Thursday, March 12, 2009

Stargate / Farscape - SFX Magazine: Claudia Black Fannish Inquisition

At SFX Magazine:

(Please follow the link for the complete lengthy interview.)

Thursday March 12, 2009

Claudia Black Fannish Inquisition

Back in issue 179 of SFX we revealed Claudia Black's answers to a selection of questions given to us by you, our readers. Now we can reveal the full, uncut answers to all the questions we were able to ask! So, if you were wondering if Claudia gave a more detailed answer to your question or just wondered if we got to ask your question, keep reading...

A brief excerpt:

I was wondering who was more fun to play: Aeryn Sun or Vala Mal Doran?

- Svein Ingvar P Kvilhaug
"They're both amazing characters. Again, I'd have to say that where I am in my life personally right now, I'd rather be conjuring lightness and comedy, because I couldn't find a way to separate myself from it entirely. I was always exhausted when I went home, playing Aeryn. She had the weight of the world on her shoulders. She was such a beautiful, soulful character. Very restrained work, taught me a lot of discipline as an actor. And Vala's the cheeky, naughty, energetic one, and the difficulty with that is, with young children, if you don't have the energy on the day when you turn up, you have to find it somehow because you owe it to the character – that's her essence, this huge ball of energy. But I couldn't choose between them. Perhaps Aeryn – by the end of her journey as we left her, she had more of a sense of humour. Maybe things wouldn't be so dire for her now if I was playing her. But they're both incredible."

Watchmen - VFX World: Several Watchmen Articles & Interviews

At VFX World (please follow the link for the complete articles and to view the embedded video clips):

Deconstructing Watchmen -- Part 1

In the first part of our in-depth Watchmen coverage, we get an overview from Alex McDowell, the production designer, and John DJ DesJardin, the overall visual effects supervisor.
"Watchmen is all about details... it's all about telescoping time," McDowell insists. "The editorial tool is the way to turn the graphic novel into the film; you can get so much information across in a parallel way, and we approached the design that way. So this idea that you can embed these threads and cram stuff in parallel time really came across. But Watchmen is a traditional film in many ways. And for the designer, it's the density that's the challenge: the actual complexity was logistic. "There were many, many more sets than I've ever built in a movie (around 200) because of all the layering of time and space that we had to deal with, the character threads, there has to be so much material that has to be created to carry the story ..."


Deconstructing Watchmen -- Part 2

Sony Pictures Imageworks, Intelligent Creatures, MPC Vancouver, CIS Hollywood and Rising Sun Pictures discuss their contributions to Watchmen in the final part of our coverage.

Tricks for Dr. Manhattan, Mars & Vietnam

Not surprisingly, the majority of the vfx revolves around Dr. Manhattan. Thus, with its 400 shots, Imageworks served as the lead vendor, under the supervision of Pete Travers (Click, Zathura). "We did everything associated with Doc," Travers explains, "including the Martian environment, the Glass Palace, the destruction of New York City and [the rapid victory in] Vietnam."

Travers adds that it was "a dense 400 shots." In other words, there were no easy ones. "I came on in the summer of 2007. DJ [DesJardin], the overall visual effects supervisor, approached us and after reading the graphic novel, my first reaction was, 'We gotta do Doc!' DJ already had discussions with Snyder about the approach as a CG character that emits its own light, and I just reinforced that view ...


Zack Snyder Talks Watchmen

After our in-depth making of coverage, the Watchmen director discusses bringing the landmark graphic novel to the screen.

Zack Snyder always knew that making Watchmen was going to be a difficult journey: part fanboy exercise, part artistic indulgence. Yet strict fidelity to the landmark graphic novel was never the goal.

Production Designer Alex McDowell will grant that much. "For Zack, it was really important to hit the 30 images that the fans carry with them from the graphic novel. And for himself: to know that those big beats would be respectful. But we made some big changes in the threads between those. One of the huge contributions Zack made to this -- which will really be apparent when you watch the film -- is that there are layers and layers of pop cultural reference on top of the Watchmen reference and on top of the pop cultural references already embedded in [the graphic novel]," he says. "Because we have the hindsight of 20 years and the knowledge that Apocalypse Now is embedded in the consciousness of the audience, if you want to play "The Ride of the Valkyries" over Vietnam, you've added an entire other reference layer that puts you in another space."


