Friday, February 27, 2009

Other Stuff...

As the Hollywood Reporter noted in an article on Wednesday, I'm furiously tickling the keyboard on a feature project for DreamWorks Pictures called "Quatermain." I'm reluctant to reveal plot details, except to say it's big, live action and would not be outside the wheel-well for fans of, say, Battlestar Galactica. There's no CONNECTION to Battlestar, just saying it's hopefully got a little of that mojo...

Posting has been light because I am busy on all fronts and really can't think of anything to say. That's why films about writers are usually about everything except writing... a guy sitting at a computer for hours on end just doesn't make for scintillating drama. To give you some idea of how much time I've been spending at the keys, while working I load my CD collection into i-tunes so I can download everything into my i-pod for my listening pleasure. I'm up to almost 1200 albums now, or over 80 days of straight listening pleasure.

(Correction: I hadn't checked my i-pod stats in awhile. I'm actually up to 214 solid days of music, almost 20,000 songs. Thank goodness for the 160GB i-pod!)

Movie wise, I finally caught the new Friday The 13th redo. I am an unapologetic Jason fan (I actually wrote a script for Freddy VS Jason way back when), but I dunno, this one just didn't capture the elan of the earlier movies for me. (My favorite is still Friday Part VI, Jason Lives... it had gore, one of the kids from Welcome Back Kotter was disemboweled in the teaser, and there was loads of iconic Jason action.) But since the new one's made an insane amount of money, I guess it's another instance of "Mark not knowing what the hell he's talking about." (I did think the trailer for the Last House On The Left remake looked pretty hot.)

TONIGHT on Battlestar Galactica...

"Someone to Watch Over Me", written by Bradley Thompson & David Weddle, directed by Michael Nankin. Somebody's tickling the ivories on Galactica and giving Kara Thrace the whim-whams. Also, what to do about a problem called "Boomer?" Seriously, folks, it's a good one -- and the best way to see it is on Sci-Fi Channel, 10:00PM on Fridays!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fangoria (and others) Heart MY NAME IS BRUCE DVD!

The man, the movie, the LEGEND! Fangoria lays it out for you...

And the fine folks at joblo...

The greatness continues at...

Friday, February 20, 2009


I went to the cast and crew screening of the soon-to-TV and DVD Caprica pilot last night, and while it would be premature and uncool to offer an actual review at this point, I don't think anyone will mind if I say -- it was pretty darn great. Thought provoking, compelling, with great performances across the board. Fans of science fiction and fans of good drama are in for a real treat...

TONIGHT on Battlestar Galactica, as the final episodes of the final season wind down... "Deadfall." Guess who's back on Galactica causing, well, "problems?" (If you guessed Boxey, BZZZZ, you lose.) FRIDAY NIGHT at 10PM on the SCI-FI Channel!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Catching Up...

I was so swamped last week I neglected to note last Friday's episode of Battlestar Galactica, "No Exit," written by Ryan Mottesherd. If you're into the mythology of BSG, I hope you caught it, because it provided an extenuated answer to a lot of questions about the whole Cylon thang.

Coming this MONDAY, 2/16, the next episode of Heroes, "Building 26", written by Rob Fresco. More intrigue is revealed as the plot to capture (well, recapture) our Heroes continues. Rob and I teamed up for an episode coming later in the season, he's a good guy and he's written a good show!

On the movie front, while busy writing some of my own, I took a late evening off and saw Taken with Liam Neeson. If you liked Transporter or The Professional, you'll probably get into this thriller. Neeson plays an extremely capable ex-CIA type who gets seriously hacked off when white slavers kidnap his teenage daughter. In a part that Charles Bronson would have played thirty years ago, Neeson radiates intelligence while kicking all sorts of scum-freak ass. There are a couple of big gimmes (Neeson's escape from certain death is especially "fortunate") but it's "fun" in that action movie/thriller/bad guys gotta die sort of way...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

MY NAME IS BRUCE Turns 68...

Well, it's #68 on Amazon's best seller list today. #4 in the horror genre. #1 in the "movies with the word Bruce in the title" genre.

What this means is that my goal to get a Bruce DVD in the hands of every man, woman and child in the United States (and the subsequent residuals into my wallet) is falling woefully short. But we're doing pretty well. The DVD (and Blu-ray) are the pick of the week at the gloriously wonderful DVD PLANET outlet, too. Come on, folks, Twilight, Smilight, you need you some good ol' Bruce!

And here, I'll help with these easy to use links!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Bruce Campbell, a big monster, a pretty girl, dumb laughs and a sleazy talent agent. What else could you want from a movie? My Name Is Bruce finally hits the digital realm today in both DVD and Blu-Ray editions. Since the movie was shot in high-def, I'm curious myself about the Blu-Ray edition -- clips I've seen look amazing.

It's #147 at Amazon this morning. #8 in the horror genre. Not to oversell it or anything, but every decent American should immediately purchase a copy for their collection. Because it's THAT GOOD!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

HEROES on Monday 2/9- "Trust And Blood"

Part Two of the Fugitives storyline. Written by yours truly, directed by Allan Arkush, expertly acted by a great ensemble cast. Our heroes face dangers and travail in the wake of Nathan Petrelli's "round 'em up" initiative. And Sylar gets medieval in the pursuit of his real Papa...

If you've been watching Heroes all along, get ready for more excitement. If you're just joining the show, you picked a great time to join up! MONDAY NIGHT at 9:00PM on NBC!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Evolution Of An Idea, BSG Style...

First, there are SPOILERS below if you haven't yet seen Battlestar episodes "The Oath" and "Blood On The Scales."

SPOILERS. See the episodes before reading.

All clear? Great.

There's been some discussion in the ether about how shows evolve, occasionally punctuated with the criticism that the writers and producers are "making it up as they go." That meme strikes me as bizarre. Of course we make it up as we go, that's what writing is all about. In the case of BSG we always had a destination in mind, but there was plenty of room for inspiration and mid-course correction, based on a myriad of factors.

A small case in point occurred during the breaking and writing of the episodes "Oath" and "Blood On The Scales." While writing the script for "The Oath", it struck me that it might be interesting/dramatic if one of our main characters suffered a dramatic set-back in the course of the mutiny. The moment wasn't in the outline, but as I was writing I considered adding a beat where Col. Tigh was shot and badly wounded during the scene when he and Adama confront the Marines escorting them to the brig.

Sometimes on BSG you could just give this sort of thing a try, but blasting a character like Tigh had ramifications for other episodes (obviously), so I checked in with Ron Moore before actually doing it. He understood the impulse to up the tension and to create even more stakes for Adama, but he felt Tigh had been through so much (eyeball gouged out, poisoned own wife, discovered he was a Cylon) that shooting him would have been overkill. But the idea of having one of the final five seriously wounded? That idea stuck...

And so poor Samuel T. Anders wound up being "shot in the cabeza" (as the scene was described in the writer's room) in "Blood On The Scales." And that plot development... well, now we're getting into spoilers for episodes that haven't aired yet.

Anyway, I guess you could call that "making it up as you go", since there was no long term diagram mapping out these exact plot points, but regardless of when we came up with it, it wound up germinating and becoming organic to the story we were trying to tell. And if the entire season had been somehow "thought through" in advance, it may never have happened. I guarantee that Ron, David Eick and all the writers can point to similar moments of inspiration that weren't in any uber-plan but wound up taking us down interesting paths regardless...

And that's what makes the job fun! I would hate trying to write for a show where every little beat was etched in stone before I arrived. Coming up with this stuff is the exciting part!

Friday, February 06, 2009

TONIGHT On Battlestar Galactica...

"Blood On The Scales." So there's been this mutiny, and things are getting a little crazy on Galactica... if you think everyone will come to their senses and link arms for a communal group hug, you haven't been watching BSG for long! There is blood, metaphorical scales and, if you look closely, the beginning of a story-line for a pivotal character that will go in some truly unexpected directions...


Thursday, February 05, 2009

All SORTS of Reviews of "The Oath"

The good folks at Galactica Sitrep have collated the amazingly great reviews for "The Oath" in one easy to follow compilation. As I've blogged before, this was my last writing effort for Battlestar Galactica, so it's nice to go out with an episode that engendered such a positive reaction. (Having enjoyed the occasional "less than" positive reaction, I can say definitively this is better.)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Tonight On HEROES!!

"A Clear And Present Danger." A new and very intense "Fugitives" arc begins. Our guys are just getting their lives back to a semblance of normal when trouble ensues. Family ties are tested, old friends are challenged and characters you thought you knew are driven to emotional places they've never been before. If you haven't been watching, it's a great place to start, if you have, prepare for some wild twists and turns.

Mondays at 9:00 PM on NBC! Watch it in high def if you can! Standard def if you can't! But watch it!

And next week, "Trust And Blood" by yours truly.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Sepinwall Reviews "The Oath."

Alan Sepinwall has been reviewing all the episodes, this is another perceptive (i.e., he liked it) review...

Well THAT Was Fun! Battlestar at the Bagdad...

I managed to zip up to Portland Oregon last Friday evening, where I enjoyed Friday's episode of Battlestar Galactica, "The Oath", at the Bagdad Theater with 600-ish intense fans. I knew these guys were serious when I arrived an hour before the show and there was a line at least a block long of folks waiting to get in.

Radio guys Cort & Fat Boy were incredibly gracious hosts, and the audience was fantastic. It was really cool to hear the cheers and spontaneous applause when Starbuck went on the offense, and the screams when "To Be Continued" appeared were amazing.

After the show I answered questions and offered some backstage trivia about the episode. Some of the same info can be found in the interview I did with Mo Ryan at the Chicago Tribune, at I'm told the session was video-taped so it may end up online at some point.

As we left the theater a bunch of fans drove past yelling "we love you!", and believe me, writers in television don't get that very often! Anyhow, it was a great way to see the show, and thanks again to all the great folks in Portland!