movie reel

Movies This Year

Well…it’s a new year, and that means of course… new movies. If you’re anything like me, there’s nothing like a good movie to distract you from whatever’s going on in your life(or not going on)… at least for a few hours.

So, here’re a few flicks to look for this year(keep in mind, I wrote the list, so I’m a bit biased) Oh, and I do apologize if there are any spoilers hereabouts.(There likely are.)

A Fantastic Fear Of Everything: Directed by Crispian Mills and Chris Hopewell and Starring the constantly brilliant Simon Pegg(How To Lose Friends And Alienate People, Star Trek); this little gem is about a crime novelist, whose research into Victorian serial killers has turned him into an extremely paranoid man, in fear of being murdered.

Date and Switch: Directed by Chris, this movie is about two High School seniors: Michael and Matty that have been best friends since 3rd grade. Still virgins, they make a pact to help each other “get lucky” before their senior prom – their mission however takes an unexpected turn when one of them announces an unexpected secret.

Pompeii: Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, this film stars Kit Harington(Game of Thrones, Silent Hill: Revelation3D) and is set in the year 79 A.D., Pompeii tells the epic story of Milo, a slave turned invincible gladiator who finds himself in a race against time to save his true love Cassia, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant who has been unwillingly betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator. As Mount Vesuvius begins to erupt in all its fury, Milo must fight his way out of the arena in order to save his love as crumbles all around him.

A Haunted House 2: Directed by Mike Tiddes and starring Marlon Wayans, this is the sequel to A Haunted House with Wayans as Malcolm who, after exorcising the demons of his ex, is starting fresh with his new girlfriend and her two children. After moving into their dream home, Malcolm is once more plagued by bizarre paranormal events.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Directed by Anthony & Joe Russo and starring Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, and Scarlet Johansson; this film takes place after the events of The Avengers. Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, is trying to live a quiet life in Washington, D.C. while trying to adjust to things in the modern world, but when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Captain America becomes enmeshed in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world once again at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the conspiracy plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow must enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and dangerous new enemy—the Winter Soldier.

Transcendence: Directed by Wally Pfister and starring Johnny Depp, this film stars Depp as Dr. Will Caster, the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will stop him at all costs. In their attempt to destroy him however, they set into motion the culmination of their worst fears.

The Quiet Ones: Directed by John Pogue and starring Jared Harris( Sherlock Holmes: A game Of Shadows, Pompeii, and The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones). The Quiet Ones Tells the story of an unorthodox professor (Jared Harris) who uses highly controversial methods, leading his best students off the grid to take part in a dangerous experiment: creating a poltergeist. Based on the theory that paranormal activity is caused by the negative energy humans sometimes put out, the rogue scientists perform a series of tests on a young patient, pushing her to the edge of sanity and starting something more frightening and terrifying than they could have possibly imagined.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Directed by Marc Webb(no pun intended) and starring Andrew Garfield(The Amazing Spider-Man, The Social Network), Emma Stone(The Amazing Spider-Man, The Help) and Jamie Foxx(White House Down, Django Unchained). After the events of The Amazing Spider-Man, life for Peter Parker is busy. Between taking care of the bad guys as Spider-Man and spending time with the girl he loves, things seem the same as ever, but things always have a way of changing; especially when you’re a superhero with a new villain emerging, an old friend returning, and you start finding clues about your mysterious past.

Godzilla: Directed by Gareth Edwards and starring Aaron Johnson(Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2) and Bryan Cranston(Argo, Breaking Bad, and Malcolm in the Middle). This film is the retelling/re-imagining of Godzilla’s origin in a more contemporary time.

X-Men: Days Of Future Past: Directed by Bryan Singer and starring Jennifer Lawrence(The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games), James McAvoy(X-Men: First Class, Arthur Christmas), Patrick Stewart(X-Men – X-Men 3, The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, Star Trek), Ian McKellen(The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug, LOTR Trilogy, X-Men – X-Men 3), and Peter Dinklage(Game Of Thrones, Death at a Funeral). The film’s story is set partially in an alternate future where surviving mutants have been penned in concentration camps, giant robots called Sentinels patrol America, and the majority of the X-Men have been hunted down and killed.

