Kong: Skull Island trailer

Kong: Skull IslandThe trailerfest continues with Kong: Skull Island. This could also be fun but I am not that bothered about King Kong. I love the ‘lost world’ idea, with dinosaurs and crazy tribes, but a giant creature trashing stuff has already been done pretty well from quite a few different angles – King Kong, Godzilla, Cloverfield, Transformers, Pacific Rim, and so on. Hopefully there will be a new twist.

This is another trailer that debuted at Comicon:

 

 

Samuel L Jackson explains Game of Thrones

Samuel L Jackson, Game of Thrones. Together at last.

Samuel L Jackson, Game of Thrones. Together at last.

If you haven’t seen this already and are a Game of Thones fan, you really should, it is brilliant. If you haven’t seen GOT then you are missing out and should watch all  60 hours or so, then watch this.

This is basically Samuel L Jackson giving an expletive and spoiler-filled description of nearly everything that has happened so far in Game of Thrones. It is genius. There are huge gaps, which he briefly refers to, but it is a great clip and it isn’t really aimed at newbies anyway. Even though that is ostensibly what it is supposed to be.

Next I would like Mr Jackson to summarize the whole Harry Potter series. Oh, and Star Wars. This could be a whole new career for him – a one man ‘Honest Trailers’.

Here you go:

Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding

I have never been that excited by steampunk and its related genres but have recently read two of them and thoroughly enjoyed myself. The first was The Wonder by James Devo and more recently, Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding. I recommend them both.

I stumbled across the book by accident. I had read an article about a science fiction book called Dark Run that reviewers had compared to Firefly (one of the best shows ever) and the Adventures of Ketty Jay. Intrigued, I looked up the latter, and moments later Retribution Falls: Book 1 of the Adventures of the Ketty Jay was on my selection of shiny reading devices. I love the modern world.

Review of Retribution Falls

The story revolves around a ragtag, unlikely collection of motley down-at-luck characters having adventures. So quite like a lot of things really, including Firefly. This sort of grouping is always at risk of colossal cliche but if done well, it can be bloody great.

The story: The charismatic captain of the Ketty Jay needs a bit of cash and takes on a job that seems too good to be true. Predictably it is and suddenly they are in a world of trouble. This is a pretty cool world however, with flying airships, pirates, knights, demonologists, war golems, and more.

Did I like it? (I know I recommended it already but bear with me.) At the start, to be honest, I was a bit wary. The characters are not immediately the nicest or easiest to bond with but as the story goes on, things rapidly improve. Soon they are having incredibly exciting adventures and each character has a very satisfying story arc. The story is well plotted, the action is top notch, and this review is now full overused expressions. Basically, it’s damned exciting, good characters, and an intriguing tale.

I will keep this review pretty short. If you want an exciting read about freebooters and airships and Machiavellian plots, then you will like Retribution Falls. It isn’t necessarily an intriguing new take on anything but it is great fun and I have immediately bought book 2. Which says it all. Recommended.

Westworld trailer looks incredible

Westworld (HBO TV series)

Westworld (HBO TV series)

I absolutely love the original Westworld movie so when I heard they were making a new one I was reasonably interested, although deep down was prepared for inevitable disappointment. I have since changed that opinion after learning about the incredible cast (Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Tessa Thompson, and Ed Harris), budget (lots), people involved, and the fact that it will be on HBO. Also, it will be written by Jonathan Nolan, who is generally pretty reliable. There are also rumours that it will be pretty violent and very explicitly naughty. Go HBO!

Yul Brynner in the original

Yul Brynner in the original

Then I saw this Westworld trailer (it might be a teaser trailer, I have forgotten how you tell,) and am utterly sold and ludicrously excited. It looks incredible and it doesn’t even have Yul Brynner in it. If you haven’t seen the original Westworld, you really should, it’s a great movie. I just hope they include some of the other worlds in the show as they were pretty cool too. I am not counting the sequel as I can’t remember anything about it, so it is possibly suppressed for a reason.

After years of talk and possible cancellations, the series now has a confirmed release: October. Probably.

Anyway, I will nerdgasm in my own time. Here is the trailer:

 

Phil Tippett: My Life in Monsters

Phil Tippett

Phil Tippett

Oscar-winning Phil Tippett is a stop-motion animator and designer who has worked on Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Starship Troopers, Robocop and more. The man is a legend and his work genius. No matter what you think about CGI versus models, old-school model making was/is amazing. Everything has its place and a blend of techniques keeps most people happy. I do think that making proper sets and models looks a damn sight more fun than pure green screen though and I bet Phil Tippett’s house is full of very cool things. In fact, I bet modern science fiction CGI animators and programmers save up and spend a lot of their hard earned programming money of models like these. I know I do.

This documentary is fascinating.

New Hitchhiker’s Radio Show for BBC

And Another Thing... by Eoin Colfer

And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer

Froody news!The BBC has just given the go ahead for a new Hitchhiker’s radio show. Which is just superb news as the radio shows were just brilliant. If you haven’t heard them you are hugely, colossally missing out and my life has, by dint of this one fact, been better than yours. Obviously you can rectify that. They are different from the book after a certain bit, but then the BBC also did radio versions of all the books with the original cast. If this is confusing, google it.

The new series will be based on And another thing… by Eion Colfer. Which will worry some people. I quite liked the book as an episode of Hitchhiker’s although I didn’t feel that it lived up to the original. As you can see by clicking on this. It was fun though.