Scott Lukowski Talks Conceptualizing Watchmen

Concept Illustrator Scott Lukowski discusses his experiences on Watchmen and some other high profile movies.

Scott Lukowski is a very busy concept illustrator. While Watchmen Production Designer Alex McDowell recommended him for this interview, it turns out that he's also worked on the new live-action Akira, Alice in Wonderland (his second stint with Tim Burton after Big Fish), Fantastic Voyage and Surrogates. Prior to these, he contributed to Transformers and Zodiac. And, previously, Lukowski worked in vfx by sculpting and fabricating miniature vehicles and architectural items from scratch as on-screen elements, including extensive work on Titanic and minor contributions to Stuart Little 2 and Spider-Man.

The Dresden Files - 'Turn Coat' Sample Chapter Five

From a Jim Butcher web site announcement:

Sample chapters of the new The Dresden Files novel, 'Turn Coat,' are uploaded every Tuesday. Chapter One was posted February 11th, and Chapter Five (the LAST sample chapter) was added on March 10th.

Find them here.

"Turn Coat" arrives April 7th. Pre-order it in hardcover from, or in or audio format, or through the store.

Discuss the sample chapters with other fans on the Jim Butcher forum.

Tony Amendola - Cinematical: The Perfect Sleep

At Cinematical:

(Please follow the link for the complete article.)

Review: The Perfect Sleep

by Scott Weinberg Mar 12th 2009

... Tailor-made for open-minded noir buffs who wouldn't mind seeing the beloved genre blended up with a dose of martial arts mayhem and just a touch of supernatural strangeness, Jeremy Alter's The Perfect Sleep takes a little while to warm up to. We open with whom we assume is our grizzled hero, just as he's about to get beaten up by a gang of wise-ass henchmen. Then we jump straight back into a slightly convoluted flashback structure in which all the essential rules and players are introduced before we end up back at square one.

... I could waste this paragraph explaining the densely-layered plot threads, the amusingly pulpy tough-guy banter, or Alter's unquestionable gift for throwing shadows and light together, but The Perfect Sleep is a fine little indie concoction that's best left for the viewer to sift through. [Anton] Pardoe does a great job of delivering even the pulpiest of dialog, and the supporting cast is particularly excellent: Michael Pare pops up as a violent cop, and adds a lot to the proceedings when he does, plus we're treated to a wonderfully sick performance by Tony Amendola as a character best described as "Dr. Hitman." Amendola steals every scene he's in and left me wanting more of this bizarre lunatic.

.... [ The Perfect Sleep opens on 3/13 in Los Angeles, with other markets to follow in a week or two. It looks like Magnolia plans to release it when DVD time rolls around, so that's good news for everyone. And here's a link to the film's official site. ]


The Perfect Sleep stars include Roselyn Sanchez, Patrick Bauchau, Tony Amendola, Cameron Daddo, Michael Paré and Anton Pardoe.

In a timeless city, a man with no name returns to the violent, brutal domain of assassins he left ten years before – back when they dubbed him The Mad Monk for his disregard for his own life and his intense devotion to one woman, Porphyria; a beautiful, luminescent woman; the girl he grew up with; the love of his life; the one thing he has ever wanted; the one thing he can never have.

There is no discernible reason for him to come back to this ruthless city, save one. She still lives here, she is in danger, and he – a man gifted in the art of killing – may be the only one who can save her. Waiting for him are deadly men who would like nothing more than to see him die a painful death. Standing at their forefront is the formidable Nikolai, the man who raised him and just might be his father.

To protect Porphyria, this unnamed man will return to a life of torment and torture. He will face off against the father figure he turned his back on so many years ago. He will revisit this existence full of people imprisoned by their desire, their history, and their very blood; a world where the only thing keeping you from happiness is yourself, the world of The Perfect Sleep.

Terminator - The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Video: 'Wondercon Trailer'

Courtesy of FOX and HULU:

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Wondercon Trailer

Teaser Trailer|03:57|

You had to be at Wondercon to see this trailer. Until now.

