4/18/2014

"KitRex: the 3D paper velociraptor that you build yourself!" (via The Mary Sue)
Who wants you to vote for Doctor Who at the BAFTAs? What would a facehugger cake look like? What Star Wars vehicle might be in Episode VII? What if the Little Mermaid was a dude?

I'd love to hear what you think of the Internet's greatest moments in this week's "Geek Bits." 

Links

10. Facehugger Cake (via That's Nerdalicious)


 9. Possible AT-AT Spotted on Tatooine Set of ‘Star Wars Episode VII’ (via /Film via Blah Blah Blah Yackity Smackity)


8.
John Hurt "Vote For Doctor Who For BAFTA" Video (via The Knights)


7. Zack Snyder Reveals How Batman Ended Up in "Man of Steel" Sequel (via Comic Book Resources)


The filmmaker explains how the Dark Knight’s planned cameo grew into a larger role, and talks about the costume tests for Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.

6.
Final X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST Trailer (via He Geek She Geek)

With this final trailer before XM:DOFP, we get a little firmer grasp on the timeline and storyline. We also find out Xavier isn’t as paralyzed as it would have appeared at the end of First Class and that Quicksilver has a pretty pivotal role!

5.
Gender Swapped Disney Characters (via Neatorama)

Why should Disney princesses have all the fun? Artist Sakimi Chan decided to gender swap her favorite Disney princesses/villains into dudes (and vice versa) - and the results are quite stunning! The details and colors of Chan's artwork are amazing in and of themselves, then the unexpected twist of gender bending the characters really propel them into a whole 'nother level.
Take a look at Sakimi Chan's wonderful gender swapped Disney characters below and at her deviantArt page:


4.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES Weapons Teaser Posters (via GeekTyrant)


3. Why Do People Spoil? The Psychology Behind the Spoiler (via Pajabi)
There have been countless articles written on the Internet devoted to the rules of spoilers: When they are appropriate and in what venue. Should you wait a week? A day? AT LEAST UNTIL THE WEST COAST HAS SEEN IT? Where can spoilers can be advertised (never on Facebook!) and even the appropriate use of spoilers in headlines. 

2.
FIREFLY Reimagined as a Disney Animated Adventure (via GeekTyrant)


1.
Back to the Future with Pugs (via Screenrant)

Reviews

Television

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (01x18) "Providence" (Recommended)
Synopsis: "With Colonel Glenn Talbot now on their trail, Coulson and his team seek refuge in the last place anyone would look, where they begin to uncover S.H.I.E.L.D.'s most dangerous secrets -- secrets that could destroy them all"
All the characters are being redefined as the team is destroyed and built back up again. I'm not sure if a SHIELD-Without-SHIELD show will work, but it's definitely a lot more exciting knowing there's no one they can trust. I always felt Agent Ward was a sterotpical character but the revelations of his true nature prove that he wasa a stereotype on purpose to throw the others, and us, off the track. He's a lot more complex than we thought. Agent Eric Koenig (Patton Oswalt) is wonderful as the ominous guy who's happy to see others, but trusts no one. The break-out of the Fridge should bring some much needed super-villains into the mix. Only a few more episodes left till the finale!


Arrow (02x19) "The Man Under the Hood" (Recommended)


Synopsis: "DEATHSTROKE HITS OLIVER AT HOME — Oliver (Stephen Amell), Canary (Caity Lotz), Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) return to the lair and find Slade (Manu Bennett) waiting for them. An epic battle breaks out and one member of Team Arrow is sent to the hospital. Thea (Willa Holland) hits her breaking point, but just as Oliver is about to reach her, Slade intervenes and Oliver is faced with a choice – his battle with Slade or his family. Meanwhile, Laurel (Katie Cassidy) struggles with a new secret. Jesse Warn directed the episode with story by Greg Berlanti & Geoff Johns and teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg & Keto Shimizu (#219)." 
Another great episode as all the characters ramp up the emotions. Thea struggles to come to terms with her place in the family after the shocking revelation of her father. The team deals a major blow to Slade's operation, but we get our first taste of a fight between Slade and Arrow. It doesn't end well. Cisco Ramon and Caitlin Snow make a guest appearance from the new Flash show, but it feels forced. Lot's of action and emotion in this episode. 
 
What do you think of this week's links?
 
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4/17/2014

Source: Marvel's The Avengers
Today's movies rely heavily on special effects, but the companies that produce those effects are being deliberately destroyed.

Visual effects company Rhythm and Hues won an Oscar for their beautiful work on Life of Pi, but had to file for bankruptcy and fire 254 employees. The reasons are complex, and outlined well in this open letter, but the short version is that movie studios are forcing SFX companies to work harder for less money. Yet Ang Lee didn't even mention R+H in his acceptance speech for Best Director, when he remembered to thank the people who built the pools. In fact, when directly asked about the bankruptcy, Ang Lee said, "I would like it [special effects] to be cheaper."

As a result, many websites have been posting photos of what modern movies would look like without special effects. The point is to show the importance of CGI and SFX, and what miracles are being performed for our enjoyment.
Source: Star Wars II: The Attack of the Clones
Source: Star Trek Into Darkness
Source: Gravity
Source: Pacific Rim
Source: Marvel's The Avengers
Source: The Matrix
Source: Iron Man 2
Source: The Dark Knight
Source: Superman Returns
Source: Avatar

[Image sources: Beforevfx]

What do you think? What would movies be like without SFX?

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) - Natasha "Black Widow" Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson)

Hailing Frequencies Open: Does it matter if successful movies don't have strong female characters?


Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a huge hit and, not surprisingly, it fails the Bechdel test. Does it matter?
 
For those not aware, the Bechdel test was introduced in Alison Bechdel's comic strip in a 1985 strip as a way to gauge the level of female equality in a movie.
  •  It has to have at least two women in it
  •  They talk to each other
  •  They talk about something besides a man

Historically, successful movies don't pass the test although this is changing. According to bechdeltest.com the movie only gets a one out of three. It has three women in it - Natasha "Black Widow" Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), and Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp) - but they don't talk to each other about anything besides a man.

While Natasha "Black Widow" Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) is the strongest female superhero out right now, does it matter if successful movies fail the test?


Does it matter if a movie has strong female characters? If a movie has a strong heroine, does it matter if it fails the Bechdel Test? Does the Bechdel Test mean anything? Will this change?

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4/16/2014

Darth Vader's armor became a legend from the moment he walked onto the screen in Star Wars IV: A New Hope. But what is it made of? How does it work? That's how this graphic comes in handy. The text and images are taken from Wookiepedia, the Star Wars wiki, and most of the information doesn't come from the movies, but from the Expanded Universe (novels, comic books, videogames, etc). It's a fascinating look into this dark warrior.

What do you think of the graphic? What's the most interesting thing you learned?

[Via Reddit]

Related Posts
How to Make Your Own Lightsaber
Epic Facts About Star Trek: The Original Series 
Eight Little-known Facts About Darth Vader
Why Star Wars' Darth Vader is The Worst Villain Ever

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Why is Quicksilver in two different movies played by two different actors? Find out the confusing reason why two studios are fighting for the silver speedster.

Recently we got a great question by Ms. Mariah:

Q: I do wonder why there are two Quicksilvers? One in the Avengers and one in X-Men.

The short answer is that both Marvel and Twentieth Century Fox say they own Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, so both studios are using the characters. Back when I made the Marvel Character Movie Infographic, I noted that the characters are the property of both Marvel Studios and Avengers. That's almost true. Each company says they own the characters for different reasons.

Who Are Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch?


  • Scarlet Witch (aka Wanda Maximoff) a mutant that controls probability
  • Quicksilver (aka Pietro Maximoff) a mutant that moves at super-speed
  • Both are children of Magneto (aka Erik Lehnsherr)
Scarlet Witch (aka Wanda Maximoff) and Quicksilver (aka Pietro Maximoff) are the twin kids of Magneto. Quicksilver can run around at super-human speed while Scarlet Witch can manipulate probability to create anything she imagines, from cars falling apart to having kids with an android.

They were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and first appeared in The X-Men #4 (1964) as members of Magneto's "Brotherhood of Evil Mutants," along with Toad and Mastermind. So, technically, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are bad guys.
They don't become heroes until Avengers #16 (1965), when Captain America forms the second Avengers team using villains along with former villain Hawkeye. The Maximoff twins go on to be primary members of the Avengers, and Scarlet Witch is a member of "West Coast Avengers" and the "Defenders."

Who Owns the Rights to Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch?

  • Marvel Studios owns the rights to Avengers
  • Twentieth Century Fox owns the rights to mutants
Back in the 90s, Marvel licensed out some of their characters to different studios for some quick cash. Twentieth Century Fox producer Lauren Shuler Donner purchased the film rights for X-Men back in 1994, but Marvel kept the rights to the name "Avengers" while licensing off individual members of the team, like Captain America. The X-Men movie came out in 2000 and took the world by storm. Fox had a hit and firmly planted a flag in the sand for the rights to use the term "mutant." They're not giving it up any time soon.

In 2005 Avi Arad, the CEO of Marvel Studios, announced that they were planning to do a bunch of standalone movies that would lead to Avengers. It worked and they made the monumentally successful film Marvel's The Avengers. Marvel now firmly owns the rights to any characters that are Avengers. But it created an interesting vacuum.

