April Grab Bag!

So, as those of you who are unfortunate enough to be subject to my twitter and facebook updates, I have been stuck on jury duty for almost two weeks. I can’t talk about the case, but suffice to say, I don’t think we’re going to see a bunch of Spider-Mans appearing to close the case anytime soon.  It’s been quite a slog, made more irritating thanks to the very, very warm temperatures LA has been experiencing, but  it looks like there is light at the end of the tunnel–we have one more witness then we can start deliberating.  This is all a long way of me apologizing for a less variety than I usually try to include–but, hey, this one might be shorter! Whoo!

Jonah Hex is ready for his closeup.

Speaking of whoo!, did anyone else know that a Jonah Hex movie was coming out? John Malkovitch, Josh Brolin and Megan Fox headline…Will Arnett?  I had no idea, but I think Josh Brolin’s could do very well as Hex, one of my favorite characters of all time.  It’s being filmed in Louisiana and is supposed to be released in next August.  I don’t know much anything about the story, but one of the producers, Akiva Goldsman (writer of arthouse faves like I Am Legend and The Da Vinci Code) seems to be pretty into comic books; he’s listed as producer or executive producer on several projects in development, including Teen Titans, Doom Patrol, The Losers and Robotech. (Robotech?! Oh wait, I think I did hear about this, thanks to another cartoon featuring transforming mecha.)  I wonder–but if it were as good as, say, Unforgiven, well, that would be dandy.

Law and Order: Caprica

I admit it; I just deleted the Battlestar Galactica series finale from my DVR on Sunday. I knew wasn’t going to watch it again, but I just liked the idea that I would be able to go check it out whenever I wanted (yes, I know I can go on the web but I am old school about these things. I’ll watch YouTube clips on my computer but for a movie with good sound and picture, I prefer my sofa and fat ass sound system, thankyouverymuch).  So, I was pleased to see that Caprica was released yesterday.  This is a straight to DVD movie that is the prequel–58 years earlier than the beginning of BSG. I will admit–I am nervous about this, but I am looking forward to it. I’ll grab it on DVD…wait…where’s the
Blu-Ray?  Ugh. Anyway, I guess this movie will be broadcast on SciFi (SyFy?) when the new series premieres next year. It’s all kind of weird. We’ll see. The rumor that I am most into?  Battlestar Galactica: The Compete Series on July 28th. I promise to shut up about the show until then.

Another boxed set to rule them all…

Speaking of boxes with shiny dics, apparently the Blu-Ray versions of The Lord of the Rings trilogy is available for pre-order with a rumored December release.  This release is just the movies–the crazy-ultimate-late-version-you-will-ever-need-to-buy-ever-we-promise boxed set that so many people will buy but never, ever really watch (I am so guilty of that) is being held to release closer to the debut of the new Hobbit films…the first of which won”t come out until 2012.  I can already hear you going, “Yeah, it will come out if the Blu-Ray format lasts that long…” Your lack of faith has been noted and recorded, citizen.

[Subby] Dropped a bomb on me.
(yes, I know it’s a damn torpedo)

I, for one, will say that I have been really enjoying Marvel’s 70th Anniversary issues. We talked about the Captain America issue in our writer’s podcast and the guys covered the recent Sub-Mariner issue just this past week.  While the guys did not read the backup stories, I have to say, I have been really enjoying this chance to read some really old comics.  There were actually two backup stories, one from 1939, and another “lost” (everyone else is using quotes–I have no idea if it was really lost or not) story from writer Mark Shultz with amazing, gorgeous art by Al Williamson.  It’s a very basic story, but its spare nature belies how elegant a tale it is. The 1939 story is just crazy. Like the backup story in Captain America, you get a really great idea of just how far comics have come–it was not a great story, with rudimentary construction and storytelling devices (which makes some degree of sense). Josh mentioned one panel that surprised me as well–it was just a panel of text explaining what happened over a period of time.  It was like, “Well, we kind of ran out of space…so…just figure it out, guys!” Anyway, I love these anniversary issues.  They celebrate the icons of the comic book world (characters and artists) by presenting solid stories told by modern creators and juxtapose them with classic stories.  They give you a compelling insight into what makes these characters iconic in the first place, while giving credit to the creators of yesteryear, without whom none of this would be possible.  I hope this is a regular feature throughout 2009.

This hamster is awesome!

The other night I did something that I always say I am going to do, but almost never actually get a chance to actually DO…watch a movie I borrowed from a friend. To be fair, I didn’t actually ask for the movie, I just said, at some point, “Oh, I heard that Bolt was good!” and the next day he had brought his Blu-Ray version over to my desk.  This was really nice, but I have to tell you, that kind of thing can be stressful. It’s even worse with another co-worker of mine–he drops books off, like real novels, that he thinks I should read.  A nice thing, but seriously-I’ll go buy a book if I want to read it; I just don’t have time to read books just given to me to borrow. I mean, what’s the time limit on a 500 page book? And, seriously, I feel guilty if I don’t do the actual reading.  (He gave me a few other books last year–I dropped them off on his desk when he was out on vacation.)  Anyway, Bolt was surprisingly good and, if you have Blu-Ray, it’s definitely worth renting–it sounds amazing. Really fantastic. Recommended.

“Well, I was thinking of pizza, really. 3-D pizza.”

Speaking of animated movies, I hear that Up is going to be 3-D only, like Monsters vs. Aliens. Now, look: I get it. 3-D, when done well, like Coraline, can be a great way to immerse the audience in the story. Coraline, unlike the abysmal My Bloody Valentine 3D, was bereft of all of those “spears in your face” type sequences, and used the 3D effect to…well, add depth, a third dimension.  However, I have to say, my eyes were aching about five minutes into the film.  I couldn’t get over it–I even took the glasses off just to relax my eyes a bit.  I was pretty into Up–I think it looks interesting (though I admit I have zero idea of what is all about), but I gotta say, I don’ really want to see it in 3D.  I mean, okay, maybe I might go, but I want at least the choice to see it without a headache, you know?  Apparently the studios just love 3D movies–they are harder, if not impossible, to pirate.  I guess I can wait for the home version of the film, but still, I find it amazing that we are seeing films that are only being screened in 3D. (And yes, I know that there are 3D-capable TVs being released…but you still need the glasses!)

Oh, you did it again–that’s another couple of minutes you’re never gonna get back. I am going to stick my head in the freezer (it’s so insanely hot in LA right now)–see you next week.

Mike Romo is an actor in LA. He is a big wimp when it comes to heat. Email, tweet, face.


  1. I’m just getting into Battlestar Galactica and…uhm…I understand why it was such a big deal with everyone. Looking forward to hear what you and others think of Caprica.

    I am/was "that" co-worker. I didn’t force novels on people, thankfully. But yeah, I had outstanding loans of Watchmen, All Star Superman and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm that I finally picked up 6 months after I was let go. ….I guess I should reevaluate that practice if others could find it so stressful.

    Also, Bolt was wonderful. But I’m definitely a dog-person which has something to do with it.

  2. Monsters Vs. Aliens wasn’t 3-d only in Israel… you could choose a regular one or a 3D showing. Could they just not give 3-d glasses and it’ll be fine or was there a regular version sent to the theater?

    Is it a reenactment of the Scopes trial? If it was the case than the heat is part of the atmosphere and should not be left out.

  3. The Jonah Hex film is also now being written and directed by the same team for the Crank franchise….So yeah…..it should totally kick some ass and be completely bizarre.

  4. My son and I got to watch Monsters vs. Aliens in 2D.  You should have been able to, too, at the proverbial theater near you. 🙂

  5. I fear for the Jonah Hex movie.  I personally would like to see it be a really great Western movie with some big action pieces.  But instead, it will probably be some trippy, over-the-top movie that doesn’t make sense.  Sigh…

    I too have been loving the 70th Anniversary issues.  They’ve been great modern stories, and the back ups have been so much fun to read.  I think you pointed out perfectly what makes the back ups great.  It’s a slice of nostalgia that allows us to reflect on just how far we’ve come. 

  6. @Neb: ….I take it you didnt like the Crank films 🙁

    Although I do agree, it better be a western and not some experimental comic film. (Even if I adore Crank)

    Is there more 70th Anniversary issues coming out? Like one for Human Torch, or maybe an Invaders one-shot?….No wait, the latter is Brubakers’s Marvel Projects…

  7. oh good–I was obviously getting BAD INFORMATON when I was hearing about how Monsters Vs. Aliens was only in 3D.  I will have to write a letter…

     I haven’t seen the Crank movie(s)–I will have to check them out. "Hex" is such an interesting movie to make, I am surprised it’s actually in production. I just hope they don’t do an origin aspect to it…

  8. Somehow I have an image of oompa loompas dishing the latest animation gossip to unsuspecting individuals in my head.

  9. @mikeromo: I would definitely recommend watching at least the first Crank….Not so much the 2nd right now. Cause if you did watch the 2nd, I would guarentte that you would be horrified where the ‘Hex’ film will go.

    But they definitely have great imagination and they know how to do gun battles….I have a feeling though the cast will save the film more then the crew.

  10. The guys from Crank are not doing the Jonah Hex movie.  They left the project some time ago.



    Brolin once said he wouldn’t do the project with those two invloved and there was a meltdown.  New people are on it now.

  11. another great grab bag for us!!