Monday, July 28, 2008

Heroes Goes Hyper In Season Three Premiere

The first episode of Heroes season three screened at Comic-Con, and it has as many twists and turns as any three episodes from season two. The show hits the ground running, with a spicy blend of action and theatrics, topped with a huge helping of cheese. It's nothing but Heroes spoilers, after the jump.

The Q&A at the Heroes panel wasn't particularly exciting, but it was made up for by the showing of the entire premiere episode, which was pretty much non-stop crazy. Various sites were liveblogging the panel, and here's our synthesis of all of the synopses that made it online.

So, in a nutshell, we start four years in the future, when evil future Claire has a gun on evil future Peter. FP begs FC to let him go back in time to the "day they all found out." She shoots at him, but he stops time and ducks out of the bullet's path. Then he puts on a bitchin trenchcoat and goes back in time to shoot Present Nathan. Claire sees the news of Nathan's shooting and phones up to ask if he needs some of her magic blood. But it's too late — Nathan is DEAD! For like a second, then he's all better.

Claire's at home when Sylar busts in on her, saying he wants what she has. (I don't think that blonde hair would look good on Zachary Quinto.) She tries to get away, but he's using his telekinetic powers to lock all the doors and stuff.

Hiro finds a DVD of his dad talking about his "destiny" which leads him to a safe that he must never open, so of course he opens it. It contains another DVD of his dad saying "I told you never to open the safe!" And then talking about how only one with pure blood can safeguard the Heroes. And then there's an envelope with a chemical chart — which Daphne the speedster steals before Hiro can read it.

Meanwhile, Mohinder and Maya talk about stress levels and how adrenalin can boost your superpowers. Somehow, from Maya's blood, Mohinder manages to synthesize a vial of Promycin stuff that will give superpowers to anyone.

Matt confronts Present Peter about the fact that his fingerprints are on the gun that shot Nathan. He tries to read Present Peter's mind but just gets fuzz. And then Present Peter turns into Future Peter, and uses telekinesis to push Matt out of the room, gun in hand.

Nathan goes to church and talks about how he was brought back from the dead for a reason, and how he saw God and now he has a purpose. Future Peter is going to try and shoot Nathan again, but instead he takes Nathan back to his hospital room, still rambling about angels and shit. And then it turns out Linderman the super-healer — who isn't dead, duh — saved Nathan's life. Linderman tells Nathan they're meant to do great things together. Malcolm McDowell FTW! Meanwhile, Niki/Jessica talks to a governor about Nathan.
Claire locks herself in a closet, totally stymying Sylar, whose powers don't work on closets. Then Sylar finds files about Level 5 and starts reading them. Claire sneaks up and stabs him, but that doesn't slow him down. Then he grabs Claire and cuts the top of her head off. Ooky. He pokes around in her brain and finds the source of her powers. Sylar says he's looking for answers before he bleeds to death. Claire asks if Sylar's going to eat her brain, and he says that's disgusting. Sylar finally gains Claire's ability, and pulls the knife out of his chest, healing himself. He almost leaves Claire dead, but puts her skull back together, and she heals as well. He says neither of them can die.

Maya wants Mohinder to destroy the vial of Promycin, but he's excited by the idea of anybody being able to have powers. Mohinder almost destroys the vial, but injects himself instead.

Hiro wants to find out why Daphne is stealing the heroes' secrets. Ando thinks this means another trip to the past, but instead it means a visit to the future. And then we see Future Hiro and Future Ando, having an argument. Future Ando — who has superpowers — zaps Future Hiro with a red fireball. Yatta! Present Hiro runs around the corner and sees Future Tokyo being destroyed in an apocalyptic hell.

Angela is at the side of Nathan, whispering to him. Turns out her superpower has something to do with giving Nathan weird dreams. And then she asks Future Peter what he's done with her son. FP says Present Peter is somewhere safe. And that's when we see the big bald guy locked up in Level 5 shouting that he's Peter Petrelli.

