Movies & TV

5 Ways the New Robocop Movie Entertains

Today, the reboot to the classic 1987 sci-fi film, Robocop, launched in theaters nationwide, and I was fortunate enough to get out ahead of the crowds to see it. Like many others, the anticipation was high after a spate of action-packed trailers blitzed across movie and TV screens during the previous few months. But like most ‘reboots’ of 80’s cult classics, I was skeptical. Half way through the film, though, I was fully onboard and engaged. Here are 5 ways the new Robocop movie entertained…

1. The ‘build-up’ was cool
There was a report I read earlier in which the author explained gthe opening third of the new Robocop film, rather slow before it really got going. I actually read that review before I went, and so that stigma rested with me as I watched. But in fact, the build up was great!

It ‘eased’ us into the fold, by first showing us how robots were currently being used around the world, the opposition to the use of bots in the U.S. and the greedy corporations which saw only opportunity in the billions. We were given a solid but brief insight into Officer Murphy’s police and family life and before you knew it, the stage was set. BOOM! Murphy is blown up and the Robocop project kicks off. What else do you want?

2. Future Tech & Society
The world portrayed was both futuristic but not unlike the society we live in today. Some things remained familiar but different (ex. trouble in the Middle East, trouble in Iran) and some things stayed the same (ex. corporations and business as usual).

Technology was slightly advanced, with robotics now taking a more prominent role than they do today with the occasional drone attacks overseas. But seeing robotics being applied in a peacekeeping and policing role was scary, but also fun to watch as these systems carried out ‘swift’ justice in the streets.

3. New Robocop ‘model’ very cool
new robocop film
The new Robocop is cooler than the last. There’s no new doo-dads, but the black gunmetal armor was definitely a huge plus, as were the head-up displays, targeting mechanisms and the ability to search vast criminal databases and access CCTV cameras throughout the city in real-time. Kind’ve makes the 1987 Robocop look like a floppy disk next to a solid state drive. Sorry, I went really tech, but you catch my drift.

4. All-Star Cast
robocop-sam-jackson
If you’ve seen the trailers then you know the film has a fantastic and active lineup of talent. Samuel Jackson is Pat Novok, an over zealous, right wing talk show host, pro-robotics, and pro-OCP. Gary Oldman is the good Doctor Dennett Norton, who built Robocop and whose conscious eventually gets the better of him as he puts his life on the line to support Murphy and his family. Michael Keaton is corporate executive Raymond Sellars, greedy, ambitious and dangerous. Comedian Jay Baruchel is the marketing guy. And, Jackie Earle Haley is the ruthless, Rick Mattox (Rorschach in the Watchmen), a corporate henchman, soldier and smug bastard who has nothing but spite for Frank Murphy and the Robocop program.

Like I said. Anytime these guys are on screen, I’m lovin’ it.

5. Plenty of Special Effects
Lastly, the effects are leaps and bounds beyond the 1987 Robocop, with digital displays, moving-fighting robots, drones and combat scenes all QUALITY! And when the action does start, the movie soars through – almost too quick in my opinion, because its THAT entertaining.

Downside of the film was the lack of comedy. The one thing the original Robocop prided itself on was the corny comedy that seemed to flow throughout the film. The new Robocop movie has its moments but they are few and far between.

In any case, if you’re looking for a good, sci-fi, techie shoot ’em up, Robocop wins that bout hands down!!

SyFy TV Show Helix The New Fringe

I miss Fringe. I miss the strange and unexplained investigations of Fringe Division and the tough yet lovely Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and brilliant mad scientist Dr. Walter Bishop. And despite a number of TV shows both old and new that are currently airing and quite good, nothing is along the lines of Fringe. That is, until Helix debuted this month on SyFy.

syfy tv ahow helix

Bryan Lowder at SLATE, paints a colorful synopsis :

Helix’s pilot gets going when the facility’s shady director, Dr. Hiroshi Hatake (played with a muted mix of disdain and cunning by Lost alum Hiroyuki Sanada) calls in a team of researchers from the CDC and U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases to investigate and contain a viral outbreak—about which, of course, he knows more than he’s telling. The group is led by Dr. Alan Farragut (Billy Campbell) and Dr. Julia Walker (Kyra Zagorsk), brilliant scientists and former spouses, the former part because Alan walked in on Julia studying biology with his brother—a man who, conveniently, is a researcher at Arctic Biosystems and the first victim of a violent infection seemingly of his own design. The military, embodied by Mark Ghanimé as Maj. Sergio Balleseros, is, not surprisingly, more interested in the new wounds promised by the research than in the old, emotional ones plaguing Julia and the brothers Farragut.

The first few episodes each cover a single (consecutive) day and show the team’s attempt to identify the source and nature of the virus, which looks like an aggressive black goo cousin of the one in Prometheus. This allows Helix to fiddle with our anxiety about superbugs, the decline of herd immunity, and rapidly advancing biological research in much the same way that Contagion did, though in the more gruesome, athletic zombie key of 28 Days Later. Speaking of music, the show juxtaposes upbeat elevator tunes and horrific events à la American Horror Story, to varying effect. (Helix’s aesthetic sensibility is definitely less sophisticated than that of the FX show at this point).

