Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

November 17, 2014 at 1:54pm

Nerd Alert! Mockingjay, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, geeky gift suggestions ...

The games are over, but the cash-in continues. Photo courtesy of Moviestore Collection/REX

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Volunteering as tribute, 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.

THURSDAY, NOV. 20

Despite the enduring success of Chess and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, perhaps no geek musical ever has been more popular than Little Shop of Horrors. Let's face it, Audrey (I) and Seymour speak to the dweebs in all of us. He just wants to grow a man-eating plant, and she just hopes she'll survive another date with her sadistic boyfriend. OK, so maybe they're not terrific role models. The point is, I for one never get tired of seeing it live on stage, perhaps because the original finale is grimmer than the version we know from the 1986 film adaptation. Frank Oz, Muppeteer, Jedi Master and director of that movie, even shot the stage ending, but it tanked with preview audiences. (A black-and-white workprint of that reshot conclusion was unearthed a few years ago and included in recent video releases.) Anyway, North Thurston High completes its run of the show this weekend. It's always fun to watch fresh-faced adolescents evoke bloodlust and sadomasochistic relationships on stage. "That thing went bang, kaboom, and he's havin' some fun now." 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, North Thurston High School, 600 Sleater Kinney Rd. NE, Lacey, $6-$10, 360.412.4800

When last we left our heroine Katniss Everdeen, she'd just been yoinked by insurgents and informed storm troopers under the command of President Snow (Donald Sutherland) burned her home state, District 12, to the ground. This was followed by some of the finest eyeball acting in cinema history, courtesy of America's klutziest sweetheart, Jennifer Lawrence. Fellow Hunger Gamers Peeta and Johanna (Jena Malone, in a memorably sexy performance) were captured and taken to the Capitol, where they'll be used as pawns against a rising rebellion. The success of this series' previous installment, Catching Fire, was good news for anyone who wanted book three, Mockingjay, to be lavishly envisioned, bad news for anyone who wanted it to fit into a single holiday movie. So Thursday night marks the sneak opening of The Hunger Games Colon Mockingjay Em Dash Part Numeral 1 Comma Electric Boogaloo, and thank Suzanne Collins and Lionsgate we only have one year to wait till the grand conclusion in Part 2.

Speaking of long, goofy titles, Disney recently announced Star Wars, Episode VII will be henceforth known as Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The phrase "Episode VII," in fact, appears only in the December 2015 installment's iconic opening crawl. It's hard to complain about that subtitle, actually, to the extent that even Internet haters have given up trying. Instead they've returned to making troglodytic fools of themselves over Gamergate.

This being MY last Nerd Alert before Black Friday, it's time to offer geeky gift suggestions. And hey, if you've enjoyed this column these last few years, far be it from me to restrain you from buying any of this fine swag for your humble commentator!

Let's start with the Blu-ray of the year: Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy comes loaded with hours of special features, including more of respawned Groot and another '70s classic from Star-Lord's Sony Walkman. True, the movie won't hit video till Dec. 9, but feel free to preorder it for me, I mean a loved one, right now.

If for some bizarre reason your gamer buddies don't yet own Titanfall, now's your chance to pay it forward till Halo: Spartan Strike hits Dec. 12. Wort, wort, wort!

It's a year old, but I for one would swoon over the gift of Battlestar Galactica Vault: The Complete History of the Series, 1978-2012, an abundantly illustrated coffee table compendium that follows the saga all the way from its origins as a cheesy Star Wars knockoff through Caprica and Blood & Chrome. And if you know what Blood & Chrome is, then you're probably a superfan who should just buy the frakkin' thing for yourself.

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and so say we all.

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