Inside Pulse » Summer Glau A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Sat, 18 Oct 2014 00:00:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse no A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse » Summer Glau Superman/Batman: Apocalypse – Blu-ray Review Mon, 08 Nov 2010 18:30:01 +0000

To be honest, my hopes were not terribly high that DC’s new animated feature Superman/Batman: Apocalypse was going to be very good. A sequel of sorts to the recent Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, both films are adaptations of graphic novels by writer Jeph Loeb, a fan favorite known for creating whirlwinds of pulpy entertainment by throwing as many enemies as possible at the heroes featured in his books. Unfortunately, while Public Enemies was engrossing on the page, the film version felt slight in comparison, and while the movie was not at a loss for action, the battles depicted onscreen were lacking matched up against the fights seen in previous DC animated adventures, most notably those presented in the TV series Justice League Unlimited. With the source material for Superman/Batman: Apocalypse generally considered a step down from that of Public Enemies, expectations were low that the new picture would rise above its predecessor. Thankfully though, this notion was completely wrong.

While not perfect by any means, once the film really starts to hit its stride Superman/Batman: Apocalypse becomes an increasingly exciting adventure, filled with intrigue and epic fight scenes worthy of the characters in this story. Though it would be easy to dismiss the film early on due to a slow start, this is a movie that completely brings home the goods in its second and third act. With one terrific fight after another, some even featuring Darkseid, the most malevolent of all DC villains, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse becomes a movie that earns its place near the top of the movies that Producer Bruce Timm and the DC Animation team have produced in the last few years.

Again though, where the film may throw you off is at its very beginning, namely because much of the early portion of the movie focuses not on the title characters of the picture, but on the character of Kara Zor-El, AKA Supergirl, portrayed by Summer Glau. Arriving on Earth under mysterious circumstances, the movie grinds to a halt at times as we see Clark Kent (Tim Daly) trying to acclimate the Kryptonian to her new surroundings. This would include ridiculous scenes where Superman is out shopping for outfits with his young cousin in an extremely odd sequence that just isn’t over soon enough.

Luckily, before the film goes off the rails, we find out that Darkseid (Andre Braugher) is in pursuit of a new captain for his honor guard, with his sights set on molding the young Kara into his ultimate dog of war. This sets off a series of clashes between Superman, Batman (Kevin Conroy), Wonder Woman (Susan Eisenberg), and the Amazonian soldiers of Paradise Island versus the hordes of Darkseid’s Apokolips. Whether the forces of good skirmish with hundreds of Doomsday monsters, giant creatures from another world or against Darkseid himself, the movie is on its best footing when fists are flying for the very soul of Supergirl.

Those worried that the fights in this film may disappoint the way the combat in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies managed to can put those fears to rest. The action is gigantic in scope, with moments of terrific invention keeping you on the edge of your seat. Seeing Superman battle an army of Doomsday monsters without holding back any of his strength or powers is enormously entertaining, as is seeing Batman matching wits with Darkseid for the fate of the universe, instead of just going toe to toe with him. The movie is also capped with a fight that involves Superman using his fists so fast that they actually create a tornado that envelopes the Man of Steel and his opponent, making anything in Public Enemies seem paltry by comparison.

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse isn’t the best of these recent DC Animated features, but it’s also far from the worst. Terrifically entertaining and packed with great voice-work and visceral combat, this is a great way to follow up Public Enemies and correct a lot of the mistakes that film ended up making. For fans looking for epic fights and a strong outing from the DC animation team, Apocalypse is a terrific way to go if you’re tired of pulling out you Justice League Unlimited episodes or Green Lantern: First Flight again and again.

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse looks phenomenal on this Blu-ray print, especially for a 2D animated film. The colors in the film absolutely pop and the clarity of the image is phenomenal throughout the movie. The sound is also quite nice, especially when filling up your surround sound with the thundering sounds of Superman and Darkseid battling it out.

DC Showcase Presents: Green Arrow – A shortfilm from the team that brought you the awesome Spectre and Jonah Hex shorts on previous releases, this one feels slighter, but is still a ton of fun due to some terrific action as Green Arrow stumbles onto an assassination plot at an airport and has to take out a ton of bad guys in order to save the life of a newly ascendant queen of a small nation. This is sort of like a 10 minute version of Die Hard 2 starring Neal McDonough’s Green Arrow instead of John McClane. If that sounds appealing (and it should), this is for you.

The Fourth World: The New Gods –This is probably everything you could probably ever need to know about the inception and history of Jack Kirby’s fourth world and the war between New Genesis and Apokolips. Showcasing the brilliance of Jack Kirby, this goes through the evolution of all of the main characters involved in this saga and how those characters fit into the DC Universe today. Knowing some about this portion of the DCU, but not nearly enough, this is an invaluable little piece that should interest comic and Kirby fans alike.

New Gods Profile: Mr. Miracle – This goes about five minutes and covers the origins and motivations for Mr. Miracle, the son of New Genesis Leader Highfather, who was part of a treaty with Apokolips and given to Darkseid in exchange for the villain’s son, Orion. Mr. Miracle is a terrific character with a rich history, and this pretty much gives you the rundown of what this character is all about.

New Gods Profile: Orion –Orion is an amazing DC character; the son of Darkseid, given over to New Genesis and Highfather in the treaty that brought Mr. Miracle to Apokolips. A man possessing the fury of Darkseid but brought up on the civilized world of New Genesis, we learn of the complicated relationship between Orion and Darkseid and how deep down Orion may be the greatest threat to Apokolips and its way of life.

Supergirl: The Last Daughter of Krypton – This may have originally been produced for a Smallville box set, but it’s still a tremendous little mini-doc on Supergirl, her origins and the evolution of the character over the years. We get interviews from DC creators and actresses who have played the role over the years, and we even get to hear how the character has helped change the role of female superheroes throughout the decades since her origin in 1959.

Sneak Peek: All-Star Superman – This is basically a 10 minute teaser for the upcoming DC Animated movie All-Star Superman, which is based on the amazing graphic novels by author Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely. Probably the best Superman comic book to hit shelves in over a decade, this adaptation by the DC Animation team has a lot to live up to. Hopefully, All-Star Superman can rise to the challenge.

Bruce Timm Presents Four Bonus Episodes Featuring Darkseid – These are from Superman: The Animated Series and are all pretty much fantastic. If there’s a flaw in having these episodes on the disc, it’s that it makes me long for the days when Michael Ironside voiced Darkseid.

If you love these DC Animation movies, then Superman/Batman: Apocalypse is a pretty satisfying one. Hearing Kevin Conroy and Tim Daly as the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel is usually enough to get me to watch one of these adventures, but the added bonus of epic action featuring Darkseid puts this one over the top. Plus, there’s tons of features here, making this a no-brainer.

Warner Home Video presents Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. Directed by: Lauren Montgomery. Starring: Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy, Andre Braugher, Summer Glau, Susan Eisenberg, and Edward Asner. Written by: Tab Murphy. Running time: 78 minutes. Rating: PG-13. Released on DVD and Blu-ray: September 28, 2010.×120.jpg

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DC Announces New Superman/Batman Animated Film Tue, 29 Jun 2010 20:39:24 +0000 to feature the voices of Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy and Summer Glau.]]>

When it comes to movies, DC Comics has nothing on Marvel — their rival publisher.

Jonah Hex was an uncontested box-office bomb, The Losers did not fair much better and Green Lantern, DC Comics’ next theatrical adaptation, is still a year away. There is one division of the comic publisher’s entertainment field, though, that is hard at work churning out new projects of a consistently good quality: DC’s animated film department.

DC Entertainment has announced that their next feature-length animated film will be Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. A sequel to 2009’s Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Apocalypse adapts a storyline from the Superman/Batman comic book series originally written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Michael Turner.

In the movie, Tim Daly and Kevin Conroy will reprise their roles as Superman and Batman with Summer Glau joining the cast as Supergirl.

Essentially an origin story for Supergirl, Apocalypse sees Superman’s cousin arrive on Earth for the first time and deal with acclimating to her new superpowers. Trouble brews when galactic supervillian Darkseid kidnaps the teen hero and brainwashes her into becoming his latest evil warrior.

Much like Public Enemies drew on the art style of its comic book source material originally illustrated by Ed McGuinness, the cover art for Apocalypse seems to suggest the new film will be influenced heavily by artwork from Turner — an artist primarily known for co-creating Witchblade.

The only extra feature for the straight-to-DVD movie known at this time is a short film staring Green Arrow and featuring the voice of Neil McDonough.

Rumored upcoming future projects for DC Animation include an adaptation of Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One and a sequel to 2009’s Green Lantern animated film.

Batman: Under the Red Hood, DC’s next animated film, will be released on July 27 and features the voices of Bruce Greenwood, Jensen Ackles, Neil Patrick Harris and John DiMaggio.

The Buzz: It sure appears like DC is moving more towards adapting specific storylines for their future full-length animated movies. I have to say I love this idea. There are a ton of great DC books that logistically would be a nightmare to make as a live-action full-length film. An animated adaptation is, without a doubt, the next best thing.

Some storylines I hope DC considers adapting in the future are Kingdom Come, All Star Superman, Batman: The Long Halloween and The Dark Knight Returns. What are some comics you’d love to see DC tackle next?

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NBC releases trailer for "The Cape", new superhero show featuring Summer Glau Fri, 21 May 2010 18:30:44 +0000

What do you think?

