Casting Internets

My ridiculously talented friends over at Marvel.com made this awesome video starring Howard The Duck demanding Lucasfilm celebrate the film’s anniversary. As a longtime fan of the movie, I wholeheartedly agree.

Speaking of Marvel and Howard, Marvel.com ran this interview with the movie’s star Lea Thompson and it was pretty interesting. I dig her for sticking up for Howard…and also for Caroline in the City. Another ridiculously talented friend took there rad photos of the Expendables MiniMates out in the wild for the Art Asylum blog. I absolutely must get my hands on these figures.

I really, really, really want The Perks Of Being A Wallflower movie to be good. Please be good. I’m not sure what to think of this trailer I saw on THR though. Gotta read the book again.

I don’t live in the city, but I do hear a lot of the news living fairly close. The most recent infuriating bit of nonsense to come out of there is Mayor Bloomberg’s desire to limit the size of soda people can buy. Seriously? This is the biggest problem in the city at the moment? It’s not the government’s job to keep people skinny, so cut it out commie. This Economist piece paints it in a different view: the mayor doesn’t think poor people can handle making the decision to drink less soda on their own and need the government’s help. Bleh.

The Detroit News talked to Colbie Smulders, Joss Whedon and Sam Jackson about her role in The Avengers. Interesting stuff, especially what she did to train for the film on her own.

Jared Harris talked to THR about last week’s episode of Mad Men. I only read a few sites about the show, but have there been any “Down Memory Lane” posts? There should be.

Jeez, Anthony Bourdain is not slowing down. In addition to getting a book turned into a movie and moving from Travel Channel to CNN, he’ll also be judging a food competition show on ABC. Dude’s gonna be busy. (via Eater)

I love reading about cocktails, so this Esquire piece about the cocktails of summer definitely had me interested. I’m particularly excited to try that Scotch Whiskey Punch. That’s on my summer to-try list. There’s a new James Bond book called James Bond Unmasked with new interviews with all six Bonds. It will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine.

I am a gigantic fan of Fox’s New Girl, especially the ultra douche, but really a nice guy on the inside character of Schmidt played by Max Greenfield. As such, I enjoyed this LA Times interview with him.

I got a big kick out of watching The Totally Rad Show’s Alex Albrecht interviewing Snoop Dogg about the new Tekken for G4. Finally, this MC Escher Lego Star Wars diorama seen on io9 is just too damn cool.

Casting Internets

Over on CBR, I wrote a piece about AJ Lieberman’s Harvest and also talked to the delightful Charlie Adlard about Walking Dead.

This video from Tested features Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame explaining one of his passion projects: building a ZF-1 gun from The Fifth Element. Pretty interesting stuff.

Last week I heard that Anthony Bourdain’s novel was getting turned into movie, now I hear he’s going to have a show on CNN? Very, very interesting. This THR piece clarifies that he will be leaving Travel Channel to do the new show, but it will be produced by the same company, so it probably won’t be too different.

I keep slowly reading articles about Beastie Boy Adam Yauch. This one with Mike D on Rolling Stone was another emotional one. I really need to organize my thoughts on the band in a post. Maybe this week.

Toy fans, head on over to Marvel.com to vote for some characters to appear in the 50th wave of Marvel MiniMates from Diamond Select Toys. This reminds me of the good ol’ ToyFare days when we used to do the same thing. Speaking of toys, I love that McFarlane did this Hines Wards Dark Knight Rises figure in their football figure line. (via Toynewsi)

I really need to get some bitters so I can try this cocktail called The Darcy Farrow I saw over on Esquire.com. All that ginger sounds tasty.

FirstShowing posted this interesting theory from Reddit (still don’t know what that is) about the connection between Quentin Tarantino movies and how the events of Inglourious Basterds lead to the violence and pop culture obsessed world we’ve seen in Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, True Romance, etc. I think it’s an interesting look at the material but don’t actually think it was something Tarantino planned.

