Friday, January 19, 2018

Top 10 Geek Pop Culture Movies of 2017 with Honorable Mentions plus Dishonorable Ones

As the year begins, it is usually the off-season for major movie releases with some of the December blockbusters trailing off the festive holiday season and a few mid-budget offerings. So this is a good time to reflect on last year's movies to revisit those geek pop culture titles that sent shudders through our geekiness. These geek movies need not have broken box office records but certainly made their presence felt amongst various fandoms.

Our resident Vulcan cultural observer Mr Smock together with The Captain of Pop Culture FUN - Malaysia share their selection of Top 10 Geek Pop Culture movies of 2017 released in tropical Malaysia; listed below in no intended order:

Logan, the final chapter in the Wolverine Trilogy. of the X-Men franchise.
20th Century Fox.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2.
Marvel Studios (Disney).

Spider-man Homecoming joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Sony Pictures.

Marvel's Thor Ragnarok.
Marvel Studios (Disney).
  

Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi.
Lucasfilm (Disney)

Wonder Woman.
Warner Bros Pictures.

Justice League, finally the DCEU unites.
Warner Bros Pictures.

Blade Runner 2049, a sequel 35 years in the making.
Sony Pictures.

Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle, a sequel 22 years in the making.
Sony Pictures.

Kong Skull Island.
Warner Bros Pictures.

Listen to Mr Smock and The Captain explain their movie choices on our YouTube channel MySciFiFanOutpost in this video:


These movies are certainly must-watch for geeks so take the opportunity during this off-season to catch these titles that you may have missed at the cinemas; some are still showing whilst others are already available in DVD / Blu-Ray, pay-TV, and on-demand video streaming services.

There were certainly many other geek movies released in 2017 so these comprise 10 Honorable Mentions by our reviewer duo; also listed in not intended order:

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge / Dead Men Tell No Tales (Disney).
Fast & Furious 8 / Fast 8 / Fate of the Furious (United International Pictures).


War for the Planet of the Apes. Kingsman The Golden Circle (20th Century Fox).


Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (Rainfilm).
Ghost in the Shell (United International Pictures).


The Dark Tower. Arrival. (Sony Pictures)


Power Rangers (TGV Pictures).
LEGO Batman Movie (Warner Bros Pictures).

Whilst these movies may not fall under the "must-watch" classification as per the Top 10 list, they are still recommended entertainment that the geek community should check out, especially whilst the cinema is devoid of equivalent offerings at this time. Here is Mr Smock and The Captain share on why these titles deserve Honorable Mentions:


Local movie tidbits: Fast 8 and Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle rank in the Top Five All-Time Highest Grossing Movies in Malaysia, both starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in the same year. Plus Malaysia's Highest Grossing Movie ever is Furious 7 in 2015, also starring Dwayne Johnson! Malaysians just can't get enough of Mr. Johnson.

Along with the good, there are certainly the bad offerings of 2017. These few titles are labelled Dishonorable Mentions in such that they are a disservice to their respective franchises. In their third and final part video, Mr Smock and The Captain explains on their Dishonorable Mentions not worth the cinema ticket:


Thank you for reading and we trust fellow geeks will find this movie list plus video reviews useful for an informed decision. Stay tuned here on our Blog as well as our YouTube Channel MySciFiFanOutpost for the Top 10 Must-Watch Geek Movies of 2018.

Peace and Long Life.
Live Long & Prosper.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed by reviewers are not representative as official positions of Outpost Productions regarding the subject matter.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Our journey through 2017 into 2018 and wishing all denizens on Earth a Happy New Orbit around our Sun!



OUTPOST Productions wishes our valued clients, friends, and fans:

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

As we commence 2018, we like a reflect briefly on our journey in 2017 and how these experiences would shape the new year.


Speaking Geek

In November 2017, Outpost organised our first conference titled "The Growing Influence of Geek Pop Culture and How to Profit from It" as part of the Comic Play festival in Publika Shopping Gallery. Geeks from various fan communities spoke first sharing what they wanted for the local geek pop culture scene, then followed by industry panelists speaking on the opportunities available via partnerships with movies, fan engagements at the cinema, and growing hobby interests.

Industry panelists from United International Pictures, TGV Cinemas and ShiokToys.com.

Geek panelists from Star Wars Malaysia Fan Club, POP Culture Fun and Comic Fiesta.

Our Outpost Commander also facilitated fan panel discussions for Ghost in the Shell collaborating once again with Comic Fiesta, and sharing of Star Wars fandom at The Force is 40 fan event in Sunway Pyramid.

Panelists from BFM, Comic Fiesta and The Hyped Geek discuss Ghost in the Shell.

Star Wars 40th Anniversary fan panel at The Force is 40 event in Sunway Pyramid.

Outpost table at The Force is 40 with charity raffle raising RM422 for the Spastic Children's Association of Selangor & Federal Territory (SCASFT) 
Our resident Vulcan Mr. Smock (right) talking about Star Trek at KL Sci-Fi Convention 2017.
More photos at our Facebook Page for the Geek Pop Culture Convention as well as The Force is 40 Star Wars fan celebration event.


Proud to Cosplay

Thanks to the nice folks at the movie distributors and cinemas, local cosplayers had occasion to show off their love of geeky fandoms at Movie Premieres for a number of superhero franchises.

Try counting all these Spideys at a special Fan Screening for Spider-man Homecoming hosted at mmCineplex e@Curve.

Star-Lords and friends assembled for Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 at MBO Starling.

The Mighty Thor with half-brother & sister Loki plus Dr. Banner with Mr. Dr. Strange at the Premiere of Thor Ragnarok at GSC Mid Valley Megamall.
Check out more photos at our Facebook Page on these cosplay gatherings for Spider-man Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, and Thor Ragnarok as well as group photo shoots at Animangaki and Comic Fiesta, the largest convention of 55,000 geeks / otaku in Malaysia.

This year we will be looking unite the largest gathering of Marvel superhero cosplayers in conjunction with release of Avengers Infinity War in late-April.


Bringing Smiles to Malaysians

Special thanks to our esteemed clients at United International Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment for continuing to trust us with their mascot roadshows bringing smiles to Malaysians across the country.

Gru together with his Minions delighting the young and young at heart for Despicable Me 3.

The Smurfs returned for their third movie outing.

Gene and Poop from one of the stranger animation flicks, The Emoji Movie.

Experiencing a Slice of the Movies

Last year Outpost were also involved with a number of promotional activities for blockbuster movies. We kicked off an early summer hit with racing simulation tournament for Fast & Furious 8 at TGV Cinemas. Then we shot a thematic video for sci-fi horror flick, Alien Covenant.

Finalists for the Furious Showdown racing simulation tournament by TGV Cinemas.

Warning! Alien xenomorphs are infesting your cinemas! #FacehuggerAttack.

Closing the year at Comic Fiesta, we setup a thematic "jungle" photo booth for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and had convention attendees try to Outrun the Maze in challenges inspired from Maze Runner: The Death Cure (in cinemas 25 January 2018).

Bringing a bit of Jumanji's jungle for Comic Fiesta attendees to photo shoot.

Recruiting Gladers to outrun the maze via game App and X-trainer running machine.

Beaming In Mr. Smock, Vulcan Cultural Officer

In the latter half of 2017, Mr. Smock of Vulcan beamed in to observe geeky human pop culture and has since conducted a number of YouTube video reviews about movies and geek collectibles.

Outpost resident Vulcan Mr. Smock talks about geek pop culture with human guests.

Thank you for being part of the journey with us at Outpost Productions. This year we will continue our mission to terraform the Geek Pop Culture landscape in Malaysia through thematic engagements with local fandoms. For corporate clientele, Outpost Productions offers Geek Consulting supported by on-ground events implementation.

Follow our social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Blog to stay tuned to the latest geeky news.

Live Long & Prosper. May The Force Be With You.
#LLAP #MTFBWY

#HappyNewYear #2018 #geek #popculture #fandom #scifi #superhero #comicbook #collectibles #cosplay #movies #VulcanSmock #review

Monday, October 23, 2017

Ragnarok is coming. Prepare for an epic showdown of Team Thor vs Hela the Goddess of Death.


Thor, The God of Thunder returns for his third solo movie adventure! This time, the Avenger needs to stop the impending destruction of  his home world Asgard from Hela, the Goddess of Death. His journey takes time to the planet Sakaar and being put to fight in gladiatorial matches. There he finds unexpected allies to team-up in a race to save Asgard.



Official Synopsis:
“In Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok, Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok – the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization – at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger – the Incredible Hulk!”


Thor: Ragnarok
is directed by New Zealander Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople). Reprising their roles are Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers) as Bruce Banner/Hulk, Tom Hiddleston (Thor) as Loki, Idris Elba (Pacific Rim) as Heimdall, Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs) as Odin, Tessa Thompson (Veronica Mars) as Valkyrie, Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park) as Grandmaster, Karl Urban (Star Trek) as Skurge, and Cate Blanchett (Lord of the Rings) as the lead antagonist, Hela. 


