It could be stories like these that get the minds at Syfy thinking of a new crazy hook to attract the masses with tantalizing science projects that wreak havoc on society. But then you have folks like Disneynature relying on tried and true efforts that populate school busses and incite mass field trips to the IMAX.Well in todays local news there's a family in Naples, Florida who woke up to a bear sleeping on their patio. He's big, adorable and sleepy. But in a fictitious similar scenerio lets say slightly altered, there's a hundred bears and a huge tropical storm rolling in off the Florida coast. Ladies and gentlemen we bring you the Bearacane! Imagine the winds whipping, window seals whistling and plywood flying everywhere. Just as you nestle into your safe room, you start hearing those loud thumps of 300 pound bears hitting your house. Bone chilling I know.
Hollywood.com Staff/Syndicated by: Warner Bros.
Unfortunately, I don't have such a video and Bearacane sounds too much like a pharmaceutical for any studio to consider as a possible title.Well we always have Bear vs. Gator or something a little more believable but lacks that cult classic panache. Shhh don't give Syfy any ideas: Bearagator!
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S1:E6 We’ve come to expect a certain level of awesomeness from a season finale, especially one on AMC. Unfortunately for last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, that level was a little less than what I think we’d all hoped for. That being said, it wasn’t uninteresting or a bad episode, it just didn’t hit the mark of our high expectations.
Part of the reason is that the show continues to focus on the emotional distress of the survivors, but usually without sacrificing the zombie action. This time around, we see maybe 10 seconds of anything walker-related and they spend the majority of their time in the CDC building under lock down mulling over their views on life now that the world is ending. Though it starts off slow, the episode does accomplish its emotional endeavor, but I fear it will be at the expense of viewers who tuned in to see brains being smashed. Personally, I think one of the great things about this show is that it doesn’t have to rely solely on its gory premise. It actually has some emotional and existential depth, however, in a finale you expect a little more of a bang (and I mean other than the CDC building being blown to bits).
The episode goes back to the time jump we experienced in episode one, taking us back to the day Shane left Rick in the hospital. Despite the picture Lori’s anger painted, we find that Shane attempted to save Rick, but there was a full-on massacre in the hospital between the overzealous soldiers and the unbridled walkers. He feels for Rick’s pulse but can’t hear a thing, so he says goodbye to his friend and barricades Rick’s room from walkers as he escapes. This whole time, we’ve thought Shane was nothing more than an opportunistic prick, but once again the show turns everything on its head and shows us that life’s a little more complicated than that.
Back in present time, the survivors are admitted into the CDC headquarters and Jenner immediately asks if any of them are infected. They must submit to blood tests in order to stay. He warns them that once the doors shut, they won’t open again. They accept and he seals off the doors and takes them into the basement. They get down to his lair and find he’s the only one left. He has been shouting out commands, but that turns out to be a computer system that controls the building through voice commands. As he checks them all for the virus, he emphasizes that he’s breaking the rules ( to which I immediately replied: HELLO. ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE. How many times do I have to say, “There are NO RULES?”) Of course that strict adherence to the CDC rules in a world that’s completely broken down doesn’t bode well.
Jenner’s oddities continue to show has he treats them all to dinner and wine. The doctor seems almost willfully left out, refusing to smile or join in the merriment. While Rick wants to thank their gracious host, Shane wants to cut to the chase – he asks why Jenner is the only one left. Jenner explains that most people went to find their families, but there were a few that “opted out” – or committed suicide – he says he stayed on alone, hoping to continue working and try to do some good. Glenn, nearing inebriation, calls out Shane as a buzzkill and truer words were never spoken.
As he leads them to their sleeping areas, he warns them not to use too much electricity and to go easy on the hot water and as they all buzz with excitement over hot showers, it becomes obvious that this happiness cannot last. Every time something this good happens in a zombie movie, people die, which can only mean, someone’s going to die. We then enjoy (?) a contrived montage of everyone taking hot showers for the first time; Lori and Rick save hot water by showering together while Shane uses his as his own private bar. Andrea’s hoping the hot water will wash her clean of the memories of her sister’s death and seems to be the only one who sees this positive time as a sign the end is nigh. She and Dale argue over what lies ahead. She builds her post on the side of pessimism, saying there’s nothing left and it’s all over but Dale sees it as a new start. Thus, we learn the big question that they’ve been building to all season; should they celebrate what life they have left or should they accept that they’ve got only a little time left and give up. It’s a bit of a tired question that permeates our everyday lives as well, but what better time to ask it than in this situation?
While Rick drunkenly talks to Jenner about the inevitability of death out in the real world and the hope they’ve found by finding the CDC center, Lori browses the books in the library. Shane is completely drunk and startles her, demanding a conversation. He explains the scene we saw in the first few minutes of the episode and says if she thought for one second that Rick was still alive, she wouldn’t have left, so he essentially saved her life. We have a flash of sympathy for Shane and then he unravels that by grabbing her, yelling that she loves him, and trying to force himself on her. She scratches at his neck, scaring him off and she returns to her room where Rick comes holds her, saying they’re finally safe. Clearly, we can tell the opposite is true. Besides, if they were all happy and safe in this fortress forever, there would be no show, so it’s pretty obvious that it’s all about to unravel.
The next morning, they’re all holding their heads praying their hangovers will disappear. While they’re grateful for breakfast they shrug off their morning ailments to see what Jenner has discovered in his underground lair. He shows them his research on the brain and what happens to it once it goes all groany and flesh-craving. The extremely cinematic, sparkly visual of synapses (how we connect to everything we think, feel, and understand) takes over the screen as he shows the stages of the walker virus. The first event sees the virus invading the brain like meningitis and shutting down the body, then the second event reignited the brain stem, but nothing else, resulting in the mindless flesh drones. Andrea can barely take the explanation, still stinging from Amy’s death (it’s only been two days in their reality). Jenner seems to understand as he explains that the visual came from Test Subject 19 – someone who was bitten and volunteered to be studied. He’s barely able to explain how he had to shoot TS-19 once the experiment was through – we later find that the subject was his late wife so it finally makes sense why synapses and brain stems get him all misty.
With this new information (which honestly isn’t that new, we essentially knew all of it) they hope to move forward. Somehow because Jenner is a doctor, they trust his authority implicitly (though what other choice do they have?) and take his word for gospel when he says the grid broke down and there’s no one else left. They finally notice the giant red clock that’s been ticking away the whole time, counting to the moment the fuel for the generators runs out, but he refuses to explain what happens at that point. Rick asks the computer system and it replies “Facility wide decontamination.” So that’s why we saw that little decontamination process when Jenner spilled the chemicals last week. In case you forgot, everything was blown to smithereens in the decontaminated room.
Unwilling to accept defeat, the men to go down to the generator room to check fuel levels. Just as they find there’s no more fuel, then the lights go out and the air conditioning stops. Why they wasted time proving that Jenner was wrong is still a mystery, when they could have spent that precious time escaping.
Jenner escapes the rest of the group, donning his Sunday best and talking to a picture of his late wife and saying he’s done the best in the time he’s had. It’s fine that he’s accepting death, but he doesn’t bother telling anyone else what’s going on or giving them a choice. They’ve got a half hour left, but he stubbornly tells them how hopeless it all is managing to stick in a little PSA about running out of power and the entire world running on fossil fuels. See? Go green, or zombies will take over the world. Maybe Al Gore should have used that strategy instead of enlisting Leo DiCaprio for help.
They try to leave, but Jenner locks the door. He smugly plays the “I told you so” card, saying he warned them the front door wouldn’t open again. Jenner still hasn’t explained the fate he’s signed them all up for, but Rick demands an answer. Jenner explodes and explains that the facility has an emergency mode that cleanses the entire place by basically setting the air on fire and killing every last living thing. So now they’ve really got to answer that existential question, immediate death or fighting for life in the face of almost certain death. Jenner is ready for his end to grief and pain, the problem is that he’s signed the rest of them up for it as well.
Shane and Daryl try desperately to break open the door, but the doors are meant to withstand a rocket launch. Jenner pleads with them, outing Rick and saying he didn’t think they’d survive. Rick continues to negotiate, but Shane aims a shotgun at Jenner eventually taking out his frustrations on the computers before Rick wrests the gun from him. Shane may not be evil for leaving Rick, but he’s still not the sharpest tool in the box and he needs to keep that anger in check. Something tells me he’s going to be a big problem next season.
With Shane subdued, Rick can coax Jenner to give them their freedom. Jenner chose to stay when others ran, why? Of course this is when he reveals that TS-19 is his wife and his research was a promise he made before she died. In his time underground, he’s let the idea that her genius could have saved everyone but it died with her. He sees no hope left, but that’s his choice. Rick convinces them that they all need to decide their fates for themselves, so Jenner opens the doors. With only four minutes left, they scramble just as Jenner whispers something in Rick’s ear – and we’ll have to wait until next season to find out what. Jaqui and Andrea decide to stay and Dale hangs back trying to convince only Andrea to escape (no love for Jaqui in this place, huh?). She tells him to leave, but he says she doesn’t get to come into someone’s life and then check out.
The men try desperately to break through the bullet proof glass in the lobby as the clock winds down, but Carol has the grenade she found in Rick’s pocket in her purse. They use the grenade and it shatters one of the windows so they can escape.
As the others flee the building and slay walkers on the way to their cars, Dale and Andrea come running out and make it to safety just as the CDC center blows sky high. This point makes it obvious that as cinematic as the show is, they’re still on a TV budget. The explosion was just a little subpar, but it made its point. They all pile into the caravan and drive away as Bob Dylan’s version of “Tomorrow Is A Long Time” plays. Though I had hoped for more of a cliff-hanger at the end of the episode, the apt song choice punctuates the grim fate they’re about to face as they journey on and emphasizes the hope and friends that have just been lost during their stop at the CDC.
While this episode didn’t pack anywhere near the punch of the last two, I’m still ready to see what’s in store next season, especially since the entire writing team will be brand spanking new. Hopefully they can up the ante and give us a finale that will blow our minds when the show finally returns next year.
Passion, Fahrenheit have some Globes trouble
Even though they were two of the most talked-about films of the year, Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ and Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 have hit some snags regarding the eligibility for Golden Globes, Reuters reports. Fahrenheit will not be eligible in any Globes categories because it is a documentary, for which there is no separate category, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. does not allow docus to be considered in the top film award categories. Passion, in which much of the dialogue is spoken in Aramaic, also cannot compete for best drama because it is considered a foreign-language film, but can be considered for best foreign film. Nominations for the 62nd annual Golden Globe Awards will be announced Dec. 13, with the winners revealed in a Jan. 16 ceremony to be telecast live on NBC.
Farrell says no thanks to 007 role
You won't be calling Colin Farrell the next James Bond anytime soon. In an interview with Reuters on Sunday to discuss his soon to be released film Alexander, Farrell, 28, was asked about taking on the 007 role, endorsed by the former Bond, Pierce Brosnan, who last week said that Farrell should get the job because "he'll eat the head off them all." Farrell feigned outrage at the thought of becoming the sixth James Bond in the series, joking he was shocked by Brosnan's suggestion and if he got the job, he just might employ an Irish accent to confuse fans of the suave British agent. "The idea of me playing James Bond got into the press, but it is not true. I would not like to do it…they should find someone the audience has no history with," Farrell said. And the hunt is still on.
Pitt visits Ethiopia on AIDS mission
Actor Brad Pitt spent four days in Ethiopia to learn more about AIDS in Africa as part of a fund-raising campaign to combat the disease on the world's poorest continent, a spokesman told The Associated Press Tuesday. The trip was organized by DATA, a Washington-based lobby group co-founded by rock star Bono, which campaigns on Third World trade, debt and HIV/AIDS. Pitt began his first visit to the Horn of Africa country Friday and left late Monday night. "It was a listening and learning visit," DATA spokesman Jamie Drummond told AP.
Burt Reynolds accuses ex-girlfriend of extortion
Burt Reynolds sued his former girlfriend of 10 years, Pamela Seals, alleging she threatened to falsely accuse him of abuse unless he paid millions of dollars in extortion, AP reports. According to the lawsuit, filed Monday in West Palm Beach, Fla., Seals falsely accused Reynolds of yelling at her and stomping on her toes. Seals told the 68-year-old actor she would publicize her allegations if he didn't agree to a hefty settlement that included support for Seals and her mother, and half of Reynolds' Jupiter home. Reynolds' lawyer, Bob Montgomery, said the actor offered to settle the matter for $1 million but Seals refused. He added Seals is not entitled to anything under Florida law because the two were never married.
Ewan McGregor makes musical theater debut
Ewan McGregor, who stars as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, will make his musical theater debut as Sky Masterson in a remake of Guys and Dolls in London's West End, AP reports. Frank Loesser's original Guys and Dolls opened on Broadway in 1950, but next year's revival, which is set to debut in June, will be the first new London production in 23 years. The role of Masterson was made famous by Marlon Brando, who played the desperate gambler in the 1955 Hollywood film starring Jean Simmons and Frank Sinatra. The show will be McGregor's first on-stage singing role. He previously performed in theater and displayed his singing and dancing talents in the musical Moulin Rouge.
Trump's Apprentice has classroom appeal
Donald Trump's hit reality series The Apprentice is proving to be more than just good TV. AP reports professors from business schools around the nation are including Apprentice tips in their MBA programs. Denise Schoenbachler, chair of Northern Illinois University's marketing department, told The New York Post Monday students in her Marketing Apprentice class competed for scholarship money by selling football tickets and raising money for troops in Iraq, a concept inspired by the show. Trump himself has said he's impressed with his show's classroom appeal at schools such as Babson College in Massachusetts, Southern Methodist University in Dallas and Ohio State University in Columbus.
SAG announces dates
Submissions for the 11th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards close Thursday at 5 p.m., Variety reports.. To be considered, submissions must be made online at Sagawards.org or by calling the SAG Awards office. Actors, meanwhile, are nominated in five film and eight television categories. Nomination ballots will be mailed Dec. 10 and must be returned by Jan. 7. SAG members will receive their final ballots Jan. 11-the same day the nominations will be announced. The winners will be announced during the awards ceremony Feb. 5 at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center. TNT will broadcast the event.
Guylaine Cadorette contributed to this report.