Today at MTV News we celebrate the birthday of actor Nathan Fillion. By “we” I mostly mean “I,” because I’m the only one around here with a mini-shrine to Nathan at my desk. But I invite you join me in the celebration, dear reader!
To get the party started, I present to you my Five Favorite Fillion Films, in list form. “Wait,” I hear you say, “Doesn’t Nathan Fillion do TV?” ‘Tis true, my astute fellow Fillionaire – he’s known primarily for his television roles on such shows as “Castle,” “Firefly” and “The Sitcom with Ryan Reynolds and Another Guy and a Girl and a Pizza Place.” But Nathan has done some fine work in film as well (and he will do more, as he’s just been cast as Hermes - a GOD! - in the “Percy Jackson” sequel). My faves are after the jump!
A while back I had an insightful conversation with Eric Geller of TheForce.Net about the improbable popularity of Boba Fett; this became the subject of my very first Comlink column.
Recently Eric and I discussed the ascent of another "Star Wars" character: the Corellian known as Dengar. Like Boba Fett, Dengar embarked on a search for Han Solo in “The Empire Strikes Back,” but unlike Fett, the voice of Dengar is not heard at all. In fact, he’s sort of a blink-and-you-miss-him kind of guy.
But despite his lack of screen time (and his loss of the Solo bounty to Fett), Dengar has become quite the cult figure in the Expanded Universe. His fans include actors Patton Oswalt and Simon Pegg, who just voiced the animated bounty hunter on “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”
What’s the one must-have fashion accessory for the wannabe Jedi? A lightsaber, of course—the classiest (and potentially the deadliest) of personal weapons. With a lightsaber in your hand and the Force in your heart, there’s no enemy you cannot conquer.
Except maybe a Portland police officer.
"There's always going to be Sithy douchebags trying to misuse the Force," says Nerdist and all-around funny guy Chris Hardwick. "It’s a sword made of light,” Hardwick says with due reverence. "I remember seeing that for the first time when I was a kid and it completely melted my mind."
Taking a cue from the Yodas and Obi-Wans of the world, Hardwick has offered up a new opportunity to use the power of the lightsaber for good: an Olympic-style relay from Santa Monica to San Diego where participants pass off lightsabers to one another, just in time for Comic-Con. It will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and it’s appropriately called Course of the Force. Hardwick hopes this year’s event will be the first of many. "Initially we wanted to do it from Skywalker Ranch all the way down to San Diego, but we kind of wanted to just get our feet wet the first year," he explained.
According to Eric Geller from TheForce.net, there were three people who were largely responsible for the success of the original “Star Wars” trilogy: creator George Lucas, composer John Williams, and concept artist Ralph McQuarrie.
McQuarrie, who passed away on Saturday at age 82, might not have been as well-known as Lucas and Williams. But if it weren’t for him, “Star Wars” might never have made it to the big screen. It was his artwork that helped convince 20th Century Fox to green-light the first film back in 1975.
You may know that the new movie “John Carter” is based on some very old stories – Edgar Rice Burroughs’ title character first appeared in print a century ago. But you may not fully appreciate the influence that Burroughs’ creation has had on the sci-fi genre and pop culture in general.
So, with a little help from BigShinyRobot.com editor and Burroughs enthusiast Bryan Young, I give you the top five characters influenced by John Carter:
1. Flash Gordon
John Carter was a direct ancestor of this early sci-fi hero, as well as Buck Rogers. With the Carter stories, Burroughs “created that breathless, serialized style fifteen years before it was popularized in those ‘30’s serials,” says Young. “He was writing movie serials before movie serials existed.”
Nine films are nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards this year, begging the question: who deserved a tenth spot on that list? Oscars 2012: 10 Spot answers that question, as the MTV Movies team highlights some of 2011's greatest films and argues why they deserved a nod as the tenth Best Picture nominee.
Let’s get this out of the way right now: Yes, “Shame” is indeed The One With The Penis – Michael Fassbender’s, to be precise. That said, it would be a shame (no pun intended) if that’s all this extraordinary film is remembered for. For some insight into why “Shame” wasn’t nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, we should discuss what this movie is not:
» It’s not a family film (see above re: The One With The Penis). This movie is one hundred percent adult-oriented. There are no brave horses, charming pups or precocious kids in “Shame.” There are only grown-ups doing very grown-up things.
I was daydreaming at the office one recent afternoon when I started to notice all the "Star Wars" stuff I’ve got at my desk. Alongside representations of John McClane, Mal Reynolds and Kevin Costner as Robin Hood are: three Yodas (cute plush Yoda, figurine Yoda and Magic 8 Ball-type Yoda), one talking Yoda keychain, three flash drives (my favorite being the Han Solo which sleeps in a little “carbonite” case), one Ewok action figure (Wicket, I think), two different types of lightsaber, one Darth Vader talking pen that neither talks nor writes anymore and a 2012 mini calendar. At home I have a set of Star Wars linens from Pottery Barn.
The way I see it, there are three types of people who buy Star Wars stuff nowadays: There’s the obliging parent whose kid drags her through the aisles of Toys R Us so they can pick out a trinket from "The Clone Wars," the hardcore collector who spends most of his waking hours searching for That One Piece that might cost him much more than a week’s paycheck, and me – just a regular Star Wars fan who fondly remembers all the cool toys Mom and Dad threw away ages ago.
The first group shows up in force when there’s a new movie release or another cable TV season starts. The second and third groups fill the gap in between. Together we’ve spent $20 billion on "Star Wars" related merchandise since the franchise began, and there are no signs of slowing down.
The release date of “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” in 3-D has come and gone, and the news is not so great for Mr. George Lucas. Though the film didn’t exactly underperform in its opening weekend (it took in $22.5 million), three other new films did better. Fourth place: there’s not even a medal for that.
I can’t say that I’m surprised; most adults who have already seen the film probably wouldn’t care to see it again, even in 3-D. And the new generation of young moviegoers was likely distracted by “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.”
As for myself, there will be no trip to the megaplex to watch “Menace” once again on the big screen. But my avoidance of “Episode I” has little to do with midi-chlorians or Jake Lloyd or Jar Jar Binks. It’s because of the most heinous, sacrilegious act perpetrated by The Creator: the CG-ification of Yoda.
"Star Wars: Episode I" returns to theaters today, in 3D. But let’s flash back for a few moments to May 19th, 1999 – the day “The Phantom Menace” was originally released. If you were a die-hard “Star Wars” fan, like I was, you were going to see this movie regardless of what the critics wrote about it. You ached to hear, once again, that familiar yet exciting 20th Century Fox fanfare before reading the opening crawl. You may have camped out on a dirty sidewalk for hours, days, weeks even, just so you could be one of the first to experience it.
But if you weren’t one of “those” fans, you might have waited and checked out the reviews before making the decision to see “The Phantom Menace.” The following is a sampling of what you’d have read.
John Williams, the greatest film composer ever (and arguably the greatest living American composer, period) turns 80 years old today. There’s too much to say about Williams for this limited space, but here are a few stats...