Pop Culture Link Round-Up 4.10.15

I have a fondness for Godzilla (thanks dad). A huge fondness (seriously, thanks dad). Toho Pictures’ 1954 film depicts the awakening-via nuclear testing-of a prehistoric creature that subsequently ravages Japan. Gojira (or Godzilla, as he is typically referred to in USAmerica) is a suspenseful film that invokes the horrors of nuclear testing, and serves as an allegory for the deadly forces that might be unleashed when humans tamper with forces beyond their control. Despite the mixed to negative reviews the movie garnered in Japan, the film was financially successful and paved the way for a host of sequels. All told, Godzilla has appeared in 28 Toho Co., Ltd films, as well as several USAmerican ones (including Godzilla 1985 which was a heavily re-edited version of an earlier Japanese Godzilla movie; the 1998 Roland Emmerich-directed abomination of which the less said the better, and last year’s Godzilla movie from Legendary Pictures). In 2004, following the release of Godzilla: Final Wars, Toho Co.,Ltd decided to put the Godzilla franchise on hiatus for 10 years. The box office success of 2014’s Godzilla convinced Toho that it was time to dust off everyone’s favorite King of the Monsters:

“Neon Genesis Evangelion’s” Hideaki Anno and “Attack on Titan’s” Shinji Higuchi will co-direct “Godzilla 2016,” the first Japanese film in the long-running franchise in 12 years.

Anno will also write the film’s script, while Higuchi will oversee special effects. Anime News Network notes the two have been close friends for decades, and previously collaborated on Studio Ghibli’s live-action short “Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo.”

“Ever since Hollywood announced that ‘Godzilla’ was to be resurrected, the expectation for another Japanese Godzilla grew,” Toho said in a statement. “And if we were to newly produce, we looked into Japanese creators who were the most knowledgeable and who had the most passion for Godzilla.”

* * * *

Janusz Grünspek is an artist who uses little more than glue and tiny wooden dowels to create scale replicas of everyday objects such as a laptop, chandelier, or power tools. Hmmm, I wonder if he could construct a scale replica of Godzilla (and how many dowels would that take). Check out more of his work here.

(via Colossal)

* * * *

Over at TV Insider, Oriana Schwindt gives a list of the Top 5 Fight Scenes That Pack A Punch:

#5 Arrow vs Flash:

#4 The Real Housewives of New York City: Aviva vs Everyone

#3 Game of Thrones: The Mountain vs The Viper

I won’t spoil which fight scenes made the top two (you’ll have to click the link to find out) other than to say neither one of them is King Kong vs. Godzilla.

* * * *

As a kid, the idea of being a superhero greatly appealed to me. Actually, it wasn’t so much being a superhero as having super powers. Being able to walk on walls like Spider-Man seemed like a really cool idea to me. Or being able to create any object I wanted with Green Lantern’s power ring. And being able to run like the Flash or lift one of the Great Pyramids like Superman? Can’t beat those powers. Unlike many kids, I didn’t have much appreciation for Batman growing up. To me, he was just a normal guy. Yeah he was the world’s greatest detective, was mega rich, had lots of cool gadgets, and could fight really well, but at the end of the day, I wanted to be one of those heroes who had cool powers. I do know that many people love Bruce Wayne. This next link is for all the kids and adults who wish they could be the Dark Knight (and for anyone else who simply thinks this is rather cool). A real-life Batman suit has been created:

Made from Kevlar, quarter inch Kydex plating and impact resistant foam, Armatus Designs created a real life version of the Batman suit. It won’t stop bullets or make you Bruce Wayne but it is stab and slash resistant while still being pretty lightweight and flexible. I wouldn’t recommend you putting it on and becoming a vigilante or anything.

I must stress that last part. Don’t become a Batman-like vigilante. Everyone knows the police don’t like vigilantes (and for heaven’s sake, definitely don’t become one if you’re a Person of Color). They don’t like anyone using brutal or excessive force unless they have the sanction of the government.

That suit is pretty nifty though. I bet it wouldn’t offer much protection from Godzilla’s atomic breath (now I want to see a Batman/Godzilla battle).

* * * *

Speaking of Godzilla (oh, wait, I have been already)…have you ever wanted to stay in a King of the Monsters-themed hotel room?  Come April 24, you’ll be able to, provided you live in (or have the money to visit) Tokyo, Japan.

Opening April 24, the 30-story Hotel Gracery, which sits atop the Toho Cinema in Shinjuku, boasts three themed rooms: two Godzilla View Rooms, which overlook the 39-foot head of the King of the Monsters that erupts from the roof of the theater below; and the Godzilla Room, which, as the video shows, boasts its own statue, a gallery of movie posters and an enormous claw that looms over the beds. The hotel of course also offers Godzilla memorabilia and special sweets.

The Godzilla Room costs between $334 to $417, depending on the night, while the Godzilla View Rooms go for a more reasonable $125.

(h/t CBR)

Pop Culture Link Round-Up 4.10.15
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I think the Supergirl costume is nice

CBS has begun production on the pilot episode of their live-action Supergirl series, starring Melissa Benoist as the Kryptonian powerhouse. Presumably set to debut in 2015 (though this hasn’t been confirmed), the series also features Mechad Brooks as Jimmy Olsen, Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant, Chyler Lee as Kara’s foster sister, and Laura Benanti as Kara’s biological mother.  Dean Cain, who portrayed Clark Kent/Superman in the 90s tv series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, is set to appear on the show as well, though what role he will play is currently unknown. Former Supergirl herself, Helen Slater, will also appear on the show (like Cain, her role is unknown).