If all mutants belong to Fox and all Avengers belong to Marvel Studios, what about mutants that are Avengers? Does that mean the studios have to work together? Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, says no. "There are only a handful of characters that occupy that middle ground," Feige said. "Iron Man is not going to show up over there [at Fox] and Magneto is not going to show up over here [at Marvel]. But there are a few gray points even after many years of negotiations … and that only happens with a character like Quicksilver, who has been a part of the X-Men, the son of Magneto in those comics, but also a primary Avenger."

So, who owns the characters? Apparently, they both do. So the big question is: where are they going to show up?

How is Marvel Studios Using Them?

  • Aaron Taylor-Johnson cast in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
All around geek hero Joss Whedon wrote them into Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), and he's being played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Whedon told Jimmy Fallon, "There are new characters. I've already said that we're going to have a brother-sister team, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, who were great mainstays of The Avengers when I was reading the comics as a kid. Besides the fact that I grew up reading them, their powers are very visually interesting. One of the problems I had on the first one was, everybody basically had punchy powers. 'I can hit,' 'I can also hit.' 'I can hit harder' That can get boring in a two hour movie. Hopefully, it didn't get too boring. But coming into the second one, he's got super speed. She can weave little spells and a little telekinesis, get inside your head. There's good stuff that they can do that will help keep it fresh."

If Marvel can't call them mutants or have their father be Magneto, then who are they? The answer is in another movie. They showed up in the post-credits scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier when Baron Von Strucker is talking about Hydra's super-secret project of volunteers. Most are dead, and Strucker says, "The dead will be buried so deep their ghosts won't be able to find them." When asked about the survivors, we see "the Twins." In two glass cells are a dude moving really fast and a girl (Elizabeth Olsen) floating boxes. Not much to look at, but if you know the characters, it's really, really exciting. They're not mutants, but part of some Hydra experiment. Taylor-Johnson said they're abandoned. "The thing to think about that [sic] he’s an abandoned child." he said, "Him and his sister are abandoned and they live in Eastern Europe. There’s more character aspects that I’m interested in than the power aspect." Marvel's Quicksilver isn't a mutant and Magneto isn't his Dad. Scarlett Witch will also be in Avengers 2.

Marvel has big plans for both of these guys.

How is Fox Using Them?

    • Evan Peters cast in X-Men Days of Future Past (2014)
    Quicksilver is going to be in X-Men Days of Future Past (2014) and he's being played by Evan Peters. According to producer Simon Kinberg, he has one scene and that's it. "That is the bulk of Quicksilver’s presence in this film. They need somebody who can help them get in and out of somewhere. And the idea is that Logan knew him in the future and so they go to try to find his younger self. The way we conceived him is a sort of an ADD kid. Everything he does is just popping and zipping around. He doesn’t take anything seriously. He’s not in a situation for more than a few seconds. So it infused the movie with an energy that was really useful for us." So, Fox isn't using him for much. Bryan Singer also confirmed that Scarlet Witch is not in the movie. So he's probably not a twin. Quicksilver is named Maximoff though. The weird thing is Peters is 27 and Michael Fassbender, who plays Magneto, is 37. So, unless they're doing the old "I'm my own grandpa" thing, Quicksilver isn't Magneto's son. Fox's Quicksilver is a mutant, but Magneto isn't his Dad. Scarlet Witch will not be in X-Men.

    What About the Costumes?

    Both Fox and Marvel are playing conservative with the comic book costume. They both have white hair, but only one has the blue outfit. Neither has a lightning bolt.

    Now you know the whole sordid and confusing story. Some have asked if this is going to lead to a partnership with Fox and Marvel, but it's doubtful. While X-Men franchise producer Lauren Shuler Donner said she'd love to have a cross-over a year ago, but since then tensions have been slowly escalating as the movies get closer.

    How do you feel about Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch being in two movie franchises? Does it make sense now? Would you like to see the two studios work together?


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    4/15/2014


    Spider-Man's mask is one of the most iconic superhero masks in comics. In many cases, his logo has been reduced simply to the eyes and web-pattern of his mask. However, there have been some pretty significant changes to Web-head's mask over the years. To celebrate the premiere of The Amazing Spider-Man 2Printster created this overview of some of the major variations, along with some of his classic villains.
    Spider Man Masks Through Time

    [Via printster.co.uk]

    Thanks to Dan Turner for the tip!

    Which is your favorite?

