Who Is the Best Fit on the ‘Han Solo Spinoff’ Shortlist?

Although shooting doesn’t even start for another year from now, Disney and Lucasfilm are close to naming their new Han Solo for the spinoff Star Wars film series. Similar to how Disney and Marvel plan to introduce their new Spider-Man, Tom Holland, with a small role in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War before his own feature film, a young Han Solo may appear in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story due out December 16th, 2016. The spinoff films take place between Episodes III and IV, so the target Solo actor is between the ages of 20 and 29.

Variety is reporting that “after seeing thousands of actors”, the list is down to Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Dave Franco, Jack Raynor, Scott Eastwood, Logan Lerman, Emory Cohen, and Blake Jenner. There may be more in consideration, but Variety knows the names have made the cut and that an announcement should be made within the next couple weeks.

The two names I don’t want to hear announced for the role are…

Solo Chicken

…Miles Teller and Dave Franco. The bad press around last summer’s Fantastic Four failure were as much Teller’s fault as anyone. He’s also just not that damn likable. Sure, it worked for Whiplash, but even then I found myself hoping every bad thing possible would happen to his character. And unless Franco has non-“Frat Guy Party”film on the horizon, I don’t need his smug grin flying the Millennium Falcon.

So who does fit, if the two more recognizable names don’t? Who pulls off the perfect combination of charm, cockiness, rough-around-the edges, and warmth that will make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs?

Rather than brainstorm actors that could be potentially better, let’s work with the 3 best names on the list.

1. Emory Cohen

Emory Cohen

When I first read the list, Emory Cohen stuck out the most to me. Maybe it’s because I just saw him in Brooklyn, but the heart and humor in his performance were convincing enough. He has the smirk, the charm, the mannerisms, and he’s coming off a very successful film with Oscars buzz.

(Also in The Gambler, Beneath the Harvest Sky, and The Place Beyond The Pines)

2. Scott Eastwood

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 2.00.11 PM

The son of Clint Eastwood is the oldest of the actors in the running at 29 years old. Scott Eastwood has the pedigree and yes, the looks. Eastwood is also setting himself up to breakout in action/adventure films with a mysterious role in the upcoming Suicide Squad film. Rumors have him pegged as either Deathstroke or Dick Grayson but nothing is confirmed. Eastwood will be starring alongside Walton Goggins (Hateful Eight, Justified) in the upcoming western, Diablo. Han Solo is the closest thing Star Wars has to a space cowboy, so…

(Also in Gran Torino, Fury, and The Longest Ride)

 

3. Blake Jenner

Blake Jenner

Blake Jenner is young and a Glee alum, and feels like a dark horse pick. Most of his short resume is TV related, but he has some projects on the way that could lead to bigger things. Growing with Star Wars in spinoff franchise could be cool to see. He’ll be appearing in upcoming Supergirl episodes and could breakout in Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some. It looks like what happens when Dazed and Confused goes to college.

 

4. Logan Lerman

Film Review The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Certainly not my favorite in the bunch, considering I like 3 more ahead of him, but Logan Lerman’s filmography section on his IMDB page is a bit more impressive than most on the shortlist. His starring role in Fury a year ago showed he’s matured from the Percy Jackson franchise. The babyface might hold him back from being the right fit, or maybe that’s exactly what Lucasfilm is looking for…I’ve also been rooting for him ever since Perks of Being a Wallflower. 

(Also in The Three Musketeers, 3:10 To Yuma, and The Patriot. 

Who would you like to see cast as young Han Solo? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter

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Top 20 Movies of 2015 So Far (Part II)

“So Far” because The Hateful Eight, The Revenant, Joy and Carol have yet to hit theaters. Once I get those in, I’ll have an updated final list.

“Part II” because I published a list at the end of the summer. Just 4 movies from my original Top 10 are still there and 2 don’t even crack the Top 20. 

With just a little more than a week left in the year, here are “The Best…so far.”

20. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

MI Rogue Nation 2015

It was a strong year for blockbuster franchises. There are two more represented further down this list. The Mission Impossible series seems to get better as time goes on and fortunately for them, Rogue Nation hit theaters before Spectre did with a similar plot and much better execution. 

19. Beasts of No Nation

Beasts of No Nation 2015

Idris Elba seems to show us in everything he does that he is one of the best actors of our time, and this Netflix Original film gets him closer to the acclaim he properly deserves. Beasts of No Nation is also a milestone for Netflix that shows they should be taken seriously as a film studio and not just for television…Just try to avoid the string of unfortunate Adam Sandler flicks they will be putting out for a while.