Coinciding with the beginning of production on the show, CBS has released an image of Benoist in full costume:

I think the costume is nice. Gone are the garish bright colors worn by Helen Slater in 1984, replaced by muted blue and red color scheme reminiscent of the costume worn by Henry Cavill in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. While the brighter colors can and do work in comic books, here in the real world such colors look silly and make it that much harder to take the character seriously (which is one of the reasons the creators of FOX’s X-Men chose to put the mutants in black leather rather than yellow spandex). I also like the textured look to it. Like Cavill’s costume, the Supergirl suit looks like real-world fabric that people wear, rather than spandex that functions as little more than a second skin. Another thing I appreciate? The suit, designed by Academy Award winning costume designer Colleen Atwood, is clearly influenced by more than Snyder’s Superman costume. Atwood’s design incorporates elements of Supergirl’s classic costume:

as well as her current one (which I am not a fan of):

So yeah, I think the Supergirl costume is nice. I was curious to see what it would look like and I’m satisfied.

Her costume isn’t the only thing I’m curious about. I want to know more about who this version of Supergirl is. Sure, we know she’s Superman’s cousin from Krypton and she has all his powers and she’s a superhero who fights for truth, justice, and the USAmerican way. But who is she? What hopes does she have? What are her fears? Does she have personal aspirations? Who are her friends and what traits does she share in common with them? How does she differ from them? What is she passionate about? What are her hobbies? What brings her joy? How close is she to her foster family? Does she have an opinion about immigration or the foster care system? These questions aren’t asked in the hopes that CBS will issue a press release offering answers (obviously, exploring her character is best left for the show itself). Those questions are merely examples of how to explore and develop Kara’s character. We know that as a derivative character, she is defined in some part by her relationship to Superman. For all that though, she is still her own person, and needs to be defined by her thoughts, beliefs, and actions. She doesn’t need to be further defined by her relationship to Kal-El. I hope the shows creators understand this and I look forward to seeing her character fleshed out and brought to life.

Whatever plans CBS has in store for Benoist and the Supergirl series (which they’ve given a series commitment to), I want to offer them a piece of advice-the 1984 Supergirl movie made many missteps, and this is one of them:

Did the writers really think it was a great idea to have Supergirl publicly display her powers for the first time (as well as her first encounter with humans) by fending off sexual harassment?!

Superman’s debut was powerful. It was majestic. It was in keeping with his larger than life stature.  None of that can be said about Kara’s debut in the 1984 movie. She didn’t get to save a civilian, prevent a tragedy, or fight a fire. The writers could have chosen any number of ways to introduce Supergirl to the people of Earth (and vice-versa). They had endless options available to showcase her powers. Instead, she got to fend off sexual harassment*. I hope all those involved in CBS’ Supergirl series give her debut the proper grandeur it deserves.

*I’m not arguing that the Supergirl movie writers shouldn’t have addressed sexual harassment**. I’m arguing that they should have had Supergirl debut in a heroic manner similar to how Superman debuted in the 1978 movie.

**Though in all honesty, they didn’t address it. Supergirl was sexually harassed and fought off her attackers. That’s it. There was no follow-up. There was no thoughtful examination of the causes of sexual harassment or the steps society should take to stop it. Plus the scene contributed little to the rest of the movie.

I think the Supergirl costume is nice

Pop Culture Link Round Up 2.12.15

Chris Banner is a fan of Batman. That’s actually an understatement. ‘Obsessed with Batman’ is a better description of him (and I don’t mean this in a bad way; obsessions are not inherently bad, and Banner is harming no one with his).

You could call Chris Banner’s love of Batman a true passion. Well, it’s actually more of an obsession.

“I’ve got a problem,” he confessed. “Everything I have is a bat. All my tractors have bats; my trucks, bats. Socks, underwear, you name it. I’m bat.

From the boots to the bat-cave and a custom-built Batmobile, Banner has made his being Batman his third job. He even patrols his hometown of Valley Center, San Diego, as the Caped Crusader.

His ride, he built from scratch, stripping down a 1947 Ford Galaxy and rearranging its engine and radiator. The work took about a year to complete, and it includes a camera to help him back up, a custom-made dashboard, lights and a smoke machine.

“It’s all made of fiber glass,” Banner told NBC 7 Wednesday. “It’s 22-feet long, and it’s one heck of a machine to drive, especially when you’re Batman.”

The batty fanatic started collecting his favorite superhero’s gear after he got his first Robin costume at age 7. Now, he’s turned his love toward a good cause. He produces live Batman shows about 40 times a year, sometimes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“You know some of these kids only have so much time left, and to put a smile on their face, it makes them happy. It’s worth it to me,” he said. “Makes that whole day better so hopefully I got to a good place.”

Bringing light to the lives of children? That’s a really awesome thing for him to do. I tip my hat to you good sir.

* * * *

By way of This is Colossal, here are some images of some amazingly beautiful hand-made resin bangles infused with bark, leaves, flowers, plants and shells. These bangles and more are available for purchase at Faerie and Etsy.

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Oooh, a new album from Florence and the Machine will be available on June 2. Here’s a video of the first single, ‘What Kind of Man’ (warning, the video is NSFW):

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* * * *

You may have been miffed by the palpable lack of a juicy Sophia-based plot in the second season of Orange Is the New Black, but fear not: OITNB is no longer the only TV series on which actress/trans activist Laverne Cox will appear. It’s just been announced that she’ll be co-starring as Cameron Wirth, a transgender attorney, in CBS’ next legal drama, Doubt (no relation to nuns). The role was allegedly written specifically for her. Wirth is described in The Hollywood Reporter as being as “competitive as she is compassionate. She’s fierce, funny and the fact that she’s experienced injustice first hand makes her fight all the harder for her clients.” Cox will appear alongside a yet-unannounced star, who’ll lead the show with her title-influencing doubts: this main character is another attorney who’s romantically involved with a client being charged for an act of brutality. The script will be penned by Grey’s Anatomy writers Tony Phelan and Joan Rater.

* * * *

How the hell did Patrick Bertoletti consume 444 wings in 30 minutes?! Seriously, where did he put all that food? I love wings as much as the next guy, but after about 15 wings, I’m full. Does he have a few extra stomachs?

If your planning on serving wings at your Super Bowl party on Sunday, don’t invite Patrick Bertoletti. We have a feeling he won’t be craving wings anytime soon. The Chicagoan, known by his competitive eating stage name as “Deep Dish” gobbled up 444 chicken wings in 30 minutes this afternoon at the 23rd annual Wing Bowl in Philadelphia. By doing so Bertoletti smashed the previous record of 363 wings set last year and barely edged out his rival (and prior record-holder) Molly Schuyler, who came in with 440 wings.

About 20,000 people gathered at Wells Fargo Arena to watch contestants duke it out in the grand battle to be the one true supreme wing champion. “I have the sweats but I feel a lot better because I know I don’t have to eat any more chicken wings,” Bertoletti exclaimed after his victory. In the last two minutes alone, Bertoletti consumed 50 wings by ripping apart the wings and stuffing the meat into his mouth. Bertoletti was still chewing for two minutes after the contest ended.

For that matter, how did Schulyer consume 440 wings?

Daaaaaaaaaamn!

Pop Culture Link Round Up 2.12.15

They didn't want girls watching the shows

I haz a sekrit.

I’m a comic book fan (no, that’s not the sekrit) who enjoys animated adaptations of comic book properties (that’s the sekrit). As a child of the 80s, there were two shows I enjoyed more than anything.

This is one:

This is the other:

When the 90s hit, I enjoyed a few more superhero animated series, such as:

B:TAS is still one of the best animated comic book adaptations. Unlike the shows of my childhood, this series still holds up and can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. The dialogue is sharp, the animation pitch-perfect, the voice casting on point, and the stories sophisticated.
Another excellent series with great animation, sharp dialogue, strong plots, good characterization and stories that didn’t talk down to kids.
I enjoyed X-Men: The Animated Series when it came out (and still enjoy watching the show from time to time), but one of its biggest failings was the animation. The dialogue was also not quite as strong as you find in the DC Animated Universe shows.  For all that this show has its faults, it was still far and away better than the Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, and Iron Man cartoons. Or that horrible Avengers: United They Stand ‘toon. ::Shudder::

Post-2000, I really loved watching the Justice League & Justice League Unlimited shows

JLU was part of the same animated universe created by Bruce Timm for Superman and Batman and had the same complexity and sophistication as both series (though it was lighter in tone than Batman: TAS).

and I thoroughly enjoyed Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (though I don’t care much for its successor):

Marvel seriously upped their game on the animation here. *Finally* a visually stunning animated Marvel show. Coupled with serialized stories, rich characterization that followed the comic books, and sharp dialogue, this show quickly became my favorite animated Marvel show.

I got to watch the Avengers show earlier this year, when I was jobless for 4 months (it was agonizing). During that time, I’d subscribed to Netflix and watched the entire first season of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Having awoken my slumbering love for superhero shows, I decided to watch the Green Lantern animated series (I’ve since cancelled Netflix, bc I’m not impressed with their inventory of movies and tv shows).

I also watched the latter half of Season 1 of Young Justice (a Cartoon Network show featuring the young protegés of various Justice League members as they sought to prove their worth as heroes).

Both shows had season-wide, overarching stories, which I tend to prefer in my shows (stand-alone stories are fine here and there, but I like the connective tissue provided by a serialized story format; sue me, I like continuity).  I quite enjoyed both series (though I liked YJ more–it had more mature stories, had emotional resonance, had strong & prominently featured female characters, and featured a black male not just as a lead character, but the team leader), and was eager to watch subsequent seasons.

Guess what I found out? Cartoon Network cancelled Young Justice and Green Lantern! TV shows, whether live-action or animated, are cancelled all the time, so no big deal, right?  That’s what I thought until I learned that Cartoon Network executives felt that too many girls and women were watching the Green Lantern and Young Justice. Apparently, the executives wanted those shows marketed primarily to boys. From io9: 

Vi at agelfeygelach transcribed part of Dini’s conversation with Smith on the Fat Man on Batman podcast, during which he talks about the cancellation of Young Justice, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, and Tower Prep. He explains that studios are looking to capture younger male viewers, “boys who are into goofy humor, goofy random humor,” and that they aren’t interested in the older Young Justice audience.

The key quotes come when Dini starts talking about the problems that he says executives perceive with female viewers (emphasis is Vi’s):

DINI: “They’re all for boys ‘we do not want the girls’, I mean, I’ve heard executives say this, you know, not [where I am] but at other places, saying like, ‘We do not want girls watching this show.”
SMITH: “WHY? That’s 51% of the population.”

