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TidBits: Lots of stuff to catch up on…

by on Jun.12, 2018, under Movies, Television

I am so sorry for the lack of updates lately. The last few weeks has been CRAZY. My oldest daughter graduated high school, and my youngest had her middle school play – we are heavily involved in the drama programs with both kids, and I emcee the annual high school drama banquet, which was a few weeks ago as well. And that’s on top of “normal life” – so it’s been tough trying to follow all the news – we’re very behind in all our RV shows as well, and I owe a friend a book review as well…but anyways, here is a rapid recap of the last week or so…

HBO has given a pilot order for one of five the potential Game Of Thrones spinoffs, this one for a prequel series set in the “golden age of Heroes”, which “descends into its darkest hour”, where we will learn about the white walkers, the Starks of legend, and more. Given it was just announced, there is no director, cast, etc. yet but it comes from Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, Kingsman) and George R.R. Martin, with Goldman acting as showrunner. Martin said on his blog he currently prefers the title “The Long Night”, but that isn’t definite yet. Martin also said that one of the other four ideas for spinoffs has been shelved, but the other three are still possible.

As for that other fantasy mega-franchise, Amazon appears to be banking on its deal for the Lord of the Rings franchise, having cleared a lots of its shows off the slate. The head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke said in a Deadline interview that they aren’t going to try and compete at the volume level with Netflix, adding, “You can’t go big and go irrelevant.” While there is little to go on, they are currently only working on one series – “one big series,” and that while it isn’t remaking the movies, it will involve “it’ll be characters you love.”

Speaking of Salke and Amazon, she also addressed the idea of Amazon Studios picking up the canceled Lucifer. “I know that international, especially the UK group, was really bullish on that show, I haven’t checked in on that today (Thursday), but I heard conversations were ongoing on that yesterday.” So, keep heart, fans. Amazon recently rescued The Expanse after Syfy canceled the show, just as it was heading into the next phase of the story.

As for Amazon’s cross-net rivals, Netflix has given a 10-episode order for Away, about an international crew on a treacherous year-long mission to Mars, from Andrew Hinderaker (Penny Dreadful), Jason Katims (Parenthood) and Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes). It centers on an American astronaut who leaves behind a husband and daughter to lead the crew in a story of hope and humanity.

The upcoming BBC series His Dark Materials based on the novels of Philip Pullman has some cast…James McAvoy (the X-Men franchise) will play Lord Asriel, the father of the primary character Lyra (Dafne Keen, Logan), who discovers a way to parallel worlds. Clarke Peters (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) plays the master who raises Lyra. Ruth Wilson (The Affair) will play Marisa Coulter, Asrael’s former lover and appears to want Lyra for a mysterious purpose. Earlier this year, Lin-Manuel Miranda (Mary Poppins Returns) was announced to play Lee Scoresby, an “aeronaut” who helps Lyra. Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) will direct.

I haven’t mentioned Marvel at all yet, have I? Well, Avengers: Infinity War became just the fourth movie to cross the $2 billion international box office mark, after Avatar, Titanic and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And it is still holding strong at the box office. On Marvel’s small screen, Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger became Freeform’s biggest new series in two years, with an L+3 of 1.64 million, which also put it as the most watched telecast on the network in nearly a year.

And finally, we don’t talk much about MTV, but while the network might not be returning to its real roots in music, it may return to its past – a live action version of Aeon Flux, the sci-fi series that started as a series of shorts on the network’s Liquid Television block of trippy animated series. THe show was previously turned into a live action feature starring Charlize Theron as the tightly-clad assassin n 2005, but the movie flopped. Jeff Davis (Teen Wolf) and Gale Anne Hurd (The Walking Dead) are set to produce, with Davis writing.


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HotShot Trailer: Bumblebee

by on Jun.06, 2018, under Movies

Both this Transformers spinoff movie…and Bumblebee’s body style…are set in 1987…I wonder how they upgrade their bodies?


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HotShot Trailer: Mortal Engines

by on Jun.06, 2018, under Movies

Peter Jackson released the first trailer for the upcoming Mortal Engines – check it out!


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Ready Player One available on Digital HD July 3rd, 4K/Blu-ray/DVD July 24th

by on Jun.03, 2018, under Movies

Join an immersive virtual universe when Ready Player One arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD. From Warner Bros. Pictures, Amblin Entertainment and Village Roadshow Pictures, along with filmmaker Steven Spielberg, comes the action adventure Ready Player One, based on Ernest Cline’s bestseller of the same name, which has become a worldwide phenomenon.

