Want To See At Least Two Slew of Trailers From San Diego Comic-Con? Then Hit The DMM Facebook Page

ww1Yep, it’s that time of year again – San Diego Comic-Con, when all of the studios are fighting to get new trailers and previews to an appreciative audience in order to generate some positive buzz about all of the genre-related (and not just comic-book) films and TV shows they have coming out.

This year, instead of continuously posting the new trailers here, though, I’m putting them up on the Durnmoose Movie Musings Facebook page. So if you want to¬† see things like the (surprisingly better than I expected) new Wonder Woman trailer or footage from the upcoming Justice League movie, or the Lego Batman movie, or Kong: Skull Island, or the new Dr. Strange trailer, or previews for the upcoming Marvel/Netflix collaborations, or Guy Ritchie’s intriguing take on King Arthur, or… well, let’s just say “a whole bunch of other stuff”, then head over there and take a look.

Also, while you’re there, go ahead and give the page a like or a share… it really is the easiest way to keep up with everything that’s going on with the Moose, and is also where I sometimes post things that I might not feel deserve a full post here. Oh, and for that matter I may as well go ahead and mention the Durnmoose twitter feed, which you can find a link to in the sidebar, and which I also use for getting the word out when there is a new post here. You can find the link to that over in the sidebar.

 

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Will Simon Templar Have a Halo Or Horns? – Paramount Picks Up The Rights to The Saint

saint1According to this story from Deadline, Paramount Pictures has just picked up the rights for a feature-film adaptation of The Saint. They (Paramount) say they are looking to take the character, whose “life” began in a series of books written by noted author Leslie Charteris¬† from 1928 to 1963 and of course attempt to create another tentpole upon which they can build a new character brand, not unlike James Bond or Mission: Impossible.

This is far from the first time that Charteris’s character has been adapted in various media from film to radio to television.

The character known as “The Saint” is, in actuality Simon Templar, a Robin Hood like figure who goes after wealthy bad guys and after bringing them down either returns most of the money or goods that he recovers to the victims or donates it to a worthy cause. I say “most of” because in some cases there is a reference to him collecting a ten-percent “fee” so that he can continue his operations. Templar is known to leave behind a calling card which has a stick figure with a halo and his initials. S.T., from which his supposedly derives.

The first adaptation of The Saint to other media comes in the form of a series of movies which were produced by RKO. The first of these, The Saint in New York was released in 1938 and starred Louis Hayward as Templar. This proved to be a hit, and RKO continued the series through a total of eight films, though George Sanders took over the role after the first movie.

Hayward returned to the role in 1953 for the Hammer Films production The Saint Returns (also known as The Saint’s Girl Friday).

Though there were some earlier adaptations of the Saint stories for the radio, by far the best, most popular, and longest-running radio series starred Vincent Price in the lead role and ran from 1947 to 1951 on three different networks: NBC, Mutual, and CBS.

On television, the most famous incarnation of Charteris’s character starred a pre-James Bond Roger Moore in a series which ran from 1962 to 1969.

Of course there have been other incarnations of the character over the years in all three media, along with comic books and strips. The most recent attempt at a silver screen revival was released in 1997 and starred Val Kilmer as the title character. Unfortunately, as is the case in many more recent movie revivals, this movie strayed quite a bit from its original inspiration and failed to ignite any enthusiasm either from fans of the character or those coming to Templar’s adventures without any preconceived notions.

So, can Paramount make The Saint fly again, or is the upcoming film merely going to sport a tarnished halo? Well, of course, since the movie is only in the talking stages right now, and we have absolutely no information to go on, there’s no way to even make an educated guess, but since this is a character that I’ve had a long fondness for, at the moment I’m just pleased to hear that he’s being given another chance, and I’m going to remain hopefully optimistic until I’m given a reason to think otherwise.

And in the meantime, obviously, I have plenty of chances to revisit the character and invite you to do so too. I think you’ll find he really is something special.

