My personal mission is to let you geeks and geekettes know what’s coming down the road in movies and television, especially if it’s to do with Sci-Fi, Fantasy or Horror. It’s not about promoting media as much as it’s about sharing what I think you might enjoy. Then I’ll have even more people to nerd out with over this stuff.
It also pains me when I ask friends of mine if they heard of some geek show or movie coming out and they don’t have a clue. ”But I posted it about a month ago” is my reaction. I’m not complaining about my buddies reading my posts, just about how they missed out on something I wanted to talk about.
So to help alleviate the problem of not knowing what’s coming out, particularly this fall on TV, I’m giving you all the video promos that have been released thus far for TV shows with that geek bend to them.
First up are a couple shows from CBS.
UNDER THE DOME (premieres June 24th 10pm est.)
From CBS Website:
UNDER THE DOME, which premieres Monday, June 24 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on CBS, is based on Stephen King’s bestselling novel about a small town that is suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by a massive transparent dome.
There’s just something about force fields that I’ve always loved. Especially giant inexplicable ones that trap people in them. Well, maybe those kind weren’t the most interesting to me, but this story is. King loves seeing humanity come apart at the fringes.
From the CBS Website:
Josh Holloway stars as former Delta Force turned U.S. Cyber Command über-agent in a crime thriller that explores the unlimited possibilities of technology. With a special microchip implanted in his brain, he has become the first super computer with a beating heart.
I thought this might be corny when I first heard about it, but after seeing the trailer, it might have some potential.
That’s it so far with the Science Fiction and Fantasy from the CBS Network. You can check out all the shows they will be featuring, including a Robin Williams / Sarah Michelle Gellar comedy, on their website HERE.
Star Trek: Into Darkness – If you liked the first one, you will probably Love this one. If you had problems with the first one, you will shake your head at this one and ask yourself ‘Why?’.
Director: J.J. Abrams. Writers: Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Weller, and Alice Eve.
(This isn’t going to be my typical review format with me talking about the technical aspects of the acting and directing. It’s going to be more opinionated. Hope you enjoy it all the same.)
When I first heard they were making a second Star Trek, I was okay with it. Abrams’ first dive into the universe was good. After seeing first one, I liked it, but thought there was a lot of fluff. I know that my regards to the 2009 film was skewed because of my love of the original series, but I kept an open mind and actually enjoyed it.
When I read that Cumberbatch was playing an evil villain in this latest film, I was undecided as to who I wanted to see. Khan, the evil genetically enhances dictator from the past? Or Gary Mitchell, the crewman and friend of Kirk that gets hit with some brain enhancing space energy which turns him into a super-telekinetic? Or did I even want to see either of them in the film. I mean, the Star Trek universe is huge, why not base a new film on a new story all together? Abrams had the courage to reinvent the universe, why not keep going in that direction.
Lots of people loved the first Abrams Star Trek. I was very confident that he would make lightning strike twice with the fans. And that he did, with an even flashier and louder lightning bolt. For you all that loved the first Star Trek, you will think that this sequel is second coming of Trek Cinema. Go see it. Go and sit back and enjoy seeing Kirk and Spock wrestle with adversaries too powerful for them to beat. Go see the science fiction spectacle, with space battles, Klingons, Vulcan human romance (a hot human at that) and touching scenes of loyalty and friendship. Go and enjoy the comedic moments that Simon Pegg delivers with his quirky skill. Especially go see it if you’re not a person that knows much about the old series. You might not get all of the references, but that might be a good thing.
BUUUUT…. if you were left wanting more from the first Star Trek, you might feel the same way about this one. And if you hated the first film, you might actually laugh out loud at the most inappropriate moments in the theater while watching Into Darkness. Because the references to the stories of the past were about as subtle as bucket of cold water waking you up from a warm cozy sleep.
It was a good story, but if you’re used to good storytelling, you could see the plot twists before they played in the film. And there’s an even deeper criticism that I have with this and the first film. The creators just didn’t express the moral issue like the writers used to in the past. Really it’s something that we discussed on our podcast – Geek Soul Brother and the 5 Nerdy Venoms. Somehow, I got the feeling that the stakes weren’t high enough with only Kirk and his crew in danger, even though there was a war brewing. And as my buddy HulkMad commented as we were leaving the theater, I didn’t have a strong connection to the characters. One of the reasons for that is because of the almost line for line copy of dialog from a certain famous story. I don’t know whether it was Kurtzman or Orci, but those throwbacks kept taking me out of the story. And the pace felt a little rushed. That might be my own perception. It didn’t feel choppy or miss edited, just told quickly. I did like the little changes they made in Spock as a character. He was elevated to a more hero status than in the old films.
