There’s always been a solid connection between Westerns and the Star Wars films, but this latest fan film is a nice combination of the two. Boba Fett tracking people down in the Outer Rim badlands? Yes please.
The New Republic has an excellent look at Shirley Jackson and why she is “in the class of writers wh @ io9
The New Republic has an excellent look at Shirley Jackson and why she is “in the class of writers who require fierce advocates to keep her work alive. Her horror is domestic; it takes place in the familiar world of the kitchen, the family, and known and loved objects. It unsettles too much to be read comfortably.”
Foo Fighter’s front man David Grohl recently broke his leg during a show last June, and had cancelled several shows. The band went back on stage, with Grohl perched on a throne of guitars that looks like it was more than a little inspired by Game of Thrones.
Russia’s unmanned Progress M-28M vehicle docked with the International Space Station today, just week after SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket exploded, destroying its payload of supplies and science experiments bound for ISS.
Fans of Lovecraft and Weird Fiction will get a kick out of this short film by Mike Diva: Thresher. Following an man trying to get into a locked room, we find that there’s just some doors that shouldn’t be opened.
Sunday Puzzle is on holiday this weekend. In its place, try your hand at this puzzle from The New York Times. NYT’s David Leonhardt calls it short, interactive game that “sheds light on government policy, corporate America and why no one likes to be wrong.” I like it because it’s meta. It’s a puzzle about puzzle-solving.
Legends Of Tomorrow isn’t due out until 2016 on The CW, but Entertainment Weekly has a cool glimpse of some concept art, and it looks exciting.
People have been trying to make Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom novels and his iconic hero John Carter of Mars into films since the 1930s, and it wasn’t until 2012 that Andrew Stanton released his adaptation. Now, a Presentation Reel of another adaptation has surfaced, and showed us what we might have gotten.
The Latest ‘Ant-Man’ Promo Likely Spoils The Film’s ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Connection @ UPROXX » GammaSquad
Welcome to Kotaku’s Sunday Comics, your weekly roundup of the best webcomics. The images enlarge if you click on the magnifying glass icon.
Headlines for July 2015 include the successful Russian rocket launch to supply the International Space Station, and a worker killed by a robot in Germany
Below, watch StoryBrain critique modern, slick special F/X, George Takei call out Clarence Thomas on gay marriage, and the cosplay of a couple of Cons… the week before a Con of Some Significance opens in San Diego:
Are slick F/X ruining F/X films?
Takei to Clarence Thomas:
Behind the scenes, Sakura-Con photos:
All Tomorrow's Parties is a speculative fiction novel set in a postmodern, dystopian, postcyberpunk future.
All Tomorrow's Parties
SCIENCE FICTION PREDICTS THE FUTURE
The New Horizons spacecraft is rapidly soaring closer to Pluto for our first flyby of the distant almost-planet. But something went wrong on Saturday afternoon, knocking the probe out of communication for over an hour. Now we’re back in touch and trying to figure out what happened.
The latest round of voting takes place here.
The complete list of eliminations is as follows:
- The Phantom Melody (1920)
- Legally Dead (1923)
- The Cat and the Canary (1927)
- The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu (1929)
- The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu (1930)
- The Old Dark House (1932)
- Death Takes a Holiday (1934)
- The Black Cat (1934)
- The Raven (1935)
- Werewolf of London (1935)
- Dracula’s Daughter (1936)
- Deadful Melody (1938)
- The Black Doll (1938)
- The Mummy’s Hand (1940)
- Horror Island (1941)
- Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
- Son of Dracula (1943)
- The Mummy’s Curse (1944)
- The Mummy’s Ghost (1944)
- Dead of Night (1945)
- House of Dracula (1945)
- She-Wolf of London (1946)
- Shock (1946)
- Song of the South (1946)
- The Cat Creeps (1946)
- Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
- Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953)
- Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)
- Horror of Dracula (1958)
- Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959)
- Shaggy Dogg (1959)
- Babes in Toyland (1961)
- The Love Bug (1968)
- Aristocats (1970)
- Herbie Rides Again (1974)
- Freaky Friday (1976)
- The Web of Death (1976)
- Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977)
- Pete’s Dragon (1977)
- Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
- The Rescuers (1977)
- Five Venoms (1978)
- Return from Witch Mountain (1978)
- Dracula (1979)
- Salem’s Lot (1979)
- Herbie Goes Bananas (1980)
- Advent (1981)
- The Devil and Max Devlin (1981)
- Legendary Weapons of China (1982)
- The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
- Return to Oz (1985)
- A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)
- Oliver and Company (1988)
- Ghostbusters II (1989)
- DuckTales The Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990)
- The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
- Death Becomes Her (1992)
- Chronos (1993)
- Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
- Angels in the Outfield (1994)
- The Santa Clause (1994)
- A Goofy Movie (1995)
- An American Werewolf in Paris (1997)
- Hercules (1997)
- Practical Magic (1998)
- Muppets from Space (1999)
- Disney’s The Kid (2000)
- Dungeons and Dragons (2000)
- Return to Never Land (2002)
- Brother Bear (2003)
- Freaky Friday (2003)
- Piglet’s Big Movie (2003)
- The Haunted Mansion (2003)
- Blade: Trinity (2004)
- Shrek 2 (2004)
- Van Helsing (2004)
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
- Chicken Little (2005)
- Herbie Fully Loaded (2005)
- Great Mouse Detective (2006)
- Shaggy Dogg (2006)
- Underworld: Evolution (2006)
- Shrek the Third (2007)
- Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008)
- Twilight (2008)
- Race to Witch Mountain (2009)
- The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)
- Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)
- Alice in Wonderland (2010)
- Clash of the Titans (2010)
- Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (2010)
- The Lightning Thief (2010)
- The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)
- Conan the Barbarian (2011)
- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011)
- Berserk: Egg of the King (2012)
- Berserk: The Golden Age 2 – The Battle of Doldrey (2012)
- Lorax (2012)
- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)
- Underworld: Awakening (2012)
- Horns (2013)
- Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)
- Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)
- Boxtrolls (2014)
- Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
‘The Fresh Prince’ Intro Recreated In ‘GTA V’ Turns Will Smith Into A Psychopath @ UPROXX » GammaSquad
Guest Post: ‘We Will Make an Ending’ or ‘How I Wrote Queen of Fire’ By Anthony Ryan @ Fantasy Book Critic
A new international TV spot for Ant-Man just hit the internet, and it shows off something that we didn’t expect. Spoilers after the jump.
In the last week, Venus and Jupiter were at their conjunction, and photographer Adam Tomaszewski took this fantastic picture of the pair. Look closely, and you can see Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto orbiting Jupiter.
Over on The Conversation, Darren Ó hAilín has a fascinating article that looks at Glioblastoma in a @ io9
Over on The Conversation, Darren Ó hAilín has a fascinating article that looks at Glioblastoma in a very different light: as aggressive, adaptive growths. Understanding and learning how these tumors grow and change will help yield new treatment methods in the future. Read the entire piece here.
This is one of the lightest weeks we’ve seen in a long time.
Finally, the picks of the week. Blaine says, “nothing jumps out at me this week at all.” Alex says, “Agreed. Wrestling fans might want to pick up Monday Night War Part 1, and fans of ’70s horror might want to pick up Crimson Cult, but otherwise, that’s it.”
Now that we’re a couple of episodes into Syfy’s Killjoys, the show is starting to settle in a little bit. In this latest episode, Davin and John’s sibling bond is put to the test while Dav works out some of the trauma from his past, all while they track down a migrant worker who’s overstayed his visa.
If you want beautiful fireworks bursting in the sky, you’re going to need to mine the Earth first. Here’s the geology of the minerals that give fireworks their vibrant colours.
Happy Fourth of July, Americans. Time to spend the day playing Sid Meier’s Colonization, the quintessential game about American independence, over and over until you pass out.
Was Star Trek: First Contact really the best Star Trek movie? Ta-Nehisi Coates thinks so, and he’s making a really strong case for it on Twitter right now, in response to our unfortunate oversight in leaving it off our list of time-travel movies . His thoughts on Picard’s arc are well worth reading.
The Muppets have long been great at putting together hilarious short videos, and for July 4th, who better than Sam the American Eagle to commemorate the birth of the United States?
