6/29/2012

OUR EXPLANATION: When billionaire Tony Stark's plane is hit over Iraq, it crash-lands in Care-a-Lot. Stark manages to build a chestplate to keep shrapnel away from his heart, and agrees to spread love and love of money around the world.  If Iron Man joined the Care Bears, it would look like this (courtesy of Marco D'Alfonso):
[Image]
Here are ten links to things you may have missed this week.

Trivia Question (Answer at the end of the post)
What was the original 17 word long working title of Star Wars?

Last week's bonus trivia question winner! 
What is the name of the lizard that Obi-Wan rides on Utapau? "Boga! And Tony's answer for last week is awesome." - Alex J Cavanaugh

1. Star Trek Vulcanology has an interview with actor Tim Russ who played Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager. In part of the interview he said he'd play Tuvok if the timeline is correct and says how he blew up Vulcan long before J.J. Abrams.
Would you watch Tuvok on the big screen?

2. Back in 1966 Isaac Asimov wrote a scathing attack on the scientific inaccuracies of Star Trek: the Original Series. Roddenberry was hurt and wrote a letter in response. He said they spent a lot of money working with physicists trying to make the science accurate. In part he said:
"In all friendliness, and with sincere thanks for the hundreds of wonderful hours of reading you have given me, it does seem to me that your article overlooked entirely the practical, factual and scientific problems involved in getting a television show on the air and keeping it there. Television deserved much criticism, not just SF alone but all of it, but that criticism should be aimed, not shot-gunned. For example, Star Trek almost did not get on the air because it refused to do a juvenile science fiction, because it refused to put a "Lassie" aboard the space ship, and because it insisted on hiring Dick Matheson, Harlan Ellison, A.E. Van Vogt, Phil Farmer, and so on. (Not all of these came through since TV scripting is a highly difficult specialty, but many of them did.)"
Do you think the science in Star Trek was hopelessly inaccurate?

3. Revenge of the 5th has a picture of Stormtroopers in a lowrider

4.  A creepy behind-the-scenes video of Bolaji Badejo, who played the Alien in Ridley Scott's 1979 horror masterpiece, has been found online. It proves once and for all that he would have been creepy even without the costume and make-up.

What do you think of the alien without the costume?

5. Peter Berg says the reason Battleship sank at the box office is because of The Avengers. But he says it's still possible to make a sequel. "The movie kicked butt internationally, but we kind of ran into a wall when Avengers refused to go away." Berg said, "So what I need everyone to do is go see Battleship now that they've seen Avengers five times. If they do that, we can definitely make a sequel."
Are you planning to watch Battleship? Did The Avengers stop you from seeing it?

6. For John Carter fans, HeroPress shared several maps of Barsoom! The guy was a master at world-building.

7. Blastr has 10 unlikely relationships in sci-fi like Friefly's Mal and Jayne.


8. Alex lists his brief thoughts on movie remakes
Total Recall – it’s not even be set on Mars anymore!
RoboCop – why?
The Evil Dead – now that is just wrong!
Godzilla – this one is needed.
Judge Dredd – also needed.
Excalibur – Cool when I was a kid, little dated now. This one might work.
Highlander – no one can replace Sean Connery!
The Crow – did they learn nothing from the dismal flops of the sequels? You can’t take Brandon Lee out of the equation. Or director Alex Proyas.

Do you agree?

9. Spacerguy explains why, like many of us, he believed Star Trek was real.
Did you believe a science-fiction movie or film was real?

10. PT Dilloway explores the difference between Form and Function in superhero costumes. I'd still wear a cape though.

Trivia Answer
"Adventures of Luke Starkiller, as Taken From The Journal of the Whills, Saga 1: The Star Wars." Lucas wrote a treatment of the film that would become Star Wars in 1973 called "The Journal of the Whills." The original hand-written story outline for the script started with "This is the story of Mace Windy, a revered Jedi-bendu of Ophuchi, as related to us by C.J. Thorpe, padawaan learner to the famed Jedi." Frustrated that people found it hard to understand he wrote a 13-page treatment which was much closer to what we know today.

Later, Lucas changed Luke's name to Skywalker and altered the title to simply The Star Wars and finally Star Wars. When he produced The Empire Strikes Back he renamed the original film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope."

When Lucas began work on Episode I, he took the original "Journal of the Whills" out of the Lucasfilm archives, and re-read it. He wrote the first handwritten script for the first prequel with this document sitting on his desk.

Bonus Trivia question: How many people did it take to manipulate the puppet for Jabba the Hutt??


What did you think of this week's news?
[Image Source: http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/disney-star-wars-weekend]

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6/28/2012

Remember that moment in Batman Begins when Batman replied with "It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me?" Well, it could have gone a different way, thanks to CollegeHumor.



[Via CollegeHumor]

What did you think of the video?
Update: Based on feedback from readers I've updated the infographic to include explanations of the stages. I also fixed some missing elements like the cow in the alternate version of Alien3. Also, I just wanted to explain why I didn't include Aliens vs. Predator in the infographic.

The 1979 science-fiction horror film Alien, by Ridley Scott, stands as one of the greatest horror films ever made. It made over $104 million and spawned a franchise that led to five films that have a total U.S. gross of $358,219,252. They topped our recent poll of alien monster movies and have become iconic.

Known as the "xenomorph," the mysterious alien creature has stalked our imagination for decades. This year Ridley Scott released the Alien prequel Prometheus and finally answered the question: Where did the aliens come from in the first place?

This infographic follows the path the aliens have taken through the five alien films: Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992), Alien Resurrection (1997) and Prometheus (2012).

From astronauts to dogs to freaky clone hybrids these guys have seen a lot of changes.

Warning: Contains spoilers for all five films.

Click on the image to enlarge

 
F.A.Q.
Did You Forget About the Aliens vs. Predator movies?
The purpose of the graphic is to explain how the character have evelvoe from the the first film to the last. If I included the Aliens vs. Predator movies it wouldn't make sense.

The Aliens vs. Predator movies are set in the years 2004 and 2007. The movie Prometheus, which explains their origins, is set in the year 2089. If I included the "Predalien" (Predator Alien hybrid) it would mean that the Predators had the aliens almost a century before they were created.

So, we have to assume that the films Aliens vs. Predator and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem are not part of the timeline for the Alien films.

What do you think of the image? Did you have a favorite Alien movie?

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6/27/2012

Updated with comments
Star Trek has been off television since 2005, but the movie's popularity is making people think about a new television show. Bryan Fuller is working on one called Star Trek: Federation, but that's years away.

Recently Michael Dorn, who played the Klingon Worf on Star Trek: The Next Generation, said he'd like a television show based on his continuing adventures.

He's not the first though. George Takei, Sulu from Star Trek: The Original Series, has lobbied for a show about his exploits as a starship captain for decades.

But, there have been plenty of characters over the years that deserved their own shows.

For example, Seven of Nine was popular. She might have a good run as a renegade Borg infiltrating the collective to take them down.

The adventures of young Spock before he joined the academy might be really interesting.

What about the further adventures of Scotty after he woke up in The Next Generation universe? Or, better yet, the action packed adventures of Commander Riker's transporter clone William "Thomas" Riker?

Data might have gotten a couple of seasons as a private detective. A children's show following Captain Archer's pet beagle would probably have been a hit.

Anyway, these are just my ideas. I'm sure you can come up with better.

Next week Wednesday I'll update this post with the best comments, so keep 'em coming!

Here are the great ideas you sent us
  • "I'd still take one with Worf. He was in two of the shows because he was so popular, so it might work. At this point, I'd take any Trek show though!" - Alex J. Cavanaugh 
  • "If I had to choose one character out of all the casts to watch in their own weekly TV show, I guess it'd be Jadzia Dax. She had the most interesting life of anyone! And the best part is, if you wanted a little variety, there could be theme episodes revisiting other hosts!" - Tony Laplume, Sith Architect
  • "take seven of nine and cosmic cheerleaders... in space exploration, in a sexy star trek way. one ship, cheerleaders... mmmm dirty, yes!" - Jeremy [Retro zombie]
  • "Argh, no sequels, prequels, or midquels please! Though if I had to choose, I'd say a series about Quark and his bar on DS9. It'd be like Cheers meets the Star Wars cantina." - Pat Dilloway 
  • "Love this idea! I was thinking along similar lines: a Masterchef-style intergalactic cooking showdown hosted by Neelix" - Sci-Fi Gene 
  • "One for Spiner and Frakes. Retired from the Federation, just going on whacky adventures." - Tom Badguy
Who do you think would have a great television spin off from Star Trek?
[Image Source: StarTrek.com]

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6/26/2012

Firefly started out as a cult TV show that few people watched. Over the years, it's grown more and more popular, especially with the unprecedented movie, Serenity. Firefly has also become a favorite point of reference for writers, directors, and actors. Here are 9 examples of how Firefly has penetrated pop culture, and why.

1. Castle - Nathan Fillion, who played Captain Mal Reynolds on the scif-fi/western series Firefly, has a new show called Castle about a writer who helps cops solve mysteries. To be honest, I've never seen it, because it's not sci-fi, but this clip makes me wish I had. Castle has apparently honored Fillion's old show quite a few times, but this one is the best and most blatant. In season two, during the Halloween episode "Vampire Weekend," Castle dressed up in a very familiar costume - Captain Mal Reynolds.


2. Futurama - In the episode All The President's Heads, the crew of Futurama visits the Head Museum where the cloned heads of famous presidents are kept in jars. In the background, we can see two heads labeled Presidents Zoe Washburne and Inara Serra


3. World of Warcraft - In the popular massively multiplayer game World of Warcraft, many of the items have references to Firefly. There's the rare and powerful Antique Gun, which has "lasitor" etched into the barrel, a reference to the rare Lassiter pistol they tried to steal in the Firefly episode "Trash." You can also drink Mudder's Milk, a direct reference to an alcoholic drunk enjoyed by Jayne in "Jaynestown." There's also a "captured firefly," a pet that included "still flying" in the vanity text description, a popular quote from the show.

4. Battlestar Galactica - Zoic Studios worked on the special effects for Firefly, then went on to do effects for the first two seasons of the new Battlestar Galactica. That's why in the first episode of BSG, during the scene where Laura Roslin is given her diagnosis of cancer, we briefly saw the ship Serenity flying past the window of the doctor's office.



5. The Office - In the hit sitcom The Office, a subtle Firefly reference is made when Jan creates her own candle company called Serenity by Jan. The logo for Serenity is in the same font as the logo for Serenity in the movie.

6. Borderlands - The creators of the hit video game, Borderlands, are big fans of the show. That's why there are numerous references to Firefly. To start, one of the towns in the game is called Jaynistown, which is a reference to the seventh episode, "Jaynestown," where Jayne becomes a hero and they name their community after him. As if that wasn't enough, Jaynistown is run by Jaynis Kobb, an obvious nod towards Jayne Cobb. Also, one of the villains in the game is a vicious bandit named Reaver, a reference to Firefly's Reavers. He even says, "It's time to paint this body with blood," which is something the Reavers do to their victims. Also, there's a class mod called "Firefly" that boosts incendiary abilities. In addition, one type of rare revolver has the body type "MAL." That's a reference to the nickname of Captain Malcom Reynolds who went by the nickname "Mal", and used a revolver.

7. Stargate SG-1 - In episode "200," the Stargate crew finds themselves pitching for a movie version of a fictional TV series, Wormhole X-Treme! At one point, one character Jackson asks who would make a TV show out of such a short-lived TV series. Teal'c adds that the show did well on DVD. That's a reference to Firefly getting a movie Serenity due to strong DVD sales.


8. Big Bang Theory - On the geek sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon Cooper is a huge fan of Firefly. This has been written in multiple times. In a flashback episode showing how Sheldon and Leonard became roommates, they agree to dedicate Friday nights to Firefly because Sheldon thinks it will last for years. In another episode, Sheldon lists Rupert Murdoch (owner of the FOX Network) along with Judas Iscariot and Darth Vader among history's greatest traitors, solely for his role in the cancellation of Firefly.


9. Community - On the NBC comedy Community, Abed and Troy mention they have a pact to arrange their death to look like suicide caused by the cancellation of Firefly. The idea is that they hope the suicide's attention will get the show brought back on the air.


Did you catch any of these Firefly references? Do you know of any other references we missed?
[Image Source: Jempp.com.au]
You don't know the power of these 10 free wallpapers for your computer or laptop desktop. When it comes to Star Wars you can never have too much customization. There's nothing like a good desktop wallpaper to make you feel like you're one with the force.

Darth Vader, played by David Prowse in the original films and Hayden Christensen in the prequels, is one of the most popular villains of all time.

There are literally millions of great Star Wars desktop wallpapers, and we brought you ten of the best ones last time.

The most common screen  resolution is 1024x768, so I've re-sized some to match that format. The originals are the smaller ones.

Here are ten amazing wallpapers of everyone's favorite Sith Lord Darth Vader.

1.
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What do you think of the desktop wallpapers? Do you have a favorite wallpaper? Is Darth Vader your favorite villain.
  
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6/25/2012

The Heroic Table of Elements is a wide variety of superpowered heroes and villains organized like the periodic table. They're grouped according to team affiliation, identified by abbreviation and year of first apperance, and numbered according to power level. It was created by Matt Cowan, who's pretty awesome. Click to enlarge:

What do you think of the Table?

When I was a kid I made Wolverine claws using paper towel tubes, rubber bands and metal coat hangers. They actually popped out and were kinda cool. They were also kinda dangerous. I cut myself pretty good with those.

But I was just a dumb kid. Surely professional actors with teams of costume designers, make up people and stunt coordinators don't get hurt do they?

Yes, they do and sometimes in shocking ways. Here are 13 examples of actors being pinched, punched, busted and broken by their costumes.

1. Batman Almost Passed Out

Christian Bale has played Batman on the three Christopher Nolan film. On the set of Batman Begins he almost fainted. The Batman costume has a full headpiece called a cowl. He said, "When it gets cold the cowl is extremely tight. But after a couple of takes I was trying to breathe properly in my nose. I was starting to see stars and I said 'I have to take this off'." He had to make his way off the set before removing it, because he wasn't allowed to take his costume off on set.

2. Mystique Had Blue Vomit From Her Makeup

Rebecca Romjin (formerly Stamos) was covered in blue make-up for her role as the shape-shifter Mystique in X-Men (2000). She brought in a bottle of tequila to share with the cast and crew during a break in filming. The make-up had been absorbed in her skin and she threw up blue-colored vomit all over Hugh Jackman. Good thing movie sets don't require a breath test.

3. Hawkeye Tore His Shoulder On His Bow

Jeremy Renner played Clint "Hawkeye" Barton for the film The Avengers. Joss Whedon said in an interview that they had to shut down filming after he separated his shoulder. "He's an amazing fighter -- his fight work is wonderful: precise, heroic, and you seldom have to double him," says director Joss Whedon. "But one day he just turned wrong and his whole body shut down. He could not do anything. He was in enormous pain, and we had to shut that sequence down and shoot it a couple of weeks later." Renner had tore the muscle from his back to his shoulder. The reason? Renner said, "The bowstring got stuck in my belt." The world's greatest archer indeed.


4. Black Widow's Catsuit Made Her Hallucinate

For The Avengers (2012) and Iron Man 2 (2011) Actress Scarlett Johansson played the Russian super-spy Natasha "Black Widow" Romanoff in a black leather skin-tight costume. While was filming in the Albuquerque, New Mexico desert her costume got to about "800 degrees." During a fight scene on a make-shift roof she started to hallucinate from heatstroke. It makes the image of a sweaty Johansson wriggling out of her costume slightly sadder.

5. Venom's Teeth Hurt Really, Really Badly

In the film Spider-Man 3, Topher Grace played the villain Eddie "Venom" Brock who had rows of fangs instead of teeth. Unfortunately, the dental appliances were tight on his teeth and bruised his gums. "The fangs were the thing that for some reason were actually kind of bruising my gums." Topher said, "It's good though. I guess it's a sort of method way of being me."

6. Catwoman Whipped Her Face

For the film Batman Returns, Michelle Pfeiffer played Catwoman and trained for a month with a ten foot bullwhip. In an interview with Starlog she said that during the training she accidentally cut her face with the whip. Terrified the studio would stop her from doing her own stunts she used make-up to cover the cuts.

Michelle said, "Whips have a beauty, an elegance and a sexuality to them. There is almost a graceful, dance-like quality to them, which at any moment could turn violent. I got a little wild the first day with my whipmaster- I slashed his face and drew blood. I even hurt myself a few times. But he was an amazing teacher; there is an actual beauty to the way he taught me." She had cat-scratch fever.

7. The Joker's Teeth Almost Wrecked His Mouth

For the film Batman (1989) Jack Nicholson played the Joker. While developing the Joker makeup the makeup designer Nick Dudman almost used a dental plate that would have drawn back Nicholson's lips. "I tried a dental plate I'd had made, but he couldn't talk!" said Dudman. In consulting a dental technician, he also discovered that using the plate a few hours a day for three months might displace Nicholson's teeth. "You don't mess around with someone of Jack's stature," said Dudman. "His face is his fortune. Nor did we want to get sued!" They settled on using practical latex effects.

8. Robin's Tights Were Too Tight

In the 1966 television show Batman, Burt Ward played the Batman sidekick Dick "Robin" Grayson. The costume constantly itched and the tights squeezed his genitals. In an interview with Slice of Sci-Fi he said, "The tights...itched me to death, squeezed in all the wrong places and pulled all the hair on my legs."

He also had trouble with the cape which gave him a sore neck. "It was the cape, which was double thick bridal satin." Ward said, "It must have weighed five pounds. Let me tell you, having that on and having it pull my head back, I would get a neck ache in about five minutes. And there was a vest made out of wool. The sharp edges of the wool would poke through my green T-shirt and would constantly rub against my skin and cause my skin to itch. Surviving in that costume was everything."

9.  Loki Cracked His Elbow

Tom Hiddleston played the villain Loki in The Avengers and trashed his elbow in a fight scene. "There was a moment when Loki has a throwdown with the Hulk and essentially, I had to jump backwards and land on my back. I had a back pad and everything, and then I just landed on my elbow," he said.

"There was a real crunching sound on my funny bone, and I thought, 'I've been in a fight with Chris Evans and he hit me and I didn't get injured. Chris Hemsworth has hit me in the face and I hadn't got injured there, but I've injured myself.' What an idiot basically!"

He never says if his costume was involved, but with that armor, huge headpiece and the cape, you know it had to be a factor.

10. Punisher Bruised Himself Crashing His Motorcycle

Dolph Lundgren played The Punisher, Frank Castle, in the 1989 film. He did many of his own stunts to stay in character. While the Punisher doesn't have a "costume" per say, his motorcycle is iconic in the film. He crashed it.

In an interview he said "I did about 95 percent of my own stunts. I took some spills on the Harley when it goes crashing off the catwalk and I received some bruises in the scene where I drive the bus through the blockade." Guess the Harley said, "I must break you..."

11. Spider-Man's Sinuses Filled With Water

Tobey Maguire played Spider-man in all three movies for Sam Raimi and almost drowned in the rain thanks to his mask. In the first film Tobey hung upside down to kiss Mary Jane down in the now famous kissing scene in the alley. "There was rain pouring up or down my nose. I couldn't breathe and I was gasping for breath out of the corner of Kirsten's mouth,'' Maguire said. It looked romantic, but, instead of kissing her, he was "giving her mouth to mouth.''

112 Iron Man Punched Black Widow in the Face
In the movie The Avengers Robert Downey Jr. reprised his role of Tony Stark, Iron Man.  He accidentally hit Scarlett Johansson in his armor. During filming his armor almost took out one of his teammates.

"Robert triggered a switch that controls one of his arms - and it suddenly jerked backward and whacked poor Scarlett. Knocked silly, she staggered backward, then lost her balance and fell off the low platform they were standing on!" Downey was upset, but couldn't move in the suit. He just kept apologizing and saying, "Oh my God, I’m so sorry!" Scarlett was unharmed and just laughed about it. Thankfully, she didn't grab his neck in one of those scissor kicks.

13. Sabretooth Went Blind


Tyler Mane, a former wrestler, played Sabretooth in the first X-Men film. He had a deep commitment to the look of the character.

“The prep work meant getting ready for the prosthetics and having the costume designed, In the movie I have got prosthetics on my forehead, which comes right down to my eyes." Mane said, "Then I have prosthetics on my hands, and also had to wear wigs. It took me four hours to get into that costume, but it was worth it because the people who are in the know about the X-Men, especially those who know about Sabretooth, said that the costume was very accurate."

Of all the actors who used contact lenses, he was the only one that wore them all day. Romjin only wore them an hour at a time and Halle refused to wear them at all. Unfortunately, this commitment came with a price. When he wore the large black lenses that completely covered his eyes too long he went blind for the rest of the day.


Is it surprising that actors get hurt with comic book costumes? Do you know of any we can add to the list?

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6/24/2012

What if the recent seasons of Doctor Who were made into an old-school RPG? That's the question answered by CollegeHumor. And it goes something like this...

WARNING: Contains huge spoilers for those who haven't seen recent episodes...



[Via YouTube]

Would you play the Dr. Who RPG?

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