18. Creed

Creed 2015

Creed is a very good sports movie. It reminded me a lot of the first Rocky film. I love how they filmed the fights and Sylvester Stallone deserves every “best supporting actor” nomination he gets. We’re reminded how great an actor he is, and how awesome a character Rocky Balboa is in this film. Michael B. Jordan is certainly in store for big things and this film is a clear sign of that. I just wished they held back on the cheese factor of a certain training scene and that his “big opponent” was a much more memorable character. 

17. The Big Short

The Big Short 2015

The more I think about The Big Short, the more I think I liked it. Christian Bale, Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling are all awesome in the film and it’s incredibly smart. Hamish Linklater is also to be an excellent complement, similar to his role in The Crazy Ones with Robin Williams. The constant explaining of every economic term (which might have been necessary) gets distracting and the comedic approach takes away some of the necessary emotional investment. Had I not seen 99 Homes (see further down), I probably would have appreciated this film a lot more while watching it. 

16. Trumbo

TR_08395.dng

The acting in Trumbo is outstanding. The hype was real regarding Bryan Cranston’s performance. Both Helen Mirren and John Goodman play their parts very well. The correlation between how members of the American communist party were treated and some of our society’s current issues today strikes a chord. I just wish I hadn’t seen so many of the big scenes in the trailer already and that the directing was better.

15. 99 Homes

99 Homes 2015

Like The Big Short, 99 Homes takes place during the financial and housing crisis but it’s way much more of a punch to the gut. You get the perspective of people who lost their homes from the crisis, and it’s even more of a thriller because you have no idea how these people will react to those who have to break the news to them. Michael Shannon is also as good as anyone in supporting actor categories from this film.

14. Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton 2015

The music, the acting, the “Bye Felicia” scene…

Straight Outta Compton was an awesome biopic and it told a story that I think a lot of younger hip hop fans needed to hear, considering how influential members of NWA really are to the genre. The only reason I don’t have it ranked higher is because it did feel long by the end. 

13. Love & Mercy

Love and Mercy 2015

Love and Mercy was another biopic (also with Paul Giamatti as a jerk manager) that I enjoyed, but this one stuck with me a lot longer after. Paul Dano is great as young Brian Wilson and for once John Cusack is a lot less “John Cusack”-ish than he is in most of his roles. Elizabeth Banks also gives one of the more underrated performances in film from this year. If you’re like me, you probably listened to “Pet Sounds” for a week after seeing it.

12. Ex Machina

Ex Machina 2015

This was a big year for all 3 stars of Ex Machina. Oscar Isaac continued his path to Pacino-status with his roles in Show Me A Hero and Star Wars, which Domhnall Gleeson also stars in. Alicia Vikander has a good chance of getting both Best Actress and Supporting Oscar nominations for her roles in The Danish Girl and Ex Machina. Her character, Ava, still haunts my dreams as well. It’s an unreal suspense film. 

11. The Walk

The Walk 2015

I’m a little disappointed The Walk isn’t getting more chatter during awards season. Obviously I think there are better films, but Robert Zemeckis did a brilliant job utilizing 3D, especially for the climax of the film. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ben Kinglsey were both remarkably charming as well. 

10. The End of the Tour

The End of the Tour 2015

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…I can’t recall a time where I’ve seen two actors be so natural interacting with each other for a film. That’s all this film is…a long weekend conversation from Bloomington-Normal to Minnesota and back, with honest thoughts and feelings. I’m happy to see Jason Segel is getting some acclaim as well for his portrayal of David Foster Wallace.

09. Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs 2015

Yes, I’m a HUGE Sorkin fan, but I found the approach to this biopic to be incredibly original. It wasn’t your typical “start-to-end” story, but just 3 different periods in time and how each person has evolved in that time. It also helps that everyone involved nails it with their parts, especially Michael Fassbender.

08. Inside Out

Inside Out 2015

A movie about feelings makes you feel feelings…and even more than the typical Pixar feelings (which is saying a lot, considering the first 3 minutes to Up). It also helps that they casted all the right people for all the right feelings.

 

07. The Martian

The Martian 2015

I came across a Facebook friend listing his “Top 10” and he said he hadn’t seen The Martian because “It looked like Castaway in space.” He is very wrong…unless he values Jeff Daniels, Donald Glover, Kristen Wiig, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sean Bean, Michael Pena, Jessica Chastain, and Kate Mara to all be a volleyball named Wilson. 

06. Room

Room 2015

The Best Actress category at any awards show is Brie Larson’s to lose because of Room. Jacob Tremblay is amazing as well…just be prepared to have your heart strings pulled hard.

05. Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max Fury Road 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road is a 2 hour long roller coaster of action, explosions, and rock’n’roll. I don’t recall taking a breath between the start and end. The twisted and beautiful mind of George Miller is on full awesome display. 

