TR Review: Jurassic World! Jurassic World! Dino Time! Excellent! Roar Roar Roar Roar!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 9:00 am

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Previous Jurassic Park sequels really only got half of the equation right. They brought the "Jurassic," in the form of dinosaurs (not all of them actually from the Jurassic period, but it sounds better as a marketing buzzword). What they lacked was the "park." Jurassic Ruins-of-Park just isn't the same thing, when your hook, in full, is "dinosaurs at a theme park." The Lost World and JPIII were, in essence, snakes without a plane.

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Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Trailer Hits Familiar Beats

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 8:35 am

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"Remember how we said before that we need to rise up and fight the evil guy? Well we need to do it even more this time!"

"Oh shit! He has a giant vat of tar! Who saw that coming?"

R.I.P. Philip Seymour Hoffman. R.O.C.K., Donald Sutherland.

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8 Fantasy Book Series You Should Check out if You Love Game of Thrones

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 5:00 am

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George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire has taken the world by storm. The complex - and still unfinished - series of novels has earned high praise for its gritty (sick of that word yet?) and realistic portrayals of love (sex), war (blood) and political maneuverings (backstabbing). R. R. Martin's writing style adopts a no-holds-barred approach that is as far a cry from R. R. Tolkien's work as you could imagine. And yet, much like the whole of the fantasy genre, the dense continents of Westeros and Essos owe their genesis to Middle-earth, even if they present a much more cynical view of it.

Still, let's not forget who brought the Seven Kingdoms to the dance in the first place, as it goes without saying that Martin's genre-defying story would never have infected popular culture as it has without the fantastic HBO adaptation that is currently in the midst of its fifth season. The premium show brings Martin's characters and complex plot to life in a long-form storytelling manner that even Peter Jackson's lengthy Lord of the Rings film trilogy could not approach, at least in terms of depth. Now, ordinary folks who otherwise wouldn't have been caught dead in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy section of their local bookstore can't get enough of the genre; if you weren't already a fantasy nerd, HBO's hit series has probably given you the itch, so why not scratch it?

Here are eight series you should give the time of day if you love Game of Thrones.


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Trailer for Ridley Scott's The Martian Will Make Everyone Think It's an Interstellar Prequel

Monday, June 8, 2015 at 10:20 am

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If you still intend to see Interstellar unspoiled, maybe think about not reading this post and just clicking ahead to the trailer.

The Martian actually isn't related to Interstellar at all in any legal sense, but there are unfortunate coincidences - Christopher Nolan's film featured an uncredited Matt Damon as the lone survivor of a mission to an alien world, driven insane and slightly incompetent (a brilliant astronaut who now has no idea how airlocks work). Now, in this movie, we see how that could have begun, with Damon as...a brilliant astronaut stranded on an alien world, albeit one that's slightly closer, in Mars.

Thank goodness we already figured out that they key to his survival is to send messages in the dust back in time through five-dimensional space. That's easy enough to do, right?

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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - The Comic Book

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 10:07 am

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Coming this October from IDW and Chiaroscuro's Troy Little, Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (The Graphic Novel) should make the perfect gift for people who like visuals with their drug-addled dialogue, but have become so allergic to Johnny Depp that they cannot watch the Terry Gilliam movie (I recently learned there are quite a few folks who fit this category).

There are very few sure things to do with Las Vegas, but this seems like a sound bet to me.

Topless Robot Live! From Drag Queens to Dianetics, Sex and Scientology

Friday, May 22, 2015 at 6:30 am

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This is a fun one.

First, we catch up with TR correspondents Liz Ohanesian and Eric Diaz at RuPaul's DragCon, to get their take on the crossplay convention.

Next, we catch up with Tony Ortega, a veteran journalist and author of the new book The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, as he gives us a crash course in the history of L. Ron Hubbard's controversial sci-fi religion and its policies.

It's quite the wild ride, this podcast. Buckle up.

As always, if you do iTunes, please subscribe and review us - subscribers get the newest podcasts first.

Dark Horse Announces New Game of Thrones "Inaction" Figures, Incl. Sansa and Brienne

Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 11:00 am

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While Funko continues to make fully articulated Game of Thrones figures, Dark Horse continues their larger, more-detailed McFarlane-esque line of unarticulated figures, with the announcement of four new figures for fall 2015: Sansa Stark, Brienne of Tarth, Sandor Clegane ("The Hound," who will have a hinged visor on his helmet) and Jorah Mormont. Frankly, given recent events on the show, I'd be afraid of what some collectors would do with an articulated Sansa, so I'm quite happy to see her stay preposed and dignified.

Sandor and Jorah are yet to be revealed, but you can check out Brienne below...and lop off her head to start working on your Captain Phasma customs before the new Star Wars toys come out.

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20 of the Most Bizarre RPG Character Creation Rules

Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 5:00 am

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White Wolf Publishing
Not every RPG idea is a good one.

RPGs are marvelous things, with many strange twists and permutations, yet as different as they can be, nearly all of them have certain core concepts in common, and one of the most core concepts is character generation. Building a character is a rite of passage, and when done right it can be one of the best parts of playing a game. However, there's always some weird stuff that sneaks in on the periphery, and this list includes some of the strangest. It couldn't possibly be complete, so feel free to add your own favorite bits in the comments.

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Next Podcast Guests: Tony Ortega, Eric Diaz, Liz Ohanesian

Friday, May 15, 2015 at 2:30 pm

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Right now, our next podcast is set to be a two-parter. In the opening bout, we will have regular TR contributors Eric Diaz and Liz Ohanesian, making their TR Live! debuts from RuPaul's DragCon.

In the main event: Tony Ortega, editor of The Underground Bunker, a website dedicated to investigating and monitoring the Church of Scientology. Tony was heavily featured in the recent HBO documentary Going Clear, and his new book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely, tells the story of Paulette Cooper, one of the first journalists to be targeted by the church. Tony is also a former colleague of mine.

The schedule is subject to change, but if you have any on-air questions for Tony, Liz or Eric, leave them in comments below.

7 Things We Learned About Teenage Lois Lane From the New YA Novel Fallout

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 5:00 am

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Go figure - this past weekend, I actually read a book. It was free, and it was for work, but it counts. See, ever since I first heard about this "Lois Lane as Young Adult fiction heroine" pitch, I was intrigued. Would it be terrible? Would it shoehorn in younger versions of other characters just to be hip?

Well, I won't say it's any masterpiece, but Gwenda Bond's book is an easy, breezy read even if the pacing's off. The climax happens super-fast relative to the buildup, and some of the character quirks - one girl makes her own fake band T-shirts, a different one every day, which would be pretty costly to do right - feel a bit strange, and more like adult perceptions than actual young-person stuff. But mostly it's an okay read, if you're willing to accept that the canon gets rewritten for a modern teen.

How so? Glad you asked, imaginary questioner...

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