So, you're a main character in a new anime. Fresh from the South Korean animation studios and swimming in an ocean of hype, you're ready for it all: the fame, the fortune, the fan fiction. You step into the spotlight, ready for your star debut...and promptly get crushed beneath the big toe of the rampaging alien beastie that roared to life after the first commercial break. As it waddles unperturbed through downtown Tokyo taking bites out of the scenery, you lay there paralyzed with an existential crisis. You're also paralyzed because everything below your rib cage is paste, but it's mostly the existential crisis.
Every Dungeon Master has experienced that dread moment when the players are about to arrive, but you haven't had sufficient prep time to put together the adventure they'll be playing. Sometimes this is due to writer's block. Most gaming groups have the same person DM the majority of adventures, and coming up with stories week after week can be difficult. This is often where professionally published adventures come in very handy, but most groups have a "completist" player who has purchased and read every adventure. What is a Dungeon Master to do?
Warner Bros. Not Batman
Arrow is probably my favorite show on TV right now. I watch it semi-religiously and constantly think about possible permutations of the Arrow-verse. Do all of the references to Bludhaven mean Nightwing is on the way? Did Nyssa steal Sara's body and drop her off in a Lazarus Pit offscreen? Is the Atom going to shrink or is he really just a reskinned Ted Kord? Does Arsenal secretly have a drug habit? These are burning questions about a great show, but for all of that one thing consistently bothers me: basically, the show thinks Ollie is Batman. This isn't the worst thing in the world since Batman is awesome and it gave us the Huntress arc, which is probably my favorite arc in the whole show, but it does nag at me a little.More >>
It could perhaps be argued that the best - or at least the most interesting - superhero movies made to date were the ones that came from idiosyncratic directors. Captain America: The Winter Solider was all well and good, I suppose, but it's the type of film that feels more like a studio mandate (which it was) than an urgent tale told my a creative mind eager to explore something new. The notion of the "auteur superhero movie" is not largely explored in today's marketplace, which values mythbuilding and multiple-film story arcs over singular, thoughtful deconstructive explorations of a superhero character (although, since Topless Robot recently endorsed Ava DuVernay to direct a Marvel film, we may see the age soon. Fans may even want it.).More >>
It is most likely inevitable, but that doesn't mean I have to go along with it.
First, Disney floated the idea that they like to do more Indiana Jones stuff, possibly with Chris Pratt in the role. Then, on Friday, Deadline reported that Steven Spielberg would be happy to direct Chris Pratt in the part if the script were right. I don't entirely blame Disney for wanting to maximize the Lucasfilm IPs they just paid top-dollar for, or Pratt if he takes an iconic, big-bucks role he'd be crazy to turn down. But I do not want to see this happen.More >>
If you look really closely, you might notice a vague similarity here.
...or why LYT is wrong about the movie.
You can't go home, no I swear you never can
You can walk a million miles and get nowhere
Song: Been Away Too Long
Album: King Animal
Release Date: November 13th 2012
It feels fitting to open this article with lyrics from Chris Cornell, that he wrote for Soundgarden's 2012 comeback album. Y'see, we're coming up on the 9th anniversary of Cornell ushering in a new era of James Bond movies. His vocals for the opening to 2006's Casino Royale set the tone to tell the audience, "Something different is going on here" and get everyone nice and ready for a new type of Bond flick. The Daniel Craig movies fit nicely into a then newish trend of grittier and more down to earth espionage movies, the best example being Matt Damon's portrayal of Jason Bourne.
I saw Casino Royale on its opening weekend, with my brother and his then girlfriend who is now my sister-in-law. We all loved it. Half a dozen years later, when the 3rd movie in the Craig series Skyfall came out (right before Soundgarden's comeback album incidentally), we were split. I loved it and was champing at the bit for another one, but they hated it so much that they didn't want to see another Bond movie with Craig. My brother insisted that they'd gone too far into the grim and gritty territory and it no longer felt like James Bond, so much as James Bond being made to act like Jason Bourne. Now there's a movie that harkens back to Roger Moore era of Bond, but with a modern spin, it's called Kingsman: The Secret Service, and it's a nifty gem of a flick.More >>
We'll explain later...
