Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mid-Ohio-Con 2009

Now in its twenty-ninth year, Mid-Ohio-Con is one of America’s longest-running and most successful comic book and pop-culture conventions, carrying on a fun and family-oriented tradition of bringing fans of all ages together with leading comic book writers and artists, film and television stars and creators, and publishers and retailers from across the nation.

Mid-Ohio-Con 2009 will be held on Saturday and Sunday, October 3–4, in Exhibit Hall E of the Greater Columbus Convention Center, 400 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43215. The show is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

One-Day Passes are $15 per person, per day.
Weekend Passes are $25.

For more info visit

Monday, September 28, 2009


The countdown to 2012, the highly-anticipated film from director Roland Emmerich, begins October 1 with the largest broadcast, cable, online and mobile media preview ever orchestrated to support the launch of a motion picture, it was announced today by Marc Weinstock, president of Worldwide Marketing for Sony Pictures. Television audiences watching virtually every major North American broadcast and cable outlet will have the opportunity to see an exclusive, two-minute scene from the film as part of this simultaneous roadblock on Thursday, between 10:50 and 11:00 p.m. EDT/PDT. The film will be released in theaters worldwide on November 13, 2009.

Supported by a multi-million dollar promotional campaign by Comcast, the action-packed two-minute sequence from 2012 will air on the major broadcast networks (ABC, NBC and CBS), 89 cable networks, local stations in the top 70 markets, and Spanish-language networks throughout the United States. With nearly 450 separate North American television outlets taking part in this unprecedented media event, it is projected that the 2012 footage will reach nearly 110 million television viewers – a delivery that exceeds that of the Super Bowl. The two-minute scene will reach an estimated 90% of all households watching ad-supported television at that time.

Consumers will have the opportunity to see the conclusion of the two-minute cliffhanger scene after the roadblock with an extended five-minute sequence on and on Comcast On Demand. The total projected television, online and mobile audience in North America that will be able to see the footage in the first 24 hours exceeds 140 million consumers.

Comcast will launch its on-air and online promotional campaign across its cable networks and on Comcast-owned networks and popular web destinations such as E! Entertainment Television, G-4, Comcast Sports Group,,, E!Online, and through its vast Video on Demand (VOD) libraries. In addition to the exclusive footage, Comcast will launch VOD sneak-peeks and story arcs that offer an expanded look at 2012.

Specifically, the two-minute scene will air on national and local outlets between approximately 10:50 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. EST/PST, between 9:50 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. CST and between 8:50 p.m. -9:00 p.m. Mountain Time.

For information on when and where the television preview can be seen in your area, visit .

“2012 is an extraordinary film that captures the imagination and attention of all moviegoers from 13 years-of-age on up,” said Weinstock. “Since it appeals to such a broad audience, we wanted to launch our campaign in a way that would make an impact, and we are excited to be partnering with Comcast on this unprecedented launch.”

Derek Harrar, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Video Services for Comcast added, “When we saw the scene from 2012, we thought it was compelling footage and we were thrilled by the opportunity to share it with our subscribers. Comcast lives at the center of people’s entertainment experience – whether online or on television – so the opportunity to participate with Sony Pictures in this unprecedented popular culture ‘moment in time’ was appealing not only from a brand perspective, but more importantly from what we’re delivering our customer: exclusive access online and On Demand as the only place to see the conclusion for this highly anticipated preview.”

Overseas, the 2012 roadblocks will be replicated in many countries around the world at the end of October.

Never before has a date in history been so significant to so many cultures, so many religions, scientists, and governments. 2012 is an epic adventure about a global cataclysm that brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors. The film is directed by Roland Emmerich and written by Roland Emmerich & Harald Kloser. The producers are Harald Kloser, Mark Gordon, and Larry Franco. 2012 stars John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Thandie Newton, with Danny Glover and Woody Harrelson. For more information on the film, please visit .



