Word is that George Takei, aka Sulu, is in talks with JJ Abrams to appear in the upcoming Star Trek Film reboot.

Leonard Nimoy has already been cast to reprise his role as Spock, in what is assumed to be a movie featuring the ever popular Star Trek tool known as time travel.

What a pity Shatner had himself killed off in “Star Trek: Generations”. He apparently met with Abrams, but is not scheduled to appear in the movie (at least, the actor and producer claim that…I hold out hope that there’ll be a surprise for us come next May).

Kudos to George Takei!!! He is currently the announcer for the Howard Stern radio show on Sirius.

Ok, the Sci-Fi channel just put out a bunch of BSG photos, and I’ve got comments a PLENTY!!!

First off, a cast photo:

I’ll have more on the other characters in the other photos. But as this one is the only one that contains Baltar. It looks as though he’s embraced his role as a “Prophet” as well as a more serious look to him. It’ll be fun watching Baltar get all spiritual this season.

Also note the sides in this picture. On one side you have the good guys (Apollo, Starbuck, Adama, Roslin, Helo, Athena (aka Boomer). BUT they’re penetrated by pseudo enemies (Baltar, Number Six). Then on the right you have four of “The Final Five” (Tigh, Tyrol, Tory, and Anders). They rarely do anything accidentally on BSG, watch for the symbolism to rear its ugly head.

And here we have D’Anna. I love Lucy Lawless’ character. Interesting to note she’s in black leather here. She seems to be the “rebel” Cylon, enlightened now that she knows the identity of the Final Five. Also, she wasn’t in the cast photo. More symbolism? Hmmm….

Next we’ve got the bridge officers and CAG (don’t forget, Helo was promoted last season after Lee’s “abdication” to lawyer).

Next we’ve got Karl “Helo” Agathon in the flesh, new CAG. Now Helo is a bit less serious than Apollo but much more regimental than Starbuck? How will this affect the flight crew?

Ahh, Number Six. Who would ever thought a woman would look SO good in the same dress for SO long?

Lee Adama (no longer Apollo) in his new role as lawyer to the fleet. Notice how he’s grown his hair out from his military buzz cut. Papa Adama is none too pleased that his son has left the service, they’ll be butting heads all year. But I predict Lee will be back in the cockpit before long.

Admiral Adama, always alone. Will he get closer to Roslin this year?

Four of the Final Five, revealed in last season’s finale (Tyrol, Anders, Tory, Tigh). The one I’m most interested to see how he handles this is Tigh. He was soooooooo hateful of the Cylons. How will he react to not only being one of them, but apparently one of their revered leaders?

Starbuck and Roslin. Check out Roslin’s cheekbones….hmmmm….

The Cylon chicks. Hotties all!

Lee and Starbuck. With Lee out of the military and Starbuck divorced from Anders, will true love bloom again? Lee seemed totally committed to Dualla last year, but how long before Starbuck starts circling Lee’s tent? Or, will it go the other way with Starbuck choosing Adm. Adama’s side against Lee?

Ok, I LOVE Mary McDonnell as President Roslin. No more unlikely but totally BEST choice to play her. But, does it look like to you that she’s had some cheek work done? Look how high her cheekbones are. Here’s a pic from last year to compare:

I mean, I know they air brush photos. But look at those cheekbones!!! It looks as though the eyes have been touched up too. Please, Mary! PLEASE!!! Don’t go the plastic route. You’re a beautiful, NATURAL looking woman.

Father and Son. At odds once again. The fact that so many of their closest colleagues are Cylons are gonna cause even more problems.

And how fitting we should end with Starbuck. She’s found Earth, or says she has, and indeed the entire series seems to be revolving around her.

Ahhh, my little Lost baby. Who are you? What’s your name?

The last two eggs????

