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Entertainment Geekly: Why you need to watch 'Transformers: The Premake' right now

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Entertainment Geekly is a weekly column that examines pop culture through a geek lens and simultaneously examines contemporary geek culture through a pop lens. So many lenses!

At this point in the history of our species, there have been four Transformers movies, and only one of them was any good. It came out in 1986 and it ran under half an hour and it featured the voice of Orson Welles as an all-consuming extraterrestrial planetary demon-god himself. Two decades later, Michael Bay took the simple idea of robots turning into cars and produced a trilogy of films about Shia LaBeouf banging supermodels and saving America from incoherent villainy and stereotypes of people who aren’t white dudes. READ FULL STORY

mtvU's Fandom Awards pit 'Sherlock,' 'Doctor Who,' 'Supernatural' fans (and others) against each other

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Listen up, Tumblr users, fan-fiction writers, cosplayers, and Redditors—and even you, people of the Internet who casually upvote and reblog. Have you ever wanted recognition for loving the things you love? Well, it’s time for you to win some awards.

MTV’s 24-hour college network, mtvU, announces the categories and nominees for the first annual “mtvU Fandom Awards” today. The categories include everything from “Fandom Feat of the Year” (which is more valuable, a successful Kickstarter campaign, a la Veronica Mars, or a successful season renewal,a la Community?) to “‘Ship of the year,” which includes suggestions both canon and not (like Hunger Games’ Katniss and Peeta, and Sherlock’s Sherlock and John, respectively).

READ FULL STORY

'Star Wars Musical' sends up the Disney side of the 'Star Wars' galaxy

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For those already worried about the “Disneyification” of the franchise, this Star Wars YouTube parody represents the worst of all possible futures: It blends the classic sci-fi film with tunes from animated Disney movies, and adds in a whole slew of princesses distinctly not of the Alderaan variety.

Released by YouTube user George Shaw, the video traces the plot of A New Hope, incorporating melodies from AladdinBeauty and the Beast, and other classic Disney flicks. Along the way, it sends up the worst of the Disney juggernaut, which acquired the rights to George Lucas’ sci-fi epic in 2012. The video even ends with a call for viewers to “please buy more toys, and DVDs, so Disney can make more movies for you and me.” READ FULL STORY

Quentin Tarantino's 'Django' comic book sequel, featuring Zorro, has our attention

Dynamite and DC Entertainment, two comic book publishers, announced that they’re collaborating on a Django/Zorro crossover series, co-plotted by Quentin Tarantino and following the events of Django Unchained.

Matt Wagner, who wrote the comic book series Zorro (2008-2010) and Zorro Rides Again (2011-2012), will be co-plotting the story and coming up with the final script. “I’m very very excited about both this story and the opportunity to work with Matt,” Tarantino said in the press release. “It was reading his Zorro stories that convinced me what a good idea it was to join these two icons together.”

Soon after Django Unchained was released in theaters in 2012, Vertigo, an imprint of DC, produced a comic book series adapting the movie’s screenplay (including scenes that didn’t make the final cut), but Tarantino wasn’t directly involved with the project. Tarantino’s movies are famously stylized, often using visual and storytelling cues taken from comic books — but this will mark Tarantino’s first foray into comics themselves. READ FULL STORY

No dead Rapunzel, no horny Wolf: Stephen Sondheim reveals plot changes in Disney's 'Into the Woods'

There was no way Disney’s upcoming film adaptation of Into the Woods was going to keep every single line, lyric and plot point of Stephen Sondheim’s original musical. And now Sondheim himself has confirmed exactly what we will—or won’t—be seeing.

Playbill reports that Sondheim revealed the changes during a chat with a group of high school arts educators. The subject came up after one teacher brought up Into the Woods, expressing concerns that some of its plot points aren’t appropriate material for students to perform. “Well, you’ll be happy to know that Disney had the same objections,” Sondheim replied. For the record, here’s how he stands on the issue of watering down stage productions—in schools and, presumably, other arenas as well: “Censorship is part of our puritanical ethics, and it’s something that [students are] going to have to deal with,” said Sondheim. “There has to be a point at which you don’t compromise anymore, but that may mean that you won’t get anyone to sell your painting or perform your musical.”

Here are a few bits Sondheim revealed about what’s in store for the forthcoming film adaptation: READ FULL STORY

'The People vs. George Lucas 2' will focus on the 'disneyfication' of the 'Star Wars' franchise

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Currently there are three Star Wars movies in production at Disney. There’s Star Wars: Episode VII–Maybe the Ancient Fear, directed by J.J. Abrams, which arrives in December 2015. Then there’s Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars spinoff, coming in December 2016, which is definitely about Boba Fett or definitely not about Boba Fett, depending on which way the wind is blowing. And there’s Josh Trank’s other Star Wars spinoff, which is definitely about Young Han Solo or definitely about Young Greedo or possibly about the Sarlacc Pit’s early days. READ FULL STORY

'Frozen' triggers an Elsa baby boom

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And so it was written: A generation from now, the pregnant Elsas and Khaleesis of the world will look to their own pop culture before choosing trendy names for their own children.

Yes, British website BabyCentre.com has reported that for the first time, the name Elsa has cracked the top 100 most popular names, due in part to the massive success of the Disney animated feature Frozen. The trend isn’t entirely surprising: Baby names often follow pop culture trends. BabyCentre also pointed out that Logan, Wolverine’s name in X-Men, was popular with the guys, and who could forget the recent arrival of Khaleesi in the baby name game? READ FULL STORY

Note to movie studios: Give trolls their due!

Trolls are having a moment. Yesterday, DreamWorks announced that Anna Kendrick would star in Trolls, an animated musical based on the creepy children’s toys. Last week, Laika released the trailer for The Boxtrolls, which combats trolls’ reputation as monsters, depicting them instead as silly magical creatures living peacefully in the sewers. And last year, Frozen featured a gaggle of friendly, wise trolls who adopted leading man Kristoff and gave leading lady Anna a hand when she needed their help.

All of these creatures stand in pretty sharp contrast to various Old Norse myths, which establish a few basic trollish characteristics: they’re magical, strong, not very smart, human-hungry, and vulnerable to the sun, which turns them into stone. While this cuddly new breed of trolls may be magical, they’re also cute and amiable. And that’s a shame.

READ FULL STORY

So Khal Drogo is playing Aquaman, probably

I’m done with people who think Aquaman is lame. It’s less an argument than a played-out meme that draws its evidence from two ridiculous sources: Super Friends, a TV show that no one under the age of 30 actually watched; and Entourage, a TV show that everyone under the age of 30 watched, God damn our rotten souls. Aquaman’s classic costume is silly—green and orange, booties and gloves—but his backstory has ten Game of Thrones‘ worth of awesomely kookbat mythology. He can control all sea creatures, which yes hahaha he talks to dolphins OH LOOK OUT SMART GUY FIFTY SHARKS JUST ATE YOUR FAT FACE OFF. READ FULL STORY

Ansel Elgort in 'Hairspray' and 'Rent,' Taran Killam in 'Evita,' and more stars in high school musicals

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There is nothing else to say except this: Ansel Elgort, whose charming swagger won your heart in The Fault in Our Stars, played Link Larkin in a high school production of Hairspray.

Elgort has made frequent mention of his theater (and tap-dancing) past — but the video evidence below is really just too good to be true. Not only is there proof of Elgort’s basically perfect casting as Tracy Turnblad’s well-coiffed love; there’s also footage of Elgort’s performance as Collins in a theater camp production of Rent at the famed Stagedoor Manor.

And Elgort, of course, isn’t the only celebrity who tread the theater boards as a student. In honor of these videos surfacing, we’ve rounded up a handful of other stars who were surprise dynamos in their high school musical theater programs. Let them entertain you in the clips below: READ FULL STORY

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