This Day in Movie History – July 22nd, 1983 – Jaws 3D Released

The third feature film in a series that was a premiere blockbuster was released on this day in movie history.

jaws 3d

Courtesy: Universal Pictures

Jaws 3D was the third film in the Jaws series that began in the 1970s. Originally pitched as a spoof, Jaws 3D instead was set at Sea World, where after a baby shark attacks, the mother shark makes herself known as well.

The film, which used old-style stereoscopic 3D, starred Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett Jr. It would be released on July 22nd, 1983. It was directed by Joe Alves and written by Carl Gottlieb and Richard Matheson.

Unlike the first two films, Jaws 3 did not receive positive reviews, but was still a moderate financial success. It would be followed by the fourth and final Jaws film four years later, Jaws: The Revenge.

This Day in Television History – July 9th, 2005 – Justice League Unlimited’s “Panic in the Sky” Airs

Without its leaders, the remainder of the Justice League must battle an army of mindless clones led by a brutal clone of one of their own, in an episode that aired on this day in television history.

“Panic in the Sky” is the 11th episode of the 2nd season of Justice League Unlimited. Written by Dwayne McDuffie and directed by Dan Riba, it first aired on Cartoon Network on July 9th, 2005.

jlu panic in the sky

Courtesy: DC Comics / Warner Bros. / Cartoon Network

In the episode, which is part of the “Cadmus” story arc from throughout this season, the original Justice League turn themselves in (minus Batman) due to the events of the previous episode. At the same time, the crippled Watchtower comes under attack by a massive army of brainless clones of superpowered beings led by another clone, this one of Supergirl. Can the remaining members of the league survive the assault?

The events of this episode, including the conclusion which reveals Lex Luthor has been merged with Brainiac, immediately continue into the next episode, “Divided We Fall.”

This Day in Movie History – July 9th, 2003 – Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Released

A Disney film based on a popular attraction at their theme parks was released on this day in movie history.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, directed by Gore Verbinski. It was released in theaters on July 9th, 2003 and starred Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, and Jack Davenport.

pirates 1 poster

Courtesy: Disney

The film centers around the eccentric pirate named Jack Sparrow, who joins forces with the more straight-laced Will Turner against the pirate Barbosa, who has captured Will’s beloved Elizabeth.

The film was a big hit in theaters, making over $630 million. It led to several sequels, spinoff video games and more.

This Day in Movie History – July 8th, 2005 – Fantastic Four Released in Theaters

The first fully-released film adaptation of one of the most enduring comic book superhero teams was released on this day in history.

Fantastic Four was released in theaters on July 8th, 2005. The feature film was written by Michael France and Mark Frost, directed by Tim Story. It’s based off the original Marvel Comics title by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Fantastic Four stars Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Ioan Gruffudd and Michael Chicklis.

fantastic four movie poster

Courtesy: 20th Century FOX / Marvel

The film tells the origin of how the four get their superheroes thanks to an interstellar event. Mister Fantastic can become elastic and stretch, The Invisible Woman can become unseen, The Human Torch can fly and manipulate fire, and The Thing has super strength at the price of an unusual rock-like appearance. Together, they try to deal with life having these new powers as a new–but also familiar–threat rises against them.

The film was a success at the box office, making over $330 million. A sequel would be released two years later.

A new Fantastic Four, with a new storyline, cast, and crew released last year, but was considered a flop.

This Day in Space History – July 7th, 1988 – Phobos 1 Mars Probe Launched

The first of two twin Mars probes that failed in their space exploration mission was launched on this day in history.

Phobos 1 was a Soviet Union unmanned spacecraft launched to Mars on July 7th, 1988. The mission of the probe was to study not only the Red Planet, but the largest of its two moons, Phobos.

phobos 1

Courtesy: RSA / NASA

Communications with the probe was lost in September, because of loss of power caused by deactivation of attitude control. It was tracked back to an error in the coding of the probe’s software.

The sister probe, Phobos 2, did make it to Mars and returned some data and photos, but a planned pair of landers for Phobos did not succeed.

This Day in Video Game History – July 6th, 2016 – Pokémon Go Released

A mobile game based on the enduring Pokémon franchise that would go on to become a massive phenomenon around the world was released one year ago today.

Pokémon Go, developed and published by Niantic, was released for iOS and Android phones and mobile devices in the US and some other countries on July 6th, 2016.

pokemon go

Players would see this screen while the app loaded. Courtesy: Niantic / Nintendo

The concept of the game brought the popular Nintendo Pokémon franchise to mobile. The player controls a trainer and ventures around locations based on the real-world locations they are at, thanks to GPS technology. Random Pokémon spawn that the player can catch to add to their collection. Items are obtained through Pokéstops, which are based around landmarks, parks, and other locations of interest from around the world. Players can also put their Pokémon in gyms to battle or win the gyms.

The game became a MASSIVE hit overnight around the world, as players ventured out to catch Pokémon and obtain items. At first, the game had the first generation of Pokémon only, but has since added the second generation as well. New features, upgrades, tweaks, and text fixes have been added to the game since its release.

Pokémon Go was covered massively by news media around the globe, and many businesses promoted the fact that they were a Pokéstop to increase profits and encourage visitors and new customers. The game also promoted walking and exercise, as players had to walk and travel to truly experience the game. (Driving doesn’t work, as the app says you are traveling too fast and locks out the Pokémon and Pokéstops.)

While the game isn’t the incredibly massive fad it was upon the first few months of its release, it still remains immensely popular, and has been downloaded over a three-quarter-of-a-billion times.

PERSONAL NOTE: Pokémon Go was a fun experience in multiple ways for me. It was a fun app to play on my phone, and it helped that I work near many Pokéstops and gyms. It was a delight to drive into work and see so many fans walking around my place of employment to catch, battle, and obtain items. Seeing Pokémon in news coverage both locally and nationally was a delight as well. I still play the game on a nearly-daily basis.

This Day in Movie History – July 6th, 1990 – Jetsons: The Movie Released

An animated film based on a beloved series from the 1960s was released on this day in movie history.

Jetsons: The Movie, written by Dennis Marks and directed and produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, was released in theaters in July 6th, 1990.

jetsons the movie poster

Courtesy: Universal / Hanna-Barbera Productions

The film brought the beloved 1960s (and 1980s, when the show was revived) futuristic animated sitcom to the big screen. The story in the movie involves the Jetson family having to move to an asteroid to help the business of Spacely Sprockets. But, several previous workers assigned there have disappeared…will George Jetson be next?

The movie features most of the original voice cast of the series, and was in fact, one of the final projects of both George O’Hanlon (George) and Mel Blanc (Mr. Spacely). The exception is Janet Waldo (Judy), whose voice acting was replaced by pop music sensation Tiffany for this movie.

Jetsons: The Movie took in an estimated $20 million at the box office, but outside of commercials, games, and other promotions and shorts, would lie dormant until this year, with the release of a direct-to-DVD crossover with WWE wrestling.