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Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

VIDEO: 10 Hours of Princess Leia Walking in NYC

Last week’s viral video, “10 Hours of Walking in New York as a Woman,” captured undercover, depicted the street harassment a young woman endured while walking the streets of New York City while moderately dressed in black jeans and a crew neck T-shirt.

Today’s comedic answer is “10 Hours of Princess Leia Walking in NYC,” whereupon a young woman dressed in “a simple white dress with her hair in space buns” is summarily harassed by… well, watch the vid.

WARNING: For Star Wars fans (mostly).

Star Wars Fans: THIS.

So you think you’re the biggest Star Wars fan ever? You’re not alone. Apparently, Stephen Colbert and John Stewart think they are, too.  (But they’re misguided as CLEARLY they haven’t come up against uber fan, Rick Bentley.)

Disney is offering mega fans the opportunity to be in Star Wars: Episode VII via a donation contest in support of UNICEF.

THE BASICS: Go here, donate money, and be entered to win a spot in the film. The more you donate, the more entries you get, the larger your chances of winning. 

Regardless, check out the viral vid below.  

Harrison Ford made Hailee Steinfeld nervous

ENDER'S GAMEImagine what it would be like to be sitting in a room, the door opens and in walks Harrison Ford. Sure, some of you would be cool but I bet the majority of people would get excited and nervous about the opportunity to meet the man behind two of the most iconic characters in film history — Han Solo and Indiana Jones.

In such a situation, all you would have to do is find enough courage to talk to the veteran actor. Now, imagine what it’s like to be a 16-year-old who is going to have to act with Ford. That was what faced Hailee Steinfeld when she signed on to star in “Ender’s Game.” She plays a young space cadet under the command of the character played by Ford.

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Observations from a grumpy old man

  • Bakersfield now has a radio station that plays only comedy programming. This week’s featured comedian is Jeff Dunham. That’s right, a ventriloquist is the featured artist on radio. That’s like enjoying the works of Justin Bieber by only reading the lyrics to his songs.
  • Because Khloe Kardashian Odom is a co-host on “The X Factor,” the Fox reality show now has a “Why factor?”
  • Disney has purchased Lucasfilms and will produce new “Star Wars” movie in 2015. Suggested titles: “Star Wars: The Disney Empire Strikes New Deal”; “Star Wars: Return of the Merchandising”; or “Star Wars: A New Hope for More Profits.”
  • Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk was arrested in Illinois after allegedly driving his truck into the middle of a corn field. His defense: if they build it, he will come.
  • Megan Fox is threatening to sue the party who used Photoshop to put her head on a nude body. She says that’s not her naked body. You can see the defense now — prove it.

Yay or Nay: ‘Star Wars: Episode VII?’

In blockbuster entertainment news today, Disney is buying Lucasfilm for $4 billion and plans to release a new “Star Wars” film in 2015.

From Disney’s announcement:

This gives Disney infinite inspiration and opportunities to continue the epic Star Wars saga. Fans can expect a new feature film, Star Wars Episode 7, in theaters worldwide in 2015. George Lucas will serve as creative consultant on the film and Kathleen Kennedy, the filmmaker George handpicked to lead Star WarsIndiana Jones and the rest of Lucasfilm into the future will be the executive producer (she’s also joining Disney as president of Lucasfilm). With this many characters to develop and stories to tell, Disney plans to release a new Star Wars feature film every two or three years for the foreseeable future.

This news has triggered a variety of reactions. From the “Star Wars” diehards who think anything past the original trilogy is blasphemous to the Disney junkies who think “Star Wars” could use that magical Disney touch. And, of course, plenty of funny. Here’s a HuffPo gallery of comical tweets.

We welcome your reaction in the comments, while Mike and Kathy debate whether this news is exciting or disheartening for “Star Wars” lovers.

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Hollywood memorabilia to be auctioned

Michael Jackson's This Is It.JPG If you have always wanted to own a piece of Hollywood memorabilia, there’s an auction this weekend that could make that wish come true.

Premiere Props will be auctioning Hollywood memorabilia at their “Hollywood Extravaganza V” on Saturday and Sunday at their headquarters in El Segundo. There will be a preview from 9-11 a.m. each day with the live auction beginning at 11 a.m.

