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About the Author
Founder and Executive Producer of the Heroes Podcast Network. Host of Screen Heroes and Redshirts & Runabouts podcast series. Known Trekkie, gamer, and all around nerd.

Fallout Shelter Hits Android

Fallout fans, Fallout Shelter, the relatively new simulation mobile game from Bethesda is now available on Android devices from Google Play in addition to iOS.

Fallout Logo

 

Bethesda describes Fallout Shelter as:

BUILD THE PERFECT VAULT
Create a brighter future…underground! Select from a variety of modern-day rooms to turn an excavation beneath 2,000 feet of bedrock into the very picture of Vault Life.
OVERSEE A THRIVING COMMUNITY
Get to know your Dwellers and lead them to happiness. Find their ideal jobs and watch them flourish. Provide them with outfits, weapons, and training to improve their abilities.

PROSPER
A well-run Vault requires a variety of Dwellers with a mix of skills. Build a Radio Room to attract new Dwellers. Or, take an active role in their personal lives; play matchmaker and watch the sparks fly!

EXPLORE THE WASTELAND
Send Dwellers above ground to explore the blasted surface left behind and seek adventure, handy survival loot, or unspeakable death. Find new armor and weapons, gain experience, and earn Caps. But don’t let them die!

PROTECT YOUR VAULT
From time to time, idyllic Vault life may be disrupted by the dangers of post-nuclear life. Prepare your Dwellers to protect against threats from the outside…and within.

Vault-Tec has provided the tools, but the rest is up to you. What are you waiting for? Get started building your Vault today for FREE.

So yes, it is a free game but there are in-app purchases, so beware.

Fallout Shelter Example

For a brand new Android game, it already has over 100.000 downloads and is sitting pretty at a nearly 5-star score. As someone who pre-ordered the Pipboy Edition of the game, I’m very excited to finally get my hands on Fallout Shelter.

Have you played the game yet? What do you think? Are you excited for Fallout 4? Comment below!

Fallout Shelter Hits Android

Box Office Numbers: Aug 7-9, 2015

The latest box office numbers are in and surprise! Fantastic Four did not do well. Have you heard that enough? Well, it’s true, sad or not. The latest Fox Marvel superhero flick pulled in just over $26 million, falling short of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation which was in its second weekend. Pixar’s Inside Out and Universal’s Jurassic World finally dropped from the top 10 after eight and nine weeks at the box office, respectively. Meanwhile, the limited release film, The Gift (2015) averaged more than Fantastic Four and almost as much as MIssion: Impossible – Rogue Nation on a per theater basis and more than doubled its small $5 million budget. Shaun the Sheep Movie, which came out this weekend, didn’t even crack the top ten, bringing in just $4 million and averaging less per theater than Inside Out and just slightly more than Jurassic World. Check out this week’s top 10 box office films below and let us know if you were one of the few to go see Fantastic Four. 

Fantastic-Four-Banner

 

Box Office Top 10 – August 7-9, 2015

  1. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation ($29.4 million in its second weekend, totaling $108.654 million)
  2. Fantastic Four ($26.2 million in opening weekend across 3,995 theaters)
  3. The Gift (2015) ($12.007 million in opening weekend across 1,648 theaters)
  4. Vacation ($9.145 million in second weekend, totaling $37.325 million)
  5. Ant-Man ($7.826 million in fourth weekend, totaling $147.436 million)
  6. Minions ($7.4 million in fifth weekend, totaling $302.754 million)
  7. Ricki and the Flash ($7 million in opening weekend across 1,603 theaters)
  8. Trainwreck ($6.3 million in fourth weekend, totaling $91.102 million)
  9. Pixels ($5.43 million in third weekend, totaling $57.645 million)
  10. Southpaw ($4.764 million in third weekend, totaling $40.726 million)

What did you see this weekend? Comment below!

Box Office numbers provided by Box Office Mojo.

Box Office Numbers: Aug 7-9, 2015

Box Office Numbers: July 31- Aug 2, 2015

Two films hit the box office this weekend, Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and reboot VacationRogue Nation is the fifth film in the spy franchise and comes to us from Paramount and Bad Robot starring Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Ferguson, and Ving Rhames. Vacation is a reboot\sequel of the 1983 Chevy Chase film of the same name. The new version stars Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo, and Steele Stebbins with Chris Hemsworth. Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo both return, though I would expect those roles to be primarily cameos.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

Domestic Box Office Numbers for July 31st – August 2nd Weekend

  1. Vacation (2015)Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation ($56 million in opening weekend across 3,956 theaters)
  2. Vacation (2015) ($14.85 million in opening weekend across 4,311 theaters, totaling $21.17 million in 5-day opening)
  3. Ant-Man ($12.62 million in third weekend, totaling $132.15 million)
  4. Minions ($12.2 million in fourth weekend, totaling $287.39 million)
  5. Pixels ($10.4 million in second weekend, totaling $45.61 million)
  6. Trainwreck ($9.7 million in third weekend, totaling $79.71 million)
  7. Southpaw ($7.52 million in second weekend, totaling $31.578 million)
  8. Paper Towns ($4.6 million in second weekend, totaling $23.82 million)
  9. Inside Out ($4.52 million in seventh weekend, totaling $329.6 million)
  10. Jurassic World ($3.8 million in eighth weekend, totaling $631.5 million)

As the numbers show, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation won the box office by more than double even with Vacation getting an extra day with their Wednesday opening. Ant-Man continues to fall about 50% per week but based on domestic numbers alone, it has finally passed its $130 million budget, making it profitable. Pixels is having a rough time falling to just $10 million in its second week and still just about 50% of the way to its budget of $88 million. Meanwhile, Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck is nearing $80 million on its $35 million budget and Southpaw just passed its $30 million budget. The big summer hitters, Inside Out and Jurassic World hold on to the last two top ten spots with Terminator: Genisys falling to 13th after five weeks in theaters, bringing its domestic total to just $87.65 million with a budget of $155 million.

Coming Soon to the Box Office

Fantastic Four (2015)

  • Fantastic Four (2015)
  • The Gift (2015)
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie
  • The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
  • Straight Outta Compton
  • Underdogs (2014)

What movies are you most excited to see in theaters? Did you find anything on this week’s box office list surprising? Comment below!

Box Office numbers provided by Box Office Mojo.

Box Office Numbers: July 31- Aug 2, 2015

Ranking All 12 Star Trek Movies

The Star Trek franchise turns 50 next year and we are hoping for a thirteenth Star Trek movie along with the announcement of its return to television. While Simon Pegg pens the script and production begins, I attempt to rank the existing 12 Star Trek movies from the original 1979 space opera Star Trek: The Motion Picture, through The Next Generation’s first film, Generations, and up through J.J. Abrams’ pseudo Wrath of Khan remake, Into Darkness. I’ll break down why I rank each Star Trek film the way I did and their placement will include things like character growth, special effects, musical scores, plot, and overall consistency. The Star Trek franchise is one of the biggest and oldest science fiction franchises out there, so I’m sure many will disagree with my ranking. Please comment with your own and let me know what you think of my list. Engage!

12. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Is The Final Frontier really as bad as people say it is? Yes. Across the board. The basic plot is a beat up with a falling apart Enterprise-A staffed by an ever aging crew of our classic Original Series cast. The ship is taken over by Spock’s half-brother who is on a search for God at the center of the galaxy. Now, let’s forget how ridiculous it is that the Enterprise could get to the center of the galaxy in a short time (I’m more inclined to let these things go in the original TV show episodes, not the fifth film on the big screen) and instead focus on the corny dialogue, poor special effects, and all-around lame attempts at emotional moments. The budget for this film was slashed and we’ve been told that a lot of the movie was cut out. So perhaps the original version would have been better but instead what we’re left with is some cute camping scenes with our trio singing, Kirk making love to the mountain, Uhura’s weird fan dance, Scotty knocking himself out because he apparently doesn’t know the ship well anymore, and weird telepathic scenes where our crew sees their worst fears brought to life… though somehow everyone else can see what’s happening. At the end, we meet “God,” who is really just an alien that Kirk tries to outsmart with the famous, “What does God need with a starship?” line. Eventually, the day is saved by a random, could have been anyone, Klingon who wants to kill Kirk because it sounds like fun. The movie did so poorly that the original box set covers thought this was the end of the series and franchise so when Star Trek VI came out, it didn’t really fit in with the box set art.

I give it 2 marsh melons roasting on a corny fire.

11. Star Trek: Generations

Star Trek: Generations

Is this film an Original Series film or a Next Generation film? Neither. It’s actually a Kirk and Picard film that happens to have other people in it. We do get some very nice moments like seeing Sulu’s daughter, Guinan providing her always interesting wisdom (why wasn’t she credited in this film?), and Malcolm McDowell making a good villain. All reasons why this film outdoes our last place contender. So what’s so bad about it? Well, The Next Generation had just ended with one of my favorite finales ever, “All Good Things…” and gave us a fantastic story, adventure, and some closure for our beloved 24th century crew. The Original Series had their beautiful sendoff at the end of The Undiscovered Country. So I was hoping to see our Next Gen crew steal the show. Instead, we got an awkward sendoff on the Enterprise-B with Kirk, Scotty, and Chekov. No Spock, no Uhura, no Sulu. Kirk is killed-ish and everyone is sad. The Enterprise-D crew, on the other hand, seems to just be on a normal mission, nothing too exciting. In fact, NOTHING could have really happened in the rest of the film if it wasn’t for one simple thing…. CHECK GEORDI’S VISOR! The guy had just been held as a prisoner on a Klingon ship and no one checks to see if he is bugged? Between Data, Worf, and Dr. Crusher… no one thought about this? Okay, so an old, small Bird of Prey (which the original Enterprise could have taken out easily according to Christopher Lloyd) destroys the Federation’s flagship with a couple of torpedoes. Meanwhile, Kirk and Picard are in the “do whatever we want to do” Nexus and somehow forget how to fight. I mean, I assume they have to be disoriented by the Nexus or something. Otherwise, why can’t they take down Soran in a 2-on-1 confrontation? Then, Kirk has his real death which echoes The Finale Frontier. You see, he always knew he’d die alone and here he is, alone on a planet… except for Picard and Soran, but I suppose he could have meant alone as in not with friends he loved like Spock and Bones. In the end, we got a movie that was not as good as the series finale, that didn’t know how to focus on the old and new at the same time and brought us a story filled with plot holes and vagueness with a relatively boring score and stale action sequences. But hey, it did give us yet another excuse to destroy the Enterprise.

