The Complete Story of Star Wars Episode IV, All in Haiku

Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 4:55 pm
A drumroll begins
The Fox fanfare starts playing
The logo appears
In 200 or so of these, author Craig W. Chenery, known primarily for his scholarly studies of zombie movies, tells the entire tale in the Japanese poetry style. Although it's a hybrid version of sorts..
Han Solo shoots first
Greedo does not fire a shot
That would be silly...


Once he was a man
CGI changed him a lot
Han stepped on his tail
Also he misspells some names like "Dr. Evizan" and "Wuhrer." But the overall achievement is impressive enough that I'll let that slide. You?

h/t Liam Chapman

TR Review: The Purge: Anarchy Is Fun, but Still Not Anarchic Enough

Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 1:00 pm


It's funny - I remember when M. Night Shyamalan's Signs came out, and before everyone started getting snarky about the whole water thing, the meme was that it was a unique take on an Independence Day-like event, to show it from the point of view of minor characters. This can be extremely effective: When the Wind Blows is one of the most disturbing cartoons ever made, and only ever shows two speaking characters in its portrayal of global tragedy (it seems like an astute way to do things; years later I learned it was because writer Raymond Briggs didn't want to have to draw or write about more than two people)

Except nowadays, especially when it comes to movies from Blumhouse, this approach is no longer a novelty. Every other horror movie is like Signs perspective-wise, minus Shyamalan Twist (though Blumhouse's one alien movie, Dark Skies, is notably the worst), so when The Purge described a world in which (almost) all crime is legal nationwide for one night, the savvy movie watcher knew going in that the movie would focus on just one family dealing with it. Once it did well, the question was whether the purse strings would be loosened enough to go outside in part 2.

They were. But I wish they'd be loosened even more.

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OF COURSE There's a Lego Rocket Raccoon Set You Can Only (Hope to) Get at Comic-Con

Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 11:30 am


So, what chance do you actually have of owning this set, which will sell for the slightly high price of $40, and be scalped for way, way more? I was gonna say it's not rocket science, but, well...

Just this - comics fans know that Rocket Raccoon is the most marketable Guardians of the Galaxy character, and that if he's handled with any competence whatsoever onscreen, kids are gonna want all the stuff with his face on it they can get.

Non-comics fans might not know this yet. For them, the hype may be premature since the movie hasn't opened. I know, I know, it's a slim hope. Just don't tell any of them, all right?

via Marvel Toy News, h/t SlyDante777

Ask Luke's Mother-in-Law: Desert Radio, Mean Maleficent and Pirate Kitten

Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 10:00 am


A veteran of the LAPD, widow of a Green Beret and self-described crazy cat lady, Luke's Mother-in-Law fears no questions. Ask her anything in the comments section - no issue is too big, too trivial or too weird for her to tackle, but if you get out of line, she will let you know!

All questions and answers are real.

Hello, hello from the vortex of Joshua Tree. This week I attended the 25th anniversay of our local radio station, Z107.7, which is locally owned by Gary and Cindy. They started here in the basin 25 yrs ago. Not many locally owned stations are still around, but little old Joshua Tree has one; they always comment that they are located in a strip mall next to the biggest drug dealer in town: the local family owned pharmacy. Yep, we even have one of those to the local pizza and Indian food restaurant. Z107.7 has been in operation as long as I have lived in the desert. Julia was even a guest DJ when she was in elementary school. Anyway, here is to another 25 yrs of great broadcasting. If you are ever in Joshua Tree stop by and see this treasure.

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New Funko Comic-Con Exclusive Game of Thrones, Goonies, Nightmare before Christmas Figures

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 6:07 pm

Click to enlarge

Sigh. Just when we finally print our list, they go and announce this stuff.

Battle-damaged Tyrion with helmet. Glow-in-the-dark Billie puppet from Saw. Jack Skellington with Zero and Superman Sloth retro-action figures. I'm not sure that I'll actually buy any of them - we'll talk if they start giving some of these retro properties a similar action figure treatment as that Tyrion (I'd buy a whole range of Saw characters in traps) - but they're all from properties people don't stop talking about.

