A Video A Day: Speechless

January 17th, 2008

Episode 16: “…”

Raise your hand, if you’re just as sick and tired of the writer’s strike as I am. It’s been going on now for 10 weeks and 2 days and everyday the news gets grimmer. Writers have been fired, pilots for next fall won’t be developed and popular series have been indefinitely postponed (24 might even not be shown until January 2009). Then there’s a big possibility that some TV shows might not even get the chance to finish their stories, like Scrubs and BSG. And don’t get me started on all those replacement reality shows…

Since Thanksgiving Day the Writers Guild of America have been releasing videos featuring well known actors and actresses as part of the Speechless campaign. The videos express the idea of the actors being scriptless and speechless, demonstrating the necessity of writers. So far, there are 31 videos, with new episodes coming out weekly.

I’ve listed a couple of my favourite ones here, but if you have time you can see the rest of the episodes on the Speechless site or here on YouTube.

Episode 10: “Because the lives of the wicked should be made brief”

Tonight is the London premiere of Sweeney Todd (even though the actual UK release date is 25th of January) and for that reason I’ve got this video. It’s a short clip with Johnny Depp commenting on his performance and shows a scene with him singing. I love the look and feel of the movie, but while I am a musical fan, I’m not sure I really like this music. Guess I’ll have to wait till the 25th to know for sure. 

Episode 9: “The microwave goes on, cause that’s probably like “magic” to them.”

I still have to see Hard Candy and Juno, but what I hear about both films is that Ellen Page just steals the show. Here’s a clip from her on The Late Show with David Letterman. You gotta love the “transparent slut” part.

Episode 8: “Yeah, I can’t believe it’s me either.”No, sadly this isn’t a video with The Muscles from Brussels and Mr Ponytail together, but if we’re lucky enough (and the actors are dumb enough willing) we just might well expect such a movie coming soon. Moviehole reports

“Van Damme vs. Seagal” is a spoof comedy making fun of action heroes Van Damme and Seagal, both living in the Hollywood hills jealously trying to make each others’ life miserable – until a real nuclear threat arises and forces them to combine their action hero powers. 

He continues though with: 

Alas – I’m guessing, but I think it’s pretty safe to say I’d be correct with my supposition – it won’t feature the real ‘Muscles for Brussels’ or the true Ponytailed Cook, but the film still sounds like it’ll be worth a look. 

I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that both actors might consider taking up these roles. Seriously, what better way to kick-start their already dead careers? And, it’s not as if they’ve never made fun of themselves before, right? Here, take a look at these commercials. The first is Steven Seagal for Mountain Dew, the second is JCVD for World of Warcraft. 

Episode 6: “Trill a cheery tune in the tub as we scrub a stubborn mildew stain.” 

Here’s a clip from Enchanted called the Happy Working Song. If you hadn’t heard of the movie, it’s a bit of a mix of homage and parody to the old Disney cartoon musicals. It’s about a cartoon fairy tale princess that gets pushed into “the world where there are no happy endings” aka New York. I knew I would love the movie when I saw it, because of the Disney nut I am, but I was surprised to find a lot of people loving it. Even my brother was recommending it to all of his friends, claiming it was more worth going to than I Am Legend (I haven’t seen I Am Legend yet, so I can’t say if that’s true or not).

The Happy Working Song is a tribute to the old Disney cleaning songs like Whistle While You Work and Just A Spoonful of Sugar. I especially love how they manage to rhyme toilet with spoil it.

A Video A Day: Trajan

January 3rd, 2008

Episode 2: “Roman Epic Movie”

I never realised how often Trajan is actually used, but after watching this video I keep seeing it everywhere.

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying the holidays as much as I am. Even with all my tooth stress, I had a great Christmas at my parents place. This year I really enjoyed picking out and thinking up the appropriate presents for everyone; although, I must say, Amazon has really made it easier for me this year (last year I was still in the Netherlands and the shipping fees are really not worth it). I had also ordered Threadless t-shirts for my brother and sister back in November and strangely they still haven’t arrived yet. I’ve already contacted Threadless and they were no help at all; I have no idea now, how to figure out where my package is.

