Access Week In Geek: Emmanuelle Chriqui Talks The Return Of ‘Thundercats’

The Access Week In Geek shines the TV spotlight on the return of “ThunderCats” and the movie spotlight on “Attack The Block”… Harrison Ford chews out Chewbacca on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”… Conan O’Brien reveals what Lord Voldemort is doing with his post-“Harry Potter” down time… And, “The Avengers” assemble in a new online teaser…

WEEK IN GEEK TV PICK: ‘THUNDERCATS’ - Once again, it’s time to feel the magic and hear the roar, the “ThunderCats” are loose! Cartoon Network launches its updated version of “ThunderCats” tonight with an hour-long, two-part premiere. As a fan who grew up with the ‘80s show about a group of super-powered felines, I’m happy to report that the new creative team leaves nearly no stone unturned when it comes to paying homage to the original animated hit. Familiar heroic characters like Lion-O, Cheetara and Panthro are once again fighting Mumm-Ra and other old school villains like the reptilian Slithe, and turncoat ThunderCat Grune. Snarf still says “Snarf,” but that is now the extent of his vocabulary. And “ThunderCats Ho!” accompanied by the Eye Of Thundera’s glowing red beacon in the sky still summons the cats into action.

While the science fiction layered lore of the original show has been streamlined into a more mythological themed legend, it intergrates and updates the best of the classic aspects to forge a smart new story arc. The two-part premiere has plenty of quick cutting action and an edgy anime look that separates it from your standard kiddie fare.

Emmanuelle Chriqui provides the voice of Cheetara, the fastest ThunderCat on Third Earth with the unparalleled speed of a Cheetah — and she talked to Access about taking on the part.

“It’s been awesome,” the “Entourage” stunner told Access in NYC at the premiere of her HBO series.

“It’s actually a really fantastic cartoon. I saw the first two episodes and they are great,” she said regarding tonight’s series premiere, which was also screened to eager “ThunderCats” fans who attended Comic-Con last weekend. Chriqui, who made her first trip to the massive convention with original Lion-O voice actor Larry Kenney (who cameos as Claudus, Lion-O’s father in the new show), participated in a post-screening Q&A in addition to an autograph session.

Chriqui also revealed that getting into the mindset of her superhero alter ego in the voiceover room merely involved digging down into her animal instincts.

“Cheetara is not that far from my normal voice. She’s just a little more fierce,” she laughed.

“ThunderCats,” which is sure to impress old fans and newer fans alike, roars onto Cartoon Network tonight at 8 PM.

WEEK IN GEEK MOVIE PICK: ‘ATTACK THE BLOCK’ - A runaway hit at this year’s SXSW Festival, “Attack The Block” is a tense, thrilling new take on the tried and true alien invasion theme written and directed by Joe Cornish.

The sole familiar face in the film (with a small role) is Nick Frost, best know for co-starring with Simon Pegg in “Hot Fuzz,” “Paul,” and “Shaun of the Dead.” But with the absence of any big-name celebs in the cast, the “nobody is safe” rule is in full effect and the aliens are free to pick off anyone at any given moment (as opposed to let’s say, 2006’s “Poseidon,” where the stars pretty much die in order of reverse billing).

This low budget indie has been gaining steady buzz and finally sees a limited theatrical release this weekend. Set in London’s inner city where young hooligans roam and rob, characters you typically want to see offed by the aliens are the ones you end up rooting for. Dire circumstances make unlikely heroes out of, in this case, common street thugs.

The simple but effectively designed aliens are terrifying in both concept and on-screen execution as pitch-black creatures with luminous razor-like teeth, and these vicious aliens hunt down their human prey without mercy.

Low budget production sometimes brings out the best in filmmakers, and that is where director Joe Cornish succeeds here. He does not rely on lavish special effects to compensate for what is not physically shot on set, or let them serve as faux frights that force tension where there is none.

“Attack The Block” is definitely a fun, tense, thrill ride you won’t soon forget.

HARRISON FORD’S FEUD WITH CHEWBACCA REVEALED - Despite numerous on-screen heroics that include making the Kessel Run together in the Millennium Falcon, and helping the Rebel Alliance free the galaxy from the Empire, it appears that Harrison Ford and Chewbacca didn’t part ways as the best of friends after “Return of the Jedi.” Their rarely talked about, but long-standing feud comes to a hilarious boiling point in this clip from “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

‘THE AVENGERS’ ASSEMBLE IN NEW TEASER - Yahoo! Movies has posted a new clip online that combines parts of the final scene from Marvel Studios’ “Captain America” (Spoiler Alert: It doesn’t take place in the 1940’s), and the film’s post credits teaser for next summer’s “The Avengers.”

Check out these live action glimpses of Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) assembled together for the first time.

ELIZA DUSHKU GUEST STARS ON ‘WHITE COLLAR - Fan boy fav Eliza Dushku (“Dollhouse,” “Angel,” “Tru Calling”) guest stars on USA’s “White Collar” next Tuesday. The Hollywood Reporter has an exclusive preview clip from the episode.

Eliza can also be heard as the voice of Catwoman in the animated adaptation of “Batman: Year One” coming this fall to Blu-ray and DVD.

VOLDEMORT ADJUSTS TO A POST-POTTER LIFE - Ever wonder what an evil wizard does when he finds himself in between mayhem-inducing gigs and no longer has Harry Potter to harass? Wonder no more, as Conan O’Brien has been keeping tabs on what Lord Voldemort has been up to when trying to pass the time since wrapping the final “Harry Potter” film. Check out this revealing clip from “Conan” here.

‘SUPERMAN RETURNS’’ $10 MILLION CUT OPENING SCENE SURFACES - The original opening to director Bryan Singer’s “Superman Returns” starring Brandon Routh as the Man of Steel has been released online. It is included in the new “Superman Anthology” Blu-ray box set of all the “Superman” movies released from 1978-2006. In the scene, at a reported cost of $10 million, Superman takes to the stars in the spaceship that brought him to Earth and re-visits the shattered remains of his home world of Krypton.

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