Wednesday, March 25, 2009

IDOLS-13, new Star Wars and Star Trek TV shows, etc.

Getting back into the regular swing of things after my series of posts about my Hawaii visit, it's time to catch up with some recent entertainment news that has caught my eye...

Matt Damon is lined up to star in The Investment Bureau, which has been described as a contemporary romance with sci-fi overtones (Variety). The script was written by Bourne Ultimatum co-writer George Nolfi, who will also direct. Damon will play a congressman who meets a beautiful ballet dancer but finds "strange circumstances" keeping the two apart. I am intrigued. I'm a Matt Damon fan--he tends to choose interesting projects, and he delivers consistently good performances--and Nolfi's The Bourne Ultimatum was great, so this movie could be pretty cool.

Considering that in past years the call-in numbers to vote for American Idol contestants have been 1-866-IDOLS-01 through 1-866-IDOLS-12, it seemed logical that for this year, in which there were thirteen finalists, they would simply add the number 1-866-IDOLS-13 for the 13th contestant. The number for the thirteenth contestant, however, was 1-866-IDOLS-36. Why? Apparently, 1-866-IDOLS-13 is a phone-sex hotline (IMDb). I didn't watch the show, but I hope Ryan Seacrest made the tricky thirteenth phone number very clear, or else a lot of teens would find their call answered by a woman's voice saying "Hey there, sexy guy. Welcome to an exciting new way to go live, one-on-one, with hot horny girls waiting right now to talk to you." Picture the scarred children. So wrong. But hilarious.

Scarlett Johansson is confirmed to have signed on to play villain Black Widow in Iron Man 2 (IMDb). Emily Blunt had been forced to step down from the role last month due to scheduling conflicts. Let's hope Johansson can do the role justice; her previous comic book movie experience was in The Spirit. Also, Mickey Rourke has officially agreed to play Whiplash in the sequel. He has already begun his research, touring Butryka prison in Moscow to start to get into the head of his Russian supervillain (IMDb).

George Lucas is looking for actors to star in his upcoming live action Star Wars TV series (IMDb). If he's casting... it sounds like he's really going to make this show happen. There have been so many Star Wars disappointments in recent years. Please, oh please, George Lucas, don't mess it up any more.

The Sci Fi Channel is changing its name to SyFy (IMDb). Apparently, this will make it seem hipper to the 18 to 34-year-old demographic. I can't say it's working for me. I'm just confused. So... what does SyFy stand for?

Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller is hoping to use the (expected) success of the upcoming J.J. Abrams Star Trek prequel to start up a new Star Trek TV series (IMDb). The more recent Star Trek TV series were getting a bit tired, but Fuller envisions the new series more in the fun spirit of the original. He says it would take place in the same era as the J.J. Abrams movie but on a different ship with its own adventures. I've never been a true Star Trek fan, having watched TNG only sporadically when I was a kid, but I'm excited about the new movie and if Bryan Fuller is planning a new TV series (I absolutely adored Pushing Daisies--I'm still sore over its cancellation), my interest is definitely piqued.

Warner Bros. and a number of video game makers are backing a video-game-on-demand service called OnLive Game Service (Variety). OnLive, which is being shown off at this week's San Francisco Game Developers Conference and is expected to go live this winter, allows users with a broadband internet connection to play games instantly without downloading, giving the PC the convenience of a console system. This has the potential to seriously affect the gaming competition between consoles and PCs, and it should help the video game developers by reducing their reliance on the consoles. As a PC gamer, I'm excited at the prospect of PC gaming gaining influence, but I'll have to see what kind of games show up on the service before I get excited. I guess I'm a traditionalist; I like to do the full install once and take the game around with me, even if I'm not connected to the internet.

That's all for now!


Sebastian said...

OnLive can also stream to the TV (set-top box style), which is probably more important -- no more console/franchise/stupid-price-per-game tie-ins! Hooray!

It's interesting... they send the full video/audio stream to you, using some funky compression; they claim with very little latency involved...

Will be awesome if it actually works. Totally awesome!

TOPolk said...

A live action Star Wars TV show? I feel like no good can come from this.

And I kinda dig the SyFy renaming. But I'm also an ECW fan. With the name chance I can mentally digest wrestling being on the Sci-Fi channel a little better.

I heard about the OnLive system. If it works as advertised, it'll be interesting to see who supports it and how much.

Eleni said...

Right, I guess they're trying to branch out from the exclusively sci-fi image, so they're changing the name to SyFy which is just a made-up word. A made-up word that sounds like sci-fi. Unless you pronounce it "si-fee" or something.