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The Lounge List: Top Five Comics Id like to see on Film (or TV) Thu, 12 Mar 2009 20:42:35 +0000 Spider-Man or Batman. Ghost World, Road To Perdition and Wanted all started out as drawing on the printed page. With the huge explosion of adaptation, there are still several titles I would love to see on the big screen or in some cases as TV Shows. Here are five of them.]]> Its a known fact that comic books are taking over the film industry. It seems hardly a month or two can go by without another one hitting the big screen. And not all of them are as obvious as Spider-Man or Batman. Ghost World, Road To Perdition and Wanted all started out as drawing on the printed page. With the huge explosion of adaptation, there are still several titles I would love to see on the big screen or in some cases as TV Shows. Here are five of them.



A 60-issue comic that ran from 1997-2002
Written by: Warren Ellis

The Story: In a dystopian future, Spider Jerusalem, an infamous Gonzoesque journalist, uses his sway with the public to stop a horrible president, nicknamed The Beast, from being reelected. However, Spider is horrified when he learns that the new president that he supported, The Smiler, is even worse. So he sets out with his “filthy” assistants to do everything in his power to stop this new threat to the American People. Transmet is an amazing story that uses its futuristic setting to look at many of todays problems.

The Film: There are many amazing side stories throughout the comic run that while good could easily be taken out to streamline the film. The basic arc of the story, Spider vs. The Smiler, could easily be boiled down to a solid two to two-and-a-half-hour film without out losing any of the vitality or heart of what it has to say.

Dream Cast:

Edward Norton

Spider Jerusalem: Edward Norton. We already know from American History X that he can rock the shaved head and the tats and I know he could bring the genius insanity that is Spider to life like no other.

The SmilerWilliam H. Macy

The Smiler: William H. Macy. He always plays such a nice guy that hed make the character likable right from the start. And that would make it all the more effective when The Smiler reveals his true self.

Channon Yarrow: Angelina Jolie. Not that shed actually do it, although she might be into having barcodes for nipples. Yarrow is filthy assistant #1, a former exotic dancer who becomes Spiders body guard.

Yelena Rossini: Zooey Deschanel. Filthy Assistant #2. Deschanel is a good actress who seems to be getting stuck in the romantic comedy rut. This would be a good way for her to break out of that.



A 75-issue comic that was published from 1989-1998
Written by: Neil Gaiman

The Story:: The multi-award winning Sandman follows the adventures of Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, one of the seven Endless, as he deals with the aftermath of having been imprisoned for 70 years by a cult. He has changed and the worlds around him have changed. He must confront past sins and learn how to adapt with the new times. He faces obstacles ranging from serial killers and demons to Lucifer himself as well as his own troubled past.

The Film: Several years ago I read a script that was written for a Sandman film and let me tell you how happy I am that that hunk of shit was never made. You could not do this series in one film. The first film could easily incorporate the main elements of volumes 1, 2 and 4 of the series. Morpheus escapes imprisonment, reclaims the property that is rightly his, tracks down the rogue dreams that escaped in his absence and finally goes to Hell to confront Lucifer and rescue his former lover, Nada, whom he condemned to torment thousands of years ago.

Dream Cast:

Dream Johnny Depp

Morpheus: Johnny Depp. Maybe its just cause Im a Depp fanatic and think he could do anything, but he kind of has that lanky look and his voice would work very well. Grow out his hair, make him all pasty and youve got your lead!



A 55-issue comic that was published from 1991-2004
Written by: Jeff Smith

The Story: This multi-award winning series centers around three cousins: greedy, conniving Phoncible P. “Phoney” Bone, goofy cigar-smoking Smiley Bone, and, the hero of the story, Fone Bone. The three are banished from Boneville after Phoney Bone does something truly horrible. Theyre adventure takes them to a mysterious valley where they are hunted by evil, yet very stupid, rat creatures and receive protection from a giant dragon. They eventually wind up in a town called Barrelhaven and are befriended by a girl named Thorn and her feisty grandmother. However, a wickedness looms over the land. The evil Dark Lord, the Lord of the Locusts, thinks Phoney is the key to his evil success and the Bones must join in the final battle to save the Valley.

The Film: This would most certainly be an animated film and would be best broken up into a trilogy (at least) to maintain integrity of story. There are certainly little things here and there that would need to be trimmed down, but this story is so good it would be a shame to lose any of it.

Dream Voice Cast:
Fone Bone: Matt Damon: Fone is the heros hero and who better to voice him than Jason Bourne himself.

Smiley Bone: John Goodman: I always thought Smiley would have a deep booming voice and Goodman fits that bill perfectly.

Phoncilble P. “Phoney” Bone: Alec Baldwin. His deep husky voice would be perfect for this abhorrent character.

Thorn: Mila Kunis: Shes already proven she can do voice acting with her work on Family Guy. This would give her a chance to play a cute cartoon character.

Rat Creatures: Hank Azaria: Azaria is a man of a thousand voices, so who better to voice the many different Rat Creatures. To hear him have an argument with himself would be truly hilarious.