Let’s Get Lost With The Space Family Robinson Again – Netflix’s New Lost In Space (2018)

lis1This is not exactly new news, but we do have a few more details about the upcoming series which I’ll get to in a moment.

It’s hard to explain the influence that the original Lost in Space television series had on a number of us budding sci-fi geeks as we were growing up in the 60s and 70s. For myself, though I was too young to appreciate it during its original prime time run which began in 1965, I did catch it when it ran in stripped syndication (that being the phrase for shows that run at a certain time Monday through Friday in reruns, a practice mostly relegated to more recent vintage sitcoms nowadays).

The adventures of the Space Family Robinson seemed at the time the perfect combination of camp and high adventure and introduced a number of us to the whole idea of space travel and encounters with all manner of alien beings. Interestingly, it was originally sold to the networks as a straightforward adventure show, as seen in this short presentation reel put together as a way to lure advertisers to pony up money and support the show:

Of course, even though that reel focuses on the family adventure aspects of the show and does contain many of the elements which would draw viewers in, it is missing two of the most important factors that really made Lost in Space the fondly remembered show that it became, and that’s because neither of the two most interesting and famous aspects of the show were not in the original plans.

Those, of course were the Robot and the high-camp Dr. Smith. It was not until those elements were added (after the initial and unaired at the time pilot was shot) that the show really became the fondly remembered icon that it is today.

I apologize, btw for the effect overlay in the above clip, but it appears to be there to circumvent any YouTube issues. Still it’s good enough to give you a sense of the show.

Anyway, according to this and a number of other media reports, Lost in Space will be… well, not exactly soon, since it’s not expected to drop until 2018, but eventually, returning to the small screen as a 10 episode series on Netflix. Obviously at this point we don’t know a whole lot about what the show will be like, but early reports indicate that the new show may hew more closely to the initial concept – more of a straight sci-fi adventure than what the original eventually became.

lis2Which is okay, and is possibly more suited for today’s audience, but at the same time seems the kind of move that will make it just another space adventure show and not the kind of thing that will be must see and inspiring viewing for those budding young minds looking for something which will attract them into a science fiction fandom that they may not even know exists the way the original did with my generation.

Which would be a shame, because without them, sf has no future.

Or, to put it another way, “Danger, Will Robinson! My circuits detect an unnecessary seriousness overload!”

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

What Could Go Wrong? – Here’s the New Trailer For HBO’s Westworld (2016)

ww1The 70s were a great time for science fiction movies, and the original West World from 1973 is one of my all-time favorites from that period. It starred Yul Brenner essentially reprising his role from The Magnificent Seven, along with James Brolin and Richard Benjamin. Appropriately downbeat for the era, the movie was written and directed by Michael Crichton. Unfortunately it was followed up by the shall we say “less than stellar” Futureworld and a television series that was axed after only three episodes.

Thus it’s with a little bit of trepidation that I’m approaching HBO’s upcoming reboot of the material as an ongoing series. Part of the problem is wondering how they’re going to go about keeping up the suspense over a longer period of time. Still, with the network’s track record, and with J.J. Abrams producing, writing and directing at least the first episode ans Christopher Nolan and Jerry Weintraub also behind the project, I’m more than willing to at least give it a shot, and this trailer certainly reassures that if nothing else the show is going to look good.

Here’s the new trailer:

(Un)Seeing Red – Here’s The First Real Trailer For Daredevil Season 2 (2016)

If you were a fan of the first season of Netflix/Marvel’s Daredevil, you’re going to find a lot to like about this trailer for the second season. One thing that pleased me personally is that we’re actually going to get the red suit instead of him being simply decked out in black. The version of the Punisher presented here looks like a good interpretation of the character, and we finally get an actual look at the third major character who will be taking the stage during this season.

One other interesting thing about the trailer is that it promises us a “part two” coming up in ten days, and presumably picking up just where this one leaves off. Hopefully that will give us an idea of what the interactions between DD and his former love are going to be like – whether they’re going to be on the same side initially or whether they two will be squaring off.

