The Dark Tower is moving forward

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Dark Tower
The long-awaited screen adaptation of Stephen King‘s magnum opus, The Dark Tower, always a hugely ambitious project, has had a harder time getting the green light than Miley Cyrus being approved as the keynote speaker of a chastity convention. Die-hard fans of the series (myself being one of them) have had a love-hate relationship with the process, being alternately excited when news breaks, and then crushingly disappointed when another deal falls through.

However, all hope is not lost. In a new interview with Empire, director Ron Howard, who has been insanely loyal to the vision from the start, assures fans that the project is still moving forward. They’re just being smarter about it now:

The Dark Tower is something that we’re still working on. We’ve all taken a vow of silence about the progress, the headway, what we think our timetable is, because I don’t think I realized how much media interest there was in the title and how much excitement there was.

It’s a fascinating, powerful possibility and even Stephen King acknowledges it’s a tricky adaptation, but to be honest, from a financing side, it’s not a straightforward, four-quadrant, sunny superhero story — it’s dark, it’s horror. That edge is what appeals to me, the complexities of those characters is what appeals to all of us. And I think Stephen King really respects that, with [regular screenwriting collaborator] Akiva Goldsman and myself, that that’s what we love about it, and that’s what we want to try to get to the screen.

So my answer is: it got delayed, it’s never gone away. We’re working on it, and Stephen is very patient with us, and Akiva’s just gone off and directed a movie [an adaptation of Mark Helprin’s novel, Winter’s Tale, starring Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe, Jessica Brown Findlay, Jennifer Connelly and Will Smith], I’m continuing to work, but the Dark Tower dreams — fever dreams, rather — are still there, but we’re not going to give it a timetable.

You have to have a lot of respect for Howard and Goldsman. They’ve been faithful to the vision and have managed to keep their fires stoked throughout the entire process, even though it has to be maddening for them to come so close to a major step forward, only to have things always unravel at the eleventh hour.

What about you, gunslingers? Do you feel as if we’ll ever see Roland and crew on screen? Or is it all just wishful thinking at this point?

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Walking Dead Spin Off

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walking dead zombie
By this point we all know that AMC gave the go ahead on a Breaking Bad
spinoff called Better Call Saul
, but we’re really surprised that the network also announced a “companion piece” to The Walking Dead
. In many ways, it’s an obvious decision. After all, it’s the network’s most popular show. Series creator Robert Kirkman and executive producers Gale Anne Hurd and Dave Alpert will all be involved. Here’s some more info from the official press release (via THR):

AMC announced today that the network is in the initial stages of developing a companion series to its original drama series The Walking Dead, which premiered on AMC in October of 2010. The Walking Dead is currently the #1 show on television among adults 18-49. Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert are on board as executive producers, with AMC Studios set to produce. The companion series has a target on-air date of 2015.

”Building on the success of the most popular show on television for adults 18-49 is literally a no-brainer,” said Charlie Collier, AMC’s president and general manager. “We look forward to working with Robert, Gale and Dave again as we develop an entirely new story and cast of characters. It’s a big world and we can’t wait to give fans another unforgettable view of the zombie apocalypse.”

”After 10 years of writing the comic book series and being so close to the debut of our fourth, and in my opinion, best season of the TV series, I couldn’t be more thrilled about getting the chance to create a new corner of The Walking Dead universe,” said Kirkman. “The opportunity to make a show that isn’t tethered by the events of the comic book, and is truly a blank page, has set my creativity racing.”

In addition to Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Hell on Wheels and Low Winter Sun, AMC recently greenlit two new drama series for 2014, Halt & Catch Fire and Turn. The network today began shooting a new pilot, Line Of Sight, directed and executive produced by Jonathan Demme, and has a licensing agreement with Sony Pictures Television for a spinoff series of Vince Gilligan’s landmark Breaking Bad, based on the Saul Goodman lawyer character with the working title Better Call Saul.

Season four of The Walking Dead returns to AMC on October 13. The Walking Dead is based on the comic book series created and written by Robert Kirkman and published by Skybound, Kirkman’s imprint at Image Comics.

The Walking Dead season three out-delivered everything on television including The Big Bang Theory, The Voice, Game of Thrones, Modern Family, and almost doubled The Bible for the broadcast season for adults 18-49.

Would you guys be interested in watching another show about the zombie apocalypse? Reply to this blog!

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Flash Point

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the flash
While Marvel has been building its Cinematic Universe on the big screen, then carrying it over to television with this fall’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
, DC seems to be reverse-engineering Marvel’s success and building their comic book-to-screen empire first on television, then using those to pave the way for big screen adaptations.

The next big undertaking for DC is The Flash
, set to air on the CW as a counterpart to the successful Arrow
, and the search is on for the perfect leading man to play the Scarlet Speedster.

