Game of Thrones - Drago (Jason Momoa)
Recently a picture of Aquaman from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was released and it's full of symbolism of Polynesian culture. This isn't surprising since the actor, Jason Momoa has said that his Polynesian heritage will influence the character. He said "the greatest thing for me is that Polynesians, our gods, Kahoali, Maui, all these water gods, so it's really cool and a honor to be playing a [water] character. And there's not too many brown superheroes, so I'm really looking forward to representing the Polynesians, the natives."

The Polynesian people consists of various ethnic groups that speak Polynesian languages and inhabit a small amount of land spread over a very large portion of the mid and southern Pacific Ocean. Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island.

Here are the most influential Polynesian actors in science fiction films.

#10 - Russell Crowe

Russell Ira Crowe was born in Wellington, New Zealand, to Jocelyn Yvonne (née Wemyss) and John Alexander Crowe. Russell Crowe's great grandmother, Erana Putiputi Hayes Heihi, was Maori making him Polynesian. His best known role is as the Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius in Gladiator (2000), directed by Ridley Scott. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor for the role. He actually started out as a musician with New Zealand singles including "I Just Want To Be Like Marlon Brando", "Pier 13", "Shattered Glass". He became an actor in Austrailia with TV and movie roles before coming to the US and co-starring in his first film in 1995. It was the science-fiction thriller Virtuosity with Denzel Washington where Crowe played a virtual reality serial killer. Russell Crowe starred in several Oscar nominated films like A Beautiful Mind, L.A. Confidential and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Recently, he played Jor-El in Man of Steel.

Starting in 2009, Crowe and several other well-known Austrailian actors appeared in a series of special edition postage stamps called "Legends of the Screen", even though he doesn't have Australian citizenship.

#9 - Jason Scott Lee

Jason Scott Lee was born November 19, 1966 and is an actor and martial artist of Hawaiian and Chinese descent. His first big break was as a minor role playing the character Chester "Whitey" Nogura in Back to the Future Part II, who was part of Griff's gang. He was the guy that said hoverboards don't work "unless you've got power!" Lee also appeared in Timecop 2: The Berlin Decision.

Jason Scott Lee's first lead role was playing Bruce Lee in the biopic Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993). His mixed ethnicity has allowed him to play multiple races from an Inuit Eskimo (Map of the Human Heart), a Polynesian prince (Rapa Nui) and an Indian (Jungle Book). He was named by Goldsea, the Asian American website as one of "The 130 Most Inspiring Asian Americans of All Time".

#8 - Julian Arahanga

Julian Arahanga is a New Zealand film and television actor born on December 18, 1972 in Raetihi, New Zealand. He's best known for playing best known for his role in the movie Once Were Warriors from 1994, where he plays Nig Heke, the son of Jake "the Muss" and Beth Heke. He had a minor role as the hacker Apoc in The Matrix (1999) but he made it his own.

#7 - Jay Laga'aia

Jay Laga'aia was born 10 September 1963 and is a New Zealand-Australian actor of Samoan descent. He’s best known as Captain Typho in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. He also played the role of Draco in several episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess. The Star Wars films are a huge break for him because of his attitude and cool eye patch.

Back in his native Australia, he spoke out against the perceived racism of Australian television by casting mostly White actors instead of Natives. After he lost his job on Home and Away, he blasted the show on Twitter saying, "I think commercial TV should take a leaf out of children's TV in this country. We are a rainbow nation in kids' TV. No tokens here." At least we know racism on television isn't just an American thing.

#6 - Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon, the son of Patricia Bond (née Taylor), and Samuel Nowlin Reeves, Jr. who's of Native Hawaiian, Chinese, and Portuguese ancestry. Reeves said, "My grandmother is Chinese and Hawaiian, so I was around Chinese art, furniture and cuisine when I was growing up." He's best known for movies like Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989), Speed (1994), and The Matrix trilogy.

As for keeping in touch with his Hawaiian heritage, Reeve's father left them when he was young and Keanu hasn't spoken to his father in decades. Keanu's father said, "I pretty much know what he's doing, but he's made it clear that he wants nothing to do with me."

