Friday, April 04, 2008

Press Release: King Kong

This year marks the 75th anniversary of King Kong and the Turner owned stations are celebrating in style starting this coming Monday. Here a press release on the whole thing:

TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies to Celebrate
75th Anniversary of KING KONG in April

TNT and TBS to Simulcast Network Television Premiere of Peter Jackson’s Blockbuster Remake,

Starring Naomi Watts, Jack Black and Adrien Brody

TCM to Present Classic 1939 Original, Starring Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong and Bruce Cabot

TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) are teaming up to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Hollywood’s tallest, darkest leading man: KING KONG. The celebration will begin Monday, April 7, at 8 p.m. (ET), when TCM presents the original 1933 classic, which stars Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong and Bruce Cabot. Then on Friday, April 11, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT), TNT and TBS will simulcast director Peter Jackson’s Oscar®-winning 2005 remake, starring Naomi Watts, Jack Black and Adrien Brody.

“KING KONG is an excellent example of how having a portfolio of networks like ours provides outstanding programming opportunities,” said Ken Schwab, senior vice president of programming for TBS and TNT.

Charles Tabesh, senior vice president of programming for TCM, added, “Through our celebration of KING KONG’s 75th anniversary, we will be able to bring the past and present together in a way no other company can do.”

In addition to the April 11 simulcast of Jackson’s acclaimed blockbuster, TNT will present encores of the film Saturday, April 12, and Sunday, April 13, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT). TCM will follow its April 7 presentation of the original 1933 version of KING KONG with four other movie classics celebrating their 75th anniversary: Dinner at Eight at 10 p.m., Little Women at midnight, 42nd Street at 2 a.m. and Queen Christina at 3:45 a.m.

As a build-up to the network television premiere of Jackson’s film, fans of his The Lord of the Rings trilogy can catch all three of those Oscar-winning films on TNT the weekend prior to KING KONG, with The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring airing Friday, April 4, at 8 p.m.; The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers airing Saturday, April 5, at 8 p.m.; and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King airing Sunday, April 6, at 8 p.m.

KING KONG tells the story of Carl Denham, a maverick filmmaker determined to capture on film images that have never been seen by civilization. He and his stalwart crew hire a boat and head to the remote Skull Island, where they encounter natives worshipping a mysterious god. After the natives capture Ann Darrow, Denham’s leading lady, and offer her as a sacrifice, the reality of their god becomes apparent: it is a giant gorilla they call Kong.

Kong, who is struck by Ann’s beauty, takes her back to his lair, fighting off numerous prehistoric beasts who would like to make a meal of her. Denham and his crew, meanwhile, set out to get her back alive and capture Kong to take him back to New York. Once in the Big Apple, Kong breaks free, finds Ann and climbs to the top of the Empire State Building, where he faces the bullets of fighter planes buzzing overhead. Bleeding and alone in a world he doesn’t understand, Kong looks to Ann for comfort. But even her beauty and affection cannot save him. He tumbles off the building to his tragic death on the streets below. As a crowd gathers, Denham provides newspaper reporters with their perfect headline: “’Twas beauty killed the beast.”

KING KONG began as the brainchild of director Merian C. Cooper, who came up with the idea while he was shooting wild-animal footage for the movie The Four Feathers. His original plan for KING KONG was to use a real gorilla made larger through the use of trick photography. When he saw some model animation that Willis O’Brien had put together for an abandoned dinosaur project, he realized the special-effects wizard was the perfect person to bring his giant gorilla to life. O’Brien’s work on the film took special effects to an entirely new level, paving the road for a number of subsequent classic films, including several created by Ray Harryhausen, who learned his craft working under O’Brien.

RKO released KING KONG in New York in 1933. At the time, it was the only film that had ever played by Radio City Music Hall and the RKO Roxy simultaneously. Audiences and critics were amazed, and KING KONG went on to make more than $1.7 million at the height of the Depression, single-handedly saving RKO from bankruptcy. Unfortunately, the studio mangled the prints in later releases, removing several sequences that were deemed too graphic or too suggestive for audiences. It was not until the 1960s that many of these scenes were restored.

In 1976, producer Dino De Laurentiis created a new version of KING KONG that featured make-up artist Rick Baker in a gorilla suit, along with a few sequences with a massively expensive mechanical Kong made by Carlo Rambaldi. The film was dismissed by critics, but managed to become a blockbuster and earn an Oscar for its visual effects.

Nearly three decades later, filmmaker Peter Jackson, hot off of his extraordinary feat of making The Lord of the Rings trilogy, decided to try for his own remake. He was determined to do everything right that De Laurentiis had done so very wrong. Jackson didn’t want to just remake the 1933 classic; he wanted to pay loving homage to it. To do so, he teamed up with writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, who had helped make his Tolkien trilogy such a critical and financial success. And he called upon the same special-effects and design teams that brought Middle Earth to life.

Jackson’s film was released in 2005 to enormous critical praise and blockbuster crowds. Like the 1933 original, Jackson’s film took special effects to a new level, using computer animation and performance elements by Andy Serkis (Gollum in The Lord of the Rings) to make Kong to astonishingly realistic. The results were three Oscars (Best Visual Effects, Best Sound and Best Sound Effects Editing) and a domestic gross of more than $200 million.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Previewing Battlestar Galactica

Unfortunately I have not been able to watch any television lately let alone write anything, the Gnarls Barkley review I wrote last Monday was the last I had time to do so. So instead of accepting the screener for the first episode of the last season of Battlestar Galactica, the good people at the Sci-Fi Channel, like Courtney, were kind enough to send my copy to Jo, who could definitely do a better job hyping the premiere, which you can see on April 4 at 10, than I could. And here is what she has to say about it (anyone else interested in doing a guest post, shout me a holla):

Battlestar Galactica amazes me. Every season has ended in jaw dropping fashion- last season especially. And the beginning of the final season promises a whole new direction. This episode is just the tip of the iceberg and I refuse to ruin it for you with spoilers.

The great news:
Starbuck is back!
No season can begin or end with the giant battle scene.
More Anders this year!

Some things haven't changed.....
- Gaius is still a slimy weasel. He gets whisked off to a cult dedicated to himself, so you know that'll take him about 3 seconds to learn to love. I wonder how long it will take him to manipulate them. Honestly, Caprica Six has more of a soul than him.
- Helo is still the open minded one while Roslin's first instinct is AIRLOCK! This is why I love both of them.
- Those that love and trust Starbuck still do, despite the evidence pointing to the weird and the unexplained.

Some things are very different....
- Starbuck doesn't seem to be all right in the head...and not in the usual Starbuck way.
- The four new cylons will probably take different paths through their upcoming identity crises. That's my personal guess.
- Apollo! Oooh Apollo. I'm very eager to see Apollo's new civilian take on life.

Scooter Update: As I mentioned weeks ago, those in NYC and LA, you can get a free pizza for watching the fourth season premiere. All you have to do is call or walk into a participating pizza joint and say "I want to order a frakking pizza", answer a question about the episode and you get a free pizza with one topping which comes with BSG branded boxes, while supplies last. I do not have the numbers, check your phone book, but here are the adresses:

Adriana - 253 3rd Ave
City Pie - 166 W 72nd St
Crispy Pizza - 114 7th Ave
Fat Sals - 730 10th Ave
Fat Sals - 217 W 14th St
Freddy Peppers - 303 Amsterdam Ave
Little Italy Pizza - 55 W 45th St
Maffei Pizza - 686 6th Ave
Mike's Due - 415 2nd Ave
Pizza Joint 2 - 70 W 71st St
Rays St. Marks - 2 St Marks Place
Stroko's 2 - 1090 Amsterdam Ave
Torino Pizza - 22 W 56th St
Mariella - 151 E 60th St
Joes Pizza - 7 Carmine St
Stroko's - 888 10th Ave

Asparagus Pizza - 1809 N Cahuenga Blvd
Checker Cab Pizza - 750 S Flower St
Cheech's Pizza - 2116 Hillhurst Ave
Damiano's Pizza - 412 N Fairfax
Fratellis Pizza - 20929 Ventura Blvd #11
Lucia's Pizza - 1732 1/2 Westwood Blvd
NY Pizza Pasta - 11078 Santa Monica BLvd
Junior pizza - 3520 N. Figueroa
Jinas Pizza - 4551 Centinela Ave
Enzos pizza - 10940 Weyburn Ave
Italian Express - 10845 Lindbrook Dr
Mulberry Street Pizza - 17040 Ventura Blvd
Ciccero Pizz - 1536 S. La cienga Blvd
Grecos Pizza - 6814 Hollywood Blvd

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Radio in My Head, Radio in that Car

Friction, Baby - Better Than Ezra

At the turn of every decade it seems like radio dumps anything associated with the previous one looking for something new to define the next one. Then the band has to sit out ten years and hope to join the greatest hits circuit when nostalgia starts to set in. Sadly Better Than Ezra got lost in the shuffle even though they continue to put out solid album after solid album. Their best of which is this month’s selection for the Scooter Hall of Fame.