According to El Mayimbe of Latino-Review, there are currently three actors vying for the role of ‘Dr. Barry Allen’, who will be appearing in three episodes of Arrow‘s Season 2, and L-R has uncovered the identities of two of the three actors.

The first is relative unknown, Australian actor James Mackay, who will next be seen in the upcoming Singularity
, and slightly better-known Texan Matt Barr, who has previously worked with CW on the now-cancelled Hellcats and will be in Oscar contender Parkland
this fall.

The character of Dr. Barry Allen will first appear in Episode 8 of the upcoming season of Arrow for a two-part episode as a scientist who is trying desperately to solve his mother’s murder. He’ll later appear in Episode 20, which will serve as the integrated pilot for the spin-off series The Flash. The CW did something similar with the pilot episode of The Originals
being a built-in episode of The Vampire Diaries
and so looks to achieve the same success here. The first episode begins filming on September 30th.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Delayed; 2016 Release Likely

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  • Source: Walt Disney Pictures
  • pirates caribbean logo Although Captain Jack Sparrow is set to sail again in the forthcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Walt Disney Pictures now brings word that the project won’t make its original release date of July 10, 2015. Although nothing is set in stone, studio sources indicate that a 2016 release is likely. The news comes just one day after the studio rescheduled the Marvel Studios property Ant-Man.

    Launched in 2003 with The Curse of the Black Pearl, the franchise has, in every film so far, featured Johnny Depp in the role of Captain Jack Sparrow. The most recent adventure, On Stranger Tides, also starred Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane and Sam Claflin and turned out more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office.

    Catch Me If You Can scribe Jeff Nathanson has provided the screenplay for the fifth installment, which will be directed by Kon-Tiki’s Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg.

    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is scheduled to begin production this fall.

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    Is Justin Timberlake The Riddler In ‘Batman vs Superman’?

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    andrew wilkin
    Andrew Wilkin

    the riddler clipart
    justin timberlake
    Could the Trousersnake be taking the role of one of Batman’s most nefarious allies?

    Yes, reports suggest Justin Timberlake wants to play one of Batman’s villains. The one he’s after?

    It’s the Riddler!

    So, where is this all coming from? It actually came about when he was initially asked whether he’d be interested in taking on the role of Robin in an interview with Fresh 102.7, to which he said:

    “Not a chance in hell. I ain’t playin’ Robin. I have no aspiration to ever be a superhero in a movie. I just don’t”

    But when he says he doesn’t want to be a superhero in a movie, it doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t want to be IN a superhero movie. Instead, he started to vocalize his wish to play the character popularized in live-action by Mr Jim Carrey, saying that:

    “Now VILLAIN! I’ll tell you the villain I want to play more than anything because I grew up loving Batman, funny enough, is the Riddler. The Riddler is my favorite villain.”

    “The Riddler was like a sociopath. He was proper crazy. So if I’m gonna play crazy, I’m wanna play like proper crazy. I’m ready. The Riddler. Gimme a call.”

    If there are screams and screeches of ‘WHAT?!’ and over-arching hysteria about this, I understand. J.T is, for me, hardly someone I picture embodying the complicated characteristics of The Riddler – obsessive-compulsive, psychotic, quirky, narcissistic, neurotic etc…

    Timberlake’s just so charming (and the sort of chap you introduce to your mother!). Although there’s something quite Riddly-esque about his lil’ TV role at the start of NSYNC’s Pop.

    But he’s proved his acting chops – just see Alpha Dog and The Social Network. So, maybe he could do it? Although, his music career, one he neglected for a while to pursue movies, seems to be kicking off once again with The 20/20 Experience topping charts around the globe…is he willing to take such a break again? And isn’t he touring next year, when the filming will begin?

    Also, let’s remember. This was just an off-the-hand comment by Timberlake on a radio show. There are no reports Zack Snyder or the team behind the upcoming Batman vs. Superman
    are even looking for a Riddler – in fact, I’d put the chances at pretty darn low, with their focus on Bryan Cranston‘s Lex Luthor and the overriding feeling that multiple villains is poison for a superhero movie.

    So, despite these claims, I don’t think we’ll be seeing Justin Timberlake donning a green full-body outfit and gurning his way through 90+ minutes just yet. But we will be seeing him in Runner Runner
    with…guess who…none other than the new Batman Ben Affleck October 4th.

    What a coincidence. But nothing more. Do you think Justin Timberlake would make a good Riddler? Well then PLEASE speak up! reply to this post and give us your opinion! you don’t have to be a writer or professional blogger to give us your two cents.. lets hear it!!!!

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    Dear New York Post: Let’s Talk About Cosplay

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    Yaya Han
    by Hsing Tseng | Wednesday, August 7

    Dear New York Post writer Linda Stasi:

    Your recent review of the upcoming SyFy reality show “Heroes of Cosplay,” had a few inaccuracies in it, to say the least. By portraying the cosplay community as though we are “confused” and “weird,” your piece, rooted in many false generalizations, has angered a great many cosplayers across the U.S. and contributed to the way that society looks down upon them as abnormal for pursuing their hobby.

    As a journalist who writes on cosplay and participates in the activity, I’m here to shed some light on the subject.

    Cosplaying isn’t always expensive. Yes, cosplay can be time-consuming and expensive for those that have the resources, but a lot of cosplayers pull a costume together from thrift stores and unwanted items, recyclables, and more. Some don’t have the money, time, or skill to make costumes on our own, and that’s perfectly fine. To portray cosplay as an extraordinarily expensive, extravagant hobby though, is a falsehood.

    Trust me, cosplayers make a living. You state, “We aren’t given any in-depth knowledge about what these folks do to earn a living in the real world that enables them to spend every waking hour and dime on making costumes.” Newsflash – cosplayers are real people too, with real lives and real jobs. I know cosplayers that work all day in retail, at office jobs, in school, and spend nights and weekends working on costumes. Let’s talk about the devotion it takes to work a job and make a living while still making costumes, instead of demeaning cosplayers as though they live in a fantasy world.

    There are also cosplayers who make a living from costume commissions, and Yaya Han, whom you mentioned in your piece, runs one of THE foremost cosplay businesses in the country from selling Worbla for armor making and prints of her cosplays. Perhaps you overlooked that in your research?

    Yaya Han isn’t THE go-to authority. Don’t get me wrong, Yaya Han is on my list of cosplayers that I admire strongly. I love what she does for the cosplay community in sharing all her tips and expertise with others and attending conventions and meeting as many fans as she can, but there is no “legend” in the cosplay community. However, Yaya Han has more experience and money than most cosplayers do, so of course her cosplays are going to have better results than many other cosplayers. Also, raising one cosplayer up above the others, especially the other cast members of the SyFy TV show you reviewed, is demeaning to all the other cosplayers and completely biased.

    Hsing Tseng
    We don’t want to become our characters. Cosplayers aren’t delusional, they can recognize that fictional characters are just that – fictional. While it’s fun to dress up and get in character, cosplayers are actors at their core, like the character actors you might find in Disneyworld. Like any actor, a cosplayer knows the line between reality and fiction, but conventions make it fun to put on a different persona for a day.

    Cosplay isn’t all competitions.
    While the SyFy show may focus on the side of cosplay that’s competitive, most cosplayers don’t participate in competitions and choose to cosplay just for fun and to express their love for characters while showcasing their crafting and modelling skills. Of course, some cosplayers love competitions and getting public recognition for their work as a part of their convention experience, but it’s all up to the individual, which leads me to…

    Cosplay is an art form. I’ve said this many times, and will continue to say it; cosplay is an art form that deserve appreciation, not ridicule. No one criticizes people for dressing up on Halloween, but somehow cosplayers are targeted as weird and out of the ordinary, an attitude which your piece perpetuates.

    So dear Linda Stasi, we cosplayers are not “confused.” “All of it is weird,” you say, but I respond with, “none of this is weird.” We’re just nerds who like to make costumes, dress up, and have fun.

    So from one journalist to another, next time, please do your research and refrain from making personal judgments on a hobby about which you clearly know nothing.Hsing Tseng thumbnail
    College: University of Denver
    Major: Journalism Studies/Asian Studies
    Graduation Date: June 2015
    Social media: Facebook | Google Plus | Linkedin | Twitter
    A second-year at the University of Denver, Hsing is part of the National Columnist team with Uloop. She loves covering the nerd culture and technology beat and aspires to work for Kotaku or IGN. You can find her gaming, watching anime, or blogging away madly. (Good luck finding her Tumblr, though.) She is super involved at DU, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

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    5 Reasons Ben Affleck might pull off a decent Batman

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    By Tom Reimann September 01, 2013 262,367 views

    Warner Bros. recently announced their decision to cast Ben Affleck as Batman in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel, Batman vs. Superman, and the Internet had such a vitriolic meltdown that I initially thought Ben Affleck had murdered a bunch of pregnant teenagers while wearing a Batman costume. Comic book fans across the world have already convinced themselves that this is the worst tragedy in modern history, and they all seem to agree that Ben Affleck might as well be fashioning their collective childhoods into a makeshift condom for his million dollar Hollywood penis and using it to jackhammer Bob Kane’s skeletal corpse into bone-powder sex dust.