We’ve seen this all before and still the show captivates…

  • There’s always the mysterious corporation behind the scenes – Arctic Biosystems, a high-tech, research facility whose staff (some unknowingly) work on mutagens for nefarious purposes. How many video games (ex. Half-Life) have you played along these lines? Or movie (ex. Resident Evil and the Umbrella Corp.)? Yea, this tune has een played before and it’s still Good!
  • There’s always a secret agenda – In this case, Arctic Biosystems conducting research on behalf of a secret third party, more than likely the military because the military is ALWAYS behind it right?
  • And, at this point, why the Hell would anyone ever want to go to Antarctica? I mean, anyone remember The Thing? Anyone ever read At The Mountains of Madness? Nothing of any good ever happens in Antarctica!

The SyFy TV show Helix has the real possibility of ‘filing the void left by Fringe and hopefully going the distance. We’re still early in the series, but things are definitely looking up.

Watch the first episode of Helix here:

Comic Book TV Series Guide

Comic book movies are HOT, no surprise there, but what about comic book stories adapted for TV? Right now, the hot show is the CW’s Arrow, followed by the ‘rating-challenged’ show, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. But what’s coming down the pipe?

In effort to try and track for my own TV viewing enjoyment, what comic book TV series are being planned, I have decided to put together a list of shows, from what we’ve heard or seen so far in the news. Of course, if I’m missing anything please help to add to the list by passing along any information or rumor you may of come across.

The shows listed are either currently airing, in-the-making, or still at the ‘idea’ stage. And although I have listed this as the 2014 guide, many of these may will hit the boom tube until 2015 and beyond.

Arrow (CW) – Currently on the CW
comic book tv series arrow
After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific. When he returns home to Starling City, his devoted mother Moira, much-beloved sister Thea, and best friend Tommy welcome him home, but they sense Oliver has been changed by his ordeal on the island. While Oliver hides the truth about the man he’s become, he desperately wants to make amends for the actions he took as the boy he was. Most particularly, he seeks reconciliation with his former girlfriend, Laurel Lance.

As Oliver reconnects with those closest to him, he secretly creates the persona of Arrow – a vigilante – to right the wrongs of his family, fight the ills of society, and restore Starling City to its former glory. By day, Oliver plays the role of a wealthy, carefree and careless philanderer he used to be – flanked by his devoted chauffeur/bodyguard, John Diggle – while carefully concealing the secret identity he turns to under cover of darkness. [Continue reading at The CW]

Arrow is currently airing on the CW. The show returns to TV on January 15 2014.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) – Currently on ABC
comic book tv series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Clark Gregg reprises his role of Agent Phil Coulson from Marvel’s feature films, as he assembles a small, highly select group of Agents from the worldwide law-enforcement organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. Together they investigate the new, the strange, and the unknown across the globe, protecting the ordinary from the extraordinary.

Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. currently airs on ABC and returns to TV on January 7 2014.

Flash (CW)
comic book tv series Flash
I haven’t seen anything out of this camp with regards to the actual Flash standalone TV show, but for those of us who follow CWs Arrow, we have had a chance to meet Barry Allen, and what I’ve seen so far, I like.

Most Recent News – (Screencrush) The latest from Blüdhaven Banter (the same source of casting calls for the West family) suggests that Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen character will very likely develop an antagonistic relationship with “Detective Eddie Thawne,” very a likely an interpretation of Flash arch-nemesis Professor Zoom! Renamed from his comic origins as time-traveler Eobard Thawne, ‘The Flash”s incarnation will instead be a series regular detective transferred to Central City Police Department from Keystone, and who “harbors a dark secret,” often taking credit for Barry’s work.

Elsewhere, MovieHole claims that DC character Cisco Ramon will also have a regular presence in the series, better known as the somewhat-controversial Latino hero Vibe. The character wouldn’t yet have his vibration-based powers, instead operating among his comic roots as a talented mechanical engineer who assists Barry.

Little else is known of the CW’s ‘Flash’ spinoff, though it was decided the character be given his own pilot, rather than return for the 20th installment of ‘Arrow”s second season as originally intended. Gustin may still yet reprise the role in future ‘Arrow’ episodes, though not in any way that would deter the momentum built by its own narrative.

Hourman (CW)
comic book tv series hourman
The network that brought you Arrow is developing Hourman, a drama based on a DC Comics character who can see flashes of terrible things that will happen an hour in the future. The hero of this story — who first appeared in a 1940 comic — is a highly intelligent, emotionally burdened pharmaceutical analyst who finds his purpose by preventing the tragedies he sees. Along the way, he hopes to reunite with his ex-wife and son.

Constantine (NBC)
comic book tv series constantine
Produced by The Mentalist executive producer Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer, the go-to writer for Warner Bros.’ feature DC adaptations. Constantine centers on John Constantine, an enigmatic and irreverent con man-turned-reluctant supernatural detective who is thrust into the role of defending us against dark forces from beyond.

John Constantine, who first appeared in 1985 as a recurring character in the horror series The Saga Of The Swamp Thing, was created by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and Jamie Delano. He was portrayed by Keanu Reeves in the 2005 feature Constantine and is rumored to be featured in the Justice League Dark feature Warner Bros. has in the works with Guillermo del Toro.

Gotham (Fox)

comic book tv series Gotham

Gary Oldman from Batman Begins WILL NOT be in Gotham

Gotham explores the origin stories of Commissioner James Gordon and the villains who made Gotham City famous. In Gotham, Gordon is still a detective with the Gotham City Police Department and has yet to meet Batman, who will not be part of the series. The Gordon character was introduced in 1939 in the very first Batman comic. Created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, Commissioner Gordon has appeared in comic books as well as Batman films and series, including in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, where he was played by Gary Oldman. Along with the Superman franchise, the Batman universe is probably the most prized DC property.

