Get Smart trailer; Star Trek and Twilight Zone episodes online; Elvis & Star Wars (News from the frontier, 3/2/2008)

Good morning, folks. It’s catch-up time, so I have a lot of news for you today.

Get Smart movie news roundup
Now that Paramount has moved Star Trek to 2009, the movie I’m most excited about this year is the revitalization of Get Smart, starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway. My wife and I have been watching the original Get Smart on DVD to get ready. The new preview trailer released last week by Warner Brothers looks fantastic. Check it out on the official Get Smart movie site. Get Smart hits theaters on June 20.

SCI FI Wire has a number of interesting articles on Get Smart. Carell wisely decided not to imitate the legendary Don Adams while portraying the character. “There’s no way to improve upon what he did,” said Carell, who says he instead tried to evoke the spirit of the character.

“Honestly, for me the catch phrases were the toughest part, because it’s hard to say them or think of them in any other way than the way that Don Adams did them. So, again, I tried not to do an impersonation of him, but I tried to sort of let them come out of the situation and not feel like they should stick out in any way,” he said. (Read the full article.)

This is actually not the first time Carell has tackled a character from a legendary 1960s television series. In 2005’s Bewitched, he appeared as Uncle Arthur to counsel Will Ferrell. Uncle Arthur was made famous by Paul Lynde on the television version of Bewitched. Carell’s Bewitched cameo was a slightly different situation than his Get Smart role, though. In Bewitched, he really is supposed to be the exact same fictional incarnation of Uncle Arthur portrayed by Lynde. Even stock footage of Lynde is shown earlier in the movie. The Get Smart movie, on the other hand, is a total restart of the franchise.

Within a couple weeks of the release of Get Smart to theaters, Warner Brothers will also release a direct-to-DVD movie, Get Smart’s Bruce and Lloyd Out of Control. The spinoff film stars Masi Oka (Heroes) and Nate Torrence (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip), who also have supporting roles in Get Smart.

Here are a couple of other articles on Get Smart:

· SCI FI Wire: Smart‘s 99 honors Feldon
· SCI FI Wire: Smart apes Bourne?

CBS releases Star Trek and The Twilight Zone for free online viewing in the US
Every episode of all three seasons of the original Star Trek is now available over at CBS.com for free viewing by those in the United States. These are unaltered versions of the shows, not the versions shown in syndication for Star Trek: Remastered. The first two seasons of the original The Twilight Zone, which lasted five seasons, are also available online.

· CBS.com: Star Trek video episodes
· CBS.com: The Twilight Zone video episodes

Elvis & Star Wars
Don’t worry, I’m not going to start covering “Elvis Trooper” here. However, there are some legitimate connections between Elvis Presley and Star Wars. As a member of both fanbases, I’ve observed a lot of this stuff first-hand over the years. Thomas over at the Elvis Today blog compiles some of them in his article “Elvis, Star Wars style.”

When I visited Graceland in 1990, one of the things mentioned on the tour was that on the last night of his life, Elvis tried to obtain a copy of Star Wars to show his daughter, Lisa Marie, but none were available. Elvis and Star Wars will always share 1977, which really had two huge entertainment headlines–one was the launch of the legendary Star Wars in May and the other was the loss of the legendary Elvis Presley in August. Both stories have had rippling effects all the way to the present.

In 1968, Steve Binder directed ELVIS, a Christmas special that became the most-watched show of the year and revitalized Elvis’ career. Today, it is known as ELVIS: ’68 Comeback Special. When I watch this special, sometimes I think about how only a decade later, Elvis would be gone and Binder would be directing another Christmas special – 1978’s infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. In a unique way, Binder was there for the best of Elvis and the worst of Star Wars.

In June 1977, just six weeks before his death, Elvis was filmed for another television special, Elvis In Concert. The director of that special, which did not air until about six weeks after Elvis’ death, was Dwight Hemion. Hemion, who passed away just over a month ago, teamed up with Binder the next year for that very same Star Wars Holiday Special, for which he served as Executive Producer. Like the Star Wars Holiday Special, the complete version of Elvis In Concert is not officially available for purchase.

I stumbled across the top-notch Elvis Today blog while looking up info about another Elvis project, This Is Elvis. I watched the 1981 theatrical cut of this rockumentary for the first time in years the other day. Elvis Today is an extremely well-written blog. I was so thrilled to find it that I actually went back and read all 90 or so of its entries. I’ve not done this for any other blog out there, including the myriad of ones available for Star Trek (there are some Elvis connections there, too; I’ll also save them for another day).

In one posting, Thomas sums up what it feels like to be an Elvis fan better than anything else I’ve ever read:

“On the highway I put the fourth CD from the Today, Tomorrow & Forever box set in the car stereo and there was ‘See See Rider’ from February 1970 blasting through the speakers. It’s hard to explain what I felt, but I remember thinking ‘Man, I’m gonna listen to Elvis and his music until the very day I die.'”

That makes two of us.

And the rest. . . .
· The Official Star Wars Blog: Missing In Action–Rusty Miller [author of The Jedi Master’s Quizbook]
· TrekWeb: Eric Stillwell on The Making of “Yesterday’s Enterprise
· Newsarama: Voltron–Defender of the Universe #12, the full issue
· SCI FI Wire: Guns wiped from Indy trailer
· SCI FI Wire: Heroes gears up soon
· Superman Homepage: Exclusive interview with Jake Rossen [author of Superman vs. Hollywood]
· Cinema Blend: Robert Englund sounds off on Nightmare remake
· Cinema Blend: Sigourney Weaver heartsick over Alien sequels
· SCI FI Wire: T4 gets 2009 date
· SCI FI Wire: Anderson finds Scully again [X-Files 2]
· SCI FI Wire: Shazam delayed, not dead
· SCI FI Wire: Justice is back on track
· Justice League: The New Frontier – Official Movie Site [animated DVD released last week]

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And that’s about all the time we have for this installment of News From The Frontier. Have a great day, everyone.