Highly Anticipated Motion Picture Generates
Huge Demand Around the World

Online Ticket Services Report Hundreds Of Sold-Out Shows
in First Day of North American Advance Sales

More Than $1 Million In Ticket Sales In Japan Alone

"I've never seen anything like it in the 25 years I have been film buying," says UK Exhibitor

CULVER CITY, Calif., September 28, 2009 – Sony Pictures Entertainment, in conjunction with Sony Music Entertainment, today announced that the first 24-hours of pre-sales activity for Michael Jackson’s This Is It has resulted in record-breaking sales throughout the world as fans secure the first tickets to the two-week, limited engagement of the highly-anticipated motion picture.

With reports still coming in from nations around the world, it is believed no movie in history has generated so many ticket sales so far in advance of its release.

In North America, online ticket sellers Fandango and report that there is extraordinary demand for the film with hundreds of showtimes already sold out after one day of pre-sales. Some 80% of all online ticketing service transactions were for the film, which will debut in some markets with special advance showings the evening of Tuesday, October 27 and will open worldwide on Wednesday, October 28. The film is directed by long-time Jackson collaborator Kenny Ortega.

Domestically, an unprecedented number of shows for the two-week engagement have sold out in the first 24 hours of ticket availability in locations from coast-to-coast, including such cities as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Nashville and New York, among others. Internationally, exhibitors from London and Sydney to Bangkok and Tokyo have experienced the same epic demand.

In London, Vue Entertainment's Film Buying Director Stuart Boreman said Michael Jackson's This Is It sold more than 30,000 tickets in its first 24-hours, setting the biggest ever one-day sales record in the UK, eclipsing advance buying for films including Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. "I've never seen anything like it in the 25 years I have been film buying," Boreman said. "It's a true phenomenon and sales show no sign of slowing down."

In the United States, more than 500,000 fans performed searches for showtimes on the official www.thisisit-movie.comwebsite. Online buzz for Michael Jackson’s This Is It was 60 percent higher Sunday than for any other upcoming film.

Commenting on the extraordinary results, Rory Bruer, President of Worldwide Theatrical Distribution for Sony Picture Releasing said, “Michael Jackson’s fans all over the globe have enormous interest in this film and we can assure they will not be disappointed. This film delivers on everything they hope and expect to see. I think the initial sales activity we are seeing in the United States and United Kingdom to countries such as Australia and Thailand underscores the unique nature of this film, which is a special celebration of Michael and his music.”

In Japan, more than $1 million in ticket sales were recorded within the first 24 hours of their release, setting an advanced-sales record unmatched by any movie in history.

Staggering advance sales were reported in Australia, where tickets for Michael Jackson's This Is It purchased through Village Cinemas exceeded the lifetime pre-sales of such blockbusters as Transformers, and X-Men Origins.

In Bangkok, Thailand, fans lined up at box office ticket counters throughout the city, and by the end of the first day, all tickets for the first showings across Bangkok were sold-out.

In Los Angeles, at Regal Cinema's LA LIVE Stadium 14, fans began lining up on Thursday night for tickets to some of the city's first public showings, and within hours of Sunday morning's starting bell for advance pre-sales, the exhibitor reported selling out of all 3,000 of their seats for shows on Tuesday night October 27th.

Sell-outs at theaters in France are also being reported; thousands of fans lined up at The Grand Rex in Paris and quickly bought out the film’s first screening there. Record-setting sales also were recorded in Germany; hundreds of fans lined up outside one theater in Munich at midnight to await the opening of the box office. As one German exhibitor noted, "Something like this never happened before in Germany."

Record sales and sell-outs are also being reported in Holland, Sweden, Belgium and New Zealand, among other countries.

Moviegoers worldwide can get information for the two-week limited engagement by visiting For fans wishing to discover the closest theater playing the film near their home in North America, please call (877) 488-4258.

