Friday, January 30, 2015

SEGA Closes the Doors on its Console Division

Once upon a time, there was a little Hedgehog that could. In the brutal console wars of our childhood, Sega Entertainment almost pulled it out, in the end, losing to Nintendo and their slightly more popular systems. The next few decades would not be kind to the once giant publisher, who saw their much-loved-but-not-much-sold Dreamcast signal the death knell for their days as a console developer. Now, they've closed their doors on the idea of even making console games.

Eurogamer is reporting that Sega is moving out of its San Francisco office and asking 300 staff members to accept "voluntary" retirement, as it moves to focus on mobile and PC gaming. Voluntary retirements are usually a precursor to heavily layoffs, which we expect to hear about next. We're told this will not affect any upcoming releases, nor the Sonic Boom cartoon, but the days of seeing that wonderful blue hedgehog on a console are long over.

We're not sure what's next for the company, but we here at the Ace of Geeks thank them for some great childhood memories. Let's all listen to a classic one more time.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Librarians and The Horns of a Season Out of Order

I'm back again with a little bit of a rant and whine, and a happy part about the Horns of the Dilemma episode. Yes, I know, the whole season is done now, but I never got to recap this one and I needed to get this off my chest. It was the only episode of the entire serie that disappointed me. But now that I know why it was so disappointing to me, I'm not so butt-hurt. Bear with me, and let me explain...

After the rollicking two hour premiere, I was hoping for another fun ride. What I got... was something that made me feel like I was towed behind a Tonka truck and dropped off at the PlaySkool Barnyard.

In "The Horns of a Dilemma," the Librarians are off on what seems to be their first mission as a confirmed group. This time, it's the legend of the Minotaur and the Labyrinth. They are investigating murders that have been unsolved, and find that they all have ties to a big agricultural firm that houses a labyrinth in the basement - minotaur included. Jenkins whammys up a wormhole (this is where they get the "back door") for them, and this is a good thing. Nothing explodes, though. No papers flying through the air, no books all over the floor... Jenkin's head stays on his neck and shoulders. I was a little bummed about no big messy whirlwind, but oh well.

Certain things were starting to make sense to me, to a point. My biggest gripe with this episode was with the writing. The dialogue and cast's performances seemed so... retro. Like, they were actually kids who got yanked from 1985 and stuffed into grown-up bodies in 2014. In my recap of the premiere episodes, I previously said that the roles were pretty perfectly cast. I still stand by that, more so now that we understand what happened with the episodic sequence of the series. For those who don't know or haven't read that bit of news yet, I'll explain in a bit - but for now, hear me out if you would...

In my first recaps of the pilot episodes, I said that I thought Rebecca Romijn as Eve Baird didn't seem to fit the group - that she was like the mom trying to be cool. Well, in this episode she's the only one who does fit. But now I see that it's because she's supposed to be the mom type character - it appears to be written that way. The way she talks to them, one minute as if they are her kids then the next as if they are soldiers. Cassandra reminded her that they are not soldiers.

The other characters appear to be written younger than they were cast. Lindy Booth and Christian Kane seem to be reading dialogue for characters that are at least 15 years younger than the actors are. That may not be a big deal in Hollywood in general with regard to filming, but for this I think it is. Even John Larroquette's dialog sounded like it was written for a millenial, although his delivery is natural and it only made me twitch for a minute.

As much as I love Christian Kane for the part of Jake Stone, in this episode the character seems to be written like a youngish late teens, maybe early 20's type roughneck kid, Christian Kane is a bit more mature than that dialogue was. His performance is great, but his delivery seemed more "older dude" than it was written. I think if the writers could have written it a little more "grown up" in this episode, then I think it might have played better. (I hope that the Kane Nation and all the Kaniacs can forgive me for my very humble opinion!)

The character of Cassandra also seemed to be written as young adult-ish. Lindy Booth gave a great performance as well - but her delivery of the dialogue was too college-age for what seemed to be high school age dialogue. She has moments when her character delivers some appropriate adult sounding dialogue with big words and a "grown-up" tone of voice, which brings things back into focus for a second. Then it's gone. She goes back to delivering lines that could have been written on a high school campus in the mid-80's. Her wardrobe definitely looked like something you would see on a high-school campus. Again - if the part were written older, it would have played perfectly for Lindy Booth. Or if it were say... Emily Osment that was cast for the episode, it could have worked.

At 20 years old, John Kim was probably the most age-appropriate to the dialogue. But strangely enough, even his delivery of the dialogue seems a bit "old guy talking." He speaks really fast, so some of his lines get lost in his accent - which is beautiful, I just wish he'd slow the hell down and enunciate so I could understand it better! My DVR remote and thumbs thanks him for the workout, by the way - it asks you to meet up with my thumbs at the game console next time.