DINI: “They. Do. Not. Buy. Toys. The girls buy different toys. The girls may watch the show—”

SMITH: “So you can sell them T-shirts if they don’t—A: I disagree, I think girls buy toys as well, I mean not as many as f***ing boys do, but, B: sell them something else, man! Don’t be lazy and be like, ‘well I can’t sell a girl a toy.’ Sell ’em a T-shirt, man, sell them f***ing umbrella with the f***ing character on it, something like that. But if it’s not a toy, there’s something else you could sell ’em! Like, just because you can’t figure out your job, don’t kill chances of, like, something that’s gonna reach an audi—that’s just so self-defeating, when people go, like… these are the same fuckers who go, like, ‘Oh, girls don’t read comics, girls aren’t into comics.’ It’s all self-fulfilling prophecies. They just make it that way, by going like, ‘I can’t sell ’em a toy, what’s the point?’
DINI: “That’s the thing, you know I hate being Mr. Sour Grapes here, but I’ll just lay it on the line: that’s the thing that got us cancelled on Tower Prep, honest-to-God was, like, ‘we need boys, but we need girls right there, right one step behind the boys’—this is the network talking—’one step behind the boys, not as smart as the boys, not as interesting as the boys, but right there.’ And then we began writing stories that got into the two girls’ back stories, and they were really interesting. And suddenly we had families and girls watching, and girls really became a big part of our audience, in sort of like they picked up that Harry Potter type of serialized way, which is what The Batman and [indistinct]’s really gonna kill. But, the Cartoon Network was saying, ‘F***, no, we want the boys’ action, it’s boys’ action, this goofy boy humor we’ve gotta get that in there. And we can’t—’ and I’d say, but look at the numbers, we’ve got parents watching, with the families, and then when you break it down—’Yeah, but the—so many—we’ve got too many girls. We need more boys.'”
SMITH: “That’s heart-breaking.”

DINI: “And then that’s why they cancelled us, and they put on a show called Level Up, which is, you know, goofy nerds fighting CG monsters. It’s like, ‘We don’t want the girls because the girls won’t buy toys.’ We had a whole… we had a whole, a merchandise line for Tower Prep that they s***canned before it ever got off the launching pad, because it’s like, ‘Boys, boys, boys. Boys buy the little spinny tops, they but the action figures, girls buy princesses, we’re not selling princesses.’

Grumpy cat is here to succinctly express my thoughts on the matter.

If the decision to cancel both shows were based on ratings, or rising costs in animation, I could understand (if not like) the decision. But if what Dini says is true, Warner Brothers executives cancelled both shows (as well as Tower Prep) bc there were too many girls and women watching and they think those girls and women don’t buy toys.  Though connected, those are really two separate issues.

Looking at the first, I can’t see the problem. For any product, whether it’s an animated television show or a vacuum cleaner or a car, it’s a good idea to market to multiple demographics because the more people a product appeals to, the greater likelihood that more people will buy the product.  So it’s a good thing that girls and women were watching Green Lantern and Young Justice.  Take them out of the equation and I wonder how badly the ratings would have declined. There’s no such thing as “too many people are watching this show”.  No, what this translates to is “the wrong kind of people are watching these shows”. That’s a great message to send to fans (read that last sentence with oodles of sarcasm).

Looking at the second issue, I’m left thinking ‘so what?’  If girls and women don’t buy the toys they want, why not find out what they will buy and market to them accordingly? Don’t they have a marketing department for just that type of thing?! While not a perfect counter-example (and a different company), in 2013, Hasbro’s sale of boy’s toys fell by 35%. Their girl’s toy sales? They rose by 43%.  Look at that! Girls buy toys! News at 11. Oh, and I’m gonna need some evidence before I’ll believe that girls and women don’t buy superhero action figures. I suspect Warner Brothers execs meant that girls and women don’t buy enough superhero toys.  In which case, again, find a way to market those toys to them, or find another product based on the shows that girls and women will buy in the numbers they want. Puzzles. Books. Video Games. Hell, T-Shirts…like Kevin Smith suggested. But no, instead of doing that, Warner Brothers has sent a clear message. They’re ok with girls and women watching their shows, but they aren’t their primary concern. Boys and men? They’re the important ones. Because toys sexism.

They didn't want girls watching the shows

They didn’t want girls watching the shows

I haz a sekrit.

I’m a comic book fan (no, that’s not the sekrit) who enjoys animated adaptations of comic book properties (that’s the sekrit). As a child of the 80s, there were two shows I enjoyed more than anything.

This is one:

This is the other:

When the 90s hit, I enjoyed a few more superhero animated series, such as:

B:TAS is still one of the best animated comic book adaptations. Unlike the shows of my childhood, this series still holds up and can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. The dialogue is sharp, the animation pitch-perfect, the voice casting on point, and the stories sophisticated.
Another excellent series with great animation, sharp dialogue, strong plots, good characterization and stories that didn’t talk down to kids.
I enjoyed X-Men: The Animated Series when it came out (and still enjoy watching the show from time to time), but one of its biggest failings was the animation. The dialogue was also not quite as strong as you find in the DC Animated Universe shows.  For all that this show has its faults, it was still far and away better than the Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, and Iron Man cartoons. Or that horrible Avengers: United They Stand ‘toon. ::Shudder::

Post-2000, I really loved watching the Justice League & Justice League Unlimited shows

JLU was part of the same animated universe created by Bruce Timm for Superman and Batman and had the same complexity and sophistication as both series (though it was lighter in tone than Batman: TAS).

and I thoroughly enjoyed Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (though I don’t care much for its successor):

Marvel seriously upped their game on the animation here. *Finally* a visually stunning animated Marvel show. Coupled with serialized stories, rich characterization that followed the comic books, and sharp dialogue, this show quickly became my favorite animated Marvel show.

I got to watch the Avengers show earlier this year, when I was jobless for 4 months (it was agonizing). During that time, I’d subscribed to Netflix and watched the entire first season of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Having awoken my slumbering love for superhero shows, I decided to watch the Green Lantern animated series (I’ve since cancelled Netflix, bc I’m not impressed with their inventory of movies and tv shows).

I also watched the latter half of Season 1 of Young Justice (a Cartoon Network show featuring the young protegés of various Justice League members as they sought to prove their worth as heroes).

Both shows had season-wide, overarching stories, which I tend to prefer in my shows (stand-alone stories are fine here and there, but I like the connective tissue provided by a serialized story format; sue me, I like continuity).  I quite enjoyed both series (though I liked YJ more–it had more mature stories, had emotional resonance, had strong & prominently featured female characters, and featured a black male not just as a lead character, but the team leader), and was eager to watch subsequent seasons.

Guess what I found out? Cartoon Network cancelled Young Justice and Green Lantern! TV shows, whether live-action or animated, are cancelled all the time, so no big deal, right?  That’s what I thought until I learned that Cartoon Network executives felt that too many girls and women were watching the Green Lantern and Young Justice. Apparently, the executives wanted those shows marketed primarily to boys. From io9: 

Vi at agelfeygelach transcribed part of Dini’s conversation with Smith on the Fat Man on Batman podcast, during which he talks about the cancellation of Young Justice, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, and Tower Prep. He explains that studios are looking to capture younger male viewers, “boys who are into goofy humor, goofy random humor,” and that they aren’t interested in the older Young Justice audience.

The key quotes come when Dini starts talking about the problems that he says executives perceive with female viewers (emphasis is Vi’s):

DINI: “They’re all for boys ‘we do not want the girls’, I mean, I’ve heard executives say this, you know, not [where I am] but at other places, saying like, ‘We do not want girls watching this show.”
SMITH: “WHY? That’s 51% of the population.”

DINI: “They. Do. Not. Buy. Toys. The girls buy different toys. The girls may watch the show—”

SMITH: “So you can sell them T-shirts if they don’t—A: I disagree, I think girls buy toys as well, I mean not as many as f***ing boys do, but, B: sell them something else, man! Don’t be lazy and be like, ‘well I can’t sell a girl a toy.’ Sell ’em a T-shirt, man, sell them f***ing umbrella with the f***ing character on it, something like that. But if it’s not a toy, there’s something else you could sell ’em! Like, just because you can’t figure out your job, don’t kill chances of, like, something that’s gonna reach an audi—that’s just so self-defeating, when people go, like… these are the same fuckers who go, like, ‘Oh, girls don’t read comics, girls aren’t into comics.’ It’s all self-fulfilling prophecies. They just make it that way, by going like, ‘I can’t sell ’em a toy, what’s the point?’
DINI: “That’s the thing, you know I hate being Mr. Sour Grapes here, but I’ll just lay it on the line: that’s the thing that got us cancelled on Tower Prep, honest-to-God was, like, ‘we need boys, but we need girls right there, right one step behind the boys’—this is the network talking—’one step behind the boys, not as smart as the boys, not as interesting as the boys, but right there.’ And then we began writing stories that got into the two girls’ back stories, and they were really interesting. And suddenly we had families and girls watching, and girls really became a big part of our audience, in sort of like they picked up that Harry Potter type of serialized way, which is what The Batman and [indistinct]’s really gonna kill. But, the Cartoon Network was saying, ‘F***, no, we want the boys’ action, it’s boys’ action, this goofy boy humor we’ve gotta get that in there. And we can’t—’ and I’d say, but look at the numbers, we’ve got parents watching, with the families, and then when you break it down—’Yeah, but the—so many—we’ve got too many girls. We need more boys.'”
SMITH: “That’s heart-breaking.”

DINI: “And then that’s why they cancelled us, and they put on a show called Level Up, which is, you know, goofy nerds fighting CG monsters. It’s like, ‘We don’t want the girls because the girls won’t buy toys.’ We had a whole… we had a whole, a merchandise line for Tower Prep that they s***canned before it ever got off the launching pad, because it’s like, ‘Boys, boys, boys. Boys buy the little spinny tops, they but the action figures, girls buy princesses, we’re not selling princesses.’

Grumpy cat is here to succinctly express my thoughts on the matter.

If the decision to cancel both shows were based on ratings, or rising costs in animation, I could understand (if not like) the decision. But if what Dini says is true, Warner Brothers executives cancelled both shows (as well as Tower Prep) bc there were too many girls and women watching and they think those girls and women don’t buy toys.  Though connected, those are really two separate issues.

Looking at the first, I can’t see the problem. For any product, whether it’s an animated television show or a vacuum cleaner or a car, it’s a good idea to market to multiple demographics because the more people a product appeals to, the greater likelihood that more people will buy the product.  So it’s a good thing that girls and women were watching Green Lantern and Young Justice.  Take them out of the equation and I wonder how badly the ratings would have declined. There’s no such thing as “too many people are watching this show”.  No, what this translates to is “the wrong kind of people are watching these shows”. That’s a great message to send to fans (read that last sentence with oodles of sarcasm).

Looking at the second issue, I’m left thinking ‘so what?’  If girls and women don’t buy the toys they want, why not find out what they will buy and market to them accordingly? Don’t they have a marketing department for just that type of thing?! While not a perfect counter-example (and a different company), in 2013, Hasbro’s sale of boy’s toys fell by 35%. Their girl’s toy sales? They rose by 43%.  Look at that! Girls buy toys! News at 11. Oh, and I’m gonna need some evidence before I’ll believe that girls and women don’t buy superhero action figures. I suspect Warner Brothers execs meant that girls and women don’t buy enough superhero toys.  In which case, again, find a way to market those toys to them, or find another product based on the shows that girls and women will buy in the numbers they want. Puzzles. Books. Video Games. Hell, T-Shirts…like Kevin Smith suggested. But no, instead of doing that, Warner Brothers has sent a clear message. They’re ok with girls and women watching their shows, but they aren’t their primary concern. Boys and men? They’re the important ones. Because toys sexism.

They didn’t want girls watching the shows

Awww, poor Bill Cosby…

…Not.

Trigger Warning:  Discussion of rape and sexual assault

Yesterday, I wrote about the rape allegations that surround comedian Bill Cosby.  Barbara BowmanJoan Tarshis and Janice Dickinson are the latest women to come forward accusing Cosby of sexual assault. That makes 15 women to publicly accuse Cosby of sexual assault  (many of the women have similar stories–that Cosby plied them with alcohol, drugged them, and sexually assaulted them).  In that post, I lamented the fact that Cosby won’t be punished for his actions (hell, he won’t even see the inside of a courtroom over the allegations), and that he’s essentially gotten away scot free.  I was hoping that his Netflix deal and/or his planned NBC sitcom would be cancelled.  Not that either would bring any justice to his victims, but I’d love for the man to be shunned by Hollywood. If he can’t be brought to justice, then he can be made to suffer by being ostracized by the entertainment industry.

Lo and behold, a day later and my prayers were answered. Clearly the Flying Spaghetti Monster heard my fervent prayers and made my wishes come true.  Bill Cosby’s NBC show is no longer in development:

NBC has confirmed to HuffPost Entertainment that a planned sitcom project with Bill Cosby is no longer in development. The network had no further comment on the matter. A representative for Cosby was not immediately available for comment.

But that’s not all.  His stand-up Netflix special has been postponed as well:

Netflix says it is postponing Bill Cosby’s upcoming standup comedy special.

A spokesperson for the company says it is postponing the launch of “Bill Cosby 77.” This follows accusations that Cosby has sexually assaulted several women.

But wait.  There’s more.  TV Land will no longer air repeats of ‘The Cosby Show’:

NBC has scrapped a Bill Cosby comedy that was under development and TV Land will stop airing reruns of “The Cosby Show,” moves that came a day after another woman came forward claiming that the once-beloved comic had sexually assaulted her.

NBC spokeswoman Rebecca Marks said Wednesday the Cosby sitcom “is no longer under development.” A TV Land spokesperson said the shows will stop airing immediately for an indefinite time. “The Cosby Show” also was to have been part of a Thanksgiving sitcom marathon.

Good.  More shunning. More ostracizing.  If he can’t be punished, let his ass fade into obscurity.

Awww, poor Bill Cosby…

The Great Big Pop Culture Link Round Up 11.13.14

The strangest looking pancakes I’ve ever seen. But hey, Nathan Shields sure is creative.

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 Bruce Campbell to headline Starz’s ‘Evil Dead’ tv series

Officially titled “Ash Vs. Evil Dead,” the 10-episode series will look in on Ash Williams, “stockboy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead.” However, when a new Deadite plague is set to destroy humanity, Ash needs to get back into gear to take down the undead menace and vanquish his personal demons.

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Eminem raps about committing violence against Lana del 

Eminem dropped a new freestyle video on Vevo where he raps that he’ll punch Lana Del Rey “in the face twice, like Ray Rice.”

Yes, the rapper is talking about the Baltimore Ravens running back who was suspended after he was caught on a surveillance camera in an elevator punching his then-fiancée and now-wife Janay Rice earlier this year.

Eminem’s promoting his upcoming Shady Records compilation Shady XV with this track, which has these disturbing lyrics:

But I may fight for gay rights, especially if the dyke is more of a knockout than Janay Rice / Play nice? Bitch I’ll punch Lana Del Rey right in the face twice, like Ray Rice in broad daylight in the plain sight of the elevator surveillance / ’Til her head is banging on the railing, then celebrate with the Ravens.

Gendered and homophobic slurs, as well as talking about committing violence against women?  Fuck you Eminem!

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I found a really cool site called DC Women of Color. It’s a tumblr dedicated to Women of Color in DC Comics (whether it’s print, animation, or live-action).  I recommend visiting it (I’m going through the archives at the moment and there’s a lot of cool stuff as well as commentary from the blogger).

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You will believe a dog can fly hover

My Modern Metropolis has some humorous photos by German photographer Julia Christe.  The images are of various kinds of dogs as they leap in the air.  Have a look-see:

The Great Big Pop Culture Link Round Up 11.13.14

Pop Culture News

Who wants a Legend of Korra game?

The Legend of Korra’s specific brand of action has made its way to the realm of video games. As revealed in a behind-the-scenes video posted on the show’s Facebook page, the “epic adventure” will allow players to utilize all four elements in strategic combinations as they play their way through this beat-’em-up-style game from PlatinumGames and Activision

The game, fittingly titled The Legend of Korra, is set between books two and three of the series and deals with the fallout of the Avatar’s decision to merge the spirit world with the real world. The video, which contains interviews with Activision producer Robert Conkey and producer Atsushi Kurooka, shows off the game’s visuals, including intense combo demonstrations. Mako, Bolin and Naga are all name-dropped in the video and appear in the game as well.

The Legend of Korra video game is out now for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. It drops Wednesday for Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Video game based on awesome animated tv series with a bad ass female lead character?  Sign me up. I can haz game now?

