30 Apr 2012

T-rex Dog Gets Wheels

This is Roosevelt, who as born with the best limb malformation you could ask for, in that it makes him look like a tiny, furry dinosaur. Of course, he's a dog, so he can't appreciate it. Or roam around the house making little roars while your mom makes grilled cheese.

But that doesn't matter anymore, because what he can appreciate are his killer new wheels.

Via Geekologie.

Time And Relatively Inappropriate In Space

So, someone made a Doctor Who themed, "personal enjoyment device", a picture of which I have posted after the jump because, well, it is equal parts naughty and disturbing. And, I'm sure if you're into that sort of thing, alluring. Maybe. I really don't know.

When Fringe Closes A Door To An Alternate Universe, It Opens A Window To A Horrible Future

Courtesy of FOX
As much as we might hate the FOX network for cancelling shows we enjoy without giving them much of a chance, you do have to give them credit where it's due. They are the only one of the major American networks to take a chance on science fiction. That's not to say other networks don't do sci-fi. ABC had LOST, NBC had Quantum Leap, CBS has CSI (neither the show itself, nor it's popularity cannot be explained by real science). But FOX more than others, is willing to give the green light to a show that will, charitably, have a niche audience.

Why? Maybe because they are the youngest of the networks, they don't feel the need to surrender to network staples (CBS - legal dramas, NBC - sitcoms, ABC - ummm... America's Funniest Home Videos). Maybe it's because they have more money to give to individual programs, thus giving shows that need larger budgets that they need (unlike NBC, which gives it's shows five bucks and a coupon for Arby's). Maybe because they are desperate to find the next X-Files, that will bless them with time slot dominance and ad revenues, allowing them to relive the glory days of the early nineties.

Certainly, once they are produced, FOX won't put any actual time or money towards promoting them, already swatting at the next shiny thing to cross their path, dumping the show into a barren wasteland of a time slot, and killing it half way through it's first season before it has a chance to find it's grove (think of all the long running shows that were absolute shit in their first seasons). But, without FOX we won't have what we do have of Firefly, Wonderfalls, Futurama, etc., because no other network would have aired those shows. At least, not at first.

So, it's rare to see a story that involves a low rated show, FOX, science fiction, and doesn't end with the word 'cancelled'. In fact, the word we'll be ending with is 'renewed'. Against all odds, FOX has decided to renew Fringe, the once X-Files compared sci-fi epic from J.J. Abrams and the writers of Star Trek, for a final 13 episode fifth season.

Fringe is an enigma. It never should have lasted. The first season was accessible and procedural, but beyond that, it became more isolating and complex then LOST ever dreamt. The show should have been cancelled at the end of every season, and yet, it lasted four years of the strangest, wildly uneven seasons. Then FOX moved it to Fridays: the death slot. Where all good shows go to be ignored and disappear without a blip. The rating have been terrible. The plot: the most uneven season yet, ranging from brilliant to instantly forgettable.

And yet, here we are, with FOX giving them time to wrap things up. A courtesy rarely extended to shows that haven't preformed M*A*S*H finale ratings on a weekly basis. Someone high up must really love the show, which deserves everything it is getting and more, because it is a brilliant, mad show, filled with brave creative choices and fantastic acting. But there is no reasonable, rational explanation how it has survived.

A mystery worthy of Walter Bishop.

Via Entertainment Weekly.

[Review] - The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

First off, let me clarify something. In the UK, the title of the film is as written above. In North American the sub-title was changed to Band of Misfits. The suggestion was, in certain parts of America, people would be unwilling to take their children to see a movie about scientists because Science is mistrusted, or at the least, uninteresting. If this is true, then it is truly a dark day indeed, and that isolated cave in Wales I've got lined up is looking better and better. What a shock those sorts of people must have gotten if they did go to see The Pirates, only to discover that Science played a huge role in the plot. Must they have had little recourse but to walk, fuming from the theatre, demanding their money back, all the while exclaiming how their precious little snowflakes were damaged by the introduction of rational, reasoned, substantiated fact, even in the smallest amount. What a dark day for those sort indeed.

OK, that was something of a small tirade, one usually reserved for not a film review of a motion capture pirate movie. But it gets my dander up... no, no... the film.

Aardman, the clever fellows behind Wallace and Gromit have seen fit to grace us with a second film in a year, following on after the wonderful Arthur Christmas last... ah, Christmas. While that one was CG, a la Flushed Away, The Pirates returns them to their roots, with traditional stop frame clay animation, a format I hold in high regard because of the painstaking, laborious nature of the craft. But was the film worth the task? I'd say definitely... maybe.

Hit the jump for the spoiler-meringue review.

27 Apr 2012

Settlers of Catan Is Serious Business

I was introduced to the Settlers of Catan, a board game of such ruthless detail and efficiency it could only have been invented by the Germans, through some prior associates. Aside from the fact that our sessions would ultimately devolve into shouted accusations about the other players inappropriate relations with livestock, these games were always fun, twisting and distorting time so that, when we finally exited, it was three o'clock in the morning, the dog had to be let out, and everyone had the odd desire for vodka mint milkshakes.

It's a fun game, is what I'm saying. So much fun that I have sunk a small fortune into buying every expansion, add on, spin off and special edition I can find. I even bought the computer game, which is hard as all get out to actually win, damned AI.

So this semi-serious ten minute documentary brought a smile to my face, if for no other reason then, yes, Catan will cause you to loath even the closest for friends, but in the end, all will be forgiven. Despite how many times they might move the robber onto your hex.

What, what is that? Yeah, a knight, you son of a bitch! Yeah, no grain for you now. Why don't you go cry me a river, Patty Lovelace, cause there's gold in them thar hills! YEEEHAAA!


Via /Film.

Glasses Let Blind And Deaf Viewers Watch Movies In Theatres

I'm a big fan of getting as many people interested in movies as possible. They are a huge part of my life, essentially my version of religion. It's certainly where I can be found most Sundays. Theatres are my churches, actors my saints, movies my scripture. And I preach the good word as often as I can. But, because it is a visual and auditory medium, there are chunks of the population to which the experience of going to the movies is inaccessible. I speak of the deaf and the blind, for whom there has been very little progress past closed captioning and described video. But a new technology may welcome them into the fold.

Championed by Sony Entertainment and Regal Entertainment Group, these Access Glasses provide captions and subtitling via the lenses, similar to the glasses Google teased earlier in the month, but with a significantly smaller chance of the wearer being plowed down by a UPS truck. They work with 2D and 3D films, and will be in some US theatres soon. Regal entertainment described them as such:
The Sony technology consists of specially designed eyewear and a receiver allowing deaf and hard of hearing customers to view closed captioned text in their direct line of sight for both 2D and 3D movies. For blind and visually impaired customers, Sony’s Entertainment Access Glasses, paired with headphones, provide descriptive audio tracks. The technology began being deployed in April of 2012 and is expected to be completed by first quarter 2013.
This is fantastic, though I can see one major issue, and it's the same I pointed out with the Gooses: when subtitles are on the film print, they are at the same visual distance as the rest of the film, allowing the eye to focus on both. With glasses, the print will be near sighted, and the image far, forcing the eye to focus and refocus continuously, which could result in headaches, nausea and eye problems with prolonged use. But, it is a step forward in a field I feel there is too little (read: no) innovation.

Via /Film.

Private Company Wants To Mine Asteroids, Fight Space Invaders, Get That Damn Frog Across The Street

Let's start by saying, this isn't some bunch of crazies saying they've hit space gold, or a presidential candidate spouting off Bond villain nonsense. This proposal has teeth. The management of Planetary Resources has pedigree. President and Chief Engineer Chris Lewicki was Flight Director for two NASA Mars missions, and manager for a third. Co-founders Peter Diamandis and Eric Anderson started Project X, which gives cash prizes to groups and firms that achieve technological breakthroughs. The staff is made up of former NASA scientists, engineers, and two astronauts. Financial backing is coming from billionaires Ross Perot, Jr., Google's Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, and James "I like space almost as much as I like water" Cameron. I'm honestly shocked that Richard Branson didn't throw in his two cents. This is a serious group of people working towards a serious goal: mining natural resources from asteroids.

And, most importantly, they aren't going into this whole hog. They're doing the smart thing, the scientific thing. Standing on the shoulders of giants, they're taking baby steps. They plan to start with a series of small telescopes, like the Arkyd 101, to observe and classify asteroids as possible subjects for further interest. At first, they're going to concentrate on asteroids that contain materials needed for further missions. Space gas stations, essentially, places where water, oxygen and other essentials can be naturally obtained rather then brought from Earth. These resource bars would act as launch pads for the end game: the discovery of asteroids containing, and eventual mining and transport back to Earth of, minerals and materials we need here. And they aren't thinking of doing this next week. Space technologies takes a long time, and they're playing the long game here. The first telescopes will be launched early next year, at the earliest.

There are still major hurdles to overcome before any of this can actually happen. Launch of the telescopes will happen in partnership with other space firms, including Space X. This is good, it's the beginning of a private space based economy. Once they get to the mining stage though, we're still a little short. We'll need to be able to tow the rocks, a technology that is of immediate importance to the entire planet, if we're to ever hope to divert possible impacters, which will happen, it's only a question of when. Unfortunately, it is a technology that is still only a theory. We'll also need mining equipment, processors, and transports to do the work, and ever since the retirement of the space shuttle, only Russia has a working, reusable space vessel. And that is a near-Earth orbit vessel. Asteroid mining would occur much farther out, the safest place being in orbit around the moon, a place humanity hasn't been too since 1972.

Personally, I feel this has the potential to be the most significant space based mission since the Apollo project. It lays out a realistic plan, over a reasonable timetable, to accomplish something extraordinary. It isn't being influenced by war, or aggression of any kind. It stands to be a financial windfall, and a way to supplement dwindling resources on Earth. But most importantly, it could represent the first stage in a permanent manned presence in space. Moon bases make for great science fiction, but space stations are easier to build, easier to maintain, and easier to get to and from. Being able to tether asteroids, build facilities to mine them, possibly position them in Lagrange points, are all huge steps forward technologically, and culturally, and could be the motivator, like the moon missions were to an entire generation in the mid twentieth century, that gets droves of young people interested in astronomy, engineering, physics, chemistry and other sciences that make the discoveries that change the world.

Phil Plait is a smarter man then I, and has much more information, and his own thoughts, on the subject. I highly recommend you check it out at his Discover blog.

Via The Bad Astronomer.

[List] - 7 Of The Best Statements From Geek TV

Courtesy of ABC
I hate prophecies. They are lazy cliches that sci-fi and fantasy can't seem to shake. Every time a writer can't figure out what to do with a character, they introduce a prophecy, to give them something to worry about, and fight against, and moan and whimper and bluster and it always ends badly. Either they are powerless to change the future, because it's the future; or the prophecy was just made up, in which case why should we, or anyone else care; or they misunderstood the prophecy, and wiggle room in the language makes for unexpected consequences. Amazingly, Angel was guilty of all three. 

These are not prophecies. Not really. I mean, you could argue semantics, but really, don't you have anything better to do? You could make some popcorn, clean your ferret, find out what that strange, rhythmic knocking sound coming for the furthest corner of the basement is.

No, these are more statements, mantras, incantations. Simple things said by characters that pertain to no specific event, or person. They might issue a warning, but it's a general sort of thing. They might offer advice, but to no one in particular. They might pop up once, or they might surface again and again, by multiple characters, forming an arc of wisdom running through the narrative.

And, for the most part, those that do not heed these word, are doomed.

Hit the jump to find the list, in no particular order.

26 Apr 2012

Agent Coulson Geeks Out

I want to take a moment to discuss how I think this might be the best clip released from the Avengers thus far. How I feel, not having seen the film, that this clip might be the best exemplar of what we can expect. And how appropriate it is that the moment comes from Agent Couslon.

First of all, Whedon's fingerprints are all over this one. That dialogue smacks of Whedon. The awkward Feudian slips, the embarrassing attempts to recover, the sudden turn towards absolutely serious and on task. This is Whedon's wheelhouse, and Coulson, who has appeared in four films written by four different writers, each with it's own tone and rhythms, takes to it naturally. Which is a credit to the actor, but also the character, in that he is able to move between genres and serve whatever purpose he needs to. He is the ultimate audience surrogate, behaving the same way you would if you met Cap, and indeed how most behave when they meet the actors who play these roles. Assuming he survives Whedon's terrible wrath, would be welcome to appear in every MCU film from now to ever.

Secondly, note the shift in tone. It goes from loose to serious in a line of dialogue. This too is a Whedon trope, recently seen in Cabin in the Woods, which shifted moods within a single word at times. I think this is a good sign. To balance the insanity and humour of the group dynamic with the ever present threats that have brought them together is critical, and I think Joss has done.

The movie is trending high on Rotten Tomatoes, with only a single bad review as of this writing, which has received some truly terrible responses from the internet. I'm quiet looking forward to it, the third most anticipated movie of the summer for myself (Cabin, Prometheus, Avengers, Brave, Dark Knight). I'm biased all to hell because of my deep admiration, bordering on uncomfortable man-love, for Joss Whedon, but I'm a proud Browncoat, and don't care who knows.

Via Topless Robot, and Pajiba.

Doctor Who Goes Back To The River... Uh, Well

Let me say that the above picture is real. 100%, as far as my sources can tell unaltered, picture of The Beatles in the early days, hanging with what appears to be Matt Smith. Which, despite being not true, is awesome.

So, a couple things. First, during an interview, Steven Moffat said the following:
“The story of Doctor Who is always the story of the companion, it’s always their story. It was Rose Tyler’s story, it’s Amy Pond’s story - the story of the time they knew the Doctor and how that began; how it developed and how it ended."
I argue that this has only been true since the series returned under Davies. In the old days, the show was always told from the Doctor's perspective, with the companions coming and going and having little lasting effect on the Doctor. One could argue that this is a sign of the Doctor ageing. When one is young, friends come and go, but as you get older, you come to value your family and friends more and more. But, it's statements like this that make me certain that the new companion will be yet another modern English woman, because anything else would be too alien. That, and I feel that this statement is fundamentally false, that this is the story of the Doctor, as he comes and goes, and touches the lives of so many. Alexander's story wasn't told through his generals, it was told through him. It's the reason we follow the Doctor instead of Ace, or Nyssa, or K-9. It isn't their story, they're only part of it.

