Ten Most Anticipated Geek Films of 2008

As 2008 Dawns I could not resist the urge to join in on the infinite rash of lists swamping the net. It just seems appropriate to give a list of the most anticipated films in 2008 from a purely geek centric point of view. There may be bigger films, or even better films from a purely cinematic perspective coming to us in ’08, but these are the films that get our geek blood boiling in true gleeful expectations. This list is not based on my personal favorites but rather my rating of the relative buzz surrounding the many excellent genre films coming to us in the new year. I am not trying to rate the relative quality of these films but to rate the level of excitement that you, the geeks of the world, have expressed.

So, without further ado, here are the 10 most anticipated geek films of 2008;

Ten: Chronicles of Narnia; Prince Caspian

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Expected Release Date: May 16, 2008

Trailer: IMDB Trailer

Rating: Not yet rated.

Director: Andrew Adamson

Cast: Liam Neeson, Ben Barnes, Warwick Davis, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Georgie Henley, Peter Dinklage, Skander Keyenes, Shane Ragni, Sergio Castelitto, Vincent Grass

Plot Outline: The Pevensie siblings return to Narnia, where they are enlisted to once again help ward off an evil king and restore the rightful heir to the land’s throne, Prince Caspian. .

The Basics: I have to admit that I’m not much of a fan of the first film or with the books themselves as I have a problem with the proselytizing. The story is just a lighter variation of Tokien and the characters are thin and poorly defined. Still there is a good amount of anticipation for the film and Im sure the fans of the series will find plenty to be exited about.

Reasons to be exited:

  • Similar to Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, if you are a fan of the original series then you are likely to enjoy these films.
  • The effects, production value and technical quality of the first film was clear and there is no reason to expect that this film will not be equal to the first.

Reasons to be afraid:

  • The first film was light on story with shallow unmemorable characters, this film will have to go beyond that if it is to stand out amidst a crowd of heavy competition in the ’08 holiday season.

Nine: Harry Potter and the Halfblood Prince

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Expected Release Date: November 21, 2008

Trailer: None yet released.

Rating: Not yet rated.

Director: David Yates

Cast: Helena Bonham Carter, Emma Watson, Alan Rickman, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Gint, Jessie Cave, Bonnie Wright, Maggie Smith, Micheal Gambon, Jim Broadbent, Tom Felton, Natalia Tena, Evanna Lynch, Robbie Coltrane, Matthew Lewis

Plot Outline: As Harry Potter begins his 6th year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he discovers an old book marked mysteriously “This book is the property of the Half-Blood Prince” and begins to learn more about Lord Voldemort’s dark past.

The Basics: As the Harry Potter franchise winds down towards the finale film, the Half Blood Prince has the unenviable task of being the second to last movie in a long series. With many fans looking forward to some of the amazing sequences that should come out of the Deathly Hallows, this film may have difficulty finding it’s own identity. The continually darker and more adult tone of each book will challenge the filmmakers to be true to the book without being slammed with a bad rating that could chase away the series large pre-adolescent following.

Reasons to be exited:

  • If your a fan, you need no other reason than the films very existence, this has been a series that can do no wrong in the box office despite uneven quality.
  • David Yates did an admirable job of translating a book big enough for a trilogy all by itself into a single film that held true to the spirit if not the entirety of the source material.
  • The more adult and serious story should help to make the film more enjoyable to the growing adult audience of the series.

Reasons to be afraid:

  • Sooner or later the age of the actors playing the teenage protagonists may get distracting.
  • The cries of the fans over the significant cuts of story material in Order of the Phoenix are likely to grow louder still as this even larger book must be cut down to movie length.

Eight: Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull

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Expected Release Date: May 22, 2008

Trailer:  None yet released.

Rating: Not yet rated.

Director: Stephen Speilberg

Cast: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Cate Blanchet, Shia LaBeouf, John Hurt, Ray Winstone, Jim Broadbent

Plot Outline: Indiana Jones and his son have adventures in the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

The Basics: Another classic franchise getting the revival treatment, the most recent rendition of the Indiana Jones series looks to be more of the same. With few details outside of the random rumors we can only go by the look and cast of the film, which is very promising. The poster alone looks cool enough to cause some positive anticipation, but for now we are just looking forward to it on the basis of the name alone.

Reasons to be exited:

  • Its the Indiana Jones franchise, a series that has been solid gold and has huge nostalgia quotient. Just the sound of the theme music will be enough to run chills down the spines of almost anyone over 30.
  • Harrison Ford would not sign on to this unless he believed it would be worth of the first three films, or so he has insisted for some time.
  • With the introduction of the Character of Mutt Williams as the inheritor of the Indiana Jones Legacy this could be the launching point for a whole new series of films.

