Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Movies I'm looking forward to see this summer.

Summer is coming, so it's time for the movie blockbusters. 2008 should be a good year, if I trust the previews I have seen so far. Hopefully, I will not be disappointed... Among the ones I'm looking most forward to are:

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Iron Man
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
The X-Files: I Want to Believe
The Dark Knight
Speed Racer
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Get Smart
Step Brothers
Kung Fu Panda
The Incredible Hulk
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
The Love Guru
Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D
You Don't Mess with the Zohan
What Happens in Vegas...
Tropic Thunder
Bangkok Dangerous

Wow, I'm going to eat a lot of pop-corn this summer! And I'm sure there are other movies I have not listed above that I'm going to see as well. Some I'm already thinking about, others, I may have missed altogether.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Movie review: The Forbidden Kingdom

A movie starring both Jackie Chan and Jet Li? You bet I'm there! The Forbidden Kingdom is the tale of a young man, Jason (played by Michael Angarano), who is a big fan of Kung Fu movies. He gets most of his authentic movies from an old Chinese man, who also have an old fighting staff in his back room, which turns out to be an important part of ancient Chinese history.

At some point, Jason find himself thrown back in ancient China, with the staff, where he will live a magical journey, filled with magic (of course!), mystery and of course, Kung Fu, which he will learn from two masters, who have very different lifestyles. He turns out to be part of a prophecy, as the one who must return the staff to his rightful owner.

The movie looks great, is well acted and has great fighting choreography. I really liked it. It is not in Chinese with sub-titles, but is filmed in English, for those who worry about such things. There are a few sub-titles here and there when some characters speaks in Chinese, but that's it. I don't know if it's in the work or even being considered, but I can see a sequel being made, although there's not really any absolute signs pointing to it. But the door is definitely open, shall we say.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Movie review: Dans Une Galaxie Près De Chez Vous 2

This does not happens often; A French-Canadian Sci-Fi Comedy on the big screen. Fortunately, this is a good one. I'm not sure if it will ever be available in another language than French-Canadian (or more precisely, Québécois, as it is a more local slang used in the Québec province...), so it probably won't be too popular outside it's target region. But inside the Québec province, it is pretty popular!

It's the story of a group of people in search of a new planet to move all humans to, as Earth is made more and more inhabitable in the 2030's because of how badly we take care of our planet. So there is a bit of a message in there, but this is mainly about the comedy. It's relatively low-budget as Sci-Fi movies goes, but $3.5M is not bad considering the restrictive market it will play in. Dans Une Galaxie Près De Chez Vous 2 should be a hit and the buzz is very good. I saw it on Day 1 and I'm sure many others will go see it soon as well.

This sequel will please the existing fans and will hopefully grab new ones as well. I hope they make more of them, as this can be a long-lived franchise, if they do it right. Good cast, good laughs, good times!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Federal government blocks sale of MDA space division

Another space news item, but much closer to home this time. MDA is one of Canada's big player in the space industry, best known for it's robotic achievements (think Canadarm & Dextre). While it is thought that there is still a one in three chance that the sale will go through, I'm happy to see that our government is trying to keep it from being bought by a US company. I have nothing against the American space program and companies, far from it, but this would mean a diminution in Canada's part in Space exploration and research and possibly a reduction in our contribution in general as a partner with other countries' important space programs.

The general public usually see the big expenses generated by space programs as wasteful and that the money should go to other projects, such as Education, Health and other public programs. While these are very important, space exploration did contribute to these programs and to many of today's everyday technology, objects and services. Also, in the longer terms, human space travel will be very important to our specie's survival. Right now, all humans are on Earth (or in very close orbit around it). If some big disaster were to happen, we could go the way of the dinosaurs and simply cease to exist... Of course, there would be no one left to claim "See? What did we tell you?" and no one to be proven wrong.

Slashdot | Russia To Build an Orbital Construction Plant

So, the Russians are planning to build a space dock in the foreseeable future? Cool. Will the next version of the Enterprise going to be build there? Who knows? If so, I guess it won't be the USS Enterprise...

Let's follow up in about 12 years, shall we?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Movie review: Run Fatboy Run

Run Fatboy Run is very funny, but not quite as much as I was hoping for. It does have a serious side to it, dealing with commitment, family and responsibilities, which actually was nice. Still, many "lol" moments.

It is directed by David Schwimmer (from Friends fame) and stars Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Scotty in the upcoming Star Trek movie), Thandie Newton (Mission:Impossible II, The Chronicles of Riddick), Hank Azaria (The Simpsons, Mad About You), Dylan Moran (Shaun of the Dead) and Harish Patel (a whole bunch of Indian movies...).

The title refers to the way Dennis (Pegg) keeps running from his responsibilities but he ends up wanting more in life and running a marathon to prove it, despite the fact that he is not in shape for such a demanding physical activity. Newton plays Libby, his ex-lover, who he left at the alter while she was pregnant with his child. Azaria plays Whit, Libby's new love interest. Dylan plays Gordon, Dennis' best buddy. And Patel is Dennis' landlord and eventually will help Dennis prepare for the marathon, along with Gordon.

Don't go see this movie expecting a Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, although there is absurdity to be seen, but as I wrote above, there's more to it. Good cast, good story and good laughs. I really enjoyed it. It's rated PG and I would not recommend it for younger kids...