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Spin-ematical: New on DVD for 12/30

30 December 2008 12:32 PM, PST | Cinematical | See recent Cinematical news »

What are you renting this week? Let us know in the comments! To get you started, here's our look at more than a dozen new releases.

Serenity

Joss Whedon's TV series Firefly inspired a rabid fan base, myself included. The sci-fi Western featured good-looking, likable characters, witty dialogue, and a breezy pace. The 2005 movie was a thrilling, fitting capstone for a series that ended far too soon, but stands on its own just fine. Previously released on DVD and HD-DVD, the Blu-ray version adds several new features (detailed by Peter Bracke at High-Def Digest). Serenity is buoyant entertainment and rewards repeat viewings. Buy it.

Woman on the Beach

A sublime tale, Woman is a leisurely, dramatic battle of the sexes that's funny and insightful. J. Hoberman of the Village Voice described it as "a rueful tale of karmic irony, self-deceived desire, squandered second chances, and unforeseen abandonment." He noted »

- Peter Martin

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Blu-Ray Review: Cult of ‘Serenity’ Will Grow With Great Release

30 December 2008 7:10 AM, PST | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – The regular flow of imports from standard DVD and HD-DVD to the champion of the format war, Blu-Ray, continues with this week’s release of an HD-DVD hit, Joss Whedon’s excellent “Serenity”.

The movie based on one of the best science fiction programs in the history of television, the short-lived “Firefly,” suffered a similar fate as its source material - not being appreciated during its initial release. When “Serenity” hit theaters, it certainly earned critical acclaim and adoration of fans of the show, but most audiences ignored it. Like the show, the film earned a cult following after fans caught up with it at the video store and is regularly voted one of the best sci-fi films ever made.

With “Serenity,” Joss Whedon and his multi-talented cast, including great work from Nathan Fillion, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Adam Baldwin, Alan Tudyk, and Summer Glau, didn’t just take the opportunity »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Serenity on Blu-ray. Nice!

29 December 2008 2:53 AM, PST | 24framespersecond.net | See recent 24FramesPerSecond news »

The cancelling of Joss Whedon’s superb cult sci-fi series Firefly is possibly one of the most truly misguided and baffling decisions (that’s if you don’t count the ‘Star Wars Holiday TV Special’ in 1978) by a Fox TV executive, in history. So while we take a moment to mourn its passing there’s solace to be found in a shiny new Blu-ray release of Serenity, the film that capped off the series oh so short life. We for one would love it if Whedon would finally get of the fence as to whether or not there ever will be a sequel. But for now it's time for us to revel in hi-res sci-fi goodness. »

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Neil Patrick Harris Loves Being One of Joss Whedon's Players

23 December 2008 6:03 AM, PST | Comicmix.com | See recent Comicmix news »

"Oh, God, I wish I could say there was going to be a Dr. Horrible sequel, but I know there's so many people involved in the creation of it that have a lot of other stuff going on right now," Neil Patrick Harris told Sci Fi Wire. "Mainly, Joss [is doing] Dollhouse, and he has another movie, Cabin in the Woods, that he's doing at the same time. So I don't know that anything would happen soon. But everyone has been super-enthusiastic about it, and I think that means that hopefully something will come."

Dr. Horrible just hit stores as a DVD after becoming one of the most talked about Internet sensations of the year, appearing on numerous Best Of lists. Harris, as the super-villain, recognizes that once you work with Whedon, you tend to get cast in his future projects.

After all, Dr. Horrible featured Firefly’s Nathan Fillion and Buffy »

- Robert Greenberger

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First Look At Whedon.s Dollhouse

22 December 2008 1:57 AM, PST | EmpireOnline | See recent EmpireOnline news »

There are many reasons to be excited bout 2009: Avatar, Star Trek and Watchmen, to name but three. One thing that’s had our Spider Sense tingling for quite some time, though, is the triumphant return of Joss Whedon (we are not worthy) to the small screen. Whedon’s his first sojourn into television since the criminally cancelled Firefly, Dollhouse stars Eliza ‘Faith from Buffy’ Dushku as Echo, one of a number of human ‘dolls’ who are programmed to fulfil clients’ fantasies before having their memories erased and being returned to the waiting area that gives the show its name. Entertainment Weekly has posted an exclusive clip from the pilot episode, where we see Echo emerging from a recent memory wipe. You can watch the Dollhouse clip here.Reports of rewrites and altercations from the set have caused some to worry abour Dollhouse but indications are that Whedon had simply »

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Joss Whedon is Ok With Friday Nights

13 December 2008 6:45 AM, PST | Comicmix.com | See recent Comicmix news »

Joss Whedon told the Los Angeles Times that if he were running Fox, he would also have scheduled his new series, Dollhouse, on Friday nights. It will debut on February 13, paired with Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

"It's not a slam dunk, 'We love everything you're doing' slot. Everybody knows that," he said. “The executives I’m dealing with are canny guys."

The current executives at the network are not the same ones who played games with his last series, Firefly, and then summarily dumped it when the show was slow to find its audience.  The new execs have shown a willingness to let the series be sampled. “They’re bringing down expectations regarding how big of an audience they think it will bring in the beginning, and then as the show progresses. They need to do that."

"If I were an executive, I would have put it on Friday too, »

- Robert Greenberger

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Reelz Channel 10 Director Suggestions For New Moon

12 December 2008 5:07 PM, PST | twilightersanonymous.com | See recent TwilightersAnonymous news »

Reelz Channel We can complain all day about Hardwickes departure but like it or not whats done is done. Shes moving on and the Twilight fans must do the same. Instead of griping weve decided to take a look at the directors we think could be a worthy replacement. Heres Ten Director Suggestions for New Moon.nbspChris WeitzResume American Pie About a Boy The Golden CompassWhat he would bring to New Moon Weitz is here because rumors are circulating that hes already been offered the job. In terms of heartfelt human comedies I like the guy. But Golden Compass was a turkey and thats his sole experience with a project of similar scope. Alfonso CuaronResume Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Children of Men Y tu mama tambienWhat he would bring to New Moon Cuaron raised the bar on the Harry Potter series after Chris Columbus forgettable first two entries. »

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Dushku Defends 'Dollhouse' Slot Of Death

4 December 2008 8:55 AM, PST | AirlockAlpha.com | See recent Airlock Alpha news »

Fox may have given the series the dreaded Friday night slot of death, but that hasn.t stopped show star (and executive producer) Eliza Dushku from defending "Dollhouse." Far from it, as she believes the show still has every chance of success and will go a long way to building a "female-empowerment night" on the network. The series will follow new episodes of "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," a show that has been struggling itself this season, and will occupy the same slot that was previously held by "Dark Angel" and "Firefly" ... both of which met an unnatural end through low ratings. Don.t forget though, with Joss Whedon on the scene "Dollhouse" definitely is gathering some critical attention and he has already re-worked several scenes from the 13-episode season in order »

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Stargate Atlantis' Jewel Staite on the End of the Show

4 December 2008 8:10 AM, PST | TVGuide - Breaking News | See recent TVGuide - Breaking News news »

Stargate Atlantis is coming to an end on Jan. 9, and before Stargate fans blast off into the new Universe series (beginning with a two-hour movie early in 2009), TVGuide.com asked Jewel Staite to help us countdown to the end of Atlantis by telling us what it was like to play Dr. Jennifer Keller, who she bonded with most in the cast and much more.

TVGuide.com: Congrats on your Gemini Award (Canadian version of Emmys) nomination! Can you tell us about your experience filming the episode "Missing," and did you know it was special right away?

Jewel Staite: Well, I knew it was freezing cold and rainy right away! This was the first "Keller-heavy" episode we filmed, so I was excited that I finally could do some serious acting-in-peril, which is secretly every actor's fantasy. But the whole episode was shot outside in the forest, and it wasn't exactly summer time, »

- Erin Fox

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Stargate Atlantis' Jewel Staite on the End of the Show

4 December 2008 8:10 AM, PST | TVGuide.com - Features | See recent TVGuide - Features news »

Stargate Atlantis is coming to an end on Jan. 9, and before Stargate fans blast off into the new Universe series (beginning with a two-hour movie early in 2009), TVGuide.com asked Jewel Staite to help us countdown to the end of Atlantis by telling us what it was like to play Dr. Jennifer Keller, who she bonded with most in the cast and much more.

TVGuide.com: Congrats on your Gemini Award (Canadian version of Emmys) nomination! Can you tell us about your experience filming the episode "Missing," and did you know it was special right away?

Jewel Staite: Well, I knew it was freezing cold and rainy right away! This was the first "Keller-heavy" episode we filmed, so I was excited that I finally could do some serious acting-in-peril, which is secretly every actor's fantasy. But the whole episode was shot outside in the forest, and it wasn't exactly summer time, »

- Erin Fox

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Where Are They Now? Some Greenroom Chatter for December 1, 2008

1 December 2008 5:13 PM, PST | TVSeriesFinale.com | See recent TVSeriesFinale news »

Did you see any stars from old TV shows while you were out holiday shopping? If not, it could be because they're on the sets of series (like The Big Bang Theory, Supernatural, and Bones) or movies.

Catch up with favorites like Michael Trucco (Battlestar Galactica), Barry Bostwick (Spin City), John Rubinstein (Day Break), Richard Libertini (Soap), Tasha Smith (Boston Common), Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), Jason Bateman (Valerie's Family), Kristin Davis (Sex and the City), Carlos Ponce (Lipstick Jungle), Jon Huertas (Sabrina the Teenage Witch), Nathan Fillion (Firefly), Tamala Jones (One on One), Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Dear John), Susan Sullivan (The Nine), Joel Gretsch (The 4400), Laura Allen (The 4400), Kyle Gallner (Veronica Mars), Esai Morales (Vanished), Brittany Robertson (Swingtown), Megan Mullally (Will & Grace), Kelsey Grammer (Frasier), Charles S. Dutton (Threshold), Bebe Neuwirth (Cheers), Debbie Allen (Fame), Marisa Coughlan (Boston Legal), Kathleen Quinlan (Family Law), Rob Bogue (Oz), Josh Cooke (Big Day »

- TVSeriesFinale.com

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Scott Allie Talks 'Buffy'

27 November 2008 10:07 AM, PST | Comicmix.com | See recent Comicmix news »

Scott Allie, Dark Horse’s editor charged with the Buffyverse, spoke with Fantasy News about his work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The comic is essentially season eight of the WB/Upn series, continuing the storyline of Buffy Summers and her pals.

“Well, the advantage of the comic is that there’s less interference between Joss and the reader.,” Allie noted. “Less for him to overcome to get his vision across. The advantage of the show is that you have the actors, who the fans love as much or more than they love Joss, and you have the infinitely popular medium of television to deliver the Buffy preview stories. That’s speaking in terms of clear pluses or minuses. The differences, I guess, are extraordinary. Sound and motion exist in one, a near total freedom from the dull constraints of reality in the other. The two artforms have so little in common, »

- Robert Greenberger

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'Firefly' Universe Mapped

22 November 2008 1:26 PM, PST | Comicmix.com | See recent Comicmix news »

Browncoats are Firefly fans and some fans seem to go to extremes to show their appreciation for the Joss Whedon series which lasted a mere season on Fox.

One group of fans has named themselves the Firefly Ship Works and have devoted countless hours to studying the series in minute detail.  They’ve done schematics for the Firefly-class ship that the cast traveled aboard and now they have unveiled their map of the universe, including all the planets visited and mentioned on the series and the film Serenity.

According to their website, “our goal is to create reliable, flexible and affordable transport for you and yours, as you endeavor to reach vistas unseen and wilderness yet to be tamed. As such, we have put together this Cortex Wave Server (Cws) to keep you informed of our efforts to create the ‘Verse’s first and only screen-accurate Firefly Series 3, the Serenity Artisan Replica. »

- Robert Greenberger

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'Wonder Woman' DVD Details Released

18 November 2008 9:39 AM, PST | Comicmix.com | See recent Comicmix news »

Warner Home Video has announced a March 3, 2009 release date for its direct-to-dvd Wonder Woman film. It will be released in what has rapidly become a standard pattern for genre offerings:a Single Disc DVD for $19.98, 2 Disc Special Edition DVD for $29.98 and Blu-ray Disc for $34.99. The animated original movie will also be available OnDemand and Pay-Per-View as well as available for download day and date. Originally, the DVD had been announced for February release but was delayed a few weeks for unspecified reasons.

From clips ComicMix was shown, it'll be well worth the wait.

Produced by the multiple Emmy Award winning animation legend Bruce Timm, Wonder Woman is an origin story and features a stellar celebrity voice cast including Keri Russell (Waitress, Felicity), Nathan Fillion (Firefly), Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2), Virginia Madsen (Sideways), Rosario Dawson (Sin City), Oliver Platt (The West Wing) and David McCallum (NCIS).

Wonder Woman begins on the mystical island of Themyscira, »

- Robert Greenberger

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Joss Whedon Named #1 Showrunner

16 November 2008 4:18 AM, PST | Comicmix.com | See recent Comicmix news »

The Hollywood Reporter named its top 40 showrunners with genre mastermind Joss Whedon heading the list. The role of showrunner has evolved through the years but is the producer charged with making the television series hum, from concept to airdate.  They tend to direct the creative process and are involved in every aspect such as the stories, casting, and post-production. Whereas the director has the final say on a movie set, the showrunner is the voice on a television production.

Whedon’s choice is interesting considering he has not produced a television series since the failed Firefly in 2003 and there’s been much controversy surrounding his next show, January’s Dollhouse.

Here’s what the trade says about the top ten showrunners.

Joss Whedon, Dollhouse (Fox)

Whedon believes in the power of the writers room so much that after filming three episodes of his forthcoming midseason drama Dollhouse, he shut down »

- Robert Greenberger

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Has Fox Endangered 'Dollhouse'?

11 November 2008 5:45 AM, PST | AirlockAlpha.com | See recent Airlock Alpha news »

It's deja vu all over again. A year ago, when Joss Whedon announced that he was starting production on a new show called "Dollhouse," fans all over the world were ecstatic. When wary fans learned that the creator of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" had made a deal with Fox, the immediate reaction was "How can you trust them after what they did to 'Firefly'?" The unlikely space western, rich with colorful, well-defined characters and a riveting narrative, was banished to the Friday night death spot in Fox's schedule before it premiered. There, it languished with little promotion, episodes played out of order, and often delayed or pre-empted by sports programming. Whedon suffered through constant interference by network executives who never quite understood the show. They didn't »

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Cult Spy: The Next Doctor Contenders

8 November 2008 10:04 PM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

With David Tennant soon to hang up his Converse, speculation has been rife about his successor. Could the Beeb really cast Andrew Sachs to placate the former Manuel? After all, the current Doctor has a fondness for Barcelona... Of course not. Cult Spy instead looks at some of the more serious contenders and their links with the science fiction genre - plus one long shot, who might not be so far-fetched at all.

Chiwetel Ejiofor His name may be a mouthful at first, but this acclaimed actor could easily slip into the role of the mysterious time traveller. Joss Whedon recognised his talent by casting him as the sword-wielding Operative in space western Firefly's big screen follow-up Serenity. A trip to 2027 ensued in the dystopian Children of Men, but it was Ejiofor's role in David Mamet's recent film Redbelt that really highlights his 'Doctorish' (more) »

- By Ben Rawson-Jones

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Is Dollhouse Already Doomed?

8 November 2008 9:10 AM, PST | ScreenRant.com | See recent Screen Rant news »

Is Fox “Foxing Up” again?

The Joss Whedon fans who were thinking of starting a “Save Dollhouse” website/campaign might have been on to something long before the rest of us.

Despite the previous report that Dollhouse will be airing on Mondays in 2009, Fox has distributed a press release last week announcing that the series will now premiere in February, on Friday the 13th.

What are they thinking? Is this a demonstration of some massive amount of faith in the realm of Whedon fans to overcome the statistical fact that Friday nights are the worst time ever to air a show?

 

As it stands now, Mondays in 2009 have 24 & House lined up. For Fridays, they’re going to prepare us for a resounding lineup starting January 16th with Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? at 8 Pm and Don’t Forget the Lyrics at 9 Pm. Wow! That’s gonna rile me up for sure… »

- Bruce Simmons

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Fox Dumps 'Dollhouse' on Fridays

7 November 2008 11:38 AM, PST | Comicmix.com | See recent Comicmix news »

Fox announced a dramatically restructured midseason lineup, radically different than the schedule they outlined over the summer. They have revived the Friday night science fiction dumping ground, placing Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse on that evening, beginning February 13, the beginning of a three-day weekend when viewership tends to drop anyway.

Other shifts sees House slip to Mondays, allowing the return of the American Idol juggernaut on Tuesdays, which makes for a marvelous lead-in to Fringe. Bones shifts from Wednesdays to Thursday pitting the series against Ugly Betty and Smallville.

The Friday night curse began with the genre-related The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. in 1993 and was following in subsequent years by Mantis (1994), Strange Luck (1995), Vr.5 (1995), Sliders (1996), Millennium (1996), The Visitor (1997), Harsh Realm (1999), Freakylinks (2000), Dark Angel (2000), The Lone Gunmen (2001), John Doe (2003), and Firefly (2003).

Continue reading Fox Dumps 'Dollhouse' on Fridays › »

- Robert Greenberger

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DC at the Movies

1 November 2008 9:42 AM, PDT | Comicmix.com | See recent Comicmix news »

In keeping up with the comings and goings of DC’s comic book franchises that have plans to segue to the silver screen, here we have put together Warner Bros. more recent plans on making that adaptation for some of our favorite heroes, as well as some other characters and how close we are to seeing them in theaters.

Wonder Woman

In January 2001, producer Joel Silver approached Todd Alcott to write a Wonder Woman screenplay, with Silver Pictures backing the project. Early gossip linked actresses such as Mariah Carey, Sandra Bullock, Rachel Bilson, and Catherine Zeta-Jones to the role of Wonder Woman. Leonard Goldberg, speaking in a May 2001 interview, named Bullock as a strong candidate for the project. Bullock claimed that she was approached for the role, while Lucy Lawless and professional wrestler Chyna both expressed interest. Lawless indicated that she would be more interested if Wonder Woman was portrayed as a "flawed hero. »

- Matt Raub

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