Matt is in the desert, where Future Peter put him. He finds a cool painting of the world exploding on a big rock. Linderman is standing over Nathan in the hospital, while Mohinder beats up some thieves with his newly acquired super-strength. We pan from Mohinder's super-hands to the desert mural of the world exploding, while Mohinder talks about stuff.

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Dr Who fans enjoy Proms special

The show attracted 8,000 fans to the Royal Albert Hall

Thousands of Doctor Who fans have seen a specially-filmed scene starring David Tennant at a BBC Proms concert dedicated to the sci-fi drama.

The concert featured music from the series, as well as classical favourites from composers including Holst and Wagner on the theme of space and time.

The panto-style scene, showing Tennant addressing the 6,000-strong audience, was also shown on the show's website.

Actress Freema Agyeman hosted Sunday's event at London's Royal Albert Hall.

She played Martha - the last-but-one assistant to Tennant's Doctor.

'Brilliant time'

Series producer Russell T Davies wrote a specially-filmed scene for the concert

The special scene was written by Russell T Davies, who masterminded Doctor Who's return to TV screens in 2005 and announced recently he would be stepping down as executive producer from 2010.

"We've had a brilliant time," Davies told BBC News.

"If you were in the Royal Albert Hall, you would have had a unique Doctor Who experience," he said of the special scene's airing.

"It's fantastic because people queued in the heat and came a long way - I met someone who came here from Belgium."

Davies paid tribute to the man who will succeed him at the helm of Doctor Who, Steven Moffat, calling him "a genius".

"People don't care about me, I'll just be a bit of history and the show will continue like it has done for 45 years," he added.

This was the first appearance of Doctor Who at the BBC Proms, although a concert dedicated to the series was held at Cardiff's Millennium Centre in 2006 to raise money for Children In Need.

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John Mayer to TMZ: Game On!

We challenged John Mayer to host TMZ TV -- and wouldn't you know it, he took us up on the offer!
Play video
Throughout the week, we aired snippets of John hamming it up for cameras -- but click the pic to watch the highlights.

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Next Futurama DVD, “Bender’s Game” Gets a Release Date

UPDATED: Here’s the photo of some Bender’s Game art (photo taken by me), possibly for use for the DVD/promotional purposes?

At the Comic Con Futurama panel, Fox showed some new footage for the forthcoming feature-length DVD, Bender’s Game. The trailer included riffs on high “dark matter” (i.e. gas) prices (with “Mom” playing the role of the evil oil companies), and some Futurama characters playing Dungeons and Dragons, then being transported to a Dungeons and Dragons-like world. There’s also a clear parody of The Lord of the Rings films.

The movie will be released on Blu-Ray (a first in Futurama history!) and DVD on November 4th, 2008. This post will be updated later with the some art for the movie, but in the meantime, mark your calendars for this series’ next great installment!

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'Dark Knight' grosses $300M, shattering record

'Dark Knight' grosses $300M, shattering record

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ "The Dark Knight" continues to obliterate box office records, crossing the $300 million mark in just 10 days.

The epic Batman saga grossed $75.6 million in its second weekend in theaters, pushing its domestic total to $314,245,000, Warner Bros. head of distribution Dan Fellman said Sunday.

That surpasses the record set in 2006 by "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," which took 16 days to make $300 million.

The latest Batman installment already had broken records for best opening weekend at $158.4 million and best single-day with $66.4 million. It's also busted records in its showings on IMAX screens, making $16.3 million in its first 10 days.

Fellman expects that "Dark Knight" could reach $400 million in about 18 days, which would beat the record "Shrek 2" set in 2004 when it made that much money in 43 days.

"What can you say? We've been getting a lot of repeat business coming in," Fellman said. "Our audience is expanding, like you would expect with terrific word-of-mouth and strong reviews. Our audience is getting a little bit older, that's the good news. We're finding the younger demographic, male and female, coming back."

He called it "a big surprise," adding: "To do $300 (million) plus in 10 days, we just couldn't have predicted it."

"The Dark Knight" could pass "Titanic" as the highest-grossing film in U.S. history, said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Media By Numbers. James Cameron's 1997 extravaganza made $600,788,188 domestically, a record no other movie has come close to touching.

"The `Titanic' record has sat in a lock box for 10 years. It's a tall order but if any film has a chance to surpass that number, it's got to be `Dark Knight,'" Dergarabedian said.

Director Christopher Nolan's follow-up to his 2005 origin story "Batman Begins," which again stars Christian Bale as the tormented comic-book crime fighter, initially benefited from the mystique of the late Heath Ledger giving his masterful, last performance as the Joker, Dergarabedian said.

"Now, it's all about word-of-mouth," he said. "The first weekend, there was this huge, pent-up demand and eagerness by audiences to see this movie. Now, it's like a freight train _ it seems to be unstoppable."

Part of the film's visual allure comes from the fact that 30 minutes of it were shot with IMAX cameras, including an elaborate bank-heist scene at the start.

"Chris (Nolan) has clearly hit upon something," said Greg Foster, chairman and president of IMAX Filmed Entertainment. "There are many important filmmakers who we've spoken with in the last couple of weeks about shooting with IMAX cameras."

Coming in second place was "Step Brothers," which had a strong opening of its own with $30 million. The comedy reunites Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, co-stars of "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," as 40-year-olds who've never left home and are forced to share a bedroom when their parents get married.

Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony, said this was at the high end of the studio's expectations.

"We'd hoped to be in the mid-to-high $20 (millions), so to hit $30 (million) is a great start," Bruer said. "Having the chemistry of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly together again, reuniting with (director) Adam McKay who did `Talladega Nights,' it's great. They both immerse themselves and the humor comes from their connection."

Sony also has the Will Smith superhero flick "Hancock," which made $8.2 million this past weekend to cross the $200 million mark.

The weekend's other big release was "The X-Files: I Want to Believe," which made an estimated $10.2 million. Ten years after the first "X-Files" movie and six years since the pioneering sci-fi show went off the air, this latest installment finds Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) re-teaming to solve a missing-persons case.

"The hardcore `X-Files' fans, they're happy. And frankly, that's who the movie was made for," said Chris Aronson, distribution executive for 20th Century Fox.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Media By Numbers LLC. Final figures will be released Monday.

1. "The Dark Knight," $75.63 million.

2. "Step Brothers," $30 million.

3. "Mamma Mia!" $17.9 million.

4. "The X-Files: I Want to Believe," $10.2 million.

5. "Journey to the Center of the Earth," $9.4 million.

6. "Hancock," $8.2 million.

7. "WALL-E," $6.3 million.

8. "Hellboy II: The Golden Army," $4.9 million.

9. "Space Chimps," $4.4 million.

10. "Wanted," $2.7 million.


On the Net:


Universal Pictures, Focus Features and Rogue Pictures are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of General Electric Co.; Sony Pictures, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; DreamWorks, Paramount and Paramount Vantage are divisions of Viacom Inc.; Disney's parent is The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is a division of The Walt Disney Co.; 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox Atomic are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros., New Line, Warner Independent and Picturehouse are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a consortium of Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group, Sony Corp., Comcast Corp., DLJ Merchant Banking Partners and Quadrangle Group; Lionsgate is owned by Lionsgate Entertainment Corp.; IFC Films is owned by Rainbow Media Holdings, a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corp.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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First video of Pixar’s UP

Check out this preview clip of Pixar’s next masterpiece, UP. In the video, we get our first glimpse and listen of the protagonist, an old man who’s young at heart. UP is scheduled for theatrical release on May 29, 2009.

And in case you’re wondering what the heck ‘UP’ is all about, check out the film’s synopsis, along with the synopsis for every other upcoming Pixar movie, all the way through 2012!

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SDCC 08: McG Gets Blessing For R Rating For ‘Terminator Salvation’

Geeks of Doom Invade SDCC 2008

Terminator SalvationTerminator Salvation director McG appeared on the panel for his upcoming Terminator film, which stars Christian Bale as the adult John Connor.

McG dove right into the main question on every Terminator fan’s mind: What will Terminator Salvation be rated? It’s been speculated that T4 would be rated PG-13, which met with disdain from fans of the franchise, considering the original film trilogy was R rated.

