Fanboy Flick Pick: Noah Movie Is A Powerful PTSD Parable

Friday, March 28, 2014 at 8:00 am


Broadly speaking, there are two groups of people likely to go and see the movie Noah.

In group 1, we have those for whom the story of Noah's Ark is a parable at best and a flimsy fairy tale at worst. To you I say this: whether or not God is real, within the reality of the movie there is no doubt. If you can believe in lightsabers and the force for as long as it takes to accept a story in the Star Wars universe, you can accept, for two and a half hours, that a divine being who wants to drown His own primary creation is very real inside the world of this film.

In group 2, we have those for whom the tale of Noah is holy writ, and possibly even the literal history of mankind. To you I say this: EVERY movie about history takes liberties. All are staged interpretations, and none are 100% exactly as they actually happened. Before they were written down and codified, it isn't hard to imagine that the various fireside oral tellings differed from one another. That does not invalidate the final moral.

Knowing that, then, how do we judge Darren Aronofsky's Noah?

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New Edge of Tomorrow Trailer Feels Like I've Lived Through It Already

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 3:46 pm


Hi, Tom Cruise. I don't hate you like a lot of people I know do. Your primary modes of "intense focus" and " big laughter" work for the roles you get, and I'm all for your support of sci-fi.

But seriously, don't make it so obvious that you insist on riding a motorcycle in every movie, no matter how germane to the plot it is. And once you've done one movie in which multiple clones of you get killed, maybe following it with one where you die again and again isn't quite so interesting as it might otherwise be. I know you have weird beliefs about souls, but they don't have to be manifest in every single project.

Just lookin' out for ya, man. When it comes to what to do with some of your default impulses, one might even say All You Need Is Kill...

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Fanboy Flick Pick: Shailene Shines in Otherwise Adolescent Divergent

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 1:00 pm


At the heart of Divergent is an extremely adolescent metaphor, one that may seem deep to its target audience, but less so to those of us for whom the teenage years are but a nasty memory. In this world of the future, children of a certain age must choose to be in one of five major factions: Dauntless (the jocks), Amity (hippie-dippy farmers who love everyone, so basically the stoners), Abnegation (willing servants, the wallflowers), Candor (brutally honest, the student council types), and Erudite (honor students). Once you choose, you are defined as that thing forever, but every once in a while, somebody comes along that is just so special, such a deep thinker, that s/he simply cannot be, like, a conformist, man! His/her mind "goes in a million different directions"! This person is a Divergent, and a grave threat to the established order. Also, the immediate surroundings (Chicago, in this case) are the entire world. Nothing exists outside of it.

The future is high school. And nobody grew up. If Twilight, as has been theorized, is the fat girl imagining what it would be like to be romantically pursued by the hunk, Divergent is the hot girl wanting people to characterize her by more than one trait.

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A Former Fan Fiction Friday Made Real: Star Wars: A Nude Hope, the Book

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 10:00 am


Back in 2009, Rob did an FFF on a fiction called Star Wars Episode VIII: A Nude Hope. Today, a guy on Twitter named Ferris McFly called my attention to the fact that there is now a book by that title on Amazon. How did he know? Well, because he did the cover art you see above. Here are some choice quotes from the Amazon sample:

"Come on Han, don't you have any System of a Down or Static-X? Something to get this ship, ya know, a-movin'?"
"Oh Christ. Figures someone your age wouldn't like this."
Luke stared at him. "I'm a grown-ass man, dawg."

However, Han and his crewmates were somewhere in the Derpadon system and if they wanted to make it to the Coxmonger Sector in time for the party, then an all-nighter was in order.

Would it kill Han to spare me a decent set of sheets? I only defeated the evil emperor for silly's sake, Luke thought as he stretched his arms across the ends of the bed.
He stretched and stretched and streeeeeetched, but with all the force he was using a nice little Toot! snuck out of his rear end.

All proceeds go towards helping the homeless, which is a brilliant way to trick insane people into giving to charity.

TR Interview: Neil Burger, Director of Divergent, on His Warmer, Gentler Dystopia

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 2:30 pm


As a filmmaker, Neil Burger has been trying to get teens to read books for a long time. Children of the '90s may remember MTV's "Books: Feed Your Head" campaign, in which celebrities read aloud evocative passages from famous books while appropriate imagery unfolded onscreen, not always depicting exactly what was said but evoking its tone.

Now, as the director of Divergent, he's the latest guy to bring a young adult literary franchise to the screen, one that hopes to hit the zeitgeist like Twilight and The Hunger Games have. The one-time director of Meat Puppets videos has come a long way, but is he as Dauntless as his heroine aspires to be? I sat down with him to find out.

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Okay, The Maze Runner Poster and Trailer, You Have My Attention

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 10:00 am


So, basically: Hunger Games meets Cube with a little Temple Run thrown in, starring asshole cousin Eustace from the Narnia movies? I'm feeling pretty good about that...

...until the trailer calls it the beginning of an epic saga, at which point I realize nothing in the movie will be resolved because they want to make four of them or something (yep, the book it's based on has two sequels and a prequel).

Look, I love the whole larger universe thing Marvel does...but the rest of you: worry about telling ONE good story. With an ending. Then come up with half-baked ideas for sequels like everyone else.

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Fanboy Flick Pick: Stephen Chow's Journey to the West Is as Bananas as His Monkey King

Friday, March 7, 2014 at 8:00 am

If this picture alone doesn't sell you, we'll just never understand each other.

If the title of Journey to the West doesn't ring a bell with western audiences, it may be because we're more familiar with the 1942 abridged translation Monkey, which in turn spawned an amazingly good-bad '70s TV series that was dubbed into English by the BBC with "oriental" accents so over the top they'd make a Neimodian blush. Nonetheless, if you know the legend of the Monkey King, you have some idea what to expect, though Stephen Chow's movie version is a little different than most. In this one, the characters known to UK viewers of a certain age as Monkey, Pigsy and Sandy are all evil demons rather than heroes, and sought after by various demon hunters looking to make their fortune.

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New Boxtrolls Teaser Finally Focuses on the Boxtrolls Themselves

Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 11:30 am


That last one which focused on the puppet-makers while playing "They've Got the Whole World in Their Hands" really started to piss me off after a while, by being both inappropriately religious (from BOTH sides of the spiritual aisle) and not focusing on the actual film. Mercifully, this new trailer for the stop-motion adventure about a boy adopted by trolls emphasizes madcap action, and features Cee-Lo Green covering Elvis. All of which makes up for a multitude of sins.

Though if we're pilfering the pop past, there is a more obvious and awesome choice they've overlooked...

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GoT Wood? These Hand-Carved Game of Thrones Action Figures Do!

Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 11:30 am


If you happen to be in the Seattle area in March, George R.R. Martin will be presenting a show of artwork inspired by A Song of Ice & Fire at LTD Gallery. And among the items to be displayed and sold there, these caught our eye - hand-painted, wood-carved "action figures" complete with "battle damage" features and their own blister cards, by artist Mick Minogue.

It was a stipulation of the show that the art be based on the books and not the HBO series, presumably to avoid a glut of Emilia Clarke/Peter Dinklage fanfics. Minogue will be revealing 8 figures total, and says he may not stop there - stay tuned to his Facebook for further reveals, but in the meantime, if you want to see the Hound...

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10 Modern Heroes of Black Nerddom (and Urkel Is NOT One)

Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 6:00 am


For me growing up in the '80s as a (black) fan of comics, video games and anime, it was rare to come across anyone who looked like me and had the same interests. The only model for the black nerd was Jaleel White's character on Family Matters, which, you know, is kind of terrible.

He wears a pair of bulky glasses, speaks in a high-pitched voice, refuses to use contractions, and probably made out with his evil clone. Probably? Definitely. Seriously, forget Steve Urkel.

Which is why I think the current generation has it made. And with Black History Month drawing to a close, we're going to focus our eye lasers on some of the creators, innovators, and otherwise excellent types who get us hyped about the universe, science fiction, gaming and pop culture as a whole.

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