The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Shia LaBeouf, one of the franchise’s new castmembers, announced the title of the much-hyped, long-awaited flick in dramatic fashion at MTV’s Video Music Awards (see “Britney Spears Kicks Off VMAs With James Bond-Meets-S&M; Opening Number”). For months, if not years, the name of this latest Indy adventure has been debated. Last month, it seemed that the field of contenders had been narrowed when it was discovered that Lucasfilm had registered six names with the Motion Picture Association of America. In addition to the winning name, there was “Indiana Jones and the City of Gods,” “Indiana Jones and the Destroyer of Worlds,” “Indiana Jones and the Fourth Corner of the Earth,” “Indiana Jones and the Lost City of Gold,” and “Indiana Jones and the Quest for the Covenant.”

Ever since the last Indiana Jones adventure, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” was released in 1989, rumors of a fourth film have run wild. Several high-profile Hollywood writers, including Frank Darabont (“The Shawshank Redemption”) (see “After ‘Waste Of A Year’ On ‘Indy 4,’ Director Rebounds With Stephen King’s ‘Mist’ “) and M. Night Shyamalan (“The Sixth Sense”) were signed on to pen the sequel in the last few years. In the end, it was a polished script by David Koepp (“War of the Worlds”) that convinced Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Harrison Ford to break out the famed fedora one more time. The film has been shooting since June in locations ranging from Connecticut to Hawaii.

The story line is being kept under wraps for now. But we do know that several new castmembers are part of the adventure. The aforementioned LaBeouf has been rumored to be playing Jones’ long-lost son. And his mother could be none other than Marion Ravenwood from “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Spielberg announced that Karen Allen would reprise her role as Ravenwood during a dramatic Comic-Con presentation in July.

Ford introduced actor Ray Winstone (“Beowulf”) in that same presentation, describing him as his “sidekick.” Also in the cast are Oscar winner Cate Blanchett and John Hurt. The most pervasive rumors have them pegged as a villain and the long-lost Abner Ravenwood (Marion’s father) respectively. Sean Connery will not reprise his role as Indiana Jones’ father, saying he finds retirement “too damned much fun” (see ” ‘Indiana Jones 4’ Loses Sean Connery As Indy’s Dad, Picks Up John Hurt”).

“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” is set for release May 22.

I can’t WAIT till the Lego video Game 🙂

Guess Who’s Back In Circulation!

WAIT! Could it be ? The Van Halen reunion is REALLY HAPPENING! We’ll I really hope so! There have been 2 false starts in the past for this wild original Van Halen line up with David Lee Roth! First the greatest hits fiasco, then last years announcement shortly followed by Eddie Van Halen going into rehab 🙁 I got tickets for the first week of October in Philly to see them and am getting the old gang back to see the show! I am excited to see the almost original line up minus Michael Anthony because I have never seen Van Halen live with Dave! I read an article about a rehearsal show in LA and it does sound like it is going to be an amazing night!

VH Article about the show!

Toy Story Mania !!!

As I plan my latest trip BACK to Disney! (Hey its been a few years, give me a break) I came across this new AMAZING ride Disney is building called Toy Story Mania!!! I think it is ALREADY my new favorite ride!!! Check it out!

Toy Story Mania concept description :

The new attraction will be placed in the former “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” soundstage along Mickey Avenue at the Disney MGM- Studios.

Currently under construction, with an opening date of 2008.

A next generation “Living Character” audio-animatronics figure will be included as part of the pre-show queue area. The 6ft tall Mr Potato head figure will break new ground for an audio-animatronics figure by participating with the audience (similar to Turtle Talk with Crush), and will have the ability to remove body parts (just like the animated Mr Potato Head).

Each ride vehicle will accommodate 8 guests, with seating in 4 groups of 2.

Instead of physical sets, the majority of the environment will be a video display system, making use of 3D technologies.

The ride vehicles will begin by stopping at a training game, to familiarise the riders with the controls. The vehicles will then pass through a number of games, stopping at each to allow for the game play to take place.

The games are able to automatically adjust the difficulty level to suit the player. This means that beginners and expert players can find the game play rewarding and challenging.

The game play will vary with every ride, and it also has the ability to constantly change. Imagineering are not planning to leave the same games in place for the duration of the attractions lifespan. This should really add to the re-ride-ability.

During the games, the riders will be experiencing 3D imagery, wind effects, vehicle motion, water spray, and smells.

Each rider has their own toy canon. One of the unique features however, is that the canon will not be limited to being just a regular canon, as it is in Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin by being a laser blaster. In some games it will fire pies, and in another it will be eggs and balls, and in another, a ring tosser.

Games include midway style ring-toss, dart throwing, ball throwing. Each game booth will be manned by a Toy Story character, including Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Hamm, Bo Peep and the Little Green Men.

The real emphasis on this attraction is taking the hugely successful Buzz Lightyear to the next level, and making an attraction that has huge re-ride capability. You are going to want to ride this over and over again, and the way the attraction can increase difficulty on an individual rider basis, and change game play, will really make this happen.

WDW Magic Site