Top-Down Smackdown: ZZ Tops?

By Luke Y. Thompson in TV
Monday, August 3, 2015 at 3:34 pm

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WWE.com

Having a character named "ZZ" is hilarious if you know French, in which "zizi" is a slang term for penis. But then again, ZZ on Tough Enough isn't a character, though he's certainly trying to be.

The CW Has a Hawkman: Falk Hentschel

By Luke Y. Thompson in Comics, TV
Monday, August 3, 2015 at 1:17 pm

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You probably don't know him unless you're a fan of the TV show Reckless, on which he plays Arliss. Based on Variety's announcement, it sounds like they're going for the Golden Age Hawkman and skipping ahead a bit with Hawkgirl, sans Thanagar retconning for now.

Carter Hall is the latest reincarnation of an Egyptian Prince who is fated to be reborn throughout time along with his soulmate, Kendra Saunders (aka Hawkgirl, played by Ciara Renée). Like Kendra, Carter can access the powers of the Hawk God, Horus, transforming him into the winged warrior known as Hawkman.
I'm always glad to see Hawkman get some love, but I confess to hoping Hawkgirl would stand alone in Legends of Tomorrow and not be too defined by a past love. At least if they stick to this origin and Hawkgirl being Kendra, she won't remember their past and he might be kind of annoying about it - keep it comedic instead of stalkerish and there's potential.

Human Torch-Shaped Drone Is Set on Fire and Flies Around to Promote Fantastic 4

By Luke Y. Thompson in Comics, Movies, Nerdery, Science, Tech
Monday, August 3, 2015 at 10:49 am

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Fox and viral-video agency Thinkmodo are doing a good job here of hooking in the all-important Beavis demographic. A Human Torch drone that's actually on fire...fire...FIRE! Hehehehehm heh heh!

The space it's flying around is Nassau County's Fire Service Academy, so don't worry - no innocent neighborhoods were put at wanton risk just to market a superhero movie. The Denny's menu probably harmed more people, in the end.

Ironically, this proves that a practical effects Human Torch is completely achievable, and looks better than the CG version shown in the trailers - though to be fair, trailers are often unfinished. It could be the coolest thing connected to the movie.

The Latest Random, Non-Narrative Brand to get a Movie Deal: PEZ Candy

By Luke Y. Thompson in Food & Drink, Movies
Monday, August 3, 2015 at 9:58 am

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Pez.com

I hope it's about people getting their throats slit, and internal organs popping out through the wound, to be eaten by giant cannibals. That seems unlikely, however.

Envision Media Arts announced the development of an animated movie based on Pez Candy dispensers, written by Cameron Fay (Brother in Laws).
Brother in Laws is Fay's only feature writing credit, and a comedy, so we must presume attempts at humor will be involved.

You can color me Pez-imistic.

"Trailer-Trailers" Normally Suck, but Here's Deadpool's and It Does It Right

By Luke Y. Thompson in Comics, Movies
Monday, August 3, 2015 at 9:11 am

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As longtime readers know, you don't normally see trailers for trailers posted here. But then, generally such things are just irritating 5-second snippets. This trailer for the Deadpool trailer is its own thing entirely, though it does include part of the intro from the Comic-Con footage.

Also he says "fuck" in it, which means you won't see it on network TV, anyway. The full trailer drops tomorrw, probably evening time since it's set to officially debut on Conan.

So How Much of Mad Max: Fury Road Was Actually Practical Effects?

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies
Monday, August 3, 2015 at 8:00 am

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The answer is "a lot of it" - much of the post-production involved tinting and color-correcting.

But the much-ballyhooed "no CGI"? Yeahhh, not quite. The stunts and crashes were indeed primarily practical, and are truly impressive - but digital insertion of weapons and characters did happen, as did some green-screening.

Where? Let Brave New World's visual effects reel break it down for you.

Topless Toy Chest: 18-Inch Christopher Reeve Superman by NECA

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies, Toys
Monday, August 3, 2015 at 6:30 am

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Lex Luthor did not want me to complete this review.

I mean, what would YOU think if you went to UPS.com to track your package, and it actually told you flat out that a train derailment had caused an interruption in your delivery? It's a good thing Superman lived up to his billing as "more powerful than a locomotive" and made it here anyway.

13 Times Character Deaths Pissed People off Rather than Adding Gravitas

By Steven Kelliher in Books, Comics, Daily Lists, Movies
Monday, August 3, 2015 at 5:00 am


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Whether you're talking about movies, TV shows, comics or books, every story needs stakes, and plenty of narrative devices are used to raise them. Perhaps the most oft employed device - the looming specter of death for our main characters - is also the most oft abused. The departure of Boromir in The Fellowship of the Ring is one of the most affecting deaths in film history, while Ned Stark's death toward the end of A Game of Thrones served to remind readers (and HBO viewers) that George R.R. Martin is not messing around.

For every brilliantly executed death, however, we're inundated with plenty of misses. Sometimes, these are crude and diverting, but for our purposes here, we'll count down 13 times character deaths actually lessened the narrative heft of a story and served to piss off its loyal audience rather than adding depth and emotion to the proceedings. [Spoilers for a bunch of (mostly) older things abound, most notably Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games, book versions.]


Weekend Open Thread: August Around the Corner

By Luke Y. Thompson in Miscellaneous
Friday, July 31, 2015 at 6:01 pm

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Bonus points if you remembered Richard Pryor's full name from Superman III.

What's new with you?

RIP, RP: Roddy Piper to Kick Ass and Chew Bubblegum in the Next Life

By Luke Y. Thompson in Miscellaneous, Movies, TV
Friday, July 31, 2015 at 4:18 pm

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What a terrible few weeks for wrestling. Dusty Rhodes dead, Hulk Hogan blackballed, and now Roddy Piper has gone too, dead of cardiac arrest.

Piper, a Canadian pro-wrestler who capitalized on his Scottish heritage to become Hulk Hogan's arch-nemesis in the mid-'80s, was also the first pro-wrestler to cross over and become a legit movie star, headlining John Carpenter's They Live, Hell Comes to Frogtown, and numerous low budget action films thereafter.