The Shape of My Name March 4, 2015 The Shape of My Name Nino Cipri How far can you travel to claim yourself? The Hell of It February 25, 2015 The Hell of It Peter Orullian What will he wager? Schrödinger’s Gun February 18, 2015 Schrödinger’s Gun Ray Wood Maybe in some other timeline it would have gone smooth. Acrobatic Duality February 11, 2015 Acrobatic Duality Tamara Vardomskaya The two of her are perfectly synchronized.
From The Blog
March 4, 2015
Writing Women Characters as Human Beings
Kate Elliott
March 2, 2015
A Ranking of 1980s Fantasy That Would Please Crom Himself!
Leah Schnelbach
February 27, 2015
Goodbye, Mr. Nimoy — What Spock Meant to One Geeky 12-Year-Old Girl
Emily Asher-Perrin
February 26, 2015
Introducing the Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch
Keith DeCandido
February 23, 2015
Oh No, She Didn’t: The Strong Female Character, Deconstructed
Ilana C. Myer
Jan 16 2015 10:00am

Birdman is Actually Just a Muppet Movie

Some people have told me they never want to see another movie about an aging white dude trying to find himself, repair his marriage, and confront the prospect of his own death. Those people may not like Birdman.

Everyone else: if you have room for even one more of those movies in your heart—if you are ever going to watch another guy try to figure his life out on screen again—let this be that film. It’s a wonderful hilarious kinetic tale of a dysfunctional writer-director trying to pull a theater crew of misfits, losers, and closet cases together for a killer opening-night performance without going crazy. The special effects are beautiful and low-tech, I laughed so loud I almost made the people in front of us move, and the soundtrack’s excellent.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, Birdman is the grown-up Muppet movie you never knew you wanted.

[Here’s how it breaks down]

Jan 15 2015 1:38pm

If Science Fiction Can’t Be the Enemy, Then Your Movie Doesn’t Deserve Recognition? On the Interstellar Oscars Snub

Interstellar Oscar snub

The 2015 Oscar nominations are out and everybody is delighted and upset. Some actors, like Selma’s David Oyelowo, were obviously slighted just as some actors, like Eddie Redmayne’s performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, were honored. Meta-fictional genre-blending film Birdman also got plenty of nominations, which should make people happy who love movies about Raymond Carver and comic books. But there's a planet-sized hole in the nominees list and that is the exclusion of one of the best and most heartfelt science fiction film in years: Interstellar. The reason why this movie didn’t get nominated for anything other than “Original Score,” is because mainstream media gatekeepers and a big portion of audiences still don’t really care for a science fiction movie about science fiction.

[Read more]

Jan 15 2015 10:46am

Birdman and Science Biopics Lead the 2015 Oscar Nominations, But The Lego Movie Got Snubbed

Oscar nominations 2015 Birdman The Theory of Everything The Imitation Game

The 2015 Oscar nominations are out! While science fiction and fantasy-based films have a firmer foothold than they have in recent years, garnering some Best Picture/Actor/Director nods, it’s a concentrated few who are getting honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year. With Birdman, The Imitation Game, and The Theory of Everything collecting the most nominations, the winning formula seems to be an SFF context with more real-world, human themes. But where the hell is The Lego Movie?

[Check out the nominees]

Jan 14 2015 2:30pm

Idris Elba Will Bring Demon-Fighting Edgar Allan Poe to the Big Screen

Poe Must Die movie adaptation Idris ElbaEdgar Allan Poe was pretty superfluous in the serial killer movie The Raven, but maybe if movie producers give him more agency, he’ll make a more convincing protagonist on-screen? That could be the reasoning behind Idris Elba’s newest project, an adaptation of Marc Olden’s intense-sounding 1978 novel, Poe Must Die.

According to Variety, Elba is developing Poe Must Die as a trilogy of movies, through his production company Green Door. While it would be too cool to see him take on a role in this historic/supernatural thriller, so far there’s no word on if he’ll also act.

