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2008 – The Year In Geekdom (Part 1)

27

Dec

Posted by Steve

As 2007 wound down, the Geek world held it’s collective breath as we were thrust into a year that promised the answer to monstrous questions, the beginning of a new day for Marvel movies, the return several old favorites, and a strong outing for favorite television shows even in light of a strike that threatened to put a halt to television and movies for a long time.

In the waning days of ’07, the  question on the minds of many movie-goers was “What is Cloverfied?”  The campaign leading up to this movie was the most effective viral marketing cloverfield_galleryteaser2.jpgcampaign for any movie that I can remember. “Concept art” was leaking.  People were getting screenshots of split second moments in the trailer in an attempt to get some kind of look at the design of the monster which had been kept well under wraps.  Online, people were jumping to dozens of websites trying to find some piece of information on the plot, the origin and the look of the monster, pictures, and video.  It was my first REAL look at what a viral marketing campaign can do and be to fuel the fires of a movie being hyped.

The movie itself? was a great experience for me and I can’t believe that I haven’t really watched it since it was in the theater.   I have the song “Roar,” which is the orchestrated piece that plays through the end credits of the film, and it is an amazing piece of music that evokes the feel of the classic Japanese monster movies, and manages to be fresh and nice to listen to as well.  It was a nice opening volley for what I have dubbed the “Year of the Geek,” and things only ramped up from there.

While a monster destroyed New York on the big screen, in the living room it was time for monsters of a different sort to show up.   On Sunday, January 13th, a mere five days before the Cloverfield monster showed up in Manhattan, the world was treated to one of the most surprisingly good pilots on television EVER.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chroicles, premiered on a Sunday night, and much to my surprise the_sarah_connor_chronicles.jpgI was hooked from the get go.  In the midst of an ongoing writer’s strike and the ramifications thereof, audiences were shown what good writing means.  I maintain to this day that T:SCC is one of the most well-written if not THE most well-written series on television. What should be nothing more than a bunch of gun fights and running from robots is surprisingly full of depth, literary allusions, and incredible character development. (And gun fights and running from robots of course.)

The advent of The Sarah Connor Chronicles brought about a new age in podcasting for Derek and I. Together we started The Skynext Podcast. I had no idea what it would mean to do three podcasts, but through Skynext, Derek and I have both made some good friends and had some great times. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was my biggest surprise of the year and the first season was one of the most enjoyable nine episodes of television I’ve watched in a while.

While Sarah Connor and family were blasting their way through time traveling terminators, another sort of blasting took place on January 25th.  January 25th is my birthday and it happened to fall on a Friday this past year, and what a birthday it was as I traveled to my favorite theater (well, the best one that is closest to me.) to sit down and watch Sylvester Stallone return to his role as one of the greatest action heroes to come out of the eighties – RAMBO.

In my original review of Rambo, I gave the movie 3.5 out of 5 whatever I give 5 of. Over time, I have upped that to a solid 4. I genuinely like the movie and what an experience it was to go to the theater the night of my birthday and watch Stallone do something I never thought was possible. Revitalize a character that had become such an ingrained part of our society in such a way as to make him fresh and new…and make me want more. Between ROCKY BALBOA and RAMBO, my respect for Stallone jumped a dozen notches. The guy’s not an idiot. For any flaws you may read about him, he has a good head on his shoulders and really desired to do justice to the characters he had created.

Between Cloverfield, Rambo, and The Sarah Connor Chronicles, 2008 was off to a good start.

As February rolled in, it was more about anticipating what was coming in the following months than anything else. On television, Smallville ramped back up at the tail end of the writer’s strike with a solid closing to what was originally supposed to be a very short season. But, the trailers…oh the trailers! Iron Man’s publicity machine had gotten it’s wheels rolling, The Dark Knight was showing Cloverfield how viral marketing can really work the fan base up, and we got one of the coolest teasers ever for a movie in the teaser for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

That’s what February was all about…well, that and my forray back into comics. Jeph Loeb was getting crunk with Hulk, and I was loving it. Marvel was gearing up for the big Secret Invasion, and DC was counting down to Final Crisis. Things weren’t all good. However, in Action Comics and Superman, Geoff Johns and crew were doing things to set up those titles becoming the great frontrunners of the DC Universe once again.

Oh…and it was announced that Star Wars would be returning to theaters.

March, it’s said comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb…not this time. For 2008 was the year of the geek. Geeks everywhere were on hunts around major cities to meet up with the Harvey Dent campaign. They were online dissecting trailers. They were gobbling up every leaked photo, clip, and bit of information they could in anticipation for one of the greatest Summers to be a geek in a long time.

To whet our appetite, DC animation released the stunning direct to DVD “Justice League: New Frontier.” A really well put together animated movie that was very respectful to the source material upon which it was based. Fans were a buzz and for a moment forgot a bit about what was coming down the pipe for all of us. Then Aaron Eckhart confirmed the presence of a highly anticipated villain, and as I was sitting in the big comfy chair…I saw a commercial for a teaser.

The hype for the Incredible Hulk had officially begun. We were now hip deep in hype and May couldn’t get here fast enough.

It bears noting in March that Ric Flair retired from Professional Wrestling (to my knowledge at this point, permanently) and I watched the match that would mark the end of his illustrious career.

So it was in the beginning of 2008 that geeks had much to be excited about. As we did the usual blogging conversing, whining, and complaining, we kept a sharp eye on the calendar, waiting for what would surely be the greatest Summer in a long time to be a geek.

Terminator: The Sara Connor Chronicles Begins

15

Jan

Posted by Steve

This past weekend, Fox debuted it’s nxt big television sensation. 

I’m not sure how much either episode cost, but the creators of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles had to come close to busting the budget on the first two amazing episodes of the show.

While the show raises questions about it’s place in the Terminator movie timeline, and the rules of time travel that are so important on other sci fi staples (The Temporal Prime Directive in Star Trek) the show delivers the action and suspense that was a part of all three Terminator movies.

From the very outset of the pilot, we meet a Sarah Connor who is at once trying to live her life with as much normalcy as possible, but can be shaken out of happiness and go on the run again all because of a dream.

The Terminators are present in the form of a robot that takes on the name Cromartie when he acts as a substitute teacher seeking to kill young John Connor. 

A new addition to the mythos is Cameron.   Cameron is…well…she’s not a Terminator….but she’s not a human.  She is a cyborg, and when a Terminator scans her and realizes that, his programming dictates that he evades her.

There are guns firing, explosions, people from the future, people-killing robots, and it’s just a wonderful adrenaline pumping television show that you would expect as it bears the name Terminator.

Needless to say I have really enjoyed the show’s first two episodes, and it seems that it’s only going to get better. 

Now, I’ve said all of that to say this: 

We’ve got a new podcast.  Check it out at www.skynextpodcast.com.

Weekly, Derek (from SHoE) and I will recap, review and catch you up on news from and about the show. It should be fun. So check us out.