2/08/2016

Source: Tested/YouTube
Good news, everyone! Makeup artist Frank Ippolito from Tested has brought one of our most beloved cartoon characters to life: Professor Farnsworth from Futurama! This video shows how Ippolito painstakingly recreated the look of Farnsworth on a live human being. It's both awesome and quite disturbing. But then, what would we expect from a bald, bottle-glasses-wearing old man with an extreme overbite?


If you don't want to watch the whole video about the planning and sculpting of the makeup, click here to skip to the big reveal at 6:19.

What do you think of real-life Professor Farnsworth? Please be mindful of our comment policy when making comments. Abusers will have comments deleted and may be banned

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2/05/2016

Custom LEGO Helicarrier created by members of Formosa Creative Brick. (via /Film)
We'd love to hear what you think of the Internet's strangest and geekiest moments in this week's "Geek Bits."

By The Way

I've been working hard to increase awareness of my Superman site and it's paying off. So, I'm slowing easing back into the Blogosphere. It's been far too long.
Here are some new articles you may have missed

Links

1. Mattel Reveals "Batman v Superman" Man of Steel Barbie (via Superman Super Site)


Ken eat your heart out

2. Kylo Ren’s Signature Force Sound Was A Purring Kitty, Say Sound Designers (Via Nerdist)


A wonderful article by Amy Ratcliffe explaining some of the unusual sounds used in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
What are some of the weirdest sources you pulled from to design a sound in The Force Awakens?
[Laughs] Off the top of my head, the Kylo Ren Force rumble—the really chunky and animalistic rumble—is my cat’s purring. It’s heavily pitched and slowed version of my cat’s purr that becomes Kylo Force rumble.

3. Diversity In Hollywood - Beyond Black & White (via MsMariah's Space Blog-yssey)


A wonderfully thoughtful article about the "Oscars So White" controversy

4. Interview: Marvel’s Sana Amanat Talks Ms. Marvel at The 2016 MAKERS Conference (via The Mary Sue)

5. R2-D2 Sarcastic Subtitles


6. According to a Lawyer, Han Solo Had a Legal Right to Shoot Greedo First (via /Film)

7. CAPTAIN AMERICA Celebrates Facebook's Friend Day On The Road To CIVIL WAR (via Comic Book Movie)

8. Marvel’s Super-Hero Hip-Hop Covers Are Available For Free (via io9)



9. Megan Fox Teases Super Bowl Ad For TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 2 (via Comic Book Movie)

10. Francis Ford Coppola Wonders If Star Wars Was Really Worth It (via io9)

"George [Lucas] is kind of a genius but I think it’s a pity he got so [absorbed in that one franchise]. I hope George isn’t offended, but the truth of the matter is that Star Wars cost us 10 new George Lucas films that would have been wonderful." - Coppola

What do you think of this week's links?
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1/11/2016

The Imperial stormtroopers of Star Wars are well-known to be the worst shots in the Galaxy. But who's the best? That's the challenge answered by a Reddit user who called himself Troelski. He watched the entire Star Wars series and created this infographic based on how many shots the characters made with a blaster vs. how many hit. Check out the surprising results.

View post on imgur.com


What do you think?
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1/08/2016

With the new movie The Force Awakens going like gangbusters, it's time to update all our Star Wars trivia. Halloweencostumes.com has created this awesome infographic about all the most important planets in the Star Wars universe, including Tattooine and Jakku.

View post on imgur.com


What do you think? Did you learn anything new?

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12/30/2015

If you're new to the Star Trek franchise, the idea of catching up might be overwhelming. With twelve movies and six TV shows, it will take some time, and you might feel like you couldn't possibly get through them all. Well, I'm here to help. I'm compiling the ultimate guide to Star Trek consumption at About.com. With these helpful links, you'll be guided through your journey to earning your Vulcan ears as a bonafide Trekker.

1. How Do I Start Watching Star Trek? - How should you watch Star Trek? Here's a rundown of three methods of watching all the movies and TV shows in the right order. Whether you want to start with the Original Series and work your way down chronologically or you want to start with the most recent movies and work your way back, it's covered.

2. A Beginners Guide to Star Trek TV - Just want to get the highlights and find out what you're getting into? Here's an overview of all the Star Trek shows that have aired on television. From the Original Series to Enterprise, these are just the facts.

3. All the Star Trek Movies Ranked From Worst to Best - Even the most diehard Star Trek fan will admit all the movies aren't gems. But at the same time, Star Trek movies have produced some of the most emotional and thoughtful movies in science fiction. Here's the order fans have put them in.

4. 11 Best Episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series - With three seasons of the classic series, you may not want to binge them all. If you want to get the best of the Original Series instead of watching them in order, here are the eleven shows to start with.

