Indiana Jones reunites with Marion, again.

MTV Movies Blog reports that it was announced at Comic-Con today that Karen Allen will be back as Marion Ravenwood in Indiana Jones IV — just as she predicted at a screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) over a year ago. Mind you, she also predicted at that time that Natalie Portman might be in the new movie as Indy’s daughter, and that prediction doesn’t seem to have come true — though rumours do persist that the Shia LaBeouf character will turn out to be Indy’s son. (Perhaps the character’s gender was changed in rewrites?) At any rate, what about the other prediction she made, that the Temple of Doom (1984) leading lady played by Kate Capshaw — who now happens to be Steven Spielberg’s wife — might also be in the new film…?

Newsbites: Monstrous! Pope Joan! Caspian!

Time for a few quick quick quickies.

1. If you saw Transformers, then you probably saw the trailer for that mysterious J.J. Abrams movie which looks like a disaster flick shot on a cheap home-movie camera. The trailer does not say what the movie is called, but early rumours said it might have the working title Cloverfield. Now comes word that the movie might be called Monstrous, and the movie might have something to do with beasts from Jewish mythology, namely Leviathan, Behemoth and Ziz — the primordial monsters of sea, land and air. Make of all that what you will; I am sure there will be new rumours soon.

2. Director Volker Schlöndorff has been fired from Pope Joan, the upcoming adaptation of the Donna Woolfolk Cross novel starring Franka Potente. Apparently the powers that be at Constantin Films did not approve of Schlöndorff’s public criticism of their policy re: making extended versions of their films for TV.

3. NarniaWeb and were both invited to the Prague set of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, and have now posted nearly identical versions of an interview with director Andrew Adamson. I wonder if anyone else was at that roundtable.

Canadian box-office stats — July 22

Here are the figures for the past weekend, arranged from those that owe the highest percentage of their take to the Canadian box office to those that owe the lowest.

Sicko — CDN $1,990,000 — N.AM $19,185,853 — 10.4%
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix — CDN $20,800,000 — N.AM $207,866,865 — 10.0%
Knocked Up — CDN $13,280,000 — N.AM $142,698,885 — 9.3%
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End — CDN $26,770,000 — N.AM $306,034,458 — 8.7%

Transformers — CDN $22,610,000 — N.AM $262,978,000 — 8.6%
Live Free or Die Hard — CDN $9,960,000 — N.AM $116,267,866 — 8.6%
Hairspray — CDN $2,010,000 — N.AM $27,476,745 — 7.3%
Ratatouille — CDN $10,980,000 — N.AM $165,519,955 — 6.6%
License to Wed — CDN $2,450,000 — N.AM $38,495,133 — 6.4%
I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry — CDN $2,110,000 — N.AM $34,233,750 — 6.2%

A couple of discrepancies: Sicko and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End were #9 and #10 on the Canadian chart, respectively (they were #11 and #14 in North America as a whole), while 1408 and Evan Almighty were #8 and #9 on the North American chart, respectively.

Yet another movie not screened for critics.

Lou Lumenick at the New York Post reports that Skinwalkers, a werewolf flick that was going to open this Friday before it got bumped to August 10, will not be screened for critics.

So, um, you’re not coming to the movie, then?

I invited my brother to join me and some friends for the preview screening of Sunshine, which happens to be taking place on his birthday. He declined the invitation, and this was his reason why:

Gah, this one, I’ve heard about it…

Sol’s power output is roughly equivalent to 100 billion thermonuclear warheads detonating every second (or 10 trillion nuclear warheads of the type dropped on Hiroshima). Asking me to suspend my disbelief that anything we could possibly send would make any iota of difference is impossible.

Besides, as Sol starts to die, it’s not going to get colder, it’s going to get hotter, and bigger… a LOT hotter and bigger… ending up as a red giant. Imagine a grain of sand (representing Sol as it is now) ballooning up into something the size of a beach ball. Sol’s outer corona will extend even past Terra (but won’t quite make it to Mars), however this outer layer is so tenuous that Terra will continue to orbit Sol’s core for several thousand years, slowly losing momentum due to friction with the corona, and getting hotter and hotter until all but the most heaviest elements have boiled away leaving behind the iron core. Terra’s iron core will continue to spiral in towards Sol’s core, encountering thicker and hotter layers of the corona is it falls, until finally in just a few more thousand years the iron core itself boils away, and that’s the end of our planet.

The red giant phase won’t last long though, not long enough to get life going on any of Jupiter’s now-temperate moons anyway… violent stellar winds powered by x-rays and UV light will blow from Sol’s core, eventually dispersing the corona into interstellar space to form a planetary nebula, leaving behind a Terra-sized (but much denser and heavier) white dwarf with light so feeble it wouldn’t even support life on Mercury, if Mercury hadn’t first been vaporised by the red giant phase…

Of course, that’s a few billion years in the future… closer to our own timeframe, Terra’s interior will cool to the point that convection stops about 800 million years from now, its magnetic field will all but disappear, exposing our atmosphere to the stellar wind, and just another few hundred million years after that Terra will have virtually no atmosphere or water (this is what happened to Mars 2 billion years ago, being smaller its interior cooled more quickly). It’s an interesting coincidence that advanced life has appeared here within that narrow window of opportunity between snowball Earth and desert Earth…

For some reason I am reminded of this scene from Annie Hall:

YouTube Preview Image
Click here if the video file above doesn’t play properly.

Matt Damon admits he’s too old to play Kirk

As I have been saying for months now, Matt Damon is simply too old to play “the young Kirk” in the new Star Trek movie. He is, in fact, older now than William Shatner was when the series began. Thankfully, Damon has now finally put that rumour to rest.

Click here if the video file above doesn’t play properly.