KB: 360, 11.30.11 – Justified, Ender’s Game, and The Walking Dead

Mark your calendars now.  Justified is set to return on January 19th.  As you’ve probably heard, Carla Gugino is joining the cast as assistant director of U.S. Marshals who has some sort of history with Raylan.  Also joining the cast as new villains are Neal McDonough (Boomtown) and Mykelti Williamson (24).  Justified may not be the best show on TV right now but it is my favorite.  Teasers and more info here.

The star of Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, Asa Butterfield, has signed to star in the screen version of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game.  Also rumored, Harrision Ford.

A pretty good take-down of the first half of season 2 of The Walking Dead.  And here is someone willing to defend it at the risk of his own credibility.

Speaking of AMC, Michelle Forbes will be back for season 2 of The Killing.  Expect her to cry and yell at her husband some more.

JJ Abrams’ new show, Alcatraz, is set to premiere in January on Fox.  New promo here.  I’ll give it a shot.

A&E has launched a new website, DarkScoreStories.com, to accompany their Stephen King miniseries, Bag of Bones.  Premieres Dec. 11th.

Christian Bale says Dark Knight Rises will be his last as Batman.

Gary Oldman might finally get that elusive Oscar nomination (can’t believe he’s never received one) for his starring role in John Le Carre’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.  It might be the one movie I’m looking forward to the most this holiday season.

Spotify is looking for help from developers and blogs (hint, hint) to help extend its reach.

12 thoughts on “KB: 360, 11.30.11 – Justified, Ender’s Game, and The Walking Dead

  1. Huh. I hadn’t even known Enders Game was back on in the production. I have my doubts they’ll be able to bring it to the screen well. But it should be interesting. I’m especially dubious about its chances given that the director’s last action styled movie was Wolverine which had horribly directed action sequences. Honestly there’s nothing in his history that makes me think he’ll do a good job on this.

    At least Wolfgang Petersen, who had previously been listed as director on the fairly troubled project had a pretty good corpus behind him. (Admittedly in recent years he’s done some stinkers – one suspect purely for the money) Interestingly he’s now listed as doing a movie adaptation of Old Man’s War – an other interesting popular science fiction book. It’ll be his first film since that horrible Poseidon remake.

    I’m really curious about Alcatraz although the other JJ Abrams show this fall didn’t end up amounting to much.

    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy has me intrigued, although I can’t imagine them topping the classic Alec Guiness mini series. Oldman is a fantastic actor who should have been nominated many times over by now. I’m glad he escaped being typecast as the villain of the blockbuster (although he plays crazy villain fantastically). I suspect Nolan had a lot to do with that when Oldman was cast as Comm. Gordon. (Surprisingly he still took a role like that in The Book of Eli)

  2. I’m going to go on record and risk my credibility here on this blog to say I agree with the defense of “The Walking Dead.”

  3. “I’m glad he escaped being typecast as the villain of the blockbuster (although he plays crazy villain fantastically).”

    None better than his role in “The Professional.”

  4. He was awesome in the Professional. I loved Romeo is Bleeding too. Although that’s a more nuanced crazy of a really corrupt cop in over his head.

    Regarding Walking Dead I think whether you think it a mess or not largely depends upon how sympathetic you find the characters. I don’t find them sympathetic in the least. I love the idea but the characters just suck in my opinion. (Contrast this with Lost where the characters – especially the villains like Ben – were so interesting)

  5. I have serious doubts about Ender’s Game as a movie. There are three huge risks:

    1. Finding enough good young actors to populate the battle school.
    2. Filming the Battle Room sequences in a way that is convincing.
    3. How to film the “simulations” of the battles in the final stages of training. Are we going to watch them play video games? The alternative is to give the ending away early. Bean figures it out but my recollection is that none of the others do.

  6. Ender’s Game is about a young gamer who gets recruited by the government? Has anyone involved actually *read* the book?
    Also, that kid looks WAY too old to be Ender.

  7. What is interesting about The Walking Dead for those who have stuck with it, is that it has become about good characters becoming villains. Shane, in particular, is transforming this season.

    What I like about it is its unflinching willingness to take on the big ethical questions when humanity seems on the verge of extinction. In this way it reminds me of early Battlestar Galactica. Similarly, the walkers are, like the cylons, an enemy whose humanity is in debate. How you encounter an inhuman foe that wants to extinguish your kind, and how you fight that threat, and how that effects your own humanity, are great themes, and relevant to this day and age.

    It asks, like Breaking Bad does, how far is too far to go when you’re protecting the ones you love? And is it worth it, if it costs you your own soul?

    Sure, it’s soap operatic at times. But the alternative, non-stop zombie mayhem, would have bored me in a different way. This is a TV show, not a feature, so it must be built for a long, epic haul.

    Yes, the first half of this season creeped along, but that’s a real world characteristic of combat and crisis. Bad things can happen to us in slow and crushing ways in addition to fast and frenetic ways. Arguably, more often than not, that’s how bad things do happen to us.

    Personally, I think sympathy for characters is overrated. It is true that many of the characters are underdeveloped. That is a valid criticism of TWD. However, many of the greatest characters TV has offered us in the last decade: Tony Soprano, Walter White, Vic Mackey, Dexter Morgan, (I could go on and on), have been decidely unsympathetic.

  8. However, many of the greatest characters TV has offered us in the last decade: Tony Soprano, Walter White, Vic Mackey, Dexter Morgan, (I could go on and on), have been decidely unsympathetic.

    It’s a trend I dislike and I honestly couldn’t care less about any of the shows those characters are on.

    Non-stop zombie mayhem is what most people expected from the show and the lack of it is why I stopped watching. Why should I care about what happens to characters I don’t care about?

  9. “Why should I care about what happens to characters I don’t care about?”

    This is the key. Though it’s not so much that I need to care about them but that I care about what happens TO them. I wouldn’t care if any of the characters on the show died. I wouldn’t miss any of them as a character. As many critics have pointed out, this was supposedly the point of taking a break from the zombie mayhem, to get to know and develop these characters a bit more. That hasn’t happened at all.

    I think the theme they’re trying to develop about who is right for this world is an interesting and valid one but I think it’s largely fallen flat.

  10. Brian I think BSG illustrates the danger in this. In one sense drama is about character conflict. And often that’s more interesting than the straightforward conflicts about catching the bad guys or escaping some danger. However in BSG the characters went so far over the line that I stopped caring about most of them. (I still liked Adama but Baltar, Starbuck, and Apollo I started actively disliking)

  11. I think Archer begins it’s third season in January. There were three episodes in September, but they were more like wrapping up the second season. If you like Always Sunny, you’ll be mad you haven’t already seen Archer. If you don’t watch Always Sunny, that’s okay.. Archer is not Always Sunny. Get on board!

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