5. 10 Best Episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation - The new Star Trek series took the franchise to bold new worlds, and there are plenty of great episodes to watch. But if you just want to get the best of the best, this is the place to go.

6. 10 Best Episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - This series broke the mold of Trek with an African-American captain, internal conflict, and based on a starship instead of a spaceship. This list captures the essence of the series.

Keep watching this page for updates!

How would you watch Star Trek? What do you think are the best and worst?

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Bad Lip Reading, the YouTube channel that creates hilariously bad translations of major movies and TV shows, is at it again. This time, they've taken on the original Star Wars trilogy. Today, we'll feature the first, Star Wars IV: A New Hope. Watch A New Hope for the first time in the original dialogue, and enjoy Obi-Wan Kenobi's mad singing skillz in his classic love song, "Bushes of Love."



Will Obi-Wan ever find the Pickaxe of Cortez? Will Darth Vader ever stop texting Princess Leia? 

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12/18/2015

Source: Lucasfilm
I never thought I'd live to see the day. Not the day I saw another Star Wars movie after the original trilogy. That came in 1999 with The Phantom Menace. The day I'd see a good Star Wars movie? That I had given up hope for.

It's hard to talk about The Force Awakens without referencing the prequel trilogy. As I sat in the theater for the opening crawl, I felt a deep sense of fear and dread mixed with excitement and joy. I couldn't help flashing back to the moments when I saw the opening crawl of Phantom Menace, and I was so certain it would be a return to the greatness of Star Wars of old. And then the scrawl mentioned trade dispute, and I knew something was horribly wrong. By the time the third movie came around, I felt more resignation than excitement. I wanted to see the ending, but remembered the disappointment of the last two. And while Revenge of the Sith wasn't as bad as Phantom Menace, it still wasn't what I wanted from a Star Wars movie. I left feeling bitter, thinking it would be the last Star Wars movie, and we'd never have a return to what made the franchise great.

Now we have a new movie, and it seemed all we wanted was a movie that wouldn't screw it up. A few space fights, some lightsaber action, that's all we asked for. But Awakens delivers so much more.

Awakens shocked me at first because it felt so modern. This is Star Wars if it was made today. The prequel trilogy slavishly mimicked the look and style of the original trilogy, as if they were works of unchanging art instead of the popcorn 70's movies they were. Each prequel started with a slow pan over a spaceship. Everyone was filmed flat on one side, reciting wooden dialogue with a serious but mumbling tone. Even the weird wipe transitions returned. They took the weaknesses of the old movies and made them "the way Star Wars is supposed to be."

Well, Force Awakens opens with a spaceship, but with shadows and depth, and backlit against a planet. It's a beautiful shot, and when the camera moves on, it came to life. The new movies are a world of intricate camera angles and transitions, wonderful visuals that echo the original movies, but feel even more real.
Source: Lucasfilm
I should probably start talking about what the movie is about. Well, I'll try to avoid spoilers. The movie takes place thirty years after the original, where the happy ending from Return of the Jedi wasn't so happy after all. The Empire has been reborn into the First Order, fighting for control of the Galaxy. A stormtrooper nicknamed Finn goes rogue and joins a quest to track down Luke Skywalker, who's been lost for many years. In the process, he stumbles across a scavenger named Rey, and is forced to fight against the sinister Kylo Ren, who holds dark powers and secrets. But unlike the other Star Wars movies that could be summed up in a sentence, that description doesn't scratch the surface of the real story. Saying more would take away the fun.

After a while of watching this movie, I felt something I never expected. I thought the movie would be all about reuniting with the old characters and storylines from the original. It wasn't. It was about revitalizing Star Wars into a new world. I loved the new characters almost as much as the old. Maybe more. Finn and Rey were far more complex and interesting than anyone who'd ever appeared in a Star Wars movie. While it was great to see Han Solo and C3PO, I found myself way more invested in hotshot pilot Poe Dameron and quirky BB-8. It was a passing of the guard. I'm looking forward to their adventures in a way I never thought I would.

We get a deeper look at the Star Wars universe, and it feels more lived in. In the original Star Wars movies, everything was in the background for a reason, giving the illusion of life. Nothing felt like it existed before or after we saw it. In Awakens, it feels like a living world. The desert planet Jakku is a world of people struggling to survive, looting from dead spaceships for meager rations. Unlike Tatooine, where people did...what exactly? Farm moisture? Smuggle stuff? Shoot each other in bars?

But more than anything, Awakens is something Star Wars was never allowed to be: complex. When Lucas made a bad guy, he named him Darth Vader and dressed him all in black. Or he named him Darth Maul, and made him a literal devil with red skin and horns. Lucas never would have made a stormtrooper a hero, because the stormtroopers were Bad Guys. They were evil people to serve as cannon fodder for the real heroes. But not in Force Awakens. In Force Awakens, we get shades of gray. Even Kylo Ren is a complex soul, wracked and tormented by his emotions and his past.