The ending of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel has been heavily criticized for the sheer amount of destruction, something that fans have noted is out of character for Superman. Now, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Snyder has defended the destruction of Metropolis, and confirmed a theory that we’ve long entertained.
Preparing to abandon Baikonur, Roscosmos, Russia’s Federal Space Agency is knee deep in building their new spaceport, called the Vostochny Cosmodrome (Eastern Spaceport) in the Russian Far East.
It’s a proven fact: Nicholas Cage can go with anything. The best thing so far, though? Nicholas Cage and Game of Thrones. Separately, they’re both pretty good, but together? Glorious.
The Audubon Society has reported that the oldest tagged Bald Eagle in America has died at the age of 38. The bird has overseen the dramatic recovery for his species in the United States, and is a testament to some of the successes of the environmental movements of the 1970s.
In an excellent essay for, Pakistani author Usman Malik has a fantastic look at his home country, and how speculative fiction can help it regain some hope for the future .
A Man Uncovered A Rare, Official Version Of The Original Playstation From Sony And Nintendo @ UPROXX » GammaSquad
A Texas man died last week when he was attacked by a massive swarm of bees when he hit a pipe containing their hive. According to ABC News, the man fled nearly a hundred meters before being overwhelmed.
Mark your calendars for fireworks, Earthlings. And no, I’m not talking about the little peonies you’re shooting off the back deck tonight. Astronomers have wised up to a much more epic light show that’s going down 5,000 light years away. And in 2018, it’s coming to a telescope near you.
Because what other movie would you watch today?
Summer is in full swing, which means it’s time to head outside for some fun in the sun. And you know what that means: hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon, and more.
It’s no Jurassic World but, for years, the Hammer remake of the One Million BC stood as the definitive humans with dinosaurs pic. It also kickstarted Rachel Welch’s career, and sold more than one million copies of that fur bikini pin-up.1
Title: One Million Years BC
Cast, Crew, and Other Info:
Directed by Don Chaffey
Written by Michael Carreras from the original screenplay by Mickell Novack, George Baker, and Joseph Frickert
Special effects by Ray Harryhausen
Raquel Welch as Loana
John Richardson as Tumak
Percy Herbert as Sakana
Robert Brown as Akhoba
Martine Beswick as Nupondi
Jean Wladon as Ahot
Lisa Thomas as Sura
Malya Nappi as Tohana
Yvonne Horner as Ullah
Nic Perrin as Narrator
A rebel kicked out of the Rock Tribe encounters a fetching young woman from the more civilized Shell Tribe. Star-cross’d love, rampaging dinosaurs, and erupting volcanoes ensue.
I’ll forgo any deep discussion of hair colour (The Rock Tribe are brunettes, while the Shell Tribe are blond). Or of hairspray and make-up, to which the cavewomen clearly have access.
The visual imagery take you on a tour, not only of the history of dinosaur effects to that point, but of the non-scientific pop understanding of the Primeval World. Harryhausen serves up a slurpasaur, a close-up lizard, for his first dino, perhaps as a tribute to the original film.2 Afterwards, we’re given some of the best stop-motion of his career, with an assortment of dinosaurs, recreated more-or-less to match then-current understanding, and other prehistoric beasts. The pteranodon and the archelon have been modified and magnified from their fossil forms, but they’re fun to watch.
While the film isn’t even remotely accurate to prehistory, it recreates a number of popular concepts, from the predator dinosaur battling a triceratops to the Cro-Magnon funeral3 We have pop cavemen battling ape-men of uncertain species, and both coexisting with dinosaurs. The scenes with Loana and Tumak evoke depictions of the Garden of Eden; there is even a serpent.
The compendium of pop images cast its own shadows; the design and marketing of Aurora’s early-70s Prehistoric Scenes models seem more than a little reminiscent of One Million Years BC.
The rather plodding introduction, with its stock footage and ponderous narration, proves pointless. As in the original film, the narrator quickly disappears, never to be heard from again.
I’m hoping the ceratosaurus got him.
Effects: 5/6 Very good for the time, though some (frequently unnecessary shots) seem jarring; I don’t know why they bothered with the giant spider and grasshopper, which appear for mere seconds and seem to have wandered in from another production.