[Read more]

Jan 14 2015 11:15am

James Cameron Delays Avatar Sequels to 2017

Avatar sequels delayed 2017 James Cameron

In case you were wondering if we could all collectively prevent the Avatar sequels from ever happening by pushing them out of our minds, James Cameron wants to let you know that he hasn’t forgotten. In fact, he made sure to tell The Hollywood Reporter that he’s delaying the release of the first of three (groan) sequels to 2017 because the writing process is “very involved.”

[Read more]

Jan 12 2015 11:00am

Whatever Will Be Will Be: Predestination and The Time Travel Movie


In theological terms, the idea of predestination holds that god creates human beings with a specific destiny. Because god is all-knowing and all powerful, the theory goes, humans are traveling a path known and ordained by the creator. This applies not just to this life, but to the next. Of course, there are those who disagree. Lorenzo Dow, one of the key figures in the Second Great Awakening, once mocked Calvinist predestination theology as “damned if you do and damned if you don’t.” Dow, like many others, believed in free-will, which teaches that people have the ability to choose to follow the righteous path, and thus change both their temporal and eternal destiny. So which is it? Are we traveling a path that’s been laid out, or are we forging our own path?

This is just one of the questions that pops up when you see Predestination, the new sci-fi drama from Michael and Peter Spierig (billed together as The Spierig Brothers). I use the term “sci-fi drama” pointedly here because although it is billed as a thriller, and the advertisements showcase star Ethan Hawke with a gun, in fact Predestination is a more of a character study than a shoot ‘em up.

[Read More]

Jan 9 2015 11:40am

A Wicked Movie Could Come As Soon As 2016

Wicked movie release date 2016

What is this feeling? / Fervid as a flame / Does it have a name? Yes...

Excitement: Marc Platt, one of the producers to bring Into the Woods to the big screen, recently told Film Divider that his team has begun the process to adapt the Tony-winning musical Wicked into a movie. Even better, if all goes well, we could see it as soon as 2016.

[Read more]

Jan 8 2015 3:45pm

The LEGO Movie 2 Will Be Meta, But Not About Its Sequel-Ness

The LEGO Movie 2 plot hints

Screenwriting team Phil Lord and Chris Miller currently have the market cornered on hilariously self-aware movies: Last year’s The LEGO Movie was a surprise hit with all age groups for its commentary on conformity, creativity, and imagination; not to mention that 22 Jump Street skewered itself for being a sequel rehashing the laughs of the original, thus managing to become something entirely new.

Now, Miller and Lord have to find a way to write The LEGO Movie 2 without going the 22 Jump Street route, while still retaining the Specialness of the original. And they’ve given some hints as to how they’re going to do it.

[Read more]

Jan 8 2015 2:13pm

Viola Davis is Prepping to Play Suicide Squad’s Amanda Waller

Viola Davis Amanda Waller Suicide Squad casting

When the majority of Warner Bros’ Suicide Squad cast was announced last month, comic book fans wondered who would play a part just as important as the rogues gallery-turned-government black-ops force: Amanda Waller, who brings together the Joker, Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Rick Flag, Boomerang, and Enchantress. Immediately there were rumors that Oprah Winfrey and Viola Davis were in the running; now, recent comments from Davis all but confirm her involvement in the movie.

[Read more]

Jan 8 2015 10:00am

All Tim Burton Movies Occur in the Same Universe

Nightmare Before Christmas, Tim Burton, Burtonverse

Tim Burton—a director often noted for his visual vernacular, his love of the macabre, and his dedication to heroic outcasts. A director who creates worlds where the mundane and the fantastically strange collide messily, often resulting in magic or terror. There is a certain flair, a flavor to Burton films that easily set them apart from the work of other directors and the majority of mainstream cinema.

But could it be more than that? Could these films actually exist in the same world—could all of them apply? And would that finally explain why every character looks like Johnny Depp?

[Before he came it never snowed.]

Jan 6 2015 12:00pm

Journeys, Desolations, and Battles: Jackson’s Trifold Hobbit in Review

The Hobbit

Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films get a lot of flak for being overwrought and overlong. Many of the criticisms are valid enough (I have some of my own), some are a matter of taste, and some, I feel, are simply misguided. My view, as a fan of Tolkien first and Jackson second, is that the naysayers are judging the films for what they’re not. They are not a cinematic translation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic novel but an adaptation in the truest sense of the word. And they are specifically an adaptation of events in Middle-earth 60 years prior to Bilbo’s eleventy-first birthday party which include those covered in The Hobbit and the appendices of The Lord of the Rings.