While McG just came in from filming the fourth film in New Mexico, it’s not definite yet what the rating will be. But, the director did assure everyone that he’s been given the blessing from Warner Bros. to make an R-rated movie. This means that if when McG completes the movie it ends up being an R-rated film, he has the go-ahead to release it that way without pressure to cut it down for a PG-13 rating.

We just saw some footage from film and it looks amazing! Right now, McG, along with members of the film’s cast — Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Moon Bloodgood, Common, and Bryce Dallas Howard. Bale is off in Japan supported The Dark Knight, but McG called him from the staged and left him a message so he could hear the fans’ reaction to the news that they’d be seeing never-seen-before footage from the film.

We’ll have full coverage of the panel as soon as possible, but for now, rejoice! T4 might get the much-demanded R-rating!

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Review: X-Files Flick Falls Short of Show's Glory Days

By John Scott Lewinski

To build hype for the release of his big X-Files sequel, show creator Chris Carter picked the best eight episodes for a special DVD release highlighting the show's history.

If that set had been expanded to nine episodes -- with room for one more of the most entertaining and effective tales from the adventures of Mulder and Scully -- Carter's new big-screen entry, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, wouldn't have made the list.

This follow-up to The X-Files: Fight the Future is, in essence, a two-hour episode of the original series.

Unfortunately, it's not a particularly compelling episode, offering too few thrills to feed a feature-length adventure and filling the time with stilted debates and a still-murky love story between the series' iconic pair of leads, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.

(Spoiler alert: Minor plot points follow.)

To his credit, Carter stays away from the elaborate uber-conspiracy that drove the later seasons of the series and the original film a decade ago. In fact, the narrative of I Want to Believe, which opens Friday, takes a page from its lead characters -- deliberately staying clear of past FBI transgressions and complications. Mulder and Scully have moved on from their badge-carrying days: Scully embraced her career as a physician in a Catholic children's hospital, while Mulder drifted into bearded Unabomber mode -- hiding from the feds while maintaining his clip files of bizarre events.

They're called out of retirement when a female FBI agent turns up missing out in the sticks. A disgraced pedophile priest (played with repressed self-loathing by Scottish stand-up Billy Connolly) is reporting visions of the missing woman's fate, and Hoover's folks need a reluctant Mulder to make sense of it all. Connolly's performance as a suffering, fallen soul who makes no denial of his downfall is an unexpected treat.

If we were dealing with an hour-long episode of the old show, all that set-up would be knocked down before the first commercial break. On the big screen, it takes in excess of 30 minutes, and the film feels the weight of every second. By the time Mulder is elbow-deep in the snowy search for another missing woman and the disappointingly anonymous villains are hard at work on their Jamie Gumm-esque body harvesting, we don't want to believe -- we just want the movie to get on with it already.

Photo_14_hires_2As the investigation trudges through the wintry sludge, Mulder and Scully wrestle with many of the same issues they struggled with during the final season of the series. Does their quest serve a purpose? Is their search for the truth worthwhile? Does Mulder really believe in the supernatural? Does Scully have faith in her God and her work as a healer? And, finally, do the two heroes belong together as lovers?

The final question seems particularly tiresome, as fans have watched their relationship grow for more than 15 years. Mulder and Scully have debated their compatibility longer than many couples stay married. You'd think they'd have made a call by now. Even the actors seem bored with the issue -- especially in the case of Anderson, whose performance seems more perpetually exhausted than heroically agonized.

Those questions of belief and faith form the thematic core of the film, and it would be genuinely refreshing to see a summer blockbuster take on such weighty issues if the rest of the movie put enough narrative meat in the foreground. There just isn't enough of the cool, the spooky and the fun in a franchise that used to be able to pack in all of the above.

As it stands, The X-Files: I Want to Believe takes too long to bring anything genuinely suspenseful to the screen -- leaving any would-be audience wanting more for its money. In a summer of smash successes (Iron Man), Oscar-worthy morality tales (Wall-E) and genre-defining masterpieces (The Dark Knight), Carter's offering seems destined to fade quickly like the whistling opening tones of the old series' theme tune.

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