J.J. Abrams to direct the next ‘Star Wars’ film

By Courtney Rowan

JJ Abrams to direct next 'Star Wars' film

Reuters (Fabrizio Bensch) / Lucasfilm

The interwebs were set on fire yesterday when news broke that none other than sci-fi directing genius, J.J. Abrams (Lost, Fringe, Star Trek) was announced as being the next appointed director for ‘Star Wars: Episode VII‘.

Handle this news, my feeble mind cannot.

When I first read this yesterday, naturally I was in a state of disbelief. I mean, the same man helming the two biggest sci-fi franchises in the history of sci-fi? I’m still a little flabbergasted and suspicious as no one has officially confirmed this information.  Now that the age old question of Star Wars vs. Star Trek is in the hands of one of the greatest directors ever, YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID.

The Wrap broke this news yesterday stating that,

an individual with knowledge of the production told TheWrap.

Deadline is also reporting that according to a source for them,

“It’s done deal with J.J.”

I’m honestly not sure whether to be excited or scared. Admittedly, I am a huge J.J. Abrams fan and I believe if anyone has the chops, its him. But, handling these two franchises causes concern.  Although, lens flares on light sabers HAVE to look cool.

Hopefully, we’ll get some absolute confirmation on this soon so fanboys and fangirls across the world can take a deep breath and relax. Despite all the flames, The Wrap did state,

Reached by TheWrap, Lynne Hale, spokeswoman for Lucasfilm, declined to comment immediately. Neither CAA, which represents Abrams, nor Bad Robot immediately responded to requests for comment.

So, no solid confirmation yet. In the meantime, ponder this –

Source: The Wrap, Deadline

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‘Red Dawn’ Review

It is Thanksgiving and channels everywhere are showing movies that we all grew up with – Hoosiers, Rudy, The Fugitive, just to name a few. Well, I went to the movies this holiday to watch a remake of one of them… Red Dawn.

Who among us has not wanted to scream, “Wolverines!” and fight for our country after watching the original? It glorified the defense of your home and taking action against the wrong…

The new version also invokes these feelings. Updated from its original story line, it brings a feeling of reality and present day. The plot moves much faster than the original, which was a plus. Giving little hints to back stories of brothers Jed played by Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers) and Matty played by Josh Peck (Drake and Josh, The Wackness) was original and made some sense of the characters’ motives. Gone are the Russian invaders, replaced with North Koreans. Also gone is the single minded idea that the entire country is not fighting except for our movie’s heroes. And, for those who loved the original, don’t expect to know who lives and who dies. This, for me, made it more enjoyable as I was not sitting through the movie going ‘oh this is where blah blah kills that guard and then gets shot’.

While the Wolverines are a small group of teenagers from Spokane, WA., played by Josh Hutcherson (Bridge To Terebithia , The Hunger Games), the delicious Adrianne Palicki (Legion and the now dead Wonder Woman show), Isabel Lucas (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), Edwin Hodge (The Alamo) and Connor Cruise (son of Tom Cruise), they are pretty quickly joined by a special forces unit, headed by Tanner played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen) and given a mission. This mission is not to end the war, but to be the first step. This, of course, sets up any possible sequels, which I greatly hope are made. It would make a good action movie series, which besides the 007 and Bourne movies, Hollywood desperately needs.

The young actors try their best to convey feelings of pain, sadness, and even the occasional laugh throughout the movie, but some of it comes off as too much over acting. The older, more experienced actors, with their smaller parts, were given some of my favorite lines of the film.

Overall, I am going to disagree with almost every critic I have heard trash this movie and give it close to 3 out of 4 blasters. If you’re a fan of the original, definitely go see this film. And if you weren’t, go see it anyway. It’s fun.

Oh and since you may not have seen this and you absolutely should have, here’s what Palicki would have looked like in Wonder Woman, should it have survived.  Your welcome.

Until next time… go forth and be awesome!

Cosmic Castaway is a contributor to I’m That Geek, you can follow him on twitter at @CC420, shoot him an email at cosmiccastaway33@yahoo.com or read more about his awesomeness here.

