Tuesday, December 29, 2015

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" - Best Articles

Article: 26 Unanswered Questions of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ - /FILM

Article: 10 Insights From the ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Novelization - /FILM

Article: John Williams on 'Force Awakens' Score - Los Angeles Times

There have been tons of articles on "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" since it has been released. Luckily, I have saved you the work and found the best articles for you.

/FILM has done a great job on covering the questions fans have had after seeing the movie.

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"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" - On Blu-Ray April 5th!

Info: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" - Blu-Ray.com

Article: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-Ray Coming April 5th! - MakingStarWars.net

The usually reliable Blu-Ray.com has stated that "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" will be released on blu-ray on April 5th.

While the masters at StarWars.com haven't yet made the announcement, we can't be certain. But, it would be likely that the video release would be by May 4th (as in May the 4th Be With You!)

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" - First Reviews!

Review: Film Review: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ - Variety

Review: 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens': Film Review - The Hollywood Reporter

WARNING: SPOILERS likely in these reviews!

The first reviews are out for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens". Read at your discretion! I read the first paragraph or so of both, but will wait to read the rest until the movie comes out.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" - First Reactions

Article: ‘Star Wars’ Premieres to Enthusiastic Thumbs Up in Hollywood - Variety

Article: 'Star Wars': First Reactions Show Up on Social Media (Spoiler-Free) - The Hollywood Reporter

First audience reactions are in for The Force Awakens!

There has been an embargo on movie reviews, asked for by Disney. That embargo expires at 12:01 a.m. PST early Wednesday morning. So, if you want to read the reviews, or just get an impression on what the critics think, the wait is almost over!

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Monday, December 14, 2015

SyFy Returns to Sci-Fi Tonight

Article: Syfy Returns to its Roots with ‘The Expanse,’ ‘Childhood’s End’ - Variety

Childhood's End: Mini-Series Details - SyFy

The Expanse: Series Details - SyFy

The SyFy Channel had definitely gotten way from sci-fi with aggressively stupid stuff like "Sharknado," etc. But, the channel is trying to return to return to science-fiction with tonight's one-two punch of the adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke's classic novel "Childhood's End" and a TV Series based on the novels by James S.A. Corey, "The Expanse." The first episode for "The Expanse" has been online for weeks, and was pretty good, but I'll have to watch it again to see what I think.

For "Childhood's End," I am listening to the audiobook right now. Adapting a classic novel is challenging. So, I would rather listen to the original first. I am DVR'ing the mini-series, and will watch that once I am done with the book. I would recommend doing that!

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Character Ads

Character Ads: Star Wars: The Force Awakens - flickr.com

I just got back from New York City. On the Marriott Marquis video board, there were five "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" character ads! Enjoy.

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"The Martian" - Movie Review

Better Beginning Than Ending

I just saw both "The Martian" and "Jurassic World" this week. And, here are two movies whose first halves are better than their second halves.

The setup of "The Martian" is very good! Stranded on Mars, Matt Damon must use his science background to engineer his way out of dying on the red planet before a return mission can come and get him.

(SPOILERS BEGIN) His plan goes well, and he meets with setbacks, which you would expect. Meanwhile, everyone on Earth tries to figure on a way to come and rescue him. Everything goes well, in that respect. But, the ending gets a little crazy, including a space- based "Gravity"-type action sequence that defeated the decidedly better science-based opening. (END SPOILERS)

Ridley Scott does have a return to form here, after the muddled "Prometheus." Scott has always seemed at home with science-fiction, and I hope that he continues making more sci fi.

The acting is very good, especially by Damon, who must carry the film by design. The film score is pretty routine, which like "Prometheus" doesn't help the film like it should.

The cinematography is fine. I did have a problem with the visual effects. Those set on Mars are okay enough, even though they occasionally lack polish. But, the space-based ones look worse than those in the superior 2000 entry "Red Planet." That's odd, and might be a reflection of budgetary restrictions. ILM is on board here, but is a minor player. The effects seem more suited to a higher-budget Science Channel program.

With Scott Kelly doing his year in space at the moment on the International Space Station, it is especially odd to not see The Milky Way in the background while the ships are moving though space. As seen from Kelly's photographs, our galaxy should be very prominent, and really impossible to miss. Instead, we just get black, with a few scattered stars.

So, a good, but mixed entry. I am going to listen to the audiobook, and it should be interesting to see how that turns out compared to the film.

***1/2 (3 1/2 Out of 5 Stars)

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