Anyhow, Santa was very generous to me this year; I got a great bunch of presents (a whole lot more than I expected). Here’s a list of all the stuff I got (hope I’m not forgetting anything):


Christmas Presents

Heroes: Volume One: Ever since the first episode of Heroes aired in September 2006, a short comic has appeared online (in Flash or PDF) every week, as a supplement to the tv-series. I only found out about it at the end of last season and never got around to catching up on all of it. Now the comics during the first season (34 episodes) have been published together as a hardcover graphic novel. A must-have for every Heroes fan.

V For Vendetta: I loved the movie and have been meaning to get the comic ever since. I just know I’ll hear Hugo Weaving whispering in my mind whenever I’m reading though.

Sin City 3: The Big Fat Kill: I’ve already got Parts 1 & 2 and I’m hoping I can complete the series before they change the look and size of the edition. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s mismatched book series.


Christmas Presents

Ash: A Secret History (Mary Gentle): An interesting book about a female mercenary leader in the Middle Ages, who hears a voice in her head. The book is set up as if it was written as an actual biography of a real person by an English history professor and includes letters to an undisclosed university publisher.

The Tawny Man Trilogy (Robin Hobb): I read the Assassin trilogy a few years ago in high school and it sketches an original and imaginative magical world. I’m curious to see how the characters have changed after so many years.

The Rule of Four (Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason): I hadn’t heard of this book before, but it seems to be a history-quest mystery in the vein of the Da Vinci Code. I didn’t like the overhyped Da Vinci Code (preferring the earlier Angels and Demons), but I’ll give it a go and see how it is.


Christmas Presents

The Prestige: I’ve seen this film now thrice this year and it still doesn’t fail to amaze me. Complicated storytelling, but still gives room for the viewer to figure it out (and conquer the movie). Plus Hugh Jackman AND Christian Bale. Double swoonfest.

The Fountain: More Hugh Jackman! One of the most thought-provoking films I saw this year. Again complicated storytelling, but this time open to your own interpretation. Got to love the space traveler in a giant bubble!

The Dark Crystal: Gelflings! Cutest fantasy creature ever (I’m counting the Ewoks now as Science Fiction creatures). I’m slowly building up my collection of childhood fantasy movies. Already got Labyrinth, still missing The Princess Bride, Return to Oz and The Storyteller tv-series.

Serenity: Do I even have to explain? My only gripe with the movie is that every time I see it, I’m saddened by the stark realization that if they had continued with the tv-series the plot and mythology of the show would have just been phenomenal. Stupidest mistake of Fox evah (along with the cancellation of Angel, Dark Angel, Journeyman, Wonderfalls, Kitchen Confidential, Futurama, Tru Calling, Roswell, The Pretender, Point Pleasant, Drive, John Doe, Freakylinks, Harsh Realm, The Visitor, should I continue? This might take a while).

Babylon 5: The Lost Tales: Actually this wasn’t my present, but Cristiano’s. But come on! After 5 years of virtually being dormant, J. Michael Straczynski is back!

Blood & Chocolate and Ultraviolet: I actually tried watching both of these films, but just had to switch it off halfway. I read the book Blood & Chocolate is based on when I was 13 and was hoping for (but truthfully not expecting) a good movie adaption, which unfortunately is not the case. Ultraviolet is a complete different story. It was written and directed by Kurt Wimmer, the genius behind Equilibrium, but the cut that made into cinemas and now DVD isn’t his, but the studio’s (they found the original too emotional). The film is basically scene after scene of action sequences (beautifully choreographed though) with incomprehensible snippets of dialogue in between. I’m desperately hoping that someday there will be a Director’s Cut, cause I can see glimpses of the brilliant film that it’s meant to be.

Other Stuff

Travel Chopsticks
Christmas Presents
Aren’t these just cute? Now I can have sushi whenever I want!