Anyway, the the fifth episode of the new series, which will feature the departure of Amy and Rory once and for all, will be taking place in New York City, presumably in the early twentieth century judging from the cars and clothes in some of the pictures. Some filming took place in NYC earlier in the month, and some more happened in Cardiff. It will also feature the return of two Moffat creations: The Weeping Angels, and River Song.

River makes sense, since she is Amy's child, and their departure is a major event in their story, and it's right that the whole family is there for the occasion. But I'm hoping that this might be one of the last times we see River on the series. Her story has been told, beginning, middle and end, and not in that order. Everything else is everything else.

As for the Angels, hit the jump to see what possible new terror they have waiting for the TARDIS crew.

George R.R. Martin Gathers His Religions

When world building, attention to detail is key. In The Song of Ice and Fire, the attention to detail is at an obsessive level. You might think it strange that one man can keep it all straight, but you'd be surprised how much you can remember when you're the one creating it.

Anyway, since season 2 began, Game of Thrones has introduced two new religious systems, the Drowned God of Pike, and the God of Light. To help straighten things out, the creator himself descends to explain all things religious.

Via The Mary Sue.

Pixar Plans For The Future

Except for the Cars films, I've never been disappointed by Pixar. They've elevated the art form of the animated feature in a way that hasn't been done since Walt Disney started back in the fifties. So, I'm looking forward to Brave, only the second feature they've done featuring human characters as the focus, which probably says something about how confident Pixar has become with their own animation.

This trailer is probably the last we'll see before the release, unless Disney opts for an Avengers style deluge of content in the weeks before the release. Billy Connelly sounds like he's having fun, and I love me a Scottish accent, but most importantly, this movie looks fun. And that song playing at the end really gets me in the ol' gut heart.

In future Pixar news, slated for release in May of 2014, the next feature after the Monsters Inc. sequel, has been given an official title: The Good Dinosaur. To say that I'm excited about a Pixar dinosaur feature is an understatement, though I'm put off by the title, when paired with this image:

The implication here is that man kind and dinosaurs are living together. I like fantasy and all, but the scientist in me knows that, if dinosaurs hadn't went extinct in their non-avian form, humans never would have evolved. We would have been eaten when we were all still otters. The title to me suggests that dinosaurs will be kept as pets, like a dog. And that makes me sad, because a proper dinosaur movie by the reigning masters of animation could have been the greatest thing ever.
The year after that, Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich will helm a movie about Dia de los Muertos, commonly known as The Day of the Dead. And that's all we know about that.

Via /Film and The Mary Sue.

25 Apr 2012

Walking Dead Season 3 Promises To Be Just As Terrible As The Last

Courtesy of AMC

I have previously stated, at some length, that I didn't care for the second season of Walking Dead. So, it is disheartening to hear that going into season 3, very little seems poised to change. Discussing the upcoming season, creator Robert Kirkman was said to be testing AMC, seeing how much he can get away with in terms of gore. Showrunner Glen Mazzara then countered with this statement:
“It’s pretty dynamic and action-packed with tons of zombies but also a lot of quieter moments and a lot of heart. This is a group of survivors, a family that has come together, and they have no good options, no place to go. And they’re really trying to keep themselves alive, and keep each other alive. You can see how desperate they are; they’re clinging to each other. It’s those moments of human interaction and heart that are important.”
That would be fine, if the show had shown any predilection for doing any of those things well in the past. But that haven't. What they have shown is they rely on padding to extend the life of an idea long after it should have burned out, have characters change motivations on a dime for no reason other than to create artificial conflict, and fall back on gratuitous gore porn when all else fails, which is only going to get bloodier and more graphic.

Honestly, if I didn't know any better, I'd say this show were run by James Cameron. It has all the subtly and finesse of a wasp wearing a party hat.

Via The Mary Sue.

Batman Arkham City Wants You To Buy It Again, Please

Full disclosure: I have never actually played either of the Batman: Arkham games. Why? Is it because I'm some sort of communist who hates joy? Obviously not, it's just that I can't seem to get my Super NES to render the graphics properly. Or, at all.

Still and all, this trailer, for a game that was released some months ago, is very enjoyable. Apparently, if you buy this "Game of the Year" edition, you get all the bonus features included, as well as a bonus-ier bonus level where you play as Harley Quinn, which for some of you is a big deal. Personally, I've always thought she was a character that never quiet worked outside of the animated series, though Gotham City Sirens came close.

Via Topless Robot.

Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain Cast In Iron Man 3

Courtesy of Alliance Films
I've waxed slightly on my relative apathy towards Guy Pearce before. I've got nothing against the guy, he just hasn't impressed me in the past. And perhaps he's seeking to get in my good graces (because people want to be,liked by me), by appearing on Craig Ferguson a couple weeks past, and having a go at Canberra, Australia, and being cast as yet another villain in the soon to start filming Iron Man 3. He'll join Ben Kingsley in the Shane Black adaptation of Warren Ellis’ Extremis run on the comics, a run that the film series has already borrowed from for it's modern retelling of Tony Stark.

Pearce is, I'm told by the internet, set to play geneticist Aldrich Killian, who is responsible for developing and unleashing a nanotech version of the super solider serum, turned virus. Jessica Chastain, who appeared in The Help and Tree of Life, will more then likely be playing Maya Hansen, one of the scientists working on the project and a love interest for Tony. The implication being that people will become infected with the virus, turning them into Iron Men/Hulk crazies. Considering that the first movie saw Tony wear the armour, and the second saw Rhody, what do you think the chances are of Pepper taking on her comics 'Rescue' persona in the third film? Would anyone want that, Gwyneth Paltrow in a mecha suit?


Via Den of Geek and The Mary Sue.

[Review] - Eureka, Season 5, Episode 2, "The Real Thing"

Courtesy of NBCUniversal
After last week's disappointing return to Eureka, I was hopeful that the show would rebound. Become again what it has been for years. And I can definitely say that this week was an improvement, but not much of one. Even the writers recognise this; "we're pushing the logic processor too hard" indeed. The Real Thing is only that by half, struggling with it's own existence as either a standard episode of Eureka, or just a dumb one.

Hit the jump for the spoilergasmic review.

24 Apr 2012

Avengers Trailer Done In Mattel Action Figures. Seven Year Olds Everywhere Approve

And thus completes our "popular internet things redone in another medium" triumvirate.

The video is impressive, and has far less cussing then if Robot Chicken had done the same thing. It even manages to make fun of the fact that Stark has worn a different suit of armour in practically every scene of his franchise. And features an appearance from a character I'm fairly confident will never appear in a marvel movie. Ever.

Via Topless Robot.

Game Of Thrones Season One In Playmobil. What's Next, Stickle Bricks Babylon 5?

Tip of the ol' joke hat to Yahtzee Croshaw for the headline.

But seriously, in a world overwhelmed by Lego versions of our pop culture obsessions, it is about time the lesser primary school toy sets had a chance to shine. Let's all just be grateful they didn't try to adapt any of the more whore-ier scenes.
Via Topless Robot.

How Hunger Games Should Have Ended? It Never Should Have Begun

I would have been happy is the above video ended after the first thirty seconds.

Can I say, on the heels of my less than favourable review (it sucked), I had completely forgotten about the ridiculous camouflage paint. It was so stupid, I laughed aloud.

Via The Mary Sue.

[Review] - Game of Thrones, Season 2, Episode 4, "Garden of Bones"

Courtesy of HBO
I have to give full credit to the quality of the writing in this episode to Vanessa Taylor, whom the internet tells me is a new hire for the show, and if they were smart they'd get her to work on future endeavours. A veteran of Alias, Tell Me You Love Me, and Jack & Bobby, she displayed an almost Whedonesque flair for dialogue, the episode largely composed of one-on-one conversations, starting with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and a fart joke. Didn't see that one coming, I'll tell you.

It was one of the funnier episodes, nearly every interaction embossed with dry wit, sarcasm, or flat out hilarity. Which sold the theme of the episode, as Ros warned, "Too much pain will spoil the pleasure." And it was a painful episode too, one of the worst. To balance both, and not feature any baby murder what so ever, shows real talent.

For the rest of the spoileriffic review, hit the jump.

23 Apr 2012

Bryan Fuller Wants To Remake Star Trek. 'Cause That'll End Well

For those of you who don't know the name Bryan Fuller, for shame. He was the creative mind behind a series of fantastic shows, all of which were killed by their networks for being too good for their own good: Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, and the the only reason the first season of Heroes was watchable. He also started his career working on Star Treks DS9 and Voyager. Remember that last bit for later.

He's going to be a busy fellow over the next year or so, having successfully pitched two new shows on NBC, the only major network who hasn't cancelled him (yet). The first, the Munsters remake called Mockingbird Lane, starring Eddie Izzard, will probably be terrible, and get canned within six episodes (mark it on your calender folks). The second, more interesting, and just as cancellable, is Hannibal, a police procedural in the vein of Criminal Minds, following the years that Hannibal Lector helped hunt serial killers for the FBI with Will Graham (Ed Norton and William Peterson in a couple of the films). The problem with Lector is, like every villain ever, the more he is used, the less interesting he becomes. It's the depreciating effect of moving from a what to a why.

But, as the main event, Fuller and Usual Suspects director Bryan Singer are pitching a new Star Trek series. Singer, years ago, developed an idea called Federation, which would have been set years after the Next Generation era, much like the jump from Original Series era to NexGen. Distance themselves from established events, set up new cultural milestones and communities, forge new alliances and introduce new characters. On paper, it's a much better idea then what J.J. Abrams did by just revisiting Kirk and Co.

And there stands the problem. Becasue Abrams, despite the idea of a reboot being one of the lazier in Hollywood right now, hit it out of the park, and finanically, Trek is a safer bet if it could be connected to the rebooted films. Singer and Fuller seem intent on setting the series in the original timeline, which I guess means we'll officially have to start referring to two separate Trek franchises, the Series Canon, and the Movie Canon. Because Star Trek canon wasn't foggy enough already.

Chances of this actually happening? About as much as a Klingon-Tribble furry party, am I right?


Damn wasted youth.

Via Collider.

Kevin Feige Talks Marvel Property Rights, Spoils Avengers

I'm going to warn you right now, DO NOT watch this video if you don't want a major spoiler about the Avengers to ruin your afternoon. Nobody warned me, and now I'm depressed.

The focus of the discussion was property rights to Marvel characters, two in particular. Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver, the mutant children of Magneto from the X-Men comics, who are themselves usually part of the Avengers. Indeed, in The Ultimates, from which the Avengers film line up is taken, and most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is drawn (hello black Nick Fury that looks like Samuel L. Jackson), Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver are major players. So, FOX owns Magneto, Marvel owns Avengers. Who owns these characters? To quote Feige:
If they want to use them for X-Men, they can use them. If we want to use them for the Avengers, we can use them.
According to Feige, there aren't many characters of the 8000+ that Marvel owns that fall into a grey space like this. Which makes sense. Despite the comics being a shared universe, and there are crossovers, most characters remain vital to only their home title. I wonder, does this mean both studios are allowed to use the characters at the same time, or do the rights go to whomever uses them first.

Because I'll be honest, I don't think they'd work that well in the MCU, which has went out of it's way to show that superpowers only come from technology, not from mutation. It would be, in the universe they've created, a hard sell to suddenly introduce the concept of mutation, especially since they wouldn't be able to make reference to Magneto, or Xavier, or possibly even mutants themsevles. As much as I'd like to see them on screen, I think Marvel would be better off letting FOX use them in yet another horrible X-Men sequel/prequel/reboot/foot cream.

One last thing. With a single exception, Jon Favreau, who ended up quitting Iron Man 3 rather publicly, each of the films in the series has been directed by someone new, with the leadership of the Cap, and Thor sequels being finalised now. In the interview, Feige seems to support Joss Whedon's return for a second Avengers. Having not seen it yet, I cannot comment on Whedon's success or failure, though the word of mouth seems to be very good. I'm torn between creative stability and the introduction of new creative viewpoints, both of which are boons to a production (look at Alien/Aliens, or the Terminators for both sides of that coin). In the end though, I have to side with Joss. On all things.

Via Collider

Ron Swanson Reads Tweets, Successfully Gets Me Interested In Tweets

And because TBS is bitchy like that, the same video for non American viewers.

Numerous times over the past couple years, people have said that Ron Swanson, from NBC's Parks and Recreation, and I are very much alike. And while we disagree on the subject of riddles, we do share many core values. The role of government, fishing, facial hair, yoga and meditation, Organic Food Markets, child labour laws, selfishness, haircuts, and meat are but some of the topics in which we share common ground. In fact, during much of the second season of Parks and Rec, I was concerned that the writers of the show were reading my diary for source material. The average dairy entry appearing something like this:
Dear Diary,

Diaries are a waste of time. If you must have emotions, channel them into worthwhile endeavours, like woodworking, or eliminating the weak.

Fictionally Yours,

MR. Clark
Nick Offerman, the man who channels Ron Swanson on a weekly basis, is the new standard for the dead pan delivery, a worthy successor for Leslie Nieslon. Last week on Conan, he introduced a new segment, Nick Offerman from Parks and Recreation Reads Tweets from Young Female Celebrities. It is wonderful, not only for the assortment of blades that he is holding during the segment, but that it give me an excuse to post my favourite picture of Ron, after the jump.

[Review] - The Hunger Games

I am not, generally, a fan of these massive media cross-over events. They follow a recognisable pattern: book comes out, is so poorly written or at least pedestrian and cliched enough as to appeal to a broad audience; producers buy movie rights; author churns out sequel/trilogy/spin-off; movie is rushed into production, hastily released; movie makes roughly the same as the GDP of Namibia; shower, rinse, repeat. Harry Potter did it. Twilight did it. DaVinci Code did it for adults. Percy Jackson stumbled, the list goes on.

Add to the list the Hunger Games, the Twilight step-down drug, thankfully getting teenagers away from uncomfortable corpse lust, and into the much more acceptable arena of state sponsored infanticide. I will state, right now, up front, I have not read the book series. So, going into this film, I was going in ignorant to the story, and the characters and the world. I was going into as a movie fan, and was viewing it solely as a movie.

As a movie, it is a failure.

To read the full, spoiler filled review, hit the jump.

20 Apr 2012

Annnd... Disney/Marvel Crosses The Line

I take it back. I take it all back. It's not a good thing to have clips for the Avengers released minute by minute in the weeks leading up to the release, because what they are releasing is fantastic, and I want to see this stuff in context. Release the quiet moments, of characters having internal conflict, of introspection. I loved that first Coulson/Widow scene. It had interaction, a little action, but wasn't a big thing, and didn't give away the farm. These are the goods, man. You keep this stuff under wraps, and wait until the punters have shilled out for the ticket. Trust me, the Avengers doesn't need to be sold this hard. It isn't... man, I had something for this. Something... crap. Dammit.