Listen to what the Director and Cast have to say about Thor Ragnarok


What is Ragnarok?
In Norse mythology, Ragnarok was a great battle resulting in deaths of many gods like Odin, Loki, Heimdall, etc and the end of all things. From the movie trailers it can be hypothesized that Hela in her revenge against Asgard will bring about Ragnarok in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Ragnarok, the evil robotic clone of Thor.
In Marvel Comics, Ragnarok was a robotic clone of Thor, created by Tony Stark / Iron Man, Hank Pym  Giant-Man and Reed Richards / Mr. Fantastic when Thor was presumed dead during the Civil War storyline. Ragnarok went out of control and later destroyed by the real Thor upon return (no superhero stays truly dead in comics). Ragnarok was later rebuild and was used by Norman Osborn / Green Goblin for his Dark Avengers team.

Here are the returning and new characters for in this new movie:

Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the titular god of Thunder. It is no secret from the trailer that he looses the mighty hammer Mjolnir at the literal hand of Hela, and gets a haircuit (do you ladies approve?).

Hulk / Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) was last seen in the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron leaving the team for parts unknown. Now the trailers has revealed that Hulk is also on the planet Saakar, fighting as a gladiator.

Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the God of Mischief and Thor's adopted brother (he's actually a small Frost Giant). He faked his own death after the events of Thor: The Dark World and disguised himself as Odin to rule Asgard.

Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) is a former Asgardian warrior who was once a member of Odin's elite guard. She is now working as a bounty hunter for the Grandmaster in Saakar. It is uncertain whether this movie Valkyrie is the same as the comics version, Brunhilde. She could be ONE of the many Valkyrie warriors.

Heimdall (Idris Elba), the all-seeing and all-hearing Gatekeeper of the Bifrost Bridge of Asgard.

Odin (Anthony Hopkins), king of Asgard. He was last seen in Thor: The Dark World and but viewers were unsure his fate since being "replaced" by Loki.

Hela (Cate Blanchett), the Goddess of Death. She escapes from imprisonment by Odin and now seeks revenge against Asgard. Writhing horns never looked so good!

Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) is one of the Elders of the Universe and master for all games. He created the Gladiator matches on Planet  Planet Saakar.

Skurge (Karl Urban), an Asgardian warrior who aligns himself to Hela. He is also known as 'The Executioner".

Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is now a full-fledged wizard, last seen in his own movie (in after credits) chatting with Thor to help search for Odin.


Get this bromance between Thor & Loki in "Get Help". LOL!

And listen in carefully to those great music tunes in this movie which looks to share the awesome mix vibes in Guardians of the Galaxy.


Thor Ragnarok is currently rated highly on Rotten Tomatoes at 98% and looks to be best of the trilogy. Read what movie critics have to say on Variety. And here's what Australia's ABC had to say about "the funniest Marvel movie ever".

Our resident Vulcan Dr. Mr. Smock reviews Thor Ragnarok together with special Guest The Captain from Pop Culture FUN - Malaysia.

As one of the most highly anticipated blockbuster superhero movies this year, our local cinemas are offering a whole slew of goodies right now:


GSC Cinemas is hosting an early screening for their members on this Wednesday  25 October, 6.20pm at GSC MyTown, Cheras and GSC Queensbay Mall, Penang. The screening package priced at RM30 includes 1 movie ticket, 1 limited edition Thor Ragnarok collectible coin and popcorn / drink combo. Find out more details from their official website

  
Now only for advance ticket sales purchase until 26 October, purchase their Thor Ragnarok e-combo online for RM90 to score a pair of Thor and Hulk Podz figurines with a large popcorn and 2 regular soft drinks. Read more on the terms and conditions from the GSC website.
Sample of that Hulk Podz figurine. Photo source: GSC.


Finally the first 50 customers purchasing six D-Box tickets at participating cinemas will redeem an exclusive Gladiator Hulk's Hammer USB plus popcorn and drinks for that party of six. Find out which cinemas are qualified for this prom at their website.



Over at TGV Cinemas, their Movie Club members get to purchase an early exclusive screening of Thor Ragnarok on Wednesday 25 October, 6pm in TGV Sunway Pyramid and Tebrau City, Johor Bahru. These IMAX tickets are priced at RM45 when purchased in advance, or RM60 on the day itself. Some activities like cosplay contest and video games precede the movie screening starting from 4.30pm. For non-members, there are other early screenings in IMAX and standard halls that same night at TGV 1 Utama and Sunway Velocity scheduled for 7pm with activities starting at 5.30pm.

Over the movie opening weekend of 28-29 October, movie marathons comprising Thor The Dark World and Thor Ragnarok will be available for purchase at selected locations.for only RM20 to Movie Club members and RM25 to others. Find out participating cinemas from the TGV website.

Plus from 25 October onwards, purchasing 2 IMAX movie tickets will come with a free mini-poster. Of course only at IMAX cinema locations.


As for movie merchandise, a Hulk Hammer combo is available for RM27 with purchase of 1 Thor Ragnarok movie ticket. This combo includes with a Hulk Hammer water bottle, 1 regular popcorn and 1 regular soft drink. The special bottle is also available at part of an IMAX ticket combo with popcorn for RM40.



MBO Cinemas is offering 3 forms of concession combos:

  • Combo A with a 32oz / 950ml Thor OR Hulk helmet cup and a 46oz / 1.35l popcorn for RM27.
  • Combo B, an 85oz / 2.5l Hulk Fist popcorn container with a 22oz / 650ml soft drink for RM41 or with 2 soft drinks will be RM43.
  • Combo C comes with an 85oz / 2.5l Thor Helmet popcorn container with a 22oz / 650ml soft drink for RM41 or with 2 soft drinks for RM43.



They are also having a contest to win a trip for two to Australia. For more info, read here.


Unexpectedly, retail petrol stations chain Petron Malaysia is also in on the action with exclusive movie premiums available with minimum purchase of RM50 fuel. Then use either Petron points or cash to make purchase of the goodies from participating Petron station. For more details go to their official website.

Avenue K shopping centre is currently having an official Thor: Ragnarok event from 18 October to 5 November. You can take pictures with life-sized statues of Thor and Hulk in their Gladiator armor.


The event area in Avenue K's main concourse, just above the KLCC LRT station.

Life-sized statues of Thor and Hulk
There is also a FREE haircut for fans which the hairstylists will cut your hair short and also give a 'Gladiator Mark' on it (courtesy by C. Michael London hair salon).


Free haircut with the Gladiator Mark. Wonder if Chris Hemsworth approves?

For children, there is a mini 'Gladiator Pit' where they can battle it out like Thor and Hulk. Don't worry, protection are provided.

Gladiator Pit for the kids. Protection provided
There is also a Augmented Reality photo booth where you can take pictures with some of the characters from the movie.

Take pictures with your favorite movie character with the Augmented Reality Photo Booth



Premium Thor and Hulk statues on display
For retail, TGV Cinemas is selling their Hulk Hammer bottle by instead at a discounted price of RM17. Petron has also setup a booth offering their movie merchandise.

For fans who must own a piece of the Marvel Thor universe, here are a number of movie toys and collectibles located by the Outpost Movie Recon Team (M.R.T.):

Hasbro's Marvel Legends series released six 6 inch figures which include Gladiator Thor, Loki, Hela, Thor (Jane Foster), Ares and Thor Odinson from the comics series. Each of the packaging comes with a body part which are called Build-A-Figure and if you collected all 6 figures, you are able to build your very own Gladiator Hulk! Each figure is priced at RM139.90.

Collect parts from each Marvel Legends figure to form Gladiator Hulk.

For Lego fans there are 2 building sets for this movie being released: Thor Vs Hulk Arena Clash 76088 for RM299.00 and The Ultimate Battle for Asgard 76084 for RM249.00.

Set 76088 Thor Vs Hulk: Arena Clash (RM299)
Set 76084 The Ultimate Battle for Asgard (RM249)
Funko POP  has been on a total rampage creating bobblehead figurines of every pop culture franchise our there, and Thor Ragnarok is not exception. New versions of Gladiator Thor and Loki plus other characters from the movie are priced at RM65.00 each. As per typical Funko POP distribution, some of these figures may be retail or event exclusives and not available from normal toy stores. Try to contact local Funko distributor Sheldonet Toy Store Malaysia for latest availability locally.

Various Funko POP Thor: Ragnarok figures
As with all Marvel movies, Hot Toys will be releasing some really detailed one-sixth scaled figurines for this movie comprising of Gladiator Thor, Gladiator Hulk, Loki, Hela and Valkyrie. No details yet on the price and release date.

Gladiator Thor and Hulk

Loki

Valkyrie

Hela

Thor and Hulk having a bonding session. By the way, Hulk now speaks with intelligent conversation!
Thor: Ragnarok will be opening in cinemas nationwide on Thursday 26 October 2017 with sneak previews starting Wednesday 25 October 2017.




Disclaimer: Thor, Hulk and associated trademarks are copyright to Marvel Studios, referenced here for fan service purposes only without intent to infringe.