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Tag: Entertainment Geekly (11-20 of 84)

Entertainment Geekly: A serious attempt to understand why every movie is about Magic Blood now

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!

This summer, it’s all about the blood. Young Harry Osborn was hankering for some Spidey-plasma in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, because Peter Parker’s very special blood is a cure-all for the Green Death Disease that apparently afflicts all Osborns. Mystique’s blood was the secret sauce that transformed the Sentinels from giant gawky robots to shapeshifting protean-powered T-1000-bots in X-Men: Days of Future Past. (Confused? It’s all here in this pamphlet.)

In the underrated Edge of Tomorrow, Tom Cruise huffs an alien attacker’s hemoglobin and winds up absorbing the alien’s reboot-button superpowers. And in the exactly-rated Trans4mers, evil nerd scientists corpse-mine some dead space robots and come up with a new element that allows anyone to create anything they want. This element is called “Transformium”–which could mean that, in the world of Transformers, human blood is referred to as “Humanium.” READ FULL STORY

Entertainment Geekly: Why 'Hannibal' is the better version of 'True Detective' and 'Fargo'

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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!

To clarify the headline above: I liked True Detective and Fargo. They were well-acted, well-shot, well-dialogued. HBO’s mystery melodrama and FX’s Coen remix had different tones and different site-specific atmospheres–moody nihilism vs. screwball nihilism, sunbaked desolation vs. snowcaked void, Southern Swamp Gothic vs. Frozen Norman Rockwell–but if you watched them live when they aired, then you knitted together an 18-episode viewing experience representing a snapshot of Why TV Drama Is Interesting Now.

True Detective and Fargo are the foremost exemplars of a new way of producing television. Pick your buzzword: Limited series, anthology, movie stars who want to play something besides Superhero or Superhero’s Father. And the two shows rhyme somehow. They both have severe third-act time jumps; they both have an attention-grabbing long take action scene; and they both so badly want to say something about something. Lead characters speak in koans: “Time is a flat circle,” the glove on the train platform. Billy Bob Thornton on Fargo is a distant relative of the Yellow King on True Detective: Omnipresent yet absent, a chameleon hiding in plain sight. Rust and Marty equal Molly and Gus, archetype-wise (the Cop Who Gets Obsessed, the Cop With The Symbolic Daughter). Fargo is funnier and True Detective is sadder and True Detective is sexier and Fargo has actual female characters. They’re both noir, though, or trying to be: They’re both meditations on the Evil, on Life, on man’s place in the universe or lack thereof. If you watched them, you watched two of the best dramas of 2014.

Hannibal blows them both out of the water. READ FULL STORY

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

Entertainment Geekly: A call for an end to serious blockbusters

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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!

I never really had my Godzilla moment as a kid. The closest I ever came was a Godzilla franchise marathon one Saturday afternoon. I watched while everyone else was outside doing outside things, and my main memory of the marathon was thinking to myself, “Geez, these movies really drag when Godzilla’s not onscreen.” I think I was 10?

Now, I don’t begrudge anyone their peculiar childhood fixations; I can’t be in the same room as anyone who speaks ill of TaleSpin. But I do find it hard to believe that anyone who self-describes as a Godzilla “fan” has watched an actual Godzilla movie in decades. Really, the best thing that ever happened to Godzilla was Roland Emmerich: He gave the fan base a helpful example of Pure Badness against which everything merely mediocre vibes “authentic.” READ FULL STORY

Entertainment Geekly: An attempt to understand Jonathan Glazer, the strangest brilliant director of his age

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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!

Should we start with the music videos? Does anyone in college or younger understand why music videos were important? There was a significant portion of the ’90s spent agonizing over how cinema would be forever altered by the onrushing influx of young-turk hotshot music-video auteurs, and the quick-cut glitter-grit really-just-too-much style they brought along. READ FULL STORY

'Geek vs. Nerd': Zachary Levi takes our trivia challenge, explains 'The Dark Crystal'

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Since Chuck ended a couple years ago, Zachary Levi has kept himself busy running The Nerd Machine, a company devoted to all-things-nerdly. Nerd Machine is currently planning the fourth year of Nerd HQ, the annual event held across the street from the San Diego Comic-Con which hosts sitdowns with geek luminaries. (A couple years ago, I saw the Nerd HQ talk with Damon Lindelof and Seth Grahame-Smith, and learned more than I ever wanted to about the travails of blockbuster screenwriters in Hollywood.) READ FULL STORY

Entertainment Geekly: In praise of '24' and the perfect TV death

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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! (Note: This post contains copious plot information about 24. I’m assuming you’ve either seen 24 or you’ve made peace with the fact that you’ll never watch it. But if you start watching now and don’t take any breaks, you have just enough time to watch the best years of 24 before it disappears from Netflix.)

