Thursday, March 10, 2005

Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah...Batmobiles!

Last year, Corgi released a small series of Batman vehicles based on the designs found in the comic books.

Well, you better clear some parking space in the Batcave, because there's a lot more coming up in 2005.

All these vehicles are 1:43 scale unless otherwise indicated. The release dates are according to Corgi's official site.

1940s Batmobile, available March 30. This is a 1:24-scale version of the small vehicle Corgi released last year.

1950s Batmobile, available March 30.

1970s Batmobile, available March 30.

Robin's Red Bird, available April 30.

1960s Batmobile, available April 30.

Robin Batcycle, available May 30.

Batman 1940s Roadster, available June 30.

1990s Batmobile, available June 30.

Two-Face Two-Tone 1950s car, available Aug. 31.

Bat Submersible, available Oct. 31.

New "Fantastic Four" pics

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Best "Lost" Sites on the Web

Official "Lost" Site on ABC
The network's promotional site for the show, featuring cast info, episode guide, wallpapers, pictures, a survivor's "diary" and more.

"Lost" Unofficial Forum
Where to go to discuss all your latest theories on what's really going on.

TV Tome: "Lost"
Lots of info on the show's cast and crew, plus an episode guide and current news.

IMDB: "Lost"
The Internet Movie Database's page on the show, with cast information, trivia and more.

"Lost"-TV: The Unofficial Fan Site
Just what it says: A good spot to get the latest news and commentary on the series.

Review: Are you "Lost"?

The premise at first sounded like a reverse-engineered "Survivor": A planeload of people crash on a deserted island and we all watch their struggle to stay alive and get along. But this was a fictional show--an actual TV drama.

You see, reality TV hasn't yet stooped to purposely crashing planes to insert people into contrived situations for voyeurs to watch. So they hired actors and writers for this one.

And while I thought the idea of a new TV drama was refreshingly different when I first heard about it last fall, I wasn't interested enough to actually watch. A serious "Gilligan" or fictionalized "Survivor" just didn't seem that compelling.

And so I foolishly skipped the first 8 or 9 episodes of "Lost."

Thankfully, good reviews from friends (and a lack of pretty much anything else worth watching) led me to finally check it out. And I'm glad I did.

Because "Lost" is a lot more than "Gilligan" or "Survivor." It's the most compelling, thoughtful and human thing I've seen on television since "Buffy" left Sunnydale.

And "Buffy" is one of the reasons "Lost" is so good. Former "Vampire Slayer" producer David Fury on the staff of the new show. In fact, it's got a good pedigree all around.

Paul Dini, producer of the wonderful animated "Batman" series of the early 1990s is a sometimes writer.

And the exec producer is J.J. Abrams, creator of "Alias," which was a favorite of mine up until the series went terribly awry a couple seasons back. They dumbed things down to attract new viewers and lost the old. The creators lost the plot.

"Lost," on the other hand, is anything but disoriented. Each new episode is a treat--well-focused, compelling, surprising and original.

That's largely because the characters are so well drawn. They're interesting people, all 14 of them (the program has a huge ensemble cast). Even the pretty ones who you initially discount as window dressing--on hand to boost the ratings and look appealing on the beach.

And the ones who aren't pretty? Man. These are some of the best characters I've seen on a TV program in years.

Hurley the fat guy, played wonderfully by Jorge Garcia, is a kind, loving guy with much more depth than he lets on. Thankfully, the show's creators don't play him strictly for laughs. He comes across as a very real, interesting, person. Not a caricature.

And Terry O'Quinn is fascinating as Locke. Initially he came on all "Rambo" but-- as we learn in his backstory--he's really a Walter Mitty type: a salesguy for a box-manufacturing company who dreams of adventure. In the series, he's taken on a near-shaman role, teaching the other survivors how to survive, showing them that being stranded is an opportunity for them to reshape their lives--recreate who they are.

And he oughtta know. As we learn, Locke used a wheelchair before the plane crashlanded. On the island, he can walk. Alone among the survivors, he views the island as a magical, giving place.

Others view it more as menacing. Two of the survivors were kidnapped by a mysterious stranger--not a person who was on the plane. We don't know where he came from. Wild boars and--more strangely yet--a polar bear, have attacked the surviving passengers. And there's something bigger, more threatening yet--something big and unseen that makes lots of noise and chases people through the jungles. Other strangeness includes a mysterious French woman, on the island before the passengers crashed and what seems to be a metal hatchway into the ground. Nobody's managed to open it yet.

These are the mysteries that people talk about at work Thursday mornings and on the message boards. All sorts of theories abound: The surivors are really all dead. They're in Heaven or Purgatory or Hell. They're in another dimension. Or quinea pigs in a government study project. Or...who knows.

And I'm not in a terrible hurry to find out. I'm wary of shows that string viewers along with mysteries like this. Either they cough things up too quickly and the answers are disappointing. Or they wait so long that, by the time we learn what's going on, nobody cares anymore. "Twin Peaks" and "X-Files," which promised big revelations but never quite paid off, should be cautionary tales for the "Lost" creative crew.

But what if the big reveal is that there is no reveal? These people are stuck on an island and that's it. All the strings of clues are just random coincidences. The door in the ground lead nowhere.

What we see is what we get: Some really interesting characters learning to live in a new way. After all, we're all surrounded by mysteries all the time right here in civilization. We're trying to figure out how to act, how to get along. Perhaps "Lost" is more about us than we realize.

"Lost" airs tonight on ABC. It's a rerun.

Double DVD traces history of Wilson's "Smile"

Something unimaginable happened in 2004: The Beach Boys legendary, unreleased "Smile" album was released--in a new version recorded by the music's creator Brian Wilson. And it's an incredible listening experience.

Fans of the band thought we'd never hear this stuff outside of bootlegs. Back the 60s, Wilson scrapped the album in the midst of drug and psychological problems and rattled by the release of the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper," an album that did what he'd wanted "Smile" to do: Elevate pop music to art.

But years later, and doing much better, Wilson finally decided to finish the project.

"Smile's" entire, troubled and ultimately triumphant history is traced in "Brian Wilson Presents Smile," a new tw0-disk DVD set out May 24 from Rhino Records. It oughtta be good.

According to Billboard:

Disc one of the set encompasses the Showtime documentary "Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the Story of Smile," plus four interviews with Wilson, one of which was conducted by "Smile" lyricist Van Dyke Parks.

The second disc sports a full performance of the album mixed in 5.1 Surrround Sound, outtakes from the documentary, footage from the recording of the album and Wilson performing five songs at his piano both solo and in collaboration with band members.

Deep below Disneyland..., it's not Walt Disney's cyrogenically frozen body--it's a bar!

Disney Insider takes a look at the ultra-exclusive Club 33, located below "The Pirates of the Carribean" attraction:

Tucked away in New Orleans Square behind a tasteful but inconspicuous door, just next door to the Blue Bayou, is the entry to a little joint called Club 33. The waiting list for membership can take years and few are fortunate enough to open that door – but the Disney Insider goes everywhere, and we even brought back a perfectly decadent dessert recipe from Executive Chef Marcel St. Pierre for you to recreate at home, for a little personal touch of luxury.

Via Boing Boing.