Category: Sci-Fi Café


   

In advance of a two-part set of movies starring Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem targeted to come to theaters beginning this December from director Denis Villeneuve, a new three-book graphic novel series is heading your way this Fall from Abrams Books.  Frank Herbert’s Dune: The Graphic Novel, Book One is now available for pre-order here at Amazon.    

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“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

It’s the theme to many a science fiction story, back to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and revisited nearly 85 years later in H.G. Wells’ novel and cautionary tale, The Island of Dr. Moreau, creating one of science fiction’s most loathsome of villains.  Now 125 years later after Wells’ book, writer Ted Adams, artist Gabriel Rodriguez, and colorist Nelson Daniel have revisited the novel and adapted it into a graphic novel as H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau, arriving this week from IDW Publishing in a hardcover edition.

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Just because San Diego Comic-Con 2020 was cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t mean some of the convention exclusives won’t still be available, for those who know where to look.  One of the best ideas we’ve seen from exclusives previewed so far is from Diamond Select and Entertainment Earth, and it hails from one of our favorite retro fixes: the groundbreaking 1982 sci-fi classic Tron What says 1982 and Tron more than a VHS clamshell?  Wait, it’s not just a clamshell…

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National convention organizer Wizard World will be hosting key cast members from across the 56+ years run of the BBC’s Doctor Who today as part of its Wizard World Virtual Experiences tour taking place through the summer.  From the 7th Doctor and his Companion, to a memorable sort-of Doctor, to the head of Torchwood, to members of the Paternoster Gang, and notables William Shakespeare and Winston Churchill and more–fans can see them all free on a live-streamed panel and/or check out individual opportunities for photographs and autographs for a fee.  It all happens today, June 17, 2020, online at noon Central Time.

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Eight years ago this week, LucasArts revealed footage for a next-generation video game, Star Wars 1313.  It looked like it was going to be incredible (we previewed it here at borg).  It had cutting edge graphics, but it got cancelled as a result of Disney’s acquisition of Star Wars.  Flash forward to today, and after 17 other franchise game releases now the latest game preview for Star Wars is here: Star Wars: Squadrons.  It arrives with some nice visual effects and a mirroring of play options.  Players play one of five Rebel “New Republic” X-Wing pilots, including a Trandoshan alien (like the bounty hunter Bossk) or one of five members of an Imperial TIE-Fighter squadron.  Lucasfilm and EA/Electronic Arts have partnered to create this first-person space combat game for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, and playable via virtual reality (VR) on PlayStation 4 and PC.  It is set after the events of Return of the Jedi.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

You’ll find a lot familiar about the journey in the new sci-fi thriller Underwater, but it’s certain to keep you on the edge of your seat, trigger your claustrophobia, and get most of the beats of the survival thriller genre right.  Most of that is thanks to Kristen Stewart, who stars as an engineer named Norah, working in an oil drilling facility seven miles down at the bottom of the ocean.  Stewart makes our own recent tour of isolation seem pretty tame, as her world literally explodes due to some deep-sea fracking that causes an earthquake, breaking up the facility and severely minimizing the opportunities to leave for the surface.  If that weren’t enough, the earthquake releases some kaiju-inspired beasties.  It all allows Stewart to create a character as tough and heroic as Alien’s Ellen Ripley with a modern homage to the original sci-fi survivor.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

What do a submarine, a space shuttle, dinosaurs, sea creatures from 20,000 leagues, flying saucers, and a female Tarzan have in common?  They’re all part of Frank Cho’s Jungle Girl.

Frank Cho is one of our favorite artists and he’s also a great guy, always eager to chat at the next comic convention.  He’s a double threat–his artwork is second to none, but many don’t know how humorous his writing can be, as illustrated in his University² series of comic strips and his Liberty Meadows series.  He’s also a great all-around writer, and so it’s no surprise that he combined his trademark jungle women art with his love of dinosaurs and spun them into a series that he plotted and handed over to other writers and artists to execute.  That 15-issue comic book series coming your way this month in the Jungle Girl Complete Omnibus, a giant 392-page trade paperback edition from Dynamite Entertainment.  With stunning visuals and a female Tarzan named Jana born into Earth’s distant past, the only things that would make the book even better would be if Cho wrote and illustrated more than the cover art for it.

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Movie trailer?  What’s a movie trailer?  It’s been forever since we’ve seen the studios reveal a new movie or a trailer, and for some this next movie is of the “long-time, eagerly awaited” category.  For others, well, they can just shield their eyes and wait for it to pass.  Another Bill & Ted adventure?  A third?  (There were two?).  Bill & Ted Face the Music comes right on the heels of… or actually… 30 years after the original Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey came two years later).  It’s the continuing adventures of two teenagers played by Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter who meet up with a timelord played by George Carlin (complete with passable TARDIS), all without de-aging CGI and without Carlin, who died in 2008.  How is this supposed to work again?

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 is the latest Netflix-produced series, a fully-CGI-animated anime series based on the 1989 Japanese manga Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow.  Directors Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed) and Kenji Kamiyama (Stand Alone Complex) return fans to the “Stand Alone Complex” continuity, not tapped by the franchise since 2006.  Familiar badass Major Motoko Kusanagi returns as the star of the series, but this time she takes a backseat to an incredible vision of dystopian Los Angeles and some quirky and more successful robot characters called the tachikoma.

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