I think that one of the hardest things for me to get past was the speech mannerisms - that jerky, spastic, incomplete sentence thing. There was a lot of wincing and unfinished statements ("I can't... I just... You don't... It's not... lets not even.. ok?") that sound like some of the conversations I had with people when I was in high school - back in the day... the teenage angsty '80s. Right before grunge and Anne Rice vampires kicked in. So while I watched this, I kept thinking "Wow, I feel old. I remember saying that myself in high school..." I kept wanting to reach down their throats and pull up the rest of their words!

Adult actors playing teen/young adult roles, with adult delivery of teen-type dialogue and wearing clothing and hairstyles that are way too young for them just didn't work all that well here, and the seemingly inconsistent character development had started to annoy me a little bit. With the premiere episodes, I saw the potential for a really awesome series - one that we could have watched the actors grow up with in their character roles over time. With "Horns," that potential seemed to be wasted.

With the scripting of generational dialogue and wardrobe that dated the cast, I had started to worry that this might not last more than a season. I had been so excited when I first heard that they were doing this series! I started thinking that maybe I got ahead of myself with that. Yet, I still had I had hope that the powers-that-be behind the show would give us their best and do something with all that potential.

I'm really glad I stuck around for the whole season, because this series absolutely delivered. When I read some of the interviews from Dean Devlin and some of the tweets from the Kane Nation and the Kaniacs, I found a bit of news that made things a lot clearer to me. Here comes the happy part...

As I understand it, the network (TNT) decided to air the episodes out of order. (Why do networks always bloody do this? -Ed) So with that in mind, all of the above makes sense to me now! This episode was meant for a different point in the character development! The writing team and producers do such a fantastic job with a establishing a linear timeline for the characters' development that airing the episodes out of order kind of did the series - and the team who work so hard to bring us our Librarians - a disservice. I am absolutely thrilled to find that it wasn't just a weird thing with the writers, and knowing that the episode was indeed intended to occur at a different point in the character development actually makes my butt-hurt go away.

Sorry that was such a long way to go for the happy, but it was burning in my brain pan. Now - if TNT will just give us back our Librarians for at least another season, and air it in the order it was meant to be aired, I'm sure that all will be right in this world - and any other worlds that we may find outside the "back door."

Raven is an avid cosplayer and TV fan.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Turbo Kid Trailer Rides a BMX into our Hearts

Radical. It's a word that doesn't get thrown around much anymore. But it may have to be brought out of retirement for the film Turbo Kid. A Sundance After Dark selection this year, Turbo Kid tells the story of the fight for survival in the blood soaked future of 1997. With teenagers in Mad Max outfits, tons of gore, and a theme that sounds just slightly different from Guile's Theme (it really does go with everything), Turbo Kid looks like the kind of film you'll be firing up in the middle of the night with your buddies for a good laugh. Hit the jump to the see the trailer.

Cosplay Shennanigans: Budget Energy Effect Parts

If you've been following my cosplay articles in the past, you might have noticed my Brother Warth and Captain Cold costumes. I love these costumes because I love gimmicks.  Brother Warth had a light-up LED power ring and parts of the costume lit up under camera flashes because of retro-reflective vinyl.  Captain Cold is slightly different: it had a cold gun that had a bright blue LED, which was also a miniature fog machine.

I thought to myself, maybe I should introduce a fresh new gimmick that’s very visually exciting, and just plain looks like fun.  Being a fan of action figures and miniatures, it is always a treat to have toys with translucent parts, and even cooler, add-on transparent parts. I started noticing that SH Figuarts even starts selling effect parts either specifically for certain toys SEPARATELY or just awesome general effect parts.  I, being myself, who doesn’t have a filter, thought it would be nice to have life-sized effect parts for my costumes.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Are these your new Ghostbusters?

Lots of interesting casting news and rumors today, huh? The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon are in the final talks to play the leads in Paul Feig's reboot of Ghostbusters. McCarthy and Wiig are both alums of Feig's Bridesmaids, while Jones and McKinnon are current players on SNL, with McKinnon receiving an Emmy nomination for her work on the show. Feig has stated in previous interviews that this is a full reboot of the universe, so don't expect any interactions with the former Ghostbusters cast - which is probably a good thing, all things considered. Better to give these hilarious ladies more time to shine.

Chris Pratt to Play Indiana Jones? Over My Dead Body - By Kyle

So, I don't usually pay any attention to rumors and speculation, but I'm buried under three feet of snow and I have nothing better to do and Mike loves to tag me in things that will make me mad. Deadline is reporting that Disney is not setting its sights on the Indiana Jones franchise, with not an aging Harrison Ford putting the fedora and whip back on, but Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt.

