Ant-Man Announces Cast Members With Comic-Con Appearances
July 28, 2014
Ant-Man poster

Ant-Man promo art (via ew.com)

Like everyone else, I’m unhappy to hear that Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, The World’s End) will no longer be directing Marvel’s Ant-Man movie, since I like his unique visual sense. However, I still want to see Paul Rudd (as Scott Lang) and Michael Douglas (Hank Pym) super-heroing together. Particularly after seeing footage of them interacting at last weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con, as shown here:

Both appeared at the con for the first time to promote the upcoming film, and they looked happy to be there, as shown in these clips. Maybe they’re just great actors. They were accompanied by Evangeline Lilly (who will be playing Hank’s daughter Hope), Corey Stoll (Darren Cross, Yellowjacket, the villain), and director Peyton Reed, showing off his geek credentials and talking about how this was his 20th year going to the con. The movie is due out July 17, 2015.

X-Men: Days of Future Past on DVD October, Digital HD September
July 27, 2014

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has announced home video release dates for X-Men: Days of Future Past.

The movie will be available on Blu-ray on October 14, with digital purchases available a month earlier, on September 23. The packages include a Blu-ray with digital copy (shown here, list price $40), a 3-D-included deluxe edition ($50), and a standard DVD ($30). As is sadly becoming typical, there doesn’t seem to be a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. (I blame those who buy the Blu-ray and sell the DVD as convincing studios that combos are undercutting their sales.)

The special features list looks nicely comprehensive. It includes:

  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary by Bryan Singer
  • Gag Reel
  • Kitchen Sequence
  • Classification: M
  • X-Men: Reunited
  • Double Take: Xavier & Magneto
  • Sentinels: For A Secure Future
  • Gallery: Trask Industries
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Second Screen App
Star Trek Beer?!? Klingon Warnog Launches
July 27, 2014

Klingon Warnog Star Trek beer

Indiana-based Tin Man Brewing Company, under license by CBS Consumer Products, has launched the first in a line of Star Trek-themed alcoholic beverages in the US. Klingon Warnog, “a high-quality Roggen Dunkelweiss (Danish Rye Beer) that captures the warrior essence of the Klingon culture with its bold and unique taste”, will be available starting tomorrow in select liquor stores and bars in Indiana and Washington.

The Federation of Beer, the organizers behind this, first made a Vulcan Ale in Canada last year. Their goal is “to unite both Star Trek and Craft Beer fans.” Watch for “First Contact” launch parties announced near you in August and following.

Now I really want a Serenity brew.

Simon Pegg Returns in Hector and the Search for Happiness
July 26, 2014

Out in the US in September is Simon Pegg’s newest movie, Hector and the Search for Happiness. The trailer (below) makes this look like a typical “what does life really mean?” middle-aged search for identity (and validation that one’s made the right decisions), but then, we know that from the title. Great cast, though, particularly the girlfriend Clara (Rosamund Pike) and the mentor Christopher Plummer, and there are some funny moments shown.

Here’s the official description:

Hector (Simon Pegg) is a quirky psychiatrist who has become increasingly tired of his humdrum life. As he tells his girlfriend, Clara (Rosamund Pike), he feels like a fraud: he hasn’t really tasted life, and yet he’s offering advice to patients who are just not getting any happier. So Hector decides to break out of his deluded and routine-driven life. Armed with buckets of courage and child-like curiosity, he embarks on a global quest in hopes of uncovering the elusive secret formula for true happiness. And so begins a larger than life adventure with riotously funny results.

I’m reminded of Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, while others are calling it a gender-swapped Eat Pray Love. Is this what happens when young Hollywood guys enter their 40s? Or is it just a universal human reaction to reach a point in your life when you reflect on what happiness really means… and how wrong you were about it when you were younger?

Batman: The Complete Television Series Image, Details Released
July 25, 2014

Batman: The Complete Television Series Blu-ray set

In conjunction with their panel at the San Diego Comic-Con this week, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has released the above image of the Limited Edition Blu-ray set of Batman: The Complete Television Series, which will be available on November 11.

As you can see, they’re playing up the Day-Glo 60s camp aspects. The sets will be individually numbered and include a replica Batmobile from Hot Wheels, an Adam West scrapbook “featuring never-before-seen photos from Adam’s own archives”, 44 vintage trading cards, an episode guide with “synopsis of all episodes, photos from the series, and a personal letter from Adam West to the fans”, and UltraViolet digital copies of all 120 episodes. It’s priced at almost $270, but this sounds like a very nice package that will make a terrific gift. (And no Amazon discount currently, although given the holiday season release timing, that’s expected to change.) Oh, and there are special features, too.

“Hanging With Batman” — A true slice of life in the words of Adam West.

“Holy Memorabilia Batman!” — A journey into the most sought-after collectibles through the eyes of three extraordinary collectors.

“Batmania Born! Building the World of Batman” — Explore the art and design behind the fiction.

“Bats of the Round Table” — A candid conversation with Adam West and his celebrity friends, chatting all things Bat ’66.

“Inventing Batman in the Words of Adam West (episode 1 & 2)” — A rare treat for the fans as Adam discusses his script notes on bringing Batman to life in the first and second episodes.

“Na Na Na Batman!” — Hollywood favorite’s stars and producers recount their favorite Batman memories.

