When President Obama announced the end of the Constellation program, many people worried about the U.S. not having a method of transport for its own astronauts. Since then, American astronauts have been buying rides to the ISS on Russian Soyuz capsules. Given that Russia will soon be bowing out of the ISS, it’s now particularly important that NASA figures out another way to transport its astronauts. Hence the Commercial Crew Program, NASA’s way of soliciting transportation services from private companies. The three contenders were SpaceX’s Dragon, Sierra Nevada’s Dreamchaser, and Boeing’s CST-100. This morning, the Wall Street Journal reported that NASA “is poised” to award the $3 billion to Boeing.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…
Back to the past of the future.
Klaatu barada nikto.
In each of his past films, Christopher Nolan has taken us to places we’ve never been before. The mind of a man with a broken memory. A markedly non-cartoonish Gotham City. Dreams within dreams within Leonardo DiCaprio. For his next film, the grandiose sci-fi headpiece Interstellar, Nolan is jettisoning us to at least one different planet outside of our solar system. (Assuming it’s not just Earth in some weird Sphere-ish twist.) And we get a good look at that planet’s inhabitable terrain in the film’s newest one-sheet, seen above.
In it, Matthew McConaughey is taking a stroll through across what is presumably a frozen tundra. (Did they film this in Lambeau Field?) The plot details behind Interstellar are still mostly under wraps, but we know that McConaughey and a crew of scientist astronauts are sent on a mission to find a planet that could serve as a new home for humanity, which is in dire shape back on Earth thanks to climate change. Darn you, carbon footprints! To get there, McConaughey and company may or may not be using a wormhole, as Nolan cites physicist Kip Throne as a major inspiration and story resource for Interstellar‘s script, which was co-written with brother Jonathan Nolan.
If you’ve got a movie-loving geek with a birthday coming up, or if you’re just in the mood to treat yo’self, you’ve got two bits of awesome to chose from this week on the home-video front. First up, Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla reboot stomps onto shelves today, giving you the perfect excuse to see just how loud you can set the volume on your home theater before your ears start bleeding.
Like most major releases these days, Godzilla is available in several different combo-pack formats. You can grab the 3D Blu-ray for $27.99 on Amazon. That set includes the movie on a 3D Blu-ray disc, regular Blu-ray, and DVD, as well as an Ultraviolet digital copy. I’m guessing there are few of us out there who actually have a 3D TV, however, so you’ll more likely be interested in the standard Blu-ray combo pack, which includes all of the above but the 3D disc and is going for $19.99 on Amazon. And if you prefer all your movies to be stored in fancy metal tins, or you’ve just always wanted a button you could press that makes the Godzilla roar, you can drop $29.99 for the Limited Edition MetalPak.
You probably have something very important to do with your day, like paint your house before the rainy season starts, run a bunch of vital errands, or pick up a loved one at the hospital. In reality, I should have said, you had something important to do today, because whatever it was that you were going to do, that’s going to have to wait. You have to love the combination of the internet and free time because it so often results in things like Pulp Empire, which, if the title didn’t clue you in already, is The Empire Strikes Back (the best of the original trilogy) completely reedited in the distinct directorial style of Quentin Tarantino. And yes, it’s as good as that sounds.
The full movie is 89-minutes long, so before you dive in, you should watch the trailer, which is embedded above for your convenience, to get a better idea of exactly what you’re in for. Then again, you all are an intrepid bunch, so it won’t surprise me if you simply jump in head first without even testing the waters (that’s not a bad strategy, because the water is just damn fine).
It’s been over 35 years since Star Wars first hit theaters and seized the imaginations of viewers both young and old, so it’s safe to say we’ve seen just about every single spoof, parody, tribute, and reimagining imaginable in the years since. But leave it to the creative masterminds at Sesame Street to send the sci-fi classic up in a perfectly simplistic fashion: with a ton of food puns. If you ever thought that Cookie Monster would be perfectly happy eating his own grandmother if she was made out of a cookie, get ready to be proven wrong.
For Star S’mores, which is set in a “cookies and milky way galaxy far, far away,” Cookie Monster plays the roguishly handsome Flan Solo, who is partnered with the bandolier-wearing Chewy the Cookie. I like that even though these characters are supposed to have already been buddies, Cookie Monster interrupts everything so that he may try and eat Chewy. Is this meta? I can’t tell.
Whatever else you can say about Tron: Legacy, there’s no question that it was a spectacular audiovisual experience that deserved to be seen on the biggest damn screen possible. In fact, it might have worked just as well as a silent movie, accompanied only by Daft Punk’s propulsive soundtrack. Whatever your feelings about TRON: Legacy as a movie or a long-awaited sequel, it was just gorgeous as hell, so I imagine I won’t be the only one eager to take a few minutes to slobber all over this gorgeous concept art by artist Daniel Simon.