Defending Zack Snyder, Sort Of

Categories: Film and TV, Geek

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Well, not *this* necessarily.
Zack Snyder, director of 300 and Man of Steel, also helmed the film adaptation of Alan Moore's Watchmen. What's "important" for purposes of this little spiel is Terry Gilliam (Brazil, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) also attempted to make Watchmen, twice, but eventually gave up, deeming the comic "unfilmable."

Here's what you need to know about Watchmen: it takes place in an alternate reality where we won Vietnam -- thanks to the godlike Dr. Manhattan -- and Nixon is still President (in the 1980s), yet tensions between the U.S. and Soviet Union have brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. Until, that is, the brilliant Ozymandias devises a diabolical hoax to convince the superpowers to work together for peace. The ending of Moore's story finds the heroes (well, most of them) agreeing to further the deception for the better of mankind.

Enter producer Joel Silver, who gave an interview to ComingSoon.net in which he describes what might have been, had Gilliam gotten the green light (hint: this is what Snyder takes issue with).


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Twitch Plays Pokemon: Perhaps It Is We Who Are the Pocket Monsters

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It's weirder than you think.
You've seen The Truman Show, right? Oh, no? Okay, go ahead and do that. It's cool. I'll wait.

Good movie, right? Now imagine if Truman had an earpiece, and into that earpiece is piped the reactions of every single audience member across the land. Now imagine that they are all shouting commands at him, and Truman must do the first one he hears after finishing a task, regardless of what it is.

Walk. Run. Dig. Rifle through your pockets. Switch directions. Break some shit. Fight that guy. Throw your wallet away. Jump off that cliff.

Something very much like that is happening right now on the Internet. It is a phenomenon called Twitch Plays Pokemon, and even if you are like me and care nothing at all about Pokemon, I urge you to keep up with it. It is endlessly fascinating.

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The Time I Met a "Fake Nerd Boy"

Categories: Geek

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Photo by Joshua Polman
As guests become finalized and folks gear up for the upcoming Comicpalooza this May (Four days long this year...pity your intrepid geek reporter's feet and back!), I would like to relay to you a story from last year's convention and what it tells us about the concept of the "fake nerd girl."

In case you're unfamiliar with this concept, here's the gist. A certain meatheaded segment of the geek population makes several erroneous assumptions.

1. That females are not inherently interested in comic books, video games, tabletop, etc.

2. That since geek culture is insanely popular right now, the interest that females do seem to share is nothing more than a shallow, faddish desire to be "cool."

3. And that the final goal of this feminine interest is an attempt to "steal" geek culture from its rightful male owners through enticing them then withholding sex.


Every one of these assumptions, from the idiotic idea that anyone "owns" comics to this bizarre theory that a man's desire to have his boner touched is a worthwhile currency, is wrong. They lead to a fairly uncomfortable convention experience for many women who find that they often are called upon to prove their credentials in whatever their chosen hobby is.

Now, let me tell you about the man I met who built a Dalek.

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Babylon 5 Reunion and Behind-the-Scenes Thrones Stories Delight at Space City Con

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Chuck Cook Photography
Babylon 5 star Bruce Boxleitner takes a "selfie" with co-stars Julie Caitlin Brown, Andrea Thompson and Jason Carter.

Attendance at Space City Con in Galveston seemed a little sparse, most likely because it followed so soon after the New Year's holiday this year. One exhibitor that we talked with on Saturday afternoon said he was unlikely to come back the following day due to low sales.

Still, the largest ballroom filled up rapidly and spirits were high when it was time for a reunion of surviving cast members from Babylon 5. Actors from Game of Thrones were comfortable enough with the light crowds to do a little "window shopping" on the exhibit floor. It was a well-managed scene where everyone stayed cool and had fun. There weren't even many dumb or long-winded questions during the Game of Thrones Q&A session (which you know is miraculous if you've ever been to one of these things).

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Facebook Dislike Button. Like or Dislike?

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You know when you're on Facebook, and someone posts something along the lines of, "The diagnoses came in, it's cancer." How do you respond? You may immediately comment that they are in your thoughts or "Noo!" or "So sorry to hear," or whatever you deem appropriate, but more often than not, there will be a good number of people "liking" the post. Do you mean you "like" that this person has cancer? Wow, you are a horrible human being.

But obviously, that is not the case and what you are really trying to say is that you acknowledge that they posted this comment and you want them to know that you now know that they have cancer. In terms of the American vernacular, the word "like" has taken on a wildly different meaning, connotatively.

For years, Facebookers have pleaded and fan-paged and even petitioned, "Give us a dislike button," for the love of God! Well that day has finally...not... come.

