worth the effort (unless you’re talking about box office, which means that we are going to see many more Annabelles, because it was hugely profitable).

And if filmmakers are so afraid of revealing the Id, what could they possibly tell me, or anyone else, about it?

Which is why I am enthusiastic about movies like It Follows, The Babadook and Late Phases.  Not only are all three getting really good buzz, but apparently they touch upon the collective fears that keep us up at night, the things that turn a shadowy corner into something potentially dangerous.

It Follows International Trailer

The Babadook Trailer 2

Late Phases Trailer

The Ugly Side Of Fandom

If you’ve seen videos of cosplay or the various ‘Cons’ the first thing you notice is that they feature all sorts of quirky, colorful (and often brilliant) costumes, which is why it’s understandable if you thought that that was what comic geek culture was all about (besides costumes and the–virtual–worship of certain movies and comic characters).

And for the most part, you’d be right, though there are instances when a comic character that began “life” as a white person, and is reinterpreted as a person of color in the movies (Oddly, when a male character was reinterpreted as female, in the case of 2004 reboot of Battlestar Galactica, when Starbuck was underwent gender reassignment, fans only offered token resistance while most were relatively sanguine about it) when you often see the ugly side of fandom.

Before I begin, you’ll noticed that I deliberately don’t use the term “race” because, besides being a misnomer, it has always bothered me because white people are genetically identical to black people, yellow people, beige people, and so on.

I bring this up because the reaction to John Boyega, dressed as a stormtrooper in the beginning of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, has been pretty distressing for some members of the fan community.

Comic book fans tend to be sticklers for detail, which to a degree I can understand. If someone has been following a character for the better part of their lives, it probably feels amazing to see the character on the big screen; till that is, they see that the character has been interpreted in a manner opposite to what they have known and anticipated.

That being said, it feels that whenever an actor of color is cast in a prominent role in a comic book movie, some in the fan community lose all sense of propriety, and logic goes out the window.

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Mea Culpa: The ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Edition

I admit it, I shat the bed, figuratively speaking.  When I saw the trailer below, I assumed that it was for J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars sequel, The Force Awakens, and should have known better.

Why?  Because a huge clue was staring me right in the face the entire time, which I have posted just below.

Bat Robot logo

Bad Robot logo

For those who are unaware, Bad Robot is the production company owned by Abrams (Mutant Enemy is owned by Joss Whedon, which is why you see it credited at the beginning of Marvel’s Agent’s Of S.H.I.E.L.D.).

For it to appear on the latest Star Wars trailer would mean that mean that Disney and Lucasfilm were sharing the wealth, so to speak, with Bad Robot.

Which is a relatively stupid idea, if you give it any sort of thought because Disney just finished paying $4 billion for Lucasfilm and the last thing they would do is to share any potential profits with Bad Robot–which isn’t to imply that Abrams isn’t making a buttload of money from directing it, because he probably is.

I have posted the actual trailer below (The Force Awakens will always sound to me like the title of a movie on Lifetime, mainly because there’s something oddly feminine about it) and it’s pretty good, though not quite as dynamic as the fake.

StudioADI And ‘I Am Legend’

I liked most of I Am Legend, based on the story by Richard Matheson, though my admiration stopped at the computer-generated effects, which tended toward the cartoony.  What makes matters even worse was that StudioADI was actually working on practical special effects on the movie for a time (which actually effected the way that I looked at the director, Francis Lawrence for awhile, and not in a good way).

Included in the video are concept drawings, clay maquettes as well as actually makeup tests on models (it got that far before the approach was abandoned).

The makeup work looks pretty awesome and would have made a decent movie significantly better, which is why I am mystified they didn’t go with it.

Do You Remember When The Movie, Not The Trailer, Was The Event?

The halcyon days when trailers simply existed to inform viewers about a particularly movie, as opposed to being events in and of themselves, is pretty much a thing of the past.  If I had any doubts, then the email I received from The Hollywood Reporter removed them.

It explains that the trailer for the J.J. Abrams-directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens (I still can’t stand that subtitle) will be shown in 30 theaters from one end of the country to the next.

And I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to hear that there are instances where people attend showings just to see it, and leave as soon as it’s finished.  I am not sure what such a hunger for movie-related information means, though I have a feeling that it’s not a good thing because it reflects a preoccupation that is perhaps better reserved for more tangible, more real things.

Then again, keep in mind this is coming from someone who had has a huge nerdgasm whenever a new Marvel Studios movie (or Guillermo del Toro directs a new feature) turns up, so perhaps I am not the best person to make such points.

‘Prometheus:’ Neither Fish, Fowl Or ‘Alien’

What I referring to is in interviews how Ridley Scott often says that he feels as if he’s taken the Aliens as far as he’s able–keeping in mind that Prometheus as originally written was firmly entrenched in the Alien universe, till Damon Lindelof joined the project and excised most of those elements from Jon Spaiths’ screenplay–yet he keeps throwing in ideas peripherally related to Alien, though not nearly enough to satisfy fans of those movies.

And while I hate to sound to sound cynical, it feels to me that he knows damn well that fans of the Alien franchise–hungry for new material–will see just about anything that has xenomorphs in it.

And I get that “Alien fatigue” may have set in and that Scott feels as if he’s taken the property as far as he possibly could.  That being the case, why not leave it alone and let someone else handle it; though admittedly the Alien sequels done by other directors have been uneven at best, with Aliens being the most watchable and Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem the least.

And while I wouldn’t call myself a fan of either Requiem or to a lesser extent, Alien: Resurrection, I’d rather see the movies embrace the material wholeheartedly and unashamedly, as opposed to the tentative way that Scott seemed to approach Prometheus, and how I am reasonably sure he’ll approach Paradise, its sequel, as well.

Though what’s really odd is that Ridley Scott intends to include Aliens in Paradise at all, which bothers me because, while Prometheus is a gorgeous to look at–it winds up being neither fish nor fowl.

Or maybe I am irritated over Vickers running in a straight line when the Juggernaut happened to roll in her direction.  Or how the pseudo-Facehugger not only survived decontamination in the Med-Pod, but somehow thrived.  Or…since showing is always preferred to telling, why don’t I just let CinemaSins give you a guided tour.