Jan 2012 24

By Fred Topel

“…The Supreme Court, with whose opinions I’ve not always agreed, declared that corporations are people and that money is free speech.”
– Al Gore

Since being elected president in 2000 (look it up if you don’t remember), Al Gore has forged a career as a public speaker. The movie of his speech about the climate crisis, An Inconvenient Truth, won an Oscar for best documentary. The former vice president also serves as the chairman of Current TV, a next generation news service he cofounded. The cable network features political programming with hosts like Cenk Uygur and Jennifer Granholm. It offers an alternative to the ultra right wing Fox News, and serves as a breath of fresh air when compared to the staid but supposedly balanced CNN.

Gore presented the network’s latest programming, anticipating the 2012 election cycle, to the Television Critics Association on Jan. 13. The critics must have reminded Gore of his days facing the White House press corps. We get the scoop on Snooki, so we’re not letting any fancy guys in suits get off easy.

Perhaps Gore is still a politician at heart. He took questions from critics but you might say he was filibustering to keep the conversation revolving around his talking points. Yes, he brought up the climate crisis on his own. Check your cable listings for Current TV and below for Gore’s thoughts on news coverage, Occupy Wall Street and the upcoming election.

Read SuicideGirls’ interview with Al Gore on

Jan 2012 23

by Missy Suicide

Fresh Meat – Episode 101
Spike Full Episodes Spike Video Clips Spike on Facebook

Did you watch Ink Masters last night? If not you can watch the whole episode here!

I think a reality competition show about tattoo artists is a super cool idea. Basically the same format as Top Chef or Project Runway (which I am addicted to) but with WAY higher stakes.

Listening to Ink Master judge Oliver Peck‘s critiques on line work and shading was super interesting. That type of knowledge of what to look for in a tattoo artist will make for a more well informed public.

I think the time limit to do the tattoos is a bit scary since they have to be on someone’s body forever but I guess a good tattoo artist can budget their time accordingly. Some of the artists seem like they might need some more experience before they will get everything down perfectly though. Which is a little scary to watch and you feel for the human canvases, well most of them. Anything the contestants do though will likely be better than what the people might get from walking into the nearest open shop without a plan.

It is always nice to see our friend Dave Navarro too.


Jan 2012 19

by A.J. Focht

With its release scheduled for July 20 of this year, The Dark Knight Rises is now well into its post-production and marketing phase. Entertainment Weekly was the first to debut several official shots in their issue last week. On top of several shots of Bane and others inside the magazine, the cover featured a close up of Batman and his new suit.

A new still has flown in from the set of The Man of Steel as well. The shot isn’t official, and is a bit blurry, but even out of context, it’s pretty epic. It features a fire truck that has been impaled by a tree and what could possibly be Superman underneath doing said impaling.

Despite all the epic news coming out from other superhero films, we’re being reassured that Iron Man III will be one of the best superhero movies ever. Now that is a tall order considering the lackluster spectacle that was Iron Man II, but Robert Downey Jr. has added his weight to the claim that the third film could be one of the best superhero movies of all time. The film will be going back to its roots and is looking to recapture the elements that made the first film successful.

The CW hasn’t given up on riding the superhero train. They are now working on a pilot episode of DC Comics’ Green Arrow franchise. Unfortunately, Justin Hartley, who became well known for his portrayal of the Green Arrow on Smallville, is not involved with the project.

Speaking of DC Comics, the company has gone through another logo change. They have gotten some flak for their past logo changes, but this might be by far the worst. Their new logo screams ‘CORPORATION’ not ‘COMICS.’

After concluding its second season on BBC, Sherlock has been renewed for a third. The show’s co-creator, Steven Moffat, confirmed the renewal via Twitter. The second season in the series is set to premiere on PBS this spring.

Talking of turning classic tales into shows, NBC is making a television series based on the Dracula lore. The series is going to be set in the 1890’s, and is being developed by Tony Krantz and Cole Haddon. While Dracula is the iconic vampire, I don’t see the need for anymore vampire television for a few years.

That isn’t to say there aren’t some vampire stories still worthy of being told on screen. For instance, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter has just released several new pics and a behind the scenes video. And the historical fiction doesn’t end there. The second most badass president (first place still goes to ol’ honest Abe) is getting his own film. That right, FDR American Badass will feature our polio stricken president fighting Nazi werewolves.

Abigail Spencer has joined the Whedonverse and will star in Joss Whedon’s next film. What film is that exactly? Well the only details we have is that it’s a “supernatural romance.” Spencer does comment that, “It’s the most romantic film in the history of time.” There is no saying what Joss is up too, but let’s be honest, has he let us down yet?

On a final note, it looks like George Lucas is going to be taking things easier. After the release of his upcoming film, Red Tails, Lucas will be taking on his own form of retirement. What this seems to mean is he will no longer be working blockbuster films, and will instead focus on movies on a smaller scale. Lucas has also been rather honest about why he has made this decision, and it’s all our faults. The massive amount of negative fan criticism from the Star Wars prequels and special editions really hurt him. Who would want to keep making films for fanboys who hate you? Despite flaws in his latter work, this fan would just like to say, “Thank you.” George Lucas transformed the world of sci-fi for so many of us, and we must respect the tremendous effect he has had on the evolution of nerdom.

