Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Angel star Andy Hallet dies of heart failure

As reported across the media, Andy Hallet, aka Lorne in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off series Angel, died last night from heart failure. This sad news ends the story of his five year-long battle against heart disease. He was 33.

Hallet brought a unique personality to the character of Lorne, a demon who sings at a supernatural bar, in more than 70 episodes of the Joss Whedon creation. Hallet's talents as a singer came in handy, and in recent years he had been concentrating on his music career rather than acting.

Lorne became a fan favourite character throughout Angel's run, and while this is partly down to strong scripts, it is Hallet that really gave the character his sparkle.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time- The End is Coming

The late Robert Jordan's legendary series of books The Wheel of Time commences its final trilogy this November. The final three books are being completed by bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, working from material Jordan wrote before his untimely death in 2007. Originally intended to be one book, such was the scope of the story that it was decided that the final part of the iconic fantasy series would work better as a trilogy.

According to various reports, comics and a movie are also in the works (The movie will be made by Universal Studios).

The first book of these final three installments, The Gathering Storm, will be released on the 3rd of November this year. The previous eleven volumes of this truly epic work have each become mainstays of the fantasy literature pantheon, thrilling and enthralling millions of readers the world over. While each volume is a chunky beast of a book, there is so much action and plot on offer that fans have been gripped since page one.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Robert Silverberg- A grand master returns

In a message posted to his Yahoo group, science fiction legend Robert Silverberg has revealed he is to write a brand new novella. While he has been writing the occasional short story, this will be the first new book (albeit novella length) he has released in years.

The message reads:

"I've just signed on to write a new novella, tentatively called "The Last Song of Orpheus," to be published as an original book by Subterranean Press in 2010. I expect to write it this fall and it will probably run about 25,000 words, and, no, I'm not sneaking back into writing novel-length books in some gradual way by doing this one. It's a theme that appeals to me and I've been meaning to write it for the past two or three years, and finally the impulse to do it reached the surface. But it's just a novella, and I'm not quietly hatching any novels for later years."

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Clerks 2: Damn you, Pillow Pants

While Zack and Miri Make a Porno saw Kevin Smith return to the gross-out humour of Jay and Silent Bob strike Back, while keeping hold of the very human comedy and drama of Chasing Amy, Clerks 2 seems to have been somewhat forgotten. While it differed in many ways from the classic original, it is still a fantastic, funny, moving and rude film that holds a special place in the hearts of many fans.

I personally love the Clerks 2 movie`, and in the characters of Dante and Randall is see big chunks of my life being played out in front of my very eyes. The situations may be ridiculous, but then, so is life.

Beck, played by the delightful Rosario Dawson (Seven Pounds, Sin City, and, erm, Josie and the Pussycats) is one of Kevin Smith's most delightful creations- a woman with her own problems, a real sense of humour and a very believable emotional connection to Dante (Brian O'Halloran). Dante and Randall are still very much the same characters they were in the original Clerks, just a little more jaded, a little more sad with their lot in life.

The dilemmas they face throughout Clerks 2 movie as they hurtle on deeper into their thirties are something that resonate deeply with Kevin Smith's last few films, which tells us something about the filmmaker himself. Yes, his earlier films were juvenile and puerile, but he's growing up at last, and wants to make something a little deeper.

Sure, I can’t really argue that a film with a Donkey Show in it is anything remotely deep, but the pop culture obsessed main characters are drawn as pretty real people. Hell, even Jay and Silent Bob seem to have matured a bit in Clerks 2. The film works as a sequel to the first Clerks very well, but it also works as a denouement of that period in Kevin Smith's career- the Jersey series, the Jay and Silent Bob stuff, and one of the most beloved pieces of Geek culture there has ever been.

It holds up very well on repeated viewings, and even though a couple of things are now rather dated (the announcement of a live action Transformers movie, for example), the story is moving and funny, which is pretty much we want from a Kevin Smith film.

Mind you... That poor Donkey...

Friday, 6 March 2009


New trailers for JJ Abrams' Star Trek reimagining and the new Wolverone Prequel have gone live, and both look impressive. The Star Trek trailer is nothing short of brilliant, while the Wolverine trailer (which is embedded at the USA today site on their piece about the movie here) looks, erm, like it is going to screw up continuity even more than the Star Trek film!

Check out the new Star Trek movie trailer below: