Weekend Open Thread: Confederate He-Man Edition

By Luke Y. Thompson in Cartoons, Movies, TV
Friday, January 30, 2015 at 5:49 pm

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Big Tasty

Came across this random bit of artwork by my pal "Big Tasty," and he gave me permission to use it. I figured this might be the venue, even though technically She-Ra is the "Rebel."

Below the fold, the full video of George Lucas' talk with Robert Redford and Leonard Maltin at Sundance, submitted by Gallen_Dugall.

Monday's list will be a Superbowl commercials recap with a nerd focus, so if you only watch the game for the ads, you can skip it Sunday, and just come here Monday morning.

Our First PODCAST! Listen to the Pilot of "Topless Robot LIVE!" Right Now

By Luke Y. Thompson in Live Performance, Miscellaneous, Nerdery
Friday, January 30, 2015 at 1:30 pm

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I have been wanting to do this for two years now, and it finally happened. I'm a relative noob to the world of podcasting - though I've appeared on a few - and this our first test episode. There will be more.

If you have questions or comments you'd like addressed in the next episode, leave them below. Depending on volume, we'll answer some or all. Also, if you or a client of yours works in entertainment, toys, comics, science or any of our other areas of coverage and would like to be on the show, shoot an email to toplessrobot at gmail with subject line "TopBotCast."

Thunder...Thunder...THUNDERCATS GIVEAWAY! Hooooooo!

By Luke Y. Thompson in Cartoons, Merchandise, TV
Friday, January 30, 2015 at 12:30 pm

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Thirty years ago, on January 23rd, ThunderCats were on the move and ThunderCats were loosed upon us for the first time in animated form. And even after a well-received reboot was prematurely canceled a couple of years ago, the characters are still a pop-culture touchstone - turns out Mumm-Ra wasn't the only part of the franchise to be ever-living.

Thanks to our friends at TV Store Online, we're celebrating the landmark with a snazzy T-shirt and metal belt buckle set. And thanks to a recent weekend thread, I have the perfect contest notion: Nerdy Limericks! Post your best in comments below, and I'll pick a winner next Friday, Feb 6th, 2015, around noon. Again, my apologies to international readers, but prizes ship to U.S. and Canada addresses only.

My example went something like this:
There once was a jar with a pony
Whose owner would bop his baloney
When a stray bit of heat
Spoiled the beat of his meat
And his dreams leaked like emails from Sony

You can do better. Can't you?


An In-Depth Look Back at the Turkish Version of Flash Gordon

By Luke Y. Thompson in Comics, Movies, TV
Friday, January 30, 2015 at 11:30 am

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While I don't normally publish video essays from other sites, I was sent the following piece by reader Jack Bruit, and it had me hooked from beginning to end, even before I read this part...

Over the years Flash has been dull and exciting, original and derivative, a rebel leader and a law-enforcing space ranger. So if one time he fought puppets and changed the flow of gravity while wearing radio dials on his nipples... well, that's just Tuesday on planet Mongo.
Wait...does this mean M. Bison is from Mongo? Because he said that line to an actress named...MING. It all makes sense now.*


*(no it doesn't)


Sorry, New Insurgent Poster, You Can't Make Me Think You're a John Woo Movie

By Luke Y. Thompson in Books, Movies
Friday, January 30, 2015 at 10:30 am

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If I knew nothing about the movie Insurgent, and saw just the poster above and the new Superbowl trailer (embedded below), I would think this was going to be a must-see movie, clearly aping The Matrix, the John Woo and anime films that inspired The Matrix, and all the glass-breaking from Wanted (i.e. the best part).

Unfortunately for Insurgent, I saw Divergent. Most of us did. And nothing in that movie leads me to believe a sequel will be awesome.

The real heroes here are the folks in the marketing department. Talk about underdogs struggling against the odds.

Finished Images of Batman Returns DeVito Penguin Figure Will Repel Unlimited Poontang

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies, Toys
Friday, January 30, 2015 at 9:41 am

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Don't get me wrong - this thing is a masterpiece, with removable coat, hat and umbrella to create his sewer look as well as his mayoral candidate outfit. But place the terrifying 18-incher anywhere near your bed, and you'll get the opposite of what Max Shreck promised Oswald Cobblepot in the movie itself. Though it could be worse - at least your nose isn't gushing blood.

What's it supposed to do, hypnotize me? YES. I will spend money on this, I will spend money on this...

Julia Reviews a Mobile App (With Giveaway): SpongeBob: Sponge on the Run

By Luke Y. Thompson in Cartoons, Movies, TV, Video Games
Friday, January 30, 2015 at 8:00 am

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In this week's video, we are giving away five free download codes for the game in question, courtesy of Paramount Pictures. How do you enter? You'll have to watch and see!

Contest closes one week from today, Feb. 6th, at noon Pacific time. Note that codes will only work in the U.S., as we learned the hard way last time. Butt if you're not in the U.S. and wish to win one as a gift for somebody who is, you may do so.

Casting Is Only a Symptom: The Main Fanboy Issue With Fantastic Four

By Luke Y. Thompson in Comics, Movies
Friday, January 30, 2015 at 6:30 am

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In 1988, when I heard that Michael Keaton was going to play Batman, I was not immediately outraged - I just thought, "Hmm, that's a really odd choice that doesn't seem quite right." I had more faith in Tim Burton than some, as his first two features were and are two of my all-time favorites. But Keaton? The big fear was that because he was known primarily for comedies, this upcoming Batman movie - that would be the definitive cinematic Batman movie in a way that Richard Donner's was the definitive cinematic Superman - was going to be comedic. And Batman comics fans, who had just devoured The Dark Knight Returns on the page, were really sick of people thinking that "DA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA BATMAN!" was the truest adaptation of the character. It wasn't that we thought Keaton couldn't act - Clean and Sober had proven indisputably that he could - but that we worried his casting was a clue to a tone we didn't want.

7 Reasons We Don't Need Guillermo del Toro's At the Mountains of Madness

By Bryce Abood in Books, Daily Lists, Movies
Friday, January 30, 2015 at 5:00 am

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For years Guillermo del Toro has been a filmmaker who makes his loves and influences known. For ten of those years he has been carrying an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness in his bag of tricks (which is kind of like Mary Poppins' bag of tricks, except he just says what's in the bag and leaves us to hope he'll pull it out someday.) Lovecraft's writing inspired some of the greatest horror writers and directors to come after it, and every day there are still more who find themselves enchanted by its legacy. Almost a hundred years after its publication, At the Mountains of Madness' language is dense but rich, old but well-aged. It is one of Lovecraft's longer stories, though entirely digestible.

So how would the del Toro movie be? SPOILERS abound from here on...


Danny Trejo Joins the Brady Bunch (in a Snickers Commercial)

By Luke Y. Thompson in Food & Drink, TV
Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 5:45 pm

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"Machete, Machete, Machete!"

Danny Trejo has appeared in many different projects in his day, so it's usually no surprise to see him show up anywhere, but Snickers' Superbowl commercial takes him the one place he's never been...the Brady household.

And he's brought along a friend...