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October 10th, 2013
08:32 AM ET

What's a space walk really like?

Say what you will about the science. The movie "Gravity" makes you feel like you're in space.

Of course, only a few people know that feeling firsthand. NASA astronaut Michael Massimino is one of them.

Massimino flew on two Hubble Space Telescope servicing missions. And he has logged more than 30 hours across four space walks.

That's exactly what the movie's main characters are doing when everything goes wrong.

So, what's it really like to spacewalk?

"You have to be methodical about what you do. You don't want to move too quickly," Massimino says. "You have to be very, very slow. You have to think about what you're doing. Work with your teammates, both outside the spaceship, inside the spaceship and the people on the ground."

Massimino admits it can be scary. But he adds, "I can't think of anything better to do for a living than go out and spacewalk and work out there in the beauty of space."

Find out what Massimino thinks of the movie, and George Clooney in particular, in the full interview above.

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Filed under: Movies • Space
October 31st, 2012
03:49 PM ET

New Star Wars to be done by Disney

Like it or not, there will be new Star Wars films. Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015. There will likely be many more to follow.

And they'll be made by Disney.

The "House of Mouse" has acquired Lucasfilm in a blockbuster deal.

What do you think of this mega-merger?

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Filed under: Cult classics • Movies
July 19th, 2012
06:11 PM ET

Putting Batman to the test

You've probably heard this icebreaker question before: If you could be any superhero, who would you be?

Without fail, whoever says Batman will gush about the gadgets and point out that Bruce Wayne is not an alien. Trust me.

But could any human become Batman? And just how realistic are his crime-fighting tools?

Find out below:

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Filed under: Movies • Science
February 14th, 2012
05:09 AM ET

Star Wars, Segmented


A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... or rather in 2009 on the internet, the "Star Wars: Uncut" project was created. More than two years later, it has become a movie. It is a crowd-sourced remake of the original Star Wars film, "A New Hope".  FULL POST

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Filed under: Cult classics • General • Movies • Social networking
July 13th, 2011
08:07 PM ET

Harry Potter’s heart’s in the Highlands

From Harry Potter's roots in Edinburgh's Old Town (where a young Joanne Rowling started scribbling her saga) right up to the climactic, cinematic Battle of Hogwarts, Scotland has cast its spell over the series. And just as Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy had viewers salivating over New Zealand, the Potter movie anthology has done a first-class branding job for my home country.

A quick admission before I proceed. I am a former employee of VisitScotland, the national tourism board. Indeed, I was working for the organization in London when the first Potter film was released. Times were hard. The motherland was still reeling from the double ignominy of the foot and mouth outbreak and Madonna’s Highland wedding to Guy Ritchie. We were grateful for small mercies, such as Madge’s decision to leave her leotard at home.

Then, with a wave of his little wizard wand, Harry Potter breathed new life into our industry. Hagrid’s hut sprung up on a Highland hillside. Small Scottish children hopped aboard the Hogwarts Express as it chugged its way west from Fort William. The national newspapers were full of it. The rest of the world would follow.

Much attention has focused on filming locations such as London’s Kings Cross Station (bearing a remarkable resemblance to its neighbor St Pancras) and Gloucester Cathedral (whose corridors are recognizable as the haunt of Nearly Headless Nick and Moaning Myrtle). But for me - and millions of Potterphiles – the majesty of the wizarding world is most potent in its landscapes. These made me homesick as a 21-year old in London, just as they do as a 31-year old in Hong Kong. And, as such, I offer you my five favorite Scottish Potter scene-stealers:

FULL POST

May 31st, 2011
10:49 AM ET

"Kung Fu Panda 2" backlash in China?

After the Hollywood launch of "Kung Fu Panda 2," there's word of a backlash in Beijing.

According to China's official Xinhua news agency, some Chinese artists and scholars say that the animated kiddie flick has "twisted Chinese culture and serves as a tool to 'kidnap' the mind of the Chinese people."

Zhao Bandi, an avant-garde artist in Beijing, has launched a campaign to boycott the DreamWorks film by placing ads in newspapers across the country. He's joined by an academic, Kong Qingdong of Peking University, who calls "Kung Fu Panda 2" a "cultural invasion." FULL POST

May 13th, 2011
11:05 PM ET

Top Gun Day

I'm not sure what's harder to believe: That "Top Gun" is 25 years old, or that there's a whole day dedicated to the movie.

Either way, being the 80s movie buffs that we are, News Stream just had to join in the fun and celebrate Top Gun Day... which we did with a little help from our good friends at iReport. And aviator sunglasses.

Why "Top Gun"?

There's something about that movie that's struck a chord with people that makes it memorable 25 years on. It's hard to say it's a great film - but it's inspired so many to send us a ton of great iReports.

It is intensely cheesy. And yet it is incredibly enjoyable. It's extremely clichéd, but also eminently quotable.

It simultaneously panders to both sexes: Men get gratuitous shots of fighter jets set to rock music; women get that volleyball scene.

And while most movies have one iconic song associated with them, Top Gun has four: Danger Zone, Take My Breath Away, You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin', and Great Balls of Fire. (And I'm not including the theme!)

There is something strangely compelling about Top Gun that endures to this day, proving that it's always a good time to buzz the tower.