Sci-Fi Storm

Archive for July, 2018

Doctor Who Series 11 trailer!

by on Jul.19, 2018, under Television

Also from San Diego Comic Con, we have the full trailer for Series 11 of Doctor Who!


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Disney brings back Star Wars: The Clone Wars!

by on Jul.19, 2018, under Television

In what turned out to be a very surprising announcement during a low-key panel at San Diego Comic Con to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, producer Dave Filoni and guests hit everyone with a Death Star-sized announcement – Clone Wars is coming back! While we await more specific word on the fate of the franchise beyond Episode IX, we may have something to tide us over…12 new episodes will be produced and air on Disney’s upcoming direct streaming service – availability dates yet to be determined – and help close the story that was left open after five seasons and a few extra “lost episodes”.

Filoni himself didn’t think they would get to tell the rest of the story. On getting it finished, he told StarWars.com, “Personally, it’s very rewarding. Any opportunity to put the final pieces of the story in place is meaningful as a storyteller. I’m happy for the opportunity to define these things and the end of this part of the Clone War. It also makes me reflect on all the people that I got to work with over the years. It reinforces the things I learned from George. It reminds me of the important elements that go into making Star Wars. So, it’s nice on several levels, and I think for the crew that’s still here that worked on Clone Wars, they feel that, as well.”

Beyond the 12 episodes we don’t know much more yet, but we DID get a trailer, and we see a favorite character returning…


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Ready Player One: Pure nostalgic entertainment

by on Jul.18, 2018, under Movies, Video/DVD

Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One heads to Blu-ray and DVD next Tuesday (available on streaming/digital services now), based on Ernest Cline’s novel of the same name, and this is going to be a must-have for anyone who has grown up in the video game culture that started in the 70s with the original Atari Video Computer System (a.k.a. Atari 2600) – which, by the way, figures prominently in the movie…

Despite the era of nostalgia, the movie itself is set in the near future, after events have resulted in many locations becoming slums. To escape, almost everyone takes part in a massively multiplayer virtual reality environment called OASIS, co-created by James Halliday (Mark Rylance) and Ogden Morrow (Simon Pegg). Many take the game VERY seriously – losing in the game results in losing their in-game characters, called being “zeroed out” and leads to suicides in some cases. People spend a lot of real money to enhance their in-game experience, such as full-body feedback outfits, 360-degree treadmills, etc.

When Halliday passes away (Morrow left the company), he wills control of OASIS to be given to the one who finds an in-game Easter Egg, which can only be obtained by completing three different game quests to obtain one of three different keys. Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan, X-Men: Apocalypse), a 17-year-old orphan living with his aunt in the “Stacks”, shoddily-built vertical trailer parks, known in OASIS as Parzival, teams up with his on-line friend Aech (Lena Waithe, Master of None) to take on the first quest, a race through a city with many obstacles, to find the key before other “gunters” – easter egg hunters – find it first, including an army of players from the Innovative Online Industries (IOI), a corporation who wants to take over the OASIS and use it to sell marketing to the players, and will stop at nothing to do so. He also befriends Art3mis (Olivia Cooke, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), a famous gunter, along with Sho (Philip Zhao) and Daito (Win Morisaki), to form the “High Five” and team up in the quests.

Also appearing (at least in voice) are T.J. Miller (Deadpool), who’s voice provides a nice counter to the apparent rugged bounty hunter person of i-R0k; Ben Mendelsohn (Animal Kingdom) as Nolan Sorrento, the CEO of IOI; and Hannah John-Kamen (Killjoys, Ant-Man and the Wasp) as F’Nale Zandor, a real-world IOI operative hunting down the High Five.

While the plot is somewhat basic and predictable, it’s the visuals and references that are really interesting. I at first thought that this was going to be too CGI-centric and a distraction, but after a bit it felt natural in a weird way. And there are some stunning recreations, like the parts from The Shining). But what really hooked me was all the little things, both overt and background, that referenced the things we grew up with. From the many characters that can be seen in the background to the appearance of the Iron Giant (although, as some point out, misused), to the various Atari games and more. There are so many it will take multiple viewings to spot many of them – finding easter eggs in a movie about finding easter eggs!!! I saw a Colecovision towards the end…and I want Halliday’s t-shirts!

If you are particularly interested in motion-capture acting as well, check out the special features to see how a lot of it was done – there is just as much live acting, if not more!

Overall, it was a very enjoyable movie with some laugh-out-loud moments and plenty of “did-you-see-that”s as well!


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Timothee Chalamet may take on Paul Atreides in Denis Villenueve’s Dune

by on Jul.16, 2018, under Movies

We haven’t heard anything since November, and we figured it would languish in development for a while, but it appears that Denis Villenueve’s Dune is moving forward faster than we expected, with Oscar-nominee Timothee Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird) in negotiations to star.

Vellenueve (Blade Runner 2049, Arrival) took on the project after Legendary acquired the film and TV rights in 2016, and has always had his own vision of the film since reading the books. Oscar winner Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) penned the script.


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Star Wars: Billy Dee Williams is in; anthologies not dead yet?

by on Jul.11, 2018, under Movies

First, the exciting news – according to sources close to the production say Billy Dee Williams will appear as Lando Calrissian in the final Star Wars saga film. Rumors on this really heated up last week when Williams canceled a September convention appearance in Canada due to a “film schedule conflict”, which everyone immediately believed to be Episode IX. Some suave is coming!

In the meantime, on life beyond IX, things may not be quite as dire for the anthology films as first thought. According to the Belfast Telegraph, the Game of Thrones prequel series will be filmed at the Paint Hall studios in Belfast – AFTER the next installment of Syfy’s Krypton and, apparently, the Obi-Wan film in April 2019. This may not mean much, only that studio space is still booked, but it is at least a positive sign.

Perhaps at the other end of the hope spectrum, James Mangold responses to a tweet about his supposed involvement in the Boba Fett movie:

So it appears that the film lacks a director still – which makes me wonder about when these films might get released or it what order – but Disney does not have any Star Wars films on the docket for the next couple years at present after IX.


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Harry Potter takes over SYFY and USA Network this weekend!

by on Jul.09, 2018, under Books, Movies, Television

Stoking the fiery passion of fans all across the Wizarding World, SYFY and USA Network will transport viewers to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry like never before with a multi-platform exploration of all facets of the Wizarding World films.

Beginning with the simulcast of the HARRY POTTER WIZARDING WEEKEND from July 13-15, 2018, both networks become the new U.S. television homes of the entire Wizarding World franchise library in a previously announced deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution extending through April 2025. All eight Harry Potter movies – as well as the Fantastic Beasts films slated to begin in 2019, 2021 and 2023 – will air in HD with limited commercial interruption as the networks commemorate 20 years of Harry Potter fandom. The first six films will be extended director’s cut versions. Beyond the HARRY POTTER WIZARDING WEEKEND, SYFY and USA have also programmed monthly stunts including BACK TO HOGWARTS MARATHON, DARK ARTS MARATHON, WIZARDING WORLD WEEK and a special CHRISTMAS MARATHON.

SYFY and USA will be supporting the celebration as the biggest acquisition launch in both networks’ history with marketing, promotion, digital and social campaigns. In addition, special content and promotions with Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood, both home to the incredibly themed lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, are now available where guests can enjoy fully immersive entertainment experiences based on the Harry Potter series. In all, the campaign will be bigger than the Quidditch World Cup itself!

“Whether they’re superfans who live and breathe Harry Potter or a new generation yet to discover the franchise, we’re giving fans of all kinds an entirely new way to experience the magic of The Wizarding World on television,” noted Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “With SYFY, we’re inviting fans to really ‘geek out’ and go deep into their passion and knowledge. And at USA, we’ll be able to fire up a bigger, broader audience with massive scale to introduce a whole new legion of fans.”

“Both networks will have a unique but complementary Wizarding World look and feel for the fans as we create moments and events throughout the year – on-air, online, off-the-screen, on social or at SYFY WIRE – that infuse a wonderful wizarding ethos into our collective creative brands,” added Alexandra Shapiro, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Digital, USA Network & SYFY. “And the biggest moments will always make sure fans are front and center.”

SYFY and USA will present a new viewing experience for fans of the films. The custom design packaged on-air and online will include IDs and bugs supported with hours of new footage delving deeper into the mythology of Harry Potter, trivia and fun facts to test even the most advanced wizard’s acumen, behind-the-scenes footage and fresh interviews with cast members and production crew dishing on their favorite moments, including:

· Eddie Redmayne (as Newt Scamander from Fantastic Beasts)

· James and Oliver Phelps (as Fred and George Weasley)

· Stanislav Ianevski (as Viktor Krum)

· Jany Temime, Costume Designer

· John Richardson, Special Events Supervisor

· Paul Harris, Wand Choreographer

· Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima, Graphic Designers

Also included in the on-air campaign will be special footage, including an exclusive behind-the-scenes studio tour from Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter – and fan testimonials from San Diego Comic-Con and and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort, including A Celebration of Harry Potter. Keen observers will also spot some familiar fan faces from the SYFY and USA channels.


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Comic book artist Steve Ditko, 1927-2018

by on Jul.08, 2018, under Comics, Obituaries

Steve Ditko, a comic book artist who co-created with Stan Lee the characters of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, passed away. He was found in his apartment in New York on June 29th. He was 90.

He started out studying under Batman artist Jerry Robinson at the Cartoonists And Illustrators School in New York City, and in 1953 he went to work for Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. He created the character of Captain Atom in 1960 for Charlton Comics. He also drew for Atlas Comics (which became Marvel Comics in 1961), where he worked with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. He left Marvel in 1966 and went back to Charlton, later DC Comics, returning to Marvel in 1979, and retired in 1998.


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Ant-Man and the Wasp: A Fun Time in a Cloudy Universe

by on Jul.08, 2018, under Movies

The latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe provides a breath of fresh air, sunshine and humor in the midst of its darkest time. Ant-Man and the Wasp continues with the precedent set by Ant-Man – a superhero movie set with humor. Whereas the other movies would often include humorous lines here and there, here the premise incorporates the fact that the protagonist is inept but good-hearted, surrounded by ultra-smart people whose technobabble is way over his head. Paul Rudd continues his perfect portrayal as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, again joined by Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne, and Michael Peña as Luis. Joining the ranks this time are Laurence Fishburne as Dr. Bill Foster, a former colleague of Dr. Pym, and Killjoys‘ Hannah John-Kamen as Ava.

I’m going to say this right now – every Marvel movie should have Michael Peña’s Luis do all the catch-up exposition.

I won’t get too much into the plot as I hate to give any spoilers, but at least to answer the pressing question as to what happened to Ant-Man during Infinity War – he’s been under house arrest since the events of Captain America: Civil War, having reached a plea deal for having violated the Sokovia Accords, and is about to be released after his two-year sentence, during which he has had no contact with Pym or Hope, who are in hiding. But a vision that Scott has indicates that it might be possible that Janet Van Dyne – Hank’s wife and Hope’s mother, may still be alive.

Hannah John-Kamen’s Ava provides a new character that takes the story’s conflict in a new dimension, and her portrayal is perfect – I look forward to seeing her in future movies.


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