7/22/2014

Time travel has been a beloved part of science fiction movies for decades, but the rules always change. Can you change history like in Back to the Future? Do you have to be naked like in Terminator? Are there side effects like in Primer? Find out in this handy infographic by MTV that covers 17 famous time travel movies, and how they work.

So You're in a Time Travel Movie

[Via MTV]

What do you think of the infographic? What rules do you like the best? What other time travel rules exist?

Related Posts:
10 Awesome Movies About Time Travel
3 Insane Ways We've Tried to Find Time Travelers

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Dwayne Johnson and Shazam
A Shazam movie may be coming and the casting choice will surprise you. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson recently spoke about an upcoming superhero movie and it's hard to find a role that fits for him.

"I will say this. There's a character out there that we're going to announce very soon that I'm going to play, and I'll just say this: This character has the power of Superman, he can throw down. Just say the word. That's all I'm going to say."

While he's not naming the character specifically there are very few Marvel characters that fit that description.  Tellingly, UGO Networks said, "At his best, Captain Marvel [also known as Shazam] has always been Superman with a sense of crazy, goofy fun."

In the past, Johnson said that he wanted to play Green Lantern and Black Adam, but finally seemed to settle on a "Big Guy" that he can play.

For those unfamiliar, Captain Marvel first appeared in Whiz Comics #2 in 1940. The story is that a 12-year-old boy, named Billy Batson, meets a wizard who gives him the power of seven heroes when he says their names in an acronym: S.H.A.Z.A.M. which stands for Solomon (wisdom), Hercules (strength), Atlas (stamina), Zeus (power), Achilles (courage) and Mercury. (speed). The character was bought by DC in 1973 and published under the title Shazam.

Here's an interview he did for Hercules where he talks about his upcoming role.


Niki Fine leaked a possible Warner Bros. DC movie schedule that listed Shazam as one of the upcoming movies:
  • May 2016: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
  • July 2016: Shazam
  • December 2016: Sandman
  • May 2017: Justice League
  • July 2017: Wonder Woman
  • December 2017: Flash and Green Lantern Team-Up
  • May 2018: Man of Steel 2
It's assumed DC will announce his role at this months San Diego Comic-Con. If indeed he's playing Shazam, it'll be yet another race-bending casting since Johnson is half-Black and half- Samoan and the character is typically White. Prepare for the fanboy outrage.

What do you think of
The Rock playing Shazam?

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7/21/2014

Epic nitpickers Honest Trailers and Cinemasins covered the same ground once again when they both tackled the infamous DC flop, Green Lantern. Watch an ocean of gags about Ryan Reynolds' Van Wilder-like Hal Jordan, CG costumes, a cloudy villain, and more. But they still didn't dwell on my biggest problem with this movie: if you can make anything you want, why would you make a racetrack to stop a falling helicopter? Why not just catch it with a giant baseball glove or something and be done with it instead of racing it over the heads of everybody who are already scared to death from the falling helicopter? I guess there's only so many hours in the day.




What did you think of Green Lantern?

Related Post:
An Honest Trailer on Everything Wrong With Planet of the Apes

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Batman Returns (1992) - Tim Burton

Why didn't we get a third Batman movie from Tim Burton? Christopher Nolan recently completed a trilogy of films based on Batman that made millions. Back in the 80’s director Tim Burton also made a few films based on the Caped Crusader, but stopped at two. Batman (1989) is a classic and Burton was considered the king of superhero movies, but the follow-up film by Tim Burton was filled with controversy. If everyone loved Batman so much, why didn’t Burton make a third film?

1. Are McDonald's Happy Meals For Children?

Around the time the marketing for Batman Returns started, fast food giant McDonald’s released a line of "Happy Meal" toys for June 1992. It included Batman Returns packaging, six collector cups and toys featuring a Batmobile, Bat-Motorcycle, Penguin’s roadster with a spinning umbrella and a Catwoman car with a wagging tail.

