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Archive for February, 2016


Terminator-Genisys-Emilia-Clarke-Arnold-Schwarzenegger

If last night’s awards ceremony sucked away your will to go back to the movies, if you slogged through another year of Oscar avoiding genre films for the same old flat dramas, and you are looking for an awards event closer to the films and film roles we discuss year round here at borg.com, you may want to start following the Saturn Awards.  In the shadow of the 88th annual Academy Awards presentation this weekend, the 42nd annual Saturn Award nominations were announced.  And we couldn’t be happier with how closely the nominations line up with our borg.com Best of 2015 winners.

Nominated productions we loved this year include Ex Machina, Bone Tomahawk, Terminator: Genisys, Crimson Peak, SPECTRE, and Ant-Man, and television shows like Continuum, Doctor Who, Haven, The Muppets, Bates Motel, The Librarians, Mr. Robot, Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, and Marvel’s Jessica Jones.

rebecca-romijn-the-librarians-tnt

Performers we also highlighted that were nominated for Saturn Awards include Michael Douglas, Jessica Chastain, John Boyega, Domhnall Gleeson, Paul Rudd, Emily Blunt, Daisy Ridley, Mia Wasikowska, Charlize Theron, Evangeline Lily, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Nichols, Krysten Ritter, Rebecca Romijn, David Tennant, Alex Kingston, and William Shatner.

Just take a look at all these great award categories and nominations:

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Bueller art

Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Bueller?  Bueller?

Ferris Bueller, you’re my hero.

Where’s Abe Froman when you need him?

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Fathom Events, Paramount Pictures, and Turner Classic Movies is hosting a return of the beloved comedy masterpiece to theaters for a limited release.

The screening will include an introduction to the late John Hughes’ seminal work from Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz.

Here is the original trailer from 1986:

And a slightly better version:

So… When and where?

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Iconic scenes 2001 A Space Odyssey

If you’re wondering what the best movie was in any given year, you have plenty of options.  You can look for the movie that had the biggest take at the box office.  You can look to critic reviews.  You can scroll through the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com).  You can review the dozens of award lists.  Or you can just watch the movies and choose for yourself.  Three thousand Oscars will have been given out by the end of this year’s 88th annual Academy Awards tomorrow.  But what does the Academy know?  Historically it’s Oscar-bait that takes the big trophy, often over-represented categories like not-always-so-historical costume dramas, biopics, “family” melodramas, or just plain highbrow yawners, all usually released within the last three months of the year.  The movie viewing public often raises its collective eyebrows to winners who seemingly take home the prize for sentimental reasons, popularity instead of performance, atonement for being overlooked in the past or catch-up Oscars for an end of career weaker performance to award an actor’s entire body of work.

Writer Danny Peary did something we all want to do, and wrote a book to correct all of Oscar’s many past errors.  Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but Peary presents many great arguments for overlooked American masterpieces and acting triumphs, in his 1993 book Alternate Oscars.  His best selections shore up the biggest failing of Oscar, its ongoing snubbing of genre works.  Peary argues that many worthy movies were passed over, and awards his Alternate Oscar to the likes of King Kong in 1933 instead of Cavalcade, Hitchcock’s mystery The 39 Steps instead of Mutiny on the Bounty in 1935, The Adventures of Robin Hood instead of You Can’t Take it With You in 1938,  the all-time fantasy classic The Wizard of Oz instead of Gone With the Wind in 1939, Citizen Kane instead of How Green Was My Valley in 1941, Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life in 1946 instead of Fredric March in The Best Years of Our Lives, Strangers on a Train in 1951 instead of An American in Paris, the Western Shane in 1953 instead of adapted novel From Here to Eternity, The Searchers in 1956 instead of Around the World in 80 Days.

Alternate Oscars

Peary would have the arguable best comedy of all time Some Like it Hot sweep the big Oscar categories in 1959.  The sci-fi game changer 2001: A Space Odyssey would have taken Best Picture of 1968 instead of the musical Oliver!  Steve McQueen would win Best Actor for the police procedural Bullitt.  And George Lucas’s American Graffiti would have taken Oscar instead of The Sting.  In 1982 E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial would knock out Gandhi, The Right Stuff would take out Terms of Endearment in 1983, and Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V would have beaten Driving Miss Daisy in 1989.  In 1991, Wesley Snipes would win Best Actor for New Jack City instead of Anthony Hopkins for Silence of the Lambs.

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C-3PO banner

Anthony Daniels’ C-3PO, the Star Wars human-cyborg relations protocol droid, was the comic relief of the original Star Wars trilogy.  On re-watching classic Star Wars it is surprising how many laugh-out-loud scenes he has.  C-3PO has appeared in all seven Star Wars films, as a rusty, corroded android, sometimes all shiny gold and spruced-up, and in the prequels without any gold plating at all.

In Star Wars: The Force Awakens he appears with a red right arm until the end of the film when his golden arm returns.  So why the red arm?  Was he some kind of undercover spy for the Resistance, sporting the red of Captain Phasma and the latest fleet of TIE Fighters?  We will find out the story behind his red arm in a new Marvel Comics series beginning next month, with Star Wars Special: C-3PO, Issue #1.

Writer James Robinson and artist Tony Harris are teaming up for the first time in more than 20 years to create the new monthly series.  Keep an eye out for seven covers: a regular cover by Tony Harris, a red arm spotlight cover by Harris, an action figure variant cover by John Tyler Christopher, variants by Reilly Brown and Todd Nauck, a movie photo cover and a blank cover.

3PO 1    Star_Wars_Special_C-3PO_Teaser

Check out these preview pages of Tony Harris’s artwork from Star Wars Special: C-3PO, Issue #1:

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Petes Dragon

The original Pete’s Dragon featured an animated dragon accompanying the young lead actor of the movie’s title.  This year’s Pete’s Dragon remake will feature an updated CGI dragon, as revealed in this week’s latest full-length trailer.  The film also stars Robert Redford and Bryce Dallas Howard.

This Pete’s Dragon does not appear to be the stuff of the Disney blockbuster, but perhaps it will fit into the pocket of endearing, memorable films like Harry and the Hendersons or the Jason Scott Lee live-action version of The Jungle Book.  Or, from what we learn from Howard’s character about the little boy raised in the woods without humans in the trailer, this could also go in the direction of Jodie Foster’s Nell.  Then again, it’s a Disney flick, so probably not.

Petes Dragon 2016 poster x

It is a bit strange that Disney is dipping back into its past so much coming off of a year of record sales from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  Yet another remake of another children’s favorite, The Jungle Book, is due out from Disney this April.

Check out this trailer for Pete’s Dragon:

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killer-frost-and-deathstorm-the-flash

If you’re the type of fanboy or fangirl who can barely wait for the next big screen appearance of superheroes, whether it’s the Avengers, The X-Men, The Guardians of the Galaxy, or Batman, Superman, and the Superfriends, you’re just looking at the wrong medium.  We’ll admit we were slow in feeling the love for CW’s TV series The Flash–last year’s new tie-in series to the wildly successful Arrow.  Initially The Flash was too lighthearted and comic booky and the lead, Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, maybe just a bit too nice.  But we soon became believers in The Flash the superhero and the show, which rated as the borg.com Best Superhero Fix for 2015.  And this season The Flash is even better.

Just take the last three episodes.  Finally superfans got to see the famed Earth-2, that legendary otherworld we grew up with in the pages of Justice League of America.   In the two-parter “Welcome to Earth-2” and “Escape from Earth-2” we got to see in full color this great place where Barry and Iris are married, Iris is cool, Barry’s mother lives, Caitlin Snow is Killer Frost, and our favorite Firestorm (played by Robbie Amell as Deathstorm) is back.  You just know everyone is asking the same question:  Can’t we just stay here to play around a little longer?

So many stories, so little time.  But why not keep returning to Earth-2?  Who cares about Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad when you can watch Danielle Panabaker as Killer Frost?  Open up that portal again, Barry!  We’re hoping for “Earth-2 Strikes Back,” “Battle for Earth-2,” and “Conquest of Earth-2” coming sometime soon to a TV near you.

Earth-2

The Flash is such a good series that it can actually pull off those oddities of comicbookdom that may make the average reader cringe.  Like King Shark, making a return visit to Central City as star villain of this week’s episode.  Who would think a villainous land shark and a story resolution straight out of Sharknado could actually work on network TV?  Because we believe in these characters–Barry, Caitlin, Cisco, Iris, Joe, Wells, Jay Garrick–we will go along for the ride wherever the writers take us.  Can you say that about any of the superhero movies in the past five years?