“Dredd 3D” Review

Although I hadn’t read the comics, I was generally aware of Judge Dredd, the hero of the new and second movie based on this character which stars Karl Urban (Star Trek, Red) as Dredd.

Karl Urban as Dredd in Dredd 3D

Set in a future where most of the population resides in a massive city that stretches across most of the east coast of the United States, criminals and the police force known as Judges battle it out among the general population within this city. Judges, are; police, judge, jury, and executioner of all crimes within the sprawling city. This city is Mega City One, which resembles a mash up of Robocop’s Old Detroit and the super skyscrapers of Blade Runner. This particular tale follows Judge Dredd as he fights crime and evaluates a rookie, Judge Anderson, played by Olivia Thirlby (The Darkest Hour, Juno). Fans of the comic series will recognize the character of Judge Anderson as the powerful psychic of the psi-division of Judges.

A huge skyscraper becomes the scene of a crime where a few dead drug pushers are found to have been dropped to their deaths on the lobby floor. Dredd and Anderson find that the two hundred floor residential tower is run by a crime boss named Ma-Ma, a former prostitute that has taken over the tower and uses it to deal out a drug called Slow-Mo. This drug, when inhaled, alters the user’s perception of time to a fraction of reality. Ma-Ma, played by Lena Headey (Game of Thrones, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), locks down the entire tower with Dredd and Anderson still inside. She enlists the residents, her thugs and junkies, to hunt down and kill the judges. This seems to be a popular theme for movies this year (see Raid: The Redemption).

From the ground floor to the penthouse, bullets fly, bodies explode, and floors are destroyed. There are not very many twists and turns, this is a straight forward action film. Karl Urban does an okay job as the action hero, though he never takes off his helmet the entire movie. Evidently, this is a nod to the comic’s vision of the ‘faceless, emotionless lawman’. He Batman-like growls his way through his lines, but seems up for the job of action hero. Equally as good at her role is Thirlby, who has some interesting scenes. She falls prey to the junkies and requires rescuing like most rookie partners. Headey as scar-faced Ma-Ma plays the psychotic ruler as well as her Game of Thrones character.

Dredd was a fun Saturday morning movie, while leaps and bounds above the previous Judge Dredd starring Sylvester Stallone, is still a basic, formulaic movie. Really no surprises or jaw dropping moments, at least for someone like me that watches a lot of movies.

I would give this movie 2 1/2 out of 4 Blasters. If you are a fan of the comic – it is a definite must see, just to erase the memories of that horrible first attempt. I can only pray for the same treatment to Green Lantern!

Check out the trailer for Dredd 3D:

Go forth and be awesome!

Cosmic Castaway is a contributor to I’m That Geek, you can follow him on twitter at @CC420, shoot him an email at cosmiccastaway33@yahoo.com or read more about his awesomeness here.

“Looper” Review

Is it possible that there is an actor who has played two different characters and has had that character watch himself die twice – in two different movies? Serious question. I don’t even know how to Google that. (And don’t bother; what comes up is for a completely different type of blog). But, if you can find an answer let me know, I love that kind of non relevant trivia.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Looper

Over the weekend, Looper was viewed by yours truly – a time travel movie starring Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis – as the same guy. (I know, right?) After 2 hours of strange characters, mind warping chase scenes, and an ending that, while is somewhat predictable, but still interesting, I have to say . . . . BRAVO! I loved this movie! It took me about a day to actually process the concepts that were re-introduced to me through this movie. Suddenly, I was transported back to college, hanging in the lounge discussing the ‘what ifs’ of time travel with one of my best friends.

The story is essentially about a man name Joe, who is a Looper. Loopers are organized crime’s hit men that live 30 years before time-travel is invented. I should mention that time travel is illegal in the future. Loopers are run by a man from the future, played by Jeff Daniels. They are given a specific time and place to be, where a target appears out of thin air, hooded and gagged. They then execute the poor, nameless, faceless, individuals and dispose of the bodies. Evidently, it is harder to get rid of a body in the future, but never really explained why – one of the movie’s few shortcomings.