McDonald's was supposed to be the "Official Restaurant of Gotham City". Then, the trailers started showing up and parents were outraged the movie’s extreme violence and sexual innuendo were being marketed to children. NBC reporter Faith Daniels had a whole episode of her daily talk show, A Closer Look With Faith Daniels, called ''Parents Against Batman Returns.'' She wasn’t going to take her 5-year-old to see the movie and was challenging the restaurant for its marketing plans. ''It's fine to make Batman Returns an adult film, but don't market it to kids," she said, "It's rated PG-13, but who's buying the action toys? Not 13-year-olds.'' One reviewer said Batman Returns should have been rated R for its "sexual tension and implied horror."

The parents' group "The Dove Foundation" started a protest of the restaurants saying, "Parents trust McDonald's. So why is McDonald's promoting a movie to little kids that's filled with gratuitous graphic violence?'' The protests became louder and louder as the movie got closer to release and McDonald’s finally shut down the promotion and Jack Daly, McDonald's communications Vice President, released a statement disavowing the film and saying, "The objective of the (Happy Meal) program was to allow young people to experience the fun of Batman the character. It was not designed to promote attendance at the movie. It was certainly not our intent to confuse parents or disappoint children."

Warner Bros meanwhile said, "Clearly Batman is not meant for 5-year-olds. As for whether it's appropriate to Happy Meals, that's up to McDonald's. We don't tell them their business." While in the public it was seen as a minor issue the fast food giant’s cross-promotion is a multi-million dollar business and was taken very seriously by the studio.

2. PETA Bites Back


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) protested the film as well for the movie’s treatment of the live animals on the set. They used the scene where Michelle Pfeiffer put a live bird in her mouth and pretended to eat it and the 30 Blackfoot and King penguins led by Danny DeVito as examples. They released a statement, "While PETA says it does not believe any of the three dozen penguins were mistreated during the filming, it objects to the animals being forced into an unusual environment and fitted with weapons and gadgets. Dan Mathews, the group's director of special projects, says they are ‘protesting the use of exotic animals in all films.’"

Warner Bros. released a statement that the penguins' headgear consisted of "very lightweight plastic, which the real animals quickly became used to." In fact, the trainers said the penguins enjoyed the shoot and the studio spared no expense in making the animals comfortable. Before Richard Hill, the penguin curator, would agree to let them use the penguins he had a long list of demands which Warner Bros complied with. "On the flight over the plane was refrigerated down to 45 degrees", recalls Hill. "In Hollywood, they were given a refrigerated trailer, their own swimming pool, half-a-ton of ice each day, and they had fresh fish delivered daily straight from the docks. Even though it was 100 degrees outside, the entire set was refrigerated down to 35 degrees." They even had an armed guard protecting them 24-hours a day. Of course, not all the penguins in the film are real animals. They used actors in suits for some scenes and the scene with the penguins shooting rockets were done with life-life animatronic penguins created by the special effects department.

But despite all this, Batman Returns had yet another publicity nightmare on their hands. They didn't want this to happen again with another Batman film.

3. Family Friendly Movies Rules

Batman Returns had the biggest first-weekend gross in movie history, but the studio was disappointed since it didn’t make as much as the first film and cost twice as much. The studio learned their lesson. The mixed reviews and bad publicity meant they wanted a more mainstream film for the Batman Returns sequel. One that would appeal to children and adults and would fit on a Happy Meals box. The first film made $750 million in merchandising alone. If they couldn’t sell a pair of Bat-pajamas to a 3-year-old they’d lose a lot of money. The decision was made that Batman 3 would be lighter than the second film. There was only one problem.

4. "Batman Light" Wouldn’t Work With Burton Directing

''It's too dark. It's not a lot of fun,'' one Warner Bros executive told Entertainment Weekly. The chief of an unnamed rival studio said, ''If you bring back Burton and Keaton, you're stuck with their vision. You can't expect 'Honey, I Shrunk the Batman'.'' The studio realized if they were going to make a different kind of Batman movie, Burton had to go.

