Those of you who listen to our podcast (and if you don’t, shame on you! ) may have caught the interview we did with award winning filmmaker Ron Newcomb about his movie ‘Rise Of The Fellowship’. Towards the end of the interview, he mentioned his next project was going to be ‘The Rangers’, a new epic fantasy web series about a special force of mysterious, elite warriors, who operate on the fringe of the kingdom of Olaran.
Together with co-producer Skip Lipman of the epic documentary “Darkon”, Ron is funding this new project via Kickstarter, which means you have a chance to get involved, and even see your name appear in the credits!
The goal is to make $60,000 in 32 days, and all you have to do is pop over to their Kickstarter page, and make a pledge. Pledges start from as little as $1, which gets you a high-res digital copy of the poster, to $25 which gets you a copy of the movie and your name in the credits. Or if your feeling a little more flush, $500 would give you the chance to be an extra for the day, or $1,000 would mean you can pretty up your IMDB entry with an ‘associate producer’ credit! There’s loads of cool options to choose from, whatever your budget, with some great stuff to take away, from copies of the movie, to actual props!
The Rangers is currently in full scale pre-production, with all that entails. They are working hard towards hammering-out, honing, and finalizing the script, and have already completed a successful concept photo shoot and created some great looking test footage. All they need now is your support, so if you want to get involved, just click here to head on over to their Kickstarter page, and make a pledge!
Fox recently released a short trailer for 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY, which sees the exiled Jack Bauer return, popping up in London, seemingly to try and stop the assassination of the US president.
This season will be 12 episodes long, and also sees Mary Lynn Rajskub back as Chloe O’Brien, with franchise newcomers Benjamin Bratt (Law & Order, Private Practice) & the lovely Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck, Dexter) as the CIA agents tracking them. Our own Stephen Fry also stars as the Prime Minister… Although I do rather think there would be no need for Jack Bauer if Stephen Fry really was PM, as nothing bad could happen, and everyone would be fluffy and lovely to each other.
Adapted from the 1985 novel by Orson Scott Card, Enders Game tells the story of Ender Wiggin, a young recruit to Earth’s International Fleet Battle School where he’s to be trained to fight and defeat the ‘Formics’, a bug-like alien race who invaded the earth 50 years prior to the event’s of the movie. With the previous war only having been won by the heroic sacrifice of the, now legendary ‘Mazer Rackham’, the military brass have turned to recruiting the worlds young and brilliant minds to become it’s new military commanders, promising they will never be left unprepared again, should the Formics return.
Asa Butterfield (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Hugo) takes on the lead role as Ender, a genius, who shows an outstanding aptitude for strategy in the computer-based military war games, who is recruited by Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford), into the Battle School, and quickly rises through the ranks. The publicity for the film describes it as ‘Harry Potter meets Star Wars’, which is horribly misleading. It really holds far more in common with Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers, albeit far less visceral, tonally there are a lot of similarities. Both films look at the idea that, in order to win a war, is it okay to lose your humanity in the process?
Director Gavin Hood has produced a solid enough film. The space an sci-fi aspects are handled well enough, and the subject matter is thought provoking. Butterfield is a fine actor, and carries the role well, and Ford is his usual gruff self. However, with the exception of one particularly dark twist, I found the movie somewhat slow in places, and for a film that has a number of zero-g battle game sequences, that really shouldn’t be the case. Equally, although the premise is interesting, I never felt it was pushed quite as hard as it could have been. Ultimately I can’t help shake the feeling there was a more interesting film in there, trying to escape.
7/10 – A solid effort that slightly misses the mark
If you’re a fan of tv, and as you’re here, i’m assuming you are, you will have seen the recent news that BBC is planning to close BBC Three as a broadcast channel. This has of course resulted in a lot of outrage, petitions, and general complains, similar to those when they announced plans to close Radio 6. However, unlike the proposed (and abandoned) Radio 6 closure, BBC Three isn’t vanishing in it’s entirety. The plan is to move it to an online format, involving the iPlayer. And really, is that such a bad thing?..
