Weekend Open Thread: Happy Pre-Thanksgiving!

By Luke Y. Thompson in Food & Drink, Miscellaneous
Friday, November 21, 2014 at 6:57 pm

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I like Thanksgiving better than Christmas because I get two days off instead of just one. And any LA Roboteers are welcome to come to our Thanksgiving dinner - just hit me up by email or Facebook.

Here are some seals having sex with penguins. Happy weekend!

(Cthurkey created by Rusty Eulberg)

Fast Food Review: Taco Bell's New Rolled Chicken Tacos

By Luke Y. Thompson in Food & Drink
Friday, November 21, 2014 at 5:27 pm

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Because the company doesn't trust the entirety of the U.S. population to know what a "taquito" is, here come "rolled tacos." Also, presumably, so that Taco Bell can make ads that say "That's how we roll," as opposed to "taquito me out to the ballgame" or whatever horrible, tortured semi-pun is even possible there.

Here's the Full Trailer for George Lucas' Strange Magic

By Luke Y. Thompson in Cartoons, Movies
Friday, November 21, 2014 at 4:00 pm

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Whichever trailer editor decided to follow "From the mind of George Lucas" with a character sticking his ass into the camera - you, sir or ma'am, deserve a gold star.

Not that I saw it either, but this looks a whole lot like Dreamworks' Fox's Epic. And yes, it's loaded with modern pop songs, but in this case, that is specifically the gimmick, in the vein of Moulin Rouge.

Howard the Duck Is Returning to Comics

By Luke Y. Thompson in Comics
Friday, November 21, 2014 at 2:32 pm

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Via Marvel's Ryan Penagos, we have our first look at the cover and some artwork for the return of the company's fowlest player. Based on what is shown, it seems we can deduce that he's now a private eye (paging Duckman!) and that he will be fully integrated into the Marvel universe proper. Note that potted plant he has, too...

And he wears pants. That's still important, apparently. Check out the artwork below...

Battlestar Galactica 1978: The Special Edition?

By Luke Y. Thompson in TV, Tech
Friday, November 21, 2014 at 1:00 pm

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Remember when classic Star Trek got a special-effects makeover? Unlike George Lucas revisionism, the original series saw re-release with an option to add CG-remastered effects, or simply show the originals.

There hasn't really been a clamor one way or another on Battlestar Galactica, a show for which the consensus seems to be that the reboot is way better, and the original is bad; something I will heartily dispute, as the original pilot has a lot of fully developed characters and a decent Twilight Zone-ish morality tale at its heart against the backdrop of a war for survival.

But anyway, special effects artist Adam 'Mojo' Lebowitz has updated some classic sequences with modern CGI, and the result is a blend so seamless I can't tell what's new (granted, it has been a while, and in Ireland, season premieres were released theatrically as movies - yes, even the 1980 one). I don't find the adjustments to be in any way blasphemous...but see if you do.

Were-Cats, Transformers, Lepers and Angels in the Most Insane Indian Movie Trailer Ever

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies
Friday, November 21, 2014 at 11:30 am

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I defy anyone to tell me what the story is to this movie, simply enitled I. I would similarly defy anyone to tell me it won't be amazing.

Let's see what imdb says:

A model, a doctor, and three other people are affected by a poisonous chemical.

Hmmm...In this case, that seems like saying "2001 is a movie about two guys who go into space." Arguably true; drastically misrepresentative.

Watch, and if you don't go nuts, tell me what you think the story is.

Dawn of the Daleks: Cone-Shaped Security Robots Are Now on Patrol

By Luke Y. Thompson in Tech
Friday, November 21, 2014 at 10:00 am

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They are not armed, we are assured, and people supposedly want to hug them.

Also they look like giant butt plugs. Which may or may not be related to the hugging.

Attack them, and they'll make a loud noise. You know, like everything that gets attacked. Really, these function most like Imperial Probots - they send constant camera feeds back home, and if you fuck them up, the operator will know something went wrong. And that's when we realize that the Galactic Empire never had to worry about budget.

TR Interview: Michael Ironside on Extraterrestrial, Batman, Dune, The Omega Code and More

By Luke Y. Thompson in Books, Cartoons, Comics, Movies
Friday, November 21, 2014 at 8:00 am

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If you're reading this site and don't know who Michael Ironside is, I can only assume you never read the credits of movies. Kids of my generation first remember him as Ham Tyler in V, but he's been a presence in sci-fi ever since, appearing in the likes of Spacehunter 3D, Scanners, Top Gun, Highlander II, Total Recall and many more, usually as a major badass.

In Extraterrestrial, which opens today, he plays a marijuana farmer caught up in the potential violation of a secret truce between the government and aliens, and in a small handful of scenes, this man in his 60s easily steals the show from the teens and twentysomethings who are supposedly the stars.

In a rare interview, Ironside discussed many things with TR, from the dream role he nearly but never got to the strange stealth Christianity of The Omega Code and his thoughts on Batman.

TR Holiday Gift Guide: 10 Awesome RPG-Related Gifts

Friday, November 21, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Solarbotics
Happy Nerdy Holidays

It's hard to ask for RPG gifts for Christmas. The social stigma is fading year by year, so I no longer fear my parents calling an exorcist over my wish list, but there's still a maze of editions, similar-sounding games and supplements to ask people to dig through. This is in addition to the fact that RPGs still tend to be a little bit hard to find; arguably harder to find now than they were fifteen or so years ago before Barnes & Noble and Borders replaced so many independent booksellers...before closing most of their own locations..

People only have so much spare time, and playing more than one or two systems at once is pretty difficult; even if someone played two different games every week they would be playing at most 8-10 different games in a month, which is only a tiny portion of the massive amount of games available these days. Especially with Kickstarter helping to launch more RPGs than ever and many companies releasing their back catalogs through DrivethruRPG. The point being that it can be harder to find the right RPG for someone than finding a good costume in the New 52.

With all of that said, the list that follows tries to work around these challenges by providing ten system-neutral gifts for the RPG fan in your life. Even if that person is you. I don't judge. Even if I did judge, I probably wouldn't judge this time since I've already bought a lot of these things. They're pretty awesome.


TR Review: Mockingjay Part 1 Gives You an Appetite for More

By Luke Y. Thompson in Books, Movies
Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 5:12 pm

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Right now, as we speak, I envision the publicity team for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 holed up in a bunker, multiple computer monitors dead ahead, just watching, and waiting, for the moment the first reviewer calls it "The Empire Strikes Back of The Hunger Games."

Because the movie so, so wants to be that. And not just in the "dark tone, cliffhanger ending" way - President Snow (Donald Sutherland) actually uses a couple of maneuvers from the Emperor Palpatine playbook, while heroine Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence, impressively de-glammed) must figure out how to become the New Hope. Impressive...but this franchise is not a Jedi yet.

Mockingjay Part 1 is the best Hunger Games movie so far, though. And you can quote me on that.