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    Star Trek: The Next Generation - U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701-D)

    Find out everything you didn't know about the most famous spaceship in the universe. While the Enterprise for Star Trek: The Original Series is iconic, the reality is that most people grew up watching the Next Generation. It's the ship that everyone knows and everyone loves, but here are some fast facts about the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D you may not know.

    This was originally supposed to be a review of Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection which was sent to us by Eagle Moss Collections and was released in the U.S. last week. It's a beautiful series and comes with wonderful models that display perfectly. There's a fascinating article on the concept design of the Enterprise and many other well-written articles. Unfortunately, I discovered the articles have a small number of incorrect facts like saying there were two four-foot physical models of the Enterprise. Even the awesome die-cast model is the wrong color, looking tan instead of grey or blue-grey. While I can recommend it for the casual fan, for nitpickers, it's lacking. You can learn more about the collection by going to http://www.startrek-starships.com.

    Here are some things I learned from the book and other sources.

    1. The U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) is a Galaxy-class ship and the fifth Federation starship in the Star Trek universe to carry the name Enterprise.


    2. In the episode "Encounter at Farpoint" it was the first new Star Trek ship to appear on television in 20 years.

    3. While working on Star Trek: The Motion Picture, concept artist Andrew Probert made a personal painting of what he thought the U.S.S. Enterprise would look like in the far future. He was working on the bridge for Star Trek: The Next Generation and put it up for inspiration. Producer David Gerrold borrowed it for a meeting and it was immediately approved for the new Enterprise.


    4. In 1990, Probert received a patent on the Enterprise-D design.


    5. The warp nacelles for NCC-1701-D were originally designed to be much smaller than the original Enterprise since technology had advanced, but creator Gene Roddenberry felt the ship looked "underpowered" so he said, "Make the engines a little bit longer."


    6. While the original U.S.S. Enterprise was capable of splitting the saucer section from the main body, it wasn't until the design of the Enterprise-D was nearly complete that the producers told Probert that the ship would split into two parts. He had to redesign the ship to do it.


    7. At one point the ship was designed to split into as many as 14 parts.

    8. There were three physical models of the NCC-1701-D used on the show: a six-foot model, a two-foot model and a four-foot model.


    9. An original shooting miniature of the U.S.S. Enterprise D was sold at auction for an expected price of $20,000 to $30,000. It sold for almost $600,000.


    10. Originally, the show was supposed to reuse visual FX footage of the Enterprise-D similar to what was done on the original series. However, the use of video technology instead of film was so fast and cheap that more effects shots were created.


    11. The ship was 1521.42" (463.73 m) long.That's more than four football fields long and twice the size of Kirk's ship.

    11. The ship in the original series was grey, but looked blue because of filming. The new Enterprise had a blue-grey colored pattern, but looked grey on TV.


    12. The ship was supposed to be so advanced that the engines would never malfunction. But a chief engineer was added because engine malfunctions were useful for the writers.


    13. In the opening credits you can see someone walking past the windows in the Enterprise. It's Captain Picard.


    14. The Escape Pods (or "autonomous survival and recovery vehicles") on the ship could sustain four occupants for 86 days.


    15. In the episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before" it's said the ship was traveling faster than Warp 10 which meant that it occupied literally every point in the universe. Later it was explained that the ship was actually at Warp 9.99999.


    16. The Enterprise-D weighed about 400,000 metric tons which is more than the weight of 700,000 elephants.


    16. The ship had only one commanding officer, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, with the exception of a brief command by Captain Jellico and Commander Riker.


    17. According to the dedication plaque, the ship was dedicated on October 4, 2363, in honor of the anniversary of the launch of man's first spacecraft named Sputnik. (updated picture)

    18. The Captain's Yacht was named Calypso, after the research vessel of the French explorer Jacques Cousteau. It was on the bottom of the saucer section and never seen in the series.

    19. The U.S.S. Enterprise NCC 1701-D has made an appearance in every spin-off from The Next Generation. It's appeared in more episodes of Star Trek than any other ship, including the original series.


    20. The ship could hold 1,014 crew members and up to 15,000 in an emergency. That's the same capacity as Chicago Stadium.

    21. It's the only Federation starship to become sentient and have a baby.


    22. The idea of crash-landing the saucer section came from an illustration in the Star Trek: The Next Generation Writers' Technical Manual. They had planned to have the crash happen in the season six finale episode "Descent," but it was too expensive.

    23. The fish in Captain Picard's Ready Room was named "Livingston" after producer-director David Livingston.

    24. Patrick Stewart repeatedly petitioned to have the fish taken out because he felt fish tanks were inhumane.

    25. Producer Rick Burman wanted to avoid making the ship look like the Original Series. He banned the color purple.

    Did you learn anything new about the Enterprise-D? Which is your favorite starship from Star Trek?

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