Twin Peaks 2017 Review

Is it Future… or is it Past? ‘TWIN PEAKS’ Returns

It’s happening again

That gum we liked was going to come back in style. After three years of patience, television audiences and specifically, dedicated die-hard fans of Twin Peaks got their wish on the evening of Sunday, May 212017. The series that last aired 27 years ago and was resurrected by original co-creators David Lynch (Mulholland Drive and Blue Velvet) and Mark Frost (Hill Street Blues) is back. Shrouded in secrecy, in a world full of advance spoilers, it already began to set a new benchmark that protecting your vision is still possible; thanks to a broadcast company like Showtime being amazingly supportive and keen with their marketing, and the loyal fans who wished nothing more than to discover the mystery on their own.

If the casual cable clicker wanted something refreshing on their channels, then this new incarnation (or third season) of Twin Peaks will have their eyes bulging and their brains exploding. Starting out strong with a flashback to the Season 2 (then Series) Finale, we see Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee, Dirty Sexy Money and John Carpenter’s Vampires) telling Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan, Desperate Housewives and Showgirls) she will see him again in 25 years. The beautiful and artistic camera pans transition us right into the opening credits with Angelo Badalamenti’s famous, award-winning, theme striking all the right chords to re-enter this beautiful world. Instantly the chills are re-awakened in our psyches and our subconscious as we see Cooper, the good side of him that was trapped in the evil-dwelling maze of The Black Lodge, receiving new messages from The Giant (Carol Struycken, The Addams Family and The Witches of Eastwick); The Giant being just one of many supernatural inhabitants found there (a.k.a. “Dugpas” for the fellow Peaks geeks) however the current credits list him now only as ?????.

Keep reading after the trailer

Admittedly, by the half-hour mark, the viewer could be easily lost due to the stretched tone of certain scenes where running time is not of the essence or simply because we are here, then there, with new characters that are not introduced immediately but rather through explanatory means of later scenes and sometimes other characters. Alas these strings do tie together in some way, shape or form; creating a key to unlocking this new series and the mysteries therein.

Twin Peaks 2017 ReviewThe first two parts in what is proposed as an 18-hour long film aired back-to-back and if the first set up some serious “What the F*CK!?” reactions, and everybody’s nails were ruined from scratching their heads; the latter was the hammer that drove the nails deeper. Gloriously returning to some more familiar territory, if you would call The Black Lodge, familiar territory, and welcoming back more residents of the small Washington town including Shelly Johnson (Mädchen Amick, Riverdale and Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers), James Hurley (James Marshall, A Few Good Men and Gladiator (1992)) and Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie, Gone in 60 Seconds and Wild at Heart) – Sarah clearly having not much prosperity in her life since her daughter’s murder and the revelation that her late husband committed the crime. Speaking of, Leland Palmer (Ray Wise, Jeepers Creepers 2 and RoboCop) appears to good Cooper, in the lodge, and so does Laura. A few more friends join this lodge party already in progress too but Lynch brilliantly reassures us not to be content with the old faces because things are still not as they seem. In fact, something is wrong and the question lingering throughout this new narrative: Is it future…or is it past?

Not the Twin Peaks you know

Undoubtedly, some viewers and Peaks fans will not be happy and it is impossible to please all, but Lynch and Frost repeatedly spoke that this is not the same Twin Peaks seen last so we were all duly warned, and for those of us adventurous and daring enough to embark on the new journey then we are, so far, greatly rewarded if not mentally tasked (or even emotionally drained starting with the brilliant return of the late Catherine E. Coulson as The Log Lady; performing to standards despite her failing health).

By the end of the part 102, we are getting closer to the town we once knew and the people in it, but we have to allow Lynch and Frost the freedom and TIME to get us there. Anybody can complain that this isn’t what they expected, and why are we not with all our beloved characters of the past, and the answer is simple. Twin Peaks is going to be a journey between two worlds; the good Cooper is in the Lodge and can’t leave while the bad is doing business dealings of his own including manipulation of people from South Dakota all the way up to Las Vegas.

We have 16 more hours ahead of sheer art and entertainment reflected in a pristine box of brilliance and madness. Like one, or two, characters in the new series, we have to watch this box continuously, patiently, and if you watch close enough, some wondrous things are bound to appear! (Get aroused too soon in the process and there’s going to be trouble!)

I’m a long-time, huge fan of this series, as is my Mother who I remember watching it on TV in its original run, yet I was too afraid to watch. Having now submerged myself into the world of David Lynch and his filmography, it is a trip always worth taking whether I understand right away, or continue to doubt my own theories on what his stories are about with every re-watch. I was so pleasantly mind-warped by these first two episodes and yet I instantly warmed to seeing the familiar once again, and disturbingly moved by the unfamiliar. That is the work of David Lynch folks, and that is the Twin Peaks we are getting now. It’s not just a slice of nostalgia; it’s truly a whole new Cherry Pie. Recommendation: pick-up Mark Frost’s The Secret History of Twin Peaks book available now and it just might help you with some stuff. Parts 103 and 104 are already on demand for those with Showtime and some other on demand media services as well. Don’t spoil it!

Rocky Horror Picture Show on Fox

Touch-A-Touch-A-Touch-A-Touch Me, I Wanna Be Dirty! – A reflection on FOX’s new Rocky Horror!

For the first time ever in my history, I have seen an IMDB star rating increase over the course of two hours. Thursday, October 20th, 2016, marked the day that FOX’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again premiered. First off, anything 41 years later and still getting that devoted cult attention is worth recognizing.

But is this redux worth recognizing?

Laverne Cox (Orange Is the New Black) plays the iconic Doctor Frank-N-Furter. The Alabama native, who has broken new ground in advocating for the LGBTQ community, brings an entirely different approach to this role than Tim Curry did in the legendary 1975 original film. This entire show is a modern day activist telling; appealing to the current – and curious – MTV crowd that might make them come out of their shells and experiment a little. No, I’m not talking about that (or am I) but rather enjoy a new take on a piece of classic cinematic and theatrical culture way ahead of its time.

Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do The Time Warp Again on Fox
Let’s Do the Time Warp Again!

Directed by Kenny Ortega (High School Musical 1, 2, and 3) this new version had strong anticipations going into it, not just from the core Rocky Horror audience, but musical critics who are all too familiar with his work and the bar set by FOX’s previous outings such as Grease: Live. Credit to him, and the direction he gave despite the restricting television medium was strong, but I did wish it had the “LIVE” appeal — sadly this was an actual movie version and therefore not broadcast in the moment. The costume design though was spectacular as was the make-up, lighting, stage, and all those internal works from the crew did not go unnoticed.

God Bless Tim Curry. The veteran actor, whom unfortunately has undergone some serious health issues in the past few years, came back to the Rocky Horror world he helped make famous (as the original Frank-N-Further in the film version) to play the Narrator/Criminologist. As a fan of his work, it is great to see him on that screen again and some scenes seem stressed while others he fits naturally in with his signature screen presence.

While the meta-world may rejoice for what this new entry brings, it seemed a deliberately campy take on the pre-established classic and brilliance that the original concept brought. I read some critics dismay over the fourth-wall break of the in-theatre audience watching along with us… actually I liked that aspect simply because the entire narrative took the “this is a show and not anything else” parody/paradox approach.

Ahhh the songs… the opening “Midnight Double-Feature Show” gave an excellent introduction and they even did a spin on “Time Warp” so respect to that because we didn’t need a rehash of the unbeatable original. I might point out that Reeve Carney (Horror fans you will know him from Penny Dreadful) did a superb job as Riff Raff – I mean he practically channeled Richard O’Brien’s voice and mannerisms. Was he THAT perfect and to the same level? No. But fantastic never-the-less. Same goes to Victoria Justice (Zoey 101) as Janet. A Susan Sarandon she was not but come that second and third act, Victoria really leveled up! Her performance of “Touch Me” was extraordinary; practically saving her entire part in this film and winning me over. Adam Lambert as Eddie (originally played my Meat Loaf) was a stand-out moment as well.

Annoying commercial breaks aside, The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again is worth getting on DVD when available or checking out a rerun. A friend of mine said it best that he watched this “not really comparing it too much to the original” (thank you for the insight Ulises Minor Vázquez a.k.a. Pro-Wrestler Gabriel Fuerza) because I think he had the right approach. It gave fresh pizzazz to this 2016 Halloween season and also likely encouraged and inspired today’s LGBTQ youth. It’s not for everyone and doesn’t have the magic of the original, but give the credit to fresh takes, and the look, that went into giving something that modern audiences could watch either separately, with friends, or with family. There’s still a glimmering light over at that Frankenstein place!

Did you watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show? Tell me what you thought in the comments section below.

Paranormal Investigation Series 'Kindred Spirits' Coming to TLC - Amy Bruni & Adam Berry

[VIDEO] Paranormal Investigation Series ‘Kindred Spirits’ Headed to TLC

Grab your thermal-imaging cameras and your EMF detectors, gang, because ex-‘Ghost Hunters’ members Amy Bruni and Adam Berry are coming back to TV!

The dynamic duo are helming their very own paranormal investigation series, Kindred Spirits. And I. Am. STOKED!

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Ghost Hunters on SyFy. The first few seasons were very compelling. Although I still tune in each week, the paranormal analysis in recent seasons has become lackluster, and the findings are dodgy at best. In the early years, the T.A.P.S. crew had to twist lead investigator Jason Hawes’ arm just to get him to admit a location was haunted. Now they seem to raise the “Haunted!” flag on nearly every episode.

The investigative crew on the current and final season of Ghost Hunters consists of backup replacements who make me feel like I’m watching Cousin Oliver-era Brady Bunch.

Because of the way the show has progressed, I sometimes find myself questioning the authenticity of those early seasons — which is sad, because back then, I was ready to march into battle for Jason and Grant. I mean, I’m not sure if that shit is real or not, but come on… be consistent. This is supposed to be science. Where’s the show I used to love? Where are the credible, skeptical investigators who initially drew me in? Grant Wilson, one of the founders of T.A.P.S., left the show a few years ago. What’s up with that? Much of the investigative crew on the current and final season of Ghost Hunters consists of backup replacements who make me feel like I’m watching Cousin Oliver-era Brady Bunch. Grab your water skis, Fonzarelli. Ayyy!

That’s what makes me even more excited about a new show on a different channel.

From TLC:

(Kindered Spirits) follows renowned ghost hunters Amy Bruni and Adam Berry as they help real families who are tormented by paranormal activity in their homes. Scared by the mysterious happenings, but hesitant to pick up and leave their homes, these families have turned to two of America’s leading paranormal investigators to capture evidence, guide the spirits into the light and bring closure to family. 

I’m pumped about Kindred Spirits.

Bruni and Berry jumped from the Ghost Hunters ship right after I felt like Ghost Hunters jumped the shark. They were two of my favorite skeptics on the show, often debunking claims and keeping the show feeling “real.” Or possibly real — you know what I mean. The pair also had great onscreen chemistry, which made their segments fun to watch. That’s why I’m pumped about Kindred Spirits. These two definitely have the potential to breathe new life into televised paranormal investigation and restore the believability of this genre. Cheers to Amy and Adam on an opportunity that this writer feels is well deserved.

Kindred Spirits premieres Friday, October 21, at 10/9c on TLC.

Check out the preview of Kindred Spirits. Will you be watching?

 

The Exorcist Television Series Recap

RECAP: Season 1 Episode 1 of ‘THE EXORCIST’ Television Series

TWIST MY HEAD AND MAKE ME FEEL NO PAIN

At 8:55 p.m. on the evening of Friday, September 23rd, 2016, there was one thing I wondered… would I be rushing eagerly to my keyboard to write about this new television series or would I simply have a drink and turn on Netflix. Here I am typing so maybe that is enough of a review but just like the show itself, there is a whole lot more happening here than the obvious.

The clock struck 9 p.m. and now it was time to check out FOX’s new incarnation of William Peter Blatty’s classic The Exorcist. The months leading up to this premiere, I deliberately kept from reading any updates including spoilers, casting, a sneak preview at Horrorhound Weekend, anything, as I wanted to go into this completely fresh. Would FOX, the producers, the writers, the ensemble, actually tread on the holy sacred ground of the 1973 horror standard-bearer? The opening title dropped right into your face following a quick tease of a man looking up into a shantytown-style apartment window with a child screaming. Whenever a show presents itself, be it film or television, that deals with religion and spirituality then I personally feel it is always a gamble. There is no easy-going fun to be had like when you watch Scream Queens, there is no in-your-face mayhem and deeply-knit character drama like The Walking Dead, no it is always an appeal to the viewer to reflect on their own values and the power of faith. Is it our own inner demons that our souls battle or is there truly an evil presence cycling itself in our universe, tempting us to succumb to its strength so it can feed on our weaknesses?

Is it our own inner demons that our souls battle or is there truly an evil presence cycling itself in our universe, tempting us to succumb to its strength so it can feed on our weaknesses?

Let’s begin. This new series quickly establishes the lead character in Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera, Sense8); local Chicago suburb Priest who immediately appeals because instead of being the archetype of righteousness, he is revealed to be very relaxed in his methods and one of the people – and most of all a regular man who has his own life and struggles. During his sermon, the Rance Family – Mom: Angela, Dad: Henry and Daughter: Casey (Hannah Kasulka, The Fosters and Filthy Preppy Teen$) – listen in. Each glimpse revealing tiny nuances into their characters. Father Tomas has a unique ability to perceive visions, and in this case, he is brought into the world of Father Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels, Flesh and Bone and House of Cards). Father Marcus is involved in his own battle against a demon that has possessed a young boy, Gabriel, down in Mexico City. Whether it is the past, or present, we do not yet know. As I describe these characters, have you noticed yet that I have not mentioned the names Merrin, Karras, or MacNeil? I was wondering too because I didn’t know where this series was fitting – was it entirely new, was it in the same movie universe as the original series, or was it a remake?

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Through Father Marcus and his case with Gabriel, we are treated to a first glance at what 2016 exorcisms look like and it was definitely up there on the creepy scale. Back in Chicago, Angela (played by the lovely Geena Davis, Beetlejuice and The Fly [1986]) is beginning to suspect that something is terribly wrong in her house as she hears noises, voices, and her other daughter Kat (Brianne Howey) is a recluse inside her bedroom. The most humane part of the family that brought me in was the story of the Father, Henry (Alan Ruck, Spin City and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), a man that was successful but has gone through some sort of accident that has now damaged his memory leaving him with a permanent handicap that has shaken the foundation of the Family. Now we begin to see how the Daughters are affected and Angela herself; the stability of the successful and prosperous life she lived suddenly struck down and taken away. It’s enough for one to lose faith wouldn’t you say? Those familiar with the themes of the original would instantly begin to suspect that this Family will be a target for that very reason.

The pace was gradual but aside from playing the horror field smoothly, the show had not yet reeled me into its world by the half hour. Now here’s where it gets interesting and I am going to give show creator Jeremy Slater full credit as Father Tomas looks up previous exorcisms…and….wait for it….a news article acknowledging an exorcism in Georgetown, Washington with the name Chris MacNeil hidden in there. I might have missed the name Regan because I suddenly got so enthralled that this was indeed a sequel spin-off series! As much as I would love Ellen Burstyn or Linda Blair to reprise their roles down the road, I won’t get ahead of myself but rather just enjoy the fact that this was not a remake attempt.

From the Forces of Evil

Father Tomas visits Father Marcus in a retreat institute after seeing a vision of the resolve with Gabriel that saw the possessing demon twist the boy’s head around snapping his neck (a nice realistic “spin” on the famous scene from the original). Turns out that his visions are not a special ability but all a plan from the forces of evil that are preying on Father Tomas. The climactic moment saw Tomas telling Angela he believes her in that there is a demon present and it is his calling from God to help her family. Rumbles come from above and so he and Angela make their way upstairs when the attic ladder drops. Within that instant, with less than ten minutes to go, the tone took a turn and we were now submersed in an atmospherically intense situation. The intensity fueled by Tomas climbing into the attic where you know something evil awaits and the anticipatory reveal that Kat is possessed no doubt kept many viewers in an upright position.

I absolutely love when a show dealing with a controversial subject matter while playing for straight horror not only takes it time building the atmosphere and the plotlines, but then smacks you straight in the face with a swerve that I did not see coming.

*SPOILER ALERT*

It was not Kat at all but the seemingly free and clear Casey that is possessed! WHOA! What!? I am sorry for the spoiler but it is absolutely necessary to convey to you just how epic this was. The evil Casey/demon also plays tricks because she reverts back to normal form just as Angela enters the attic thus making it seem to her Mother that there is no danger but Father Tomas knows otherwise. The show ends with Father Tomas leaving and looking up at the house window where Casey watches from the window. Then it happened….the undeniable, distinct theme that first haunted theatres across North America in 1973. Chills struck me and with Father Tomas walking away knowing of the danger that awaits him, and Father Marcus suiting up and leaving the retreat to seemingly come and help Tomas, this show left such resonance with me (and tons of other viewers from all the tweets I read) that I will be tuning in next week and 100% sold on the potential.

In summation, in a day where television is all about hit-and-miss, and we see shows that are written well like “Bates Motel” and compare to potential horror hitters like last year’s “Damien” (which I personally didn’t get hooked on despite tremendous performances by Barbara Hershey and Scott Wilson), then it could not please me more that I was on the fence for 35 minutes, then drawn in with a classy and respectful nod to the original, and by the end of 60 minutes, sitting on the edge of my seat. That is television folks…and that is true horror.

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What did you think of The Exorcist?

Scream Queens Season 2 Recap

HOLY HAIRY MARY! – Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts and crew are back by hook, crook and KILLER for SCREAM QUEENS Season 2!

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 was the second season premiere of Scream Queens. I was such a fan of the first season and could not have been anticipating this show more. Have you seen the first season? Unfortunately it’s not available yet on Blu-Ray (WHY!?) so a quick recap was that the Red Devil Killers were stalking a sorority headed by “The Channels” with the campus ruled by Dean Cathy Munsch. A red herring within almost every episode saw more and more victims fall including Nick Jonas’s Boone character; Jonas was absolutely fantastic and made me appreciate his work as a performing artist all the more. Lea Michele (Glee), Emma Roberts (American Horror Story and Scream 4) and the all-time great Jamie Lee Curtis (no movie references needed YOU should know!) make up the show leads and with incredible writing, made this show something unlike any horror and/or comedy series in history. The direction was sharp, the story moved like a rollercoaster, and it became a guilty pleasure. The killers were apprehended and that was the end…or was it?

Scream Queens Season 2 RecapWe join the second season at an incredibly creepy hospital

Flash forward or flash backward rather to 1985 and that’s where we join the second season at an incredibly creepy hospital setting during a Halloween party. The Doctor (Jerry O’Connell Scream 2 and Piranha 3D) is more concerned about the party than his male patient so he, along with his cohort, subdue the patient and they throw him in the swamp. Patient turns out was a Father-to-be with his wife waiting patiently for husband to make it through whatever treatment was necessary. Seeds firmly planted but granted, much the same mirroring premise of the first season.

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Now it is two years after the campus murders and Curtis’s Munsch character got rich quick off of her near-death/ survival experience and has used the money to buy the now defunct hospital. Her goal: Cure the Un-curable. Here is where we are introduced to the female fan base’s eye-candy (and this season’s Jonas replacements) in John Stamos (Full House) as Dr. Brock Holt and the Twilight Saga’s Taylor Lautner as Dr. Cassidy Cascade. The chemistry actually plays perfectly and I felt that both actors really sunk into their roles; playing the moments with a secret wink the whole time. First season survivor ZayDay Williams (Keke Palmer) is hired on as an M.D. as well. But where are the Chanel’s? It took that first 20 minutes of the show to really feel out where they were going with this and how the fan favorites were going to be incorporated.

Here they are! Chanel No. 1, 3, and 5 (Roberts, Billie Lourd and Abigail Breslin) are all brought in by Munsch as Doctors-in-Training and immediately start with their in-your-face snappy dialogue and out-of-this-world mannerisms. Robert’s Chanel is the young star of this show and there is no denying that without her, it would suffer. I think that is general consensus but the same with Curtis, who has absolutely given herself over to this character and in turn, us horror fans. She is the Scream Queen through and through. PROPS to newcomer Kirstie Alley (Cheers and Look Who’s Talking) because her delightfully devilish, hard-edged and seriously bitchy Nurse Ingrid Hoffel is the perfect role and her opposition to the Chanels is what I feel will be driving this season out of the swamp. Legends like Alley and Curtis on screen together is viewership gold and for horror fans, this is her first genre work since “Village of the Damned” so I am satisfied 110% to see her back in the fold.

This show is all about keeping things on the beat

Creators Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan have not slowed down at all with this show and the quality and effort of keeping in the front seat rather than the back pays off. No other show provides this kind of blink-and-you-miss pace both in dialogue, character and storytelling. Reading some other online reviews, I also noticed this became not just something to praise but something to criticize. Some viewers saying it is not giving them the chance to let information settle in and become invested. People – this show is all about keeping things on the beat, the current trends, what’s hot, what’s not – and how many people have attention spans nowadays? The creators know it too and that’s why I feel Scream Queens blasts through other programs on television because it’s a deliberate wild ride that is laughing in your face the whole time. Don’t worry horror fans – if you don’t want to watch because there is just too much comedy, well look again, because this isn’t “Scream If You Know What I Did Last Friday The 13th” spoofing, and with the climactic final moments going down with the creepy “Green Meanie” killer monster and a machete-style weapon that caused some serious bloodshed and body part dismemberment, then that should be enough to tune in next week and the week after. This review could go on and on because there was so much to pack into this one hour. Serious horror like American Horror Story and Scream is great, and the light-hearted sitcoms of Big Bang Theory unload the stress levels of the day, but Scream Queens provides that witch’s brew combination that can make you feel gross but still a little yummy inside all at once and I recommend you all check into that hospital and see what happens next.

What did you think of the season premiere of Scream Queens?

Make sure to be “Ghosting” along with Scream Queens on social media and hit up:

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Ray Harryhausen

Sony Movie Channel tributes FX legend Ray Harryhausen with movie marathon

Special-effects legend and pioneer Ray Harryhausen, died Tuesday at the age of 92. A lot of us horror-geeks are in mourning, but in the wake of this sad news, Sony Movie Channel has announced the airing of a Harryhausen documentary followed by a movie marathon featuring some of his greatest works.

from Sony Movie Channel

To pay tribute to the legendary Ray Harryhausen’s remarkable achievements, Sony Movie Channel has revised its schedule to include a special TV marathon on Saturday, May 11, highlighting the filmmaker’s career. Harryhausen, who died recently at the age of 92, is renowned for his special effects innovations and as the inventor of stop-motion animation.

On Saturday, May 11, Sony Movie Channel will be airing the definitive Ray Harryhausen documentary, RAY HARRYHAUSEN: SPECIAL EFFECTS TITAN, at 12:45 p.m. ET/9:45 a.m. PT. Following the documentary, Harryhausen fans will enjoy watching three SINBAD-focused films featuring Harryhausen’s special effects animation from Sony Pictures Entertainment’s library – THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD (airs at 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT); THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD (airs at 4:10 p.m. ET/1:10 PM PT) and SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER (airs at 6:10 p.m. ET/3:10 p.m. PT).

Additionally, SMC is recognizing Harryhausen’s award-winning career online, presenting an interactive web experience that features Harryhausen’s signature creatures, as well as specially produced content honoring him and his impressive body of work. That web experience can be found here. Those who are SMC subscribers will be able to watch the documentary online through May 31 by accessing that same web page.

Last month Sony Movie Channel premiered the RAY HARRYHAUSEN: SPECIAL EFFECTS TITAN documentary on television for the first time in the U.S. The documentary, produced in 2011 by Frenetic Arts in Paris, marks the first time that the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation has provided unprecedented access to all aspects of his award-winning career, spanning his early days in Hollywood to his 90th birthday celebration.

RAY HARRYHAUSEN: SPECIAL EFFECTS TITAN was filmed over a 10-year period and features interviews and tributes from an illustrious list of acclaimed filmmakers who were inspired by his work. Directed by Gilles Penso, the documentary includes interviews with longtime admirers and Harryhausen fans that have been involved in some of the film industry’s biggest blockbuster hits.

With 16 movies to his credit, Harryhausen is known for pioneering numerous new techniques during his acclaimed filmmaking career. Not only was he a leader in armatured models and miniatures, but he also created a new type of stop-motion split-screen animation, known as “Dynamation.” His special effects budget for THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS (1952) called for a more practical way of model interaction and, as such, Harryhausen developed a simple but effective method involving split-screens and a projector – hence, “Dynamation” was born.

In addition to innovating new filming practices, Harryhausen is credited with creating the physical looks and movements of dinosaurs, alien figures and creatures in motion pictures. Many producers and directors today still base their prehistoric creatures and beasts, as well as alien objects like flying saucers and visitors from other planets, on Harryhausen’s characters, models and drawings. His influence in genre filmmaking is still very prevalent today – over five decades later.

Sony Movie Channel is on Channel 563 on DIRECTV; Channel 386 on DISH and Channel 1791 on AT&T U-Verse.

The Walking Dead Black & White

First Two Seasons of ‘The Walking Dead’ to Receive Black and White Treatment

AMC is at it again — squeezing as much life out of The Walking Dead as possible.

In a nod to Robert Kirkman’s original books, the network plans to air seasons 1 and 2 of The Walking Dead in black and white. AMC previously aired a black and white version of the first episode, “Days Gone Bye,” over the summer.

Glen Mazzara announced the B&W special by retweeting a clip from The Walking Dead Magazine. The first two episodes of the series will air on Thursday, February 14 starting at 6:30 p.m. The following dates and times are for the first 12 episodes.

  • Feb. 14, 6:30 p.m. – ep. 101
  • February 14, 8 p.m. – ep. 102
  • February 21, 8 p.m. – ep. 103
  • February 28, 8 p.m. – ep. 104
  • March 7, 8 p.m. – ep. 105
  • March 14, 8 p.m. – ep. 106
  • March 21, 7:30 p.m. – ep. 201
  • April 4, 8 p.m. – ep. 202
  • April 11, 8 p.m. – ep. 203
  • April 18, 8 p.m. – ep. 204
  • April 25, 8 p.m. – ep. 205
  • May 2, 8 p.m. – ep. 206

Dates and times for the rest of season 2 have yet to be announced.

While the content of the episodes won’t change, the black and white conversion might offer a different perspective for fans. I liked the special version of “Days Gone Bye,” but I’m not sure what to think about having this many episodes with the new color treatment.

What do you guys think?