8 Things Today's Comic-Book Movies Can Learn From Annie

Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 5:00 am

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This past weekend, I went to see a live, touring production of Annie for the first time since I was a very young child. It probably goes without saying that this was not my idea, though it may require uttering that I had myself a fine time. And that wasn't just because all the cocktails were doubles, and the concession stand, thinking that anything colored red could be considered Annie-themed, had liquid nitrogen on hand to make a sub-zero raspberry sorbet from what looked like a witch's cauldron. Nor was it just because my wife was taking me out and paying for everything.

No - the truth is Annie is a good show, and has endured for many years because of it. It is also a show based on a comic strip that launched in 1924, making its central character, Little Orphan Annie, a longer-running media franchise character than Superman, Batman, or anyone from Marvel.

It occurs to me that we could learn some lessons from that fact...

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Weekend Open Thread: Ru the Drag, Crossbones, Twin Peaks Re-Lynched!

Friday, May 15, 2015 at 5:30 pm

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Yep, this is going to be a big part of my weekend. I'll Tweet pics from DragCon on Saturday, and Eric will have a write-up Monday morning. Please keep all Mad Max talk in the official spoiler thread.

What's on your agenda? Here's a little good news:

And CLICK HERE for Frank Grillo as Crossbones in Civil War.

Next Podcast Guests: Tony Ortega, Eric Diaz, Liz Ohanesian

Friday, May 15, 2015 at 2:30 pm

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Right now, our next podcast is set to be a two-parter. In the opening bout, we will have regular TR contributors Eric Diaz and Liz Ohanesian, making their TR Live! debuts from RuPaul's DragCon.

In the main event: Tony Ortega, editor of The Underground Bunker, a website dedicated to investigating and monitoring the Church of Scientology. Tony was heavily featured in the recent HBO documentary Going Clear, and his new book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely, tells the story of Paulette Cooper, one of the first journalists to be targeted by the church. Tony is also a former colleague of mine.

The schedule is subject to change, but if you have any on-air questions for Tony, Liz or Eric, leave them in comments below.

Topless Robot Live! The Making of a Mandalorian

Thursday, May 7, 2015 at 10:00 am

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Malice Skirata, a.k.a. Colin Logan, from the high-desert SoCal chapter of the Mandalorian Mercs, teaches us how to go about becoming a true Mandalorian, from costume to commitment. He also weighs in on the upcoming Boba Fett movie, and how Star Wars saved his life.

As always, if you do iTunes, please subscribe and review us - subscribers get the newest podcasts first.

Nintendo Rides and Characters Are Coming to Universal Studios

Thursday, May 7, 2015 at 5:00 am

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King Kong, meet Donkey Kong. Mario, meet Minions. Universal and Nintendo just signed a deal to license game-based rides, attractions and costumed characters to Universal theme parks. There are no further specifics announced, aside from the deal featuring "Nintendo's most famous characters and games."

So what would you like to see in a Nintendo Universal Park? Donkey Kongfrontation? Pikachu's Seizure Spinner? The Legend of Wiener: Hot Links to Repast? Mario's Mamma Mia Pizzeria? Starfox Simulator?

I'd settle for a really good arcade. But they won't.

Next Podcast Guest: Malice, of the Mandalorian Mercs

Monday, May 4, 2015 at 1:26 pm

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From Skirata Aliit, the Southern California chapter of the Mandalorian Mercs (think 501st, but for Mandalorians), we're getting a bounty-ful guest.

Also, my mother-in-law will be on the same show, and relate the tale of how Mandalorians fixed her Internet.

Do you have any questions? Leave 'em below!

R.I.P. Nigel Terry and Grace Lee Whitney - King Arthur and Yeoman Rand

Monday, May 4, 2015 at 4:00 am

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The night my mother let me stay up and watch Excalibur on TV remains one of the most memorable movie-watching experiences of my life - it was fantasy, but it was brutal, no-holds-barred, no-limit-to-the-imagination stuff. So many of today's fantasy cliches come from that movie doing them first, but through all the King Arthur "reimaginings" I've seen since, it remains the gold standard.

Nicol Williamson and Helen Mirren steal the show, while Liam Neeson and Patrick Stewart make memorable early career appearances. But it was Nigel Terry who had the challenging task of holding the whole thing together as Arthur, in a journey from young naive squire to battle-weary king. He evidently preferred stage to screen, but at 69 has left us way too soon.

Grace Lee Whitney lived to be 85, but today offers us yet another reminder that time is moving on for Star Trek, and too few of the originals are still with us. Yeoman Janice Rand ultimately made Lieutenant in The Undiscovered Country - now she has embarked upon the final journey there. May Scotty greet her on the other side of it.

Topless Robot Live! New Podcast on Star Wars, Batfleck and Super Hero Girls

Monday, April 27, 2015 at 9:00 am

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No guest on this week's podcast - just unfiltered Luke and Julia, on the subject of DC's Super Hero Girls initiative, Star Wars Celebration, and all the major trailers dumped on us last week.

As always, if you do iTunes, please subscribe and review us - subscribers get the newest podcasts first.

Fans React to The Force Awakens' "Chewie, We're Home" Line

Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 1:45 pm

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This may be the most adorably profane video you see all day.

Never let it be said that our community is constantly negative - here, we see grown-ass adults losing their shit like children - albeit while swearing like children shouldn't - and it's glorious.

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Topless Robot Live! "Defeat the Geek"

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 9:00 am

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Apologies for the lateness of this podcast - Julia was practically bedridden for almost a week, which kept her from putting the file together. We'll be back on sched next week.

In this episode, Marc Edward Heuck, best known as the Movie Geek from Comedy Central's Beat the Geeks, talks Fast & Furious, how Ben Stein kept him from getting dates, the evolution of Comedy Central and nerddom, a better name for the perpetually offended than the overused and one-sided "SJW," and why he thinks being a geek is becoming a bad thing again.

For Gallen and those concerned with alphabetization, we're going to try beginning each show title now with the word "episode" and the number. Hope that helps.

As always, if you do iTunes, please subscribe and review us. iTunes subscribers get to hear the podcast first.