Sofia Boutella

SH S5E04: Overwatch Fancast

SH S5E04: Overwatch Fancast
Gamer Heroes

 
 
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It’s our first crossover episode of 2018 as we bring Jon from Gamer Heroes on to help us fan cast a live action Overwatch film! We each selected five characters and paired actors with them for our Overwatch movie!

This episode has been cross-posted to both the Screen Heroes and Gamer Heroes feeds. We hope you enjoy!

Who is your favorite Overwatch character? Did you like our cast? Anyone else you would have picked?

Comment below or hit us up @HeroesPodcasts on Twitter or Facebook!

Join us live on Tuesday nights and catch the episodes later on iTunes, Blog Talk Radio, Spreaker, Google Play, and more!

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SH S5E04: Overwatch Fancast

SH S3E20: The Mummy & Dark Universe

Universal Studios is launching their Dark Universe with The Mummy, now in theaters. First, we talk a bit about The Mummy, including why it’s not as bad as people say, even when looking at the box office numbers. Then it’s on to the Dark Universe with our fan casting! We cast a dozen different characters we expect or want to see in the upcoming Dark Universe movies including the Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Van Helsing, plus more.

Also, go to Screen-Heroes.com right now to subscribe to us on iTunes and drop us a review. If you do, we’ll be sure to give you a shout-out in a future episode!

Want to join the conversation? Join us live every Tuesday night at 9PM EST on Twitch to chat with us! We’ll answer questions and note comments live on the broadcast! Follow at: twitch.tv/heroespodcasts

Don’t forget to subscribe to Screen Heroes! The links to iTunes, Blog Talk Radio, Google Play, and Feedburner are below!

Also, stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts

Screen Heroes Podcast Credits

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Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guest
Ian Turner

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

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Flying Killer Robots

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SH S3E20: The Mummy & Dark Universe

Our Most Anticipated Movies of 2017

As the host of a movie-centric podcast, I’m constantly looking toward the horizon. I am capable of anticipating movies with more vigor than I do food. Food! Sustenance. The stuff that keeps me alive is less appealing to me than films. That’s how much I look forward to films. As such, 2017 is packing a huge punch that has me salivating! Here is my list of the Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2017!

10. Kong: Skull Island

new-kong-skull-island-poster-16291

It’s a great year when I get to see exaggerated monsters kill puny humans. Morbid, I know, but what are ya gonna do? Throw in industry favorites like Samuel L. Jackson and John Goodman and you have me hooked. The trailer is stunning from start to finish, using a combination of adventure and horror imagery to create what looks like it’s going to be a great film. And if it’s not, fingers crossed puny humans still die.

9. Kingsman: The Golden Circle

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The first film in this franchise exploded, shattering all kinds of records and expectations.  Featuring the talent of Colin Firth and Michael Caine in all of their Britishy goodness, the film oozed charm and gore.  It even introduced us to the likes of Sofia Boutella and Taron Egerton, both of whom had a fantastic 2016.  The second installment is likely to bring us the same unexpected viewing pleasures, bringing the cast to America  and adding in Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges to the mix.

8. Coco
coco-poster

Cars 3 may be the obvious money maker for Pixar in 2017, but it’s Coco that has me excited. Featuring a young Latin boy with a guitar and the sweetest looking grandma ever, the film will draw attention to the beloved Dia de los Muertos. While Book of Life did a magnificent job showcasing the beauty of the aforementioned holiday, it has been often looked over or lumped in with Halloween movies. One can only hope that Coco can achieve the recognition the holiday deserves as well as give me the Pixar treatment of entertainment and soul.

7. Thor: Ragnarok
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There are a lot of reasons to look forward to the MCU next year, the very worthy Thor being one of them. The super hottie with the sexy accent is finally back, fulfilling that blackening void that’s eaten away at us since Avengers: Age of Ultron. Seriously, there’s been three other movies in the timeline since we last saw Thor. But I digress. The title of Ragnarok promises epic war across multiple realms, a cast that includes both the Hulk and Hel, and explanations to Thor’s mystery bath time in Avengers: AoU. Fingers crossed there’s more shirtless scenes.

6. Beauty and the Beast
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Disney is just killing this list! While lightsabers and capes can excite anyone, fairy tales are near and dear to me too. This being my favorite Disney film of all time, you just know I’ll be first in the metaphorical line to see this film. The live action adaptation has been a massive undertaking, creating visual spectacles never seen before and featuring one of the most talented casts in a musical to date. That’s right; it’s a musical. I guess Christopher Walken didn’t ruin it for everyone with The Jungle Book.

5. Star Wars Episode VIII
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It’s difficult not to be excited about this next Star Wars installment. The Force Awakens managed to both wrap up loose ends and create a plethora of questions that we are just dying to have answered. Who are Rey’s parents? Will Luke train her? Who is Snoke? Will Kylo ever find true love? So. Many. Questions! I can’t promise I won’t shed a tear when I see General Organa on the screen for what may be the last time. The passing of Carrie Fisher was painful for many and this should serve as a tribute to the beautiful legacy she left behind.

4. Justice League
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2016 was a rough year for DC. Fans everywhere hit them hard with criticisms, ranging from completely justified to grossly asinine. But this is what it’s all been building toward and we’re gonna see the payoff so soon, I can feel it. The pressure has been on Warner Bros and DC from the beginning and they sure are feeling it. I believe, though, that they’ve taken their hits, they’ve fixed what’s broken, highlighted what’s amazing, and will make 2017 their year. Remember, boys and girls, there’s enough fandom love for all superheroes.

3. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
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Speaking of fandom love, this franchise can do no wrong. This film seemed to up the cuteness factor by giving everyone more of what they wanted: EFFING BABY GROOT. We were all dying for cute tree time and we got it. You could sit there and literally forget the awesome introduction of Mantis, the inclusion of Yondu on the team, the awkward exchanges between Drax and Star-Lord, and focus solely on Groot pushing the doom button and still think it’s the best movie to ever exist. And it will probably get very close. That’s not hyperbole. That’s fact.

2. Power Rangers
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I know, an odd choice for number 2. But I can’t help it. Power Rangers has been one of my favorite franchises since I was super teeny tiny kid child thing.  I loved everything about it and the trailers for the new film make me love it even more. I do not care one bit that the redesigns are weird looking or that it’s basically The Breakfast Club with super powers. Those things make it awesome. I’m so eager to see where they’re able to take this that I don’t care one bit if it bombs or doesn’t live up to the hype. Go back, watch the original film and tell me it’s a great representation of American cinema. Great representation of color-coordinated jammies, sure. But film? Hell no. This movie is going to be pure fun and if you’re expecting more, then you should probably re-prioritize before viewing.

1.Wonder Woman
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What else could number 1 be? Every time I see this trailer, I tear up a little. Do you know what it’s like to see your childhood hero come to life for the first time in your lifetime? It’s exhilarating.  It’s a warm, glowing feeling that starts in your stomach and catches in your throat. It’s the feeling of your hopes and dreams realized. To some, this is going to be an epic cinematic feature. To others, it will be a necessary stepping stone to get to the Justice LeagueTo me, this will be an emotional 2 hours where I’ll be moved beyond measure. This is a film featuring a woman I’ve always looked up to, always emulated, always dreamed of being.

We left a lot off our list. What movies are you looking forward to? Did we leave your favorite movies off the list? Yell at me in the comments. You know you want to!

Our Most Anticipated Movies of 2017

SH S2E5: Star Trek Beyond & Discovery

This week we boldly go reviewing Star Trek Beyond, which opened last weekend in most of the territories it will hit. This episode is full of spoilers as we talk characters and casting, motivations, plot points, the film’s resolution, special effects, costume design, and how the movie fits in with not just the Kelvin timeline but also the Prime timeline of the Star Trek franchise in its 50th year. Then, we talk a bit about the newly named Star Trek: Discovery series coming to CBS All-Access in January 2017. We talk about the title of the series, the title logo, and the ship design along with some of our hopes or thoughts on what we’d like to see in the next Star Trek series.

Star Trek Beyond won the US domestic box office, bringing in $59.25 million beating out The Secret Life of Pets, Lights Out, and Ice Age: Collision Course. The film had a $185 million budget not counting marketing and brought in an additional $30 million internationally bringing its opening weekend total to $95.5 million.