Last night’s episode, “Eggtown”, was a great example of classic Lost. It had the right mix of conflict, humor, flashbacks (although actually this year we’ve been treated to the flash forward, and nice cliffhangers

Basically the episode centered on Kate. After an opening concerning Locke’s inability to get answers from Ben, Log Cabin Jacob, or ANYONE, he throws the last two eggs in the Others’ camp against the wall in big time frustration. Along comes Kate, looking to question newcomer Miles, whom Locke is holding somewhere secret. What does he know? And why won’t Locke let her in on where he’s held? Could it be he doesn’t trust her, thinks she’s a spy for Jack?

Back at the Kate/Claire/Baby Aaron abode, and Sawyer comes around looking for a new roomie. Turns out life with Hurley ain’t all its cracked up to be and he’d like to shack up with his #1 booty call, Kate. Kate’s not having any of it shoos him off.

Next we head to the Oceanic Six future, with Kate on trial for murder, theft, all those lovely things that got her caught in Australia and plopped on a plane headed for the US in the first place.

It doesn’t look good for Austin, as her lawyer says the entire case hinges on the fact that Kate confessed that she killed her stepfather to her mother, the star witness in the case. But more later.

Back with Jack’s group, and Sun and Jin are discussing where to relocate once they’re rescued. Jin is looking at somewhere in the States, while Sun wants to go back to Korea to raise “her baby.” When Jin replies with “our baby”, you can’t help but tell he’ll eventually find out that he’s really not the father. So perhaps Sun is looking to hook back up with her baby’s daddy? We shall see…

Flashing back to the present, and Kate hits up everyone’s favorite blabbermouth, Hurley, for Miles’ location. With a quick dipsy-doodle with some questions, Hurley spills the beans and Kate is off for her interrogation session. She comes across Miles tied up in the boathouse. She asks him if he knows who she is. Miles tells her he’ll tell her everything he knows about her in exchange for a favor, one minute to talk to Ben Linus. Kate agrees, but needs to come up with a way to get Locke out of the way.

Back to the future, and Kate’s lawyer tells her he can make a deal with the DA, getting off the murder charge and bartering down to 7 years in jail. Kate looks petrified and adamantly refuses any deals. He then says the only other option is to bring “him” in to testify to her character. Again, she refuses, saying she will not use her son. SON?!? WHA?!?

On the island, Sun asks Jack about Sayid. Jack tells him that Sayid and Desmond took off on the Boaties helicopter and that they’ll soon begin transporting everyone off. Strangely though, it’s been hours and Jack can’t raise anyone on the satellite phone.

In the Dharma village, Kate visits the Sawyer/Hurley Shangri-la. In a private moment, Kate confesses that she wants to use Sawyer to distract Locke, allowing her to bring Miles to Ben.

With Sawyer distracting Locke with a backgammon game. During the game, Locke asks Sawyer if he still believes in him, that he’s doing the right thing. Sawyer says he just doesn’t want to leave the island, but he isn’t the sheep that everyone else seems to be. Further, he asks Locke to promise him not to hurt Kate. Why, Locke asks? Sawyer then proceeds to tell Locke Kate’s plan to bust Miles out to talk to Ben. They take off to intercept her.

Now the key here is was this actually a Sawyer con to get Locke away from his house, or is he actually siding with Locke given Kate’s ping pong affiliation with Jack? Good question…

Bad news. Kate’s already busted out Miles and is on the way to Locke’s now vacant abode with Ben in the basement. ENCOUNTER. Miles asks Ben if he knows who sent him, and why he’s here both of which Ben answers yes. Well, for the cool sum of $3.2 million, Miles will tell his boss that Ben is dead, and take care of Aussie Boatie Charlotte, who has also seen Ben alive.

My question here is EXACTLY the same as Ben’s. Why 3.2? Why not 3.4, or 3.5?

Well, Miles says he’ll give him two days to come up with the money. Ben asks for a week, give his current incarceration. A week???? So Ben somehow has access to money, and a lot of it? And some way to get it? Why does Kate not question any of this? She seems to just be focused on what Miles knows about her, which following the Ben conversation, he tells her.

Exactly who she is, and what she’s charged with. But as Kate attempts to escort Miles back to the boathouse. Locke intercepts them.

