We're Really Trying This Again? Another Orson Scott Card Book-to-Movie

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Thom Allen

This time it's his short story "Unaccompanied Sonata," in which a boy is raised to be a musical composer without being allowed to hear any other music. But when he does happen to hear the music of Bach, at the age of 30, he is barred from finishing his composition or ever making music again.

As is often the case with OSC, the apparently unintended irony is thick. How hard it must be, indeed, to have to hide from anything that might stimulate you the wrong way...and then once you find it, to be forced to repress your true self forever.

Still, I thought it had been pretty well established that working with the anti-gay Card is commercial poison. If you can't make a megahit out of his most acclaimed novel, is it really worth it for one without even the name value?

Incidentally, if you're wondering why Card doesn't get the same kind of counter-support that, say, the Duck Dynasty guys do, it's an unmentioned but simple factor - Card's a Mormon, and not all Christian activist groups are down with that.

Guillermo del Toro's The Strain SPOILER Thread

Monday, July 14, 2014 at 8:00 am

This is an experiment. We may not do this every week, depending on the response.


For now, this appears to be a modern take on the Dracula tale. How do you like it thus far?

Geek Apparel of the Week: Rocket Raccoon Invades Your Favorite Wolf Moon T-Shirt

Friday, July 11, 2014 at 10:00 am


James Gunn's sense of humor appears to have rubbed off on the licensors for Guardians of the Galaxy, but even if the movie and the comic behind it had never existed, one-upping the uber-manly and iconic Three Wolf Moon shirt by adding raccoons with guns was clearly an inevitability. For maximum effect, if someone asks you about the shirt, don't even tell them it's a character from comics and movies. Just be all redneck Sam Jackson, and tell them you like motherfucking raccoons with big motherfucking guns. Because who doesn't?

Okay, homeowners trying to keep their trashcans upright. You got me on that one. But who ELSE?

(Bonus GAOTW: Topless Roboteer Brando Lars did a pretty snazzy and unlikely mash-up tee featuring Game of Thrones and...well, you should really see for yourself)

President Snow Is Appropriately Whitewashed in New Hunger Games: Mockingjay Poster & Clip

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 9:43 am


For a fascist dictator, I'd say Snow has a few issues with his propaganda - he seems to be taking the Hitler notion of a pure white race to absurd, grotesque extremes. I mean, even racists don't want to look like they've literally been dipped in white chocolate, right?

His new TV ad's a little better. Only the outfits are white, even on the soldiers - all the better to show off the inevitable blood splatter, I suppose. In theory. Because PG-13 movies don't have blood splatter. Just...just look.

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Gentlegeeks, Star Your Fanfics: J.K. Rowling Officially Describes Harry Potter, Age 34

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 4:00 pm


The Pottermore website for Harry Potter fans has actually been steadily cranking out a series of satirical articles about the Quidditch World Cup, mirroring the real one and supposedly written by Ginny Potter, who, we can safely assume, is now a reporter for the Daily Prophet.

It's just the latest one - also reprinted at Today.com for non-Pottermore members - that has caught mainstream attention, because it includes a grown-up Harry and friends finally showing up, to support their old rival Victor Krum. Written by catty gossip Rita Skeeter, it gives us our first canonical look at how the Boy Who Lived is becoming the Man Approaching Middle Age...

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Asterix Finally, Inevitably Gets a 3D CG Movie

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at 5:30 pm


When you grow up in Europe as I did, Asterix and Tintin graphic novels are an inevitable part of the fabric of your youth, to the point that the realization they aren't over here was quite a surprise. Tintin perhaps more so than Asterix, as it's set in a more-or-less "real" world, and of course it's the one that got a Spielberg film. Asterix, which depends more on punny names and a basic working knowledge of the history surrounding Julius Caesar, has been filmed many times but none have made it to the U.S., so I have no idea if casting Gerard Depardieu as Obelix was a good idea in live-action. My inclination, however, is to say that Asterix was never meant for live-action, and I'm glad to see that the folks with the movie rights are taking it back to a style that resembles the comics now.

For those who don't know, the premise of Asterix is that in 55 BC, the Roman Empire has conquered all of France except for one tiny village that holds out due to the locals having a magic potion that gives them super strength. Wise-yet-small Asterix and big, dumb Obelix lead the charge, fist-fighting their way through fully armed Roman legions on a regular basis.

The teaser below, which is in French, won't tell you any of that, but it seems to me to capture the tone fairly well...

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Cool Book Alert: Jeffrey Brown's Goodnight Darth Vader

Monday, June 23, 2014 at 8:30 pm

If you're a longtime Topless Robot reader, you'll probably well aware that I am a huge fan of the work of Jeffrey Brown. From his painfully honest autobiographical works like Clumsy and Every Girl Is the End of the World for Me through to the bitingly accurate Transformers parody The Incredible Change Bots, Brown established himself as a true comic original over the course of the past decade. Then something unexpected happened. In 2012, Jeffrey Brown released Darth Vader and Son, an officially sanctioned Lucasfilm release that was the perfect forum for Brown to hone the fusion of pathos, humor and an affinity for pop culture that has become his trademark. The book was a huge success, and was swiftly followed by last year's Leia-centric follow-up Vader's Little Princess. July 22nd sees the arrival of Goodnight Darth Vader, Brown's Star Wars-ified take on the kid lit classic Goodnight Moon on Chronicle Books. Judging by the above teaser, it appears to be shaping up to be another absurdly cute effort that will warm the heart of even the most jaded Star Wars fan (i.e. me). I look forward to checking it out and seeing what nighty night rituals are like in a galaxy far, far away.

Game of Thrones Season Finale SPOILER Thread

Monday, June 16, 2014 at 8:00 am


Time for those who haven't read the books to start speculating what'll come next - and those who have, not to reveal that much.

But last night's events? Fair game. Let's hear it.

Paddington Bear Licks Earwax, Sticks Head in Toilet in New Trailer

Friday, June 13, 2014 at 10:00 am


I'm sorry, but does every childhood book character have to be made gross for movies? Will the next Pinocchio film, whenever it happens, be all about him lying so that picking his nose is easier?

I'm not fond of this trend. But it may at least provide more fodder for the Creepy Paddington meme that has cropped up lately.

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Game of Thrones SPOILER Thread - We Don't Need No Thought Control

Monday, June 9, 2014 at 11:00 am


Hey! Martin! Leave Jon Snow alone!

All in all it's just a...nother fight by the wall.

(as always, TV spoilers only)