Maleficent: Directed by Robert Stromberg and starring Angelina Jolie(Kung Fu Panda 2, Salt, Beowulf). This is the untold story of one of Disney’s most iconic, classic villains(Sleeping Beauty as told by Maleficent).A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until the day an invading army threatened the peace of the land. Rising to be the land’s fiercest protector, she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal—turning her pure heart to stone and setting into motion a revenge of classic proportions.

How To Train Your Dragon 2: Directed by Dean DeBlois and starring Jay Baruchel(The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, This Is The End, How To Train Your Dragon)and  Craig Ferguson(Brave, Winnie the Pooh, How To Train Your Dragon). The heroic dragon-riding Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless must protect the peace — and save the future for men and dragons from a power-hungry enemy named Drago.

Transformers 4: Age of Extinction: Directed by Michael Bay and starring Mark Wahlberg(Ted, The Fighter, The Happening), Stanley Tucci(The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games, Jack the Giant Slayer) and Kelsey Grammer(Monsters University, Toy Story 2,  X-Men 3).   As humanity picks up the pieces, following the conclusion of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Autobots and Decepticons have all but vanished from the face of the planet. However, a group of powerful, ingenious businessman and scientists attempt to learn from past Transformer incursions and push the boundaries of technology beyond their ability to control – all while an ancient, powerful Transformer menace sets its sights on Earth. The epic adventure and battle between good and evil, freedom and enslavement ensues.

(A trailer for the film seems to be unavailable as of yet.)

There are of course more movies coming out this year, but take it upon yourself to go look for’m, and… happy movie watching.

The Princess that Never Was?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, so here’s a short rant from yours truly about something seemingly random and geeky.:

 

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there lived a princes… only… was she really a princess? As Star Wars has become Disney property, a good friend of mine brought it to my attention that princess Leia would be a Disney princess. That got me to thinking… would she be a Disney princess? Further more, was she even really a princess?

If I were to allow my friend to answer that question, he would say that Leia was in fact a princess. She was the adopted daughter of the king and queen of Alderaan, and her birth mother was the Queen of Naboo.  Now, that sounds like more than enough for her to be considered a princess; right? Wrong. In my opinion anyway.

 

 

Here’s the problem. She may have been the adopted daughter of royalty, but does that in of itself make her a royal? If I’m the king of France and I adopt a monkey into my family, does that monkey then become royalty? (not to equate princess Leia to a monkey.)No, it doesn’t.  And as to her being the biological child of the “Queen of Naboo”… well.. I may be ignorant of all of the political ways of Naboo, but the last time I checked.. being the daughter of a former queen doesn’t make you royalty when that queen in question was elected to the position. Elected, not born into or married into.. elected.

Even if I can manage to get past the whole elected queen thing, there’s the fact that when Leia was born, her mother had been dead/on her death bed at the time and there was a newly elected queen ruling Naboo. Heck, even before Padme was dead, Naboo had elected a new queen. Padme was a senator. So, in truth, Leia is the biological daughter of the senator of Naboo and the adopted daughter of the king and queen of Alderaan.

 

 

 

Now, if I can manage to look past even that, there’s the one tiny fact that Alderaan no longer exists. So, what’s princess Leia the princess of?  A large heap of space rock? I don’t think so. No kingdom, no power, title becomes meaningless. Princess Leia becomes commoner Leia.

 

 

So, to sum it all up… princess Leia is not a Disney princess. At best, I could say that she’s a Disney person of importance….within the Star Wars galaxy.

 

 

As an added bonus, here’s the a video about the Disney purchase of Star Wars:

Another Geek Peek

As a followup to my blob post titled “A Geek Peek At 2012” while talking to folk I’ve come across seven more things that might catch the interest of some of you out there. Keep in mind, nothing on this list is in any specific order.

7. E3- E3 2012 may be the biggest show ever, with the new Wii U, XBox, and the PS4 tease. It’s rumored that the NetBox will be making an appearance at E3 2012. In a surprise move, Sony executives have hinted that they will reveal a new console at E3. If the rumors are found to be true, then this could mark the first time ever an entire generation will be revealed in a single place, single time.

