Before Disney felt it needed to add A Star Wars Story to the title — you know, for all the uninitiated viewers who needed a green light to go buy a ticket — it was just Rogue One, the first of what could be an avalanche of anthology movies set to release as Disney begins its plans to release at least one SW movie per year from here on out.
Apart from the three new episodes, these standalone movies — the next one is a young Han Solo movie for 2018 starring Alden Ehrenreich as Han and Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian — can be viewed either as boons or boondoggles. They are at once many things and nothing — a wasteful cashgrab to extreme purists, an insult to committed followers of the expanded universe, and/or a welcome addition to the family by pretty much everybody else with an open mind.
For the casual fan wondering what the fuss is, Rogue One isn’t a major episode, and Luke Skywalker is nowhere to be found. It does have Darth Vader, and several other cameos, but the focus is on a set of characters who have never been mentioned by name before, and — for all intents and purposes — may never be mentioned in any new movie ever. (Notice I put down “new.”)
So if you have no desire to watch this, but you’re still excited about the Force Awakens and the next two episodes, you won’t miss out on anything critical — though it will ease some of your doubts about the convenient way the plot sort of connects itself. And if you’re partial to the prequels — meesa thinking some of you are — it won’t really change how you feel about those movies.
It will, however, have a profound effect on fans of the original Star Wars movie, the one simply titled Star Wars at its release — it didn’t get the Episode IV or A New Hope subtitle until 1978 or 1981, depending on which source you trust.
When I first saw the trailer for Arrival, my mind went immediately to Robert Zemeckis’ Contact, the 1997 movie starring Jodie Foster about a scientist who receives and deciphers alien communication.
In Contact, Foster’s character Dr. Eleanor “Ellie” Ann Arroway fights setback after setback in order to achieve her goal of finally making contact with an unknown alien communicator. When the alien appears as her father, Ellie’s expectation of seeing something radical, different, or monstrous — and by reason a look at the bigger picture of the universe — is washed away by a mirror that points her back to the human race for answers.
In Arrival, Amy Adams stars as renowned linguist Dr. Louise Banks, who becomes a critical asset for the United States government after an alien ship touches down somewhere in Montana. Eleven other ships have landed in various parts of the world creating fear and tension for their hosts, and no one knows whether the aliens have come in peace or to wage war.
House meets Inception meets Iron Man in a special effects bonanza that sorts out Stephen Strange’s mystical origin story for the silver screen as he goes from world-renowned surgeon to universally known sorcerer.
As one of the Avengers most powerful members, Dr. Strange exists in the comics as Earth’s protector against threats that transcend the physical. Wielding the Eye of Agamotto, Strange basically has a limitless array of powers at his disposal to go along with his masterful intellect.
In his cinematic debut, Strange is more or less the same character — changes were made to make him fit in line with the impending Infinity War. We’re introduced to the character at the height of his arrogance as he pokes fun at public health care, sorts through a drawer full of high-end watches to fit his tux for a speaking engagement, and handpicks his next surgery case.
A strange x-ray keeps his attention too long while he speeds along a coastal cliff in his Lamborghini. He sideswipes another vehicle which sends him spinning through the air and down the face of the cliff until the car face plants into a watery ditch. Strange wakes up in a public hospital with his hands stitched up and filled with pins. He doesn’t need a second opinion to tell him he will never perform another surgery again.
Every year, a new Call of Duty game for the masses. The multi-billion dollar franchise has sold millions upon millions of copies all over the world, has a competitive and dedicated fanbase, and continues to up the ante with each new sequel.
Every week on Geekology, I take a closer look at what’s happening in the geek world. The opinions expressed in Geekology articles are mine and mine alone. Blame me, everyone. Blame me.
The Call of Duty Endowment
It’s like clockwork.
A new year, a new Call of Duty.
With Infinite Warfare, the franchise heads above and beyond to space, and special editions come bundled with a remastered version of its most lauded game — the venerated Modern Warfare.
Gotham and Gotham Girl have Batman’s respect, but do they have the chops to take over when he’s gone?
Batman #2 drums up an incoming threat that will likely test everyone’s resolve, but we don’t really know exactly what’s coming and to the detriment of the story.
Right now, all we know is that something or someones called the Monster Men are coming, and it’s driving some people crazy. Batman’s handled huge threats before, but it seems like writer Tom King is plotting something huge, though something can be said for speed of the issue’s pacing.
After someone lets Solomon Grundy loose in Gotham City, Batman comes to the rescue. The new Gotham duo, while incredibly powerful, have a lot of learning to do, and both get a taste of that trademark Bat-disapproval — enough to make them both glad they didn’t have to pay their dues as Robins in order to live in Batman’s shadow.
When Bruce goes over tape of the battle, he and Alfred Pennyworth discuss the Dark Knight’s mortality, and it’s apparent that Wayne is coming to grips with being a veteran in the superhero world. He decides to bring the Gotham duo under his wing, so to speak, because necessity demands it.