Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Few More BRUCE-arific REVIEWS!

The Awesome Badness folks find much to love in My Name Is Bruce:



When "My Name Is Bruce" comes together, it really works well, and a couple of times it had me rolling on the floor laughing...the part where we get to watch "Bruce" filming "Cave Alien 2" is priceless...and look out for Ted Raimi’s Chinese accent. The film functions as both a likeable horror comedy for the general public and one long slow wink for the fans, and does so in such a manner that one does not interfere with the enjoyment of the other...no small feat.

Taken as a whole, "My Name Is Bruce" the kind of fun movies USED to be back in the eighties when home video was first helping low-budget horror take over the world, before everything became CGI-ed to death. It’s a big, fat, silly good time at the movies. You got a problem with that, mouth breather?

This next fellow takes greeeeeat umbrage at the New York Times for daring to diss the Bruce... and this is only part one of his tirade! Go for it, buddy!



If a film is made, and without a single shred of doubt, is clearly created precisely to amuse (and simultaneously administer a loving backslap at) the admittedly goofy cultists of the Bruce Campbell camp (amongst whom Jen and I will forever firmly align ourselves), and then this film satisfies the bulk of them in some arcane fashion, is that not some small form of success, however downgraded some might consider it? Certainly I found some fault and one major annoyance within the film, but given that he filmed most of it on his own property on a relative micro-budget, and also given that the film is so purposefully shaggy and self-deprecating, I honestly could see that, if such a film were viewed by those largely unknowing of Campbell's talents, they might actually come to love the big lug like the rest of us. If, do to my cultism concerning Mr. Campbell, you think that perhaps I am not the best person to be judging anything he has created, then you are probably not aware of the main thrust of this blog, which is for myself to remain frightfully honest at all times in these pieces. This includes rating films like My Name Is Bruce appropriately and truthfully, despite my prejudices either for or against the creators of said film as I enter the theatre.

The Houston Press includes a review/interview with Bruce in their "Best Films Of 2008" section, which merits friggin' big time inclusion here whether it makes any sense or not!



My Name Is Bruce, however, ought to play better with the base, considering it was made just for (and about) them: Campbell plays himself as an over-the-hill, burned-out, alcoholic B-movie actor who is recruited by a rabid Evil Dead fan to save the day when an evil Chinese demon is accidentally unleashed upon a small town. "This is how I stay away from The Surreal Life," the director-star deadpans, "I just make movies about it. My Name Is Bruce is my worst nightmare come true. It's not a horror movie, but that to me is the true horror — if my career was like that, in the movie. I mean, it's close, but it's not that bad." Indeed not: Three shows booked for the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin sold out immediately.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Catching Up With Things...

TRAGEDY IN LAS VEGAS: Much to my horror, a recent visit to lovely Las Vegas was marred by the discovery that the MGM casinos (the Mirage, Bellagio, Luxor, etc.) have REMOVED THEIR WHEEL OF FORTUNE slot machines! I realize this may not rank as "tragedy" in any sane person's book, but I've been losing, I mean, "playing" Wheel Of Fortune for years and it's still one of my favorite machines. I managed to lose, I mean, "play" some other machines (a nice waitress pointed me at an especially liberal ersatz-Wheel game that proved to be a winnah) and I got a dose of Wheel at a non-MGM casino, but still... jeez.

TRAGEDY IN THE THEATER: I caught a screening of The Spirit. Yikes. I want to give every benefit of every doubt to Frank Miller, who has done great work in comics and helped create the movie versions of Sin City and 300, but this is a real misfire. Stylish as heck, but all in service of... not much. Something tells me Spirit 2 may be awhile in coming...

NON-TRAGEDY IN THE HOME VIDEO WORLD: Slumdog Millionaire really IS a great movie and highly recommended. How the producers were able to cajole "Do You Want To Be A Millionaire" to allow them to use their game show is one of those mysteries that I probably don't need answered. Frost/Nixon is fun, though Mark Evanier has an interesting perspective/debunking of some of the movie's points on his site. He wonders why David Frost is enthusiastically supporting a movie that presents him in a rather unfavorable light, and I have to agree... I don't recall there being this much angst over a mere "talk show host" getting the Nixon exit interviews back in the day, nor do I recall Frost being considering some airheaded doof who lucked into the project. That said, it's still fun!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Comics Reporter...

Just because I've never mentioned it and it absolutely deserves mention, folks vaguely interested in comics should check out Tom Spurgeon's "The Comics Reporter" blog. Tom regularly features news, interviews and other material that goes considerably deeper than the latest Marvel/DC news (though there's that too). He's got an interview with Fantagraphics publisher Kim Thompson up right now that is informative as always. I've added the url to the blogroll to the right, so check it out!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bit And Pieces...

I hope folks got a chance to catch Bruce Campbell during one of his appearances with My Name Is Bruce; his Q & A's have been flat out hilarious. Last night's edition at the Nuart Theater in Los Angeles (at one of three sold out screenings) was just great.

Curious about the television version of Timecop? No? Well, jeez, you don't have to be rude about it! For the rest, the fine folks at McFarland have just released "Science Fiction Television Series, 1990 - 2004", featuring a chapter about Timecop the series and an interview with yours truly. Timecop was my first television experience, memorable mostly in that I learned a lot. Or not much, depending on who you talk to.

Portland radio hosts Cort and Fat Boy are going to be presenting Battlestar Galactica on the big screen up in Portland for the duration of this last run, and I'll be flying up for "my" last episode of the show, "The Oath", which will play January 30th. I may do a Q & A and give away the finale (just kidding, Ron!) so if you're in Portland and interested in all things BSG, drop on by. It's at the Bagdad Theater (three blocks from one of the many rental houses I endured while living in Portland) and I'm sure there will be more mentions as the time draws nearer. I also did a radio interview with these guys a few days ago discussing BSG, Heroes, Bruce and whatever else felt "germane."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gee, Mark, Have You Been Reading The Los Angeles Times?

Why yes, not only did I once work for the august publication, I still read it! And here's a great interview with Bruce Campbell on the glory that IS My Name Is Bruce.


Speaking Of Lists!

Both Battlestar Galactica and Heroes made the Los Angeles Times list of "Best TV moments of 2008." BSG got the nod for finding Earth (or is it? I'm not telling!) and Heroes for the moment when Sylar took the top of poor Claire's head off and picked at her brain. Eww. But cool!

Speaking Of Bruce (in LOS ANGELES!)...

My Name Is Bruce begins its limited theatrical engagement in Los Angeles on Friday, Dec. 19, at the Nuart Theater in West L.A.! Bruce himself will be blabbling at several screenings. I'd say "come on out to the Friday 7:30PM show and say hi!", except it's already sold out. Don't know about the other screenings, but check the Nuart's website for ticket info! And don't MISS IT!

Variety LUVS My Name Is Bruce!!

I knew there was a reason I renewed my subscription! Variety truly hearts My Name Is Bruce.



Cheerfully embracing his status as cult B-movie genre megastar even as he sends it up, Bruce Campbell's sophomore directorial excursion, "My Name is Bruce," is a big in-joke of definite if limited appeal. Select theatrical dates (accompanied by the headliner's personal appearances) should nicely build genre-fan buzz for concurrent DVD release.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Newsweek On Battlestar...

A very interesting piece on Battlestar Galactica and the show's place in illuminating the post-911 era...


Bruce Takes Portland Oregon By STORM!

A literal storm... I flew into Portland last night to attend the un-reashing of MY NAME IS BRUCE on an unsuspecting sell-out crowd at the Fox Regal Theater, and a great time was had by all. Enjoyed dinner with Mr. Campbell pre-show at some semi-chi-chi Portland restaurant, discussing just about everything BUT the friggin' movie/TV business. Bruce was on the 15th or 16th city on his whirlwind tour, but you wouldn't have known it, as he kibitzed his way through a Q & A session post-screening. Afterward, enjoyed drinks with my old pal Stan, who plays "the guy at the table behind Bruce during the strip joint sequence" in the BRUCE film. Of course my star turn shoving money in the stripper's pants was cut... no respect, man, writers get NO respect...

The Portland weather reports were threatening all sorts of Biblical-level cold-front ice-storm disaster, but when I peeked out the hotel window at 7AM Sunday morning, there was nothing. So I fell back to sleep, secure that I'd be able to make my plane that afternoon. Woke up at 9AM and looked out at -- a whiteout! A blizzard had rolled in! Freeways were closing, wrecks were piling up, IT WAS ARMAGEDDON!! But I had cagily paid extra for liability coverage on the rented Ford Edge, so what the hell. Some icy slipping and sliding later, the airport loomed and what you know, despite the snow the flight left right on time. And I sat next to, of all people, Ed Asner (!).

This Friday, Dec. 19th, Bruce begins his Los Angeles appearance schedule with a run at the Nuart Theater. If you enjoy refined, sophisticated comedy... I'd find something else to see! But if you like down and dirty yucks the Bruce Campbell way, come on out!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The VERDICT is IN! Bruce is Aces!!

DVD Verdict gets all gooey on MY NAME IS BRUCE....



Campbell, as ever, gives 110 percent to the role. Playing himself as a bombastic, drunken, lecherous coward, Campbell seems comfortable mocking both himself and his career. It's this combination of self-depreciation and self-awareness that has always made Campbell such a likeable actor; here it acts as the channel for so much of the film's humor. The cowardly aspect, something that has been a great source of comedy since Campbell screamed like a woman in Evil Dead 2 is mined to great effect during the first half of the movie. Upon first encountering Guan Di, Campbell, who until that moment had assumed the whole thing was a joke, runs away in fear, leaving the folk of Gold Lick in his wake. Campbell's reaction is hilarious, as is the sight of him firing wildly in the direction of Guan Di, only to hit the fleeing townsfolk instead. Meanwhile a Rawhide gag early on is worth the price of admission alone.

Following his directorial debut with the 2005 stinker The Man With The Screaming Brain, Campbell shows a much more assured touch here, keeping the film far more focused on what is essential than the often scattershot Screaming Brain. There's no question Mark Verheiden's script is vital to the film's success, its relative simplicity helping to ensure the film maintains a consistent flow of gags and action. Clearly understanding both his subject and target audience, Verheiden lovingly sends up and celebrates the glory that is Campbell without ever coming close to ridiculing him.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jo-Blo And BRUCE...

