Monday, December 27, 2010

The Usual Suspects – Jan-Feb, 2011

The Usual Suspects are a group of movie buffs that meet weekly for the newest (or as close as they can get when you have a double release) genre film. Join them at the Aksarben Cinema every Saturday for the last matinee showing of the day. It will be a great time and a wonderful chance to talk about the film you have just seen and others you may or may not have enjoyed. Below is their January and February schedule for 2011:

January 1, 20011 - Black Swan (Psychological Thriller)

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Screenwriter: Mark Heyman, John McLaughlin
Starring: Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder


Nina, a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her retired ballerina mother Erica who zealously supports her daughter's professional ambition. When artistic director Thomas Leroy decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily, who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side with a recklessness that threatens to destroy her.


January 8, 2011 – Season of the Witch (Adventure, Drama, Fantasy)

Director: Dominic Sena
Writer: Bragi F. Schut
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman and Claire Foy

14th-century knights transport a suspected witch to a monastery, where monks deduce her powers could be the source of the Black Plague.


January 15, 2011 – The Green Hornet (Action, Crime, Thriller)

Director: Michel Gondry
Writer: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, George W. Trendle
Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou and Christoph Waltz

By night, debonair newspaper publisher Britt Reid fights crime as a masked superhero known as The Green Hornet. At his side is martial arts expert Kato.


January 22, 2011 - The Way Back

Director: Peter Weir
Writer: Keith R. Clarke, Peter Weir, Slavomir Rawicz
Starring: Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, and Colin Farrell

A fact-based story centered on soldiers who escaped from a Siberian gulag in 1940.


January 29, 2011 – The Mechanic (Action, Drama, Thriller)

Director: Simon West
Writer: Richard Wenk and Lewis John Carlino

Starring: Jason Statham, Ben Foster and Donald Sutherland

An elite hit man as he teaches his trade to an apprentice who has a connection to one of his previous victims.

February 5, 2011 – Sanctum (Action, Adventure, Drama)

Alister Grierson
Writer: John Garvin, Andrew Wight
Starring: Rhys Wakefield, Allison Cratchley and Christopher Baker

An underwater cave diving team experiences a life-threatening crisis during an expedition to the unexplored and least accessible cave system in the world.

February 12, 2011 – The Eagle (Drama)

Kevin Macdonald
Writer: Jeremy Brock
Starring: Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell and Donald Sutherland

In Roman-ruled Britain, a young Roman soldier endeavors to honor his father's memory by finding his lost legion's golden emblem.

February 19, 2011 – I Am Number Four (Action, Sci Fi)

D.J. Caruso
Writer: Alfred Gough Miles Millar and Marti Noxon
Starring: Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant and Dianna Agron

John is an extraordinary teen, masking his true identity and passing as a typical high school student to elude a deadly enemy seeking to destroy him. Three like him have already been killed ... he is Number Four.

February 25, 2011 – Drive Angry (Action, Thriller)

Patrick Lussier
Writer: Todd Farmer, Patrick Lussier
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard and William Fichtner

A vengeful father chases after the men who killed his daughter.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The 2011 OSFES Book Discussion Group Reading List

In case you haven't heard, OSFES is sponsoring a book discussion meeting once a month at the Borders on 72nd & Dodge. We have a table set up on the second floor and we meet at 6PM the third Tuesday of each month. Reminders of this event are available on the Omaha_Sci-Fi_Fantasy_Discussions Yahoo group, I encourage you to join this group.

January 18th:

Primary - The Last World War, by Dayton Ward

Alternate - Star Trek: Troublesome Minds, by Dave Galanter

February 15th:

Primary - Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris

Alternate - The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar

March 15th:

Your choice - any Science Fiction title

April 19th:

Primary - Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey

Alternate - The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

May 17th:

Your choice - any title to an OSFest guest, past or present

June 21st:

Primary - On Basilisk Station by David Weber

Alternate - Off Armageddon Reef by David Weber


Off for OSFest 4.0 System Upgrade

August 16th:

Primary - The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

Alternate - Gone by Michael Grant

September 20th:

Primary - Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Alternate - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

October 18th:

Your choice - Any horror or "scary" title (meaning, whatever scares you, your


November 15th:

Primary - The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse by Robert Rankin

Alternate - The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman


Off for the Holidays

Friday, December 17, 2010

R.I.P.: Stargate Universe

Below are a series of 5 tweets from the Syfy channel about the cancellation of Stargate Universe:

  • Announcement today: Syfy will end its original action-adventure series Stargate Universe when the show returns with the final ...
  • 10 episodes of its second season in the Spring of 2011. The Stargate franchise -- consisting of Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis...
  • and Stargate Universe -- has aired on Syfy since 2002. Syfy has a slate of new scripted projects lined up for 2011 including ...
  • the series premiere of Being Human on January 17, the recently green lit one-hour drama series Alphas and the much anticipated...
  • Battlestar prequel pilot movie, Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome. Warehouse 13, Eureka & Haven will also return w/new seasons next year

Another take on this situation can be found on John Scali's blog: Whatever. Having worked with the show he knows a little about what is going on. And I have to agree with his reasoning for why this happened.

At one time Friday night was the death knell for a television series, look at how many Fox series were sent there to die. Then the SciFi Channel worked hard to build that time block into something SF fans would come to and watch. Now the Syfy Channel has turned it into Friday night wrestling and sent the shows they premiered there off to the four corners of the week. I know I find it hard to adapt to an ever changing schedule, missing a lot of the shows I used to watch when they moved to Tuesday (the night PBS airs NOVA). Because of this, I find myself more and more waiting for the DVD collection to come out and watch it then (without commercials and bottom of the screen nonsense), which of course, as John pointed out, doesn't help a show's ratings. So how can we let the corporate suits making the decisions know what we want to watch, if we don't want to use their calendar by using DVRs, Hulu, and DVD releases?

Another option is to do what anime series do. You get 13 or 26 episodes to tell your story arc and you need to wrap it up on your last episode. If your story needs longer, you negotiate that before you start production. Maybe then we will have fewer series end on a cliffhanger that never gets resolved.