As this image of Ned Flanders being violently gunned down ought to let you know, this is know cheap editing trickery - the folks who made this Simpsons-Akira combo worked hard to make it right. What began as a series of online comics and continued as a larger fan project has become a trailer for a movie that, commercially, can never be - but would inevitably be better than any of the American remakes ever proposed.
Admit it - it's blasphemous, but not in a bad way.
When asked, director Josh Trank has said that his take on the Fantastic Four in the upcoming movie is based on the notion of "body horror." So it makes total sense that the promotional tie-ins would feature food items likely to induce fear in the casual, non-American diner - not just fear of indigestion, but fear of Mass Waistline Destruction.
That's not some stage direction. That's a command I gave the food on Denny's menu once I saw it. ENTER ME! Also, some of you asked me to try it so you could satisfy both your curiosity and your cardiologist by living vicariously. It's belly clobberin' time!
Anime Expo settled into its annual home, Los Angeles Convention Center, over Fourth of July weekend, bringing in Japanese pop culture fanatics from far beyond Southern California for four days of nerdery. I have attended every AX since 2008, which isn't that long considering that the mega-con will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year. However, I've attended enough times to learn to never have any expectations about the event.
Liz Ohanesian Los Angeles Convention Center's South Hall before the Exhibit Hall opened.
Anime Expo is constantly evolving, both as trends in anime shift and as new generations of fans enter the convention world. When I started attending the convention, the love for series like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Ouran High School Host Club were strong. In the years that followed, that love has shifted over and over again. I'm not quite sure what was the hit anime this year, although there seemed to be a lot of fans of Tokyo Ghoul roaming the halls. I can't keep up with the anime crowd. Heck, I didn't know what "shipping" meant until earlier this year and I'm still not sure why the kids are so into pastel alpacas.
Still, some things will stay the same. There will always be a point where the crowd and heat become too much handle and a point where you're overjoyed with everything you've seen and heard. Here's my round-up of the weekend.
The contest was to come up with a porn parody title based on a video game. As it was Bryce's idea, I let him decide the winner.
Honorable mentions are:
Jim Dandeneau - John Madden Foot Fetish 1996
Ryan Marsh - Two Girls One Cuphead
Nigel Crandall - Womb Raider
Steve Sulewski - Golden Brown Eye
Your winner is...
TR Contributor Bryce Abood will be joining me on the next podcast to discuss Joss Whedon's original script for Alien Resurrection, as we try to answer the age-old question of whether or not he bears the blame for how things turned out. Additionally, we look ahead to Comic-Con, the TR coverage of same, and what has changed in my 15 years of covering it.
If you have questions about any of this - or any random things you want to ask me and Bryce - put them in comments below. We're recording tomorrow night.
We're gonna milk this kitten thing until we can't, because Internet.
The Power Up Premium Box, which you see in the video, is $29.95 per month. A Deluxe Box with less items (but still including the T-shirt) is $19.95 per month. Both strike me as solid deals. Use coupon code (ToplessRobot) to get 10% off your first box.
Ah, San Diego Comic Con. Not only do you have to vie against hordes of other fans to get into panels and get autographs, but they'll also be competing against you for limited edition convention exclusives. Companies keep announcing new exclusives daily right up until the show opens, and keeping track of which booth has which exclusives is almost as big a headache as strategizing the programming schedule. There are so many this year (it's only a matter of time until they reach critical mass) you should probably bring an extra suitcase just for exclusives. Or shipping them back home before leaving San Diego works too.
Just make sure you bring a full piggy bank with you or you won't be leaving with any of this limited edition merchandise. (Just tell your fellow con-goers it's Waddles.) This event specializes in parting nerds from their money. Pro tip: Buy everything you want from mutli-item vendors like Funko and Entertainment Earth in one trip to avoid sell-outs and line waiting, Also check if retailers are are also offering pre-orders on their exclusive wares online for pick-up at the con. Based on the metric ton of exclusive merch announced, I doubt it's even physically possible to purchase each one there (presuming you're ridiculously wealthy to afford it all in the first place). So which exclusives should you make a point of waiting on line for this year?
Due to the July 4th holiday falling on a Saturday, Voice Media recognizes tomorrow as the holiday, as do the feds. So there'll be a couple of posts, but not a full day.
Next week, however, we're shaking things up for San Diego Comic-Con. Year one at TR, I tried covering the Con for breaking news. Year 2, I went for longer-form features and interviews. This year: BOTH!
You may be thinking that's too much for one man, and you're right: Jim Dandeneau and I will be sharing editorial duties to get you the breaking headlines AND some more in-depth features. Wednesday will be light on posts until the evening, and after that the fun don't stop until Sunday afternoon; most regular columns will be on hiatus during this time, but we'll be posting far more often. Next Monday we'll take a breather for a day.
In the meantime, this is your weekend open thread.
In all seriousness, while part of the lack of Black Widow figures seems to be sexism, there has also been a lack of Hawkeye and Bruce Banner figures, not to mention a complete absence of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. So it's not just an assumption about boys not buying girls' figures that's happening, but also an assumption that nobody beyond the "core four" characters sells - yes, pedants, I'm counting Hulk as a separate character from Banner. (And to buy goddamn movie Ultron, you have to buy six other figures and build him. Apparently they think villains don't sell by themselves either.)
Exclusives are the answer, and Toyark is reporting that a four-pack featuring the above three much-demanded Marvel Legends characters (and Thor, because he's your token main-eventer here) will shortly be available on Amazon. It'll probably cost about as much as the Winter Soldier Black Widow is selling for on eBay all by herself now.
Plus now you can pose her and Bruce in every position you wish they'd had in the film.
Full disclosure: I've known this filmmaker, Spooky Dan, a little while - like me, he's had a foot in the world of entertainment journalism and indie horror. But I think we can all agree that whether I knew him or not, I'd be talking about the first live-action Christmas demon Krampus to show schlong. Part of the Krampus mythology is that he has quite the libido, and, says Dan,
when we designed the beast, we knew we had to go all Magic Mike on you and show him in his full glory. When I asked makeup FX artist Vincent Guastini and his team to make Krampus animalistic and sexy ...and to add a Krampus dick, he delivered... OH BOY he delivered. On the first day that Krampus walked onto the set, everyone on the crew was staring at the towering beast which stood over 7.5 feet tall from feet to horns. But no one could help but notice his impressive manhood. Thankfully, he does wear a loin cloth through most of the film. Running around without one would have been quite ... distracting. The big question remains though, should he be circumcised or not?See the uncut pic on Dan's blog if you dare, and if you want to help crowdfund the movie, you can win perks like Barry Bostwick's underwear.
The trailer is below.