04. Me and Earl and The Dying Girl

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 2015

I think we all have our personal movies that connect with us in more ways than most and matches our personalities. Me and Earl and The Dying Girl was that movie for me, my favorite from the summer. There’s also something about Nick Offerman as a sociology professor, robe-wearing, cat-obsessed dad that still tickles me funny.

 

03. Bridge of Spies

Bridge of Spies 2015

Bridge of Spies is about as good a film as you could ask for from a combination of Steven Spielberg and the Coen Brothers…I was pleasantly surprised to see that the latter wrote the movie once the closing credits rolled. It was all meant for someone like Tom Hanks to lead in. There is one scene toward the end that I found to be as powerful as any in 2015. 

02. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars- The Force Awakens

The best way I’ve heard The Force Awakens described is that it hit all the right spots in all the right ways…It really did. Nostalgia and newness brilliantly combined. Fantastic well-timed humor that the past films lacked. If you waited for something to disappoint you, you’d only be disappointed by the fact that you’re still waiting.

01. Spotlight

Spotlight 2015

I really don’t think there was a better performance by an ensemble this year. It was refreshing take on a journalism, not over-glorifying the industry but simply presenting how a paper goes about getting a story. All the comparisons to All The President’s Men are warranted. I will also stump hard for Mark Ruffalo getting Best Supporting Actor recognition, even when the category is heavy enough as is. 

 

Stay tuned for the final list after Hateful Eight, The Revenant, Joy and Carol are released. Till then, let me know what your favorite films from 2015 are on Facebook or Twitter.

Michael’s Mixtape: The Star Wars One

I don’t know about you, but I am just basking in the glory that is Star Wars Week worldwide. I’ll be seeing Episode VII: The Force Awakens on Thursday and drinking galactic themed drinks at a bar that’s turning itself into the Mos Eisley Cantina from A New Hope. Yep, I have no shame in my Star Wars geekdom.

Even Spotify is getting in on the game, matching users with Star Wars characters by their taste in music. I’m not totally thrilled being Anakin, but I do love me plenty of punk rock.

Anakin playlist

I dig the lightsaber on the bottom, not so much the new Fall Out Boy they included.

Since it all finally set in that this movie is happening and I’m actually going to see it (so since Saturday night), I’ve been surfing Spotify for Star Wars appropriate music. Not just the epic John Williams masterpieces, but songs about space and intergalactic awesomeness. So why not put it all into one easily accessible playlist that my friends and likeminded individuals to enjoy?

1. “Star Wars Theme” – John Williams

 

2. “Starman” – David Bowie

Album: The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, 1972

3. “Space” – Something Corporate

Album: North, 2003

 

4. “Return to the Moon” – EL VY

Album: Return to the Moon, 2015

 

5. “Spaceship” – Kanye w/ GLC

 

Album: The College Dropout, 2004

 

6. “Stormtrooper” – Pepper

Album: Kona Town, 2003

 

7. “Cantina Band” – John Williams

 

8. “A New Hope” – blink-182

Album: Dude Ranch, 1997

 

9. “Future People” – Alabama Shakes

Album: Sound and Color, 2015

 

10. “Chewbacca” – Supernova Chile

Album: Clerks Original Soundtrack, 1994

 

11. “Empire Strikes First” – Bad Religion

Album: Empire Strikes First, 2004

 

12. “You Satellite” – Wilco

Album: Star Wars, 2015

 

13. “Space Truckin'” – Deep Purple

Album: Machine Head, 1972

 

14. “Both Sides of the Gun” – Ben Harper

Album: Both Sides of the Gun, 2006

 

15. “Empire State of Mind” – Jay Z & Alicia Keys

Album: The Blueprint 3, 2009

 

16. “People of the Sun” – Rage Against of the Machine

Album: Evil Empire, 1996

 

17. “Imperial Death March” – John Williams

 

18. “Intergalactic” – Beastie Boys

Album: Hello Nasty, 1998

 

19. “Man on the Moon” – R.E.M.

Album: Automatic For The People, 1992

 

20. “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long Time) – Elton John

Album: Honky Chateau, 1972

 

21. “Major Tom (Coming Home)” – Shiny Toy Guns

Album: Girls Le Disko, 2009

 

22. “Rebellion (Lies)” – Arcade Fire

Album: Funeral, 2004

 

23. “Spaceman” – The Killers

Album: Day & Age, 2008

 

24. “The Throne Room” – John Williams

 

The Full Spotify Playlist

Anymore songs that come to mind, send them to me on Facebook or Twitter to be added to the playlist!

December in Chicago: Things To Do To Make Winter Suck Less

Consider this a cognitive therapy session to help you feel better about the season that several of your friends and family have moved away from. If you still live here after the past two winters, congratulations…you’re a midwesterner. You grew up with 4 seasons, strapped on your snow pants, found creative ways to de-ice your windshield because you forgot your scraper, and you haven’t been stomped by AT-ATs on State Street…yet.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 10.17.30 AM

I personally like snow and I know I’m not alone. I also don’t mind a trip somewhere warm in order to endure it with a tan, but I take pride in where I’m from and love that I can appreciate the other 3 seasons because of Winters here. You also get an awesome and natural excuse to stay in and binge watch Netflix shows with a glass of some-something.

So before posting your super cliche “ugh, Chicago Winter. Get me out of here” Facebook status, turn up 93.9 on your radio for 24/7 holiday tunes and consider some proactive options that you can’t get most places.

Lincoln Park Zoo Lights

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 11.13.03 AM

Lions, Tigers, and beers…oh my!

You read that right. Along with a whole calendar of events, you can peruse the zoo with beers (and maybe Bears) or other adult beverages as the whole place gets lit up like you’ve never seen before. It’s free to enter, as always, and there’s a number of activities to partake in including rides, crafts, and seeing Santa. There are a few dates to mark on the calendar as well.

12/2 BrewLights

12/10 Adults Night Out

12/14, 12/21, 12/28 Family Nights

1/3 Last Day

 

Comedy Shows

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 10.13.32 AM

Want to know a great way to stay warm in Chicago? Laughing. Where better to do that than in a tiny cramped venue, brushing shoulders with the table next to you, sipping on a rum and something, and then forgetting it all with belly laugh after belly laugh.

Dave Chappelle is in the middle of a 6 day residency at Thalia Hall, Dec. 1 – 6, but good luck getting tickets for that. All 12 shows were sold out, but MAYBE a ticket or 2 will show up on StubHub. Meanwhile, you and your rowdy friends can check out any of the following clubs for standup shows:

Chicago Improv (in Schaumburg)

Laugh Factory (on Broadway)

Zanies (Chicago, St. Charles and Rosemont)

Beat Kitchen (on Belmont)

Or you can get literally spontaneous comedy at any of the improv institutions that helped put Chicago on the map in show business like Second City, iO or Comedy Sportz.

Last, but not least, John Oliver is performing at the Chicago Theater December 30th and 31st. Maybe don’t miss that.

Christkindlmarket

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 10.29.40 AM

I’m sure you’ve heard of it but in case you’ve never been, head over to Daley Plaza at Clark and Washington to see for yourself. The tradition began in Nuremberg, Germany in 1545 and was brought to Chicago in 1996. It’s considered the largest open-air Christmas festival in the city, but my favorite part is the mug of hot wine that I can mosey about with.

It’s open till Dec. 24th, so get over as soon as you can.

 

Marshall Fields

(Nobody wants to call it Macy’s this time of year)

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 10.48.19 AM

This is Christmas nostalgia at it’s finest for most of us who grew up around Chicago. Winter break from school, Mom and Dad have some last minute shopping and your family from New York is in town…where do you head to? State Street, that great street, to see the windows at Marshall Fields.

Every year there’s a different story being told around the building, and people of all ages can’t wait to see what’s next. Inside, on the 7th floor is another sight to behold. The Walnut Room has been a Chicago tradition since 1907.

Walnut Room

 

Star Wars (Chicago Style)

If the pre-sale numbers and the marketing haven’t already told you, people are excited for Star Wars. So how can you best celebrate the release of Episode 7?

The Whistler in Logan Square will be transforming their bar into the Mos Eisley Cantina on December 16th. There will be local musicians on hand as the house band from A New Hope and the cocktail menu will be overhauled with galactic themed beverages.

Mos Eisley

Then there’s Adler After Dark the next evening, December 17th, as the Adler Planetarium will be hosting a Force Awakens party unlike any.

  • Star Wars Trivia
  • A screening of Space Balls 
  • Star Wars-inspired beer from Empirical Brewing
  • Lightsaber Combat Workshop!
  • human-robot interactives from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

The Force is strong, yes?

 

Sauced Night Market

Sauced Night Emporium

It’s a roving night market, self-described as being “dedicated to emerging culinarians, artists and that guy from high school who’s a DJ now – an evening of food, art and debauchery set to the tune of “Hypnotize”. Intrigued? Sure you are.

December 15th, SAUCED will be at Emporium Arcade Bar in Logan Square for your not-yet-last-minute holiday shopping, great food from Chicago vendors, and craft beer. It sounds way too interesting to pass up.

 

One Of A Kind Show

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Love art or just any alternative to retail? This is for you. From December 3rd – 6th, 600 artists from across North America will be at the Merchandise Mart on Orleans with every kind of handmade creation you can think of.

Accessories, ceramics, sculptures, furniture, photography, paintings, glass, jewelry, fashion, etc. And here’s the show schedule:

Thursday, December 3    11am-8pm
Friday, December 4         11am-8pm
Saturday, December 5     10am-7pm
Sunday, December 6       10am-5pm

All the One Of A Kind Show info is here.

 

Topgolf

Nighttime Tee Line Golfer

(Naperville & Wood Dale)

 

I find it funny that there are still people around Chicago who haven’t caught on to Topgolf. It’s the grownup version of Chuck E. Cheese, Enchanted Castle, Leaps & Bounds, or whatever kids amusement place you used to frequent when you were younger.

It’s golf meets bowling, where each individual ball you hit has a chip inside and you aim for targets to score points against your friends. Full bar, great food, multiple monitors to watch sports, parties every night…and you it’s open year round with plenty of heat.

I actually went with my dad on the coldest of year and it was an absolute blast. Here’s proof.

FullSizeRender

If you have anymore recommendations to make December better, please pass them along on Facebook or Twitter

Upcoming Sequels & Reboots: What To Say YES or NOPE To

One of the biggest cliches regarding Hollywood and film is that “original material is dead”. To the people who feel that way, I would recommend going to their nearest theater and checking out Room and Bridge of Spies. We do seem to receive news on a daily basis of an upcoming reboot or sequel to a classic that’s either been long overdue or way too late.

Some of these projects are exciting and give us something to look forward to. Others just make you shake your head and ask…”Why?”

A remake to a film or franchise can be refreshing. Most of us are Shawshanked (naturally forced to sit and watch the rest of the way through, no matter the time) whenever Ocean’s Eleven comes on TV, the George Clooney version and not the 1960 Frank Sinatra one. Did you see the Footloose remake though? Neither did I.

There are a number of reboots and sequels coming to theaters in the next year or so. Many of the original titles are decades old. I’ll here to separate what’s worth the hype and what’s not.

 

Yes!

Yes

(Movies To Look Forward To)

Zoolander 2 (2016)

Although the original was released 15 years before this sequel hits theaters, it still works because the two stars NEVER AGE. Seriously, whatever moisturizer these guys are using makes 15 years look like 5.

Image (8)

…and they’re killing off Bieber, so at least the movie has that going for it. Just avoid anything the Anchorman did. Seriously.

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

Aside from jerks who lack imagination, everyone is looking forward to this film and rightfully so. The build up and marketing for Episode VII has been remarkably. While it’s been over 30 years since Han Solo was unfrozen from carbonite on the screen, chills ran down my spine hearing him say “…we’re home”, alongside a Chewbacca roar.

Returning to a set that isn’t so dependent on CGI and green screen like Episodes I-III has audiences excited. It’s also fun for both new and old generations of fans to see new characters on new adventures with old ones.

 

Spider-Man (2017)

Spider-Man

I, like many, was left with a really bad taste in my mouth after Spider-Man 3. It bothered me so much that I didn’t even see the Andrew Garfield version until I happened upon it on FX like a month ago…and I still didn’t feel like I missed out.

Now that Spider-Man is home in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, my spidey senses are tingling again (yeah, I said it). We’ll get our first look at the reboot edition in the highly anticipated Captain America: Civil Waras he chooses a side between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark. This means we won’t have to go through ANOTHER origin radioactive spider bite story when Peter Parker gets his solo film in 2017. We also know he’ll be in high school played by an actor who is actually in the appropriate age-range, Tom Holland. Tobey Maguire and Garfield were both in their very late twenties when they played high school Peter Parker.

It will be fun to see how the new Spider-Man fits into the Marvel/Avengers story going forward and who he will face off with. Hopefully NOT the Green Goblin for a 3rd time.

 

Ghostbusters (2016)

Ghostbusters 2016

I really don’t get why the idea of this film is so controversial. It’s an expansion of the Ghostbusters universe and features a female dominant cast with Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and current SNL cast members Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. Bridesmaids director/Freaks and Geeks writer Paul Feig is teaming up with Parks and Recreation for what’s meant to be a series of new Ghostbusters films that Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson have not only signed off on, but plan to appear in as well.

Also, Chris Hemsworth is their receptionist, so…there’s that.

 

NOPE!

Nope

(Movies Nobody Asked For)

 

Momento 

Momento

AMBI Pictures, run by Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi, announced this week that they will be financing a remake of Christopher Nolan’s breakout film, Momento. In the statement breaking the news, Bacardi said:

Memento is a masterpiece that leaves audiences guessing not just throughout the film, but long after as well, which is a testament to its daring approach.”

