Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Kingkiller Chronicle Gets a New Producer – Lin-Manuel Miranda!

If you are a fan of fantasy and haven’t read Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicle’s books, The Name of the Wind and The Wise Mans Fears, I would highly recommend them. They are some of the best fantasy books I have ever read and have listened to and read them multiple times. If someone asks me for a book recommendation and they are a fan of fantasy these are my first recommendations. The property has been optioned to Lionsgate and a movie and television series are in the works. News dropped last night via a Variety article and confirmed by Pat Rothfuss that Lin-Manuel Miranda had signed on to help produce both the movie and the television show.

If you are a fan of Pat and follow him on any social media you have seen his love affair with Lin-Manuel Miranda and vice versa. They are both massive fans of each other’s work. Lin-Manuel has stated he has read Pat’s books multiple times and they are a staple in his house. Pat for his part has been to see the musical Hamilton and actually gave Miranda a pair of silver pipes after the show (If you have read the books you know the importance of these). To bring him on board to help produce the movie and television show makes perfect sense. Miranda has proven himself as an incredible talent and he apparently will be helping create music for both the movie and show.

As someone who is a massive fan of both the books and Miranda I think this is a perfect fit. Having him write music for Kingkiller Chronicle gets me excited to see what he can create, since music plays such a massive role in the books. I wouldn’t doubt that Miranda pops up as a minor character in the film at the end of the day since he is such a big fan. This also gives me hope that the movie is actually going to happen. With Miranda being so hot right now, after the success from Hamilton, having him attached will help push the project into production.

The Kingkiller chronicle movies could be the next Lord of the Rings for the fantasy genre if done right. It is a very different type of fantasy story from Lord of the Rings, but it’s similar in the intricate world both authors created. Rothfuss populated the books with an expansive world. Each character encountered seems to have a developed backstory and the place they come from a detailed history. It is one of the many reasons why I love the books, along with the interesting characters Rothfuss created. This story still does not guarantee the books will make it into movie production, but it is another great step in the process of getting a live action Tarbean.  

Let me know if you are a fan of the books and if not does Miranda being attached to a movie peak your interest in the books. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

PASSENGERS - Trailer #3 - Recap/Review (Discussion) - Yes, I liked the Song Choice.

I might be the only person who is excited for the Science Fiction movie Passengers starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. From what I've read and listened to mostly everyone is disappointed from the trailers and images which have been shown. I'm on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. Everything I have seen from the movie has made me more excited to see the film. 

I liked this latest trailer, and even liked the song choice. What stands out to me in this trailer, or all of the trailers, is the chemistry Pratt and Lawrence have with one another. I believe the two of them can fall in love just by watching them interact in these small snippets of film. The trailers have made me want to know more about their relationship and how it unfolds as they are stranded on a ship in the middle of deep space. 

The other major aspect which stood out is how engaged Jennifer Lawrence seems to be. Maybe just seeing her trying in Passengers instead of going through the motions as she was in X-Men Apocalypse gives me more hope for the movie overall. She is a fantastic actress, and hopefully she turns in a great performance. 

The movie seems to be Titanic in space, and honestly I'm perfectly happy if this is what we get. I don't mind a love story spiced with adventure and if the film hits the emotional buttons as well as Titanic did then the film will be a smash hit. I think the film will be good from what I have seen, but I appear to be in the minority on this opinioni this time around. 

What did you think of this trailer or all or any of the trailers for Passengers? Like them or hate them? Comment and let me know. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Reitman Says More Ghostbusters in Development (Highly Doubtful)

Ivan Reitman on a recent podcast titled Mr. Wavvy answered a question about Ghostbusters 2. He stated in his answer: “There’s going to be many other Ghostbusters movies, they’re just in development right now.” Which sounds very positive when typed out. However, when listening to the interview he sounded like he was simply trying to end the interview as quickly as possible. It seemed very awkward, and saying things are in development might as well mean nothing is happening at the moment.

I’m not opposed to more Ghostbusters movies, and it makes sense for Reitman to try and keep promoting the brand since he owns the property. I don’t think any Ghostbuster films are in active development. The rebooted film from this year didn’t make enough money for the studio to greenlight a sequel or any future projects. I liked the film, but didn’t love it. I wouldn’t mind continuing the story with the characters introduced if they canned the awkward cameos and focused more on a story. I also wouldn’t mind if they scrapped the entire new universes and started over. Either scenario is probably years from seeing the big screen.

I think Ghostbusters could be a successful franchise. The property is beloved and it could be extended. It was a massive mistake not to make this year’s movie a continuation of the story by having the characters related to or admirers of the original team. This honestly was part of the issue as to why many people didn’t want to see a reboot of the property. Yes, people can still pop in the originals and watch them anytime, but most fans wanted some continuation of that universe. There are of course those who simply hated it because of the all-female cast, but there are many others who fall into the former camp. They just wanted more Ghostbusters, but in a way that honored the originals and kept them around.

Reitman can hope to sell and get other Ghostbuster projects off the ground. I’m sure he has many ideas. Dan Aykroyd has floated numerous over the years which never went anywhere as well. I hope we do eventually get more Ghostbusters, because  it’s a fantastic story and concept. I love both original films (yes even the second) and enjoyed the latest because it was simply more Ghostbusters. Hopefully the studio will eventually let the property come back to the big screen, but it will more than likely be stuck “in development” for many years to come. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Star Wars Rebels S3E8 The Wynkahthu Job Recap/Review (Spoilers!): Fun, but Still Lacking

Star Wars Rebels with its eighth episode for the third season saw the return of Hondo and Azmorigan who wanted help from the crew of the Ghost. The pirates attacked an Imperial cargo ship and it was caught in atmosphere of a plant. They can’t get to the ship on their own and need the Rebels to help retrieve the cargo. The crew, in return for their help, get to take the proton bombs on the Imperial ship. There is a small bit of a through line in this episode since the crew have been looking for proton bombs. This isn’t much of a connective thread for the season and there could be more to help drive a main story and theme for the show overall.

The Wynkahthu Job isn’t a horrible episode, but to have yet another episode which doesn’t deliver any movement on a major theme or story for the show is disappointing. None of the episodes since the first with Maul have been bad, but they haven’t delivered on any main overall arch. There hasn’t been one single episode which hasn’t been enjoyable to watch for one reason or another, but the show doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Many of these episodes have introduced new characters, but then are quickly forgotten in the next episode. Take the supply droid we met at the end of last season. He popped up in this episode to help with information about the Imperial ship. However, why is this the first we have seen of him since the episode he was introduced? He just happened to tag along on this mission? He should have been integrated with the crew of the Ghost since his introduction, so his reappearance doesn’t seem so random.

There should be more of a through line with all of the characters introduced. I had thought we might get a story arch involving the Mandalorians and how the Rebels could help gain their support. Instead the episode was another one off and it didn’t carry on after Fenn Rau agreed to join the Rebellion. The show will probably go back to his character, but carrying his story forward after the episode involving him would have increased the shows momentum. There is no movement for the show because of its lack of overall focus. Having a few more stories to tie everything together would help drive the show forward. This has a point of mine through the last two or three episodes, but each individual episode on their own have been enjoyable to watch.

Maybe the expectation should be the show isn’t going to have a connected story and each episode is going to be a minor adventure with characters popping in and out. I could get behind this, if they wouldn’t have characters like Grand Admiral Thrawn and Darth Maul lurking in the background as major threats with major story implications. They have peppered in Thrawn, but not enough to showcase what his overall plan will be to engage the Rebels. With each episode being fun to watch, but not delivering in overall story the season has been a slight disappointment.

This episode delivered on showcasing fun characters in Hondo and Azmorigan. There humor was a little childish for my taste, but the show is aimed at children so that isn’t a knock on the episode overall. The callback joke with Ezra cutting the hole in the door was well done and plausible for the mission they were on. It was nice to see Zeb get more screen time in the episode since he has been a minor character for most of the season to date. He would be a candidate for one of the first to be killed off. Maybe they will up the stakes for the season at the break by having one of the crew members meet an untimely end. Overall this episode was fun to watch, but lacked the substance many fans are starting to expect from the show.

What did you think of the episode overall? Should we lower our expectations for the show and just realize there is never going to be an overall story thread? Comment and let me know. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Trailer #3: Is This The Last One?

The third, and hopefully final, trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story dropped yesterday. There isn't much new in the trailer that hasn't been show in other trailers or television spots. There a couple of new snippets of dialogue and a few new shots with the K2-SO, but little else. 

At this point the numerous television spots and trailers have overwhelmed me to an extent. I've gone from keeping up with every single promotion to come out, to just wanting to see the film. It isn't unexpected since I, like many other Star Wars fans, have been hanging for any small amount of news for Rogue One. 

The plethora of spots aren't unexpected, and this time last year I had the same feelings about the Star Wars The Force Awakens. These television spots and latest trailers are to spread the word about the film and get the masses involved. They are done getting the base excited. We are already at max excitement. 

The bigger news to drop yesterday was pre-sale tickets will go on sale on November 28th. I'll be buying a few tickets to multiple shows. Maybe the film won't be as good as Star Wars The Force Awakens, but I'm going to bank on it being worth multiple viewings. 

What did you think of this trailer? Are you like me and just ready for the film and have started to phase out of watching everything that drops? Comment and let me know. Like, share, subscribe, and all that fun stuff. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Emilia Clarke in Han Solo – What Role Will She Play?

A bombshell in Star Wars casting news dropped on Friday with Emilia Clarke being announced to star in the new young Han Solo movie. As a huge Game of Thrones fan who loves her portrayal as Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, this casting news is fantastic. She has had a few cinematic misses, but I think she could be a perfect fit for a galaxy far far away. This leads to the question of what role should she play in the Han Solo film? Everyone I assume will jump to her being a love interest for the smuggler, but she might fit more into an adversarial role.

Clarke can play aristocratic, as seen in Game of Thrones. Why not have her play an Imperial Captain or Admiral chasing after Han? Kathleen Kennedy has hinted the film could be a heist movie, and I think Clark could play a brilliant villain off of Alden Ehrenreich. She could be tasked for hunting down the people who pulled off the heist.  She can be cold and calculating which would make for a perfect an Imperial. This doesn’t mean she still couldn’t play a love interest in the film. She could be chasing him down, but also be attracted to him.

She could also be another smuggler who is working with him, or she could have just a minor role. I don’t think they would have made a major announcement if she had a minor role in the film. She is going to be a major player in the film more than likely. Clarke probably will be a love interest of some sort. The team could pull from the old legend stories and have her be a Rebel sympathizer who manipulates Han to help her. This would be another way to go, and would show why Han is a little jaded at the start of episode four.

There will be much more speculation before the movie comes out, but I would prefer her be an Imperial who has to chase Han down rather than a love interest. Whoever she plays, adding talent is always a good thing, and I’m glad Clarke hasn’t gotten tired of acting in genre movies. I doubt these are the only offers coming to her, even after the slight misses of Terminator and Me Before You. She is a star and a good talent and adding her to the Star Wars universe can’t be seen as a bad move on anyone’s part. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Cars 3 Official Trailer - Teaser (2017) - Review/Thoughts

Disney/Pixar's released its first teaser for the third installment of the Cars franchise. Many in the critic community turn their noses up to the Cars franchise. Numerous people think the two previous films in the franchise are some of the worst to be made by Pixar. 

I thoroughly enjoy the first Cars film, and still think it is a good Pixar movie. I enjoyed watching it with my kids, and would gladly still watch it if my youngest wanted to pop it in. The second is another story, and is probably the worst Pixar movie. It isn't a horrible film, but it is below the standard for the rest of the Pixar library. 

The teaser for Cars 3 promises a different type of film. My guess is it's going to follow either the Rocky 3 or 5 format. Let's hope if it's the latter they do a better job. Cars 3 looks to deal with struggle and overcoming obstacles. This has been the framework for many great sports movies, and with Pixar at the helm they can do a great job at telling this type of story. 

What did you think of the short teaser? Do you car about a Cars 3? Comment and let me know. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Star Wars Rebels S3E7 Iron Squadron Recap/Review (Spoilers): Where Are We Going?

Fun and enjoyable, but what’s the main story?

The seventh episode for season three of Star Wars Rebels, Iron Squadron, is another fun solid episode, but again didn’t seem to add much to an overall season story narrative. There isn’t much wrong with the episode and it was enjoyable to watch, but there isn’t any actual impact on the Rebels overall. The possibility for an overall effect on the season is if Thrawn is using each of these engagements to lay an elaborate trap for the crew of the ghost. This could be the case with the number of encounters Thrawn has observed and the data he has accumulated. The only issue with this is how slowly the narrative is taking to develop, and the small amount Thrawn has been shown in the season.

With each week I keep expecting the for the main narrative for the season to kick in, and each week the show doesn’t deliver. I enjoy watching every week, and this week was not an exception. The adventure with the Iron Squadron was fun. The action was well done and it was interesting to see another group of kids standing up to the Empire. The running joke about the Star Destroyer was also well done and got me to chuckle. These fun side missions still leave me wanting something more from the show. There should be an overall narrative and arc for the season, and for the past four or five episodes the show does not seem to be going anywhere.

I believe in Dave Filoni and he knows what he is doing, but I’m not sure why all of these episodes are placed together. Last season had an issue with momentum and with episode placements to keep the tension and story moving along. Clone Wars was at its best when it had three or four episodes packed together to tell one cohesive story. Maybe the entire season will do this, and once the big picture is revealed these episodes will make sense with how they were placed within the season.  As of now it seems the show has no overall direction on where it is going.

The show has not shown since the first week Ezra and Kanan training with the force. Ezra had been delving into the dark side for months, but one mission and conversation with Kanan and he is back to being normal? There should be more development with this, and I’m sure there will, but where is it? This story aspect should be peppered in throughout some of these side mission episodes. We should still see Ezra struggling, unless he isn’t going to actually succumb to temptation.

What is going on with the overall Rebellion? We see aspects in these side missions of fighting, but not the overall picture. There needs to be a through line for what the group is doing instead of just randomly fighting the Empire. I had thought it was going to be investigating what happened at Geonosis, and the crew finding more information about the Death Star. There is an episode coming up where the description hints it could be about this, but the it shouldn’t be a one off episode. The first half of the season should have built to them finding out about the super weapon.

Star Wars Rebels is still entertaining. I enjoy waking up on Saturdays making breakfast and watching it on my computer with my twelve-year-old son. He is even becoming frustrated with the show. After today’s episode he said, another episode that didn’t go anywhere. If the target demographic for the show is starting to get bored it’s a bad sign. Granted he may not be an accurate representation of his demographic, but it still is a little troubling. Hopefully the next few episodes start to build towards a good mid-season finale, but the next two descriptions look like side missions. The last two episodes before the break deal with Maul and Ezra which will be great, but again the show should have built to these episodes, instead of sticking them before the mid-season finale.

What do you think of Iron Squadron? Did you like it or do you think it should have utilized to a season story arc along? Comment and let me know. Like, share, subscribe, and all that fun stuff. 

Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them – Movie Review: Still Magical

Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them starring Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterson, Dan Folger, Alison Sudol, Colin Farrell, directed by David Yates, and with the screenplay written by J.K. Rowling. Fantastic Beast takes place in New York City during the roaring 1920’s, and fifty to sixty years before Harry Potter is born. It follows the story of Newt Scamander who is traveling to release a Magical Creature back to the wild.  Events go awry in the city and some of his animals escape from his magical suitcase.  At the same time his creatures begin to run around the city another dark force or creature is terrorizing the magical and non-magical people of New York.

To say I’m Harry Potter fan might be an understatement. I love the series and jumped on the bandwagon when the fourth book was released. Having another movie separate from Harry Potter, but set in the Wizarding World is fantastic. Just the fact we are escaping back into the magical world was enough to sell me on the movie. My thoughts on this film might be slightly skewed because I enjoy the magical universe J.K. Rowling created to a major degree. I really enjoyed Fantastic Beast, and thought it had the perfect amount of fun charm, message, and hints of the darker world which make up the core of most Potterverse books and films.

The performances for the most part are great. Eddy Redmayne loses himself into the role of Newt. The only issue I had with his performance is the mumbling he did throughout the film. It was hard to hear what he was saying about the animals and what they could do. This was more than likely a character trait of Newt, but maybe they could have highlighted his quirkiness another way. I think the other standout of the film is Dan Folger who plays the muggle or non-mag as they are called in America. He is the audience for the film showing the sense of wonderment a person introduced to the magical world would have. His slight comic relief, but sweet and good natured persona adds a great touch to the film overall. I liked Katherine Waterson character Tina who is a disgraced Auror trying to get her job back. Something however seemed a little off with her performance, but overall it still worked within the framework of the film. Alison Sudol plays her sister Queenie in the movie and quietly steals the show every time she is on screen. Her ability to mind read and turn situations on their head played into the overall fun nature of the Fantastic Beast.

On the flip side of the heroes is Colin Farrell’s Auror detective, Graves, whose motivation isn’t completely understood until the very end of the movie. He keeps interacting with a troubled and abused boy, Credence played by Ezra Miller. Credence’s foster mom beats him and wants to expose the wizarding world. The woman wants to bring Wizards and Witches into the light to persecute them. Graves wants and needs Credence to find a child for him. We don’t find out why until closer to the end of the film. If there is one slight miss for the movie it is with Farrell’s character. The ending of the film helps explain this to a degree, but I would have preferred more motivation for him provided throughout the story.

The underlying message the film has, like any good Rowling story, is about not hiding who you truly are and the damage it can cause. I liked the slight twist Yates and Rowling had in the story, and while I probably should have seen it coming the setup had me fooled. It is overall a very well put together film. The action is fun, the story engaging, and the message is subtle. It is a fun movie which also has a ton of heart and love put into it. The ending might have been too neat, but when you have magic I guess anything is possible. Fantastic Beast is well worth seeing, and worth seeing multiple times in the theaters if you are a Potter fan. If you are just a casual fan or want to see a fun film it is still worth checking out.

What did you think of Fantastic Beast and Where to Find them? Like it or love it, not like it? Comment and let me know. Like share subscribe and all that fun stuff. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Star Wars Catalyst – Book Review: Bridging The Gap

James Luceno, author of Star War Catalyst, is a master in character development. Tarkin and Darth Plagueis are both examples of how he wove stories about characters who exerted their will on the galaxy. Catalyst is no different in showing the motivations of the two main characters and how their decisions ultimately lead to the development of the Death Star. Catalyst is a Star Wars fans Star Wars book. It takes a deep dive into how and why the Death Star took so long to develop after the end of Revenge of the Sith until A New Hope. Along with this it gives a great introduction to two of the main characters in the upcoming Rogue One A Star Wars Story.

Star Wars Catalyst isn’t for the uninitiated. A Star Wars fan thinking of getting into the reading the books shouldn’t jump off with Catalyst. The book is a great primer for Rogue One, but it is not an action packed adventure which will hook the general fan. It’s a slow burn character story about the machinations of Orson Krennic and the idealist scientist he manipulates to his cause in Galen Orso. Luceno’s weaves and interesting and plausible story as to how each makes their contributions to the Death Star. The book is more about political intrigue and how well-meaning intentions can be used against good people.

