1/23/2015

How many lens flares are there in Star Trek (2009)? Which sci-fi show has terrible pick-up lines? What 90s theme song sounds awesome in Acapella? How many ideas of Lucas did they use for the new movie?

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

Links

7. New actors confirmed for Jean, Cyclops, and Storm in X-Men Apocalypse (via Blastr)



Sophie Turner is Jean Grey, Tye Sheridan is Cyclops and Alexandra Shipp is Storm


6.  Every Single Star Trek Lens Flare, Ever (via io9)


5. A Capella Rendition of Animated X-MEN Theme Song (via GeekTyrant)



4. Batman Super Fan Gets Awesome Toddler Tumbler (via He Geek She Geek)


3. Doctor Who Quotes That Make Hilariously Terrible Pick-Up Lines (via io9)


2. Comic fans petition U.S. government to create official Flash Appreciation holiday (via Blastr)
Would you celebrate Flash Day?

1. George Lucas On ‘Star Wars': Disney "Didn’t Really Want To Do His Ideas" For New Movies (via Deadline)

Are you surprised?

What do you think of this week's links?

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1/22/2015

Source: Comedy Central
When aliens invade Earth and take on human form, how can we identify them? Anyone who's seen enough scifi movies and TV shows knows the answer: by the mistakes aliens make trying to pass as human. In this sketch by Comedy Central's Key and Peele, two African American survivors of an alien invasion come up with a way to tell whether someone is really human. When aliens attack Earth, who knew racism could help us out?

[Note: This sketch contains some violent images, so slightly NSFW]



What did you think of the sketch?

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The Star Wars universe is filled with manly men and their stately beards, but who has the best? For Star Wars: The Force Awakens Mark Hamill's grown an amazing beard, but he's not too happy about it. He told Entertainment Weekly, "I'm not really a beard person. I suppose if I got used to it, I could become one. It's just one of those things. I think they look fine on other people, it's just not for me." So, who looks best in a beard?

Whether it's a beard, mustache or goatie, this week's poll is: Who has the best facial hair in the Star Wars universe?




Check the comments for why I chose Billy Dee Williams.

If you're on Twitter join in the discussion!

   

Do you have an idea for a poll? Send it to us by emailing geektwins (at) gmail.com!

Who has the best facial hair in Star Wars and why?



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1/21/2015

Harrison Ellenshaw painting Slave-1 for The Empire Strikes BackSource: Lucasfilm
The special effects in the original Star Wars trilogy broke new ground, and ushered in a new age of movie making. The model makers got a lot of publicity for their work on spaceships and sets, but another group of unseen heroes were the matte painters. You may be surprised how many of the most dazzling scenes were made, not by miniatures, actors, and construction crews, but with panes of glass, paint, and hard work. Here are some of the matte paintings used in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi with some of their creators.



What did you think? Did you recognize all these paintings?

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If you love The Daily Show with John Stewart then you'll love The Nightly Show with Larry Willmore.

We talked about the greatest fictional talk show hosts, but now it's time to talk about a real-life talk show that is gut-bustingly funny. Larry Wilmore is the mastermind behind some of TV's most loved shows including In Living Color, The Bernie Mac Show and Black-ish. He's finally stepping out from behind the scenes and into the lime light with his very own show. Originally, it was supposed to be called The Minority Report but the upcoming show based on the movie killed that.

This show is the smartest and sharpest new talk show on television. Who else could tackle Bill Cosby and - no matter what you believe about the rape allegations - make you laugh?

Here are some clips that prove this is the most provocative show on TV.




Here's the official synopsis: "Larry Wilmore introduces the topics up for discussion on the series premiere of 'The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore': white people sweeping the Academy Award nominations, Oprah Winfrey taking to the streets of Selma, Alabama, and the state of the black protest."

The official site is at http://www.cc.com/shows/the-nightly-show

Watch The Nightly Show Mon. - Thurs. 11:30/10:30c on Comedy Central.
The Nightly Show will provide viewers with Larry Wilmore's distinct point of view and comedic take on current events and pop culture. Hosted by Wilmore, the series will feature a diverse panel of voices, providing a perspective largely missing in the late-night television landscape.

What do 

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The Running Man - Damon Killian (Richard Dawkins)

This week a new late night talk show started called The Nightly Show with Larry Willmore on Comedy Central. It's hilarious and we'll do a post telling you more about it later today, but it started us thinking about talk show hosts in sci-fi. Who are the greatest?

Update: Added two more


10. Dave Endochrine from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2
The host of The Dave Endochrine Show is played by Conan O'Brian and is stupid enough to interview the Joker. It doesn't work out well.


9. Tony Pope from Predator 2
When the Predator starts hunting in the city people get nervous and one man is willingt o stand up and call the police out on the killings: Tony Pope. Pope is played by real-life shock show host Morton Downey Jr. hosts "Hard Core" and his interview is cut short.


8. Max Quordlepleen from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1981)
In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy there's a "Restaurant at the End of the Universe" called Milliways and the enthusiastic host is Max Quordlepleen. Quordlepleen is played by Colin Jeavons.


7. Max Headroom
While Max Headroom, played by Matt Frewer, is best known for his commercials and cyberpunk TV series he also served as a veejay for a music video show on The Max Headroom Show and Cinemax. Eccentric and hilarious he became the face of the 80s and was even parodied in Back to the Future II.


6. Ruby Rhod from The Fifth Element
Ruby Rhod, played by Chris Tucker, is the galaxy's most popular host. Flamboyant, irritating and charismatic he drives Corbin crazy, but we love him. Or hate him. Interestingly, Prince was offered the role but turned it down because he said it was "effeminate."


5. Joe Kline from The Flash

Played by comedian Richard Belzer, Joe Kline is known as "The Voice of the City" and does a series of tabloid news stories on the Flash.

4. Mike Engel from The Dark Knight

Anthony Michael Hall plays the host of Gotham Tonight and interviews various guests until the Joker crashes an interview with Coleman Reese. Anyone that can stay cool while hearing a death threat is an awesome host.


3. Fegan Floop from Spy Kids
The "number 2" kid's TV show is "Floop's Fooglies" and the host is the wonderfully inventive Fegan Floop played by Alan Cumming. In reality he's a powerful supervillain turning spies into monsters for his  show. His song is awesome though.


2. Caesar Flickerman from The Hunger Games
In the world of The Hunger Games children are made to fight to the death in an arena for the amusement of The Capital. The only man that could make something like that seem fun and exciting is Caesar Flickerman. Flickerman is played by Stanley Tucci with a ridiculous wig, chicklet teeth and an infectious laugh.


1. Damon Killian from The Running Man
"Who loves you and who do you love?!" Richard Dawson played the host of the fictional TV show The Running Man. The show took condemned criminals and put them in an arena to run for their lives. As the real-life host of Family Feud he was the perfect TV host, but he was also the most sadistic host ever. We love him and love to hate him.


Who's your favorite TV host in science fiction?

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1/20/2015

Source: LucasFilm
Did you ever notice what the user interfaces were like in Star Wars? I'm guessing, probably not. You were probably more interested in the lightsabers and spaceships and aliens flying around. But one person was really focused on the UI: Dino Ignacio.

Ignacio is a legendary designer of UI for videogames, including Dead Space, Dante's Inferno, Dead Space 2, and Dead Space 3. He's currently the User Experience Director of Visceral Games at Electronic Arts, so he's very interested in how people interact with machines. In an interview, he said:
I was interested in UI even before I knew what it was called. I remember growing up watching movies like The Last Starfighter, Blade Runner and Star Wars and fixating on the computer screens and the graphics on them.
To illustrate this obsession, Ignacio decided to put together a supercut of every time anyone in the original Star Wars movie interacted with machines in any way. That included computers, robots, doors, and screens. What you get is a lot of levers, knobs and buttons. What was futuristic in the year 1977 isn't quite as futuristic in the year 2015.


The Interfaces of Star Wars: A New Hope from Dino Ignacio on Vimeo.

[Via Gizmodo]

What do you think of the Star Wars UI?

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1/19/2015

How was the character of Venom created? Spider-Man's archenemy Venom is one of the most popular supervillains in comics, so popular that he eventually got his own comic, and Sony is rumored to be planning a solo movie based on the character. The psychotic doppelganger of Spiderman has been around for decades, and made appearances on the animated series, and Spider-Man 3. While many know the origin of the black symbiote and the evil Eddie Brock who bonds with the symbiote, most probably don't know the stuff behind the scenes that led to the creation of Venom. NerdSync Productions created this fascinating overview of how numerous ideas and controversies came together to form the monster we love to hate.



What do you think of Venom?

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Doctor Who (2015) - Clara (Jenna Coleman), The 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) [Source: BBC]
How would you rank every episode of season eight of Doctor Who? Last year Doctor Who turned 50 and the show just finished it's eight season since being brought back from cancellation in 2005. BBC says the ratings of season 8 are wonderful but it faltered in spots. Last season Peter Capaldi took over as an older, Scottish regeneration of the Doctor. Clara, played by Jenna Coleman, questions her role as the Doctor's companion as she finds love with Danny Pink played by Samuel Anderson.

We're huge fans of Doctor Who so even the worst episode is still amazing. But, here's our attempt to rank every episode of Doctor Who season 8.

*** WARNING: SPOILERS! ***
Source

1. "Deep Breath"

The best episode of the season has the Paternoster Gang, an exploding dinosaur and the super-creepy clockwork "Half-Face Man" and Clockwork Men. It’s our first look at the new Doctor and it’s brilliantly unsettling. This episode is wonderfully complex and thoughtful as Clara and the audience has to accept a drastically different Doctor. It stands as one of the greatest regeneration episodes along with "The Parting of the Ways", "The War Games" and "Logopolis."