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RAY FISHER’S MIND “BOGGLED” AT ANNOUNCEMENT OF “CYBORG” SOLO FILM

You’re going to be Cyborg, buddy. You’ll be the second African-American DC Comics hero with their own film (after Shaq’s STEEL movie; the less said about that, the better). I hope you get a good script and a good director.

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First Look:  Terminator Genisys

FIRST OFF, I’d like to say I think it’s stupid that they’re spelling ‘genesis’ that way. Secondly…WHY Hollywood? Why?  I know you’re big on remakes and reboots and retellings and shit, but damn, Terminator and Terminator 2 are both really good movies that don’t need to be remade. There’s an entire Terminator universe to explore, and you guys want to go retell the first two movies?  Take a leaf out of the Star Trek tv franchise. Explore other aspects of the Terminator world. Tell stories of other people. Show other battles. You don’t need every installment to be “main characters fight to prevent the end of the world”. Anyways, here’s a peek at the characters:

I see that this effort to ” save a billion-dollar franchise” doesn’t involve anything other than white faces, but that’s a subject for another time.

The beginning of Terminator: Genisys, the first of three planned films that Paramount hopes will relaunch the beloved sci-fi franchise, is set in 2029, when the Future War is raging and a group of human rebels has the evil artificial-intelligence system Skynet on the ropes. John Connor (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Jason Clarke) is the leader of the resistance, and Kyle Reese (Divergent‘s Jai Courtney) is his loyal soldier, raised in the ruins of post apocalyptic California. As in the original film, Connor sends Reese back to 1984 to save Connor’s mother, Sarah (Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke), from a Terminator programmed to kill her so that she won’t ever give birth to John. But what Reese finds on the other side is nothing like he expected.

There’s a twist of course. Because they didn’t want to make the remake exactly like the original. They had to change Sarah Conner (and they just had to have Arnold):

Twist No. 1? Sarah Connor isn’t the innocent she was when Linda Hamilton first sported feathered hair and acid-washed jeans in the role. Nor is she Hamilton’s steely zero body-fat warrior in 1991’s T2. Rather, the mother of humanity’s messiah was orphaned by a Terminator at age 9. Since then, she’s been raised by (brace yourself) Schwarzenegger’s Terminator—an older T-800 she calls “Pops”—who is programmed to guard rather than to kill. As a result, Sarah is a highly trained antisocial recluse who’s great with a sniper rifle but not so skilled at the nuances of human emotion.

Doesn’t ‘Twist No. 1’ imply there are more twists?  Why you jerk me around like that EW? Dat not nice!

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‘League of Pan’, a Peter Pan series, is being developed by FOX

I wonder how long it will last ( there is a perception that FOX cancels shows too quickly).

FOX has agreed to a script commitment for the mystery drama League of Pan, a gritty mystery spin on the classic Peter Pan story.

Deadline reports that League of Pan will follow the Lost Boys fifteen years after they’ve left Neverland and moved to Los Angeles. They’ve grown up and grown apart, but they’re forced back together when someone begins targeting them for murder.

The script is being handled by Andrew Miller, who developed CW’s The Secret Circle. He’ll also be serving as executive producer, along with Imagine Television’s Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo. Miller will be writing a new script, rather than using the one from Brian McCauley when 20th TV attempted this idea two years ago.

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 The cronut croissant donut comes to Dunkin’ Donuts

“Are we copying a specific bakery in New York? The answer is no,” John Costello, president of global marketing and innovation for the company, told the Associated Press.

Costello says bakers all over the country have been experimenting with the croissant donut mixture for the past two decades and that Dunkin’ is constantly tracking these trends. Right. And Dunkin’ apparently already has a hybrid version in South Korea called the New York Pie Donut.

At any rate, the cronut-like pastry will be available for $2.49 in Dunkin’s roughly 8,000 locations for a limited time. Oh, and it’ll be topped with the same sugary goo that’s used for the shop’s glazed donut, but don’t expect any creme filling. At least, not yet.

Pop Culture News

Pop Culture Link Round Up 10.14.14

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon Developing Thriller for Syfy Network

The long-time friends and frequent collaborators are working with cable network Syfy to develop Incorporated, a spy thriller about a man trying to stand up to a futuristic world where big corporations rule, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Um, perhaps someone should tell Affleck and Damon that this isn’t really a sci-fi idea bc the world we live in is already run by corporations.

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Nintendo & Disney Mashups by Michael Villamejor

Mickey + Mario
Peter Pan + Link
Minnie Mouse & Pluto + Mega Man

Go check out more of his mashup!

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If you’re a Social Justice Warrior, then odds are you’ve encountered people who fling the term around with disdain, as if it’s an insult.  Silly, I know.  The idea that advocating for improving the lives others is an insult is just about the dumbest thing ever. Still, it happens.  Now, one enterprising person has come up with a snarky solution:

Make Your Computer Auto-Convert Any Mention Of “SJW” To “Skeleton” For Maximum Spoopiness

Created by Alex Hong, the Chrome Extension is available for free right here.Certain tweets suggest that the idea began in the GooberGrape subreddit, which we can’t confirm that because why would we ever go to there ever? But if that is the case, there’s something kind of satisfying about knowing that both sides of this debacle think that everything is better when you stop having to read “SJW” everywhere.

