Tuesday YouTube: Han vs. Khan

Starring Harrison Ford and Ricardo Montalban’s chest…

[via Geekend]

Filed under: Star TrekStar Wars

SF Tidbits for 9/25/07

Filed under: Tidbits

Pilot Night In America: Monday, 09/24/07

And so the great genre ‘revitalization’ of 2007 begins! Tonight, NBC does it’s part to bring new genre shows to the masses, with two new shows, and one returning. Let’s see what they are offering:

8PM ET – Chuck kicks things off, bringing a lighter hearted look at being a Nerd working for a mass market electronics retailer. Mix in some stolen government secrets and special ops ninjas, and you have Chuck. Certainly something I’ll be checking out, hoping it can be entertaining in a Eureka-type manner. But of course, Chuck is really the lead-in for:

9PM ET – Heroes returns tonight, and I know its not a pilot but still, it’s the first episode of season 2, so consider it a pilot for this season. With many returning cast members and some questions left over from last season, this season has some explaining to do and, in my mind, needs to kick it up a notch to redeem itself from the let down of the season 1 finale. Can NBC keep the fire going this season? We’ll see. At least it isn’t Flash Gordon bad.

10PM ET – Journeyman follows Heroes in an attempt by NBC to get viewers to stay tuned for another hour. For me, the synopsis just doesn’t sound that interesting, being a Quantum Leap type clone that will focus more on characters than anything else. I’m not sure this one will last too long. Our reviewer Scott seems to agree.

So what will you be watching tonight and will you watch it live or recorded? Count me in the recorded group for Chuck and Heroes.

And because we here at SF Signal love our readers, we’ve created a chat room for everyone to join to discuss the new shows as you watch them! I know, exciting. You can find the room below. I’m not sure when I’ll be joining, probably sometime after 9pm CT, for kid based reasons. You’ll need to leave the browser set on this page to keep your chat name, but otherwise, the room is active right now so have fun!

See the expended entry for the chat widget!

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Filed under: TV

SF Tidbits for 9/24/07

Filed under: Tidbits

SciFi Scanner Post Roundup #2

As previously mentioned, yours truly is currently guest-blogging at AMC TV’s SciFi Scanner blog. Here’s another roundup of the posts I did there.

  1. Upcoming Sci-Fi DVDs to Get Excited About
  2. I So Want an i-SOBOT
  3. Monsters and Aliens Moved Up
  4. H.G. Wells Takes Manhattan
  5. Omega Returns with Jonathan Lethem
  6. Lucas Loosens Up
  7. What to Watch If a Meteor is Headed for Earth
  8. Justice League of America Finally Coming to the Big Screen
  9. Sci-Fi’s Law of Jude
  10. Siskel and Ebert and Roeper, Oh My!
  11. Alien Coffee Table
  12. Caves Found on Mars
  13. Lightsaber Game Comes to the Nintendo Wii

See also: SciFi Scanner Post Roundup #1.

Filed under: Web Sites

POLL RESULTS: Is The Tron Remake a Good Idea?

Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.

QUESTION
Is a remake of Tron a good idea?

RESULTS

(111 total votes)

Comments this week:

“I don’t think Tron needs a remake. The original was great. That being said, if this was to be some sort of follow-up/sequel/whatever, I’d be pretty nervous about modern Hollywood screwing it up. And yet, you never know until it hits the screen.” – bloginhood

“The only thing going for the original were the special fx: the story was lame, the acting lame and really, the fx were lame as well. Might as well remake Buck Rodgers while we’re at it….” – platyjoe

“On the one hand, Tron is a classic piece of science fiction history. On the other hand, when I watched it as an adult, it seemed more like a bizarre piece of German expressionist filmmaking. So I’m not as against a remake as I would have first thought. Maybe it’ll take the science fiction out of the German expressionist and give us a really cool sci-fi movie. It depends on who writes it and how much they care about it. And if it does well enough, maybe we’ll get a sequel (the Tron 2.0 video game was stellar).” – Pete Tz.

“I forget…how was the first one any good?” – joshua corning

“Good or bad idea? I don’t know, but I’d prefer if the producers and directors have new ideas.” – Carles

Be sure to visit our front page and vote in this week’s poll on your favorit David Cronenberg film!

Filed under: Polls

Tube Bits For 09/23/07

  • Entertainment Weekly online has a lot of SF stuff this weekend. First up, a cover story on Battlestar Galactica. Aimed at the non-viewer, there are some interesting nuggets of info inside. Like blaming the ‘poor’ ratings for Galactica on the fact that it is science fiction. Apparently, Grace Park can’t even get her agent to watch the show. Good grief.
  • Migel Ferrer has some interesting things to say about the upcoming Bionic Woman show. Such as saying Bionic Woman will be one of the best SF TV shows ever made. Well, maybe. But having to re-tool the show midstream doesn’t bode well for that assessment.
  • Entertainment Weekly again, this time giving us the Top 10 Star Trek: The Next Generation Episodes. I’m shocked they actually picked the best episode of TNG, I figured it would have been to science fictiony for them.
  • I promise, this is the last mention of EW. They have season previews, with spoilers, for Heroes and Battlestar Galactica: Razor.
  • TVBigShot is a fantasy TV game site where you can buy and sell TV shows in an attempt to win acquire money than anyone else. There’s also $100,000 on the line if you can prove you are the best.

Filed under: Tube Bits

Here’s Arthur C. Clarke on Google’s Luna X PRIZE. “One small step for Google” indeed.

Notice the library shelf behind him. That’s, what, like 80 copies of his various 2001 books and sequels? I’d call him egotistical but he’s got fewer than I do. (I kid! Or do I….?)

[via Mundane-SF, who puts their own spin on it]

Filed under: Space

SF Tidbits for 9/22/07

Filed under: Tidbits

Friday YouTube Bonus Edition: Yatta!

In today’s Tube Bits, there is a story about how Masi Oka, via his character Hiro, introduced the Japanese word ‘Yatta’ to American TV viewers. He uses the phrase a lot in Heroes, but the iconic image is of Hiro, with arms raised and outstretched, in Times Square. Below is a short clip of this scene:

Well, awhile back my brother had sent me a music video link to a Japanese group whose song is ‘Yatta’. I found the link again on YouTube, and I thought I’d give you a look at how the Japanese use the word in pop culture. Warning: Those of you with easily upset stomachs or weak constitutions may not want to view the clip. It’s disturbing in a uniquely Japanese way..

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Filed under: Web Sites

[via TV Squad]

Filed under: Star Trek

SF Tidbits for 9/21/07

Filed under: Tidbits

Tube Bits For 09/21/07

  • Sy Fy Portal is reporting that the looming writers and actors strikes are the reasons behind the possible split of Galactica into two seasons. The same thing could happen to Eureka and other shows speculates their source. If this is true, we should be seeing repercussions throughout TV land. With the wealth of entertainment options available, the networks simply can’t afford a huge strike. Expect a resolution in favor of the writers and actors before all is said and done.
  • The Daily Yomiuri Online has a short article on Masi Oka concerning his use of the word ‘Yatta!’ and its apparent introduction into the American lexicon. Originally, Kring wanted to use the word ‘banzai’, but Masi lobbied against it for its war-like connotations, and ‘yatta’ was selected. The rest is history.
  • Entertainment Weekly has taken the time to go back and grade all 23 episodes of Heroes. They gave the pilot a B+, while the season finale rates a C+, which seems a tad bit high for me given the disappointing showdown.
  • Fresh on the heels of NBC’s announcement of NBC Direct yesterday, ABC gets in on the act by announcing their deal with AOL to allow users to download ABC shows for free on AOL’s portal. Details are sketchy, I’m not sure how long you can keep them, if they are in standard def or high def, if you need a special player, or anything else. Apparently the service starts today. You’d think an article about this announcement would point to the web site. But noooo, we’re forced to try and find it ourselves. I think it’s at IN2TV.
  • From the Did You Know Department: Several episodes of James Burke’s The Day The Universe Changed is available on YouTube. If you’ve seen the outstanding Connections series, you know how good Burke is at explaining science. It’s a shame he isn’t as well known as Carl Sagan was. Follow the links to see more of the episodes.

