Category Archives: Coming Attractions

The Crown — Season 2 Teaser

A Christmas gift from Netflix to all of us Anglophiles: The Crown returns on 8 December 2017.

It looks like we’re jumping ahead to the early 1960s by the end of Season 2, which is good news, since Season 1 often felt like it was taking place in real-time.*

The new season will begin with the Suez Crisis in 1956 and end with the fallout from the Profumo affair of 1963. The teaser features a brief look at Michael C. Hall, aka “Dexter,” as President Kennedy.

The Crown, with its solid performances, was one of my favourite shows of 2016.


*Not that I minded. For me, the more detailed, the better, when it comes to getting my British fix. I was only worried that at the pace the first series was playing out, I’d be celebrating my 100th birthday long before The Crown made it to the Diana years.

The Disaster Artist — The True Story of the Making of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room

The Room is a 2003 film that has deservedly earned a high ranking on any recent list of “The Worst Movies Ever Made,” up there with Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space and Nicholas Webster’s Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

The Orson Welles of this “Citizen Kane of bad movies” is the mysterious and staggeringly untalented Tommy Wiseau, who produced, directed, and wrote the screenplay, such as it is. Mr. Wiseau also plays the lead. Here he is, at his finest:

Acting like that would embarrass William Shatner. Hell, it might even embarrass David Caruso.

So, of course, The Room has become a cult favourite, with midnight screenings and Rocky Horror-esque audience participation.

Greg Sestero, who played the aforementioned Mark—“Oh, Hi Mark”—in the movie, wrote a book about his experience, and now James Franco is bringing it to the screen. A new teaser takes a look at the making of the scene in the above video:

It’s called The Disaster Artist, and in addition to James Franco, it stars Dave Franco and Seth Rogen. The release date is 1 December 2017.


Want to see more?

Here’s a selection of some of the funnier stranger more deranged scenes from The Room:

Ready Player One — First Trailer

Ok, now about that other key trailer from Comic-Con: The trailer for Ready Player One.

Ernest Cline’s science-fiction novel, Ready Player One was the fanboy must-read book of 2011. It’s set in the unhappy and decaying United States of 2044, when a decades-long recession, a trashed environment, and the general collapse of civil society have driven many people to spend much of their time hooked into a virtual reality universe called the OASIS. When there’s a two-year waiting list for jobs at Burger King, escapism is a logical choice.

As our hero and narrator, Wade Watts, known in the OASIS as “Parzival,” points out:

“Now that I was eighteen, I could vote, in both the OASIS elections and the elections for U.S. government officials. I didn’t bother with the latter, because I didn’t see the point. The once-great country into which I’d been born now resembled its former self in name only. It didn’t matter who was in charge. Those people were rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic and everyone knew it. Besides, now that everyone could vote from home, via the OASIS, the only people who could get elected were movie stars, reality TV personalities, or radical televangelists.”

[Keep repeating, “It’s only a movie. It’s only a movie. It’s only a movie.”]

Anyhow, the now-dead creator of the OASIS was a man named James Halliday who, not unlike many of the readers of this book, was a 1980s obsessive. You know, the kind of person who goes nuts over spotting the 80s allusions in Stranger Things….

OASIS made Halliday very, very rich. When his will was read, it revealed that he’d hidden three “keys” in OASIS, and that the first person to find them, and solve the puzzles linked to them, would be the sole inheritor of OASIS and of Halliday’s massive fortune. All that would be required to solve the puzzles was an encyclopedic knowledge of the movies, music, video games, and TV shows of the 1980s.

Enter Parzival.

I liked the book, but didn’t love it. It’s a fast, easy, enjoyable read, full of Easter eggs for those of us who have, well, “an encyclopedic knowledge of the movies, music, video games, and TV shows of the 1980s,” but it was definitely light reading, without much depth or meaning. It’s a book that’s the perfect source for a big spring/summer movie.

Steven Spielberg (who else?) is directing. The film is scheduled to be released on 30 March 2018.

Stranger Things Season 2 — Comic-Con “Thriller” Trailer

The 2017 Comic-Con International ends today, and, as always, the event was packed with teasers, trailers, and sneak peaks. Among he most anticipated was this trailer for the second season of Stranger Things.

It doesn’t disappoint.

We’re back in the 80s again, a year after the action of last summer’s breakout hit.

Arcades! Dragon’s Lair! Reagan/Bush! Winona Ryder! Ghostbusters! Thriller! Shorts that were actually, you know, short.

It even has Memphis sheets!*

Sequels are always tricky. Can the Stranger Things recapture the charm and magic of the original?

We’ll find out on 27 October 2017, when Netflix will make the whole series available for streaming.


To Be Stuck Here Inside of Mobile, with These Memphis Sheets Again

*Well, sort of. The sheets you can see at the 3:03 mark are certainly reminiscent of the Memphis designs that were ubiquitous in the mid-80s, but I don’t think they’re the original item. This is just another subtle Stranger Things 80s homage.

You can see real Memphis sheets on Grady’s bed at the beginning of this scene from 1985’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. (AKA the gay one.)

Memphis,” btw, doesn’t have anything to do with the city in Egypt. It was the name of a Milan design group, and had a style that heavily influenced New Wave graphics. Apparently, it’s making a comeback this year.

Being able to spread important, potentially life-changing information like this is what makes blogging so rewarding.

The Vivien Leigh Collection — Movie Auction of the Year

Vivien Leigh won Academy Awards for playing Scarlett O’Hara and Blanche DuBois, two of the all-time great women’s movie roles.

Now, 50 years after her death, what remains of her estate is being offered at auction by Sotheby’s London. The full auction catalogue has not yet been posted, but you can see a small sample at the auction site.

From the press release: “Passed down through Vivien’s family, the collection comprises paintings, jewellery, couture, books, furniture, porcelain, objets d’art and further items celebrating all aspects of her life, from the pre-war years in London, to Hollywood and beyond, up to her death in 1967. Myriad pieces drawn from the city and country homes Vivien shared with her husband Laurence Oliver [sic] will give a new perspective on Vivien, from her appreciation of art and patronage of Modern British artists, to her passion for books and fondness for entertaining and interior design.”

Included in the sale will be Vivien Leigh’s personal copy of Gone with the Wind, given to her by the author Margaret Mitchell.


As Blanche DuBois, Leigh puts her faith in the kindness of strangers in A Streetcar Named Desire.

As Scarlett O’Hara, Leigh rises from despair in Gone with the Wind.


The auction for “Vivien: The Vivien Leigh Collection” will take place on 26 Sep 2017 at Sotheby’s London.

A Wrinkle In Time — First Trailer

The movie won’t reach theatres until next Spring, but this weekend attendees at the D23 Expo got an early peak at Disney’s adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic novel, A Wrinkle In Time.

D23 is the official fan club for The Walt Disney Company, and the D23 Expo is its biennial exposition event.

You can never judge a movie based on its trailer—see, for instance, Ghost in the Shell, which had me all hot and bothered for weeks—but I’m lowering my previous high hopes for this project. Sorry, but Oprah Winfrey looks laugh-out-loud ridiculous here.

A Wrinkle in Time is scheduled to open on 9 March 2018.


Is That the Sydney Opera House on Your Head, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

What to Eat While Watching Westeros Plunge into a Devastating War

Dragon Fruit, of course.

It’s fairly obvious how it got its name. Dragon Fruit is native to Mexico, but now grows everywhere from the Canary Islands to Southeast Asia. Here’s a look inside:

The internal appearance and texture resemble Kiwi Fruit, but to me, Dragon Fruit is more bland and less sweet.

Despite my preference for Kiwi Fruit, I’ll be eating Dragon Fruit tonight, because Game of Thrones  is all about the dragons.

Now, if one of the characters was named “Daenerys, Mother of Kiwis,” it would be a different matter altogether.


Can’t believe I never got around to posting the second trailer for this series of Game of Thrones. Better late, and all that….