Most Recent News – (Screencrush) According to a new casting sheet from TVShowAuditions, producers have begun the process of casting a 10 year-old Bruce Wayne, who will act as one of the regulars of the series, even beyond the pilot episode. More than that, the audition confirms that ‘Gotham’ will focus on “Gotham City PD rookie homicide detective James Gordon, who investigates the double murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne,” where previously the murder had been more ambiguously described as “a very famous double-homicide.”

Daredevil (Netflix)
comic book tv series Daredevil
Though little is known at this point regarding the Daredevil story that will air on Netflix, we do know that Marvel has confirmed that Drew Goddard will serve as showrunner and executive producer of the Netflix’s “Daredevil” series, along writing and directing the first episode.

Goddard has worked extensively with “Avengers” film franchise writer/director Joss Whedon, on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” and 2012 film “The Cabin in the Woods,” Goddard’s directorial debut. His other writing credits include “World War Z,” “Lost” and “Cloverfield.”

The “Daredevil” series is set to debut exclusively on Netflix in 2015. [comicbookresources.com]

Luke Cage (Netflix)
comic book tv series Luke Cage Luke Cage, set to air sometime after Daredevil, first debuted in 1972’s Luke Cage, Hero for Hire. Cage (also known as Power Man) is a New York-based character with superhuman strength. He’s also one of the first black superheroes to star in an eponymous comic-book series. Between 2003 and 2006, a film adaptation was in the works at Columbia Pictures. Jamie Foxx, Terrence Howard, and Fast and Furious’s Tyrese Gibson were some of the names floated around for the lead role. Unfortunately, the film never left development purgatory, and the rights reverted back to Marvel in 2013. [dailybeast.com]

Iron Fist (Netflix)
comic book tv series Iron Fist
If you are not familiar with the Marvel character, Iron Fist, I encourage you to read Marvel’s most excellent database of characters here. Other than this, not much more news out on casting and Direction, but as news comes available, i will try to report. Likewise, if anyone else knows more on the Netflix Iron Fist show, do tell!

jessica Jones (Netflix)
comic book tv series jessica jones

5 Better Choices for The New Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is finally going to get her due. Fans have been clamoring for a return of the Amazonian to TV and film and they’re finally going to get their wish. Actress Gal Gadot has been pegged to play the new Wonder Woman, to appear in the tentatively named Batman vs Superman, out in 2015. But not everyone is on-board with the choice. Here are 5 better choices we think could be a better new Wonder Women.

First off, Gal Gadot is very pretty, but there’s something about her that doesn’t fit the Wonder Woman mold (no perceived toughness and definitely not the perceived build I would envision of Wonder Woman). In my opinion, not even Linda Carter properly fit the bill. She was pretty, in a 1970s sort of way, but she wasn’t a fighter, even on a good day!

As our creativity and imagination has changed over the years, we are better able to visualize a Wonder Woman, worthy of her legacy in the comics. Take for instance her short but impressive instance in this cinematic for the video game DC Universe Online:

That’s no Linda Carter and certainly no Gal Gadot. But her are 5 that shoulda-coulda been chosen as the New Wonder Woman of the new millennium:

Gina Carano

New Wonder WomanGina Carano, the American-born actress, fitness model and former mixed martial arts, skilled in muay thai kick boxing should of been a shoe-in for an Amazonian female warrior, wouldn’t you think? She’s already showed her shit in the much underrated Haywire and Fast & Furious 6, so we know she can act AND fight AND look extremely hot while doing so.

Want to see her in action? Get Fast & Furious 6 and Haywire (highly recommended) here and see for yourself. Understand that of the 5 listed her, Carano is my choice for top contender, having the brawn, toughness and fantastically HOT looks to pull off Wonder Woman’s re-emergence!

She was born to play freakin’ Wonder Woman?! Don’t get me started…

Jaimie Alexander

New Wonder Woman Jaimie Alexander should still be fairly fresh in that bucket of grey matter on your shoulders. She played the part of Lady Sif in Thor and Thor: The Dark World, so don’t even start to say she can’t play that warrior female role. She was more convincing as an Asgardian warrior than Hogun, Fandral and Volstagg put together.

Alexander, like Carano, fits the tough girl/pretty girl mold that is Wonder Woman, AND she has played the warrior woman to specs. Only ‘speed-bump’ here (and it’s a big one), is that she’s a Marvel girl… not DC. Think that’d be a problem?

Need to be reminded? Pick up Thor here and you be the judge.

Kate Beckinsale

New Wonder WomanKate Beckinsale, the U.K. born actress that… what a minute?! You DON’T know Kate Beckinsale? You know Kate? The one who played the ass-kicking, vampire and lycan ownin’ Death Dealer, Selene in the Underworld trilogy? Or later was wiping the floor with Colin Farrell’s ass as Lori Quaid in the reboot of Total recall?

Of all the ladies here, Beckinsale has some of the ‘softest’ looks of the bunch but has also been able to play those ass-kicking roles – a tough assignment for an absolutely gorgeous woman like herself.

If you haven’t seen Underworld, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Underworld: Awakening or Total Recall, get them her and watch!