I give it 4 trips through the Nexus to save the Enterprise crew.

10. Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

The space opera that started it all. The Motion Picture was the franchise’s epic return and they did so following the steps of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Wars. Let’s talk about the good first. The film is beautiful. We have wonderful models and practical effects, as well as a gorgeous model of the Enterprise. The score is fantastic. Seriously. So much so that it was reused over and over including in The Next Generation as their main theme. So for those two factors, the movie is very successful. Unfortunately, the story, length, and costume design ruin it for everyone. The story was originally intended to be a 50ish minute episode for Star Trek: Phase II but since that didn’t happen, the story was extended to be a full motion picture (and then extended again for the Collector’s Edition) and additional scenes were added so Spock could have a more prominent role. Leonard Nimoy was originally not interested in returning to the franchise after the end of The Animated Series. Remember the scene in Spaceballs when they make fun of how long the ship is? Well, V’ger is definitely longer. The movie goes on forever with long, spanning shots, quiet pondering moments, suspense, any excuse to take up more screen time. Then we have the costumes. We went from the now classic look of the TV series to pajamas in space, all bland colors and tones…. except for Kirk, of course. And for most of the movie, Ilia, one of the only new characters, is essentially in a bathrobe. Of course, there is the cool non-canon book theory that this is what start the Borg. Make that canon and this movie becomes significantly more important. Check out the “Origins” section for more details and definitely read William Shatner’s “The Return”.

I give it 4 ten minute sweeping shots of the big budget ship models.

9. Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness

Ah yes, the second film in the JJ-verse. I don’t like this movie. In fact, I wanted to rate it dead last but I’m trying to be fair. The film is definitely more watchable than The Finale Frontier or The Motion Picture and more interesting than Generations, but it fails across the board. First, you take the alternate timeline concept from the 2009 film and instead of using that freedom, you just remake The Wrath of Khan BUT some of it is flipped! What a twist! You take a wonderful actor like Benedict Cumberbatch, give him a unique story, name, and motivation. Then you “surprise” us with him actually being Khan with a big reveal that means nothing to the characters (since THEY HAVEN’T ACTUALLY MET BEFORE) and mainly annoys fans who would actually know who he is. You give him motivations that actually kind of justify what he is doing, have him invent something that makes starships a waste of time, and turn the only two female characters into sex symbols that argue with their boyfriends in front of their captain. In all, the movie insults The Wrath of Khan, the audience, and the only two female characters all while trying to make Shatner’s old, campy KHAN yell into something that’s supposed to be intense, sad, and emotional. I laughed. Most of the theater laughed. I’m sorry. I love the cast. I love the uniforms. I even love the Enterprise design. This story bombed.

I give it 4 relatives trapped inside long range torpedoes but I’ll just transport to my destination and place a bomb because warp drive is slow now.

8. Star Trek: Nemesis

Star Trek: Nemesis

Personally, I think this film is very underrated and people are too quick to judge it. The bad? Well, we don’t need a car chase scene in Star Trek unless it’s with space ships and even then… only maybe… I’m looking at you, Justin Lin. Also, bringing back Data with B-4 was both cool and disappointing at the same time. Data’s death was very important and I will defend it to the end. He completed his journey in becoming human by sacrificing himself for Picard, his friend, mentor, and leader. I loved it. Bringing him back is both cool for us, people who love the character, and also disappointing because it takes a little something away from his original sacrifice. I thought Tom Hardy was a great casting choice. I loved the story, the cast, the special effects. It would have been nice to see Riker’s ship at the end but hey, I can dream. Overall, it was a darker tone that tried to end a generation’s journey in a way that we could respect, in a way that was somewhat final and I believe it did that, though not perfectly. Unfortunately, its tone and the state of the franchise at the time makes this feel more forgettable than it deserves.

I give it 5 Dr. Soong androids searching for purpose.

7. Star Trek: Insurrection

Star Trek: Insurrection

 

The biggest complaint I hear about this movie is that it’s just one long episode. Why is that bad? Most Trekkies and Trekkers agree that Star Trek belongs on TV. So a long episode sounds great and I think it was. The story is Trek at its best with the crew standing up against incredible odds to protect those who are in need. The script was solid, with some great dialogue for the main cast members, jokes, and singing. In fact, the scene aboard the Captain’s Yacht when the crew catches Picard is one of my favorite Trek scenes period. We had a classic villain in the form of F. Murray Abraham’s Ru’afo and a solid contrast to the normal Federation with Admiral Dougherty. I felt that the chemistry between the cast was at its height and that showed through to the story. But yes, I could have done without the lame joystick console in the middle of the bridge. Either way, great action sequence with Riker and Geordi having some fun. Everyone gets a chance to shine but Geordi gets one of the best moments when he gets to see a sunrise for the first time with functional eyes and later when he says he can’t hurt these people to keep that gift. They are the crew I want and the crew we need. “Saddle up, lock and load.”

I give it 7 extra warp cores in case of isolytic bursts.

6. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

There are some fun and exciting moments in this film. Seeing everyone in various forms of dress helped support the cowboy diplomacy methods they use throughout the film. Scotty’s last second attempt at opening the spacedock doors is always an enjoyable scene. Christoper Lloyd makes for a fantastic Klingon and villain. His sarcastic attitude and lack of fear fits the character well. I’m not sure the damage done to the Enterprise after a single hit makes any sense regardless of how wired up Scotty had to make things. The ship did make it to spacedock on its own, remember? Overall, this is a good Trek movie. They kill off Kirk’s son, which was a fairly annoying character anyway and replace him with Kirk’s personal hatred for Klingons that would resurface in the sixth film. Robin Curtis did a decent job replacing Kirstie Alley but she didn’t give off the same, authentic Vulcan vibe. In general, I’m happy with this film but it does have some awkward moments and the ending sums things up a little too easily. Blow up the Enterprise, trick last remaining officer on Klingon ship, kick bad guy off a cliff. Very easy. I’m also a little confused by the planet’s changes. First off, where did the star it’s orbiting come from? But that aside, things like snow, desert lands, etc. come from the planet’s orbit and axis orientation to its star. It doesn’t have much to do with it’s actual stability, but hey, I’m not a geologist or scientist. I truly love the reversal of the Vulcan proverb, the needs of the one outweighed the needs of the many. Also… everyone realizes that Saavik and young Spock fooled around, right?

I give it 7 year Pon farr cycles.

5. Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek (2009)

J.J. Abrams’ first film makes it into the top five. Congrats to him and Bad Robot. I enjoyed the 2009 Trek film a lot. Honestly. It’s bright, fun, exciting, and I felt it truly honored what came before and what they were trying to echo. I also loved the little time travel loop hole they used to create an alternate timeline. It gave them complete and legitimate right to change events (to a degree) without people crying “canon!” I really enjoyed the updated looks, whether it was the all-new Enterprise, the new uniforms, or even the Apple Store bridge. I thought the style worked well and gave the franchise a sense of coolness that the wasn’t there before. While some of the decisions, like the destruction of Vulcan, seemed a bit outlandish, even for Trek. And yes, the Red Matter was just an overly simple plot device that was way too convenient for its own good. With that said, I loved seeing Nimoy reprise his role of Spock and I enjoyed the double-Spock moments. The casting was also spot on. Zachary Quinto, Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin were all fantastic choices for our rebooted crew. Eric Bana played a fantastic villain and it was nice to see the Romulans finally get some big screen action. Think about it. In twelve films, the Klingons show up in half of them, seven if you count the Bird of Prey in The Voyage Home. Romulans only show up twice and one time they were led by Picard’s human clone. Finally, Bruce Greenwood was a solid choice for Captain\Admiral Pike and they were able to throw a lot of little Easter Eggs throughout the film for long-time fans. One last thing, the poster pictured above is definitely one of my favorite movie posters, hands down.

I give it 7 time travel paradoxes wrapped up in a bow.

4. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

“Captain, there be whales here!” That pretty much sums up the movie. This “period piece” Trek film is great. It’s fun, lighthearted, enjoyable, and exciting. We see our crew break out of the more strict rules of the Federation and be themselves a bit. Kirk tries to curse, they visit a pawn shop, we get some great Cold War-era jokes with Chekov, we see a different Enterprise, and Spock swims with some whales, all while we using a fairly convenient and little lame time travel technique used once before. What I love about this film is its human and humorous moments. We left the darker, grittier tone from the first three films and just had some fun. For the most part, each crew member gets their moments but a particular focus is put on Bones, Scotty, and Chekov, which is nice. I love the scenes when Bones and Scotty are looking for tank enclosures and they give up the formula for transparent aluminum (which is actually a thing now!). I truly feel like this movie provides everyone the opportunity to shine as their true Trek-selves while providing a fun and enjoyable story set in a unique place for Trek, 1980’s San Francisco. The addition of Catherine Hicks was also great. I was a little sad they never returned to her character. The end of the film is exciting and uplifting with the terrible storms and the whales singing their songs. It’s a feel-good Trek film and there’s nothing wrong with that. The sequel book, “Probe”, leaves much to be desired, however.

I give it 8 slingshots around the sun for some whales.

3. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Alright, the rankings here are getting tough. I want to say that I truly love everything in the top four. Any day of the week I could watch all of them and be very happy. With that said, Wrath of Khan hits at number three. It’s a fantastic film and great sequel to The Original Series episode “Space Seed.” Richardo Montalban is phenomenal. Hands down. He’s epic. He’s crazy. He’s vengeful. He’s perfect. The movie is shot very well with some fantastic music. Plus, it introduces my favorite Trek uniform, the classic red naval style uniforms used in half of the Trek films to date. The space battles between the Enterprise and Reliant were also great, and the level of camp that does exist works because of the time and cast. Kirk’s “KHAN” scream works so well here because it’s Shatner in 1982. Khan’s epic monologues are a bit cheesy but also brilliant and Shakespearean. But let’s not forget the end. The famous end where we lose Spock. His sacrifice in the face of certain death, the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few… or the one. The scene with Kirk and Spock separated is emotional, just incredibly so. Everyone feels it, the cast, the crew, the audience… everyone. I don’t think there are enough positive things I can say about this movie. Spock’s death, the balance of Kirk and Khan, the misleading repair timetables on open channels, the hide and seek in the Mutara Nebula, “the odds will be even.” I love an underdog, especially when it’s my Enterprise crew.

