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X-Men: Dark Phoenix

by CWS

June 15, 2017

Since the disappointing box office performance of Apocalypse, which was also the final X-movie in the contracts of stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence, it's been heavily rumored that Sony would "reboot" the X-Men movie franchise with a new cast. The studio has also talked about wanting to take another stab at adapting Chris Claremont's iconic Dark Phoenix Saga storyline from the comics, which was...depicted less than successfully (to put it mildly) in the infamously terrible X-Men III: The Last Stand.

Well, plans for the movie have now been formalized and, surprisingly, pretty much the entire cast from Apocalypse will be returning!
Deadline.com wrote:

Fox Formalizes Simon Kinberg To Helm ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’; Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy Back, Jessica Chastain In Talks
by Mike Fleming Jr
June 14, 2017 10:21am


EXCLUSIVE: Fox has formalized plans for Dark Phoenix, the next installment of the X-Men franchise. This all just happened, but they’ve set Simon Kinberg as director (long rumored), and the studio set a release date of November 2, 2018. Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Alexandra Shipp, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, and Kodi Smit-McPhee are all reprising when production begins in Montreal.

At the same time, Jessica Chastain is in talk to join the cast as the main villain, Shi’ar Empress Lilandra.

Kinberg is producing with Bryan Singer, Hutch Parker and Lauren Shuler Donner. This is a huge moment for Kinberg, who gets his turn behind the camera after serving as a creative backbone for the X-Men franchise films since writing 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand; he wrote and produced X-Men: Days Of Future Past, and X-Men: Apocalypse. He is making his directorial debut, but knows the mythology like the back of his hand. Kinberg has been a producer on the spinoff Deadpool and its currently shooting sequel, as well as X-Men: The New Mutants and X-Men: First Class.
The only thing about this that sounds a bit odd at this stage is the description of Lilandra as the film's "main villain". In the comics, she was not a villain at all; in fact, she and Charles Xavier were married at one point!

Wonder Woman

by CWS

June 11, 2017

So the new Wonder Woman movie is currently dominating the box office and drawing rave reviews.

I have yet to see it, but it's making a lot of waves so we really ought to have a thread for it.

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The trailers certainly have been impressive. If any of you have seen it, I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

After the consecutive critical disappointments of both Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, can Diana single-handedly rescue the DCEU?

Black Panther

by CWS

June 10, 2017

First trailer.

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Thoughts?

EDIT: Guess there's no reason not to share my own thoughts, is there...?

Okay then, I can say two things. One, I never read the comics and know virtually nothing about the character, apart from his introduction in Civil War. And two, the same was true of ALL the other Marvel movies; I knew almost nothing about the characters beforehand and have thoroughly enjoyed every single one of them.

How ISIS (And Other Jihadists) Celebrate Ramadan

by CWS

June 5, 2017

Only a week after a wannabe-ISIS terrorist blew up schoolgirls in Manchester, another group of jihadists went on a bloodthirsty rampage in London. ISIS later claimed credit for that one, too.

Today, only a few days later, another ISIS wannabe got his murder on in Australia. As in most other cases, it turns out this was not his first step on the path of jihad, either. In Spain and the Philippines, meanwhile, similarly motivated (but thankfully less bloody) antics have been playing out.

All of this, I would point out, has jumped off during the Islamic "holy month" of Ramadan, which many of these assholes apparently like to celebrate by trying to murder as many people as possible.

British and Irish Lions Tour 2017

by snowman1989

June 3, 2017

I've been pretty depressed for a while, so how about something completely different? One of rugby's great mega events has just started in NZ: The British and Irish Lions Tour! :rbg: They only visit us once every 12 years and alternate between Australia, NZ and South Africa, and they consist of the best rugby players the English, Scots, Welsh and Irish can muster. They come over to the host nation to play against our Super Rugby teams once each, and then play three test matches against the national team. In this case, the almighty All Blacks! :rbg:

The Manchester bombing

by CWS

May 24, 2017

By now, most of you are probably aware of the bombing that took place Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, for which ISIS has predictably claimed credit and responsibility.

A 22-year-old college dropout named Salman Abedi detonated multiple nail bombs at the concert, which was attended primarily by teenage girls and children, killing himself and 22 others (so far) and injuring nearly 60 more.