The great news is that it is being directed by Dirk Maggs who was in charge of the original, and consequent, series. Also, the original cast are going to be back. I’m excited. Here is more information from the British Comedy Guide.

From British Comedy Guide: (click here)

The new series is being organised by Dirk Maggs, the director who has overseen previous series of Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, alongside David Morley from Perfectly Normal Productions.

Plans are currently at a very early stage of development, with a six episode run provisionally ordered. Speaking to BCG, Maggs confirmed: “A series has been commissioned but plans are still being put together – what precise form it will all take and who exactly will be involved is all yet to be confirmed.”

Contrary to other press reports, no actors have been signed up to the project yet, however the show is likely to star many of the original cast. Maggs confirmed to British Comedy Guide: “I wouldn’t dream of doing it without approaching the original cast, but it’s way too early to do that yet.”

Simon Jones who plays Arthur Dent, Geoffrey McGivern (Ford Prefect), Mark Wing-Davey (Zaphod Beeblebrox), and Stephen Moore (Marvin) last reunited with Maggs in 2014 to record a special one-off live transmission for Radio 4, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy Live. The episode also saw Susan Sheridan reprise her role as Trillian. It would prove to be her last time playing the character, as she died in August 2015.

Series 6 of the show is expected to air in 2017. Maggs says: “I am very happy to be returning, it will be great to get ‘the band back together’ – for what will probably be the last time.”

 

New Star Trek in 2017

NewTrekThere has been no new Star Trek on TV for over a decade and frankly, look at the state of humanity right now. So there was great excitement when CBS announced that it has decided to make a Star Trek new series. Unfortunately, it will be an exclusive on the CBS All Access, so unless you have that service then I guess you are doomed and can’t watch it ever. (Although I’m sure humanity will find a way.)

In even better news, it isn’t related to the new Star Trek movies, which were fun but now have no planet Vulcan and if a character dies they can presumably now get some super blood and be ok. Also, TV Star Trek should be more cerebral – great scifi ideas and the odd bit of action. Not all action.

Bryan Fuller will be the showrunner – he used to write for DS9 and Voyager. In the writing chair, amongst others, will be Nicholas Meyer, who wrote Star Trek movies Wrath of Khan and Undiscovered Country, which were films 2 and 6 respectively. So single digit even numbers, which as all Trekkies know, equals good.

More info can be found here: www.startrek.com/news_articles

I can’t wait to find a way to watch this new series. Here is the teaser trailer. It shows bugger all but still got me excited. Trek!

Empire Strikes Back but with Bond intro

Empire Strikes Back's awesome crawl. The music plays in my head even looking at a still picture

Empire Strikes Back’s awesome crawl. The music plays in my head even looking at a still picture

Imagine if, instead of the brilliant opening Star Wars crawl, there was a Bond-type intro sequence. Personally, I think it would suck, but as an experiment a talented chap called Kurt Rauffer went ahead and made one anyway, using the unused Radiohead version of the Spectre song.

Having seen every Star Wars film in the cinema, I am a huge fan of the opening crawl and the epic Star Wars music and I still crap myself with excitement when it appears. Between 5 years old and 43, there has been no lessening of my inner child, thank the Force.

I have also seen every Bond in the cinema since the Spy Who Loved Me (also in 1977) and apart from the whole “Ooh, was that a nipple?” aspect, I find the opening Bond music/graphic sequences dull. There should always be the opening bit where he walks in and shoots the screen, and that should be where the title of the film is – then start the film. You hear me Bond?

However, as an experiment done on the internet that pays a homage to both franchises, this video works really well and is quite cool. Here is a Bond-esque intro to Empire Strikes Back. Enjoy.

 

Neil Gaiman to adapt TV version of ‘Good Omens’

imageExciting news! The other day at a memorial event for Terry Pratchett, Gaiman confirmed that he would be personally adapting the Good Omens novel, which he co-wrote in collaboration with Pratchett. Initially, he always said that he wouldn’t produce anything Good Omens related unless his long time friend Pratchett was involved – for example there was a recent radio adaptation featuring cameos from Gaiman and Pratchett.

But then, and this is really bloody touching, Terry Pratchett wrote a letter to be opened after his death, which asked Gaiman to personally write an adaptation for TV. At which point he agreed. Or as Gaiman said at the memorial event – “At that point, I think I said, ‘You bastard, yes.'” He also revealed that the Good Omens TV show would be a six parter.

By the way, if you haven’t read the book, you should. It’s brilliant. It’s about the end of the world and a demon and an angel team up to deal with the anti-christ. Who happens to be an English school-kid.

image

Good Omens has long been the subject of attempts to bring it to the screen, big or small, but it finally looks like it might happen. In other purely Pratchett news, there may well be a film based on Mort – which is also superb and is basically a story about Death taking on an apprentice. Even more exciting and more vague and unlikely to happen, is a TV show based on the Watch. Which would be absolutely brilliant.

I love Gaiman and Pratchett and am very excited about seeing Good Omens. I have been putting it off but am finally reading ‘Raising Steam’. I feel sad to be reading one of the last Pratchett books ever and had been delaying it for weird psychological reasons. I have read every one of his books since his first book came out and it has been a yearly treat. Having said that, it has been 30 years since I started reading him, so maybe I have forgotten enough to go through them all again.

If you haven’t read Gaiman or Pratchett or Good Omens – you are in for a treat.

For more info on this awesome fantastic news, read a more informed Guardian article here.