Dark Lord: Christopher Walken: Perhaps his very recognizable voice could detract from the film, but Walken plays evil very well.



A 75-issue comic that was published from 1995-2000
Written by Garth Ennis

The Story: Jesse Custer is a down on his luck preacher who is accidentally possessed by the supernatural creature named Genesis, the unnatural by-product of an angel and demon coupling, in an incident which kills his entire congregation and flattens his church. Now he has the “word of God” that makes people do whatever he says when he uses it.

Now Custer must find God, who has abandoned Heaven, along with his ex-girl friend and a vampire. Hot on their tails are a pissed off sheriff, agents from above and below and The Saint Of Killers amongst others.

The Film: Preacher has actually been in development hell since 1998 when Ennis sold the writes to Electric Entertainment. I read his script and it was okay, it lost a lot of the comic. For a while there were talks of turning it into an HBO series making each comic one episode but that was scrapped. Now Columbia Pictures has the rights, John August, is writing a script and Sam Mendes is attached to direct. Although I worry that many of the more controversial religious elements will be watered down for mass consumption.

Dream Cast:

Jesse CusterClive Owen

Jesse Custer: Clive Owen. Owen seems to be turning into this decades action star, while still doing indie stuff. This would be a great role for him.

Tulip O'HareSummer Glau

Tulip O’Hare: Summer Glau. Not a super well known name, but she kicked ass in Serenity and is currently kicking even more ass on Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles.

CassidyColin Farrell

Cassidy: Colin Farrell: Its not just because Cassidy is Irish, but I think Farrell would be a very entertaining vampire and his personality would mesh well with Cassidys.

Saint Of Killers: Clint Eastwood. Remember, I said dream cast. I know hed never do it but Eastwood can be menacing just by raising an eyebrow and thats just what the role of Saint Of Killers requires.

Gotham Central

Gotham Central

A 40-issue series that was published from 2003-2006
Written by: Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker

The Story: GC follows the day-to-day stories of the Gotham City Police Department, how the officers deal with living in the shadow of Batman and how they try to prove their worth by taking out the big bads all by themselves.

The Series: This would make an amazing TV series for Showtime or HBO. You wouldnt even need to follow the comics per say, but there is plenty of great material to pull from there. The show would play like a regular cop drama, except they have to deal with crazy people in tights all the time and occasionally Batman shows up. With Batman being in the show as little as possible it would make it that much more exciting when he does show up.

Dream Cast:
This would definitely be an ensemble cast with too many characters to list here, so Ill pick a couple of my favorite characters.

Renee MontoyaMichelle Rodriguez

Renee Montoya: Michelle Rodriquez. Okay, so maybe this is a bit of type-casting since she played a cop on Lost already. But Montoya is one tough broad, and Rodriquez could play the hell out of this role. Besides, this would certainly be the lead character of the show and it would really give her a chance to shine.

Harvey BullockJames Ganolfini

Harvey Bullock: James Gandolfini. Weve seen him play the bad ass mafia guy, now he can play the bad ass crooked cop guy. Bullock is hell of a character and it would be great to see him in a series like this.

Batman: Christian Bale. He only shows up for a few minutes every couple episodes so it would make perfect sense to cast the current big screen Batman to play him. It would put the show in continuity with the films which would be cool.

Well there you have it, for better or for worse, my Top Five comics Id like to see as films or in some cases on TV. In the cold bitter reality of Hollywood, most of these will most likely never see the light of day and if they did they would probably end up just sucking really hard and making me sad. So, in conclusion, I think Id just like to say that as much as Id like to see this dream list a reality, I think Id sooner keep it a dream so as the greatness of it is not completely shattered.

]]> 2 The Big Bang Theory – Episodes 2-17 Review Tue, 10 Mar 2009 11:30:59 +0000 “The Terminator Decoupling” promises to bring true geek starpower to the show. It’s Summer Glau entering The Big Bang Theory universe. How will the boys go back to flirting with Penny after they get an upclose gander at the star of Firefly, 4400 and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles? Summer is a triple SciFi treat.

Howard opens up the Tivo to install a larger harddrive in the apartment. Sheldon protests that breaking the seal is wrong because they made a deal to never enter the sanctity of the Tivo. They have a service contract. The little strip of plastic is what keeps anarchy at bay. Leonard reminds him that they can keep the smaller harddrive if they delete the first season of Battlestar Galactica. Sheldon rips off the security seal and declares they’re outlaws. Penny brings over a small travel suitcase for Leonard. It’s really girly and pink. Penny wishes she could go to San Francisco with them. The guys describe all the amazing talks at the physics conference. Nobel Prize winner George Smoot is delivering the keynote address. Sheldon nearly soils his pants in breaking down Smoot’s work. Penny points out that when she goes to Frisco, she merely gets drunk and rides the cable cars. The guys are taking the train. Howard says it’s 7 times longer and twice as expensive. Penny asks why they decided on it? They did vote. Three wanted the plane and Sheldon wanted the train. Guess who won? But he’s excited about taking the train.

