5) Joy Division + Teletubbies = This video
1) A random comic generator. NSFW.
3) Was 2014 the Year of the Video Essay? Who knew? How to make a great video essay: Video (naturally)
4) A long run down a concrete luge in New Zealand. Video.
6) Google maps for fantasy spaces. Cute.
Yesterday, Marvel announced their upcoming Phase 3 movies, and the earliest new character is going to be Dr. Strange. They’ve even announced that they offered the role to Benedict Cumberbatch.
For those who aren’t familiar with the character, he’s basically the superhero wizard of the Marvel Universe. Origin in brief: Arrogant surgeon injures his hands in car accident. In seeking a cure so he can go back to being his old self, he stumbles upon a world of magic spells, extra-dimensional demons, and fetishized orientalism. He becomes apprenticed to a sorcerer, then takes the role of the Sorcerer Supreme (the magical protector of his reality).
Basically, he faces magical bad guys, extradimensional weirdness, and fights with magic items and spells. And back in the Steve Ditko days, we got art like this:
Note to Disney: get that shit in the movies.
However, it seems that the MCU will continue to run away from the idea of actual magic. In the upcoming movie, Strange’s spells let him “tap into the supernatural, which involves everything from quantum mechanics to string theory, all of which you can manipulate with your hands and your thoughts.” Which makes no sense, really, but if you’re afraid of driving off any segment of your audience, you change Thor into an alien (and turn his story lines into sword and planet adventures) and base Dr. Strange’s spells on “string theory.”
Which… whatever. It’s just a different kind of hand-waving, and I seriously doubt it will satisfy hardcore “Harry Potter recruits for Satan!” types. The truth is, I’m hoping this movie works. Dr. Strange has always been better in the concept than the execution–although I wish Marvel would hire Chris Bird to write the book. His ideas are more interesting than the usual stuff Marvel runs with.
How I think it should be done:
Skip the origin. Just to show it’s possible.
At least three Ditko-esque acid trip landscapes.
Keep Cleo, but without the creepy student/teacher romance.
Keep Wong, but make him more than a kung fu manservant. Better roles for POC > fewer
Lose the costume.
Get a better costume. The big cape is cool, but change the look.
Keep magic spells
Lose rhymes required to chant them.
Lose the magician swears. “By the Vishanti!” Seriously.
Villain: Mordo, with Dormammu lurking in the background.
As for the casting of Cumberbatch (if they’re correct) I don’t really have an opinion about him. I’ve seen him on Sherlock and Star Trek, and was underwhelmed both times. Maybe his performance in THE IMITATION GAME will surprise me, since I thought ST was boring and wanted to walk out of the room when Sherlock was on. We’ll see.
1) World’s Worst Playgrounds h/t @cstross
7) The Zero Stooges (aka The Three Stooges Minus Stooges). Video.
6) Beautiful animated gifs. h/t @keithcalder
2) If David Lynch directed Dirty Dancing. Video.
3) Black leather dragon backpack. I’d get this, but it would make the toddlers in the Starbucks cry.
4) What your favorite 80s band says about you. This is better than it has a right to be.
6) Guardians of the Galaxy and The Lego Movie: the same movie.
7) Was HP Lovecraft a good writer? Nick Mamatas makes the argument that he was.
Via Emily Blake (aka @Bambookiller) on Twitter, Nicole Perlman details her contributions as the first credited female writer of a Disney Marvel Movie (the only other one is Jane Goldman, who is credited on the recent X-Men movies). Basically, the film happened because of her. She had the chance to adapt any comics she wanted and she picked Guardians of the Galaxy because she’s a space nerd who has always wanted to work on big adventure thrillers.
Read that article. It’s interesting.
[Added later: I had no idea that people are trying to erase Perlman’s contribution to the film, claiming that nothing she wrote is in the final film. Assholes.]
The funny thing is, all that outer space bullshit is perfect camouflage for a movie about superpowers. You have all the high tech gadgets you want and alien physiology creates a fantastic excuse for outre abilities–no radioactive spiders needed.
That’s part of the reason Blade was such a successful franchise for Marvel after so many failures: the superpowers weren’t. They were just vampire abilites.
This is why I think Dr. Strange is a natural for the screen, provided they don’t make the plot a bullshit “Stop the ritual!” chase, which never works. He’s a grownup Harry Potter; it’s easy.
Anyway, Marvel has tried many times to make outer space happen in a big way and it never really lasts. For whatever reason, space stuff doesn’t play well in comics. Sure, you can have the odd adventure off-planet and more than a few alien characters, but comic book series set in outer space just don’t last.
However, they’re a natural for movies.
I only wish I’d gotten to see Glenn Close, as Nova Prime, wearing that helmet. Hey, Robert Redford said “Hail Hydra,” didn’t he?
Behind the cut, I’ll show you just how unprecedented it is!
2) Ingmar Bergman’s THE FLASH. Video. #lol
4) A film from 1943 or 1944 with a British major demonstrating knife-fighting techniques. Dubbed into Greek but subtitled in English. Video.
1) A comparison of Zulu and Filipino stick fighting. Video.
3) Five Details They Cut From My Season Of The Biggest Loser. We all knew this show was complete shit, but it’s even worse than I thought.
4) What happens when engineers own dogs. Video.
7) “In my view, the parties do not need a judge; what they need is a rather stern kindergarten teacher” Spiteful upper-class twits drive each other wild.