Friday, December 14, 2007

I Am Legend opens today

This is a movie I've been anticipating for a long, long time.

I'm a fan of Richard Matheson's original novel, the 1964 Vincent Price adaptation The Last Man on Earth, and the 1971 Charlton Heston re-adaptation The Omega Man. Each one has various bits that I enjoy, and each in their own way speak as much about their times as they do about the original story.

About 8 years ago I heard some buzz about another remake. Ridley Scott was rumored to be directing and the leading actor under consideration at the time was Arnold Schwarzenegger. A script, written by Mark Protosevich, was floating around on the Internet so I found a copy and gave it a read.

I was impressed by the script and the way the action was updated. I thought it would make a decent version of the story. My other conclusion was that Arnold wouldn't be right for it -- my choice would have been Kurt Russell.

Then a couple of years ago, the remake was being talked about again with Will Smith in the lead -- and it actually got produced! I see that Protosevich is still listed as a writer, but now Akiva Goldsman is sharing that title. My guess is that he was called in to do some polishing and update it with Will Smith in mind. I wonder how much of Protosevich's original is still left?

You can read Protosevich's original script for yourself and compare it to the movie. I also see now that there is a John Logan version out there too, but I haven't read it. Both Logan and Protosevich are from Chicago. Coincidence?

In a later post I'll discuss other post-apocalyptic and dystopian movies.

Bonus link: A page showing other posters for the I Am Legend ad campaign. They are shots of various world cities after the disaster. I haven't seen these anywhere else. Scary stuff but well done!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Trek Remastered -- "A Taste of Armageddon"

This weekend's new Remastered episode is "A Taste of Armageddon". This is the one where the crew finds themselves caught between two warring planets. It's not technically a Kirk-vs.-computer story, but there are computers involved, and then... no, I don't want to ruin the denouement for you.

This is a classic episode, with has all the best bits that you love about The Original Series: Kirk has a great passionate speech, Spock gets in some good lines, there's several fights using Kirk-fu... even Scotty has good scenes.
I fondly remember it running often in the syndication rotation when I was growing up. This is one of my favorites. I even have a copy of the script (geek check, I know...). Check it out!

An extra treat: This is the original establishing shot matte, followed by the new CGI version. Yes, those are moving monorails in the background.

More climate news to worry about

Remember what I said about a tipping point?

Scientists take 2007's temperature

Scientist: 'Arctic is screaming'

Ominous Arctic Melt Worries Experts

Can the Planet Be Saved in Bali?

EU Threatens to Boycott US Climate Talks

EU gives U.S. ultimatum on climate

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

2008 may be another 1982 for genre movies

I knew there were some big movies planned for next year, but it wasn't until I read something that Bill Hunt said over at The Digital Bits that it sunk in. Next year is shaping up to be another 1982 -- Cloverfield, The Spiderwick Chronicles, 10,000 B.C., Stargate SG-1, The Forbidden Kingdom, Iron Man, Speed Racer, Prince Caspian, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Incredible Hulk, Get Smart, Wall-E, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Hellboy II, The Dark Knight, The X-Files 2, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Dragonball, Death Race, Where the Wild Things Are, Bond 22, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and Star Trek.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Trek Remastered -- "The Return of the Archons"

"It's almost the red hour!"

The episode for this upcoming weekend is "The Return of the Archons". It's not quite in the same league as "City on the Edge of Forever", but it's still a great fan-favorite.

One of the best Kirk-vs.-Computer stories, it's also a really creepy episode. With the period sets and costumes, it almost has the look of a Hammer film. The anti-authority, anti-Communist theme still resonates. It scared the heck out of a lot of people at the time. Recommended!

The 30-second preview is here. "Are you of the body?"

Update: Remastered screenshots and video here.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Trek Remastered -- "The Alternative Factor"

This weekend's episode is "The Alternative Factor". It's an ambitious first season episode about a person caught between two parallel universes. If they didn't have the production and editing problems, this could have been really terrific.

Click on the link above for the spooky trailer.