2. "Dark Water"

The secret of the Nethersphere is revealed and the mysterious company 3W finally gets a name: The Three Words ("Don't cremate me!"). The idea that people still feel their bodies after they die sounds like an idea by an "idiot" but the Cybermen reveal totally sells it. Clara's relationship with Danny takes another sad turn after his death and we still miss him. It's too bad he never got to next season. This is one of our favorite episodes and the twist of "Missy" is the most mind-bending of the last four seasons.

3. "Death in Heaven"

The Master returns to glorious form as “Missy” the female regeneration of “The Master” and is both hilarious and terrifying. While the concept of the Cybermen invading Earth is good, and the final moments of Danny Pink is memorable. The finale is the perfect end to the 12th Doctor’s final season, but is so chaotic that it doesn’t top the previous episode. Pink's final moments are heart-breaking though.

4. "Into the Dalek"

While some feel the Daleks are overused, their very name always strikes fear. That's why the idea of a "good" Dalek is so mind-blowing and tantalizing to the Doctor and leads him to some brilliant soul-searching. It's also the first episode featuring Samuel Anderson as Danny Pink.

5. "Robot of Sherwood"

One of the funnier episodes of the season as Robin Hood and the Doctor constantly spar and fight for control. BBC had to cut a beheading scene, so there's a big reveal you miss. The payoff of the robots is a little formulaic, but the overall tone works for the 12th Doctor.

6. " Listen"

Another brilliant Stephen Moffat script leads to a terrifying story about the Doctor's hunt for the "Thing Under The Bed". But, even after all the terrifying moments, it's the first date between Clara and Danny that makes it wonderful. The end is a letdown since we never get to see the enemy we spent the episode waiting for.

7. "Mummy on the Orient Express"

The most terrifying creature of the season is the "Foretold" which attacks someone in 66 horrifying seconds. It's a tense and bold episode, but having Clara separate from the Doctor ruins the wonderful chemistry between them. Plus, the origin of the Mummy is yet another "wounded alien soldier" trope.

8. "Time Heist"

The idea of the Doctor robbing a bank is great, but the episode is uneven. The entire bank robbery should have been a two-part episode, so it felt rushed. The "Teller" who turns people's brains to mush while identifying their guilt is an interesting creature, but not much of one till you got to the twist ending. Just like last season's "Hide" it turns out the monster is motivated by love, and not hate, so it feels too familiar.

9. "Flatline"

"Flatline" has a strange concept about people being turned into graffiti but it plays out well. The hilarious idea that the Doctor is trapped in a shrinking TARDIS allows Clara to play Doctor, and there are few memorable scenes like the Doctor's speech at the end.

10. "Kill the Moon"

Ridiculous scientific errors like the moon being 100 million years old when it's clearly 4.5 billion. It would have been forgivable if the episode had been better. A terrific moral choice at the end that has the same emotional impact as a "very special episode" of Different Strokes.

11. "In the Forest of the Night"

A very poetic and fabled story by Frank Cottrell Boyce that fails to reach any real sense of threat or peril. While it probably appeals to kids with its "Red Riding Hood' elements and precocious children,  adults find it slow and grating.

12. "The Caretaker"

While the interplay between Danny Pink and the Doctor was fun, the episode is just awful. The best Doctor Who episodes have a great villain like the Weeping Angels, Daleks or Vashta Nerada. The Skovox Blitzer is the lamest ever as an aging, clunky and bad-tempered robot. It's like being attacked by Abe Vigoda.

If you watched season 8 which is your favorite episode of Doctor Who and why? Which one did you hate and why? What did you think of this season and the 12th Doctor?

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1/16/2015

This Exquisite Wooden X-wing Rocker Will Make You Miss Being a Kid (via /Film)

What's the name of the upcoming Jurassic World mockbuster? What would it look like if Dr. Suess had drawn Doctor Who? Who made an awesome prosthetic arm for a 7-year-old?

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

By The Way

We're working on a podcast! It's ironic because this blog started out a podcast. We hope you'll tune it when we post our first episode.

Links

10.  Jennifer Aniston Really Wants To Play A Superhero (via Huffington Post)

What superhero should she play?

9.  The B-Movie Knock-Off Of Jurassic World Is Of Course Jurassic City (via io9)

Releasing on DVD by Vertical Entertainment Feb 3, 2015. What do you think of the trailer?


8. Edward James Olmos Boards Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (via Empire)

Would you rather have Captain Adama as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent or a villain?

7. 13 Doctors done Dr. Seuss-style (via Blastr)

6. Seven-Year-Old Gets a 3D Printed Prosthetic Stormtrooper Arm From the 501st Legion and e-NABLE - *Sniff* What? There's just something in my eye, OK? (via The Mary Sue)



5. Tiny, Detailed Papercraft Millennium Falcon (via GeekTyrant)



4. Guardians of the Galaxy as an 8-bit short film is the NES game we always wanted (via Blastr)



3. Now Aunt May Is Spider-Man. Sorry, Spider-Ma’am. (via Bleeding Cool)

How dumb is this?

2. Researcher Donates Landfill Copy Of Atari’s ‘Centipede’ To University (via ScienceFiction)



1. See Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian in ‘Star Wars Rebels’ (via /Film)


What do you think of this week's links?

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