Another incredibly perceptive (i.e., positive) review...



It takes a lot to look back on your career and shake your head in full view of a moviegoing audience, but Campbell pulls it off, and without making the whole affair feel like a dirge at that. My Name Is Bruce comes with energy to burn, bouncing off the walls with a steady stream of profanity and lowbrow gags that are all in good fun. Though his often zealous fans receive a good amount of ribbing, Campbell has saved the most savaging for himself. Name me any big-name Hollywood actor ready and willing to play himself as a drunkard who berates the handicapped and guzzles whiskey from his dog's bowl. There'll be winter advisory warnings in Hell before Sean Penn does that, but Campbell is loose enough to poke fun not only at himself but to hilariously play up the story's B-movie conventions. He's even brought some friends along for the party, as those putting in appearances include The Evil Dead's Ellen Sandweiss and Ted Raimi (brother of Sam), who appears in at least three roles, each one more stereotypical than the last.

My Name Is Bruce spends so much time lampooning terrible movies, viewers may forget that it's actually a pretty good one. There's plenty of humor and heart to go around, a self-aware silliness that translates into a much smarter picture than people will give it credit for. Bruce Campbell has made some stinkers in his time, but My Name Is Bruce is pure cinematic gold.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Speaking of Battlestar Galactica...

Sci-Fi's BSG update has been updated... in 13 minutes you get a snarky recap of the entire series to date. A lot to process, but for those in need of a refresher course, a fun look back.


Best Wedding Ever (Battlestar Style)...

BSG (now CSI) writer Bradley Thompson went and got hitched the other night, and he did so in grand style. The officiator was none other than Admiral Adama himself, Edward James Olmos, in a ceremony that concluded with a rousing "SO SAY WE ALL!" It was a great party and a blast to see so many members of the BSG cast and crew again. Reminding me that BSG will be back for the final episodes starting in January!

The first episode back, incidentally written by the self-same Mr. Thompson with his partner David Weddle, is one of the most riveting of the entire series. Much is revealed and there are some story turns that will leave viewers in shock. I'm talking big-time, gut-punch, "oh my God, did I just see that?" stuff. And it just rolls from there...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Horror Commentary Commentaries BRUCE!

My new favorite website...



Right off the bat I’ll say that people who’ve never heard of Bruce Campbell will be scratching their heads at this one. But that’s not who this is made for, this one’s for the hardcore fans. And they will experience all sorts of warm fuzzies watching Bruce do what Bruce does best, making an ass out of himself!! The script by veteran comics writer Mark Verheiden cleverly makes fun of Bruce and us fans without alienating us. It’s clear that Verheiden is a Campbell geek himself, and treats Bruce’s character with the respect he deserves, which, for these purposes, is none. A clever, campy, fun B-movie script perfect for the greatest B-movie actor of all time.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Huffington Post Huffs BRUCE!!

Sick of reviews yet? Too bad, 'cause I'm not!



Since I've never met the man, I cannot say if this jack-ass loser version of Bruce Campbell is accurate, but I'm guessing that it's an approximation of what he fears that he has become on his lowest days (stuck making the zero-budget Cave Alien 2, he hits on the leading lady, yells at his fans, and pushes a wheel-chair bound man into traffic). But Campbell has plenty of fun aping his screen persona and his life as a z-movie god. None of the remaining cast really stands out, but none of them particularly hinder the project either. The obvious lack of production values are actually a plus in a film like this, as the cheap special effects capture the goofy charm of a 1950s sci-fi adventure. There is no real plausibility to the proceedings, but I'll assume that wasn't the point (is there really any reason for young Jeff or eventually the townspeople to think that Bruce could help them?).

Collider Collides With Bruce!!

And the semi-raves just keep coming!



"My Name Is Bruce," as the title suggests, plays directly into the warm, sweaty hands of the fanboys who've turned Campbell into the own personal chainsaw-wielding, boomstick-carrying Fonz. Those causally walking by the film might not know who Campbell even is, but the picture assumes anyone sitting down to watch is a die-hard supporter, making the experience even more welcoming for the treehouse demographic. Here Campbell drinks "Shemp" liquor, owns a dog named "Sam 'n Rob," and passes out deodorant to his most loyal of unshowered fans. Campbell plays himself as a broken down blowhard, struggling through the production of "Cave Alien 2," barely accepting his divorce, and bearing the brunt of criticism from all sides. It's a twisted take on his own legend, but Campbell, always an actor of rich humor and comedic range, encourages the humiliation, making the world of Bruce Campbell something of living hell, albeit an amusing one.

BRUCE Gets Mugwumped!

I think this guy hated the movie, but he skewers it in such robust, sarcastic fashion, his work deserves mention for sheer creativity. Note that despite this sizable extract, the review itself is even LONGER...



The stupidity (Bruce spends much of the film thinking the monster scenario an elaborate birthday gift), the callousness (a too-inquisitive fan in a wheelchair gets kicked out of shot, the squeal of a vehicular collision sounding as Bruce departs) and the cowardice (when confronted with the reality of the monster Bruce immediately runs away, leaving the local population behind to fend for itself), all are core traits of Ash. On arrival in Gold Lick, the local fanfare gets spoiled as Bruce harangues them, cantankerously complaining and poking fun at the yokel alterity each presumes. Coarse words said against the mayor prompts young Jeff into admonishing Bruce, alerting him that it is the mayor his words are being directed at, to which Bruce hilariously replies,

“I don’t give a shit if he’s the king of kiss my ass!”

It’s genius of this stature that impels one to soar to the highest echelons of highfalutin praise in describing Bruce. Impossible to resist, the tendency gets realised too easily. Especially when Ash-style hysterics get rolled out so often. The twofold sense of awe and expectation expressed by the local crowd harkens back to the similar reaction of the medieval peasantry in Army of Darkness. There’s even a Sheila for Bruce to fawn over.

A history of cinema lives in My Name is Bruce. The obvious send-up of Bruce’s career is there, lovingly arranged on jazzy tendrils of hilarity. But there’s also an array of other allusions and inclusions. Making an appearance as Bruce’s ex-wife is Ellen Sandweiss who played Cheryl in the first Evil Dead (remember the amorous tree?). Dan Hicks, who in a former life was Jake in Evil Dead 2, plays a citizen of Gold Lick, and Timothy Patrick Quill, who was the blacksmith in Army of Darkness, plays his lover. Catchphrases from the past feature heavily, notably used to humorous effect such as when Jeff attempts to seduce a zesty nubile with the words “give me some sugar, baby.” Casual references to obscure films like Assault on Dome 4 also contribute to the creation of this marvellous bric-a-brac Bruce Campbell landscape.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Cynics Even Like Bruce!

That's right, it's the straight dope from Moviecynics.com...



The best part about this film is Bruce Campbell himself. You’d think some moron in Hollywood would have figured out that Bruce’s persona from The Evil Dead sells. Sadly, no one except for the man himself seems to realize that this is the only role that Campbell can play and be actually interesting. Campbell delivers corny lines left and right and even references himself throughout the film, quoting lines from his other movies and occasionally bashing himself and the movies he has made in the process. It’s Campbell’s slick combination of self-mockery and faux ego that makes the film work.

Film Fiend Not So Fiendish Toward BRUCE...

A short review, but a good one...



Most of the jokes, of course, are aimed directly at Campbell, who uses this oddball opportunity to poke fun at his rabid legion of pasty, basement-dwelling admirers, the proverbial Hollywood machine, and, most importantly, himself. Campbell pulls absolutely no punches when it comes to bashing his own body of work; Cave Alien, as mind-numbingly campy as it sounds, could easily be in development somewhere within the bowels of the Sci-Fi Channel's low-budget headquarters. My Name is Bruce marks a return to form for Campbell, proving once again why he's the undisputed king of B-grade silliness.

Critics Agree! * BRUCE Is Swell!

Another, umm, incredibly perceptive commentator...



In this meta-comedy, Campbell plays Bruce Campbell, an alcoholic dickwad living in a trailer, suffering through a divorce, and showing up on the sets of direct-to-video shit in order to make alimony payments. (The actual Bruce Campbell is married with kids, and his career's going pretty well at the moment, thanks for asking — he's got a nice gig on the surprise hit show Burn Notice.) Campbell is playing a farcical nightmare version of himself, and having a ball doing it. You get to see him abusing dumb-ass fanboys, which is always good for a laugh, but he also mercilessly takes the piss out of his own place in geek-fandom.

It's this funhouse-mirror Bruce who gets drawn into a supernatural adventure not far from his trailer. Some teenagers have awakened Guan-Di, a Chinese god guarding a mine shaft where Chinese workers once died; three-quarters of the teens are summarily dispatched, and the lone survivor — Jeff (the feminine-looking Taylor Sharpe), a die-hard Bruce fan — escapes and kidnaps Bruce, convinced that only he has the stuff to rid the tiny town of Goldlick of the wrathful god. Thinking that the whole thing is a birthday surprise via his agent (Ted Raimi, in one of three roles), Bruce agrees to play "the hero" — until he discovers that Guan-Di is quite real, at which point he fills the seat of his pants.

* Critics I agree with agree, that is...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

CAPRICA is a go...

Sci-Fi Channel has ordered 20 episodes of the BSG prequel, to start airing in early 2010. Plenty of lead time there! I wrote the first post-pilot episode a few months ago, so I am fairly familiar with the story and I'll just say -- if you enjoyed the challenging and intriguing world of Battlestar Galactica, you'll love Caprica. That said, it's as different from Battlestar's "feel" as you can imagine, dealing with emotional and science-fiction conceits in an entirely different and very adult way...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

MY NAME IS BRUCE Pre-order Fun!

And as long I'm poking around Amazon, don't forget these little stocking stuffers. Unfortunately, you'll be stuffing stockings for Christmas 2009, since the DVDs don't come out until February, but hey, in a world besieged by a troubled economy and societal upheaval, isn't it great to have SOMETHING to look forward to?

Barney Bubbles Book - Say It Three Times Fast!

Barney Bubbles was the premiere record sleeve designer in England back in the 70's and early 80's, his career unfortunately cut short by his tragic suicide at a very young 42. But his work lives on and now there's a book collecting and celebrating his designs, "Reasons To Be Cheerful."

His most famous record sleeves (for most of us) are the works he created for Stiff Records, where he worked as a house designer for a time. I still remember when buying the Stiff singles was exciting not just for the music, but to see what madness the sleeves would offer. One of my favorites was a 45 RPM sleeve for "Accidents Will Happen" that was printed inside-out, color cover on the inside, blank white outside, riffing on the title. I still want a second copy so I can tear it apart and finally get a good look at the artwork inside! (Maybe this book, to be released 12/2, will finally sate my curiosity...)

One of my prize artifacts from the unfortunately named "New Wave" era is a limited edition, signed (by Elvis Costello) and numbered lithograph of the Bubbles-painted Picasso-esque cover for "Imperial Bedroom." Like much of his work, it's quirky and extremely well crafted.

Wikipedia's entry on Bubbles lists several great sites with pictures and info, but this soon to be released book, with 600 images, promises to deliver a real slice o' Bubbles to the faithful.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Another BRUCE-ALICIOUS Rave Review!

I tell ya, it's taking tiny parts of the world by storm!



My Name is Bruce is an hour and a half of cheesy B-movie goodness. The story is silly, the acting is often painfully melodramatic, and the whole thing is as over-the-top as one can go on a bargain basement budget. And I enjoyed every minute of it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Roger Ebert And Fate...

The movie version of illness, which is often bloodless and sanitized, generally revolves around some astonishing story of noble selflessness. The truth is, most seriously afflicted people feel like crap and most have no problem announcing that on a frequent and noisy basis. I include myself in the latter group; I've never been one to suffer in silence. YOU ALL GET TO SUFFER WITH ME.

So I am in awe of Roger Ebert's good cheer in the face of a truly debilitating series of circumstances that have left him scarred and unable to eat, drink or speak. That would be enough to make most folks, well, "grumpy," but Ebert perseveres in a truly remarkable way. He discusses all this at:


Friday, November 21, 2008

Galactica Sitrep News...

Since I'm no longer in the BSG loop (much) I get most of my info from the fan sites like everyone else... and according to Galactica Sitrep (url to the right), the Sci-Fi Channel will be previewing BSG season-the-last during a Bond marathon over the Thanksgiving holiday. I will take their word for it. I will say that the spoiler ad does feature a couple shots from "The Oath." I went out with a literal bang doing that one... the episode is pretty intense, action-wise, and takes the jolly crew of Galactica down a very dark road. I don't think it's a spoiler to remind folks that since the diabolical writing staff knew this was the final run, NO character was off-limits or "safe" in terms of their series mortality. (And that's true of ALL the episodes.)

Sitrep also links to another site with a compilation of semi-spoilers for the rest of the season. Lots of speculation out there, and "speculation" is the right word, though somehow folks have managed to keep a lid on the biggest surprises.

Since I'm off in Heroes land, it's funny how "long ago" BSG is starting to feel. My last ep of BSG, "The Oath", shot in March/April, the wrap party was in July, we figured out "The Plan" not long after, and I wrote the first (potential) episode for Caprica around then too. Big flurry of stuff, then -- suddenly it's late November. So I want to see those final finished episodes as much as everyone else.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Do You Like Elvis Costello?

This fellow certainly does. He's compiled a list of every cover song Elvis Costello's ever performed or quoted, and arranged them into a 31 disc (!) fantasy CD collection for the true fan. That Elvis sure listens to a lot of music!


JCVD - Who Knew?

Caught a screening of the new Jean-Claude Van Damme art/action film, JCVD, and was duly impressed. It's a tad long and sluggish in spots, but any slight problems are over-shadowed by an impressive performance by, believe it or not, Van Damme. At 47 (and looking every day of that plus a few), Van Damme is still in amazing shape. The movie opens with a crazy "one shot" action sequence that stays in character but also manages to parody the over-the-top run-and-gun scenes that are the staple of the better direct-to-video epics.

But the real news is that Van Damme's developed an intriguing, world-weary mien that gives him the gravitas that always seemed just out of his reach. Actually, the revelation is that when he applies himself, he's quite natural, compelling and yes, genuinely "good" on screen.

Plot-wise, Van Damme plays himself, a down on his luck DTV-action star who finds himself trapped in a hostage/robbery situation in a Belgium post office/bank. While there is humor in the situation, especially since the police believe Van Damme is the robber, the whole thing is played for "real." That said, the centerpiece of the movie is an inspired moment when the action stops and Van Damme addresses the camera for a five-minute, unbroken self-excoriation that (frankly) doesn't make much sense but works through sheer acting bravado.

Don't know where this will lead for Mr. Van Damme in the future, but I am certainly more intrigued by the possibilities than I was in the wake of his last dozen DVD adventures...

Monday, November 17, 2008

New Trek Fun...

It can be a mistake to draw too much from a trailer, but I have to say, if the upcoming Star Trek reboot lives up to the promise of this one, I'll be a happy Trek fan indeed.


* The new trailer (previewed this weekend) will be up at 10AM PST.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

WGA Activists Handcuffed...

When some WGA folks passed out leaflets during American Idol try-outs about the unfair practices of the production company, some rent-a-cops handcuffed them and turned them over to the police. Who of course released them. All this at the mall on Hollywood and Highland.

I was escorted out of a Vegas casino earlier this year for daring to hand out leaflets to the press (!) gathered for a conference (this during the WGA strike itself), so evidently this is becoming a "trend."

Nikke Finke has the details at:


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fans Practice Their Love For My Name Is Bruce!

Fans (and Baltimore critics!) just LUV them the Bruce!



The main gag is that Bruce isn’t a super cool, outgoing and appreciative movie star; rather he is a womanizing, drunken, asshole. Bruce plays “himself” way over the top and its pure joy to witness. It goes without saying that if you even remotely enjoy Campbell, you will love this film.

To be honest, the film is rock solid. It melds the slapstick horror humor of Evil Dead II with the brutal beheadings of Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow. My Name is Bruce is more funny than scary, but really the film is just a vehicle to allow fans to relish in the greatness of Campbell. Even though he runs the gamut of deplorable acts it’s still easy to love him! Though Bruce eventually has a “coming of age” moment it’s still not that profound (and he remains a dick-face pretty much till the bitter end). As an added treat you get not one, but three separate roles from the always dependable Ted Raimi.

Thomas Kincade's Movie...

It really is a small world... when I first moved to L.A., I lived in a cheap apartment in a crummy part of the city known as Highland Park. The apartment was rent controlled and because the owner of the building was a myopic, off-site fellow named Mr. Tongue (really! Sorry Joss Whedon), who evidently had no idea who lived in his units from day to day, we were all living under years-old rent agreements that had been made under names none of us recognized. (If a tenant officially moved out, the landlord then had the right to raise rents to current market values. If the name stayed the same... cheap rent!)

Anyhow, it was a two story building, with apartments facing an open courtyard with a small pool and deck. Open air walkways connected the apartments, sorta like a Motel Six. It was called "The Golden Palms" and last time I went through the old neighborhood it was still there, though looking much the worse for wear.

When I moved in, my next door apartment neighbors included Paul Chadwick (creator of CONCRETE and now legendary comic book figure), Ron Harris (another great comic book artist, since moved into animation) James Gurney (creator/painter of DINOTOPIA) and Thomas Kinkade, the now renowned (and very wealthy) "Painter Of Light." Thomas did me a real solid back in the day; when he moved out of the building, he allowed me to take over his two bedroom place (under the same precious rent control agreement), AND he left me all his furniture. I remember that one of the first things I did before moving in was repainting the place, covering all the paint spatters left during his occupancy. What would THOSE be worth now? (Or that furniture!)

Anyhow, I don't think I ever saw Kincade or his wife after that (it wasn't like we were dear friends, though cordial), though they may have popped by from time to time. The Gurneys eventually moved out too, and Paul, and the apartment complex took on a much nastier feel as gangbanger-types started coming in. I recall one night when one of the gang-guys threw a wild pool party with bikers and all sorts of craziness. Non-violent tenants bolted their doors and basically waited the party out in lock-down. In the morning, I went out to get a paper and found the next door neighbor using a broom to push the accumulated pools of blood (!) off the upper-deck walkway. Ahh, sweet memories...

Anyway, it was an "interesting place", so I'm curious to see if it is at all reflected in the new movie, just released, about Thomas Kinkade's life. Given this article from Vanity Fair, I kinda doubt it...


(Thanx to Mr. Chadwick for the link...)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Baltimore Is Bruce Country!!

Another good Baltimore review of the ever popular My Name Is Bruce...



Bruce isn't only a Campbell love-in, though, as some of the best gags rely are plain, old-fashioned goofiness. The mayor of Gold Lick shows "Bruce Campbell" a slideshow to explain why Guan-di is in their town, and offers an image of the local newspaper from when the mining accident happened: the story warrants maybe a square half-inch of coverage on the front page. Even better, this tale is recounted in the opening prologue as a jaunty little folk ditty sung by two men, the refrain of which goes, "Guan you, Guan me, Guan-di." And Bruce may be the only movie ever made in which tofu becomes an integral part of the climatic final battle. So while My Name is Bruce might not have that much to say about the proverbial human condition, it is both a profoundly silly and entertaining ride.

The Baltimore Sun Goes BRUCE CRAZY

Another fine review, this from the wonderful folks at the Baltimore Sun...



The film has the on-screen Campbell, an obnoxious twit who abuses fans as much as he abuses the craft of acting, recruited by the residents of Gold Lick, Ore., to save them from a vengeful Chinese demon, the dreaded Guan-di, whose specialty is decapitating his victims. Campbell at first thinks the whole thing is a joke engineered by his agent and, when he finds out it's all too real, does what any God-fearing actor would do in a similar situation. He runs.

Of course he comes back, and there's a climactic showdown of sorts. It's all played for good-natured laughs (at one point, a disgusted townie asks Campbell, "Don't you have a bad movie to make?") and the supporting cast, especially Grace Thorsen as the potential love interest, has great fun being in on the jokes. Evil Dead this isn't - but then, what is?

Thursday, November 13, 2008


We're just wrapping "my" first episode of Heroes (it's #315 for those counting, the second in the upcoming "Fugitives" story line) and as usual it's been fun, challenging, exhausting, "all of the above." Gearing up and getting to understand a show in progress is always a challenge, and Heroes has been no exception. Fortunately I have a little experience in jumping aboard late, since I came to Battlestar Galactica six episodes into season two. Lesson learned? Ketchup is the red stuff you put on hamburgers and "catch-up" is what you do when you catch a speeding train with multiple-multiple characters...

All shows have a different "vibe" (pardon the 60's jargon, but it actually seemed to fit), but through every show I've done, I never cease to be amazed at the ingenuity, talent and hard-work that goes into every aspect of production. From costumes to sets to FX to editing to electrical to the guys driving everybody around, there is a professionalism and dedication to this that is a joy to behold. There are also the occasional frustrations, but so it is in life.

If you've been paying attention to the press, obviously there has been a swirl of "stuff" about the show recently. I'm as interested as the next guy in behind the scenes stories, but I've never been comfortable trading in that sort of inside-baseball stuff. Suffice to say that everyone at Heroes is knuckling down and trying to make the best show they can.

And, on that topic, and speaking to what I actually know, the upcoming "Fugitives" story-line is pretty friggin' cool. Without giving anything away, it will also be a good jumping on point for folks who may have missed a show or two. I'll be talking about this more as time marches on, but consider that a little bug in your ear. Start watching now, 'cause it's gonna be a real adventure as the episodes roll on...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Why I Love Merchandising!!

You NEED this. You absolutely NEED this!


Friday, November 07, 2008

The Boston Herald Groks BRUCE!

And I hate it when people use the term grok! So you know I like it!



In the surprisingly funny and stylish, if also often lame “My Name Is Bruce,” the Bruce in question is not the one-letter-away-from-legend, 1970s Bruce Lee imitator Bruce Le. The Bruce in this case is semi-legendary actor Bruce Campbell.

Leading man of the no-budget smash hit “The Evil Dead” (1981), in which he plays immortal zombie killer Ashley “Ash” J. Williams, and such mutant spawn as “Evil Dead II” and the great “Army of Darkness” (1992), Campbell has more recently been seen in Don Coscarelli’s cult hit “Bubba Ho-tep” (2002).

Written by “Smallville” and “Battlestar Galactica” vet Mark Verheiden and directed by Campbell, “My Name Is Bruce” is a hoot and a holler and features a guitar-playing/country-singing geek chorus that “sings” us the tale of the Chinese demon Guan-Di (“Guan-you, Guan-me, Guan-deeee”).

The Hartford Courant Luvs The Bruce!

Check out the review at:



A movie whose whole premise is an hour-and-a-half riff on one guy's persona would seem unbearably egotistical if Campbell didn't make himself out to be such a jerk. In his hands, it's just fun. The movie is overstuffed with hilarious sight gags, one-liners and recurring absurdities. Some cater to Campbell's core fan base. Others are a hoot even to those who don't care for cheesy horror.

It's all done with jaded, fond knowingness of Campbell's singular niche in the entertainment universe. Campbell might be the king of cinema mediocrity, but he's having a great time being the king of something.

Cool New Tunes...

Somehow the legendary midwest label "Titan" slipped past me, but it's definitely on my radar now. A tiny indie outfit that released a few power-pop singles and albums in the 70's/early 80's (and one CD in 1997), their stuff has been resurrected on a great 2-CD box set called "It's All Pop!" None of their records nudged the charts or even scored much local airplay, and that's a shame, because a lot of this is just great.

The one semi-famous name involved in this effort is/was Scott McCarl, who joined the Raspberries for a stretch. His power-pop efforts are definitely the most fun, but it's almost all darn good and worth supporting. Amazon's got it, but NotLame.com offers an extra disc of bonus tracks if you get it through them. Plus Not Lame deserves support, too, for offering tons of cool power pop-ish material with great reviews to help you sort the wheat from the so-called chaff.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

My Name Is Bruce Coming To DVD and Blu-Ray!

The details and photos are at:


February 2009, baby. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Living In Interesting Times...

Lots of stuff brewing in this crazy old world... there was a little thing called "an election" (Obama '012!), some big changes at this little show called Heroes, My Name Is Bruce coming in number one in the country on a per-screen basis last weekend, and of course, the biggest, most exciting news of ALL TIME...

The release of four "Enemies Within" action figures!! Based on my Superman/Batman comics run, you've got your Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and the ever-popular Despero. I'm so out of the loop I had no idea these were even in the ether until my good pal Jeph Loeb picked one up for me at a local comic book shop.

Okay, so maybe that's NOT the biggest news of the week... but it's the easiest to blog about!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


The collected Evil Dead adaptation came out in late October... this fellow's thoughts are available at:


Monday, November 03, 2008

We're #1!

More on BRUCE beating every other movie in the country with the best per-theater average of the weekend!


Well What Do You Know...

It's Image Entertainment, not Imagine, but otherwise, from today's Variety:

Imagine Entertainment’s “My Name Is Bruce” looks to have scored the best location average of the weekend -- $18,777 -- as it is estimated to have grossed that amount from one run.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

More Reviewmania!!

When this one starts you go "uh oh", but then this guy digs in and we're talking major Bruce love!



As you can tell, the movie is very self referential and very self-deprecating. Bruce makes fun of himself, his fan base and low budget horror movies but it’s all in good fun. Perhaps my favorite line in the entire film comes when Bruce realizes he is in the trunk of the car of one of his fans. I won’t ruin the line but I will say that the delivery is perfect and it captures the whole spirit of the film. There is also a great attention to detail throughout the movie, with perhaps the most being the amount of Bruce Campbell memorabilia crammed into Jeff’s room. There are numerous references to many fan favorites but there are also some fake films not really in the Campbell filmology. I consider myself a big fan and even I was not sure whether or not some of the films were real, which added to the fun. Bruce even uses some lines of dialogue straight from his other films and takes on a hilarious “Ash” persona to pick up chicks.

“If you’re good I’ll show you my boomstick.”

Another Intriguing My Name Is Bruce Review...

Fannish style. Another gratuitous Timecop slam (guys! That was a long time ago!) but what the hell...



If you're a big Bruce fan, there's no reason not to like this movie. He seems relaxed here, like he's cutting loose and just having fun with the whole thing. The man's delivery style is this charismatically charged, concentrated form of intentional ham acting wrapped in a Hawaiian shirt that's all his own. My friends will all tell you tales of my legendary love of ham. Speaking of which, John Murtz, if you're reading this, sorry again about your fingers amigo... If you're not a Bruce fan, well, I have no idea if you'll like it or not cuz this really is a flick for the geeks amongst us. Give it a shot though, because it very well could make you a convert, he is that good... plus any money that anyone donates to the cause brings the rest of us that closer to another shot at seeing him on a big screen again that isn't full of plasma and sitting in my uncle George's living room. I fit in the former category of Bruce enthusiasts myself, so I can't wait to see it again tomorrow! You can bet your last pair of clean socks that I'll be putting in my reserve for a copy on Amazon when it hits DVD come February too. Hooch for the pooch!

Inventing Problems To Solve...

First it was those screwy Credit Report commercials with the scurvy rock band forced into slavery because they didn't check their (evidently) collective credit report. Now it's American Express and their commercials showing snotty German businessmen scoffing derisively at the goofy American because he dares to pay for lunch with a credit card embossed with a superhero image. Tragically the business venture collapses because of idiot's unprofessional credit card, which suggests the business may not have been on very sound footing in the first place and/or that the snotty Germans are full of crap.

In fact the message I take from the ad is to GET the credit card with Goofy or Elvis Costello on it, because if that alone can kill a deal, the guys on the other side of the table probably aren't going to be around for the long haul anyhow. If it wasn't the credit card, it would have been the shoes, the tie, the haircut, pick the social status indicator of choice.

In fact, there are a wide variety of imaginary social faux pas that could probably be solved by switching brands. The snotty German businessman sees a grocery bag with "Costco" on it and derisively stomps out, so the hapless shlub starts shopping at "Le Expensive Store." Or the snotty German smells cheap shampoo in the American's hair and snickers, forcing our man to buy something more expensive. I could create and solve these imaginary problems all day!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

My Name Is Bruce - Another Lovely Review!

This guy gets it! He loves us, he really loves us!



While Cave Alien is obviously meant as a hate-drenched nod to Campbell's recent [even] cheesier work like Alien Apocalypse, Alien Apocalypse is still mentioned by name, stacking up the stress that Bruce's character has about his career. You really feel for the guy, and I suspect that underneath the gags and mockery, there's a bit of Bruce's real feelings in there. He didn't write the movie, sure, but there's something really relatable in the performance and the writing. Maybe Bruce's drunken rock-bottom spin-out in the middle of the flick goes a bit overboard on the camp, but I maintain that there's truth in the sentiment. Regardless of all of this, the fact remains that My Name is Bruce is an absurdly funny film, if you're in the intended demographic. The humor and story would probably be appreciated by someone unfamiliar with Campbell's work, but the in-joke minutia is peppered in so greatly that watching the film is almost a Bruce Campbell trivia quiz... one that's pretty tough to ace.

Bruce In London!

For those curious U.K. fans, My Name Is Bruce is going to show in the U.K. sans personal appearance by Bruce. Here you go --


Bit And Pieces...

I've been swamped trying to finish a project the last month or so and hence my infrequent blogging the last few days. When you're basically doing little but getting up, having coffee and working all day, there isn't exactly a lot of discuss. Especially when I'm working on various projects that require a certain amount of discretion. I.e., "no spoilers!!" Of course national events have been exciting, but aside from a rousing "go vote! Go Obama!" I'm not sure if my endorsement here will turn the election...

I did manage to do my one hour on-camera chat for the upcoming Battlestar Blu-Ray DVD set. This evidently will be coming after the entire series has concluded because I was able to be open about various events. It's funny, I'm so used to being closed-mouthed that it was hard to switch modes and talk openly about assorted plot points and mega-spoilers, which of course won't be mega-spoilers by then. I also tossed in some amusing-in-hindsight production anecdotes, like the way, on my final day of shooting on my last episode, it seemed like everything mechanical involved in a scene decided to go wrong at once. (Don't worry, we eventually got everything we needed.)

