Sci-Fi Storm

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle: An actually enjoyable movie?!?

by on Dec.10, 2017, under Movies

The Cast of JumanjiColor me surprised…if you are looking for a movie to see other than Star Wars: The Last Jedi before the end of the year, you should consider Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. It was a very enjoyable, laugh out loud funny film. And I didn’t expect that at all.

What did I expect? Ever since it was announced with the cast, I was thinking it would be worth watching maybe when it came to cable. Not because I didn’t like the cast – I’ve enjoyed watching Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in most everything, and of course there’s Karen Gillan, and throw in the comedic talents of Jack Black and Kevin Hart – but it was going to be a sequel to the original Jumanji film that starred the late Robin Williams, and I couldn’t see how anyone could do a film in the style of Robin Williams without him. But I was able to attend an advanced screening of the movie (a rare thing since I don’t live anywhere near where movies traditionally premiere), and what I saw was a different style of film that paid tribute to the original and Williams himself, but stood on its own playing on the different strengths of the cast members.

Quick plot description – these are not spoilers of you’ve seen the trailers…in 1996, there is another disappearance in the town of Bratford. A teenager found a copy of Jumanji, but it transforms itself into a video game cartridge, which he begins to play and disappears.

20 years later, four high school teens (of a somewhat stereotypical “Breakfast Club” group – a nerd, a jock, a hot girl, and an awkward girl) while serving detention come across a game console with the Jumanji cartridge still in it, and turn it on. They select their game characters (of generally opposite characteristics to themselves), and are transported into the game and into their chosen characters. They then must figure out and win the game – before they run out of lives.

The plot itself was generally predictable, as was some of the dialog. However, it was the execution that really made this movie good. It was the actors, playing video game characters that you could see each playing, but playing them as the complete opposite – Johnson playing a geek playing the strong, smouldering hero-type, Gillan playing an awkward girl playing the Tomb Raider-esque martial artist, Hart playing the jock playing the hero’s valet, and Black playing the hot girl playing the (male) archaeologist – is what really made this movie. Of course, that last part also allowed for some humorous dialog revolving around the male anatomy, but it IS rated PG-13.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle opens Wednesday, December 20th – just 5 days after Star Wars: The Last Jedi. So to help you recover from the shock of that movie, catch this film to pick you back up.


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HotShot Trailer: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom “Blue’s Baby”

by on Dec.07, 2017, under Movies

The first full trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has just been release!

It’s been four years since theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs out of containment. Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles.

When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who’s still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission. Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times.

With all of the wonder, adventure and thrills synonymous with one of the most popular and successful series in cinema history, this all-new motion-picture event sees the return of favorite characters and dinosaurs—along with new breeds more awe-inspiring and terrifying than ever before. Welcome to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Stars Pratt and Howard return alongside executive producers Steven Spielberg and Colin Trevorrow for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. They are joined by co-stars James Cromwell, Ted Levine, Justice Smith, Geraldine Chaplin, Daniella Pineda, Toby Jones, Rafe Spall and Isabella Sermon, while BD Wong and Jeff Goldblum reprise their roles.

Directed by J.A. Bayona (The Impossible), the epic action-adventure is written by Jurassic World’s director, Trevorrow, and its co-writer, Derek Connolly. Producers Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley once again partner with Spielberg and Trevorrow in leading the filmmakers for this stunning installment. Belén Atienza joins the team as a producer.

In Theaters June 22, 2018.


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Tarantino’s Star Trek to aim for R rating?

by on Dec.07, 2017, under Movies

Updating a previous report about Quentin Tarantino wanting to direct the next Star Trek film, it appears that this is on a fast track – and that in Tarantino fashion he wants an R-rated film, with J.J. Abrams and Paramount agreeing.

Typical tentpole films try to maximize their audience with no higher than a PG-13 rating, but 2016’s Deadpool blew the doors off perceived limitations of the rating. And while an R rating would allow the franchise to go “where no one has gone before”, it also could be a dangerous move for a beloved franchise that has typically been more family-friendly. I don’t know if this could end up limiting the audience, or blurring the lines of the R rating itself where parents risk taking kids to the film in order to not miss a piece of the franchise.


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HAPPY! debuts tonight on SYFY!

by on Dec.06, 2017, under Television

In less than an hour, the premiere of HAPPY! airs on SYFY on the east coast!

HAPPY! is based on New York Times best-selling author Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson’s graphic novel of the same name. The series follows Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni, Law & Order: SVU) – an intoxicated, corrupt ex-cop turned hit man – who is adrift in a world of casual murder, soulless sex and betrayal. After a hit gone wrong, his inebriated life is forever changed by a tiny, relentlessly positive, imaginary blue winged horse named “Happy” (Patton Oswalt).

Check out the latest promo video!


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TidBits: Tarantino wants the captain’s chair for Star Trek; Disney hits $5B; Stranger Things readies round 3; American Gods duo leaves

by on Dec.04, 2017, under Movies, Television

Time to get caught up after a very busy weekend capping off a few busy weeks around here with school productions…so some tidbits from the past several days…

Director Quentin Tarantino has an idea for the next Star Trek movie…we don’t know what it is, but according to Deadline J.J. Abrams thinks enough of the idea to pull together a writers room to discuss and develop a script. Tarantino typically operates with free reign over his original movies, where a franchise like this might present challenges, so we’ll see how this shapes up.