The band made a name for themselves thanks to the Adam Sandler assisted Good, but the group perfected their sound on their second album, Friction, Baby. The album starts off with the bombast rock of King of New Orleans. But the hit was Desperately Wanting, the greatest rock song ever about complications from a pregnancy.

(Scooter’s Note: I wrote this a while ago and planned a couple more paragraphs but haven’t the time. I may come back and finish it later.)

Monday, March 31, 2008

Sci-Fi Channel Upfront

Two weeks ago was the Sci-Fi Upfronts and as promised last week. Better late than never, plus I have not seen some of this info elsewhere. So here are the shows you can expect on the Sci-Fi Channel over the next couple months (most dates have not been released yet):

Ghost Hunters International: The show will return this summer to complete its first season with seven new episodes.

Scare Tactics: The reality show will be back with new host Tracy Morgan (The Longest Yard).

Mind Control with Derren Brown: Season two will return with six hour long episodes who the dude sometimes described as “part James Bond, part Yoda.”

Estate of Panic: This new show is part Fear Factor, part Survivor where seven people try to find a million dollars hidden in an expansive estate while overcoming terror.

Brain Trust: Think The Big Bang Theory with real geniuses that try to find new solutions to everyday problems. The Trust includes such luminaries as a MENSA Member and the dude with the highest IQ on record.

Mystery of the Crystal Skull with Lester Holt: Just in time for the new Indiana Jones movie with the same title, Holt travels ancient civilizations looking for the thirteen crystal human skulls. The special airs May 18 at 9:00.

True Believer: From the mind of Rosario Dawson, a comic book nerd hires a washed up superhero to be his sidekick in this backdoor pilot. Sounds like a cool concept, but isn’t there a Will Smith movie coming out this summer with the same plot?

The Stranded: From the Virgin Comics that was released this past January and sold out quickly will be the basis of a two hour pilot.

Deputize: A new show about an average Joe gets special powers after accidentally fitted with an alien exoskeleton that he cannot remove and is then enlisted to serve on the inter-galactic space force.

Alice: The success of last year’s Tin Man brings us a six hour miniseries a new modern retelling of Alice in Wonderland.

Caprica: Even with Battlestar Galactica coming to an end this season, fans can rest in the solace of the new two hour back door pilot for the prequel which will be set fifty years before the events of the original. Production is slated to begin this Spring.

Sci-Fi Game Center: Launching in mid-April this new part of will bring classic video games like Asteroids and new gaming experiences that will feature elements of their favorite Sci-Fi shows. It will also feature a blog like feature with reports on all things relevant to a gamer’s life.

Battlestar Galactica: Get a jump on the new season premiere with a live stream of the episode on Friday April 4 at noon EST. Also be on the look out for new webisodes from the show.

Join the Fight! Cylon or Human: A new social gaming experiences where you can choose either side with new battles each week.

Starcrossed: This Web-only series from David Hewlett (Stargate Atlantis) about a behind the scenes look at a long running sci-fi soap.

Sci-Fi Rewind Player: Check out select Sci-Fi shows on your computer whenever you want featuring high quality video.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The TV Blog Coalition for March 30

With pilot season finally kicking into gear, Buzz wondered if you could tell the real pilots from the fakes. (BuzzSugar)

This week, Sandie proclaimed her love for Doctor Who and Torchwood. (Daemon's TV)

Even Britney couldn't ruin this week's How I Met Your Mother for Mikey. He's also pretty sure joining Mother would be better use of Sarah Chalke's talents than another season of Scrubs. (Mikey Likes TV)

Pop Vultures looked back at the first nine episodes of Pushing Daisies and risked inciting an angry mob by saying some unkind things. (Pop Vultures)

Rae finally shares her "Adopt A Writer" interview with writer Lisa Klink whose TV credits include Star Trek: Voyager, Earth: Final Conflict, and Painkiller Jane. (RTVW)

Vance thinks there is finally a competition starting on American Idol. (Tapeworthy)

Dan found an article on Ryan Seacrest that is one of the most disturbing portraits he's seen in a good long while. (TiFaux)

This week, Jace took advance looks at HBO's Summer Heights Highand Showtime's Tracey Ullman's State of the Union and was overjoyed to chat with 30 Rock's Tina Fey and The Office's Greg Daniels and Rainn Wilson. (Televisionary)

To celebrate the return of The Office on April 10, Jennifer had the chance to chat with executive producer Greg Daniels and actor Rainn Wilson. She got Daniels to spill on whether Karen will be back, and there’s plenty of other spoilery scoop, too. (Tube Talk)

The TV Addict imagined what a Michael Sara reunion might look like on Prison Break! (the TV Addict)

Kate decided that The Real Housewives of New York City is the darkest show on television. (TV Filter)