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VAMPIRES ARE REALLY REAL! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES
The “vampire grave” was discovered in southern Bulgaria by Professor Nikolay Ovcharov, an archeologist described by various news outlets as “the Bulgarian Indiana Jones.” (That is entirely too little information for my taste!) Ovcharov found the 13th-century remains while excavating the ruins of Perperikon, an ancient city rediscovered only twenty years ago and thought to be the site of The Temple of Dionysus. In addition to a citadel and fortress, archaeologists now believe Perperikon to contain a series of vampire graves. Ovcharov says of his most recent find,

We have no doubts that once again we’re seeing an anti-vampire ritual being carried out […] Often they were applied to people who had died in unusual circumstances – such as suicide. […] The ploughshare weighs almost two pounds and is dug into the body into a broken shoulder bone. You can clearly see how the collarbone has literally popped out.

 

“Vampire graves” have been uncovered at nearby sites as well–two similar skeletons discovered 200 miles east of Perperikon have been nicknamed “the twin vampires of Sozopol.”  In addition to the “vampire” remains, Bulgarian Indy also uncovered the skeletons of a mother and her baby buried in the image of the Virgin Mary and her child; a practice thought to ward off plague. Yep, if you weren’t suicidal or disposing of a vampire in the 13th century, it’s probably because you were busy succumbing to a horrible disease. Scrap all time machines, team! We’d be dead before you can say “bubonic.

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Gillian Anderson wants to be in the all-female Ghostbusters

Who ya gonna call?
Dana Scully!

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I normally only do 5 links bc, well…there’s no reason. It’s just traditions dammit. Everyone knows how important tradition is. Just ask theists.  Oh, wait…

Ok, I’m breaking tradition then.  I’m a rebel I tells ya!

So my first act as a rebel is to ask the question no one else is asking: What the hell is up with pumpkin spiced everything this year? Did I just fall asleep last October? Did god send pumpkin spices down for the first time this year instead of resurrecting his only begotten son?  I mean seriously, there are:

Pumpkin Spice Pringles

Pumpkin Spice Oreos

Pumpkin Burgers from Burger King Japan

Pumpkin Spice Lasagna

Pumpkin Spice Soy Milk

(I was going to include the Pumpkin Spice Tampons, but those are apparently a hoax)

 

 

Pop Culture Link Round Up 10.14.14

Pop Culture Link Round Up 10.11.14

Undersea excavators revisit the largest ancient shipwreck ever discovered.

Ancient tableware, lead anchors and a giant bronze spear have been recovered during an expedition to the 2,000-year-old Antikythera shipwreck in Greece.

The treasure-filled sunken shipwas first discovered more than a century ago. Now, undersea excavators who are revisiting the wreck say it actually covers a much bigger area than expected.

“The evidence shows this is the largest ancient shipwreck ever discovered,” Brendan Foley, a marine archaeologist from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, said in a statement. “It’s the Titanic of the ancient world.” [In Photos: Mission to 2,000-Year-Old Antikythera Shipwreck]

Over the past few weeks, Foley and his colleagues used a suite of high-tech equipment — they even tested a semi-robotic Exosuit for diving — to explore the famed Antikythera wreck.

The ship, heavy with luxury goods, likely sank sometime between 70 B.C. and 60 B.C. on its way from Asia Minor west to Rome. Sponge fishermen found the wreck in 1900 off the coast of Antikythera, a small Greek island with sheer cliffs positioned along an ancient shipping route. The items those first divers salvaged at the time were sensational: bronze and marble statues of heroes and horses, jewelry, furniture, glassware and the Antikythera mechanism, a complex astronomical calculator. But exploring the site at the time, 180 feet (55 meters) below the surface, proved dangerous. One diver died of the bends and two were left paralyzed, according to WHOI.

Jacques Cousteau revisited the Antikythera wreck decades later and pulled up even more tantalizing objects. To find out what else might be buried beneath the seafloor, Foley and his partners at the Greek Ministry of Culture launched a mission, dubbed the “Return to Antikythera.” Their first excavation season of the mission lasted from Sept. 15 to Oct. 7.

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And Marvel just keeps ’em coming. Early next year will see the release of yet another new series featuring a female lead as the alternate reality version of Gwen Stacy, aka Spiderwoman, will get her own book (in this world, Gwen Stacy was bitten by a radioactive spider, rather than Peter Parker). The buzz thus far from her ONE appearance (in Edge of Spiderverse #2) has been overwhelmingly positive (hell, the buzz from when her character was first announced was of teh good).   Plus, just look at her bad-ass costume:

 

 

 

(via CBR)

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 Because absolutely NO ONE asked for it, we’re gonna get a modern Lost In Space boobtube series.

Deadline is reporting that Legendary is now pushing to resurrect Lost in Space for the 21st century, with Kevin Burns (who owns the rights to the original series) onboard as an executive producer for Synthesis Entertainment, and Dracula Untold screenwriters Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless onboard to script the pilot. That makes Lost in Space the latest instance of Legendary reuniting with a past collaborator (or, in this case, collaborators), with the studio having also hired Godzilla writer Max Borenstein to pen both the Godzilla sequel and the upcoming King Kong origins film Skull Island, and re-teamed with Guillermo del Toro for next year’s haunted house feature Crimson Peak and the upcoming Pacific Rim 2.

I wonder if it will be a sea of white faces this time around…

 

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Guardians of the Galaxy was not a concept I ever thought Marvel would bring to the big screen. But not only did it come to pass, it did hella good ($323.4 million domestic).  So well that it’s getting a sequel in 2016.  Before that comes to pass however, like many successful movie properties, they’re getting an animated tv show.  Here’s the trailer:

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Instagram feed of Disney characters

Pop Culture Link Round Up 10.11.14