Abrams, what’s up with the Lens Flares? Somebody, please clean and filter those cameras! It was cute the first time maybe. But now you’re just being silly.
It sounds like I didn’t like the film, but I did enjoy it. But there’s no way that this new adventure can hit me in the soul like some of the previous material. I’m not criticizing you gentle readers who like J.J.’s spin on the franchise, but I can’t understand how people don’t like the old stuff but love these films. There was so much good and meaningful storytelling in the original series, and those that followed. But if you like the action stuff, I can see the attraction.
Stay tuned for more of a discussion about the film on my podcasts with my fellow geeks.
Geek Soul Brother gives STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS 4 out of 5 COSMIC AFROS. That rating is for the majority of people who will see the film. If the theater was filled with people like myself and Hulkmad, the rating would probably go down a notch.
Hey Coulson fans! ABC released a longer trailer AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. and it’s looking pretty good. Still don’t have a clue who J. August Richards (Angel) is, but he’s bald and strong, so well see.
Of course I’m glad Clark Gregg is reprising his role and is the lead character. Ming-Na is always a treat to see, but like I expressed in the previous post, she’s no martial artist. At least I don’t think so.
The tone of the show seems to have taken its cues from The Avengers, which makes sense with Joss Whedon being involved. Check it out and let Geek Soul Brother know what you think.
We finally got our first look of the AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. It premiered last night during the end of Once Upon a Time. I almost missed it, but after seeing the trailer, I immediately went to ABC’s Youtube channel.
Coulson is Back! I forgot if this is a prequel to the Avengers, or maybe Coulson just comes back from the dead (look up the term LMD from shield).
What I want to know is who is the brother jumping out of buildings and flipping dudes over his head? Could he be one of the black heroes that we’ve been waiting for? Perhaps Luke Cage. J. August Richards‘ (Angel) character isn’t listed in the credits, but there aren’t many black bald headed guys with super strength that have to do with SHIELD or the Avengers. Tell me what you think.
Take Orlando Jones (Evolution, Chicago 8) and put him in the role of Black Barry, a lowly criminal trying to work his way up the criminal ladder. Throw in his significant partner in crime, and in life – Jezebel (Deanna Russo), his baby-mama-to-be. Now add the likes of Eric Roberts as ruthless mob boss Fred Lucas. Toss in some adult comedy, Scott Pilgrim like graphics, Motion Comic/Graphic Novel transitions, and bloody gun action that would make Tarantino smile. But wait. Take all of that and squeeze it down until you have condensed 5 to 7 minute webisodes and you have the new series – TAINTED LOVE.
Thanks to Shadow and Act for posting news about the trailer for the series.
A fast-paced and visceral story of true love against all odds, focusing on two expectant parents; one a quick-witted hitman, and the other a well-intended yet hopelessly inept thief. Black Barry will stop at nothing to protect Jezebel from his insanely vengeful boss Fred Lucas, after a lapse in judgment causes Jezebel to rob Lucas, and the bodies pile up.
Orlando Jones wrote and starred in the series. His character Barry is trying to do things by the book, both as a bag man for his boss, and a father-to-be for his only love Jezebel. You kind of like these two right from the start because, though their ideas to get money for their baby’s future are crazy and just plain dumb, their intentions are good and honest. The other aspect of the production that had me hooked was the immediate use of graphics and motion comic elements. The first thing you see when Jezebel shows how she ‘handles’ a gun is Barry’s ‘F’ word exclamation fly out his mouth and across the screen. From those first few seconds it’s a just eye-catching graphics, quick wit, and comedic stunts.
There are two episodes out so far. You can see the RED-BAND TRAILER HERE. Or you can just go to the Machinima Channel and watch the series. You can also get a bucket full of laughs listening to Orlando read some of the recent comments about the series. And I don’t have to remind you all that Youtube comments are definitely adult material, do I? Well, you’ve been warned.
If you really want to find out more about the thought and direction that Orlando Jones and director Avi Youabian put into the series, listen to my interview with them that I recorded recently. They talk about how the characters were created, and how the graphic novel look and music added something different to the series. It was an honor having Mr. Jones and Mr. Youabian on my podcast - CHILLIN’ WITH GEEK SOUL BROTHER.