Simon Pegg talked to The Telegraph about, well, everything and as you’d expect from the chap, it’s all quite interesting.

I’m not much of a fighting game fan, but I am always interesting in comic-based games…until I hear they’re terrible. This new one, Injustice, seems a little too plot-y already, but who knows? (via Topless Robot)

This HuffPo thing where they talked to different directors and writers about how Star Wars changed their view of movies was pretty fun, especially Eli Roth’s childhood drawings.

Hey, John Frusciante has a new pair of solo things coming out, an EP and a full album. I’ll give them a shot, he’s always good for some technically interesting weirdness. (via Rolling Stone)

The Alamo Drafthouse will be distributing a film called Miami Connection that involves a good guy rock band fighting motorcycle ninjas. I’ll take seven.

Lastly, I thought this GQ interview with Christina Hendricks about the week before last’s episode of Mad Men was very interesting. She really seems to dig into that character.

Casting Internets

My friends Alex and Elizabeth and their bandmates in The Faulkner Detectives just got signed to Livid Records!

I need to get some bitters so I can try Michael Ruhlman‘s recipe for an Old Fashioned.

I love what Mark Waid is doing with Thrillbent (which launches in a few days now that I think about it). It’s really interesting reading this post about changing how he writes for the new format.

I’ve never heard of Pajiba.com, but I thought this post written by Dustin Rowles about how pop culture sites make money off of annoying pop up ads was really interesting and surprisingly honest.

Wired posted this piece about why the Super Mario movie sucked. Very interesting stuff. I love behind the scenes explanations. The most surprising bit? How little Nintendo seemed to care about the whole thing.

The timing on this one was pretty funny, just after my wife and I purchased a used 2012 Mazda 5, GeekDad did a post about buying the same car!

Jack White is creating these core for The Lone Ranger flick. Not really interested in that movie as of now, but this is a very interesting move. (via Variety)

Speaking of White, Rolling Stone gave his first solo record Blunderbuss a really glowing review, making me even more excited to get my digital hands on it.

Wynton Marsalis isn’t my favorite jazz guy around, but the idea of him teaming up with Paul Simon is very intriguing. I’d like to hear how those tunes turned out. (via Rolling Stone)

Speaking of epic team-ups I read about on Rolling Stone, the Johnny Cash tribute concert featuring Willie Nelson and Sheryl Crow sounds pretty fantastic as well. They even covered a Highwaymen song with Nelson, Shooter Jennings and Kris Kristofferson!

I agree with Robot 6‘s Tom Bondurant (aka Grumpy Old Fan) when he says that DC keeping Batman and Green Lantern continuity mostly the same creates only headaches for the New 52. His assessment of the continuity for those two properties before and after the reboot seem pretty right on.

Finally, congrats on The Fwoosh‘s 10th anniversary. Head over and check out their celebration of a decade on the nets.

Anyone Else Watch Moonshiners?

I’m not sure about you guys, but I was pretty fascinated by Discovery Channel’s six episode series Moonshiners. First off, being a fan of whiskey, I’m very curious about moonshine, especially because I’ve never had it. Does that mean I’m looking to head into the woods of West Virginia and buy a milk jug filled with mysterious clear liquid? No effing way. Say what you will about government regulation, but I have zero problem buying booze that has a 99 percent less chance of being laced with arsenic. Call me paranoid, but that’s because I am.

Anyway, the series followed three men whose lives revolve around the illegal practice of making high proof whiskey. On one side you had Tim, a moonshiner working overtime to try and go legit so he wouldn’t have to constantly worry about the law breathing down his neck. He enlisted the help of his teenage son and a friend and obvious drunk/meth head known as Tickle. The second star of sorts is Jesse an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms whose job it is to find and punish moonshiners because they’re making illegal, potentially lethal booze, but more realistically because that booze would be taxed if it was sold legitimately (a fun drinking game is to take a shot every time the announcer man says the words “tax free”). Finally, there’s a third, much older moonshiner named Popcorn Sutton who looks to have been filmed with non professional equipment and is kind of oddly sandwiched in.

The men are pretty interesting, but I was more drawn in by the reasons the moonshiners gave for participating in an obviously illegal and dangerous activity. Tickle particularly says that it’s part of American history and should therefore be continued. He’s packed with the kind of rhetoric that could just as easily be used to defend drug dealing or slavery. I have a hard time believing he does it for any other reason beyond “It’s fun and it makes me money.” I was also fascinated by the idea that Tim and Tickle would allow themselves to be filmed like this. How is it possible to not get arrested at some point? There must be some kind of work-around or legal loophole, but all Jesse has to do is make note of this season and track down those guys. Bingo bango, right? Even if they move down the stream, that’s still a pretty good road map.

I gotta admit, the tension build up on the series was pretty amazing. First you see Tim and his son driving around creation trying to find the perfect spot to set up their still. Later, after visiting a legit still, he doubles his efforts to make the money it would take to go legal, which in and of itself is an interesting moral quandary that could be studied all on its own. Meanwhile, Jesse is almost constantly clomping through the woods at night only seen in night vision just about to stumble upon a working still. But, most of the paranoia and tension deflates as these people wind up not running into any real trouble. The closest things get to dicey is when Tim rolls onto a property and the man and woman show up with a shot gun and confront him. There’s a ton of chest puffery and talk of guns, but nothing happens.

That’s kind of the problem with watching something that, if it were written down would be an Elmore Leonard novel, but in reality turns out far less dramatic. All the elements for drama were there from Tim’s desire to rise above his standings and do right by his son to Jesse wanting to help his country and defend his fellow citizens. There’s even the mysterious and shifty Tickle who in the novel version would off Tim and wind up in a whole world of trouble. But unlike a story, the conflict in reality is basically just paranoia that doesn’t lead anywhere. This isn’t Crime And Punishment, they get paranoid, the paranoia passes and they move on. Tim and Tickle sell all the hooch. Jesse is never in any real danger (nor does he succeed in doing the interesting part of his job). We also find out thanks to the on screen text at the end of the show that Tim’s ensuing meeting with a group who wants to start a legit moonshining business doesn’t lead to anything. Perhaps that’s because he wore overalls on the private jet they set up for him.

The only story-like drama comes from the reveal of what happened to Popcorn Sutton. His inclusion in the series is odd considering the different look of the film and the complete disconnect between him and the other two characters. Why is he making this tape? What’s the point? Just because he’s a famous moonshiner doesn’t mean he’s famous enough that regular folks care. Well, it turns out there he got caught by the cops and was found guilty, but instead of serving his time, he offed himself. I’m still not clear as to when he filmed his stuff. He keeps talking about this being his last time making shine, but we don’t really know why. Was it because he was going to close up shop or because he knew he was going to kill himself? It’s not made clear by the show, but it’s a piece of information that could definitely paint those segments in a different way. I feel like Discovery included him because the rest of their season wound up being pretty boring and they needed some kind of end cap that actually had drama, conflict and maybe even a little tragedy depending on how you look at it.

At the end of the day, I enjoyed the series, though the finale was so drawn out and padded that I was certain nothing of substance would happen, which was true aside from the Popcorn stuff. If nothing else, it was an interesting look at how people can reconcile their actions and develop their entire lives around the idea that they’re doing the right thing for various personal moral reasons. These are the kinds of reality shows I find myself drawn to. These were real people doing real things that I’ve never done or experienced, so I appreciate the look into their lives. My real question, however, is how they will do second season. Will Tim return or will this be the Tickle show?

Casting Internets

I wrote a piece about the Walking Dead Board Game for CBR.

I’ve talked to Todd McFarlane a few times and he’s always a pleasure. This time was about Haunt for CBR.

I also did a fun list for Topless Robot about the best comic book watering holes.

I’m also the main toy guy for Wizard World, go check out what I wrote in #15 and 16.

My friend Sam made these awesome R2-D2-themed wings. They are awesome, as I said.

