Still no title for 1-18-08/Cloverfield

Well, JJ Abrams made his schedulded appearance at Comic Con today about 1-18-08.  He gave us very little info, but here’s a quote from the man himself:

“I want a monster movie, I’ve wanted one for so long. I was in Japan with my son and all he wanted to do is go to toy stores. And we saw all these Godzilla toys, and I thought, we need our own monster, and not King Kong, King Kong’s adorable. I wanted something that was just insane and intense. It’s almost done shooting and I watch dailies and I’m more excited for them than the trailer, which has had an overwhelming response. We have 6 months before this comes out. We’re going to have a whole bunch of things, a whole bunch more.” He said a full trailer, more clips, full posters, and much more will be coming out over the next 6 monts, including the name, which he will NOT reveal today.

“You think we’d call it Monstrous? No…”

A couple of days ago, this image of a movie poster was leaked:

Monstrous Poster

Well, today this official poster was released:

 1-18-08 official poster

Its the exact same thing, minus the word “Monstrous”.  Looks like JJ Abrams was a little upset that his poster got leaked, so he’s just denying that “Monstrous” is the title and will now change it.  Or, maybe “Monstrous” is just meant as a tag line for the movie.  Or, maybe the word “Monstrous” was just photoshopped onto the original movie poster.

Regardless, the fact remains that we learned very little about the upcoming movie today.  I guess we’ll just have to continue to wait for now.  Thanks to the guys over at firstshowing.net and their coverage of Comic Con 2007.

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24’s “Dramatic” Announcement?

The execs at Fox have announced that the next president on 24 will be a women, and will be played by Tony Award-winning actress Cherry Jones.  Peter Liguori, Fox Entertainment Chairman, said “It’s a dramatic decision. … The president is a very important piece of 24.  We’ve had a broad array of presidents on the show; why not a female president?”

OK, season six of 24 was weak because partly because there were no new twists.  It was the same old, same old.  We had Jack battling terrorists, presidential power in question, the government being infiltrated by bad guys, and CTU headquarters being attacked.  Things we’ve seen too many times already.  And to make matters worse, we had to deal with Bauer family soap opera on the side.

Now are we supposed to believe that the ‘dramatic decision’ of casting a female president will really shake things up?  All this says to me is that once again the president will play a major role on the show.  Nothing new there.  If Sherry Palmer would have been president instead of Wayne Palmer last season, would the season have been any better?  Not at all.  Season seven will not succeed because there will be a woman president, it will succeed if the writers start thinking outside the box and give us something new and different for a change.

Emmy Nominations are in – What were they thinking?

Surprise, surprise, The Sopranos leads the way with 15 nominations, including one for outstanding drama series. It seems like they always lead the way when they are eligible. I don’t think there’s really anything to say about that, so let’s take a look at some of the other nominees in the drama categories…

Outstanding Drama Series

  1. The Sopranos
  2. Boston Legal
  3. Grey’s Anatomy
  4. Heroes
  5. House

Admittedly, I don’t watch all of these. I watch Heroes, House, and Grey’s Anatomy. I just want to know how Lost didn’t get nominated for the best drama category. Now, I love Heroes, but it really ended with a whimper. The show started off really, really strong and got better as the season went along. I thought they did a great job of connecting all of the characters, and the season seamed to really be building towards a great confrontation between Peter and Sylar, but we all know how that ended up. The last two or three episodes were just plain weak. You can find a great analysis on the Heroes finale over at Media Maven Musings.

Lost, on the other hand, had a bit of an opposite arc to its season. It started off a little slowly, but by mid season things were really humming along. And the last month or so was, in my opinion, possibly the best month a TV show has ever strung together. There were great performances by the actors, great tension, and there were some of the best shocking moments we’ve seen on Lost. The writers of Lost are the best in the biz, the acting is great, and they have great production value. What more could they have done to garner a nomination?

I don’t want to sound like a Heroes hater, because I really like the show. I just don’t see how someone could objectively watch Heroes and Lost last season, and come away thinking that Heroes had a better season. It makes me think that some of the voters just simply aren’t watching all of the episodes for the major contenders. Hey, if it was up to me, they both would have made the list.

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

  1. Hugh Laurie, House (Fox)
  2. Denis Leary, Rescue Me (FX)
  3. James Spader, Boston Legal (Fox)
  4. Keifer Sutherland, 24 (Fox)
  5. James Gandolfini, The Sopranos (HBO)

Just a couple of thoughts here. First of all, I’m glad to see that the voters are still willing to give Keifer a nod, even though season six of 24 was widely criticized. Regardless of how good (or not so good in this case) 24 was, Keifer is still great as Jack Bauer. Second, I’ve heard a lot of people are upset that Matthew Fox didn’t get nominated for his role in Lost. I think he was good, but I don’t think he was so good that he should have been guaranteed a spot on this list. Just goes to show that being able to cry on camera doesn’t equal an automatic nomination.

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

  1. Rachel Griffiths, Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
  2. Katherine Heigl, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
  3. Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
  4. Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
  5. Aida Turturro, The Sopranos (HBO)
  6. Lorraine Bracco, The Sopranos (HBO)

Maybe its just me, but is Grey’s Anatomy overrated? Maybe its just the over the top, excessive, emotional, never-ending drama. I swear every character on the show is either a drama queen or is a whiny baby. I’m convinced that Sandra Oh’s character has a permanent case of PMS. The same could be said for about 2/3 of the characters, including the guys. Of course, if they perform that role well, then why not nominate them. The only beef I have with this category is that Elizabeth Mitchell of Lost was overlooked.