I’m not a fan of the DVR/Tivo business because it’s all harddrive action. I don’t like having to rent something. I own a DVD-Recorder since most of the time I record a show, I’m sending it off to a distant relative in either Boston, Seattle or Baghdad. I’ve seen too many hard drives fail over the years. I’d hate to think of my viewing pleasure can all get wiped out in one bad electrical storm. Why can’t they make a Tivo that lets me burn shows quickly onto DVD-Rs? Also a piece of Smoot trivia is that if you ever walk the Harvard Bridge in Boston, you’ll see that it is measured in Smoots. That is not the length of George Smoot. It is in fact his cousin Oliver Smoot that was the measuring stick. They did this in 1958 as an MIT frat prank. As proof that the man was destined to measure, Oliver eventually became Chairman of the American National Standard Institute. That piece of geek trivia is brought to you by .

Sheldon is in his bedroom typing away on the laptop. He’s wearing a Greatest American Hero t-shirt. Those rock. Leonard knocks and enters the sacred bedroom. They’re going to the Apple Store to make fun of the guys at the Genius Bar. Turn out that Sheldon is using RFID tags on his clothes so he can know what to wear and when its dirty. This is beyond anal.

The guys enter the Amtrak. Sheldon gets upset with Raj putting his stuff on the wrong side of the train. He wants the coastal view. He picks the perfect place to sit. Raj points out the bathrooms on Indian trains are holes in the floor. 

Summer Glau boards the train and the guys go nuts. What is she doing there? Sheldon thinks Skynet could fool everyone by creating Terminators that look like the actors that played Terminators to fool us into thinking they don’t exist until they attack. Howard decides he’ll risk his live to meet Summer. He’s got 11 hours to work his magic. Raj swears that even if he goes mute, he’s still more intriguing and exotic than the pasty Howard. But he goes to the bar car to get a little extra courage. Howard is still working on his moves. Sheldon is upset that he left his flashdrive back at the apartment. He was going to give George Smoot his paper at the conference. He wanted to see the Nobel Prize winner’s eyes light up at Sheldon’s genius. But now it’s all ruined. Sheldon lets the clickity clack of the train on the rails become his mantra of “you forgot your flashdrive.” Leonard doesn’t like knowing he’s got 10 1/2 hours of this to go.

Allan Havey once joked that if even if he was opening Christmas gifts with the wife and kids; if Sherilyn Fenn knocked on his door and said to get in her car, he’d be gone. Summer Glau might do that for me. Hopefully she won’t knock on my door the Christmas I buy the pony for the kid. That would be too awkward.

Howard finally sucks up his courage and makes that walk back to Glau. Except he over shoots her. He wanders back, but he can’t do it. He flirts with a couple of nuns. Sheldon comes up with a crazy way to catch a train and cab back to the apartment so he can get his flashdrive. They can then race to the next station to hop back on the train. Leonard suggests just having Penny get the flashdrive and emailing him the paper. He won’t hear of it since that means she’ll be in his bedroom. Howard practices his opening line “It’s hot in here. It must be Summer.” Before he can get up from his seat, Raj shoots down the aisle. He’s working a beer to keep his lips moving as he says, “It’s hot in here. It must be summer.” The female Terminator is impress. Raj claims Slumdog Millionaire is based on his life.

Rule number one when picking up famous women: You snooze, you really lose. If you want a torrid weekend with Bea Arthur, you better just bring your “A” game and a tub of Everclear.

Penny is back in her apartment. She’s painting her toenails while on the phone trying to get people to see her play. She’s playing Anne Frank in a theater above a bowling alley. Sheldon calls with instructions on how to get the flashdrive. She’s not impressed by Dr. Whackadoodle demands. She keeps taking other calls.

Raj impresses Summer with his knowledge of Venus. He jokes about how she had already been in space on Firefly. He claims he’s not one of those geeks. He asks Howard to be a dear and get him another beer. He explains to Summer that Howard is one of those geeks. The beer is doing miracles. Howard sits down with Leonard. Sheldon still can’t get Penny to dedicate her life to finding the flashdrive. Leonard points out that the beer is non-alcoholic. Howard has his revenge when he gets Raj to recognize he’s not drunk. The astrologist’s mouth freezes up and he quickly retreats. Howard introduces himself as the small package that good things come in.

Penny finds a box that she thinks has the flashdrive. Turns out it’s letter from his grandmother with his nickname “Moonpie.” Sheldon is about to explode. Howard tells Summer this evil dream about them ice skating and her legs rip off as he twirls her around. She’s not impressed and rather horrified.

