Nerd Alert! - Edge of Tomorrow, The Fault in Our Stars, Space Junk, final Cosmos ...

By Christian Carvajal on June 2, 2014

Refighting its battle each Monday, this is Nerd Alert, the Weekly Volcano's recurring events calendar devoted to all things nerdy. I myself am a Star Wars fan, mathlete, and spelling bee champion of long standing, so trust me: I grok whereof I speak.

After bluffin' with her muffin last Wednesday, Lady Gaga rescheduled her KeyArena Artpop performance for Aug. 8. You should wait before compiling your meat dress.


Spoiler alert for the faint of heart: I'm about to say complimentary things about Tom Cruise. Deal with it.

Shia LaBeouf, Gwyneth Paltrow, Keanu Reeves - I find it interesting to note which actors draw the most Internet ire. We give Woody Allen and Alec Baldwin passes for odious behavior, then dump our collective loathing on Katherine Heigl. (Actually, I'm OK with that one.) Perhaps the least deserving public piñata is one Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, the diminutive adrenaline junkie who taught us all how to bounce on couches, rock out in our tighty whities and run with blade hands. Yet I know people who refuse to see any Cruise vehicle, and they're missing out. Cruise has exceptional taste in directors. Thanks to J. J. Abrams and Brad Bird, the last two Missions: Impossible were awesome. His performance in Magnolia and unrecognizable appearance in Tropic Thunder were justly lauded. While he was miscast as Reacher, the movie itself was pretty good. Hell, I even liked Oblivion. If that doesn't convince you to give Edge of Tomorrow a shot, did you dig The Bourne Identity? Swingers? Mr. and Mrs. Smith? Two episodes of I Just Want My Pants Back? Then you have director Doug Liman to thank. At time of writing, Rotten Tomatoes lists a mid-90s score for Edge of Tomorrow, which boasts the additional selling point of not being a remake, reboot, sequel, threequel, prequel or ripoff. Maybe that alone should be enough to recommend it.

If, however, you're of a more literary bent, and/or you're a 15-year-old girl, you're probably hip to the publishing phenomenon that is John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. After numerous recommendations from critics and friends, my wife and I listened to the audiobook over the course of a drive to coastal Oregon. It blew us away. I bawled as if Fantine had beaten up my mom before both died of consumption and high notes. The point is it's a really great book. It takes the tried-and-true genre of romantic weepie and elevates it to what Time's reviewer called "damn near genius." I say there's no need to qualify its praise. Now, whether that means the movie will be good is anyone's guess, but folks I admire are involved (Mike Birbiglia, Willem Dafoe, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley and Green himself). Its early June release speaks to the studio's pride. But if you haven't read the book first, well ... that's on you. Bring your best crying face. Oh, and local cinemas will live-screen the movie along with cast interviews on Thursday, June 5, under the title "The Night Before Our Stars." Awww.

Or you could stay home and fire up a new season of Orange Is the New Black on Netflix. Bitches gots to learn, n'est-ce pas?


Friends, are you trapped in an orbital station 22,000 miles above the earth? Did George Clooney give his life to save yours, as you drifted in a terrifying shitstorm of visual effects?  Is your helmet filling with carbon dioxide and regret for starring in All About Steve? Then IMAX is here to help, or at least to explain why you're getting perforated with aluminum bullets. Pierce College presents a first come, first serve screening of the Tom Wilkinson-narrated documentary Space Junk. It's free, but BYOBB (Bring Your Own Barf Bag).

SPACE JUNK, 3:20 p.m., Pierce College Science Dome, 9401 Farwest Dr. SW, Lakewood, free, 360.786.9484

For only two nights and five bucks a ticket, Olympia Little Theatre presents a minimally-staged reading of a 2011 script called Good People. And you should care why? Its playwright, David Lindsay-Abaire, is the creative talent behind Fuddy Meers, Rabbit Hole, and Shrek the Musical, and his newest effort was nominated for a Tony for Best Play.

GOOD PEOPLE, 7:55 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Olympia Little Theatre, 1925 Miller Ave. NE, Olympia, $5, 360.786.9484


Cosmos completes its Spacetime Odyssey with an episode titled "Unafraid of the Dark." The Midnight Society could not be reached for comment.

Thursday, June 12, is my 46th birthday. I enjoy ice cream cake, AMC gift certificates, boob pics and the collected works of Iain Banks. In lieu of those, try to win me a role in Star Wars, Episode VII: The Phantom Lens Flare by donating to UNICEF here.  I appreciate it.

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and may you never win a Razzie for All About Steve.