Friday, November 27, 2009

Princess of Mars on the cheap

Wow, I love The Asylum, a company that specializes in jumping on the marketing coattails of bigger and more cash rich studios. A few years ago they produced a cheapo version of The War of the Worlds, which capitalized on the Tom Cruise movie, and now they're at it again, though you have to wonder if they've jumped the gun a bit with their version of A Princess of Mars, as the Disney/Pixar version has barely left the starting blocks. The trailer for the Asylum version (the story is in the public domain, so not much Disney can do) is out now, and begrudgingly, doesn't look entirely terrible, even if the star looks like he was hewn from a block of wood and the titular princess (there's a pun in there somewhere) is the infamous Tracie Lords. A couple of fleeting effects shots look halfway decent, and while the terrain hardly looks like anyone’s idea of Mars, this could (I firmly emphasize "could") be a fun beer and pretzels movie. You certainly can't knock The Asylum for their cheek - and I particular like that they’re aiming to steal not only Pixar’s moxy, but are name-checking James Cameron in their publicity. The trailer makes great capital of the fact that James Cameron has apparently mentioned in passing that Burroughs John Carter of Mars stories were an inspiration for his forthcoming 3D extravaganza Avatar. Anyway, you be the judge, here's the trailer.

And here's a fasinating earlier attempt from legendary animator Robert "Bob" Clampett.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Montevideo invaded. Watch the carnage.

I love this. Not sure who put it together or even why, but this is a fantastic modern take on an alien invasion. Giant robots start stomping toward Montevideo and without preamble start trashing the city. For something that has no link that I can discern to a big budget studio, it really is an astounding piece of work. The fact that it's called "panic attack" does make me wonder if someone is thinking Orson Welles with this.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Europe and America sign up for Mars

Great to see that NASA and the ESA have finally inked a deal to work together on a Mars exploration program. The deal will ensure a steady fleet of probes to the red planet, beginning with a European-led orbiter in 2016, with surface rovers to follow in 2018. A network of landers has also been proposed for 2020. The ultimate goal will be to bring a sample back to Earth. I just wonder why we can't bring in some more partners? The Japanese and Chinese are building their space programs up, and so surely there would be much to be gained by creating a worldwide Mars program? More detail on the ESA/NASA deal at the BBC.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Movie The Fourth Kind inspired by Welles broadcast?

A new movie about the phenomena of alien abduction is drawing some comparisons with The War of the Worlds broadcast of 1938, though by the sounds of things it has much more in common with The Blair Witch Project. Of course it's a little known fact that the Blair Witch Project was itself influenced by Welles' War of the Worlds scare, so the lineage is there, if a little far removed. Anyway, the movie purports to be a true story about alien abductions that have taken place in Nome, Alaska. A psychiatrist played by Milla Jovovich begins to find a pattern in the repressed memories of her patients and supposed "real" archive footage adds to the terror. Check out the trailer below.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

SF Crowsnest reviews Waging the War of the Worlds

Doing that really sad thing I'm sure many authors do of googling their own book titles, I discovered that SF Crowsnest has been very kind with a review, using the word "definitive", which is very very flattering and saying "This book deserves your attention and a place on your bookshelf..." which is very very very flattering. The blog I still love radio also carried a very favourable review the other day which also used the same word, and said " book can now serve as the definitive single source for old-time radio buffs and reference librarians everywhere." If you'd like to avail yourself of a copy of this "definitive" book, then has stock. :-)