Krennic is shown to be a political climber who is looking to gain power at every level. He looks for every angle to gain more standing and uses numerous schemes to gain control. He is put in charge of the Death Star construction and planning because he is an engineer but also because he knew how to maneuver to get the job. On the opposite side of Krennic is Galen Orso who just wants to create a power source which can be used by everyone in the galaxy. At the start of the novel he is trying to produce synthetic Kyber crystals so he can provide power. The war between the Republic and Separatists force him to abandon this work, but the rise of the Empire and fall of the Jedi allows him access to true Kyber crystals. This allows him to start his research and figure a way to harness the Kyber crystals power.

Catalyst is able to show how each of these characters goes about accomplishing their goals. Galen sacrifices some of his principles, or turns a blind eye to what is happening around him.  Krennic has little to no consciences when it comes to accomplishing his goals.  If there is one criticism for the book it is how evil Orson is for the story. There is no grey to him, he manipulates his situations to better himself and the Empire. By developing these characters Luceno shows how the Death Star is constructed. Each choice these characters make either impede or advance the construction of the super weapon. This is a true prequel to Rogue One and gives fantastic background on major characters in the new film.

The book is a great introduction to Galen and Orson along with Galen’s wife Lyra. Luceno is able to flesh out these characters in order to make the Death Star construction interesting. There had to be a reason why the construction of the Death Star took so long to complete from the end of Revenge of the Sith until the start of A New Hope and this book provides the reason. If fans of the series are at all interested in these reasons or they want more backstory for the characters found in Rogue One then the book is a must read. I don’t think it is a must read for casual Star Wars fans, and in fact it might be disappointing if they are not into more political or character studies.

If you have finished Catalyst let me know what you thought. If not does it sound interesting. Comment and let me know. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Hidden Figures Official Trailer 2 (2017) - Review

The second trailer for the film Hidden Figures hits all of my personal movie buttons. It's historical period piece about the space program during NASA's early days. With a cast anchored by Octavia Spencer and Kevin Costner it has the talent in place to be good. I am a sucker for this period of history about our race to beat the Russians to space and the moon. Coupled with the civil rights movement the time period is rich with historical significance. 

The second trailer gets me excited for the film, but so did the first. I probably would go see this movie blind based on the subject matter alone. I'm just that much of a history nut and fascinated by the space race. Telling a story about African American women within NASA during this time is perfect. I'll be there as close to opening night as I can, and hope the movie lives up to the real life characters these women portray. 

These women helped put a man in space over fifty years ago. Just let that sink in for a moment. They hurled a man into space on a rocket and he survived with technology our kids would consider antiques. We are all still waiting to be able to do the same. 


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Disney Buying Netflix? Star Wars Live Action Soon After?

Speculation started to run rampant yesterday as stories popped up about Disney possibly buying Netflix. The House of Mouse is a massive media conglomerates and adding the premier streaming service to its stable of business is probably a smart move. If Netflix is going to get absorbed, which I’m not a huge fan of, Disney is probably the best to get taken over by. Disney and Netflix already seem to have a good partnership with Marvel shows and the recent agreement to release all of the new Disney movies on the streaming service. Disney buying them out is just another logical step.

If this were to happen my mind immediately jumps to Lucasfilm, and if a Star Wars live action streaming show will follow. There have already been rumors about a possible Netflix show for Star Wars, and if Disney were to buy them I would assume it would be a certainty. Disney does own ABC and there isn’t a show on network television yet. There have been rumors about this as well, but I would rather a show go to Netflix. The way Marvel has utilized the streaming service for gritty intense shows gives me hope Lucasfilm would do the same.  I would love to see a live action show about the Old Republic and the rise of the Sith army, or a live action show involving the Hutts and the gangsters of the universe. I’m not sure either is in the cards, but a grittier darker Star Wars story is something a big chunk of the fan base is clamoring for.

The Star Wars universe has just begun to scratch the possibilities for the franchise. I understand some not wanting to water down the product, and thinking more shows and movies takes away some of the luster of Star Wars. One special thing about Star Wars as fans we only had the movies and books and comics. There was a massive buildup and anticipation between the start of each new trilogy. It made each new movie a special event. As a rabid fan I don’t need this extra bit of excitement. I just want more Star Wars in any form as long as the product is stellar. Nothing coming out of Lucasfilm would indicate they would make a bad product. They take their time with everything and a Netflix show would be more of the same.

Who knows if the rumors about Disney acquiring Netflix are true, but if they are I’m hopeful to get more Star Wars. Disney buying Netflix makes business sense, so it isn’t surprising talks are possibly happening. If it does happen hopefully Disney continues to let Netflix operate independently which they seem to do with many of their acquisitions. There are too many great things coming out of Netflix which I wouldn’t want jeopardized, even if it meant not getting more Star Wars.
What do you think? Is this a good movie for Disney, and if so what type of Live Action Star Wars show would you want to see? Comment and let me know. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Beauty and the Beast Official Trailer 1 (2017) - Recap/Review

The original animated Beauty and the Beast is one of my personal favorites from the 1990's and is only second to Aladdin. The film doesn't necessarily lend itself to a live adaptation, but not many of the animation films do. Cinderella might lend itself to live action, but Jungle Book doesn't and it turned out fantastically. 

