3 items from 2014
Lowbrow comedy titan Seth MacFarlane executive producing a reboot of Carl Sagan’s iconic science series “Cosmos” sounds like a bad joke right out of, well, “Family Guy,” but somehow the improbable gambit works. Fox’s bold move to reserve 13 weeks of prime Sunday-night real estate for the kind of docu fare usually associated with PBS — however lavishly produced it may be — speaks volumes about both MacFarlane’s sway and the current “We’ll try anything!” state of the major networks. Whether or not a contemporary “Cosmos” clicks with viewers, it’s an undeniably welcome experiment and refreshing change of pace in the typically disreputable arena of unscripted TV.
Presumably, the biggest challenge here is convincing audiences “Cosmos” isn’t just an eat-your-vegetables proposition, despite an upfront sales pitch promising “the exploration of the universe as revealed by science.” Emphasizing MacFarlane’s involvement could just as easily swing expectations too far in the opposite direction, »
- Geoff Berkshire
A number of the Star Trek alumni are in attendance but the highlights are William Shatner and Karl Urban who are the headline guests. William Shatner is also scheduled to moderate a Next Generation cast reunion.
The Next Generation cast have spent most of the last two years having reunions at various events across the globe, mainly thanks to the 25th Anniversary of the show (they should really start calling them a Tng gathering); it will be interesting to see William Shatner interact with the cast even if Patrick Stewart is not on the bill.
At the press conference this morning, the jet lagged stars were wheeled out to answer some questions. Apart from them all being very happy to be in Germany, »
- Amarpal Biring
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
streaming now, while it’s still in theaters
After the Dark (formerly The Philosophers: a thrilling combination of drama, near-science-fiction, suspense, coming-of-age agita, and intellectual exploration of ideas — pity it derails itself [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video] A Field in England: Ben Wheatley’s head-scratcher about a band of English Civil War soldiers is an arty muddle [at Amazon Instant Video]
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
The Crash Reel: dazzling documentary portrait of a charismatic young man pushing himself to his limits, and challenging us to consider our own [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video] Gravity: stunningly accomplished space survival adventure: heartstopping and heartbreaking; the best film of 2013; just don’t call it science fiction [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
new to stream
- MaryAnn Johanson
3 items from 2014
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