Bullet Points: Hot Rounds Of Information Goodness

dante's infernoFede Alvarez, who most recently remade Evil Dead, is in talks with Universal to helm an adaptation of the Dante’s Inferno video game from Electronic Arts. The video games star a knight named Dante advised by the poet Virgil as he navigates a battle between heaven and hell. [via Deadline]Boss 2 2012 Gallery

Turns out Nicolas Cage won’t be in The Expendables 3, but Kelsey Grammer is close to filling the spot. Grammer will play Bonaparte, a former mercenary who helps the team out. [via Deadline]

It wouldn’t be a Bullet Points without a picture from Dwayne Johnson’s Twitter account. This time we’ve got two shots of the in-progress Hercules film based on the Radical comic Hercules: The Thracean War. One prominently features director Brett Ratner while the other shows another piece of impress set building. the-tomb-arnold-schwarzenegger

For about a day there was talk about Arnold Schwarzenegger playing a bad guy in James Cameron’s Avatar 2 thanks to a story on Latino Review. Then sites like THR reported that Fox said the Terminator actor’s not even in talks for the role. Wahwah. MStuffins_001A

Comic book company BOOM! Studios, the same people who published 2 Guns, scored another live action deal. This one’s with Fox for a TV series based on Mark Sable and Julian Totino Tedesco’s Unthinkable. The plot revolves around an FBI agent teaming up with a screenwriter who was part of a think tank about potential threats years earlier. [via Deadline]

Finally, if you’re looking for some fan-made film continuations, check out The Dark Knight Legacy, which takes place in the streets of Gotham a year after the events of The Dark Knight Rises. The first episode features the Red Hood, Stephanie Brown and a guy doing a pretty darn good impression of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. If you like what you see, you can contribute to the project’s Indiegogo page. [via SHH]

Bullet Points: Hot Rounds Of Information Goodness

the_wolverine

We’re probably not going to get into too much comic book movie news here on Explosions Are Rad because they’re covered really well on other sites, but it’s pretty cool that an action-packed flick like The Wolverine took the box office and made $86 million worldwide according to Variety.

sharknado poster

We’re also not looking to delve too much into horror movie news for similar reasons, but Syfy’s Sharknado had enough (terrible) action scenes and explosions to qualify for a quick bullet point. TheWrap reported that the film will hit Regal, UA and Edwards Cinemas for a Friday, Aug. 2 midnight showing. It will be interesting to see if the so-bad-it’s-good phenomenon will transfer over to make actual money after being offered so often for free.

burka avenger

The Mary Sue recently posted an interesting story about a new Pakistani animated series called Burka Avenger that stars a female superhero who spends her days as a teacher. It definitely sounds like kid stuff, but the concept of a strong woman using her brains to fight crime is aces in our book.

gi joe retaliation blu-ray

Collider did an interview with Jon M. Chu about this week’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation DVD and Blu-ray release and also talked a bit about the third film which he’s signed up for. Briefly, he said that Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis are returning, they’re looking for a writer now and also to “double down on the adventure part of the movie” while also looking to possibly bring in more Joes.

dwayne johnson hercules soldier tweet

Speaking of Dwayne Johnson, the man known as The Rock, Tweeted out an image from the set of Brett Ratner’s Hercules with the message: “Let it be to death or victory” THANK U my ‘Thracian soldiers’. Intensity & energy.”

There’s a flick in the works called Black Friday that revolves around a man trying to get his wife back after she’s kidnapped inside a giant mall. He’s got to perform crazy tasks to get her back. Sounds silly, but I spent enough time in the Palisades Mall to give this a look on Netflix. John Sullivan wrote a script that Darin Beckstead’s attached to helm. (via Deadlline)

world war z poster

World War Z fans can look forward to checking out the big budget zombie flick starring Brad Pitt in IMAX 3D for a week kicking off on Aug. 2. (via Deadline)

Season Finale: New Girl (My Favorite Show On TV Right Now)

I haven’t been writing as much about TV lately because, basically, I’m tired. Between work and watching our daughter all day, one of the last things I want to do is sit with my laptop and watch television. I actually forgot that I used to write about Big Bang Theory and kind of miss it, so maybe I’ll write about tonight’s episode. Anyway, my absolute favorite show of the season has to be Fox’s New Girl starring Zooey Deschanel (Jess), Max Greenfield (Schmidt), Jake M. Johnson (Nick), Lamorne Morris (Winston) and Hannah Simone (Cece). I’ve realized that almost all of my favorite comedies are based around a group of clever friends in their late 20s/early 30s. You’ve got New Girl, How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory and Happy Endings in that group. I guess that’s not so surprising because shows basically revolve around work, friend groups and family groups.

