The Top 10 Triumphs of Tracey Walter (Bob the Goon is #6!)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at 5:00 am

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With the smashing success of our recent list of cool Clint Howard credits came a suggestion from one of our regular readers, John Hanna: that we ought to give a similar treatment to character actor Tracey Walter. Honestly, we're a little bit embarrassed that we didn't think of this ourselves.

Who, after all, is more deserving of nerdy adulation than Walter, who has lent his keenly squinting, weathered face and weird lovability to movies from Rumble Fish and City Slickers to Erin Brockovich and Death to Smoochy, and TV from Amazing Stories to Reno 911! to Airwolf to Alf? Here are a few, a very few, of his nerdiest, most memorable roles:

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From Movie Blogger to Sinister Scribe: 8 Things We Learned About Writing From C. Robert Cargill

Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at 5:00 am

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C. Robert Cargill is living the movie blogger dream, having gone from reviewing movies online as Ain't It Cool News' "Massawyrm," to co-creating his own bona-fide franchise now with the Sinister films, cowritten with Dr. Strange director Scott Derrickson. So nowadays, the guy who was once best known for complaining that The Ant Bully was about communism is better known as the guy who brought Blumhouse's creepy boogeyman Bughuul into your cinematic nightmares.

A native of Austin, Texas, Cargill recently came to L.A. to promote Sinister 2, so I got to pick his brain a bit about what the transition was like from critic looking in to critiqued, looking out. Here are 8 things I learned from the turned 'Wyrm.

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7 Reasons Why Mr. Robot Is Better Than True Detective, Hannibal and Every Other Show This Summer

Monday, August 17, 2015 at 5:00 am
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Summer television was once the place where good (but usually very bad) TV went to die a merciful death away from the eyes of the public... and advertisers. It was the place networks dumped their undesirables and under-performers. However, while the ratings may not have changed, the quality of the programming certainly has. This year, though, a new show came along that seems to have taken the potential of summer television to the peak of its awesomeness, and that show is USA's Mr. Robot.

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6 Ways Guy Ritchie Drops the Ball on The Man From UNCLE and 4 Reasons to See It Anyway

Friday, August 14, 2015 at 5:00 am

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I first came upon the original Man From UNCLE TV show after learning who Robert Vaughn was from Superman III. My dad, ever eager to introduce me to the pop-culture of his youth, used the opportunity to segue me into reruns of the show, and I was hooked - while I may not have experienced it in first-run, I did (in that pre-VCR time) experience it as something I did not want to miss every week, as American agent Napoleon Solo and Russian agent Ilya Kuryakin teamed up and saved the world with gadgets like Bond and less of the yucky kissing parts.

It's nicely coincidental that if today's kids get into the property, it will also be due to a Superman connection, with modern Man of Steel Henry Cavill stepping into Vaughn's stylish shoes. Kyle MacLachlan would have been my choice once upon a time, but these days even he's considered too old for such a part.

I'm not sure how many other modern fans of the show remain, so it's up to me to carry the banner and assess how well the movie does in pulling off a new take. And as you can tell by the headline, we're going to start with the ways I think director Guy Ritchie made like a Stormtrooper...and missed the target.

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9 Stories From the Forgotten Realms That Should Make Their Way into the D&D Movieverse

Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 8:04 am

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By now you've heard the news that Warner Bros. has apparently won out a lengthy and complex legal battle to gain the rights to produce movies set in what has the potential to be the nerdiest movie universe of all time: Dungeons & Dragons. I saw the original theatrical attempt as a wee lad, and luckily, I don't remember any of it, meaning I'm all doe-eyed and optimistic for what could be in store for the D&D faithful with the backing of a massive production company.

The last D&D movie had nothing to do with its source material excepting the title, but it seems as though the first movie out of the gate under this new deal will be set in the extremely popular and long-running Forgotten Realms campaign setting. While I always counted myself a resident of Krynn (Dragonlance, for those not initiated), I have respect for many of the stories in the other major fantasy shared world: here are nine such stories that could and should be adapted for the big screen.

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7 Hard-Hitting Questions We Have For Nick's New ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 5:00 am

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Nickelodeon debuted its new updated take on Alvin and the Chipmunks last week in the U.S., a French-American collaboration that's been airing internationally for months now. Because if there's one thing kids these days have been clamoring for, it's ridiculously high-pitched voices from the mouths of talking chipmunks. It's as if Nick didn't already learn their lesson from Fred.

But the Chipmunks, strangely, have a strong enough following, with the three live-action films netting over $525 million (and a fourth on the way) so what do I know? Nick is clearly trying to get into some of that action (a couple years too late, like always), and watching that first week's run of episodes, a couple of serious, important questions come to mind:


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7 Reasons the Wet Hot American Summer Series Is A Must-See...So Is The Mediocre Movie

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 5:00 am

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Fourteen years after the release of Wet Hot American Summer, Netflix is streaming an original series based on the film. All the major cast members have returned, including: Janeane Garofalo, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Banks, and Paul Rudd. Essentially, a lot of talented actors who would get more famous in the 2000s have reunited.

Despite terrible reviews, the film attained cult status amongst fans of the now famous cast. Which makes sense -- if you like Rudd and Banks and hear they did a silly flick that riffs off the sexy summer camp genre of the '80s why wouldn't you want to check it out? The film, let's be clear, really is deserving of those terrible reviews. On the other hand, there's no accounting for taste when it comes to cult flicks, which is as it should be. The happy surprise is that the new Netflix series is actually really funny despite its mediocre origins.

Here's why you should give the WHAS series a chance, and why you should also consider (even if begrudgingly) sitting through the 2001 snooze fest.


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10 Creepy-Cool Halloween Things We Did at the ScareLA Convention

Monday, August 10, 2015 at 5:00 am

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Liz Ohanesian
ScareLA is a convention for Halloween fanatics.
It's never too early to start planning for Halloween. There are costumes to make, parties to plan and haunts to build. At ScareLA, an annual convention that takes place every August, Halloween fanatics can get all the prep work done while checking out themed attractions and taking in panels featuring guests famous for their work genre entertainment.

As the name implies, ScareLA is a regional event. The Halloween haunts that make an appearance here are local and range from DIY ventures to the major amusement parks. Of course, this is a city where the entertainment industry is local, so the crop of guests was quite impressive. Panelists included voice actors from Disney rides and writers from The Simpsons and, as is common at L.A. conventions, at least a couple of the people inside the exhibit hall were recognizable from reality television.

In two days at ScareLA, I covered as much ground as my feet could handle. Here are the highlights of what I did at the convention.

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10 Reasons Why TV Is a Better Venue for the X-Men Than Film

Friday, August 7, 2015 at 5:00 am

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The X-Men hold a special place in the hearts of many fans that grew up in the '90s, myself included, owing in no small part to the wild popularity of the animated series, which ran from 1992 to 1997. The large cast of characters, colorful world and epic adventures set a tone that the darker, more serious FOX movies stayed far away from. For the early 2000s, giving the X-Men a twenty-first century makeover was probably the right move, but in the current comic book movie landscape, there couldn't be a better time for our favorite mutants to get back in touch with their serial roots.

On the back of recent talks that put FOX and Marvel at the negotiating table over the prospect of a live action X-Men TV series, here are a few reasons why going down this road may be the best thing to happen to Xavier and his gifted youngsters in the history of X-Men media.


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9 Ways Fantastic Four is Just as Bad as (and Sometimes Worse Than) It Looked

Thursday, August 6, 2015 at 5:00 am

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The quickest, most non-spoiler way to review the new Fantastic Four, or Fant4stic if you prefer (nobody does), is to simply say that it is exactly what the trailers have presented, but more of it. So if you genuinely like what you've seen so far, there's a chance you may have a decent time with it. If, however, you were hoping there'd be some sort of pleasant surprise that would completely turn around your opinion, you might be as misguided as the sources who swore the classic costumes would appear in the film at some point (they don't).

For a more thorough description of why this film is a fail in my eyes, we'll need to go into greater detail. In fact, once you read on there will be TOTAL SPOILAGE. This is designed to save you some time, but who knows - it might persuade you there is something worthwhile in it that I just didn't see.

Anyway, here are the various ways it turned out to be pretty much as expected...

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