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Geek News on the Radio for March 2nd, 2020

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New Candyman!

It’s been nearly 20 years since Hollywood evoked the vengeance-fueled specter of horror franchise Candyman, but the hiatus is coming to an end. With Hollywood’s reboot/remake epoch showing no signs of slowing down, and the buzz surrounding Blumhouse’s recent Halloween sequel/reboot (check out our Halloween review), it appears that the Candyman’s cinematic rebirth is nigh. Jordan Peele and his Monkeypaw Productions are conjuring a new Candyman movie. Nia DaCosta (Little Woods) will direct from a screenplay by Peele and Win Rosenfeld. The film is a “spiritual sequel” that “returns to the neighborhood where the legend began: the now-gentrified section of Chicago where the Cabrini-Green housing projects once stood.” The project arose after the rights – originally held by the now-defunct PolyGram Filmed Entertainment and distributed by Tri-Star – recently became available. MGM will produce with Monkeypaw, with Universal Pictures set to distribute. Filming has begun in Chicago.     Read More

Want to Know Who the Bad Guy is… Look for This!

Knives Out and The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson has said that Apple won’t let the bad guys in movies use iPhones. “Apple… they let you use iPhones in movies but — and this is very pivotal if you’re ever watching a mystery movie — bad guys cannot have iPhones on camera,” the director said in a video interview with Vanity Fair. He joked that revealing this information could potentially spoil future mystery movies by revealing who the goodies and baddies are. “Every single filmmaker that has a bad guy in their movie that’s supposed to be a secret wants to murder me right now,” he joked. It’s a particularly important detail in a movie like Knives Out, where, at one point or another, basically every character is suspected of murdering wealthy crime novelist Harlan Thrombey. Don’t worry, though, the specific screenshot Johnson shares isn’t too much of a spoiler if you’ve yet to see the film. There have long been rumors about Apple’s control over how its products are shown in TV shows and movies. According to MacRumors, the company says that its products should only be used “in the best light, in a manner or context that reflects favorably on the Apple products and on Apple Inc.” It’s especially difficult when Apple is the one bankrolling a production. Last year, The New York Times reported that Apple was concerned with how its devices were depicted in content made for its own streaming service. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. This control seems to go back a long way. Check out this Wired article from way back in 2002, which pointed out that all the good guys in 24 use Macs, and all the bad guys use Windows PCs. By that logic, I guess the fact that everyone in Succession seems to use Samsung products makes them chaotic neutral?     Read More

CBS All Access

CBS All Access, the streaming service now owned by ViacomCBS following the merger, is expanding. Announced today as part of the company’s otherwise underwhelming Q4 earnings, the plan is to launch a new “broad pay” streaming service that will include CBS All Access content along with other ViacomCBS assets in film and TV to complement the company’s existing free streaming service Pluto TV and premium network Showtime. The company believes this three-tiered strategy of free, broad pay and premium content will help it to better acquire market share in the increasingly crowded streaming space, while also helping improve metrics around subscription acquisition, churn and lifetime value by offering promotions and bundles. The new “House of Brands” product, as ViacomCBS is referring to this CBS All Access expansion, will go to market by partnering with both traditional and new distributors, including those outside the U.S. Today, CBS All Access offers a mix of live TV, including streaming news and local broadcast stations, plus sports and on-demand video. It’s also home to a growing number of original series, including now two “Star Trek” series that bring in a dedicated fan base. The newer of these, “Star Trek: Picard,” has so far done particularly well for the company, having broken internal records for total streams and subscriber signups following its January launch. CBS All Access will retain its existing content in the refreshed service, but the overall library will expand to include more TV and movies from across the ViacomCBS portfolio. This includes content from brands like Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central, Smithsonian and Paramount. In total, it’s adding 30,000 TV episodes and up to 1,000 films to the service, the company says.     Read More

SyFy New Series

Day of the Dead, a landmark film in the zombie genre, is set to rise again as a Syfy television series. Syfy, the NBCUniversal cable channel, has made a 10-episode series order for Day of the Dead, which will serve as a serial adaptation inspired by zombie genre inventor George A. Romero, specifically the 1985 third entry in his Night of the Living Dead film franchise. A production of Cartel Entertainment, the series will have Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas as writers/showrunners. They are joined by executive producers in Cartel’s Stan Spry, Jeff Holland and Drew Brown, along with HiTide Studios’ Robert Dudelson, James Dudelson and Jordan Kizwani. The series is planned for a premiere in 2021. The early plot details of Syfy’s Day of the Dead – describing it as an “ode to Romero’s famous flesh-eaters” – will focus on six strangers thrust together in an attempt to survive the first 24 hours of an undead invasion. Pertinently, Romero’s 1985 film centers on survivors of said undead incursions, barely surviving in a Florida bunker, focusing on inter-personal conflicts (notably between the civilians and their military overseers), as well as a Dr. Frankenstein-type scientist whose experiments to render zombies docile yields success with one undead subject in particular, who he names “Bub” (Sherman Howard). Indeed, the film may have deviated to the realm of schlock from the dramatic elements of its immediate predecessor, 1978’s Dawn of the Dead, but it was a key step in the evolution of the zombie genre.     Read More

Konami Code Creator Dies

Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, rest in peace. Kazuhisa Hashimoto, a producer credited with implementing the fabled “Konami Code” that gave players godlike cheats in Contra, Gradius, Castlevania, and other Konami games for the Nintendo Entertainment System, died on Tuesday. He was 61. News of Hashimoto’s death was first shared by Yuji Takenouchi, a composer who has worked on Konami games. Konami itself confirmed Hashimoto’s passing on Twitter. Hashimoto was a programmer and producer for the home console port of Gradius, which in 1986 was the first video game to use the Konami Code. Hashimoto put it in the game as an aid for his playtesting, memorably saying that he “obviously couldn’t beat it.” For unclear reasons, the Konami Code was left in the shipped game, and was later used to playtest other games made by the publisher. Contra, which launched on the NES in 1988, sold much better than Gradius and is more closely associated with the Konami Code’s origins. In it, cheat-code sharers discovered video gaming’s Charm of Making — up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start! — and were blessed with 30 lives, absolutely critical to a super-tough one-hit-kill side-scroller like Contra.     Read More

Chewie Has a Daughter

“Star Wars” actor Joonas Suotamo and wife Milla Pohjasvaara recently welcomed a baby girl to their family, choosing to name the newborn after Suotamo’s character in the latest franchise, Chewbacca. “We have some exciting news,” announced the 33-year-old actor on Twiiter Friday. “We were blessed to welcome the newest member of our family! Our little princess (or senator, or general, or whatever she wants to be!) was born this week and is doing great. Welcome to the world Princess Bacca! Baby Bacca is pictured in her crib asleep while dressed in an adorable pink onesie. She is the second child of the couple, who also share 1-year-old son Aatos. “He is gonna have to get used to there being two little ones in the house now,’ the former professional basketball player added. “So far he is doing well with it, and we expect him to grow up to be a great big brother.” Suotamo got his start as Chewbacca standing in for original actor Peter Mayhew in 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” HE officially took over the role in the latest trilogy of the franchise in “The Last Jedi” (2017), “Solo: A Star Wars Story” (2018) and Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker (2019).     Read More


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