I haven't watched these clips, and won't, but that doesn't mean I should keep them to myself. Hit the jump to see Nick fury and Loki have a chat.

[Graphic] - Calvin and Hobbes Makes Everything Better, And Everything Makes Calvin and Hobbes Better too

No Infringement Intended. Please Don't Sue.
I've posted about Calvin and Hobbes before. It was immensely important to me back when it was running new in the papers, and remains one of the pieces of fiction that had the greatest effect on me and the direction of my life. It was the inspiration for my wanting to become a cartoonist back in the day. That was, of course, before I discovered I had zero ability to draw. I mean none. The only thing I ever drew well enough to keep was, in fact, a picture of Calvin and Hobbes. So, whenever the internet uses it's powers for good instead of evil, I pause and reflect.

ComicsAlliance has put together a great collection of mashups, my favourites of which I've posted after the jump. One in particular inspired me to make a Calvin and Hobbes mashup of my own, which I have posted above. And yes, before you say anything, I know Wash used a Stegosaurus. But I had to work with what I had.

I suggest you hit the jump to see what others have done, and check out ComicsAlliance for the rest.

Raptors. They'll Eat You, Man. They'll Eat All Of You.

So, part of me wonders if the 'trailer' above is for an actual film, and not just a wonderful joke/satire/internet obsession with raptors. I know that if it is real, I'll probably never see it, but I'd be a damned liar if I said I had never thought about making a movie where a pack of raptors hunts down survivours of plane crash.

Or, the 1992 Yankees.

Or, my graduating class in middle school.

Or.. hell, anyone really.

Part of me really want the movie to end with the raptor picking up the radio and responding in the Australian girl's voice. Like how Alien was meant to end.

Via Pajiba.

[List] - How to Survive In Harlan County, Brought To You In Pictures, By Justified Season 3

Why does Justified exist? Is it to be the most relentlessly entertaining show on television? Is it to feature some of the very best writing and acting television in, oh, the last ten years? Is it to showcase a variety of very nice hats? All of these are possible. But I have a theory.

I believe it serves as a warning. To all the would be carpetbaggers, mob flunckies, and shit-kicker criminals out there, looking to make their fortune. That in the hills of eastern Kentucky, there is a county called Harlan, and that if you go to there, and intend to do harm, as the song says, "You'll never leave Harlan alive."

As Justified leaves our sceens for the third time, and we must now suffer the long draught before next season, we can look back, and reflect on the lessons taught to us by the show, and come out the other end, not better people, but breathing.

Hit the jump for, in no particular order, how to survive in Harlan county. Assume spoliers.

19 Apr 2012

If There Are Marvel Apes, and Marvel Zombies, Why Can't We Have Jurassic Marvel?

Terryl Whitlatch designed Jar Jar Binks for Episode I.

I guess, in an effort to redeem himself for his part in that horrible thing, he has recreated the Avengers as Dinosaurs. Go I really have to go any further than that? No, good. Because this is awesome.

Hit the jump to see Iron Man, Hulk and Thor. Cap only got the top spot because Parasaurolophus is hands down my favourite dinosaur, and doesn't get enough love.

All The Anything You'll Need Today

In reality, I know that this picture - this wonderful, wonderful picture - was taken on the set of Stand Up Guys, a movie where Al Pacino and Christopher Walken play aging con men.

But none of that matters, because I submit this picture as one of the greatest ever taken, of anything, ever. Give it the Nobel, the Pulitzer, and the Latin Grammy - pictures can win those, right? It's a masterpiece, the photographer needing to be regarded in the same breath as Michelangelo or Van Gogh. Grad students will be able to analyse the hidden messages and meanings and depths of this work from now until time in memorial.

I finally understand beauty, for this is surely it.
Via FilmDrunk.

Twenty Years Later, I Don't See Anyone Doing Any Better, Do You?

My love of dinosaurs is well documented, and in at least one jurisdiction, kept in the official record. My love of Jurassic Park is also well documented. So, it should come as no shock that seven of the best minutes I spent this week were spent watching this footage of Señor Spielbergo directing the hell out of that movie. If it does come as a shock to you, I suggest you sit down, breathe deeply, and try to calm down. I think you're a might bit too excitable, if this has given you the shakes. Really, maybe you should see someone about that.

Via The Mary Sue.

[Review] - Eureka Season 5, Episode 1 - "Lost"

Photo courtesy of NBCUniversal

Eureka has always been a different sort of show. Like it's sister series, Warehouse 13, it's always been at the more lighthearted end of the drama spectrum. It could be compared to Fringe, in that both shows involve the wayward effects of technological advancement, though unlike Fringe, Eureka has clung to the tenuous claim that it is based on 'real science'. Having an adviser on set doesn't make that science works that way.

However, after a shaky first season, and a growth period, the last two (or four actually, since Syfy insists on sticking with this .5 nonsense) seasons have seen the show grow into something special. It built up it's characters, refined it's arc structure, clarified it's goals, and continues to surprise and entertain.

And now that all comes to an end. Hit the jump to read the spoiler-replesent review.

18 Apr 2012


So, here is Michael Fassbender in a new promotional ad for Prometheus, still the movie I'm looking forward to the most this summer, but after Cabin in the Woods, it's really going to have to bring it's game. It, apparently, decided the game it would bring would be freaking me all the hell out.

For those who missed the first time, hit the jump to see the equally chilling Guy Pierce TEDTalk in character.

Today Has Been One Of Those Interesting Days You're Always Read About

Umm... I got nothing. Kudos to you sir. Kudos...

I'd say the only thing stranger then a man dressed in a TARDIS suit would be seeing Kermit the Frog hang out with Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg at a baseball game. But that's craz..sway what now?

Well played, internet. Well played.

Can I say, the look on Bloomberg's face is priceless. He looks like he's just realised the guy sitting next to him on the bus has been becoming inappropriately familiar with himself while looking at a  picture of Bea Arthur putting a raptor in a headloc... really?


Via The Mary Sue, and again. Also, TopatoCo.

Hoverboat Will Be Making Another Run, Promises Something For Everyone

It's actually an optical illusion, but it does bring up an interesting point: it is currently 2012. Universe, you have three years to conform to all the technologies presented in Back to the Future Part II. Consider yourself officially on notice.

Via Geekologie.

[Review] - Game of Thrones Season 2, Episode 3, "What Is Dead Can Never Die"

Photo courtesy of HBO

"It's all a game to you," says Catelyn Stark in this week's instalment. "These are the knights of summer, and winter is coming." And with that, something I've suspected since last week was verified, and I think I love this show a little more for it. But before we get to that, we get even more new characters, with actual, proper introductions (Names! Titles! Motivations!), plenty of bloodshed, and a long story that ends with an axe to the head.

Hit the jump to read the spoilery review of episode 3.

17 Apr 2012

Joss Whedon, I Love You

Dear Joss,

Thank you for being friends with awesome people with great senses of humour, even though you didn't give Nathan Fillion an actual role in The Avengers (that we know of, come on random cameo), but it's obviously because of you that this promo exists. For Christmas I would like more. Of this. Just this.

Thank you.

Fictionally Yours,

Everyone Else.