If there's ever another Saw movie, there should be a trap lined with all these exclusives, but you have to cut off a hand to get one. That wouldn't be too far off of real life.


The Room's Tommy Wiseau Is Now an Underwear Salesman

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 2:47 pm



For a guy who supposedly made his mysterious fortune selling clothes, I'll say this: Tommy Wiseau's fashion sense is certainly the equal of his directorial talents. But at least for all of you who demanded to own garishly colored briefs with the name "Tommy Wiseau" on them, which is exactly nobody, the product exists now.

Here's why this is yet another instance of the unlikely auteur coming off clueless: as fans of The Room know, there is an ENTIRE SCENE centered around underwear in the movie, which culminates in the creative use of the phrase "me underwears." If, instead of putting his name on these undergarments, Wiseau had simply had the sense to write "Me Underwears," people would actually buy that.

Instead, he has made a joint commercial for both the briefs and his never-gonna-happen sitcom The Neighbors. Like everything he does, it's hilariously overacted and paced about as well as a drunk running the New York marathon, featuring Wiseau as a character named "Ricky Rick" who likes "Tommy Wiseau" products. But you have to see it...

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EXCLUSIVE: Producer Jason Blum on The Purge: Anarchy, Paranormal Activity 5, Amityville and JEM

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Blumhouse Productions

Name any popular low-budget horror franchise right now, and Jason Blum is probably behind it. Paranormal Activity, Sinister, Insidious, the upcoming Amityville reboot...most of them films that sell the concept rather than a big-name star, and many of which take place primarily on one location.

The Purge: Anarchy breaks the mold a bit, by taking characters outside to the streets of Los Angeles on the annual night when all laws (with some exceptions, like the ones keeping the government intact) are suspended. For the larger canvas, we can thank not only the success of the first film, but also the interactive theater attraction The Purge: Fear the Night, which has spawned yet another live experience, this time a touring adventure in which teams of six participants must solve puzzles, Resident Evil style, to make it through a madman's house before time runs out and he comes home to kill you.

Also, Blum's doing the Jem movie. Yes, really. And it's one of many things he spoke to us about...

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Movie Ultron Revealed, and Looks Like He Should

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 11:17 am

Click to enlarge:


EW has the first look at Avengers: Age of Ultron, along with other set photos that only confirm outfits we've seen from set photos before,a s well as Don Cheadle's participation this time out.

So, with an Ultron face that basic, I'm wondering about the motion-capture acting. Did James Spader just have, like, five dots on his face?

We're Really Trying This Again? Another Orson Scott Card Book-to-Movie

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Thom Allen

This time it's his short story "Unaccompanied Sonata," in which a boy is raised to be a musical composer without being allowed to hear any other music. But when he does happen to hear the music of Bach, at the age of 30, he is barred from finishing his composition or ever making music again.

As is often the case with OSC, the apparently unintended irony is thick. How hard it must be, indeed, to have to hide from anything that might stimulate you the wrong way...and then once you find it, to be forced to repress your true self forever.

Still, I thought it had been pretty well established that working with the anti-gay Card is commercial poison. If you can't make a megahit out of his most acclaimed novel, is it really worth it for one without even the name value?

Incidentally, if you're wondering why Card doesn't get the same kind of counter-support that, say, the Duck Dynasty guys do, it's an unmentioned but simple factor - Card's a Mormon, and not all Christian activist groups are down with that.

Comics Trifecta: TMNT Meet Ghostbusters, Lady Thor and Star Wars Marvel Legends

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm


Yes, the Ghostbusters and Ninja Turtles that you actually like - i.e. Egon's team and TMNT without flaring nostrils, rather than the nonsense we're likely getting from both onscreen shortly -will join forces to save New York from ghosts and mutants. Unlike past IDW universe crossovers that have featured both sets of characters but kept them in their own separate worlds, this will feature them side by side.

Which means, ironically, that from the Ghostbusters' point of view, the Turtles will indeed be extra-dimensional beings. I think this is the one instance where we can forgive that.

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