Jetpacks Just Got Legalized In New Zealand

You know, I look back in my memory banks and try as I might, I just cannot remember The Rocketeer being about a guy from New Zealand. But it looks like that part of the world will be home to jetpacks before any others, apparently, as the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority have issued an experimental flight permit to Martin Aircraft to allow for manned test flights to take place using their new P12 jetpack device. While this doesn’t necessarily mean the world will be seeing New Zealanders turn their back on cars for more personal transportation, it’s still a pretty huge step towards the world of stereotypical science fiction. Flying cars and hoverboards are more than welcome to get in this as well.

“For us it’s a very important step,” said Martin Aircraft chief executive Peter Coker, “because it movies it out of what I call a dream into something which I believe we’re now in a position to commercialize and take forward very quickly.” How quickly? They envision the product will go up for sale at some point next year, though not quite as widespread as some may hope.

First, they’ll need to get a few successful test flights under their wings, which will all be performed under strict requirements. They’ll have to take place no more than 20 feet over uninhabited land or 25 feet above water. Once that’s complete, the company plans on creating a specialized version of the P12 for use by the military as well as firefighters and other “first responder” emergency crews. While the military’s involvement was a no-brainer, I like the idea of firefighters and cops getting put back on the “hero” pedestal by being allowed to fly around saving people. The company aims to make these units available for delivery in mid-2014.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Is Delayed For A Fourth Time

TMNTIt looks like Paramount Pictures and Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes can’t figure out when to release their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot. The movie studio pushed the release date back for the fourth time since the film was first announced in 2012. The heroes-in-a-half-shell have been bumped from their June 6, 2014 slot in favor of a new date, two months later on August 8, 2014.

According to reports, the change has nothing to do with production, but rather to give Michael Bay’s Transformers 4 more time to gather a higher box office gross for the studio. Transformers 4 comes June 27, 2014, and will now most likely move up two days earlier to June 25th. It feels like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a movie that no one wants (even the fans), and everything surrounding the reboot is just terrible.


Hear Chris Evans’ Thoughts On The Proposed Snowpiercer Edits

The more that comes out about Bong Joon-ho’s upcoming post-apocalyptic thriller Snowpiercer, the more amped we get. With movies like The Host and Mother, Bong is a goddamned hit factory, so it was already high on our must-see list. But since the film’s release in Korea earlier this month, it has been lighting the box office on fire, crushing records, and garnering rave reviews from all circles. That sounds great, right? The problem is, as earlier reported, that The Weinstein Company, which owns the rights to Snowpiercer in much of the rest of the world, plans to cut up to 20 minutes from the original 125-minute movie. Chris Evans, star of the film, was recently asked his opinion on this piece of news, and the response, though diplomatic, is interesting.

This brief interview, from Collider, starts off with some less controversial topic. You can tell the interviewer wants to lob a few softballs Evans’ way before the main event. So they talk about a communal love of Dunkin’ Donuts and the excitement for the franchise’s return to the West Coast. Then we learn a little about Evans’ upcoming directorial debut, a drama called 1:30 Train written by Ron Bass (Rain Man), which I’m sure will be just lovely. He plays a street musician (is anyone else having flashbacks to Jamie Foxx in The Soloist?)


William Shatner And Gene Roddenberry’s Son On Why Star Trek Belongs Back On TV

With Star Trek Into Darkness having earned half a billion dollars worldwide, J.J. Abrams’ rebooted Trek universe isn’t going anywhere, even if some fans really, really, really want it to. Star Trek 3 is likely going to be front-burnered so it can release in 2016 for Trek’s 50th anniversary. The extent of Abrams’ involvement is unknown at this point, given that he’ll have a lot on his plate with Star Wars: Episode VII (and possibly the entire damn Star Wars universe). But with a major Trek anniversary on the immediate horizon, what about the state of Trek in the medium it originated? Both William Shatner and Gene Roddenberry’s son, Eugene, think the time is right for Star Trek to return to the small screen.


Shatner and Chris Pine: a battle for the ages!


Jurassic Park IV Director Says Don’t Believe The Rumors

JP4 2015Jurassic Park IV was originally going to be released in June 2014, but with a new director (Safety Not Guaranteed‘s Colin Trevorrow), production delays, and script rewrites, Universal Studios pushed the release to an unspecified date in the future. Usually this kind of news would spell disaster for a big summer blockbuster movie, but for Jurassic Park IV, it’s good that Universal wants to get this one right and not rush a release. Jurassic Park III was far from terrible, but it was in no way an upgrade from The Lost World or the original Jurassic Park. While we’ve still got a long wait for Jurassic Park IV, the new sequel’s director encourages fans not to listen to rumors.

Trevorrow recently made a guest appearance on the Jurassic Park Podcast and talked about the upcoming JP sequel. While he didn’t divulge any specifics about the new film, he did shed some light on a few rumors emerging on the Internet. Trevorrow also mentioned that Jurassic Park IV was “two years out,” which falls in line with early reports that the sequel wouldn’t be released until 2015.

The podcast episode surrounded the idea of why a new Jurassic Park movie should even exist, more than 12 years after the last Jurassic Park outing in 2001. Trevorrow explained that the project isn’t just another paycheck for him. He says he deeply cares about the project and wants to make Jurassic Park IV something worth watching.


Michael Biehn On The Disappointment of Aliens: Colonial Marines

BiehnIf you ask gamers what one of the biggest disappointments of the past year was, chances are several of them are going to mention Sega’s Aliens: Colonial Marines. Probably after punching a hole in a nearby wall. For decades, video games have been cribbing from James Cameron’s classic Aliens, and from the larger Alien mythology. But while there have been a few good Alien games over the years, we haven’t had an official spin-off that truly captured the frantic action, the claustrophobic fear and paranoia, of Cameron’s Alien sequel. Many a shout of joy went up, then, when Aliens: Colonial Marines was first announced. And many a cry of grief went up when the game arrived…and was bad. The victim of delays and behind-the-scenes production issues, Colonial Marines disappointed on virtually every front. And as it turns out, gamers weren’t the only ones left bitter about the experience. Aliens actor Michael Biehn, who returned to voice the character of Corporal Dwayne Hicks, called the experience “passionless.” Ouch.

On paper it sounded amazing. An in-canon sequel to Aliens, Colonial Marines would follow up directly on Cameron’s film and explore many of the locations from the films, casting players in the role of a squad of Marines sent to figure out what the hell happened to Hadley’s Hope and the last squad they sent to investigate. Early footage looked like the Aliens game fans had been waiting decades for. But when Biehn was called in to voice the role of Hicks, his first impressions were not good. Speaking to Game Informer, Biehn says the experience “wasn’t fun at all.” He continues: