Tags: video

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Cool videos

Back in March I linked to a video of the Earth setting behind the moon from Japan's Selene probe. Here is another one of those things that really gets your 'sense of wonder' juices flowing: video (okay, technically an animation of many still images) of the Moon passing in front of the Earth. This was taken from about 50 31 million miles by Nasa's Deep Impact probe, which is all finished with its primary cometary mission and is hanging around the solar system drinking beer and spraying graffiti on asteroids until its next comet turns up.



More details, and an infrared version in which the continents are more visible, at the Nasa site.

And finally...



After tomorrow Dr. Horrible becomes paid download only, so get your fix now.

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Trailers

Assorted movie trailers:

Watchmen. The trailer is a strange mix of extremely faithful images, overly stylised slow-mo and slightly unreal visual effects. I think I sorta like it. (EDIT: now working.)

Outlander. A spaceman crashes in an ancient norse village while hunting an alien creature. The Vikings do battle. The Vikings are led by John Hurt... ...I *know*. I may have finally lost my grip on reality but this looks really entertaining, in a "Vikings vs. Predator by way of Chronicles of Riddick" way.

Terminator Salvation. This looks surprisingly promising for an unnecessary sequel, but really it's just a mixture of Christian Bale and some images taken wildly out of context. A teaser trailer in other words.

Quantum of Solace. Hmm. Could be good. I loved Casino Royale, and it feels a bit strange saying this about one of the longest-running movie franchises in history, but it remains to be seen if they can catch lightning in a bottle a second time.

Oh and of course not forgetting:


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Dr. Horrible, Attempt #2

It's available again!

Having now seen Act One I can confirm that it is not, in fact, rubbish. It's rather droll, in fact. I don't often refer to things as droll - it makes me sound like a sardonic butler - but droll it is. Also, funny and with catchy songs. It takes a bit of time getting started, but it's generally an extremely likeable, extremely silly bit of TV streaming online media content. And Neil Patrick Harris is just great.

Dublin

Culture

David Simon was interviewed about The Wire on tonight's Culture Show. It was very much a primer for the show for UK types so there were no specific spoilers. Nothing he hasn't said many times before, but it was still nice to see the show getting some exposure on UK television. This edition of The Culture Show is repeated at about 11.20 p.m. on Thursday on BBC2 if you're interested.

They also premiered this highly amusing animated cat cartoon, from Simon Toefield, the man who brought you the equally amusing animated short of the cat trying to wake up its owner.

EDIT: ajr beat me to it.

EDIT EDIT: In fact, don't wait, watch extra bits from the David Simon interview on the BBC website right now. So much extra stuff it must clock in about the same length as the actual interview.

EDIT EDIT EDIT: And here's the aired interview to watch online too.

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Dr. Horrible

It's available!



Well, Act I is available. Act II comes out on Thursday, Act III on Saturday, and then after Sunday it disappears and you can only download for a nominal free (or buy the eventual DVD).

This is Joss Whedon's free, streaming, internet-only supervillan musical, which Joss explains far less coherently but more amusingly in his evil Master Plan.

My only caveat is that I haven't actually watched it yet. For all I know it's rubbish.

EDIT: This is on the Facebook and Myspace sites:

We've officially crashed

We love you for crashing the site, we really do.
In the meantime, those of you who have iTunes capabilities can go there and get your fix. Our site should be up and running again in a few hours.
Your support is warming our hearts and kicking our asses. So thank you thank you.

Joss Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon, and Zack Whedon

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Miscellania

Tom McRae "guests" on the new single by Wills and the Willing, Lipstick. This seems to mean that he wrote and performed all his bits of the song --which are excellent-- based on hearing the rap parts --which are terrible. You can hear the whole song on their myspace page. Tom is also performing on Jonathan Ross's Radio 2 show tomorrow, which will presumably be available on the 'listen again' feature for the coming week. Finally, here is a very good summary and set of interviews with the Tom McRae / Hotel Cafe tour.

Meanwhile have some Star Wars Strictly Come Dancing. The best bit is Darth Vader and the Stormtroopers at the end.

And Harry Knowles has seen some scenes from J.J. Abrams's Star Trek film. It's not out for a year, but this is the first thing I've read to get me actually excited about it.

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Media things

A quite nice X Files 2 poster. Apparently they're still haggling with the studio over what the film will be called. I don't mind "The X Files 2" personally. It's been so long since the first one they don't really need a subtitle, and anything is better than "Fight the Future".

The director of the fourth Terminator film, which is having title troubles of its own, seems to imply that they'll be trying to keep its timeline straight with that of the very decent TV show The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Nice idea, although frankly since that series may or may not run for several years who knows where it might end up and how it may end up contradicting things? Despite the continuing absence of James Cameron (which arguably hamstrung T3), Christian Bale is on board for the film and there's talk of making a Batman-style fresh start, which bodes well.

Incidentally the Sarah Connor series has some kind of tangential viral marketing site, EniTech labs, that seems to have little to do with the actual show but ties in strongly with the Teminator franchise as a whole. Frankly I couldn't be bothered to plough through all the dodgily acted videos/webisodes but the last one does feature some cool Killer Robot Action.

Ronald D. Moore reckons they've taken the opportunity afforded by the writer's strike hiatus to retool the second half of Galactica season 4 (spoilers in the link for those who haven't seen the S3 finale). This either means that we'll feel the benefit of forward planning that blessed the first half of Season 2 or, more likely on the evidence of recent storylines, that important threads will fizzle into nothing while major events and character arcs will suddenly erupt out of nowhere.

Battlestar Galactica's Helo is one of the stars of famed misogynist (just kidding) Joss Whedon's Dollhouse.

Meanwhile Moore and fellow Galactica producer David "Not the one who thinks the Queen is a lizard" Eick have been given the greenlight on their strangely dull-sounding Galactica prequel Caprica. I wish I could summon up any interest in this but I can't.

Eick is also writing the pilot of a TV show based on Children of Men. Sounds like a terrible idea given how good the film was, but from the brief comments he makes it seems it will be based more on the book and the social aspects of having no future for mankind. So it may not suck.

And finally... J Michael Straczynski In Good Script Shock. Specifically his movie script for World War Z, apparently.

Tomb

Who

Nice cinema trailer for new Doctor Who, Season 4 here. It still has Catherine Tate in it, sadly. There's only so long I can remain in denial about her. It also has some significant returning faces, and various nice shots of Rome, Ood and Sontarans. Oh, and Bernard Cribbins. Quite well done, all told.

We've been continuing to watch various old Doctor Who stories recently, with mixed success. I mentioned last time how much I enjoyed Tom Baker's debut story 'Robot'. Sadly 'Planet of Evil' from the following year is less impressive.1 The setting is atmospheric, especially the weird alien jungle, but it just lacks the necessary character banter from the Doctor to lift the so-so plot. Likewise Pertwee's debut story 'Spearhead from Space' manages to be simultaneously snappily edited and draggingly slow, which is disappointing. Even the Autons can't really lift it from tedium.

We then progressed to the 'Beneath the Surface' box set. 'The Silurians', despite being very long, is consistently entertaining with good characterisation, decent location filming, Fulton Mackay, Geoffrey Palmer and a vague attempt at moral complexity. Okay the Silurians themselves look crap and the young, headstrong one has a hilarious voice but otherwise it works very well. The sequel tale 'The Sea Devils' is less good but still quite enjoyable. You can't go too far wrong with Roger Delgado and Sea Devils, and in true Pertwee fashion the story is stuffed to the gills (geddit?) with location filming and speedboat chases. The end of the -ahem- "trilogy", Davison's 'Warriors of the Deep' is both better and worse than I remembered. Better in that it was a tiny bit less polystyrene than I recalled, but worse in that the Silurian and Sea Devil dialogue is nothing but undiluted exposition and cliche of the worst kind, delivered at about four words per minute. "Soon.. we.. will.. have... our... revenge..." kind of stuff. (Also, why are the Silurians calling themselves Silurians when we know from 'The Sea Devils' that it was a misnomer? And why do they talk about "Our Sea Devil brothers"? Don't they have a name other than a pejorative nickname some sailors slapped on them in the 1970s?)

I'm enjoying old Who overall but it's a very hit and miss experience. My boss's 6 year old boy was apparently sat down in front of an old Tom Baker episode recently and immediately started complaining that the monster looked fake. Sign of the times.

--
1 Although a few moments gave me powerful deja vu from watching the show in the 1970s, and from reading the novelisation -- it's surprising how often that happens. Those novelisations were a big part of my childhood.