March 30, 2009

LOST: Untangled at ABC.com



LOST at ABC

March 18, 2009

MHP + DISCOVERY CHANNEL = ALASKA WEEK 2009


The latest from Moore Huntley. Make sure to look for me in the credit too! Below is the press release for Discovery Channel's "Alaska Week" programming, which our show is part of.

ALASKA WEEK – EXPLORING AMERICA'S LAST FRONTIER
Released by Discovery
[NOTE: The following article is a press release issued by the aforementioned network and/or company. Any errors, typos, etc. are attributed to the original author. The release is reproduced solely for the dissemination of the enclosed information.]

ALASKA WEEK EXPLORING AMERICA'S LAST FRONTIER
-- DISCOVERY CHANNEL WORLD PREMIERE EVERY NIGHT AT 9 PM ET/PT BEGINNING SUNDAY, APRIL 12 --
(Silver Spring, Md) Alaska has long been known as America's last frontier. It is twice the size of Texas, and its mountain ranges, forests and tundra offer some of the largest stretches of wilderness, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. However, wild predators, violent storms, and below freezing temperatures make Alaska a very dangerous place to live, and explain why so much of the land has yet to be explored. Starting Sunday, April 12, at 9 PM, Discovery Channel's ALASKA WEEK will bring viewers as close as imaginably possible to exploring the breadth and depth of this vast terrain that has intrigued so many people for so many years.

The harsh climate and wonderful wildlife of the state will be highlighted in specials, including UNTAMED ALASKA, ALASKA: MOST EXTREME, ARTIC ROUGHNECKS and BEAR ATTACK!

Also highlighted in this year's ALASKA WEEK is the premiere of ARCTIC ROUGHNECKS. The series delves into the dangerous lives of the men who drive the CATCO- an all terrain vehicle that can go where mere trucks could never go, deep into the frozen tundra of Alaska's North Slope. There are no roads in this remote and uninhabitable region 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle and work can only be accomplished during a brief window in which the tundra is frozen solid. Hauling fuel, freight and equipment, CATCO drivers risk their lives to brave some of the hardest weather conditions and terrain on earth.
In addition ALASKA WEEK features special episodes of Discovery Channel's popular series DIRTY JOBS and MYTHBUSTERS. In the DIRTY JOBS Alaska episode Mike Rowe takes a look at the art of sled dog mushing and what it takes to breed, train and care for the Alaskan Huskies involved in this state's official sport.

For the MYTHBUSTERS team it's time to test whether it gets so cold that your urine will freeze before it hits the ground, and was the Pycrete, a mythical Alaskan boat, actually real. And of course ALASKA WEEK would not be complete without the Emmy-winning DEADLIEST CATCH, now in it's fifth season.

Rounding out ALASKA WEEK is the return of OUT OF THE WILD: THE ALASKA EXPERIMENT. Nine ordinary people are dropped into the Alaskan wilderness and must test their basic survival skills as well as their mental and physical limits to see if they can survive and make it back to civilization before the Alaskan winter sets in.

Starting March 30, visit www.discovery.com/alaskaweek for more information about Discovery Channel's Alaska Week.

About Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel (DSC) is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which reaches 98.1 million viewers in the US, can be seen in over 170 countries, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visit www.discovery.com.

About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world's number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Planet Green, Investigation Discovery and HD Theater, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including HowStuffWorks.com. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.

Alaska Week 2009 Premiere Program Descriptions
ALASKA WEEK, premiering Sunday, April 12 at 9PM ET/PT, features eight all-new programs that will transport viewers to one of the most unforgiving environments on the planet. See perilous encounters with wildlife caught on tape, watch roughnecks working Alaska's notorious North Slope drilling and transporting oil, join nine strangers as they hike the frozen interior in search of civilization and return to the Bering Sea with the infamous crab fishermen who earn a living cheating death.
ALASKA WEEK premiere programs include (all times ET/PT):

DIRTY JOBS
Sunday, April 12 at 9 PM
Host Mike Rowe travels to Big Lake, Alaska and pays a visit to Happy Trails Kennels to discover what it takes to breed and train Alaskan Huskies for sled dog work. He takes on the daily task of cleaning the dogs' living area and feeding them with a special blend of ground meat and hot water. He then hits the trail to learn the art of sled dog mushing.

BEAR ATTACK!
Friday, April 12 at 10 PM
In a harrowing six-week time period, three people were mauled by a bear near Anchorage, and many more Alaskans have had dangerously close bear encounters. Could one aggressive bear be responsible for all these attacks? And what is causing bears and humans to face off in more urban encounters? Using forensics, technology, and even DNA analysis, researchers launch an investigation into these incidents. Also hear from the victims who relive their lucky escapes.

ARCTIC ROUGHNECKS
Monday, April 13 at 9 PM
Roads. Who needs them? Enter the CATCO: a hard-chargin', take-no-prisoner, all-terrain vehicle that's more tank than truck. Hauling fuel, freight, and equipment in the farthest reaches of the Alaskan North, these trucks and the battle-hardened men who drive them, literally live on the edge of civilization in some of the hardest weather and terrain on Earth. ARCTIC ROUGHNECKS will follow these Alaskan workhorses and the hardworking crew who operate them as they brave blizzards, white-out conditions, and extreme temperatures.

DEADLIEST CATCH
Tuesday, April 14 at 9 PM
The seas are rougher, the stakes are higher and the intensity has never been stronger when the 2008 King crab season opens. All eyes points to 53 52' North / 166 31' West: Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Captains Sig Hansen (Northwestern), Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand (Time Bandit), Phil Harris (Cornelia Marie) and Keith Colburn (Wizard) are all back for another season of crab fishing. But storms -- personal, natural and financial--are brewing. Keith and Phil have ominous health symptoms. Nerves are raw, as the two men await medical test results -- and their doctors' clearance to fish. As the fleet launches into the icy Bering Sea, the captains are under huge financial pressure from costly summer boat repairs. If they want to recoup their money, they'll need to crab fast and crab big.

OUT OF THE WILD: THE ALASKA EXPERIMENT
Tuesday, April 14 at 10 PM
In September 2008, nine amateur hikers, campers and outdoor enthusiasts put their lives on hold to take on the opportunity, and challenge, of a lifetime. After a three-day crash course in basic survival skills, including how to shoot a gun, skin an animal and start a fire without matches, the volunteers were flown to Ttsusena Lake in the rugged Alaskan interior. There they were given the first piece of a rudimentary map (additional pieces were given to the team along the route), a compass and a few basic tools and told to hike to civilizationbefore the harsh winter weather sets in.

MYTHBUSTERS
Wednesday, April 15 at 9 PM
The MythBusters pack up their sleds, their brass monkeys and their explosives, as the whole team heads north to test some Alaskan myths. Can it get so cold that your urine freezes before it hits the ground? Will a golf ball go further if you tee-off on a frozen lake? And is the Pycrete, a mythical Alaskan boat, actually real?

ALASKA : MOST EXTREME
Thursday, April 16 at 9PM
Everything is extreme in Alaska: the weather and climate that make each day a new and often menacing adventure; the ways in which many Alaskans earn a living; and the basic skills that everyone must learn and know simply to survive in this harsh environment.

UNTAMED ALASKA
Sunday, April 17 at 9 PM
Predators like the Grizzly Bear and Gray Wolf roam over 50 million acres of Alaskan wilderness. Temperatures drop to 100 degrees below and the coastline is battered by freezing storms and giant waves. All this makes life a very, very dangerous place for many of Alaska's half a million residents. Dramatic "caught-on-tape" footage, interviews with eye witnesses and experts, and CGI showcase this perilous world.

March 15, 2009

JONNY QUEST: The Movie


So, after a near millennia of gestation, "Jonny Quest" is finally headed to the big screen. Thank Hanna and Barbera!
Now, I know this is not the white hot property that most of Hollywood is looking for. And quite frankly, like "Watchmen" this may be for a core fanbase of loyal Jonny fans.

BUT - I think that there is a great opportunity to bring in a new, younger generation of fans by casting newly kid-friendly Dwayne Johnson as Jonny's body guard, Roger "Race" Bannon. He'll be re-teaming with director Andy Flickman (The Game Plan & Race to Witch Mountain), which is a good thing. I thought "The Game Plan" was thoroughly enjoyable and I'm looking forward to "Witch Mountain", an older Disney franchise that I remember fondly. Now for all you "High School Musical" haters (and fans) the rumor is that Zac Efron is being cast as Jonny himself. 17 year old heart throb plays 11 year old adventurer... talk amongst yourselves. OK, so cast Tim Matheson as Dr. Quest, get a real dog to play Bandit and maybe toss in Dev Patel as Hadji, and we got a movie!

There's gonna be a lot of hair dye on the set to be sure. With Race's vivid, white GI Joe hair cut, Jonny's primary yellow do and the red-headed Dr. Quest, the makeup department is gonna be busy. (NO, I don't really think they're gonna dye Jonny's hair yellow!)

Concerns? Sure. Can you say "Speed Racer", "Thunderbirds"? Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, meet Roger "Race" Bannon.

March 9, 2009

ARE YOU WATCHING THE “WATCHMEN”?


Do you care if you’re watching? My guess is no, you don’t. I personally found the film fun, entertaining and worth the $30.00 I spent on IMAX tix for Ryan and myself. But I immediately recognized that this movie, most likely, will only please those of us who have read the source material – the Moore & Gibbons 1986 comic series. It is not for everyone.

Zack Snyder (300) does his best to compress a years worth of comic books, covering how many sub-plots? Five, six, more? Into a mere 2 hours and 43 minutes. A super-human feat that proves impossible and impractical. The mythology and back story are so dense, you need to have a pause button and the graphic novel next to you to makes heads or tails of some of the very heavy and sometimes far out stories. Lost for sure is the spectre of the countdown-to-midnight of the doomsday clock. The script is unable to convey the seriousness of impending nuclear war as it has to wrestle with the murder mystery/hero rebirth/love triangle plot lines.

Now, don’t be a hater and don’t get me wrong - it is a cool movie that is both visually stunning and pleasing to the ears (I was pleasantly surprised by the soundtrack). My favorite parts of the movie are the tease/opening credits, and the prison riot sequence.

The opening credits are beautiful vignettes, like living photographs - moving in slow motion - that replace about an hours worth of exposition, getting you up to speed on who our heroes are and why their world is the way it is. The prison riot (lifted practically verbatim from the comic) is the best choreographed and edited sequence of the film. Snyder’s judicious use of slow motion and the comic’s dark humor are both served perfectly.

While some critics have bristled at Rorschach’s voiceovers, I like ‘em. They are in tune with their comic roots and I love a good noir. Jackie Earle Haley’s voice is raspy and gravel-laden. Combine it with the perfect costume and a frightening physical resemblance to the comic’s Rorschach, they add up to the stand out performance of a very large cast.

I’m not even going to get into the cutting of key comic elements or the new ending written for the film. C’mon gang, let’s be adults here, it wouldn’t be Hollywood if some suit (or hack, or whomever) didn’t tinker with the story at some point right?

Kudos to the cinematography of Larry Fong (300, LOST), the look of the film is a color-saturated, dirty noir. This alternate universe New York City is grimy, frightening and just plain skeevy. Visually the film is able to convey the feeling of desperation and loneliness far better than the comic did. I will be very shocked if “Watchmen” doesn’t show up at the Oscars and take home some technical awards.

And for those fanboys (and girls) who have kept up with comics over the past few years, you will see the birthplace of the popular: Marvel “Civil War” and DC “Identity Crisis” comic epics.

Hugh Hart at Wired magazine said: …so what, exactly, has Snyder wrought? An ambitious, bloody yet strangely bloodless R-rated movie that lacks something in its soul.

I agree.

Let’s give “Watchmen” a B on the old report card, and simultaneously recommend that you read before you rent.

WATCHMEN Movie

WATCHMEN Graphic Novel

WIRED review