In the Batman Returns DVD commentary Tim Burton said, "I remember going into a meeting, toying with the idea of doing another one, and they [Warner Brothers studio executives] trying to talk me out of it. I think they got a lot of flak from their tie-in partners on this movie [Batman Returns], they think that they were happy that I didn't do another one."

Again, on another Batman Returns DVD special feature "Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight Part 4: The Dark Side of the Night," Tim Burton said, "I remember toying with the idea of doing ... one, and I remember going into Warner Brothers, and having a meeting, and going, 'We could do this, we could do that,' and they go, 'Tim, don't you wanna do a smaller movie now? You know, just something that's more..,' and like, about half hour into the meeting, I go, 'You don't want me to make another one, do you?,' and they're like, 'Oh, no, no, no, no, no,' and I just said, 'No, I know you don't,' and so I just stopped it right there." The studio had already decided Burton wasn't making another Batman film.

5. Batman Forever Killed Burton's Batman Projects

While Burton was taken off the Batman sequel as the director, he was still attached to Batman Forever as producer. He was still planning to be a director in the Batman universe though. Burton began working on a Catwoman spin-off movie starring Michelle Pfeiffer and was planning to direct. But the script was turned in the same day as the opening for Batman Forever, which was a smash hit. It made more than the first and second movie did. It seemed to confirm the studio’s belief that Batman needed to be less dark. In the book, Film Review, writer Daniel Waters joked, "turning [the Batman 3 script] in the day Batman Forever opened may not have been my best logistical move, in that it's the celebration of the fun-for-the-whole-family Batman. Catwoman is definitely not a fun-for-the-whole-family script." The project was shelved and Burton was taken off the project. That was his last involvement on a Batman film. It wasn't a big deal for him though.

6. Burton Really Didn’t Want Another Batman Movie

While Burton directed the first film, he didn’t feel like he had enough creative control. He described the movie as "a little boring at times." But, after months of the studio begging, he agreed to do the Batman sequel. He said, "Oftentimes with sequels, they're like the same movie except everything gets jacked up a little. I didn't feel I could do that; I wanted to treat this like it was another Batman movie altogether. But if I was going to do it, I had to do what I do. What I had to offer was to make it feel fresh.''

Throughout the making of Batman Returns, a long line of Warner Bros. executives wandered through the sets discussing what could or couldn't be turned into toys. At one point Tim Burton sighed,  "I often felt they forgot we were making a movie. It seems like they wished the process of making the film didn’t have to happen and they could cut immediately to the merchandising."

In the end, he was talked into a second movie, but would never have wanted to do it a third time. The amount of control the studio wanted wouldn’t have made his "six months of agony" worth it.

In the end, it was Burton that killed Batman Returns.  It turns out the public just wasn't ready for a true Burtonesque superhero film. It took too many risks and Hollywood and the public just weren't ready for it. For all Batman Returns' flaws it stands as a testimony of the visionary director.

He tried to make a Superman film, but that's another story.

Would you have wanted a third Tim Burton Batman movie
?

Related Posts


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7/18/2014

Female Beta Ray Bill by Lar Desouza
What will happen to Thor? Is the new Batman v Superman trailer real? Will the new fan film about Storm get off the ground? All this and more in this week's Geek Bits!

What Happens to a Snake in Zero Gravity? (via Neatorama)


Stephen Colbert announces the new Captain America. (Via comicbook.com)


Maya Glick, creator of the fan film RAIN, is still trying to bring a new vision of Storm to life. Her Kickstarter ends in seven days! Via Blackgirlnerds.com

On The View, Marvel announced that Thor will be reborn as a woman (via themarysue.com). Says series writer Jason Aaron:
"This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we've ever seen before."
What do you think of the new Thor?

Extant, Halle Berry's new TV series about an astronaut who returns from a year alone in space pregnant, premiered with positive reviews. (via Time) Did you see Extant? What did you think?

Fake Batman v Superman trailer fools the Internet...but it's still pretty cool (via Furiousfanboys)


What do you think of this week's Geek Bits?

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7/17/2014

Did you know a surprising number of actors are actually true geniuses? The normal range for an IQ test is between 70 and 130, but there are many in Hollywood who have scored beyond that. Here’s a list of eleven celebrities who are actually card-carrying mental giants.

11. Sharon Stone
I.Q. 154
She’s best known as an Academy and Golden Globe award-nominated actress, notably playing the beautiful femme fatale in the movie Basic Instinct, but her mental skills are even more impressive. She won a scholarship to attend Edinboro University at only 15, where she studied creative writing and fine arts. She dropped out to become a model, but went back to earn an honorary degree.

10. Sylvester Stallone
I.Q. 160
He’s known for his brawn as the muscle-bound heroes Rambo and Rocky Balboa. But he doesn't get much credit as the writer of his titular first hit movie. Multiple sources say he’s been tested at 160 I.Q., so while he’s not splitting atoms, the fact he’s managed to keep a successful career into his sixties shows he’s no musclehead.

9. Quentin Tarantino
I.Q. 160
Tarantino is an acclaimed writer and director of movies such as Reservoir Dogs and Django Unchained. He also has a 160 I.Q., the same as famed physicist Stephen Hawking. Unfortunately, we’ll never know what kind of academic heights he could have reached, because he dropped out in ninth grade to pursue a movie career. It’s too bad he didn’t pay more attention in school, because he’s a notoriously bad speller.

8. Natalie Portman
I.Q. 140
She's known best as the beautiful Padme Amidala from Star Wars, but she has the brains to back it up. She was an honor roll student since elementary school, is fluent in five languages, earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Harvard, and pursued graduate studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

7. Mayim Bialik
I.Q. 149
As a kid, she played the title character on NBC's Blossom, and plays genius scientist Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory. But in real life, she really is a scientist whose brilliant mind earned her a Ph.D. in neuroscience.

4. Geena Davis
I.Q. 140
She’s an award-winning actress in movies like Thelma and Louise and A League of Their Own. She's also a genius member of Mensa. She's a musician who plays the piano, flute, and pipe organ. Davis was also an exchange student in Sweden, and earned a bachelor's degree in drama from Boston University. She also mastered archery to the point where she went to the Olympic Games in 1999, just two years after she first took up the sport.

3. Jodie Foster
I.Q. 132
At three years old, she was an actor in various commercials, but by then she'd also taught herself to read. While she dazzled audiences as a troubled prostitute in Taxi Driver and an FBI agent in The Silence of the Lambs, she became fluent in French and attended Yale University.

2. Steve Martin
I.Q. 142
Martin is known for his absurdist comedy and roles in movies like The Jerk and Roxanne, but he’s also a member of Mensa. He majored in philosophy at California State University, and planned to become a college professor before his career in comedy took off. He’s written plays, movies, pieces for the New Yorker, and a novella Shopgirl which was turned into a movie. He’s also a musician who plays the piano and banjo.

1. Dolph Lundgren
I.Q. 160
Dolph Lundgren is known for his body in movies like Rocky III and The Punisher, but also has the brains to back it up. Lundgren attended multiple universities around the world, including the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, the University of Sydney where he earned a master’s degree in chemical engineering, and he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to MIT.

Sources:
http://www.businessinsider.com/smartest-celebrities-in-hollywood-2013-10?op=1
http://listverse.com/2009/01/18/15-surprisingly-super-smart-celebrities/
http://www.mensxp.com/entertainment/gossip/9274-top-10-celebs-with-the-highest-iq.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Mensans
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/the-30-smartest-celebrities-in-hollywood-175417855.html
http://www.examiner.com/article/celebrity-iqs-who-has-highest-iq
http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/celebrity/more-than-a-pretty-face-20110310-1bpcv.html
http://mobile.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/these-celebrities-are-smarter-than-they-look/story-fn907478-1226482660623
http://www.foxnews.com/science/slideshow/2014/03/18/celebrity-scientists-stars-who-love-science/#/slide/natalie-portman-science

What other famous celebrities do you know are geniuses? What actors were you surprised to see?

