Topless Robot LIVE! Butts and Catfishing at SXSW, With Fred Topel and Jen Yamato

Friday, March 27, 2015 at 6:30 am


On this week's podcast, our special guests The Daily Beast's Jen Yamato and TR contributor Fred Topel return from the South-by-Southwest film festival with tales of John Cena's bare ass, Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart's Get Hard controversy, Ex Machina's Tinder robot and more! Also: Luke speaks way too soon about Comic-Con hotel rooms, Julia convinces Jen that Minions is a worthwhile franchise, Fred explains why sequels should never stop, and we discuss why that controversial Batgirl cover might be neither about sexism nor censorship.

As always, if you do iTunes, please subscribe and give us good reviews. Subscribers get new podcasts before they become available as embeds on the site.

10 Versions of Wonder Woman That Michelle MacLaren Must View Before Directing the Movie

By Eric Diaz in Daily Lists
Friday, March 27, 2015 at 5:00 am


It was announced last year that Warner Brothers would finally, after well over a decade of development hell, give us a Wonder Woman solo film in 2017, starring Gal Gadot as the world's most famous female superhero. Although she is making her debut in next year's Batman V. Superman movie in a supporting role, it'll be her own movie that really defines how she's perceived for a whole generation. The first good move Warners made is to hire Michelle MacLaren, director of episodes of several great shows like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and Walking Dead, to direct. Putting a talented woman behind the camera is a smart move, hopefully the first of many.

So which pieces of Wonder Woman lore should MacLaren dive into before directing the film? There are those who say that unlike characters like Batman or Spider-Man, there are no "definitive" or important takes on the character, to which I say "nonsense" - in nearly seventy-five years of continuous publication, there are indeed several defining versions of the character. Here are ten takes on the Amazing Amazon that Michelle MacLaren should absolutely check out before cameras start to roll on Wonder Woman's first ever solo film.

Game of Thrones' Sophie Turner Describes What "Real Housewives of Westeros" Would Be Like

By Luke Y. Thompson in Books, TV
Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 1:00 pm


I know; "Real Housewives of Westeros" sounds like some bad YouTube sketch where wide-eyed fanboys in bad wigs and terrible drag make endless awful jokes about winter coming.

Vanity Fair doesn't play that game. They just got the real Sansa Stark to describe exactly how a reality show would go down in the Seven Kingdoms. The events she comes up with, I would watch. See if you would too.

Fictional Death Expert George R.R. Martin Tells Walking Dead Characters How to Survive.

By Luke Y. Thompson in Books, Comics, TV
Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 12:00 pm


I think we all know that the actual answer to the question, "How will these particular fictional characters survive?" is "Don't be in a George R.R. Martin book." Still, that hasn't stopped the mass-murderer of his own creations from weighing in on TV's The Walking Dead, with what he thinks is a practical solution for Rick and company.

Given their location in Georgia, it's actually not practical at all. But knowing Martin, you can see why he might think of it. Want to know his brilliant solution?

Gordon's Alive! Trailer for Sam J. Jones Documentary Life After Flash

By Luke Y. Thompson in Comics, Movies
Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 11:00 am


One of the only celebrities I have ever paid for an autograph from was Sam J. Jones, at Comic-Con some years back. 1980's Flash Gordon, while undoubtedly a travesty in the eyes of some old-school fans of the comic strips, has always been a favorite film of mine, in part because, just like the Adam West Batman, it works differently at every age. It's a great adventure film for kids, it's loaded with innuendos you start to get as a teen, and it casually drops Fellini references for the adult cinephile.

Back when I met Mr. Jones, probably at least 6 years ago, there was still no domestic DVD of the movie, so I asked when it would be coming out. He replied, "Probably next year, for the anniversary and the sequel." Sequel? Would there really be one? "Yeah, man, we're talking about it."

I guess he's still talking about it, and maybe his appearance in Ted made it more likely. In the meantime, though, here's a trailer for a documentary about his life that will be hitting Kickstarter in June. (Melody Anderson still looks gorgeous.)