Then leave the damn thing alone! Better yet, just rerelease it theaters because it only made $25 million initially and was regarded as a modern classic right after. You can’t tell me though that anyone was asking for a new take or reimagining of this story.

 

Point Break (2015)

 

I’m convinced there is an evil group of film backers who want to remake Patrick Swayze’s whole filmography and in the worst ways possible. This is Exhibit A.

I understand there are different “extreme sports” being portrayed (snowboarding instead of surfing), but you could simply call the movie something else and change the character names to make it more appealing…Ya know, like The Fast and the Furious or something like that.

Here’s the original 1991 trailer.

“Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true…”, like a remake to this movie with worse actors.

 

Road House 

Road House

This is Exhibit B in the case for a Swayze movie conspiracy…

All we know about this movie is that Ronda Rousey has been casted to play Swayze’s character. A columnist for GQ, Jack Moore (who LOVES this idea), says this should work because “Ronda Rousey could end up being the new Patrick Swayze!”

Okay, I’m back from throwing up.

I’m not an MMA fan so I don’t share the adoration for Rousey as many people do. I also didn’t see The Entourage movie and don’t feel like I’m missing out. I have seen the other films she’s appeared in and don’t really want to again. I know that she’s the one thing that UFC has to promote itself and that she wants to join WWE. And like I said regarding the new Point Break, you can make the “Rousey as a bouncer” movie and not call it ‘Road House’. Rousey herself doesn’t sound all that confident about doing the film after telling reporters, “The worst thing that’s going to happen is, is that I’ll really suck and just disgrace the name of Swayze and ‘Road House,’ and everyone will hate me.”

+1 for self awareness.

 

Top Gun 2

Top Gun

I need this photo to have Maverick giving a thumbs down.

The original is almost 30 years old. Yeah, Tom Cruise is in fantastic shape and still kicking ass in the Mission Impossible franchise and Jack Reacher, but you’re not going to bring either Goose or Tony Scott back to get me excited for this sequel. There’s also a lot of confusion as to whether Cruise will even accept the offer to play Maverick again…Val Kilmer’s already editing his Facebook statuses about it, so it will probably go straight to DVD or VOD.

 

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

 

MSDINDA FE002

Will Smith isn’t signed up for this film so neither am I. Seriously, you could air it on SyFy after the next Sharknado and it will get as much hype as it would going to theaters.

(Sidenote: Not included is the long rumored Space Jam 2. Personally, I don’t mind if kids today get to see one featuring LeBron James because many of them weren’t even born while Michael Jordan was playing basketball. Just let that sink in…)

 

Any other reboots and sequels that interest you or make you sick? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter

Movie-Inspired Halloween Costumes 2015

Coming off of New York’s Comic Con Week, and with it being the middle of October already, there’s no better time than now to begin planning your Halloween costume. Although all ideas kinda suck now after seeing the guy who built his own 9.5 foot Iron Man “Hulkbuster” suit at NYCC…

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 9.53.26 AM

We’re not worthy.

My own personal Halloween costume history is exactly why I needed a list like this. I haven’t dressed up in 3 years. The last time I did, I was Deputy Marshall Raylan Givens from Justified on FX…and nobody got it. My attempt at Mad TV’sDrunk Kenny Rogers” in college was a valiant effort, but I could use something relevant and awesome this year for much needed ice-breakers.

For my own benefit, and likely yours, let’s take a look at the movies this year that offer the BEST costume ideas for October 31st.

Mad Max: Fury Road

If you follow this site, then you know that we’ve talked A LOT about Fury Road this year. One of the best films of 2015, a fun way to compare pro athletes, and an EASY resource for costume ideas. We thank the beautiful twisted mind of George Miller for making these possible.

‘Mad’ Max Rockatansky

Tom Hardy Mad Max

Mad Max Mask

Very obvious choice and not a shabby one at that. You could go with the updated Tom Hardy uniform featuring the classic football right shoulder pad, a sweet military-esque jacket with a dirtied up thermal. Or you can go “Blood Bag Max” with his prisoner mask and chain trailing behind you.

Furiosa

Furiosa

Charlize Theron rocked it as Furiosa and so can you if you’re willing to buzz your hair. If you choose to, you get my full support and can blame me for it if you get any flack.

Warboys & Immortan Joe

Warboys

You can either assemble your super pale crew, take your shirts off, and CHROME UP

…or be the scariest looking person at your party. I doubt you’ll regret either choice.

Bonus points if you can pull this off, flames and all.

