"I Want a Pony Semen Jar for Christmas" - A Topless Robot Holiday Carol

Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 12:10 pm


The most horrible toy-related story of the year, the Pony Cum Jar Project is the gift that keeps on giving. In case you missed it, it involves "self-love," a My Little Pony toy in a jar, and some accidental radiator overheating.

And now, courtesy of Krista Johnson, we have a song about it. Is "enjoy" the right word?

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Ask Luke's Mother-in-Law: Mandalorians and Marijuana

Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 8:00 am


Martha Boyd is not just Luke's mother-in-law - she's also an ex-cop, a landlord, a self-described crazy cat lady, a major Star Trek geek and the widow of a green beret. So go ahead: ask her anything. And we mean anything.

Hi all,

Had the honor of having Malice and Risika from the Skirata Clan (Star Wars) at my house the other day. He is a wonderful Star Wars costumer - Mandalorian. The Clan is also building something special for the Anaheim, CA Convention in 2015. I understand it is going to be huge. I have attached a pic of the work in progress and also...how would you like this guy in your kitchen? By the way, he is also a great computer tech and got my system back on line and purring like one of the kittens again. Check out the Facebook page and like it at SkirataAliit. If you are interested in crafting your own Star Wars wardrobe you can reach them there. They have monthly construction parties here in Joshua Tree, CA. The clan also does great charity work and recently built a costume for a little girl who unfortunately just died of cancer - her pics are on the site - check them out.

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10 Movie or TV Insults to North Korea You Could Watch Instead of The Interview

Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 6:00 am


In one of the stranger showbiz stories of recent years, it appears that the government of North Korea has been able to shut down a big-studio America movie release. Sony has decided to indefinitely shelve The Interview, previously slated to open December 25, because of emails from hackers implying that theaters showing the film might be the target of terrorist activity.

Thus Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen's wacky comedy in the Hangover vein, about two numbskull TV entertainment journalists who are pressed into service to assassinate North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un, could end up as a legendary inaccessible movie. It could take its place with the likes of The Day the Clown Cried by Jerry Lewis or The Other Side of the Wind by Orson Welles.

But if you resent the hack, there are still movie and TV choices you can make which mock Kim Jong-Un or his father Kim Jong-Il - two of the more easily mock-able world leaders, especially since the departure of George W. Bush - and/or reflect badly on their regime. Here are a few examples:

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10 Reasons Why Star Wars Fans Should Reclaim Life Day

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 6:00 am

Liz Ohanesian
Star Wars fans celebrate Life Day.
In the late 1970s, Life Day emerged as a Wookiee holiday celebrating peace, friendship, and community. It could have become a tradition, but any hope of that was lost when the Star Wars Holiday Special premiered. The one-off small screen event - a variety show wrapped in home-for-the-holiday mushiness and vague drama with the Empire - was abysmal and quickly faded from the official memory of the franchise. Fans, however, never forget. Now, thanks to worn-out copies of the broadcast and the people who distribute them, the Star Wars Holiday Special exists for people who didn't catch it the first time it aired.

As a Star Wars holiday, Life Day pales in comparison to May the Fourth. Perhaps, it's time for that to change. On Saturday night, Complex, a nightclub in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale, hosted its first "Star Wars Holiday Special Life Day Celebration." Fans arrived in their best Star Wars t-shirts and cosplay. They ate Hoth Pockets and drank themed cocktails. They danced to songs from the Star Wars Christmas album and cheered for a band playing the Cantina theme. It was fun, so much fun that I now believe it's time for Star Wars fans to reclaim Life Day. Here's why.

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Hobbit Hole, Meet Cat's Butthole

Monday, December 15, 2014 at 2:29 pm


In the kitty litter box, in the land of the Shire, lives a brave little Hobbit in a stench so dire. The cat took a shit, in his Hobbit hole; 'twas something encouraged, and now he knows his role...

BILBO! Bilbo Baggins. His home's a toilet now...
BILBO! Bilbo Baggins. His least favorite sound is now "Meow."

And that's how we introduce a new "Super-Fan Builds," in which a Hobbit hole litter box and Eye of Sauron scratching post are created.

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Weekend Open Thread: 2 for LYT

Friday, December 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm

April Killingsworth

I didn't want to spend the second anniversary of my debut here at Topless Robot with a splitting headache, sopping wet floor, water-damaged comics and toy boxes, and more minimalist posting than I'd planned. But fate laughs when men make plans.

Suffice it to say I'm really proud of all my contributors this year - I'm an editor but I'm also a fan, albeit a fan with the rare power to help you make your work stronger. I'm particularly pleased with the way Charles and then Jim stepped up to doing a weekly comics feature, and Kyle for Robotic Gaming Monthly, which I wish I had the budget to make weekly. No small thanks also to Peggy, my transcriptionist, without whom you'd see a lot fewer interviews on the site. And of course all the great regular commenters - my invisible family with whom I communicate more than my actual family.

This site is always a work in progress, and not all my ideas will be good - but when I look back at last year's idea submission contest, I think we managed to get a lot of that in here: the column my mother-in-law suggested, the retro-reviews (only really two so far, but still), the live TV threads, the weekly wrestling column, and soforth.

Here's to the next one.

9 Nerd-Insulting and/or Generally Annoying Things About Birdman

Friday, December 12, 2014 at 6:00 am


One of the critical hits of this year's movie award season has been Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). It's about a movie star best known for playing a superhero called Birdman back in the '90s. Two decades later, this guy, played by Michael Keaton, is struggling to mount his own stage adaptation of Raymond Carver's What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, at Broadway's St. James Theatre.

Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, the talented Mexican behind Amores Perros, 21 Grams and others, Birdman is an impressive piece of filmmaking. It also has its "meta" aspect, in its loose parallels with the career of Keaton, who more than two decades later is still associated with his starring role in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman and its sequel Batman Returns (1992). Although Keaton has worked prolifically, often to critical acclaim, in the years since, he is, perhaps, perceived as never quite having fully shaken off the cowl and cape.

Birdman has changed that; this week it racked up the SAG and Golden Globe nominations, and it will almost certainly land Keaton an Oscar nomination, and his won't be the only one. But for all the movie's undeniable merit, I find myself lagging behind the critical bandwagon; I can't bring myself to jump all the way on. Certain aspects of Birdman have been irritating me since I saw it, and more than a couple of them are nerd-relevant.


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12 Reasons Why I Should Direct the Next Star Trek Movie

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 6:00 am


Dear Paramount,

In 2009, filmmaker-cum-advertising expert J.J. Abrams effectively rebooted the flagging Star Trek empire with a well-reviewed, popular, and generally well-liked feature film called, fittingly enough, Star Trek. It was a film that was fresh in all senses of the word: It was a new cast, it was an entirely new production team, it featured a new storytelling continuity, a new tone, and a new way of looking at Star Trek. I suppose something so dramatically different was needed after 11 feature films and 40 years of movies.

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8 Reasons You're Completely Wrong About the Star Wars Prequels

Friday, December 5, 2014 at 6:00 am


Normally, I don't think it's necessary to write about or deeply examine the kind of enjoyment ones gets out of movies like Star Wars. It rarely pays. But I'm fascinated and a little horrified by the general response to George Lucas's prequel trilogy these days. The Internet has deputized (or militarized or radicalized) a strange breed of I/O fruitcakes who, at least in public, believe that expressing one's feelings with the least possible nuance is the best way to go every time. In truth, anywhere in America it's hard to find sixty people who will agree about anything except about how much they hate something. And yet check out any AICN talkback to hear an unexamined criticism savagely confirmed, dissent level zero: "The Hobbit movies are just cash grabs! The English Patient is boring! I would not sleep with that famously beautiful actress if she begged me! Hurrah!"

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Cute Furry Animals in Little Hats Have Thanksgiving Dinner

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at 4:56 pm



Go enjoy the holiday, folks. Light posting around here for the next four days. I'll get the Star Wars trailer up on Friday when it hits the net, there'll be a weekend thread at the usual time, and by demand request of my wife, there will be a live spoiler thread for the Grumpy Cat Christmas movie.

In the meantime, use this thread to talk about whatever you wish.

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