Renaissance News Vol. 2 Issue 25

Back on Wednesdays and back after a brief hiatus, we obviously have much to cover so let’s get to it!

  • The Emmys were this past Sunday and-as per usual-I did not watch because I tend to get angry during awards shows and there is a “no throwing things at the TV” rule in our house. No love for Lost in it’s final brilliant year? No award for Conan? Is Jon Hamm ever going to win? Arrrgh. Fine, have your winners!
    Best Supporting Actor-Comedy Series: Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
    Best Writing-Comedy Series: Modern Family
    Best Supporting Actress-Comedy Series: Jane Lynch, Glee
    Best Directing-Comedy Series: Glee
    Best Actor-Comedy: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
    Best Actress-Comedy: Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
    Best Reality Show: Top Chef
    Best Writing-Drama Series: Mad Men
    Best Supporting Actor-Drama Series: Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
    Best Supporting Actress-Drama Series: Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
    Best Actor-Drama Series: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
    Best Directing-Drama Series: Dexter
    Best Actress-Drama Series: Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
    Best Variety Series: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
    Best Supporting Actress in Miniseries or Movie: Julia Ormand, Temple Grandin
    Best Supporting Actor in Miniseries or Movie: David Strathairn, Temple Grandin
    Best Writing-Miniseries or Movie: You Don’t Know Jack
    Best Actress-Miniseries or Movie: Claire Danes, Temple Grandin
    Best Directing-Minieseries or Movie: Temple Grandin
    Best Actor-Miniseries or Movie: Al Pacino, You Don’t Know Jack
    Best Miniseries: The Pacific
    Best TV Movie: Temple Grandin
    Best Drama Series: Mad Men
    Best Comedy Series: Modern Family
  • TBS has announced that Conan O’Brien’s new show will be called simply Conan.
  • Will Forte has departed SNL after eight seasons with the show.
  • The Walking Dead, AMC’s adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s zombie comic, which will blow all of our minds and I will hype like sliced bread, will debut on Halloween at 10 p.m.
  • Jonathan Liebesman will replace Louis Leterrier as the director of Clash of the Titans 2: Now with More Kraken (….ok so the last bit’s mine but it would be a fine start!).
  • George Clooney will direct an adaptation of the play Farragut North starring himself, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Pine, and Evan Rachel Wood.
  • Warner Bros. is planning a film based on the Battle of Midway done by the team behind Band of Brothers and The Pacific.
  • Former Dr. Who, Sylvester McCoy, is in talks to join the cast of The Hobbit but not as Bilbo. Yeah still no director. Peter Jackson says he will announce his plans “soon” and also said he wants to develop a period ANZAC (combined Australia/New Zealand armed forces for those not in the know) war film. Wonder which would do better….
  • Sylvester Stallone wants Bruce Willis to play the villain in Expendables 2: Now Even More Expendable (I have to stop doing that).
  • John Cusack will be playing Edgar Allen Poe in The Raven.
  • Disney has become the first studio to ever have two $1 billion films in worldwide gross in one year as Toy Story 3 joined Alice in Wonderland this week in the club.
  • Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) has joined the cast of Mission: Impossible IV which apparently won’t be called that but I’m out of clever mock titles to suggest.
  • The first Marvel film of the Disney era will be Iron Fist.
  • Despite making little to no money, they are already making a sequel to Piranha 3-D.
  • DVD/Blu Ray Release Dates
    Avatar 3 Disc Collector’s Edition, November 16th
    Blair Witch Project (BD), October 5th
    Californication: The Complete Third Season, November 9th
    Exterminators, November 2nd
    Fantastia/Fantasia 2000, November 30th
    Grown-Ups, November 9th
    Hard Candy, October 5th
    Predators, October 19th
    White Christmas (BD), November 2nd
    The Wiz (BD), November 2nd
  • Box Office
    1. Takers, $20.5 million
    2. The Last Exorcism, $20.4 million
    3. The Expendables, $9.5 million
    4. Eat, Pray, Love, $6.8 million
    5. The Other Guys, $6.3 million
  • Billboard Top Albums
    1. Recovery by Eminem
    2. Intimacy Vol. III by Kem
    3. God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise by Ray Lamontagne and the Pariah Dogs
    4. The Final Frontier by Iron Maiden
    5. Cowboy’s Back in Town by Trace Adkins
  • Video Game Bestsellers
    1. A.C.E, PS3
    2. Madden NFL 11, Xbox 360
    3. Madden NFL 11, PS3
    4. Star Craft II: Wings of Liberty, PC
    5. Wii Sports, Wii
  • New York Times Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
    Unavailable due to the stubborn nature of their stupid website. Take that NYT!

Killing Time – August 28th, 2010

This week ….yeah. This week can end.
Book: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Music: Lots of John Williams
DVD/Blu Ray: The Office Season 5, 3:10 to Yuma and Pan’s Labyrinth on Blu Ray
Video Game: Resonance of Fate
Comics: Daredevil Omnibus Vol. 2 by Brian Michael Bendis

Top 5: Spielberg Films

I just returned from our annual trek to the Hollywood Bowl to see the greatest composer of the 20th century, John Williams, conduct the LA Philharmonic in a menu of his best compositions. Williams, of course, works almost exclusively these days for Steven Spielberg which got me to thinking. Remember when a Spielberg film was an event? It didn’t matter what it was about you went because he was THE director. Those days are long past. I don’t think he’s directed an amazing movie since 1998 and only two good ones in the last ten years. I hope he finds his way again, but to me he seems lost in the desert. Ohhhh, but when he was good. So here are my top 5 Spielberg films:

1. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
2. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
3. Schindler’s List (1993)
4. E.T. (1982)
5. Jurassic Park (1993)

Getting Back on Track

Due to a busy weekend and being already absurdly off my original schedule, we’re going to make next week’s RN a double issue and shoot for getting back to the Wednesday original release schedule. I’m sorry for the delays, but life’s not being kind right now and it makes it hard to get up for writing. That’s a rubbish excuse though so I’m going to hit the ground running next week.

God bless,

Movie Review: Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)

DC has been pumping out animated movies now for the last few years at the rate of 2-3 per year. None have been bad, a few have been pretty good, before this though only Justice League: New Frontier was outstanding. Batman Under the Red Hood may be better than that. It’s outstanding animation, voice acting, and tight script (Judd Winnick adapting his story of the same name from the comics) make for an exceptional Batman movie.
The story centers around the second Robin, Jason Todd, his death at the hands of the Joker (played with a cold brilliance by John DeMaggio) and his resurrection by Ras ‘al Ghul. Never entirely stable when he was Robin, Jason takes the Red Hood mantle that was the Joker’s before he became the Joker and starts taking out crime in Gotham in a far more permanent fashion than his predecessor favors. Bruce Greenwood voices Batman and though I never thought I’d ever like anyone but Kevin Conroy doing Batman’s voice, Greenwood is just fantastic. I’d love to see him and DeMaggio do more work in this films if Conroy and Mark Hamil aren’t available to fill their usual roles. The conflict between Batman and his greatest mistake is great stuff. I’m an unapologetic Batfreak and one of the most interesting parts of his psyche is his tendency to surround himself with damaged people to help in his crusade and form a kind of surrogate family for himself to replace the one he lost when he was so young. Jason Todd represents his worst nightmare in that first, he failed to save him from death, and when he returns, now he uses the training he imparted to take more lives. The entire film is taut and filled with drama, but the last 15 minutes during the final showdown between the Red Hood, Joker, and Batman, is up to par with the best Batman stuff ever filmed in any medium.
This is a great film for anyone who loves animation and the superhero genre, and I could not recommend it more highly. If I have any criticism it would be that at 75 minutes, I could have used 20 more minutes of character development because the work done by the entire vocal cast was so good I just wanted more. But leaving ’em wanting more is how it’s supposed to go, eh?

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