Now let me say that I honestly do not have a problem with someone else being Indiana Jones. Despite my love of Harrison Ford and growing up with him as Indy, I have no problem with him receiving the James Bond treatment with other actors stepping into the role to keep the iconic character alive. However, I feel that Chris Pratt is the complete wrong choice for the character.

Chris Pratt is a fantastic actor, but I do not believe him as a serious academic, like Indy is. Pratt is lovingly goofy, Indy is not (though he does have his moments.) And despite how charismatic Pratt is, he lacks Indy's swagger and certain kind of charm. The only actor that I would want to see in the role at this time, other than Ford (I don't care that he's a geriatric!) is Bradley Cooper and I think anyone other than that would be a giant mistake. I really hope this report on Pratt turns out to be just a rumor, because I think Disney would be making a huge mistake that could finally bury the character.

A New Twist on Old Classics: William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily A New Hope

     If there was any greater mash up of two great mediums, I'm not sure that I could think it. I love Shakespeare's plays, particularly his histories. The Bard was a master at capturing the essence of humanity and distilling it into words. George Lucas' original trilogy of Star Wars films achieved similar feats to Shakespeare's works for the modern audience. So how could a Shakespearean version of the original trilogy not be something amazing? It is my great joy to proclaim from my digital soap box, that William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily a New Hope is a masterpiece, a smash, a blending of modern and past fiction on which the mind feasts on sheer geeky pleasure!

     I first came across this book while killing time in my local Barnes & Noble some time last fall. I browsed its and was amused finding that Ian Doescher was very respectful in his treatment of both source materials, creating a near seamless blending of Shakespeare's language and technique along with the story for my favorite of the original trilogy A New Hope. I put the book down, thinking that I might purchase it eventually. Fast forward to the new year and an outstanding balance in my Itunes gift card, I searched and found that Doescher's work was converted to an audiobook. "Zounds" I cried and could not click purchase fast enough! What I found was a work of acting excellence with a small cast of actors who brought to life a book and doubled my enjoyment.
The Cast:
     The performance of this audiobook, as befitting the blending of Shakespeare and Star Wars, is done by five people rather than one. The cast includes Daniel Davis, Johnathan Davis, Marc Thompson, Ian Doescher, and January LaVoy.  All of the actors, with the exception of the author Ian Doescher, have previous experience in narrating other Star Wars audiobooks. I was particularly happy to see that Marc Thompson was part of the cast, as I enjoyed his work in the recording of Mercy Kill, a continuation of the Wraith Squadron series. Each of the actors adds a unique twist on each of the characters they read for, adding depth and feeling to words where there might not be otherwise. Honestly this is the only way to enjoy this mash up as plays are truly meant to be heard or watched.

The Story:
     So as one would expect, this follows the normal narrative of Star Wars: A New Hope, the twist coming with the addition of Shakespearean language and added prose to the telling. In this story alone I caught lines and soliloquies from Richard III, Henry V, and Hamlet. Furthermore, there seems to be a very Puckish bent to the development of R2D2's character. While around other characters he acts as he normally would ,speaking in nothing more than beeps and squeaks, R2 is granted asides where he might speak his mind and enlighten the audience to his true thoughts and his mischievous nature. Ian Doescher also included the stage directions, which add an extra layer of reality to the audiobook. Those who are familiar with the the theater or the works of Shakespeare, know that stage directions are an important part of any play. Having January LaVoy read them helps to set the stage setting in the mind of the listener, as the stage directions announce which characters are on stage and general positioning. The stage directions also help to move the story along and describe any actions that are not visible. The inclusion of sound effects and a "chorus" also helps to set scenes and fill in action events that would normally be seen by the audience on the stage. Upon my first listening, I found that I could see the film in my mind while hearing new audio. I do not, repeat do not, recommend trying to drive and listen to this audiobook at the same time. Sheer enjoyment and hilarity may lead to distraction and possible dangerous driving.

     I am no wordsmith so I shall be brief, buy this audiobook and then go get the rest of them. If you are a fan of Star Wars or Shakespeare this piece of theater is for you! Worry not fair readers, for a review of the next chapter The Empire Striketh Back will soon follow with haste upon the heels of this article.

David is a local historian, techie, home brewer, stage hand, and geek. He loves Star Wars and Shakespeare with equal passions and is prone to quoting it at random!

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Check out the first trailer for Fantastic Four!

Fan Poster by Mr. Steiners

It's here! It's...oh wait, no one's excited for this. Well, 20th Century Fox has been decidedly mum about their new Fantastic Four movie, directed by Chronicle's Josh Trank. There have been rumors of things as disconcerting as executives demanding reshoots, Doctor Doom as an evil blogger, and the filmmakers telling the cast to deliberately avoid the source material of the film, but Fox hasn't really responded. They've let the bad press drive the narrative of the film, until now. Now, we finally get a trailer. And it's...interesting. Hit the jump to take a look.