It has been a long time coming – too damn long if you ask me – but the Private has been promoted to Commander… at least for the time being while playing the Mass Effect series. As a latecomer to the game franchise, I have seen the memes, the great cosplay and read the dissension from fans regarding the end of the third game. Yet for such an epic RPG, I never got into it until Artemis bought it for me for my birthday. Now that I am more than 2/3rds through the trilogy, I have to say that this is one the best (if not THE best) Science Fiction franchise of any medium in the last 10 years. Period. It is a bold statement, considering games do not get such praise as a whole; however I believe the evidence exists to make such a claim.
For those not familiar with the series, it is set almost 200 years in the future where the humans have only recently begun joining the galactic community. With the discovery of ancient technology on Mars for a wide array of advances, including FTL travel, we eventually discover the Citadel: a massive space station which has become the center of government and commerce for the other space faring species of the galaxy. At the start of the game – which really puts the old “Choose Your Own Adventure” books to shame – you play Commander Shepard; the sole survivor of an attack by a Thresher Maw (think a really nasty sandworm from Dune that can live pretty much anywhere) given the opportunity to join the Citadel Councils elite galactic special ops corps, the Spectres. On your trial run to secure a beacon created by a long dead civilization, the planet where it is located is attacked by a race of sentient androids known as the Geth. As the story unravels, a revelation is learned that puts all sentient species in the galaxy on the brink of extinction. Along the way you encounter a shadowy, privately-funded organization known as Cerberus who runs an array of operations throughout the different solar systems you visit.
Barring the highly customizable experience of this game that makes each players experience unique, the game series has a vast and diverse world that could even give Star Trek a run for its money. The more you play, the more you want to explore every world accessible to find their secrets. The alien races you encounter have their own uniqueness with diversities, rich histories and even their own speech patterns to make them all interesting. Many cultural and societal issues are reflected in the series, from the inter-species xenophobia and prejudice and the disproportionate distribution of the classes to experimentation on sapient species and genetic engineering. And whatever choices you make in the game – which impact the storyline – have no right or wrong answer; only the ones you may or may not agree with. The more interaction you have with the many characters and races in your travels, the more you appreciate the effort Bioware put into the game.
Shepard, Liara and Garrus
The characters you can interact with are probably some of the best put together in a sci-fi property in a while, with a great cast performing the voice acting. Whether it’s the Citadel Security officer turned rogue Garrus, The mercenary turned ally Wrex or the Asari archeologist Liara, the characters are all entertaining and interesting. They all have their own complexity with distinct personalities, and evolve throughout the series. The voice actors – who range from relatively unknowns up to the great Martin Sheen as the head of Cerberus – really make the characters come alive, providing an experience only big budget movies can provide.
Another detail that is used well in the series is the technology. A good portion of the science and tech used is, to an extent, within the realm of reality or believability. The first, major example would be the Mass Effect Relays (that the series is named after) which are huge devices that catapults ships in and out of FTL speeds. Another example are the kinetic barriers you and your teammates use in combat. At first glance they may be your standard particle shields trope, but the explanation on how these and the Mass Effect Relays work are similar in principle to Helms theory (using electromagnetism to repel, and even propel against, gravitational forces). It all adds another level of depth to this already vast universe that the audience can appreciate.
With how developed the world in this franchise is, there is a major factor of this series that makes me hope the Legendary Pictures recent attempt at a movie adaptation falls apart. The reason why is that with all this material to use, the best part is that the games are ultimately a unique experience to each player. As stated earlier, the story is customizable to not only how your character looks, but how you want him or her to be. You can choose to be a number of classes and ways to approach certain situations that have consequences. You can make your character to be a renegade biotic (a telekinetic) or a soldier who is a paragon of the human race. However you want to be in the game affects not only how characters interact with you, but how the entire story unfolds. The more you interact with the team of different species you pull together, the more the story unfolds. There are even several options to have intimate relations with team members. Every decision or action affects the story and how it plays out to its ultimate conclusion. To remove the component that makes the property so great will only cheapen the overall experience.
With everything this franchise has going for it, along with a very compelling main storyline, it clearly can stand toe to toe with shows like Battlestar Galactica or movies like Star Wars. If anything, it should be held in the same high regard as those other properties, instead of viewed by the sci-fi community at large as just a video game. If you enjoy a great sci-fi story, I highly recommend you try it out.