#5 - Manu Bennett

Jonathan Manu Bennett (also known as John Bennett or Jon Bennett) is an Australian actor born on 10 October 1969 in Rotorua, New Zealand. He’s best known for playing the gladiator Crixus in Spartacus, Azog the Defiler in the The Hobbit movies and Deathstroke in Arrow. Bennett is of Māori - specifically Te Arawa and Ngāti Kahungunu - and Irish descent on his father’s side, but his mother is Scottish. At the 2012 Comic Con Bennett explained, and then demonstrated a traditional Polynesian "Haka" in true ear-splitting fashion. The Haka is a traditional ancestral war cry, dance, or challenge from the Māori people of New Zealand. It was originally performed by warriors before a battle to intimidate their opponent with their display of strength and prowess.

He says he enjoys going back to work in New Zealand because ''it allowed me to re-source my Maori identity and history."

#4 - Rena Owen

Rena Owen was born in New Zeland on July 22, 1962 and is best known in America as Taun We in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Owen's father is Maori and her mother is White and regularly performed in local Maori Culture groups and performed in dramas and musicals while in high school.“Acting wasn’t considered a career then, particularly not for a little Maori girl from the country – I was supposed to be either a secretary or a teacher or a nurse." But, the culture of New Zealand entertainment discouraged her from taking up a career in acting. Owen said, "There were no brown faces on the New Zealand screens of the ’60s or ’70s, apart from a newscaster or two. It simply wasn’t an option.” She continued in acting and her breakthrough film Once Were Warriors earned her multiple international awards including Best Actress at the Montreal World Film Festival.

She took on the voice of the Kamino Cloner Taun We and got to work with her Once Were Warriors co-star, Temuera Morrison who played Jango Fett. When talking about her role on the Star Wars franchise she said, "even though my role is small, that I have become a part of the Star Wars legacy."

#3 - Temuera Morrison

Temuera Morrison is of Māori, Scottish, and Irish descent and is best known as the bounty hunter Jango Fett and the Clone Troopers in the Star Wars series. He  was born in the town of Rotorua, in the North Island of New Zealand, the son of Hana (née Stafford) and Laurie Morrison, a musician. He received two Best Actor award from the New Zealand Film Awards for his role as the violent and abusive Māori husband Jake Heke in Once Were Warriors in 1994 and the sequel. He also portrayed Abin Sur in the 2011 superhero film Green Lantern. When he was inducted as a Mandalorian Mercs Honorary Member at Dragon*Con 2011 he did a traditional Maori Haka dance.

You can watch it here:

#2 - Jason Momoa

Jason Momoa was born Joseph Jason Namakaeha Momoa in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 1, 1979. His father is Hawaiian painter Joseph Momoa,and his mother is Coni Lemke. Known for his television roles as Ronon Dex on the military science fiction television series Stargate: Atlantis (2004) and as Khal Drogo in the HBO fantasy television series Game of Thrones (2011). He also starred in Conan the Barbarian (2011).

When he went to his audition for Game of Thrones a friend suggested doing the Polynesian Haka dance even though it wasn't in the script.
You can watch it here:

Recently a picture of his role of Aquaman from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice revealed a heavily tattooed and armored superhero. The tribal tattoos are packed with Polynesian symbolism which Screen Rant broke down like shark teeth and arrows. "A lot of things are very black and white. Aquaman is especially cool because being a Kanaka Maoli—being Hawaiian—our Gods are Kanaloa and Maui, and the Earth is 71 percent water, so I get to represent that. And I’m someone who gets to represent all the islanders, not some blond-haired superhero. It’s cool that there’s a brown-skinned superhero."

#1 - Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne The Rock Johnson is one of the all-time greatest wrestlers and action heroes. His first lead role was in the movie The Scorpion King and then he moved into movies like G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and the upcoming Shazam movie. Johnson was born in Hayward, California on May 2nd 1972 to  his mother Samoan Ata Johnson (née Maivia) who's a descendant of Samoan chiefs, and Canadian-born professional wrestler Rocky "Soul Man" Johnson.

He's proud of his Samoan heritage and, because of his mother and in recognition of his service to the Samoan people, Malietoa Tanumafili II bestowed upon Johnson the noble title of Seiuli during his visit there in July 2004. In 2003, he followed the Samoan tradition of having his family historytattooed on his arm.

Who's your favorite Polynesian actor?

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Dr. Ayanna Howard (Credit: Maxwell Guberman/NSF i-Corps)
As part of the promotion for the action/sci-fi movie, CHAPPiE, I got to interview Doctor Ayanna MacCalla Howard. Dr. Howard is an American roboticist and the Motorola Foundation Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She's been working in the field for decades,

The first thing that strikes you about Dr. Howard is that she's an African American woman in a field where both are rare. Women aren't often found in robotics labs, and African Americans are rare as well, so to have an African American woman achieve her level of success is a feat to be praised on its own.

Now let's look at her accomplishments. In 1990, she started working as an intern at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab. She rose up through the ranks, becoming  a member of the Telerobotics Research and Applications Group and the principal investigator of the Safe Rover Navigation Task. Her team worked on helping planetary rovers to navigate independently over challenging Martian terrain. "In essence," she said in a NASA interview, "[we were] mapping human intelligence to an aerial robot, such as a robotic spacecraft."

Ayanna Howard in 2002 with the
Safe Navigation Rover (NASA)
In 2001, she received the Lew Allen Award for Excellence in Research - that's the highest possible honor at JPL "to recognize and encourage significant individual accomplishments or leadership in scientific research or technological innovation by JPL employees during the early years of their professional careers."  In 2003, she was named to the MIT Technology Review TR100 as one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35. She was also featured in TIME magazine's "Rise of the Machines" article in 2004.

In 2005, she joined the Georgia Institute of Technology as an Associate Professor. While working in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, she founded the Human-Automation Systems Laboratory. She earned her M.B.A with a concentration in Strategy from Claremont Graduate University in 2005. In 2008, Howard received worldwide attention for her SnoMote robots, designed to study the impact of global warming on the Antarctic ice shelves.

What inspired Dr. Howard? The classic TV show, The Bionic Woman. When she was twelve years old, the show made her decide she wanted to make robotic limbs. However, her first biology class inspired her to change course. Says Howard, "The whole concept of being a medical doctor was not appealing, but I took a real interest in this thing called robotics, which was fairly new, and not a lot of people were doing it." That allowed her to continue to work on mechanical limbs without having to deal with blood and guts.

But Howard's work extends outside the laboratory. In her spare time, she goes to local schools to talk about robotics, reads at the library to children, and helps with cultural arts festivals for unknown artists to get exposure with the community.

"All the community efforts actually occupy a lot of my time, but it's fun because they're social activities with a good cause," she said. "It's really rewarding when you hear people say, 'Maybe I can do that,' or 'I want to hear more.' I look at their eyes and think, 'Wow, I really do have a cool job.'"

Howard is especially concerned about young girls who decide they can't pursue careers involving math and science because of negative experiences or peer pressure. She said, "I think the problem is that parents and teachers allow girls to give up at such an early age, so I try to encourage them. They don't have to be nerds that wear glasses and pocket protectors; they can still join clubs and play sports. Getting into math or science doesn't mean they have to lose their social aspects."

Our interview went to the topic of robot police officers. In CHAPPiE, autonomous robots are sent into the city to deal with crime in South Africa. With the recent conflicts between police and minorities, especially with the worldwide reaction to police officers confronting protesters with tanks and automatic weapons, I wondered whether Dr. Howard thought robot police would hurt or help relationships between police and the inner city.

While I saw it in a negative way, Howard was much more optimistic. She said, "I don't think it's just about having robot police. I don't think that's the answer. It's that when robots are part of our day to day...you see a robot police [officer], or even a robot caretaker, then it's not looking at robot police as a weapon. It's just another autonomous option."

We ended our interview with a game of "Would You Rather." We asked her if she would rather have super-strong prosthetic arms or legs. She almost immediately responded with "my arms. Walking is such a complicated function, so much more complicated than grabbing something. Even back in the day of the knights, they had arm prosthetics; very simple and crude but functional. And so there's a lot more advances in upper arms than there is in lower limbs." I did not know that.

Here's the official description of CHAPPiE:
From the director of District 9 comes CHAPPiE, starring Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, with Sigourney Weaver and Hugh Jackman. In the near future, crime is patrolled by an oppressive mechanized police force. But now, the people are fighting back. When one police droid, Chappie, is stolen and given new programming, he becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself. As powerful, destructive forces start to see Chappie as a danger to mankind and order, they will stop at nothing to maintain the status quo and ensure that Chappie is the last of his kind. 
Columbia Pictures and MRC present in association with LStar Capital a Kinberg Genre production, Chappie. Starring Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, NINJA and ¥O-LANDI VI$$ER, Jose Pablo Cantillo, with Sigourney Weaver and Hugh Jackman. Directed by Neill Blomkamp. Produced by Neill Blomkamp and Simon Kinberg. Written by Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell. 
Executive Producer is Ben Waisbren. Director of Photography is Trent Opaloch. Production Designer is Jules Cook. Editors are Julian Clarke, ACE and Mark Goldblatt, ACE. Visual Effects Supervisor is Chris Harvey. Music by Hans Zimmer.
CHAPPiE hits theaters on March 6, 2014.

What do you think of Dr. Howard?

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They said it couldn't be done...and by "they," I mean "we"...but here's episode two of "The Geek Twins Podcast." We couldn't coordinate a group podcast, so Nigel is recording this week's episode alone. But we also have our first guest, Dr. Ayanna Howard, a roboticist who discusses whether robot police like in CHAPPiE would be good or bad. Also listen to thoughts on the death of Leonard Nimoy, a review of the Robocop reboot, and a game of "Would You Rather."

What do you think of robot police? How did you feel about Nimoy's death? How would you answer "Would You Rather?" Let us know in the comments!

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Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Paramount
The geek community is mourning the death of Leonard Nimoy today, and we're no exception. Nimoy was an accomplished actor, director, writer and photographer, but he's best known for his legendary role as the human/Vulcan Starfleet officer Spock on the Star Trek franchise. He died today of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at the age of 83. With his loss fresh in our minds, we thought it was time to review some of the greatest moments Nimoy brought us as Spock.

10. Evil Spock in "Mirror, Mirror" (TOS)

In a parallel universe, Spock is as evil and ruthless as he is heroic and logical in ours. Yet Leonard Nimoy was able to portray the evil Spock, not as a mustache-twirling fiend, but as another side of the same character. It's a subtle distinction, but somehow Spock manages to be scary and menacing in this episode without becoming unrecognizable.

9. Spock the Ambassador in "Unification" (TNG)

It was a moment that Star Trek fans had dreamed of since the premiere of The Next Generation: the moment when the original series and the new series became one. In this episode, Spock returned as an older version of himself, and also showed another side to the formerly stereotypical evil Romulan Empire.

8. Happy Spock in "This Side of Paradise" (TOS)

In this episode, a plant's spores cause a state of bliss in anyone infected by them. Spock has a very different reaction to them, and we're allowed to see a rare glimpse of the emotional side of the Vulcan science officer.

7. Spock vs. Cuteness in "Trouble With Tribbles" (TOS)

One of the great things about Spock is that he can be funny as well as admirable. Spock was occasionally stuffy enough that we enjoyed seeing him taken down a peg. This episode is a fan favorite for its comedic elements, and when Spock declares his immunity to the appeal of the Tribbles, it's definitely one of his funniest moments.

6. Spock's Mutiny in "The Menagerie" (TOS)

This episode is a showcase for Spock in that it shows two sides of him: a rebellious side when he hijacks the Enterprise to take them to a forbidden planet, and also flashback clips from the unaired pilot, the true first appearance of Spock. It's an extraordinary glimpse into the genesis of the character and the complexity of Spock, all in one episode.

5. Spock's Return in Star Trek (2009)

Say what you will about the reboot, but the return of Spock in the new Star Trek movie warmed the hearts of both opponents and fans of the new film. It showed how Leonard Nimoy personified the franchise, how beloved he is, and how Zachary Quinto couldn't hold a candle to him.

4. Spock's Sympathy in "City on the Edge of Forever" (TOS)

In this classic episode of the original series, when Kirk discovers his true love has to die to save the future, it's Kirk who seems to have the best moments, struggling with the consequences of his actions. But Spock serves as the perfect guide for Kirk, weighing his sympathy with firm logic and conviction.

3. Spock's Mind-Meld in "The Devil in the Dark" (TOS)

For any other actor, having to get down on his knees and overact to a guy hiding under a rug would have been downright ridiculous. But Leonard Nimoy used his acting skills to make the scene not only believable, but deeply moving, an insight into a misunderstood creature.

2. Spock and Kirk Fight in "Amok Time" (TOS)

This entire episode was a triumph, allowing Leonard Nimoy a chance to show some rare emotion in the character of Spock while he struggled to contain his raging hormones. But the final fight between Kirk and Spock is epic.

1. Spock's Death in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

It was the moment that broke a million geek hearts, the death of the beloved Spock. Even though his death proved to be short-lived, the final scene still resonates, especially in the wake of Nimoy's real-life death.

What was your favorite Spock moment?

You Also Might Like:
Volkswagen Reunites Shatner and Nimoy
30 Surprising Facts About Star Trek: Wrath of Khan
8 Interesting Facts About Spock's Return on "Unification"

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In Japan, Robot Dogs Get Funerals (via Neatorama)
We'd love to hear what you think of the Internet's greatest moments in this week's "Geek Bits." 


  1. 10 Most Disappointing Superhero Movies (via Neatorama)

    They're not "bad." Just disappointing.
  1. A Smallville Man - Fan Film (via Blah Blah Blah Yackity Smackity)

  1. First comic award to honor the late Dwayne McDuffie announces nominees (via Blastr)
On Feb. 28, at the Long Beach Comic Expo, the first-ever Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity will be presented, and the nominees for the honor were revealed. If you've been following diverse superhero media over the last year or so, you'll likely recognize a few of these. "Dwayne was an incredible creator, and used his talents to help bring more diversity into comics," said Martha Donato, co-founder of Long Beach Comic Con. "His influence on comics is incredible, and we look forward to helping preserve his legacy through this award." See http://longbeachcomiccon.com

  •     Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona (Marvel Comics)
  •     The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew (First Second Books)
  •     Hex11 by Lisa K. Weber and Kelly Sue Milano (HexComix)
  •     M.F.K. by Nilah Magruder (mfkcomic)
  •     Shaft by David F. Walker and Bilquis Evely (Dynamite)
  1. This Incredible Lego Diorama Shows How Boba Fett Escaped The Sarlacc Pit (via io9)

  1. ‘Powers’ Trailer: Sharlto Copley Offers Life Advice (via /Film)

  1. Top Gamers to Take on Chappie in Twitch and Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Live “Chappie Challenge” Event

Chappie, the first movie character to play live on Twitch, challenges gamers to take him on in 2K and Turtle Rock Studios’ Evolve with a $15,000 prize pool

Finals Event to Stream Live on Twitch on March 1 at 3pm PST

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – February 26, 2015 - Twitch, the leading social video platform for gamers, and Sony Pictures Entertainment has attracted an impressive number of Evolve gamers for The Chappie Challenge, a one-of-a-kind event. This program will mark the first time that human gamers can play against a movie character, as players compete in 2K and Turtle Rock Studios’ Evolve against Chappie, the star of Sony Pictures Entertainment and MRC’s Chappie, in theaters March 6.

Evolve is a highly strategic experience in which a team of four human players fights a fifth, playing as a Monster. In the Chappie Challenge, a team of human gamers will have the chance to square off against Chappie on Twitch.

The qualifying rounds ran over the weekend of February 21-23; the finals match against Chappie is slated for March 1 starting at 3pm PST. The live finals will take place at ESL studios in Burbank, California, where ESL is overseeing tournament production in conjunction with Twitch. At this event, the top team will face off against Chappie. This match will be livestreamed on Twitch at www.twitch.tv/evolvegame, and marks the first time a film character has competed in character on the platform.

Commenting on the announcement, Elias Plishner EVP Worldwide Digital Marketing at Sony Pictures said, “We’re thrilled to be teaming up with Twitch for this first-of-its-kind event – gamers have never been able to take on a movie character in this kind of live competition. We know Chappie is up to the challenge – and we’ll have to see how the top team does against him on March 1.”

From Neill Blomkamp, the director of District 9, comes the new film Chappie. In the near future, crime is patrolled by an oppressive mechanized police force. But now, the people are fighting back. When one police droid, Chappie, is stolen and given new programming, he becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself. As powerful, destructive forces start to see Chappie as a danger to mankind and order, they will stop at nothing to maintain the status quo and ensure that Chappie is the last of his kind. Directed by Neill Blomkamp. Produced by Neill Blomkamp and Simon Kinberg. Written by Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell.

As Chappie’s intelligence and emotions evolve throughout the film, there is a different kind of evolution happening in the video game Evolve. From 2K and Turtle Rock Studios comes Evolve, the highly anticipated shooter in which four Hunters face off against a single, player-controlled Monster in adrenaline-pumping 4v1 matches. Play as the Monster to use savage abilities and an animalistic sense to kill your human enemies, or choose one of four Hunter classes (Trapper, Support, Assault and Medic) and team up to take down the beast on the planet Shear, where flora and fauna act as an adversary to man and Monster alike. Level up to unlock new Hunter or Monster characters as well as upgrades, skins, and perks. Earn your infamy on the leaderboards and become the apex predator. Evolve is currently available for Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®4 and PC.

For more information about the Chappie Challenge, visit http://www.chappiechallenge.com/.

About Twitch
Twitch is the world’s leading live social video platform and community for gamers. Each month, more than 100 million community members gather to watch and talk about video games with more than 1.5 million broadcasters. Twitch’s video platform is the backbone of both live and on-demand distribution for the entire video game ecosystem. This includes game developers, publishers, media outlets, events, user generated content, and the entire esports scene. In February 2014, Twitch was ranked the 4th largest website in terms of peak internet traffic in the U.S., fortifying the brand as an entertainment industry leader and the epicenter of social video for gamers. For more information visit: http://www.twitch.tv/p/press and the Twitch blog.

About Sony Pictures Entertainment Sony Pictures Entertainment
(SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com.

About 2K
Founded in 2005, 2K develops and publishes interactive entertainment globally for console systems, handheld gaming systems and personal computers, including smartphones and tablets, which are delivered through physical retail, digital download, online platforms and cloud streaming services. 2K publishes titles in today’s most popular gaming genres, including shooters, action, role-playing, strategy, sports, casual, and family entertainment. The 2K label has some of the most talented development studios in the world today, including Firaxis Games, Visual Concepts, 2K Marin, 2K Czech, 2K Australia, Hangar 13, Cat Daddy Games and 2K China. 2K’s stable of high quality titles includes the critically acclaimed BioShock®, Borderlands™ and XCOM® franchises, the beloved Sid Meier’s Civilization series, the popular WWE 2K franchise and NBA 2K, the #1 rated and #1 selling basketball franchise*. 2K is headquartered in Novato, California and is a wholly owned label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO). For more information, please visit www.2k.com. visit http://www.chappiechallenge.com/.
  1. 2015 Razzie Award “Winners” (via He Geek She Geek)

  1. ARROW Boss Says 'Diggle' Isn't GREEN LANTERN Because WB Has "Plans" For 'John Stewart' (via Comic Book Movie)

  1. Superman May Make An Appearance In The Supergirl TV Series After All (via io9)

  1. AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON and New Poster!! (via Being Retro)

What do you think of this week's links?

Find tickets and showtimes on Fandango.

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Iron Man Three (2013) - Tony Star (Robert Downey Jr.) James Rhodes (Don Cheadle)
Diversity in entertainment is loved by everyone and makes more money. So, why is Hollywood increasing diversity so slowly? The latest report by the UCLA called the "Hollywood Diversity Report" is described as "part of a series of analyses done for the Bunche Center’s Hollywood Advancement Project, which will track over time whether the TV-and-film industry is employing diverse groups of lead actors, writers, directors and producers and whether major talent agencies are representing them. The study also will identify best practices for widening the pipeline for underrepresented groups." The Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies was founded in 1969 as the Center for Afro-American Studies (CAAS) and renamed after Nobel Prize winner, scholar, activist, and UCLA alumnus Ralph J. Bunche in 2003. They're last report sent ripples in the industry and this one should also make waves.

The 2015 Hollywood Diversity Report tracked 347 theatrical films released in 2012 through 2013 and 1,105 TV shows during the 2012-2013 season.

Here are some highlights from the report:
  • Nearly 40 percent of the US population are People of Color (minority) in 2013 and this number is expected to increase to the majority within a few decades
  • Films with relatively diverse casts enjoyed the highest global box office returns
  • Viewers of all races like diversity, with broadcast scripted shows 41 percent to 50 percent diversely cast scoring the highest ratings in black and white households alike in 2012-13
  • On cable, white and Latino viewers preferred casts with 31 percent to 40 percent diversity.
  • Black households preferred cable shows with more than 50 percent diversity
  • Greater than 2 to 1 among film leads are minority
  • Film studio heads were 94 percent white and 100 percent male in 2013
  • 2013 was a "breakout year for Black films" but were underrepresented at leading awards shows like the Oscars and Emmys
  • Male and Black characters were overrepresented, while Latino characters and women were underrepresented
  • White actors dominated the top credits
  • Racial and gender stereotypes, though present, were not as pronounced
  • More than half of all frequent moviegoers were minorities in 2013
  • Comedy, action and dramatic movies accounted for 65 percent of the top grossing films in 2013 and 66 percent in 2013
  • Minorities gained ground among lead roles in films from 10.5 percent in 2011 to 16.7 percent in 2013
  • Overall cast diversity from 41 percent to 50 percent minority increased in films from 0 to 6.3 percent and films with 31 to 40 percent minority increased from 2.3 percent to 7.5 percent
What's really compelling about this report is that 2014 has shown an increase in these as well with TV shows with prominent minority leads like Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder at the top of the ratings. Iron Man 3, which featured a prominent Black superhero was the number two film at the box office. So, why are all these compelling numbers not driving bigger change?

Darnell Hunt, the lead author of the report, says, "It’s a high-risk industry. People want to surround themselves with collaborators they’re comfortable with, which tends to mean people they’ve networked with—and nine times out of 10, they’ll look similar. It reproduces the same opportunities for the same kind of people: You’re surrounding yourself with a bunch of white men to feel comfortable.

"It’s not like there’s this general trend upward, this wave everything is riding. It’s very precarious. It’s getting better, but it’s not getting better fast enough. And it’s still a big problem."

You can watch Darnell Hunt and co-author Ana-Christina Ramon summarize their findings

I'd highly encourage you to read the full report at the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies website. It's a fascinating read and really shows how far we've come as a people and a culture and how far we have to go.

What do you think of the report? Is it surprising?

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Stephen Colbert: (YouTube/Comedy Central)
The new trailer for Star Wars VII threw fans for a loop when we saw a glimpse of a new lightsaber, one with two smaller lightsabers at the base to form a crossguard.

Some people ridiculed the idea, but one fan is defending it: Stephen Colbert, TV show host and self-described ultimate Star Wars fan. On The Colbert Report, he explained why he was a fan of Star Wars before almost anyone else, and why the crossguard makes perfect sense. Check it out on Hulu:

[Via Yahoo]

What do you think of the crossguard lightsaber?

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Godzilla vs. Mothra (1964)
In April, the "Hotel Gracery" in Shinjuku Japan will let you to stay in a room with a giant Godzilla hand coming in. Still in it's construction phase, the 30-story hotel sits atop the Shinjuku's Toho Cinema and will feature Godzilla-themed rooms. First, there's the huge Godzilla head is being on the roof that will looking over the Shinjuku streets. There's even an observation deck where you can stand next to, and take pictures with, the big green monster head. Some of the rooms will even have a view of the Kaiju's head to watch out for Mothra while you sleep.

For an up-close-and-personal view, you can go for the "Godzilla Room," which is filled with movie memorabilia and a large statue of the kaiju as well as Godzilla's hand reaching over your bed. There's even a Godzilla bathroom! The Godzilla Room goes for up to $417 per night (or 49,800 yen) including tax and service charge, so it's totally worth it.

Check out the renderings.

No word on if there'll be a Godzooky room for the kid's.

Via Kotaku

What do you think of theme hotels? Would you book a room in the Godzilla Hotel? 

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Star Trek: The Original Series (1966) - Uhura (Nichelle Nichols)
See some beautiful new behind-the-scenes photos of Nichelle Nichols! Before starring in Star Trek: The Original Series as Uhura, Nichelle Nichols (who's real name is Grace Nichols) was a dancer. She began taking ballet lessons at seven, and was considered a dance prodigy. Her skills earned her the nickname "Nichelle" for her graceful pirouettes. After studying at the Chicago Ballet Academy, she became a professional singer and dancer touring with yjazz orchestras like Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton.

Although she transitioned to film and television, she still had the dancing skills. While filming Star Trek, she found time to practice her graceful moves in her mini-skirt.

Make sure you visit Nichelle Nichols official website Uhura.com

Via Star Trek Props

What do you think of the photos? Did you know she was a dancer?

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Star Trek


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