Wished you could be part of the conversation? Join us live every Tuesday night at 8PM CST on Twitch to chat with us! We’ll answer questions and note comments live on the broadcast! Follow at: twitch.tv\griddaily

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Star Trek Beyond & Discovery Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

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Zach Story

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Derreck Mayer

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Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

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SH S2E5: Star Trek Beyond & Discovery

Star Trek Beyond: Spoiler-Filled Review

For those who don’t know, I’m The Star Trek Dude on Twitter and Facebook. I’ve also recently begun my Trek Watch in which I am reviewing literally every official episode and movie of Star Trek including The Animated Series. Even though my plan is to do this in order (TOS, TAS, TNG, DS9, VOY, and Enterprise with the movies interspersed as they happen), I thought I would take this opportunity to review Star Trek Beyond while it’s fresh in my mind. The review below is from my Trek Watch site, so please check out the rest of my reviews that are ongoing at TheStarTrekDude.com. You can find the original Start Trek Beyond review article here: thestartrekdude.com/star-trek-beyond

Stardate: 2263.02
Year: 2263
Written by: Simon Pegg & Doug Jung
Direct by: Justin Lin

This review, like all on this site unless noted otherwise, will contain spoilers but since the movie just came out, I wanted to warn you.

My Trek Watch is being shifted a bit in honor of Star Trek Beyond which opened in theaters today. Star Trek Beyond is the third film in the Kelvin Timeline (previously dubbed JJ-verse by many, myself included) and the 13th film of the franchise. The movie was co-written by self-proclaimed Trekkie and Trek actor, Simon Pegg and directed by Fast & Furious director Justin Lin, another self-proclaimed Trekkie. The film stars the returning cast which includes Chris Pine (Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Karl Urban (Bones), Zoe Saldana (Uhura), Simon Pegg (Scotty), John Cho (Sulu), and Anton Yelchin (Chekov). We are joined by two newcomers in the main villain played by Idris Elba (Krall) and a new protagonist played by Sofia Boutella (Jaylah). You might remember Sofia Boutella from Kingsmen, as she plays Samuel L. Jackson’s #2, the woman with the blade legs.

Star Trek Beyond - Posters Small

Alright, let’s talk about the film. Star Trek Beyond takes place just about 3 years into the Enterprise’s Five Year Mission. This might even be a bit of a nod to The Original Series, since it was canceled around the time this movie would have taken place. I love the way the movie begins. We are shown a Captain Kirk who is bored, tired, and disenchanted by the chair. He even makes an inside-joke about things feeling episodic. I laughed. What I liked about this was the parallels to Captain Pike of the Prime Timeline in “The Cage”. Both characters had lost their sense of adventure and drive for exploration. They had lost themselves a bit and didn’t know what their next step would be. Both even thought about leaving the Enterprise.

In the meantime, we had Spock’s interesting arc of conflict dating back to the 2009 film. He is constantly struggling with his duties to Starfleet and his duties to the Vulcan people in the aftermath of Nero. In a truly touching tribute to Leonard Nimoy (Spock Prime), Spock learns that the Ambassador has died. This is an incredibly complex situation. What does it feel like if a version of yourself dies? How can one know?

Things don’t stay dark the whole time, though. In fact, I found that the film brought a sense of light and brightness to the franchise we had not seen since Star Trek: Insurrection. I found that this movie enjoyed the spirit of The Original Series but did so in the 21st century when movies are more fast paced and action packed.

The overall plot is solid. I also really liked the origin of Krall, even if some critics claim they caught on immediately. I did not. I found Krall to be a menacing character as well. He is powerful, intelligent, and dedicated to his cause. The characters have fun and/or important arcs that are all more or less resolved by the end of the film. Again, Chekov has the least going on but he did get more screen time than Into Darkness. Jaylah was a nice breath of fresh air too. Her speaking style, visual appearance, and attitude made the movie more enjoyable and brought a sense of wonder with her.

Star Trek Beyond - Krall

The character relationships are the best part of this movie from a story perspective. Bones and Spock have some wonderful moments both humorous and serious in nature. When Spock is close to death, it is their respect and friendship that keeps them going. Since 1966, we’ve watch Bones and Spock trade barbs. McCoy would throw a “green blooded” insult and Spock would reply with something intellectual yet sarcastic. What some don’t realize is that they were true friends with deep respect for one another. Beyond showed this better than any film before it and I loved every second. Seeing the characters paired up differently was also fun. We had Kirk and Chekov, Uhura and Sulu, Scotty and Jaylah, and Bones and Spock as I mentioned.