    However, we’ve been wrong about this kind of thing before. Ben Affleck playing Batman in a Superman movie is hardly the end of the world, and if history is any indication, it might not even be that bad.
    ben affleck batman

    #5. People Hated It When Michael Keaton and Heath Ledger Were Cast in Their Respective Batman Movies
    Pre-Internet fanzines and such were enraged when Michael Keaton was cast as Batman. The headline “Mr. Mom Is Batman?” was thrown around a lot, as were pictures of Keaton’s mulleted face as it appears in Clean and Sober juxtaposed with images of the brooding Caped Crusader to achieve maximum ridiculousness. Check out this fan-submitted letter to the Los Angeles Times back in 1988, when Keaton’s casting was first announced — reading it now, it comes off as the most insufferably pedantic thing ever written (the guy says that clearly Burton had decided to turn Batman into “a manic comedy” despite the fact that he had not seen any footage of the movie yet, and everyone who has since seen Tim Burton’s Batman can agree that it is precisely the opposite of a manic comedy). Yet it is exactly the same tone and self-appointed-expert viewpoint that scores of Twitter and Tumblr users are taking. There are fucking petitions getting passed around, demanding that Ben Affleck be fired immediately and replaced by somebody they will unanimously approve of (no such actor exists), perpetuated by people with exactly zero experience in filmmaking and absolutely no connection to the creative process behind Batman vs. Superman.

    "Hey, guys, I've thought of something: What if we don't make it shitty?"

    “Hey, guys, I’ve thought of something: What if we don’t make it shitty?”

    And Michael Keaton turned out to be a freaking awesome Batman. The debate continues as to whether his or Christian Bale’s portrayal is the best (in my opinion, Keaton is the better Batman and Bale is the better Bruce Wayne, if for no other reason than Keaton’s Batman voice doesn’t sound like a fucking Static-X song). Think of how improbable that is — Michael Keaton is a physically unimposing comedic actor, and Christian Bale is enormous and terrifying. There should be no question as to which one of those guys would be better suited to play Batman, and yet there is. That’s called “acting,” cousin.

    Similarly, the Internet exploded when Heath Ledger got cast as the Joker — like Affleck, the majority of his starring roles were box office bombs, and the best success he’d had was playing in a ’90s teen comedy, a 1970s rock opera about roller derby knights, and a dialogue-heavy drama about gay cowboys.

    The Clown Prince of making teenage girls in the '90s swoon.

    The Clown Prince of making teenage girls in the ’90s swoon.

    Those three things do not fare well on message boards, and neither did the idea of Heath Ledger playing the Joker. People thought he was too pretty, too wooden, and utterly incapable of being menacing. And those same people now so completely embrace Heath Ledger and The Dark Knight that they sent death threats to a film critic over a negative review of The Dark Knight Rises despite the fact that none of them had actually seen the movie yet. And that film turned out to be just as crowd-pleasing as a buttery dump in a public urinal.

    Resist the urge to immediately dismiss those points by saying, “Well, sure, but Keaton and Ledger were working with Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan. We’re talking about Zack Snyder here.” Zack Snyder is not incapable of making good decisions (300, Dawn of the Dead, most of Watchmen), just like Tim Burton (Planet of the Apes, Dark Shadows, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and Christopher Nolan ( The Dark Knight Rises) are not incapable of making poor ones. Movies have always been (and always will be) a case-by-case thing — just because one movie shares one or more parts with another is in no way a guarantee of success or failure. Just ask George Lucas.

    If this guy got to make Batman movies, Zack Snyder can have a damn shot.

    If this guy got to make Batman movies, Zack Snyder can have a damn shot.

    #4. Batman Is Not the Main Character of Batman vs. Superman

    Hollywood has plenty of young dudes with well-defined abs to throw at this role. It'll work again eventually

    Hollywood has plenty of young dudes with well-defined abs to throw at this role. It’ll work again eventually

    We aren’t any more beholden to this movie’s portrayal of Batman than we are to Batman and Robin, so let’s quit behaving like Ben Affleck just got cast to play our great-grandfather in a period drama and pump the brakes a bit on our self-righteous outrage. Save the petitions for after the movie comes out. If he’s butt-garglingly awful, he most likely will not be invited back, and then we can all join hands across the interwebs and proudly say, “We told you so, Paycheck. We told you so.”

    #3. The Batman Series Is Already on a Low Note

    Tom Hardy Bain
    Regardless of how highly we regard The Dark Knight (despite the stupidly implausible “I planted sonar devices in every cellphone in Gotham in like two weeks” finale), I think we can all agree that The Dark Knight Rises substantially lowered the bar as far as what we can reasonably expect from a Batman movie. Sure, The Dark Knight was great, and Heath Ledger’s Joker is forever untouchable, but it’s not like Batman vs. Superman is going to be the first film to try to follow it up. Let’s all temper our expectations a little by rereading that last paragraph aloud in the Bane voice and watching this clip of Catwoman asking a man if a cat has his tongue.

    #2. Ben Affleck Is Probably Not Going to Be the Most Unbelievably Ridiculous Thing About a Film Called Batman vs. Superman

     For example, we achieved Superman Returns levels of praiseworthiness just by showing this.

    For example, we achieved Superman Returns levels of praiseworthiness just by showing this.

    Second, Zack Snyder has never made a sequel before, and his movies have a habit of dramatically underperforming. As I mentioned, even Man of Steel didn’t do quite the numbers that Warner Bros. and DC were hoping for, and yet they launched right ahead into an exorbitantly budgeted sequel. That’s like having two birthday parties in the same weekend and expecting all of your friends to come to both of them, but to bring more of their friends to the second one so it has a better turnout.

    Third, Superman himself is tough to get audiences to connect with. He’s an invincible alien who always does the right thing. You can only have him hammer punch so many purse snatchers and stop so many plane crashes with his indestructible face before we run out of reasons to care — it’s hard to be on the edge of your seat when Superman is never really in trouble. Paradoxically, the storylines necessary to put Superman in harm’s way tend to be so improbably absurd that we don’t buy it. For example, kryptonite, Superman’s primary weakness, is an element native to a planet that exploded decades ago on the far side of the fucking universe, and yet Lex Luthor always manages to find some as easily as buying a geode from the Nature Company.

    "$29.95, and it came with free ladybugs!"

    “$29.95, and it came with free ladybugs!”

    Finally, as Cyriaque Lamar beautifully pointed out, most comics wherein Superman and Batman fight are bafflingly ludicrous, with very little exception. Exactly how grounded in the non-absurd are we expecting this film to be? It’s about a jauntily dressed interstellar superbeing battling a karate-genius billionaire orphan dressed up like a bat. I would not be at all surprised if some portion of the movie takes place on the fucking moon, and that will have way more of an impact on the film than Ben Affleck’s presence. Batman wears a hood with a pair of motherfucking rabbit ears attached to it, and we’re worried that the man underneath that hood is going to be too ridiculous to believe?

    People were less outraged over the anti-Semitic overtones in Mel Gibson’s The Killing of the Jesus, and that movie was about a real dude at the center of one of the most powerful religions in history. Batman vs. Superman is about two fantastical imagination men punching each other across a world of make-believe. Let’s try to keep our feelings of personal injury and anguish in perspective.

     At the very least, you'll get to watch a god hit this man's face in slow motion.

    At the very least, you’ll get to watch a god hit this man’s face in slow motion.

    #1. Ben Affleck Is Probably Going to Be a Good Batman (At Least for Batman vs. Superman)

    Instead of sending out knee-jerk Twitter jokes about Gigli and Daredevil that literally a hundred thousand people have already made, let’s take a moment to actually consider what we know about Batman vs. Superman and how the casting of Ben Affleck affects it. If your brain is feeling a bit sticky, do some of those Bane vocal exercises we talked about earlier to help the process along.

    If you have trouble doing the voice, just pretend you're a Jamaican stroke victim with half a kielbasa in your mouth.

    If you have trouble doing the voice, just pretend you’re a Jamaican stroke victim with half a kielbasa in your mouth.

    It’s kind of tough to zero in on anything specific, isn’t it? That’s because the truth of the matter is we don’t know anything about Batman vs. Superman. Right now, I know just as much about that movie as I do about Richard Nixon’s casket — I can tell you who’s in it, but that’s about it.

    Despite our loud insistence to the contrary, we have absolutely no idea what kind of movie Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. are trying to make. Ben Affleck might well be the perfect choice for the role, and we don’t understand their decision because none of us have read the script treatment or sat in on any production meetings or had anything at all to do with the development of this movie. It’s a hard thing to accept, I know, but it’s entirely possible that we don’t have any idea what we’re talking about.

    Christian Bale, months before playing a muscular ninja.

    Christian Bale, months before playing a muscular ninja.

    For example, maybe in this movie Batman is a famous but controversial figure who fiercely divides public opinion. Maybe he’s a bit older and grayer than he was when he first got everyone’s attention. Maybe he used to be well-liked, but after a series of public embarrassments and questionable actions, he’s had to retreat from the spotlight for a while. Maybe he quietly let the public do what they needed to do with his image so he could continue working behind the scenes, achieving results that people appreciate but are reluctant to give him credit for. Maybe he feels like his work is more important than what people think of him.

    Kind of sounds like Ben Affleck, right? Say what you will about Zack Snyder, the man rarely miscasts his movies. There has to be some reason why a room full of creative professionals and powerful executives, armed with a biblically gigantic budget and one of the most popular characters in history, decided to pick Ben Affleck over everyone else. Is it so crazy to think that that reason might, in fact, be a good one?

    There's a reason they have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on Superman movies.

    There’s a reason they have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on Superman movies.

    I’m not saying everybody is wrong for feeling hesitant about Ben Affleck as Batman, or that the movie is going to be any good. It could be a blustery, turd-speckled seafood fart. If Affleck sucks, I encourage everyone to tell me how wrong I was. I’m just saying that maybe it’s time we all stopped acting like we’re the only ones who know what’s best for Batman, because clearly we aren’t.

    Tom can quote the entirety of Tim Burton’s Batman from memory and owns Armageddon on VHS, although those things in no way influenced his opinion. Read his novel Stitches and follow him on Twitter and Tumblr.

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    Rambo TV Series casting: Will Sly draw first blood on the small screen?

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    When the news broke that a Rambo TV series was in development, the first question obviously was: Are Sylvester Stallone and his mullet going to be in it?

    According to The Hollywood Reporter, the answer is a resounding no. The actor might still be involved “on a creative level”, however.

    Producer Avi Lerner, who’s shingle Nu Image co-produces the show with Independent studio Entertainment One, seems to be rather optimistic that the actor will be involved in some capacity, stating Wednesday:

    I’m excited by the prospect of collaborating again with my good friend Sly for an encore in this next phase of the Rambo legacy.

    No comment was made about how the new series might impact the development of Rambo 5
    … or if there actually still is any development!

    What about you? Are you happy that Sly won’t reprise his iconic role on the small screen? Sound off below!

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    7 Scientific Reasons a Zombie Outbreak Would Fail (Quickly)

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    Zombie Group
    Let’s pretend for a moment that zombies are real (as if half of you weren’t already daydreaming about that very thing). Have you noticed how most zombie movies take place only after the apocalypse is in full-swing? By the time we join our survivors, the military and government are already wiped out, and none of the streets are safe.

    There’s a reason the movie starts there, and not earlier. It’s because the early part, where we go from one zombie to millions, doesn’t make any sense. If you let the creeping buzzkill of logic into the zombie party, you realize the zombies would all be re-dead long before you even got a chance to fire up that chainsaw motorcycle you’ve been working on. Why?

    #7. They Have Too Many Natural Predators
    big white dog

    Do you know why we, as humans, are at the top of the current food chain? Not because we’re hard to kill (well, with the exception of Steven Seagal). We’re not; we’re little more than tasty flesh bags waiting for an errant horn or claw to spill our guts like a meat pinata. No, we’re on top simply because we are so absurdly good at killing things ourselves. A good offense, as they say, is the best de-LOOK THERE’S A DUCK! MURDER IT!


    We are simply too smart and too well-armed for any wild animal to hunt. Now consider the poor zombie. It lacks every single advantage that has kept humanity from being eaten to extinction. It wanders around in the open, it can’t use weapons, it can’t think or use strategy. It doesn’t even have the sense of self preservation to run and hide when it’s in danger. And, it’s made entirely out of food. It’s easy prey for any animal that wants it.

    If you’re saying, “Sure, but it’s not like my city is full of bears that can come eat all the zombies,” you need to think smaller. Insects are a major pain in the ass for living humans, and in some cases, being able to swat away flies and having an immune system is the only thing keeping us from having our eyes and tongues eaten out by maggots. Zombies in any part of the world with a fly problem are going to be swarming with maggots in short order, meaning that most of their soft tissues will be infested, and their eyes will be very quickly useless.
    Not so disgusting now, are they? OK, yeah, but show a little respect.

    We’ll scale up a bit: In America alone, we have bears, wolves, coyotes and cougars, all of which can put well-armed, thinking, fast-moving humans on the menu, if the conditions are right. To most predators, the “right conditions” are when the animal is weak or infirm, or otherwise generally unable to defend themselves, like a walking corpse. Hell, just think of the millions of stray dogs out there who’ll quickly learn that zombies are an easy meal.

    Now imagine zombie hordes wandering Africa. Between lions and cape buffalo (and hippos, and rhinos, and elephants), we’d finally have a disease that Africa is better suited than the rest of the world to defend itself against.

    #6. They Can’t Take the Heat
    Hot desert
    It’s generally accepted by zombie experts that they’re going to continue to rot, even as they shamble around the streets. What the movies fail to convey, however, is the gruesome yet strangely hilarious effect the hot sun has on a rotting corpse.

    The first concern is putrefaction. Thanks to the plethora of bacteria we use in our colon for digesting plant matter, called gut flora, our bodies are ripe for decay the second our heart stops. Since heat speeds the growth of bacteria (which are plenty happy to start feasting on you once your immune system is no longer a concern) the zombie’s got a looming expiration date the very second it turns.

    Dead bodies bloat because of the gases created by the bacteria, meaning that in warmer areas even Abercrombie Zombies are going to start getting fat in the first few days. After a few weeks of this, the nasty, bloated zombie army is going to start doing something that is simultaneously the most awesome and disturbing thing a zombie can do: they will start exploding (CAUTION! Pictures!). The warm, moist conditions in the tropical and subtropical parts of the world (or even just summer in the temperate parts) speeds this condition, meaning a July zombie outbreak pretty much anywhere would be over in a few weeks just by virtue of the rampaging monsters bursting like rancid meat balloons.
    Blood Vomit
    At the other end of the heat spectrum is dry heat. If you’re in Phoenix or the Sahara when the apocalypse hits, the zombies might begin to mummify in the blazing sun and heat. While the normal symptoms of dehydration are not a concern for a zombie, there is the problem of desiccation. With no reasonable means of replenishing the water in their cells, zombies walking around in the Texas heat all day are going to suffer cell damage due to direct sun exposure to their skin, and thanks to the drying effect wind has, the Southwestern dead will stumble around more and more ineffectively until, at some point, they simply drop and wait for the scavengers to come pick them up for the annual Slim Jim harvest.

    So they’d better hope the outbreak happens during the winter, right? Well…

    #5. They Can’t Handle the Cold
    snowy city block
    Zombies are dead meat. No arguing that; it’s their one defining characteristic. But everybody focuses on that “dead” part like it’s such a huge deal. They often forget about the “meat.” Do you know what else is dead meat? Steak, hamburger, possibly even that red grease mush inside of Taco Bell food.

    When flesh is alive, it’s got all sorts of defense systems to keep it that way. When it’s dead, you have to throw it away in about a week even if you seal it up in plastic and keep it at a carefully modulated temperature. Now, your first inclination may be to think of cold as dead meat’s friend, after all, the surest way to defeat that week-long deadline is to freeze steak, keeping it fresh for months. But don’t forget: Unregulated cold does awful shit to formerly living things. If you live far enough north, the zombie apocalypse will probably work itself out the first time it tries to go outside. The first zombie-killer is the simple fact that the human body is mostly water, and water freezes. Once the temperature drops to freezing (or near it with a high wind chill), zombies will become significantly more rigid.

    After enough exposure, a dead body is going to be frozen solid and not chasing down any screaming victims, no matter how delicious and Rascal Scooter-bound they might be. It’s also safe to assume that zombies wandering around in a wintry wonderland are not going to be wrapped air-tight in plastic like we do with food, so freezer burn becomes an issue. Seriously. The same thing that ruins your ice cream also ruins the Undead Onslaught. The freezing of the flesh at night, combined with partial thaw during warmer days, then refreezing again sets up the perfect conditions for the onset of freezer burn, which results in the cells dehydrating as water evaporates, even when frozen solid. Freezer burned meat isn’t just dead, it’s destroyed.

    #4. Biting is a Terrible Way to Spread a Disease

    DNA Strand
    Hey, remember that time when that dog got rabies, and then a day later, every single other dog on the continent had it, except for a small band of survivors huddled in a basement? No? That never happened?

    Nearly all of the zombie movies agree on one thing: They reproduce like a disease, one that spreads via a bite from the infected (like they have a virus carried by zombie saliva or whatever). But this also means their spread should be subject to the same rules of a normal epidemic, and biting is a shitty way to get an epidemic going.

    The successful diseases have some really clever way to invisibly spread from victim to victim. The flu has killed tens of millions because it floats right through the air, the black plague was spread by fleas, etc. Not a single one of them requires the infected to get within biting distance to spread their infection. Sure, sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS work that way, but that’s only because the infected can pass for the uninfected. Nobody is going to be having sex with a zombie.
    But let’s say there is an outbreak, like if one zombie was able to bite 30 people in the crowd at an Insane Clown Posse concert before they figured out it wasn’t part of the show. It’s not like mankind is just utterly confused about what to do when an infection breaks out. In America you have the Center for Disease Control (CDC,) who don’t tend to fuck around. Seriously, it’s on their business cards.

    cdc card

    With zombieism, they don’t even have to solve the mystery about how it’s transmitted. It’s that guy biting people. Shoot him in the head.

    #3. They Can’t Heal from Day to Day Damage
    Gruesome Zombie
    One advantage to having a fully-functioning central nervous system is that it also does a damn good job of letting you know you’ve been damaged. It does this by way of pain. Think about all the paper cuts, stubbed toes and nut shots you have suffered in your life. Now imagine they never healed, just sat there and rotted while you continued to rack up other paper cuts, stubbed toes and nut shots. Pretty much every wound you’ve ever had would end with an amputation. One thing we know about zombies from Romero and Fulci is that they are a clumsy lot, walking into doors and helicopter blades without a second thought about what kind of damage they are suffering.

    While complete insensitivity to pain seems like an awesome superpower in theory; in real life, you wind up being more like Mr. Burns than Wolverine. Congenital insensitivity to pain is a neurological condition that some people are born with, meaning they don’t feel pain. They can feel everything else, but the absence of pain means they accrue damage to their bodies but are unaware of it. Even with the ability to call for help, loved ones watching out for them and our coddling society, this can still lead to all kinds of terrible shit, like infected body parts and bitten off pieces of tongue.