Monday, January 26, 2015

David Tennant joins cast of Marvel's new series "A.K.A. Jessica Jones" for Netflix

It's just been announced that David Tennant - yes! The Doctor - will be joining the cast of Marvel's new series for Netflix titled "A.K.A. Jessica Jones."

A former super-hero trying to rebuild her life as a private detective, Jessica Jones keeps getting drawn into cases involving people with unusual abilities. David Tennant is cast as her nemesis Killgrave - a villain from her past, he pops up again to wreak havoc in her new life.

In the comics,  Killgrave was the real name of the Purple Man, a villain with mind control powers who used them to dominate Jessica and make her into his personal slave for months - one of the main reasons she quit being a superhero.

As any fan of David Tennant's incarnation of The Doctor will tell you, he will be able to pull this off with no problem. My prediction is that he will most likely play this as a "wolf in sheep's clothing" thing - we KNOW he's evil, but he's just so damn likable!

Emma Watson to play Belle in Live Action Beauty and the Beast

The film world of the last ten years has been filled with reboots and reimaginings, and Disney has decided to get into that game full force. First, there was Maleficent. Then, there is the upcoming live action Cinderella, which seems to be a live-action remake rather than any kind of reimagining. And finally, Disney has now announced they'll be doing a live action version of the Best Picture nominated Beauty and the Beast.

The good news? Belle will be played by Emma Watson, who is a talented actress and should be able to make the film something special. But it remains to be seen what, exactly, this film will be. We know that it's being directed by Bill Condon, of Dreamgirls fame, and that it will include the Alan Menken and Howard Ashman score from the animated film. So is this just a live action remake, or will they be putting their own spin on it? Time will tell. Check out Emma's post about the whole thing below:

Why #CancelWWENetwork Was the Number One Trend Worldwide

The 2015 Royal Rumble is over. The WWE, the biggest name in what they call "Sports Entertainment" and the rest of the world calls Professional Wrestling has stock that is selling for less than the cost of a hamburger. Their new initiative, the WWE Network, an online service that provides their pay per views for free along with original content, had it's cancellation page crash under the weight of fleeing users. #CancelWWENetwork was the #1 trending hastag worldwide last night. And anyone watching their shows recently would think the audience was on the verge of a near riot. What happened?

The simple answer is this: Daniel Bryan happened.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A 19 Year Old Made this Amazing Animated Fight

This is Heat vs Repulsion, by nineteen year old Optical Core. Based in China, he spent six months animating this intense superhuman battle between a man who can control gravity, and one who can control heat. It's pretty friggin' epic. If you like watching near immortals pound the piss out of each other, hit the jump to see the video.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Are All of Joss Whedon's Shows and Movies Connected?

Officially? No, not really. (Unless Joss has been hiding this from us all this time.) But an anonymous Imgur user put together a pretty convincing timeline that connects Buffy, Angel, Cabin in the Woods, and finally Firefly into one cohesive universe. Check out the explanation and the image after the jump. (Also, massive spoilers for all of those shows are involved.)

Episode 135: Who is Jeremy Irons?

Picture This week, on the Ace of Geeks Podcast: We discuss American Sniper, and it's philosophy of Wolves, Sheep and Sheepdogs. We'll make sure everyone understands how good of a movie George of the Jungle is. Plus - this year's Oscar Snubs, what's it's like to be a Neilsen family, Star Wars, the Slow Regard of Silent Things, and so much more!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Meet Your New Supergirl!

After a few months of searching, CBS finally found the actress to portray Supergirl on television. Her name is Melissa Benoist, and if you're thinking you've seen her before, you probably watched Glee during the seasons where she was being groomed as the replacement for Leah Michelle. Since then, she's gone on to co-star in Oscar contender Whiplash, which definitely upped her profile.

The series descriptions that have been released for Supergirl have the show taking place in a world where Superman has been established for many years, and Kara, his cousin, has been surpressing her abilities and living in secret. Now that she's 24, she no longer wants to live in secrecy, and puts on the cape and the suit to go do good in the world. In other words, they're following the Golden Age Supergirl origin pretty faithfully.

The only worrying part of the description from The Hollywood Reporter is this line right here: "Now 24, Kara feels un-empowered, a slave to having repressed her innate abilities. She's still pretty, but with her face hidden behind glasses and her hair pulled back, she doesn't know it herself." I...really hope that isn't as bad as it sounds. We want a Supergirl series, not a Freddie Prinze Jr. movie.

What do you guys think? Sound off in the comments.

Second hour of the season finale - The Librarians and the Loom of Fate

The season finale's last hour episode was a wonderfully exhausting ride. I spent the whole hour yelling at the T.V. as I watched it - "Whu-WHAAAAT?!?!" "Oh holy hell!" "Are you freakin' KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?!" I also shouted many obscenities followed by various deities' names. I laughed, I got angry, I cried and I melted. I wanted to slap some characters, and I wanted to hug others. I wanted to be right in the middle of the fights with them. I wanted to die for them. But most of all - I came out of this with an insanely intense desire. 

I really, REALLY want to be a Librarian. Specifically, I want to BE Jacob Stone, Cassandra Cillian and Ezekiel Jones all rolled into one. I want a friend and a mom and a sister like Eve Baird and Lamia. i want an uncle, dad and brother like Jenkins and Flynn. I wish my grandparents were Charlene and Judson. And I want someone like DuLaque in my life to make sure things stay interesting.

 I wish that all those characters were real people in my life. I got so attached to each and every one of them - so much so that I got incredibly depressed when the credits rolled and I realized that there is a chance that the series may not get renewed for another season. I desperately hope that's not the case. This season overall has been a wonderfully wild ride - and it made me FEEL stuff. I haven't been touched so deeply by stories and characters in a very long time.

Personal note from a fangurl: Props and thanks to the whole team of producers, directors and writers, and to the whole cast of this wonderfully crazy, creative and imaginative show!

And now - the last of the recaps for the season... 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Agent Carter, Gamer Gate, and the plight of the modern day woman.

So I finally caught up with Agent Carter, and I love every second of it.  It blends wonderful female characters with the challenges of being a woman in a man's world.  I don't consider myself a radical feminist, but I definitely believe in the equality of all human beings regardless of their skin color, sex, or orientation.

I'm really excited to see how the show deals with women's issues after the war.  As horrible as it was, war was actually a great opportunity of equality for women because society as a whole had no choice but to accept women into the workforce to keep the country running.  When all the GIs came back, the women were pushed out and forced to go back to their previous lives as secretaries, phone operators, and homemakers.  Carter actually says at one point in the pilot, "during the war, I felt I had a purpose."  There was a new hierarchy in the workplace: men, cripples, and then women.  The newly empowered women were instantly depowered, because who would begrudge their job to a returning GI when so many men didn't make it back?

But that was the 50's right?  Everything is different now right?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The End of the Marvel Universe

We've covered Marvel's upcoming Secret Wars event before, and why I think the long rumored reboot that came with it is a terrible idea. Today, Marvel held a press event to give all the details on the aftermath of Secret Wars, and it sheds a little more light on what they're doing. The good news - it's not a reboot. The bad news - it's the End of the Marvel Universe. Read on for more details:

The New Fantastic Four Will Suck, but not Because of Reshoots.

The internet seems to be getting itself in a tizzy again because the new Fantastic Four film is going in for series of reshoots after a screening for executives at Fox. Other "news" organizations love to paint this as some sort of bad omen that the movie is so bad that they need to go and fix everything before it's too late. That the director has failed miserably at his job, or that the studio executives are sticking their noses in where they don't belong.

This is bullshit.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Season Finale - First hour: The Librarians and the City of Light recap

This episode turns out to be heavier than what I expected. The early dialogue is the usual, smart-assed, funny-filled fare, but it becomes rather serious towards the end of the episode. The kids are showings signs of growing up - and growing closer as a family. I was totally caught off-guard by the emotions that Zeke and Jake expressed, and it was awesome. The casts' dialogue delivery is beginning to feel very natural, and I'm actually starting to feel that these people really do exist in the real world, and they are very much becoming people that I would want in my life.

And now, here's the recap:

Friday, January 16, 2015

We Already Have a Great Wonder Woman Show - It's Called Agent Carter.

Agent Carter promotional television show poster

During Maggie Gyllenhaal's acceptance speech at the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards last Sunday, she mentioned how proud she was to see that women were gaining a voice and being represented, multi-dimensionally, in entertainment. On a recent commercial, ABC made claims to being a leader in representing women by showing a span of a few of their television shows over the last decade, including ALIAS, Scandal, and now, Agent Carter. To me, (and many others out there) one character comes to mind with whom most identify women's equality, and that's Wonder Woman. Agent Carter, now three episodes in, has surprised me. Because Marvel comics has accomplished something that the owners of Wonder Woman haven't been able to do in almost 40 years. They've brought Wonder Woman's essence back, and done it better than the company that owns the rights to the character.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

SELMA's brilliance shines a light on diversity - a light we all need to see.

Selma movie poster

Sunday's 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards were illuminating. For me, primarily because much has changed in the realm of equality, and it was apparent that even with the approximate 80% white attendance and nominations at the show, we are now continuing to see a steady stream of minority representation in the Hollywood & entertainment realms. That steady representation's message is one of continual improvement and change, which was the message behind the nominees. Specifically, that of the movie Selma. Last week I went with some very close friends to see a special pre-screening of Selma. The film took the post 1964 Civil Rights Act which desegregated the south and allowed blacks to vote, events in Selma, Alabama and made it into a gorgeous screenplay told in a docudrama format. Selma, was nothing short of perfectly cast by Aisha Coley, and brilliantly directed by Ava DuVernay. It is unmistakably Oscar worthy.

First Trailer for The Expanse

The Syfy Channel, of late, has been trying to shed their few years of producing lots of non-science fiction related content. The years of being ashamed of their own name are hopefully over, and one of the biggest steps they can make to get this right is to do a series based on James S. A. Corey's The Expanse right. They've released their first trailer for that series today, and god does it look promising. Check it out after the jump.

Will this be the Most Boring Oscars...Ever?

Today, the full list of Academy Awards nominations went out. You can find them at the bottom of this particular post, but I assume by now, you've seen them, as well as all of the well-deserved internet rage that came after them. Why? Well, this looks to be the single most white-bread, boring Academy Awards in years. Possibly, it will be the single least interesting Oscars I've ever seen. Let's dive into why:

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Guillermo del Toro is creating a dark Victorian Series for Amazon?

Credit to THR for the photo

Yes folks, you read that right - Guillermo del Toro is co-writing a dark Victorian series that will be exclusively streamed on Amazon.

A Killing on Carnival Row was the original title for the piece back in 2005 when New Line had grabbed it, and it was intended to be a feature film.  It was a risky production, which resulted in a 10-year game of hot potato.  Recently however, Legendary has picked up the hot potato and is working with Amazon Studios to bring us this new series which has been shortened to simply: Carnival Row.

Carnival Row is based on a script by Travis Beacham (Pacific Rim) and co-writer Rene Echevarria. The show is set in a steampunky Victorian-style London in which humans live alongside faeries and other magical creatures.  In THR's interview with del Toro, it's revealed that "the original script told of a detective investigating a serial killer who is preying on mystical creatures, only to find that he has become the prime suspect in the murders."

In regards to making the jump from a movie to a series, del Toro seems more than happy to do so.  “We always had too many ideas to fit into the feature,” he said. “We can now really focus on the world and the politics of what it is to be a magical being in a Victorian steampunk atmosphere where you are seen as a lesser being.”

There is no release date for Carnival Row at this time. If you're looking for your del Toro fix, he has quite a few other projects in the works that you can look forward to.  Season 2 of The Strain on FX will be premiering in July, his romantic horror film Crimson Peak will be hitting theaters in October, and if you have a PS4 you should definitely check out P.T. for free if you haven't already.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Imitation Game: A look at Alan Turing, the Father of Our Age

Alan Turing

Have you ever looked at your computer and wondered what its origin was? Some would point to companies like Apple or IBM. Others might point to the room sized computers such as ENIAC. However there are two older machines, that were enemies, that stand as the Great Grandparent of all computers: the Nazi’s Enigma cypher machine and Alan Turing’s machine that was built to crack the Enigma settings for the day. Mr. Turing was much more than the father of all computers and A.I. theory, he also foresaw the coming sexual revolution and liberation of the late Sixties and Seventies. Indeed Mr. Turing was a man before his time, and The Imitation Game displays the life of a complex man who had thoughts that would not be realized for more than 50-60 years after his death.

Fight. Lose. Repeat. Rope a Dope 2

Take the Bill Murray classic Groundhog Day, add a generous helping of 1980s Hong Kong martial arts action comedy, top it off with a dash of California Bay Area flavor, and you’ll get Rope-A-Dope. I was lucky enough to work on this short two years ago, after which is won a plethora of awards in the indie film circuit, including the Audience Choice Award at Sundial 2014 and the Kickass Original Film Award from the LA Indie Film Festival 2013.

Well, the gang is back in town with the sequel, Rope-A-Dope 2: The Return of the Martial Arts Mafia! With help from all our awesome friends at The Stunt People, We Are Scandinavia, and plenty of others, we are proud to finally release the latest entry in the Stunt People’s long history of awesome martial arts action. The fights are bigger, the laughs are louder, and my hair is greasier than ever before! I can assure you that Eric and Dennis pulled out all the stops for this one, and it is hands down one going to be the best fight you've seen this year. Watch it. Love it. Share it. Repeat. This is what American action cinema could be.

Thomas Tan is a martial artist and 3D artist who enjoys brushing his hair and getting kicked in the face.