Reasons to be afraid:

  • The attempt to launch a new version of the franchise with this film could easily distract from the quality of the film itself and there is a lot of doubt as to Shia Labeouf’s ability to pick up after the legendary Harrison Ford.
  • Harrison Ford is 65 years old, that’s a lot of years behind him for the man to be the star of a frenetically paces action film.
  • George Lucas wrote the story for the film, his most recent film credits have not exactly been examples of perfect scriptwriting.

Seven: Hellboy II: The Golden Army

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Expected Release Date: July 11, 2008

Trailer:   US Teaser Trailer

Rating: Not yet rated.

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Cast:Ron Perlman , Selma Blair , Doug Jones , James Dodd , John Alexander ,

Luke Goss , Thomas Kretschman, John Hurt, Jeffrey Tambor , Anna Walton

Plot Outline: The mythical world starts a rebellion against humanity in order to rule the Earth, so Hellboy and his team must save the world from the rebellious creatures.

The Basics: The first movie was an instant cult classic and the comic series is literary gold, so I have high expectations for this film. The Trailer is very impressive and Guillermo has been very vocal that he feels this is a much more exiting and accessible film than the first. After his near masterpiece work with Pan’s Labyrinth, Del Toro is at the very top of his game, and Hellboy II can only benefit from the growth of it’s director’s skills.

Reasons to be exited:

  • Mike Mignola, the creator of the comic continues to be closely involved in the writing and filming of the project ensuring that it will be true to the spirit of the source material.
  • Ron Perlman is Hellboy, his portrayal of the character is so spot on that he has become it’s living avatar. His voice has been used in the two excellent animated versions of the franchise and he carries himself with a cocky, yet charming bravado that makes the Hellboy so endearing.
  • The plot for this movie seems, from the trailer, to be the kind of no holds barred thrill ride that may bring the franchise into greater visibility and help it to break out of the cult hit arena.

Reasons to be afraid:

  • It’s a sequel to a cult comic book movie so it does not have good odds of avoiding the sophomore jinx.
  • With such a high powered lineup this summer Hellboy runs a very sever risk of being lost in the shuffle. A poor performance could spell the end of the live action films unfairly.

 

Six: Wall-E

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Expected Release Date: June 27, 2008

Trailer:  US Trailer

Rating: Not yet rated.

Director: Andrew Stanton

Cast:Fred Willard, Jeff Garlin, Jim Kopf, Ben Burt

Plot Outline: What if mankind had to leave Earth, and somebody forgot to turn the last robot off? After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, WALL*E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life (besides collecting knick-knacks) when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE. EVE comes to realize that WALL*E has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet’s future, and races back to space to report her findings to the humans (who have been eagerly awaiting word that it is safe to return home). Meanwhile, WALL*E chases EVE across the galaxy and sets an adventure into motion. Joining WALL*E on his journey across the universe is a cast of characters including a pet cockroach and a heroic team of malfunctioning misfit robots.

The Basics: You can’t usually go wrong with a Pixar movie. They have not had a single film that has not opened at #1 or failed to at least break 150 million in domestic box office. The idea of an ancient junk yard robot saving the world is charming enough and the medium is really ideal for a science fiction film. The art direction seems to be far more Blade Runner than Cars and that helps me think that this will be a more adult outing that the most recent Pixar release.

Reasons to be exited:

  • It’s a Pixar film, c’mon.
  • Top notch CGI animation works really well in the sci-fi genre.

Reasons to be afraid:

  • Sooner or later Pixar is going to dipp into the well once too often, every Pixar film has the chance of being their first bomb.
  • The plot is no more derivative than any other of their films, but it is still just a rehash of the same basic underdog tale seen in almost every other Disney film for the past 20 years.

Five: Star Trek ( Star Trek XI )

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Expected Release Date: January 18, 2008

Trailer: None yet released.

Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence, terror and disturbing images.

Director:JJ Abrams

Cast:Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Eric Bana, Winona Ryder, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Bruce Greenwood, John Cho, Leonard Nimoy, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin

Plot Outline: A chronicle of the early days of James T. Kirk and his fellow USS Enterprise crew members.

The Basics: If this was a list of my own personal most anticipated movies, Trek would be number 1. This film has the fate of the Star Trek franchise in its hands and can either save or destroy the 40 year old Science Fiction classic. With JJ Abrams at the helm and a cast of quality talent without the distractions of any major marquee names, this is a film that could either be really great or a massive disaster.

CBS had put out 150 million for the film, despite the fact that only one of the Trek Films in the past has ever reached that level of box office success.

Reasons to be exited:

  • It’s the first new Star Trek film in 5 years and the trekkers are jonesing for a fix.

  • JJ Abrams has the Midas touch and has managed to secure a 150 million dollar budget from CBS for the film, so someone has to have a lot of confidence in the project.

  • Some of the plot rumors sound really interesting and as long as its not Star Fleet Academy 90210, we could have some fun with this.

  • The big budget means that we will finally have a Star Trek film with state of the art special effects.

  • Rumors indicate that the films is planned to be a high octane action film while still holding true to the cannon of the universe. If done right this could bring an entirely new generation of fans to the franchise and lead to a new Trek Renaissance.

     

Reasons to be afraid:

  • This is an odd numbered Trek film, so it will have to break the curse and not suck, or it will likely be the final film in the franchise.

  • Enthusiasm for the Trek Universe is at it’s lowest point since the cancellation of the original series, so it may be shooting for an audience that does not exist.

  • As both a prequel and something of a re launch it has all the earmarks of another Phantom Menace.

 

Four: Cloverfield

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Expected Release Date: January 18, 2008

Trailer:  Most Recent Teaser

Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence, terror and disturbing images.

Director: Matt Reeves

Cast:Michael Stahl, Mike Vogel, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, Odette Yustman, TJ Miller

Plot Outline: Revolves around a monster attack in New York as told from the point of view of a small group of people.

Reasons to be exited:

  • JJ Abrams, he has established an excellent track record for putting out interesting and original content both on the big and the small screen.
  • The interview with JJ Abrams detailing the orgin for his idea for the movie is great, he felt that the Japanese had their own mythology of giant monsters and that the US needed to have it’s own unique giant monster and set out to create one himself.
  • The “Blair Witch” style shooting techniques could provide a very intense visual experience if they can manage to still tell a coherent tale with the restrictions imposed by the limited visual scope.
  • The extensive viral marketing campaign has built a good level of excitement in the film and could help to make the film experience itself more enjoyable.

Reasons to be afraid:

  • Previous viral marketing success stories have proven to be severe let downs once they hit the theaters, such as Snakes on a Plane.
  • The movie’s coolness will be very heavily dependent on creating a cool and scary monster while still being able to show that monster using the limited camera angles forced by the films style.
  • The January release is always a bad sign for any movie. If the studio had faith in the film it would be a Holiday or Summer release.

 

Three: Fanboys

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Expected Release Date: January 14, 2008

Trailer:  Theatrical Trailer
Rating: Not Yet Rated

Director: Kyle Newman

Cast:Sam Huntington, Chris Marquette, Dan Flogler, Jay Baruchel, Kristen Bell

Trailer:

Plot Outline:“Star Wars” fans travel to Skywalker Ranch to steal an early copy of “Episode I: The Phantom Menace” for their dying friend.

Reasons to be exited:

  • Convention buzz has this as being the best geek culture reference film since Free Enterprise. If this film provides even half the laughs and warm feelings provided by Free Enterprise this movie should be a great way to ring in the new year.
  • The geek fight between the Star Trek fans and the Star Wars fans looks to be worth the price of admission all by itself.

Reasons to be afraid:

  • January Release, the arch typical dumping ground of movies the studio has no faith in.
  • Little known actors, director and writer gives us little to go on beyond the trailer and the limited industry buzz.

Two: Iron Man

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Expected Release Date: May 01, 2008 (Wide)

Trailer:  Theatrical Trailer

Release Company: Marvel Enterprises

Rating: Not Yet Rated

Director:John Favreau

Cast:Robert Downey Jr, Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, Samuel L Jackson

Plot Outline: When Tony Stark is forced to create a life support suit to keep him alive after an accident he decides to use the technology in his suit to fight crime

Reasons to be exited:

  • Robert Downey Jr. seems like he was born to play Tony Stark, the arrogant playboy billionaire with technical genius.
  • Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury, this should be a good role for him as long as he does not turn it into another ‘Snakes’ style self parody.
  • Both the early iron rivet suit and the classic crimson and gold suit look simply astonishing. The trailer does a great job of showcasing what appear to be top notch effects.

Reasons to be afraid:

  • Joh Favreau has made some good films but nothing in his resume has been similar to this kind of a film.
  • Marvel films have been hit and miss of late so this one could go either way.

One Title: The Dark Knight

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Expected Release Date: July 18, 2008 (Wide)

Trailer: MTV HD TrailerRelease Company: Warner Bros.