Michael Jackson’s This Is It will offer Jackson fans and music lovers worldwide a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the performer as he developed, created and rehearsed for his sold-out concerts that would have taken place beginning this summer in London’s O2 Arena. Chronicling the months from March through June, 2009, the film is produced with the full support of the Estate of Michael Jackson and drawn from more than one hundred hours of behind-the-scenes footage, featuring Jackson rehearsing a number of his songs for the show. Audiences will be given a privileged and private look at Jackson as he has never been seen before. In raw and candid detail, Michael Jackson’s This Is It captures the singer, dancer, filmmaker, architect, creative genius, and great artist at work as he creates and perfects his final show. Kenny Ortega, who was both Michael Jackson's creative partner and the director of the stage show, is also directing the film, which is being produced by Randy Phillips, Kenny Ortega and Paul Gongaware. Executive producers are John Branca and John McClain. The film will be distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures Releasing. For more information about the film please visit

Sony Music Entertainment's Columbia/Epic Label Group will release a two-disc album "This Is It" featuring music inspired by the motion picture. The album will be available internationally on October 26th and in North America on October 27th.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Star Wars In Concert

Worldwide concert tour plays
October 29 at the
Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena

Tickets go on sale September 25, 2009 at 10 a.m. at all Ticketmaster Outlets, by phone(800) 745-3000, and online at Ticket Prices: $34.00, $54.00, and $74.00 plus applicable service charges.
On Sale: Friday, September 25, 2009; 10 a.m.

Massive multi-media event features stunning visuals,
a live orchestra, choir and narration, plus an exclusive exhibit of
Star Wars costumes, props and production artwork

September 17, 2009 – Star Wars™: In Concert is a unique multi-media event featuring music from all six of John Williams’ epic Star Wars scores. As part of its worldwide tour, it will play October 29, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

Tickets for the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena go on sale Friday, September 25 at 10 a.m. at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena box office, by phone at (800) 745-3000, and online at

Narrated live by Anthony Daniels (the actor who portrayed C-3PO in all six films), the production features a full symphony orchestra and choir, accompanied by specially edited footage from the films displayed on a three-story-tall, high-definition LED super-screen – one of the largest ever put on tour. The live music and film elements are synchronized in order to create a full multi-media, one-of-kind Star Wars experience.

“We’ve taken the key themes from the music and cut together all the images that fit with each theme, so you can really get a sense of how the music played into the images,” said George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars Saga. “The whole soundtrack is a testament to John Williams’ creativity and his extraordinary ability to enhance the emotional aspects of the films.”

“Creating the music for the Star Wars films has been an exciting and wonderful experience for me, and I therefore have derived particular pleasure in assembling a compendium of themes from all of the films to be presented in Star Wars in Concert,” said Williams. “The editors at Lucas film have created original film montages to accompany each of the musical selections, and in the process, I believe that a singular and unique Star Wars experience has been born.”

“This event has been crafted to present Star Wars from many points of view; for the first time, the full dramatic sweep of Williams’ iconic scores can be heard performed live in one evening,” said Another Planet Touring Producer Spencer Churchill.” “The show is a new way of experiencing the epic scope of the saga.”

Accompanying the concert is an exclusive exhibit of Star Wars costumes, props, artifacts, production artwork and specially created behind-the-scenes videos from the Lucasfilm Archives. Many of these pieces are leaving Skywalker Ranch for the first time. The exhibit features many classic fan favorite artifacts, as well as several new and never-before-seen items, including:

·Full costumes for Jedi Masters Kit Fisto and Plo Koon will be on display.

·For the first time ever, pages from John Williams' original hand-written sheet music for Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace will be exhibited for the public.

·Also on display will be various never-before-seen props from the films, including blasters and helmets from Coruscant, Tatooine and other iconic Star Wars locations.

Star Wars: In Concert is produced by Another Planet Touring in association with Lucasfilm Ltd. Performances will be conducted by Dirk Brossé and the production is directed and designed by Steve Cohen. Star Wars in Concert had its world premiere at the 02 Arena in London on April 10 and 11, 2009.

For more information and to view the trailer:

Searching for Michael Peterson: Indie Film About Legendary Surfer


The hit independent film about Australia’s cult surfing hero, SEARCHING FOR MICHAEL PETERSON announces its United States screening tour during September and October 2009.

Please view the movie trailer here:

On Friday September 25th, 2009, SEARCHING FOR MICHAEL PETERSON will screen on the opening night at the prestigious New York Surf Film Festival and then in old-school surf film tradition, it will screen up and down the east and west coasts. Dates are listed below.

Michael Peterson ruled the surf scene throughout the early to mid-1970s with his savage, groundbreaking surfing. An undiagnosed schizophrenic, Michael couldn’t handle the fame his surfing powers attracted, and he retreated into a world of hard drugs, fast cars and shadows. He eventually hit rock bottom after a car chase, which took 35 police cars to stop him. It's an intoxicating and addictive tale for anyone who has ever felt like a fish out of water. “The story of Michael Peterson makes Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas look like Alice In Wonderland.” Describes Peterson biographer, Sean Doherty.

Director, Jolyon Hoff recalls when he first heard about the surfing enigma,

“As a teenager, my friends and I would drive our cars up the Australian coast to places like Seal Rocks or Angourie or Lennox Head and Byron Bay. The trips were all about growing up – there were girls, drunken nights, experiments with drugs, warm water and beautiful waves. We were after the surf but it was often the other unexpected things that happened along the way that became the highlight of the trip – stories to be endlessly recounted on our next trip.”

Hoff continues, “It was on these trips that I first heard, from the older surfers we met, the stories of Michael Peterson, this mysterious character and incredible surfer. We’d sit around the campfire and they would speak with reverence while we listened in awe. It was like a surfing ghost story in many ways.”

“Years later, I decided to throw the boards on the roof and the cameras in the boot and head out to the point breaks, beaches and carparks to capture all these wild, weird and mysterious stories.”

SEARCHING FOR MICHAEL PETERSON features original footage of Peterson’s life as well as interviews with his friends and surfing rivals. The 55 minute documentary has already achieved success and stellar reviews, selling out 25 shows in Australia, screening at the Greenroom Festival in Japan, the Surfilm Festibal in Spain and sold out shows throughout the UK, including London, Brighton, Cornwall and Wales. It has been invited to screen at the Australian Centre of the Moving Image as part of the Australian Perspectives program.

SEARCHING FOR MICHAEL PETERSON is available to purchase ($30 USD plus postage) through

Adding a special touch to the U.S. tour is Australian singer/songwriter Beau Young (2 x world champion surfer) in concert. Beau retired from professional surfing in 2003 to focus on a fulltime career in music. He has gone on to record 2 albums and performed at many of Australia’s most respected music festivals and toured through Japan and Europe. Beau has an obvious affinity with the film and story of Michael Peterson, being the son of one of the world’s most recognized and famous surfers (and Peterson’s predecessor), Nat Young. This will be Beau’s first official U.S. tour.

About Michael Peterson

For five glorious years “MP” led Australia’s charge into the shortboard era and won virtually every event he contested, including three Bells Beach Pros back to back. His brilliant surfing provided the centerpiece for Albert Falzon’s Morning of the Earth film in 1972, and MP never looked back. His final tour victory, at the inaugural Stubbies Pro at Burleigh Heads in 1977, is regarded as the high point of the early professional era. Increased erratic behavior and paranoia led to an infamous car chase with police, which landed him in jail. He was later diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1982.

Thirty years on, MP is still vitally interested in the sport and culture of surfing and is a fixture at most Queensland events, enjoying the action with his mother, Joan. He is rightly regarded as an iconic figure in Australian surfing, and Jolyon Hoff’s film, while it pulls no punches, is an intensely moving tribute to the man.