The Librarians and the Heart of Darkness

Using this header just once, since I think this is how most fans see the show. -Ed

Ok - this one's definitely an E-ticket. Whoa. Creepy house, creepy pictures, creepy girl... yeah. Creepy! This episode's guest star is Lea Zawada as Katie, the girl that the team comes across at this house.

There are a lot of things that really worked here. The lighting, the camera angles, the diffusion and blur filters all combined to give that really cool, creepy feeling - you know, the one that happens when you get completely sucked in to a story.

Lea Zawada delivered a fantastic performance, as did Lindy Booth. And we see a bit more development in the relationship between the guys - they are just starting to act more like brothers, and it's great. We also see Cassie find strength, and that's really awesome to have her be the strong one.

Read on past the jump for the recap. SPOILER WARNING!

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Second Age of Ultron Trailer Takes Things from Bad to Worse

Tonight, during the NCAA College Football National Championship Game (What?) Marvel unveiled the second trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron. And like we all expected, the Avengers are going to be torn apart, from the inside. Check out the trailer after the jump, and let us know what knew secrets you noticed in the comments!

FROM DARKROOM TO GREENROOM: How Gotham's Jake Choi Approaches Diversity In Hollywood - By Brian J. Patterson

Headshot by U-Shin Kim

After yesterday's 72nd Golden Globe Awards, most people are talking about the winners. Well, after seeing the list of nominees and winners, and noting that they were somewhere around 80% white, I feel it even more important that the topic of diversity in Hollywood is discussed. I mean specifically, those who I know are winners. One of those people being the talented, driven, and multi-faceted Jake Choi, who is the focus of today's interview.

You might say, "who is Jake Choi?" Well, in my humble opinion, not only is Jake Choi an up and coming talent in the entertainment business, but he is living the dream. Because while many people talk about their dreams, Jake is actually bringing it to fruition. In addition, he is doing it with class, style, passion, talent, and a commitment to fighting stereotypes in his own way.

The Librarians and the Rule of Three Recap!

This episode opens in a high school student's bedroom. He's getting ready for a science fair presentation. While he puts on his tie, he reviews the periodic table and rehearses his presentation. As he finishes tying his his tie, his body starts to petrify and something strange flows through the veins of his outstretched arm. The paralysis completes as a single tear runs down his cheek.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

First look at the Firestorm Costume on the Flash!

Firestorm has already shown up on the Flash, playing a pivotal role in the last few episodes of this season. But the only look we've seen for the character is the much derided "fire-hobo." Now, the CW has shown their first look at the costume Firestorm will be wearing later this season on The Flash. Hit the jump to see it.

Watch a Man Speedrun Ocarina of Time...Blindfolded

I hope you all kept up with this year's Awesome Games Done Quick. The week-long, 24 hour event brings speedrunners from around the world together to accomplish things that no one's ever done before, for your entertainment and for charity. This year, they raised 1.3 million dollars for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

Last night, the second to last stream was one of the most impressive I've ever seen. A runner known as Runnerguy2489 spent an hour and a half running the masterpiece known as The Ocarina of Time...blindfolded. It's insane to watch - Runnerguy knows where he is pretty much at all times, just based on the games music and sound fx, and his own muscle memory. He pulls off tricks that would make most speedrunners tremble, and does it without his eyes. Hit the jump to watch the full run, and be amazed yourself.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Does The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Live up to the Hype?

Being a nerd, I am very hard to please.  Things have to be just right and if they are off or are different than the image in my head, I hate it.  I love the Harry Potter books, and the movies upset me because they left so much out.  They did a good job bringing the look of the world of Harry Potter to life, but I felt like they didn't catch me like the books did.  The movies were good for something,  however. They led to the creation of the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and it's expansion, Diagon Alley.  Both parks exceeded all of my expectations, and I literally burst into tears the first time I saw the Hogwarts Express parked in Hogsmeade.  I was crying because I felt that I was in Hogsmeade.  Not some muggle half-assed recreation, but the real macoy.  Below is my breakdown and guide of some of the attractions in both parks.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Halo 5 Multiplayer: A Taste of Things to Come

I preordered my copy of Halo: The Master Chief Collection for two reasons. First, I love Halo more than any other shooter, and second, I would get a crack at the multiplayer beta. It is this second reason that I put fingers to keys over the holidays, and found myself checking out the world of Halo 5.

The beta suffers from some of the normal issues expected in early release tests, long lobby wait times, occasional server issues, and wary apprehension to new mechanics. When I got in, I was expecting bedlam, visuals not up to scratch, balance issues, and frustration. I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong in my expectations.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Witness the First Trailer for Ant-man!