Katee Sackhoff

New Wonder WomanI have not seen any article that has chosen Battlestar Galactica’s original tough girl, Katie Sackhoff as a possible contender for the New Wonder Woman role? Forget that she’s a blonde, Hollywood can fix that! She played the Hell out of Starbuck in the critically acclaimed re-creation of Battlestar Galactica and then made a second pass at the tough gal role as Dahl in Riddick (2013). Buffed out (check out her arms in Riddick) and hot, Sackhoff will kick Superman’s ass just for wearing that spandex.

Check her out in Battlestar Galactica and Riddick and let me know what you think.

Maggie Denise Quigley

New Wonder WomanGood lord dude! Really? I can already hear fanboys screaming foul. I decided for my last choice to take a different direction, mix it up with some diversity and a new look by choosing the Polish-Irish American and Vietnamese actress, who starred in Priest, Nikita, Live Free or Die Hard, and Mission Impossible III, Maggie Q.

Exotically beautiful and a proven female action star, she’s got MOST of what we need (bust may be lacking, but Hollywood’s best can fix that!). I liked Maggie Q in the films she was in and if something more diverse were to be considered, she would be a good choice.

Interested in seeing more of Maggie Q in action? Check out Priest, Live Free or Die Hard, and Mission Impossible III here.

Comic Book Movie has a list of potential actresses for the new Wonder Woman, but besides the ones we have chosen here, the rest are all looks but no REAL brawn and toughness. Wonder Woman has got to be an equal mix of the two to be convincing as an Amazonian crime fighting femme fatale. Think a little Megan Fox and a little ‘Mother Russia’ from Kick Ass 2. Many have taken a liking to Bridget Regan (doesn’t seem to have the build for an Amazonian), Lynn Collins (an acceptable choice, but not on my top 5), Katrina Law (looks don’t do it for me…despite her success in Spartacus), and Gemma Arterton (also a possible choice but not my top 5).

Again, this is not an all inclusive list, nor was it meant to be, but a highly filtered list of potential choices based on past film roles, looks and perceived toughness. Of course none of these women would meet the height requirements for a true Wonder Woman, but then, what real woman would right? To each their own, though I would love to hear your choices AND reasons why, other than just because!

Most Memorable Hunger Games Catching Fire Cast Members

If you’ve either read the books or watched the film, then you’ll relate when I say that there were several ‘very memorable’ Hunger Games Catching Fire Cast members in the latest of The Hunger Games films.

You could almost say that many of the characters in the last film all had outstanding performances as the film was leaps and bounds better than the first of the series, The Hunger Games. But if we had to choose the top 7, these are The Hunger Games Catching Fire cast members that resonated the most with us:

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen

hunger games catching fire cast Jennifer Lawrence is not on the ‘list’ simply because she is the main protagonist in The Hunger Games trilogy of books and four films. She is on this list because she has become an absolute bad ass since first appearing in the first film, The Hunger Games.

My elementary school daughter left the theater ready to take up her bow and against the evildoers of Panem. Katniss Everdeen’s evolution from The Hunger Games to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has been fun to watch. Her mastery of the bow during the simulated training exercise was very cool, and her eye cold stare-down’s with President Snow on numerous occasions gave us a wholly unique look at a leader in the making.

Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy

hunger games catching fire cast Although Haymitch was one of the more memorable and entertaining characters in the books, he was very ‘not-so-noticeable’ in the first Hunger Games film. He had his moments, but they were few and far between, nothing like it seemed in the book?

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire gave Haymitch a little more screen time (or so it seemed) and the scenes that included Haymitch were are very memorable and many of which very funny.

Lenny Kravitz as Cinna

hunger games catching fire castCinna, the trusted and easy-to-like stylist was fantastic. Having become a fashion icon in the Capital after Katniss’s success in the first Hunger Games, Cinna took it to a whole other level, helping Katniss defy the ‘wishes’ of President Snow that she wear a ‘wedding dress-styled’ outfit during the opening ceremonies by giving her something a whole lot ominous and very cool!

His seeming demise by the orders of an enraged President Snow was a heart-felt loss.

Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman

hunger games catching fire cast Stanley Tucci’s role as The Hunger Games Talk Show Host, Caesar Flickerman, was and has continued to be THE most entertaining and fun-to-watch role in the series, BY FAR!

I doubt anyone, who has seen both Hunger Games films could forget the eccentric and overly excited scenes involving Caesar Flickerman. Every time he took to the stage you could not help but to smile and laugh, despite the dark circumstances surrounding the concept of The Hunger Games. One could only hope that real-life talk show and game hosts use Flickerman’s performance as a bar to strive for. Would certainly make for some very interesting TV eh?

Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket

hunger games catching fire cast Effie Trinket is annoying. She was ultra annoying in The Hunger Games and was just as annoying in Catching Fire. So why is she on this list? Because in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire you really felt for her and the role she had play.

Her job – to draw the names of tributes from District 12 to participate in each Hunger Games had to be the most gut-wrenching job in all of Panem, and to be able to maintain that cheery and excited disposition throughout took more than we could realize. You ‘felt’ for Effie in Catching Fire, and really began to appreciate the difficult task she had to undertake, escorting and caring for children, as they made their way to the arena and almost certain death.

You deserve a spot on this list, Effie!

