The 4 Best and 4 Less-Best Aspects of SyFy's Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 8:00 am


If I'm known for anything 'round these here Topless Robot parts, it's my particular brand of disdain for a lot of SyFy's reality programming. It's a natural fit, really - SyFy's Face Off, a terrific reality challenge show wherein makeup artists compete against one another for a cash prize and makeup glory, is one of my favorite non-guilty pleasures on television. And for the past year or so, SyFy has tried to leverage Face Off's success with a string of inferior knock-offs and infuriating product placement.

So when Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge was announced, I approached with caution. To my surprise, though, this is a terrific show, and in honor of the show's season finale tonight, I'm going to run down why I think this show is *finally* a successful follow-up to Face Off. And a few ways I think they could make this show even better.

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Godzilla Trailer, Sweded: Featuring GI Joes, Toy Cars and Spot-On Cranston

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 10:00 am


These keep getting better and better. Cinefix's latest "Homemade Trailer" recreates the epic moments and the human drama of Godzilla with an outstanding Bryan Cranston-by-way-of-Harrison-Ford impersonator, lotsa toy cars, G.I. Joe figures for wide shots, a less-good David Strathairn, and many creative ways to replicate each individual shot.

You might say it's more convincing than some of the Toho films. While that would be a cheap shot, you wouldn't necessarily be wrong. Also: MAN IN SUIT!

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Captain America Joins Team America in Simple-Yet-Awesome Mash-up

Friday, April 18, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Thumbnail image for captain_america_fuck_yeah.jpg
This image for metaphorically illustrative purposes only

Admit it, you'd go see the movie above. Alas, that picture above is just a cheap image mashup manufactured by my good self in hopes of a cheap chuckle. The actual video I'm about to show you is simpler, and yet way cooler - the simple substitution of music in a Winter Soldier action sequence just makes all the difference in the world.

Especially when it's Trey Parker music. Fuck yeah.

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Footage of Jean-Claude Van Damme as the Original Predator

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 11:30 am


Seen here in the red suit used to create the cloaking effect, a young JCVD dressed as a giant bug looks more like a refugee from some aborted live-action version of Ralph Bakshi's Wizards than the iconic dreadlocked spacehunter who would go on to face Arnold.

A newly released video from creature FX supervisor Steve Johnson and Stan Winston's son Matt shows the costume in action, and reveals the bullet we dodged (can you imagine NECA making 50+ variants of that as toys?). Van Damme, of course, went on to never wear masks again, focusing instead on making his actual face look like one.

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Weekend Hangover: Top Gun Drones on, Escher Gets Gamey, a Puppet Gets Laid and More

Monday, April 7, 2014 at 8:00 am

Our name for it is better.

Well, I for one was too busy planning a WrestleMania party all weekend to see what other fun things were going on in the world, but if, like me, you missed out, here are some highlights of this weekend's reader-submitted items, compiled with the help of Kyle LeClair.

Tipsters this week include SlyDante777, skrag2112, Dr.Gonzo82, Anyone00, franciebrady27, rkwsuperstar, troi, Gallen_Dugall

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"Rainbow Connection," Sung by One Guy as Every Muppet

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 10:00 am


I'm sensitive about "Rainbow Connection." It means a lot to me not just as a fan mourning Jim Henson's passing and a loss of my childhood, but also as my first wedding dance.

With that said, Brock Baker, "the man of a kajillion voices," has done it justice, alternating from Kermit to Miss Piggy to Beaker and even Camilla the chicken. Sign him up for the standard rich and famous contract, please, ghost of Orson Welles. (Also, thanks for never showing Henry Jaglom that particular document.)

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These Muppet Show Burlesque Photos May Badly Confuse Your Boner

Monday, March 31, 2014 at 12:00 pm


Alternately, they may make you vomit. But I'll say one thing about Fiona Flame's St. Louis-based show - her girls sure do like getting felt up. Wocka wocka, or Ma-nah ma-nuh-uh?

All photos courtesy of Jon Gitchoff at our sister publication, the Riverfront Times. Not all may be SFW, but all nips are covered.

Cue pervy Waldorf and Statler:

"This is my favorite part of the show!"

"The end?"

"Yeah! The rear end! Ho ho ho ho!"

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TR Interview: James Bobin, Master of Muppets (Most Wanted)

Friday, March 21, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Mark Fellman

You might think one would have to be a hardy soul to manage the chaos of the Muppets for two movies, but James Bobin had already worked with Ali G., Borat and Flight of the Conchords. After that, Kermit and company - even with the addition of evil Kermit doppelganger Constantine - were a dream come true, in many ways. Muppets Most Wanted opens today, so you'll be able to judge how he did, but until then, here's my talk with him about the various challenges in handling such an important legacy to us fans.

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The Weekend Hangover: Boondocks, Diamond Armor, Viking Ghosts, More

Monday, March 17, 2014 at 10:00 am


Highlights of some of the stories you may have missed over the weekend, compiled with the help of Kyle LeClair.

This weeks tipsters include aidan.jeans, James.k.Polk, SlyDante777, BumblebeeZ3, donnaryoko, troi, Gallen_Dugall, Dr.Gonzo82, Anyone00, Timely-Tardis-Lego, rkwsuperstar

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TR Interview: Brooke Seguin, Director of the Transformers 30-Minute Musical

Friday, March 14, 2014 at 12:07 pm


Lots of people bitch about Michael Bay's handling of the Transformers, but Brooke Seguin decided to do something about it. In a 30-minute musical parody she wrote and directed, which runs for two more weekends at The Hudson Backstage Theatre in Hollywood, Seguin makes Michael Bay an active participant in his own movie, replacing actors on the spot if they aren't "hot" enough, yelling through megaphones, and ensuring that Megan Fox holds the most fetishistic poses possible. Meanwhile, the robots themselves attempt the best acting possible while wearing shoulder pads and cardboard.

We talked to Brooke after catching the show.

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