Joss Whedon’s “Dollhouse” Series Airdate Still Unconfirmed by FOX

Posted in action/adventure, news, sci-fi, suspense/thriller, television with tags , , , , on October 26, 2008 by worldofmatmos

For any new series that hits the networks, any number of issues can cause delays; from production issues to timeslot approvals to shifts in the scheduled line-up for a season, all that viewers really care about is, “When will it be on?” And for the legions of Joss Whedon fans awaiting his highly anticipated new series Dollhouse starring Whedon fave Eliza Dushku, the burning question happens to be “How much longer do we have to wait?”

As with previous Fox outings like Firefly, in which the underrated and short-lived series got screwed by the network, it seems that Fox is giving a home to Dollhouse, but without a move-in date. Despite rumors abound that it could reach airwaves in January to headline the Spring schedule, nothing has been confirmed by the suits at Fox. The show looks to be interesting as usual for Whedon fare, and will likely garner a fan-base early on with webisodes and an already-building online community. Could Fox have another Buffy on their hands, or will Dollhouse go the way of Firefly? As of this month Whedon has defended Fox from any controversy fans may have with the current network execs, fearful that it will end up like the latter. Hopefully, January will be definite and we’ll get a cool new series to watch. Get a glimpse of the Dollhouse below:

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Friday the 13th Remake Trailer Online

Posted in film, horror, news, trailers with tags , , , , , , , on October 24, 2008 by worldofmatmos

With regard to remakes, reboots, adaptations, and other potential franchise fare being produced these days, and despite the apprehension that some may have when it comes to these projects, some pop-culture icons that are slated for a new generation are shaping up to provide these stories and characters with new life.

As with his 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, director Marcus Nispel has chosen to take on master slasher Jason Voorhees in a new version of Friday the 13th. Slated for the titular release date in February 2009, Nispel takes the Camp Crystal Lake mythology and updates it to spine-chilling effect. The new trailer has surfaced online, and it looks to be another great blood-soaked, sex-laden romp that looks to pay a sleek  homage to Sean S. Cunningham’s original horror-fest. Check it out below:

James Cameron’s “Battle Angel” Concept Art & Pre-Production Updates

Posted in action/adventure, concept art, fantasy, film, news, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2008 by worldofmatmos

James Cameron’s live-action adaptation of Yukito Kishiro’s Battle Angel Alita was discussed with the guys at MarketSaw3D in an interview with concept artist Mark Goerner. Goerner has worked for years as a concept artist in the game and film industries, and had the opportunity to work on concepting for Battle Angel at Lightstorm Entertainment for about a year-and-a-half before moving on to work on Cameron’s Avatar.

Although it is speculated that this is Cameron’s next project after Avatar, don’t expect to see the post-apocalyptic world of GUNNM anytime soon. A possible 2011 release is being buzzed around online communities. At least we have Avatar to look forward to in 2009 to keep us satiated for the time being.

On the “Fringe” of Prime-Time Television

Posted in action/adventure, reviews, sci-fi, suspense/thriller, television with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2008 by worldofmatmos

FRINGE (FOX, Tuesdays 9/8C, TV-14)

Headlining Fox’s 2008 Fall schedule is Fringe, a sci-fi/thriller from masterminds J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci, that is an intense thrill-ride full of suspense, intrigue, and action that is reminiscent of the original season of The X-Files.

The pilot introduces FBI Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), who is recruited into a top-secret sector of the Department of Homeland Security that investigates rather unusual cases. When her partner (and lover) becomes a casualty of the case they are working, she seeks the help of Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble), a brilliant scientist whose past achievements have landed him in an asylum for 17 years. With a little blackmail, she enlists the help of Dr. Bishop’s estranged son Peter (Joshua Jackson) to get access to him. Peter is also a genius like his father, but has instead chose to lead quite a different life.

Now employed with the FBI, Walter and Peter help Agent Dunham and her team, which includes Security Director Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick), Olivia’s good friend Agent Charlie Francis (Kirk Acevedo) and Agent Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole) unravel these mysterious happenings. Also introduced is the huge mega-conglomerate called Massive Dynamics that remains shrouded in mystery, and is run by CEO Nina Sharpe (Blair Brown), who prompts some intrigue into these investigations with bits of information regarding “The Pattern”.

The series itself is currently up to Episode 6, and much like Abram’s last epic television outing Lost, each episode is a compelling stand-alone piece that also slowly unravels the secrets of a larger, more insidious tale. What exactly is Massive Dynamics, and what is its ultimate goal? What is “The Pattern”? What is in store for us next week?

The show is impressive on several levels. First, the writing is top-notch, and coming from Abrams, Orci, and Kurtzman, this is to be expected. The high production values (especially the visual effects) rival anything else being currently produced, and although each episode has an almost formulaic cat-and-mouse hunt in the team solving their bizarre cases, each episode is loaded with enough plot twists to keep us engaged to find out the overall story and character arcs.

The characers are also well-developed and are some of the more interesting in recent years. John Noble is particularly excellent as Walter, who is easily my favorite. He is full of quirks, and his lapses between moments of genius and madness are fantastic. He also offers the comic relief in this otherwise tense series. Joshua Jackson is also great as Peter, who never comes off as too cocky or brash for his own good; he is likeable in this role and seems as though his character would be someone you’d want to hang out with. Anna Torv is also good in her role as Olivia; she is a tough yet fragile woman whose emotions help to point her in the right direction when trying to solve a case. Lance Reddick is definitely the hard-ass boss as Broyles, with his no-nonsense, follow-the-orders, need-to-know-basis attitude, but manages to come across as the most trustworthy of characters. Kirk Acevedo is limited in his role as Charlie, he is relegated to the background, but is still a worthy screen presence, and Agent Farnsworth spends most of her time in Walter’s renovated lab in the basement at Harvard.