I've been so insanely busy that I got a copy of the last three episodes of Battlestar Galactica and, incredibly, haven't had a chance to watch them yet. This weekend though. However, at this juncture, I can confirm that they do, in fact, exist. (Was there any doubt?) I did watch the first eight minutes, found myself getting totally sucked in and had to stop to finish what needed to be finished. Grrr...

Meanwhile, Heroes continues to roll along. Since I joined up with the second arc for season three (which will start in Jan. 2009) I've been somewhat mum on my adventures, but I am amazed by the scope of these shows. And, as usual, how hard everyone works to get stuff done.

Meanwhile, I'm still listening to Mr. Springsteen compulsively... his Magic Tour has been a revelation in terms of bringing back ancient cover-versions and even a few new ones. Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wild" and the Beatles "Boys" are, I'm pretty sure, new additions to the Springsteen set, but he's also done chestnuts like "Gloria", Manfred Mann's "Pretty Flamingo", John Fogerty's "Rockin' All Over The World" and "Who'll Stop The Rain"... and in what must have a very cool moment, Tom Waits' "Jersey Girl." The sound of ten thousand stadium voices joining in on this elegiac tune is really quite moving...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fangoria Hearts My Name Is Bruce!

See the Michael Gingold/Fango review at:



The true appeal of MY NAME IS BRUCE lies in the way it conflates its star’s real-life career and fictional persona, and will be most enjoyed by those who can differentiate the bona fide tacky Campbell credits it namechecks (i.e. MOONTRAP, ASSAULT ON DOME 4) from those it makes up. The most significant of the latter is CAVE ALIEN, which on evidence of the scenes we see is truly terrible, but has managed to not only spawn sequels but land on the cover of FANGORIA. Throughout, there are in-jokes in both the dialogue and casting (Ellen Sandweiss, Campbell’s girlfriend Cheryl in the original EVIL DEAD, turns up here as Bruce’s ex-wife Cheryl), and MY NAME IS BRUCE can be seen as the ultimate love letter—with a pen dipped in poison—from Campbell to his die-hard followers.

Big Michael Taylor Interview At Galactica Sitrep

The Galatica Sitrep blog (see url to right) features a monster interview with Battlestar Galactica writer and all around good guy Michael Taylor today. Well worth checking out...

And to augment something Michael mentions in passing, yes, I did write the infamous "hybrid prophesy" speech from "Razor", and I did knock it off in about twenty minutes over lunch one day when shooting was imminent. What can I say, fictional prophesy comes easy. (If I could manage the real thing, I would have pulled out of the stock market three months ago.) Given how early we were in the production schedule on season four, it's a miracle that speech reflected future events as well as it did.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Another REVIEW! Wow!

Gratuitous TIMECOP insult aside (hey! I resemble that!), another pretty good MY NAME IS BRUCE review at --



My name is Bruce is the genius brainchild of cult movie star Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead, Alien Apocalypse) and Battlestar Galactica writer/producer Mark Verheiden (well, Verheiden also wrote Timecop but we won't go there). A brilliant piece of meta-cinema, the film stars Bruce Campbell as, well, Bruce Campbell - a vulgar, aging, divorced, cult nobody, who gets caught up in a real life adventure that very closely resembles a bad Bruce Campbell movie. And that's where the true genius lies in this otherwise imperfect film.

The, Umm, Review is In! MY NAME IS BRUCE!

First reviews of the actual finished product (as opposed to work-prints and test versions) are starting to roll in for MY NAME IS BRUCE. Check out the following:



In the end, the movie was actually pretty entertaining (how's that for a quote?)... Bruce Campbell directs, as well as stars, and turns in what I believe his best effort behind the camera. The movie looks great, the editing and lighting (cinematography, etc) is wonderful. On top of this, the acting is solid (and doesn't sport any annoying "actors" for Bulgaria), with Bruce showing us some of those old Evil Dead moves, one of such homage involving a drunken stupor and a dog bowl. It was very funny. The whole movie was funny - I found myself laughing out loud on a number of occasions, which is perfect for a movie like this.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Assorted News...

It's been extremely busy around the estate, polishing the Roman columns and tending the orchids, but in between I'm actually doing a little work...

Next week I'll be doing an on-camera interview for the BSG Season 4 Blu-Ray release... no idea when the discs are due out (hopefully around the release date of the regular DVDs, which right now are scheduled for early Jan. 2009) but I suppose that means BSG is definitely coming to Blu-Ray. Thank goodness I invested in an HD-disc player just before that format went belly up...

The trade paperback edition of my incredibly scary (and very well drawn, by John Bolton) Evil Dead adaptation is OUT and on the stands, verified 'cause I got my comp copies the other day. This is a much better read as a whole piece than as a series of comics, but they're all worth getting because I can always use more Roman columns. Very nice production job by the artistic wizards at Dark Horse, BTW!

Also, my short Halloween story (co-written with Harrison Wilcox) for the DC Halloween Special should be out now or very soon... the Elongated Man and his dead wife Sue tackle spooky trouble. Given that we're talking "Elongated Man," this one turned out pretty creepy, thanks to a wonderful art job by Dennis Calero.

And don't forget, My Name Is Bruce debuts this weekend in Austin Texas (Oct. 26) as Mr. Campbell begins his nationwide tour to flog, err, I mean, "promote" the film. If you haven't seen Mr. C. in person, you're missing some comedy gold. The dates and cities for his other appearances are all available on his website and I'll try to update if there are changes!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Horror Is About To Begin...

And no, I'm not talking about election day (or am I?). The grand "black curtain" -- whatever THAT is -- premiere of My Name Is Bruce is THIS SUNDAY in Austin Texas. And that epic screening will launch a multi-city tour where Bruce "don't call me Ash" Campbell will make personal appearances and tell you all you ever wanted to know about whatever it is piquing your curiosity...

Yes. It is about to be... unreashed!

If you want to see the best version of the trailer, go to Bruce's site (see url to the right). You can also enjoy the toe-tapping splendor of "Legend of Guan-Di", the theme music for the film and soon to be major hit (as soon as Justin Timberlake covers it, come on, Justin, there's thirty bucks in it for you!). Finally, if you need dates and cities for the tour, Bruce has got 'em on his site or you can scroll down this primitive blog.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I Blab About BRUCE (and a little BSG)...

The current issue of FANGORIA (the one with the lovely image from SAW V on the cover) has a fairly in-depth interview with yours truly and Mr. Campbell on the entire panoply of intrigue that was, is and will be My Name Is Bruce. Plus photos! Learn the grisly truth about the original idea for Bruce, my very professional Bruce writing technique (hint, it involved beverages with "proof" on the label), and more! Somehow, a few Battlestar questions got sprinkled in too, but those looking for spoilers and/or deep insights will be, as usual, sorely disappointed.

Also in the magazine, my favorite title (well, today) for a new horror movie, TGP, or Tokyo Gore Police... because even gore needs policing. I guess.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Straight from the man's web-page. Check his site for more info, including the updated, super-cool, great music trailer!


Hey, folks, here are the tour dates and venues for My Name is Bruce. Barring union strikes, hurricanes, flat tires or diptheria, I will be personally appearing at each of these cities to introduce the film and do a spirited Q&A afterward. Please bear in mind, this isn't a "signing," so I recommend that the only thing you bring is your smiling face. I will be doing the 3 major show every day - roughly the 7:00, 9:30 and midnight screenings I look forward to seeing you all there!

10/26 Austin, TX: Alamo Drafthouse
Black Curtain screening/premiere
with Harry Knowles.
320 E 6th Street
Austin, TX 78701

10/31-11/2 NYC: The Sunshine Theatre
143 E Houston St
New York, NY 10002

11/5 Philadelphia, PA: The Ritz
400 Ranstead Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

11/7 Boston, MA: Kendall Theatre
1 Kendall Square
Cambridge, MA 02139

11/9 Hartford, CT: Cinema City
235 Brainard Rd
Hartford, CT 06114

11/12 New Haven, CT: Criterion Cinemas
86 Temple St
New Haven, CT 06510

11/14 Baltimore, MD: Harbor East
645 S. President Street,
Baltimore, MD 21202

11/15 Washington D.C.: E Street Theatre
555 11th Street NW
Washington, DC 20004

11/19 Columbus, OH: Landmark's Gateway Theater
1550 N. High St.
Columbus Ohio 43201

11/20 Toledo, OH: TBD 11/21-23 Detroit, MI: Main Art Theatre
118 N Main St,
Royal Oak, MI

11/28-30 Chicago, IL: Century Centre Theatre
2828 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60657

12/1 Decatur, IL: Huston's Avon Theatre
426 N. Water St.
Decatur, Illinois 62523

12/3 Madison, WI: Sundance
430 N Midvale Blvd
Madison, WI 53705

12/5-7 Minneapolis, MN:Lagoon Theatre
1320 Lagoon, Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55408

12/12 Seattle, WA: Varsity
4329 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

12/13-14 Portland, OR: Fox Theatre (AKA Fox Tower 10)
846 SW Park Ave
Portland, OR 97205

12/15 Medford, OR: TBD

12/17 San Francisco, CA: Embarcadero Center
One Embarcadero Center, Promenade Level
San Francisco, CA 94111
Bridge Theatre
3010 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94118

12/18 Berkeley, CA: California Theatre
2113 Kittredge Street (Between Oxford and Shattuck)
Berkeley, CA 94704

12/19-21 Los Angeles, CA: Nuart Theatre
11272 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025


Thanks to Amazon U.K., I just received the PAL/Region 2 DVDS for BSG Season 4 and a box set that has the entire series through season 4. Haven't opened them yet -- hey, I've seen 'em! -- but the boxes are cool.

I guess it's a matter of rhetoric, but evidently for marketing reasons the U.K. is now calling what the troops in the BSG trenches called "season 4", which was 23 episodes total including two episodes allocated for RAZOR, "season 4" and "season 5." #4 has 12 episodes, counting 2 for Razor, and I assume season 5 will probably have the last eleven shows and maybe even "The Plan." I do not presume to know the inner workings of whatever deals have been made in this regard, though, so that is what we in the television business euphemistically call "a guess."

The Amazon website listed the boxset as "The Complete BSG", though, and that's not true. Complete until now, yes, complete through what they're calling season 4, absolutely, but "complete" as in every episode of the show? Not so true. However, if you don't have any of the series and would like everything out so far in PAL format, well, here you go!

What The Hell is Wrong With Denis Leary?

Denis Leary has a new book out where he mimics idiot talk-show host Michael Savage and makes fun of autism and autistic kids. Evidently there some new, demented meme in the world that suggests autism is just an excuse kids and parents employ to cover up for laziness and/or stupidity. Here's the "money" quote:

"There is a huge boom in autism right now because inattentive mothers and competitive dads want an explanation for why their dumb-ass kids can't compete academically ... Yer kid is NOT autistic. He's just stupid. Or lazy. Or both." -- Denis Leary in his book 'Why We Suck'

I'm trying to understand when it became fair game to unleash tirades on autistic kids. What in the world is that about? Is this jackass so desperate for attention that he'll uncork some ridiculous assault on defenseless kids and their struggling parents, then actually brag publicly that it's his "favorite chapter" in his book? Is this the new publishing strategy? Write something so vile, insensitive and just plain stupid that civilized people can't help being caught up short, like cars passing an accident scene, gawking at the pointless destruction?

And what's next? "Wheelchair bound people are just lazy! Why don't you wimps just get outta those chairs?!" Maybe blind people could use a dose of Leary's oh-so-impressive good sense. "Just open your eyes, idiot!" Imagine the hilarity!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dexter, Battlestar, Heroes, Bruce UPDATE EXTRA!

Tonight's episode of Dexter (destined to be rerun repeatedly on Showtime, I imagine) was directed by John Dahl, who by startling coincidence also directed my last writing effort for Batttlestar Galactica. John's made some great movies (his noirish Red Rock West is oft quoted in writer's rooms, I've discovered) and he was great to work with, so it's fun to see more Dahl in the tele-verse.

Last I heard, work continues feverishly on finishing the final season of BSG, and lovely Jane Espenson was finally allowed to retreat to Los Angeles after finishing her duties on the BSG movie, "The Plan." I would offer more juicy insider info, except... I don't have any. I'm waiting as anxiously as everyone else to see how these suckers finally turn out!

Meanwhile, there's more Heroes excitement tomorrow night at 9:00PM, so check it out!

And finally, the Alamo Drafthouse premiere of the Bruce Campbell masterwork, My Name Is Bruce, has been officially announced. I, tragically, will not be able to attend, but look forward to reading all the dirt once Bruce unveils our little opus. And the plan is still on for a tour of various American cities and big screen unspoolings of the movie critics across America are calling "the next Bruce Campbell movie!" Me, I'll definitely in at the Los Angeles event (12/19 - 12/21) and fingers crossed, the glorious unveiling in Portland, Oregon. Keep your eyes peeled for the theater locations and times...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Springsteen And His Music Of Hope...

As I plow ahead through a difficult time, I find myself turning to some of my favorite music for a certain comfort. And I find that no one over the years has raised my spirits more than Bruce Springsteen. His albums are great, but his material really comes alive in concert. There are a bunch of great live shows available at Amazon, and of course the internet is a font of (ahem) unauthorized audience recordings. I wish (and given the world, the wish may come true some day) that Bruce would follow the lead of bands like The Who and Crowded House and release all his performances to an eager world, but barring that, we get to dream...

From the recent array of tour songs, it feels like Springsteen's mood mirrors mine... he's been mixing his great new material with a whole bunch of oldies, both from the catalog and very early tours. Looking back, enjoying what was, but still looking forward.

Crazed fans are pointing to the show below as one of the best of Springsteen's entire career, and I have to say, it's right up there. If you're a Springsteen fan, the set-list will give you chills. The resurrection of "Drive All Night" (one of my all time favorite Springsteen moody-building-ballads), incredibly rare covers like "Mountain Of Love" and "Then She Missed Me" (I don't think he's done either since 1975) and "Little Queenie"... St. Louis got mighty lucky last August.

Some are afraid the "closing night" quality of this tour suggests it could be the last for Springsteen and the E Street Band. I selfishly sure hope not. I have enjoyed his work for 35 years now and I'm fully prepared to enjoy another 35. I have no doubt he has more surprises up his endlessly talented sleeve...

Anyway, here's the set-list out of a fan's dreams...

August 23, 2008
St. Louis, Missouri
Scottrade Center

Then She Kissed Me [Tour Premiere—Crystals cover. First since 1975]
Radio Nowhere { lyrics }
Out In The Street { lyrics }
Adam Raised A Cain { lyrics }
Spirit In The Night { lyrics }
Rendezvous { lyrics }
For You { lyrics }
Mountain Of Love [Tour Premiere—Harold Dorman/Johnny Rivers cover. First since 1975]
Backstreets { lyrics }
Gypsy Biker { lyrics }
Because The Night { lyrics }
She's The One { lyrics }
Livin' In The Future { lyrics }
Cover Me { lyrics }
Mary's Place { lyrics }
Drive All Night { lyrics }
The Rising { lyrics }
Last To Die { lyrics }
Long Walk Home { lyrics }
Badlands { lyrics }

Girls In Their Summer Clothes { lyrics }
Jungleland { lyrics }
Detroit Medley
Born To Run { lyrics }
Dancing In The Dark { lyrics }
Rosalita { lyrics }
American Land { lyrics }
Thunder Road { lyrics }
Little Queenie [Tour Premiere—Chuck Berry cover. Ultra rare]
Twist And Shout

Monday, October 06, 2008


Not really sure how to write about this... my mother Caroline passed away last Tuesday after an eighteen year struggle with Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's. She would have been 79 this month. It's been a very difficult time for the family, especially my father... they had celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary in August. Despite her significant health challenges, he was there for her every step of the way.

When we talk about heroes, my Mom was the real deal. She was always there for her family, always, and never complained as these awful diseases progressed. When her starry-eyed son dreamed of writing for a living, she never batted an eye and backed me one hundred percent. She did the same for all her four sons. And she was a rock for my father. I can't remember them ever exchanging a single cross word, or "arguing" over anything more significant than where to have lunch. It was truly one of those fairy tale matches romances. And knowing my Mom, she would have been embarrassed to hear it described that way. Because being nice was just... her.

Some have asked how they might remember her. The Oregon Parkinson's Center at the link below was a great help to my parents over the years.


Friday, October 03, 2008


Because of a death in the family, there won't be any updates for a few days. Back soon...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tunes And Such

Haven't updated the probably less-than-interested world with my latest musical adventures, but here goes nothing...

SQUEEZE just released a new double-CD set of their BBC recordings. Somebody went back and did some major league repair work, because I have some of the original BBC transcription records and this stuff sounds light-years better. All their hits, some acoustic shows, full band, early, late... it's the entire panoply of Squeeze done live in studio and done extremely well.

DAVE EDMUNDS has apparently put a new band together, which is great news. His emergence from... wherever you emerge from when you haven't toured in awhile... is heralded by a new single CD compilation from the U.K., "The Many Sides Of Dave Edmunds, Greatest Hits and More!" Covering all the bases with that lengthy title, I guess. Nothing new here for fans of Mr. Edmunds, but it's an especially well chosen set with songs from the whole range of his career. The liner notes say Dave was never pigeon-holed, and woe be for me to try, but if hard-charging, rockabilly tinged guitar hero power pop pushes your buttons (and/or The Everly Brothers), Edmunds is your guy.

One of Edmunds' and Nick Lowe's band buddies, GERAINT WATKINS, has just released his own new solo CD, "In A Bad Mood." Taking a page from Mr. Lowe's recent, subdued recordings, this is a stately piece of crooning, a little blues and a little piano and a couple of rockers.

Finally, in an effort to review at least ONE release from THIS century, I note with great pleasure that Liam Finn, Neil Finn's hugely talented son, has both a studio album and several live sets available (studio through Yeproc, live mail-order only via kufala.com). I caught Liam opening for Dad's band Crowded House last year, and he's mighty good. Wholly unlike the Crowdies (we're talking some pretty ferocious, clanging, one-man-band racket here) but great nonetheless. I almost prefer the immediacy of the live stuff, but "your mileage may vary."

More once my ears recover...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bit And Pieces... BSG, Sightings, Etc.

Wow, an entire week since my last post. Where does the time go? I've been in serious hunker-down mode, so I'm afraid your party-gossip will have to come from elsewhere. Meanwhile...

After all the wrap parties and set-selling, I am somewhat sad to report that the adventure that is the current incarnation of Battlestar Galactica comes to a real close next week with the wrap of "The Plan", the BSG "movie" project directed by Edward James Olmos and ably written and produced by Jane Espensen. I understand things have been going well in the rainy Northwest and look forward to the end product with the same nail-biting anticipation as the rest of the BSG-lovin' world.

Meanwhile, I pinch-hit for Jane during the final mix of her last-half-season-four episode, so I got to visit with the crack post and sound guys one more time. As always, it's a blast to see the episodes on the big screen and hear them in Dolby 8.9 or whatever the heck they're using these days. At the same time, I am eagerly anticipating getting a sneak peek at the cuts of the final episodes. I have, of course, kept up on the script(s), but actually seeing how it comes together is always the big thrill.

Next Monday, of course, another big episode of NBC's HEROES. The heroics and intrigue continues in the uber-Villians arc. 9:00PM! Monday! NBC!

In other, perhaps stranger news, HEY! Apparently I'm really powerful! The British magazine Tripwire, in their 2008 annual, lists their picks for the "25 Comics Power List", and somehow I landed at #11. One notch above Frank Miller. One spot under director Christopher Nolan. From #1 down, their 2008 Comics Power List:

Kevin Feige & David Maisel
Jon Favreau
Guillermo Del Toro
George Lucas
Matt Groening/David X Cohen
Mike Mignola
JJ Abrams
Tim Kring
Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale
Christopher Nolan
Mark Verheiden
Frank Miller
Joss Whedon
Steve Geppi
Joe Quesada
Eric Stephenson
Alan Moore
Dan Didio
Chris Ware
Joann Sfar
Genndy Tartakovsky
Alison Bechdel
Gilbert Shelton
and, at #25, Tom Spurgeon

Well, at least I beat out "Clamp." I'm not really sure what to say about this (especially since I haven't seen the magazine, so I have no idea how these listings were justified), but... well, maybe I'll just leave it at "interesting?"

