If you, like me, were just the other day sitting in the bath wondering, "What in the hell ever happened to that dude who played Bill in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure? What was his name? Yeah! Alex Winter." So I wondered that to myself, but then after my bath I went to bed and forgot to IMDb his name to find out what he was up to. Then tonight, I was sitting here on the couch in my Theraflu haze half-watching Pokemon (don't ask) and there was a commercial for the new live-action Ben-10 movie, which I totally did not even know they were making, and guess who's directing it? Bill S. Preston, aka Alex Winter, who looks almost exactly like he did 18 years ago, only 18 years older.

Ben 10, in case you aren't in the know, is this cool kid's show about a boy, Ben S. Tennyson, who finds an alien watch that turns him into different alien creatures. Ben, his cousin Gwen, and their grandfather (who, lucky for Ben, used to belong to some alien protection squad) spend the summer traveling around in grandpa's tricked-out RV, while Ben uses his superpowers to kick the asses of various alien bad guys. It's a pretty cool show from a kids' standpoint -- a big fave in our house, where we also have a bunch of Ben 10 action figures and a couple of Omnitrix (the watch that Ben wears), including a version with this cool voice changer that makes my 4YO sound like Darth Vader on mushrooms.

So, here's the scoop, so you can sound hip to the pre-teen in your life: The movie is called Ben 10: Race Against Time, and it's a tv movie, not a theatrical release. Personally, I think it's smart for Cartoon Network and Disney to do all these made-for-tv flicks of these kid shows; if it ends up a massive hit, like High School Musical, then . The kids love them, they'd rather see it at home because they can DVR it and watch it over and over again, and if they really like it, they want the DVD as well -- especially if the DVD has any cool extras. Anyhow this Ben 10 flick is a live-action take on the story; not sure what the plot is, exactly, but the IMDb keywords include "Wilhelm Scream." Hmmmm. The movie picks up at the end of the summer, where action-loving Ben has to readjust to life back in his boring hometown, after a summer spent "going hero."

I'll have to withhold judgment on the acting of the leads until I see the film, but from a physical standpoint, the actors seem to match their characters well ... wait, what's this? That's the Six Million Dollar Man, Lee Majors himself, taking on the role of Ben's grandpa! Holy jeepers. I thought he was dead, but luckily for him he isn't.
My kids are pumped about seeing this film; it airs on Wednesday, November 21 on Cartoon Network, and will no doubt replay throughout Thanksgiving weekend -- so you can keep the kids occupied with Ben 10 in one room while the grownups chill to some football in the other.