Of course the big entertainment news is the passing of TV legend Dick Clark. Of course the conspiracy theorists are already saying that it doesn’t matter if our New Year’s Eve icon passed away because according to the Mayan calendar there will not be a New Year’s Eve because the world is going to end December 22, 2012. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Jonathan Frid, the actor who played the original Barnabas Collins on vampire soap opera Dark Shadows died at age 87. We are hoping it wasn’t because he saw the ridiculous trailer for the new Johnny Depp/Tim Burton adaptation of Dark Shadows. Although it was hotly anticipated by fans of the original show, it turns out this new version is more of a comedy spoof of the original than a real remake. We are highly disappointed and not amused at all. However the good news is Amazon.com is now selling a 131 disc DVD collection of every episode of the classic TV show in a box set for a retail price of $599 but you can pre-order it now for a mere $419.99! Comes complete with its own coffin shaped box.
I went to see Titanic 3-D last week. After a very disappointing 3-D conversion for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace I was a little bit skeptical about Titanic but it was absolutely amazing. The very best 2-D to 3-D conversion I’ve ever seen. When Rose is hanging off the back of the ship and Jack is saving her from her suicide attempt the depth of 3-D really adds to the drama of the scene. In the scene when Jack joins the upper crust of high society for dinner I really felt like I was sitting around the table with all of those people. And dancing below decks with the people in steerage and the claustrophobic feeling of the lower decks really comes alive. Even during the fastest and most complicated action sequences that 3-D held up perfectly. And in one of the final scenes as Rose clings to a piece of wood and says her goodbyes to Jack, a small lock of hair quivers back and forth rapidly as she shivers. The computer that does the conversion to 3-D has to track that little string of hair perfectly to maintain the 3-D effect and it does so flawlessly. After watching Star Wars I noticed that some of the scenes that should look good in 3-D were not shot in such a way that a 3-D conversion would make them look good. But after watching Titanic it looks like James Cameron was really thinking in 3-D way before the technology was available to shoot good 3-D or convert it. His entire style of filmmaking even in this older 2-D effort really shows his awareness of the third dimension in framing and choosing his shots. This week at CinemaCon, a Vegas convention that brings together movie producers and theater owners, directors Martin Scorsese and Ang Lee told theater owners that 3-D is the future of their business. Scorsese went on to say all of his films will be in 3-D from now on. He will not shoot 2-D anymore. Also from CinemaCon IMAX debuted a prototype of a new laser projector that produces brighter, sharper images on larger screens and the brightness extends all the way to the corners of the images. There are still some technical details to work out and concerns about the safety if somehow the laser shines directly into someone’s eyes. But they are using different kinds of lasers that are used in traditional laser light shows or rock concerts where those concerns originally came up and eventually became regulated. One more bit of new Cinema technology… Peter Jackson demonstrated some footage from his upcoming 3-D feature The Hobbit and it was projected at 48 frames per second as opposed to the traditional 24 frames per second. This provides a much smoother and more lifelike image especially on large screens. When I upgraded my TV from regular HDTV at 30 frames per second to a newer model it 120 or 240 frames per second I saw a visible difference in picture quality. If 48 frames per second ever becomes the standard we can work for amazing reality in movie imagery. Sadly 48 frames laser IMAX is still a few years away.
And now for a bunch of other entertainment news leading you into the May sweeps period. Lots of season finales and season ending cliffhangers to talk about.
In the links below read about…
Interview with producers of Ringer promises cliffhanger and three deaths!
Ask Ausiello spoilers for April 18
Preview of season 2 of Showtime’s serious Homeland to premiere in September
Interview with Supernatural’s Jim Beaver about the ghostly return of his character
Preview of remaining episodes of various Fox series
Ask Ausiello spoilers for April 24
Review of final storylines for this season of Grey’s Anatomy
Trailer for new Disney XD series “Tron: Uprising”
Very cool publicity photo of Anthony Hopkins portraying Alfred Hitchcock in an upcoming movie
Peter Jackson previews Hobbit footage at 48 frames per second rather than traditional 24. Makes movies look more realistic.
Prototype of new IMAX laser projector debuted. Promises bigger brighter screens.
Not in the links below but also of interest
Cyndi Lauper will guest star again on Bones as psychic Avalon Harmonia
Bree Turner who plays spy shop proprietress Rosalie has been promoted to series regular starting next season
Royal Pains returns June 6, Burn Notice June 14, White-Collar July 10
Supergirl to appear on White-Collar Smallville alumna Laura Vandervoort will guest star in an upcoming episode
American Horror Story season 2 will take place in an insane asylum. Voice judge Adam Levine will guest star on some episodes
The title of the final episode of House is “Everybody Dies” makes you stop and think
NBC has ordered a new series starring former friend Matthew Perry
Jennifer Morrison, Amber Tamblyn and Olivia Wilde will return for the series finale of House
Ryan Seacrest has signed up for another season of American Idol rumors say it’s two-year deal
ABC family network has renewed Lying Game for season 2
Alec Baldwin says he is returning to 30 Rock and according to him next season will be the shows last
This week’s winner of the “Chris Young’s Sure Sign of the Coming Apocalypse Award” goes to NBC for ordering a new Howie Mandel game show called “White Elephant”
Runner-up for the above award goes to a casting Lindsay Lohan to play Elizabeth Taylor in upcoming biopic
The Bachelor has been sued because it no longer casts African-American actors/participants
Fox news has signed Bill O’Reilly and Shawn Hannity to extended contracts
Martha Stewart will have a cooking show on PBS in the fall
Stephen King’s “Eyes of the Dragon” is in development as a movie or miniseries for SyFy Channel
Bill Maher has signed a two-year extension with HBO
True Blood author Charlene Harris has sold a mystery series to SyFy Channel
Former “Roman” Ray Stevenson who played Titus Pullo on HBO will have a prominent role in the next season of Dexter
SyFy Channel announced a new reality series “Hot Set” that is a spinoff from its makeup reality competition show “Face Off”. This one is for Hollywood production designers who have to create movie sets.
New HBO series Veep starring Julia Louis Dreyfus is getting decent ratings. I’ve seen one episode in if you like very dry political humor recommended. Think of it as West Wing written by Jerry Seinfeld. Although this show isn’t written by Seinfeld but you get my point.
Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter is doing a documentary on discovery channel about American outlaws
A new documentary titled “The Beatles: The Lost Concert” will debut May 17. Includes a complete Washington DC performance from February 11, 1964.