Mad Max Guitarist

Ex Machina

Ava

Ava Ex Machina

This costume would take some creativity, but I would dub you the winner of your costume party if you could pull it off. Ex Machina was an early candidate for one of the best films of the year, incredibly suspenseful, and Alicia Vikander became my newest Hollywood crush thanks to her performance as Ava and again in Man From UNCLE. 

Avengers: Age of Ultron

The Avengers

MARVEL'S AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

Dressing up as any of the Avengers (Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye) will be relevant every year, especially going forward as the heroes continue to mesh in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You’ll be getting ahead of game if you can dress as Cap or Tony Stark facing off for Civil War. Highly recommended for any “group” costume.

Ultron

Ultron AOU

If the “Hulkbuster” costume is possible (from the top of the post), then so is Ultron. Bonus points if you can pull off the red lights for eyes and James Spader voice of evil.

The Vision

The Vision

Wanna steal the show this Halloween? Do like Paul Bettany and be The Vision. Is it me, or was Vision the ultimate one-upper in Age of Ultron?

Ant-Man

Scott Lang / Ant-Man

Ant-Man

Marvel surprised several doubters who didn’t think Ant-Man would work in a stand alone film. Paul Rudd, Michael Pena and some hilarious writing set the film apart from the other Marvel installments. Commemorate their achievement and throw on the Ant-Man suit, while also preparing for his appearance in the upcoming Civil War. 

(Pym Particle Shrinking Capabilities Not Included)

Inside Out

Inside Out characters

Need a group costume? Boom! You can get out the body paint, wigs, and FEELINGS dressed as Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), and Anger (Lewis Black).

Jurassic World

JW Raptors

I’ve been very vocal with my disappointment in Jurassic World, HOWEVER…

Imagine someone dressed as Chris Pratt’s character with a whole gang of stuffed raptors attached to them. Or you can dress as raptors with the rest of your friends. Simply…raptor squad!!!

Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton

90’s hip hop seems to be making a huge comeback with today’s culture, and I love it. Any group willing to rock the chains, flat billed hats, white sneakers and curls at a Halloween party would be on a different level of badassery.

The Martian

The Martian astronauts

My biggest takeaway after seeing The Martian was “Damn, Astronauts are cool again!” The suit may get warm, the helmet could be a little bit of a nuisance, but your space related pick-up lines would be EPIC!

Note: All the ones I found on Google had to do with Uranus. So please Tweet me some better ones.

Spectre

Spectre Bond

I think it’s ALWAYS acceptable to SUIT UP like James Bond, but if you’re someone who needs an excuse…SPECTRE HITS THEATERS IN A FEW WEEKS! If you couldn’t tell, I’m a little excited.

The End of the Tour

David Foster Wallace

Jason Segel

Perhaps not something that many would get if you felt compelled to throw on a bandana, a pair of glasses, avoid shaving for a few days, and go 90’s grunge with your getup. I, however, would greatly appreciate anyone who enjoyed Jason Segel’s performance as David Foster Wallace as much as I did and decided to go out as the excellent writer on Halloween.

The Peanuts Movie

Peanuts Movie

If there was ever a time for you and your friends to dress up as Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Snoopy and company, this Halloween would be as good as any. The Peanuts Movie will be out the next weekend and you’ll probably have The Great Pumpkin special on ABC recording on your DVR anyway.

Star Wars Episode VII: 

The Force Awakens

Clearly the most anticipated film in years is around the corner, and we’re all dusting off our lightsabers from our formative years. I can’t wait to see this year’s crop of costumes representing both older characters and new!

Han Solo & Chewbacca

Han and Chewie

Amazing how Chewie hasn’t aged a day, isn’t it? If you plan on going out as this dynamic duo, please have a decent Wookie call. If you don’t, then don’t bother.

Rylo Ken

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 12.24.47 PM

Just like you and I, Rylo Ken is a HUGE Fanboy/Fangirl for Darth Vader. Who doesn’t want to see a broadsword lightsaber fight in the middle of their Halloween party?

Captain Phasma

Captain Phasma

Get ahead of the game and get well acquainted with the next “Boba Fett” type character for the Star Wars franchise. Captain Phasma, played by Gwendoline Christie (aka Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones), only gets glimpses during in the trailers we’ve seen, but JJ Abrams can’t help but rave about the new Star Wars baddie.

Rey & Finn

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 12.37.55 PM

Meet “The Resistance”. It’s not totally clear what their backgrounds are, but Rey and Finn will likely be getting lightsabers and possibly their own “couple” hashtag after the first screening of Episode VII. Be careful with that “couple talk” though…You never know where story arcs will go with Star Wars characters.

Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

Oscar Isaac’s new character has a Han Solo shine to him but more importantly, YOU GET TO DRESS UP AS AN X-WING FIGHTER!

Did you get some ideas for Halloween from this post? Do you have some better ones? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook

It’s Good to be a Geek

I envy everyone who attended San Diego Comic-Con 2015 this past weekend. Attendees were lucky enough to witness first looks at upcoming Star Wars, DC, and Marvel films. Fortunately, those of us who couldn’t attend have the internet and access to the streaming of panels, and releases of footage (official or leaked). Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice finally gave us their first full trailerDeadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse, and Suicide Squad headlined with panels and trailer presentations that made their way to the internet shortly after. Even THE MUPPETS made their presence felt, discussing their mockumentary series that will air on ABC later this year. The biggest takeaway from the SDCC weekend may have been exactly what all of us young (and old) padawans have been waiting for…Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens coming to life.

If you’re like me, you salivated at the idea of “real sets” and  “practical effects”, which were missing from Episodes I-III…and Jurassic World for that matter. (CGI takes the magic away from things, but that’s a discussion for another day.)

This past weekend, overall, was an excellent reminder of how good it is to be a geek these days. A generation that grew up on comic books, video games, and Superhero cartoons are now being treated to a Hollywood that appreciates those mediums. Before the first Iron Man movie, did you expect to see a full timeline of Avengers/Marvel films scheduled through May 3rd, 2019? Following Revenge of the Sith, Did you imagine Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford would team up again as Luke Skywalker and Han Solo? You’re lying if say you did…Or have a time-traveling DeLorean in your garage.

While we have new Superhero films hitting theaters every 3-4 months now, television has caught up to the big screen as an excellent resource for geek entertainment (and distraction). What Marvel has accomplished with feature films and creating an epic universe for the Avengers, DC has done on the CW network with Arrow, The Flash and the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow…

Fox’s Gotham and ABC’s Agents of Shield series are fun, but not nearly as compelling as the stories presented in the Arrow/Flash universe (which I wish the DC film division took notice of). Meanwhile, Netflix has entered the ring with excellent original programming. The first season of Daredevil cleansed the pallet of a fans who were left with a bad taste after the previous adaptation, starring Ben Affleck. It also opened the door to a universe that will involve 4 other Marvel series on Netflix, including Jessica Jones later this year, then Luke CageThe Iron Fist, and then The Defenders. 

Recently, I’ve noticed a contrarian and trendy narrative in TV shows, such as Community and Mr. Robot, that suggest people are suckers for enjoying Superhero films. In the writers’ opinion, we’re all lemmings for going to the movie theater and paying money for these films, and that’s just simply wrong. Just about every one of the Marvel films consist of better stories and dialogue than you’ll find in any of other franchises getting recent installments (looking at you Jurassic World, Terminator: Genisys and ALL of the Transformers films). I also think those are counter-culture comments being made for the sake of being counter-culture. Consider that a win, Geeks. You are today’s “culture”, and it’s wonderful.

Have you ever Googled the definition of “Geek”? The definition isn’t particularly flattering and may have been written by Biff from “Back To The Future”…

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 2.07.03 PM

Yep. straight from Google. (Google is a jerk sometimes). Those who believe in the “unfashionable” and “carnival performer” assumptions are the same people who made fun of you to feel better about themselves and are probably looking forward to their high school reunions way more than the average person should. 

The truth lies somewhere in the sub-definitions. “A knowledgeable enthusiast” (obsessive is a bit strong) or one who “becomes extremely excited about a subject” sounds more like a typical fan than a “socially inept person”. It also applies to more than comic books, video games, and superheroes. If you are amped up for next seasons for The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, or even less fantasy-driven shows like House of Cards or Empire, you are indeed a geek. If you are checking every new beer you try on the Untappd app, you are a geek. If you are over-preparing for your upcoming fantasy football draft or really looking forward to when Blackhawks tickets go on sale, you are a geek…not a freak.

Geek is fun. Geek is chic. Geek is “normal”…I use the term “normal” very loosely because I don’t think there is such thing as normal. We all have different backgrounds, different interests, different hobbies, and different experiences. When we can bond on any of those different things, then maybe we start to feel “normal”. Being a geek is sort of like that.

I love that I can discuss the things I get excited about on this website like movies, music, TV, sports and food, because I know there are many who share these same interests…many of whom, are in fact geeks (whether they identify as such or not). It’s a community that grows everyday thanks to social media and the ever-evolving entertainment culture, one that can be both appealing but sometimes over-critical.

For now, it’s just simply good. I mean, who ISN’T geeking out about Star Wars returning this Winter?

[Update]

Of course as soon as I mention it in this post, Warner Bros releases the Suicide Squadtrailer. Enjoy!

Have something to add? Continue the conversation on Twitter @Mike_PiFF03