Kevin Huizenga showed off the cover to Ganges #4 last week. That should be a great comic.

Drawn & Quarterly‘s having a sale, go pick out something pretty.

Brian Moylan’s Gawker post about the most recent episode of Real Housewives of New York is amazing. Need proof? “She’s just reaching into that Jonathan Taylor Thomas Trapper Keeper brain of hers and pulling out these crazy things to say that make no sense. They’re about as appropriate to the situation as a light dusting of glitter, which is what Kelly would like to sprinkle over everything—and then give it a slap bracelet.” Boom. I’m jealous both at how funny Moylan is and the fact that he gets paid to be that snarky.

A new Aerosmith record being recorded? I’ll believe it when I see it. (via Rolling Stone)Phil Noto‘s Thundarr the Barbarian artwork makes me wish that someone was making comics of old cartoons like these.

Wired‘s piece about The Beatles “Tomorrow Never Knows” and Paul McCartney’s long-time interest in electronic music is pretty fascinating.

I’m definitely curious about Esquire‘s recipe for the Arnold Palmer martini. Now I just need a spare liter of vodka and a half cup of black tea…
This “Plastic Villains” T-shirt I saw in Shirtoid is pretty awesome.

I don’t want to get too excited this far out, but I like the sound of the American Gods TV series being six seasons with a huge budget. Let’s hope it does well enough to not only make it to TV but also last longer than the two to three seasons HBO tends to give things. (via /Film)Ulises Farinas‘ Doctor Strange commission makes me wish there was a really good Dr. Strange comic out there.

Finally, Robot 6er Michael May has a really interesting piece about comic companies perpetuating this myth that there’s a huge plan in place for their universes. The more embedded you become in the industry the more you realize this is true. The fact that he based the piece on a How I Met Your Mother bit makes it all the better.

Casting Internets

Hey look, I wrote a list about 10 non traditional Christmas movies over on Topless Robot. Any excuse to watch Gremlins and Batman Returns again is aces in my book.

While I’m tooting my own horn, go check out an interview I did with the Mattel guys working on the new Young Justice toy line for ToyFare which is now up on the general Wizard Entertainment blog Pie Monkey. Also check out the He-Man/Inception Twisted ToyFare Theater I helped work on here.

My buddy Sean Collins just kicked off the lotsa fun Superheroes Lose Tumblr.

I hadn’t thought about this up until now, but someone over on The Fwoosh‘s regular Ask Matty (that’s Mattel) column asked if, now that Vertigo characters are showing up in the DCU, will they be in the DC Universe Classics line. He specifically asked about Swamp Thing, but just think about the possibilities!If the Dalek Christmas tree doesn’t get you in the Holiday spirit, nothing will. (via IHC)Speaking of Doctor Who the new action figures each come with part of the Pandorica and a CD! AWESOME! (via Toynewsi)

I know one person who will be crazy-excited about Marvel announcing their new CrossGen imprint. Dude actually has a CrossGen license plate, or did back when I knew him. Hey, at least they didn’t trying shoehorn the characters into the Marvel U like the Distinguished Competition has done three times in the past few years. (via Robot 6)

This parrot singing “Bodies” made me laugh harder than it probably should have. (via Super Punch)

Tim Heffernan‘s assessment of Marine General James Amos’ fear of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell seems dead on to me.

Esquire continues asking interesting people what they’ve learned from life. In case you were wondering, yes, Robert Redford is still awesome.

Ron Marz has a new column over on CBR. I dig the guy’s work a lot and liked the first column. Can’t wait to see what else we get!

Like everyone else on the comic internet, I found Brian Hibbs‘ assessment of the current comic market fascinating, specifically this bit “I think that the publishers are largely producing too many of the wrong comics at the wrong price point.”

Mmmm, I think a whiskey punch is in my immediate future. Thanks Esquire!

Finally, I think these Old Navy Techno Hoodies with earbuds built into the draw strings are freaking ingenious, but how do you wash them without getting electrocuted later?