A Teasing Glimpse Into The Secret Life of Pets


Pixar and Dreamworks had been the only two big boys in the CG-animated block, but in the last couple years we’ve had another studio make some inroads into that very block. It’s the studio that brought to the world Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2. It is also set to release Minions (itself a spin-off from the Despicable Me franchise).

Illumination Entertainment has released the first teaser trailer for their 2016 offering: The Secret Life of Pets.

From the look of the trailer we may be looking forward to a sort of Toy Story-type narrative but instead of toys coming to life and behaving like their owners it’s pets standing in.

The Secret Life of Pets is set for a July 8, 2016 release date.

TV News and reviews: Presence has a lead, Emerald City is Back , The Walking Dead and more!

ABC has signed on to Oscar award winning (12 Years a Slave) John Ridley’s drama “Presence” which will focus on an Army counter insurgency operative who finds herself navigating Los Angeles as an unlicensed private investigator.

Presence” should premier sometime in the 2016-2017 season. No casting news is available at this time. Ridley is also in talks with ABC about an unnamed Marvel project. (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/john-ridley-sells-detective-drama-802451)

Emerald City” is back alive at NBC and has its new star. According to The Hollywood Reporter (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/nbcs-emerald-city-casts-true-802634), Adria Arjona (Person of Interest) will play a 20-something-year-old named Dorothy. She and her K9 dog will be transported to a magical land to fight for supremacy.

The once, twice, thrice dead show is back alive and set to premier mid-season. David Schulner (The Event, Dracula) will write, executive produce and be show runner for the 10 episode series. “Emerald City” is based on L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz books.

Starz has picked up Neil Gaiman’s adaptation of “American Gods” HBO passed on the series earlier. Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Pushing Daisies) and Michael Green (Heroes, Everwood) will serve as showrunners and executive producers

Casting news:

Winona Ryder is coming to TV, according to TVLine (http://tvline.com/2015/06/15/winona-ryder-montauk-cast-netflix-series/ ) She will be the lead in the Netflix yet-to-be-named super natural thriller. Ryder will play the mother of a missing two year old who uses her unknown powers to find him.

The series was originally titled “Montauk“. David Harbour (State of Affairs) will co-star with Ross and Matt Duffner (Wayward Pines, Hidden) writing and directing eight episodes.

Giancarlo Esposito is coming back to TV! According to The Hollywood Reporter (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/giancarlo-esposito-joins-baz-luhrmanns-803463) , Esposito (Breaking Bad, Once Upon a Time and Revolution) has joined on to Netflix’s ‘The Get Down”

Esposito will play the the fiery Pastor Ramon Cruz. “The Get Down” also stars Jimmy Smits.

Renewals and cancellations:

A&E has canceled Carelton Cuse’s drama “The Returned“. However, his “Bates Motel” has been renewed for season four, according to Zap2It (http://www.zap2it.com/blogs/2014-15_canceled_tv_shows_list-2014-11 )

Speculation news:

Jessica Lange might be returning to “American Horror Story” According to The Wrap (http://www.thewrap.com/jessica-lange-says-shes-open-to-american-horror-story-return/), she does not object to the idea, if her and Ryan Murphy can work something out.  Please Jessica! (sorry, just said that to my TV.)

And in Holy Frakking news!

AMC has released the trailer for “Fear The Dead“, the spin off of “The Walking Dead“, You can watch it here! http://www.amc.com/shows/fear-the-walking-dead/video-extras/trailer-nicks-escape-fear-the-walking-dead-series-premiere

That will be my TV news round up for this week. Hope to see you all back next week!

Terra Battle: Tactical Fantasy

What is Terra Battle?

Terra Battle is an RPG mobile game available on Google Play. It has four races, human, lizardmen, beast folk, and stone folk. Standard job classes like archer, healer, mage, knight, and warrior are present. A mage can have affinity to the following elements: fire, ice, lightning, and darkness.

How is it a tactical fantasy?

The human job classes wear similar attire and have a military aesthetic.  The uniforms aren’t near Modern Warfare or Call of Duty level of advancement.  They have a post Industrial Revolution flair that is reminiscent of the Order 1886.








Mage_(Fire) Mage_(Lightning) Mage_(Ice) Mage_(Darkness) Warrior


Art Acknowledgements:

The art is by Kimihiko Fujisaka

Yes, A Deadly Adoption Was A Comedy…


Last night, an article appeared on Mashable in which I was declared to be one of the  “20 people who totally get the ridiculousness of Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig’s ‘A Deadly Adoption.”  At the time, I was incredibly flattered but also somewhat incredulous.  If I was one of the 20 people who understood that the latest Lifetime film, A Deadly Adoption, was meant to be a drier than dry comedy then that meant that there were presumably people out there who did not get the joke.

And how could that be!? I wondered.

In case you missed it, on April 1st, a story was leaked that Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig were secretly making a film for Lifetime.  The title of that film was A Deadly Adoption and early reports indicated that it was going to be a serious Lifetime film.  Because the story came out on April Fools Day, a lot of us assumed it was a joke.

However, then Will Ferrell announced that no, it was not a joke.  But now that news of the film had been leaked, he was prepared to close down production and make sure that the film never saw the light of day.  Now, whether Will was being serious in his anger or not is debatable.  (It’s easier to imagine Ron Burgundy having that reaction than Will Ferrell.)  But, regardless, cooler heads prevailed and soon, Lifetime viewers like me were enjoying commercials that featured Jessica Lowndes pointing a gun at a very grim and bearded Will Ferrell.


As the premiere approached, critics and viewers alike wondered if A Deadly Adoption was meant to be a serious film or if it was going to be a comedy.  Those who felt that the film was meant to be serious pointed out that the commercials for the film contained absolutely no hint that it might be a comedy.  Those who thought it was a comedy simply said, “Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig.”

As for me, I pretty much knew what A Deadly Adoption was going to be from the minute that I discover it was being produced by the same people behind Spoils of Babylon.  And, when I watched the film last night, my suspicions were confirmed.  A Deadly Adoption is a drier-than-dry satire, a film that mashes together every single Lifetime movie trope in order to create the ultimate Lifetime experience.  A Deadly Adoption gets its laughs by refusing to openly acknowledge that it’s gone totally over-the-top.  Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig both give extremely serious performances, with the humor coming from the fact that they are, with extremely straight faces, delivering dialogue and dealing with situations that are both ludicrous and yet very familiar to anyone who has ever spent a weekend binging on Lifetime.  The end result is that A Deadly Adoption both satirizes and pays tribute to everything that we love about a good Lifetime film.

(Does that make A Deadly Adoption the Sharknado of Lifetime movies?  Technically, yes.  But let’s not say that too loudly because Mia Farrow might hear and decide to live tweet the next showing.)

As for the film itself, it tells the story of Robert (Will Ferrell) and his wife, Sarah (Kristen Wiig).  Robert is a financial author who is also a recovering alcoholic with anger management issues.  (Significantly, everyone always talks about how angry Robert is, despite the fact that we never actually see him lose his temper.)  We know that Robert is a writer because he skypes with his agent and tells her stuff like, “Let’s cut chapter four.”  Sarah, meanwhile, has a typical Lifetime movie career.  She sells organic food at the local farmer’s market.  And, like all Lifetime movie heroines, she has a token and obviously doomed gay best friend named Charlie (Bryan Safi).

Years ago, as the result of an accident on a dock, a pregnant Sarah nearly drowned and lost her baby.  As a result, Robert is incredibly protective of their other daughter, Sully (Aylvvia Alyn Lind). (As part of the A Deadly Adoption drinking game, take a drink every time Will Ferrell says, “She needs her medicine!”)  Robert is also now scared of going out on the water so you better believe that the film’s conclusion is going to involve Robert in a tiny boat.

Anyway, Robert and Sarah want to adopt the unborn child of Bridget (Jessica Lowndes) but what they don’t know is that Bridget has plans of her own.  Upon accepting their offer to live with them until she gives birth, Bridget starts to subtly disrupt the lives of Robert and Sarah.  That right, she’s obsessed!  And, of course, she’s got a redneck boyfriend (Jake Weary) who drives a pickup truck and has a lot of “dangerous” tattoos.  And…

Well, I could actually devote a few thousand words to telling you the plot of A Deadly Adoption.  A lot of stuff happens.  In fact, every single plot point from every single Lifetime film ever made gets used at some point.  Everything about this film — from the acting to the direction to the tasteful decor of Robert and Sarah’s house to the almost obsessive focus on Jessica Lowndes’s cleavage — is designed to make this film look like a typical Lifetime film.

The brilliance of it comes from the fact that Ferrell, Wiig, Lowndes, and Weary all deliver their increasingly ludicrous lines with such intense commitment and low-key seriousness.  (Kristen Wiig, in particular, is great.)  With the exception of one line about lighter fluid and a dance party at the end of the film, there’s nothing in A Deadly Adoption that plays for obvious laughs.  Instead, the film is a two-hour inside joke and, if you get the joke, you’re one of the cool kids.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of uncool kids out there and a lot of them did not get the joke.  If you check out the comments left on the film’s imdb page, you’ll discover that there’s still a lot of people out there who are wondering whether this was meant to be a serious film or not.


To quote Ron Burgundy, “GREAT ODIN’S RAZOR!”

(Did he say that?  Sounds like something he would say.)

Anyway, to answer those who still do not know — yes, A Deadly Adoption was a comedy.

And it was a brilliant one at that!

This is what I feel like doing when people say they don't know if A Deadly Adoption was supposed to be funny.

This is what I feel like doing whenever people say they don’t know if A Deadly Adoption was supposed to be funny.

4 Shots From 4 Films: Akira, Perfect Blue, Madoka Magica Rebellion, Spirited Away

This column was a great idea since I’m a man of few words.


Akira (dir. by Katsuhiro Otomo - 1988)

Akira (dir. by Katsuhiro Otomo – 1988)

Perfect Blue (dir. by Satoshi Kon - 1998)

Perfect Blue (dir. by Satoshi Kon – 1998)

Puella Magi Madoka Magica Rebellion (dir. by Akiyuki Shinbo, Yukihiro Miyamoto - 2013)

Puella Magi Madoka Magica Rebellion (dir. by Akiyuki Shinbo, Yukihiro Miyamoto – 2013)

Spirited Away (dir. by Hayao Miyazaki - 2001)

Spirited Away (dir. by Hayao Miyazaki – 2001)