Stephen King's ''Under the Dome'' headed for HBO

I'm two-thirds of the way through Under the Dome, Stephen King's massive - and excellent - new book, which I'll be reviewing in next Sunday's Herald. The novel, which came out Tuesday, clocks in at a whopping 1,072 pages and is so big that it includes a map and a list of the massive cast of characters (including a "Dogs of Note" section). 

Stephen-king-under-the-dome1

I've been a faithful reader of King ever since I read The Shining at the age of 12, but it had been a long time since I enjoyed one of his novels as much as I am enjoying this one. Don't let the heft of the thing intimidate you, either: The novel moves like lightning and is as compulsively readable as King's old-school classics such as The Stand, Salem's Lot and, yes, The Shining.

Unlike some of his other books that have been forced into flimsy movies and TV mini-series, Under the Dome would be a natural for a film adaptation, although a two-hour running time obviously wouldn't cut it. In a book signing appearance earlier this week, King let it slip out that Under the Dome will actually be turned into an HBO mini-series, which would be the ideal format for an adaptation. Check out the clip below of King's Q&A at Wal-Mart (he mentions the HBO series at around the 2:30 mark).

The ''Arrested Development'' movie gets one step closer to reality

Mitchell Hurwitz, the creator of FOX TV's short-lived genius sitcom Arrested Development, has officially hunkered down and started working on a script for the long-rumored big-screen spin-off of the show with his co-executive producer James Vallely.

Arrested

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hurwitz had said he wouldn't start contemplating a screenplay unless all of the actors who made up the show's ensemble cast were committed to return. Hurwitz will direct the movie himself, which is tentatively scheduled to start filming in spring 2010.


Which movie ads fared best during Sunday's Super Bowl telecast?

Transformers According to a poll over at MovieTickets.com, the ad for Michael Bay's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was the most memorable of the 10 movie trailers that aired during yesterday's Super Bowl XLIII telecast.

Over 83 percent of respondents remembered seeing the commercial, while 23 percent said it the most effective in encouraging them to see the film when it opens on June 26.

Coming in second place was J.J. Abrams' reboot of Star Trek,  in theaters, with 79 percent of respondents remembering it. The much-ballyhooed 3-D ad for Monsters Vs. Aliens came in third with 78 percent.

Here's how the rest of the ads fared. G.I. Joe is the only ad not available on NBC's website, but you can click on all the others to watch them.

Judging by the results, looks like Pixar has some marketing work to do, while Jack Black might start wondering if his 15 minutes are up.

4. Fast and Furious (77%)

5. Land of the Lost (75%)

6. Race to Witch Mountain (74%)

7. Angels and Demons (64%)

8. G.I. Joe (59%)

9. Up (48%)

10. Year One (34%)

100308-and024 By the way, I'm calling this now: I am not sitting through Angels and Demons. Connie Ogle, I'm talking to you.

 

 

The ultimate in "Twin Peaks" memorabilia

Nikesbjanuary2009collection1 I am so getting a pair of these.

I'm back from vacation and have been trying to get Mickey Rourke on the phone for the last couple of days for a feature on The Wrestler, to no avail. So I'm going to have to write my story using only my interviews with director Darren Aronofsky and co-star Marisa Tomei, which is a little weird, considering the whole show is built around Rourke. But what are you gonna do?

Thepopeofgreenwichvillagepic I watched The Pope of Greenwich Village again last night to get into the proper Rourke frame of mind. I still can't figure out which scenes Michael Cimino directed and which scenes were done by Stuart Rosenberg. Eric Roberts' performance is one of the greatest pieces of overacting I've ever seen, but it works in a strange way. He would have fit right in with any episode of The Sopranos.

Completely spoiler-free thoughts on tonight's series finale of "The Shield"

Shield Here are the slightly wine-fueled text messages I sent to my editor Sara Frederick over the course of tonight's series-ending episode of The Shield. Her messages are in bold italics. I will spare you the content of our voice conversations during each commercial break. (note: just because I theorize about plot developments doesn't mean they actually took place):

- 9:59 p.m. I can't believe this is the LAST Shield!

- 10:00 p.m. I'm scared!

- 10:01 p.m. Me too. Really!

- 10:09 p.m. Corinne is gonna shoot Vic.

- 10:37 p.m. I'm shutting this off.

- 10:37 p.m. No!!!!!!!!!!!

