SciFi Diner Podcast Ep. 116
Our Interview with Timo Vuorensola
from Star Wreck and Iron Sky
The SciFi Diner Podcast
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Welcome to the Diner.
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* TWIST: The Captains is available for viewing on Netflix Streaming
*Sci Fi Five at Five: Scott’s Top Forgotten Novels
Timo Vuorensola (born 29 November 1979) is a Finnish film director and actor. He has directed Star Wreck movies Star Wreck V: Lost Contact, and Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning, created by Samuli Torssonen. Vuorensola plays Lieutenant Dwarf in the films, and is currently directing the film Iron Sky. He is also the lead vocalist and co-founder of dark industrial band Älymystö. You can find out more about Iron Sky Here.
Airs weekly starting September 21st, 2011
Have you ever wondered how humanity got from living in caves to watching videos on the internet? From Mass Effect to Assassin’s Creed to the Forerunners in Halo, video games have suggested the idea of alien influence on human technology for years. Machinima takes this idea a step further with it’s new sci-fi series, ‘RCVR’.
RCVR follows covert government agents Sandy Bergson and Luke Weber as they seek to suppress the truth about extraterrestrial encounters. When not covering up UFO sightings and discrediting real evidence that aliens walk among us, the agents track down “RCVRs”; humans selected by an alien species to act as channels for advanced technologies. These select few humans have been responsible for major scientific breakthroughs – from nuclear power to your latest console – and are the key to even more powerful technology: Time travel, limitless energy, even eternal life.
RCVRs are the greatest secret the world has ever known. But Luke Weber has a secret of his own… Starting September 21st, tune in every week as this epic new sci-fi series unfolds.
Set visit reveals what Elijah Wood’s Frodo is up to in The Hobbit
We’ve known for a while that Elijah Wood was headed back to Hobbiton to don the wig, ears and feet of Frodo Baggins once again for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. What we didn’t know was exactly why, but new photos and a visit to the set are shedding light on where Frodo fits in.Frodo isn’t born until about 30 years after Bilbo returns from his “unexpected journey,” but we’ve known for a good long while that Jackson’s story will be a big one (a two-film one, in fact), so it’s never been out of the question for a character like Frodo to pop up somewhere outside of the original timeline of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel. So, now that we know he’s there, what exactly is he doing?Ain’t It Cool News‘ Quint went to the set and got an answer:
“What’s Frodo doing in The Hobbit? I don’t want to spoil too much, but I can say that Frodo is part of the connecting tissue between The Hobbit and Fellowship of the Ring.”In fact, the next shot was an over the shoulder on Elijah Wood hammering a sign up on Bag End’s front gate: “No Admittance Except On Party Business.” You guys should have an idea where that puts this moment in the timeline.
“Martin Freeman stood in for Ian Holm, who shot all of his scenes and close-ups in London. They would sometimes play footage they’ve already shot to remind themselves of what they had done previously and to help them match up shots. Peter and crew did that for these reverse shots on Elijah and I got to see Ian as Bilbo once again. It was quite extraordinary, actually. Seeing Ian in close up, wearing the wig, the vest and the pointy ears just put a smile on my face.”
So, that gives you a pretty good understand of where young Frodo fits into this story, but the ties to The Fellowship of the Ring run even deeper:
“Their conversation is about Gandalf and if Bilbo thinks Gandalf will show up. Bilbo says “He wouldn’t miss a chance to let off his whiz-poppers. He’ll put on quite a show, you’ll see,” and Frodo grins, saying he’s going to go surprise him and bounds off down the path like a kid at Christmas. When I say he bounds down the path that’s not an exaggeration for illustrative purposes. He was damn near skipping, a glimpse of that pre-ring Frodo we meet in Fellowship.”It’s my understanding this shot will transition to ’60 Years Earlier’ with Young Bilbo sitting in front of Bag End contently smoking a pipe and casually blowing smoke rings as Gandalf comes along and presents him with his adventure.”
So, a fairly simple answer to that mystery. Jackson seems to be returning to the familiar ground of the idyllic Hobbiton just before Gandalf’s arrival and the start of Fellowship, only to send it back to another version of the idyllic Hobbiton where Martin Freeman’s Bilbo will take over. Sounds like a nice way to tie Jackson’s Middle-earth together.
Philip K. Dick estate sues over unpaid $500K Adjustment Bureau fees
The 1953 Philip K. Dick story “Adjustment Team” is not in the public domain—at least, that’s what his estate says. But film studio Media Rights Capital claims otherwise. And now there’s a legal kerfuffle over whether MRC should pay Dick’s estate $500,000 for the story that the movie The Adjustment Bureau was based on.
According to the New York Times,
Mr. Dick’s estate charged Media Rights Capital and others involved with “The Adjustment Bureau,” which starred Matt Damon, with trying to avoid at least $500,000 in bonus payments by declaring Mr. Dick’s original story, “Adjustment Team,” to have been in the public domain. But, the suit says, they did so only after having repeatedly paid fees under purchase agreements for the story, and after tapping the Dick estate for promotional help.
George Nolfi, the film’s director, producer and screenwriter, has owned the option on “Adjustment Team” since 2001, and the movie was funded by MRC. And one month after the film was released, MRC discovered that the film was in the public domain, based on the fact that the story was published in Orbit magazine in 1954.
This lawsuit isn’t just over bonus payments: According to Variety, MRC “demanded the return of prior payments for the rights.”
However, Dick’s estate claims that the Orbit publication was unauthorized and that Dick had no knowledge of the publication. (Rights for the story were based on the 1973 collection The Book of Philip K. Dick.)
The New York Times notes that the lawyers representing Dick’s estate are aware of the irony about a lawsuit over The Adjustment Bureau, which is about altering reality to change the future.
“Motivated solely by greed, defendants seek to establish themselves as the de facto ‘Adjustment Bureau’ of Hollywood,” they write in the complaint. “Using heavy handed means, they seek to ‘adjust’ agreements entered into long-ago,” and “even ‘adjust’ history so as to hoard any and all monies rightfully earned by the estate.”
The Adjustment Bureau, which cost $50 million to make, earned a sweet $127 million at the box office.
Is the story in the public domain or not? That’s up to the judge.
Anne Rice says her vampires would ‘feel sorry’ for Twilight’s
Twilight author Stephenie Meyer has millions of fans (and millions of dollars) thanks to the success of her vampire tales, but some of her fellow authors aren’t convinced. Among them is vampire mistress Anne Rice, who says her own vampires would “feel sorry” for Meyer’s characters and their sparkly ways.
In a post on her Facebook page, Rice spoke about her own most famous vampire characters—Louis and Lestat, introduced in her debut novel Interview With the Vampire in 1976—and how they might react to Twilight-style bloodsuckers:
“Lestat and Louie feel sorry for vampires that sparkle in the sun. They would never hurt immortals who choose to spend eternity going to high school over and over again in a small town—anymore than they would hurt the physically disabled or the mentally challenged. My vampires possess gravitas. They can afford to be merciful.”
The post seems to be a follow-up to a post earlier the same day on the issue of whether or not vampires should sparkle. In that post, Rice simply linked to an article on the subject and said that her own vampires would likely “refuse to discuss this,” but it’s the second post that drew the most attention.
As of Tuesday the post had more than 9,000 likes and more than 2,000 comments, and though many of them sided with Rice, a few took her to task for her criticism of Meyer’s characters.
“Ms Rice really shouldn’t throw stones, after she allowed her masterpiece novels to be turned into the most God awful vampire movies in history,” said Scott Astley.While Rachel Dehlinger wrote, “It must be hard to see someone else excelling in an area where your popularity is beginning to fade”.
Rice later clarified her comment, saying, “There’s plenty of room for a little humor in talking about the various interpretations,” and in a post the following day she went on to say that she has “unqualified praise” for Meyer’s “originality.”
It’s not the first time Rice has bashed the series. In 2009 she called it a story “made for 12-year-olds” that “does not entirely make sense.” She’s also not the only best-selling supernatural author to criticize Meyer. Stephen King, also in 2009, said Meyer “can’t write worth a darn” and drew the ire of more than a few militant Twi-hards.
It seems like the debate over whether Twilight can contend with other vampire franchises will never die, but when authors like Rice and King weigh in, does it count as jealous rage against the Twi-hard horde, or a legitimate interest in the genre’s present and future?
DVD/Blu Ray News:
Cowboys & Aliens Hits Blu-ray and DVD on December 6
This summer’s movie event becomes the holiday season’s must-own Blu-ray™ as a lone gunslinger leads an uprising against an alien threat in the explosive, stunningly-imagined film, Cowboys & Aliens. A blazingly original, cross-genre adventure from acclaimed director Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Iron Man 2) and top moviemakers Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, Cowboys & Aliens features heart-pumping action, spectacular visuals and a first-rate cast. Arriving in stores December 6th from Universal Studios Home Entertainment, the Blu-ray™ Combo Pack edition of Cowboys & Aliens bring all of the thrills and fun home with perfect hi-def picture and perfect hi-def sound and includes a never-before-seen extended version of the movie, over two hours of exclusive bonus features, and a DVD and digital copy of the film that can be viewed anywhere, anytime on an array of devices including laptops, tablets, Internet-connected TVs and set-top boxes. The Blu-ray™ also boasts an upgraded version of Universal’s Second Screen—a groundbreaking new technology that enhances the viewing experience by allowing viewers to simultaneously control and interact with the film and bonus material on a WiFi-connected tablet or computer as the movie plays on the television screen. The new Flick View Feature will allow fans to interact even more with the movie and be able to move content from their tablet to their TV screen! Cowboys & Aliens is also available on DVD, digital download and On Demand.
Daniel Craig (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace) and Harrison Ford (the Indiana Jones and Star Wars franchises) headline as adversaries obliged to join forces against a terrifying enemy, with a supporting cast that includes Olivia Wilde (TRON: Legacy, The Change-Up), Sam Rockwell (Iron Man 2), Ana de la Reguera (Eastbound and Down), Adam Beach (Flags of Our Fathers), Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood), Clancy Brown (The Shawshank Redemption), Keith Carradine (Nashville) and Noah Ringer (The Last Airbender). The script for Cowboys & Aliens is by Star Trek’s Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof (television’s Lost), based on Platinum Studios’ graphic novel created by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg. Grazer, Howard, Rosenberg, Kurtzman and Orci produce. Steven Spielberg, Jon Favreau, Denis L. Stewart, Bobby Cohen, Randy Greenberg and Ryan Kavanaugh serve as Executive Producers.
IGNITING THE SKY: THE MAKING OF COWBOYS & ALIENS —A comprehensive, behind-the-scenes look at the production that invites viewers on set to meet the filmmakers and cast as they create this one-of-a-kind action film. In revealing conversations, Jon Favreau, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, as well as stars Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig and Olivia Wilde, share their insights about the movie. Also featured are visual-effects powerhouses Legacy Effects and ILM, which join forces once again to push the technological envelope beyond anything ever seen before on screen. It includes:
FINDING THE STORY — Cowboys & Aliens, based on the graphic novel by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, has been in development for over a decade. Filmmakers, writers and cast explain why this particular team of Hollywood heavyweights hit the right note to bring this to the big screen.
THE SCOPE OF THE SPECTACLE —A look at the team behind the camera for the film’s massive New Mexico shoot, as the stars ride horses, shoot guns, jump from explosions, and get yanked 80 feet in the air! Director Jon Favreau stages unforgettable action set-pieces as cameras capture every moment, while legendary stuntman and Cowboys & Aliens’ second unit director Terry Leonard brings a lifetime of experience to the big-screen stunts, from legendary moments in John Wayne classics to doubling for Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
OUTER-SPACE ICON — Take a closer look at the creation of a new, terrifying alien design from Legacy Effects and Industrial Light and Magic.
And exclusive to Blu-ray™ these additional segments:
A CALL TO ACTION — A profile of prolific actor, writer and director Jon Favreau featuring on-set video diaries shot throughout the production.
ABSOLUTION — A look at the practical re-creation of a dusty Old West mining town, the town’s inhabitants and the amazing ensemble of actors who portray them, as well as an exclusive look at the film’s meticulous production and costume designs.
CONVERSATIONS WITH JON FAVREAU – Jon Favreau hosts candid interviews with cast and crew, including:
Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer
Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci
FEATURE COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR JON FAVREAU
ADDITIONAL FEATURES EXCLUSIVE TO BLU-RAY:
U-CONTROL: Universal’s exclusive feature that lets the viewer access bonus materials without leaving the movie!
BD-LIVE™: Access the BD-Live™ Center through your Internet-connected player to access the latest trailers, exclusive content, and more!
pocket BLU™ App: The popular free pocket BLU™ app for smartphones is now even better with newly updated versions for iPad®, Android™ tablets, PC, and Macintosh computers, with features made especially to take advantage of the devices’ larger screens and high resolution displays.
Advanced Remote Control: A sleek, elegant new way to operate your Blu-ray™ player. Users can navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live™ functions with ease.
Video Timeline: Users can easily bring up the video timeline, allowing them to instantly access any point in the film.
Mobile-To-Go: Users can unlock a selection of bonus content with their Blu-ray™ discs to save to their device or to stream from anywhere there is a Wi-Fi network, enabling them to enjoy content on the go, anytime, anywhere.
Browse Titles: Users will have access to a complete list of pocket BLU™-enabled titles available and coming to Blu-ray™. They can view free previews and see what additional content is available to unlock on their device.
Keyboard: Entering data is fast and easy with your device’s intuitive keyboard.
And with UNIVERSAL’S SECOND SCREEN, viewers can enjoy an innovative and interactive viewing experience, that allows them to control, interact and explore Cowboys & Aliens with groundbreaking new features right on a networked tablet or computer, in synchronization with the movie on the television screen! While the movie plays, experience features such as:
Flick View: Interact with the movie, move content from the Tablet to the TV screen, and compare storyboards, animatics, and other executing content by “Flicking” them from on their tablet to their TV screen, simply by gesturing their fingers upwards on their tablets.
Scene Explorer: Viewers select various progressions of the same scene including storyboards, pre-visualizations and behind-the-scenes.
Behind the Scenes: Viewers get an all access look at the making of the film featuring interviews with cast and crew.
Storyboards: Viewers will be able to take a closer look at the storyboards created for some of the amazing sequences in the film.
3D Models: Viewers can take a look at the aliens and otherworldly gadgets in Cowboys & Aliens by the touch or swipe of their fingers. You can move the models in a 360 degree view, get tech specs and more.
It’s 1873 when gunslinger Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) awakens in the Arizona desert with no memory of his past and a mysterious metal shackle encircling his wrist. Stumbling into the nearby town of Absolution, Lonergan discovers a tightly closed community that takes its orders from the iron-fisted Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) — and Dolarhyde has a bone to pick with Lonergan. But the colonel’s influence wanes when the desolate city is attacked by monsters that drop from the sky with blinding force and abduct the helpless townsfolk one by one. As Lonergan’s memory slowly returns, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force. With the help of mysterious beauty Ella (Olivia Wilde), he assembles a posse comprised of former opponents: townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors. United against a common enemy, they prepare for an epic showdown for survival.
CAST AND FILMMAKERS:
Cast: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Adam Beach, Paul Dano, Noah Ringer, Keith Carradine, Clancy Brown, Ana de la Reguera
Directed By: Jon Favreau
Screenplay By: Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman & Damon Lindelof and Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby
Screen Story By: Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Steve Oedekerk
Based on Platinum Studios’ “Cowboys and Aliens” By: Scott Mitchell Rosenberg
Produced By: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Scott Mitchell Rosenberg
Executive Producers: Steven Spielberg, Jon Favreau, Denis L. Stewart, Bobby Cohen, Randy Greenberg, Ryan Kavanaugh
Director of Photography: Matthew Libatique, ASC
Production Designer: Scott Chambliss
Edited By: Dan Lebental ACE, Jim May
Costume Designer: Mary Zophres
Special Makeup and Animatronics: Shane Mahan
Visual Effects Supervisor: Roger Guyett
Co-Producers: Chris Wade, Dan Forcey, Karen Gilchrist
Music By: Harry Gregson-Williams
Casting By: Sarah Halley Finn CSA
TECHNICAL INFORMATION BLU-RAY™:
Street Date: December 6, 2011
Copyright: 2011 Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Selection Number: 2017328
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen 2.40:1
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of western and sci-fi action and violence, some partial nudity and a brief crude reference
Languages/Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French Subtitles
Sound: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/DVS 2.0, French and Spanish DTS Surround 5.1
Run Time: 1 hour, 59 minutes (theatrical); 2 hour, 16 minutes (extended)
TECHNICAL INFORMATION DVD
Street Date: December 6, 2011
Copyright: 2011 Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Selection Number: Layers: Dual
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of western and sci-fi action and violence, some partial nudity and a brief crude reference
Languages/Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish Subtitles
Sound: English, French and Spanish 5.1
Run Time: 1 hour, 59 minutes
This Week in Star Trek :
William Shatner’s Documentary “The Captains” Available For Streaming On Netflix; With Hidden Awesomeness
So I was cruising Netflix tonight, searching for Chuck Norris’s The Delta Force (no lie!) and I stumbled upon William Shatner’s documentary The Captains on Watch Instantly. You know the one; it features interviews with all six Star Trek captains… Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula, and Chris Pine. Oh, and The Shat, of course. I’ve been meaning to sit down and watch The Captains since release back in July, but I just simply haven’t made the time. Now that I have, here are a few takeaways; First, Patrick Stewart seems to be one of the most thoughtful and eloquent actors in the history of the stage, Kate Mulgrew is tough-as-nails and can hold her own with anyone, Avery Brooks is down right crazy & amazing all at the same time, Scott Bakula is extremely down-to-earth, and Chris Pine IS William Shatner 30 years younger. And on top of that, Patrick Stewart’s chair is gigantically disproportionate to Shatner’s.
The Captains is definitely worth a watch. I had a blast reliving Vegas Khhaaan! 2010, seeing the Hilton during the last Trek con to grace its fading halls. I also got to see brief images of many of my Vegas friends and a sneak peak of the behind-the-scenes area at Creation’s shindig. Then suddenly, like a fleeting view of Sasquatch in a forest clearing… There I was… facing down The Shat. Literally milliseconds on screen…and you can finally catch a glimpse of the other side of this picture, that I shot…
The similarities are striking…
This completely made my night.
Check out The Captains, streaming now on Netflix.
SciFi Five at Five:
Scott: My 5 Forgotten Yet Impacting Novels.
1. Andre Norton – The Time Trader Series
2. Isaac Asimov – The Foundation Series (not Trilogy)
3. Larry Niven – Ringworld
4. Andre Norton – Daybreak 2250
5. Geoff Conklin – Invaders of Earth