6.  Marvel Legends- Hasbro’s line of 6-inch action figures is poised for a comeback in 2012. The first wave is said to feature figures of Steve Rogers, Iron Man, Hope Summers and the return of “Build-a-Figure” in the form of  Terrax. If that’s not enough, a new Wolverine, Punisher and a Nova Prime are just a few of the figures about to become Marvel Legends! If you’re a collector, your wallet’s going to hate you.

5. The Dark Knight Rises- Due to the disappointment of some of you for not placing this on my previous blog post, I’ve seen fit to place it here. The Dark Knight Rises will be showcasing Bane and Catwoman for the first time in the current movie franchise.  This may be the final installment of the billion-dollar Batman movie franchise. The promise that  “The Legend Ends” = the one movie in 2012 you and I would be crazy to miss if you’re a Batman fan. Will it be all it’s made up to be? Who knows.

4. Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter- I have yet to read the book, but I have seen a preview for the film and honestly it looks interesting. Not necessarily 100% historically accurate, it should still make for an interesting watch. Thanks to Twilight, I’m sure Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter won’t be the worst vampire film I’ve ever seen. If you’re like me and haven’t read the book, here’s a blurb about the plot: President Lincoln’s mother is killed by a supernatural creature, which fuels his passion to crush vampires and their slave-owning helpers.(Told you it was a blurb.) What can go wrong with pitting the Great Emancipator Vs. the undead?

3. The Last Airbender: Legend Of Korra- As huge a fan as I am of Avatar: The Last Airbender and the world of the story, I’m sure I’ll enjoy this continuing of the Avatar story. This second Nickelodeon series is set in the world of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The difference is that this time it’s not Aang who is the hero. Seventy Years after Ang, a new Avatar named Korra appears as the hero. Though there’s a new Avatar, I’m sure this new series will dazzle me as much as the first one did.

2. Rurouni Kenshin- Also known as “Samurai X” the wildly popular ’90s manga-turned-anime series is back on with three new offerings. The first is an original animation video (OAV) called “Rurouni Kenshin: Shin Kyoto-Hen,” which retells the epic battle between our favorite red-haired Meiji-era swordsman and his heavily bandaged archenemy, Shishio Makoto. The graphics are said to be similar to the main anime series, with voice actress Mayo Suzukaze reprising her role as Kenshin Himura along with the rest of the original cast. The OAV’s first half premiered in Japan last December; the limited-edition DVD and Blu-Ray version is set for release this March.

Secondly, the  live-action version, produced by Warner Bros., finally hits theaters in Japan on August 25th. The hype broke out when the film staff released a trailer and several set photos online, plus an ad featuring actor Takeru Satoh (“Kamen Rider Den-O”) in full getup as Kenshin Himura in the January 2012 issue of Jump Square magazine. The cast for characters Kaoru, Sanosuke, Yahiko, Megumi, Saitou, and the series’ “first” antagonists Jin’e and Takeda have all been confirmed.

Lastly,but not least Jump Square announced that the manga series will resume running in May 2012, with creator Nobuhiro Watsuki at the helm. Whether this is a  “reboot” or an actual sequel is unclear, but I’m sure fans would like a new arc; or at least, for it to pick up where the manga left off 12 years ago. These dates though are for releases in Japan, to the best of my knowledge.

1. Dredd- Most people could probably agree that the first attempt to make a movie based on the popular 2000 AD character was completely awful. Just the thought of it has me hearing Stallone shouting out “I am the law!” Hopefully the remake can’t be any worse.  Danny Boyle is  producing the remake, Alex Garland is on script writing dutys and Karl Urban is playing the lead role. Given the lack of Stalone in this film, I think it’s safe to say that the new version is going to be far better than than the 90s version. Here’s to hoping.

Though this post lacks some of the flair of my previous post, I still can’t help but be excited by some of these things. Just more proof that this is going to be one heck of a year.

Last Year In Geek

It’s official, the year 2011 is done and over with. It’s been a year of ups and downs, and more downs, and slight inclines that lead to steep declines. It’s been a relatively crazy 365 days, that’s for sure. So much has happened this year. Far too much to compile into a simple list, but that’s not going to stop me from trying anyway. So, here’s a brief list of some of the major moments in geekdom this past year.

1. Carrie Fisher & William Shatner Argue About Star Wars vs. Star Trek:
Geeks have been debating about which is better for decades, but William Shatner and Carrie Fisher took to YouTube to settle things once and for all. It turned into a fairly ugly war of words, with insults flying. Neither won, but in a style only he could manage, George Takei once again became the welcome voice of reason. Asking the fans of both Star Wars and Star Trek to put aside their differences and focus on a common enemy; namely Twilight. You go George Takei, you go.

2. Marvel Reigns, in The Box Office:
2011 brought us two action packed movies based on Marvel Comics superheroes. Thor (with a stunning cast line-up.) and Captain America: The First Avenger completed the series leading the way to The Avengers opening some time next year. X-Men: First Class  managed to not only reboot the franchise but, make a prequel as well. No matter how far it may have strayed from cannon.

3. We Lose a Technological Icon:
The death of Steve Jobs rocked the tech industry as well as the world itself. Regardless of what anyone may have thought of the man, he did much to help build and improve upon the technology we currently use. Jobs died peacefully, surrounded by family members, his family said in a statement. In recent years Jobs had fought a form of pancreatic cancer and had a liver transplant.”Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives.”

4. Thundercats Gets a Revamp:
Reintroducing the 80’s franchise to a generation of kids, tweens and beyond that had never heard of them before; mixing sci-fi action with a fantasy backdrop familiar to early fans. Despite its obvious difference from the original, from the very beginning, the Thundercats spawned in 2011 seem to be doing something right. I’m still watching it.

5. Star Wars: The Clone Wars Does it Right:                                                                                                                                            The Clone wars has been hailed as the most vital take on the franchise since Empire. Bringing a weekly dose of actual war, it’s got all of the action and adventure that you grew up loving about Star Wars with new plots and intrigue to keep you on your toes. Add to that, the stylized CG art used on the show. “Now matter how many new cuts, edits, and additions to the trilogy and prequels Lucasfilm puts out there, for all intents and purposes, The Clone Wars is keeping the spirit of the original trilogy alive.”

6. Transformers Does Better than Expected:                                                                                                                                            Despite what many may have thought about the films and or the franchise based on the films(including Megan Fox), the franchise has managed to thrive. With the absence of Megan Fox in the latest installment of Transformers entitled Transformers: Dark of the Moon, people can focus on what the movie’s really about.: Giant robots fighting one another and blowing stuff up. What’s more is that whatever the film franchise may have lacked in geek-cred prior to Dark of the Moon, with the help of Mr. Leonard Nimoy in his role as Sentinel Prime it has most certainly made up for.

7. Shouting at Dragons:                                                                                                                                                                                           The latest game to be developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks was The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This game gave players another look into the wonderfully fascinating world of the Elder Scrolls. In this followup to Oblivion, we see numerous improvements. From the design of the non playable characters down to the physics of the game, things are noticeably different, and I’m not complaining at all. Unlike many of the other installments of the Elder Scrolls, Skyrim gave us dragons. Not just dragons, but talking dragons. And if talking dragons weren’t enough.. it gave us giants, with clubs, and mammoths(all of which will attack the hell out of you.) There’s more than enough in this game to keep you entertained for… well.. for quite a while. (assuming you actually sleep at some point in time and have other things to do than just play the game all day every day.)

8. Harry Potter and the Kicking of Butt:                                                                                                                                                  2011 saw the second half of the final chapter of the exploits of (lots of of’s) Harry James Potter (and friends) take place. Death Eaters were left starving, Dementors were left more demented than when they began, the Freddy Kruger/Avon lady known as the former Professor Umbridge more than gets her just deserts, and an epic battle between good and evil finally goes down. Best of all is Molly Weasley. Throughout the films, her character shows little growth, though growth none the less, but not until the this 2nd half of the final film does she truly blossom; and when she does.. it’s that blossoming, not Harry’s defeat of the dark lord that takes center stage. You go Molly Weasley.

9. Death of The I T Crowd:                                                                                                                                                                                   The hilariously funny UK based show didn’t make it to a fifth season. Despite that sad news, there is the promise of a final episode that will unfortunately not air in the US. The I T Crowd… you will be missed. If you haven’t managed to check out this show, I strongly urge you to. Especially if you’re a fan of British comedy.