Not upset exactly that Kate has defied him, Locke instead insists on knowing what Miles told Ben, which Kate does. Then, Locke gets all landlord-like, Kate is banished from the village. Can he do that? Where’s his deed? Someone call the Castaway Housing Hotline.

In the future, Kate finds out her lawyer did a little Texas Two-Step on her. He’s brought “him” into testify. “Him” being Jack (and not her son…whah???). Jack assures that Kate acted honorably after the crash, rescuing all six of them. And there it is…six survivors only. In fact, Jack says that Kate tried to save two others that were still alive but failed. He also claims he didn’t know at the time of the crash what Kate had done but that she’d told him later. On cross-examination, the lawyerette asks him if he still loves Kate. After…several….long…pauses…Jack says “No. Not anymore.” As he continues to talk (and appears on the verge of revealing something), Kate interrupts, saying that this is enough, she doesn’t want his help anymore. Recess.

Kate is confronted by her mother, the star witness against her. She tells Kate that she’s been told she has sixth months to live (why six? why not…3.2?) and wants to make a deal. She will back out of testifying (how is that done in a criminal trial exactly???) if Kate will allow her to see her grandson. Kate absolutely refuses (and why…for the life of me I couldn’t figure it out…until the end of the episode).

In Dharmaland, Kate backtracks to Sawyer, and explains her predicament with Locke. Sawyers “unbans” her and says she can stay with him and Hurley in “Montezuma” land. They get it on….

Back to the beach, and Charlotte is testing the engineer (can’t remember his name), asking him to guess three hidden playing cards. He gets two out of the three, frustrating the engineer. Charlotte responds by saying he’s improving. IMPROVING? Just what kind of psycho powers does he have? And is the island causing his current “difficulty”.

Meanwhile, Jack is getting more and more frustrated that they can’t contact the ship. He and Juliet confront Charlotte, who innocently claims she doesn’t know what’s happened. They ask her if there is another number they can call, to which she replies there is one that is only to be used in emergency. They demand she use it and leave the line open for them to here. Someone answers, asking Charlotte why she’s using this line. Charlotte replies by saying no one was answering the main line and wonders if the helicopter containing the pilot, Sayid, Desmond, and the dead Boatie have gotten there yet. The voice on the other end is confused…”I thought the helicopter was with you!?” Uh oh…

After getting “busy”, Sawyer asks if she is distressed because she’s worried she might be pregnant. Kate spills “I’m not pregnant” and seems fairly certain. Sawyer is relieved and the two go at it. Wait, she’s not pregnant??? But her son? Ok, maybe she got pregnant when she got home or later during their stay on the island. Kate asks him if having a baby would have been the worst thing, Sawyer says hell yeah. What would they have done with a baby? When she gets angry and starts to leave, Sawyer says she’s just using this as an excuse to go back to Jack, at which point he’ll do something to piss her off and come right back to Sawyer. Kate slaps him and leaves.

Back to court, and the prosecutor approaches the defense. It appears as though Kate’s mother will not be able to testify due to medical problems, the judge has granted a recess. It seems as though Kate’s mom is going to be helping the DA after all, and they want to cut a deal. She offers four years in prison. Kate refuses. She offers 10 years probation and a stipulation that Kate will have to remain in the state.

Kate’s lawyer is about to reject this as well, but Kate accepts it, adding that she’d do anything to have this be over with. She just wants to go home to be with her son. Kate’s free!!!

As Kate exits the courthouse thru the parking garage, Jack intercepts her and tells her that it wasn’t true about him not loving her anymore. He asks if they can get a cup of coffee sometime. Kate smiles and invites Jack over for a cup, but he refuses. Kate tells him she understands why he doesn’t want to see her son, but until he changes his mind, there can be nothing between them.

So wait! Are you thinking what I’m thinking…sure, elementary, my dear Watson. The kid must be Sawyer’s, making it to hurtful for Jack. Oh but wait…

As Kate returns to her GIGANTIC home, her nanny tells her that the baby is upstairs asleep. As Kate goes up to the child’s bed, she begins to play with her son’s blond hair.

Ok, you’re thinking, I’m right…blond hair…Sawyer had blond hair….the kid’s Sawyer’s. Kate must’ve lied about not being pregnant. Oh but wait….

The kid wakes up, looks at Kate and says “Hello, Mommy”

Kate replies…..

“Hello, Aaron.”

Now if you accepted the whole Sawyer/dad thing, at first listen you might not have caught it.

Aaron. Blond kid.

Aaron.

Wasn’t Claire’s baby, the one Kate didn’t want to pick up at the beginning of the episode, named Aaron????!!!????

Whoa!

So it would appear that Aaron is the last of the Oceanic Six. Never saw that one coming. How did Kate get Aaron? Did she take her from Claire by force, or by design?

Further, what’s with this lie that only 6 survived the original crash? Are they lying to cover for the other survivors, who apparently are back on the island? Or are they covering up something more sinister? Interesting too, that 2 of the Oceanic Six weren’t actually ON Oceanic 815….

Here are the Oceanic Six:

Jack
Kate
Hurley
Sayid
Ben Linus
Aaron

Hurley is haunted by this decision they have all made. And, apparently Sayid is killing on Ben’s orders to keep this secret. Just what’s going on?

Give me your thoughts…!!!

I hope you’ll forgive me as I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus with this little gem of a blog. The holidays, combined with building a new house, and resurrecting my opera career (yes, I’m a classical/opera singer) has left me less than motivated to keep the NIRV up and operating.

Also, in speaking with occasional NIRV contributor and Aiepathy for Technology blogger Wolfman, I’ve thought that perhaps my focus has been too broad. Covering all of entertainment is a daunting task for one guy, especially when I’m not particularly interested in ALL aspects of entertainment. Nor are you, I should think.

So, the idea here will be to focus. Dwindle the topics down to those I am truly interested, in the hopes of attracting readers and commenters of similar stripe. Simply put, entertainment geeks.

So, I’m gonna attempt to be your one-stop blog for the following subject areas and topics:

Movies: Sci-fi, fantasy, and superhero films
TV: “Lost”, “Battlestar Galactica”, and “Heroes”
Games: XBOX 360 news and reviews
Books: Sci-fi/fantasy genre

Along the way, I hope to add to this list (depending upon your interests), as well as occasionally talk about my personal life down here in sunny Houston.

I welcome and cherish each and every hit and comment I get here at E-NIRV. I think it has the potential to be a little something special, a filled niche for the genre lover in all of you.

Thanks for listening!

— RebRob, Editor-in-Chief

10. I am Legend – Will Smith’s post-apocalyptic thriller is a great character story

9. Knocked Up – Not as funny as “40 Year Old Virgin”, but still a hoot.

8. 300 – A visually stunning fictionalized war epic

7. Beowulf – Another retelling, yet this tale brilliantly uses CGI in unbelievably complex ways

6. 3:10 to Yuma – Russell Crowe and Christian Bale in an outstanding character study of what makes a hero and a villain.

5. Superbad – Too hysterical for words.

4. Ratatouille – One of Pixar’s best stories and best animation.

3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – The best Harry movie gives a remarkably poignant and interesting look at how different people perceive and combat evil.

2. American Gangster – Denzel Washington at his best.

1. Bourne Ultimatum – One of the best spy action films ever.

It’s over! The long-standing feud between New Line Cinemas and Peter Jackson has been resolved.

Today it was announced that Jackson would be producing two films about our favorite Middle Earth.

The first is believed to be “The Hobbit”, the second a bridge between “Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings”.

Just a couple of thoughts.

First off, I’m thrilled that Jackson will be involved. The look and feel of Middle Earth would be trusted in no one else’s hands but his. It would be great if he could direct as well, but perhaps letting someone else play in his sandbox (Sam Raimi, maybe?) wouldn’t be such a bad thing either.

Second, I love the idea of two films. However, there’s plenty of material in “The Hobbit” to make two films.