With all due respect to The Sopranos, Lost, The Wire, The Walking DeadGrey’s Anatomy, Breaking BadAmerican Horror Story, Justified, DexterThe Good Wife, and basically any other Cable Age drama that aimed for serious storytelling cred and/or day-after WTF buzz, no show ever killed people like 24 killed people. On Fox’s realtime spy thriller, everybody was expendable and nobody ever got out alive. An entire season could be about saving the life of one character — and that same character could die a season or so later, dispatched quickly and brutally, a sudden shocking footnote in the greater story of national woe. READ FULL STORY

Entertainment Geekly: The Weird and Wonderful Bottle Season of 'The Walking Dead'

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!

As a capitalist idea, The Walking Dead is transformative: The cable TV show that cut the last fragile residual cords of broadcast television dominance, the meteor that ended the age of dinosaurs. Analogically, it is to the economics of television what The Sopranos was to the aesthetics of television: A demarcation between What Was and What Will Be. As pure creative destruction, the show is fascinating. But as a work of creativity, the show has been frustrating. I recapped the show during its second and third seasons, which established the basic pattern of High Highs, Low Lows, and Long Slow-Paced In-Betweens. READ FULL STORY

Entertainment Geekly: Does modern TV fandom actually make it harder to understand TV shows?

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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! This week there are two columns inspired by True Detective, partially because True Detective was a thought-provoking TV show which deserves a significant amount of thoughtful analysis, but mainly because I missed a column last week. Yesterday: A consideration of where the show’s ending fits into the pantheon. Today: A meditation on the show’s meaning, or lack thereof. Spoilers follow.

At the end of True Detective‘s second episode, philosophizing detective and anti-human crusader Rust Cohle has one of his occasional acid-flashback visions. Maybe it’s a hallucination; maybe it’s a misfiring brain neuron; maybe we all create the world for ourselves every time we open our eyes. He sees a flock of birds ascend into the sky. They form a spiral — an echo of the spiral tattoo on the back of murder victim Dora Lange, a symbol of the downward spiral of the accident that is human consciousness, evidence that the wind was blowing kinda weird just then. Maybe the spiral means something. Maybe it just looks cool.

True Detective was a show that looked cool. It was also a show about the battle between good and evil. Spoiler alert: Good won. On one hand, reducing True Detective to this binary equation is unfair. On the other hand, the show reduced itself, concluding its season finale with a long conversation between the two leads about the oldest story in the world, light triumphing over the darkness, stars twinkling in the darkness, good night stars, good night air, good night noises everywhere. READ FULL STORY

Entertainment Geekly: The least disappointing endings

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! This week there are two columns inspired by True Detective, partially because True Detective was a thought-provoking TV show which deserves a significant amount of thoughtful analysis, but mainly because I missed a column last week. Today: A consideration of where the show’s ending fits into the pantheon. Tomorrow: A meditation on the show’s meaning, or lack thereof. Spoilers follow.

True Detective only ran for eight episodes, but the final episode carried series-finale weight and expectation. Maybe it’s because the show dominated the Sunday-drama chatter during a cold hibernating winter. History will record that True Detective filled the dead air between Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. (History will also record that House of Cards filled the dead air between True Detective episode 4 and True Detective episode 5.) Maybe it’s because the show always carried itself like an eight-season serial crammed into a miniseries: The characters aged across the decades, and they had the kind of deep-dive psychological conversations that give so many foreign action movies a bigger-on-the-inside body mass.

I’m not sure there’s really a consensus on the True Detective finale. Our TV critic Jeff Jensen liked it; I was underwhelmed; your opinions may vary. Although it only ran for a couple of months, the final hour of the show was a prime example of a very specific kind of ending: The closing act of a massive years-long epic-sized symbol-laden that had to answer a whole host of lingering questions, some of which were left unanswered, possibly because the creators didn’t have an answer or didn’t even know there was a question. (Martin’s daughter was such a Cindy.) READ FULL STORY

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