Penny finds a Japanese puzzle box. Sheldon gives her instructions on how to open it. She forgets the intricate details and smashes it open. Howard points out that if she married Johnny Winter. She’d be Summer Winter. She’s completely zoning out. He asks if there’s any path that could lead to him asking her out and she accepting. Nope. So he does the next best thing and gets her to pose with him for a Facebook picture. She looks like the Terminator about to kill a worthless human. It gets worse when he asks for a second shot that looks like they’ve been making out. No go.

Sheldon has to explain why he’s called Moonpie before Penny will put the flashdrive in the computer. Howard looks sad as he rejoins the group. The Terminator broke his phone. Leonard sacks up and heads back to see Summer. However his big chance is spoiled when the train stops for Santa Barbara. That’s her stop. He didn’t even get to spit out his name.

I relate to Leonard’s moment. Once I had a chance to mingle with Famke Janssen at a party. I was eye to eye with X-Men‘s Jean Grey. I was giving her strong mindwaves. She laughing at my jokes. And then this drunk putz from Sony Studios nearly poured his martini on her. She backed away from me, bumped into Liz Hurley. The two started dancing and I vanished from Famke’s universe. There would be no Dutch treat for me that night in Manhattan. If only I had a wing man to intercept the corporate drunk, I’d be burning up some Phoenix.

Sheldon has cornered Smoot at the hotel. He tells the Nobel Prize winner that he can clinch another award with his thesis although it would be under Cooper Smoot since that’s alphabetical. Smoot asks if Sheldon is on crack.

It was nice to see a Nobel prize winner getting screen time instead of another musical breka courtesy of Beyonce. There should be more chances for smart people to smart off on sitcoms. Although it would be better if Summer Glau would win a Nobel Prize.×120.jpg

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Let's Be Bad Guys All Over Again with Serenity on Blu-ray Tue, 11 Nov 2008 15:00:44 +0000 Browncoats have a reason to rejoice this Winter as Universal plans to release Serenity on Blu-ray on December 30th.

Source: Universal Studios Home Entertainment

This version will have tons of shiny extras including:

Alliance Database
U Control
BD Live: My Scenes Sharing
Commentary with Joss Whedon
Commentary with Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Summer Glau, and Ron Glass
Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by Joss Whedon
Future History–The Story of Earth That Was
What’s in a Firefly?
A Filmmaker’s Journey
We’ll Have a Fruity Oaty Good Time!
Extended Scenes
Take a Walk on Serenity
The Green Clan
Session 416

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The SmarK DVD Rant for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Season One Sat, 11 Oct 2008 00:44:14 +0000 For those wondering about the continuity here, apparently Terminator and T2 happened, but T3 did not, so it's yet another "what could be" alternate timeline deal in a mythology already clogged with them. So what could be this time?]]>


So it’s another day, another reinvention of the Terminator franchise–after the T3 movie kind of failed at it (although in enjoyable fashion), so we take another shot at messing with time travel and killer cyborgs without the Governator and from the perspective of Sarah instead of John. And hey, Lena Headey was in 300, so that’s pretty cool. From my perspective, I watched the pilot when it originally aired and one episode after that, but couldn’t fit it into my TV watching schedule and I decided that if I could get the studio to send me the review copy, I’d give it a chance again then. So lucky me.

For those wondering about the continuity here, apparently Terminator and T2 happened, but T3 did not, so it’s yet another “what could be” alternate timeline deal in a mythology already clogged with them. So what could be this time?

Disc One

- “Pilot”. So here’s the jumping-on point of the franchise for the 10 people who didn’t see T2, as Sarah Connor takes her son John on the road for the millionth time to escape the Terminators out to kill her, which allows her stilted boyfriend (Ryan O’Reilly!) to explain the premise of the franchise to baffled police. We actually begin in 1999 to pick things up shortly after the events of Judgment Day, as high school student John Connor meets goofy new girl Cameron, who of course is just too weird to not be a killer robot from the future. But a hot one, as played by Summer Glau from my other favorite franchise, Firefly. John gets attacked by the SUBSTITUTE TEACHER OF DEATH, who might be a sophisticated super-cyborg killing machine but still can’t hit the broad side of a barn, and the killer robot fighting action is ON. Sarah and her trusty shotgun is a nice nod to the second movie, although she doesn’t do the bad-ass one-armed reload here. You know, the excess of terminators in the past makes me wonder if the future economy is based on them or something, since they must cost a fortune and apparently there’s little else to do than sending cyborgs back to kill people. And just when you think it’s gonna be yet another “Terminators hunting each other in 1999″ show, they go and find a time machine in a bank vault and jump ahead to 2007. It makes sense in context, honest. An OK, but not great, pilot, which tried to match the look and feel of the movie on a TV budget and didn’t quite pull it off.

