Renaissance News Vol. 2 Issue 26

So what happened? We’re chugging along, cranking out the greatest little summary of all things geeky under the sun, and then we go and disappear on you. Shame. On. Us. In the defense of the staff here, our offices got rather disease-ridden and had to be condemned. But that germy nastiness is behind us and we have much to impart. Obviously we can’t go over everything that happened whilst we were away, but we’ll try to hit as much as possible.

  • IT IS HAPPENING! After years of delays and a director change, The Hobbit has been greenlit through a complex financial deal that bores me to even read. Peter Jackson will return to helm both movies and filming will begin in February 2011. Though not officially cast, Martin Freeman (BBC’s The Office) looks like the frontrunner to replace Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins.
  • Chris Nolan has officially signed on to direct Batman 3 (which they’d be idiots not to call The Dark Knight Returns). Tom Hardy (Inception) has signed on to play a yet to be announced role. Michael Caine has said that the villain for the third film is the Riddler, but that hasn’t been confirmed by any other source. Filming will begin in April 2011 for a July 2012 release.
  • Darren Arnofsky (The Fountain) has signed to direct Wolverine 2. The film will focus on Wolverine’s time in Japan and will be wholly different in tone than the first film.
  • Two classic TV parents have passed. Leave it to Beaver’s Barbara Billingsley and Happy Days’ Tom Bosley have passed at the ages of 94 and 84, respectively.
  • NBC has ordered a full season for Chuck, which previously had only a 10 episode order this season. The Event, Law & Order: Los Angeles, and Outsourced also all received full season orders.
  • ABC is developing a live-action Incredible Hulk series in conjunction with Marvel as Marvel’s first foray into TV. Marvel is also looking at developing a Cloak & Dagger series.
  • FX has renewed Sons of Anarchy for a fourth season.
  • Andy Richter has rejoined Conan O’Brien on his new TBS show, Conan.
  • ABC is bringing Wonder Woman back to TV, helmed by David E. Kelley.
  • Bryan Fuller, creator of Pushing Daisies WHICH YOU NEED TO SEE, is reinventing The Munsters for NBC.
  • Disney’s Blu Ray offerings for 2011 will include The Incredibles, Bambi, and The Lion King.
  • James Cameron is looking at directing a Cleopatra biopic starring Angelina Joile before shooting Avatars 2 and 3 back-to-back.
  • Starting with The Avengers, Marvel films will be distributed by Disney. Marvel has also reacquired the film rights to The Punisher after Lionsgate got tired of making crappy movies starring the character.
  • Who will be the Mike Tyson of Hangover 2? Mel Gibson. Yep.
  • Keith Richards will reprise his role as Jack Sparrow’s father in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
  • Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, and Rashida Jones have joined the cast of The Greatest Muppet Move of All-Time.
  • Alec Baldwin and Emma Thompson have joined the cast of Men in Black III. Thompson will play the new MiB head, replacing the late Rip Torn.
  • Emma Stone has been cast as Gwen Stacey in the new Spider-Man film. Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill) will play the film’s villain, The Lizard.
  • Your Superman director is none other than Zack Snyder. The 300 director will helm the new film with the Nolan brothers producing and David Goyer writing the script. Early word is the villain will be General Zod.
  • Christopher Lambert has joined the cast of Ghost Rider 2: Spirits of Vengeance.
  • Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton) will write and direct The Bourne Legacy. This film will not feature Matt Damon or Jason Bourne but will focus on the fallout left by Bourne, feature new characters, and set the stage for Bourne to return in a future installment.
  • Transformer 3’s official title is Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon and the villain will be Soundwave.
  • Tom Hanks will star in Sleeping Dogs, Kathryn Bigelow’s first directorial project since winning an Oscar for The Hurt Locker.
  • Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson will reteam for the first time since A Few Good Men for the action-comedy El Presidente.
  • Tony Curtis, star of Spartacus and Some Like it Hot, has passed away at the age of 85.
  • Christopher Plummer has joined the cast of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
  • San Diego signed a deal to keep ComiCon in the city through 2012.
  • DVD/Blu Ray Release Dates
    A Beautiful Mind (BD), January 25th
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (BD), January 25th
    Inception, December 7th
    Hawaii 5-0 The Complete Tenth Season, December 14th
    La Femme Nikita Seasons 1-5, November 2nd
    Nanny McPhee Returns, December 14th
    Ramona & Beezus, November 9th
    Salt, December 21st
    Shrek Forever, December 7th
  • Box Office
    1. Jackass 3-D, $50.4 million
    2. Red, $21.8 million
    3. The Social Network, $10.3 million
    4. Secretariat, $9.3 million
    5. Life As We Know It, $9.0 million
  • Best Selling Video Games
    1. FIFA Soccer 11, PS3
    2. FIFA Soccer 11, XBOX 360
    3. Halo: Reach, XBOX 360
    4. Pro Evolution Soccer, PS3
    5. Pokemon Black/White, DS
  • Billboard Top 5 Albums
    1. Bullets in the Gun by Toby Keith
    2. Hemmingway’s Whiskey by Kenny Chesney
    3. Doo-wops & Hooligans by Bruno Mars
    4. Recovery by Eminem
    5. You Get What You Give by Zac Brown Band
  • New York Times Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers
    1. The Reversal by Michael Connelly
    2. Fall of Giants by Ken Follet
    3. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
    4. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson
    5. Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks


I know this isn’t long, but I’m still working my way back into the habit of daily entries. Today on Live with Regis and Kelly, Kanye West announced he replaced his lower teeth with diamonds, gold, and other precious stones. Congratulations. Truly. In the long history of celebrities doing things that make my jaw drop (and here I am including all Mel Gibson related incidents), nothing has struck me as more fundamentally retarded than this. Bravo. The bar, people, is raised.

Killing Time – October 18, 2010

I thought I’d return from my sickness-induced hiatus with Killing Time, moving the column to Mondays. It seemed fitting because when do you want to stab the clock more than on a Monday?
Book: Voodoo Heart by Scott Snyder
Music: Lost Season 6 soundtrack by Michael Giacchino
DVD/Blu Ray: Twilight Zone Season 1, The Matrix on Blu Ray
Video Games: Guitar Hero Warriors of Rock
Comic Books: The Marvels Project by Ed Brubaker

Where I’ve Been

As you’ve probably noticed, there’s been no updates for the last few weeks. The reason is that I got sick. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick. Probably about as sick as I’ve ever been in my life. I’m saying it was no fun. Actually, it continues to be no fun, but I’m on the mend. I certainly haven’t abandonned the site, but it’s hard to be creative when your only thought is “blerrrrrrg”. I plan to start things up again next week, so hold tight and there will be fresh updates once more.

Classic Games

Unlike other media genres, classic games age with the least grace. Part of this is the very nature of a developing medium. When you look at the technological leaps that have been made in the last 20 years, it’s no wonder people don’t revisit old games. For the most part, they were pretty awful. It’s not just the graphics, though that’s the most obvious barometer, but remember the days of no saves? No story in 95% of games. Control schemes that felt like you were trying to drive a dead elephant? Computer A.I. that was either mysteriously omniscent or functionally retarded (my favorite were enemies that you could lure into walking off cliffs by moving your character a certain way)? If you mark the beginning of modern video gaming with the debut of the original NES, we’re 25 years into this still-burgeoning form of entertainment. Do you harken back to yesteryear and play any classic games? They’re more accessible than they used to be a few years ago. “Best of” discs containing dozens of games from old systems can be had or you can download old classics off of individual system networks. My wife and I were ripping through Golden Axe the other day (a prime example of enemies on whom you can use the lemming effect) and this question came to me. As far as I go, I still bust out Sonic the Hedgehog 1-3. Tetris will never get old. The original Zelda and Mario games are timeless as well. How about you? Any old favorites pry you away from Halo?

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