Now the fun starts… Joe, played by both Joseph Gordon Levitt (younger) and Bruce Willis (older) is a kind of a yuppie hit man. Younger Joe is paid very handsomely for his Looper service, and lives the life of a celebutard. Hard drugs, fast cars, faster women are his life, with a little murder and body disposal to fund it. But, Joe is soon forced to confront the fact that his “loop has been closed”. Wait – what does that mean, you ask? Well, one day, when a hit man ends up knowing too much, and doesn’t have much use left to the organization, the hit man is sent back from the future, to be killed by his younger self (and not willingly), thus – “closing the loop”. This is what happens to Joe.

Joe is now faced with the problem that he knows he has about 30 years of life left. What follows are scenes of high tension of chase and be chased. Joe, having let his older self escape, must now find a way to avoid, not only his present employers, but also find his older self in the hopes that ending his own older life, he can avoid having his loop closed.

Shazzbott! My head hurt, but evidently so does everyone’s in this movie.

See, older Joe, doesn’t know what younger Joe does until a short time before he actually does it. It is then that a headache will clear older Joe’s foggy memory of what has happened. A great concept, that shows the future is not fully written and can be changed, but not really.
Like any good time-travel movie, consequences are propelled forward from younger version to older, and with the pacing of a pretty good action movie.

MAJOR SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!

Revealed through subplot, Older Joe has actually come back to stop a super-powered telekinetic individual who is responsible for a future genocide. Telekinetic powers are evident in about 10 percent of the human population in the future, but relegated to making quarters and lighters float above your hand in a Criss Angel freaky kind of way. I really liked this weird twist, but wished they would have developed it more since it goes from being a flirting party trick to a HUGE plot point.

Looper is a movie that tries to make you travel into your own ‘what if’ past, while also delivering on an action movie level. Did it have its problems? Sure, but as a sci-fi movie fan, I found so few distracting sequences of events, that I had to give this movie 3 out of 4 blasters.

Also, look for time travel alum, Garret Dillahunt, to show up and start the final scenes of the movie as “best with a Gat” hit man on the hunt for Joe and well . . . Joe.

So, yes, you should go see this movie. Now – Go forth and be awesome!

Cosmic Castaway is a contributor to I’m That Geek, you can follow him on twitter at @CC420, shoot him an email at cosmiccastaway33@yahoo.com or read more about his awesomeness here.

May the Fourth Be With You… Happy Star Wars Day!

By Courtney Rowan

Happy Star Wars Day, fanboys and fangirls! So important, this Saga is, that it has warranted it’s own day. But how did this come about?

Wikipedia has the following to say about the origins of May the Fourth:

May 4 is considered a holiday by Star Wars fans to celebrate Star Wars culture and honor the films.

May 4 is called Star Wars Day because of the popularity of a common pun spoken on this day. Since the phrase “May the Force be with you” is a famous quote often spoken in the Star Wars films, fans commonly say “May the fourth be with you” on this day. Current day Star Wars fans were not the first to introduce the line “May the fourth be with you”: when Margaret Thatcher was elected Britain’s first female Prime Minister on May 4, 1979, her party placed an advertisement in The London Evening News that said “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.” This reading of the line has also been recorded in the UK Parliament’s Hansard.

In a 2005 interview on German news TV channel N24, George Lucas was asked to say the famous sentence “May the Force be with you.” The interpreter simultaneously interpreted the sentence into German as Am 4. Mai sind wir bei Ihnen (“We shall be with you on May 4”). This was captured by TV Total and aired on May 18, 2005.

In 2011, the first organized celebration of Star Wars Day took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the Toronto Underground Cinema. Festivities included an Original Trilogy Trivia Game Show; a costume contest with celebrity judges; and the web’s best tribute films, mash-ups, parodies, and remixes on the big screen. The second annual edition is scheduled to take place on Friday, May 4, 2012.