Stargate Atlantis - GateWorld: Season Five on DVD June 30

At GateWorld:

(Please follow the link for the complete article.)

Stargate Atlantis Season Five on DVD June 30

Thursday - March 12, 2009

by Darren Sumner

The final season of Stargate Atlantis finally has a release date. reports that The Complete Fifth Season will be available on DVD in North America on June 30.

Richard Dean Anderson - Seattle Post-Intelligencer: MacGyver appeals to our inner heroes

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Seattle, WA):

(Please follow the link for the complete article.)

MacGyver appeals to our inner heroes

'80s icon lives on in 'MacGruber'


For Will Forte, a seven-year veteran performer on "Saturday Night Live," transforming into MacGruber is easy: All he has to do is slip on a mullet wig, look in the mirror and -- bam! -- he's ready to defuse bombs with a rubber band, a bottle cap and a thumbtack ...

... Years before "SNL" created MacGruber, Ira Glass, public-radio demigod and host of "This American Life," recognized that MacGyver's appeal extended beyond nostalgia. In 2003, he dedicated an episode to the character, elevating him to high culture. A few years later, Brendan Vaughan, a journalist, compiled and edited "What Would MacGyver Do?," a collection that paid homage to the hero through tales of real-life MacGyverisms. Pop culture commentator and Esquire columnist Chuck Klosterman (who originally shared his story on "This American Life") and A.J. Jacobs contributed to the book, further elevating MacGyver. And, of course, over the past decade, the character has achieved the ultimate status of becoming a verb: To "MacGyver" something is to fix or improve it in an exceptionally resourceful way.

The original ABC show had a wide fan base, especially among guys. For most of its seven seasons (1985-1992), it aired right before "Monday Night Football" in the East, fostering many a father-son-bonding moment. And the men who helped make the show a hit -- Richard Dean Anderson and Henry Winkler, who produced it -- seemed very much guy's guys.

In each episode, MacGyver, who works for the Phoenix Foundation, a fake government counterintelligence agency, is either assigned to or finds himself in the middle of high-stakes trouble. Sometimes he's fighting Russian spies; other times he's protecting an orphanage or other noble institution from being destroyed by heartless villains. The tricks MacGyver pulls off are typically more sophisticated than just using a paper clip to jiggle open a locked door -- there's often hard-core science involved ...

X-Men Origins - Video: Wolverine Trailer

Courtesy of TV Guide's Hollywood 411 and HULU:

TV Guide Specials - X-Men Origins: Wolverine Trailer


Want to know how Wolverine came to be? X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE features his most frightening enemy, Sabretooth; and, a host of new mutants for him to battle, along with the return of all your favorites!

Corin Nemec - Sea Beast - SciFi Channel Sat Mar 14 '09

Corin Nemec, Miriam McDonald and Daniel Wisler star in this 2008 made-for-TV movie, 'Sea Beast,' airing Saturday March 14 at 9pm on the SciFi Channel (US). Written and directed by Paul Ziller.

A small village unites in self-defense when a creature from the sea invades their fishing waters and threatens to destroy the town.

UPDATE: March 14 '09 - Sneak Peek of 'Stargate Universe' announced in tonight's movie during Stargate: Ark of Truth on March 27 and Stargate: Continuum on April 3!

Supernatural - TV Guide Online: Misha Collins Answers Your Questions

At TV Guide Online:

(Please follow the link for the complete article.)

Today's News: Our Take

Date with an Angel: Supernatural's Misha Collins Answers Your Questions

Mar 11, 2009 by Matt Mitovich

On the occasion of Supernatural's return with fresh episodes (Thursdays at 9 pm/ET, the CW), we grabbed a few minutes with Misha Collins to reflect a bit on his first season as Castiel and answer questions from's readers. (A divine idea, no?) Here, following a bit of our own banter with Collins, is his take on purgatory plucking, questioning the Big Guy, old-school smiting and much more. (Also: Read my start-of-season Q&A with Misha.)