As for the actors, all good. John Boyega as Finn was funny and heroic, while also fearful and confused about his destiny. Daisy Ridley as Rey is almost impossibly beautiful. She spends most of the movie in rags with dirt smeared on her face, and she's still stunning. Yes, we have a new geek crush, and I await the polls pitting Rey up against Padme and Leia for hottest Star Wars babe. But I'm still voting for Leia. Oh, and she's also a great character. She doesn't sit around waiting for someone to rescue her; she rescues herself.

My only complaint is that there wasn't enough lightsaber fighting. But the movie was too busy telling an actual story, so I'll forgive it.

I could go on, but the bottom line is that The Force Awakens is a good movie. I only say it's the second best Star Wars movie because Empire Strikes Back holds the honor of the best, and I don't think anything can topple it. There's too much emotion and history for Empire. Much like Muhammed Ali will always be the greatest boxer of all time, even if better technical fighters come along. But Awakens is truly the movie fans have been waiting for.

Have you seen the movie? What did you think? 

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Source: Paramount Pictures
After months of teasing and secrecy, Star Trek Beyond finally has its first trailer. Check out our first peek at the movie coming July 2016!


You can also check out my breakdown of ten things I noticed from the trailer at Startrek.about.com.

What do you think of Star Trek Beyond?

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12/08/2015


Star Wars: The Force Awakens is opening in a few weeks and it's the perfect time to guess which characters are going to be my favorites. Obviously, this list is subjective and based on a complete guess from the interviews and trailers.

10. BB-8


The first official female robot, BB-8 is supposed to be the big breakout hit of the movie. 

"We always saw BB-8 as a naughty puppy or a very clever little child," says Neal Scanlan, chief of creature and droid effects. "They know how to be coy, how to be cute, how to sulk, how to pull at heartstrings to get what they want." 

She looks funny, feisty and full of energy. Plus, who doesn't love a rolling robot? 

9. Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac)


According to Isaac, he's supposedly the "best freakin' pilot in the galaxy". He's Guatemalan-American, so he's got that Latin lover feel to him. 35-year-old Isaac has teased that his character is on a mission for a "certain princess" and his fate becomes "intertwined" with Finn's. 

I haven't seen any clips of him that make him cool, but who doesn't love a good pilot?



8. Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong'o)


We don't know much about her character, but we know a few things. We know Kanata has "lived over a thousand years" and is a pirate. We've seen pictures of her bar which are full of "travelers, smugglers, and other assorted riff-raff."

What's impressive about her are the quotes we've heard in the trailers. At one point she says, "Dear child! The longing you seek is not behind you, it is in front of you." Sage advice.

She'll be a CGI character and may be the one handing Luke Skywalker's lightsaber to someone.

7. Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie)


The minute I heard about a chrome plated trooper we got excited. When I found it the Stormtrooper is a woman we got, even more, excited. There isn't a single female villain in the Star Wars universe and she gets to wear the coolest armor ever.

Some complained that her armor doesn't look feminine because it's not pink and doesn't have "boob armor". In response the social media manager of Star Wars said, "It’s armor. On a woman. It doesn’t have to look feminine."

6. Rey (Daisy Ridley)


The newest female lead is a scavenger on the desert planet Jakku. She's a self-made woman and can fight her own battles in the tradition of Princess Leia. She even saves Finn from certain death.

Ridley said, "She's completely self-sufficient and does everything for herself until she meets [Finn] and an adventure begins." Sounds good to me.


5. General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher)


Who doesn't love Princess Leia? She's bold, brash and beautiful even today. We don't know her marital status since she decided not to take her birth name of Skywalker. She's going by her adopted name of Organa.

What her name does say is that she's an officer and a general. After Return of the Jedi, she's described as "a little more battle weary, a little more broken hearted." Perhaps by Han?

Fisher says Leia is "solitary. Under a lot of pressure. Committed as ever to her cause, but I would imagine feeling somewhat defeated, tired, and pissed." Also, she has more control over the force. Leia with a lightsaber perhaps? Yes!

4. Han Solo 


That "scruffy-looking nerfherder" is back as Han Solo. Harrison Ford still has that Han Solo swagger. Frankly, it's surprising he's in the movie at all considering how much he hated on Star Wars over the years.

Ford said Han "does not aspire to the position of Obi-Wan, nor do I aspire to be some New Age Alec Guinness. His development is consistent with the character, and there are emotional elements which have occasioned his growth ... There's a lot of the rogue still left in Solo. Some things don't change."

We're glad to have him back.

3. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill)

Anakin Skywalker is the star of the prequels, but Luke Skywalker is the star of the original films. He's kind and giving. Plus he wore an awesome black cloak. If he hadn't been included in the movie it would have been awful. But what's he doing in the film?

We have no idea since he's been left out of every piece of promotional video and photo. That's also what makes his role in the film so cool. He's shrouded in mystery and that's the way they want it. Director J.J. Abrams stated: "They'd be as old and as mythic as the tale of King Arthur. They would be characters who they may have heard of, but maybe not. They'd be characters who they might believe existed, or just sounded like a fairy tale."

2. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)


Darth Vader is the greatest Star Wars villain of all time, but Kylo Ren could give him a run for his money.

Adam Driver plays a dark warrior who's strong with the Force and a former member of the "Knights of Ren". He's commander of the "First Order" which is kind of like the Empire 2.0. He's got a strange lightsaber, but it still looks amazing. I'm on the fence about the mask.

1. Finn (John Boyega)


One of the first characters we see in the trailers is "the Black stormtrooper" Finn. He's a former First Order stormtrooper. That makes him a lot like Luke who wanted to join the Empire at the beginning of the first movie.

He's a bold and daring new character in the Star Wars universe. Not just because he's Black. It's because he's a young man who's following the path from a villain to a hero. He's learning about aa new world just like we are. Boyega said, "He's been taught about [Luke], he knows about his history. For him it's like joining the army and then learning about one of the great enemies of your country."

Plus, he's got Luke's lightsaber. Game on.

Who's your favorite Star Wars: The Force Awakens Character?

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12/02/2015


Star Wars (1977) - Greedo Shoots Han Solo (Harrison Ford) First. [Source: Lucasfilm]
Lucas says Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is like John Wayne and wouldn't shoot first. 30 years after the first Star Wars movie, and less than a month before Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens, creator George Lucas is still answering questions about a brief scene in the film.

In case you're unfamiliar with it, there's a scene in Star Wars: A New Hope where the bounty hunter Greedo corners Han Solo in a bar. As Greedo threatens to kill him Solo unholsters his gun and shoots him dead. Watch a comparison below:



While the original scene left little question who shot first, Lucas altered the scene for his "Special Edition". He "clarified" that Greedo shot first and Solo shot back. Lucas described the change to The Hollywood Reporter in 2012 saying, "I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first."

In a recent interview with The Washington Post, he explained why he's right that Han Solo shot first. Lucas said, "Han Solo was going to marry Leia, and you look back and say, 'Should he be a cold-blooded killer?'". He's made this arguement before and says that he never envisioned Solo as a "murderer". "Because I was thinking mythologically -- should he be a cowboy, should he be John Wayne?" Lucas added, "And I said, 'Yeah, he should be John Wayne.' And when you're John Wayne, you don't shoot people (first) -- you let them have the first shot. It's a mythological reality that we hope our society pays attention to."

John Wayne, of course, is the popular Western actor from the 60s and 70s. Wayne was always a stand-up guy. When Wayne went to film The Shootist in 1976, his character was scripted to shoot a man in the back. Wayne refused to do it saying, "I've made over 250 pictures and have never shot a guy in the back. Change it." So, Lucas is right that John Wayne would never shoot people first.

But is Han Solo John Wayne? It depends on how you see the character. I'm not alone in seeing Solo's character as an anti-hero at the beginning of the film. He's only looking out for himself and his money. Solo isn't above getting the drop on someone to save his life. By the end of the film he's changed into a true hero who puts his life on the line to defeat the Empire. That's the kind of hero I want to see and is a wonderful character arc.

When Harrison Ford was asked in a Reddit AMA who shot first he said, "I don’t know and I don’t care."

Want to win a free ticket to Star Wars along with a Subway prize pack? Click here! (Ends 12/7/2015)

Official Star Wars Force Awakens Summary
Star Wars: Episode VII will be directed by J.J. Abrams (Super 8, Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek) and is being scripted by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi). Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, with Tommy Harper (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Jack Ryan, Star Trek Into Darkness) and Jason McGatlin (Tintin, War of the Worlds) serving as executive producers. John Williams is returning to score Star Wars: Episode VII..Directed by J.J. Abrams
Cinematography by Daniel Mindel
Production Design by Rick Carter and Darren Gilford
Starring: John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong'o, and Gwendoline Christie, with Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker
Release Dates: December 18, 2015 (USA)
Official Site: starwars.com
© Copyright 2015 Lucasfilm, Bad Robot. All rights reserved

Do you think Han Solo is like John Wayne

About the Author: Maurice Mitchell
I'm an avid science fiction fan, former professional graphic designer and certified blerd. After the death of my Star Wars action figures, I use my powers for good and not for evil.
Visit my concept art blog: http://filmsketchr.blogspot.com

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