Surfing pro, Kelly Slater once commented, “You are better than me, MP.”

Surfer Magazine ranks Michael as the #16 all-time greatest surfer in the world. Click here to view the article:

SCREENING DATES (more dates to be announced soon)


For all tour dates, ticketing and venue information go to

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wizarding World of Harry Potter First Look

Universal Studios Orlando, FL reveal the first look into the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park at Islands of Adventure opening in the spring of 2010. Included is a map of area and over a dozen conceptual images of the rides and shops including Zonko's, Three Broomsticks, Hogsmeade and of course ... Hogwarts Castle.


The PARANORMAL ACTIVITY trailer is now LIVE exclusively at Looks like the Exorcist done Blair Witch style. We're intrigued. Seems they are doing this teaser campaign to gauge interest for a larger release, so check out the trailer for yourself and request it to play in your area.

Friday, September 11, 2009


SUMMIT Entertainment
Opens 09-11-09

I went into this film with the lowest expectation possible and was a little surprised to not be entirely disappointed. For a SCREAM-meets-I know What You Did Last Summer-meets-Urban Legend-ish genre film it took itself far less seriously than anticipated. I never jumped out of my chair once, but had to have laughed out loud a dozen times. It's a pretty straight forward story, a revenge prank gone wrong leads the group of sorority sisters to cover up the accidental murder of one of their own and months later at graduation they one by one start getting offed buy a robed killer wielding a modified blade toting tire iron. It's not the worst in the genre, and certainly not the best, but if you're bored on a Saturday and can make a matinee you may find it worth a mindless hour and a half of cheesy kills, nudity, gratuitous partying and all the staples of the best and worst slasher flicks. Otherwise wait for it on DVD or cable.




Anaheim, California -- September 11, 2009 -- The Walt Disney Studios, in collaboration with acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth,” “The Hobbit”), is launching a new production label called Disney Double Dare You, to create new animated films full of chills and thrills for audiences of all ages, it was announced today at the D23 Expo by Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. All films will be produced under the guidance of del Toro, who originated the concept and the design of DDY and who will also direct certain projects. The first project in development for the new label is called “Trollhunters,” an original del Toro story which he will produce.

Commenting on the announcement, Cook said, “Guillermo is a brilliant and visionary filmmaker, and we’re excited to be launching this new label with him. His knowledge and appreciation for Disney films, along with his penchant for creating worlds of fantasy, presented a great opportunity for us to explore a whole new genre of filmmaking for moviegoers of all ages. We have admired Guillermo’s imaginative approach to filmmaking for some time, and now we’re proud to be working with him to create films full of imaginative delights and lots of thrills at the same time.”

Del Toro added, “As a director, I love to take audiences into fantastic new worlds and provide them with some anxious moments in the process. It is part of the Disney canon to create thrilling, unforgettable moments and villains in all their classic films. It is my privilege for DDY to continue in this tradition. To partner up with The Walt Disney Studios, with the support of Dick Cook and John Lasseter, is to belong to a storytelling partnership that I admire deeply. It is a true honor. I look forward to coming up with fresh and original stories that will take Disney films in a whole new direction. The emphasis is on fun, and we have some great ideas already on the storyboards.”

Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth received six Academy Award® nominations in 2007, including one for his original screenplay, and went on to win three awards. That film also received a BAFTA Award for Best Film not in the English language. His other directing credits include “Hellboy,” “Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” “The Devil’s Backbone,” “Cronos,” and “Mimic,” among others. Del Toro is currently directing back-to-back feature film adaptations of the Tolkien classic, “The Hobbit,” for release in 2011 and 2012.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

IL DIVO: One of the best reviewed films of the year comes to DVD 10/27



The Astounding Story of Italy’s Most Notorious Political Figure

The Jury Prize Winner at Cannes, Arrives on Blu-ray And DVD From MPI on October 27, 2009

