Friday 30 October 2015

The Force Awakens is incredible says Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford wore a hot dog costume to talk about Star Wars: The Force Awakens with Jimmy Kimmel.

“I can tell you this. It’s really, really good,” Ford, who reprises his iconic role as Han Solo in the Star Wars sequel, told the late-night talk show host who was dressed as Princess Leia.

“The new cast – Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac – are phenomenal,” Ford continued. “J.J. has made an incredible movie. You will not be disappointed at all. I promise you.”

Kimmel asked if Ford preferred original Star Wars director George Lucas to current boss Abrams, Ford paused and asked back, “Or Donald Trump?”

Joking aside, Ford added, “No, I love them all. George has been amazing to me. He’s been the author of the early chapters of my life and given me the opportunity to have a really extraordinary life. J.J. has given me a chance to have a really wonderful part in a great movie.”

Wearing an hilarious hot dog costume or not, Harrison Ford ain't fooling around!

Thursday 29 October 2015

Children in Need to use the force in Star Wars special

The force is strong with Pudsey! This year's Children in Need will feature a sketch starring R2-D2, C-3PO, Warwick Davis (Wicket from Return of the Jedi), Lord Sugar and more as the BBC joins forces with Disney and Lucasfilm for the annual fundraising event!

Children in Need will be shown on Friday 13th November on BBC 1 from 7:30PM.

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Where's Luke Skywalker in The Force Awakens?

Luke Skywalker’s absence from the final trailer for The Force Awakens has ignited much debate and controversy. Has he turned to the dark side or gone into hiding like Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope? This is a masterstroke and preserves the mystery, which is so lacking in Hollywood marketing.

Director JJ Abrams admits: “It’s no accident.” He added: “These are good questions to be asking. I can’t wait for you to find out the answers.”

Abrams goes on to say he's still working on the movie ahead of its premiere in theatres this December. “My guess is we’ll probably be doing visual effects for the next three or four weeks, even though the cut will be done,” he said. “We still have another scoring session with John Williams, who’s a god when it comes to music, so it’s been an ongoing, surreal experience. I just cannot wait for the movie to be out in the world.”

The co-creator of Lost is no stranger to unlocking the mystery box on film and television. Much was made of attempts to keep Khan's identity hidden in Star Trek Into Darkness. That didn't work out so well.

Whatever happens, I admire the brilliance of this campaign. So very little is known about The Force Awakens. But, I already care about new characters Rey and Finn.

Friday 23 October 2015

Marvel's Jessica Jones is very, very dark

This is the week for tasty trailers from the Mouse House. Monday saw Kylo and the Knights of Ren triumphant in a resurgent Star Wars buoyed by nostalgia for the original trilogy in The Force Awakens. Now it's the turn of Marvel and Netflix with Jessica Jones.

Today the studios have dropped a full trailer for Marvel's Jessica Jones.

Former superhero Jessica Jones is played by actress Krysten Ritter and she'll be joined by co-star David Tennant as the villainous Zebediah Kilgrave AKA Purple Man.

If Daredevil is anything to go by, Marvel's Jessica Jones will be another binge-viewing masterpiece when all episodes arrive on Netflix on 20th November.

Tuesday 20 October 2015

The Force Awakens trailer evokes the original trilogy

Yesterday pre-sale tickets for Star Wars: The Force Awakens went live and cinema booking sites felt the power of the force as they crashed around the world. Thankfully, I was able to secure tickets for 17th December without any fuss in the UK.

In the early hours of this morning (BST), the third and final trailer was premiered during Monday Night Football on ESPN and dropped online not long after.

The trailer frames the upcoming Star Wars movie around Rey's (Daisy Ridley) journey from scavenger to, well, that'll be answered in a couple of months unless you've seen that Topps trading card.

Here it is in all its mythological glory. Distilling the magic of the original Star Wars trilogy.

To say this was worth the wait would be an understatement from my perspective. Tears of joy...

Sunday 18 October 2015

Kathleen Kennedy wants a female to direct Star Wars

Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm and Star Wars: The Force Awakens producer, talked to Fortune Magazine about her ambition for a female director to helm a Star Wars movie at Disney.

"It is going to happen.

"We will hire a woman who is going to direct a Star Wars movie."

Up to now the Star Wars film franchise has been directed by males. However, I've long hoped the likes of Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) and Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) maybe enticed to direct. There's a shift at Lucasfilm.

Kennedy explains: "Fifty percent of the executive team [at Lucasfilm] are women. "Six out of eight of the people in my story group are women... I think it's making a huge difference to the stories we're writing. 

"I'm sure there are a lot of people who would be surprised that we're making Star Wars movies and the majority of the people involved in the development of those stories are women."

She's acutely aware that the majority of creatives interested in working on Star Wars are male and goes on to contextualise the commitment to a female director.

"If we do want to bring a woman in to direct a Star Wars movie, we want to make sure that it's somebody who is passionate and really wants to do a Star Wars movie. We don't want to talk somebody into it."

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday 14 October 2015

Supergirl soars onto Sky 1

Supergirl is to join DC Comics stablemates Arrow and The Flash on Sky 1 this October.

Melissa Benoist is following fellow Glee alum Grant Gustin, who plays Barry Allen in The Flash, into heroic adventures on the small screen as the titular Supergirl.

Adam MacDonald, director of Sky 1, is excited for the new series: “I am delighted to announce Supergirl is coming to Sky 1. We’ve already seen in the success of The Flash and Arrow that comic-book characters are a big hit with our customers, and with this fresh, fast-paced new series, we’re giving them another sure-fire superhero smash.”

Supergirl starts on Thursday 29th October at 8:00PM on Sky 1.

You can subscribe to Sky 1, Sky Atlantic and more on NOW TV. No contract.

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Sir Clive Sinclair channels Willy Wonka with ZX Vega

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum was my first computer and I wanted to share this with readers.

Retro Computers Ltd, the company behind the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega games console, have today announced that they are giving away 12 Golden Vegas to customers for Christmas!

The retro games console, which comes complete with 1000 licensed games built in, has been produced as a special limited edition of just 12 replica Vegas to be available to the public as part of this campaign.

In each of the 12 weeks of “Clivemas”, leading up to the end of 2015, a “Golden Ticket” will be randomly given to one of the customers who have bought a Vega. Eleven of these tickets will be placed, one per week, in sealed Vega console boxes at randomly chosen online retailers carrying the product. A 12th Golden Ticket will be sent to one of the backers, also selected at random, of the Vega’s Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign. Everyone who has purchased a ZX Vega via the original campaign or by buying a retail Vega during the 11 week "Clivemas" period, will be in with a chance to win a Golden Vega.

The lucky winners will be invited to see the Vegas being made at the UK factory of SMS Electronics Ltd, where they will be presented with their ultra-rare, limited edition Golden Vega.

The Golden Vegas will never be on sale and are limited to this promotional give away only.

Saturday 10 October 2015

Star Wars Battlefront Beta gameplay on PS4

On Thursday EA launched the company's multi-platform Star Wars Battlefront Beta and I broadcasted over eighteen minutes of live gameplay from PS4.

For fifteen minutes or so there's a palpable sense of being immersed in one of cinema's most iconic battles. The battle of Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back. However, the jury's still out regarding longevity in the absence of a story campaign.

Did you play the beta? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday 6 October 2015

LEGO Doctor Who set materialises this Christmas

Earlier this month LEGO teased the company's upcoming Doctor Who Ideas set created by fan-designer Andrew Clark. Now, the highly-anticipated set, featuring Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor, Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor and Jenna Coleman's companion Clara Oswald, has been officially revealed.


Construct a stunningly detailed LEGO® version of the iconic TARDIS® and role-play the Doctor’s time-travel adventures! Created by fan-designer Andrew Clark and selected by LEGO Ideas members, this set is based on the BBC’s popular and long-running television series about a Time Lord – the Doctor – exploring the universe in a blue police box. Due to trans-dimensional engineering, the TARDIS is bigger on the inside than the outside and this cool multifunctional set includes the console room that houses all the flight controls. Regenerate the Doctor and defeat the evil Daleks™ and a Weeping Angel with the help of his extraordinary companion Clara. Then close the doors of the TARDIS and launch into another dimension! Includes 4 minifigures with assorted accessory elements: the Eleventh Doctor, the Twelfth Doctor, Clara Oswald and a Weeping Angel, plus 2 Daleks™.

The set goes on sale from 1st December in time for the holiday season.

Monday 5 October 2015

Hasbro's Transformers ten year box office plan

Hasbro has been watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and DC Universe (DCU) with envious eyes. The toy company has announced a ten year plan for four more Transformers movies, which will form the bedrock of a transmedia universe. This will most likely include spin-off movies focussing on popular characters such as Bumblebee.

"You’re going to see a new Transformers movie coming from Hasbro and Paramount and Michael Bay and our other partners," said Hasbro Studios president Stephen Davis, adding, "We decided that we wanted to plot out the next 10 years of the Transformers franchise, so we got together in a room over a three-month period of time." Davis refers to the likes of Akiva Goldsman, who won an Academy Award for her A Beautiful Mind screenplay.

The franchise is no darling of the critics, but the box office suggests there's a rabid fanbase for Rock'em Sock'em Robots in IMAX 3D.

Brace yourself for more, much more, than meets the eye!

Friday 2 October 2015

Star Wars Reads Day is on October 10th

The fourth annual Star Wars Reads Day, to encourage fans around the world to read from their favourite Star Wars comics, novels and activity books while promoting literacy, takes place 10th October. This year benefits from the fervour surrounding The Force Awakens.

“We are thrilled to be working so closely with Lucasfilm and our publishing partners in planning this year’s Star Wars Reads Day,” Jeanne Mosure, senior vice president and group publisher for Disney Publishing Worldwide, told USA Today. “The growth of this initiative globally is a true testament to the force of the Star Wars franchise and the importance of reading.”

Publishers including DK Books, Del Rey and Marvel, back producing Star Wars comics, are supporting the campaign.

There will be events across the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Africa, Spain, and the UK.

Details on individual events can be found on the Star Wars Reads facebook page.

Are you organising a Star Wars Reads event? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday 1 October 2015

It's a trap! Admiral Ackbar in The Force Awakens

The force is strong with this reunion set some thirty years after Return of the Jedi.

Actor Tim Rose confirms Admiral Ackbar, teased in the Comic-Con 2015 Reel, is returning in The Force Awakens and he is reprising the memorable role.

Rose talked to The Australian about his frustration at the need for secrecy surrounding the next chapter in the popular space opera now owned by Disney.

"I'm very frustrated by that," Rose told AAP in Sydney. "Out of the need to be secret, we're not actually able to get everything we need to do our jobs as well as we could," he said.

"And as someone who has been doing it for 35 years, I find it very frustrating."

Rose goes on tease The Force Awakens: "What I can say about the new movie is that if you were a fan of the original three, you're going to absolutely love this one to bits. You can expect a smorgasbord of people you love."

Who else do you think will return from the original Star Wars trilogy? Let me know in the comments below.