There are three great climaxes within the story. First, the escape of the Dwarves from the Goblin King. Leading up to the confrontation with Smaug (what a perfect cliffhanger!). Then you have the final act and the Battle of the Five Armies, complete with armies of dwarves, Men, goblins, Elves, and Eagles. What a finish! And all culminating a study in what greed and evil can do to the hearts of good and bad. It’s a great prequel to the events of LOTR, and something that could really be captured nicely in two films. I hope they go this direction.

Still, GREAT NEWS ON PETER JACKSON!!!

On Saturday, I had the privilege in watching the next phase in filmmaking, when I attended a screening of Beowulf.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story, it’s a song told of the hero Beowulf, a Geet warrior come to Denmark to rid the land and its king of Grendel, a horrific and tormented monster. Beowulf’s legend is as big as his ego, but as Babe Ruth said, “it ain’t bragging if you can do it.” And Beowulf can most definitely do it. For Beowulf though, the curse of Grendel reaches far deeper than anyone knows, a curse that threatens to consume his very soul and that of Denmark.

Although this tale has been told for centuries, I will leave the rest of the particulars to your viewing pleasure. And this film is sheer viewing pleasure.

First off, the acting. And although this film is done through animated motion capture CGI (think Gollum from Lord of the Rings), believe me when I tell you that the actors performed every bit of what you see on screen. First off is the title character himself, Ray Winstone as Beowulf. He brings a fierceness to the character that is of course necessary for such a larger than life figure, yet he portrays Beowulf’s false bravado and insecurities with amazing finesse. He comes to aid King Hrothgar, portrayed by Anthony Hopkins. Hrothgar is the stereotypical King asleep at the wheel, too drunk and too foolish to see his kingdom stands on the edge of disaster; all the while it drinks itself to death. Robin Wright Penn plays his queen Wealthow, a young beautiful woman, devoted to her king, but revulsed by his past. Crispin Glover voices Grendel, a misshapen, tortured beast who must destroy all that hurts him. Finally, Angelina Jolie plays Grendel’s mother, a mythical creature, beautiful yet terrifying. All do a great job here.

Next, the story. Zemeckis culls just the right amount of material from the legend, with changes a bit here and there. The alterations do well to make “Beowulf” more of a personal tale, balancing the action and violence (of which there is plenty). Zemeckis’ Beowulf is a tragic hero, full of bravado and tall tales, but inwardly inadequate and unsatisfied. As his stature as a legend grows, his emptiness grows as well (almost like a balloon inflated to bursting). He knows no other way, though. He must succeed, no matter what the cost. When he dispatches Grendel, his mother offers Beowulf a choice. Give in to her and be a hero forever, or pass out of knowledge and memory from her wrath. Herein lies the quintessential idea behind the film; what is the cost of being hero, both for the hero himself and for the society that champions him? Is it worth risking tragedy and mayhem in order to have something or someone to celebrate? In the end, it is not Beowulf who must decide, but all of those who believe in him.

Lastly, the special effects. I did not see Zemeckis’ holiday film “The Polar Express”, but I saw enough clips to marvel at the level of complexity CGI realism had. CGI has been around for more than a decade thanks to Pixar, but almost always as an extension of the cartoon world (Toy Story, Incredibles). Here, “Beowulf” strives to be as realistic as possible. The facial expressions are truly amazing. I often had to stop myself from believing that these weren’t the real actors performing live. Angelina Jolie’s first appearance on screen is SO real looking, I had to convince myself that it was still CGI. Anthony Hopkins gets the most subtlety out of his character, a tribute to the screen legend’s talent.

“Beowulf” is the first mainstream CGI film to be truly targeted for adults. The level of complexity and nuance opens a lot of doors towards making similar films in this genre. Interestingly enough, I found myself more willing to be sucked into this fantasy world than that of live action (Lord of the Rings included). This isn’t to say it’s a better movie, or better acted. The CGI simply wills itself to be more engrossing in its fantasy. It’s a remarkable achievement, and a very worthwhile film.