SHIELD Agent Phil Coulson and Maria Hill Action Figures Now Available as Toys R Us Exclusive

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies, TV, Toys
Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 10:00 am


In an interesting reversal of stereotypes, it apparently takes a big-name black superhero-type to sell the white guy in a suit, as Agent Coulson - previously made by Hot Toys - hits Marvel Legends scale in a SHIELD three-pack also featuring Nick Fury and Agent Hill. According to my sources at Hasbro's PR company, this three-pack is the only way to get Coulson and Hill at this time, with no future releases currently scheduled. You can order it online now.

It's important to note that these are the movie versions of Coulson and Hill - as of the last time I talked to anyone at Hasbro, there were no plans to make figures based on any Marvel TV shows, so if you want Kyle MacLachlan - as we all do, right? - keep fingers crossed that his character lives to see the Inhumans movie. I suspect that may change if Daredevil, as rumored, does ultimately end up in a kickass red costume.

via The Daily SuperHero

Will Ferrell Sings the Original Star Trek Theme

By Luke Y. Thompson in Music, TV
Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 9:15 am


The more hardcore fans among us know that there are, in fact, lyrics to the original series' theme tune by Alexander Courage, albeit not written with Courage's consent. Will Ferrell does not seem to know this, yet he has perfected a note-perfect rendition anyway.

And thus does new Late Late Show host James Corden kick off with something viral-worthy. It remains to be seen if that will be the whole of his shtick, like Jimmy Fallon.

New Mortal Kombat X Trailer Makes Larynx-Ripping a Thing

By Luke Y. Thompson in Video Games
Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 8:25 am


We know there'll be bonus characters like Jason Voorhees and Predator, but this new storyline trailer indicates that those guys might just be big ol' softies compared to the newly evil Kung Lao and Liu Kang. Russian subtitles only help to prove that Sting's old line about "sharing the same biology" has a totally different meaning in this context - no longer a plea for peace through similarity, but death through targeting of the same vulnerabilities.

Such an Outworldly kill to do, if the Russians love their Kombat too. And there's a great return at the end....

Ask Luke's Mother-in-Law: Castles for Sale This Easter

By Luke Y. Thompson in Books, Miscellaneous, Video Games
Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 6:30 am


Martha Boyd is former LAPD, a licensed property appraiser and a self-described crazy cat lady. None of which has prepared her for TR readers. All questions and answers are real.

Hi all. Well, we are back under the control of LYT. They escaped for the weekend and I understand they had a good time in Las Vegas, and got to ride on the world's tallest Ferris wheel...and that is has a bar in it. Only in Vegas. They also hit up one of the best seafood buffets in town at the Rio. I can second that the on buffet; they took me there one time when we were in town for a pageant and it was the best. Yes, we have dragged LYT to a beauty pageant one time. Julia was a judge and he came along for the ride and to see how she got all of the crowns that he now has to live with. Witney did a good job for the site - I enjoyed many of the pieces. This has been another busy week of appraising for me, but it's all good as there will be times when work is slow, and you have to work when the work is here. This week I got to appraise a property that was at one time owned by James Cagney - how cool is that?

10 Things to Know About WrestleMania 31 for Casual and Non-Fans

By Luke Y. Thompson in Daily Lists, TV
Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 5:00 am


I know, I know...all you fans of the Top-Down Smackdown column were bummed that on the Monday before WrestleMania, I went on vacation. Consider this my atonement. And for those of you not a fan of that column, who'd rather see it confiend to Monday nights...I'll atone for this some other time.

But non-fans should keep reading anyway, because you may be wondering why you have a friend who invited you to watch wrestling this weekend. They know you're not generally into it, right? Well, yeah. But it's WrestleMania weekend, which is the Superbowl of wrestling, ad they hold out some hope that just as non-football fans can enjoy that big game day, WrestleMania will transcend boundaries and be, at the very least, a fun curiousity. Heck, just two days ago a friend of mine in the media business asked, "I'm going to WrestleMania; what do I need to know?" For her, and the rest of you who aren't fervent followers, consider this your cheat sheet, complete with relevant video clips. For more faithful fans, you still get to see my predictions and picks. Everyone wins!