Spock Jaylah and Bones

What sold this movie to me, as a Trekkie, is its understanding of the franchise and canon. While the 2009 film obviously referenced the Prime Timeline it didn’t add anything outside of Spock Prime. At the same token, Into Darkness ignored the Prime timeline all together with the exception of Khan’s existence. Star Trek Beyond does exactly the opposite throughout the film. First, we have all of the Star Trek: Enterprise references like the Xindi and Romulan Wars, MACOs, and the formation of the Federation. We even got a glimpse of that era’s uniforms and the USS Franklin is clearly based on the NX-01 Enterprise design from the TV show, even if it’s different. But that’s not where it ended. We got references in basic dialogue like Chekov’s tale pertaining to the origins of Scotch, straight from TOS. Kirk even makes a statement about “absent friends” in his toast toward the end of the film. The birthday references are there too. These were echos of The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock but in a different light for different incarnations.

The resolution for the film is fun, for me at least, but flimsy at best. I saw some similarities to how the Borg were handled at times during Voyager with the whole disrupt communication concept and I can appreciate all of the ships in the swarm functioning that way but I don’t understand why they blew up anymore than I understood it in the Voyager episode “The Swarm” when those ships exploded due to a phaser feedback… but at least that was an actual weapon. But, as I said, the scene and music is fun, so I’m going to let it slide because Trek has done worse before and it’s my only serious gripe for the film.

USS Franklin

Finally, we had the major tribute to Nimoy. Quinto’s Spock is looking through a box of items from Spock Prime. He then pulls out a small case where a photo slides out. I expected just a picture of Nimoy as Spock, maybe young, maybe old but just something to say goodbye one last time. We got so much more. We got the iconic photo of the original crew, similar to the one below. We got to see the Kelvin Timeline not only honor Nimoy in his passing but honor his Spock, his Kirk, his Enterprise, and his crew. It was a picture I never expected to see in new Trek and an acknowledgement of the franchise’s history that was perfectly deserving on its 50th year.

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Crew

In the credits, we got a final goodbye to Nimoy and the film’s dedication to Anton Yelchin. While Nimoy’s loss was a major one for many in the Trek community and beyond, Yelchin’s was shocking and painful. He was so young and his presence will be missed in everything he could have been a part of. I fully support Abrams’ and the studio’s decision not to recast Chekov.

To end on a positive note, Star Trek Beyond was a fantastic birthday present to a franchise half a century old that has hit every corner of this globe. It captures the spirit of The Original Series while pushing forward in its own right, respecting the franchise every step of the way. I loved it and can’t wait to see what’s in store for Star Trek 4 and the upcoming TV series on CBS.

May you all live long and prosper.

For more of my thoughts on the film, catch the Screen Heroes podcast episode #31 with a live broadcast Tuesday, July 26th at 8PM CST at twitch.tv\griddaily or listen to the recorded episode at griddaily.com

If you have thoughts or are interested in more, go to TheStarTrekDude.com!

Star Trek Beyond: Spoiler-Filled Review

Star Trek Beyond: The Spoiler Free Review, It’s Fantastic

But I’m sure you’ve already heard that it’s good or that some reviews not liking Star Trek Beyond for its lack of depth, you know, the kinda of depth of classic episodes like “City on the Edge of Forever” or “Balance of Terror”, for example. What some people forget is that on average The Original Series was far from perfect. Depending on who you ask, only about half the episodes are really good. What brings fans like me back continually are the characters and how they interact. I’ll sit through some of the worst TOS episodes if the banter between Spock and McCoy makes me smile and if it has a theme or at least some solid message I’ll have a good time watching it. And that’s what Star Trek Beyond is, a simple character driven story with a theme. Its theme is camaraderie plain and simple. There are also much more sublet nods to ideas of globalization and provincialism and sense of wonder. Sometimes all you need is a nod if you want to focus more on the characters and you’ll have a great film.