“…, it ranks alongside the best of Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola.” -Stephen Holden, NY Times

“A bold, provocative, original, wildly inventive stunner. A moviegoing feast in a world of snack food." -Stephen Rebello, Playboy

"If Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, and Federico Fellini had a love child, Sorrentino would be it." - Bilge Eberi, New York Magazine

Chicago, IL - He has been called the Prince of Darkness, the Black Pope, the Fox, the Sphinx and the Hunchback, but the nickname Il Divo – the God – perhaps best fits the persona of Italy’s seven-time prime minister and “senator for life,” Giulio Andreotti, a figure who held sway over the entire Italian political landscape for decades. The scandals that plagued Andreotti’s career -- charges of Mafia ties, bribery and deadly violence – would seem too appalling to be true, but viewers can decide for themselves when IL DIVO arrives on home video on October 27, 2009. MPI Home Video will release the cinematic masterpiece on both Blu-ray, with an SRP of $34.98, and on DVD, with an SRP of $27.98

Director Paolo Sorrentino’s film won the Jury Prize at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival and won seven David di Donatello Awards (Italy’s Oscar). At its center is an unforgettable performance by Toni Servillo as the fearsome Andreotti, the right-leaning head of the long-ruling centrist Christian Democratic Party.

While the action of the film moves back and forth through the decades, it begins in 1991 as Andreotti is forming what would be his final administration as prime minister while fending off investigations into Mafia ties. He and his hardliner faction have retaken control of a country reeling from the brazen murders of high-level bankers, judges and journalists (this following the 1978 abduction of Andreotti’s left-leaning rival Aldo Moro; after Prime Minister Andreotti refused to negotiate with the kidnappers, Moro was murdered).

As his party crumbles in a nationwide bribery scandal, suspicion begins to fall on Andreotti himself as the center of a shocking conspiracy involving the Vatican, the Mafia and a secret neo-Fascist Masonic sect. In what is called “The Trial of the Century,” Italy’s legendary “senator for life” (Andreotti retains the title still, at age 90) will stand accused of corruption, collusion and murder.

Upon its national theatrical release this spring, IL DIVO was greeted with unanimous praise from critics. Writing in Time Out New York, David Fear said Servillo-as-Andreotti’s “legacy as a symbol of power permeates each scene. Every gesture represents a command; every glance signals a vendetta.” The New York Times’ Stephen Holden called the film “a tour de force of indelibly flashy imagery” and added, “As operatic cinema, it ranks alongside the best of Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. … The density of violent crime in this speculative history of skulduggery in high places equals that of ‘I, Claudius,’ ‘The Sopranos’ and the ‘Godfather’ movies.” Roger Ebert says, "...proceeds like a black comedy version of 'The Godfather'..."

Wrote Lisa Schwartzbaum of Entertainment Weekly: “You need know nothing about Italian politics to completely enjoy the fantastical Fellini-fired, tragicomic, biographical fun-for-all.” Daily Variety called it “an intensely political film so wildly inventive and witty that it will become a touchstone for years to come.”

The IL DIVO raves were widespread: the online movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes posted a 100% positive response among leading critics, while Movie Review Intelligence ranked it the Number 1 favorably reviewed film in limited release. Many critics singled out Toni Servillo as being a virtual one-man Italian cinema revival, having also given an indelible performance in the recent hit crime drama “Gomorrah.”

IL DIVO is in Italian with English subtitles.


FOCUS Features
In Theaters 09-09-09

Where District 9 gave us other worldly insight into the plights of segregation, apartheid and immigration, the new Tim Burton produced animated feature "9", opening in theaters today, ponders the dangers of turning over control to autonomous machines to fight our wars for us (a lesson we've been fed ad nauseam a la Skynet) interwoven with child-like fantasy and spiritual alchemy. Based on the 2005 award winning animated short feature by Shane Acker, before the utter obliteration of our world and total extinction of the human race one scientist puts a plan in motion to stop the evil we've unleashed upon ourselves by infusing life into a series of gear filled, servo eyed, canvas skinded dolls - numbered 1-9 - each with their own unique personality and quirky eccentricities. Together they must save this new world from the Matrix-like machines. Opening with 9's unsteady footing into his new life, like a new born fawn on wobbling legs, we're along for the ride from the "first room" into the larger world outside, through the haphazard journey where he finds his numbered siblings and encounters with ravenous mechanistic nemesis, to his resistance against the established hierarchy of his numbered clan that came before him, to discovering his origin and eventually the destiny for which he was created. Throughout we are treated to an intricate steampunk world the tiny creatures and mechanistic monsters have forged out of the rubble.

9 gets a 10


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"Andy Barker, P.I. The Complete Series" Starring Andy Richter - Nov 17 DVD Release

Take another look into the wacky world of Andy Barker, accountant turned accidental gumshoe, with All-New Interviews, Commentaries, and Bloopers!

From the hilarious minds of Conan O’Brien and Jonathan Groff comes an off-the-wall comedy about earnest, hard-working CPA Andy Barker (Andy Richter), who has succeeded at everything — that is, until he opens his own accounting business and the phone fails to ring. But before he can really begin pushing those pencils, he’s mistaken for retired private detective Lew Staziak (Harve Presnell), who used to occupy his storefront office. Intrigued by his first task of locating a beautiful woman’s missing husband, not to mention the money she throws at him, Andy embraces the twist of fate and dives into his new double life, with his quirky strip mall neighbors and relentlessly supportive wife always at his side.

Shout! Factory will release the Andy Barker, P.I.: The Complete Series on November 17, 2009. This 2-DVD set contains all six episodes of the series, and extensive bonus material, including the retrospective feature Going Where The Numbers Take You, containing interviews with Conan O’Brien, Andy Richter, and other members of the cast and creative team; the Writers Class 101 feature, with co-creator Jonathan Groff and writers Josh Bycel, Jane Espenson and Jon Ross; cast and crew commentaries; and a gag reel. Andy Barker, P.I.: The Complete Series is priced to own at $24.99.

Created by Conan O’Brien and Jonathan Groff, Andy Barker, P.I. premiered on the NBC network in the fall of 2007 and was greeted with critical praise. A parody of private eye movies with a blend of modern humor, the series showcases Richter’s easygoing charm as his alter ego attempts to solve cases despite a lack of experience or subtlety in handling his interrogations. His costars are Harve Presnell (Fargo), Tony Hale (Arrested Development, Chuck), Marshall Manesh (How I Met Your Mother) and Clea Lewis (Ellen), and features the extraordinary writing talents of Conan O’Brien (The Simpsons), Jonathan Groff (How I Met Your Mother), Jane Espenson (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Caprica) and Josh Bycel (Psych).

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lament, True Believers...

For the Mighty Marvel House of Ideas has been consumed by a planet devourer that Galactus would be hard-pressed to keep up with: Disney.

It remains to be seen how this change will effect Marvel's output, but one worries that the merger might hinder the comic giant's creativity, leaving us with dumbed-down two dimensional children's stories.

We can only hope that, as both companies have stated, Disney will actually keep their fingers out of Marvel's day to day operations and let them keeping creating the great stories we've been reading for the past few years.

And as far as the movie side of things go... well, so long as Miley Cyrus and Whatever-Their-Names-Are Jonas aren't going to start taking on leading roles as our favorite spandex-clad heroes, then this could actually be a good thing. Sure, Disney fails from time to time, but no one can deny that they hit it out of the park just as often, (the first years of Miramax, anyone?) and if Marvel really will get to maintain creative control and make movies the way they've been making them these past few years, then yippee for a huge new weapon in their arsenal.

So, we'll keep an eye out and hope that the House of Mouse doesn't bring down the House of Ideas like a of cards?

Excelsior, indeed.