I give it 9 stab at thees from hell’s heart.

2. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

The end of an era. After the failure of The Final Frontier, I will be forever grateful that we were given a sixth film because it’s one of the best. Even if you don’t agree with all of my rankings here, you have to admit that this film has to be one of the top two of the franchise. The concept alone is fantastic. A Klingon Bird of Prey that can fire while cloaked during a time when the Federation and the Klingon Empire are attempting to find peace, the parallels to Shakespeare, the addition of Christopher Plummer. There are so many fantastic moments. The special effects were great, the score was fantastic, and the cast and crew did a perfect job in their true finale. Even though Shatner and Takei were not on good terms, they were able to find a resolution that actually added to the film. The opening sequence with the Excelsior and Praxis blowing up was so cool. Bringing in Kim Cattrall as a spy was a great plot point too. The conspiracy, the diplomacy, the action, the respect between Chang and Kirk, I loved every moment of it. If I have any complaints, it’s due to the production of the Blu-Rays because the boxset does NOT include the Director’s Cut of the film which changes the end quite drastically. In the Director’s Cut, Rene Auberjonois’ Colonel West (he went on to play Odo) is responsible for working with the Klingons to kill the president of the Federation and stop the peace talks. This is all cut and we are led to think it was just another Klingon in the theatrical cut. At the end of the day, there are some fantastic action sequences, solid speeches, and a little theatrical drama. What better way to end the original generation’s journey?

I give it 9 heat seeking modified torpedoes looking for a tailpipe.

1. Star Trek: First Contact

Star Trek: First Contact

This is where our journey comes to an end today. First Contact is by far the best Next Generation film and for me, it’s the best overall Trek movie. Why? Well, it wins across the board. It’s dark, serious, well-written, well-acted and directed (thank you, Jonathan Frakes), and focuses on the scariest and more challenging of the Star Trek villains, the Borg. Patrick Stewart is at the top of his game. The continuation of Picard’s assimilation story is stressful, emotional, and scary for the character. He must overcome the stigma everyone else has placed on him and help save the Federation and all of mankind. The special effects, especially of the brand new Enterprise-E and the updated Borg are phenomenal. Alice Krige as the Borg Queen is the definition of what they embody. She is deceitful, strong-willed, powerful, but also alluring to some. The story arc with Data is very engaging and there were moments when I thought maybe we had lost our android friend. James Cromwell, who had been in Trek as different characters before, was the perfect Cochrane, someone who just wanted to do his own thing, get away from it all but had history thrust upon him. This movie brought the best of Trek on the big screen with a big screen budget and updated special effects. It put together a movie that could be enjoyed by longtime Trekkies and Trekkers but also the mainstream audiences who wanted something a little more action packed from their sci-fi. The score is beautiful as well. It provided a sense of wonder and anxiety all at the same time. They even threw in some Klingon themed music for Worf’s bigger moments. And just tell me that the confrontation between Picard and Worf was not awesome. It showed the drive and willpower of Picard with the respect and honor Worf had for their relationship. This was incredibly powerful. Trek is best when it tackles complex social issues. The comparisons to “Moby Dick” were spot on. Picard had been hurt by the Borg, by the Queen and he was seeking revenge. While The Wrath of Khan saw the villain out for revenge, First Contact saw our hero, our diplomatic Captain Picard, set out for his own. The rest of the cast did a great job but the focus of the film is really on Picard, turning him into a significantly more emotionally complex character that, I believe, was carried on in Insurrection.

I give it 10 quantum torpedoes in the hull of a Borg sphere.

Summary

There you have it, folks. My Star Trek movie rankings. This was not an easy list to compile. I’ve thought it through several times and a couple movies move a spot or two but all-in-all, I am confident that this list took as much into consideration as possible. I was brought up on Trek. I own four copies of the original six films and three of the next four (different formats, releases, etc.). I own all but Deep Space Nine on DVD or Blu-Ray, and that’s just due to the cost. I’ve seen every episode except for the last two of The Animated Series, and that’s because I want to know that there is still Trek out there I haven’t seen. I own several soundtracks from the shows and films, countless action figures, and ships. Star Trek is incredibly important to who I am, and it helped shape me into the person I grew up to be.

I hope you enjoyed this ranking and please comment below with your own thoughts and your own ranking. Everyone has a different perspective, as Trek tried to teach us, and I’d love to read yours.

May you live long and prosper. \\\///

Make it so.

Ranking All 12 Star Trek Movies

Box Office Numbers: July 17-19, 2015

Not surprisingly, Ant-Man, Marvel Studios’ newest MCU film, won the box office its opening weekend, beating out Minions which saw a nearly 57% drop from it’s first week. Check out the list of the Top 10 highest grossing films from this weekend’s box office below.

Before we dive into the specific numbers, let’s take a deeper dive into Ant-Man. While it did win its opening weekend with an estimated $58.04 million, those numbers pale in comparison to Marvel Studios’ previous hitters. In fact, the first of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, Iron Man, brought in $98.62 million in it’s opening weekend way back in May of 2008. The first Thor made $65.72 million in May of 2011 while Captain America: The First Avenger made $65.06 million in July of the same year. In fact, only one film brought in less during its opening weekend, The Incredible Hulk with $55.41 back in June 2008 and to be fair, we had just seen a Hulk-centric film in 2003. Now, we are only talking about official MCU movies here. Ant-Man did beat out other Marvel films including X-Men, X-Men: First Class, The Wolverine, Fantastic Four (2005), and Big Hero 6, just to name a few of the more popular movies. What does this mean for the newest hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Probably not much. Many expected Ant-Man to fall short of previous Marvel Studios films simply because people don’t know the character as well and we haven’t had an origin story in this universe for a while. We do expect to see Scott Lang join up with the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War. To see what we thought of the film, check out our review of Ant-Man.

Also breaking into the list with their opening weekend, Trainwreck starring Amy Schumer. She also wrote the film. It’s directed by Judd Apatow. Our limited release film is Mr. Holmes, starring Ian McKellen.

  1. Ant-Man ($58.04 million in opening weekend across 3,856 theaters)
  2. Minions ($50.2 million in second weekend, totaling $216.69 million)
  3. Trainwreck ($30.2 million in opening weekend across 3,158 theaters)
  4. Inside Out ($11.66 million in fifth weekend, totaling $306.36 million)
  5. Jurassic World ($11.4 million in sixth weekend, totaling $611.17 million)
  6. Terminator: Genisys ($5.4 million in third weekend, totaling $80.64 million)
  7. Magic Mike XXL ($4.5 million in third weekend, totaling $58.64 million)
  8. The Gallows ($4 million in second weekend, totaling $18 million)
  9. Ted 2 ($2.7 million in fourth weekend, totaling $77.457 million)
  10. Mr. Holmes ($2.489 million in opening weekend, limited release across 363 theaters)

Did you catch a movie over the weekend? What are you most looking forward to seeing on the big screen? Comment below!

Box Office Numbers: July 17-19, 2015

Steam World Dig: A Fistful of Dirt – Review

Today’s review check outs a fantastic Indie game from Image & Form studios out of Sweden. Image & Form has been around since 1997, consists of 14 people, and have put together a great game here. Now, I’ll be covering Steam World Dig: A Fistful of Dirt from the Nintendo 3DS XL perspective, though the title is also available via Steam for Windows, Mac and Linux, as well as the Nintendo eShop for the 3DS, 2DS, and Wii U consoles, PlatStation 4 and Vita. Yeah, that’s a lot of platforms. In fact, you can purchase a cross-platform, DRM free version on their website for $9.99.

Steam World Dig - RustySo what is Steam World Dig: A Fistful of Dirt? Well, to use the developers’ own words, it “is a hardcore platform mining adventure game”. That really is the best way to describe it in a single sentence. In this game, you play as Rusty, a steambot. You’ve inherited an old mine from your uncle who’s been missing for some time. The plot of the game follows you as you mine deeper into the depths of the dirt. Along the way, you uncover minerals that can be sold on the surface for equipment upgrades. This quite literally, steampunk style game brings a ton of uniqueness to the equipment you can use. While upgrading your pickax is an option, you’ll have access to teleporters, explosives, shielding and drills. As the digging level gets deeper, you’ll uncover special areas where strange, fantastical items can be obtained. These items provide new, intense ways to smash the harder rocks deep in the dirt, like a drilling arm or steam powered fists. It’s not all smash and grab down below. As you dig deeper, dangerous and powerful enemies await, ready to attack and protect the secrets of the underground.

Steam World Dig - TumbletonWhat I love about this game is that it is not a money grab in any sense. As I noted earlier, it can purchased for $9.99. All in-game item purchases are done by selling the minerals collected during digging and no real money is ever used. That’s right, you buy the game and everything is in the game, no outside purchases. In the world of free-to-play and micro-transactions, this is a relaxing relief.

Let’s meet some of the characters of Steam World Dig: A Fistful of Dirt. First, there’s Rusty, the player you control. In the town above you can sell your minerals to a lovely female steambot named Dorothy. Her father, Cranky, is nearby ready to sell you basic items, health, and upgrades throughout the game. Later, you’ll be introduced to Biff. He’s a competing equipment dealer with some more advanced (and expensive) items. There’s a few other characters you’ll meet along the way, but I want to save a few surprises.

Steam World Dig - Oldworld

Steam World Dig - DorothyThe mechanics of the game are complex but surprisingly user friendly and easy to pick up. There are a few metrics that are very important. First and most obvious is health. Rusty has a health bar and it can be increased as the game progresses. Healing can be done on the surface with Cranky or by getting health from killing enemies. Later, a water meter will be added. Some of the more advanced abilities require steam power and therefore, water. Things like the steam jump, drill, and steam punch all require water for power. Water can be found underground in patches. Enemies will sometimes provide some when killing as well. Then there’s the light. Since the vast majority of the game is played underground, the sun doesn’t help out much. There are some lights planted in the depths of the planet but additional lights can be placed by you and purchased from Cranky. On top of that, Rusty has some light of his own. This light diminishes while underground and is replenished immediately after returning to the surface. How long the light lasts can also be increased throughout the game. With that said, don’t forget about the teleporters. Early on in the game, these will be discovered. One sits on the surface near the mine entrance. Additional units can be purchased from Cranky and they can be placed underground. This allows Rusty to jump back and forth from the mine to the surface instantly. Trust me, this will become very important. You’re going to end up very deep. In the two times I’ve played through the game, I hit 400 meters after just 3 hours of play. You do not want to hike all the way back up on foot every time you need to sell minerals or regain light and health.

Steam World Dig - Laser DodgingSelling minerals is a cornerstone for this game. Certain rock blocks contain minerals that can be easily seen. In fact, you can see a few of them in the “Old World” screenshot above. Some minerals are worth more than others and the deeper Rusty gets, the more the minerals found are worth. Rusty has a pouch that he uses to carry minerals. This pouch is limited in size, though larger ones can be purchased from Cranky during the game. Once the pouch is full, it’s in your best interest to return to the surface and sell them to Dorothy for the in-game currency.

Steam World Dig - CrankyAs I noted at the beginning of this review, I am playing Steam World Dig: A Fistful of Dirt on the Nintendo 3DS XL. The two screen experience is perfect for this game. The top screen, which is 3D enabled provides a brilliant universe to play in with depth, color and incredible detail for a handheld game. I’ve played with the 3D on and off and honestly, either way is great. If you’re a big fan of the 3D experience then you’ll gain a slick sense of depth but if you aren’t a fan, you won’t be missing out on much. The second screen, which is touch enabled, provides access to in-store items, and, most importantly, your digging map when underground. I can’t imagine playing this game with just a single screen. It truly feels like it was made for the 3DS/3DS XL/2DS market.

Overall, this game is just a ton of fun. Its unique steampunk style is exciting, new, and just plain interesting to watch. The characters are fun and entertaining, while the story continues to expand. At the beginning of the game, Rusty is a simple miner looking for his uncle but just a couple hours in, a new world is being uncovered. This world isn’t exactly new. In fact, you might find it surprisingly familiar. I’m not going to give any more away here, but what I began to find deep in the dirt is not what I was expecting.

If you like platform games, steampunk, and the 3DS two-screen experience, Steam World Dig: A Fistful of Dirt is the game for you. But don’t forget it is available on Steam and PS4\Vita. The game is even available via Gog.com and Humble Bundle.

Fans of this game will be happy to know that another SteamWorld universe title is set to come out this year, SteamWorld Heist. The new title takes place in the same universe but it’s a space adventure set to release for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, PlayStation 4 and Vita, Xbox One, and Steam Fall 2015.

For more information on this title and their developers check them out here:

Steam World Dig Games

Image & Form Games

*Please note that the game play screenshots are based on the Steam version for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Have you played this game before? Are you looking forward to the new one? What are you excited about? Let us know in the comments.

Steam World Dig: A Fistful of Dirt – Review

Axanar – The Future of Trek

“Space… the final frontier…”

I’ve been watching Star Trek in one form or another since I was six months old. Seriously, I’m not kidding. It all began with The Next Generation, it coming out six months after my birth. My father and I watched as much as possible, TV and film. As I got older I read countless non-canon books and played every PC game I could get my hands on. I love the franchise. I love the future Roddenberry saw for the human species, the hope, the possibilities. In 2005, hope started to diminish with the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise. For the first time since August of 1987, there was no new Star Trek on TV. After almost 20 years, then there was nothing. It wasn’t until 2009 that J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot attempted to salvage the historic franchise with their reboot\sequel\prequel\alternate timeline film… but that’s not what I’m here to talk about. Instead, I’m here to talk to you about Axanar.

The term “fan film” has some negative connotation. People see it as some friends in their basement with a camcorder and some store bought costumes. Axanar is far from this. Instead, Axanar brings us not just professionals in acting, special effects, and more… but Star Trek veterans. The film, set before the time of Kirk but after Archer, stars Richard Hatch (Battlestar Galactica), J.G. Hertzler (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Enterprise, Zorro), Gary Graham (Star Trek: Enterprise, Alien Nation, Robot Jox), Kate Vernon (Star Trek: Voyager, Malcom X, Pretty in Pink), Tony Todd (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The Rock, Platoon), and Alec Peters (Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II). The director, Robert Meyer Burnett has helmed several Star Trek documentaries including Free Enterprise and Reunification: 25 Years After Star Trek – The Next Generation.

Last year, they put together Prelude to Axanar, a short film that leads up to the feature film. It is simply fantastic Trek. It’s done in a documentary style format with limited cast but it gets the job done very well.

Axanar_AresD7

So what is Axanar? Well, the film is set to cover the turning point of the Four Years War between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. The Klingons were more focused on war, battle, weapons. Their ships were bigger, faster, and better armed. The Federation was beaten badly for a long time until they made a change, the creation of a new vessel designed specifically for battle, the Ares. This film takes place before the legendary Constitution class ships existed and the Klingon Empire was about to launch their iconic D7 heavy cruisers.

Would you like to know more?

Still not sure if Axanar is worth the hype? Check out the Prelude to Axanar in full below.

Still here? Good. Now, Axanar is a “fan film” in the sense that it is not officially licensed by CBS. Instead, they rely on outside funding and they have done this through crowd funding. The Prelude was their first effort. Then they moved to Kickstarter for the initial funds for the feature film. Now, they are back to push forward. Check out their Indiegogo here. Contributing not only gets you cool swag like patches, soundtracks, blu-rays, scripts, etc. but it also helps keep Star Trek at its roots and bring us all an era of Trek we’ve never seen, one that shaped the Original Series and was born out of the wake of Enterprise.

I’ve contributed to all three campaigns because these people are fighting to bring every fan what we love and what we deserve, classic Trek.

What are your thoughts on Prelude to Axanar? How do you feel about crowdfunding Trek? Comment below!

Axanar – The Future of Trek

Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata Dies

I am going to keep this brief. Nintendo has announced that their CEO and employee since the 1980’s, Satoru Iwata has died at the age of 55. He had health issues recently but many, myself included, hoped he had recovered.

I am a Nintendo fan boy. Always have been. I love what they do and what their style stands for. Iwata saw the company through some amazingly good and bad times, everything from the GameBoy, DS, and GameCube through the Wii, 3DS, and Wii U. He also brought us the Nintendo Direct videos, which I used to write about in my old weekly column “Nintendo World”.

Whether you are a fan boy like me or not, Nintendo helped shape the video game revolution and Iwata was there. The industry will surely miss him as will the fans of Nintendo’s legendary franchises.

Rest in peace, Satoru.

Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata Dies

Box Office Numbers: July 3-5, 2015

Two new movies, expected to be major summer hits, sputtered in their opening box office weekend. Terminator: Genisys and Magic Mike XXL missed expectations, big time. In fact, Magic Mike XXL barely beat out Ted 2 which is in its second week while the box office winners were Jurassic World, which is now at $558.14 million domestically and Pixar’s emotional masterpiece, Inside Out.

Terminator Genisys was crushed by the previous franchise film, Terminator: Salvation which made $65.32 million in it’s 5-day total, over $20 million more than the new movie. Check out the list below and click on the links to see reviews for films. The original Magic Mike, meanwhile, made $49.62 million in its 5-day while the sequel pulled in just under $27 million.

 

  1. Jurassic World ($30.9 million in 4th week, $558.14 million total)
  2. Inside Out ($30.105 million in 3rd week, $246.16 million total)
  3. Terminator: Genisys ($28.7 million in opening weekend, $44.156 million in 5-day opening)
  4. Magic Mike XXL ($11.6 million in opening weekend, $26.66 million in 5-day opening)
  5. Ted 2 ($11.6 million in 2nd week)

The top 10 is rounded out by Max (2015), Spy, San Andreas, and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl with Mad Max: Fury Road (8th week) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (10th week) finally dropping out of the list. Insidious Chapter 3 also dropped out of the top 10 after just 5 weeks.

Coming Soon:

Minions 7/10
Ant-Man 7/17
Mr. Holmes 7/24
Pixels 7/24
Southpaw 7/24

Box Office Numbers: July 3-5, 2015

First Image from Ash vs Evil Dead

A few weeks ago we were introduced to the first teaser trailer for Ash vs Evil Dead, a new TV series from Starz set to hit the small screen this Fall. Ash vs Evil Dead takes place in present day, 30 years after the original Evil Dead movie, not the 2013 remake\reboot\sequel. The new show will star the legendary chainsaw-armed Bruce Campbell along with Mimi Rogers and Jill Marie Jones. The show is also led by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man, Drag Me to Hell), of the Evil Dead films.

So, to date, we have two trailers, one teaser and the original graphic (both linked below) but now we also have our first image of Bruce back in the chainsaw. See the picture below from Entertainment Weekly and let us know what you think of it and the trailers. Are you ready for some killer necronomicon action? Because we are!

Ash vs Evil Dead First Image

Here is the latest teaser trailer, chainsaw and all:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ncef44CHrI

Here is the original graphic trailer from a little while back:

Groovy.

To learn more about the upcoming series, which is set to have 10 thirty minute episodes, check out their Facebook page –> Ash vs Evil Dead

First Image from Ash vs Evil Dead

Rocky’s Creed: First Trailer

In 1976, Stallone started an unexpected phenomenon, the first of the Rocky franchise. The award winning film led to five sequels including the rematch with Apollo Creed, a fight with Mr. T, the greatest workout montage of all time, a less enjoyable fifth film, and then a surprisingly solid and deep sixth. Rocky returns for a seventh time but not in the ring. Instead, the Italian Stallion takes on the role of teacher to train a new, young fighter. But this isn’t just any boxer. Michael B. Jordan plays the role of Adonis Johnson. Sure, the name doesn’t sound familiar but his father knew a thing or two about fighting toe-to-toe with Rocky.

The first trailer for Creed dropped. Check it out below and see our first look at the son of Apollo Creed. After watching the trailer, comment below with your thoughts and expectations for the seventh Rocky universe film.

Oh, and don’t forget. “It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

Rocky’s Creed: First Trailer

First Look at Ghostbusters Reboot

Ghostbusters is coming back to theaters, and yesterday we got a first look at the uniforms for the new Ghostbusters film set to hit theaters July 22nd, 2016. Today we got a look at the new proton pack. While it clearly takes some design concepts from the original, this is definitely a new direction for the iconic pack. Take a look at the photos provided by Paul Feig and let us know what you think of the early looks at the new incarnation of our ghost busting equipment. Comment below!

Ghostbusters Reboot Unifoms

 

Ghostbusters Reboot Proton Pack

Ghostbusters has a primarily female cast starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, along with Chris Hemsworth.

First Look at Ghostbusters Reboot