Thursday, May 7, 2009

Turtles, Wolverine, Real-world Hobbits and more!

It's been a long time since my last post on entertainment news that I found fun and interesting. Let's see what has happened since then...

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles celebrated their 25th birthday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City on April 23 (Variety, IMDb). Fans celebrated the Ninja Turtles with special events including a screening of the original Ninja Turtle movie, and the Empire State Building was even lit up "turtle green" for the day. The event coincided with the news that the franchise would be brought back for a new live action movie probably around 2011. Ah, the childhood memories. My brothers and I were fans growing up, collecting various action figures including one that talked if you pulled a red strip of plastic through its shell (wow, that seems so primitive now). One of my parents' favorite baby stories is how my little brother used to call "pizza" "bunga nummins", which was baby brother speak for "Ninja Turtle food" (work with me here--"bunga" as in "Cowabunga!", and "nummins" as in the noun form of "num, num, num" which is obviously what you say when you're eating). I can't say I've really kept up with them--I didn't see the 2007 TMNT movie--but the '80s/'90s child in me is happy to hear they're still around.

Tracking the future of "my shows"... ABC has picked up Lost for another season, though this was already assumed since they made a deal before Season 4 to end the show at the end of Season 6 (next season). Castle, starring Nathan Fillion, is still on the bubble (Variety). Fox gave an early pickup for another season of Fringe (Variety). I already reported that Sarah Connor hadn't been renewed, and I have yet to hear a decision about Dollhouse. The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother, my two CBS sitcoms, will both be returning in the fall. NBC renewed Heroes, though it has fallen far from its lofty first season status. Chuck remains on the bubble. More decisions may be made in the next week or so. I love my shows, and I don't want any of them cancelled, but as you might have seen when I listed everything that I watch, my schedule is pretty full. It might be healthy for me if a few more were cancelled.

I've mentioned Gore Verbinski's planned live-action movie adaptation of BioShock a couple times (actually it made an appearance in what was basically my blog's first real post). The project has been put on hold, a victim of the bad economy (Variety, IMDb). Apparently, once the budget passed $160 million, executives at Universal Pictures halted production and let some production team members go. Verbinski is looking for ways to cut the budget, including a possible location move to London. The IMDb short mentions that Wentworth Miller, one of the two stars of Prison Break, is rumored to be starring in the movie. I like him. (I bought Mariah Carey's music video of "We Belong Together" on iTunes because he plays the boy with whom she belongs. Yes.) If this movie will bring him to the big screen, then I wholly support it. Save the BioShock movie!

Word on the boulevard is that Guy Ritchie, known for directing gangster/crime films such as Snatch and the upcoming Downey/Law Sherlock Holmes, is planning on directing a musical (IMDb). But you know what makes this even better? He's in talks to do this musical with B-action king Jason Statham (who did Snatch with Ritchie back in the day and has since done The Transporter, Crank, Death Race, The Bank Job, The Italian Job, etc.). Oh boy. We'll see if anything comes of this.

This was tagged on IMDb last week: The Biology of B-Movie Monsters. Mostly it analyzes the problems that unnaturally large or small creatures/people would face that are not recognized by the movies that feature them. It is so awesome. My Bridge of Khazad-dûm paper just can't measure up. No pun intended. Luckily, I think my Balrog is exempt from most of the criticisms presented in the article, seeing as it's a magical monster made out of molten rock.

