Weekend Open Thread: A (Colbert) Nation Mourns

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 6:30 pm

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I couldn't let the week elapse without saying something about the end of Stephen Colbert, the persona, who will shortly give way to Stephen Colbert, the person.

Nine years as, effectively, an avatar of yourself is an impressive act of nerdery, and there were many others along the way, like getting into lightsaber battles with George Lucas, interviewing Smaug, or hanging Captain America's shield above his fireplace. Though his on-camera style was meant to resemble more humorless, anger-filled pundits, the sheer joy at getting to play around with the toys that he had came through, as did a profound penchant for wordplay. He really was a nerd made good, and it'll be interesting to see how he does when he starts espousing his real passions as much as he did his fake ones.

It's political, yes, but my favorite Colbert moment was when he was invited to be the speaker at the White House correspondent's dinner by somebody who clearly did not know his persona was satire. That was comedy being dangerous at a time when everyone was playing it safe, and arguably the reverse of the later Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, which paradoxically played passionately to the middle of the road. Anyway, even if you disagreed with him politically - and I know plenty who did while still finding him funny - it is my belief that deep down he was one of us in every other way.

In other news (thanks Gallen!) Larry Flynt is making a porn parody of The Interview. I trust its main character will be named Cum Jong Un.

Now talk amongst yourselves.

Mattel's Post-Retirement Ultimate Warrior Action Figure May Be the Hardest to Get

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 5:13 pm

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Part of Ultimate Warrior's deal with toy companies, subsequent to his in-ring career, was that he would sign over his likeness rights if he could be granted several super-limited variants to sell at exorbitant prices on both eBay and his own website. Now that he's gone, it remains to be seen if his wife will be as much of a hard-ass negotiator - or even interested in running an eBay store. But his estate just revealed a look at the final one-of-twenty variant figure in his current Mattel deal, and it's a beaut: Warrior as he appeared at conventions in recent years.

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10 Reasons Why The 100 Is the Best Show You're (Probably) Not Watching

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 6:00 am

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We live in a golden age of nerdy live-action TV shows. Every night of the current TV season offers up at least one show (some days even have a variety to choose from) to geek out over the water cooler. (Do people still discuss television with coworkers at water coolers or has everyone jumped ship to just chatting online with strangers?) And yet one geek program that doesn't seem to drum up as much chatter is The 100 on the CW. Are you turned off by the fact that The 100 is a CW series inspired by a brand new YA book series and filled with pretty young actresses and actors? Don't be. It deserves more attention because, despite what its pedigree may suggest, it's actually a damn good series.


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Batman Meets Dexter in Ambitious Fan-Film Project

Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 11:30 am

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Ambitious how?

Well, despite low production values and a tinny sound mix, this is a fan film that is really trying to be actually good. Not bad-good, but good-good. There's an earnestness to the portrayals of Batman and Dexter, and a commitment by the actors that is endearing.

That, and it's only episode 1 of what presumably aspires to be a multi-episode production. And since Dexter would be a pretty good foe for Batman, it's a match-up that doesn't require any absurd set-up to get going.

So the only question is: will this series' appeal wayne, or will it last long enough to be ambidexterous?

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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

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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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Win Stephen Colbert's Desk Or Fireplace

By Tom Akel in TV
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 3:34 pm

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So this is a cool thing.

With only 3 episodes left of The Colbert Report, Stephen is raffling off his desk and fireplace for the charity The Yellow Ribbon Fund, which provides support for injured veterans and DonorsChoose.org, which supports students in need by funding school projects.

This is the set where he interviewed everyone from Smaug to Joe Quesada, so it's a pretty nifty piece of nerd history and might be representative of the last time we'll know Colbert as the character of Stephen Colbert before he takes over for Letterman on Late Show.


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Top-Down Smackdown: Try a Little TLC, Green Ranger

Monday, December 15, 2014 at 4:52 pm

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WWE's Tables, Ladders, Chairs (and Stairs) event this past weekend was both significant and insignificant...in very interesting ways.

It's hard to argue many storylines were furthered. Dolph Ziggler won the Intercontinental title in front of a hometown crowd, which is the sort of thing that happened before wrestling shows were quite as scripted as today. But backstage vignettes were almost non-existent, and even though the final match involved a sill exploding monitor, there was no big shocker to end the night, like Sting appearing or the ghost of Bray Wyatt's sister doing a run-in. Even the inevitable John Cena win was buried mid-card, like the filler it was.

But that's also what was good about the show.

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Jonathan Frakes Wants to Direct Star Trek 3. Here Are 5 Reasons He Shouldn't.

Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 12:23 pm

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With the fan-disliked Roberto Orci out of the director's chair for Star Trek 3, all kinds of fantasy drafts are going on in Trekkie heads right about now, and the one that seems to be gaining traction is that Commander Riker himself, Jonathan Frakes, should be given the job. Adding fuel to the fire, Frakes has announced that he too wants to take the helm, and has asked his agent to actively pursue it.

I have five reasons why he shouldn't be the guy...

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Ask Luke's Mother-in-Law: Mexico and the First Year Alone

Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 8:00 am

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A veteran of the LAPD, widow of a Green Beret and self-described crazy cat lady, Martha Boyd 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.

Greetings - as some of you know I just returned from another week in Mexico. Stayed again at the Melia Puerto Vallarta. So this time we went on Delta - first time in ages I have been on a plane with a movie and they did not charge!!!!! However we were 1.5 hrs late getting off the ground out of LAX. The return trip was another first; only 40 people on the plane, everyone had their own row of 3 seats - they ran the flight with only that small number, so overall I was happy with the airline.

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Arrow SPOILER Thread - Absolutely Non-Spoiler Picture Edition

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 5:02 pm

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Oh no! Did I just spoil that Arrow turns into a drawing on tonight's episode?

You'll have to watch and see...