Acting: 4/6 The actors do reasonably well with a script made up (almost) entirely of fabricated language.
Emotional Response: 4/6 Biggest laugh: when the giant sea turtle appears, one of the Shell Women cries out the correct scientific name, archelon!
Overall: 5/6 If you can view One Million Years BC with the appropriate perspective,4 you will find this prehistoric romp to be highly entertaining.
In total, One Million Years BC receives 29/42.
1. That pin-up went on to play a key role in The Shawshank Redemption.
2. Not the only tribute: Robert Brown’s make-up for Akhoba has been based, very clearly, on Lon Chaney’s 1940 version of the character.
3. The 1868 Cro-Magnon find indicated a gravesite with deliberately placed items, and the Cro-Magnon Funeral, and attempts to recreate Cro-Magnon beliefs from it, has long been a staple of anthropology and popular reconstructions.
4. Imagine, say, that it’s 1966 and you’re between the ages of 8-16. The 8-year-olds may be watching it for somewhat different reasons than the 16-year-olds, of course.
The 4th of July tradition of fireworks has a long and fascinating history.
History Of Fireworks
Margot Robbie Shared A Picture Of Herself As Harley Quinn From The ‘Suicide Squad’ Set @ UPROXX » GammaSquad
Matt writes, "This is awesomeness beyond awesome. Magic swords, barbarians, crazy, nausea-inducing camera angles, pterodactyls... If 'Heavy Metal' needed a personal scent, it would be this."
On My Radar: BROTHER by Ania Ahlborn/THE LAZARUS GATE by Mark A. Latham/THE DRAFTER by Kim Harrison @ SF Signal
My July 2015 Locus column, Skynet Ascendant, suggests that the enduring popularity of images of homicidal, humanity-hating AIs has more to do with our present-day politics than computer science.
As a class, science fiction writers imagine some huge slice of all possible futures, and then readers and publishers select from among these futures based on which ones chime with their anxieties and hopes. As a system, it works something like a Ouija board: we've all got our fingers on the planchette, and the futures that get retold and refeatured are the result of our collective ideomotor response.
Today, wealth disparity consumes the popular imagination and political debates. The front-running science fictional impossibility of the unequal age is rampant artificial intelligence. There were a lot of SF movies produced in the mid-eighties, but few retain the currency of the Terminator and its humanity-annihilating AI, Skynet. Everyone seems to thrum when that chord is plucked – even the NSA named one of its illegal mass surveillance programs SKYNET.
It’s been nearly 15 years since the Matrix movies debuted, but the Red Pill/Blue Pill business still gets a lot of play, and young adults who were small children when Neo fought the AIs know exactly what we mean when we talk about the Matrix.
Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and other luminaries have issued panicked warnings about the coming age of humanity-hating computerized overlords. We dote on the party tricks of modern AIs, sending half-admiring/half-dreading laurels to the Watson team when it manages to win at Jeopardy or randomwalk its way into a new recipe.
The fear of AIs is way out of proportion to their performance. The Big Data-trawling systems that are supposed to find terrorists or figure out what ads to show you have been a consistent flop. Facebook’s new growth model is sending a lot of Web traffic to businesses whose Facebook followers are increasing, waiting for them to shift their major commercial strategies over to Facebook marketing, then turning off the traffic and demanding recurring payments to send it back – a far cry from using all the facts of your life to figure out that you’re about to buy a car before even you know it.
Google’s self-driving cars can only operate on roads that humans have mapped by hand, manually marking every piece of street-furniture. The NSA can’t point to a single terrorist plot that mass-surveillance has disrupted. Ad personalization sucks so hard you can hear it from orbit.
We don’t need artificial intelligences that think like us, after all. We have a lot of human cognition lying around, going spare – so much that we have to create listicles and other cognitive busy-work to absorb it. An AI that thinks like a human is a redundant vanity project – a thinking version of the ornithopter, a useless mechanical novelty that flies like a bird.
We need machines that don’t fly like birds. We need AI that thinks unlike humans. For example, we need AIs that can be vigilant for bomb-parts on airport X-rays. Humans literally can’t do this. If you spend all day looking for bomb-parts but finding water bottles, your brain will rewire your neurons to look for water bottles. You can’t get good at something you never do.
