UPDATED WITH POSTER! Here's the Official Avengers: Age of Ultron Teaser From Marvel

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 6:51 pm


Pirates: 1

Agents of SHIELD ratings gimmick: 0

Leaked via bootleg earlier, this is the official version from Marvel. It doesn't have the party scene shown in San Diego, nor - unless I missed him in the excitement - Vision. But it does have a great use of Disney corporate synergy.

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New Hobbit-Themed Air New Zealand Safety Video Literally Shits on Sylvester McCoy

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 2:00 pm


Airline safety videos already feel like an unwelcome extension of the flight preamble, after you've taken longer than necessary to wait for boarding, board the plain and then linger on the tarmac. So what better movie property to associate with them than The Hobbit, which knows a thing or two about unwelcome lengthenings?

This isn't the first such collaboration - that happened in 2012, and both Rob and I enjoyed it. But now? The stereotypical basement-dweller nerd who craves the One Ring? The bird droppings falling on poor Sylvester in real time? The weird and creepy way the Battle of the Five Armies turns into a group hug? The freakin' END CREDITS on a safety video, because it isn't long enough already?

Hmm, these really do follow my feelings about the Hobbit trilogy almost exactly.

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Oh Dear...Johnny Depp's a Furry Now

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Click to enlarge

Sigh...Another day, another really stupid costume for Johnny Depp, who finally ditched the clown-white facepaint for blue fur and dog ears as the Big Bad Wolf from the dark musical fairytale amalgam Into the Woods. Note to Depp: this is not better.

I admit I don't know Into the Woods well at all, but I totally get why you might dress that way in a stage musical (except for the part about it being blue). But in a movie full of CGI beanstalks and thorns and stuff...THIS is your wolf? Was he auditioning for Avatar 2 and just refused to take the costume off?

Why do I get the feeling that if Johnny Depp did Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas today, he'd insist Hunter Thompson needs actual bat wings, and nobody would tell him "no"?

Mega Bloks to Make Despicable Me Minions Playsets

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 10:00 am


The Minions from Despicable Me would seem eminently suitable for a cool, customizable construction toy line, but unfortunately we'll have to settle for Mega Bloks instead. Yes, the Minions will have some interchangeable features, including troll-style rooted hair on the Evil Minions, but the sets shown so far are painfully minimal and feature heavy use of pre-shaped parts.

Don't expect Gru and his girls yet, either...like the second film, the line seems to be ignoring them. There's a pattern here: Mega Bloks has Barbie, Hello Kitty and now Minions...dear God. Everything my wife likes is going to Mega Bloks. If this pattern follows, they'll grab the rights to Precious Moments and vintage Dark Shadows next.

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The 14 Coolest Things from the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls - Rainbow Rocks DVD Commentary

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 6:00 am


After brief and rather scattershot theatrical run in late September and early October, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls - Rainbow Rocks is being released in a DVD/Blu-ray combo from Shout! Factory, and for streaming on Amazon Instant and elsewhere. Taking place directly after the events of Friendship Is Magic's fourth season finale "Twilight's Kingdom" while also picking up the threads from the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, it's terrific on its own, and even more importantly, the Shout! Factory discs have an entertaining and informative commentary track featuring key members of the production team. Here are some of the highlights of that commentary!

Spoilers abound, of course.

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Alex Ross Re-Creates the Cover of Original Marvel Star Wars Comic

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 4:00 pm


Okay, so he didn't make like the toys and do a green Darth Vader in tribute - but he Alex Ross'd the hell out of that original Marvel #1.

This is one of many variant covers for the debut of the new series, which transpires right after Episode IV. J. Scott Campbell, Joe Quesada and many more will be taking a crack at it, though I'm personally hoping for a Milo Manara variant that shows C-3PO crawling around doggy-style as Artoo prepares to probe him.

What, I'm the only one? Okay, carry on.

If Modern Horror Villains Invaded "The Monster Mash"...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 2:30 pm


The Universal monsters were able to plug into any number of more family friendly spin-offs back in the day - Abbott and Costello comedies, General Mills cereals, Rankin-Bass stop-motion specials - but could their modern counterparts do the same?

In this video from the Key of Awesome and Barely Political, a Karloff-like Frankenstein tries to sing the classic movie-inspired monster dance hit, but finds himself just a tad appalled at the way the new guys (and one girl) integrate themselves. The makeup effects may not be state of the art, but the impersonations are good and the rhymes are solid. It still doesn't reveal what happened to the Transylvania Twist.

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UK Exhibit Explains Star Wars to the Blind and Deaf

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 11:30 am


Sure, we can joke about how there's not much to Star Wars when you take away the cool sounds and visual effects, but deep down you know that's not true - if it were, you'd love Bayformers equally. There's a resonant story there that can transcend disability, and a recent one-day convention allowed the saga - and other nerd properties like TMNT - to be experienced by touch, smell and texture.

Co-founder JJ Lucia-Wright was inspired to help organise it after spending the past 10 years teaching a friend who is deaf and blind about Star Wars.
Communicating via taps on the hand, disabled fans could touch lifesize replicas of Chewbacca and Threepio, and, um..."sniff the scent of the Millennium Falcon."

I must confess I wonder what the scent would be. It's a small ship and I imagine Wookiees having pretty hellacious bowel movements.

h/t Gallen_Dugall

8 Reasons Why An All-Female Ghostbusters Reboot Is the Best Possible Direction

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 6:00 am


Word dropped recently that Paul Feig, director of The Heat and Bridesmaids, will direct the next Ghostbusters movie. He's gone on record stating that he doesn't intend to do a sequel or anything at all connected to the previous films. In addition to going with a straight up reboot, Feig's also expressed a desire to have the movie fronted by an all-female cast. Like a hornets nest kicked by a girl playing with fire while showing off her winged reptile body art, a huge chunk of the Internet is all astir about how awful this is. Like so many things, that chunk of the Internet is wrong about this topic.

I've gone on record here at TR before about this matter (item 8 on the linked list), and I'm doing so again. Simply put, another sequel in the Ghostbusters franchise would be doomed to suck. Feig's idea represents the best damn shot we'll ever have at a good or great movie carrying the Ghostbusters name.

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Top-Down Smackdown: An Interview With KANE on See No Evil 2, Politics, Past Gimmicks

Monday, October 20, 2014 at 4:05 pm


It is with great pride that Top-Down Smackdown presents our first interview with an iconic figure in the sports-entertainment business. Glenn Jacobs has been through many character changes that even Dwayne Johnson would have trouble pulling off - he once literally wrestled dressed as a human Christmas tree - but it all clicked when he landed the persona of Undertaker's brother Kane, a mute monster who supposedly wore a mask and bodysuit to hide disfiguring burns. What could have been a one-note character has continued to develop: he learned how to talk, got a girlfriend, unmasked and revealed his burns were hallucinations only, was framed for necrophilia, set on fire repeatedly, sent to anger management and most recently donned a suit and tie to "go corporate."

In the new WWE Studios movie See No Evil 2, he returns to a more classic horror persona as the eyeball-obsessed killer Jacob Goodnight. We took the opportunity to talk about his return to movies, his wrestling career, and those persistent rumors that he'll retire and run for office.

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