JJ Abrams Shows off the Millennium Falcon...With a Twist

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies
Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 12:37 pm


We've seen spy pictures, but here's some up-close video of the new Falcon...including an easter egg that will likely not be in the final film, but it is part of an elaborate in-joke...

GIVEAWAY: Tusk Swag Signed by Kevin Smith and Friends

By Luke Y. Thompson in Merchandise, Movies
Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 11:30 am


Put away the eggs, because with this latest opportunity, you are (potentially) the walrus. So let us talk of other things. Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, and cabbages and kings...none of which you'll be winning from me. What you can take home, however, is a grand prize package of: a Tusk poster signed by Kevin Smith, Genesis Rodriguez and Justin Long; a metal Tusk grinder, which can potentially be used to, let's say, crush larger pieces of dried plant into smaller pieces, should you have a reason for doing so; and an "I don't want to die in Canada" T-shirt. [Sorry, I tried - but this swag ships to US addresses only.]

Five runners up will get a T-shirt and a plastic Tusk grinder. To enter, here's what you do...

Meet Scotsman, the Scottish Superhero Who Wears Pants and Underwear

By Luke Y. Thompson in Comics
Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 10:00 am


Granted, he's doing us all a favor by not flying above our heads with a kilt and no underwear beneath. But wearing the family tartan as a cape, "thistle missiles" or no, seems a bit non-traditional for such an apparent patriot, no?

[Eco Comics] has yet to reveal whether the Scottish hero will star in his own comic book or appear in its recently launched series, Englishman.

Whether Scotsman will be an ally or enemy of Englishman has also yet to be determined.

The publisher says: "Is Scotsman on the Yes or No side of the referendum? No to independence will certainly make him an ally of Englishman, but will Yes result in him being ally or enemy?"

The blog will also offer glimpses into Scotsman's costume design, powers, and friends on foes.

"We don't want to let the wildcat out of the bag, but it is clear that this hero truly embodies Scotland. Even his supporting cast will include world-famous Scottish legends, many appearing in comic book form for the first time.

"Whatever the outcome of the referendum, Scotsman will certainly be taken to heart by the public he protects, as the Scottish are clearly proud of their country and heritage.

"Poor Englishman on the other hand has to face 'England' being branded a dirty word and even his Prime Minister labelling Britain a 'country'. Maybe this new Scottish super hero represents a lesson to be learnt during this historic juncture."

The lesson being that superhero fans will buy anything with their flag on it? Hell, y'all are amateurs in that department. But at least you have somebody other than Shrek now.

Ask Luke's Mother-in-Law: How Realistic Is Battlefield Hardline?

Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 8:00 am


Martha Boyd is not just Luke's mother-in-law - she's also an ex-cop, a landlord, a self-described crazy cat lady, a major Star Trek geek and the widow of a green beret. So go ahead: ask her anything. And we mean anything. Just be polite when you do.

Happy Thursday all. Hope you have all had a great week so far and are looking forward to the weekend; I know I am. Last week I posted about the new nail polish I tried, and one comment was I should have done the Vulcan salute. So here it is. As you can see the polish did not last 2 weeks, as advertised - it was really great for about a week and then started to fall apart between last week and this week's rants. But it did last longer than any other polish that I have ever tried. So I would buy it again.

9 Less-Hyped Films to Look for From Fantastic Fest 2014

By Luke Y. Thompson in Daily Lists, Movies
Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 6:00 am


Fantastic Fest, which kicks off today for a week in Austin, Texas, is arguably the most nerd-centric film festival in the U.S., and certainly the most blogged about, in large part thanks to a free arcade of new indie games, the coolest karaoke rooms in the world (including a Twin Peaks-themed red room), an aggressive outreach by uber-film geeks Harry Knowles and Drafthouse's Tim League, and even debates that end in boxing matches...usually by dorks with no idea how to actually fight, which is part of the appeal.

The movies themselves range from upcoming sci-fi flicks you want to see, to weird-ass shit you never knew you needed, most of it falling under sci-fi, fantasy, action/martial-arts, horror or crime drama (the crime drama thing is weird, and generally my least favorite part, but there it is). Tusk will be playing there. The ABCs of Death 2 will playing there. Keanu Reeves' new action movie is there. I'm here to focus on stuff you don't know as much about yet; stuff you can bet will make up most of Magnet releasing and Drafthouse's slate for next year.

Here are 9 picks besides the obvious...

Fast Food Review: Little Caesars Pretzel Crust Pepperoni Pizza

By Luke Y. Thompson in Food & Drink
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 4:00 pm


Pretzel: 1. a crisp, dry biscuit, usually in the form of a knot or stick, salted on the outside.

2. a larger version of this, made of soft, chewy bread dough.

In other words, terms like "pretzel bun" and "pretzel crust" are utterly meaningless. It's just that "browned and salted" doesn't have the same hook. And in some cases, it's not even browned.

But let's back up...

I'm Surprised It Took This Long for Someone to Make Sailor Poon

By Luke Y. Thompson in Anime, Cartoons
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 2:30 pm


Wood Rocket need to pace themselves, or they're going to burn through every nerd porn parody idea super-quickly. In a new behind-the-scenes video from their upcoming take on Sailor Moon, we get to see adult actresses flubbing nerdy lines, Sailor Moon asking if there's cum in her nose, and the complicated logistics of how to film Sailor Mars getting a guy off.

It is, perhaps needless to say, entirely NSFW and not to be viewed by anyone under 18. But if I know my readership, you'll probably find it either pretty funny or childhood-ruining.

Video From Furry Migration, This Past Weekend's Furry Con in Minneapolis

By Luke Y. Thompson in Nerdery, Puppets
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Todd Wardrope/City Pages

One of the reasons Topless Robot exists is because it fills a niche not always covered by our various sister publications in the Voice Media chain. But sometimes, just sometimes, we like to think we've inspired them.

Not necessarily to be better people, mind you. Just inspired. And we couldn't be prouder of Tatiana Craine and Todd Wardrope over at our Minneapolis sibling-site City Pages - they covered the Furry Migration convention like champs. I never before realized that there were "spiritual aspects" to Furries.

Take a look...if you dare...

NERDRANTS: Julia Hates The Sims 4, and Here's Why...

By Luke Y. Thompson in Video Games
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 11:30 am


When a video game so utterly ruins your wife's day - what can you do but let her voice the scathing review that's bubbling under the surface? If you're a fan of The Sims games, whether it's to the degree she is or lesser, you might want to hear this.

Tags: EA, Nerdrants, Sims

EXCLUSIVE: A Chaotic Conversation With Terry Gilliam

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 10:00 am


Terry Gilliam is a man often surrounded by chaos, from the zaniness of the other Monty Pythons he made a name for himself with, to the battle for control of Brazil and the string of bad luck that derailed his The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. So it shouldn't have come as a surprise when my interview with him ended up containing some odd mishaps, as my phone call crossed with another call and his publicist lost track of which interviewer was on the line.

In a normal interview, I'd tend to edit such glitches out of the final transcript, but this was no normal interview - Gilliam embraced the chaos of the moment, acknowledging the confusion and riffing on it to a point where our conversation would probably read very strangely without it. Ostensibly, we're talking about his latest film The Zero Theorem, with Christoph Waltz playing an ex-office drone working out of his home trying to make the universe's ultimate equation even out. Speaking as one who also works at home and rarely steps outside except for errands, I can report that in a metaphorical sense, the director absolutely nails the weirdness of fully interacting with the world while staying shut away from it at the same time.