    Bloody Zombie
    All the dings and bangs zombies will suffer after tripping, walking off of bridges and stumbling around on dark cloudy nights will eventually leave them limbless, toothless and with every bone in their body broken. Seriously, in the event of the Zombie Apocalypse, just stay inside, watch all the episodes of 24 back to back, then walk out on your lawn with your Corpse Rake and tidy up (you will have to buy a Corpse Rake, however, if for some reason you don’t already have one).

    #2. The Landscape is Full of Zombie-Proof Barriers
    rock mountain
    The zombies’ lack of coordination, along with the inability to see in the dark (we haven’t had any infrared zombies yet, but holy shit! We call dibs on the idea) is going to spell the doom of countless zombies in any area outside of a parking lot. This is a group that doesn’t know how to find roads or bridges. They just go wandering off aimlessly. Mountains, major rivers and canyons would thus quickly be home to piles of broken zombie rags stinking up the scenic views. Even if zombies had the foresight to not walk over cliffs or into raging rapids during the day, nightfall would result in most eventually walking into rivers, over cliffs and off of bridges, diminishing their numbers.

    Zombie in water
    But even in nice, flat, paved cities, where it would seem like people would be extra-fucked, the landscape still works in favor of the living. History has shown that in most awful situations, people don’t always act like the panicky idiots in a horror movie. In cities, people would likely congregate in the upper levels of high-rise buildings, where the invasion can be held at bay with simple security doors. Also, the streets themselves would keep the undead corralled in straight, easy-to-aim-down lines where they could be picked off by snipers, or just bored office-workers waiting out the quarantine by dropping office supplies onto the undead from the top floors.

    #1. Weapons and the People Who Use Them

    As we touched on briefly above, if Homo sapiens are good at one thing, it’s killing other things. We’re so good at it that we’ve made entire other species cease to exist without even trying. Add to the mix the sheer number of armed rednecks and hunters out there, and the zombies don’t even stand a chance. There were over 14 million people hunting with a license in the U.S. in 2004. At a minimum, that’s like an armed force the size of the great Los Angeles area.

    Remember, the whole reason hunting licenses exist is to limit the number of animals you’re allowed to kill, because if you just declared free reign for everybody with a gun, everything in the forest would be dead by sundown. Even the trees would be mounted proudly above the late-arriving hunter’s mantles. It’s safe to assume that when the game changes from “three deer” to “all the rotting dead people trying to eat us,” there will be no shortage of volunteers.

    Plus, if we look at zombies as a species, they are pretty much designed for failure. Their main form of reproduction is also their only source of food and their top predator. If they want to eat or reproduce, they have to go toe to toe with their number one predator every single time. That’s like having to fight a lion every time you to want to have sex or make a sandwich. Actually, it’s worse than that: Most top predators are only armed with teeth and claws, meaning they have to put themselves in harm’s way to score a kill. Humans have rifles.

    Harm’s way is about 4875 feet from the end of this.

    The zombies have no choice but to walk into bullets. And all this isn’t even counting all the other household hand guns in the world, nor the fact that zombies also have to contend with IEDs, Molotov cocktails, baseball bats, crowbars and cars that the general public will no doubt be using to cull their numbers.

    And that’s just from the civilian population; counting the military and police, we have another three million or so armed people, and instead of just handguns shotguns and hunting rifles, they have machine guns, combat shotguns, sniper rifles, assault rifles, sub-machine guns, grenade launchers and the occasional taser, not to mention the training to use them effectively. But why would they even bother? When they could just roll over swaths of zombies in tanks, blast them with cluster bombs and MOABs and mow them down with miniguns from the god damn Air Force that every zombie flick seems to forget about.

    machine gunner
    Really, even if zombies existed right now, the whole concept of a zombie apocalypse is just laughable. Now robots, on the other hand…

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    Be CAREFUL what you wish for

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    The Monkeys Paw

    Remember The Simpsons‘ Halloween episode where Homer finds a mummified, wish granting monkey paw? Yeah, of course you do. Well basically, that’s a movie now.

    Of course, the episode itself was in fact based on a short horror story written by W. W. Jacobs in 1902. Now however it has been updated for a rather brutal looking modern rendition. Check out the synopsis and trailer for The Monkey’s Paw below:

    Written by Macon Blair and directed by Husk’s Brett Simon, The Monkey’s Paw see’s CJ Thomas star as Jake Tilton, who acquires a mystical monkey’s paw talisman that grants whomever holds it three wishes, and finds his world turned upside down after his first two wishes result in the resurrection of his malevolent coworker, Tony Cobb (Stephen Lang). Cobb tries to pressure Jake into using the final wish to reunite Cobb with his son, his intimidation escalating into murder.
    The Monkey’s Paw will be released on demand on October 8th as well as receiving a limited release in select theaters. Expect it to make it’s television debut on Chiller in January 2014.

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