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Cut Me In Ed McBain

Review by C.J. Bunce

Some writers know how to suck you right in from the first page.  Take the late author Evan Hunter aka Ed McBain.  In his 1953 novel The Proposition (published under another pseudonym, Hunt Collins) McBain gave his lead character Josh Blake a timeless voice that conjures a confident, put-upon literary agent melting in the sweltering summer city heat, trying to cut himself in on a big deal that will land him the good life–like a million dollar home and a big swimming pool.  Blake is like a mash-up between Jack Nicholson’s J.J. Gittes in Chinatown and Nicholson’s Will Randall in the film Wolf–written decades before either character was created.  Think Gittes because of the pulp noir mystery, and Randall because we’re maneuvering the politics of the literary world.

Why single out a 1950s crime mystery by Ed McBain?  Because the folks at Titan Books’ Hard Case Crime found this gem, and have released it this year for the first time in more than 60 years.  Originally published as The Proposition by Hunt Collins, it was later published as Hunt Collins’ Cut Me In–a great title that fits the story much better.  The new edition, labeled as a McBain novel, features a classic style pulp cover by Robert McGinnis with a dead ringer for Suzanne Somers.  She sits by the pool, the pool that is the target of Josh Blake’s affection.  So if you’re like this reader, you’re seeing Nicholson and Somers play out this great movie that never was.

The Proposition paperback

And you can read the first chapter of Cut Me In right now.  First, just the facts.

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John Carpenter Lost Themes II 2

Last February writer/director/musician John Carpenter released his first solo album of thematic music in the style of the many soundtracks he scored over his 50 years of filmmaking.  Chase themes, pulsating rampages, ethereal motifs, dark places, sustained tension, and electronic vibrations of space–we loved the evocative, unsettling, out-of-this-world sounds on the album, titled Lost Themes, reviewed here at borg.com.  Carpenter, known for his cinematic sci-fi and horror masterpieces including Escape from New York, Big Trouble in Little China, Halloween, The Fog, Christine, The Thing, and They Live, composed 16 of the soundtracks for major films he directed.

Carpenter is releasing his second solo album, Lost Themes II, on the Sacred Bones Records label, full of even more tracks that could be scores for future–or lost–films, films only John Carpenter could make.  You can pre-order Lost Themes II at a discount now on CD here, on vinyl here, and digital here, all from Amazon.com.

John Carpenter

Preview “Distant Dream,” one of the tracks off Carpenter’s new Lost Themes II, now here:

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empire-strikes-back AT-Ats

Whether you’re a fan of the all-terrain armored transports of AT-ATs from their first appearance in The Empire Strikes Back or you’re new to the Star Wars universe and your only contact is the damaged AT-AT turned Rey’s desert planet home in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you can now build your own thanks to 3D printing technology.  Designer Kirby Downey has uploaded his own plans to build a fully-articulated 1:75 scale model.  And it definitely looks like the real thing.

As completed the model is about one foot tall.  All you need is a 3D printer, 560 grams of Formfutura light grey PLA filament, and about 65 hours to print the 70 component parts with minimal support required.  Although you can build it without glue, Downey uses glue in his YouTube video as well as a metal rod for more support.

3D AT-AT model

The final piece has 15 points of articulation.  Check out Downey’s video of the build here:

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Predator Life and Death 1 cover    Predator Life and Death 1 cover B

A new seventeen-part sci-fi/horror series begins next month from Dark Horse Comics.  Predator: Life and Death is a four-part series that begins a cycle that spans the worlds of Predator, Aliens, Aliens v. Predator, and Prometheus–similar to Dark Horse’s popular Fire and Storm cycle.  Writer Dan Abnett will interconnect four stories, and we have a preview below of the first issue for borg.com readers.

Colonial Marines on the planet Tartarus battle extraterrestrial hunters over the possession of a mysterious spaceship.  Weyland-Yutani is after the ship, and the marine captain wants to protect the crew.  But neither is likely to get their way when a band of Predators attacks.

Predator Life and Death 1 cover C     Predator Life and Death 2 cover

Artist Brian Thies and colorist Rain Beredo have created a look that mixes Michael Golden’s The ‘Nam series with classic Sgt. Rock.  Issue #1 of Predator: Life and Death is a great looking war comic.  Check out a preview after the break:

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