A long time ago...in a galaxy far, far away...everyone loved the original Star Wars movies, their mere mention evoking a pleasant rekindling of childhood nostalgia for an entire generation born before 1980 or so. However – quicker than your tauntaun freezing before it hits that first marker on Hoth – that all changed with the next trilogy. In fact, little Anakin wasn’t through one-loop of that pod race on Tatooine before many already bailed on the new installments, subsequently brushing off the series as a whole. Now, while for this writer’s money, the last half of the latter trilogy is as good as anything in the first, now is not the time for stoking the fires of Mustafar. That ship has sailed. Instead, we gaze ahead to the future. To 2015. To the new movies from Disney – and things every Star Wars fan should rightly fear.
Lucasfilm via Everett Collection
"The boy has no patience."
Was Yoda talking about Mickey Mouse? Perhaps so, given the studio’s insistence on a 2015 release. Don’t just make it to make it, guys. Make it good.
The Jar Jar Factor
It’s undeniable. The shadow of the classic misstep from trilogy two looms larger over even these flicks. Will Disney go for cute or cool with new characters?
To sing the impossible song
Surely I can’t be the only one to wonder if Disney will throw in more music into the Star Wars saga. Its animated offerings are chock full of this stuff. Shudder.
And we thought Obi-Wan was old
Can the original stars still kick Imperial butt? Will the Force still be strong with Hamill, Ford and Fisher? Or will that just be the stench of Ben Gay coming from their trailers?
Less is more. More is less
Will more mixed-reviewed Star Wars flicks further sully the series? A cash cow that literally wrote the rules on merchandising, maybe Lucas was right to sell when he did.
As you prepare to enjoy the 4th of July weekend, SSN gives you a preview of good TV to look out for in the coming weeks.
We hope you tuned in to Showtime last night for the final season premiere of Dexter and the premiere of Ray Donovan. Dexter is back in fine form as his sister Debra has quit the police force and is mentally going off the rails. This is the show’s final season and you should be on the lookout for Charlotte Rampling in upcoming episodes as a neuro-psychiatrist who knows a lot about Dexter even though he doesn’t realize who she is at first.
Ray Donovan stars Liev Schreiber as a very effective Hollywood fixer with personal problems of his own, starting with his ex-con father Mickey (Jon Voight). Ray tries to protect and take care of his family and his two brothers, Bunchy (Dash Mihok) and Terry (Eddie Marsan), but as soon as Mickey shows up in L.A., it all starts to go south. Be sure you make time each Sunday night for Dexter and Ray Donovan.
Upcoming shows we’re looking forward to:
INTERIOR THERAPY WITH JEFF LEWIS SEASON PREMIERE Tuesday – July 9th, 2013 at 9:00pm on Bravo
Reasons To Watch: Say what you will about Jeff Lewis: his OCD makes him extra-particular about everything, his eye for detail sometimes borders on the insane but the man knows how to make a home livable and beautiful. Lewis and his right-hand gal Jenni Poulos are back to help troubled couples and families with home decorating issues that also affect their relationships.
THE BRIDGE SERIES PREMIERE Wednesday – July 10th, 2013 at 10:00pm on FX
Academy Award nominee Demian Bichir (A Better Life) and Diane Kruger star in this new drama from writers Meredith Stiehm (Homeland, Cold Case) and Elwood Reid (Hawaii Five-O, Cold Case). Based on the Danish/Swedish series Bron, which was set on the border of Denmark and Sweden, The Bridge is set on the border between El Paso and Juarez. It centers on two detectives, one from the U.S., Detective Sonya Cross (Kruger), and one from Mexico, Marco Ruiz (Bichir), who must work together to hunt down a serial killer operating on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. The Bridge co-stars Ted Levine, Annabeth Gish, and Thomas M. Wright. Gerardo Naranjo (Miss Bala) directed the pilot.
Reasons To Watch: Bichir never gives a bad performance. We loved him as a drug kingpin on Weeds a few seasons ago and we know he’ll be equally compelling as a lawman. We also loved Stiehm’s writing on Homeland, especially the pivotal season one episode “The Weekend.” If The Bridge adheres to the FX drama brand, it will be worth watching.
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK SERIES PREMIERE Thursday – July 11th, 2013 at 12:01am on Netflix
Reasons To Watch: Jenji Kohan (Weeds) adapted Piper Kerman’s memoir of an executive’s time in a minimum security women’s prison for drug charges. Kohan excels at writing women in unusual circumstances and combining humor and pathos. We’ve seen the first two episodes and we’re in for the run. Taylor Schilling is cast well as Piper Chapman, the yuppie gal who goes to prison for a crime she committed ten years ago. Jason Biggs plays her loving fiancée Larry, Laura Prepon is a woman from Piper’s past (no spoilers here) and look for Kate Mulgrew in a very different kind of role.
HOLLYWOOD GAME NIGHT SERIES PREMIERE Thursday – July 11th, 2013 at 10:00pm on NBC
Reasons To Watch: Jane Lynch and games! Jane Lynch hosts this fun, light show that has celebrities like Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, Jason Alexander, Josh Gad, Kristin Chenoweth, Martin Short, Allison Hannigan, Kristen Bell, and Daniel Dae Kim teaming up with civilians to compete in party games.
THE NEWSROOM SEASON PREMIERE Sunday – July 14th, 2013 at 10:00pm on HBO
Reasons To Watch: This Aaron-Sorkin-penned drama is far from perfect (don’t get us started on how Sorkin writes female characters) but the combination of fast wordplay and Jeff Daniels make the show worth watching. We also think Thomas Sadowski and John Gallagher Jr. are great and we hope they both get meatier storylines this season. We also hope to see more of Jane Fonda, though we haven’t heard how many episodes she’ll turn up in during this second season.
What will you be watching? Do you have any summer TV favorites? Let us know in the comments.
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If you asked your average fan to draft out his dream lineup for the ultimate action-movie cast -- an action movie superband, as it were -- it probably wouldn’t look all that different from the team Sylvester Stallone was able to assemble for The Expendables. That has me wondering, though: What should a sci-fi blockbuster equivalent of The Expendables look like? Who would be the person to get a sci-fi superband off the ground? Most importantly, who all should star in it? And, keeping with the theme of The Expendables, what would their equivalent role be?
Notes: 1) This is strictly for a sci-fi blockbuster, not what I think would actually make the ultimate science fiction movie. 2) No one in The Expendables is eligible (sorry, Bruce and Arnold). 3) I’ve kept the casting pool limited to people with mainly movie careers; TV opens that playing field too wide. 4) I have no idea what this hypothetical movie would be about -- this is just who I’d like to see get together under one blockbuster roof.
'Expendables' Doppelganger: Jet Li
Keanu Reeves is a no-brainer for this list, considering the man’s career of late has been defined exclusively by big-budget sci-fi blockbusters, but designating his Expendables counterpart is a little tougher. On the one hand, he is a big enough fan of the genre to warrant being the Stallone-equivalent champion of the genre, but I don’t think he’s outspoken enough to take up that much of the spotlight. Jet Li, though, is a little light on the dialogue, but he’s always there, eager to jump into the fray. Both are also very well known for how much they respect their stunt teams, so it’s a perfect match.
Sci-Fi Credits: The Matrix, The Day the Earth Stood Still, A Scanner Darkly
'Expendables' Doppelganger: Sylvester Stallone
Choosing who would possibly both be passionate enough about sci-fi blockbusters to really assemble a superband of genre staples and have enough clout to actually attract the other players was the hardest part of making this list. But if anyone could get it together it’s Will Smith. He’s been in more sci-fi smashes than anyone else on this list, he has admitted to loving the genre in interviews, and there probably isn’t a project in Hollywood that he couldn’t get off the ground.
Sci-Fi Credits: Independence Day, Men in Black, I Am Legend
'Expendables' Doppelganger: Jason Statham
Vin Diesel really hasn’t been in that many sci-fi movies (the two Riddick entries, Babylon A.D. and The Iron Giant are it), but he identifies so strongly with the few films that he has been in that he could easily be considered a welcome face. Plus, he’s just a huge geek in his personal life; he’s been a long time D&D player and he founded his own video-game company. He’s also got "rogue tough guy who eventually has to protect his lady friend" written all over him, which is basically the only role Statham ever plays.
Sci-Fi Credits: Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick, Babylon A.D., The Iron Giant
Casper Van Dien
'Expendables' Equivalent: Dolph Lundgren
There’s a reason that both Dolph Lundgren and Casper Van Dien didn’t have bigger careers in Hollywood: The public just could not take them seriously. Lundgren has actually become a much better actor in recent years, but he and Van Dien both started off strong and then wound down to become low-budget, straight-to-video regulars. That surefire disenchantment with the Hollywood system makes them perfect for the wild-card, crazy member of the team.
Sci-Fi Credits: Starship Troopers
'Expendables' Equivalent: Mickey Rourke
It pains me to say that Sigourney Weaver should be kept on the sidelines the same way Mickey Rourke is, but I think the idea of her as the grizzled vet who has gotten too old for this shit is a pretty amusing one. She’s also got the wit and the presence to be able to realistically bust the balls of everyone else around her.
Sci-Fi Credits: Alien, Avatar, Ghostbusters, Wall-E, Galaxy Quest
'Expendables' Equivalent: Eric Roberts
Someone has to play the bad guy, and seeing as Harrison Ford has rarely plays outside his hero range, for once I’d just like to see him play a crazy dude with absolutely no regard for human life. Maybe a good old-fashion sci-fi blockbuster is just what he needs to actually look enthusiastic on the big screen again (let’s not count Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls; let’s never, ever count it).
Sci-Fi Credits: Star Wars, Blade Runner
'Expendables' Equivalent: Randy Couture
Michael Ironside is such an obvious choice for both the Mickey Rourke and Eric Red roles that I want to see neither. I’d just like to see him break his current mold and play a foot soldier. Not the main hero or bad guy, not the one teaching a lesson, just another tool at the disposal of the core heroes.
Sci-Fi Credits: Starship Troopers, Total Recall, Watchers, Highlander II
'Expendables' Equivalent: Bruce Willis
I would absolutely love to see Lance Henriksen kick some ass even in his old age, but these days he’s better suited for playing Willis’ role of the guy who hires everyone else. He’s got the presence of a seasoned pro and can make every line of dialogue stick like a barb when he wants to.
Sci-Fi Credits: Aliens, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Terminator
'Expendables' Equivalent: Gary Daniels
The casting of Jeff Goldblum in pretty much anything these days cracks me up, so it only makes sense that he should play the henchman who talks a bunch of trash the entire time but who you know just can’t back up anything he's saying. Plus, Goldblum just hasn’t really been a part of a high-concept sci-fi movie for a while, so he’d be a sight for sore eyes.
Sci-Fi Credits: The Fly, Independence Day, Powder
'Expendables' Equivalent: Steve Austin
Physically, Milla Jovovich couldn’t be further from Steve Austin, but I still think she would make a perfectly foreboding henchwoman. She doesn’t have to say much -- you can tell just by looking at her that she’s capable of all kinds of asskickery. And as the clear obstacle between the heroes and the big bad boss, that means she’d eventually have to fight their leader. Plus, I would just love to see a Will Smith vs. Milla Jovovich rumble. That would be too weird to pass up.
Sci-Fi Credits: The Fifth Element, Resident Evil, The Fourth Kind