Your weekly highlight reel of newsbites, bits and blobs from the Weekend Open Thread.
This week's tipsters included: Anyone00, SlyDante777, rkwsuperstar, Timely-Tardis-Lego, Gallen_Dugall, troi, James.k.Polk, OneMinuteGalactica, skrag2112, donnaryoko.More >>
"They're not freaky people - they're just like you and me." So says one of the interview subjects in a promo for UK Channel 4's Secrets of the Living Dolls. The person saying it must either assume we people watching it are all Furries, or that it's just a regular thing to do to inject saline solution into your pecs to make temporary fake boobs that match your Auton mask.
I'm somewhat speechless on this. As a very young kid, I had a fear of dolls and mannequins; as an adult, I think I'd rather see somebody in a Nic Cage mashup bodysuit than one of these things.
And yet I'm also dying to know what goings-on will occur when "Maskers" start holding conventions.
Oh wait. Shit. They're already having them. And I'm not sure I wanted to find that site...More >>
Look, in the world of Nerdery, dragons are a pretty big deal. They're among the archetypical monsters of the human narrative tradition; something that passes for a dragon can be found in the folklore of peoples from all parts of the world. They're in both the Asian and Western zodiac, and the Archangel Michael and St. George each famously kicked a dragon's ass. And they hold a special place in the hearts of nerds, in fiction ranging from Eddison's Worm Ouroboros to the Chronicles of Narnia to Game of Thrones, and movies from Dragonheart to Reign of Fire to Eragon. They are, for that matter, what just naturally comes after the phrase "Dungeons and..."
But even within the world of Dragon-dom, Smaug is a pretty big deal. Indeed, the hoarder dragon from Tolkien's The Hobbit is the all-but-undisputed heavyweight champ of his kind. He was depicted fairly well in the 1977 Rankin-Bass animated version of the tale, voiced by the oddly but effectively cast western star Richard Boone. But he has now been realized, almost more spectacularly than could have been hoped for, in Peter Jackson's current The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
So even if Jackson's movie has fallen short of last year's Hobbit at the box office, it still seems like an auspicious time to recognize a few of Smaug's runners-up. But understand that I'm well aware that this is a personal, whatever-comes-to-mind list, and that even if it ran to 30, 50 or a hundred examples, there would still be entirely worthy dragons omitted. The dragons here, however, though rooted in classical mythology or literature, have all been through the pop culture filter - movies, TV, comics, video games. To make this list, in other words, a dragon has to be a commercial sell-out.More >>
Some of the best reader submissions from the Weekend Open Thread.
It's a Patrick Swayze Christmas! (SlyDante777)More >>
For those who don't know, the Gobbledy Gooker was an extremely ill-conceived attempt at creating a Thanksgiving mascot by WWE years ago - after teasing a mysterious giant egg for months, they had it "hatch" at a pay-per-view to reveal this guy in a cartoon turkey suit, who proceeded to square-dance with announcer Mean Gene Okerlund.
But while some bad gimmicks are considered so embarrassing they get buried forever (R-rated sitcom parody Beaver Cleavage and Mexican white-supremacist Kerwin White come to mind), the Gobbledy Gooker periodically resurfaces as a "so bad it's good" company meme. In this case, WWE has cast him in the kind of scenario that so many fan films depict - the outlandish character living a normal life in the real world post-fame.
I'd go so far as to say that "The Gobbledy Gooker Goes to Work" is arguably a pretty smart parody of fan films. It's certainly better written than Smackdown these days...More >>
So it looks like the new Muppets movies are following the pattern of the original, best trilogy. Film 1: get the band together. Film 2: criminal caper in Europe, with mistaken identity and a charming con-man at the heart of it. It may not be the most groundbreaking way to bring everybody back to the big screen, but, um...Danny Trejo's in this one! Machete Kills...it onstage with Muppets!
I won't deny, though: Russian-accented evil Kermit trying to learn how to impersonate good Kermit is the best gag in the trailer. The bit where Ty Burrell and Sam compare badge sizes is probably the worst; it's basically a dick-measuring joke in a kids' movie.
Keep going to watch...More >>
When a spoof that's French!
Needs a skit that's good!
Who you gonna do?
Les Guignols de l'info (News Puppets) is a liberal-leaning French puppet show based on current events, though, as this skit shows (I think - mon francais c'est not so good), they're equally willing to take on Socialist president Francois Hollande, wondering in this skit if he'll melt faster than a giant block of Camembert cheese.
Though the appeal here will be in seeing the Mythbusters guys as fluently French caricatures, it's interesting to note that jokes about French cheese and spinelessness appear in even left-leaning spoofs of themselves. Embedding is disabled on this video because not everyone in France is soft, so hit the link to watch.
This one is for all of you who have noted the irony of fast-food and candy bar tie-ins to a movie about starving teens forced to murder each other - yes, Sesame Street went there. Nobody dies - spoiler - but there's almost a moment of puppet cannibalism.
I guess once you've had Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones references, though, Hunger Games is mild by comparison. Have they done The Big Bird Lebowski yet?
Keep going to see Cookieness in action...More >>
Bringing you abbreviated highlights of the best reader tips from the weekend open thread (minus gifs, copyrighted images and some other stuff like that).
And yes, I realized that different keywords each week, actually describing the content, are a good idea. Web genius me.
-Grumpy Cat versus Oscar the Grouch (SlyDante777).
Julia thought I should post this. It's not that new but it might be new to you...
What else is happening around our geekosystem?