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So, now Captain America is Black. Why is that shocking? Last night on The Colbert Resport Marvel CCO Joe Quesada announced that Sam Wilson (previously known as the Falcon) while take on the role of Captain America in the October issue. This is shocking news for several reasons.

First, 99% of people had never heard of Sam Wilson before Captain America: The Winter Soldier played by Anthony Mackie. The character's been around since the 60's and is the first African-American superhero but most people think of him as a minor character.

Second, Captain America embodied the Caucasian ideal. He's strong, he's patriotic and he's got blue eyes and blond hair. Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort said "It's about time. In 2014, this should be a thing that we shrug off, it shouldn't be seen as revolutionary, but it still feels exciting.”

Third, everyone loves Chris Evans and don't want the movies to change. They won't.

Fourth, Marvel has already blown people away with the news that Thor will become an unnamed woman and will be known as Thor, not She-Thor.

Here's why it's cool though.
They could have made Sam Wilson any character, but they chose the one that most challenges the audience. This could lead to a huge shift in acceptance of minority characters in comic books. I doubt this change will stay long since Rogers is still around. He's now 90-years-old, but still providing backup support. It's just refreshing to know that Marvel is making changes that broaden the audience.

Plus, he'll be able to fly. “Historically, Falcon would often act as air support, flying Steve into the battle." Rick Remender told Marvel, "Why not merge the two? He pops the wings, and as he flies, he keeps the shield latched onto his back. He dives down onto the scene, hurls the shield, wings retract, and rolls into a kick or jump, catches the shield on the way back. He doesn’t have the super soldier serum, but he has the added zing-zang-zoom of flight.”

All this is part of  Marvel NOW! they started back in 2012 as "the next chapter in the ongoing saga of the Marvel Universe." Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso said, "From October through February, we’ll provide at least one great reason for readers—old, lapsed or new—to go into a comic store each week: a new issue #1, featuring an exciting new creative team and driving concept, that’s an easy entry-point into the Marvel Universe."Wave Two started in 2013 and led to more changes. The most noticeable one is that Dr. Octopus became Superior Spider-Man.

While none of these changes will probably stick for long it shows Marvel is serious about broadening it's audience.  “We have more of a global audience than ever,” says Brevoort. “And that just makes us more aware that we have more readers of different backgrounds who are hungry for characters who come from circumstances like their own. Our creators take that seriously.”

What do you think of the news of a Black Captain America?

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7/16/2014

Publicity photo of Star Trek: The Next Generation (Credit: Paramount)
When Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered, we loved the futuristic look of the uniforms, but the costumes turned out to be nightmarish behind the scenes. Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek's creator, firmly believed in a utopian future for Mankind, which has been praised by fans of the series. Unfortunately, his vision for fashion was way off. The costumes he specified for the crew of the Enterprise in The Next Generation ran into a lot of problems. Thanks to recent interviews with the cast and crew, we know how they suffered to bring us their show.

1. The Uniforms Stank - The one thing you couldn't tell from watching the show is that the costumes stank. Badly. Roddenberry reportedly believed Spandex was the fabric of the future, and demanded all the costumes be made from it. It turns out Spandex retains odor, so according to costume designer Robert Blackman, “there is a certain part where if you're wearing them for a long period of time, you can’t really clean all the smell out, and it becomes a little bit annoying. And it also retains the odour of the dry cleaning fluid. So, it’s a little bit, on a day-to-day basis, unpleasant." When Blackman became the show’s costumer in the third season, the first thing he noticed walking in the wardrobe department was the smell.

2. The Uniforms Were Too Small - Roddenberry specifically wanted the costumes to be form-fitting, so they were intentionally made two sizes too small. Not only was this uncomfortable, but it was very unflattering. The cast couldn't have any weight gain or it would show immediately. LeVar Burton once said, "We hated our space suits...As much as they call it a stretch fabric, spandex in that configuration doesn't give all that much. It hid nothing."

3. The Uniforms Ruined Their Backs - Another unforeseen problem with spandex is it doesn't stretch in all directions. According to Blackman, the spandex they used would only stretch "from side to side or top to bottom, depending on how you cut the garment." Since they decided to cut it side to side, this meant the uniforms would pull downwards constantly on them. Stewart described it as constantly having to fight against the spandex to stand upright, so much the uniforms would dig into the cast’s shoulders. After wearing them up to fifteen hours a day, Stewart says he was told by his chiropractor that if he didn’t get out of the costume, it would do “permanent lasting damage.”

4. The Uniforms Were Hot - Another problem with spandex is that it doesn't breathe. After a few hours, they grew incredibly hot and uncomfortable. The hot studio lights the cast worked under during shooting didn't help. I’m sure all that sweat didn't help with the odor problems.

5. The Uniforms Couldn't Move - With all the problems of spandex, costume designer Blackman decided to switch to wool gabardine, which would look sort of like spandex but wouldn’t have the problems they had faced. Unfortunately, the new fabric wasn't as flexible. Says Blackman, “If you watch the first six or seven episodes, you'll see the actors look like they're in spandex outfits but they're made of wool and the actors can't move, they can't raise their arms, they can't do anything.” Eventually, he changed to a two-piece uniform that solved the problem. The show went on to dazzle audiences and relieve the crew.

6. The Boobs Are (Mostly) Fake - Star Trek series have always had beautiful women to admire, and TNG is no exception. Dr. Crusher and Counselor Troi made many a young man's heart skip a beat, especially in the form-fitting outfits they wore. Only one problem - they all had interior padded bras with seamless cups. Marina Sirtis called hers "the Industrial Strength Starfleet Brassiere" and a "wonder of modern engineering. I mean, I used to take it off at night and go 'oh blimey, where did they go?'" Actually, padded bras have been used in all of Star Trek series from the original to Enterprise. Of course, it hasn't always been popular with the crew. Kate Mulgrew once famously ripped out hers and threw it on a producer's desk, refusing to wear it.

UPDATE: Added link

What did you think of the costumes? Would you have worn them?

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What if Wolverine and Batman had a baby? They'd have serious psychological problems and these awesome claws. The Internet webseries Man at Arms has tackled all kinds of real-life weapons, like Thor's hammer, but now they're taking it to the next level.

Man At Arms: Reforged does a mash-up of classic weapons. The first one they're doing is Wolverine's claws and Batman's Batarang.

Here's how they describe the video:

Every other Monday this summer, our team of blacksmiths and craftsman will be taking some of your favorite characters and items to mash up into brand new hybrid weapons that you've never seen before. This week, they will mash together Batman's batarangs with Wolverine's claws!

It's an amazing piece of craftsmanship. There actually is a Wolverine\Batman character in the comics called Dark Claw and I'd like to put my vote on the petition for a Dark Claw Batman\Wolverine mashup film. Who else is with me?!

What do you think of the video? Would you watch a Wolverine\Batman movie
?

 
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7/15/2014

I don't know about you, but YouTube is an enormous sucking black hole of time-wasting for me. Once I watch a video, I can't help watching another. But what was the Internet was like before the endless stream of video content came into existence? What websites or applications occupied our time? Created by YTDDownloader, this infographic shows what we all did on the Internet before YouTube. Or at least, those of us who remember that far back, eh, sonny? Twenty-three skidoo!


Hosted by IMGUR.com

What did you learn from the infographic?

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