The Best Movie Posters of 2008 – What a year it’s been at the box office. Though there have been a lot of “fun” movies released in 2008, I’d count exactly two movies I saw as being very good and wouldn’t say I’ve seen any great ones. Which is the exact opposite of last year where there were a plethora of great films released during the later part of the year. Still, even though the films of 2008 might not have been all that memorable, there were some great posters released to promote the films this year.
My Favorite Non-Christmas Christmas Movies – This time of year it seems as if there’s never a shortage of Christmas themed movies on television. From the beginning of December to the end it’s like the viewing public is presented with a glut of Christmas TV. But that got me thinking; though there are literally hundreds of Christmas themed movies, what about the movies that take place at Christmas time but aren’t necessarily about Christmas?
MST3K Turns Twenty and I Feel OLD! – I can’t quite believe it myself – but Joel, the bots, the “Satellite of Love” and the whole TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) turns 20 this Thanksgiving. That means when I first started watching (and falling in love with) MST3K, I was a punk high school kid not yet old enough to have a driver’s license. Does time fly!
What’s Worth Watching? – Though the 2008-’09 television season is already a few months old, I can’t say that I’m all too enamored with many of the new series that have debuted so far on network TV. In some seasons past, I’d find myself watching hours of new comedies and dramas nightly. But this year not so much.
A Halloween Double Feature! Zombies, Zombies, Zombies! – Over the last several Halloweens I’ve profiled some of my favorite horror movies. This year I’ve decided to profile two of my favorite, and quite different, zombie movies. The first of our double feature is the film Night of the Comet (1984).
Iron Man, Sports Night and Indiana Jones, an Unlikely Combination – There are several interesting movies and a TV series new to DVD you should check out over the next few weeks. I’ve been a big fan of writer Aaron Sorkin for some time now with movies like Charlie Wilson’s War and TV series like The West Wing and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. But what first got me interested in Sorkin’s work was his first TV series Sports Night (’98-’00).
Detoxing Determined Demented Dexter– If you’re unfamiliar with Dexter, the show follows the title character Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) as nice-guy Miami P.D. blood spatter expert by day and dark serial killer by night. But the catch here is that Dexter’s the one serial killer that’s “on our side” and only dispatches criminals that have escaped punishment.
The Best of Summer ‘08 – As the summer slowly draws to a close, I thought it would be the perfect time to look back at some of the things I liked best about the summer of ’08. Iron ManI know many think The Dark Knight was the best movie of the summer, but MY vote for the best film would go to Iron Man.
On Sci Fi and Loneliness – There’s a sub-genera of science fiction that’s been around for the longest time – the “last man” on the Earth story. These stories, almost always involving some sort of worldwide catastrophe to remove the rest of the population, are a good way for storytellers to examine a character’s true nature.
Spaced: A cultural touchstone you might have missed — I had heard of the UK TV series Spaced years before I ever saw an episode. It was a series so popular with those who had already seen it that they used it as a reference point for critiquing other shows. Before I saw Spaced, I figured the series was a sci fi drama based on the title alone, but in reality Spaced is a modern day comedy that deals with a group of twenty-somethings living and (sometimes) working in London.
Mad Men, The Best Series on TV? — I have to admit that when I first heard about the AMC TV series Mad Men last year I was a bit skeptical. How exactly could a show on AMC, which up until that point had been known as a cheep knock-off to TMC, turn out ANYTHING of quality? Surly if a show like Mad Men were any good, it would have premiered on a “real” network like HBO or FX. Right? WRONG! AMC did the impossible last season in producing the best series of the year on a channel other than HBO.
I Want to Believe in The X-Files — It makes me feel old to think that the first episode of the TV series The X-Files aired almost 15 years ago. Before The X-Files exploded into one of the biggest hits on television, becoming a bonafide pop culture phenomena spawning a series of fan conventions, comic books, magazines, toys, a feature film, etc., etc., etc. it was an unknown show premiering one Friday night on FOX I was excited about that I figured no one else would watch.
Before Marvel Comics Movies Were Cool — Movies based on Marvel Comics characters/titles seem to be dominating the box office the last few years. Be it the Spider-Man and X-Men franchises that have earned more than $1.7 billion dollars combined worldwide, or the release of Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk this summer that is sure to take that number well north of $2 billion by years end, things couldn’t be better for Marvel.
What do the British, psychics and The X-Files have in common? — You may not know this, but mid-May is the time of year that the TV networks decide on their upcoming fall/winter TV schedules. It’s also the time of year that new series commissioned by the networks are either picked up and added to this new schedule or discarded altogether. But this May is different than Mays of past.
Andromeda, Trixie, Captain Tripps, Motaba, KV and Rage (Oh, my) — At the end of this month, the cable channel A&E will premiere a two-part remake of the film The Andromeda Strain (1971). Though I’ve never been much of a fan of that particular film, I’ve always been intrigued by the central premise that humanity could be put into peril by something as seemingly innocuous as a microscopic virus.
The Modern Comic Book — Over the last winter with the television writer’s strike obliterating much of the new scripted television series of the season, I found myself with the unenviable task of finding alternatives to Indiana’s famous “stuck inside with nothin’ to do” winter blahs. I briefly toyed with reality TV (mistake) but luckily found something just as good (if not better) than most of what passes for entertainment these days – the modern comic book/graphic novel.
He Fights and Smites with Repulsor Rays! — I’ve taken a bit of flak in conversations with friends in my opinion that Iron Man will be the movie to beat this summer. Most people I know think the top movie will be The Dark Knight or are looking forward more to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull than any other movie next summer. I say that if I had to pick just one movie to see this summer, that movie would be Iron Man.
Battlestar Galactica: The End — It seems a bit odd writing about the upcoming final season of Battlestar Galactica (BSG), especially since the debut of the series was one of the first things I (almost) covered for The Fort Wayne Reader. Back in late 2003 I had been approached by the publishers of The Reader to become their entertainment columnist. I accepted their offer and was given a pre-air DVD screener of the then upcoming new BSG mini-series for review.
What lies in The Mist? — In the previous edition of Dangerous Universe, I discussed three great movies I missed seeing in theaters last year. This time I’ll talk about one movie I did catch in the theater and called one of the best of ’07; Frank Darabont’s The Mist. Unfortunately, though The Mist may have been a great movie, it was mostly overlooked by the public/reviewers last year.
Missed Opportunities – Even though I try to see around one new movie a week, I still can’t see everything I want to in the theater. Be it conflicts with other movies, not having the time in a given week to make it to the theater, bad word of mouth or even not wanting to waste my hard earned dough on a movie I suspect will be a stinker, great movies do slip by me.
Cloverfield: What Went Wrong? – A few weeks back the “giant monster that attacks New York” movie Cloverfield opened to huge numbers at the box office earning over $40 million and the number one spot in its first week in release. Cloverfield opened so big that most assumed that Paramount Pictures had another movie franchise on their hands and that a sequel would soon be in the works.
Summer Movie Preview – If summer 2007 at the box-office was the year of the sequel, then next summer will surly be remembered as the year of the comic book movie. By my estimate, there are no fewer than half-a-dozen films either directly based on comic books, or at least inspired by them, due out from May to August.
Is the ’07-’08 TV Season Dead? – As the television writer's strike threatens to obliterate most of the 2007-08 TV season (not that the season was that great to begin with), there seems to be little left on television to watch other than re-runs of Seinfeld or episodes of Holmes on Homes on Discovery Home Channel.