In addition to over 1,000 props and costumes from superstars, the auction will feature over 20 cars from film and television including the primer grey Chevelle driven by Vin Diesel in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, the Cadillac Escalade driven by James Gandolfini in “The Sopranos,” that he also signed, multiple vehicles including police cars, construction vehicles and a taxi from “Step Up 4,” and two 1978 Ford Black 150 trucks from the upcoming “Perks of a Wallflower.”

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Mark your calendar: Star Wars pub crawl coming May 4

I’ll be honest, fellow “Star Wars” fans, I’m not the slightest bit interested in the 3D re-release of “The Phantom Menace” coming Feb. 10. Jar Jar Binks in 2-D was enough for me. I am, however, quite interested in a local event that was just announced: A “Star Wars” themed pub crawl in the Tower District.

It’s from the same people who put together the Zombie Pub Crawl and it’s happening May 4 — aka May the Fourth Be With You. It’s a pretty simple concept: You dress up in “Star Wars” garb and crawl — or roll, if you’re going R2-D2 style — around the Tower District bars.

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R.I.P. Irvin Kershner

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I was sad to hear this morning that film director Irvin Kershner passed away. He was the director of “The Empire Strikes Back,” my favorite “Star Wars” movie. I had a chance to hear him talk about making the movie at the Monterey Film Festival a couple years ago, where he shared these interesting points:

  • Most of “Empire Strikes Back” was voiced over after the film was edited because there was too much noise on the set to hear the actors.
  • On the pivotal “I am your father” scene, Kershner tricked the cast. He said only actor Mark Hamill knew Darth Vader was Luke’s father on set. The other actors and crew heard fake lines.

I always like that he considered the “Star Wars” story a fairytale. He gave us one of the greatest movies. I’m glad his work lives on.

Photo: Courtesy of Lucasfilm/MCT

Jimmy Smits reveals an interesting side

NUP_139494_0456.JPGJimmy Smits and I were engaged in a deep conversation about the law during the NBC party at the Television Critics Tour a few nights ago. He shared his thoughts about why the legal world continues to be a very big TV genre.

Smits has had plenty of time to think about this having spent so many years on “L.A. Law” and now on the NBC series “Outlaw.” His research to play a Supreme Court justice included a tour of the highest court in the land.

That’s when I started to get an odd feeling. At first I thought it was the salad dressing from the plate of greens I was able to quickly eat before launching into interviews at the party.

The feeling continued to grow. Just at the point where I thought I was going to embarrass myself in front of Smits, the feeling became more distinct.

It was my inner nerd.

Before I knew it, I was apologizing to Smits for my next question. Smits smiled and said at least I wasn’t going to try to pass the question off as coming from my editor.

I finally asked, “Did you get a lot of new fans after being in ‘Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith’?”

Smits laughed and said, “Between ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Dexter,’ I was the king of Comic Con.”

I pointed out it must be cool to have a “Star Wars” action figure of himself, We agreed a set of Supreme Court justices would also be cool. That’s when I realized that there must be a little inner nerd in the very suave Jimmy Smits.

Mailbag: Getting called out by ‘Star Wars’ fanboys

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We’re a few hours away from “Star Wars in Concert” at Save Mart Center, so here’s a bit of a warm-up that I figured my fellow “Star Wars” geeks can appreciate.

In response to my concert preview story that ran in last Friday’s Bee, I got this e-mail from a reader named Scott:

In your article about Star Wars in Concert, you printed several items under a “By The Numbers” heading. Unfortunately, there is a massive mistake in one of them:

1 — Actors who have appeared in all six “Star Wars” movies. That one person is Anthony Daniels, who hosts the concert and plays C-3PO in the films. “I don’t think it can get any better than this,” he says.

In fact, there are TWO actors who have appeared in all six films. One is, indeed, Anthony Daniels. The other is Kenny Baker, a British actor who was inside the lovable droid R2D2. He also appeared in all six films, and I have verified this fact with IMDB.com and the Kenny Baker entry on Wikipedia.

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‘Star Wars’ cantina gets visit from Snoop, Becks and others

So Adidas teamed up with Lucasfilm to create this promotion for the FIFA World Cup (that’s soccer, aka football in most of the world, for those non-sports folks out there). The video features Snoop Dogg and David Beckham, among lots of other soccer people. I have to say, Snoop makes me laugh. And, well, ya’ll know I like me some Becks and “Star Wars.” So no complaints here.

An edited version of the video will air during the US vs. UK World Cup match on June 12th,

Darth Vader + driving direction = funny

A friend of mine, and fellow “Star Wars” geek, sent me a link to this video a couple weeks ago. It really cracks me up, especially the ending. So if you need a laugh today, take a few minutes to enjoy:

And remember, the “Star Wars in Concert” event at Save Mart Center is just weeks away. I saw it last year and HIGHLY recommend going.

Use The Force. Win ‘Star Wars in Concert’ tickets.

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UPDATE: And the winner is … [drum roll] … Juxtapose! Congrats, sir. And to the rest of you, we’ll have more tickets to giveaway as the show gets closer. Thanks for the playing.

ORIGINAL POST: It’s Star Wars Day — ya know “May the Fourth Be With You” — so the folks at the Save Mart Center came up with an awesome Beehive giveaway. We’ve got a pair of tickets to Star Wars in Concert, which is coming to Fresno on June 17.

To enter, just post a comment telling us your favorite “Star Wars” scene where The Force is used. Any movie. Any character. Easy enough for you diehards, right?

Deadline to enter is 5 p.m. today. One winner will be chosen at random. Winners will be notified by e-mail, so leave a real one. No repeat comments please. You’re ineligible if you’ve won something in the past 30 days. Rules are on the jump.

If you don’t win, you can buy tickets right here.

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Concert News: Star Wars in Concert = Fresno bound? YESSSSS!

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UPDATE III (THE UPDATE STRIKES BACK): Looks like we may eventually have as much updates to this post as there are “Star Wars” movies.

Totally not a big deal, fellow Star Wars geeks, but the Save Mart Center just announced the date of the show got moved back one day, from June 16 to June 17.

Tickets still go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m. The prices are still the same. We just have to wait one more day to see the show.

UPDATE II (A NEW HOPE): Looks like “Star Wars in Concert” is on for Fresno — as the date has been added to the tour’s Web site and confirmed by the Save Mart Center.

As we talk about below, the date is June 16. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. March 13. They cost $35, $49.50 and $65, with a special family of price of $25 each when you buy four $35 tickets.

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Feeding my ‘Star Wars’ addiction

So I”ve been a little slow getting back into the swing of things after vegging out last week on vacation (aka drinking lots of beer and eating too much). The week started off with a trip to Denver to see my brother and his family, including a stop at the Denver-Dallas NFL game, and ended by feeding my “Star Wars” addiction.

So here are a few pictures from my trek to Arco Arena for the “Star Wars in Concert” tour, which included an exhibit of props/characters/scenes from the movies. It the whole thing was really cool. The orchestra was fun, and really into it (a lot less stuffy than your typical orchestra experience), plus there are lots of movie montages that retold the story, narration from C3P0 and pyrotechnics. They even played an encore, giving Vader a little more love. I highly recommend catching this show. I hope it comes to Fresno down to road.

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To-Do Tonight: These aren’t the droids you’re looking for

Gritty Philly hip-hop crew Jedi Mind Tricks makes a Fresno tour stop tonight at Starline. As far as I know, it’s JMT’s first Fresno performance. The group is best known for its 2000 album, “Violent by Design.” Esoteric and Reef the Lost Cauze are also on the bill.

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Watch for another post this afternoon with events to look forward to throughout the week.

May the force be with you … while you sleep

Holy Han Solo! A Visalia house that’s on the market for $364,900 comes with more than a swimming pool and a place to park your RV. It also has a starfighter capable of destroying enemies from the Empire. In your dreams, that is.

One of the bedrooms of the Southeast Visalia home is awesomely “Star Wars”-inspired, with a bed shaped like a Rebel Alliance Y-Wing fighter jet …That hangs from the ceiling!!

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You can see more pictures here, then start pretending your last name is Skywalker and you’re on a mission to blow up the Death Star before you fall asleep in your Jedi jammies.

[Thanks to Joe Miller for the head’s up]

Holy Jedi! This is cool news update

UPDATE: Tickets for shows in Los Angeles, San Jose and Sacramento go on sale this weekend. See the trailer here.

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ORIGINAL:
You all know I am a super-geek when it comes to “Star Wars.” So, I am so excited about this annoucement for a “Star Wars in Concert” tour.

It will feature a symphony orchestra and choir performing composer John Williams‘ music from the six “Star Wars” films and accompanied by a three-story-tall high-definition screen displaying movie footage synchronized to the live music.

According to the Associated Press:

“Organizers plan to land the tour in several North American cities before embarking on a global journey. “Star Wars in Concert” will launch at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Oct. 1, and make stops in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Sacramento; San Jose, Calif.; Seattle; Portland; Tulsa, Okla.; and Oklahoma City. Other cities will be announced later.”

I am so on this. Find tickets, I must! Oh, and if anyone knows a Jedi mind trick to bring this to Fresno, I say get movin’.

‘New Moon’ on Thursday

If tomorrow, say around 1:45 p.m., you hear the faint sounds of screeching women, it may have something to do with Comic-Con and the it’s sneak peak/panel for “New Moon,” the sequel to “Twilight.”

I know we’re a long way from San Diego, but last year’s forum created insanity, behold:

One blog post about the super-geek event that celebrates all things fantasy, said 10,000 people were expected for tomorrow’s panel. Another, reported fans in line this afternoon. Madness is expected.

I for one, will be searching the internets tomorrow afternoon for new movie clips and tidbits from the panel. That should to get my Edward+Bella fix. (Just 4 months to wait until the movie!)

There’s a lot more going on tomorrow. Check out this schedule for Thursday alone. Over the next few days every movie, tv show, video game or book that has anything fantastical about it will be talked about there. And, if you like “Star Wars”, check out how many forums are dedicated to the franchise.

‘Harry Potter’: A review from a HP virgin

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Editor’s Note: Until Monday’s screening, Mike Oz had never seen or read anything from the “Harry Potter” series. And yet, he still wanted to write a review. For a more informed opinion, read Donald Munro’s review. Warning: spoilers ahead.

In “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” we pick up the story with Harry chillin’ in a diner about to get groupie love from a waitress. She recognizes that he’s a famous X-men guy or something and lets him know that she’s diggin’ his magic wand.

Then this hippy Santa-looking dude comes in and totally C-blocks Harry. They hold hands and are transported somewhere else to meet this dude named Horace Slughorn, who may or may not be related to the candy-making dude trying to steal Willy Wonka’s chocolate recipes. Both of these stories happen in England, so they could be brothers. For the record: I like crossover episodes.

Harry and Hippy Santa recruit Slughorn to come back to the Magic School and then Harry gets sent to some house that looks like Big Thunder Mountain. Some other stuff happens, then eventually Harry and his crew are on their way to the Magic School.

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The Beehive Asks: What is the best sci-fi franchise?

This week has two sci-fi giants facing off. “Star Trek” opens in theaters Friday; today is “Star Wars Day” — sending fans atwitter with greeting of“May the 4th be with you.”

So, let’s debate: Which franchise rules?

I’m a fan of both. I loved “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and Jean-Luc Picard. I saw the new “Trek” movie on Saturday at a promotional screening and loved it. But — that said — “Star Wars” will always come in first (it is responsible for my geeky love affair with all things fantasy after all).

What do you think?

The Beehive Asks: What’s the best ‘Star Wars’ movie (in honor of my “Empire” weekend)

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I know I’m a geeky “Star Wars” fan, but I had the most fun over the weekend at the Golden State Film Festival, where I got to see, on the big screen, my favorite of the series “The Empire Strikes Back” with director Irvin Kershner.

Kershner introduced the movie, seemingly shocked that so many people would turn out on a Sunday night to see a 29-year-old movie. After the movie he answered questions from the audience for about 45 minutes, giving lots of little details about the movie.

His take on the movie franchise was charming, pointed (he didn’t really like the newer movies) and funny.

Five things that struck me from Kershner’s talk:

  1. Technology, aka CGI, has hindered movie making (putting an emphasis on the action instead of the story) and making movies feel and look more like video games.
  2. Most of ‘Empire’ was voiced over after the film was cut together because there was too much noise on the set.
  3. Only Kershner and actor Mark Hamill knew Darth Vader was Luke’s father on set; the other actors and crew heard fake lines.
  4. Kershner hated the original script and had it re-rewritten.
  5. Kershner considers the story a fairytale not sci-fi.

So, in honor of my fun “Empire” weekend, I thought we could play a little The Beehive Asks: What’s the best movie in the ‘Star Wars’ franchise?