Disney has blasted the $5 billion worldwide barrier for a record third time this year, following Thor’s Hammer smashing through box offices all over. Thor: Ragnarok has crossed $800 million alone.

The kids from Stranger Things will be back as Netflix picked up a third season of the hit thriller series. No word on what 80s iconic properties might show up this time around.

Michael Green and Bryan Fuller have abruptly left the production of the second season of Starz’ American Gods series. The two brought Neil Gaiman’s novel to the small screen and acted as executive producers/showrunners. No reason so far as been given for the departure, but rumors are that budget cuts were being imposed by FremantleMedia North America’s new head of scripted programming, Dante di Loreto.


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Casting news: Kendrick Sampson joins The Flash; Maggie Grace to Fear The Walking Dead

by on Nov.29, 2017, under Television

A couple of casting updates…How To Get Away With Murder‘s Kendrick Sampson is joining the cast of The Flash for a multi-episode arc as Brainstorm, a TSA Agent who gains the meta-human power to read people’s thoughts – whether he wants to or not. He will first appear in the last episode before the Winter break.

Maggie Grace (Taken, Lost) will join Fear The Walking Dead as a series regular for the show’s fourth season. No details on the role are yet available.


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HotShot Trailer: Avengers: Infinity War trailer

by on Nov.29, 2017, under Movies

You’ve seen this already, haven’t you? No? Well, now you can…Avengers: Infinity War is in theaters May 4th


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Syfy picks up George R.R. Martin’s Nightflyers straight to series

by on Nov.28, 2017, under Television

George R.R. Martin’s SF-horror novella Nightflyers has been picked up for a 10-episode series by Syfy, according to the writer himself.

Syfy ordered up a pilot earlier this year, but apparently made the decision to go straight to series after seeing the script by Jeff Buhler (Jacob’s Ladder). Netflix will handle international viewers, and possibly also as a second-run domestic source.

Also according to Martin, the show is in pre-production/casting stages, but there is apparently already a cast selection made that “has pleased me more than I can possibly say,”, according to the Game Of Thrones scribe. But we will have to wait a little longer to find out who that is…

The supernatural thriller is set in the future on the eve of Earth’s destruction, a crew of explorers journey on the most advanced ship in the galaxy, The Nightflyer, to intercept a mysterious alien spacecraft that might hold the key to their survival. As the crew nears their destination, they discover that the ship’s artificial intelligence and never-seen captain may be steering them into deadly and unspeakable horrors deep in the dark reaches of space.


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The lost Doctor Who episode “Shada” is getting a complete release!

by on Nov.27, 2017, under Television

The Doctor Who episode “Shada” is legendary…unlike other incomplete episodes, which were due to the BBC purging the film archives of some of the original masters, Shada was never completed. The final episode of the 17th season, starring Tom Baker and written by Douglas Adams, had production canceled part way through due to a strike at the BBC. When the strike ended, the schedule had slipped too far into the holiday programming production time and ultimately it was never resumed. Douglas Adams was reportedly fine with the episode remaining in the annals of legend, unhappy with the script in the end.

Since then, the episode was released in its incomplete form with some narration to fill in the missing parts, and also retooled as an audio drama for the Eighth Doctor.

Now the original is getting the BBC’s latest method of filling in lost episodes – by animating them! Last year, they restored Patrick Troughton’s debut episode, ”The Power Of The Daleks”, by reconstructing the missing parts with animation. As an added bonus, not only does Tom Baker lend his voice to the animated segments, but also filmed a new segment with an appearance by K-9!

The episode follows the Doctor and Romana as they are called to Cambridge by Dr. Chronotis, a “retired” Time Lord who holds the key to the location of Shada, the prison planet of the Time Lords. A alien genius, Skagra, wants the location to be able to harness the collective intellect of the most notorious criminals in the universe so that he may take over, well, everything.

The new release is available today on iTunes (at least in the UK – I don’t see it in the iTunes store in the US), and a DVD release in the UK on December 4th and the US on January 8th.


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TidBits: Star Wars: The Last Jedi tracks for huge opening; Denis Villeneuve wants to revisit Dune; Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom tease

by on Nov.25, 2017, under Movies

Some holiday weekend TidBits…

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is hitting all the tracking target with hyperspace speeds, and word on the street is that a $200 million opening weekend is possible…and check out this 30 second spot, “Tempt”…

On the other side of the SF franchise universe, one which has been spoken of for decades, Dune is making rumblings again, this time from Oscar-nominated director Denis Villeneuve himself. In a Deadline Hollywood interview mostly about Blade Runner 2049, at the end he mentions how much he loved the book and wants to bring a new adaptation to the big screen. He mentions the 1984 David Lynch movie, but says it didn’t match his own vision of one of his favorite books, and he’d like to bring that vision to the big screen.

And lastly, this past week director Colin Trevorrow gave us a tease of the upcoming Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – a six second video showing Owen Brady (Chris Pratt) getting chummy with a baby Velociraptor…apparently he’s gotten over what happened with them last time…


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