Plot:
The plot is functional, nothing too elaborate, but it gets the job done. There are no big loop holes or dramatically illogical moments like what was found in Star Trek Into Darkness. But it does lack the freshness and charm of something like an origin story that is found Star Trek (2009). At no time was the story dull or boring, even during the moments of exposition and story setup it was fun to watch. The film moves from start to finish in a quick way that will leave you feeling like it’s going to end way too soon but the pacing never disappoints.  Interestingly enough where you could argue Into Darkness failed at plot twists and surprises, Beyond does a much better job at it. You’ll definitely want to avoid spoilers with this one.kirk-yorktown-uniform

Cast and Acting:
This film’s saving grace is its cast and acting. I know it’s been said before but if you think these actors have hit there mark before, you’ll be blown away with how they’ve improved on capturing the characters. They all feel much more visceral. Most noticeably is Karl Urban’s McCoy who is given a far greater role in the story. He’s your battle medic alright. And McCoy is gonna make you laugh, let me tell you.

karl-urban-almost-said-no-star-trek-beyond

The new comers to Star Trek, Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella, are well done also. You’d think Idris Elba, being so buried in makeup would be a mistake. When I first saw the trailer, I was reminded of the Remans from Star Trek: Nemisis, shallow Nosferatu like aliens that were flat and dull, more monster than villain. But Elba pulls it off well. He has a certain speaking cadence like Bane from The Dark Knight Returns but it’s actually much closer to how Ceaser speaks in the Planet of the Apes remakes. It draws you in, eager to hear every word, it keeps you hanging on his words. The villain interestingly enough has a not too subtle character arch that when it reaches its climax is interesting and adds to both the story and characters motivation, if a little to late.

bts-idris-elba-justin-lin

Sofia Boutella’s female heroin character, Jaylah, has some range as well. She portrays her as a strong and cunning independent survivor. Yet Boutell gives Jaylah a much needed vulnerability at times. Something that other space fairing, sci-fi flicks didn’t do with there stick fighting female leads (cough, cough Force Awakens). It’s Jaylah’s vulnerability with her strength that makes her compelling in the opposite way of how Rey was handled in Star Wars.

jaylah-franklin-chair

Script:
Much of the charm and fun from Star Trek Beyond comes from the clever script. Cheeky one liners and interactions between characters are what makes this film exciting during the down time between the action scenes. McCoy and Spock’s interactions are some of the best moments with the film. But every character has his or her scenes and contributions to the plot; no character is wasted and everyone has a reason to be there.

jaylah-scotty-scanning

The only draw back at the end is the problem solving felt a little too collaborative. Like cheesy 90s sitcoms where couples finish each others sentences when faced with a problem, it felt like they where kicking a ball back and forth and it felt a bit too forced.

Action:
The action is real good but perhaps not as good as something like Force Awakens. True, there are some moments where Star Trek Beyond introduces some very interesting shots and camera work that depict actions scenes in zero gravity in a new way, both in space and hand to hand combat. But these shots don’t always pay off. When they do, they’re something special.

kirk-motorcycle

Oddly enough though, the infamous motorcycle scene is actually pretty darn good. When I saw it first in the trailer I was reminded of the lame dune buggy scene from Star Trek: Nemesis. But it fits with the story and is fun to watch. I actually liked it. Kirk was the action hero we always knew he was.

Lastly, the space battles where good but not overly so. Much as with the plot, the strength is with the characters not the space ships.

Special Effects:
Actually, I was slightly disappointed with the special effects. Generally most sci-fi films do a great job at this, heck even fan films can have some great stuff. But there are some moments here and there where I guess they got overly ambitious with shots and angles and didn’t have the budget to make everything look perfect. I mean don’t get me wrong, the film overall looks great but early on in the above mentioned motorcycle scene for example,  it looked sub-standard, perhaps because they wanted an interesting pan shot for the camera. It may be from lack of budget more than lack of vision though.  I got to hand it to them for trying an interesting shot though. I’m no special effects purists.

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Overall:
Star Trek Beyond is a fantastic film but if you’re an old school Trekkie that hated the previous two films then there really isn’t much here you’d like. As for everyone else, you’re going to enjoy yourself with Beyond. It feels like a love letter to The Original Series, at many times echoing it in form and function. Though not a film with intellectual depth, it stands on par with the complexity found with Star Trek: First Contact easily and in many ways surpasses it. It’s an incredible bounce back from the shortcomings of Into Darkness and though in may not have the charm of the 2009 entry, it feels much closer to the source material than many other Star Trek films. In many ways, it was much closer to Star Trek: The Motion Picture as far as look and feel to The Original Series. That’s pretty darn impressive in itself.

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What did you think of Star Trek Beyond? Do you think Justin Lin was up to the task? Comment below with your thoughts!

Live long and prosper.

Star Trek Beyond: The Spoiler Free Review, It’s Fantastic