This is it, folks. After the hilarious trolling of releasing an ant-sized Ant Man trailer, Marvel has given us the first real trailer for the film. And boy does it look...well, see for yourself:

Galavant Sings His Way into Our Hearts - For Now

We here at the Ace of Geeks have been looking forward to Galavant ever since the first trailers dropped. What was not to like - a musical comedy, with music by the team behind Tangled (legendary composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater), and a villain played by Timothy Omundson. It seemed like the exact sort of goofy distraction the mid-season break needed. And thank god, it's going to stay as just that.

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Stars of the Raid 2 Join The Force Awakens!

Well, looks like J.J. Abrams and Co. have more secrets to reveal about The Force Awakens. Today, the big news was that three of the stars of Indonesia's The Raid 2 have joined the cast of the next Star Wars film - or rather, have been working on it for some time. Deadline reports that Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian (above), and Cecep Arif Rahman will have roles in the film.

Those of you who haven't seen The Force Awakens may not realize why this is exciting news, but this means that three of the top, innovative stunt fighters in the world will have a part in the film. I doubt Lucasfilm brought them in to do ballroom dancing, and we can't wait to see what they can do with lightsabers. Hit the jump for an example of what you might expect from these three this December.

Here's a good example of why you should be excited:

Scarlett Johansson signs on for Ghost in the Shell

It's been rumored for some time, but now it's official: Variety is reporting that Scarlett Johansson will star in a live action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell. The film is to be produced by Dreamworks, and will be directed by Rupert Sanders, who's previous directing credits include Snow White and the Huntsman and...well, just that, it turns out.

So yes, with white-washed casting and an inexperienced director who's only known for a terrible film, this has disaster written all over it. I can't wait to see what English name they'll give her - Mary Carter or something, probably. Look, Hollywood, we just dodged the Akira American remake bullet, why do you keep doing this?

The Librarians and the Fables of Doom recap!

It was brought to my attention by one of our readers (OK - my daughter) that I have been messing up the numbering of the episodes. I am one behind on my numbering, because I took the two-hour premiere as a single episode. It's considered two episodes. So I apologize for that, and it will be corrected going forward. Today, I have some thoughts that I'd like to share about the characters.

"The Librarians" has fast become one of my favorite TV shows - one that I choose to set the DVR for, as opposed to waiting for it to post online. I love how the team is becoming more cohesive and their roles are becoming more clearly defined. Their family dynamic is becoming more evident as well. Here are my observations:

Flynn Carsen is still the same Flynn that we saw in the movies, His rapid-fire speech and sudden starts and stops provide the shot of comedic effect, but his presence is a chaotic distraction from the stability that Eve is trying to provide for the team. He's like an absent father who comes back once in a while to make sure they still know he's alive and trying to be in charge. I'm thinking that this role is transitional, as are the roles of Judson and Charlene. As the series goes on we will see less and less of them.

Eve Baird is becoming a "mama bear" type, a true Guardian and protector. After all, who better to protect the kids than a mom? Moms will fight fiercely to keep the kids safe, and try to make sure that they don't have a bad day... even if it embarrasses them. Yet she does avoid becoming a helicopter mom. She remembers that the kids do have their own skills and talents, and they'll be alright.

Jake Stone is becoming the quintessential big brother, especially where Cassandra is concerned. He can get her to focus when she starts overloading, and keeps her balanced. He doesn't trust her anymore, but he does provide the kind of support she needs. He always seems to be keeping an eye on her, in spite of - or perhaps because of  his distrust. He's also a good back-up for Eve in situations where a second gun (or sword, or fist) is required. That fits in with the concept of a household with an absent father, with the oldest son taking on the role of "man of the house."

Cassandra Cillian is the little sister who keeps getting shoved to the back of the line until her skills are needed. She wants to be recognized for what she can do and hasn't figured out yet how to effectively assert herself, so she patiently waits until called upon. But don't piss her off. As we saw in the last episode, the potential for her to be really bad-ass lurks deep in her dark side. I'm hoping a way will be found to rid her of the brain tumor without taking away her skills, because her character really is a valuable part of the group.

Ezekiel Jones is definitely showing that he's more than just a snot-nosed little brother. He still wants to be the rock star, but he's learning the value of being a part of a team - and a family group. He has the street smarts to get out of sticky situations, but lacks the discipline and experience to do it in a way that doesn't have an "oops, didn't think really think that through" attached to it.

Jenkins is definitely the uncle who acts as a mentor - he's picked his favorite kid, and that would be Zeke. The growing respect between them is becoming more evident the more they learn about each other. Jenkins has both the discipline and the experience to guide Zeke through things in such a way that Zeke can learn from it and follow through, without the "oops" factor. I hope that we see more of their teamwork - and possibly some shenanigans from them too. Jenkins seems so serious sometimes, but I am sure he is hiding a wicked sense of humor in his coat pocket.

What do you think? Do my observations make sense, or am I missing something? I'd love to hear about it in the comment box below!