At the end of an Elysium press conference a couple years ago, or whenever it was we were still excited about Elysium (feels like an eternity, doesn't it?), a former colleague of mine approached Neill Blomkamp and asked him what his dream project would be, to which he responded that one of his favorite movies was Aliens, and he'd really love to do an Alien movie. Yesterday, Fox agreed to give him his shot, after concept designs the director had posted on his Instagram account drew the attention of fans like us.
But will the film he wants to make be the film that fans want to see? My hunch is that even if it isn't, I'll find something to like, as I have with every Alien-related movie thus far. Yes, even Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem has about thirty minutes - in which there are no humans whatsoever - that would have been an outstanding short fan film on their own. And yes, I like the way Prometheus posits the existence of beings we misconceived as gods, whose goal, burned into our history, is to lure us to their WMD stockpile planet where they can infect us and use us to birth even more powerful weapons. I don't care that the stupid guy touched the eel; stupid John Hurt touched the egg in the first one. It's a tradition.More >>
So the big news back in October of last year, is that Marvel finally decided to stop teasing us with hints of what they're going to tease us with regarding future movie plans, and have officially started teasing us with actual future movie plans. All sorts of awesome movies are coming up the pike, and a lot of them are gonna rake in the dough. Money, as we all know is one of the top two driving forces in the human condition. The other driving force? The one and only driving force that out does money? SEX! Pretty much every major decision in an adult's life comes out of our quest to find a mate, or our decision to step out of the mating pool. Even those of us who don't equate sex, love and procreation generally like to have orgasms. This all powerful motivating force even affects the lives of superheroes, though a movie viewer who doesn't read comics can be forgiven for not knowing that.
Superhero movies have largely been pretty reserved in their portrayal of romantic urgings. Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul having sex in The Dark Knight Rises is the only noteworthy sex scene I can even recall off the top of my head in a superhero movie from the past decade or so. The closest thing Marvel has to compete with that would probably be a scene in Iron Man 3 where Tony Stark and Pepper Potts are sharing a bed together. Nothing jaw-dropping today, but something that would seriously have caught attention a few decades past. Comic books, however, go into a lot more risqué - if not outright lustily perverted - territory. I'll be focusing on Marvel for this list, mostly because I think they seem to have the cleaner reputation these days, what with being owned by Disney and not going all grim, dark and grit-toothed like DC does. Perhaps if there's enough interest I'll do a follow up focused on DC comics and movies.
TRIGGER WARNING - Some of the storylines that will be discussed involves topics like rape, domestic violence, slut shaming and exploitation. If you'd rather not read something like that, proceed to the second page, which has a lighter tone to it.
Real talk: Transformers were (and for some of us still are)where it's at as far as action figures are concerned. It's like two toys in one, with an awesome engineering conundrum between states.
Even-more-real-talk: Some of the original G1 (a term we may be using a little loosely) figures suck pretty bad. Part of the reason is because of the original Japanese toyline blah blah blah I want a car that's a goddamn robot and it needs to look cool as balls! As we know, cool is measured it balls (in the metric system at least) so let me guide you around the less-than-spectacular G1 line and point you toward the coolest goddamn versions of your old favorites. And I want to give a big shout-out to the crew at Seibertron.com for letting me use the amazing photos they have on their site. Thanks guys!
For someone who's used to comic cons, Toy Fair is disorientingly bizarre. Gone are the heaving masses of sweaty Cloud Strifes, jabbing you in the junk with their Buster Swords as they bend over back issue bins, negligent to the space they occupy. Instead, it's filled with math. It's a bunch of people haggling over exclusives and minimum purchases and quality of resin casts. What the hell do you call places where those things happen? Oh yeah. It's a trade show.
Weird for me, but also incredible. The biggest trade show might not be an opportunity to churn up a room full of fanatics, but it is a place for toy makers to show off the best stuff they have for the next year. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for all of the photos we took from the floor (warning: some of them are super crappy), and now behold the 26 coolest things we saw all weekend...More >>