Last week, Facebook released a series of new "thumb" icons, including a thumbs down, meaning "dislike," to offer users more ways to express their emotions without having to use their big grown-up words that can be oh so cumbersome. But, the "stickers," as Facebook calls them, are only available by using the Instant Messenger feature. This very limited release, ironically, has not gotten very many "likes."

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Facebook stickers now available for Messenger.

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Will the Second Hobbit Movie Be Worse Than the First?

Categories: Film and TV, Geek

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Wheeee!
The second of Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, arrives in theaters December 13. Now that we've come to terms with the fact there will be three -- count 'em -- three movies based on a book that could be read in half a dozen toilet visits, we can look at some of the ways this next installment will be even less enjoyable than the bloated heap that was An Unexpected Journey.

It's funny, isn't it? My favorite of any of Jackson's Tolkien adaptations is still The Fellowship of the Ring, which somehow captured the spirit of the book yet kept things moving briskly, even at a three-hour run time. Each successive film, however, became increasingly self-important and bogged down in monotonous (and ridiculous) battle scenes, culminating in AUJ's 20+ minute Misty Mountain hop. I'm not normally one to write off a movie sight unseen, but I haven't heard much about the second installment that pumps my nads.


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5 Reasons Marrying a Geek Was the Smartest Thing I Ever Did

Categories: Geek

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Jordan Chan
Yes, this was our actual cake topper
This week marks eight years of wedded bliss between me and The Wife With One F. Despite ups and downs and all-arounds we've managed to hold together by holding onto each other. Every day is like living inside Everclear's "Learning How to Smile," and I am eternally grateful for that.

Among her many admirable qualities, my wife is a completely unashamed geek. To define that, she is a person passionately obsessed with various bits of niche pop culture.., at least obsessed enough to tattoo references to them on her body. Whipping out the Delirium on her shoulder is a pretty handy tool when comic nerds get together and play "Who Likes Neil Gaiman More?"

I love my wife's geekiness with true abandon, and here's why.

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Fostering Female Success at NYCC's "Comix Chix" Panel

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Chuck Cook Photography
The GeekNation Comix Chix panelists: Back Row: Joan Hilty, Heidi MacDonald, Nicole Wakelin, Meghan White and host/moderator Kate Kotler. Front Row: Sarah Miller, Molly McIsaac, Bonnie Burton and Jill Pantozzi

People who have never been to a pop culture convention probably think that it's all fun and games, but what happens when you put nine successful and creative women in one room? Discussion ensues on women-centric topics including sexual harassment, creativity, self-confidence, business networking and how young women can break into the industry.

The Comix Chix panel delved into these issues and more. The panelists were Bonnie Burton (editor, author and show host) Jill Pantozzi (associate editor of The Mary Sue), Joan Hilty (fiction/non-fiction editor), Kate Kotler (host of the Comix Chix podcast), Meghan White (Comix Chix Co-Editor/Contributor), Molly McIsaac (co-star of SyFy's "Fangasm" reality show), Sarah Miller (illustrator and tattoo artist), Nicole Wakelin (writer for the GeekMom web site) and Heidi McDonald (editor-in-chief of comicsbeat.com).


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How New York Comic-Con 2013 Went Down

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Chuck Cook Photography
NYCC may not be quite as big as San Diego Comic-Con, but it's still vast and impressive

New York Comic-Con ended yesterday at 5 p.m., and boy, was there a ton of stuff going on. Read on for just a few of the highlights of how it went.

Room For Improvement

NYCC had some problems this year, all of which can be improved upon or completely fixed by next year, should the organizers choose to focus on them.

Friday began with New York Comic-Con being all over the media for the wrong reason. Attendees claimed foul when their Twitter accounts posted enthusiastic "so happy to be at NYCC"-type messages all by themselves. It turns out that if attendees chose to link their badges to their social media accounts upon registration, they were also consenting to allow NYCC to post "on their behalf."

Of course, when companies want to post "on your behalf" it's usually not in your best interests; it's so they can spam all of your friends. Fortunately, when the bad press started coming out and NYCC started coming under fire from the likes of Wil Wheaton and Marvel Comics writer Matt Fraction, the convention organizers discontinued the practice immediately.

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Twitter

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Top 5 Lazy and Cheap Halloween Costumes, Couples Edition

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Photo by Drew Stephens.

If dressing up is the best part of Halloween, coming up with a good costume is the worst. Even though it falls on October 31 every year and even if you spend weeks thinking about it, we've all been guilty at one point or another of waking up on October 29 with nary an idea of what we've going to be. In the end you find yourself stopping in at one of the multitude of costume stores and grabbing something off the rack and spend all night wondering how you ended up in a situation where you were a banana for Halloween.

It only gets more complicated if you're in need of a couples costume. Not only do you have to think of a costume idea, but the other party has to sign off on it. Do you really want to spend the lead-up to Halloween negotiating the terms of a costume? Of course not.

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