The series covers a range of interesting and cool ideas such as nanotechology, telekinesis, cryogenics, viral warfare, re-animation, time travel…you get the point. The science is believable fiction and its entertaining suspension-of-disbelief has not disappointed yet. Abrams and crew have another hit on their hands, one that I hope will continue strong over several future seasons.

Evil Dead 4!? (The Sam Raimi ComicCon Interview)

Posted in action/adventure, fantasy, film, horror, news with tags , , , , , , , on October 23, 2008 by worldofmatmos
Is Ash coming back after all these years?

Is Ash coming back after all these years?

Back on July 28th, the great Sam Raimi was interviewed during the San Diego ComicCon whilst promoting his new horror film Drag Me to Hell starring Alison Lohman, and offered up some interesting tidbits on the possibility of resurrecting Ash in a new installment of his Evil Dead series. The last outing was in 1992. It’s been a long time, Sam. A very long time. Groovy.

*NOTE: Bruce Campbell also confirmed in an August interview that he and Raimi were in talks, however nothing has been confirmed as of yet. He went on to explain that if their respective schedules allowed it, that he would love to; on one condition…only Sam is at the helm. Obviously.

Who watches the Watchmen [new trailer]?

Posted in action/adventure, fantasy, film, news, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2008 by worldofmatmos

The film adaptation of Alan Moore’s iconic cult graphic novel is shaping up to be something quite spectacular. Director Zack Snyder has done a great job translating those pages to the screen. Of course, there will always be its critics, but check out the world premiere trailer that just aired on SpikeTV’s Scream Awards and decide for yourself. Watchmen opens on March 6, 2009. Awesome.

Film Review: “Ator the Invincible” (1982)

Posted in action/adventure, fantasy, film, reviews with tags , , , , , on October 22, 2008 by worldofmatmos

In the months following John Milius’ awesome fantasy opus Conan the Barbarian that made the shirtless, bulging pectorals of future California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger famous in the title role, Italian director Joe D’Amato (aka David Hills) decided to rip-off the Austrian-born juggernaut’s character with his own brainchild – Ator.

Starring Miles O’Keefe in the first of what would go on to spawn two sequels throughout the ’80s and into the early ’90s, with its sequel becoming a favorite of Mystery Science Theater fans everywhere, Ator the Invincible sets up the origin story of Ator and his destiny to fulfill his place in a long-winded prophecy about “being the one bearing the mark of Taurin, who will destroy evil” and, well, you know the rest.

So of course, baby Ator must be whisked away from his mother and taken into hiding by the warrior Griba, who will eventually train young Ator into the shirtless, bulging-pecs-of-a-warrior Miles. Ator is taken to another village where he is given to a family to raise as their own. I’ve seen better storylines from my D&D buddies back in high school, but I digress.

This typical fantasy premise is simply regurgitated by the filmmakers, and their lack of production values make it almost unbearable to watch…almost. Personally, I can watch the worst-of-the-worst cinematic trash with utter geeky delight, but I’m sure that many will have pressed stop on the DVD player by this point due to the inane dialogue and “action” sequences that feel as though they were shot and cut by a blind kid.

The production itself is ridiculously cheap-looking, so much so that one winces at the myopic “vision” of its director. D’Amato believed that he had a commercial success on his hands and that Ator would be amongst the ranks of other great fantasy films. Sadly for him, his career has become but a footnote of B-movie history and the laughing stock of audiences; the mere mentioning of his name in any opening credits elicits guffaws from audiences familiar with his work. For the obvious reasons (lack of money, poor script, poor production values, rushed schedule, etc.) D’Amato & company churned out a lackluster film from an actually not-so-poor story. Albeit an unoriginal one, Ator could have been even worse. The story is at least coherent, and has all of the familiar elements to make up a good fantasy-adventure.

Onscreen, the actors ham it up as best they can, such as Dakar (yes, his real name) playing Dakkar the tarantula-clad High Priest of the Spider delivering his [dubbed] heavy and menacing baritone with Shatner-esque timing. The British character actor Edmund Purlom, who once played a role in Joseph Mankiewicz’s Julius Caesar, is here as the warrior Griba, but he is no Obi-Wan Kenobi. Then there is Ator’s love interest and sister (eeew…well, not his real sister, but the girl he grows up with as his sister, whom he marries) Sunya, played by Ritza Brown. I kept wishing that she had been killed off so as not to endure her atrocious acting. Overall, Miles O’Keefe does a decent job with Ator, and pretty much has to carry the film himself, and given with what he had to work with, it’s quite a feat.

If you love cheesy 80s fantasy films, please check out Ator the Invincible as it is highly entertaining and will provide a great less-than-90-minutes of schlock-filled fun. This is still one of my favorites of the era, and one that I believe even warrants a remake. Also, if you get the chance, look for the Ator sequels as well. I picked my copy up in the $1 bin at Wal-Mart, and although my wife hates that I waste my time watching these movies, she understands that is my guilty pleasure. Now indulge yourself with some Miles O’Keefe action as…ATOR!

Ator the Invincible Trailer:

Ator the Invincible 2 (aka The Blade Master) Trailer: