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Harlan Ellison’s Book Purge

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials, DC Comics,

Spirit 2If you’ve ever wanted to stroll through an author’s personal library, but they won’t let you into their house (and with good reason), Harlan Ellison’s wife Susan offers the next best thing: a book purge from his private collection.

There’s enough good stuff written about Mr. Ellison available on the internet that you don’t need me to cut and paste a bunch of it to reaffirm the award-winning author’s place in literature and pop culture. From books to movies to TV to comic books, he’s really done it all and won awards for lots of it. Mr. Ellison and I have had about a dozen fun and friendly encounters over the years and it was always a pleasure to hear his voice at the other end of the phone.

“What the hell are you doing now, Mason?” he’d call out teasingly and we’d take it from there. Very enjoyable conversations about the state of the world, the comic book industry, and even one about the history of, if I remember correctly, the Golden Age super-hero, Cat-Man.

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Weekend Reading: Star Wars, Star Trek, Scooby Doo and Joe Kubert

Sgt RockWelcome to the weekend on the internet. Let’s get it started with Mr. Joe Kubert.

I had the pleasure of working for a company that published one of Mr. Kubert’s books (Abraham Stone) and got to hang out with him a little at Comic Con International one year. Just a great, great guy, as well as a fantastic artist. Marty Pedler at Bookslut has a new interview with him, and if you haven’t read it yet, get over there. Here’s a little snip: “I still feel that if it’s not a children’s medium, it’s at least a young person’s medium—despite the fact that the average person who reads comic books is now, I’m told, probably in their early twenties. Maybe it’s because I’m an old fogey, I don’t know, but I still feel a little strange and awkward when I see stuff that’s so blatantly sexual.”

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Leonard Nimoy Bids Good-Bye to Acting

recently made an appearance at the Hero Complex Film Festival, where he confirmed what many people were hoping wasn’t true: he’s retiring from the acting game. From now on, the man best known as Mr. Spock will concentrate on photography, collecting art and spending time with his family. In the video above, you can hear some of Nimoy’s comments from the event.

Well, I hope Paramount is happy with their poorly-penned relaunch. After decades of donning the Vulcan ears, Nimoy’s been driven out of the franchise - likely because he was so disappointed with the terrible, terrible plot of Trek 11. How do you define cop-out? Being unable to come up with a continuous, sensible storyline for a forty-four year franchise - and &%!!ing all over it instead.

It’s no wonder Spock has decided to wash his hands of the whole Hollywood business.

Read More | LA Times

Quote of the Day: Leonard Nimoy on Directing William Shatner

Star Trek set

“I had been wanting to direct for some time. I had been told many times, ‘You should be a director,’ and I always took it as an insult; there must be something wrong with my acting. When heard I was going to direct a Star Trek movie he went into deep shock. He was really worried. Look, everybody knows that we have become very, very good friends. But we’ve always been like two competitive siblings. But [as for me directing him] it worked out pretty well.”

-Retired actor Leonard Nimoy on working behind the camera for two different Star Trek films (The Search for Spock, The Voyage Home).

(Make sure to check out other notable quotes.)

Read More | Los Angeles Times

The 2010 Academy Awards: Live Commentary

Posted by Veronica Santiago Categories: Awards,

Oscar statues

When you throw in an extra host, add five more Best Picture nominees, take away the Best Song performances and nominate two formerly married directors—what do you get? A night that will surely be talked about.

Although many believe the will end with very few surprises, the possibility of an upset is still too great to ignore. Will the box office champ (Avatar) win Best Film as well? Or will The Hurt Locker - or even Inglourious Basterds - take the prize? Is Jeff Bridges a shoo-in for Best Actor…or could BAFTA winner Colin Firth sneak past him? Will Sandra Bullock have to deliver another acceptance speech, or will Meryl Streep take home her first Oscar since 1983?

To find out if the ceremony ends in a world of Hurt or Up in the Air, stay tuned here for the live results!

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Read More | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Sequel News: Twister, G.I. Joe and More

Twister: Actor Bill Paxton recently expressed interest in doing another Twister film. Question is: is anyone else interested? (Aside from the Balloon Boy family?) Bill believes 3-D technology and a history angle could bring added elements to the disaster story. “I think you’d still want to have a lot of the dark humor and all of that, with the flying cows and everything. I think you could kind of intrigue people more by getting into a little more of the lore and really understanding. I just think there’s a lot more to explore there,” Paxton said.

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TV on DVD: December 15, 2009

Here are some of the options available this Tuesday.

The Tudors Season 3 DVD

  • 2009 New York Yankees: The Official World Series Film
  • Cake Boss (Season 1)
  • The City (Season 1)  **Available on Dec. 17**
  • Criss Angel: Mindfreak (Season 5)
  • The Head (Complete Series)
  • Ice Road Truckers (Season 3)
  • The Maxx (Complete Series)
  • One Piece (Season Two, Fourth Voyage)
  • The Paper Chase (Season 2)
  • Robot Chicken (Season 4)
  • Samurai Champloo (Complete Series)  **Blu-ray**
  • Star Trek: The Original Series (Season 3)  **Blu-ray**
  • The Tudors (Season 3)
  • Wizards of Waverly Place (TV Movie)

Make sure to also check out the DVD and Blu-ray film options for this week.

Read More | Amazon

Weekend Reading: Axa, Star Trek, Alan Moore and Joe Kubert

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials,

AxaHappy happy joy joy, another weekend has arrived and the internet is packed with stuff to keep us all occupied and indoors, at least until game time on Sunday. So whether you like the good girl stylings of Enrique Romero, spoilers from the new Star Trek movie (now out on DVD), or need to see a picture of Joe Kubert’s enormous drawing table, it’s like a pirate’s treasure: all down below. Let’s begin…

Enrique Romero: Pete Doree over at The Bronze Age of Blogs has a great post up about Enrique Romero, artist on two classic British newspaper strips: Axa and Modesty Blaise. No offense to Pete’s solid writing cred, but this one’s all about the art. Images might be a little NSFW, depending on where you work.

J.J. Abrams: Lance Mannion has a few spoiler-laden comments on the Star Trek movie now that it’s out on DVD. “Now, obviously I have more invested in Star Trek than is healthy for a reasonable adult.  But geek that I am, I am not religious about it.” He doth protest a smidgeth to mucheth, but he writes so well on the subject, you’ll get sucked right in. Bonus: dialogue excerpts from OST.

Adrian Raeside: You don’t think of cartoonists as explorers, but Canadian editorial cartoonist for the Times Colonist in Victoria, BC, is the grandson of Charles “Silas” Wright, a member of Robert Scott’s famous expedition to the South Pole. Adrian retraced his old relatives footsteps and wrote a book about it: Return to Antarctica. His paper runs an excerpt.

Click to continue reading Weekend Reading: Axa, Star Trek, Alan Moore and Joe Kubert

This Week on DVD and Blu-ray: November 17, 2009

BrunoHere are some of the options available this Tuesday:

  • Brüno: DVD, Blu-ray
  • The Canyon: DVD
  • Chasing Amy: Blu-ray
  • Clerks: Blu-ray
  • Fight Club: Blu-ray
  • Galaxy Quest: Blu-ray
  • Gone with the Wind (70th Anniversary Edition): DVD, Blu-ray
  • How to Be: DVD
  • Is Anybody There?: DVD, Blu-ray
  • My Sister’s Keeper: DVD, Blu-ray
  • The Professional: Blu-ray

Click to continue reading This Week on DVD and Blu-ray: November 17, 2009

Read More | Amazon

Legend Of The Seeker 2nd Season: Seek It Out!

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Reviews,

LegendBack in the go-go 1990s of television syndication, everybody and his international production company was making hour-long adventure series. My weekend afternoons were filled with two of the best, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. They were fun, action-packed, never took themselves too seriously and both were thoroughly enjoyable. And they had two things in common: Sam Raimi (that’s right, the Evil Dead/Darkman/Spider-Man guy) and Robert Tapert.

But the market shifted and independent programming took a beating for a few years. Then last year, there was a surprise on my widescreen plasma: Legend of the Seeker. And it too had something in common with Hercules and Xena: Raimi and Tapert. They’d returned to New Zealand where their previous shows were filmed, and drew from the Wizard’s First Rule novels of fantasy author Terry Goodkind to craft another terrific action hour with edge-of-the-seat appeal and really nice FX. It fills that gap for me when BBC America isn’t showing Robin Hood.

Now it’s back for season 2, and the first new episode debuts this weekend (either November 7 or November 8, depending on your local listings). For me, it’s KTLA (Channel 5) at Sunday, 3pm. If you’re in NYC (which is where I always dream of being), it’s 4pm Saturday on WPIX. You can find out your own local times and station at the official LOTS website.

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