One of the constant discussions that pops up when it comes to the current state of TV is the fact that more and more people are watching online. And the majority of those people are of a younger generation. The BBC needs to cut around £100 million from it’s budget in this round of cuts, and the removal of BBC as a broadcast channel will save £30 million in one move. The channel has been a great breeding ground for innovative comedy and drama over the year. Being Human, Little Britain and the recent, and hugely entertaining Uncle to name but a few. And, although the move online will see it take a large cut (from £85 million to £25 million) in programming budget, as an online channel it can focus on producing quality shows aimed at a younger audience, without having to create masses of ‘filler’ shows to pack out a broadcast schedule.
So what will happen to the rest of the money? They’ve announced that some is going to extend the CBBC channels air time by 1 hour. Some will also go to the creation of a BBC1+1 channel. The rest will go towards BBC1′s drama budget.
The other question being asked is, why BBC Three and not BBC Four? Well, part of that has to do with the age of the target audience. As I mentioned earlier, the people watching online are predominately younger, where as BBC Four has an older demographic. Secondly, BBC Three had a larger budget overall, so out of the 2 channels, it seems to more sensible one to shift online. Not that this means BBC Four’s future is assured. There are still more cuts to come, and out of all the BBC channels, that one would seem the most likely target if they decide another needs to be taken to the woodshed…
Overall, I can’t help but think, this is probably a sensible move for the BBC. Unfortunate as it is, they do have to make cutbacks somewhere, and whilst this is a bold, and possibly not popular move right now, I think in the long term it’s a good way of protecting other areas of the corporation from coming under the knife. It helps protect BBC Drama overall, whilst leaving BBC Three, as an online brand. to focus on creating the innovative drama and comedy it’s become know for. They’ve also said those shows the new online brand produces won’t just stay online, as they will also be aired in later timeslots on BBC One and Two, which further takes the pressure of those channels to find shows to fill those slots.
Is the removal of BBC Three as a broadcast channel a bad thing? In the long term, i’d say probably not.
We’ve always had a bit of an obsession with the blood-thirsty, fanged creatures that leapt from the books and legends onto our screens. Whether they’re hilariously over the top, dark and brooding or making young girls swoon, they’ve always managed to win a place in our hearts.
So, in not particular order, here are ten of the best vampire flicks for you to really sink your teeth into…
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Written by Quentin Tarantino, who stars alongside George Clooney, From Dusk Till Dawn is a devilishly outrageous film, which almost verges on parody. Taking a family hostage in their own mobile home, the Gecko brothers flee from the law, only to find themselves trapped in a nightclub crawling with vicious creatures of the night… Achieving cult status, the movie has now spawned a new TV show (trailer above), which starts this month on Netflix.
The Lost Boys (1987)
After brothers Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam Emerson (Corey Haim) move to Santa Cruz – California, the local biker gang, lead by the enegmatic ‘David’ (Kiefer Sutherland) begin to arouse suspicion. When following mysterious deaths and chilling initiation ceremonies, the pair soon discovers that being wild is something that’s just in their blood… This film is an 80′s cult classic, and is one of the first pair up between the 2 Coreys – Feldman & Haim. It also produced one of the most kick-ass movie soundtracks of all time!
Interview With The Vampire (1994)
Some people complained about Neil Jordan’s Interview with the Vampire, but I think it does great justice to Anne Rice’s ’Vampire Chronicles’ bestseller (and so did Rice… eventually). With a star cast including Tom Cruise as the flamboyant Lestat, Brad Pitt as the whiny annoying interviewee Louis, and an early appearance from Kirsten Dunst as child vampire Claudia, the film focuses on Louis relating his life.. and non-life story to a journalist (Christian Slater). Rice hated the idea of Cruise playing Lestat, but after seeing his performance, took out a full page ad in Hollywood trade paper apologising for the negative comments she made over his casting.
Queen of the Damned (2002)
Although called ‘Queen of the Damned’, the film is a loose adaptation of Anne Rice’s 2nd and 3rd ‘Vampire Chronicles’. The late Aaliyah stars as the Queen herself, appearing on the silver screen in a wreath of dry ice. Armed with a ridiculous plot and a toe-tapping soundtrack, the film follows Lestat (this time played by Stuart Townsend) as he awakens from his coffin to pursue a rock star lifestyle in the modern age.
