Tom Clancy: Dead or Alive

  • Tom Clancy is hitting in December with what sounds like “Crisis on Infinite Clancy,” at least according to the press release: “For the First Time Ever, Tom Clancy Brings Together 26 Years of Unforgettable Characters, including Jack Ryan, Jack Ryan, Jr., John Clark, Ding Chavez, and Mary Pat Foley, to Jointly Face Their Greatest Challenge Yet–Modern-Day Terrorism.” So it’s…Rainbow Seven? No, it’s Dead or Alive and it hits December 7th of this year. His co-author on the book is Grant Blackwood, despite the seemingly 8 point font for Blackwood’s name on the cover. Blackwood has written books based on Clancy’s characters.
  • The UK is getting Mountain Dew. Or at least a variant of it. Not sure why they feel the need to change it, but maybe that’s due (no pun intended) to the fact it’s going to be marketed there as an energy drink. If some enterprising Brit reader would like to send me a sample, I’d be quite grateful. Source.
  • Schweppes has rolled out phosphorescent cans. They’re not in the U.S., and again, if any reader overseas wants to hook a Widgett up, it’d be much appreciated. Source.
  • Starbucks is giving you a free brewed coffee if you bring in a reusable travel mug on Thursday, April 15th. The info says “Offer varies by country, ask your barista for details,” but it looks to be pretty worldwide. Good luck.
  • Movies

  • The Darkest Hour sounds quite interesting. Emile Hirsch (Speed Racer) stars. It’s about some youngish types trying to keep from getting deaded in a Russia post-alien invasion. Script is by Les Bohem (The Alamo) and Jon Spaihts (the aforementioned Alien prequel). Source.
  • Freakonomics, the docu based on the book, will be released theatrically by Magnolia in the fall. Source.
  • Okay, I’m going to say this and you can mock me all you want, I don’t care: if a live-action Smurfs movie is what it takes to get more Jonathan Winters, then so be it. FSM help us all.
  • TV

  • Conan is going to TBS. It’s a better fit than Fox and certainly will mean TBS might have to be taken more seriously by people who haven’t. Like myself, for example. Don’t get all bogged down in the details, this is really all you need to know at the moment. Source.
  • Pharaoh is coming from some of the people who brought you Rome, i.e. John Milius. He’s scribing the first episode and directing it as well. This will kick off with Queen Hatshepsut’s reign in 1479 BCE and continue until it becomes too expensive to produce episodes. Source.
  • Pompeii by Robert Harris

  • Pompeii, with a storyline that’s exactly what you think it is and based on the novel by Robert Harris, is going the miniseries route after a Polanski-helmed feature fell through a couple of years back. The most recent Harris adaptation was the recent Ghost Writer, which was helmed by Polanski. Source.
  • Walking Dead has a six-episode order for AMC. The role of Rick has been cast (Andrew Lincoln) and Jon Bernthal is playing Shane. Robert Kirkman is an executive producer on the series, but he’s mis-identified as “Rick Kirkman” in the Variety article. You’re going to have to do better than that, Variety, if you want anybody to pay to read your stuff.

  • The Shat is coming back to television (did he ever technically leave it?) with Weird or What, a reality show that sounds like Shatner’s Believe It or Not: “It will examine some of the weirdest unsolved cases around the world — ranging from paranormal phenomena, to medical oddities and bizarre natural disasters.” Also, Canadian mega-actor + High Weirdness = the Leigh equivalent of a TV killer app. It’s going to appear on Discovery in the U.S. Source.
  • Theatre
  • Nathan Lane may be going to Chicago for The Iceman Cometh to join Brian Dennehy after he leaves Addams Family. Nothing confirmed yet, and no word on when Lane’s run on Addams ends. My thought would be: if you’re going to catch both he and Bebe Neuwirth on Broadway as Mr. & Mrs. A, then move with a degree of swiftness. Source.
  • DVD

  • Daybreakers, the rather capable recent vampire flick–sparkle-free–hits DVD and Blu-Ray on May 11th from Lionsgate. My review here. Click on the media-type to pre-order from Amazon.
  • The Man With No Name Trilogy hits Blu-Ray June 1st from MGM, with Fistful and Few Dollars making their Blu-Ray premieres. It’s only at 10% off in pre-order at $62.99 as I write this, so I say hold off until it goes on sale. Click here to pre-order from Amazon.
  • Also of note:

    Dallas: The Complete Thirteenth Season DVD
    IMAX Under the Sea Blu-Ray

    Dallas…the thirteenth season has hit DVD from Warner Brothers with all twenty-seven episodes. This of course is the penultimate season, which I point out to be informative but mostly because I think the word “penultimate” is cool to say. There are some disappointments to be had, even for fans: double-sided discs, which are a pain. Also, no bonus bits whatsoever. The problem is that I don’t think this show is even being rebroadcast (not that I could find anyway, which is frankly pretty astonishing), so right now this is the only way to get these episodes that I’m aware of. Two things to bear in mind–and again, this is for fans. I think if you’re not a fan, the first couple of seasons might be worth checking out for TV history’s sake, but by the thirteenth season, if you’re in, you’re a fan–period. Anyway, one: the price right now on Amazon is $27.99, which is a little more than $1 an episode. And also, let’s assume they do put this out on Blu-Ray in the future–which they will–do you seriously need this in hi-def? Anyway, hope that helps. Good luck. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

    IMAX Under the Sea has some strikes against it, but it’s out from Warner Brothers and let’s tell you what’s good about it first. First, it’s an underwater film shot in IMAX and it’s presented here in Blu-Ray hi-def, which means visually it’s a feast. This is the sort of film I used to go watch on IMAX and feels right to me in IMAX, so that’s good. Trouble is, we don’t have IMAX at home–you probably don’t either. Nor do we get the 3D option that this had in cinemas. And–the thing is a skoche over 40 minutes long. If you throw in the Blu-Ray exclusive bonus featurettes, you don’t get the time this will take you to go through extended by much. And I have to say: compare a 40-minute experience for $28.49 (current price on Amazon) to the five-disc monster that is Blue Planet: Seas of Life for $32.99 (price as I type this). Granted, the latter is DVD and not hi-def, but still: for four bucks more you get a helluva lot more underwater happenings going on. I’d much rather see you get the latter (even though it’s not available on Blu-Ray yet). The price here just doesn’t justify, nifty as it looks. (Click here to buy it from Amazon, if you insist.)

    Slammin Salmon DVD
    South Park: The Complete Thirteenth Season DVD

    The Slammin’ Salmon is the latest film from Broken Lizard, those people who brought you such films as Beerfest and Super Troopers. And fans of their films know what they’re in store for: comedic mayhem. Also on tap is Michael Clarke Duncan, who can never be cast enough as far as I’m concerned. This Anchor Bay release does have a decent array of features: two commentary tracks from the Lizardians and a featurette. Fans will decide for themselves whether or not they should own–everyone else should rent–but if you do decide to own, here’s something slightly mental: the Blu-Ray, as I type this, is cheaper than the DVD, which I now hold in my hands. Granted, it’s fifty cents cheaper, but hey, if you own the hi-def player…why not? (Click here to buy the Blu-Ray from Amazon; click here for the DVD.)

    South Park is a machine that will not stop. Here, Comedy Central and Paramount deliver all fourteen episodes from the thirteenth season. These are uncensored–so you get all the words that you don’t on television. You also get a look at South Park Studios and some deleted scenes. No commentaries or anything else accompanies them. So for the most part, the diehard fan that simply has to own this–should probably do so. For everybody else, there’s catching repeats (which air somewhere almost all the time) or there’s watching the episodes on the official site. More features would make this easier to recommend–but if you’re going to get it, I would get it now: it’s 64% off the regular price as I type this. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)