Michael Bay's Up

By Luke Y. Thompson in Cartoons, Movies
Monday, August 18, 2014 at 4:07 pm

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Clever editing, plus Linkin Park and extra 'splosions - it's still better than Bay's Liebesman's TMNT.

Though we probably shouldn't even joke - if we can get Angelina Jolie's Maleficent, Michael Bay's Up is not out of the realm of possibility for realz.

TR Retro Review: Hook

By Luke Y. Thompson in Books, Movies
Monday, August 18, 2014 at 2:29 pm

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Like probably a great many of you, I watched a Robin Williams movie over the weekend. Now, in fairness, I didn't pick the movie; it was at a birthday party, and Hook was projected to keep us busy while the man of the hour prepared a slow-cooking curry. But considering how many of you were vocal about seeing reviews for older things here at TR, this would seem to offer a perfect opportunity.

To put it mildly, Hook is one of Williams' more problematic movies, one that attempts to utilize his dramatic and comedic talents in a movie where the solution to everything appears to have been "throw money at it." As middle-aged Peter Banning, he's a grown-up, American Peter Pan who has forgotten his past, and must reconnect with his inner child when Captain Hook shows up to kidnap his children. I first saw Hook when it came out and liked it, then years later caught it on TV and hated it. In light of the sort of generous reappraisal we tend to give people after they die, how did I feel about it this time? Read on...

A Homemade Robot is Hitchhiking Across Canada

By Luke Y. Thompson in Tech
Monday, August 18, 2014 at 1:00 pm

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Hitchhiking isn't something that happens as much as it used to, largely because we've become ever more paranoid of total strangers than we used to be. But robots don't feel pain, and are less likely to be molested (though it's not impossible), so here's HitchBot, a robot in Wellington boots who can have rudimentary conversations with the various drivers that pick it up.

Much like poutine, this is the sort of thing that could only happen in Canada. In the U.S., the robot would be target practice by day 3, minimum.

Skeletor and Skeletor Want You to Buy More Toys

By Luke Y. Thompson in Cartoons, Toys
Monday, August 18, 2014 at 11:30 am

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Okay, so it's pretty cool that when '80s Skeletor voice Alan Oppenheimer met '00s Skeletor voice Brian Dobson, they teamed up to make a cartoon together in which their differeing interpretations meet. It'd be better still if it weren't such a blatant toy commercial, but to be honest...when have He-Man cartoons NOT been that?

Anyway, this is also a reminder that Masters of the Universe toy subscriptions for 2015 close at 11:59 p.m. tonight, and this is pretty much the last year it's likely to happen, as it's the one where they finally, really promise to crank out remakes of the remaining vintage figures. If it fails, they'll probably still sell the ones they've already revealed somehow, but notably not among those is Saurod, the reptilian bounty hunter from the Dolph Lundgren movie. And I really want Saurod. Would you deprive me of that? Of course you would - why should you care what bits of plastic I own? But subscribe anyway.

Watch Skeletors now...

Topless Toy Chest: Sin City Marv - Bloody Comic-Con Exclusive by Diamond Select

By Luke Y. Thompson in Comics, Movies, Toys
Monday, August 18, 2014 at 10:00 am

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Marv is one of those characters who, at the time of his creation, you'd never think would get his own action figure, being an alcoholic, pill-popping, whore-banging, joy-killing antihero who dies at the end of his inaugural tale. Yet at least three different companies have taken a crack at him prior to this version. McFarlane Toys did him first, in Frank Miller style and in a controversial "Death Row" variant that allowed you to throw the switch on his electric chair. NECA did movie versions, including their own take on that same chair. And while both were limited-articulation with color variants, Marvel Toys before going under did a super-poseable black-and-white Marv as part of their independent comic characters line, which was the last thing they ever did.

Now Diamond Select Toys has the movie rights - to the first movie only, though their initial three figures are characters who appear looking very similar in movie 2 also. How do they measure up? Let's see.

Star Wars Rebels Short "Art Attack" Proves Stormtroopers NEVER Knew How to Aim

By Luke Y. Thompson in Cartoons, Movies
Monday, August 18, 2014 at 8:00 am

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That's not intended to be the main take-home from this short featuring Mandalorian hipster punk chick Sabine, but it's the most obvious one to longtime fans, as she grafittis a TIE Fighter and they fail to do much about it.

I bet the big surprise in JJ Abrams' new movie is that one of the new troopers actually kills somebody. Somebody who promptly comes back as a Force ghost, of course.

17 Stories You May Have Missed: Chicken Gimp Suit, Lego Mario, Weaponized Horse Crap, More

Monday, August 18, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Hello Kitty in Space

SummerSlam happened this weekend (result: John Cena gets time off to make movies), as did my best friend's birthday, so it's a treat to catch up on things that happened elsewhere, about which I did not know. With the aid of Kyle LeClair, here are some reader-submitted stories we might not have caught otherwise.

This week's tipsters include: troi, Anyone00, jaganar, SlyDante777, Gallen_Dugall, Timely_Flower-Hermit, Dr.Gonzo82

Weekend Open Thread: Friday Fun Links and VerSpanken!

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies, Nerdery, Tech, Toys
Friday, August 15, 2014 at 5:30 pm

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Don't forget to enter the two contests we currently have running. And read on for some Friday fun links, including stick-figure porn. Seriously.

Mario World Theme, Now With Yoshi-Abuse Lyrics

By Luke Y. Thompson in Cartoons, Video Games
Friday, August 15, 2014 at 4:00 pm

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Pete Holmes gave us one realistic take on Mario and Yoshi's relationship, indicating that an actual dinosaur would not be so friendly to the Italian plumber brothers.

Taking the alternate view, Fox ADHD suggests that Mario is the jerky one, and demonstrates this in song. Though considering the way they've drawn Mario, he looks like Family Guy's Stewie in disguise, and therefore it should be no surprise whatsoever that he's an evil jerk.

And yeah, "Yoshi Abuse" can totally be a euphemism for...uh...you know.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Will Discover Venom's Home Planet

By Luke Y. Thompson in Comics
Friday, August 15, 2014 at 2:30 pm

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Oh, not in the movies. Legally, that can't happen. But Brian Michael Bendis is having a blast with the fact that he can do it on the page.

"I looked it up and I was like no, there's been a planet we've seen taken over by symbiotes, but have we not seen the planet of the symbiotes?" Bendis said. "I called [Marvel Senior Vice President Of Publishing] Tom Brevoort, I go, could it be that even in the craziness of the '90s when it was Venom, Venom, Venom every five seconds, that this story has not been told? And he goes, yeah we've never been there. And I'm like, now I have to do it! It's crazy."
So, uh...this all an excuse to market a ton of Rocket Raccoon-as-Venom action figures, right? Or to have the following dialogue scene?
"I am Groot."
"We are Venom."
"I am Groot."
"We Are Venom."
etc.

Just explain to me why they all have spiders on their chest when they've presumably never met Spider-Man, and we'll be good.