Body Shop Goodies
Christmas Presents
I love Body Shop stuff, especially the lip balm Born Lippy.

Cute Tweezers
Christmas Presents
These are just so cute! My sisters says it’s a dominatrix, but I’m convinced it’s a ninja.

Microwave Mittens
Christmas Presents
Sweet, little mittens for the microwave. They even have magnets in them so they stick to your fridge.

Travel Hairdryer
Christmas Presents
After all the traveling I’ve done this year and most probably will be doing next year, this will be nice and handy.

Business Card Holders
Christmas Presents
Now I can store the business cards of all the people I meet out there.

Christmas Presents
I love my new hat! And was straight away useful at the Fireworks last night.

Phew, quite a list, huh? All I can say is I’ve been really lucky this year and got some serious reading and watching to do. So what presents did you get this year?

Last week it was confirmed that McG is officially signed on to direct the fourth Terminator, horribly named Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins. I honestly don’t think McG is a good choice for this movie. Although I’ve only seen his Charlies Angels movies, I’m not sure his style would fit with this type of action movie (the last thing the Terminator franchise needs is more cheesiness).

I’m trying to figure out how this movie will fit in the storyline of the previous Terminator films and more importantly the Sarah Connor Chronicles (SCC) tv-series. SCC will already have trouble with the whole time travel conundrum, but <SPOILER ALERT> they’re kind of resetting it by jumping into the future </SPOILER ALERT>. So how will T4 deal with this? FirstShowing reports that the movie will be about this:

The story will focus on John Connor organizing the surviving humans to resist Skynet’s army of robots. It will take place after the apocalypse (the end of Terminator 3) and likely feature the “origin” story of terminators – “the first time a human looking robot is used to infiltrate the ranks of people.”

I love the premise of the movie; finally a future was ravaged Terminator world! But it still doesn’t clarify exactly how SCC will relate to this.


What’s really got me psyched about T4 (I should actually call it TS:TFB, but I adamantly refuse, it’s a horrid, horrid name) is the following news/rumour from Ain’t It Cool News:

Hey folk Harry here. Just got off the phone with an extremely trusted source who has never been wrong before. he revealed exclusively to AICN that in the upcoming McG reboot, TERMINATOR SALVATION: The Future Begins, that they have cast CHRISTIAN BALE as none other than JOHN CONNER. you folks know what that means…THIS IS GOING TO KICK ASS!!!

Wow! Christian Bale as John Connor? That could actually work! If this is true, then somehow in my mind this movie has no possibility of failing. The writing can be sucky, the directing can be crap, but as long as it’s got Christian Bale in it…swoon. I’m hoping though that it will be more than just a Christian Bale swoonfest; with all the right ingredients and preperation this could be a deliciously enjoyable movie.

Christian Bale

Looking at the plot, I’m also wondering which other characters will be in the movie. Reese, perhaps? You know, the best friend of John Connor, who was sent back in time to protect Sarah Connor and ended up being his father? And, oh yeah, dies? That would give some great emotional conflict to the movie: “He’s my father! But he doesn’t know it yet! I have to send him back into time, otherwise I won’t exist! But I’m sending him to his doom! What to do! What to do!”

Here’s fingers crossed that McG won’t screw it up completely and that Christian Bale really has been cast in this!

Dragonball Zzzzzz

November 21st, 2007

When I was in highschool, Dragonball Z was immensely popular, especially under the “cool” non-geeky kids. In part, that is one of the reasons I never got into it; why bother myself with something everybody was already a fan of? It’s way geekier to like and know things about the things nobody else likes, right? Besides I’ve never really gotten the whole shifting hair colour thing anyway.

Dragonball Z

Skip forward to the present day where rumours about a Dragonball Z live action movie are slowly spreading. So what’s the scoop? Apparently Stephen Chow from Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer fame is producing the DBZ movie and James Wong (Final Destination) is directing it based on a script he wrote. Meaning cool writer/director/actor guy is this time only providing the money (=no real creative input) and the “genius” (please don’t overlook my sarcasm here) behind a teen horror movie with Death as the slice&dicer has all the reins of control.

