Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Disney buys Star Wars!

Wow, Disney has just brought LucasFilm for a whooping $4 billion from George Lucas, which puts Disney in charge of LucasFilm, ILM, Skywalker Sound and all the LucasFilm brands, including of course Star Wars. Lucas cites a desire to ensure the longevity of Star Wars as his impetus for the sale:
For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. It's now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I've always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I'm confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney's reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.
Disney certainly aren't shy about playing with the Star Wars brand either; their first announcement upon the acquisition to that a new movie, Episode VII, will be coming to screens as soon as 2015, with more to follow - In fact TheForce.net report plans for films every two to three years! Plus even more new Star Wars TV series. George Lucas will continue his association with Star Wars as a creative consultant. You can read the full press release about Disney's purchase, here.

Here are Lucas and Kennedy talking a little about the whole thing:

I am cautiously optimistic about this. Since The Clone Wars relaunched Star Wars on TV, and with more TV plans already in the works, it's been interesting in recent years to start to see Star Wars as an expanding multi-media brand, and not just a film series with some particularly successful tie-in products. Disney have done a pretty good job working with/owning Pixar and Marvel, so perhaps they can be trusted with another distinct production entity under their wing. At the same time I look to Disney's in-house stuff and worry a little - In particular I'm thinking of John Carter, which was an absolutely brilliant, stunning, and all round amazing film, which I think could easily have been the next Star Wars itself. Except Disney made a mess with the marketing and the film flopped!

A new Star Wars film every two years also seems a bit excessive. But I guess it depends how they treat it. Star Wars 7, 8, 9, etc could become tiresome. But if they were to pursue a strategy similar to the Marvel films, and have a myriad of distinct film series within the single Star Wars universe, I think that could get interesting. One can't help but wonder what the future may hold for Indiana Jones too... So I guess for now, let's hope the force is strong with Disney.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New trailer for The Hobbit

The first of three films in the The Hobbit trilogy that is, An Unexpected Journey. Watch, it's exciting!:

I've not watched the The Lord of the Rings trilogy for some time, this really reminds me how very much I enjoyed those films. Cannot wait for this second trilogy.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Almost Stargate Lego!

A dream come true, almost: Best-Lock, a Lego rip-off that makes Mega Bloks look positively high quality, has apparently acquired a license to produce Stargate construction toys. As reported by Gateworld, these have so far only appeared on the Canadian Sears website, but Best-Lock is a global brand, so they should pop up elsewhere too.

Four sets have so far been revealed, based on SG-1 and Atlantis. although the largest set is basically a combination of the same things in two of the others. Quite frankly they look amateurish compared to Lego's latest offerings from Star Wars, or their Pharaoh's Quest line (their most recent Egyptian theme), but, they're Stargate almost-Lego, so I'm still quite excited; I think the Daedalus looks like the best of the bunch:


Perhaps what's most encouraging about this is that at least someone seems to be interesting in the Stargate franchise. What with the novels now only coming as ebooks, the last comics publisher managing all of two miniseries, new audiobooks only just starting to appear again, and recent talk of rebooting back to the movie continuity, I'm glad there's some glimmer of interest in the TV series still.

Now the conundrum, buy sub-standard fake Lego with a Stargate flavour, or get a bunch of Pharaoh's Quest, snakes from Ninjago, and some other Lego to make your own proper Lego Stargate stuff?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Awesome Star Wars B-movie posters

Check out these fantastic B-movie stlye Star Wars posters from Sublevel Studios: Revenge of the Sandpeople, by Mark Daniels and Mark Steele, and Lair of the Rancor, by Mark Daniels:


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Star Wars Detours

Have you seen the trailer for the latest Star Wars spin off? A new animated series, this time parodying the franchise itself. It looks most amusing:

They've also released a few clips:

Leia and Obi-Wan especially crack me, as does the matt painting gag. I look forward to this very much.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Some trailers

For some films, that I am inclined to watch:

Iron Sky, the Nazis on the Moon film that seems to have been on the horizon for years seems to be nearly here. The Sarah Palin character looks irritating as hell, but the concept is daft and fun enough I think we can over look her:

Men in Black III. Well, it's Men in Black, what's not to like? Especially with the even more retro-aliens of decades past loitering about in MIB HQ:

Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope, Morgan Spurlock's latest documentary:

Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock. Ok this one's a computer game, but it's still a trailer! The game play looks a bit tedious to me (I'm not much of a gamer anyway), but it has the Doctor and River, which will make it hard to resist:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

A little-hearted romantic sort of take on the classic end-of-the-world meteorite film? Could work. I find Steve Carell and Keira Knightley both quite watchable, and the trailer doesn't put me off, even if it doesn't quite make me dash for the nearest cinema either.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Saucer Country

This caught my eye; a new political UFO/Alien ongoing comic series coming from DC's Vertigo imprint starting in March, called Saucer Country. Here's how they describe the first issue:
Arcadia Alvarado, the leading Democratic candidate for President of the United States, says she was "abducted by aliens."

As the Mexican-American Governor of New Mexico, she's dealing with immigration, budget cuts and an alcoholic ex. She's about to toss her hat into the ring as a candidate for President in the most volatile political climate ever.

But then…a lonely road and a nightmarish encounter have left her with terrible, half-glimpsed memories. And now she has to become President. To expose the truth – and maybe, to save the world.

Arcadia's quest is at the heart of this new monthly series from writer Paul Cornell (DEMON KNIGHTS, ACTION COMICS, Doctor Who) and artist Ryan Kelly (NEW YORK FIVE, NORTHLANDERS). With the help of her quirky staff, Arcadia will pursue the truth of her abduction into danger, mystery and awe. SAUCER COUNTRY is a dark thriller that blends UFO lore and alien abduction with political intrigue, all set in the hauntingly beautiful Southwest.
The writer described it, on his blog, as: "The West Wing does The X-Files", and released this second piece of art:

Friday, January 6, 2012

A remarkably articulate Tyrannosaur

Check out this incredible Jurassic Park Tyrannosaurs Rex action figure from Revoltech. It’s a bit diddly, at just 20cm, and a bit pricey, but it’s wonderfully detailed and highly articulated; with particularly impressive posing possibilities around the head and legs, plus a bendy tail:


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mongolia's Dinosaur Fairyland

Jurassic Park might not quite be a reality yet (though mammoths might be on the way); but if you fancy encountering some wild dinosaurs, it looks like Erlian, near the Chinese border with Mongolia, is the place to go. Something of a dinosaur hotspot, the little town has tried to encourage tourism by building a dinosaur museum, and doting the place the dinosaur statues, the most impressive being a pair of sauropods which reach out to each other over a road:

The same pair are pictured in a huge sign carved into a nearby valley wall, which identifies the attraction as Dinosaur Fairyland:

On the other side of the valley are similar massive drawings of dinosaur skeletons, which can be seen from space, if you zoom in enough on Google maps:

Dotted about the town and along the roads are many smaller dinosaur sculptures, here are a few of my favourites from the photos I've found:


According to Atlas Obscura, you pretty much have the place to yourself if you visit too:
The park features dozens of full scale dinosaur models as well as bones, both real and fake. There are also lots of photo opportunities with dinosaurs smashing down walls and hatching from eggs. However, Dinosaur Fairyland is never crowded, probably due to its remote location, about 20km outside the town of Erlian in Outer Mongolia. However, this means you will have the park all to yourself, except for the occasional men in military uniform that use the park as a thoroughfare to the bus station.
More pictures after the jump:

Mondo's second Jurassic Park poster

On the subject of Jurassic Park, did you see Mondo's second Jurassic Park poster, released a couple of months ago? It was a thing of beauty:

Congratulations to those lucky 375 who got the standard version, and the other 125 who nabbed the edition without text. I was seconds away from being one of them frustratingly!

Jurassic Park Dangerous Games #5 preview

This week see's the release of the fifth and final issue of IDW's latest Jurassic Park comic series, Dangerous Games. Here's how IDW describe the finale:
Agent Espinoza has done the unthinkable and survived 24 hours on an island full of predators who want to kill him- both human and dinosaur. Now the end is near, and drug kingpin Cazares is the only thing standing in the way of Espinoza's freedom. Cazares, and an entire island of angry, rampaging dinosaurs thst is! It's a crazy, chaotic, climactic finish to Dangerous Games!
Continue after the jump for a seven-page preview: