9/28/2010

With the DVD release of Iron Man 2 today, we'll be devoting posts all this week to the movie. Today, we thought we'd recycle...uh, I mean, re-post one of our more popular posts from the original release. It's a line-up of some of the hottest pics we could find of the hottest women from Iron Man 2. Almost all blockbuster movies these days have sexy women in them, but Iron Man 2 has an exceptionally large number of them because of Tony Stark's extra-curricular activities.

1. Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts)
Tony Stark can have any woman in the world, but stunning Gweneth Paltrow stole his glowing mechanical heart. Looking at the picture below, we can see why.
Gwyneth Paltrow in lingerie

In honor of the release of the DVD for Iron Man 2, we'd like to take a look back at some of the background of the movie. Today, we'll be profiling Whiplash and comparing the comic book version and the movie version.

Most of the movie version of Whiplash actually combined history and elements of two of Iron Man's enemies: the Crimson Dynamo and Whiplash. The Crimson Dynamo was basically a Russian version of Iron Man, various agents of the Soviet Union who wore a super-powered suit of armor. The Crimson Dynamo mainly played into Cold War-era politics with the Dynamo standing in for the Soviets, and Iron Man standing in for the USA. The first of many versions of the Crimson Dynamo was a scientist named Anton Vanko.

As for Whiplash himself, that's where things get complicated. Whiplash was always a minor player in the Iron Man universe, and there have actually been four versions of Whiplash. The first and most popular Whiplash was Mark Scarlotti, a scientist working for Tony Stark who became jealous of his fame and fortune. He became Whiplash, and armed himself with a metal electrified whip that could cut through metal. Never a master criminal himself, Scarlotti alternated between working for organized crime syndicates and Stark's nemesis, Justin Hammer. Eventually Scarlotti developed whips of pure energy, changed his name to Blacklash, and got himself beaten to a pulp when Iron Man's armor grew sentient.

The movie version of Whiplash takes the name "Vanko" and Russian background from the Crimson Dynamo. There's a nod to the original, because Ivan's father is named Anton Vanko, but Whiplash himself is named Ivan Vanko. In the climax of Iron Man 2, Vanko also wears a suit of armor similar to the Crimson Dynamo. The rest is pretty much Whiplash, but far more powerful than he was in the comics.

9/27/2010

Well, the results are in for our poll on the best captain in the Star Trek series. Not surprisingly, it was mainly a race between Captain Picard and Captain Kirk. The results? Captain Kirk, by one vote. Every vote counts. Captain Sisko and Captain Janeway both tied for second with one vote, and Captain Archer was in last place with zero votes. As it should be.

Since we're tackling the big issues in geekdom, let's go for another battle royale: Star Trek vs. Star Wars. Let's get ready to rummmmmmble!

9/24/2010



9/22/2010

Lately, I've been nitpicking Avatar, but I don't just limit my nitpicks to movies I don't like. That's why my wife doesn't like watching movies with me. To prove it and celebrate the DVD release on 09/28, here's a list of my top twelve nitpicks of one of my favorite movies this year, Iron Man 2.

WARNING: Contains spoilers for the movie

9/21/2010

The Event premiered on Monday, a heavily-hyped new show on NBC that seems like the umpteenth sci-fi drama in the last few years designed to capture the mystery and excitement of Lost. Will The Event succeed where Flashforward failed? Only time will tell, but the reviews are in, and they are definitely a mixed bag.

Out of twenty-four critics at Metacritic, the overall review is 67%, a generally favorable score. There were sixteen totally positive reviews versus one totally negative review, which would seem to be a good sign. However, there were seven mixed reviews, which seems to be a better indicator. Even the most positive review from The Boston Herald's Mark A. Perigard was only warily optimistic. He said, "Will The Event turn out to be another FlashForward or the next Lost? I'm betting cautiously on the latter." "Cautiously" is hardly what I think the show's creators were going for.

Most of the reviews found fault with the weak characterization. In the one hour premiere, we learned very little about the characters, and it suffered. Daynah Burnett for Popmatters called the cast "dreadfully lazy characterizations" and Matthew Gilbert for the Boston Globe said that weakness "renders the whole thing passionless." Many reviews also faulted the confusing storyline and abundance of questions without answers. The Washington Post's Hank Stuever called the plot "an intentional mess, daring you to go wherever it thinks it's going." I thought the best summary came from David Hinckley's review for the New York Daily News: "The Event is such a blur of shadowy operatives, dubious motives, cryptic dialogue and mystifying time shifts that by the end, many viewers may be not so much curious as simply confused."

Overall, I personally am willing to give the show the benefit of the doubt. The twist ending is what saved it from feeling completely cliched, and gave me hope that the writers have more surprises in store. But I think The Event needs to stop trying so hard to be Lost, and become a show on its own.

What did you think about The Event?

9/20/2010

Topless Robot had an absolutely brilliant idea that I wish I had: what if Twitter existed in Star Wars? They had a contest for the best tweets from the Death Star during the rebel attack, and the results were absolutely hilarious. A lot of them weren't really something we could post on a family-friendly blog, so you can check them out at Topless Robot (warning: contains strong language). They announced their own winners, but here are what we think were the top ten funniest (and cleanest) contributions. If you're not familiar with Twitter, then a) you should get out more, b) the "@" symbol means the comment is replying to someone else.

1. TK421: Nocked out, yelld at 4 not @ post, and lost uniform to boot. ASSigned 2 garding cell blok 1138. Could this day get ANY worse? FML
2. Clonelover: LOL just saw gay golden droid come out of closet. Also Gary's dead.
3. Clone9376: @Clone7245 You think your job sucks? Big green laser breezes past me and I don't even have a rail to lean against.
4. Gunner2103: @Porkins Yo momma's so fat, before she sat down the main weapon was an outie.
5. CorellianPimp: I can't believe they bought that. 12 parsecs? Might as well have been 573 wookiemiles. 9384 jawameters. Effing N00bs.
6. @ReactorShaftTech5 Did an old man just fall past your station too?
7. STrooper95: I think that guy was lying. He seemed polite though. Wish more people asked how I was.
8. Guard33: Man it always smells like trash on cell block 1138. Why the hell did they have to put a vent to the trash compactor right in the hallway?!
9. Clone1459: Saw @Clone6721 fall off a rail-less platform today. He totally Wilhelm'd.
10. @Trooper8761 Dude, don't say anything but I'm in the ship that just came in and I need clothes..... now. Don't ask just help me.

Got any other Tweets from Star Wars?

9/15/2010

Back in 1994,a group of amateur filmmakers asked themselves an important question: what if Star Trek had been made in the silent movie era? The result is the fantastic fan video Steam Trek: The Moving Picture. A hilarious combination of steampunk and sight gags, this is the movie Charlie Chaplin would have made if he liked sci-fi. Or if sci-fi had existed in his era. My favorite part is when they use the "transporter."

9/13/2010

I wasn't surprised about the results, and maybe you aren't, either: Princess Leia swept the poll. But surprisingly, Aayla Secura and Padme Amidala are tied for second. I say surprising, because I didn't expect that a woman who had less than five minutes of screen time to tie with someone who was in the lion's share of all three Star Wars prequels.

Our new poll will tackle another big question of sci-fi: Who was the best captain of the Star Trek universe: Captain Picard, Captain Kirk, or Captain Janeway? You be the judge.
Originally posted on September 05, 2005 on Monkey Migraine Mountain

Why does the starship Enterprise have running lights? I know the answer is, "Because that way other ships can see it. It's dark out there." That makes sense on airplanes, but are spaceships really navigating by looking out the window?

They have all those fancy sensors, scanners, holograms, and starmaps. They always go "I'm picking up a Klingon warship on our sensors." I've never seen Data pointing out the window and going, "Does that look like a spaceship to you?" I've never seen them come out of warp and Captain Picard yell out, "Look out, lights! Hard right!"

Why don't they just put turn signals on the Enterprise while they're at it? And when the ship backs up, make it go "beep, beep, beep?" Seems like a waste of power to me. If you can't tell a spaceship is heading towards you at a thousand miles an hour, little lights on its nose aren't gonna help.

So let's say the lights are for navigating in space dock. That makes sense...so turn them off when you're in deep space! That's like old ladies who leave their headlights on during the day. Of course, the real and true reason is that the running lights look cool. That's always a good reason to do anything. But still...think about it.

9/09/2010

This chart proves that the geriatric actress Betty White is a central focal point for every major science-fiction movie franchise ever made. Imagine a world without Betty White. We wouldn’t have Alien, Transformers or Star Trek. Star Wars wouldn’t exist and Avatar would be missing two major actors. Truly a sad world. Thank you Betty White for uniting and bringing us the world of science-fiction.


Click the image for the full version...

Is Betty White the key to the science-fiction universe?

9/05/2010

Witness one of the few World of Warcraft videos that can be enjoyed by non-WOW players. If you know the name Leeroy Jenkins, then you know what we're talking about. And if you don't, you will after you watch this clip…and you'll never forget it. [Warning: Contains strong language]

9/03/2010

Of all the horrible reviews for The Last Airbender, I think this line captures it all. And is very funny. From Cinematical:
"A soul-crushing disaster made worse by unnecessary, counterproductive 3-D, The Last Airbender fails to immediately qualify as the worst film of the summer only by virtue of the year's abundance of other candidates."

9/01/2010

Ever since I saw Fantastic Voyage as a kid, I've wanted to see a microbe close up. Of course, you can see the pictures on an electron microscope, but that's not quite the same as actually holding them in your hand. Until they perfect the shrink ray, the closest I'll ever get to that dream comes from Giant Microbes.

Giant Microbes makes stuffed dolls out of microscopic organisms. There's a huge variety of diseases, cells, and bacteria to choose from. All of them are very cleverly designed to be recognizable as the original microbe, but not so accurate as to be boring. Like Swine Flu has a pig snout. And Chicken Pox has a comb. It's amazing that they managed to make E. coli and the herpes look cute.

Of course, you don't have to be a geek to enjoy these. Even my three-year olds loved them, and they didn't know they were playing with a giant neuron. But if you know what you're looking at, it's even better. They also make great conversation pieces. One can only imagine the fun you could have when you leave it on your desk at work or on the coffee table, and someone asks, "What is that" and you say, "Chlamydia."

The great thing about Giant Microbes is that they have a great and geeky sense of humor. For example, they sell a heart-shaped gift box of mini-microbe dolls called Heart Warming, including a Sperm Cell, Egg Cell, Kissing Disease, Penicillin, and a pink Amoeba. Then there's the Heart Burning gift box with a collection of stuffed Herpes, Pox, HPV, Chlamydia and Penicillin dolls. Just in time for Valentine's Day.

If stuffed animals aren't your thing, you can still get in on the fun with their line of hats, T-shirts, key chains, neckties, and removable tattoos. Get your microscopic groove on.

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