Jan 2012 11

by A.J. Focht

[Bob and Kemper in Droids You’re Looking For]

Superheroes are taking back Saturday mornings. A few weeks ago, Cartoon Network announced they were doing a new block of programing called DC Nation that would feature the DC heroes. Now its Marvel’s turn for the kind of cartoon resurgence we’ve been waiting for ever since Disney bought them out. The mouse-eared company will be starting their own superhero programming block called Marvel Universe. It will provide exclusive Marvel content including series of The Avengers, Hulk, Iron Man, and Thor. They will also be doing a Spider-Man series based on the Ultimate Spider-Man line, but it will feature Peter Parker, not the new Miles Morales.

Thor 2 has seen a lot of trouble pre-production, but they’ve finally settled on a writer. Robert Rodat, whose previous credits include Saving Private Ryan, will be penning the sequel to the Marvel blockbuster. The script needs to be completed pretty soon as they plan to start filming this summer.

The live action Star Wars television series is not just a myth, and now it has a name. In a recent interview with IGN, Rick McCallum, producer and right-hand man of George Lucas himself, announced the working title for the series is Star Wars: Underworld. There is no sure date when it will launch; they are apparently waiting until they can economically produce it for $5 million an episode.

Star Trek 2 has added a new cast member in the form of Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch. While his exact role has not been named, it is widely considered he will be a new villain in the J.J. Abrams sequel.

There is a new face to Ash William from the Evil Dead series, and she looks nothing like Bruce Campbell. Lily Collins (The Blind Side) is the first official member to join the cast of the new incarnation, taking the lead role. Now, to be fair, she will not be Ash, her name will be Mia. She will however being playing a part very similar to that played by Campbell in the 1981 original. I hope her name is actually Michael or something of the like just as a throwback to Ashley (Ash) Williams.

While were thinking about zombies, is this a good time to mention that World War Z will be a trilogy. After a chorus of complaints about the first one taking place during the actual Zombie War and not after like the book does, this may be Paramount Pictures way of making up for that, or more likely just a way to capitalize on the fad. Either way, we can hope the second and third movie will do the book some justice where it looks like the first will fail.

AMC is on a roll with innovative programming like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, and now they are bringing a mafia classic back to life. The company is producing a cable series based on the Martin Scorsese 1990 mobster classic, Goodfellas. To make the news even better, Nicholas Pileggi, writer of the movie and the original non-fiction book it was based on, Wiseguy, is set to co-write the series.

We have another classic being brought back to life, albeit in a different medium. After twenty-five years as a cult favorite, The Labyrinth will be getting a prequel in the form of a graphic novel. The long rumored project will explore the story of how Jareth, the guy played by David Bowie, comes to the Labyrinth for the first time.

Finally, just a friendly reminder to everyone wanting to attend San Diego Comic-Con 2012, they have changed their registration system. If you would like to register for a ticket to go, you first have to preregister for a Member ID. You can start this process now via the Comic-Con website. Just don’t get stuck being unable to snag a ticket the day they go on sale because you didn’t preregister.

Jan 2012 11

By Fred Topel

“I’ve always been a sponge.”
– Vincent D’Onofrio

Vincent D’Onofrio has been a memorable character actor for 25 years. The first role most people remember was Pvt. Pyle, the marine cadet driven insane by a drill instructor in Full Metal Jacket. From other dark roles like a serial killer in The Cell and a meth dealer in The Salton Sea to high comedy as a farmer possessed by an alien in Men in Black, D’Onofrio may be unrecognizable between roles, but is always distinct.

D’Onofrio moves behind the scenes as director with the horror musical Don’t Go In the Woods. That’s right, horror musical. The conventional slasher movie gets a twist when a band goes on a forest retreat to write songs, and breaks into song as they’re being chased by a killer.

Sam Bisbee and Bo Boddie wrote the music for the film and most of the actors are first timers, so if you like them you can’t see any of their previous work. I sort of fell in love with Kate O’Malley so it’s a bummer she hasn’t done anything else. D’Onofrio had previously directed a 30 minute short, but Woods is his feature debut.

On the phone from New York, D’Onofrio sounded as intense as I expected, and hoped he would be. Not intimidating, mind you. It was a friendly conversation, going into depth about his process on both sides of the camera, and touching on some of the filmography I love. Don’t Go In the Woods is now available for download on VOD, it opens in New York theaters Jan. 13 and comes to L.A. in February.

Read SuicideGirls’ exclusive interview with Vincent D’Onofrio on

Jan 2012 04

by A.J. Focht

The New Year is off to a good start as nerd rage scores one over the film industry. After the massive amount of complaints surrounding Bane’s voice in The Dark Knight Rises, Warner Bros. has cracked and made it easier to understand in the audio mix. While Christopher Nolan had no intentions of changing the voice, the studio’s fear of the fan outrage won out.

That wasn’t the only news from The Dark Knight Rises to break last week. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Anne Hathaway released some previously unknown details about scenes in the film. As if that wasn’t enough, the forty second montage from the prologue was leaked last week, and promptly removed.

Marvel Studios has released a new movie poster for The Avengers. The poster taps into the recent fad for classic looking movie posters. While the art style rather interesting, the poster is just about what you would have expected.

After five years of legal wrangling, the courts have made a decision as to the proper owners of Ghost Rider. No shocker, but Marvel will retain the rights. The case was brought to the court by Gary Friedrich, the modern re-creator of Ghost Rider. Marvel commissioned him to update their original Ghost Rider, a cowboy, and he delivered with the well-known skeleton motorcycle rider. Unfortunately for Mr. Friedrich, he signed over all rights of his character to Marvel, twice. It was on this grounds that the court decided that Marvel would keep all rights, and Friedrich, whose complaint stemmed from being cut out of the profits from the first movie, won’t be seeing profits from the upcoming sequel either. Just a good reminder to all artists to make sure they keep track of their intellectual rights.

Some more legal bullshitting coming out of Marvel; their lawyers are now proposing the case that the X-Men are not human. While the Mutant versus Human status has long been an issue in the comics, this time it’s being used in the real world for capitalistic gain. Certain countries tax less on figures that are not human, and thus, Marvel must insist that the X-Men are not humans. Perhaps these countries should change the wording to ‘humanoid’ to avoid confusion.

The largest scale model of Serenity has been found in the depths of the Universal Archives. The replica builders at Quantum Mechanix came across the model used in the Firefly series and had a chance to take several photos. Someone really should consider rescuing this piece and putting it some sort of science fiction museum, lest it disappears again into the depths, never to be seen again.

One last bit of news, Netflix has released a three minute trailer for their first original series Lilyhammer. It follows the story of an ex-mobster who enters the witness protection program. Sopranos veteran Steven Van Zandt plays the role of the protagonist, Frank ‘The Fixer’ Tagliano. This is the debut original series to come from Netflix, but they have several others in the works, including the final season of Arrested Development.

Dec 2011 28

by A.J. Focht

Another batch of photos from the Amazing Spider-Man have been released. Unlike the previous photos that have focused on Andrew Garfield and the Spider-Man suit, these photos include shots of Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy as well.

Despite all the drama surrounding Patty Jenkins’ departure from Thor 2, Marvel studios is pushing forward and has announced that Game of Thrones director Helmer Alan Taylor will now be directing the film. Assuming there are no other delays, the film should be set to meet the previously scheduled November 15, 2013 release date.

Walt Disney, parent company of Marvel, is getting their greedy hands into the comic giant’s upcoming projects. Despite all of the calls not to, Disney will be releasing The Avengers in 3D. The film was not shot in 3D, and the 3D will all be added in postproduction. The good news is Joss Whedon has come out and said that the film will not be “obnoxiously 3D.”

Speaking of Disney messing with the Marvel movies, they have also announced that an unnamed Marvel project has been bumped up from June 2014 to April 2014. With one other unnamed project scheduled for May 2014, there are rumors that it is because the films will be related in some way. As the two movies are still unannounced though, speculation is rife as to what they might be.

There is confirmation that Watchmen 2 is underway. Bleeding Cool published the cover art to Watchemen 2, but was then contacted by DC and asked to remove it. Most of the reposts have also been taken down, but we can tell you they featured Nite Owl by Andy Kubert and Joe Kubert.

The cast of Ender’s Game has just gained some true star power. Harrison Ford has officially signed on to play Colonel Hyram Graff. And in case Ford doesn’t provide enough box office oomph, they have also landed Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) to portray Petra Arkanian. This cast of the film is really giving me high hopes that it will end up a sci-fi classic rather than a dud.

On the day the Prometheus trailer was to release, it was leaked. Just hours after, the official trailer was “debuted” by the studio. It finally sheds some light on what the movie is about. Simply put: as humans search for their beginning, they may find their end.

More news from Middle-earth; To help celebrate the holidays, Peter Jackson posted his fifth production blog. This video focused on the location of the shooting, and includes some reasoning for filming in New Zealand.

It’s always fun to see the power of the internet in action. It’s even more fun to see the power of fanboys and fangirls – especially when they’re angry that their favorite sci-fi show has been cancelled unduly early. A few months ago, University of Wisconsin-Stout theater professor James Miller, who was also such a fanboy, posted an infamous Firefly quote outside his office to protest against the show’s untimely demise at the hands of Fox.

You don’t know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you’ll be awake. You’ll be facing me. And you’ll be armed.

The campus police failed to appreciate the geeky reference, or the irony – that the quote isn’t about killing but about playing fair – and removed the “offending” quotation. But it didn’t end there. The school authorities threatened Miller with criminal charges, and fearing for his job, he contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) to defend his right to free speech. After the school refused to back down, the case was taken to the internet jury. This video explains how the online massive – and Neil Gaiman – helped Miller defeat the close-minded educational institution.

A final cheerful clip to brighten the last of the holidays, for those who didn’t catch it, Stan Lee had an amazing cameo in Chuck’s holiday special.