- “Gnothi Seauton”. So in the next major plot point, we learn that the Resistance hasn’t just been sending robots back, they’ve also been sending people back as well to help out. Well that’s a nice change of pace. Although really, given that Skynet is supposed to be the most advanced computer in the history of the world, it doesn’t seem to have much more of a gameplan than “Send Terminators in the past to kill John Connor” over and over. Thankfully, they address this point right away, as apparently the Terminators in 2007 aren’t there to kill John, but rather have specific missions to carry out (such as killing freedom fighters sent back to the past) and don’t even know who John or Sarah is. So this one is a nice bit of fish out of water with Unfrozen Caveman John learning to Google himself and the horrors of Windows Vista (and you thought Skynet was the true enemy) while Cameron and Sarah seek out new ID papers from your local racial stereotypes. Another nice touch has Cameron clarifying that she doesn’t just take orders from 2007 John like Arnie did in T2, because he’s not the “real” John yet. Man, time travel gives me a headache. This one has some REALLY good character bits, like the banter between Cameron and Sarah as they talk their way out of a bad situation with a cop, or John’s obviously raging teenage hormones affecting his relationship with Cameron. Liked this one a lot, actually.

- “The Turk”. Sarah is off to harass the poor Dyson family AGAIN, while Cameron and John get to experience high school life in 2007. This one follows up on some of the threads from the first two, as Sarah dates a cell phone salesman who used to work for Cyberdyne while detectives investigate the murders of the freedom fighters and interview the punk who made fake IDs for our heroes. Meanwhile, the Terminator from the pilot, left without his skin, sets about finding someone who can make him some. Sarah meets her date’s dorky chess-playing computer, dubbed The Turk, which John suspects might be the precursor to Skynet. That sounds paranoid even by his standards. Much of the episode also focuses on an odd storyline with wall paintings at school driving a student to suicide (a payoff I wasn’t expecting), which has John upset at not being able to act as a hero. You know, the stuff with the detective chasing down the Terminator’s murder spree would actually work well on its own as a “world weary cop v. sicko serial killer” series even without the rest of the series backing it. The morality here is pretty iffy, with Sarah basically deciding who lives or dies based on her obsessive need to make John into the future world leader, as thought people deserve to be destroyed because they MIGHT threaten him in the future. Don’t mess with mom, I guess.

Disc Two

- “Heavy Metal”. John is still brooding about his dead classmate, but they realize that their supposed dead Terminator enemy is quite alive and seeking out spare parts for himself. So the mission of the week is going to a factory and hijacking a shipment of raw Terminator metal just in case it gets made into Terminators years in the future. This one introduces the AWESOME Garret Dillahunt (from Deadwood in case you’re wondering where you’ve seen him before) as the rebuilt Terminator, now inhabiting the identity of failed actor George Laszlo. Kind of a dull one, but “If you’re going to be a hero, you’re going to have to learn how to drive a stick” is a tremendous line.

- “Queen’s Gambit”. Sarah’s obsession with her health continues in a nice bit of character continuity, and the Andy the cell phone salesman returns with a new chess computer that may BLOW UP THE WORLD. Cameron meeting up with primitive versions of herself is adorable, as Summer Glau really nails the spirit of the character. Cameron in grief counselling is also great. So the actual plot here sees poor Andy getting cacked by the missing freedom fighter from the future, who ends up in jail and on the hitlist for our heroes and a Terminator as a result. I guess they REALLY hate chess in the future. And it turns out that our mysterious freedom fighter is Derek Reese, brother of Kyle. They’re just all about the synchronicity on this show. Best line of the series thus far: John calls shotgun, Cameron calls 9MM.

- “Dungeons and Dragons”. Parallel stories here, as Sarah is reunited with ex-fiancée Charley Dixon while trying to save Derek’s life, while we also flash back (forward?) via Derek’s memories of the machine-ruled future and how shitty life is there. I have to say, replacing sci-fi god Michael Biehn with some no-name actor as Kyle is heresy. However, the trip to his remembered future gives the storyline another twist that I didn’t really think they’d go with as this series continues to surprise and entertain me. They’re really getting into a good groove now, and Sarah having a bitchy showdown with Cameron is a highlight.

Disc Three

- “The Demon Hand”. This is an extended version of the episode that aired, featuring 8 more minutes of footage, but almost no music or special effects because it was unfinished. It’s also a very quiet episode, with a lot of introspection and talking. The main plot point is that everyone wants the robot hand left over from the second movie, but the actual episode follows a few different threads. Cameron learns ballet while trying to track down chess-playing Russians, Agent Ellison meets Sarah’s former psychiatrist for tea and discovers that he’s gone nuttier than a fruitcake, John finds a tape of Sarah signing away her parental rights, and Derek Reese tries to work through his irrational hatred of Terminators. And holy cow, Cameron really is a cold-blooded emotionless machine given her actions (or rather, inactions) at the end of the episode. COLD. And the contrast with her learning ballet (but not learning to be a human being) was impressive. The episode, though, was pretty dull. And seriously, enough with the “deep and meaningful” voiceovers from Sarah in every episode.

- “Vick’s Chip”. Derek discovers that Cameron has been hiding the T-888’s chip in her room, so John hacks it and watches how it lived as a life as “Vick Chamberlain” and completely fooled everyone. Speaking of fooling people, Cromartie the Terminator is at John’s high school looking for him, which you know is only going to lead bad places. The life of “Vick” is played out in flashback through John’s computer, giving us a rare glimpse into the home life of the cybernetic killing machine. And it’s pretty mundane. Speaking of mundane, Derek and Sarah try to head off Skynet with a computer virus, but really it’s incredibly easy to prevent a virus from spreading and they should have been smart enough to think that the main computer for the city might have a separate router hard-wired to prevent exactly that sort of thing. In this case, Derek’s bull-headed plan to blow the building up might have been the smarter way to go. They decide to use Cameron’s CPU to hack the computer, but THAT has got bad idea written all over it. And like Derek notes, what if combining her chip with the proto-Skynet is what creates the real thing? Bad mojo, man. This episode also reinforces a good point for all you kids out there: Marrying a Terminator will probably end up badly for you.

- “What He Beheld”. Season finale. Cameron and Sarah continue their chase for The Turk, while newly bible-thumping Agent Ellison has a chat with Charley Dixon about where Sarah may or may not be. Charley, world’s biggest idiot apparently, immediately runs to Sarah despite the fact that Terminators AND the FBI are both looking for her and he knows this. Sarah also learns that buying black market supercomputers from shadowy figures leads to bad things because they might not be 100% honest people. There’s a lot of people on this show so wrapped up in the big picture that they’re totally lacking in common sense. Derek gives John the WEIRDEST birthday present ever. And the big showdown between Ellison and Cromartie that ends the episode has Johnny Cash’s “The Man Comes Around” as the soundtrack, so you know it’s bad-ass. And Cameron goes boom to end the season, although really a minor car bomb isn’t gonna hurt a Terminator so the only suspense is whether Summer Glau will still look as hot in the season premiere. Answer: Yes.

So the season started with a bit of a clunker, turned into a show that I was really into for a few episodes, and then got pretty boring and dark to end things and didn’t leave me wanting to check out the second season on FOX. So it was kind of a failure to me, but at least it was an interesting failure and had a totally different moral slant than you would normally see on primetime TV. Cameron is a machine through and through and those watching and waiting for a miraculous transformation into a human being are in for disappointment, which is a character path I kind of enjoyed. But really, was there any more story that needed to be told about this universe? I don’t think so, but apparently the people behind this series and the upcoming movie franchise reboot disagree, so what can you do? Just please for season two, less preachy voice-overs and more ACTION. The potential is there, however. Mildly recommended. (Rating: ***1/2)

Audio & Video

Presented in the original 16×9 widescreen from the HD presentation, this is a very good looking DVD set that suffers from a bit of grain and pixellation in the darker areas, which only serves to reinforce that this ISN’T the movies — they don’t have budgets of $100 million or upwards to work with on a weekly basis, and the video quality is one of the things that’s going to suffer a bit. Still, it looks darn good for a TV series. And in fact the visual look of the series is fairly close to that of the movies, from the POV shots of the Terminators to the grimy bunkers of the future, so it does what it needs to well enough. (Rating: ****)

The sound is mighty impressive for a TV show. Presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, there’s some good kick to the bass and the sequence that ends the season, with the Cash song over the FBI raid on Cromartie, is demo material for sure. Although because it’s a TV presentation, the sound never BOOMS or gets overwhelming like the theatrical versions of the material often do. It’s both an advantage and a limitation, because sometimes you just need a big over-the-top gunfight to show off your home theatre, and there’s just nothing here to compare to even T3 for that sort of thing. (Rating: ****)

Bonus Features

You get a lot for your money here, but nothing terribly essential. Disc one contains commentary on the pilot, plus a three-part talking-heads documentary on the making of the series that covers most of the same points that were made in the commentary. I hate when they do that. There’s also deleted scenes, which were deleted for a reason judging by the quality here. Disc two has some oddities, including a gag reel and a two-minute video of Summer Glau practicing her ballet for “The Demon Hand”, which I guess shows that the producers find her just as enthralling as most of the sci-fi nerds on the Internet do. There’s also commentary on “What He Beheld” which has some funny banter with Brian Austin Green (in stark contrast to his grim role as Derek Reese) and the creator Josh Friedman, and a storyboard animatic thing that never does anything for me. Good commentaries here carry the day, as I can generally do without the “documentary” features that are slapped together for these DVDs. (Rating: ***1/2)

The Pulse

Worth a buy? For fans wanting to jump into the second season, definitely. For hardcore fans of the franchise, of course. For action fans looking for something a little different and a little more thought-provoking, probably. However, just be aware that this isn’t going to be up to the quality of the first two movies and know what you’re getting into.

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