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

  1. William Shatner, Boston Legal (ABC)
  2. T.R. Knight, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
  3. Masi Oka, Heroes (NBC)
  4. Michael Emerson, Lost (ABC)
  5. Terry O’Quinn, Lost (ABC)
  6. Michael Imperioli, The Sopranos (HBO)

No complaints here. Knight, Oka, Emerson, and O’Quinn are all deserving, and Michael Imperioli is deserving for no other reason than he has a cool last name. I’m really pulling for Michael Emerson in this category. His portrayal of Ben on Lost was spot on.

That’s about where my interest in the Emmy’s ends. But be sure and check back soon. You don’t want to miss my in depth analysis of the “Hairstyling for a miniseries, movie, or a special” category… or maybe not. If you want to see a full list of nominees, check out this list on Yahoo! TV.

The Best and Worst Movies of 2007 so far

Rotten Tomatoes has released a list of the best and worst movies for the first half of 2007. They basically compile all of the reviews for each movie, and the ones with the highest percentage of positive reviews get on the “best” list, and vice versa. Their formula is a little more complicated than that, but you get the idea.

The top 10 look like this:

1. “Ratatouille”
2. “Away From Her”
3. “Once”
4. “Knocked Up”
5. “Hot Fuzz”
6. “Sicko”
7. “The Host”
8. “Zodiac”
9. “Waitress”
10. “The Lookout”

The bottom 10 look like this:

1. “Because I Said So”
2. “The Number 23″
3. “Premonition”
4. “The Reaping”
5. “Norbit”
6. “Perfect Stranger”
7. “Happily N’Ever After”
8. “Are We Done Yet? ”
9. “Code Name: The Cleaner”
10. “Hannibal Rising”

The only movies out of their top 10 that I’ve seen are Knocked Up and Zodiac, and I think both are appropriately ranked. Knocked Up was definitely one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in a while, better than 40-Year Old Virgin in my opinion. Zodiac was a very long movie, but never really seemed to drag. I would recommend seeing Zodiac just because of they way they capture the “feel” of the 60’s and 70’s. It almost seemed like they traveled back in time to film the movie. Everything just seemed so realistic. Live Free or Die Hard is the only other movie from their top 25 list that I’ve seen and I would agree with the critics that it’s one of the best movies of the year.

I personally would put 300 at the top of my list for 2007, with Transformers right behind it. I think Knocked Up and Live Free or Die Hard are probably “better” movies than Transformers, but other than 300, Transformers is the movie that I’ve enjoyed the most this year.

Thankfully, I’ve only seen one of the worst reviewed movies of the year: Hannibal Rising. I’ll say it wasn’t completely awful, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend it to anyone that I like.

Ethan Haas websites not related to the Cloverfield project

Alas, we have all been duped.  Over the last several days, it has become clear that the Ethan Haas websites are not related to the upcoming JJ Abrams movie.  JJ Abrams flat out said they were not related to his movie, and we have since learned that they are part of a promotional campaign for an upcoming RPG game called Alpha Omega.  If you really want to dig into all the proof that the two are not related, I suggest taking a look at this blog that is dedicated to the Ethan Haas angle.

Season 7 of 24 in trouble?

Looks like all is not well in the land of 24.  Michael Ausiello from TV Guide is reporting that the executives at Fox have scrapped the storyline of the next season of 24, just before production was set to begin.  Apparently, some of the episodes were going to be filmed in Africa, and the higher-ups decided that was going to cost too much.  So basically the writers have to come up with a whole new idea for the season, and fast.  They say this will delay production by about three weeks. 

What I don’t understand is why this came down at the very last second, right before they were going to begin production.  It seems that there would some kind of communication between the writers, producers, and Fox execs about the ideas for season 7.  If that were happening, the execs could have put the brakes on the whole Africa idea earlier in the process, thereby giving the writers a little more time to come up with something new.  Now, the writers will be scrambling to come up with a new storyline and script.  After the season 6 disappointment, 24 needs to have a well thought out story with fresh plot elements.  We’ll jut have to hope they can pull it off, but things are not exactly off to the best start.

JJ Abrams comments on 1-18-08/Cloverfield websites

A couple of days ago, JJ Abrams commented ever so briefly on the websites surrounding his upcoming movie being release on 1/18/08.  Here’s what he said:

“For what it’s worth, the only site of ours that people have even FOUND is the 1-18-08.com site. The others (like the Ethan Haas sites) have nothing to do with us.”

For his full quote you can click here.  I’m not completely convinced that the Ethan Haas websites are unrelated, but it is interesting that Abrams definitely implies that there are other websites out there.  The biggest indication that the Ethan Haas websites are related to Cloverfield or 1-18-08 or whatever his movie is going to be called, is that Paramount has been telling YouTube to remove the video clips found on ethanhaaswasright.com, just like they were removing all of the pirated copies of the 1-18-08 trailer.  Perhaps it’s some other Paramount-related movie or video game.

Speaking of related websites, there seems to be one that is almost definitely related to the film – http://slusho.jp/.  You’re not necessarily going to learn much about the movie on the Slusho site, but it is apparently one of the “hidden” websites.  About 52 seconds into the trailer, you can see one of the characters is wearing a Slusho shirt.  More info on this development here and here.

JJ Abrams is slated to appear at the Comic-Con Conference (redundancy?) in San Diego in a couple of weeks.  He’s appearing with others from Paramount to preview upcoming movies, so maybe he’ll get cornered and give some answers about the movie then.  We shall see…