Rating: Not Yet Rated

Director: Christopher Nolan

Cast:Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts, Aaron Eckhart

Plot Outline: Batman and James Gordon join forces with Gotham’s new District Attorney, Harvey Dent, to take on a psychotic bank robber known as The Joker, whilst other forces plot against them, and Joker’s crimes grow more and more deadly

Reasons to be exited:

  • Batman Begins was one of the best comic based movies of all time, and far more true to the characters Dark Knight persona from the graphic novels and comics
  • Christian Bale is excellent and brings much needed credibility back to the character.
  • All buzz coming from the set and the amazing trailer(see below) indicate that Heath Ledger has nailed the Joker in a way never seen before.
  • Motorcycles with machine guns are just cool!

Reasons to be afraid:

  • The new bike could be an indication that the series is heading back to the “gadget creep” that infected the previous incarnations of the films.
  • Expectations for the film have been set very high, it will have a hard time living up to the billing set for it by Batman Begins and the hype engine that has been running strong since comicon.

A Little Something for your New Years Celebration.

Theres always room for jello shots!

Check out the link for some cool celebratory assistance.

Have a Happy New Year everyone!

TTGN Names Wargame of the Year

Picking a winner from among the nominees for the 2007 Tabletop Gaming News Editor’s Choice Award was difficult to say the least. Pruning the list to a top ten list was even more problematic. But we have finally managed to pick a winner for the Editor’s Choice Award. This year has seen a flood of great new games and miniatures and the expansion of previously niche gaming markets, like Pulp and Weird War, as they gain new games and audiences.

Without a doubt the most important, and perhaps controversial, changes in the hobby this year have been in the area of pre-painted plastic miniatures and the winner of the 2007 Tabletop Gaming News Editor’s Choice Award, Rackham’s AT-43 game, represents this controversy but also epitomises what we think is the potential benefit of this type of game.

AT-43 is at once a threat to the established order of the hobby and also represents a potential for the hobby to continue to grow and expand. In less than a year it has become an inescapably huge player in the sci-fi battle game market and Rackham have obviously bet the company on a different way of doing things. Pre-painted and pre-assembled plastic miniatures are going to upset some gamers and miniature enthusiasts, but for those who don’t have the time to build and paint an army, those who are put off by the hobby aspect of tabletop games or those of the Playstation generation this may be a factor that gets them playing when otherwise they wouldn’t.

Read full article here.

The Dark Knight New Trailer

Ok, anyone who says Heath Ledger is not going to make a good Joker has obviously not seen this trailer. This summer is looking better and better!

McCain back in the running, for the day anyway.

Looks like the GOP race is getting more confusing by the day. Personally I’ve always been a fan of McCain, even if his recent pandering the the far right wing base has been disappointing to me. Im sure this will change again by tomorrow afternoon, but it is still good to see McCain first in the polls.

I want this battery for my Iphone!!!

rom Macenstein by

Imagine… what if you could watch 70 hours of iPod video on a single charge. (OK, wait, that actually, might be a bad thing).Instead, imagine something more useful, like getting 22+ hours of MacBook use. Or 2500 hours of iPhone standby time. Such is the promise of Stanford University researchers who claim to have found a way to use silicon nanowires to improve the way lithium-ion batteries store energy, delivering a reported 10x boost in capacity.
Above: Silicon nano fibers (A) can expand to 4 times their size when they absorb lithium (B), allowing them to hold more charge. (We think). Creating a nano-powered iPod nano

As everyone knows, nano technology will eventually cure every disease and solve every problem known to man, and then create a race of super robots that will enslave us all. But before it does, it looks like we’ll be able to benefit from extended periods of all sorts of mobile gadget use.

According to lead Stanford researcher Yi Cui, this increased storage capacity could also make Li-ion batteries an attractive option to electric car manufacturers and solar power aficionados. “It’s not a small improvement, it’s a revolutionary development.”

You bet it is. Imagine, we may finally be able to listen to all 40,000 songs Apple says the iPod can hold on a single charge! Not to mention the 100 hours+ battery life we’ll get from Apple’s super-secret, not-yet-announced, ultra-portable, ultra-hyphenated, flash-based MacBook!

From ScienceDaily.

Vampire Counts

New Vampire Images have surfaced thou these are not the official GW images idk many who will be complaining. I know i’m not. We have the Varghulf, Army Book Cover, Ghouls, Dire Wolves (See Below), Grave Guard and an image of the Spearhead (Like an army box but with no Army Book or Codex).

The rest of the images can be found here