It’s an MLK Day edition of Everyday Hero, your roundup of headlines from across the fanboy universe…
"LOST: IN TIME: The countdown continues to the return of "Lost" this week. Here’s a tidbit about the general direction of the show: "The producers of ‘Lost’ say the new season will emphasize time shifting along with Sawyer, the repentant con man played by Josh Holloway. ‘Lost’ executive producer Carlton Cuse says navigating between the past, present and future is a challenge but the potential for exciting storytelling makes it worthwhile. Cuse and fellow executive producer Damon Lindelof told a meeting of the Television Critics Association Friday that the character of Sawyer has a lot to do this season — and viewers will see a lot of him from the start. Cuse says there’s even something in the show for people who aren’t huge time travel fans. The first episode features a shirtless Sawyer. The fifth season of ‘Lost’ opens with a two-hour episode 9 p.m. EST Wednesday, Jan. 21, on ABC." [Associated Press] There’s also some interesting stuff over at Sci Fi Wire, including this quote from Lindelof: "The show has been a time-travel show for the last four years," Lindelof said. The writers are just making it more apparent, he added: "We feel the audience is prepared to go on that journey with us." And beware of spoilers, but there’s also a rundown over at THR Feed that includes this line from Cuse, "Sawyer has a lot to do this year. For those who are not fans of time travel, we have his shirt off in the season premiere."
SHAKY "FOUNDATION"?: You think "Watchmen" is unfilmable Did you cringe at David Lynch’s efforts to cork up the sprawling epic of "Dune" into a coherent film? Well, just sit back and watch the guy who made "The Day After Tomorrow" try to put Isaac Asmiov’s mammoth "Foundation" epic through the Hollywood script machine. Brandon Lee Tenney writes up a report that is much more optimistic than I am about the prospects: "After bouncing around between multiple production companies, the master of disaster, Roland Emmerich, and Columbia Pictures won an auction Thursday for the screen and development rights to ‘Foundation’. Best known for his disaster blockbusters (‘Independence Day,’ ‘The Day After Tomorrow,’ and the forthcoming ‘2012’), Emmerich will be using ‘Foundation’ as a directorial vehicle — this time on a galactic scale. Emmerich and Columbia won the rights over others like Alex Proyas and Warner Brothers. Foundation is an epic saga spanning hundreds of years where humanity finds itself scattered throughout the galaxy under the oppressive rule of the Galactic Empire. Originally published in serial format as five separate short stories beginning in 1942, ‘Foundation’ tells the story of a group of scientists, the Psychohistorians, who are doing all they can to preserve knowledge as the colonies around them steadily regress. The study of psychohistory equates every possible outcome of a large society into readable, predictable mathematics, allowing its practitioners to accurately predict long-term events. Through this insight, a discovery with disastrous consequences is made and a plan is set in motion to avert it. Although Columbia did acquire the rights to the trilogy, there’s been no word yet on whether ‘Foundation’ will be a single film venture, or if the entire ‘Foundation’ trilogy will eventually make its way to the big screen." [First Showing]
RON MOORE EXPLAINS THE ELLEN CHOICE: Last week we brought you a global exclusive with the first interview with the Fifth Cylon, Ellen Tigh (Kate Vernon), and the ripples of that revelation in Friday night’s episode of "Battlestar" continue. There is, for instance, an interesting chat between television critic Maureen Ryan and "Battlestar" mastermind Ron Moore, in which he explains that relationship between Ellen and Saul Tigh cemented the choice to make her the last secret synthetic sleeper: "There was something really appealing about the idea that of the final five, the two of them were a pair, and they were this pair — you know, as drama-ridden as their relationship had been, the idea that there had always been something deeper and more profound at its center, I always really, really liked. … Over the course of the third season, Ellen came and went in my thinking in terms of who the final five were. It probably wasn’t until we settled on the final four that I knew it was Ellen. When we got to the final four — Tigh, Anders, Tory and Tyrol — then it felt like, ‘and Ellen has to be the fifth.’ Because Tigh being revealed as a Cylon was such a profound shift in that character, such a big leap for the show, that it felt really natural that she was also a Cylon. And he had killed her for collaborating with the Cylons! There were layers and depths to that I felt were really fascinating, about guilt and blame and memory and responsibility, and I just really liked the way that all tied together." [The Watcher blog, Chicago Tribune]
