Fox sues WB over Watchmen?

This is super lame, Fox. Seriously, are you really that pathetic now that you have to resort to this?

Twentieth Century Fox is trying to stop Warner Bros. from releasing the Watchmen. In a lawsuit, Fox says it acquired the motion pictures rights to the graphic novel in the ’80s, and when it gave up some of those rights in 1991, it held onto the right to distribute the movie.

Monday, a federal judge in Los Angeles agreed with Fox’s claim and said there is enough evidence to keep the lawsuit moving forward. As a result the film’s March 16 release is on hold until the two sides or a judge settles the dispute. Fox has announced that instead of seeking a share of the sure-fire hit, it is intent on stopping the movie from being released.

The complaint states that when Fox teamed up with producer Larry Gordon in 1991 to develop a Watchmen movie, the rights were transferred to them and so was due payment if the film was ever made. Things didn’t work out in developing the movie so Fox and Gordon went their separate ways. In 2006, Gordon made a deal with Warner Bros. to make Watchmen and Fox is saying they never got paid.

Zack Snyder, director of 300 and Watchmen, has finished shooting the movie with stars Patrick Wilson, Carla Gugino and Billy Crudup, and is continuing post production. Watchmen is based on the groundbreaking graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.

Well, at least they didn’t try and bring it to suit in January 2009, but STILL. I’m sure some of you are thinking, boycott Fox, but what’s that honestly going to do? What might get the right kind of attention would be sending smiley faces to Fox executives. (Because, yeah, you can quit watching 24 and the Sarah Conner Chronicles, but you’re not hurting Fox you’re hurting the producers, actors, and writers of those shows).

Anyways, thought I’d share the lame story.

It’s the Doctor! Doctor Who: Series 1

I used to love watching Doctor Who as a kid with one of my friends who recorded it (since it usually broadcast later than 10 yr olds could stay up). Usually when I think of Doctor Who I picture Tom Baker, the fourth incarnation of the Doctor.

For those who are hearing of Doctor Who for the first time or know little about him, the Doctor is an alien from another world who travels through both space and time different civilizations and different time periods to witness history (and usually get his assistants out of trouble).

So why are there currently 10 incarnations of the Doctor? Well, whenever he gets into mortal trouble (or they decide they want a new actor), he simply regenerates into a “new” Doctor. So it’s the same Doctor, just 10 different faces.

Why do I bring this up? Have I been rummaging through old Doctor Who vids or something? Well, actually, I attended Comic-Con this summer and ended up going to the Doctor Who panel (my friend wanted to go to Torchwood which was just afterward). They showed clips of this reboot of the series and I was intrigued to see more. Enter Doctor Who: Series 1. (Yeah, I guess the Brits call it “series” vs. “season.”)

To be honest, my interest was piqued with clips featuring David Tennant (whom I didn’t realize is Barty Crouch, Jr. in HP4), the 10th and current Doctor. So, I was a little put out to discover Christopher Eccleston would be accompanying me at the 9th Doctor. I was tempted to just skip the first season and head straight to second, but they only had season 1 on Netflix Instaview, so sighing a little I ventured in.

If you start it this way you’ll wonder how David Tennant could possibly win you over. Eccleston was a fantastic doctor.

CHARACTERS:

The Doctor(s):
OK, so it’s Eccleston for 99.99% of the first season and Tennant for about 3 seconds. I’ll go more into Tennant after I finish season 2. Eccleston is jovial, mostly unserious, but always there when he’s needed. The chemistry between he and his current assistant is fun and as much as I wondered about it getting creepy–it isn’t. It works for them. (And I really still do miss him as Claude in Heroes. Hopefully he’ll make a comeback soon.) His personality easily wins you over, and like I said, you’ll be wondering how Tennant will ever replace him. (Not to worry, Tennant fans, season 2 will prove him the Doctor).

Rose (Billie Piper):
The Doctor’s assistant, basically. I think she was supposed to be 19. A lower class Brit with attitude joins up with the Doctor after saving his life (and then her brawn basically diminishes after that). She’s not the most phenomenal actress you’ll ever meet, but she makes Rose lovable and fun. She may be the damsel in distress a bit more often than I’d like, but she’s still tough and sticks to her guns, which is probably why she and the Doctor make a good team.

Mickey and Mum:
I don’t know what it is about Mickey, but I love it when he’s around, even if he hates it when the Doctor is there. Mickey is Rose’s “kinda” boyfriend and always feels free to remind the Doctor how much danger he does put Rose through. And then of course Rose’s Mom. She’s forgetful, but for the most part accepting and understanding. She just makes the series fun (especially in season 2)

Villains, etc.:
The Daleks are back! Well… sort of. The thing I love about the new series is it pokes fun at the old series, but in a loving way. So instead of having useless plunger parts, among other things, the Daleks are actually threatening this time around. I loved the plastic men (first episode), and found them to be slightly creepy, imagining if I was in a department store and all of a sudden the dummies started moving and attacking. Creepy. I don’t know, they do a lot of super sci-fi stuff, but it makes it fun and entertaining and it works. As much as Rose is having a fun time traveling with the Doctor, I think we as the audience have just as much fun. It just makes sci-fi fun.

FAVORITE EPISODES:

Dalek (Episode 6): The first time we get a look at the newish Dalek and find out exactly what that plunger is for. I don’t want to spoil much with these mini-descriptions, so I’ll keep it semi-vague and brief. But in this episode you can see Rose’s strong character really come out and its effects on the Doctor.

The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances (Episodes 9-10): It’s a two-parter. We journey back to WWII London and meet up with Captain Jack (of Torchwood). There’s a strange child with a gas mask on reaking havoc as basically “the monster of the week.” I think I just liked this one because of all the clues leading up to the end and how it all works out.

And to be honest, I could call them all favorite episodes–they were great. The first season is only 13 episodes long, so we have to say goodbye to Eccleston sooner rather than later, but it’s an enjoyable ride. If you’ve been wondering about this rebooted series or if you loved the old series and want more, give it a go, you won’t regret it. It makes sci-fi fun and enjoyable.

How do I watch it?

Well, I’d recommend Netflix Instaview. It’s instant access to all 13 episodes and is included with your monthly subscription (if you’re on an $8.99 plan or better. I think the $4.99 has limitations). You could do it disc by disc via Netflix (which I’ve sort of had to do for season 2). Or check your area and see if your local library(ies) has it available for rent. Otherwise you’re looking at a pretty penny of $75 on Amazon.com or separate discs for about $30 each. Yeah, Netflix or library is probably your best bet. But hey, it’s a good reason to join up. I love Netflix! I’ve been a member since 2003 and it keeps getting better and better.

Look for a Doctor Who: Series 2 review once I’ve finished. I’ll tell you how it’s possible to trade Eccleston for Tennant. 🙂

And for the enjoyment of Doctor Who fans (you probably won’t think this is very funny unless you’ve seen at least a few episodes of Doctor Who), Eddie Izzard discusses Doctor Who. WARNING: Strong language likely included, so if you’re at work or around kids, put on your headphones. Get ready to LMAO.

*I tried to embed it, but it’s Megavideo, and well, here’s a link instead.
**I found a youtube link for embedding, but it’s about 2 mins in when he gets to Doctor Who. If you’ve never checked out Eddie Izzard before, he’s super random, but funny.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince POSTPONED?!?

Muggles everywhere pull out your tissues or rioting signs now. If you haven’t heard the news, then know now you won’t be looking forward to a sixth movie in November.

Yes, friends, Harry Potter 6 won’t be joining us until July 19, 2009.

Why the sudden change? Well, other than to anger and annoy fans, WB knows they own Harry Potter fans and because of the writer’s strike the movies for next year are none too looking strong they decided it’s better to make more money later. See here for more details, and if you don’t believe that site, I checked the Warner Bros. HP site. The sad confirmation pictured below.

I was thinking, let’s rally together and force it out, but somehow I’m doubting it will matter. Everyone will still go see it when it comes out, and if the summer line-up for next year is looking so shabby (I guess I’m not seeing how X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Star Trek, Terminator Salvation, Transformers 2 and G.I. Joe–wait, I guess that isn’t super strong…) then it’s probably a better move for them financially to push it back.

Still, it kind of crushes my fall/winter movie hopes. I mean with Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Madagascar 2, I’m sure we’ll get along just fine without Harry……

……

Until 2009 friends.

Dilbert The Animated Series: Dull and Disappointing

I’ve had this series buried somewhere in the Netflix queue (it’s a problem for folks like me who find the 500 DVDs in your queue limit annoying) and when it appeared on the instaview list, I gave it a look. Now, let it be known that I LOVE the Dilbert comic strip. It’s probably the first one I look for in the “funnies,” and too realistic at times. 😉

I’m an avid fan of The Office and Office Space so you’d think I’d be all over this series. Well, I watched the first episode of the season… It was, well, forgettable. Still, I’m willing to give shows a fair chance. I looked over the episode descriptions and picked another that sounded amusing, still a C- at best.

The voice acting is spot on for the pointy-haired boss–at least I found it believable–Dogbert as well, but everyone else just seemed moderate. The writing was also just moderate (meaning not puke-faced terrible, but not great either). Larry Charles of Seinfeld fame was the head writer, so you’d think he’d have comedy down, but perhaps it was the direction or voice acting that dragged the series down.

There are, of course, Dilbert otakus who love the show and perhaps you’ll be one of them. But if you’re more like me, a when-I-see-a-newspaper, etc. reader, you’ll probably want to pass. For the most part, the funny comes from more bathroom and sexual humor than actual wit or clever writing. A couple of things were amusing, but this show doesn’t even hold a match stick let alone a spark to Family Guy, Simpsons, Futurama, or King of the Hill. Let’s just stick to the comic strip.

Comic Strip: A+
Series: C-

Charmed, I’m sure

*I would recommend reading the review of the first season before reading this one as this review assumes you are familiar with the characters to some degree.

If you read my review of the first season of Charmed, you know that starting the series ended up being a pleasant surprise for me. Far from being the teen soap the WB was so well known for, the adventures of Prue, Piper, and Phoebe as they worked to exterminate evil in the first year of the gaining of their powers proved to be delightfully unexpected. In that same vein, season two began with a startling revelation for me: Prue was my favorite character.

I think toward the end of season one I just had to admit that she was more than just OK, she was cool.

Prue taking on a demon. One of the many things you just have to love about the oldest Charmed One.

Prue taking on a demon. One of the many things you just have to love about the oldest Charmed One.

She was the kind of older sister I wish I was. She was cool under pressure, successful, and knew what she wanted. Not to mention, she was sassy and I am totally not. She did manage to annoy me in the season two premiere when, because of what happened at the end of season one, she hesitated to use her powers. Which of course almost resulted in the deaths of the Charmed Ones. But then she came around and again became that cool-under-pressure chick I have a girl-crush on and restored my world to balance. Continue reading

Death Note does Anti-Hero right

Mac of Visual Crack was the first to introduce me to Death Note, but really only in manga form. I read the first volume in English and decided the anime series was worth a look. Netflix sent me the first disc and I was hooked.

Death Note is the story of a kid stumbling upon a strange Death Note (as the Japanese word for notebook is noto or “note” basically. So when you hear the word “note” just substitute “notebook” in your mind). The notebook has the power to kill simply by writing the name of the victim in the book while picturing him/her. Believing the world is too corrupt, the kid takes it upon himself to rid the world of criminals–and anyone who gets in his way.

THE CHARACTERS:

Light Yagami
A 17 yr old, attractive, things come to me too easily, high school student who soon goes to college to study law and basically become a cop like his father. He stumbles upon the Death Note and becomes the owner and the anti-hero protagonist of the story. He is also referred to as “Kira” (a japanese version of the word killer) by the police.

L
A world famous detective no one has ever seen before the “Kira” case. L is odd, smart, and a sweet-aholic. (And no, he isn’t sucking his thumb, he’s pressing it against his bottom lip, a habit when he’s thinking hard). L’s my favorite character of the series. I think the chibi version of him in plushies and what not are chou kawaii!

Shinigami: Ryuk and Rem
A shinigami is like a grim reaper, literally translated as “death god.” I’ve also seen it translated as “soul reaper” (see Bleach). In the series they are the owners of the death notes, and Ryuk in particular likes leaving them lying around for unsuspecting humans to pick up. Ryuk probably comes second in my favorite character of the series. I like his “whatevs” attitude.

Misa Amane
Hey, what’s anime without an annoying character? Very much typical teenage Japanese girl–well, that and a pop star–Misa has a super mega crush on Light and wants to help him in anyway she can. One of those self-sacrificing girls, but in a pathetic way. She’s probably my least favorite, but she makes for some interesting moments between the three of them (L, Light and Misa).

Mello, Near, etc.
There are quite a few other players that impact the story significantly, mostly being Mello and Near, but also Light’s dad and members of the police team to catch Kira. I can’t say I really cared for Mello or Near, though Near I like more, since he’s kind of like a little brother version of L. (If you think an L obsession is weird, watch the series and tell me if you feel differently! I dare you!)

ANIME SERIES & EPISODE GUIDE:

Well, this is really more of a warning. It’s interesting how like the villain the movie Seven, you almost find yourself agreeing with Light. It’s also kind of disorienting to have the main character really be the bad guy in a sense (I’m trying not to spoil too much here).

Since the show isn’t hardly as long as Naruto, nor Bleach, this guide will be short. Without posting spoilers, once again, you should know you’ll likely be addicted to the show like crack until about episode 25. Some major plot changes are implemented, and in my opinion, the anime becomes less good–at least I didn’t care. In fact, I was affected so much by the change I had zero motivation to keep going with the anime and it took me a couple of weeks to get myself to finish it off.

Episodes 26 and on (up to 37) do contain interesting plot points and are worthwhile if you’ve enjoyed the series thusfar. There is also a bittersweet ending to the series, in a Shakespearian way, so the end was worthwhile for me, but it’s ANIME, 9 times out of 10 it isn’t going to end the way you’d want. 😉

So is it worth it? Yes. You’ll love it, well, if anime is your thing.

Anime series: A

LIVE-ACTION MOVIES:

Sometimes you wonder how a live-action movie will translate from manga, but if it works for Nodame Cantabile it’s gotta work for others, right? (*wink*) In this case I think it added to the Death Note universe. A warning to the animation fans… They will deviate from the manga and the series, but I think a lot of the deviations work.

Ryuk and Light argue over the philosophical issues of the Death Note. ;)

Ryuk and Light argue over the philosophical issues of the Death Note.

When we join Light in the first movie he’s already discovered the Death Note and is off-handedly discussing it with his girlfriend (aka he’s talking about Kira and his opinion of Kira without actually connecting the dots). And yeah, GIRLFRIEND. For the movies (since let’s be honest with ourselves. There is no, no, no, no way you can put EVERYTHING everybody wants, let alone yourself into a two-hour movie, especially with a series with enough material to make 37 episodes. 1/2 hr x 37 = 18.5 hours of material which equals at least 9 movies worth of time. Keep this in mind when you’re hating on Harry Potters or Twilight or other book adaptations.) …as I was saying, for the movies, his having a girlfriend worked. There just wasn’t enough time to develop the characters as well as the series did, even with two, and the girlfriend factor helped Light arc quickly.

L reveals he's the real brains behind the Truman Show.

L reveals he's the real brains behind the Truman Show.

But don’t get the movies wrong, for the most part they stick to the plot. My only qualm with the movies was the seemingly lack of time spent on developing L and a non-existent friendship between L and Light we got to see in the series. (I’m an L fan, ya know). However, the actor who plays L (Ken’ichi Matsuyama) I thought did a fabulous job. He had a lot of the mannerisms down and I thought was a little more interesting than Light.

The actor who played Light (Tatsuya Fujiwara), did a good job, but there was just something lacking. I think I prefer the voice acting job (Miyano Mamoru) did as opposed to Tatsuya’s performance, but it works for the movie.

L refuses the DoCoMo promotion.

L refuses the DoCoMo promotion.

I prefer the ending of the story in the movies to the anime series, simply because I kept expecting something like what happened in the movies to happen in the anime series. But if we’re talking overall Death Note, then I’d like a mix of the movies and the series. It’s interesting the trend even Hollywood is taking to making anime into live-action. (I just am opposed to Keanu playing Spike Spiegel is all).

Obviously it works, since Death Note was wildly successful in Japan ($28 mil for the first movie $53 mil for the second–tix sales) and will make some good money for Viz here.

Movie: A- (mostly for lack of development for L)

HOW TO SEE DEATH NOTE:

The anime series you can catch it in English (*puke*) on Adult Swim (Cartoon Network for the uniformed) in the early morning hours. It’s posted on the net with good fansubs. Or you can do it the Netflix way (which is the way I started) with your choice of English or subs–they have 6 discs available. I did Netflix + the internet.

The movies they recently screened at select theaters back in May across America, and you’ll be able to pick up the first movie on September 16th at Amazon or the like. I got both on ebay, Hong Kong versions. I’ve heard the dub is no good, so stick with subs.

There’s also a new spin-off movie called L: Change the World which came out in February which I have yet to see, but if it’s got L I’m all about it. Once I see it I’ll let you know.

MANGA:

I think the full series is available in English. It’s good, but yeah, it’s basically the book version of the anime. Still, I’ve been reading it in my spare time and find it worthwhile.

Death Note 3: Live-Action

If you’re a Death Note fan, whether anime, manga, or live-action movies, you might be interested to know (if you didn’t) that a spin-off movie was released in Japan in February of this year. I’ll try to keep spoilers out of it for those who have never seen Death Note before or haven’t finished it. This movie takes place after Death Note 1&2 and is focused solely on the character L.

And by the way, if you haven’t seen either the anime or live-action movies of Death Note to date, check out my review over at Dee Animated for a more in-depth look at Death Note’s characters, where to watch and what to expect. This is definitely a series worth checking out. Now, back to L.

According to summaries I’ve found around the net:

A case is sent L’s way in the form of a Thai boy who alone survived a deadly virus outbreak in his village. L gets another guest when 12-year-old girl Maki (Fukuda Mayuko, Little DJ) shows up on the doorstep. Both children are connected to an Ebola-influenza virus developed by Maki’s father which has been stolen by terrorists. With the terrorists hunting for Maki and threatening to unleash the virus, L is forced to leave his chair and venture out into the real world, both children in stow. The days tick down as L rushes to develop an antidote and catch the terrorists before time runs out.

It sounded interesting, and since I love L I snagged it off of ebay and when Mac and I (cuz I’m sure she’ll be up for watching it) finish it we’ll let you know if it’s a welcomed addition to the Death Note family or not. The film is directed by Nakata Hideo (Ringu and Dark Water–Japanese versions, and Ring Two), so I’m hoping it’s money at least moderately well spent.

Maybe this will give me the L time I feel like I missed from the first two movies.