I mentioned that ABC had greenlit a pilot for a new sci-fi TV series called "V", based on the original 1980s miniseries. But now I have heard that Alan Tudyk (aka Wash of Firefly) is starring in it! In a recent interview with Alan Tudyk, Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello mentioned in one question "I'm assuming your role in ABC's V reboot--assuming that it gets picked up--could pose a complication...." (, but WARNING: Dollhouse SPOILERS from the 5/1/09 episode immediately once you get there). I love Alan Tudyk (Fun Fact: I saw him on Broadway in Spamalot). He's awesome. My interest in the show "V" is definitely greater knowing he's in it.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is barely out in theaters, and they're already planning for another Wolverine sequel (Variety, IMDb). I have not seen the new Wolverine yet because I heard it is disappointing (if one of my friends wanted to see it, I'd go, but I won't try to convince anyone to see it with me if it's going to be bad). I probably will see it at some point, since I like X-Men and I like Hugh Jackman (Fun Fact: I saw him on Broadway in The Boy from Oz). But if this one wasn't very good, I don't have high hopes for the quality of its sequel. The news doesn't stop with Wolverine. Twentieth Century Fox is planning another spinoff movie focusing on Deadpool, aka Wade Wilson, played by Ryan Reynolds in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Variety, IMDb). I gotta say, he is easy on the eyes, and the bit from the trailer in which he slices a bullet coming towards him in half and the two halves hit the attackers behind him was pretty sweet. But I really have my doubts about how good that one will turn out. A spinoff of a bad spinoff? Doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

How about a bit of real-world news? Has anyone heard about what are being called the Indonesian "Hobbit" people? Scientists discovered skeletons of 3 foot tall, 65 pound humans on the Indonesian island of Flores back in 2004, but they have recently concluded that this is a new species of human, rather than some variation of previous species (BBC News). I love that they're being called "Hobbits," though apparently their feet are not as big as the Hobbits of Middle Earth. A shame.

Lastly, critical consensus seems to indicate that the new Star Trek movie will be totally awesome! See compilations of reviews here, here, and here. It opens on Friday, May 8 (tomorrow), though some theaters will not only have midnight screenings but various screenings earlier this evening. It probably won't do as well as Wolverine did last week because the franchise hasn't had the recent blockbuster success that X-Men had (basically, Star Trek isn't tracking as well among younger people, since it's staler in people's minds). But it's undoubtedly a better movie, and it should do better at the box office. So go out and see it. Get your friends to see it. Support Star Trek!


Sebastian said...

I'm not sure if it's totally necessary to 'support Trek!!' considering it's like... one of the biggest TV franchises ever, right? Or it used to be, I think! But yes, support good films -- like video games! Piracy sucks. I might lead a large piracy ring, but I certainly don't condone it!!

(With that out the way...)

My cousin had a chance meeting with the director of Turtles, way back in the 80s. Turns out the director was a fan of his work (or something like that), and as a result, me and my cousin (his son) were supplied with more Turtles gear than you can begin to imagine... All the stuffed toys, all the hard toys, video games, NES consoles...

Fun times.

V sounds like it'll be fun!

Eleni said...

It may have once been one of the biggest TV franchises ever--I don't know any stats regarding that. I do know that the last Star Trek movie, Star Trek Nemesis, flopped with $43.3 million domestically and $24.1 million overseas. The "Star Trek" label does not guarantee success at the box office.

One problem for this movie is that the franchise has been dormant for a while. The movie is tracking most strongly with older men; women and young men (the latter of which are generally considered to be the driving force behind major blockbusters) have not been showing as strong an interest as the studio might have hoped. We've also seen from previous installments that Star Trek underperforms overseas (that's you).

Yes, the Star Trek movie will be big, but how big? Analysts and the studios are predicting Star Trek will pull in $50-60 million domestically. Pretty good, but considerably less than Wolverine's $85 million last week, and Iron Man's $99 million last year.

Regarding the Ninja Turtles--That's so cool! My inner 7 year old is so jealous!

TOPolk said...

If you ever have time to kill, the new TMNT movie wasn't bad. It was pretty entertaining and did a good job of being accessible for both fans of the original series as well as the new cartoon.

Glad to hear that they're in line for another live action movie. You can never have too much of the heroes in a half-shell!

Eleni said...

Hmm, maybe I'll check out TMNT. It would be a good nostalgia trip.

Turtle power!