Add to that mix, Justin Chatwin as Goku and James Marsters as the villain Piccolo and I’m not sure what to expect. To be honest, I’ve only seen Chatwin as Tom Cruise’s son in War of the Worlds and that entire movie was quite forgettable. Judging on looks only, he could pass for a Goku, I guess. James Marsters as Piccolo though worries me. Are they going to keep the white turban? As much as I love Spike, I’m not really sure how they are going to pull this off. Hell, I’m not even sure how they’re going to pull this entire movie off!

Dragonball Z

(Side note: Wouldn’t James Marsters and David Anders (Sark in Alias, Takeshi Kitano in Heroes) just be perfect as brothers? They both have that same bad-guy-you-hate-to-love-love-to-hate-have-to-have attitude.)

I haven’t seen much of the tv show, so I can’t really determine the wowness/bleghness of it all. To me though, Dragonball Z just doesn’t seem one of those cartoons that would be easily translated to the big screen. Any old fans out there?

Space, The Movie Frontier

November 9th, 2007

The last week has brought a flurry of reports and rumours over the new JJ Abrams Star Trek remake, exciting and disgusting Trekkies everywhere. Although I’m not very confident this film will actually work, the amount of info leaking out of the set is worth reporting. You’d almost think it was deliberately orchestrated this way and knowing Abrams, it most probably is.

Firstly, there’s a casting call for extras, which will get the most enthusiastic Trekkies reaching for their costumes. They’re looking for:

Thin, regal talent who have BROWN or BLACK hair AND are OK with their eyebrows being shaved from the arch outward to portray a “Vulcan type” eyebrow shape.

Then, next to that, they’re looking for this:

Especially seeking talent with interesting and unique facial features, such as: long necks, small heads, extremely large heads, wide-set eyes, bug eyes, close-set eyes, large forehead, short upper lip, pronounced cheekbones, over or under sized ears and/or nose, facial deformities, ultra plain looking people, ultra perfect looking people, pure wholesome looks, twins, triplets, emaciated talent in addition to regally poised and postured talent.

Eh, so you have to look weird or completely perfect? By the way, I’ve never heard a casting call before looking for “emaciated talent”; they want people that are freakishly skinny? Or does “emaciated talent” mean “not that much talent”?

Next up, is the report that the role of Captain Pike has gone to Bruce Greenwood, an actor that has been in a LOT of movies, but in normal unmemorable roles. You know what I mean, right? It’s one of those guys that always plays the father figure or the senator/president or the husband, those roles that are needed in the movie, but won’t really impress anyone. This only strengthens my idea that Captain Pike will have a very limited part in the movie.

Star Trek

Now the rest of the news is at the moment still a bit fuzzy. For starters, Rachel Nichols, former Alias wannabe, has reported that she’s been cast in the remake, but doesn’t even know who her character is.

Star Trek

Rumours are that she’ll play Janice Rand, the other Star Trek girl, but there’s also some “evidence” that another actress has been cast in that role. /Film says that:

IESB received photos from the set (mostly extras outside of a warehouse studio covered up in parkas, nothing all too interesting), and one of the photos shows an actress who looks a lot like House star Jennifer Morrison. Is this Morrison (see IESB’s photo above), and if so, is she the new Janice Rand? We’re waiting on a confirmation.

Star Trek

Hmm, the photo does look a lot like her and we know that she now has blond hair in House.

Last but not least, comes the report that Winona Ryder will play Amanda Grayson, Spock’s human mother. But exactly what does this mean for the plot? i can’t believe that they would cast an actress for the mother almost just as old as the son. It somehow seems to me that there will be even more time travel in it then we originally thought, what with Leonard Nimoy also being cast Spock. My idea is that Spock travels at least twice back into the past, once when he’s a kid and once when he’s just graduated from the Academy. Or will it just be boring flashbacks? Either way, wanna bet they’re going to cast a young Spock now?

Star Trek