Most people knew him as Mr. Spock, but I'll remember Leonard Nimoy best as the host of the spooky-ass TV show In Search Of. Man, I can't even begin to tell you how many sleepless nights my brother and I spent watching that show. The creepy theme music and archival footage was scary enough, but it was Nimoy's voice that really killed us. Whew, that show scared the shit out of us, especially when we watched it on my Mom's old B&W TV. Terrifying!
The Bigfoot and various UFO episodes were probably the most memorable, but, it was the Bermuda Triangle episode that seriously haunted my dreams. I actually lived in mortal fear of being sucked into the Bermuda Triangle for years. In fact, I still get creeped out every time I fly over water. But, hey, don't take my word for it. Check out the clip and see for yourself! So scary!
I actually met Nimoy a couple of years back at the 36th Annual Saturn Awards. I think he was there for some sort of Lifetime Acheivement award or something. Anyway I took a picture with him afterwards and he was one of the sweetest, most gracious celebrities I've ever met. Which was kind of shocking considering that he spent most of his life no doubt hounded by crazy Trekkies and film geeks like me. Not only was he friendly, cool and totally down-to-earth, but Nimoy was genuinely nice to boot. I met a lot of cool folks that night, but he was my favorite.
Thanks for all the memories, Mr. Nimoy. You will be missed…
Alright, at first I thought this whole Kayne West vs. Beck at the Grammys thing was kind of funny and just further proof of what a total fucking idiot Mr. West really is. But after spending just about every waking minute since Sunday night listening and re-listening to Morning Phase — which I got for Christmas and is already right up there with Mutations and Sea Change as one of my favorite Beck albums of all time — I’m done thinking it’s funny. And actually, I’m kinda pissed.
Morning Phase is a gorgeous, shimmering piece of folksy pop/rock perfection. Seriously, I want to just close my eyes and dive into some of those songs, this is Beck on overdrive and this album is freaking glorious on every level. And for anyone, anywhere to even remotely suggest that this lush, sensual album for the ages is in any way not Grammy-worthy is just fucking crazy. Yeah, I know, I dropped two F-bombs in one blog post, sue me.
The other thing that really irks me is that Beyoncé (who, by the way, is totally blameless here. It’s not her fault Kayne is an asshat!) already has a staggering 20 Grammys to her name. In fact, she is the most nominated female artist in Grammy history and the second most honored female artist at the Grammys like, ever. Trust me, Sasha Fierce don’t need no more Grammys.
By comparison, Beck has won six career Grammys. Six! When Star Wars: Episode VII opens this May there will be more Star Wars movies than Grammys with the name Beck on them in the world. And as much as I love me some Star Wars, that is just plain crazy.
The only downside to this amazingly geeky venture is the price tag. Chasing Fireflies' Downton Abbey children's costumes range in price from $64.50 to $89.50, and the adult versions top out at a whopping $119.50. I'm not saying that these beautifully-tailored costumes aren't worth it, but, man, at that price I'd hope they throw in a fancy Dowager Countess wig or something to boot. Yikes!
OK, I tend to be pretty generous where Star Wars is concerned. I worshipped the original trilogy as a kid, I loved the second two prequel films (Revenge of the Sith actually made me cry at the end!) and I thought the various iterations of the animated Clone Wars series were pretty solid with a few moments of true greatness peppered throughout. But, the latest addition to the Star Wars universe, the DisneyXD animated series, Star Wars: Rebels is straight up amazing!
I never thought I would say it, but, selling Star Wars to Disney a few years back just might be the smartest thing George Lucas has done in decades! Rather than water down and Disney-fy the franchise, the influx of new ideas and behind-the-scenes talent like Clone Wars veteran Dave Filoni and Star Wars über fan, director/producer Simon Kinberg has injected new life into what many fans once saw as a creatively bankrupt franchise, at best.
I mean, sure, I've watched just about everything that's been churned out over the past decade, but that doesn't mean it's always been good. But if the rest of the season lives up to Star Wars: Rebels' thrilling, action-packed pilot “movie,” then sign my Jedi ass up!
Seriously, this is top-notch Star Wars storytelling here! Cool, beautifully crafted characters with actual backstories and emotions, awesome action set pieces and best of all, one of the coolest storylines since the original trilogy. Set five years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Rebels follows the adventures of the ragtag crew of the Ghost as they sow the seeds of rebellion in a galaxy that has begun to grow weary of the galactic empire.
I know that sounds impossibly geeky, and it is, but it's also one hell of a ride. Centered around the adventures of the newest member of the Ghost crew, a Force sensitive orphan named Ezra, Rebels really went into overdrive when they revealed that the leader of the Ghost team, Kanan Jarrus, is actually one of the last surviving Jedi knights. Cooler still is the fact that Jarrus offers to train Ezra in the ways of the Force is he joins them. Does it get any cooler than that? Seriously, Greta and I were cheering out loud when Jarrus whipped out his lightsaber for the first time. So rad!
Of course, we're only on the third episode, so, the series could totally fall apart at any minute, but for now, I'm basking in Star Wars perfection. It's been a long time since there was anything this good in the new Star Wars universe and I'm gonna enjoy it!
The past couple of months around here have been totally surreal and packed with enough weirdness, heartbreak and family drama to fill a whole season’s worth of episodes, so, it was kind of strangely appropriate for this to be the week that Showtime announced that they would be airing a nine episode “third season” of Twin Peaks in 2016.
I know it sounds geeky, but, I remember totally flipping out when the scene in the clip above aired on the original series. “‘I’ll see you again in 25 years?!’ What the hell does that mean? Is she coming back to life?!” And while I relished discussing the meaning of that scene (and almost every other aspect of the show!) back in the day, the thought that it might actually be clarified literally twenty five years later is downright thrilling!
To steal a quote from a fellow, diehard Peaks fan: can we just skip 2015 and get to the good stuff already? So excited!
OK, I love me some Allison Williams (she is probably my favorite character on Girls) but, even I was a little taken aback by the news that she had been cast in NBC's upcoming Peter Pan Live! I mean, I'm sure she can sing and everything, but, if NBC's latest live “musical event” is as lame and over-produced as last year's The Sound of Music Live!, well, let's just say there's a pretty high probability that it's gonna totally suck.
And then I saw this super cheesy pic (above) of Williams in costume as Peter Pan and I knew that this movie wasn't just gonna suck, it also has serious train wreck potential. Which I always love, especially at Christmas! So, slap my wings and call me Tinkerbell, because this train wreck — which is produced by the reliably ham-fisted duo of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron and also features Christopher Walken (!) as a singing Captain Hook! — is only gonna get better/worse from here on out. Simply put, I cannot wait!
But perhaps my favorite film in the Robin Williams cannon of awesomeness is Disney'sAladdin. Having watched it dozens of times with Greta over the years, I can honestly say that the movie only gets better with repeated viewings, and the songs are still some of the best Disney jams ever.
But the true standout in the film is that crazy-ass genie with the heart of gold. If ever a part was tailor made for an actor, it was that. Funny, sad, self-deprecating and completely lovable, Williams' voice performance as the genie might just be his best work ever.
And though I'm still terribly sad about his death — and the horrible details of it all — I gotta tell ya, the magic of that amazing genie will live on forever. It really is a performance for the ages.
While listening to another beautiful tribute to Williams on SiriusXM's EWRadio this afternoon, Greta finally asked me who died. And though I spared her the details, I told her that a very famous actor named Robin Williams had died rather suddenly and that the whole world was sad about it. She asked me what movies he made and I told her that she would probably know him best as the genie from Aladdin to which she replied: “Wow, he was a good actor with his voice too!”
Truer words were never spoken. RIP you sweet, sad man…you will be sorely missed.
Just when I thought that our beloved summer TVtrashfestBig Brother couldn’t get any more weird and totally geeky, they introduced comic books to the mix. That’s right, amigos, Wednesday nights’s Veto Competition revolved around the houseguests trying to remember the exact order of a series of specially designed BB Comic books featuring hilarious artist renderings of the cast.
The covers were so cool, in fact, that rather just tell you about them, I decided to post them here as well. So, enjoy! Oh, and in case you were wondering, I’m kinda partial to “The Beard,” but, what I’d really love to see is a Chenbot comic book! Talk about suitable for framing…wow!
I mean, seriously, just the idea of Serkis — an actor from one of my all-time-favorite film franchises: The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings — joining the cast of another of my all-time-favorite film franchises is enough to make my big geeky head explode! So cool!
And even though there was only one new female cast member announced (newcomer Daisy Ridley) Abrams has hinted that there may be more to come in the weeks ahead, so, you never know.
I’m just hoping they cast someone to play Anakin’s former Padawan, Ahsoka Tano. Tano was, by far, the coolest character to emerge from The Clone Wars animated series and her fate was left very much in limbo at the end of the televised series. So, the thought of her character re-emerging in the live action sequels is almost too cool to contemplate. Seriously, I get goosebumps just thinking about it! Go, Ahsoka!
To read more Star Wars: Episode VII casting news, click here. And in the meantime enjoy this amazing pic of the new cast at a “table read” with Abrams. I love how R2-D2 is there in that little packing crate too…so rad!