It’s not a coincidence that I myself am in my late 20s/early 30s and happen to be experiencing a lot of the same things that characters on these shows are. It also helps that they’re all really, really well written. There is a distinct line though between the shoes of this ilk that I do enjoy versus the ones that I do not like (I Just Want My Pants Back might skew a little younger, but it’s just too cool for school and it’s own good as far as I’m concerned) is that the ones I like are both clever, but not overly clever and have a heart at the center of them. I don’t just like the characters on New Girl, I’m invested in them. I want Schmidt and Cece to be happy because they’re just so perfect for each other. I want the Jess/Nick relationship to be explored more because I am in love with those characters. I want Winston dig his job because I like him and want him to be successful.

I can also relate to all of these characters on a personal level. I have some of Jess’ naivete somewhere deep inside me, that desire to see the good in everyone. My wife has a professed crush on Nick and I hope it’s because we’re very similar. We’re both Midwestern guys who are at best thrifty, at worst CHEAP who try to fix everything on our own without calling for help, even when it might be detrimental to our mental (and physical well being). Nick’s a lot more crazy than me (I hope), but that’s the huge kernel of truth that are inside both of us. I can also relate to Winston’s fear of finding a job he loves after doing his dream job and essentially failing. Yeah, that’s in my wheelhouse. Schmidt might seem like a d-bag, but he’s really just a scared former fat kid who wants the world to realize how cool he is. I’ve got a bit of that ego in my too. Cece’s a little out of my wheelhouse, but she’s pretty and funny and she and Schmidt work well together, so I’m cool with her.

Okay, so on to the actual season finale. I’ve missed a few of the most recent episodes because our daughter has made Tuesdays that nights she freaks out and wakes up right after being put to bed. So, I didn’t realize that Nick was back with the ex that ruined him because I missed that part and didn’t remember what she looked like. When I did realize that, I was bummed out because don’t we all have friends who just kind of give up and go with whatever is available even when it’s not good for them? As a fan of the show, I also have that part of me that wants to see Nick and Jess together, so having Nick be with this other girl AND moving out of the apartment was kind of heartbreaking.

And it did fool me, but not at first. I figured he would wind up back at the apartment, but then the episode brought me back around to thinking that Nick really was moving out. And then BOOM, it got me! Well played, show, well played. I enjoy the show so much that, now that it’s over, I want to buy the show on DVD or see if it shows up on Netflix Instant so I can watch them all again. I think I might still want to get the DVDs though in hopes that there’s a mountain of extra features on there. I bet the outtakes, bloopers and deleted scenes are pretty damn good.

Halloween Scene: Tales From The Crypt Season 1 (1989)

I have a very deep and honest love for HBO’s Tales From The Crypt series. I wasn’t very familiar with EC Comics before discovering the show and didn’t actually have HBO, but fell in love thanks to late night, toned-down episodes in syndication (I believe they were on Fox, if memory serves). Being unfamiliar with the types of stories told in those EC books, this show was my first real dose of those amazing kinds of endings where you realize that people either got exactly what the wanted or what they deserved in the mostly cosmically complicated, but appropriate manner possible. The woman who sold her beauty can’t get it back because her younger looking self is wanted for murder! Holy crap! I can’t say exactly when I started watching, but I do remember sitting in my room with a friend named John watching episodes. We weren’t really friends after 8th grade which would have been 1996-1997, so it was probably before that, just to give you an idea. The show also informed my early horror brain and was probably the first scary thing I watched on a regular basis until I was 16 and could start renting cheap VHS tapes at my beloved Family Video.

When I saw the first two seasons of Tales From The Crypt in a bundle at Target for around $20, I had to buy them. There are episodes burned into my memory that I wanted to watch again and ones I’d never seen that I wanted to have easy access to, plus you just can’t beat that price. Well, that was a while ago, but I finally sat down to watch the first season of six episodes last night and was not disappointed.

Walter Hill of Warriors fame (a favorite of mine) directed the premiere called “The Man Who Was Death” starring Bill Sadler (the guy who played Dwight on early episodes of Roseanne). Sadler plays an out of work executioner who starts taking the law into his own hands. “And All Through The House” is a campy Christmas-themed episode that finds a woman dealing with getting rid of her husband’s corpse and a psycho slasher Santa on the loose. That one’s directed by Robert Zemeckis. “Dig That Cat…He’s Way Gone” was one I remembered from the syndication days. It was directed by Richard Donner and stars Joe Pantoliano as a guy who gets surgically implanted with a cat’s nine lives. He uses them in a sideshow, but realizes his last trick might not have been such a good idea.

Fred Dekker (Night of the Creeps) did another episode I remembered called “Only Sin Deep” about Lea Thompson trading in her beauty to a pawn broker and dealing with the consequences, as I mentioned above. “Love Come Hack To Me” was also remembered and one of the more influential from the first season because it made me really wary of crazy ladies. Amanda Plummer (Honey Bunny from Pulp Fiction) plays a young woman with a strange idea of how love and marriage work. Tom Holland of Fright Night and Child’s Play fame directed the ep. The finale was called “Collection Completed” about a crankpot retiring and dealing with his wife all day and vice versa.

The episodes aren’t exactly the pinnacle of complete horror or even horror comedy, but there are some great moments of those throughout. Plummer comes off absolutely batshit insane in her episode while Thompson really sells her vapid worry about her looks (even if the accent is a little ridiculous). It’s a pretty good gateway into the world of TFTC, the tone of the series and where they were looking to go.

The first season is only six episodes, all of which are on one disc. The second disc has a pair of behind the scenes features that I haven’t jumped into yet. One’s about the history of EC, which I’m not familiar with and the other is more about the series itself. I’m pretty excited about getting further into the series. After checking out the second season today, I don’t remember a lot of those episodes, so the third and fourth season must be the real memory gold for me. I’m sure I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

Just Finished Bones Season 5

Well we finally got caught up with Bones. Well, the Bones DVDs to be specific. They actually came out a while back and the first one went to the very top of our Netflix Queue and there it sat not until we got said disc, but until the show became available on Netflix Instant like the four previous seasons (which I talked about here). The show’s sixth season is currently on TV, but we haven’t been watching because 1) we hadn’t seen Season 5 and 2) it’s on Thursdays, the busiest TV night of the year (I already have to choose between Big Bang Theory and Community, so adding Bones into the mix would make things even more difficult.

As readers and fans of the show will remember, the fourth season ended with Booth discovering he has a brain tumor and going through surgery before an episode featuring an alternate universe where Bones and Booth are married all of which played heavily into this season. As Booth gets approved for active duty again in the opener we find out that he’s having trouble doing some of the things he once did, but he’s also dealing with feelings of love for Bones. One theory is that he feels that way because it’s leftover from the dream world, which he apparently spent quite a deal of time in while he was unconscious. The other is that he’s always had a thing for her and it’s just coming to the surface. I know I said I like that the writers had kept Bones and Booth strictly platonic for so long, but I actually liked how they handled this idea for the most part (more on that in a little bit).

Meanwhile Bones and her gang have been doing their regular jobs as scientists while Booth’s been away and are all pretty excited to get back into the murderer-finding game. One thing that surprised me about this season was that it seemed as though the gore got quite an upgrade. I’ve seen hundreds of horror movies of all shapes and sizes, yet there were a few moments that made even me cringe (at one point, a body that had been soaking is lifted up and it’s skin slides right off! The same thing happened within the first three or four seasons of CSI if memory serves. It didn’t bother me, I was just surprised with some of the blood and guts stuff they were able to get away with on TV. Well, it IS Fox.

The season had a few stunt episodes, though, I’ll be honest, I didn’t even notice one of them. “The Gamer in the Grease” does the ol’ “what would it be like if someone killed a famous person” idea, but with the stars of the amazing old school video game documentary King Of Kong. Essentially someone killed the Steve Weibe analog and everyone thought it was the Billy Mitchel guy. As if that wasn’t geeky enough, there’s also a subplot with three of the male characters waiting in line to see Avatar, one of which is played by Joel Moore who was in that movie (something I didn’t remember while watching). There was also a Simpsons-themed episode called “The Dwarf in the Dirt” that apparently featured Homer’s skull as an X-ray, which I didn’t notice. Actually, it’s not really Simpsons-themed, but more so filled with Simpsons references, like the inclusion of Homer voice provider Dan Castellaneta as a cop and one of the midget wrestlers going by Bumblebee Man. While both might sound rather gimmicky, they didn’t really come off that way because, as with most aspects of the show, the writers offer enough other elements to latch onto aside from the gimmicks.

Okay, back to the Booth and Bones relationship. Here be SPOILERS if you’re behind. Early on in the season we discover that Booth is in fact in love with Bones, but he doesn’t let her know it yet. For several episodes it’s near agonizing as they still work together and yet nothing is ever mentioned. And then it is. Booth comes out and tells Bones how he feels and then, like a flash, it’s over. Bones quotes that old chestnut about how crazy people keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. I really didn’t quite understand what she was saying. Was she implying that they had tried being together? She also said it’s against the rules for them to continue working together if they’re dating. Bones seemed to really throw her walls up and now Booth has to as well. I wish this scene had been handled better with a little more time explaining exactly what was happening because it was a little confusing.

If you are the romance lover, though, there were a few things for you to latch onto. First off, Angela got with Bones’ intern Wendell before finally getting back together and marrying Hodgins towards the end of the season, though not telling their friends for a few more episodes. We’re also shown a time when Bones and Booth ALMOST hooked up in the episode “The Parts in the Sum of the Whole” which also happened to be the show’s 100th. It’s kind of a Year One type thing showing the very first time Bones and Booth teamed up, which was a year before the events of the very first episode. It’s interesting to see how they both influenced each other, even back then and how they almost hooked up one night.

Overall, I really liked the season, still think it’s leaps and bounds better than the getting cornier-by-the-episode Castle and once again find myself wanting to get caught back up again. Now we just need to get Zach back into the picture and I’ll be super duper happy!

What We’re Watching: Monday & Tuesday

I find myself with a strange feeling this TV season: a lack of interest. Sure, I’ve got favorite shows I like tuning in to, but it feels like I’ve got a lot less of them to look forward to, possibly because Lost is gone. There wasn’t another show in the history of my television watching career that engrossed me as much as that one and got me so excited about an hour of TV. Maybe it’s because most of the new shows aren’t so good. Here’s the break down for the first section of the week as far as regular viewings go.

For all the years I’ve been in New York, I’ve been looking around for a good syndicated block of reruns between 6 and 8 that would stay consistent and, for the most part, I’ve been unsuccessful. That is until recently. VH1 scored Saturday Night Live reruns from the 90s which have been a lot of fun to watch, even when I’m reminded that that was an era when skits tended to run WAY too long. It’s still fun to see a lot of today’s big stars and musical acts on the show both in the cast and as hosts. It’s even more fun to see long forgotten folks like Finese Mitchel and Sysqo perform. That takes care of the 6 to 7 block and then we bounce over to a local station called My9 which runs How I Met Your Mother. The only problem I foresee is that, with only a few season under its belt, I’ll be rewatching these episodes over and over again.

MONDAY

8:00pm – HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (CBS)
I’ve already gone on record with the potential problems I see with HIMYM, but I still enjoy this show better than most of the others I watch on a weekly basis. I’ve grown to really enjoy these characters, but I still think there needs to start being some resolution to the overhanging “mysteries” or else this one could start feeling a little tedious. Like I said though, great cast and still one of my favorite, most looked-forward-to shows.

8:30pm – RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (CBS)
Rules of Engagement is a show we only started watching because it was on right after HIMYM and nothing else was on, but I’ve actually come to enjoy it. Sure, it’s a jokier type of sitcom with lots of jokes being tossed around that aren’t hilarious, but funny enough to get a laugh. I like seeing Patrick Warburton and David Spade doing their things, plus I find the dumb neighbor/friend guy oddly charming. I’m in it with this series, though if something more interesting came on I think we’d jump ship in favor of that. 

9:00pm – THE EVENT (NBC)
AS regular readers might remember, I wasn’t really all that into The Event when it premiered. I’m even less so now and barely still pay attention while the missus watches. I think she’s getting pretty sick of it too. I spent way too many episodes wanting to slap Jason Ritter for saying “My girlfriend!” so much that I don’t think we can ever be okay again (at least not on this show). I appreciate that they’re trying to move things along at a faster clip, but I just do not care about any of these people or what’s going on. I have the vaguest interest in what’s happening with these supposed aliens (though my money’s on dimensional or time travelers), but I could really just look it up in Wiki at some future date and feel satisfied. Probably moreso because I wouldn’t be wasting my time watching a lackluster Lost wannabe. 

10:00pm – CASTLE (ABC)
I almost feel bad for not liking Castle more. I really like the cast and the dynamics of the characters, but it just feels so hacky lately. From the wacky set-ups for crimes this season (steampunk AND time travel in one episode?!) to the increasingly formulaic plot, I’m getting worn down. How many times can they run across a suspect who lies so well that they completely buy his story and move on only to come back to him or her later in the episode to realize he or she is really the killer? It’s boring and, personally, I expect more from a show with Nathan Fillion on it. Hopefully this one will pick up because the missus still LOVES it, while I just keep thinking about how much better Bones is and wishing Netflix would send the first disc of last season already so we can start the long road to catching up.

TUESDAY

8:00pm – GLEE (Fox)
This one’s completely because the missus likes the show. She’s a big fan of musicals and show tunes and whatnot, so this is right up her alley, which is unfortunate, because I find it to be one of the most wildly inconsistent, sloppy and increasingly gross shows around. Anyone else see the Rocky Horror episode tonight where the teacher actually considered and planned on dressing up in gold shorts and performing a sexually charged number with one of his students? Sure he practiced with the hot red head teacher, but he was actually planning on jumping in and doing that. He’s just one of the many headache-inducing characters on a show filled with them. I’ve heard the argument made that you’re not supposed to expect anything from Glee but high school drama and musical numbers, but I call bullshit on that. The very basis of ongoing fiction of any kind is based in consistent characterization and this show lacks it for the most part. However, I do love Brittany’s throwaway lines. Those are just solid and sound like they’re being written by someone from 30 Rock.

9:00pm – RAISING HOPE (Fox)
I can’t remember the last time I watched this much Fox programming on a single night, but I find myself really liking Raising Hope. It’s clear the show was created by the brains behind My Name Is Earl as both showcase small town folks without much money doing what they can to get by. Hope revolves around a guy discovering his one night stand turned out to not only be a serial killer on death row, but also pregnant with his child. Now he’s raising the kid with his parents who had him at a really young age (his dad looks about the same age as him at times) and his mom’s grandma played by Cloris Leachman. Hope can be a little too weird and a little too jokey at times, but I think it’s starting to hit its stride. Plus, the Halloween episode featured homemade Batman and Robin costumes, so bonus points for that.

9:3opm – RUNNING WILDE (Fox)
Running Wilde, on the other hand, is not a show I’m enjoying much and I’m starting to get the feeling I’m not the only one as Fox decided to run two episodes of Raising Hope tonight instead of one of each, like usual. I am a huge Arrested Development fan, so I should like this show with its use of Will Arnett, David Cross and that fact that it was co-created by Mitchell Hurwitz, but Wilde suffers from two afflictions. First off, it’s not very easy to jump into. We missed the first episode and had trouble figuring out what the relationship between Arnett and the still-hot Keri Russell was. That’s not a good thing for a new show and something that AD suffered from (I still have trouble describing it to friends who missed out the first time around). The other problem is that it just feels like a rehash of old material. Arnett’s playing GOB from AD, Russell feels like Felicity though I never watched that show, plus the premise is a more exaggerated version of Dharma & Greg without the love. I’ll be curious to see what Fox replaces this show with if it does get the axe.

10:00pm – PARENTHOOD (NBC)
Parenthood continues to be one of the best written, most solid shows on television. I’d honestly put it up there with Mad Men. There’s a lot more in Mad Men considering it’s a period piece, but like that show, the Parenthood creators do an amazing job of juggling a small army of fast talking characters, giving each their moments to shine and great lines. Great writing mixed with a great cast makes for great TV, but for some reason I don’t find myself looking forward to this show on a regular basis. I’m happy when it’s on, but never excited for it. I wonder if that’s because it’s a drama and not an action show. I’ll have to think about that. I’ll be back on Thursday with more shows I’m watching. What are you viewing on Monday and Tuesday?

Series Premiere: The Good Guys

I REALLY expected to like Fox’s The Good Guys which premiered last night. It’s an action comedy starring two actors I love to watch: Colin Hanks and Bradley Whitford. They’re kind of down and out cops trying to do their thing, so it’s also a bit of an underdog story. Unfortunately I found the show to be almost unwatchable. See, the concept behind the first episode is that Hanks (a by the books guy) and Whitford (a crazy dumbass) are trying to bust a car thief ring, but it turns out that SPOILER a woman from the task force is actually working with the dude running the ring. The show employs an incredibly annoying flashback device where, right after something happens in the present, they pause, throw up a period of time later, show that scene and then come right back to show you the present scene again. Aside from being jarring, most of the stuff didn’t seem all that necessary to explain. This isn’t Lost, I don’t need to see how Whitford made the car burst through the window.

The worst part of the series, though, is Whitford’s ridiculous performance. He’s a cop who doesn’t understand how computers work. Okay, that’s not so bad. But it doesn’t end there. When the computer gets a virus he says something like “Computers can’t get sick.” And later is literally hopping mad, screaming at a laptop. Honestly, it seems like he’s trying to play the character as slightly mentally handicapped. It’s uncomfortable.

So, unless I hear some good things down the road I won’t be returning to The Good Guys and I can only blame the writers for taking a good concept and crapping it out in the very first episode.