30 Days of Night (2007)
British director David Slade terrifies and thrills audiences with his horror flick, 30 Days of Night. The remote Alaskan town of Barow falls prey to 30 nights of ravenous ruthlessness, leaving Josh Hartnett as the local sheriff to save the townsfolk from a gruelling demise.
Ahh yes… The movie that started a franchise focusing on Kate Beckinsale running around in tight leather and kicking butt. A dark epic marking the debut of director Len Wiseman, Underworld is definitely one to watch. The beautiful vampire warrior Selene finds herself entrenched in a vicious war between vampires and werewolves, but her heart is torn when she finds love on enemy lines.
Although he may only technically be half vampire, Wesley Snipes as Blade is undoubtedly all action. Boasting an array of lethal talents, this beast of brute force unleashes them all against the vampire overlord (Stephen Dorff) hell bent on watching the world burn. Also spawned a couple of decent sequels.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Based on the book that launched the vampire genre, this Oscar-winning film stays true to the classic tale. Following Gary Oldman as Count Dracula, viewers will find themselves thirsty for more of the terror and seduction that runs throughout this dark adaptation. Keanu Reeves’s performace as Jonathan Harker may have been so wooden it’s surprising Anthony Hopkins’s Van Helsing doesn’t try to use him as a stake, but it’s worth watching for Oldman in full scenery chewing mode!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
The year was 1992, and little did we know it then but 5 years later Joss Whedon would create one of the most popular television series of all time. Featuring Kristy Swanson as the cheerleader-turned-vampire-hunting-heroin, instead of Sarah Michelle Gellar, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie was not good. However, if you’re a fan of the TV show, it’s worth watching just so you can see how bad direction and studio interference can totally mangle a perfectly decent script.
As much as it pains me to admit it, no vampire list can now be complete without mention of the Twilight Saga. Love it or hate it, the trilogy has come to define a generation of blood-sucking fans, giving rise to a franchise that has branched into merchandise, fan fiction and even inspired the www.butlersbingo.com video slot ‘Immortal Romance’. Director Catherine Hardwicke brings Stephenie Meyer’s creation to life and, despite facing a lack of budget, manages to merge Dracula with Romeo & Juliet in a visually compelling love story… I still maintain that vampires shouldn’t sparkle like you’ve rolled them in glitter though!
Liam Hemsworth’s (the non-Loki brother of Thor’s Chris Hemsworth) new movie PARANOIA is out on DVD & BLU-RAY on the 10th March 2014, and to help celebrate, we’re giving away 3 copies to 3 lucky Geektowners!
PARANOIA is a high-octane espionage thriller starring The Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth, and Amber Heard (Drive Angry).
Set in the cut-throat world of technology and corporate power the film also stars Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight), Harrison Ford (Ender’s Game) , Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws) and Lost star Josh Holloway.
Based on the New York Times bestselling novel written by Joseph Finder, PARANOIA is a sexy, slick adaptation from Australian Director Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde, 21).
Synopsis: The world’s two most powerful tech billionaires and bitter adversaries (Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman) will stop at nothing to outwit and destroy each other’s business empires. But when a young rising star (Liam Hemsworth) falls between them, he becomes trapped in the middle of the rivals’ life-and-death game of corporate espionage. By the time he realises his life is in danger, he is in far too deep and knows too much for them to let him just walk away…
How to Win 1 of 3 copies of PARANOIA starring Liam Hemsworth on DVD!
We have 3 copies of PARANOIA on DVD to give away, and as usual, all you have to do to win, is one (or both!) of the following:
1. Retweet the following:
Retweet to win 1 of 3 copies of PARANOIA on DVD (available on DVD & Bluray 10/03/14!) @Geektown http://wp.me/p10pHL-3LL
2. Leave a comment on this post saying you want to win!
You can just say you want to win, or… be a bit more creative with your answer, and tell me why I should pick you to win!
The competition closes on 31st March 2014 and is open to UK residents aged 16 or over.
There will be 3 winners picked from entries on geektown.co.uk and Twitter.
By entering you are agreeing to the rules of this competition. Full rules can be read here.