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee

hunger games catching fire cast Besides the illustrious Donald Sutherland (President Snow), the other seasoned and outstanding actor in the Hunger Games film is Philip Seymour Hoffman. Every role Hoffman has portrayed is amazing to watch. The man is a maestro and when he’s doing his thing on the screen, you just shake your head in awe. The man can act!

As the new Head Gamemaker of The Hunger Games, it was Plutarch’s job to ‘manage’ the games. Be the maestro of death as he and his team sprung trap after trap all designed to kill the Tributes. Hoffman was masterful in his role as essentially the President’s chief ‘death-dealer’, and every scene he was in, either opposite of President Snow or confronting Katniss was fun to watch.

Jeffrey Wright as Beetee

hunger games catching fire castBeetee, Beetee, Bteetee! Even though I had read The Hunger Games trilogy I don’t know how I could of brushed over Beetee?

I don’t know if it was just how well Jeffrey Wright nailed that role, or the fact that as a techie myself, I appreciated the character of Beetee, but this guy was one of my surprise favorites in the film. The ‘smart one in the room’ among would-be killers, Beetee with all his intellect and confidence, was the know-it-all who would ultimately save the day (and will continue to do so).

In Closing…

I would also like to give honorable mention to Sam Claflin who played the Tribute Finnick Odair, partner to Mags.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is still playing, so get out and find some time to sit back and watch a quality film with a quality cast displaying some high quality performances. You won’t be disappointed.

All Marvel Films Lead To Thanos

Thanos is coming. We have seen the ‘Mad Titan’ in action already. Watched him dispatch his Chitauri troops to aid the Norse God Loki in the failed conquest of Earth. But we have been privy to his presence even before this. What is Marvel’s grand plan with Thanos? Does this grand Marvel strategy culminate in one last destructive dance between the heroes of Earth and Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet? The signs are pointing in that direction. Let’s discuss what we know.

The Infinity Gauntlet
infinity-gauntlet
First off, for those not in the ‘KNOW’, what is this talk of the Infinity Gauntlet? What is it and What does it do? And lastly, why so much focus on it?

From the Marvel Database:

The Infinity Gauntlet was designed to hold six of the ‘soul gems’, better known as the Infinity Gems. When used in combination their already impressive powers make the wearer able to do anything he/she wants. The Infinity Gauntlet granted virtual omnipotence to its wearer.

Each ‘Infinity Gem’ has a unique and powerful capability all its own, and when all six are gathered and combined with the Infinity Gauntlet, it becomes literally the most powerful element in the universe. And if the stories carry anywhere near what transpired in the comics, Thanos WILL at some point posses the Infinity Gauntlet.

We first see a fleeting glimpse of the Infinity Gauntlet, in the movie Thor, when the Frost Giants infiltrate the vault and you see the gauntlet being displayed in the background. Our first introduction of things to come.

The ‘First’ Infinity Gem – The Tesseract!
The Tesseract
Captain America: The First Avenger reveals what we will later realize to be the ‘first’ Infinity Gem, the Tesseract. An ancient device of immense power and energy, sought after by the Red Skull and his special branch of German Nazis during World War II. Captain America defeats the Red Skull and ‘liberates’ him of the Tesseract. The Tessearct is later recovered by the senior Stark and given over the S.H.I.E.L.D. who laters loses it to Loki in The Avengers and recovered and taken back to Asgard by Thor.

Thus, we now have the ‘first’ Infinity Gem…

Thanos Revealed
thanos-the-avengers
The ‘Grand Master of Ceremonies’ so-to-speak rises from the shadows at the conclusion of The Avengers, having revealed himself as the architect of the Chitauri invasion of Earth. Led by the Asgardian Loki, The Avengers defeat the alien army, and despite this, we get a sly grin from the Mad Titan Thanos, an ominous beginning of terrible things to come, no doubt.

The ‘Second’ Infinity Gem – The Aether!
infinity stone aether
Which brings us to Thor: The Dark World and the Dark Elves led by their vengeful, blood thirsty leader Malekith The Accursed. Driven to possessing the power of the Aether, yet another Infinity Gem of immense destructive capabilities, Malekith lets nothing stand in his way as he pursues its power throughout the film. Eventually taking possession of it, Malekith sets forth to bringing darkness to the Nine Realms, and nearly succeeds before being brought down by Thor.

** Spoiler ** in the bonus clip at the end of the film, we see Volstagg and Lady Sif handing over the Aether (Infinity Gem) to the immortal being known only as The Collector, for safe keeping. In parting, we hear The Collector mutter under his breath “One down, five to go.” A clear reference to the Infinity Gems.

Where Do We Go From Here?
We now know that the Infinity Gauntlet does indeed exist (Thor) and that there are Infinity Gems being revealed and gathered up (Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World). We also know that Thanos is around and clearly has a much larger role to play in the coming years. The rumor mill is just warming up and already news is spilling out from interviews and discussions from around the Marvel Universe:

‘Thor 2′ Mid & Post-Credits Scenes Explained: What They Reveal About Future Marvel Movies A discussion and explanation of the bonus scene after the movie. Somewhat confusing to those not totally in-tune with the Marvel universe, this article helps answer questions…

NEW INFINITY STONE CONFIRMED FOR GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY MOVIE
Marvel CEO Kevin Feige discusses the introduction of another ‘Infinity Gem’ in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy, confirming that the underlying theme of the Marvel films is the Infinity Gauntlet…

James Gunn confirms that Thanos will make an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Thanos is coming and sooner than we originally thought with James Gunn stating that the Mad Titan will make an appearance (more than likely a brief one like in The Avengers) in Guardians of the Galaxy…

Marvel Studios President Hints at Buildup to ‘Avengers 3′ Infinity Gauntlet Storyline
And lastly, in what is referred to as phase 3, we will finally see years and years of buildup come to a cataclysmic finale when The Avengers (and hopefully others…) come to meet up with Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet. Can’t wait…

Thanos is coming and all Marvel films from here on out lead to his door. Do you doubt?

No Matter How Hard I Try I Can’t Watch Doctor Who Episodes

I can’t stand Doctor Who and no matter how hard I’ve tried or how many times I have tried to watch Doctor Who episodes, I just can’t stomach getting through a single episode! What the Hell is wrong with me?

If there were a ‘GEEK TEST’ I feel I would pass with flying color, save for one small section of the exam – Doctor Who Knowledge.

Watch Doctor Who

I have tried watching from the very beginning. It sucked. it was corny, cheesy and stupid.

A friend (And, avid Doctor Who fan) recommended I start with some of the more “modern” Who episodes, stating that the earlier episodes take an acquired taste, not so easily adopted by new Who watchers. I almost got through an episode so I was making progress but still having trouble.

Another recommended I read up on some of Doctor Who lore and “mythology” to get better acquainted with the story and characters, stating it would help add some substance to what I was seeing with the flying phone booth…er…Tardis, whatever. That also helped a bit, but not enough.

What Hell is wrong with me?! I feel so left out of “Who-discussions” at work and in outings with friends, as they trade “Who-isms” back and forth.

I will continue to try, through Hell or high water….I will continue to try…

7 Star Wars Origin Stories Worth Telling

It was announced yesterday or maybe even last night that Disney CFO Jay Rasulo let it be known that the series of standalone “Star Wars” films that will be coming over the next few years – in addition to Episodes VII, VIII, and IX – will be “origin” stories. The question now being, with so many Star Wars characters to choose from, what origin stories will resonate most with the fans (and, the box office).

There are definitely fan favorites but then there are those which hold more relevance to the Star Wars universe as a whole. Here are our 7 picks for worthwhile origin stories to be considered:

Boba Fett

Boba Fett

Boba Fett

The ruthless but efficient mercenary known as Boba Fett, the unaltered child clone of Jango Fett, is arguably one, if not THE most popular fan favorite in the entire Star Wars universe. We see him first, as a young but very capable boy in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, but there is a lot more to the development of this character than we are allowed to see, which would make an origin story about his beginnings so intriguing.

Han Solo

Han Solo

Han Solo

The scoundrel,m smuggler and self-styled ladies man that is Han Solo is another fan favorite who would also make an interesting story. His adventures and run-ins with the empire and the criminal underground (ex. The Hutts) as well as how he and his co-pilot and friend Chewbacca came to be, could be fun as well as revealing, into the legend that is Solo!

Chewbacca

Chewbacca

Chewbacca

The ‘walking carpet’ as Princess Leia so eloquently put, is non-other than Chewbacca, the Wookie co-pilot to Han Solo (above) on the smuggling freighter, The Milennium Falcon. Chewbacca first appeared in Episode IV: A New Hope (the first Star Wars film), but we then later saw him in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, fighting the Empire on his home planet and whisking Yoda to safety before being overrun by Imperial troops. There is obviously more to this gentle giant that we’ve been privy to.

Yoda

Yoda

Yoda

Grand Master Jedi Yoda, is the long-time the head of the Jedi Order, and although he is prevalent throughout the Star Wars films, we know surprisingly little about him. How could a creature so small, be so powerful and how did he rise to the level we know see him at? Where is he from? What is his history? Oh, to see the the planets, systems and battles Master Yoda has been through?! When Yoda passed on he was 900 years old. Yes, I think there is a LOT more to the little green fella.

Master Jedi Mace Windu

Mace Windu

Mace Windu

Besides the fact Jedi Mace Windu is played by the ever-so-popular actor Samuel L. Jackson, we know Master Windu to be a capable and trusted Jedi advisor to Grand Master Yoda. We have also had the pleasure of seeing Master Windu do battle with and BEST The emperor, Darth Sidious. before foolish Anakin Skywalker decided to intervene. Understanding the true power and skill of other Jedi’s, like Mace Windu would make for an exciting and adventurous tale indeed.

Darth Maul

Darth Maul

Darth Maul

Now although Boba Fett is one of the top fan favorites, I am going to go out on a limb and guess that When Darth Maul made his debut in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, he instantly became BAD ASS #1. Darth Maul and his (at the time) unprecedented, dual-bladed light saber had probably one of the most intense and memorable fight scenes ever, with Obi Wan Kenobi finally besting the Sith apprentice. And although there are books available (Star Wars: Darth Maul, Shadow Hunter) that more fully discuss Maul’s history, what I wouldn’t give for an origin story on one of the coolest of the Sith!

Palpatine

The Emperor - Darth Sidious

The Emperor

Also known as Darth Sidious, also known as The Emperor, also known as Senator Palpatine. The Dark Lord of the Sith! We are given a small window into his dark past when he lets slip to Anakin in dark delight, how he back-stabbed he former master. How did Palpatine escape detection for so long from the Jedi? His power is truly the darkest and strongest in the galaxy. He is, aside from Master Yoda, the most powerful, force-capable being in the Star Wars universe, and probably deserves his own title more than any other.

And lastly, Jar-Jar Binks (Just kidding!)

Well there you have it. It has been rumored that origin stories for Yoda, Han Solo and Bob Fett were being considered, but what I wouldn’t give to see a ‘dark origins’ tale of one of the Sith, Maul or Palpatine? Perhaps, if Disney sees early successes with its planned roll-out we may yet see some darker more unique story lines.

If you had it your way, who would be your pick for a Star Wars origin story?

Cool iPhone Interface on Marvel’s Iron Man 3 JARVIS iOS App

Marvel Entertainment recently released the very cool and very FREE iOS app, JARVIS: A Second Screen Experience to the iTunes App Store. Although I do not personally have an iPhone (I know, shame on me), I do have an iPad 2, which it is stated, is also capable of hosting the app. So, naturally, without second thought I quickly downloaded the app. Here were my findings.

Download
JARVIS iOS AppThe download was a little longer than usual but not too bad, and once it is installed you’ll realize why.

Installation
Installation and setup is pretty seamless, with the app coming online in true J.A.R.V.I.S. fashion, with the familiar AI voice asking you a series of questions to help facilitate the personalization of the app.

Operation
If there’s one thing you never get tired of when using the JARVIS: A Second Screen Experience app, it’s the JARVIS voice. Paul Bettany (the actor who does the voice-over for JARVIS in the Iron Man and Avenger films as well as the app), is known for many things, but in my book, he may best be known for this seriously awesome digital voice now emanating from my iPad!

The interface is as high-tech and cool as it gets, and I hope to still be alive when this becomes a true representation of digital interfaces for every device from phones, to tablets to controlling your television and fridge!

JARVISIt did take me a little extra time to poke around and figure out what does what, but that’s half the phone, as Paul Bettany’s JARVIS voice burps to life with every swipe of my finger.

The screen starts out by default a bit small, as the app was optimized for iPhone use, but for you iPad users you’ll quickly notice a ‘2X’ button in the lower right corner to increase the screen size of the app. And, although the app is able to run on the iPad, you will notice that certain features of the app are setup specifically for iPhone use, but don’t get me wrong, I am having a blast talking to JARVIS and having him provide local time and weather reports!

APP Features:
-Voice Controlled Interface
-Current date, time and temperature
-Weather forecast
-Alarm clock with personalized alarms
-First appointment reminders
-Post to Facebook

..and as always, continue to download and install updates as they become available as these will undoubtedly contain additional features and functionality.

Download the one-of-a-kind, interactive experience app hosted by JARVIS to your iPad or iPhone and find out. Just like the real JARVIS, you will be able to interact with him using your own voice. Create customized alarms to wake you in the morning, download ringtones, check the weather, post to Facebook and more! Sync the app to your Blu-ray player to unlock hidden files and suits embedded throughout the disc, and experience the first-ever voice controlled Blu-ray!

The Conjuring Was Good. But The Comedy in the Audience was Better!

Finally got around to going to watch The Conjuring on the big screen, before it left. I don’t typically watch horror films, at least in the theater, opting to watch them in the comforts of home, so this outing was unusual for me, to say the least. And although I found the movie enjoyable and everything that I expected from a horror film, I have never laughed so hard from what transpired in the seats around us.

Oh I wasn’t laughing at the film, which had all the jumps and horrifying sounds and music that give horror films that lingering chill. I was laughing at other movie goers.

The Grandmother…

GrandmotherI knew I was in for a treat when just before the theater darkened and the screen ignited with upcoming trailers, a feeble grandmother and her three young granddaughters slowly walked up the stairs to their seats. The kids couldn’t be any older than 11? Maybe 12?

Our first thought was, wow, they seem young to be in here watching this, but then again, we used to bring our own kids in movies like this when they were young, so who are we to judge, right! But, not long after The Conjuring started and we were smack dang in the middle of some of the more terrifying moments, that had even my wife jumping out of her seat, the grandmother, with granddaughters leading the way, made her way back down the stairs into the theater lobby. After a few minutes, the group, once again made their way back to their seats. At first, we wrote this off as a bathroom break, until it became obvious, it was something different.

After 3 or 4 trips up and down the stairs, we started to realize these trip coinciding with when things really got scary on the screen. The it dawned on us. The Grandmother was clearly NOT digging this movie, and after listening in on the quiet chatter from the granddaughters, it was clear that they had ‘sweet-talked’ their poor little grandma into taking them to see this film. As sorry as we felt for the Grandmother, we could barely contain our laughter, every time the group exited and re-entered the theater. Hehehehehe….poor Grandma!

The Muscle Man…

Two rows in front of us, sat the muscle-bound linebacker-of-a-man and his tiny girlfriend, both mashed closely together, popcorn and drink in hand. We paid little attention to them until the movie started. That’s when things got funny.

Every time, the sound began to build, and the horror ensued on the big screen, the ‘big man’ would slowly raise his hand to his face, fingers spread ever so slightly, so that he may peak through to the screen, like a child peeking from behind blinds. This ‘ritual’ unfolded throughout the entire film, with the man on several occasions even turning his head in his girlfriend’s hair to help cloud his vision. At first we thought he was just clowning around, until his girlfriend shrugged him off her shoulder, obviously frustrated with the big man’s cowardice. I have never laughed so hard.

