Saturday, March 22, 2008

Review: Torchwood, Episode 2.12, "Fragments"

The penultimate episode of the second season features another strong story written by showrunner Chris Chibnall. It begins and ends on notes of high suspense for Team Torwchwood, and everything in-between is something fans have been clamoring for, setting up what promises to be an amazing season finale. As good as the first season was, the second has been even better, and I don't expect the finale to disappoint.

Warning: spoilers below, please highlight the white space with your mouse to read them.

It's fascinating to learn how each team member became a part of Torchwood, including Captain Jack's initial encounter with the Victorian-era organization. Some old school Doctor Who fans are already complaining about the portrayal of UNIT in Tosh's backstory, but I can easily square it away as a post-Lethbridge-Stewart UNIT that may play by different rules. And, yay, we get the secret origin of Myfanwy, too! The return of James Marsters as Captain John with who he claims is Jack's missing brother Gray is a great way to end the episode but it doesn't bode well for the team in the season finale.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

With the fourth and final season of Battlestar Galactica set to begin airing in two weeks, it was announced that a prequel called Caprica has been greenlighted. Set five decades before BSG, it will reportedly be a drama about the rivalry of the Adama and Graystone families, and the development of the technology that created the original Cylons. Caprica will be a two hour telefilm that if successful could lead to a full series.

A report on SCI FI Wire indicates that the Bionic Woman has been canceled, even though it hasn't been officially announced by the network. Executive producer David Eick said, "the conditions under which we were making that show never really came to fruition in such a way that I felt like we could make the show well." I stopped watching after three episodes, so it's not like I'm going to miss it. May Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles soon share its fate!

It was rumored last year that actor-turned-director Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, The Kingdom) was being considered to helm the latest attempt to bring Frank Herbert's Dune to the screen. That rumor is now fact, and with a director aboard the production is now looking for a screenwriter. Will the third time be the charm? Previous attempts have been far more compelling visually than dramatically, and it's perhaps simply the case that Herbert's novel is unfilmable.

I re-read Watchmen a few weeks ago. It's as brilliant as ever, but it makes me even more worried about the upcoming film adaptation. Alan Moore hasn't been treated very well by Hollywood, after all. From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen were wretched adaptations. V for Vendetta was entertaining on a surface level but replaced Moore's substance with the Wachowski Brothers' style. Moore at his best is a challenging writer, and if there's one thing Hollywood likes to avoid, it's challenging an audience to think. I have my doubts about Watchmen director Zack Snyder. His previous films, the Dawn of the Dead remake and 300, were mixed efforts. The former was entertaining while the latter was the worst film of 2007. Neither showed an ability to manifest an intelligent film.

Here is the first photo of Benicio del Toro in full makeup from the currently in production remake of The Wolf Man. Awesome. The original 1941 film was the last of the classic Universal horror films. The remake is being directed be Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer, Jumanji) from a screenplay by Andrew Kevin Walker (Se7en, Sleepy Hollow) and David Self (Road to Perdition).

Speaking of Universal horror, my dream project would be Tim Burton directing remakes of Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein (or possibly combing them into a single film) with Johnny Depp as the Monster, Helena Bonham Carter as the Bride, and Ian McKellen as Dr. Pretorius. Please, someone, make this happen!

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Monday, March 17, 2008

"The Body"

I re-watched Buffy the Vampire episode 5.16, "The Body", this evening. If I had to pick the best episode from seven seasons of Buffy, this one would be a very worthy contender. I think it's the best single piece of writing that Joss Whedon has done so far, not to mention a fine piece of directing by him. It's just so brutally honest about how people deal with the sudden death of a loved one.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

I need to better organize my comic book collection. I thought I had all of my Golden Age comics in the same box, but one of them (Patsy Walker #22 from 1949) isn't there. I also thought my 1960s X-Men comics (including one Lee/Kirby issue) were in the same box, but no. I'm not worried, because I know they're somewhere in one of the boxes, but I wanted to read them again.

In the very near future, I'm going to take up the task of properly organizing my collection. I'd prefer to have it sorted alphabetically, but doing that with 6,000 comics may be quite a challenge. Too bad there aren't professional collection sorters that one can hire.

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