Children Continue To Be Awesome, Still Wouldn't Want To Spend Any Time With One

Children are all impressionists. In those early days, when the world is still uncharted and every concept is new, children are able to bring to life ideas that never occur to most adults. Such is the goal of the Space Foundation Student Art Contest, a contest open to pre-kindergarten through high school students, which challenges them to create an image that represents a theme. The 2012 theme, 'Space is Infinite - Explore', has produced it's winners, from the US, Turkey and Pakistan.

To see all the winners, hit the jump.

How To Humble The Ego In 6 Minutes

Most astronomers would probably agree, the biggest challenge in getting the general public interested in space is the constant threat of space whales immensity of scale. My words are insufficient, so I'll let someone far better then I explain:
Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.
Thank you, Douglas.

Via Geekologie

Can Someone Buy Dubai A Globe. I Think They're Strapped For Cash

So, remember when Dubai started trucking in huge amounts of sand because they wanted to build an island chain  in the shape of the world, of the coast? Because when you have that much money, eventually you get bored watching robots fight pumas, and come up with truly stupid ideas? Well, let this be proof, just because you have enough money doesn't make everything a good idea.

I mean, clearly, the designer has only had ancillary glances at a map of the world before now. Because I think I would remember Cthulu's tendon molesting that much of Canada and the north western US. I mean, that would have been on the news, right?


Via Geekologie

Children Are Smarter Then You, Will One Day Put You In A Home

Here is a video of a 3 year old singing the periodic table of elements. Sure, she doesn't do it well, but it's better then your child can recite the chemical elements. I think it's early proof that, one day, she'll either save the world... or doom it. Or, you know, eat sand.

Really, I like this video because it gives me an excuse (like I need one) to post the video of that little girl giving the toymaker shit or saying Triceratops on the box, with a picture that is clearly Styracosaurus. Idiots.

Hit the jump.

16 Apr 2012

Avengers Wallpapers Bring The Heroes Close To You

How did I miss these? I mean, I'm not usually into wallpapers and stuff because I'm not a 13 year old girl, but you better believe that Coulson now fills my desktop.

And how hilarious that these are from the Wyndham hotel chain, because of their completely organic marketing agreement with the film.

Hit the jump to see the rest, including what is either Scarlett Johansson's oddly shaped face when you get the close to it, or some bad photoshop, and half of Maria Hill still not looking very happy. In fact, no one looks happy. Except Iron Man. I bet under the mask, he's giving us a smirk.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Travels Through Time

Time travel is my favourite plot device. You say to me, "Hey, why's your hair part like that?" And I'll reply, "Cause of a childhood injury, jackass. Why's your face... like... your mom," and run away because I don't like confrontation. But if you say to me that a movie will have time travel in it, I'll be there faster then a capacitor can flux.

Except, I'm really divided on Bruce Willis. The man comes out with some pretty good stuff, which is balanced with a wide variety of truly terrible crap. He's like a rational Nic Cage.

Plus, it seems Looper here, might be really big on itself, and I can't help but cringe whenever sci-fi gets high concept, but decides that also means it's high class. It often doesn't end well.

This Is Why We're All Doomed

Who misses a bear? Honestly? I mean, I get that you were texting Brad about that really gnarly tweet you just posted about Pilar's facebook wall shoe octagon mandible glockenspiel IT'S A BEAR! LOOK UP FROM YOUR PHONE, OR YOU DESERVE TO GET ATE!

Via Geekologie.

[Review] - Cabin In The Woods, "Have You Ever Even Seen A Moose?"

The only movie I can think to compare Cabin in the Woods, a tour de force by writers Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, is Alfred Hitchock's Psycho. Like that film, Cabin upends both convention and expectation by delighting in, and subverting, the standard cliches of the genre. And, like Psycho, it has so many twists (but not in a Shyamalan, sort of way; in a way that makes sense), in beginning, middle and end, that it is a movie that needs to be watched unspoiled, which in the modern environment, won't last very long.

I mean ever word of the next sentence as literally as possible: you must see this movie. Movie, because this isn't a film that is trying to win awards, or change the world; see, because this is a movie that cannot be enjoyed by reading the wikipedia description; and must, because it may well be the first truly great movie of 2012. Which is, of course, a lie. It is one of the great films of 2009, but I'm much happier to have it late then not at all.

To read the spoiler free review, hit the jump.

13 Apr 2012

"I Know That Voice" Might Make My Year


Right off the bat, I love love cartoons. I freely admit it is my favourite medium. It is not a genre, let us be perfectly clear. Pixar has proven that. Cartoons can be dramas, comedies, sci-fi, any of the conventional genres of literature. Animation is a medium film makers can use to tell the story. They are not meant for children, they are not a juvenile format, no more than live action is an adult format, despite what Disney has made us believe. I honestly believe that through animation, more amazing things can be realized in film and television then could ever be attempted in live action, that the scope and range and depth of stories can be expanded to levels that live action is simply incapable of achieving. Want proof? See any movie. Chances are, if it's been made since 1999, it has some, if not quiet a bit, of CGI. Which is just animation, rendered by computers instead of by hand. And what has it done? Expanded what is possible to show in a movie to what would have been considered impossible as recently as 1990.

You know what I don't like? Hollywood actors doing voice work. Disney started it in the eighties, when their movies started bringing in less at the box office, so they started hiring big name stars to draw some attention. Problem is, they aren't trained in the medium. They are trained (if at all) to act with their bodies, to react with their co-stars, and their surroundings. In animation, they have to do all of that, with just their voice. Want a comparison? Look at Pixar compared to Sony. Pixar is capable of coaxing truly great performances out of actors that don't spend a lot of time in front of the microphone. Sony, whose animated movies are generally subpar to begin with, are not. What it does is distract and take away from the voice actors who deserve our praise.

So, the above trailer is for a documentary about those voices that we all know, but wouldn't know the actors if they came up and punched us in the neck. The official description is thus:
A documentary on the mysterious world of “Voice Over & Voice Acting.” We have collected the top voice actors, voice directors, casting voice directors, creators, agents, producers, engineers, mixers, voice teachers, voice school and all those involved in the booming voice-over industry. This is a must see documentary for anyone that wants to know what goes on behind the scenes in your favourite cartoons, animations, and anything to do with voice acting. This is the first trailer, as we are still in production on this obtaining more quality interviews for our fans and supporters.
I cannot wait for this film. I have undying respect and admiration for these people, for their ability to change their voices, to make seemingly infinite variations on something as finite as a person's voice. I like that video games seem to be of particular focus in the film, as any one you play is filled with with these people. They are literally the ultimate character actors.

Plus, Kevin Conroy is undeniably the greatest Batman.

Eventually, I Will Stop Posting Avengers Stuff. Today Is Not That Day

Anyone else get the impression we'll have a new piece of Avengers footage everyday from now until the release? Is anyone else as OK with that as I am.

I have to say, I really like these short 'character moments' they've been releasing. First Coulson/Widow, then the Fury/Hill clip from Letterman the other night, now Loki/Stark and some Thor. Even money says the next one will be Banner/Hulk.

The video up top is the full version of the head count scene that was included last week in a TV spot, and is much more subdued in the actual film. Tony also name checks the Avengers twice, and, despite the fact Loki is carrying a literal big stick, Tony looks like he could take him.

Am I wrong in thinking these scenes with Loki will be the film's best? I don't think I am.

To see the Thor focused TV spot, hit the jump.

Watch Cost of Living, Understand You're Not As Good As This

Have ten spare minutes? Do yourself a favour, and watch Cost of Living. It stars Brandon Routh, who is better then nearly everything he's been in, and Bret Harrison, who I loved in Reaper, which deserved better then it got (by which I mean it deserved a third season rather than being cancelled).

It's ten minutes of fun, and if it weren't for the fact that short films rarely make good feature length films, I'd watch the hell out of an expansion to this universe.

[List] - 15 Completely Pointless DC Comics Movie Casting Suggestions

Who could wear the boob window?

So, this jewel of a quote has appeared from the aether.

According to "Wrath of the Titans" screenwriter Dan Mazeau, who also wrote a draft for the planned "Flash" adaptation, Warner Bros is still very interested in giving the various Justice League characters their own movies. "I think Warner Bros. is finalizing their strategy of how they want to roll out their DC superheroes, and obviously they've got Batman in an incredibly great place, and Green Lantern, I think, performed okay," Mazeau said in an interview with Blastr. "I think they probably would have liked it to have done better, but yeah, there is still a whole lot of excitement for the DC universe, and I know The Flash is very high on the list." 

I've got a couple of things I want to say about this. First, is the Wrath of the Titans guy the fellow we really want putting together a Flash movie. Is he really the guy we want to putting together our IKEA furniture?

Second, "Green Lantern, I think, performed okay" is the most politically correct way of saying "Green Lantern sucked ass, but we kind of put all our eggs in one basket, so we're just going to role with it for now, cause we got nothing else. Seriously, Man of Steel is going to suck, and Nolan is leaving Batman and we can't get our crap together long enough to go to the bathroom, let alone make a decent, successful movie." Or, you know, something like that.

Third, and I actually have a third this time, is Flash actually really high on the list of movies that fans want? Because no one I know is clamouring to see a Flash movie. No one I know was clamouring for a Green Lantern movie, or another Superman movie where he fights Zod, but those got made, so maybe I'm wrong.

But because of this statement, and because I've had a little too much time on my hands, I thought we run through some completely uncalled for, possible casting choices for DC properties.

Hit the jump to see the list.

12 Apr 2012

PAC-MAN Fan Film Is Certainly... Something

I always figured that if they made a PAC-MAN movie, it would be about a morbidly obese man on an all fruit diet being terrorized by ghosts. Or, Ghostbusters III.

Either way, in the current climate of every popular property out there getting a porn parody, people have to be careful throwing around lines like "He prefers cherries." No one wants to see that.

Robot Ball Will Kill Us All, Unless We Develop Some Sort of Net And Stick Tecnology ASAP

Seriously, I don't know if I want one as a pet, or to kill it before it kills us. That thing it does to to the child at the end, I've seen lizards do on the National Geographic Channel, and at one point I thought it was going to enter helicopter mode, and then we'd be completely screwed.

I want it known I distrusted this thing from the start. Because it's only a short distance between it, and this:

Photo courtesy of LucasFilm.

And to our new robotic overlords, scanning the interent archives in search of past insurrectionable comments, do not take this personally. I distrust everyone, especially the Fleshy Ones. I, for one, love your new, more heavily lasered forms, and would prove as such to you every recharging phase, as a house ape, or trusted lacky.

Via Geekologie.

First Five Minutes Of Lockout

I am more than willing to watch any movie where a guy gets pummelled with a toilet seat, but let's be honest folks, if Lockout, a movie I didn't known existed until a couple of days ago, had been made twenty, twenty five years ago, it would have starred Jean Claude Van Damme. It's loud, excessive, and clearly thinks more of itself then it deserves. It's a B-Movie, complete with cartoon physics, wrapped up in a A-Movie budget.

I've never been blown out of the water by Guy Pearce. He was good in The King's Speech, and I'm looking forward to any amount of time he gets in Prometheus, though that might just be about how much I'm looking forward to Prometheus in general. Pearce is middle of the pack, not terrible, but not fantastic. He is pretty funny in the opening moments of this clip though, but is immediately superseded by Peter Stormare, who is always the best thing of whatever he's involved with (I'm looking long and hard at you, Constantine).

I guess, in short, I've got nothing. Huh.

Abed on Cougar Town, Author Misses The Bandwagon

About a year ago, Community did a fantastic homage to the Wallace Shawn film My Dinner With Andre. It is one of the best episodes the show has done, and that's not a short list. In it, Abed describes his winning a walk-on role on the ABC show Cougar Town. How he created a complex back story for the character he was playing, and was so overwhelmed, that he pooped himself.

I don't watch Cougar Town. Bill Lawrence is a very funny man, and I have enjoyed Spin City, Scrubs, and Clone High in the past. But no force on this, or any other earth, will force me to watch Courtney Cox for any amount of time. And because of this, I did not see this scene that actually appeared in the season finale of Cougar Town last May. But now, thanks to my ability to endlessly wikiwalk my way through the suggested links at the ends of YouTube videos, I fully understand how great Community truly is. Like Old Spice, it cannot be contained within itself, it is spilling not only into other shows, but into other shows on other networks.

It truly is streets ahead, yo.

11 Apr 2012

Where The Hell Is My Mammoth, Science?

Photo courtesy of the BBC

When I first saw this picture, my first thought was "What the hell happened to ALF? All he wanted was a cat now and then. Was that so hard? Was that so hard?" Then I read the article and discovered that ALF didn't die alone on the streets, hunted by government agents, selling himself in exchange for loose change. It is actually a mammoth.

The remarkably well preserved corpse, named Yuka, was found in Siberia. Researchers are concentrating on the facts that the two and half year old animal appears to have been seriously wounded by a lion or other large cat, but was finished by primitive man, or so the wounds would suggest.

What I'm concentrating on is this:
But much of Yuka's soft tissue as well as its woolly coat has remained intact, well-preserved in its icy tomb for possibly more than 10,000 years.
More then ten years ago, science said that within a decade, they would have taken woolly mammoth DNA, which they had, and cross it with modern elephants, and over several generations, we would have mammoths again. They promised me mammoths, and yet, here we are, with no mammoths. Now, here we have Yuka, with plenty of soft tissue. Certainly, we should be able to get some of that delicious DNA from that tender frozen tissue. So, are there any more problems, science? Any more delays?

Where is my mammoth, science? You promised. I thought you were a discipline of your word. What the hell, man?


Via the BBC.

How Game Of Thrones Season 1 Should Have Ended

Do you know why this could never have happened? Do you know why? Because Sansa Stark is the dumbest, most naive, unintentionally ironic, empty headed, spineless, gutless, feckless dumbass in the Seven Kingdoms, who needed her father beheaded in front of her to kick her in the ass, and she still wouldn't have the cojones to actually do anything other than just sit there and brood! Hallelujah!

Holy shit... where's the Tylenol?

PS, GoT has been renewed for a third season, to the surprise of absolutely no one.

Via Topless Robot.

Maria Hill Speaks, And Iron Man 3 Gets A Baddie

Cobie Smulders appeared on Letterman last night and brought with her a clip of the Avengers. A clip where her character Maria Hill, the only character not to get a big piece of the Disney PR pie, appears. A clip where her character, Maria Hill, speaks. Speaks to Nick Fury, and kind of chews him out concerning a Macguffin of some kind.

I'm not going to lie, Samuel L. Jackson owns this scene, and the presumption has to be that they share most of her screen time. But it's Joss Whedon, and he does semi-insubordinate banter better then damned near anyone, and likes him some strong female characters, so I'm not too worried about Smulders getting the damp, sticky end of the Avengers stick. Though Black Widow is definitely going to be the Buffy/River. She just is.

In only vaguely related news, Academy Award winner Sir Ben Kingsley has been cast as the primary villain in Iron Man 3, a role that is NOT the Mandarin, despite him being a pretty damned good choice for a Mandarin if the Mandarin were a vaguely Middle Eastern leader of a far reaching terrorist organization instead of a vaguely racist Asian character using magic alien rings he stole off a corpse, and the Mandarin is the only major Iron Man villain who hasn't appeared in one of the films yet and yeah, I'm guessing he'll be playing the Mandarin in all but name only. And I'm OK with that.

By the way, I am aware of the Marvel has announced they are making an animated movie with Disney, because of course they are. They'd be stupid not to. But until we have anything other than the guy who directed the last Winnie the Pooh movie is making it, you know, like a title, or character, or anything, I'm not reporting on it. Except for this. Right here. Now.

Via Topless Robot and /Film.

The Muppet Show: A Fusion Of Creative Juices

A long time ago, Jim Henson actually had to convince people that the Muppets was a good idea. I know, right? Seems crazy. But it's true, and to prove this fact, watch the pitch Henson put together to convince CBS to buy the Muppets. It's perfect Henson, starting out innocent and sweet, and quickly devolving into madness, possibly because of the freaky, long haired, dirty, cynical, hippies.

A show that will be loved and adored indeed.

10 Apr 2012

Google Glasses Will Augment Your World, Walk You Into On Coming Traffic

This is a demo video of Google's proposed heads up display, basically Geordie's Star Trek visor, only in no way useful. Really, watch the video. First off, they won't function like that. They just won't. You'll be standing in the middle of street, screaming at your glasses because they won't tell you where Mark is.

Second, the human eye can only focus on one thing at a time. Even the video shows this. Things in the background go fuzzy when concentrating on the foreground. You want to see what walking, or driving, would be like while wearing these things. Next time you're driving, focus on the top of the steering wheel, but keep watching the road. Please, do this while parked, otherwise you will smack into the back of that Mazda in front of you, and neither the police nor he will not accept "I was seeing what Google glasses would be like" as an excuse.

So, Google glasses will ruin your social graces, lead you into physical harm, and make you near sighted. Plus, if this is controlled through a combination of voice command and pupil/eye lid movement, the heads up display will constantly be blinking on an off as you scan the streets, and having conversations, half of which will be texted to your boss, your nephew, and mistress. Whom your wife will find out about because the glasses will forward her directions to your off the highway rendezvous.

In short, Google glasses, or Gooses as I will now call them forever, will ruin your life. You'll be left a sullen, bitter shell of your former self, alone, and unable to read street signs until it is too late, and still unable to know exactly where Mark is, in relation to you.

Via Geekologie.

Who ... Are YOU ... Going ... To Call?

OK, Spock is Egon, Bones is Winston, Scotty is Ray, Kirk is Venkman, Uhura is Dana (because she's 'the girl'), Chechov is Lewis, Yeoman Rand is Janice, and why internet, has no one ever thought of this before?

I am so disappointment at you.

Via Topless Robot.

The Avengers Might Just Be Great. And By 'Might' I Mean I Just Uncleaned My Pants

Remember how HBO spent the last two months putting out trailer after trailer for Game of Thrones, each basically the same, but edited together in new and exciting ways, each time raising our collective need to see the new episodes like a meth addict being drip fed the blue stuff until we scratched threw our arms because the insides of our veins were itchy.

Well good news everyone, because it looks like The Avengers, which opens in an agonizing three weeks, has opted to take the same tact. Except each new trailer for this film does actually contain new footage, including the first American shot the helicarrier lifting off, and an exchange between Hulk and Captain America that only Joss Whedon could put in a movie and not have it come off as narmy. It was so awesome, it somehow pushed me back in time, where I had this actual exchange with my younger self.

Self: Holy crap, you are not going to believe what happens in 2012.
PastSelf: AGHGHGHHH who are you? Get out of my room! AGHGHG
Self: Shut up, I'm you from the future. I just watched a trailer for a movie that was so cool it pushed me back through time.
PastSelf: What the hell is that on your face. Is that meant to be a beard. Can't you grow a real one, like Cmdr. Riker?
Self: Hey, the beard is fine. The moustache could use some depth... but big picture here, pay attention.
PastSelf: Jesus, we didn't get very tall, did we. And we're still fat, well thanks for that.
Self: We're not fat. We're hefty. We winter well.
PastSelf: Did you... did you steal a line from a stand up comedian and try to pass it off as being clever in the past?
Self: Shut up. You're not paying attention. This movie, you won't believe it. They actually made an Avengers film.
PastSelf: The British spies?
Self: What? No. Well, yes. Sean Connery...
PastSelf: Ooh, love Sean Connery. 'We named the dog Indiana.' Hahaha.
Self: What? No, he dresses up as a bear.
PastSelf: Awesome.
Self: No, not a real bear, like a grizzly. Like a gummy bear. Look, forget that, it was horrid. The Avengers, like from the comics. You know, Iron Man, Captain America. Those guys.
PastSelf: Eh, I'm not really into comics.
Self: What? (Surveys room, sees large concentrations of Star Trek memorabilia, remembers comics came after, is disappointment at self). It doesn't matter, it was still really cool. Captain America turns to Hulk and says [SPOILERS], and I was all 'Ahaha, that's great', and found myself here.
PastSelf: Yeah, that sounds great. Is Spider-man in it?
Self: No, he has his own films.
PastSelf: What about Wolverine?
Self: No... his movies are largely crap.
PastSelf: What about Batman?
Self: He's not even Marvel. Jesus, how dumb are you?
PastSelf: You realize you just called yourself dumb, right?
Self: You realize you're an annoying little shit, right? You don't even realize how awesome this movie is going to be. It's directed by Joss Whedon.
PastSelf: Who the hell is Joss Whedon?

I expect the blind rage somehow snapped the temporal connection, slingshotting me back to the present. Let this be a lesson to you all: never go back in time and have conversations with your younger self. It will only result in possible paradoxes after your murder the the little bugger.

[Review] - Game Of Thrones Season 2, Episode 2 "The Night Lands"

Photo courtesy of HBO

"Sometimes those with the most power have the least grace," Littlefinger informs us, in this second episode of season two, and as a thesis statement for the episode, it works pretty well. Littlefinger himself, of course, immediately proves the exception to the rule, as he very calmly and politely explains to Roz (the Fairest Prostitute in all the land), that if she doesn't shape up, he'll sell her to Eastern European businessmen. I doubt that a pimp has ever delivered such a delicate threat.

Luckily for the viewers, most everyone else in Westeros is about as graceful as a tightrope walker going through withdrawal, and we get more than enough examples that illustrate Littlefinger's point. Thoughout the episode, we are shown in no uncertain terms, that the dominate characters in each instance, are ruthless and uncouth in their own way. That, and season two settles into more of a season one rhythm, and we get to explore a little more of this world. But is it at the expense of other characters.

To read the spoiler ridden review, hit the jump.

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