May Grab Bag!

So, I am thinking that my strategy of publishing the Grab Bag on every third Wednesday of the month is failing me.  I mean, yes, it’s nice to have a monthly feature to fall back on, but what it really does is just remind me how fast the year is going by. It’s warming up in LA, but folks are so busy biting their nails about which shows are going to be renewed for next season that I doubt anyone is enjoying the beach these days. This month’s edition is kind of lean, I must say–most of the news right now is kind of ho-hum, but I tried to pull out a few things that you might be interested in.

Just like Robert Jordan used to say, the Wheel of Time keeps on turning, and that’s definitely the case right now.  Last week we had most of the finales air, which you probably are already tired of hearing about. I am just going to go out on a limb and say that the 24 finale was not that good (though it is kind of awesome that you can get the season on video today), and LOST…well, there’s just no such thing as a truly satisfying season finale of LOST, now, is there?  (Let me just hasten to add that I thought most of the episode, especially the beginning was pretty great, I just felt they kinda were filling time towards the end and waiting until 2010…oy.) So shows end one week and the next week we spend a bunch of time trying to figure out which shows are coming back next year…personally, I have so much lingering on my DVR that I am worried I may never get the break I wanted…ten episodes of 30 Rock? Five episodes of Smallville? I’m such a slacker I can’t even watch TV on time! By the way, if you are interested in see which shows are coming back, check this GeekTonic page.

I guess it’s really happening–there really is going to be a live action Thor movie directed by Kenneth Branagh with actual actors playing Thor and Loki. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I am pleased that Branagh is going with relative unknowns in the lead roles, we’ve got Chris Hemsworth (left) playing Thor, who we just saw play George Kirk in Star Trek–I thought he was quite good, though I assume he’s gonna be doing a lot of pushups before principal photography begins. His nemesis Loki actually looks pretty perfect — British stage actor Tom Hiddleston will be playing him.  I still wonder what the hell they are going to do with the speech. Could be fun, could be embarrassing, but I will check it out.

Speaking of a sinking feeling…a movie based on Battleship?  Directed by Peter Berg?  Really? No matter, because, as you can read in the THR link, apparently there are more Universal+Hasbro lovechildren in the works, including Ouija Board produced by Michael Bay’s folks, Monopoly directed by Ridley Scott and Candy Land directed by Kevin Lima working with a script by Etan Cohen.  Hey don’t scoff too loud, I thought that a movie based on a Disneyland ride would be terrible, but I actually liked the first Pirates of the Caribbean….

I dunno if you guys have been following it, but this “behind the scenes” footage of the upcoming Scott Pilgrim movie is pretty great. They are actually filming where Bryan Lee O’Malley was writing; he would take photos and use them as references for the book, and now they are using these locations in the actual movie. The video is informative and spoiler free, unless you are particularly sensitive about seeing Michael Cera and Ellen Wong looking like Scott Pilgrim and Knives Chau (she looks freaking amazing, actually).  There’s a bit of discussion at the end about how some scenes just don’t translate to film, which I thought was kind of refreshing.

There is another edition of Hero Comics coming out by IDW publishing in July. According to Newsarama, in addition to the two covers (one by J. Scott Campbell, hinted at above (click for all of Eve), the other featuring Grendel by Matt Wagner), Arthur Adams will be recreating three classic Marvel covers as well. The proceeds from the book go to the Hero Initiative, which helps comic creators who need some help. I wanted to mention the book because I got last year’s issue and it was quite good and I have a feeling that there are definitely some creators out there than can use our support, given this awesome economy.  I guess DC is that much closer to the release of their 12 part Wednesday Comics weekly series in the newspaper-like 14″x20″ format.  They’ve got a bunch of creators (check the link), but I still wonder about the idea. I like it–I am up for anything new–but again, if this is only sold in comic book shops, I think DC is missing a tremendous opportunity to bring in new readers. DiDio has made a point of saying how these stories are designed for people who are not familiar with the characters, which is fine, but if they are not familiar with, say, Hawkman, they probably are not going to be too familiar with that comic book shop next to Supercuts, either. It would be great to see these marketed in newpaper stands in high traffic areas, like airports, train stations, gas stations, etc.  We’ll have to see.

Well, that’s about it for this month–like I said, kind of light, but that’s okay–you’ve got things to do. Personally, this summer’s geek factor has been pretty solid so far. While I disliked Wolverine, I loved Star Trek, and while I am not as emotionally invested in the Terminator series, I am going to give Terminator Salvation a go. I’ll be giving Trek scribes Orci and Kurtzman more of my money when I check Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, as well–though the song on the website almost blew my ears out with the volume and my brains out with how bad it is. Already I will be seeing more movies in two months than I think all of last year…and I think I am probably going to be checking out Star Trek at least a third time–I have a few friends who haven’t seen it and whose wives have no interest, so I am on call for movie-buddy services. Actually, I tend to be “that guy” for a bunch of my friends. I’ll be at a bbq and people will ask me about movies, TV and comics, just to see what they “should” see…maybe having a geek sidekick is a new LA accessory like one of those small dogs? Oh–the ship above is from The Enteprise Project, which features models of  the new/old/alternate Enterprise painted by a variety of people far cooler than myself that is touring the country (the above ship, Enterprise 23, was painted by Jim Lee). There are some pretty cool models out there–have you guys seen any of them at your theatre?

Mike Romo is an actor in LA. Sooner or later he’ll stop reminding himself of that. Fanboy. Facebook. Twitter.


  1. I am cast!

  2. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Very, very excited for the Thor movie.  

  3. Well a lot of my fav shows were canceled like Pushing Daisies and Eli Stone, but at least Fringe and Supernatural are coming back. And the father on the Battleship box looks like Jeff Cannata from the Totally Rad Show.

  4. …Why in the name of GOD would they make a movie based on Battleship?!

  5. Battleship is destined to be the 2nd-best board-game based movie.

  6. What’s even more amazing than a rash of board game movie adaptations is the high profile talent attached. But honestly, talented people can really only do so much.

    Also, thanks for not showing the entire Campbell picture in the article. I’m at work and the last thing I need is for my boss to walk by and see… that…

  7. It’s so funny that Chris Hemsworth is going to be Thor! When I saw him in Star Trek last weekend I actually thought he could be that elusive right pick for Steve Rogers.

  8. I *love* the Thor and Loki casting!  A Branagh Thor movie becoming reality is a dream come true… can we resurrect Orson Welles to make his Batman movie next?  (Not that there’s anything wrong with Nolan’s vision, I’m just a Welles nut.)

    I knew Kings was cancelled, but not The Unusuals; I stumbled on the pilot, and loved it.  Quirky and funny as hell.  Unfortunately, ABC has effectively hidden the show from viewers… okay, from this viewer… since then.  Will look for the remaining episodes of both shows to be "burned off" by NBC and ABC respectively during the summer.

    And finally, "Batlleship: The Movie"?!?!?  Wow, is it April Fool’s Day again already?

  9. nice graB Bag mike!! i always enjoy your thoughts and ideas Behind many of these things..

  10. You wanna hit the beach next week?


  11. At first, I thought those pictures for the Thor movie were shots of the guy playing Steve Rogers and the guy playing pre-Super Soldier Steve Rogers.  They look like good pics for Thor though.

    Also, I saw Terminator: Salvation.  It’s pretty entertaining, with great action and effects. It has the typical plot holes and devices, but it was really entertaining. 

    I’m really excited for DC’s next weekly project.  It sounds so great!

  12. Board-game based movies sounds great – I want more. Also – some really good TV shows got canceled… bummer.

  13. Such a crazy week–only able to get to the article NOW!! @rayclark, thanks for the props..glad that some use came out of the month’s news…it’s cool to hear that people are down with Thor, what is it about Thor that intrigues so?