Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Much Ado About Avengers In The Woods..with Buffys

Being an overnight guy for a Sacramento radio station, I hear a lot about how the Mayans are predicting the end of the world next year because their calendar runs out, or how a comet from millions of miles away somehow set off Occupy Wall Street.

Well, I say 2012 is the Year of the Whedoncalypse, where his mighty hand, and maybe his ears, nose and throat, will shove the Earth into a new state of consciousness, based on the belief that spending millions of dollars on a 3-D movie that blasphemes The Three Musketeers is an embarrassment to our species.

This is really based on that surprise announcement Sunday night that Joss made his version of Much Ado About Nothing at his house with a hefty amount of Whedonverse alumni while no one was looking. We've been too keyed up about The Avengers we didn't know he had this idea in the back of his mind. What's more, he did this on his vacation and his wife was OK with it. That's because it's the beginning of Bellwether Studios, a micro-studio where new technologies and getting around typical studio suits can be the new road to good movies.

Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof as Benedick and Beatrice is a great selling point right there. Wesley and Fred/Illyria together again. Come to think of it, could Illyria, a God to a God, be intrigued by playing Beatrice? Sure, once she realizes blasting demons who sneaked into the play can be dealt with at intermission. I think Amy would add a dash of Illyria playing this role. while Alexis added some Wesley with a trace of the goofy news anchor he played in How I Met Your Mother.

Add Nathan Fillion as Dogberry, Sean Maher as Don John, Fran Kranz as Claudio, Clark Gregg (our favorite SHIELD agent) and Reed Diamond of Dollhouse, and you've got something. The whole press release is here, and it looks like we'll have to wait until March to see it at a film festival near you. Sadly, there isn't one near me, but maybe someone could start one to get this movie to Sacramento.

You should also thank Dr. Horrible for this, too. Making that internet musical for a pittance for the net, leading to massive DVD sales and applause everywhere, showed that you don't need the big studios to get a movie made, or even the usual indie guys like IFC Films. Just do it yourself, get actors who want to make movies for the fun of it and to sharpen their skills, and off you go. Heck, using cable companies and streaming media aside from Netflix can solve distribution problems. Kevin Smith has proven that with Red State.

The best benefit, of course, is seeing our favorite actors from the Whedonverse more often. Wouldn't you like to see Sean Maher despite the fact The Playboy Club is out of business, or Fran after the Dollhouse is closed, or Amy or Nathan? Course ya do.

Now a flood of links: the website for the movie, followed by the Entertainment Weekly article that includes Amy and Alexis together,and looking all Shakespeare like in a 21st Century world.

Of course, that's only the beginning. The Avengers is coming in May, but before that we FINALLY get to see Cabin in the Woods after the MGM bankrupcy drama. Let's also not forget it's Buffy the Vampire Slayer's 15th anniversary...and 20 years since that movie was shown. I was really disappointed by the blu-ray release of that movie. Why no cast reunion, or even more outtakes? C'mon, guys, she gave the WB a reason to exist. You should have worked harder. Then, again let's have the TV Buffy in blu-ray with new extras. That would be even better. Your move, Fox Home Entertainment.
Oh, and Firefly is ten years old in 2012. Browncoats assemble!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sorry, SMG, But You Look Better Staking Vampires

I tried to give Ringer a fair chance, because it is Sarah Michelle Gellar's return to TV. It's an interesting idea: a story of twin sisters reunited after a long estrangement, one apparently disappears, and the other takes her place to hide from a gangster who wants to kill her; the problem is apparently the other twin made a lot of enemies and was also awful to her husband and stepdaughter.

If it was just about that, I might stick around, but it looks like the show is stuck on Bridget (the god twin by comparison) getting surprised by how awful Siobhan (the bad twin) really was. She learns Shiv had an affair with her best friend's husband, and even talked about killing said best friend. She has a strained relationship with her husband, while her stepdaughter points out Siobhan stole hubby from his first wife. We also find out Siobhan made a lot of enemies, including one that may want to kill her.

All the while, Siobhan is scheming somewhere in Paris. She apparently wants to kill Bridget, who everyone thinks is Siobhan, and start a new life. Thing is, she's pregnant, but the show doesn't think that's important because it hasn't been mentioned since episode three. Bridget has the problem of faking Siobhan's pregnancy, and some of us think that Bridget is pregnant..but isn't.

Also, we have the worst FBI agent in the history of moving pictures. One day, Nestor Carbonell has to explain how he could play an FBI agent so inept. He can blame the writing, and he'd be right. Agent Machado not only can't tell the difference between Siobhan and Bridget, but in his search for Bridget to put away Gangster Guy, he never thinks to talk to the husband. See, Andrew, the husband, thinks Siobhan is an only child. Everyone did, until Gemma (the best friend) suddenly noticed "Shiv" didn't have that cooking scar. Moot point, since Gemma is dead or kidnapped, thanks to Siobhan, who is above it all and convinced no one will ever figure it out. That last plot point convinced me that there's no point in sticking around.

I like Sarah Michelle Gellar when she is taking charge, not scared out of her wits tyring to fake being someone else, and finding out awkwardly how awful her sister was. Maybe she figures she's part of a plan where she dies for her sister's sins, while Bad Twin has a new life as Cora Farrell. Add the fact that Siobhan is smarter than everyone else including incompetent law enforcement.

Compare this to ABC Family's The Lying Game, about long-separated twins who trade lives, but one of them doesn't come back because she's looking for their birth mother. At least the Rich Twin gets mistaken for the other twin, and she has to deal with the consequences. The only thing that would get me interested in Ringer is if Siobhan is mistaken for Bridget, and she has to live HER life for a while. Otherwise, waiting for Bridget to be mistakenly killed has lost its charm. There's also a plotline where Juliet the stepdaughter is having problems in a public high school, and a younger teacher played by Jason Dohring is the only one on her side. Since this is the CW, Juliet has to fall in love with her teacher. It's a miracle this doesn't happen on The Secret Circle.
Well, they are guaranteed 22 episodes, and that's enough time to make the show more compelling. Take out "Bridget is targeted for death" and replace it with "Siobhan is trapped in Bridget's world", and that might help. Of course, how long would Bridget force Siobhan to be trapped? Not long, and Shiv will betray Bridget and no one will notice.

There are other shows that have my attention, including Revenge. At least Emily Van Camp is Emily Thorne, or rather Amanda Clark (although I prefer Emanda Clarke-Thorne), a take-charge gal who has every right to destroy a massively rich couple who totally ruined her life a lot more than they can imagine or care (if they could). It's getting to the point, though, that innocent lives will be taken in this long battle, but it can't be helped. I suspect Emanada may face jail time even though Victoria and Conrad Grayson, the targets of her vengeance, committed more crimes against her. They'll get theirs, too, but Emanda will have to face punishment, even if she lists the evidence of their crimes against her. After that, she still wins..and probably expects to cease to exist when it's all over. I still like Emanda because she's a gal of action, instead of someone who has to pretend, and wonders when will she be exposed, and then dead.
You also have to admit Madeline Stowe is scary as Victoria Grayson. Maybe she should be the evil queen on Once Upon A Time instead.

I also like American Horror Story, which is really disturbing drama, and kind of exciting, too. I also think that if the show has a second season, Dylan McDermott and Connie Britton won't be part of it because the creators will kill their characters off, and admit the real star is Jessica Lange. I also have hopes for Grimm, if they can only make the lead character more interesting. When your sidekick outshines the lead actor, you're in trouble. Add that to competing against science in Fringe, and two other demon hunters in Supernatural, and Grimm will have a tough time attracting viewers.