Friday, October 31, 2008

"Angels & Demons" trailer

Dan Brown's Angels & Demons was always a superior novel to The Da Vinci Code, if you asked me. Which I hope will give Tom Hanks, Ron Howard, & company better source material with which to craft an exciting cinematic mystery. Based on the first trailer, which premiered online today, they've got the look down...the tone is appropriately dark, and even Tom Hanks' hair has improved. Watch it for yourself here.

I liked The Da Vinci Code, especially since I had the chance to visit some of the sites included in that Paris-based mystery. But Angels & Demons was a creepier, twistier thriller of a book, and was a fun one to read for our dearly-departed book club several summers ago. (I still remember Jon asking everyone to create their own anagram...). This looks to be a movie to look forward to next May. What do you think?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sign the "Pushing Daisies" petition!

ABC hasn't publicly threatened to cancel Pushing Daisies, although its absence from next week's schedule (the first Wednesday of November sweeps) indicates the network's limited confidence in the show. Consequently, I found an online petition to help save the show from cancellation, which you may find and sign here.

I don't frequent the E! channel nor its website, but I did Google Pushing Daisies today and found this interesting commentary about the show's unlikely future. Read about it here.

The show may just be a little too inventive or unconventional for its own good. Maybe a new timeslot would help...perhaps following another ABC show that could lend it a few of its viewers? Either way, I'd love to see something from ABC indicating their faith in the show. After all, if the network can give Jim Belushi several seasons of his strangely unfunny sitcom, why can't they just show a little more faith in something they can be proud of, like Pushing Daisies?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jack's back: new "24" trailer

This is an exciting trailer for the upcoming seventh season of 24. If you want to be completely surprised come January, don't watch it. Otherwise, enjoy!

Monday, October 27, 2008

New "Harry Potter" trailer

Here's a new, semi-long, and very nifty little trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It gave me the chills, and also made me giggle...I guess you could say it made me chiggle.

The bad news is that we still have to wait until July 17, 2009 for the movie...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lessons learned from "Arrested Development"

This post might sound a little broken-recordish, but I'll tell you why I feel a responsibility to bark up this tree again. Thanks to the glories of HDNet (one of the most bizarrely-programmed channels I've found), I've recently become a fan of the late, great Arrested Development. You might remember this show as one in a long list of critically-beloved, viewer-challenged shows that failed to find an audience. By some miracle (and an Emmy or two), Fox allowed the decidedly untraditional (and occasionally irreverent) sitcom to last for three abbreviated seasons. I don't know how I missed the show the first time around, but it's the silliest, wittiest 30 minutes of my day, and I'm devastated to learn that I've only got about four days to go before I'm all out of fresh episodes. That Arrested Development never found a large audience is truly a television tragedy.

While I can't say that I'd put Pushing Daisies on the same comedic pedestal as Arrested Development, it does share a few things in common with AD: it is just as unique, just as witty, and just as viewer-challenged. And in my mind, in just as much danger of an early retirement.

So for all of you who ever got attached to a show that was cancelled due to low viewership (Jericho, Moonlight, etc.) let's rally around Pushing Daisies, shall we? The good karma you'll engender will be worth the hour on a Wednesday night (especially if you're a Nielsen household).

And Katie, Bones isn't on tonight, so you have no excuse...

Monday, October 20, 2008

The new "Office" romance

Is it just me, or is Holly the sweetest thing to happen to The Office since Pam? And yet, something tells me that Michael's going to screw this one up. Partly because the actress who plays Holly is only scheduled to appear for a few more episodes, but also because she just seems a little too, well, normal to end up with someone like Michael Scott.

Am I the only one who is cynical about this new romance on The Office? And am I the only one who thinks it's time for a happily-ever-after ending for some of these characters?

Friday, October 17, 2008

"Bourne 4" looking good

Maybe this is old news by now, since I reported earlier that Universal was keen on extending the Bourne franchise. But I hadn't heard much since February, so it's nice to see Variety report today that a screenwriter has formally been hired for the as-yet-untitled fourth Bourne installment, again starring Matt Damon and directed by Paul Greengrass. A release date has not been announced, but I'd guess we can probably expect this to hit theaters by summer 2010. Read more about it here.

This sends a chill up my spine. The good kind of chill.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Deleted scene from last week's "The Office"

Last week's episode was weird but funny. It kills me how spot-on the satire is of corporate hypocrisy. As for this deleted scene, I just think Phyllis is hilarious.

Monday, October 13, 2008


It's been nearly two weeks since I've updated the blog (sorry), so here are a few random things that I feel are worth sharing:
  • We saw Eagle Eye last week, and overall enjoyed it. Shia Labeouf is becoming very dependable for these types of roller-coaster rides (Transformers, Disturbia, Indiana Jones 4), and Eagle Eye continues that trend. The film is fast-paced and slick enough to momentarily forget the severely hole-ridden plot, which is a mishmash of The Fugitive/Wall-E/Flightplan and other paranoia-driven thrillers. It's not classic cinema, but felt worth the price of a ticket + a babysitter. If you haven't seen it yet, you could probably wait for the DVD. (*** out of four)
  • Johnny Depp has apparently become very fond of Disney. In a recent announcement by the studio, it was revealed that he has signed on for no less than three future projects with Disney, including a continuation of the lucrative Pirates of the Caribbean franchise (in what could be another two movies). Additionally, he has agreed to play Tonto in a Disney live-action version of The Lone Ranger, though the Ranger himself has yet to be cast. Finally, in maybe the most interesting news, Depp has agreed to play the Mad Hatter in a live-action Alice in Wonderland by director Tim Burton. I'm not a huge fan of the animated Alice in Wonderland, but the material seems perfect for the quirky combination of Burton and Depp. I can't wait.
  • The Dark Knight has officially been slated for a Dec. 9 DVD/Blu-ray release. This officially puts to bed the speculation that WB was interested in beating Titanic's box office record, which was a silly theory of mine anyway. Having said that, I still think the studio is putting a lot of money behind an Oscar campaign for the film. We'll find out in late January if it works.
  • I'm loving Survivor in HD this season. I haven't always been a die-hard for this show; I usually catch one out of every three seasons. But for the first time, CBS filmed the reality show in HD, and it looks fantastic. Now let's hope that CBS will offer the same shiny package to the next edition of The Amazing Race, which remains my favorite reality show on TV.
  • Speaking of TV, Pushing Daisies needs your help. Since its return to TV two weeks ago, it has lost more than half of the audience it pulled in last year. Yes, it's got tougher competition than it did last year, but it's losing, and badly. How badly? Last week it lost to NBC's dreadful reincarnation of Knight Rider. If it doesn't find an audience soon, not even Ned will be able to revive it. Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m!
  • Finally, I wrote a while ago about a possible revival of the 80s miniseries, V. Now, ABC has made it official: the creepy alien lizards are coming back to TV. The original miniseries and its sequel were the type of stuff that we loved as kids (and then paid for with nightmares at night), so it will be interesting to see how a new version turns out. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

"Pushing Daisies" returns tonight

Last season's best new show (and perhaps one of the best, most unique shows currently on TV) returns tonight after an extra-long strike-induced hiatus. That's right, it's time for the return of Pushing Daisies, tonight at 7:00 (Utah time) on ABC.

For those who missed the nine episodes that aired last year, here's the most important thing to know about the show: Ned (a piemaker) somehow has gained the ability to reawaken the dead simply by touching them. Unfortunately, this power also means that if he touches the person again, they die again...this time forever. Further complicating the issue, Ned's childhood sweetheart, Chuck (short for Charlotte), is one of the beneficiaries of his powers, and yet the two can't touch each other for fear that Chuck will die again permanently. This romantic dilemma, where the two leads are in a physically-unfulfilled relationship, is the central story here, complimented by weekly comical mysteries and quirky subplots with the show's talented supporting cast.

The admittedly far-fetched (and slightly morbid) premise may be off-putting to some, especially those who normally shy away from fantasy. But those who think this is only a show for Harry Potter fans will quickly realize that the show has more in common with Tim Burton's Big Fish than anything you'd see at a comic-book convention. I'd even compare it to Stephanie Meyer's Twilight books, only it's got a lot more intelligence (and cleavage) than the treacly vampire books. Aside from being whimsical and witty, it's also the most visually-inventive show on TV, and probably the most romantic story to hit the air since Jim & Pam. Don't just take my word for it: read what USA Today and Deseret News have to say about tonight's episode here and here.

Though the show was mildly successful in its limited run last year, I would think that it needs to establish a broader audience for ABC to continue to justify its costly budget. So if you haven't already watched it, give it one episode tonight and see if you're not hooked. Then tell all your friends. After all, wasn't I right about 24, Lost, and The Amazing Race?