- 10:39 p.m. It's too painful. Poor Shane! I hope he makes it.

- 10:39 p.m. I want them all to. How do you get addicted so freaking quickly?

- 11:10 p.m. Dutch is a serial killer!

- 11:10 p.m. You think?

- 11:11 p.m. YES

- 11:18 p.m. OMG!

- 11:28 p.m. I hate this show.

- 11:29 p.m. I'm very upset. What do you think is going to happen to Vic?

- 11:31 p.m. HA!

- 11:34 p.m. This is AWESOME.

- 11:38 p.m. GENIUS

Michael Chiklis and Shawn Ryan talk about "The Shield" finale

Now that The Road won't be out until 2009, there's only one movie coming out this year I am anticipating more than the series finale of The Shield, which airs Nov. 25 (coincidentally, the very same day I am seeing said movie).

Here's an interview with Michael Chiklis and series creator Shawn Ryan talking to The Hollywood Reporter about The End. It sounds like Vic Mackey is in store for some major karmic comeuppance.

Viewing log

Saturday Nov. 15

Bolt (2008): Cute.

Sunday Nov. 16

Madhouse Madhouse (aka There Was A Little Girl...) (1981): One of the lesser known entries in the list of 74 "video nasties," or movies banned in the U.K. in the 1980s for inappropriate content. The story of a woman terrorized by her evil twin sister, who has a nasty skin rash and a man-eating Rottweiler, the movie is receiving its first-ever DVD release in the U.S. courtesy of Dark Sky Films. As is sometimes the case with films on the list, it's hard to understand why it was banned, unless the British censors wanted to shield the public from some hilarious sequences involving an incredibly fake-looking rubber dog that made me think of Triumph finally losing his temper and going on a rampage.

Thesentinel The Sentinel (2006): Sat through this one primarily for completion's sake, and also because director Clark Johnson played a recurring role in the last season of The Wire (and directed the series finale, along with several episodes of The Shield). Rote and by-the-numbers, although I find Michael Douglas to be the kind of actor (like Gene Hackman or Michael Caine) who can make any movie watchable simply by being in it.

Letterman on Newman

610x I hadn't seen this until now, but David Letterman paid a really touching tribute to Paul Newman on Monday night's show. You can check out the clip here.

Arrested Development: The Movie is coming

04_arrested_lg Actor Jeffrey Tambor has told EW.com that the much-rumored big-screen spin-off of the late, great FOX TV sitcom Arrested Development is a go. "After months of speculation, I think we have finally figured out for sure that we are indeed doing [a film]," Tambor told the magazine. Now I just need a Deadwood film adaptation and I can close my existing file of Prematurely Canceled TV Programs That Would Make Great Movies.

A death in "Twin Peaks"

Majorbriggs Actor Don S. Davis, best known for a recurring role in seven seasons of the sci-fi TV series Stargate SG-1, died June 29 after a heart attack.

To me, though, Davis was Major Garland Briggs, the Air Force officer from Twin Peaks whose son Bobby was always causing trouble in town.

Owl_2 Major Briggs, whose secretive work may have had something to do with Project Blue Book, was abducted by aliens during the show's second season. Upon his return, he uttered my all-time favorite line of Twin Peaks dialogue, which had been previously heard during a dream sequence: "The owls are not what they seem." This confirmed my long-held suspicion that owls are, in fact, extra-terrestrials, sent here to surreptitiously study the human race.

R.I.P., Mr. Davis.

A definitive analysis of the final scene of The Sopranos

3shot Here's an exhaustive (and anonymous) analysis of the diner sequence from the final episode of The Sopranos. It's a long but fascinating read - the most convincing of all the arguments I've read that Tony Soprano is deader than Zed.

The author even draws on films that influenced the series to support his/her argument.

   David Chase is a well documented fan of Martin Scorsese and his mafia film Goodfellas. In a scene in the film mobster Henry Hill is surprised by the police behind him telling him to “freeze”. Henry then says in a voiceover “For a second I thought I was dead, but when I heard all the noise, I knew they were cops, only cops talk that way. If they had been wiseguys, I wouldn’t have heard a thing. I would have been dead.” Just like Tony Soprano. 

Now I'm back to believing the rumors about a Sopranos movie are just rumors. Although you have to figure HBO executives are counting their Sex and the City gross percentages and thinking "Maybe Members Only Guy missed."

 
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