ALERT: Star Trek Sequel In 3D Release Date Announced

Yeah... Not Quite.

Deadline is reporting that the opening day of the sequel to the 2009 J.J. Abrams mega-hit Star Trek has been announced as May 17, 2013 and the film will be in 3D.  The second Trek film helmed by Abrams will include the entire cast of the first film that successfully rebooted what was considered a dead franchise.  Sony had moved Roland Emmerich’s Singularity from that coveted early summer opening weekend to November 1, 2013, thus opening the door for Paramount to slide their Star Trek sequel in there with minimal competition.

Over the summer, we wrote extensively regarding the delays involving the production of the film, specifically how busy the writers and Abrams have been with other projects.  We are certainly glad that the ball has gotten rolling, finally.

EXCLUSIVE: New Trailer Released For Star Trek: The Next Generation Remastered On Blu-Ray

Last month we provided the inside scoop on the upcoming release of Star Trek: The Next Generation Remastered which will be out on Blu-ray in 2012.  Today, we are thrilled to present this brand new trailer that was just released showing off some of the amazing work being done for this beloved series.  Enjoy!

Don’t forget, the three episode sampler, Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Next Level will be available in January 2012!

 

REVIEW: Prime Suspect – (NBC – Thursday, 10:00 p.m.)

Based on the critically acclaimed British television series of the same name, “Prime Suspect” has been redeveloped for American audiences by writer Alexandra Cunningham (“Desperate Housewives,” “NYPD Blue”), director Peter Berg (NBC’s “Friday Night Lights”) — and stars Maria Bello (“A History of Violence”) as tough-as-nails Detective Jane Timoney. Timoney finds that being a homicide detective in New York City is tough enough and having to contend with a male-dominated police department to get respect makes it that much tougher. She’s an outsider who has just transferred to a new precinct dominated by an impenetrable clique of a boys’ club. Timoney has her own vices too — with a questionable past — and she tends to be forceful, rude and reckless. But she’s also a brilliant cop who keeps her eye on one thing: the prime suspect. – NBC

80 out of 100

DISCLAIMER: The ‘Tastic, through our continuing efforts to be relevant, will not be reviewing, rating or otherwise judging this show in comparison to its BBC predecessor. They aren’t the same show and it’s embarrassing for us to see critic and fan reviews that take this route which they seem to do for every flippin’ show that crosses the pond.

Regular readers of The ‘Tastic know that we have a long list of types of shows that we simply hate and ranking high on that list is the police procedural.  They are all the same (which is why they’re referred to as procedurals… duh) and it’s incredibly rare that any of them really stand out from one another.  And then there’s NBC’s Prime Suspect which is really one of the best procedurals we’ve seen in years.

Why is it working where most others fail?  Well, we think that part of it comes down to a relatability factor with the characters.  All of the detectives seem more like people you would know in your neighborhood and family with all of the regular personality and ego quirks normally associated with familiar acquaintances.

But the key to this show’s success, quality-wise, is actually the investigations themselves and Bello’s honest portrayal of Jane Timoney, the no-nonsense detective that the show centers on. Timoney is a flawed character, but she’s very good and has a keen intuition and is very down to earth.    Many police procedurals try to portray their lead-character detectives as superheroes, seeing things that  no one else would ever possibly see because of their keen intellect or special ability that puts them a step above their colleagues (e.g., CSI, Unforgettable, The Mentalist, Numb3rs, etc).  Prime Suspect doesn’t waste the audience’s time with this and in fact, it goes out of its way to show that Timoney is human and does make mistakes and is dependent on the other detectives, whether she likes it or not.

Speaking of the other detectives, the supporting cast of this show is an all-star lineup of veteran film and television actors that complement Timoney perfectly partly because some of them don’t even like her, yet.  With a lineup that includes Aidan Quinn (Legends of the Fall, and many, many others), Kirk Acevedo (Fringe, Oz, Band of Brothers), Brían F. O’Byrne (Brotherhood, FlashForward) and Tim Griffin (known as “the actor who is in everything” for good reason) this show really can’t do much wrong.

One of the problems we often have with police procedurals is of course, the formulaic and procedural nature to them which lends itself to having no emotional attachment to the victim.  This is a failing of procedurals and over the years it seems that producers just stopped caring.  What’s one more dead guy, right? Prime Suspect breaks out of this by avoiding the common pitfalls associated with the genre.  There aren’t always going to be twists, misdirection and mistaken identity on Prime Suspect.  Sometimes it’s just a straight-up investigation and yes, the spouse did do it.  Any police officer or detective will tell you that criminal investigations are rarely as complex as portrayed on Dateline, 48 Hours or the myriad of police procedurals on television (most cops hate police procedurals). However, there’s always a story and subtext to any investigation and this is what Prime Suspect exploits very effectively and by doing so, the audience has no choice but to be sympathetic to the characters (especially the victims) and in spite of the fact this is a police procedural, you are sucked into the narrative.

It’s very rare, to the point of nigh-impossible, that a police procedural made us misty-eyed over one of its victims.  This one did last week when the victim was a five year-old boy whose alcoholic/pill-popping mother was hungover and hit his head against the wall and he died two hours later at school. Throughout the entire episode they kept showing his little body covered on a table in the medical examiner’s office.  If you have kids, that’s the some hard-hitting stuff and they were so subtle about doing it that it worked brilliantly as a plot device.

There’s only one aspect to the show that we can do without and that is that we don’t give a sh*t about how much of a total lunatic bitch her husband’s ex-wife is.  We don’t mind the interaction with Timoney’s own family (her father and her sister, in particular) because it serves  to develop her character but the scenes involving the husband’s ex do nothing to advance the plot, in fact they are a drain on every episode and the time could be better spent on other areas… like watching Timoney get a cleaning at the dentist.  They are so bad as to make you want to turn off the damned show whenever they start.  Also, the trailer above really is embarrassing because it cheapens just how good this show is.

Realistic and gritty, all in all, Prime Suspect is a great show and a surprisingly well-done police procedural.

You can watch full episodes of Prime Suspect, here.

REVIEW: Paranormal Activity 3

Via The Movie Bros.:

A malign and murderous spirit continues to dwell within a San Diego home in this second creepy sequel to 2007′s chilling Paranormal Activity. Hoping to catch photo evidence of Bloody Mary, the residents soon become victims in their own horror film.

60 out of 100

Yes, folks, here we go with another inevitable sequel in the “Paranormal Activity” canon of films. More “Found Footage” fodder for audiences to react to feverishly in darkened theaters. And though this entry does not quite reach the inventiveness that the previous films displayed it is not without its spooky merits.

The film is a Prequel and depicts other-worldy and paranormal events that involve the two sisters, Katie and Kristi, who have had supernatural events happen to them in the previous films. It is 1988 and the young sisters are living with their mother and step-dad. The step-dad is a wedding videographer that begins to place cameras around the home (using old VHS tapes) after some mysterious events occur. Kristi seems to be the catalyst of these strange happenings as she begins to talk to a spirit named “Toby.” Of course, no one believes her about “Toby” but the occurrences continue in the home. Suffice it to say, the film does depict some very creepy events as the story unfolds.

The set up is brief and we get to the goods right away. This is what is right with the film. We get the various camera shots of the house and the anticipation begins slowly and builds up nicely. We get strange noises, levitating children and ghostly images throughout, but we have been here before and sometimes the scares do not pay off like we want. It’s as if we know what’s coming and we aren’t so creeped out after it happens. There is the proper suspense and that works well. What we felt was a weakness was the climax which involved the girl’s grandmother who hides a strange secret. Though that subplot is terrifying, things get fuzzy as we witness an ending that clears up absolutely nothing. We are left with more questions than answers as to how everything we saw relates to the sisters. We get the shocking ending which is mildly effective and serves to only confuse. But I am nitpicking. The scares are abundant and the suspense is evident throughout. It serves to creep us out and entertain like most of the better “Found Footage” films.

EXCLUSIVE: First Look Trailer Of Roddenberry Productions’ Trek Nation

A couple of years ago at the 2008 Creation Entertainment Star Trek Convention, we had the pleasure of getting a first-look preview of about ten minutes of a documentary feature produced by Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry, Jr. (Roddenberry Productions), son of the late Gene Roddenberry, known the world over as the visionary creator of the Star Trek franchise.

Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry, Jr.

We were absolutely blown away by this very serious and cerebral approach to Trek Fandom as presented in Trek Nation,  because as much as we’ve always liked the Roger Nygard Trekkies documentaries, they were done a lot more tongue-in-cheek with kind of a “F*ck you! That’s right, I’m a Trek fan and I’m a big f*ckin’ geek and there are millions of us all over the world and we don’t care what you think!” mentality that understandably did bother some fans because they felt it perpetuated the worst stereotypes regarding Trek fandom.  While we admit that there is some of that, the truth is that Nygard’s intentions were always to portray Trek fandom as something that isn’t just a fringe movement but something universal that everyone can relate to.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Unfortunately, that message was kind of lost on a lot of people, both Trek fan and non-Trek fan alike, which is why what little we saw of Trek Nation three years ago was so refreshing in terms of documenting the true nature of Trek fandom, its cultural significance, as well as its impact on everything from technology to philosophy.  Moreover, it provides a window into an understanding of what actually drives the average Trek fan… and not just the guy who had his ears surgically altered to look like Spock’s, the guy who is retro-fitting his whole house with Jefferies Tubes, the guy who requested a vial of blood from James Doohan or the cross-dressing Science Fiction folk singer (which we find out during Trekkies is called “filking“).

SCROLL DOWN TO THE BOTTOM FOR THE ENTIRE FILM OF TREKKIES!

Trek Nation is a sincere and thoughtful approach to Trek fandom and today Roddenberry Productions released the first-look trailer for the feature-length documentary which will premiere on the Science Channel on November 30, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.

For more information about Trek Nation, here’s the official press release that was released in July by Discovery Communications:

Via Press Release:

Science and Star Trek Join Forces With Feature Length Roddenberry Documentary Trek Nation

TREK NATION Is produced by Star Trek Heir, Rod Roddenberry, and Roddenberry Entertainment set for release in 2011.

Silver Springs, MD (July 23, 2011) — With the 2011 Comic-Con International in San Diego as the backdrop, SCIENCE today announced its partnership with science fiction royalty, Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry, and Roddenberry Entertainment on the upcoming the feature-length special, TREK NATION, scheduled to air in fourth quarter 2011. TREK NATION explores the popularity and appeal of Star Trek through the man who created it all – the late Gene Roddenberry.

Rod will take SCIENCE audiences along with him as he explores his father’s work and the impact of his legacy that still resonates today. Through interviews with his most devoted fans, including George Lucas, J.J. Abrams, Stan Lee and many others, TREK NATION is the story of a son trying to learn more about his father by unraveling the intricacies of Star Trek.

The film demonstrates how Gene’s work not only captivated legions of fans across the globe, but also generated a movement which has influenced entertainment, politics, space travel, social morality and much more. Fostering a timeless understanding of the human condition and capturing man’s constant search for a better world defines everything that is TREK NATION.

“This project is very personal for me, as it literally documents my education on Star Trek, my father, and the Roddenberry legacy. Because of that, I can’t tell you how happy we are to have found a network that shares our vision for it,” said Rod Roddenberry “TREK NATION strikes a strong balance between exploring a science fiction phenomenon and relating a very universal story between a son and his father. I have every confidence that Star Trek fans and non-Star Trek fans alike are going to enjoy the film.”

“Star Trek isn’t just a television show; it is a global phenomenon, a way of life, which has shaped so many facets of how we define our world today,” said Debbie Adler Myers, general manager and executive vice president of SCIENCE. “We are honored to carry on the Roddenberry mission by continuing his legacy with TREK NATION.”

TREK NATION is produced for SCIENCE by Roddenberry Entertainment. Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry is an executive producer and Trevor Roth is a producer for Roddenberry Entertainment. Bernadette McDaid is vice president of production and executive producer for SCIENCE. New Animal Productions producer is Nicole Rittenmeyer and Scott Colthorp produces for Atmosphere Pictures.

About SCIENCE

SCIENCE, a division of Discovery Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), is home for the thought provocateur, the individual who is unafraid to ask the killer questions of “how” and “why not.” The network is a playground for those with audacious intellects and features programming willing to go beyond imagination to explore the unknown. Guided by curiosity, SCIENCE looks for innovation in mysterious new worlds as well as in its own backyard. SCIENCE and the SCIENCE HD simulcast reach more than 68 million U.S. households. The network also features high-traffic online and social media destinations, including ScienceChannel.com, facebook.com/Science Channel and twitter.com/Science Channel.

About Discovery Communications

Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world’s #1 nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in 210 countries and territories. Discovery is dedicated to satisfying curiosity through 130-plus worldwide television networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, SCIENCE and Investigation Discovery, as well as US joint venture networks OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, The Hub and 3net, the first 24-hour 3D network. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools and owns and operates a diversified portfolio of digital media services, including HowStuffWorks.com. For more information, please visit http://www.discoverycommunications.com.

About Roddenberry Entertainment

Roddenberry Entertainment is a science-fiction leader with a tradition of groundbreaking entertainment. Originally founded in 1967 by Gene Roddenberry, the company has since led a steady stable of science-fiction successes including Gene Roddenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict, Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda and, most notably, Star Trek. Roddenberry Entertainment continues to produce entertainment for all audiences, employing a viewer-centric creative process and resulting in insightful explorations of humanity. The company’s mission is to make good on its namesake’s promise of superior science-fiction while utilizing new and varied vehicles of delivery. Building on its television roots, this entertainment pioneer has also successfully ventured into graphic novels, documentaries, and comic strips, all the while continuing a long and unique tradition in quality merchandising. Roddenberry Entertainment has set itself apart by creating content that surpasses mere entertainment; it challenges its audiences to think, question and explore the world, as well as those beyond. For more information on Roddenberry Entertainment please visit http://www.Roddenberry.com Roddenberry Entertainment can also be found on Facebook (facebook.com/roddenberrycom) and Twitter (twitter.com/roddenberry).

AS PROMISED:

(To enjoy in Full-Screen, click on the DailyMotion logo in the lower right of the video to view the video on the DailyMotion site.)

REVIEW: Allen Gregory (FOX – Sunday, 8:30 p.m.)

ALLEN GREGORY is a new animated series that tells the story of one of the most pretentious 7-year-olds of our time.

When he looks in the mirror, ALLEN GREGORY DE LONGPRE (Jonah Hill, “Superbad,” “Get Him to the Greek”) doesn’t see a child. He sees a young man who is intelligent, sophisticated, worldly, artistic and romantic – characteristics he inherited from his doting father, RICHARD (French Stewart, “Private Practice,” “3rd Rock from the Sun”). The pair share an extraordinary father-son bond – a bond that is sometimes annoyingly interrupted by Richard’s life partner, JEREMY (Nat Faxon, THE CLEVELAND SHOW, “Reno 911!”), for whom Allen Gregory has minimal respect, if any at all. They live together in a stunning architectural loft, along with JULIE (Joy Osmanski, “Grey’s Anatomy”), Allen Gregory’s adopted Cambodian sister.

Although Allen Gregory has allegedly composed operas, written novels and dated Chloë Sevigny, he’s about to embark on his greatest challenge yet: leaving the safety of his father’s homeschooling and attending elementary school with children his own age. His journey will be a struggle, not only with the other kids at school, but with the faculty as well. Whether it’s the all-out rivalry with GINA WINTHROP (guest voice Leslie Mann, “Funny People”), his by-the-book second grade teacher; his unique relationship with JUDITH GOTTLIEB (guest voice Renée Taylor, “How I Met Your Mother”), his 68-year-old principal; or his desperate desire to be best friends with JOEL ZADAK (guest voice Jake Johnson, “Get Him to the Greek”), the school’s popular stud, Allen Gregory has his work cut out for him. With the help of his trusty friend and assistant, PATRICK VANDERWEEL (Cristina Pucelli, “Finley the Fire Engine”); and the support of SUPERINTENDENT STEWART ROSSMYRE (Will Forte, “Saturday Night Live”), who believes the De Longpres are a tremendous asset to the school, Allen Gregory won’t have to get his hands too dirty.

ALLEN GREGORY is about an outsider. And while he may put on a tough exterior, deep down, all Allen Gregory wants is to fit in. Well, that, and for Julie to run away and never be seen or heard from again. And Jeremy too.  – FOX

25 out of 100

Back in the Spring when we were discussing the state of FOX as a network and their programming, we mentioned two new animated series that were set to debut this season that we predicted for a variety of reasons would be absolute failures just based on their show descriptions and how limited the episode orders from FOX were.  The first was Napoleon Dynamite for obvious reasons (hasn’t been relevant for seven years, wasn’t that funny to begin with, etc.) and the second was Allen Gregory which just sounded like it was going to suck.  We surmised that the reason that FOX committed to  another two seasons of American Dad, renewed Bob’s Burgers as quickly as they did and are still on the hunt for more prime-time animated fare was that they had about as  much faith in their two new Animation Domination offerings as we did.

Then we were inundated all Fall, particularly during the MLB postseason, with trailers for Allen Gregory and even we had to concede that it looked pretty funny.  Well, we should have gone with our gut on this one.  Allen Gregory is pretty awful and there really is no fixing it because it was created as an awful piece of crap from the start.

Allen Gregory is a show that’s trying too hard to be funny and it is failing miserably. The show is an unvarnished rip-off of other shows, particularly Seth MacFarlane shows. Could they be a little more obvious with making the lead character a bad copy of Stewie Griffin in a suit?  It’s so blatant as to be offensive to anyone with an IQ above 70.  It’s literally like Jonah Hill himself said, “Gee, Stewie Griffin would be a whole sh*tload funnier if I wrote his dialogue and did the voice.”  We’ve got news for Jonah: he wouldn’t be and it’s beyond arrogant to think that having a string of mild successes as an actor playing buffoonish characters qualifies you to create and produce a prime-time animated series on the network that created the format.

In all honesty, to put it bluntly, Jonah Hill sucks all the way around and we’re sick of him even more so than The Movie Bros. is sick of his cohort in all of his dopey movies, Michael Cera, but for all the same reasons.  He’s a one-trick pony and he plays the same damned character in every role he has.  Unlike Cera, who just inevitably plays the awkward, clumsy, mumbling, albeit, likable teenager, Hill regularly plays the role of the annoying, foul-mouthed, arrogant and condescending prick and the role of Allen Gregory is no exception which is the biggest problem with his character and all of these characters: you just don’t like them.

The Blonde Guy From 'Fargo' Knows How To Deal With Allen Gregory

We often discuss the need for a show to have relatable characters in order to find success with audiences and with Allen Gregory, the characters aren’t only completely unrelatable but they are absolutely unlikable, which is an issue that The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Family Guy and American Dad have never had. As whacky as the characters on those shows are, they are at least relatable and you root for them. Not so with Allen Gregory, in fact, you really want to see this kid and every other character on the show get tossed into a wood chipper.

They All Do It, Some Shows Just Do It Better Than Others.

The truth is that most animated series rip-off characters from another series, but a show can get away with that if they can manage to produce a unique show with well-developed characters and clever writing despite any similarities to other characters from another series. Fans of The Simpsons have complained for years that Family Guy ripped off The Simpsons as far as characters are concerned (and plotlines of some episodes… but we’re here to tell you that they are both guilty of that) and we don’t think that there’s any question that there’s some merit to that charge but the characters on both shows are so different and the format, style and writing of Family Guy is so unique that it makes any similarities between characters irrelevant.  The same goes for the comparisons to Family Guy and American Dad. Same producers, same types of characters, similar jokes… completely different show in style and format.

Allen Gregory just can’t effectively separate itself from the obvious criticism of recycled characters because the show is a mess everywhere else especially with the awful storylines that don’t go anywhere and don’t make you laugh.  We actually found ourselves actively rooting against Allen Gregory in both episodes we saw. That’s a bad sign when you are rooting against the protagonist.  Finally, the fact is that the whole show reeks of Jonah Hill. Simply put, the show, like all of the characters that Jonah Hill plays, is a condescending, arrogant prick towards its audience and we hope audiences turn away from this like they should have with Bob’s Burgers.

Watch full episodes of Allen Gregory here, on FOX‘s pageor alternatively here, on VuReel.

REVIEW: The Walking Dead (AMC – Sunday, 9:00 p.m.)

Based on one of the most successful and popular comic books of all time, written by Robert Kirkman, AMC’s The Walking Dead captures the ongoing human drama following a zombie apocalypse. The series follows a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln (Love ActuallyTeachersStrike Back), who are traveling in search of a safe and secure home. However, instead of the zombies, it is the living who remain that truly become the walking dead. Jon Bernthal (The PacificThe Ghost Writer) plays Shane Walsh, Rick’s sheriff’s department partner before the apocalypse, and Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break), is Rick’s wife, Lori Grimes. – AMC

90 out 100

Season one focuses on Deputy Rick Grimes played so earnestly and believably by Andrew Lincoln who was shot and ends up in a coma for an undetermined amount of time. He wakes up à la 28 Days Later utterly alone in an abandoned hospital, and it to make matters worse, the world is overrun with zombies. Grimes leaves the hospital only to discovers that his wife and son are missing. Rick goes back to police headquarters and arms himself. After hearing a rumor from Morgan (another survivor) and his son that the CDC is said to have set up a quarantined safe-zone in the Atalnta, he starts a journey to the city to search for his family, as he believes they may be hiding there. During his quest, Rick comes upon all the devastation left by the the walking dead and their victims. Upon reaching Atlanta, he soon discovers that the city is overrun and is no longer safe.

A few miles outside Atlanta, Rick’s wife Lori and his son Carl have been hiding away from the walkers with Shane Walsh, Rick’s former colleague and best friend. They have established a camp with a diverse group of survivors from around the country. After being rescued from Atlanta by Glen, who gets Rick out of a tank surrounded by walkers is reunited with Lori and Carl. Rick then assumes a command position with Shane and must take responsibility not only for his family but also for the survival of the entire group. Some of the group members go back into Atlanta to recover weapons, where they come into conflict with some other survivors (The “Vatos”), but Rick soon diplomatically eases all the tension. However, upon their return to their camp, they find it has been nearly overrun by walkers. Hoping to find medical treatment for an injured member, the remainder decide to return to Atlanta and seek aid from the CDC.

Meanwhile back at the CDC, all but one staff member (the sympathetic Dr. Edwin Jenner) have fled or been killed themselves. Dr. Jenner explains his research into the cause of the plague which even involves his late wife as a test subject who has been infected by the infection. But unfortunately the CDC building is not the safe haven the group believed. The next day, during all the hangovers and an attempted rape, the lack of fuel for the generators causes certain safety protocols to be initiated, which will result in the destruction of the CDC. Dr. Jenner explains that the French may have found a cure, as they were the only nation whose scientists stayed in their labs. Dr. Jenner and one of the group members select to stay in the CDC even though the damaged protocols mean an impending explosion. Before the group flees, Dr. Jenner whispers something unknown into Rick’s ear. The group escapes just as Jenner and one other survivor is killed by the building’s self-destruct sequence. It is a gripping and intense ending to the season.

Well paced, shot and acted, The Walking Dead is full of dynamic interplay by cast and crew just like the comics which never cease to amaze. It is an excellent commentary on humanity and how we have the ability to destroy ourselves but at the same time are capable of incredible compassion and self-sacrifice. Don’t miss this incredible drama!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is a link to one of our favorite sites, VuReel.com, and all of the currently available episodes.  Normally we’d hook you up with the Hulu or AMC link but for some reason, AMC is not putting episodes up on their site or anywhere else.  VuReel is a nifty little site that will probably be shut down by the studios eventually but until then, you can enjoy a lot of good television shows streaming in flash, with no risk of viruses or your broadband provider threatening you on behalf of the content providers.

The Walking Dead on VuReel.com