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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Film & TV

The Hobbit trilogy release dates announced

by Ken Newquist / September 4, 2012

The release dates for The Hobbit have been announced:

  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, December 14, 2012
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, December 13, 2013
  • The Hobbit: There and Back Again, July 18, 2014

The Hobbit was originally proposed as three movies, then went to two, and is now apparently back to three. From what I understand the trilogy will mine details from the supplemental material in Return of the King (added after the conclusion of the book) fill three movies.

RPG Lessons from Cloverfield

by Ken Newquist / August 27, 2012

 CloverfieldI've played in a few RPG sessions, mostly one-shots, involving giant rampaging monsters. They've been disappointing because they focus on killing the monster, which reduces this huge lumbering horror to litte more than a 40-story sack of hit points.

At the opposite extreme are monsters who can't be defeated (and I'll admit to unleashing one of these in my campaign; a CR 35 horror that destroyed the city of Stoneheim in the World of Greyhawk). Those can be equally disappointing for players because characters (especially high level ones) think they can defeat anything.

Then again, maybe that's missing the point.

Indiana Jones re-released in IMAX Sept. 7-Sept. 18, 2012

by Ken Newquist / August 16, 2012

Geeks rejoice! Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is being re-released in IMAX theaters from Sept. 7-Sept. 18, 2012. This isn't a George Lucas "Greedo shot first" re-release; Spielberg hasn't changed anything in the film itself, save to enhance the video and audio so that it will work with IMAX.

Tron: Cupcakes

by Ken Newquist / December 23, 2010

 Tron CupcakesLast week my wife surprised me with a Tron-inspired birthday party (my birthday's December 17, the same day that Tron: Legacy was released). As part of that, she asked the good folks at Cupcake Ladies to create Tron cup cakes.

Which they did. The photo at left was taken by my friend Jason Alley (view the full-size photo on Flickr) and yes, the cupcakes did taste as good as they look.

The cupcakes made my day, and were the perfect prelude to heading to King of Prussia to watch Tron: Legacy in IMAX 3D with my friends. It was a good movie -- I describe it as pure, distilled 1980s wrapped in glass. My 12-year-old self loved the film. My 39-year-old self was happily distracted by the beer sampler I drank at Rock Bottom Brewery before the movie.

Lake Placid: Monster vs. Cow

by Ken Newquist / August 2, 2010

 Lake PlacidBack when the Blackrazor Guild still played D&D, we had a list of standard battle tactics. They were things like "spring the ambush then fight your way out", "lightning bolt in a short corridor", "fireball at your feet" and the classic "stake out a cow to lure the monster into the open".

Lake Placid is our kind of movie. Set in Maine, the movie involves a monster taking up residence in a lake. The creature starts killing people, including Fish & Game agents counting beavers, which leads an eccentric band of monster hunters to descend on the lake. They consist of Fish & Game agents led by Jack Wells (Bill Pullman), Sheriff's offices led by Sheriff Hank Keough (Brendan Gleeson), a palentologist from New York City named Kelly Scott (Bridget Fonda) and Hector Cyr (Oliver Platt) rich-but-crazy mythology professor who loves to swim with giant reptiles.

Cloverfield: The monster movie Godzilla should have been

by Ken Newquist / July 31, 2010

 CloverfieldIn 1998 director Roland Emmerich released a remake of Godzilla starring Matthew Broderick and featured a monster heavily inspired by the designer Patrick Tatopoulos' pet iguana attacking New York City. It failed on multiple fronts, starting with uninspiring Godzilla design, continuing with the half-assed Siskel and Ebert knockoffs as government antagonists, and ending with a surprise twist that no one wanted.

It was a bad movie. Cloverfield is what happens when J.J. Abrams looks at Godzilla and asks ... how can we make this not suck?

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