Tag Archives: Terminator

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 45 News: “Now” and Then

We’ve moved into the month of May, so fans of summer movies and Macs are buzzing. Six weeks ahead of Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference, the 9to5Mac site claims it has exclusive information about the next release of OS X. The upcoming iOS 7 software is said to be sporting a new look as well — possibly moving to the “flat” design currently favored by Google and Microsoft, where plain backgrounds are accented with bold color buttons devoid of 3D effects like rendered shadows and gradations.

While LG Electronics is moving from flat to curvy with what it calls the world’s first curved OLED screen, the whole “flat” seems to be working for Microsoft, on the mobile front, anyway. According to the firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, the Windows Phone OS grew from 3.7 percent of the US market share at the end of March 2012 up to 5.6 percent the first quarter of 2013. (Maybe those sassy TV ads for Windows Phone are also helping.) But Microsoft is doing more with voice-work than just pumping out handsets — the company now has the make-Skype-calls-directly-from-your-Outlook.com-inbox feature up and running, in the United Kingdom anyway, with more countries on the way.

Google Now, the Big G’s voice-assisted life helper program for mobile devices, arrived this week for iOS as part of an update to the Google Search app. Battery-burn accusations aside, Business Insider and other sites report that Google Now actually seems to be more useful than Apple’s own Siri assistant, while also noting the irony that Google Now doesn’t actually work on a lot of phones running older versions of Google’s own Android system.

graceA new study from North Carolina State University has found that older programmers know more than their younger counterparts about recent software platforms and that the skills and knowledge of the veteran coders improves over time. The full paper is titled “Is Programming Knowledge Related to Age?” (Code wranglers and others who work odd hours might want to know that McDonald’s may be expanding availability of its delicious breakfast meals.)

In security news, the Syrian Electronic Army, which claimed it was behind last week’s hack attack on the Twitter feed of the Associated Press, is also targeting other organizations like the Guardian, National Public Radio and Al Jazeera. The Twitter account of Sepp Blatter, the president of FIFA and notable controversial newsmaker himself, was also compromised.

Like the airline industry, the travel search-and-bookings business is getting a little smaller thanks to mergers and acquisitions. As announced last fall, Priceline.com bought the sprightly little Kayak service and last month, Expedia.com bought Trivago, a German hotel search site. As detailed in a story in the New York Times this week, some travel industry analysts don’t think the companies will tamper with the search-engine formula, but the British Office of Fair Trading is taking a closer look.

The Internet — and the Web in particular — have made travel, shopping, cat videos and plenty of other things in life much easier, and it’s time to wish it a happy birthday this week. On April 30, 1993, CERN made the announcement that the World Wide Web would be expanding from its scientific and research origins and become free to anyone out there in the public domain. The CERN site has a short history of the Web, along with a link to a 1993 copy of the first Web site.

And finally, while some people may not have predicted just how popular the World Wide Web would be 20 years later, others are actively campaigning for a pre-emptive international ban on…killer robots. Yes, there is  an official movement known as the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots and the group seeks to halt the production of weapons that can attack targets without human intervention. For those who want to know more, a 50-page report released last fall from Human Rights Watch outlines many of the ethical concerns over fully autonomous weapons and the danger to civilians. Here’s hoping the future turns out to be more like The Jetsons and less like The Terminator