What does the fear of futuristic AI tell us about the parameters of our present-day fears and hopes?
Skynet Ascendant [Locus]
This week has been somewhat of a weird week for LGBT characters in comic books. First, there was the fact that the Midnighter’s comic is actually really, really good. But then we got a controversy about James Robsinson’s Airboy and its use of a derogatory word for transgender. (My take on that: Robinson was deliberately writing those characters as assholes. Unfortunately, those characters are fictional versions of him and the artist and he went a bit too far, making the whole thing seem weird, out of place, and in bad taste. Edit: Robinson has written a full apology.)
Though fans hope Hannibal finds a home beyond its NBC cancellation, the contracts of its two biggest stars have expired . Ain’t looking good, in other words. So let’s savor the flavor of what remains. “Contorno” being a great example of the kind of TV that Future Us is going to be missing, hardcore.
Where do you live, and what’s the geekiest/coolest/neat point of interest from your area?
Agent Carter Season 2: Hayley Atwell reveals juicy plot details @ SciFiNow - The World's Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Magazine
This week’s stories are all about psychotropic visions, unsatisfactory lives, and the consequences of doubting your mother’s love for you.
Melissa Benoist On The Pressures Of Playing ‘Supergirl’ For CBS: ‘I Want To Do Right By Women’ @ UPROXX » GammaSquad
The European Space Agency built this image of the Milky Way using routine data from its Gaia satellite.
Don’t laugh, it’s true. When I was first asked to star in Under the Dome, I misunderstood and thought it was going to be a bold reimagining of Prince’s underrated directorial debut. Just picture it: I’m a young vivacious dome, on the French Riviera, entertaining lonely married women, when... romance!
You know, this thought has crossed my mind more than once. There’s only so many hours in the day to keep up with the number of television shows that currently on the air or on Netflix/Hulu/Steaming/Etc.
Empire Online has a new picture from the upcoming Deadpool movie. Negasonic Teenage Warhead, played by Brianna Hildebrand, joins Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool in the upcoming film, due out February 4th, 2016.
Michael Douglas, Like Every Actor On Earth, Wants To Appear In An ‘Avengers’ Movie @ UPROXX » GammaSquad
GoPro has a ton of films of people doing some pretty crazy stunts, but this one can be summed up in one word for me: NOPE.
Look, drinking all day is not healthy. But what if you and the missus signed up for a nine-hour Napa County wine tour, and you want to get your money’s worth? Or maybe you’re hitting your bachelor pal’s BBQ, and the action starts at noon. Or, maybe, what the hell, you just want to go all out on a hot summer day. This afternoon bender is probably not a good idea. But here are some tips to make sure you stay awake—and, you know, survive.
In the last couple of days, the internet has been abuzz with some shocking news: soon, you won’t be able to pop bubble wrap. The Sealed Air Corporation, which manufacturers the product, announced a replacement that’s come a long way since it’s original use: wallpaper.
William Shatner Defends George Takei For Calling Clarence Thomas ‘A Clown In Blackface’ @ UPROXX » GammaSquad
In Andrée Wallin’s debut short film State Zero, four soldiers are deployed to a post-apocalyptic Sweden on a routine mission. Once they’re on the ground, however, everything goes wrong.
At the summer Consumer Electronics Show in 1991, Sony announced that it was jumping into the video game hardware market for the first time, partnering with Nintendo to release something called a “PlayStation.” The device never made it to market—for reasons I’ll explain shortly—but someone on reddit may have come across a very rare prototype.
The Marvel marketing juggernaut has put out a final international trailer out for Ant Man. In it, Scott Lang wants to call in The Avengers for help.
The weekend is upon us, and with it a chance to sit back, relax and consume massive amounts of sci-fi, fantasy and horror pop culture. In The Geekender, our writers share a bit about what they're reading, watching and playing -- and we want to hear from you. Let us know what's on your plate in the comments!