Ready Player One stars Tye Sheridan (“X-Men: Apocalypse,” “Mud”), Olivia Cooke (“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” TV’s “Bates Motel”) and Ben Mendelsohn (“Rogue One – A Star Wars Story,” TV’s “Bloodline”). The ensemble cast also includes Lena Waithe (TV’s “Master of None”), T.J. Miller (“Deadpool,” TV’s “Silicon Valley”), Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki, Hannah John-Kamen (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”), Simon Pegg (the “Star Trek” and “Mission: Impossible” movies) and Oscar® winner Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies,” “Dunkirk”).

Three-time Oscar® winner Spielberg* directed the film from a screenplay by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline. It is based on the novel by Cline, which has now spent more than 100 weeks on The New York Times Best Sellers List, recently climbing to the No. 1 spot, as well as reaching No. 1 on Amazon’s Most Read Fiction chart. Ready Player One was produced by Donald De Line, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Steven Spielberg and Dan Farah. Adam Somner, Daniel Lupi, Chris deFaria and Bruce Berman served as executive producers.
(continue reading…)


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Solo: A Star Wars Story is a film that is worth watching

by on May.27, 2018, under Movies

Star WarsSpoiler free…

Way back when (well, just over 11 months ago) when we learned that Ron Howard was taking over as director for the upcoming Star Wars anthology film featuring a young Han Solo, with just a couple weeks left in filming and the ouster of the previous co-directors, we were filled with trepidation. We weren’t sure how we felt about doing the “Young Solo” film in the first place. And a late director change is never a good sign. There would be reshoots, rewrites, etc. Additional actors were being brought in late in the game. All things pointed to a mediocre film at best. The one bright spark? Ron Howard. The man is a genius.

As the film neared release, our hopes began to rise. We were only hearing good things about it. Even from sources we would expect to be more pessimistic. We went last night to see it. And this movie is GOOD.

One of the things we heard before the changes was that it was aiming to be more slapstick, or at least have a lot more humor than any previous Star Wars film. I was afraid we were going to get a “buddy smuggler” film. The end result still had humor, but the amount you’d expect from a film with Han, Chewie, and Lando, along with a few new enjoyable characters thrown in. And it adds some background to characters that you only heard about, or even didn’t have any idea of. But everything made sense in the context of what we already knew about the characters.

Alden Ehrenreich was pretty much unknown to me. At first I didn’t think I could buy him as Han. But as the film went on I started to see it…he does look like a young Han…and at one point even gave this very intense look that really reminded me of Harrison Ford.

This film is really worth seeing for all Star Wars fans. You can even play “spot the reference” when they name various other characters from the canon.

Sadly, the movie is tracking lower than expectations on the holiday weekend, looking at about $114.5 million for the 4-day total. However, increasing good buzz might lead to the film performing well over a longer period similar to what The Greatest Showman did at the beginning of the year.

Now we just need them to announce a sequel such that the final twist at the end can be explained… 🙂


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Margot Kidder, 1948-2018

by on May.14, 2018, under Movies, Obituaries

Actress Margot Kidder, best known for playing the role of Lois Lane in 1978’s Superman and three sequels opposite Christopher Reeve and perhaps the best remembered version of the character, passed away yesterday at her home in Montana, her manager confirmed. A cause of death was not given.

In addition to her Superman role, she also starred in The Amityville Horror in 1979. Those two roles propelled her to stardom in movies and TV shows. However in the 1990s she was diagnosed with mental health issues, and in 1996 made headlines when she disappeared for four days during a manic episode. She later got control of it and advocated for better mental health options. She most recently appeared in 2017’s The Neighborhood and had been making convention appearances.


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TidBits: Six Billion Dollar Man departure; 12 Monkeys teaser; Dourif joins The Purge; The 100 renewed

by on May.08, 2018, under Movies, Television

It’s been a while since we said anything about the Mark Wahlberg starrer Six Billion Dollar Man project, but it was ready to go in front of cameras in a couple months and be released next May, or so we thought. Now it appears that scriptwriter and director Damian Szifron is off the project, apparently due to creative differences over his script and possibly a “language barrier” – Szifron (Wild Takes) is Argentinian, and this appears to be his first major English language project.

12 Monkeys will air its fourth and final season next month on SYFY, and the network will air the 11-episode season over four weeks, with a 3-episode premiere on Friday, June 15th from 8-11pm ET, and the final two episodes on June 6th from 9-11pm. Check out the teaser…

Fiona Dourif is set to join SYFY’s upcoming The Purge, based on the movie franchise of the same name. Dourif will play Good Leader Tavis, described as a “cool and offbeat” charismatic cult leader. Considering her wonderfully bizarre turn as Bart Curlish on Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, I’m looking forward to “offbeat”…

The CW picked up The 100 for a sixth season, just two weeks after season 5 started airing. The show was left behind when the network renewed the bulk of its lineup last month, but it received the renewal yesterday after showing decent ratings on its return.


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TidBits: Anime-style Star Wars series; YouTube’s Origin sets familiar cast; Tremors dead; Clarkson likely first in Star Trek director’s chair; Sackhoff returns to space in Another Life

by on Apr.29, 2018, under Movies, Television

I’m still getting caught up after some personal travel and a variety of various things related to the end of the school year, musicals, plays, etc. – so, so busy! So here is a quick recap of notables this past week!

Star Wars will get animated again, but this time it will have an anime-inspired style. Disney has ordered up and production started on Star Wars Resistance, which is set in the period preceding Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The show will follow young Kazuda Xiono, a pilot recruited to spy on the growing First Order. Familiar and new characters will be featured, including BB-8, Poe Dameron (voiced by Oscar Isaac) and Captain Phasma (voiced by Gwendoline Christie). It will premiere this Fall on the Disney Channel in the U.S., followed by regular airings on Disney XD worldwide.

YouTube has cast two familiar Harry Potter alums in its upcoming SF thriller series Origin. Tom Felton and Natalia Tena will join newcomer Sen Mitsuji to star in the series which follows a group of strangers who are stranded on a spacecraft bound for a distant planet and must work together to survive.

SYFY has elected not to pick up the Tremors series, which would have brought back Kevin Bacon. Bacon posted on Instagram, “#Tremors Sad to report that my dream of revisiting the world of Perfection will not become a reality. Although we made a fantastic pilot (IMHO) the network has decided not to move forward. Thanks to our killer cast and everyone behind the scenes who worked so hard. And always keep one eye out for GRABOIDS!”

Paramount apparently plans to move forward with two separate Star Trek films simultaneously. We already knew about the Tarantino-helmed R-rated production, but now it appears that Tarantino’s project is in some way independent of the current Kelvin-timeline movies, but it is very hazy what that means yet. It could be a different ship and crew, or it could be yet another timeline. Instead, a new Kelvin-timeline movie to follow up Star Trek Beyond is now getting started, with female British director S.J. Clarkson in negotiations to take point – which would make her the first female to head a film in the frachise’s history. This film would also bring back Chris Hemsworth as George Kirk, James Kirk’s father, who appeared in a cameo in 2009’s Star Trek.

Last but not least, Battlestar Galactica and Longmire star Katee Sackhoff will launch back into space aboard the Netflix series Another Life, about astronaut Niko Breckinridge (Sackhoff) on a mission to search for extraterrestrial intelligence and explore an alien artifact.


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Avengers: Infinity War breaks records, looks at $250M opening; Non-Review

by on Apr.29, 2018, under Movies

Yowza…

Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War is likely the biggest movie ever in a number of ways – including breaking opening weekend records. It is expected to gross $248-250 million domestically in its opening weekend, beating Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opened just short of $248 million, keeping Disney atop the studio mountain with its two acquired mega-franchises.

Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of over a decade’s work shepherding a story that started with 2008’s Iron Man, ushering in a new era of successful superhero films and the start of an interrelated universe of films building a story character by character. 2011’s Thor brought us the first of what we would learn to be Infinity Stones, a set of six unique gems of incredible power created at the birth of the universe. Each represented a unique aspect of the universe – Space, Reality, Power, Mind, Time, and Soul – and give the holder special powers. Possessing more than one makes the wielder incredibly powerful. Possessing all six – well, that’s what Thanos wants.

There is very little I can say about the movie that isn’t a spoiler, so I’ll limit myself to what little there is that isn’t. This movie is practically non-stop, with powerful action sequences and emotional points throughout. There are so many characters we know I’m amazed they were given the amount of time that they could! The visuals were superb – except there was one that just looked horribly fake. If you’ve seen it, you might know which one.

As for the ending (no spoilers) and the still unknown-titled Avengers 4 (the title itself would constitute a major spoiler for Infinity War, and will be released after sufficient time has passed, likely after the home release), I know what has to happen it I’m both happy and angry that it needs to happen…perhaps we should set up a special corner of the internet where those of us who have seen the movie can hang out and communicate, just so we can vent?


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HotShot Trailers: Venom

by on Apr.24, 2018, under Movies

Hmm…a quite scary anti-hero…might not be for the younger kids…

Opens October 5th, 2018


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