It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for Steven and I to take a look at the moronic stories for this past week, and … both of us are just driven to insanity by the Google Maps story. Whatever happened to “common sense”? It seems to be the most uncommon commodity in the world at this point.
(Links by Steven for some of the stories we discuss in this episode)
On May 31st, 2000, CBS launched a series for the summer season that no one was quite sure how it would do, or if anyone even watch it.
Hundreds of episodes, 20 seasons and 301 contestants later, Survivor is still going strong, and can easily be blamed for the explosion of reality TV programming in the United States that followed it.
It was funny how no one saw this show catching on, and I didn’t start watching until about halfway through that first season. CBS repeated the earlier episodes which allowed me to catch up, and I haven’t missed an episode since. Despite the silliness of the whole thing, I enjoy watching how it shows no one learns from mistakes. How many times can people pull the same ploys as players in previous seasons, and people will believe them?
I am also constantly amazed how players in the game, whom vote for the winner, hardly ever vote for the person who actually play the game. ”You lied to me!” Um … hello? Have you not heard of this game called “Survivor”? It does say “Outwit. Outplay. Outlast.”, not “Don’t lie. Make friends. Make people feel good about themselves.” Vote for the people who actually play the game, and stop boting with your emotions.
All that being said, it is amazing the longevity of this show, and its impact on popular culture. ”The tribe has spoken” has become such a part of our vernacular that no one even needs to state anymore what they are referring to. Pretty impressive for a show no one was sure it would survive its first season.
According to TheOneRing.net, due to delays out of the control of just about everyone but the studio, the film’s production time has now stretched to six years, and del Toro just can’t work with that schedule due to other commitments.
“In light of ongoing delays in the setting of a start date for filming “The Hobbit,” I am faced with the hardest decision of my life”, says Guillermo. “After nearly two years of living, breathing and designing a world as rich as Tolkien’s Middle Earth, I must, with great regret, take leave from helming these wonderful pictures. I remain grateful to Peter, Fran and Philippa Boyens, New Line and Warner Brothers and to all my crew in New Zealand. I’ve been privileged to work in one of the greatest countries on earth with some of the best people ever in our craft and my life will be forever changed. The blessings have been plenty, but the mounting pressures of conflicting schedules have overwhelmed the time slot originally allocated for the project. Both as a co-writer and as a director, I wlsh the production nothing but the very best of luck and I will be first in line to see the finished product. I remain an ally to it and its makers, present and future, and fully support a smooth transition to a new director”.
“We feel very sad to see Guillermo leave the Hobbit, but he has kept us fully in the loop and we understand how the protracted development time on these two films, due to reasons beyond anyone’s control – has compromised his commitment to other long term projects”, says Executive Producer Peter Jackson. “The bottom line is that Guillermo just didn’t feel he could commit six years to living in New Zealand, exclusively making these films, when his original commitment was for three years. Guillermo is one of the most remarkable creative spirits I’ve ever encountered and it has been a complete joy working with him. Guillermo’s strong vision is engrained into the scripts and designs of these two films, which are extremely fortunate to be blessed with his creative DNA”.
“Guillermo is co-writing the Hobbit screenplays with Philippa Boyens, Fran Walsh and myself, and happily our writing partnership will continue for several more months, until the scripts are fine tuned and polished” says Jackson. “New Line and Warner Bros will sit down with us this week, to ensure a smooth and uneventful transition, as we secure a new director for the Hobbit. We do not anticipate any delay or disruption to ongoing pre-production work”.
The Hobbit is planned as two motion pictures, co-produced by New Line Cinema and MGM. They are scheduled for release in Dec 2012 and Dec 2013.
This makes me happy and sad all at once. I think Mr. del Toro was going to make an amazing looking set of films, but at the same time I was sad to see him not getting to complete his Hellboy story arc, or move on to more of his own original stories.
Either way, these Hobbit movies are beginning to feel cursed, and who knows if they’ll ever actually get made at this point. Hopefully del Toro will be getting paid for the time he did put in.
Warner Brothers announced this week that sometime after the Green Lantern movie launches on June 17, 2011, we will be seeing Green Lantern: The Animated Series on Cartoon Network. (Some are saying Nov. 2011, but that isn’t official yet) I can’t believe it has taken this long for this to happen.
After the success of Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited, you would have thought Green Lantern would be a natural to get his own series, but, as always, he gets bumped to second string status for some unknown reason. This has to be one of the most “toy line friendly” properties in all of the DC Comics universe, and yet the whole franchise has been shoved aside for years.
I mean, lets be blunt here folks, all cartoons are about the merchandising, so lets run down some of the reasons this has always baffled me:
The Green Lantern Corps – Hal Jordan is just one of 3600 Green Lanterns tasked with policing the universe … that’s 3600 different species of Green Lanterns … 3600 different characters/action figures you can create.
Due to the ring’s ability to make anything a Lantern can imagine, core characters can be released endlessly with different accessories.
Villains are also endless due to numerous species, Sinestro, a turn-coat former Green Lantern, uses a yellow ring with similar powers, so he can also be released with endless accessories.
Hello … ring and lantern role-play items sized for kids … duh.
Main Power Battery of Oa (homeworld of the Guardians of the Universe who created the Corps) playset.
There ya go Mattel or Hasbro, I just created at least your first two waves of toys for you. You’re welcome.
It’s the merchandising potential that always confused me why this character wasn’t getting more attention, but make no mistake, I want to see the stories. This is a concept that has enthralled me since I was a kid that the ring chooses you based on the strength of your will power. In theory, anyone with a strong will could become the next Green Lantern, and once you had the ring, you could conjure up anything you could imagine. What kid wouldn’t love this concept?
Count me in as totally watching everything they make for this property.
Somehow I don’t think Disney is going to be letting go of Johnny Depp any time soon.
Although Tim Burton’sAlice in Wonderland is due to hit DVD and Blu-ray next Tuesday in the United States, it’s still chugging along in movie theaters. As of today it has grossed $332,370,579 in the U.S., and $667,700,000 internationally for a worldwide gross of $1,000,070,579, only the sixth film to ever break through the billion dollar barrier. It currently is in sixth place, but is well within striking distance of surpassing the fifth place film, The Dark Knight.
Alice in Wonderland had a $200 million dollar budget, and by some measures that means the film lost money domestically at $332 million gross. The rule of thumb for a long time has been that a film needs to gross double its budget domestically to be considered profitable, but with rising budgets, the international box office total is becoming a more important factor for studios. No matter how you slice it, this film made money, and it is yet another feather in Disney’s, Depp’s and Burton’s caps.
Mr. Depp is already signed on for another film with Disney, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the fourth film in the series. The in-demand actor has already stated in multiple interviews that so long as he feels the scripts are strong, he is willing to play Jack Sparrow in that series for as many films as they’ll have him.
… somehow I imagine they’re going to make those scripts as strong as they can to keep him around.
And after eight seasons, 192 episodes (and a TV movie), Jack Bauer has finally left our television screens.
I finally got around to watching the end of 24 (spoilers ahead), and … excuse me, but the final season wrapped up essentially without Jack (Keifer Sutherland)? For almost the entire last hour Jack was out of action as he had been shot, and then kidnapped towards the end, so we had to count on the president’s sense of guilt to end all the insanity … er, okay? We watched seven other seasons where it came down to the wire of Jack stopping whatever happened, but in season eight we get Jack not even being involved.
Despite that, I did like the very end with him finally telling Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub) that he appreciated how she had always stood behind him, and it was about time he voiced that. The ending wasn’t tidy (you know, no mass exodus into the light …), but if they had let Jack go off into a happy ending, it wouldn’t have fit the tone of the series in the least. Instead he goes back on the run, hunted by people that should be thanking him and holding him up as a hero.
So, a feature film is expected, and while we will lose the real-time aspect, there are valuable lessons the series taught me over eight seasons:
No matter what major city you are in, and no matter what time of day it is, you are never more than ten minutes from your destination.
CTU has the worst employee screenings known to man as there was always a mole.
Jack Bauer had the bladder of ten men.
Everyone that had ever worked with Jack in the past was presumed dead … until the person needed to show up to be a villain or assistant.
Opening a “socket” turns any computer into a super computer.
No one that has the title of “president” can be trusted, no matter what country they are in charge of.
Suturing up a wound not only stops bleeding, but apparently makes everything stop hurting, no matter how strenuous.
Make no mistake, I have no delusions to this show having ever been “good”. It was a cliché-ridden piece of garbage that always made me feel dirty having watched it. I was first grabbed by the concept of the series being done in “real-time”, and then it turned into a train wreck I couldn’t pull my eyes away from. When I thought it had sucked as hard as it could, they would push it a little bit further.
So long, 24 … I still haven’t determined if I will miss your ridiculousness or not …