Finally, in the celebrity sightings category (not a category, actually, I think this is the first time I've actually done this!), I was driving down the street in Santa Monica Friday morning and who should ride up on my bumper but Mr. Sam Raimi. I felt kind of sorry for the guy, since he did not make Tripwire's list this year. Maybe next time, pal. Guess those Spider-Man movies are so fegeddaboutit...

Friday, September 19, 2008


The big premiere of the new Heroes "Villains" arc is this Monday, Sept. 22, and it going to be a wild night of Heroes excitement. First, a prelim countdown event show with all sorts of fun extras and teasers, then not one, not one and a half, not one and three quarters, but two entire episodes of "Villains." Some amazing revelations and surprises are in store, along with a mind-bender or two (that Petrelli family, sheesh!).

I arrived on staff in time to watch the final episode of the "Villians" story arc come together, and I gotta say, this "pod" has enormous set-ups and equally enormous pay-offs. It's a good one, folks, so mark that time down -- Monday night, Sept. 22, starting at 8:00, on NBC! It'll be a mega-Hero-thon-o-rama!

BSG Writing/Directing Season 4.5

Galactica Sitrep has the complete list up... and it is correctomundo.


I've been reading some stuff on-line wondering why Sci-Fi doesn't air the last 11 episodes right now (like RIGHT NOW!!!). Well, there's one small problem with that, which is -- they're not finished yet! Needless to say, the post production on Battlestar is a lengthy process, involving editing, scoring, and lots of special FX that win many Emmys. That all takes time and thought and hard work by lots and lots of folks...

Also, evidently folks are trying to divine content from the titles of the various episodes. Good luck. I mean, "A Disquiet Follows My Soul" could describe virtually every episode of Battlestar, not to mention my mood most evenings. Maybe a title like "A Fifth Of Cylon" or "Roslin's Evil Twin" would point out a "direction", but not these. Feel free to hypothesize regardless...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bruce Campbell in the NY Times!

Great interview with Mr. C. in today's New York Times, including discussion of MY NAME IS BRUCE, regurgitating into a theater near you this Fall!


Battlestar Galactica - Cruise Book!

The Cinemaspy site got their hands on one of the beautiful yearbooks that were distributed to the cast and crew of Battlestar during the series wrap party. It really is an amazing production, and the product of an incredible effort by BSG's own Sian McArthur. Anyhow, they've posted some images from the book. And no, you can't have mine.


Slight correction. Ron Moore wrote and directed episode #14 (it'll be the second one up when the series comes back), "A Disquiet Follows My Soul." "The Oath" is episode #15, written by yours truly, directed by John Dahl. These titles seem to get mixed up all the time for some reason...

CORRECTION #2 (9/18/08 edition): If you're coming here from the I09 site, the call-sheet Cinemaspy reproduced from the BSG yearbook is indeed from Ron Moore's written/directed episode, "A Disquiet Follows My Soul." Here's the tip-off -- that what it says on the top! And it is episode #14, not episode #13. I wrote episode #15, "The Oath." Jeepers! I wish Sci-Fi would just RUN them already!

CORRECTION #3 (9/18/08 Part 2 Edition): Damn that RAZOR! I see where the confusion is coming from re: the episode numbering. We (the producing dopes on the show) always counted RAZOR as episodes 1 and 2 of season 4. And indeed that's how they appear in all the accounting stuff, as 401 and 402.

Here's the official order of the entire fourth season:

401: Razor
402: Razor
403: He That Believeth In Me
404: Six of One
405: The Ties That Bind
406: Escape Velocity
407: The Road Less Traveled
408: Faith
409: Guess What's Coming to Dinner?
410: Sine Qua Non
411: The Hub
412: Revelations
413: Sometimes a Great Notion
414: A Disquiet Follows My Soul
415: The Oath
416: Blood on the Scales
417: No Exit
418: Deadlock
419: Someone to Watch Over Me
420: Islanded In A Stream Of Stars
421: Daybreak 1
422: Daybreak 2
423: Daybreak 3 (assuming it's still a three parter)

Hope the titles aren't spoilers... and I should caveat, this is what the episodes were being called when I finished up as producer. Titles may well change.

There's also "The Plan", the BSG movie... not sure where that would fit in, schedule wise, but it's being shot right now!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bad BSG Fan, BAD!

Uhhh... don't do this!



Battlestar Galactica took home two Emmy's last night during the technical awards. A very well deserved nod for Special Effects (second year in a row, so congrats!), plus a win for one of the Razor webisodes. Fingers crossed we see some more gold next week as the next batch o' winners are announced.

More info and links at Galactica Sitrep, url to the right!

More On Steve Ditko...

For those comic devotees who share my fascination with the work, life and times of Steve Ditko (co-creator of Spider-Man), multi-talented artist/writer/publisher Steve Bissette offers some of his insights into the Ditko dynamic here...


Have to admit, I fall somewhere in the middle when thinking about Ditko's worldview. Bissette sees his withdrawal from the mainstream comics scene as the only sane response following years of being abused by a corrupt industry. I guess I've had better luck in the funny-book world, working with publishers like Mike Richardson at Dark Horse, but then I also diversified into film and television (and MADNESS) very early in my so-called career... so except for the first two or three years of my professional life, I've never relied solely on comics income to survive. It does seem like a pretty tough and very narrow field at the moment...

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I find myself in the curious position of having been involved in three different shows that are still on the air. Curious for me, anyway, since my first two television producing efforts were classic "out in nine" ventures, canceled practically before they had a chance to air. But HEROES is currently in season three (I'm involved in the arc that will run in 2009, after the incredibly cool VILLIANS arc that debuts on MONDAY SEPT. 22, that's MONDAY, SEPT 22!), BATTLESTAR'S final 11 episodes will unspool starting in January (last I heard) and SMALLVILLE, which I was involved in during the first three seasons, will debut its eighth (!) season this Thursday.

There's been a bit of a sea change at SMALLVILLE since my niece Alissa started interning there this Summer. Yes, she saved the show! (That's what SHE told me!) Aside from her Herculean efforts, my pals Todd Slavkin, Darren Swimmer, Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson were elevated to executive producer/showrunner status this year. I'm curious to see what unfolds this season and look forward to much Superguy excitement.

Meanwhile, HEROES is going to be blowing some eyeballs outta their sockets this season with their new storylines. Great guest cast, wild surprises and tons of action. Coolest for me, I'll be enjoying my debut run on HEROES and the BATTLESTAR swan-song simultaneously. Now if the fine folks at the Sci-Fi network would just pick up CAPRICA...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Facebook & My Stuff...

Been awhile since I mentioned upcoming publishing ventures, but some enterprising soul has created a Facebook site that makes it easy-peasy.


For those too lazy to click, here are the upcoming goodies:

Writers: Mark Verheiden, Mike Johnson, Brian Reed and others
Artists: Trevor Hairsine, Duncan Rouleau and others
Cover: Gene Ha

The Horror! The Horror! Could this be the final Halloween for the DCU? Evil has won, and there are no treats! Witness tales of terror featuring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Titans, El Diablo, Faust and others by past, present and future DC greats.
On sale October 22 80 pg, FC, $5.99 US

By: Mark Verheiden, John Bolton
Type: Graphic Novels
Genres: Horror, Action-Adventure
Publisher: Dark Horse
Pub. Date: October 29, 2008
Details: Full color, 112 pages, TPB, 7" x 10"
Price: $12.95

Writer Mark Verheiden (Battlestar Galactica, My Name Is Bruce) and illustrator John Bolton (God Save the Queen, Harlequin Valentine) present an exciting expansion on the classic horror film that introduced us to the powerful Book of the Dead, the relentlessly violent deadites, and Ash--one resilient, blood-soaked survivor. Now an iconic horror hero, relive Ash's first visit to the cabin that brought him face to face with the delectably deranged deadites who possessed his girlfriend and friends . . . and turned "the perfect place to get laid" into a house of fear and fury. Return to the original nonstop gore-fest and experience the thrills, gags, and gagging anew, with unexpected extra scenes.
* As writer Mark Verheiden explains, "With permission from Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, we've expanded the movie, meeting our characters back in their pre-deadite lives and opening up the story to see what happened between the events seen on screen."
* Collects the four-issue miniseries.

Writer: John Arcudi, Jim Woodring, James Vance, John Byrne, Ron Marz, Mark Schultz, Mark Verheiden
Artist: John Byrne, Richard Corben, Guy Davis, Bernie Wrightson, Duncan Fegredo, Arthur Adams, and others
Genre: Science-Fiction, Action/Adventure

Living with the Alien has become a fact of life--and death--as mankind expands throughout the galaxy. And no matter how each encounter with the deadly xenomorphs inevitably leads to disaster, man's hubris and greed just as inevitably fuel the desire to try to unlock the secrets of the demonic beasts' biology or bring the creatures under control as tools to build an even more monstrous future.

Dark Horse Comics' critically acclaimed Aliens series set the bar for how the universe of a popular film could be expanded through graphic fiction. Aliens Omnibus Volume 5 collects more of these comics classics, featuring over 350 story pages in full color by some of the finest creators in graphic fiction.

* Collects Aliens: Alchemy #1-3, Aliens: Kidnapped TPB, Aliens: Cargo one-shot, Aliens: Survival #1-3, "Aliens: Alien" (DHC #17-19), Aliens: Earth Angel one-shot, "Aliens: Incubation" (DHP #101-102), Aliens: Havoc #1-2, Aliens: Lovesick one-shot, "Aliens: Lucky" (Decade of Dark Horse TPB)
Publication Date: November 12, 2008
Format: FC, 364 pages, TPB, 6" x 9"
Price: $24.95

Perfect for this glorious Halloween season!

When Movie Tie-Ins Go Too Far...

The scariest part is, apparently they're sold out right now!


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Fanzines Online...

For geezers-like-me who still enjoy checking out the old fashioned fan press, here's a site where you can electronically catch up on a variety of science fiction based publications. I've always enjoyed the home-made, iconoclastic nature of true fanzines, and while reading them online doesn't capture the whole experience (we need a spray bottle with mimeograph-ink smell for that) this is close.


Monday, September 08, 2008

Man On Wire...

Caught the excellent documentary MAN ON WIRE over the weekend, and it's well worth seeking out in theaters. The story of the French fellow (Phillipe Petit) who famously walked a tight-rope between the World Trade Center towers back in 1974, the movie plays like a thriller, but with surprisingly emotional overtones. I knew about the walk, but seeing the prep and getting a feeling for the obsession that drove this guy to put the "mission" together is fascinating.

The reason to see it on the big screen is for the scale of his achievement, I just don't think the magnitude of what he did will come across as dramatically on television. Oddly, his wire-walk between the towers of Notre Dame looks even more harrowing than the World Trade Center, because he's not quite so high and you can actually see him from the ground. At 110 stories, he was hard to spot between the twin towers!

At any rate, it's a fascinating story, well told. Check it out!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Beatles Remastered!

According to the magazine MOJO, the entire Beatles catalog is being remastered and the preliminary reviews are "amazing." This is not surprising, the first run were released back in the late 80's and while great for the time, that's 20 years ago. Technology has improved dramatically. Unfortunately, it looks like they won't start coming out until 2009 at the earliest.

The news is available at:


Also, apparently the DVD reissue of the infamous LET IT BE movie is now off the agenda. Nixed by Sir Paul and Ringo, evidently, who don't see a reason to show their bickering to a new world of fans. Oh well, there are always the bootleg copies...

Friday, September 05, 2008


Got the latest Smithereens collection of Beatles covers, and it's another winner. There are good Beatles covers (Joe Cocker) and there are bad ones (William Shatner); these definitely fall in the "good" category. 12 songs, short and sweet, cool liner notes, it's a must have/double bag item! Amazon has 'em cheap, but I've been buying more new stuff at one of the few surviving record stores, just to keep SOME brick and mortar music retailers in the picture...

Continuing on the musical front, my latest obscure obsession is a South African soul band from the 60's called "The Flames." They released four LPs back in the day, and while there isn't much info on line about them, I gather that while their lead singer died some time ago, the rest of the band reforms now and again for reunion shows, etc. In terms of the music, imagine John Fogerty singing Stax, with a funky horn section. I don't know if there are any legit CDs available... I can't find them, but I'll admit I haven't had time for my usual diligent search. Still, the vinyl is around and enterprising gray market folks have gathered their entire recorded history for the "devotee."

Oh, and HEROES Season two was just released on DVD! Good, 'cause I was tired of watching my Amazon downloads. And the DVD set has a zillion extras! Catch up and get ready for a rousing season three!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

My Last Battlestar Mix...

It was both exciting and a little melancholy last Friday, attending the final mix for "my" last episode of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. Exciting because the mixes are projected on the big screen, making this the only opportunity (most of the time) to see an episode all monster-size. Melancholy because it is, indeed, my last hurrah re: BSG. I'm off to HEROES and the rest of the season's BSG episodes were written by everyone else, so their dispensation will be in the capable hands of others.

Of course, there will be viewing parties and all sorts of intrigue when the final episodes finally air, but that's still a few months off. *Sigh.* Makes me feel like quoting the LION KING or something...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Grant On Ditko...

My pal Steven Grant's been banging out an interesting column on all things comics and political over at comicbookresources.com for several years now. He's always worth reading (new column every Wednesday) but this piece on Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko's defenders and Ditko's own creative/professional choices is particularly incisive. I find Ditko an endlessly fascinating personality, though that's probably exacerbated by his reclusive nature and philosophically doctrinaire approach toward comics and his art. He just can't play nice, but evidently he's content to live with the consequences...


Thursday, August 28, 2008


Yes, the news all of you have been waiting for! Well, some of you... or... okay, here's some news!

Dates for the theatrical release of "My Name Is Bruce" have finally been announced. Bruce Campbell himself, aka "the man", will be making personal appearances in multiple cities to launch the greatest film directed by and starring Bruce Campbell released this year! Here's the official press release, straight from B.C. himself:

My Name is Bruce is hitting theaters October 26th. I'll be appearing in each of the following cities to introduce the film and answer questions afterward:

10/26 Austin, TX Alamo Drafthouse - Black Curtain screening/premiere
with Harry Knowles

10/31-11/2 NYC

11/5 Philadelphia, PA

11/7 Boston, MA

11/9 Hartford, CT

11/12 New Haven, CT

11/14 Baltimore, MD

11/15 Washington D.C.

11/19 Columbus, OH

11/20 Toledo, OH

11/21-23 Detroit, MI

11/28-30 Chicago, IL

12/3 Madison, WI

12/5-7 Minneapolis, MN

12/12 Seattle, WA

12/13-14 Portland, OR

12/15 – Medford, Or

12/17 San Francisco, CA

12/18 Berkeley, CA

12/19-21 Los Angeles, CA

Venue information is on the way.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Couple More Things...

My buddy Mojo, FX master supreme from the Battlestar world, has posted some of the material presented to the Emmy committee during the nomination process. If you want to see some absolutely amazing still shots of some of the most spectacular and beautiful special effects ever done for television (or anywhere, for that matter), check them out at:


Second, my buddies at Dark Horse have done the comics world a favor and released the first hardcover full color volume collecting the incredible adventures of Herbie. Not the Love Bug, but the real Herbie, as in "the fat little nothing!" If you've never seen or heard of Herbie before, and you like absolute surreal insanity, then you need this book! Support this publishing effort so we can get the rest of the series back in glorious print!

Updates and Etc.

The i09 website covers me... covering me. A short blurb on HEROES...


I continue to settle in and get acclimated to this new, complex HERO-centric world. There's always a short hand that develops between writers who have been doing a show for awhile (and most of the folks on HEROES have been there since season one), so just picking up the lingo is part of the learning curve. You would be amazed what "he does the thing, and then this guy, he does the other thing" actually means. (It's pretty exciting, trust me.)

In other news, barring disaster I'll be on a panel at the Las Vegas BlogWorld convention on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 20, discussing blogging during the WGA strike (aren't we trying to put that behind us? I know I am!) and other germane topics of interest. Hopefully I won't also gamble the house away and leave Las Vegas in the proverbial barrel. But that is always a possibility. Anyway, go to blogworldexpo.com for more thrillin' info...

Many other interesting developments in the pipeline, beyond HEROES (like that's not enough?), but nothing I can announce quite yet. Though I'm no longer in the BATTLESTAR offices, I understand post-production work on the last ten/eleven/who knows how many episodes is continuing at a lightning pace, and they're either shooting or moments away FROM shooting the BSG movie. Writer/producer Jane Espenson has more on those developments over on her blog (url to the right). It's a fun story and I can't wait to see it, either! I also believe the pilot for VIRTUALITY has more or less wrapped, a project on which I am uninvolved except as an unofficial cheerleader and fingers-crossed-it-gets-picked-up science fiction enthusiast...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Onward and Heroes-Ward...

I can finally get a little less cryptic about one thing... I have made a lateral shift in the NBC/Universal universe and joined the show Heroes as a consulting writer/producer. So far I've been catching up with the show's wonderful mythology (boy, I thought Battlestar was twisted!) while watching an amazing staff craft incredible stories. Emotional, suspenseful, and jam-packed with action. And after watching some of the upcoming episodes, I'm in awe at how much they manage to accomplish each day. Lots of people, from the fantastic cast and directors to the hard-working and super-talented crew, are working really hard to make this all happen.

I've been brought in to lend a hand with the second arc of season three, which promises to follow-up the first arc with even more excitement. And since I'm part time, I've got the best of both worlds, since I will continue plowing full-steam ahead on my feature work, too. Needless to say, I'm thrilled it all worked out, happy to be aboard and looking forward to doing what I can to keep a very sturdy train a'rolling...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Great Comic Book...

As long time readers will have noticed, I sure like comics. I got my professional start writing comic books and still try to keep my hand in whenever I can. In fact, I can usually tell if I want to work with someone (producers, director, you name it) by their reaction when they find out I've written, well, Superman. If it's some version of "wow, cool!", we're in good shape. If the reaction is that slightly sour, "oh my, I thought you were a REAL writer" sneer, then that's the WRONG person.

(Slight aside... I had a meeting awhile back with a very famous person from the rock and roll business, not a performer, who was interested in moving into movies and TV. He had an idea for a sprawling science fiction saga that he had spent considerable time developing. Meanwhile, I was in the middle of my run on Battlestar Galactica and writing Superman/Batman for DC Comics. When this guy found out I had a background in comics, the meeting immediately went South. I mean, I got this look that said, "my adventure about a cliche hero who fights monsters while stuff blows up is FAR too serious and important a work of drama to trust to someone who would write something as ridiculous as a comical book!" Obviously we did not move forward, but I was struck by the idea of a guy who made his millions off rock and roll records (!) lifting his nose at comic books! I guess it's human nature to want to feel superior to something...)

Anyhow, screw that guy, comics are great. And there was a period in the mid 70's when the companies started floundering a bit and playing with formats to keep readers buying. In 1974, DC briefly made their flagship Batman title, Detective Comics, into a 100 page-a-month, 60 cent behemoth, and while I'm not that big a fan of a lot of 70's books, these really stand out.

First, Archie Goodwin was the editor. If you know any comics history at all, then that name immediately says "quality", and this brief moment in Detective history was a real stand out. And Detective Comics #442 just might be one of the best superhero comics published back then. Just look at this line-up (again, for 60 cents!) --

An Archie Goodwin/Alex Toth Batman story, one of Toth's few forays into modern DC herodom, and one of the best. Just a great adventure story, beautifully drawn.

A Joe Simon/Jack Kirby Newsboy Legion reprint from the '40's...

A classic Hawkman reprint from writer Gardner Fox and artist Murphy Anderson...

A Black Canary story from 1947 with amazing art by Carmine Infantino and Frank Giacoia...

The Elongated Man circa the 60's, by Fox, Infantino and inked by Sid Greene...

Batman and Robin from 1945...

Dr. Fate from 1941 (!)...

And wrapping it up, a new Manhunter story by Archie Goodwin and the amazing Walt Simonson.

Sixty cents!

Unlike some of the uber-slick hardcover reprints we're getting these days, the reproduction is all immaculate and the golden age stories are just as sweet as the modern stuff. Talk about an afternoon of entertainment! Forget decompressed stories and splash panels, this is a concentrated dose of hardcore comics genius, old and new. And I sure wish there were books out there like it today!