Filed under: Tube Bits

Tube Bits For 09/20/07

  • Starz Media, in conjunction with Microsoft, will be bringing many of their anime series to Xbox Llive Marketplace. With titles like Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex (Gig 1 & 2), Noein, Astro Boy and Appleseed, among others, they have a nice library of titles to download and watch. In fact, Xbox Live Marketplace seems to have quite a bit of anime available.
  • The Sci Fi Channel may resurrect their talked about series, Caprica, from development hell to help buffer themselves from the loss of Galactica. Also, trying to milk Galactica for as much advertising dollars as possible is, of course, the reason they are thinking of splitting the last season into two parts, hacking off fans everywhere.
  • NBC has announced a new service to all fans to download their favorite shows up to one week after broadcast. Called NBC Direct, the service will launch in October, and will eventually allow fans to pre-select shows to automatically download to their PCs. This sounds similar to the BBC’s program, and is a welcome step in using the internet to reach fans.
  • It seems that Cavemen executive producer Will Speck isn’t discouraged by the savaging his show has received from critics. And he shouldn’t be. He should be concerned by the number of people who won’t watch the show. Seriously, is anyone even thinking of watching this?

Filed under: Tube Bits

We’ve talked before about “gateway” science fiction; that is, accessible science fiction that you would recommend to people who do not normally read it. I was in a used bookstore this weekend – What, you don’t spend your weekends trolling used bookstores? – and found an anthology of gateway short stories: Science Fiction for People Who Hate Science Fiction edited by Terry Carr.

Here’s the list of stories that Carr thought would be good introductions to sf:

  1. “The Star” by Arthur C. Clarke (1955)
  2. “A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury (1952)
  3. “The Year of the Jackpot” by Robert A. Heinlein (1952)
  4. “The Man with English” by H. L. Gold (1953)
  5. “In Hiding [Timothy Paul]” by Wilmar H. Shiras (1948)
  6. “Not with a Bang” by Damon Knight (1950)
  7. “Love Called This Thing” by Avram Davidson & Laura Goforth (1959)
  8. “The Weapon” by Fredric Brown (1951)
  9. “What’s It Like Out There?” by Edmond Hamilton (1952)

Carr’s book appeared in 1968. I wonder what a more current list would look like?

For more on gateway books, see:

Filed under: Books

SciFi Scanner Post Roundup #1

As previously mentioned, yours truly is currently guest-blogging at AMC TV’s SciFi Scanner blog. Here’s a roundup of the posts I did there so far.

  1. The Last Starfighter, Now With 100% More Music!
  2. 40 Years of AFI
  3. David Cronenberg’s Sci-Fi Roots
  4. Sci-Fi Memories: Terminator vs. 2010
  5. Trek Caskets
  6. The World’s First Open Source Sci-Fi Movie?
  7. Finally…Galactica 1980 on DVD!
  8. Remake of the Week: Fantastic Voyage
  9. 33 Sci-Fi Movies That Rate Worse Than DragonWars
  10. Robinson Crusoe on Mars
  11. Star Wars Chess
  12. And Now The Latest Uhura News…
  13. Heroes Heads to the Bookstore Shelves
  14. 5 Superheroes With Memorable Logos
  15. Steampunk

Filed under: Web Sites

SF Tidbits for 9/20/07

Filed under: Tidbits

Pilot Thoughts: Chuck

Taking a cue from Scott’s posts on the pilots for Bionic Woman and Journeyman, I thought I’d avail myself of Amazon’s Unbox service and download the pilot for Chuck.

I won’t really comment on the service itself, other than to say it was really slow, and the UI could use some work to make it easier to use, but it gets the job done and I got the free preview.

Chuck is the story of one Chuck Bartowski, who works for the Nerd Herd at the local Buy More store. He receives an email from his old college roommate that just so happens to contain all the information that both the NSA and CIA have gathered on terrorist activities worldwide. Soon he is being chased by a ruthless NSA assassin John Casey, played by Jayne, err, Adam Baldwin and by CIA operative Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski).

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Filed under: TV

Wednesday YouTube: 3D Rama Fly-Through

The maker of the Rendezvous with Rama student film wasn’t the only one inspired by the science fiction classic. Here’s Eric Bruneton’s 3-dimensional fly-through of a Rama-like object. Also, check out his website for some higher resolution images from this animation.

[via Interesting Links]

Filed under: Books

Tube Bits For 09/19/07

Filed under: Tube Bits

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