So, there you have it, Star Wars fans, the origins of this day dedicated to us and the epic trilogy (Yes, I know there are 6… but really??).

Enjoy the fourth and as always, remember – Do. Or do not. There is no Try.

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George Lucas changes Star Wars again… NOOOOOOOO!!!!

By Courtney Rowan

I’m not sure how much of a surprise this will be, but this is getting to be a joke.  Lucas cannot leave well enough alone, apparently.  I’m as much as a fangirl as the next guy, but some things should NOT be changed. (*ahem* HAN SHOT FIRST *ahem*)

The newest rumor (and I’m praying it’s just that) is that George Lucas has added Darth Vader’s dreaded, “NOOOOOO!!” from the end of Episode 3, Revenge of The Sith,  into Return of the Jedi.  I believe the response I posted when this was shared with me was: I. Will. Kill. Him.  I stand by that.   Jedi is a masterpiece, second only to Empire (IMO).  Why do you have to mess with this??!!

Collider.com has some more details on this change and a video, which seems to be photo, er, audio-shopped to me… one can only hope.  Check this out with the new footage:

I will say that I am okay with some other changes, namely them updating Yoda to the digital version.  I never really noticed how much better the new version looked until I saw him side by side with the original puppet.  Kinda creepy, the original was.  Check this out – wasn’t so much different in my head:

Another rumor is a change to Obi-Wan’s Krayt Dragon call from A New Hope.  No real confirmation  on that.  Be sure to head on over to Collider.com for the full article.

Source: Collider.com

The Hunger Games Official Teaser Trailer

By Courtney Rowan

Last night on the MTV Video Music Awards, which I avoided like the plague, the first official teaser Trailer for The Hunger Games was released.

It is at this point that I must gratefully thank the inventor of the DVR, and also the people who live tweet everything.  This is  because, one – I didn’t have to actually subject myself to the awfulness that is MTV for two hours and two, I found via Twitter that the VMAs were indeed running over and that the trailer premiered during this overtime which allowed me to delete the two hours of awfulness from my DVR and just grab the first 20 minutes of whatever show came on afterwards, during which the trailer aired.  (catching my breath)

Okay, now that that’s off my chest…  Why do I care?  Well, here’s why – this is my original review of the first book on Goodreads when I read it last February:

I am recommending this book to everyone! It was completely unexpected… Picture North America in the future where the government now consists of the ever-present Capitol which controls 12 Districts. Each year the Capitol forces each district to choose one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to fight in the Hunger Games to serve as a reminder of their oppression. These 24 teenagers are then forced to fight to the death on live television while all districts are forced to watch with only one Victor. Things change when Katniss Everdeen’s 12 yr old sister, Primrose, is chosen and Katniss (16) volunteers to take her place. What Katniss doesn’t know is that she becomes the symbol of hope and learns about true survival, love and human compassion while in the arena… It is killer suspenseful, political themes and downright awesomeness. Just read it. 😉

Then, a year later, I found out it was going to be made a movie, then the casting started.  Then I started to get super stoked.  Then , at last, out first glimpse was last night.  Here it is in its teaser trailer glory:

This is one of the best teaser’s I have seen in a while because well, it’s actually a teaser.  We really don’t get much, except Katniss in the games running around the Arena looking scared as hell, some fireballs, and some voice over from Gale.  And at the end, that creepy whistle.  Brilliant.  This is what a teaser trailer should do (IMO) give us almost nothing, yet enough to get the juices flowing.  I just got THAT much more excited for this flick.

Some other things i can point out from the trailer that I love is that Katniss looks her age.  I was concerned with the casting from an age standpoint ( I knew Jennifer Lawrence could pull off the character), but she really looks young in this.  The Bow and Arrow – key Katniss weaponry, and her look of fear.  She was never secure in the Arena and already I get the feeling that she will pull of f the internal emotion we received in the book from her first person POV.

Okay, I’m gonna watch again… You can expect me to be geeking out on this ALMOST as much as Doctor Who.  Looking forward to geeking out together.

May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor.