Tag Archives: summer movies

PTJ 232: Love and Rocket

Love is all around as the unofficial 2017 Geek Summer Movie Season gets ready to roll next week with the arrival of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in theaters ‚ with Wonder Woman, King Arthur, and another Spider-Man right behind.  After a stomp through the week’s tech headlines (including the hunt to shoot down fake news and drones you can fly with your head) El Kaiser and J.D. discuss some of the most anticipated films on the way over the next few months.
Ooga-chaka-ooga-ooga!

Links to Stories in This Week’s News Segment

PTJ 192: Geeky Summer Movies

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of Summer here in the U.S. but the unofficial Summer Movie season kicks off around Valentine’s Day nowadays. The blockbusters have been unspooling at local multiplexes for months now but June, July and August are when the blockiest of blockbusters are unleashed upon us.

This week on the podcast J.D. and El Kaiser geek out over some highly anticipated films and of course they run down all the latest tech news with their unique brand of silliness and attitude.

Slather on the suntan lotion, pop in those earbuds and have a little Summer fun with PTJ this holiday weekend.

Summertime and the Movies are Geeky

It’s not global warming, but the traditional action-movie season felt like it began to heat up way early this year with those DC Comics stalwarts in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice blasting into theaters on March 25. Of course, the arguments about that film’s merits (or lack thereof) were still going on when the next big comic-book flick opened earlier this month: Captain America: Civil War.

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Marvel’s Avengers reunited on May 6th  and while Civil War got better reviews (and more love from the fandom), it had less than a month to bask at the top of the box office before The Angry Birds Movie took the top spot this past weekend.

So, here we are on the edge of Memorial Day Weekend 2016, the traditional start of the summer science-fiction, superhero, bang-bang-blow-’em-up season of cinema. If you want to create your nerd-flick reminders now, here are some of the films headed to theaters over the next few months.

This weekend: Marvel strikes again.

• X-Men: Apocalypse. This ninth chapter in the overall X-Men film series is already open overseas, and has already gotten mixed reviews. The plot concerns with the ancient mutant Apocalypse waking up and deciding to take over the world. Familiar mutants played by Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and the usual crew join the fray.

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• Alice Through the Looking Glass. This surreal adaptation of the Lewis Carroll classic also opens May 27th and stars Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Mia Wasikowska, Anne Hathaway, Sascha Baron Cohen and the voice of the late Alan Rickman.

Moving into June:

• Warcraft. Angry Birds can’t have the video-game-as-a-movie market to itself this summer. The film version of the World of Warcraft MMORPG arrives June 10th.

• Finding Dory. It wouldn’t be summer without a Pixar offering. This animated sequel to the 2003 hit Finding Nemo opens June 17th.

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• Independence Day: Resurgence. Will Smith gave this one a miss perhaps to go do Suicide Squad, but Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman and Judd Hirsch are back in a sequel to the original 1996 Independence Day film about aliens invading the Earth. In this sequel, the aliens try again. The film has a separate promotional site at Warof1996.com to get you up to speed if you forgot what happened 20 years ago — or, you know, you weren’t born yet.

After the July 4th weekend, we have:

• Ghostbusters. The 1984 hit gets a 21st century reboot courtesy ofKristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy and Leslie Jones all donning the familiar brown jumpsuits. Dan Ackroyd, one of the original crew, was an executive producer this time around. The film opens on July 15th.

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• Star Trek Beyond. This third film in the modern-era film series stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana and the gang — and also brings along British actor Idris Elba as the villain. Simon Pegg pulls double-duty playing the part of Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott and co-writing the script. The movie arrives July 22nd and adds to the ongoing celebration of the 50th anniversary if the original series debuting on television in September 1966.

• Suicide Squad. Batman v. Superman was not the only movie in the DC Comics inventory this year and Guardians of the Galaxy proved you could have a lot of fun with minor characters on your comics universe, especially in a late-summer release when expectations are kind of low anyway. The film follows a team of imprisoned supervillains — Harley Quinn, Deadshot, the Joker, Katana, and others — on mission for a clandestine government agency. Jared Leto plays the Joker, Will Smith is Deadshot and Margot Robbie takes on the part of cosplay idol Harley Quinn. That movie rolls in August 5th.

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Plenty of other flicks are landing this summer as well, so if you want to get your calendar locked and loaded, check out the iTunes Movie Trailers site or similar one-stop shop for upcoming film previews. And, as we noted last year, it all helps pass the time until this year’s installment in the Star Wars franchise arrives in December.

The 2015 Summer Popcorn Harvest

May is upon us and the summer movies are starting to fly fast and furious. In fact, Fast & Furious 7 has already flown by, having dominated the box office for much of April. But as geeks everywhere know, Avengers: Age of Ultron opened last Friday here in the States and quickly became the second-largest film opening of all time, scoring $191.3 million dollars at the box office. But now that Avengers: Age of Ultron is open, what else is coming up for the film-loving nerd?

How about:

Mad Max: Fury Road (May 15) Thirty years after the last installment, this fourth film in the franchise brings more gritty action in the post-apocalyptic world with Tom Hardy taking the Mel Gibson role of Mad Max Rockatansky and Charlize Theron playing Imperator Furiosa.

Tomorrowland (May 22) George Clooney and young Britt Robertson travel to a place called Tomorrowland, a mysterious place in space and time that’s probably right near Disneyworld.

Jurassic World (June 12) Another fourth-installment arrives, this time in the dinosaur-park saga. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are in with the dinos.

Inside Out (June 19) This Pixar film is set in the mind of a young girl named Riley Anderson and features the voices of Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis Black and Mindy Kaling as five different emotions helping her through a move from the Midwest to San Francisco.

Terminator: Genesys (July 1) Not counting TV’s The Sarah Conner Chronicles, this is fifth theatrical film in the franchise that started back in 1984. In this edition, Arnold Swarzenengger reprises his original role as the eponymous deathbot while new cast members play alternate timeline versions of Kyle Reese, Sarah Conner, John Conner and Miles Dyson.

Minions (July 10) Those little yellow things from the Despicable Me films have their own picture this summer. Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm and Allison Janney also do voicework.

Mr. Holmes (July 17) Sir Ian McKellen plays an aging and retired Sherlock Holmes recounts his final case. Laura Linney co-stars as his housekeeper.

Ant-Man (July 17) Another Marvel entry, this time with Paul Rudd as the snarky crook given super-strength and shrinking powers.

Pan (July 17) This origin tale of Peter Pan and Captain Hook got some press earlier for the casting of Hugh Jackman as the pirate Blackbeard and not-remotely-Native-American Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily. (Some people have pointed out that the depiction of Native Americans in the original Peter Pan was pretty darn disrespectful to the First Nations to begin with, sort of like that Adam Sandler movie that’s currently shooting and offending everyone around with its sophomoric script and overt racism.)

Pixels (July 24) So, about Adam Sandler… His new summer film is about aliens misinterpreting 1980s arcade games as declarations of war and attack the Earth likewise with holographic pixels in the shape of Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and other retro classics.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (July 31) Tom Cruise is back doing manly action in this fifth chapter in the franchise, which started its modern incarnation in 1996.

A LEGO Brickumentary (July 31) This documentary, about the wonderful world of Lego bricks, is narrated by Jason Bateman and arrives in simultaneously in theaters and on iTunes.

Fantastic 4 (August 7) Yet another Marvel movie! The studio is really running the summer table with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby creations, and this one is a reboot of the squabbling superhero quartet that had their first modern-era outing in 2005.

The Man From UNCLE (August 14) Henry Cavill, the actor currently playing Superman for Warner Brothers in 2013’s Man of Steel and next year’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, takes a break from the cape. He stars as government agent Napoleon Solo in this big-screen version of the popular 1960s TV spy show.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend (August 28) Last but not least, the sequel to the 15-year-old Chinese martial arts love story lands in IMAX theatres and streams the same day on Netflix, just in time for the end of the summer.

Episode 52: Look, Up In The Sky!

J.D. has a Helpfully Helpful Hint about how to avoid comment trolls and Pedro gives us his thoughts on the two big superhero films of the summer, “Man of Steel” and “Iron Man 3”. In the news, Facebook adds hashtags; Samsung plans to give away Jay-Z’s new album to Galaxy smartphone owners; Microsoft drops the price of the Surface RT tablet; and Yahoo continues its spending spree.

Episode 52 News: Super!

Facebook, which announced that it was adding hashtags to its service last week, is having a big announcement this week and word on the digital street has it that the company plans to unveil video as an added feature to Instagram. In other video news, Amazon announced this week that those recently purchased Nick Jr. shows like Dora the Explorer and Blue’s Clues are among the new material that has been added to its Kindle FreeTime Unlimited service. (The company also has the more limited Kindle FreeTime app, which is free.)

Samsung’s buying up a million copies of Jay-Z’s upcoming album Magna Carta Holy Grail to give out to Galaxy smartphone owners 72 hours before the album officially drops on July 4. The company also has a faster version of its Galaxy S4 phone on the way next month, one that promises double the speed of the current 4G LTE network. While the U.S. mobile networks may not be quite up to super-quick LTE, New Yorkers can at least juice up their batteries as AT&T has added 25 solar-powered recharging stations around the five boroughs.

Microsoft has a special deal for educational institutions buying hardware: a 32-gigabyte Surface RT tablet for $199. Its Outlook.com team up in Redmond also announced this week that it was ditching linked accounts in the name of security and switching over to aliases and the company released its Office Mobile for Office 365 Subscribers With iPhones app this week. The biggest Microsoft news o’ the week, however, is that nicely executed 180 on its Xbox One policies (you know, those “required Internet connection” and “restrictions on used games” policies) thanks to customer “feedback.” Your move, Sony.

As for Apple, the company’s e-book pricing trail continues in New York City with summations expected Thursday of this week, but an immediate ruling is not expected. Apple issued a statement on customer privacy in regards to the ongoing revelations about the National Security Agency and noted that its FaceTime and iMessage conversations were encrypted and said it couldn’t even crack those. The company found the time to work up a beta update for Apple TV testers that adds in iTunes Radio and a conference-room display feature.

Yahoo also joined the growing list of tech companies that have issued privacy statements to their customers. The post, from CEO Marissa Mayer and General Counsel Ron Bell, said Yahoo had between 12,000 and 13,000 requests from law enforcement agencies in from December 2012 to May 2013. And the shopping continues — according to the All Things D Web site, which reports that the company made an offer of $30 to 40 million dollars for Xobni  and possibly $50 million for the Qwiki video app.

In other tech news this week, Adobe Systems has officially released its Creative Cloud suite to the public and the reviews are starting to come. Wal-Mart and Staples plan to start selling Google’s Chromebook laptop. BlackBerry has issued a security warning about a critical bug in the BlackBerry Protect app for its Z10 smartphone. Ford is responding to consumer complaints that its MyFord Touch electronic touchscreen dashboard systems are too confusing by putting back the knobs, and the Oxford English Dictionary has added some new terms in its latest update.

superAnd finally, Man of Steel broke the box office record for the biggest opening numbers in June with $113.1 million dollars last weekend. This haul puts Supes second in line behind Iron Man 3’s $174.1 million dollar opening weekend last month.

The comic-book movies of summer are doing quite well and we’re not even to the mid-way point of the season yet. Next month, The Wolverine, RIPD, and RED 2 all arrive, as does the enormous  San Diego Comic-Con International, with all of its industry news and film previews. So there are plenty of things to look forward to besides the new books hitting the shelves of your local comics shop each Wednesday.
Ah, summer.

Episode 48: YUMBLR! Famous

New to Doctor Who and don’t know what a K9 is? Feeling left out of the conversation when you and your Trekker friends get together? Well, don’t despair! J.D. will have you geeking out with the best of them. Also on the show, El Kaiser gives us his thoughts on Samsung’s newest flagship phone, the Galaxy S4 and digs into movie box office numbers. In the news Yahoo buys Tumblr and starts handing out storage by the terabyte over at Flicker; Microsoft unveils their new gaming console and hopes it will be The One that rules them all; and more proof that Science rocks and it rocks the hardest!

Episode 45: Summer Movie Spectacular

Okay, maybe it isn’t exactly a “Spectacular” but J.D. does update the summer’s geek movie calender while El Kaiser hashes out the differences between an Image Macro and a Meme. In the news rumors abound that Apple is getting set to unveil new versions of their OSes; Windows Phone gains traction; Google debuts their virtual personal assistant software; and McDonald’s gets set to offer breakfast all day.

Let’s All Go to the Movies

summermoviesWhen it comes to the film-release calendar these days, summer doesn’t unofficially start with Memorial Day weekend. It starts the first weekend of May, when the big brawny action pictures begin to land in movie theaters around the world. School’s out — and all those superhero sagas, space operas, fantasy worlds, animated adventures and other fantastic flicks are in.

So, what’s coming to your local cinema this summer? While not a complete list of U.S. summer-release dates, the list below (linked to each film’s official Web site) highlights the movies that may be of particular interest to the nerd herd.

If you want to process the data visually, the Republic of Geek site has an artfully designed calendar and for one-stop viewing, the Geek Generation site has the trailers all in one place. IMDb’s Trailer Gallery and iTunes Movie Trailers are other sites to trailer-graze. For coming attractions on the go, check out the Flixster app for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Blackberry and phones with WAP browsers, Apple’s Movie Trailers app for iOS or any of the trailer apps in the Google Play Store designed for Android devices.

And not to forget one of the high points in summer-movie history: More than 30 years ago, the Star Wars franchise did its part in making the season an incredibly exciting time to pile into the car go see movies with your like-minded pals. So whether it be mall, multiplex, art house, IMAX, drive-in or wherever you grab your movies, have a great time — and may the Fourth be with you.