I'm still not sold on Beauty and the Beast and it might be because this trailer went extremely heavy on original content. The trailer hit the viewer over the head with imagery and music from the original animated film. There are scenes lifted directly from the original and it just didn't seem to mesh for me. 

I've watched the trailer a few more times and I've liked a little more each time, but it didn't get me excited to go out and see the film like I hoped it would. The CG might have also been an issue for me. What was displayed didn't seem a natural fit for the world, but hopefully this will change when seeing the film. 

I'm still hopeful for Beauty and Beast. The story is great and the talent involved for the movie is fantastic. The second trailer hopefully will highlight some differences and highlight how the CG fits more with the world. 

What did you think of the trailer.  

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Death Star's Thermal Exhaust Port - Is is a Plot Hole?

Yeah, I’m going to get nerdy on this one.

The impending release of Rogue One A Star Wars Story has prompted many articles to speculate the film could fix a major plot hole in Star Wars Episode Four a New Hope. The prevailing theory is around Jyn Erso’s, father, Galen Erso, who has a major role in designing the Death Star. In the trailers he is trying to contact the Rebels to possibly give them the plans to the Death Star. This has led to speculation Galen may have purposefully made the thermal exhaust port a design flaw. This would clear up the pesky plot hole of an exhaust port two meters wide ray shielded and can only be defeated by a force user.

Can you guess which way I lean on this story? The Thermal Exhaust Port in episode four is not a plot hole, it is a plot device. The only person capable of destroying the Super Weapon is Luke. He must give himself to the force in order to save the day. Without the use of the force he wouldn’t have been able to guide the Proton Torpedo’s into the port. This helps move the story forward and proves Luke is someone exceptional and launches him on the rest his hero’s journey.

Let’s look at it from the nerdy pseudo-science angle. The Imperials simply didn’t think it was possible for someone to destroy the station through the port. The port, I assume, emits heat produced by the stations power. It would be logical to think a station which is the size of a small moon would produce a vast amount of heat from whatever power source they use in a galaxy far far away. The exhaust port expelling the heat from the stations power, would be connected to the power, and would cause an explosion. The station moves, so it has to have a tail pipe. They even used this plot device in Star Trek VI.

The only way this tail pipe can be attacked is by shooting torpedoes into a small opening after flying through other defenses and making it past sentry Tie Fighters. Having a small hole being the only way to blow up and succeed in the task is not a plot hole, nor a design flaw in the Death Star. The thing has to move and it’s logical for it to have something to expel its exhaust.  On top of this the only way it was actually destroyed was by someone using the force to accomplish the task. Without Luke the Rebellion is destroyed and ended on Yavin Four. The only way he saves them is by using the force. This isn’t a plot hole in the movie, it’s something which adds to the character and the universe overall.

I honestly hope they do not address this in Rogue One. It would be a serious retcon of the story, and one which would take away from the heroic feet Luke accomplishes in the first film. It’s okay if Galen knew about the exhaust port and wants to get the information to the Rebels. However, to have him create the exhaust port for the specific purpose for the Death Star to be destroyed is ludicrous to me. If this were the case, he would have had to know a force user would be part of any attack on the Death Star. It would be a poorly designed design flaw. Granted it would have to be one cleverly disguised to fool the Imperials, but if he made it, he made a flaw nearly impossible to exploit. The Rebel pilots didn’t have much hope they could accomplish the feat before the battle, well, all except for Luke.

If you still think it is to convenient that a thermal port connected to a power source can cause a change reaction explosion, I’m not going to convince you otherwise. I think the story is nearly perfect for Episode Four and I hope they don’t use Rogue One for any major retconning. Minor stuff to expand the story is fine, but this would be a major departure and I don’t see them doing this. So for those clamoring for Rogue one and Galen Erso to fix the massive problem in Star Wars A New Hope, I hope it doesn’t happen.

Do you think this is a plot hole, and if so should it be corrected in Rogue One? Do you think it isn’t like me? Comment and let me know. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Official Trailer - Teaser

Well this one looks interesting. 

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is the latest film from director Luc Besson and stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne. The movie is based off a graphic novel and definitely has Luc Besson's influence front and center. 

Besson is a very interesting director and has done films all across the spectrum. Last years Lucy wasn't received very well critically. I never could make it through the entire film, but the first part of the film didn't hold my interest. The Fifth Element on the other hand is a film I adore, and I'm not sure why. It's silly and not exactly the best story, but if it's on television or I come across it on Netflix I always seem to start it. 

Valerian seems to give off a very similar vibe as The Fifth Element which gets me excited for the movie. I really enjoyed the strange song choice in the trailer and it set a very interesting tone. I hope this is the tone for the entire film and Besson is able to have another hit movie. 