HORROR-FILM FAN STABBED; MOVIE NOT SO GREAT EITHER: Well, "My Bloody Valentine 3-D" has delivered on its advertised promise to make the violence jump right off of the screen. This crime report in from Valley Stream, N.Y.: "A Long Island security guard at a movie theater in Valley Stream has been arrested for stabbing a moviegoer, police said. Police said the security guard, Ricardo Singh, 24, was directing patrons to exit the theater after a showing of ‘My Bloody Valentine in 3D’ when he got into an argument with a 16-year-old who wanted to wait inside for his ride. The argument escalated into pushing and shoving and Singh allegedly took out a folding knife and stabbed the teenager in the stomach, police said. The victim was taken to Winthrop University Hospital where he received six stitches to close the wound. The security guard was arrested and charged with assault." [FOX News] And what about the film? Well, film critic Jason Anderson writes that, despite the pick-ax, the film didn’t dig deep enough: "The trouble with ‘My Bloody Valentine 3-D’ is not the gruesome violence –- this is a horror movie, after all. In fact, genre devotees will likely be impressed with the film’s old-school approach to mayhem, rare in our mostly timid era of CG and PG-13 scares. No, the trouble is that after that first gouged eyeball, there’s not a whole lot further to go. Novelty value being a rapidly diminishing thing, the technology demands an escalation in intensity and inventiveness that the movie doesn’t deliver. That ‘My Bloody Valentine 3-D’ doesn’t fall apart in the final reel again makes it unique among its genre brethren. But a flick like this needs competence less than it needs some real audacity. [Toronto Star]
NO LOVE FOR GOTHAM: Awards maven Tom O’Neil notes that "The Dark Knight" has been a envelope-season darling but not this past weekend for its cinematic magic: "This weekend’s viewing panels drawn from the 1,500-plus members of the Visual Effects Society delivered a far different take on the year’s best compared with the Jan. 6 verdict by a jury of peers at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. That group, selected from the 250-plus members of the visual effects branch, winnowed 15 films down to 7 semi-finalists that will compete for the 3 slots in the Academy Awards race for best visual effects. The seventh annual VES kudos will be handed out on Feb. 21, the night before the Oscarcast. The VES agreed on the merits of only three of the Academy’s seven semi-finalists — ‘Iron Man’ (5 VES nods), ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ (4 VES bids), and ‘Hellboy II: The Golden Army’ (2 VES noms) — by including them in their top race. However, ‘The Dark Knight’ had to make do with four lesser VES noms, while ‘The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor; got only one VES nod and Oscar semi-finalists ‘Australia’ and ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’ were completely shut out. Instead, the VES included the Oscar-snubbed ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian’ (2 VES nods) and ‘Cloverfield’ (3 VES nods) in their top race." [The Envelope]
ON THIS DATE: The gothic genius Edgar Allan Poe was born on this date in 1809 and he spent just 40 troubled years among the living before a somewhat mysterious death — he was found on the street of Baltimore, delirious and wearing another man’s clothes. Some say he died of brain tumor, others blame his heavy drinking, the consumption, a case of rabies, cholera or syphilis. Needless to say, the death certificate was lost. Poe had many enemies (one of them, Rufus Wilmot Griswold, wrote Poe’s obituary for the New York Times, which crassly noted that the news of Poe’s abrupt death will "will startle many, but few will be grieved by it") and two lifetime’s worth of heartache, but his name endures thanks to works such as "The Raven" and "The Fall of the House of Usher" and his considerable influence on horror, detective fiction and even science fiction (H.G. Wells and Jules Verne among his fans). To celebrate his birthday, let’s always be careful to keep our own pants on in Baltimore. ALSO: At the bottom of this post, check out some interpretations of Poe by the incomparable Vincent Price.
The late Vincent Price just give you chills with this oh-so-creepy reading of "The Tell-Tale Heart"…
And part 2…
An older, more subdued Price reads "The Raven"….
Here’s Price in Roger Cormen’s "The Raven" (1963), which is loosely (very loosely) based on the Poe poem.
Thanks for reading, check back tomorrow for more fun.
— Geoff Boucher
CREDIT: Photo of the cast of "Battlestar Galactica" by Gennaro Molina/Los Angeles Times