No commentaries, and no substantial documentary on the history or results of the show, unfortunately, but they are promising “interviews with both Adam West and Burt Ward”, and perhaps more will be announced later. The extras — but not the premium items — will be available on the Complete Series DVD set as well. New to me in this was the announcement that they will also release Batman: The Complete First Season, which will have 34 episodes on five DVD discs with no extras at a list price of $39.98, in case you just want the episodes. Here’s the full listing for the compete series:

Season 1
1. Hi Diddle Riddle
2. Smack in the Middle
3. Fine Feathered Finks
4. The Penguin’s A Jinx
5. The Joker is Wild
6. Batman is Riled
7. Instant Freeze
8. Rats Like Cheese
9. Zelda The Great
10. A Death Worse Than Fate
11. A Riddle A Day Keeps the Riddler Away
12. When the Rat’s Away the Mice Will Play
13. The Thirteenth Hat
14. Batman Stands Pat
15. The Joker Goes To School
16. He Meets His Match, The Grisly Ghoul
17. True or False Face
18. Holy Rat Race
19. The Purr-Fect Crime
20. Better Luck Next Time
21. The Penguin Goes Straight
22. Not Yet, He Ain’t
23. The Ring Of Wax
24. Give ‘Em The Axe
25. The Joker Trumps An Ace
26. Batman Sets The Pace
27. The Curse of Tut
28. The Pharaoh’s In a Rut
29. The Bookworm Turns
30. While Gotham City Burns
31. Death in Slow Motion
32. The Riddler’s Flase Notion
33. Fine Finny Fiends
34. Batman Makes The Scenes

Season 2
1. Shoot A Crooked Arrow
2. Walk The Straight and Narrow
3. Hot Off The Griddle
4. The Cat and the Fiddle
5. The Minstrel’s Shakedown
6. Barbecued Batman?
7. The Spell of Tut
8. Tut’s Case is Shut
9. The Greatest Mother of Them All
10. MA Parker
11. The Clock King’s Crazy Crimes
12. The Clock King Gets Crowned
13. An Egg Grows in Gotham
14. The Yegg Foes in Gotham
15. The Devil’s Fingers
16. The Dead Ringers
17. Hizzonner The Penguin
18. Dizzoner the Penguin
19. Green Ice
20. Deep Freeze
21. The Impractical Joker
22. The Joker’s Provokers
23. Marsha, Queen of Diamonds
24. Marsha’s Scheme of Diamonds
25. Come Back, Shame
26. It’s How You Play The Game
27. The Penguin’s Nest
28. The Bird’s Last Jest
29. The Cat’s Meow
30. The Bat’s Kow Tow
31. The Puzzles Are Coming
32. The Duo Is Slumming
33. The Sandman Cometh
34. The Catwoman Goeth
35. The Contaminated Cowl
36. The Mad Hatter Runs Afoul
37. The Zodiac Crimes
38. The Joker’s Hard Times
39. The Penguin Declines
40. That Darn Catwoman
41. Scat! Darn Catwoman
42. Penguin is a Girl’s Best Friend
43. Penguin Sets a Trend
44. Penguin’s Disastrous End
45. Batman’s Anniversary
46. A Riddling Controversy
47. The Joker’s Last Laugh
48. The Joker’s Epitaph
49. Catwoman Goes to College
50. Batman Displays His Knowledge
51. A Piece of The Action
52. Batman’s Satisfaction
53. Kin Tut’s Coup
54. Batman’s Waterloo
55. Black Widow Strikes Again
56. Caught in the Spider’s Den
57. Pop Goes The Joker
58. Flop Goes the Joker
59. Ice Spy
60. The Duo Defy

Season 3
1. Enter Batgirl, Exit Penguin
2. Ring Around The Riddler
3. The Wail of The Siren
4. The Sport of Penguins
5. A Horse of Another Color
6. The Unkindest Tut of All
7. Louie, The Lilac
8. The Ogg and I
9. How To Hatch a Dinosaur
10. Surf’s Up! Joker’s Under!
11. The Londinium Larcenies
12. The Foggiest Notion
13. The Bloody Tower
14. Catwoman’s Dressed to Kill
15. The Ogg Couple
16. The Funny Feline Felonies
17. The Joke’s On Catwoman
18. Louie’s Lethal Lilac Time
19. Nora Clavicle and the Ladies’ Crime Club
20. Penguin’s Clean Sweep
21. The Great Escape
22. The Great Train Robbery
23. I’ll Be A Mummy’s Uncle
24. The Joker’s Flying Saucer
25. The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra
26. Minerva, Mayhem and Millionaires

Lucy Opens Today — The Black Widow Movie That Should Have Been?
July 25, 2014

Lucy movie poster starring Scarlett Johansson

Fans have been asking for a Black Widow movie after loving Scarlett Johansson’s performance as the superspy in The Avengers movie. Marvel’s been resistant, perhaps because they have so many other films in production, perhaps because they aren’t sure whether a woman can headline a superhero flick.

I suspect this weekend’s Lucy, a sci-fi action thriller starring Johansson as a woman who goes from hostage mule to superpowered bad-ass (judging by this trailer), may show otherwise.

It’s written and directed by Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec), who knows his visuals if nothing else. Here’s a featurette where he and Johansson talk about the importance of the locations they used in the film, including Paris, the Sorbonne, and Taipei.

Although I already have my suspicions about where this story goes, given my knowledge of Besson’s usual themes, I’m more eager to see this than Marvel’s next piece, Guardians of the Galaxy.

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