A brief excerpt: How was your first Supernatural convention experience this past weekend?
Misha Collins: It was good. I don't feel nearly as traumatized as I expected. I feel like a little bit of a whore, so that's a triumph in my book. I got some hand cramps from signing my name for too long, but that's an occupational hazard. What twist in Castiel's storyline has surprised you the most so far?
Collins: That he's still alive. That's one. But also seeing the man whom Castiel possessed was both surprising and gratifying and really fun to play. We just finished shooting that episode, and that was cool. It was very different from what I was expecting.

Damian Lewis - Life - Video: 'Shelf Life'

Courtesy of NBC and HULU, Life's 'Shelf Life,' starring Damian Lewis, Sarah Shahi, Brent Sexton, Donal Logue and Adam Arkin. Guest stars include William Atherton, Valerie Rae Miller, Brent Bailey, Tim Guinee, Adam Wiley, Chane't Johnson and Helen McCrory.

Crews and Starks investigate the murder of an Iraq War soldier who despite being killed in broad daylight on a crowded sidewalk, no one witnessed the crime.

Gabrielle Union joins the cast (temporarily replacing Sarah Shahi), in next week's episode, '3 Women'

Doctor Who - SciFi Channel: Season 1 Mini-Marathon Thurs Mar 13 '09

From's schedulebot for Thursday, March 13 '09:

08:00A ROSE
09:00A THE UNQUIET DEAD - Eve Myles guest stars
10:00A DALEK - Anna-Louise Plowman guest stars
11:00A THE LONG GAME - Simon Pegg guest stars

Amanda Tapping - Sanctuary - Video: 'Kush'

Courtesy of SciFi Channel and HULU, Sanctuary's 'Kush,' starring Amanda Tapping, Robin Dunne, Emilie Ullerup, Christopher Heyerdahl and Ryan Robbins. Guest stars include Sarah Strange, Panou, Adrien Dorval, Thai-Hoa Le, David Nykl and Kirsten Robek.

A plane crash in the Himalaya Mountains gets more horrifying when survivors are attacked one at a time.

Nathan Fillion - Castle - Media Blvd. Magazine: Interview

At Media Blvd. Magazine:

(Please follow the link for the complete interview.)

Nathan Fillion Stars In 'Castle'

Monday, 09 March 2009

By Christina Radish

On the ABC television series Castle, wildly famous mystery novelist Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) is bored with his own success. Then he learns that a real-world copycat killer has started staging murder scenes depicted in his novels. Castle is questioned by Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), a bright and aggressive NYPD detective who keeps her investigations under tight rein. Though they instantly clash, sparks of another sort also begin to fly, leading both to danger and a hint of romance as Castle steps in to help find the killer. And, once that case is solved, he and Beckett build on their new relationship as they look to solve more strange homicides in New York.

Nathan Fillion, best known to audiences as Captain Malcolm Reynolds on the Joss Whedon television series Firefly, spoke to MediaBlvd Magazine about playing the charming, charismatic Castle.

A brief excerpt:

MediaBlvd> Can you talk about Castle’s relationship with his daughter (played by Molly Quinn) on the show?
Nathan> I was fortunate enough to be able to sit in on a lot of the auditions, for a lot of the characters on the show, and all you want is for someone to walk in, grab the room and knock the part out of the park. Stana did that. With Molly, I was very surprised. She was 14, at the time. She is so present. She connects with you. She is not shy. She’s not putting on a version of herself, or acting the way she thinks you want her to act. When you meet Molly, you’re meeting Molly. She really was exactly what we were looking for. She was phenomenal. When she walked out of the room, they were on the phone saying, “She’s got the part. Make the deal. Sign it. Go.” It was a done deal. She’s beyond her years. She’s so clever.

Castle airs Monday at 10pm on ABC. The next episode, 'Nanny McDead,' airs March 16.

Stargate Atlantis - Video: 'The Daedalus Variations'

Courtesy of SciFi Channel and HULU, Stargate Atlantis' 'The Daedalus Variations,' starring Joe Flanigan, Rachel Luttrell, Jason Momoa and David Hewlett. Guest stars include Kavan Smith, David Nykl, Chuck Campbell and Tracy Waterhouse.

A drive malfunction aboard a mysterious duplicate Daedalus sends the team jumping thorugh various alternate realties where they encounter sinister alien life forms, a searing sun, and a pitched space battle over Atlantis.