Official Comic-Con Trailer – Fear The Walking Dead

Ah, that’s the way they’re going to go!  For awhile I was wondering how AMC brass were going to approach the upcoming AMC partner series to their critical and ratings darling, The Walking Dead.

Now I get it.  It seems that the upcoming spinoff will spend most of its time dealing with the beginning of the zombie threat, when it was in its nascent stages, and could have possibly been averted.

You can almost call it a prequel, in the sense that what takes place in the Fear The Walking Dead are the happenings that Sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) was in a coma for.

In other words, think of The Walking Dead as The Road Warrior, and Fear The Walking Dead as Mad Max.  That being said, I am still not sure that there’s enough there to differentiate it from the series that animates it (at least not for long), though it’s a bit more clever than I though it would be.

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Heroes Reborn – The Extraordinary Among Us (Trailer)

I really liked this trailer for NBC’s upcoming Heroes Reborn, despite that fact that it felt very familiar (especially if you’ve seen Netflix’s Daredevil or Sense8).  That being said, the series that inspired it was really cutting edge at the time, though through a combination of a writers strike, bad timing and–in my opinion–bad writing pretty much doomed the series in its first incarnation.

But what’s past is past, and here’s to a more heroic future.

Gerry Anderson’s Firestorm – Puppet Movement Tests

I am genuinely psyched for movies like Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War and Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice but what I am even more interested in is something that we won’t be seeing on the big screen, and that’s Gerry Anderson’s Firestorm.

Originally sold by creators Anderson and John Needham to a Japanese company, it was developed into anime.  The rights have reverted back to Anderson’s estate, and his son, Jamie, is developing it into a series.

To anyone familiar to Anderson’s productions, a strong suit tends to be the technology on display, and Firestorm won’t be any different( if the cartoon inspired by Anderson and Needham’s work is any indication).  That being said, I am more interested for what has been absent from Anderson’s productions for a long while, and that’s actual puppets.

Below is a motion test, where they’re putting one through its paces, and it looks glorious.  There’s something about an actual object–as opposed to an accumulation of pixels–that’s so cool.  And sure, there’re lots of things that you can do with CGI that you can’t with puppets (though they benefit from improvements in technology like anything else), but I am okay with that because hopefully it will never turn to an either or type of situation.

Puppetry reminds me of a something hand-crafted, that refuses to go easily into the mists of time.  As a result, it manages to be retro and and modern all at the same time, and I can’t wait to see it.

Fear The Walking Dead: Nick’s Escape – Teaser Trailer

A teaser trailer for Fear The Walking Dead, the companion series to AMC’s The Walking Dead, has turned up, and I am a bit concerned in that I have no idea what’s going to differentiate it from the series that spawned it.

They appear to be going the route of using the trailers to individually introduce significant characters, so here’s Nick.

You can’t tell what’s he’s running from, though I am reasonably sure it’s a zombie–it’s worth mentioning that based on the way he keeps looking back implies that something is moving as quickly as he is, though considering that the zombies are Romero-type, makes that highly unlikely, so there’s a bit of a mystery, which is never a bad thing–though as far as I am aware, at heart it’s no different that The Walking Dead, except for a new cast and location.

And speaking of different actors–I have a sneaking suspicion that that that will only be the case till the inevitable crossover.

I think it’s important to mention that I am not saying that Fear The Walking Dead is going to be a bad series–I haven’t seen it, so I have no idea–though what I am saying is that I don’t see how it’s going to be a distinctive one.

I also don’t expect it to fail, though I do expect it to disappoint (critically and ratings-wise, though it should premiere big before it goes into a spiral, before stabilizing).

Sense8 – Review

Sense8

I have to admit that based on the first episode of Netflix’s Sense8 that things weren’t going to go to well.  Reason being, while it managed to avoid the problem endemic to the Wachowskis’s Matrix sequels–which because of their tendency to ‘tell, not show’ came off a bit pretentious–it also came off a bit scattershot.

Then again, it should have been expected when you take into account the underlying premise of the series, which revolves around eight individuals from all over the world, linked by a mysterious woman (Daryl Hannah) that are somehow able to share experiences and abilities, that it would feel a bit jumpy, telling so many stories almost at once.

So, it’s initially a bit disorientating to have things start at one point, then at the next you’re in another country, with entirely different people.

Though things work themselves quickly, and once I came to learn who the characters were, everything became a lot more interesting.  In fact, structurally it reminds me quite a bit of NBC’s Heroes, except that its scale is bigger.  For instance, while  while Heroes made use of a lot of green screen and backlots in California, Sense8 was filmed on location all over the world, and it shows.

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What Makes Sense8 Work

Sun

I’m on an email list from Deadline: Hollywood, so when I learned that Dominic Patton had reviewed the upcoming Netflix series, Sense8, from Larry and Lana Wachowski, I was immediatedly curious how he felt about it (especially coming off Jupiter Ascending).

Wolfgang

Patton really enjoyed it, which I have to admit surprised me; though what I found more interesting was the positive tone of the review, as well as his speculations about the weakness of their more recent output.

Then he stumbled upon the Answer:  J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, Crusade, Thor, World War Z), created Sense8 with the Warchowskis.

Lito

He’s a writer that created shows like Babylon 5, Crusade, and many others, and I suspect was able to restrain the siblings tendencies toward psychobabble (try listening to the scene in The Matrix Revolutions when Neo (Keanu Reeves) is talking to the family in the subway station without wincing) and CGI excesses (Speed Racer would have probably been a much better movie with half the budget, forcing the filmmakers to make use of more actual sets and vehicles).

Riley

I won’t know for certain till the series premieres in two days, though I am really jazzed to find out what the Warchowskis and J. Michael Straczynski have wrought.

Capheus

Nomi

Will

Lucifer- Trailer

Overall I think the movement of superheroes from the comic shop to the television has been a good one, though that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything that’s made the transition is necessarily that good.

I have noticed a variance in quality, which I think happens for three reasons.  The first is that the line that separates a series about superheroes from a soap opera that happens to have superheroes is a thin line; a rubicon that I believe the CW’s Arrow crossed long ago.

While on the other end of the spectrum, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. stumbled a bit during its first season, mainly because it wasn’t quite sure what it wanted to be, but as the producers embraced more of the Marvel Universe–cinematic and comics–it found its footing (though the ratings haven’t consistently reflected the change in direction, creatively) in the second.

Another comic-based series was NBC’s Constantine which was recently cancelled, though another Vertigo property, Lucifer, is coming soon to Fox.

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