It had been so long since I last ventured to the theater for a few thrills and chills, but after this last outing, I anticipate I will work to see more. Watching The Conjuring was perhaps one of the most entertaining outings I have had at the theater in years! Definitely a moment to remember and laugh about in the years ahead.

8 Obscure Sci-Fi Movies Added to My Weekend Binge List

Participated in a lengthy comment string on ScreeRant about week ago, started by a relatively controversial post titled – The New Sci-Fi Boom: 10 Best Sci-Fi Films of The Last 5 Years. Of course anytime you try to condense and choose 10 of anything over a relatively small amount of time, you are going to leave good shit out, and deeply offend someone with the choices you make. In any case, there were some really good and obscure (at least to me) sci-fi films listed that I decided to Netflix and view. Here is my weekend sci-fi binge list.

In a matter of minutes there were tens of comments in response to ScreenRant’s article. Many of which were healthy, civil discussions and debate, with a handful that nearly erupted into full scale warfare. But in the midst of all this, there were a lot of sci-fi movies listed that readers felt either should be removed from the list or added, with many listing their own, personal top 10 sci-fi movies over the last 5 years. Needless to say, I had seen a good 90% of the film listed but there were a few, some well-seen and others relatively obscure (at least to me) films that caught my attention. So with nothing planned for the weekend, I decided to reserve these on Netflix and make this weekend a sci-fi movie binge weekend!

Upside Down

Upside Down

Upside Down
Plot: The film starts with Adam telling the story of his planet, unique from other planets as it is the only one that has dual gravity. Two planets exist next to another. The gravity of the planets have 3 rules – (1) All matter is pulled by the gravity of the world that it comes from, and not the other; (2) An object’s weight can be offset by matter from the opposite world (inverse matter); (3) After some time in contact, matter in contact with inverse matter burns.

The two worlds are separated. While the upper world (Up) is rich and prosperous, the lower (Down) is poor. Up buys cheap oil from Down and sells electricity back to Down at higher prices. Going Up or having contact with anyone from Up is strictly forbidden and can be punishable by incarceration or the death penalty. The only connection linking the two worlds is through the company “TransWorld”, housed in a majestic building structure.

At the time of this writing I had I was, in fact, able to watch this and I must say I was mildly surprised how good it was. I will admit that I am not much of a ‘romantic film’ buff, which is what this film originally struck me as (the story is romantically-based), however, the science and sci-fi portions of the story and the environment in-which the story takes place is amazing. Definitely a must-see.

sci-fi movie

Outlander

Outlander
Plot: A spacecraft crash lands in a large lake in Norway, circa 709 AD. From the wreckage emerges Kainan, a soldier, who was transporting an alien monster, a Moorwen. After Kainan buries his copilot he recovers a portable computer from the wreckage and uses it to find that he is on Earth (classified by his people as an “Abandoned Seed Colony”) and there are no other interstellar vessels detected nearby. Determined to track down the alien, Kainan soon finds himself engaged with the local Norseman tribe, whom he eventually befriends and helps to hunt the deadly beast.

Watched this one as well. I tried to really want to ‘like’ this film (I mean what’s NOT to like about barbarian Norseman hunting a dragon-like beast from beyond the stars, right?), but the story was bit odd, the acting not very good and there were many questionable holes throughout.

sci-fi movie

Franklyn

Franklyn
Plot: Split between the parallel realities of contemporary London and the otherworldly metropolis of Meanwhile City, Franklyn follows the tales of four characters. Jonathan Preest (Ryan Phillippe) is a masked vigilante who will not rest until he finds his individual. Emilia (Eva Green) is a troubled young art student whose rebellion may turn out to be deadly. Milo (Sam Riley) is a heartbroken twenty something yearning for the purity of first love. Peter (Bernard Hill) is a man steeped in religion, searching desperately for his missing son amongst London’s homeless. Beginning in Meanwhile City, the film moves into contemporary London as the characters’ storylines intertwine for a fateful finale.

sci-fi movie

Pandorum

Pandorum
Plot: In 2174 with Earth’s overpopulation crisis, humanity built what is described as a Noah’s Ark named Elysium. The mission was to send 60,000 people to colonize an Earth-like planet named Tanis to ensure humanity’s survival, which would take up to 123 years. Eight years into the mission the ship receives a transmission from earth in multiple languages before speaking in English “You’re all that’s left of us. Good luck, God Bless, and godspeed”. Some time later, two astronauts named Corporal Bower and Lieutenant Payton have awakened in a hyper-sleep chamber aboard a seemingly abandoned spacecraft. They can’t remember much of who they are nor of their mission. Bower ventures deep into the ship in an attempt to find his wife and jump-start the reactor and takes control of the ship before it dies, along with the passengers. However he encounters a group of intelligent tribal troglofauna-like hominids who practice both endocannibalism and exocannibalism have set booby traps over the ship. He founds allies in three other humans named Nadia, Manh, and Leland. The group then begins the trek to reach the reactor.

Disclaimer here – I have in fact, seen Pandorum before, however it had been some time so I decided to watch it again. This one I liked quite a bit, although it is an ‘acquired taste’ (no pun intended) and will more than likely put many off.

Other Sci-Fi movies that were highly touted within the ScreenRant comments that I intend on viewing very soon were:

Another Earth:

Europa Report:

Melancholia:

Primer:

Nothing better than relaxing and watching sci-fi on a lazy weekend sitting. Living the dream!