Trent Moore: I'll go ahead and get the disclosure out of the way: Blastr is owned by Syfy. Home team show or not, I've really been digging the new space-set series Killjoys the past few weeks. I was curious enough to bank the first couple episodes on my DVR, and finally found the time to chew through them. Turns out, this little show is a lot of fun. Witty dialogue, likable characters and a bit of dangling mystery to tie it all together. There are dashes of Farscape and Firefly here (not to say it's in the same league, per se), and I'm thinking this one could be the guilty sci-fi pleasure of the summer.
Ernie Estrella: Due to some pressing cram sessions and binge sessions, I'll be clearing out my DVR that has the last two episodes of The Flash Season 1 and Salem Season 2. Both started out as underdogs, but I felt both shows displayed their strengths and potential longevity in their respective genres, shining where other bigger named-shows like Gotham and Constantine floundered. I especially felt Salem took it up several notches this season with Lucy Lawless as the big boss and the Witch War storyline. They're taking some risks at WGN America and that's promising for a network trying to grow their original content. Plus, I've been impressed the performances of the leading ladies this season, Tamzin Merchant (Anne Hale), Elise Eberle (Mercy Lewis) and Janet Montgomery (Mary Sibley).
Jeff Spry: Rocking in my hammock under the pines this long 4th of July weekend, I plan on catching up on several eye-catching tie-in comics to Marvel's excellent Secret Wars event. Four of the best companion books so far are The Infinity Gauntlet, Ghost Racers, Weirdworld, and Planet Hulk, all with top-shelf creative teams and a colorful panorama of artistic styles and stories. Marvel has unspooled its massive Secret Wars series with a smart, aggressive marketing campaign and offered up some tantalizingly odd titles perfect for holiday reading with a red, white and blue Bomb Pop in one hand and a cool comic in the other.
Matthew Jackson: Stephen King is my favorite author, so every once in a while (usually a short while) I tend to go back and re-read a favorite work of his, just to evoke certain feelings and remind myself why I love stories so much. This weekend, because it's my second favorite novel of his (after The Stand), and because it's the only King novel I left unpacked during my recent move, I'll be diving back into IT. This book's been in the news a lot lately because of the rocky road of its new big screen adaptation, but when I really dig into this story, I don't care, because when it's at its best, this book is better than any film version could ever hope to be.
Don Kaye: I don't know if I'll get to it this weekend, but I just picked up a book earlier this week called The Burning Dark. It's a sci-fi novel by Adam Christopher and may be the first of a larger series called Spider War. I don't know much beyond that, but I do know that the synopsis on the back cover was enough to get me to buy it. The story takes place in deep space and features a haunted space station, a ghostly message that's a thousand years old, and a race of machines that devour entire worlds. From what I can tell, the book hits the sweet spot between hard sci-fi and horror -- a great but often tricky balancing act to pull off. Hopefully it lives up to that back cover pitch and some of the reviews I've read.
Krystal Clark: I'm almost done with my trek through the DC Animated Universe. This week's offering is Justice League: Throne of Atlantis. It's loosely based on the New 52 story ("Throne of Atlantis"), written by Geoff Johns. As you might suspect, it focuses on Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman, and underwater drama with the Atlanteans. Aquaman has a foot on both land and sea, so he's at the center of a war brewing between those worlds. Like most DC films, Throne of Atlantis has a killer cast, including Matt Lanter (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Sam Witwer (Syfy's Being Human), Rosario Dawson (Daredevil), and fan favorite Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Castle).
Dany Roth: This weekend, I will be doing what I have done every year since time immememorial (aka 1996) -- watching Independence Day. Maybe that's a little too on the nose, but who am I to say no to a disaster movie so cheesy yet endearing that director Roland Emmerich has been dying to recapture the (box office) magic ever since? Plus, this is the last July 4th we'll get to watch this masterpiece untainted by the uncertain future of not one, but two sequels. So, bring on the Pullman presidential speechifying, the Will Smith welcoming to Earth, and that classic shoddy Jeff Goldblum line delivery --Nothing beats Indepence Day on Independence Day!
Lisa Granshaw: This weekend, I plan to finally finish reading the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel I started two weeks ago, Demons of Air and Darkness by Keith R.A. DeCandido. Instead of jumping right into the next book in the series once I'm done, though, I picked up something a little different to check out: Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy. Over the years, I've grown increasingly interested in how aspects of pop culture like comic books, science fiction, and fantasy have impacted the fashion world, and this book takes a look at how superheroes, in particular, have influenced certain designers. The book accompanied an exhibit held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2008, which I unfortunately missed, so I'm intrigued to discover how this book explores the connection between superheroes and fashion.
Matt Dorville: While many Netflix series have garnered huge acclaim, and most rightly so, I haven't heard of Knights of Sidonia until a good friend of mine suggested it, but this might be my favorite Netflix original series. Earth has been destroyed by a mysterious monster called Gauna, and the last bit of humanity is aboard the starship Sidonia trying to find a way to survive. The white knuckle pace of the series combined with animation that is just plain awesome makes for the best manga series I've seen since Attack on Titan. Screenwriter Sadayuki Murai, who penned some of my favorite Cowboy Bebop episodes, wrote the screenplay, and the second season, called "The Battle for Planet Nine," is available on Netflix starting July 3rd. I know I'll get looks from the family when I watch a Japanese manga on July 4th, but I also know I'll get a lot of converts, as well.
Evan Hoovler: This three-day weekend, my wife and I are going to try Plants vs. Zombies on XBox. I know, I know: We're six years late to the party. We don't get a lot of time to game, or watch movies, or breathe deeply, because we have twin two year olds. But the marvelous free games that XBox Gold provides (two per month for 360 players) gave us this puzzle gem, and we're hoping it's one of the few games we can actually play in front of our kids (i.e. not too violent or mature). I'm also going to try Sense8 one more time. I used to love cerebral science-fiction shows with lots of mythos and in-depth plots but, these days, I can't concentrate on anything too deep, because my kids are making noise in the background. Whenever I'm not around my kids, I don't have the energy to pay attention much, because I'm too busy working, and drinking, and listening to Zeppelin. I'm going to try Sense8 one more time (I watched the first two episodes and was utterly confused), but I suspect it might go into the pile, with Orphan Black, of "amazing shows I just don't have the bandwidth for."
Adam Swiderski: I bought Pillars of Eternity a couple of months back, but I've honestly been a little afraid to play it, because I know it's going to eat my life. That said, a holiday weekend is the perfect time for me to dive in and scratch that old-school, isometric RPG itch (friends? Family? Sunlight? WHAT ARE THOSE?). I look forward to many hours rolling and re-rolling characters of different classes/races, pausing to issue commands for real-time combat to my minions, and looting everything that isn't locked down. Oh, sure, there's a fantasy world to save, and all that, but only once I'm fully kitted out with the best armor and weapons Eora has to offer. A hero has to have his priorities.
Carol Pinchefsky: Even though Batman: Arkham Knight has been disabled on one-stop-PC-game-shop Steam, for some reason, I was able to download it. It was buggy at first, but with the addition of a new graphics card, it's now playing flawlessly. This is the second time I've played a game that was theoretically riddled with bugs, yet has been issue-free for me. The first was Aliens: Colonial Marines, a game that I was vilified for liking, which I swear to this day never gave me a problem. Truth: Computers may hate me, but they obey my husband. Anyway, I'll be playing the hell out of Arkham Knight this geekend.
That's our list! What's on your plate this weekend (other than hot dogs and fireworks)? Let us know in the comments!
Ethan’s finally up to speed on Wayward Pines’ dark secrets, but the town’s growing insurgent faction is still completely clueless about what’s really beyond the town walls. Even worse, they don’t believe Ethan when he tries to warn them. The episode’s title says it all, really: “Betrayal.”
One of the saddest things about the live-action Jem & the Holograms movie is that Jem’s rival band, the Misfits, are nowhere to be found. That’s incredibly dumb—because the Misfits are an integral part of why the 80s cartoon was so amazing. And, if you believe the opening theme, their songs are actually better.
Though Dune won the Nebula and Hugo awards, the two most prestigious science fiction prizes, it was @ io9
Though Dune won the Nebula and Hugo awards, the two most prestigious science fiction prizes, it was not an overnight commercial success. Its fanbase built through the 60s and 70s, circulating in squats, communes, labs and studios, anywhere where the idea of global transformation seemed attractive.
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