10. The Doctor is In:                                                                                                                                                                                                      One of the best things to come on to TV in the year 2011 was the sixth season of Doctor Who. From the beginning, things got off to an amazing start. We got to see those wonderful Weeping Angels once again, we get introduced to the creepiness of Silence, the constant foreshadowing of the Doctor’s death, and lastly but not least, there’s the episode “The Doctor’s Wife wherein the Doctor’s TARDIS comes to life and we realize that through everything, she is his only constant companion. Though I myself have yet to see this episode, I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, and given the direction the current incarnation of the Doctor has been headed in, I’m inclined to believe what I’ve heard.

 

May the new year bring far more moments in geekdom and may they be as pleasant as possibly possible.
Happy Geek New Year.

Rainbow Binary Digits

The Gay Geek

The word geek can be defined as a slang term noting a person as “One who is perceived to be overly obsessed with one or more things including those of intellectuality, electronics, etc.” … or a person with an eccentric devotion to a particular interest. From oxforddictionaries.com it’s asked “Is being a geek something to be proud of?” I personally say yes, yes it is. The site goes on to say that “a few decades ago the answer would almost certainly have been no: the word was a cruel and critical label attached to clever, but socially awkward, people: train-spotters, computer geeks, and unpopular college students. Then in the 1990s everything changed. The computer industry helped many geeks to achieve great success, and the wider perception of geeks began to shift. Being a geek was suddenly a positive thing, suggesting an admirable level of knowledge, expertise, and passion: geeks could do ‘cool stuff’. It’s now common for people to be self-proclaimed or self-confessed geeks, with geekiness no longer confined to the world of science and technology ( a music geek with an awesome vinyl collection, the kind of film that every true movie geek would give five stars). Nerds have undergone a similar change of image but to a lesser extent, with some negative terms such as boring and pathetic still commonly attached to the word”

I’m greatly inclined to agree with oxforddictionaries.com’s take on geekdom. Thanks to the computer being a thing that’s widely used worldwide and in countless homes across the globe, people who show an incredible interest in it are no longer shunned as being strange, or weird simply for their interest. These days a geek is not simply someone with technical know how and an interest in the electronic. A person can be a geek for sci-fi movies and novels, fantasy, video games, music, film in general, anime or any number of things. I myself saw the light of geekdom at an early age when I watched my first episode of Star Trek, though it was expressed even earlier with my love of Star Wars merch. As an adult I consider myself an all around geek, or the equivalent of a “jack of all trades” sort of geek. As well as being a geek, I’m gay.. and a+b equaling c would make me a gay geek.. even a gaymer as some would say.

The Sci-fi genre has seen its share of gay and or bi-sexual characters since I’ve grown up. There’s the lesbian character of Willow from TV’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, (TV & comics), Parthenon, aka Dan Williams from “Who Wants To Be a Superhero?”; The Sci Fi Channel, Ianto Jones from “Torchwood“; BBC America, Northstar, aka Jean-Paul Beaubier from “The Uncanny X-Men“; comics, The Midnighter, aka Lucas Trent from “The Authority“; comics, and Captain Jack Harkness from “Torchwood“; BBC America to name a few and plenty of Gay actors out there; most notable are Ian McKellen (Gandalf from Lord of the Rings and Magneto from X-Men (Film) Zachary Quinto (Sylar from Heroes and Spock from Star Trek the movie), & George Takei (Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu from the original Star Trek, Captain Sulu in an episode of Star Trek Voyager, Kaito Nakamura from TV’s Heroes). Any geek; gay, bi, or straight worth his salt could tell you who at least one of those characters is.

That all being said,the influx of gay characters in the sci-fi, comic book, fantasy, and cinematic world has also seen a rise in gay geeks in the last few years or so. You can’t go to an anime convention or Trek convention without coming across at least a small handful of gay men who share your passion for things geeky in nature. Despite this influx of awesome, the dating pool if you will, for a gay geek stills seems as small as it has ever been. Where are all the men who appreciate a well-timed Star Wars reference? Where are the men who can understand my fascination with Doctor Who…when they’re not at the cons looking resplendent in their geeky costumery? Where’s Waldo? I obviously don’t know the answer to any of those questions; otherwise I wouldn’t ask, but I wish I did.

Even if Mr. Geeky “Right” eludes me, I’m happy to know that geekdom has a foothold in the gay community and visa versa. I’m also happy that I have a community…. communities in which I am welcome as I am.