TR Review: George Lucas' Latest Isn't Strange or Magical Enough

By Luke Y. Thompson in Cartoons, Movies
Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 2:30 pm

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If someone told you that you had the power to ban any one song from ever being covered by any newer artist ever again in the history of time, what would you pick? I don't mean some easy mediocrity like "Never Gonna Give You up." I mean something that people always cover, and make you want to shoot them every single time.

For me, it's "Can't Help Falling in Love With You." It was blahhh even for Elvis, and has gotten steadily worse with every subsequent take on it by idiots who think it sounds deeply romantic. UB-40's version alone should have killed it dead, but instead, here it is opening a new George Lucas CGI-fest. Dumb Gungan say/Meesa in big dudu now.

Would Crashing Through a Wall Actually Kill the Kool-Aid Man?

By Luke Y. Thompson in Food & Drink, Tech
Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 1:00 pm

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In trying to calculate the actual physics of a giant glass pitcher breaking through bricks, Vsauce's Jake has concluded that the wall would give way...but Kool-Aid Man would most likely die from blood loss in the process.

I say he is ignoring the obvious point that Kool-Aid Man is a T-1000. Red Kool-Aid is not his blood - it's his nanomite-filled nectar, designed to inculculate the courtship ritual of sharing drinks into young humans. Until one gives birth to Sarah Connor, at which point he'll morph into a glass stabby thing and kill her. ("Or mass-poison her and her family in Guyana..." NO. Stop right there. Jim Jones used Flavor-Aid. Get it right, bad nerds.)

Hey, it's no less logical than his existence to begin with. But you watch and decide.

TR Interview: Director Dean Israelite on the Found-Footage, Time-Travel Mayhem of Project Almanac

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies
Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 11:00 am

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Found-footage is most frequently used as a device to scare the audience, in the hopes that showing them something through the lens of something they own makes it feel more realistic and grounded. Project Almanac takes an even bigger leap with the format than ghosts, however, by showing us footage that has traveled through time - repeatedly (yes, the last Paranormal Activity pulled out a time portal, but only briefly, and as a "surprise" ending).

Believe it or not, this low-budget movie that uses hand-held cameras and actors who look like they could actually be in high school was produced by Michael Bay and directed by Dean Israelite, cousin of the guy who brought us the Ninja Turtles reboot. I'm embargoed from opining at length on the film, but suffice it to say I'm not surprised female lead Sofia Black D'Elia is already headed for bigger things (female lead in a needless Ben Hur remake, but still) - she's that rare oxymoron of a believable dreamgirl, in a part that would have gone to Shannyn Sossamon 15 years ago, or Teri Hatcher 25 years ago.

But we're here to talk to the director, and thankfully, he had quite a lot to say.

Whiplash Lead Actress Melissa Benoist is TV's New Supergirl

By Luke Y. Thompson in Comics, TV
Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 10:50 am

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She didn't exactly have the biggest part in the metaphorical dick-measuring contest that was the primary plot of Whiplash, but she was good in her moments. No idea how she'll be in this.

Benoist will play Kara, who after arriving on Earth was taken in by a foster family, the Danvers, who taught her to be careful with her extraordinary powers (which she shares with her famous cousin, Superman).

Now 24, Kara feels un-empowered, a slave to having repressed her innate abilities. She's still pretty, but with her face hidden behind glasses and her hair pulled back, she doesn't know it herself. An unexpected disaster forces her to use her powers in public. Energized by her heroic deed, for the first time in her life, Kara begins embracing her extraordinary abilities. She begins helping the people of her city and they soon take notice -- and she's even given a new moniker: Supergirl.

A Bing image search on her name already turns up nudes almost immediately, and high in the search.

Topless Robot Visits a Sex Dungeon

By Luke Y. Thompson in Live Performance, Miscellaneous, Movies
Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 9:00 am

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In the unusual Japanese film (but I repeat myself) R100, which opens tomorrow in theaters and on-demand and you should see, a man signs himself up for a dominatrix service that operates like Kato in the Pink Panther movies, in that he can be attacked and forced to submit at any time. When the incursions become ever more threatening, and he tries to back out, he cannot - the fear that the line of safety will be crossed is not just part of the fetish, but it still turns him on even as it endangers his son.

Later in the film, we realize we're watching a film within a film - the final work of a senile, 100 year-old director whose personal fetish is to force us to watch his weird fantasies onscreen, much to the befuddlement of the executives who've greenlit it. Naturally, to promote this film, Drafthouse Films decided I should come and visit a professional dominatrix's dungeon, though I was forbidden from revealing the location - I'll say only that the surrounding neighborhood felt calm and suburban and the residents would probably be extremely surprised if they knew.

I could tell you more, but fuck it...you want to SEE some stuff, right? Like me suffering the appropriate punishment for liking a Michael Bay movie? Come in....

Ask Luke's Mother in Law: Great Balls of Furry Lovin'

Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 7:30 am

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In which ex-cop/crazy cat lady/mom-in-law Martha Boyd answers your questions from the coziness of the Joshua Tree desert. All questions and answers are real.

Hey, well, here we are with another week under our belts. I watched the Oscar announcements from the lair in Joshua Tree, and will have to say I was disappointed that Best Director was an old boys' group. The director of Selma, Ava DuVernay, got totally snubbed. I mean, please, Selma got best picture - did it make itself?


Mondo's Amazing Iron Giant Action Figure Goes up for Preorder Today

By Luke Y. Thompson in Cartoons, Toys
Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 5:30 am

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Mondo

If you have a soul in your body and about $315 to spare, you should be keeping your eyes on Mondo's Twitter feed RIGHT EFFIN' NOW, as that's when they're going to announce that preorders are open for this amazing figure that stands over a foot tall and can probably give some of your Pacific Rim toys a run for their money (by making the pilots cry when he says 'I am not a gun," naturally). Here's a reminder of what he's packing:

The figure features over 30 points of articulation and a variety of accessories allowing you to transform the Iron Giant into all of his notable incarnations. You'll receive two interchangeable heads with light-up eyes, a magnetic "S" that can be detached from a Seafood sign and attached to his chest, switch-out "War Arm" when things get tense, a Hogarth mini-figure that sits perfectly in his hand, and of course, a girder to munch on. Additionally, the figure includes a sound feature with favorite Iron Giant quotes from the film. Available exclusively on our site, we'll also have a special limited edition version that comes with the "Hand Under Foot" accessory, modeled after the Iron Giant's detached hand that runs loose in the farmhouse.
If it's anything like Mondo's posters, he'll sell out faster than Gene Simmons at a licensing convention. So look alive.

The 14 Nerdy Things We Most Look Forward to in 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 4:00 am

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2014 ended three weeks ago, but our wrap-ups of 2014's best and worst ended yesterday. It's fair to say we consumed a lot of entertainment, enjoyed many things and had almost as much fun vocally destroying the things we didn't like so much. And as I hope was evident, not every Topless Robot contributor had the same ideas about what those things were.

Which is why, as we look to the year ahead, I've gathered together as many of our regular contributors as possible for this list, in which they all describe what they're geeked out about for 2015. From board games to RPGs, action figures to adaptations - and in one case, even the rumors we long to hear - it's a varied, insightful and excitable sneak peek.

Star Trek 3 Peggs a New Writer - Can He Change the Laws of Threequels?

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 5:45 pm

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In what may be the first bit of unequivocal good news to befall Not The Search for Spock, Simon Pegg has been announced as cowriter on the script, alongside the lesser-known Doug Jung. My personal favorite original Trek movie is IV, in large part because it has a lot of humor that is nonetheless in-character and doesn't go so far that it undermines the premise, as part V did. Having rewatched the Cornetto trilogy again recently, I think Pegg might be the right guy to capture that, if anybody is.

Will Scotty be a miracle worker and get the ship out of danger? He's done it before...

Arrow SPOILER Thread: Smoakin' Atoms

By Luke Y. Thompson in Comics, TV
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 4:45 pm

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Ollie, Ollie, oxygen-free? As in, dead? Guess we'll find out soon enough...