That is, if you’re in Scotland.
Census records estimate that more than twice as many people of Scottish ancestry live in the United States than in Scotland. Is it the destiny of Scotland to declare its independence from Great Britain? If not now, then when? At the beginning of the day everyone has been waiting for, polls show the likely outcome as a dead heat. We’ll soon learn the answer we’ve all been asking: Will they or won’t they?
Of course there are all sorts of implications to a yes vote, not the least of which is what kind of economic impact it will have on England, on the United States, and the world. If Scotland wants to make a statement to the world this could very well be Scotland’s day. So if you’re one of those Scots that are 16 years old or older and done voting or you’re in the States and can’t vote today, then what better than a brief celebration of all things Scottish? As Mike Myers’ character Stuart Rankin, proprietor of the store “All Things Scottish,” said on Saturday Night Live, “If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap.”
Scotland is well known for its inventors and their inventions. You wouldn’t be reading this website or surfing the Internet at all without the communications technologies that sprouted from Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone. John Logie Baird would invent the first television. Scots invented the refrigerator and the flush toilet, the kaleidoscope and the lawnmower. And–shazam–James Goodfellow invented ATMs so we can get money to buy stuff on nearly any street corner.
Our future is defined in part by the adventures of a Scot in space–James Doohan’s Commander Montgomery “Scotty” Scott from Star Trek, an engineering miracle worker who exemplifies Scottish ingenuity. And of course, there’s James Bond, the character, whose parents were Scottish, and Sir Sean Connery, the Scottish actor, the most famous Bond, and a supporter of today’s “yes” vote.
What we thought was going to be another ad for the DVD release of Gravity actually was a teaser for the return of Heroes to NBC. NBC released a few details to the press before the Olympics Saturday night teaser premiere, revealing a new Heroes TV series will be returning in 2015. NBC and creator Tim Kring will be holding the details close to their vests until Heroes Reborn draws closer, but we’re thinking there is no way to move the series forward and call it Heroes without at least Hayden Panettiere as invincible ex-cheerleader Claire Bennet, Milo Ventimiglia as power-borrower Peter Petrelli, Masi Oka as time traveler Hiro Nakamura, or the always awesome Jack Coleman as Claire’s dad, the horned-rimmed glasses guy.
NBC has ordered 13 episodes for the new mini-series, an entire season for any other property. Could this be a try-on that could be continued if the first year is successful?
“The enormous impact Heroes had on the television landscape when it first launched in 2006 was eye-opening,” said NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke. “Shows with that kind of resonance don’t come around often and we thought it was time for another installment. We’re thrilled that visionary creator Tim Kring was as excited about jumping back into this show as we were and we look forward to all the new textures and layers Tim plans to add to his original concept,” Salke continued. “Until we get closer to air in 2015, the show will be appropriately shrouded in secrecy, but we won’t rule out the possibility of some of the show’s original cast members popping back in.”
Masi Oka is currently on Hawaii Five-O on CBS, Hayden Penettiere is on Nashville on ABC, and Milo Ventimiglia is filming a series on the Crackle online network coming off of his Mob City mini-series in TNT. Ali Larter, who played Tracy Strauss and her mirror twin on Heroes, last filmed a mini-series on TNT and continues her string of big screen movie projects, and ex-cop Greg Grunberg is making a string of movies. Although he’s been seen on ABC’s Scandal, Jack Coleman also had a key role in the last season of USA Network’s Burn Notice last year. USA Network is an NBC sister network. Could that mean a possible connection to have Coleman’s character lead the new mini-series? Something like Agent Colson on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Coleman is our top pick, and we think HRG is the most likely driver of a new series. But why stop there?
Half animated film come to life, half martial arts movie, in G.I. Joe: Retaliation look for one of the best action sequences ever to hit the big screen. Darker and more grounded in the realities of today’s terrorism themed movies as opposed to the days of action war pictures centered on the Cold War, the sequel to G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra is only slightly less fun than the first live-action look at the action figure-turned-animated show and comic book-turned-action figure again franchise. Whereas Rise of Cobra was steeped in toy references and faithful action figure costume re-creations, Retaliation has a plot that could have been pulled from the 1980s animated series.
After a disaster caused by a conspiracy between Zartan and the evil shadow organization called Cobra wipes out literally every active G.I. Joe but three, it’s up to new top ranking officer Roadblock, played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to lead the charge to unravel the conspiracy and save the world. He’s joined in a superbly created, fast-thinking survival maneuver by Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki), who must then find their way out of a deep water well. Despite being developed characters from G.I. Joe incarnations past, Flint comes off a bit like Hawkeye in The Avengers and Lady Jaye as the token female Joe in an era you’d think would be long past relying on jokes about women in the service. Still, they both make the best of it and the trio, along with Duke (Channing Tatum), the squad leader of the Joes in Rise of Cobra, they share some good chemistry and laugh out loud moments in the film. If there is any fault in Retaliation it is why the producers thought the plot required eliminating such a pantheon of other great Joe characters who were featured in Rise of Cobra, like Scarlett (Rachel Nichols), Baroness (Sierra Miller), Ripcord (Marlon Wayans), Heavy Duty (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), or General Hawk (Dennis Quaid). It’s also a bit disappointing Bruce Willis’s General Joe Colton didn’t have a few more scenes. Willis, transitioning from action role to the wise general role, steals every scene and a partnership with Dwayne Johnson in another film, G.I. Joe or not, would be a fun thing to see.
The biggest and best pop culture and comic book convention in Kansas City’s history was held this weekend as Planet Comicon 2013 filled the Bartle Hall at the Kansas City Convention Center with thousands and maybe even tens of thousands of fans of everything from Doctor Who to superheroes, Star Trek and Star Wars, to video games and anime. It’s first day downtown was a big success with lots of happy fans talking with their favorite comic book and fantasy writers and artists and TV and movie actors.
Here’s a photo gallery of what we saw from Elizabeth C. Bunce’s Booth on Artist’s Row and walking around today.
Meeting Firefly’s Hero of Canton and Chuck’s John Casey–Adam Baldwin.
Our favorite comic book legend, Howard Chaykin, at his first Planet Comicon appearance and first Kansas City show in eight years.
With borg.com writer and author Elizabeth C. Bunce at Booth 545 in Artist’s Alley.
With comics legend Neal Adams, artist on the best Silver Age comic book series ever–Green Lantern/Green Arrow 76-89.
Kansas City’s Planet Comicon announced today that actor and stuntman Ray Park will be one of the headliners of this year’s event April 6-7, 2013 at the Kansas City Convention Center downtown at Bartle Hall. In his short career as actor he has amassed some key, iconic roles across major franchises. And because some of his roles are behind a mask or make-up you might not recognize him at first. But when he moves and performs has trademark wushu spin you just know this Glasgow, Scotland-born second degree black belt martial artist is behind the performance. He’s been a lead contender to play Iron Fist in a future Marvel Comics project and on March 28, 2013 he will reprise his role as Snake Eyes in G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Let’s check out his major acting and stunt roles so far.