7 Reasons You Need to Watch The Shadow

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Russell Mulcahy's 1994 The Shadow was one of the many post-Batman superhero films that never quite clicked with the public, but for my money, it deserved to find an audience. Now available on a spiffy-looking Blu-ray from Shout! Factory, it's ripe for rediscovery. Here's why.

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The 8 Greatest Nerd-Movie Empowerment Anthems

Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6:00 am

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With several "big" movies arriving in theaters this weekend, including Liam Neeson's Non-Stop and the religious epic Son of God, it remains to be seen how long The Lego Movie will hold onto the top spot at the box office. But long after its overall impact on moviegoers begins to wane, there is one part of the film that seems guaranteed to linger, if not move in, unpack its bags and gain 15 pounds of relationship weight in people's memories: "Everything Is Awesome," Tegan and Sara's unforgettably, irresistibly upbeat theme song.

As with just about everything else in the movie, "Everything Is Awesome" becomes more than just a fun addition to the story - it transforms from a mind-numbing, ubiquitous soundtrack for conformity into an empowerment anthem for Emmet the nerdy main character. But it follows an illustrious history of theme songs that have made 97-pound weaklings feel like Charles Atlas, and we've assembled a playlist of some of the best.

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8 Superhero Tropes Too Silly For Live-Action (and How to Make Them Work)

Friday, February 21, 2014 at 6:00 am

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We're fourteen years now into the superhero movie trend that rules Hollywood, restarted in earnest by Bryan Singer's first X-Men movie. Since that humble beginning, we've seen comic book tropes I never thought we'd see make it into the live-action arena, stuff like the way the entire Marvel Cinematic universe has been handled, and soon time-travel in an X-Men film, a part of the mutant mythos I thought they'd never touch.

However, there are still some tried and true classic superhero concepts from the pages of comic books that haven't made it to the big and small screen, mostly because the studios would no doubt be afraid to even try to attempt them, for fear of being "too much" for mainstream audiences. Here are eight classic comic book/superhero tropes Hollywood has avoided as being just one step too far... and how to do them anyway, and make them work.

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5 Lessons Hollywood Should Learn From The LEGO Movie (and 5 Ways They'll Miss the Point)

Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Like most people who went to see The LEGO Movie, I walked out of the theater shocked at how far the movie surpassed my expectations. I think most people would have been okay with a quick, disposable romp full of toy blocks. Instead Phil Lord and Christopher Miller delivered a twistedly brilliant, mind bending burst of awesomeness that will be talked about for the rest of 2014 and beyond. It's hard to think about everything that this film got right and not immediately think of half a dozen other movies that could benefit from similar good decisions. Anyone familiar with the current state of bottom line oriented studio mentality will have such optimistic hopes dashed rather quickly.

To talk about the lessons that can be learned from this movie, I will of course have to talk about the plot of the movie. So BEWARE OF SPOILERS AHEAD! Seriously, if you haven't seen The LEGO Movie, stop reading this, step away from your computer and get your ass to a theater pronto.

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9 Things We Want in the Next Assassin's Creed

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 6:00 am

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While it seemed like the series was DOA with the clunky, narratively disjointed, and just plain dull Assassin's Creed III, Ubisoft was able to course-correct with the time-tested "just add pirates" formula. And now, only a couple of months after the release of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, publisher Ubisoft has begun asking fans what they'd like to see in future installments of the now seven-year-old franchise.

But what will it take to keep the series alive in the current gen? Well, besides maybe laying off with the ancient aliens nonsense (or Desmond), we came up with nine suggestions to reinvigorate Assassin's Creed as the series heads into its next entry (and beyond).

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The 20 Most Awesome Items from This Year's Toy Fair

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 6:00 am

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The nexus of all that is molded, sculpted or stitched - Toy Fair - has descended upon collectors once again. With enough wonderful toys to send Jack Nicholson's Joker into cardiac arrest, crowning this year's most exceptional collectibles is no easier than a buying Hot Toys product on a budget. But tough choices must be, and were, made. From sickeningly cute plush dolls to monolithic statues, here are the 2014 Toy Fair items worthy of even Valhalla's display cases.



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The 33 Coolest Videos from PONIES: The Anthology

Friday, February 14, 2014 at 6:00 am

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The PONIES: The Anthology trilogy is a series of feature-length compilations of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan videos, largely comprised of short, Robot Chicken-style blackout gags (complete with static bumpers), typically running anywhere from a few seconds to half a minute. The Anthology series are really the only Pony fan videos that I make a point of watching, since they're curated, meaning they're somebody's idea of the best ones out there. Here are my personal favorites of those bests, running about 32 minutes total. Or 22 minutes if you skip 2012: A Pony Odyssey, as I suspect most do.

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9 Ways to Save Nintendo From Itself

Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 6:00 am

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So if you're familiar with recent gaming news, you should probably know by now that Nintendo is kind of in some deep crap at the moment. After stating that they planned to sell about 9 million Wii Us this year, they later found themselves sadly having to reduce that number to 2.8 million consoles sold in a year. So yeah, finding even fewer people interested in the Wii U, Nintendo held an investor meeting a short while back to outline a battle plan. And the company widely criticized these days for focusing too much on gimmicks and not enough on games delivered a plan that was...mostly vague and basically focused too much on gimmicks and not enough on games.

Hoo boy. Methinks we might need an intervention of sorts here.

Look Nintendo, you're basically turning into the gaming equivalent of DC Comics these days: A once-mighty champion of their medium that's now seemingly content to just sort of dick around and hope that an act of said dickery will somehow stumble upon a ritual that summons a magic imp who can summon free money for you, probably in exchange for your first born child or something. And while we do enjoy mocking you quite a bit at times, we do still respect and love you enough to not let you destroy yourself. So while I don't claim to be a master strategist in the area of business, and while just saying "MAKE MOAR F***ING GAMES" nine times in a row would probably be easier, let's still take a look at some better plans you can use to get things going in your favor again...


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7 Ways Hollywood Tried to Make the First RoboCop Family-friendly

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 6:00 am

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The original RoboCop is a blood-spattered masterpiece: a scathing look at looming social decay, rampant corporatism, and things we might end up buying for a dollar.

So when MGM and Sony announced that the José Padilha-directed remake would be PG-13, fans were up in arms. "How dare they try to make Detroit's finest family-friendly?! Who's going to want that?"

Well, my excitable friend, Hollywood already tried its damnedest to make a RoboCop you could take home to grandma. Let's look back at 7 significantly less-than-R-rated takes on our favorite splatter cop.


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The Top 7 Ways Vision Will (Probably) Attempt to Kill His Teammates in The Avengers 2

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 6:00 am

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When he's not being blown up, disassembled, or rebooted, Avengers robotic mainstay Vision is probably doing what he does best: trying to kill his teammates. Whether it's being controlled by his creator, Ultron (okay, usually it's that), magic, or some glitch in his advanced wiring, Vision is what happens when an emotionally unstable scientist (that would be Hank Pym) creates a murderous android (that would be Ultron), which in turn, makes its own robotic "son."

With last week's announcement that Marvel's answer to what would happen if Red Tornado and Martian Manhunter had a baby would be coming to The Avengers: Age of Ultron, we thought we'd take a look back at some of the many ways that the see-through synthezoid is the worst of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

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