The CG in the trailer worries me. It looks like CG from the 90's. Hopefully they are still working on it and it will improve with time, but if it's this rough when the movie is finished it might be an issue with audiences and critics. Maybe the characters and story are good enough to overcome the poor CG. Either way I'm excited to get another Science fiction epic from Besson. 

What did you think of the trailer? Comment and let me know. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Pacific Rim Maelstrom Started Filming: Should We Be Excited?

John Boyega posted today that he started filming on Pacific Rim Maelstrom. It is the sequel to the first Pacific Rim, which is a film I found extremely enjoyable. Boyega is playing the son of Idris Elba's character from the first movie. The first Pacific Rim is not high cinema art and it had problems with some acting and story, but it delivered on what I wanted to see. Robots fighting Monsters with just enough plot to keep me engaged.

A follow up to the first film wasn't needed, but hey if they are going to make it, I'll go watch. I hope the second provides a more interesting story tighter script and acting. I don't think  Charlie Hunnan is a bad actor, but I'm not sure he was given much to work with in the first movie, and his performance suffered. John Boyega is such a charismatic and fun presence he is an overall better choice for the project. It gives me hope the second film might be more successful and well received than the first.

I'm not overly excited for the second film, but it can still be a ton of fun. With the addition of Boyega it has me interested. Maybe the first few trailers will get me more excited, and have me wanting to go out to the theater on opening night.

Anyone else excited for the second Pacific Rim, or is it more of a wait and see approach? Comment and let me know.

Monday, November 7, 2016

MASS EFFECT™: ANDROMEDA – Official Cinematic Reveal Trailer – N7 Day 2016

Mass Effect is one of my favorite games I've ever played. I liked both the follow ups, and didn't even mind the ending of the third. It's the first Mass Effect which holds a special place to me. It was a game tailored made for a nerd like me. A great Science Fiction epic which place the player at the center of the story. 

Bioshock has been a master of RPG's since they released Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic. I am extremely hopeful Mass Effect Andromeda will be another feather in their cap as a great RPG Science Fiction game. 

This trailer didn't show much, but what it did show felt like the Mass Effect universe, even if the game takes place in another galaxy. The game is going to look fantastic, just like they all have, but my biggest question is if it will be more of a true RPG or a shooter hybrid. 

I enjoyed the second and third Mass Effects and liked the gameplay style, but I wanted more RPG elements similar to the first. I am hoping this game goes back to the roots and providers more true RPG elements. I'm not sure they will, but I'll still end up pre ordering because I know I'll play it regardless of reviews. 

This is a good teaser trailer, and a good taste for N7 day. I'll be anxiously waiting for more information for the game. Let's hope the game is as fantastic as this initial trailer looks. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Star Wars Rebels S3E6 Imperial Super Commandos Recap/Review: Mandalorians are Crazy

Another fun episode.

The sixth episode for the third season of Star Wars Rebels, Imperial Super Commandos, has Sabine, Ezra and the captured Fenn Rau go to investigates his Mandalorian outpost after contact is lost. The episode is another side mission and providers more background about Sabine and what has happened to Mandalore after the fall of the Republic. On the surface this episode feels and seems like more filler and doesn’t advance any overall main story arc for the season. However, I think the Mandalorians are going to play a major role in the season and this might be the introduction of a major arc involving them and how they could help the Rebellion.

Overall the episode is solid. It expands the backstory of Sabine and has some great actions sequences. The introduction of the Mandalorian Stormtroopers is another plus for the episode and welcome addition to Rebels overall. It sets up to hopefully have Mandalore to play a bigger role in the season overall. Filoni was able to bring in Mandalore and establish their culture in the Clone Wars. The plan might be to have Sabine and Rau be a bridge to bring them into the fold. During the fight with the Super commandos Sabine’s mother is mentioned and they say she is helping the Empire on Mandalore.  The leader also mentions that Sabine’s mother is disappointed in her because she left the Imperial Academy. This could lead to the crew traveling to Mandalore to see Sabine’s mom and to help Fenn Rau gain control of Mandalore and secure their support for the Rebellion.

I hope this is what Imperial Super Commandos is setting up. If not, then this episode was another fun interesting side mission that seems to have little overall impact for the main stories. Knowing how Dave Filoni has decided to tell his stories I doubt this is the case. This episode needs to be the start of a bigger arc or it would seem the season has stalled. Nothing has been moved forward since the first two episodes of the season. We have seen Thrawn setting up traps, but nothing has moved forward with the main story line. What is the main story for this season? I thought it would be the crew fighting Thrawn and suffering losses through the year or finding more out about the Death Star. This has yet to materialize and I am hoping we start to see a main story thread start to develop.

The biggest problem I had with this episode, and the season overall, is the continued reliance on Chopper to get the crew out of trouble. In this episode he unlocks Sabine and Ezra after Rau gets the drop on them in the shuttle. For this episode Chopper is part of the mission. Rau knows he is on the shuttle. It made no sense for him not to do something with Chopper after he knocks out Sabine and Ezra. Granted after Rau sees the destruction of his outpost he doesn’t care about Ezra and Sabine escaping, but he didn’t know that before he walked out and saw the base. Then later Ezra is compelled to reveal his force powers to save Chopper. Granted Chopper is part of the crew and a meaningful one. I don’t mind Ezra revealing himself to save Chopper. I just would prefer Chopper to not be as big of a part of every episode. I probably should just get over this aspect since the show is geared for kids and he providers the comic relief to keep them engaged. However, they should still make his portions of the story make sense within the framework of the show.

This was another good episode for the third season. I hope this was the start of a longer story arc involving the Mandalorians. If not, it’s still just another solid side mission. The show does need to start moving forward with a more focused narrative. The side episodes are fun and good character development, but the main narrative should be explored to keep the audience engaged. Having more side missions, you run the risk of the audience tuning out thinking they can miss episodes and it not affect how they watch the show.  

What did you think of this episode? Do you want a more major story arc in involving the Mandalorians? Do you think this was just another side episode? Comment and let me know. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Doctor Strange – Movie Review: Supremely Good

I really thought this was going to be one I wouldn’t enjoy.

Doctor Strange starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen, Rachel McAdams, and directed by Scott Derrickson. The film is a true origin story for Doctor Strange, and while there have been many origin stories for superheroes over the past ten years this one is still unique. It introduces magic, different dimensions, and how they all relate to one another. The movie keeps the origin of Steven Strange fresh. Going into the film I wasn’t sure what to expect. I hadn’t been wowed by the trailers and thought this might be the first miss for a Marvel film since Thor 2. Walking out, Doctor Strange had me wanting to go read comics about the sorcerer supreme and wanting to turn back around and watch the film again.

At its core Doctor Strange is a character piece. We go on a journey of self-discovery with Steven Strange where he has to grow as a person. He starts off as a complete egotistical jerk who only cares about his own worth and standing in the world.  The injury he has to his hands in a car accident forces him to lose his job as a surgeon. He searches and tries everything in his power to gain his standing back, which leads him to search out the Ancient One. Instead of finding an answer on how to heal his hands, his mind is opened to a completely different reality. While this journey is fantastical at the center is still a story about a man who must gain more humanity. It’s a story that has been told many times and in many different ways, but still can captivating and relatable if told well.

A main reason Doctor Strange is able to pull off its character piece is because of the actors involved. Benedict Cumberbatch is absolutely fantastic as the good doctor. He plays the jerk at the start of the movie perfectly and his transformation is subtle and believable. From the story and his portrayal, I bought into his character transformation. There are great supporting cast all around him to help tell his story. Rachel McAdams does a good job as the love interest and something which keeps Strange tied to his old life. She could have been more developed overall as a character, but McAdams did a good job with what she was asked to do. Chiwetel Ejiofor is fantastic in everything he does and he doesn’t disappoint here. He has one or two show stealing scenes with Cumberbatch which highlight the movie. Tilda Swinton nearly steals the movie as the Ancient One. The serenity and subtle profoundness she brought to the role was extremely well done. I’m not getting into her casting other than to say she was great and I’m glad she was in the film. All of the actors did a good job and is one reason the story works so well when it is set with a very weird backdrop.

The overall strangeness of the different dimensions and mysticisms will keep some from enjoying the film. I could completely understand someone walking out of Doctor Strange and not enjoying the movie because they didn’t understand what was going on in regards to the magic. The action is also very trippy and at times hard to follow, but I still found it extremely enjoyable to watch. I can see some who wouldn’t and I couldn’t argue if this turned them off to the film. I ate everything up with the magic and traveling to different dimensions and how they used time and time travel. I thought it all was well done and is one reason I could see myself going back to the theatre and watching the movie again.

The only slight downfall for the film is something found in most marvel movies, the villain. Mads Mikkelsen does a good job in the role, he just isn’t given much to work with. I think there is actually a very interesting villain and character somewhere on the cutting room floor for Doctor Strange. Kaecilius seems to have an interesting background which could make him relatable. There seems to be a tragic backstory which could have been dived into to give the character more depth, but either it was never part of the plan or was cut because of time. Which the pace of the movie and how quickly it moves is another strong aspect of the film. The lack of depth in Mads character is also made up for by a fantastic climactic scene which makes the journey of the film payoff extremely well.

I went into Doctor Strange not knowing what to expect. I didn’t know if this was going to be a movie I was going to enjoy. I thought it could have been a Marvel film just below par of the rest. One which was fun to watch once, but not something I had to rush out and buy when it became available to own. After seeing Doctor Strange, this changed. This film is a must see for any super-hero fan and worth seeing for those who just simply like science fiction and fantasy. I’m not sure it will relate to a mass general audience because of the mysticism, but tons of people love Harry Potter, so maybe not. I’ll be trying to talk my son into seeing it so I can watch it again.

What did you think of Doctor Strange if you have seen it? What were or are your expectations for the film? Comment and let me know.