There isn't too much more I can really say that hasn't already been said, except to wonder when in the hell the civilized world is going to get serious about dealing with these sub-human throwbacks, and how many more innocent people are going to have to die in agony before that happens.

RIP Chris Cornell

by CWS

May 18, 2017

Chris Cornell, legendary singer and front man of Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog and Audioslave, has died at the age of 52.

While I can't claim to have ever been a huge fan personally, he did make some great music and had tremendous and undeniable talent, not to mention a vocal range very few could match. To illustrate, here's one of my favorite Soundgarden songs.

Room a Thousand Years Wide
by Soundgarden

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The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

by CWS

May 18, 2017

While Power of the Dark Crystal, the long-promised sequel film to Jim Henson's original fantasy masterpiece, still has yet to materialize, Netflix has announced the production of a 10-episode TV series titled Age of Resistance. (See the link for an additional promo video clip.)

popculture.com wrote:

Netflix Officially Announces Dark Crystal TV Series, Unveils First Teaser
by Charlie Ridgely • May 18, 2017

Get ready nostalgia fans, Netflix is at it again! The streaming giant has just announced that a TV series for The Dark Crystal is officially on the way.

In a press release Thursday morning, The Jim Henson Company announced that Netflix was producing a 10-episode series, titled The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. The show will act as a prequel series to the original 1982 film.

Age of Resistance is said to take place many years before the events of the original movie, and will feature an array of creatures created by Henson's shop. Brian Froud, the conceptual designer on the movie, co-created many of these new creatures.

The announcement also came with this synopsis for the series:

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance returns to the world of Thra with an all new adventure. When three Gelfling discover the horrifying secret behind the Skeksis' power, they set out on an epic journey to ignite the fires of rebellion and save their world.

Louis Leterrier, director of Now You See Me and The Incredible Hulk, will produce and direct the series. The Jim Henson Company will also produce the series, along Lisa Henson, Halle Stanford, Rita Peruggi, Blanca Lista, Jeffrey Addiss, Will Matthews, and Javier Grillo-Marxuach.


More information can be found on http://www.darkcrystal.com/

Macron wins French Presidency

by snowman1989

May 7, 2017

In a moment of sanity, France has rejected extreme right-wing, neo-Nazi Lite le Pen, and has essentially voted to remain in the EU. :) That is the only good news. :( Macron is a centrist (an extreme left-wing Marxist by American standards :P ) who more than likely will represent more of the same for France over the next five years: make things as easy as possible for big business, and do nothing for France's poorest or for its stressed middle class amidst recovery from the Recession. Basically, this is the scenario where Hillary won last year in the US, and he reminds me uncomfortably of John Key; both being former businessmen along with all the baggage that entails in this day and age. The French weren't especially keen on him either, as voter turnout was at its worst since 1981, but still far better than turnout at the last US election.

Never thought I'd be thanking France of all countries for not going completely apeshit like the US and Britain. :? But I would not relax yet. The fact Le Pen got this far is frightening enough, not to mention that she now represents a significant and powerful chunk of the new French government's opposition. If the French establishment have any sense, if they choose to unstick their heads from their asses and smell which way the wind is blowing, they'll start pushing through much needed reforms to help their constituents while they have the chance. I'm very sure the French people won't be so forgiving next time, otherwise. After all, the two traditional dominant parties of France, akin to the American Republican and Democrats, were completely crushed in the first round of voting, and neither Macron nor le Pen represent the left-right divide of old.

Video game franchise anniversaries

by CWS

April 25, 2017

Several very long-running, influential and well-known game franchises are celebrating their 30th anniversaries this year, including:

  • Final Fantasy
  • Mega Man
  • Metal Gear
  • Phantasy Star
  • Street Fighter

Yes indeed, 1987 was quite a year in the annals of gaming.

StarCraft: Remastered

by CWS

April 20, 2017

Blizzard announced last month that they are going to release a graphically remastered version of the original Starcraft. Also, the original game is now available for free, so if you never played this RTS milestone you now have no excuse not to! :P
Blizzard wrote:

EVOLUTION COMPLETE! BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES STARCRAFT®: REMASTERED

The groundbreaking sci-fi real-time strategy game remastered in 4K Ultra High Definition, to include all content from the original award-winning game and its renowned expansion, StarCraft: Brood War®.