Take a look:

Classic Television Thursday #53 – The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes: The Horse of the Invisible (1971)

car2Recently I’ve been writing about my favorite armchair detective, Nero Wolfe, whom I consider to be in the same league as a detective as the much more famous Sherlock Holmes. Today I want to spotlight another detective, who, while he may not be in the same league as those two, still deserves a bit of a spotlight and serves as a reminder that even though Mr. Holmes may be the most famous of the Victorian-era detectives, he is far from the only one operating or being written about in that era.

One of those other detectives is Thomas Carnacki, otherwise known as the Ghost-Finder.

Carnacki is the creation of writer William Hope Hodgson, and appeared in a series of six short stories published between 1910 and 1912 in The Idler magazine and The New Magazine. Unlike Holmes, however, Carnacki’s adventures, as is perhaps obvious from the Ghost Finder subtitle, usually involved the supernatural in some way or another. I say usually, because in at least a couple of circumstances, it is discovered that there actually is no supernatural instance involved, thus leaving the reader unsure until the end whether this is the case or not, which adds to the suspense of the stories.

car1The structure of each of the stories tends to be quite similar. In each of them Carnacki invites four friends, including Dodgson from whose perspective the stories are told, to dinner at his flat in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, England. At the end of the dinner, everyone settles into their chairs, and Carnacki relates his latest exploit. At the end of the tale, Carnacki may entertain a few questions, but he usually does not go any further into an explanation than he already has.

Though it seems as though the character of Carnacki and his stories might be ripe for development as a television series, or a series of movies, as far as I can tell, the only adaptation that has been made thus far is as an episode of the two-season BBC series The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes. This adaptation of the story The Horse of the Invisible stars Donald Pleasance as Carnacki.

Check it out and see what you think:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classic Television Thursday #52 – The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast (Part Two)

martin1The last time I did one of these Classic Television Thursday posts (and I apologize for the intervening weeks, but what with the holidays and life intervening as you’ve noticed, I’m sure, my posting here lately has simply been on the sparse side), I posted a few of the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts just to give you a taste of what they were like. Today I’ll go into a bit more about them.

From 1965-1974 Dean Martin hosted one of the most popular variety shows on television. The show aired on Thursday nights on NBC except for the final year which saw it move to Friday night. It’s during this final season that the show changed, and upon which I want to focus today.

martin2Due to declining ratings during the show’s eighth season it was decided that it was time to retool things. During this season, a series of “Man of the Week Celebrity Roast”s were added to the weekly offerings, and these proved to be very popular with the television audience. Therefore, rather than renewing The Dean Martin Show for a tenth seaon, NBC decided to work with Martin on this format and signed him to a series of specials, including roast specials. Martin was agreeable to this because it actually meant less work for him, while still keeping his name in the spotlight.

martin3The first specials, which began airing early in 1974 with a roast of Bob Hope were shot in California before they finally moved to a permanent home in the Las Vegas MGM Grand Hotel’s Ziegfeld Room. For 10 years, from October 1974 to December 1984, Martin held court as roastmaster as some of Hollywood’s and Vegas’s top comedians and other celebrities would come together in a Friar’s Club style roast to playfully chide and or insult one of their fellow celebrities about his or her career. Then, at the end, the “honoree” would get a chance to take to the dais to respond to these quips and taunts with a few sharp lines of their own. Unlike some later iterations of the celebrity roast (I’m thinking particularly of the Comedy Central iteration of the concept) all of this was obviously meant as good, relatively clean fun as opposed to an occasion to see who could be the most insulting to the guest of honor.

Actually, I feel like I should go back and clarify a bit. Though Martin did indeed havea 10 year contract with NBC to do these specials, there were actually only 5 of them produced, with none airing from 1980-83, and the show finally returning with a few specials in 1984 to wrap up Martin’s obligations and fulfill the terms of the contract.

Okay, I’ve nattered on enough. Now I think it’s time to just sit back and enjoy a few more of these roasts, beginning with a roast of the man himself. Have fun!