​​​​​​​StarCraft: Remastered maintains the gameplay and balance that set the standard for the RTS genre, while updating graphics and audio, and adding matchmaking, ladder, social features, and more!


IRVINE, California—March 27, 2017—One of the highest rated, most celebrated games of all time has evolved. Blizzard Entertainment today unveiled StarCraft®: Remastered, a reverently crafted modernization of the original award-winning real-time strategy game. StarCraft: Remastered will offer a full graphical overhaul of the original StarCraft and the StarCraft: Brood War® expansion, while preserving the sublime gameplay that captivated millions of gamers around the world and served as the foundation for professional global esports.

StarCraft is a pure distillation of Blizzard’s DNA—its story, its balance, and all the little details reflect our long-running commitment to epic entertainment, and it’s been a staple in competitive gaming and esports for almost 20 years,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “With StarCraft: Remastered, we’re modernizing the original game’s visuals, audio, and online support to ensure that players can enjoy StarCraft for another 20 years and beyond.”

The remastered graphics and audio will bring a modern look and feel to the timeless classic, with widescreen UHD support for up to 4K resolution. Other updates will include new illustrations to enhance storytelling in the StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War campaign missions; advanced matchmaking; full connectivity to Blizzard’s gaming network for social features and updates; cloud saving for campaign progress, custom maps, replays, and keybinds; support for eight new languages in addition to the original five; and more. While these improvements will bring StarCraft to the modern era, gameplay and balance have been precisely preserved, for an experience that will feel identical to veteran players.

Blizzard is developing StarCraft: Remastered for release on Windows® and Mac® PCs, with an anticipated release date this summer. Pricing and related information on StarCraft: Remastered will be announced at a later date. Prepare to venture once again onto the planetary battlefields of the war-torn Koprulu Sector; command the forces of the zerg, protoss, and terrans in their struggle for galactic domination; relive the epic saga of Marshal Jim Raynor, Sarah Kerrigan, and Praetor Fenix; or just vie for the GG against fellow players in this rejuvenated version of the online competitive RTS that set the bar for an entire genre.

Learn more at http://www.starcraft.com.

In preparation for StarCraft: Remastered, Blizzard Entertainment will update StarCraft: Brood War later this week to version 1.18. The update will include bug fixes and improvements, including the ability to rebind keys; observer mode; modern anti-cheat measures; compatibility improvements for Windows 7, 8.1, and 10; and more. Once the update is live, StarCraft Anthology, which includes the original game and the Brood War expansion, will be free to download and play.

New subforums!

by CWS

April 18, 2017

I added new subforums for DC, Marvel, and Star Wars, since we have numerous topics relating to each.

Thor: Ragnarok

by CWS

April 11, 2017

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A few notes:
  • That's Cate Blanchett as Hela, the Goddess of Death (and possibly Thanos's girlfriend).
  • Jane Foster is nowhere to be seen, but that's not surprising in light of the widely known fact that Natalie Portman wants nothing more to do with the Marvel film franchise.
  • We also see Jeff Goldblum as the Collector's brother Grandmaster, because who else would he be.

Assad unleashes sarin gas; U.S. bombs launch site

by CWS

April 11, 2017

This is kind of a big deal (gee, you think?), so I suppose we ought to discuss it.

Last week, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrific attack using chemical weapons, including what was later confirmed to have been the banned nerve agent sarin, against civilians in the opposition-held Idlib Province in the north of Syria.

After viewing footage and images of the attack and its aftermath, President Trump ordered U.S. warships in the region to fire 59 Tomahawk missiles on Shayrat airbase, from which the chemical attack was believed to have been launched.

Much of the international community has spoken out in support of the U.S. response, with the notable (but unsurprising) exceptions of Russia and Iran. Many of Trump's domestic "alt-right" supporters are also unhappy.

While the Trump administration itself has subsequently been sending mixed messages about their foreign policy, one thing is clear: the Obama doctrine of "leading from behind" is officially dead and buried.

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