[Unlike the lost Seeing-stones, all six films are all accounted for at last. Spoilers below!]

Jan 6 2015 11:25am

The Gambit Movie Gets a 2016 Release Date

Gambit movie release date 2016

When 20th Century Fox confirmed its Gambit standalone film starring Channing Tatum a few months ago, we wondered where it would fit within the X-Men film slate. Now that the release date has been announced, we have a better idea of how all three of 2016’s X-Men movies will link into one another. That’s right, all three.

[Read more]

Jan 5 2015 3:09pm

Snoopy Chases the Red Baron Through Paris in the First Full-Length Peanuts Trailer

Peanuts movie trailer

The first full-length trailer for the CGI Peanuts movie doesn’t tell you much about the plot, but it does help you get used to the different animation style. The comforting sight of Snoopy taking flight after the Red Baron gets even more familiar when he throws his snout in the air à la the Snoopy dance. Plus, Charlie Brown can’t even catch a break in his own movie.

[Watch the trailer]

Jan 5 2015 12:43pm

Benedict Cumberbatch Will Spend Part of Doctor Strange in the Astral Plane

Doctor Strange Astral Plane Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch has been rather busy portraying Alan Turing to properly give any intel on his casting as Marvel’s Doctor Strange. Now, the Wall Street Journal has gotten him to talk a teeny bit about getting into character to play the Supreme Sorcerer, with some hints to the movie’s more magical elements and how they play into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.

[Read more]

Jan 5 2015 11:00am

Tangled, Brave, and Frozen All Made the Same Critical Mistake

Tangled, Frozen, Brave

It’s been over a year since the family hit Frozen graced screens, although you wouldn't know it considering how widespread its popularity has become. The popularity isn’t all that mysterious once you break it down; it has some seriously catchy tunes, and seems to be the flag-bearing standard for what Disney’s current line up is trying to accomplish, namely, producing stories about feisty, tougher princesses who don’t necessarily need a man (though that might be nice); stories about the relationships between women in all of their complexities.

But there’s a gaping hole in these newer films that will likely not be addressed in coming attractions. Can you guess what it is?

[They’re all a bit of a fixer-upper...]

Jan 4 2015 12:00pm

Why Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Beats All Other Indy Films

Why Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Beats All Other Indy Films

This is one of those opinions that is probably going to get me hauled out to face some sort of tribunal under charges of blasphemy. See, when it comes to Indiana Jones, most hardcore fans will say it’s Raiders, obviously. Raiders of the Lost Ark is the best Indiana Jones film, the only one that matters, and for the most part, I completely understand why. It’s our introduction to a beloved pop culture hero, Harrison Ford is a handsome dog in it, the fedora, the whip, Karen Allen being awesome, plus America has only recently gotten over its love affair with beating up Nazis in every WWII-era film it puts out. (Although considering last year's Inglorious Bastards, it might appear that we haven’t gotten over it at all.)

But I’m going to say it: I don’t think it’s the best Indiana Jones film. I think that award goes to The Last Crusade.

[Does anyone here speak English? Or even Ancient Greek…]

Jan 1 2015 12:00pm

Feral Ewoks and Other Disturbing Things That Star Wars Slides Right By Us

Star Wars, Han Solo, Return of the Jedi, Ewok food

Because the Star Wars films are largely thought of in the “pure entertainment” department, we tend to gloss over little scraps of information that fill out the galaxy and make it seem lived-in. Which is just fine for daily viewing, but what happens when you take a closer look at certain scraps? It’s not exactly pretty. Sure, the Empire Strikes Back features torture and dueling and epic defeat all over the place, but that, as they say—

Well, it ain’t the half of it.

[“It appears that you are to be the main course of a banquet in my honor.”]

Dec 31 2014 12:00pm

7 Credible Ways The Incredibles 2 Could Work

Earlier this year, news broke that Brad Bird and Pixar will develop a sequel to the beloved Pixar superhero/super family movie, The Incredibles. Despite its popularity and genuine heart, this Pixar film never got a sequel, owing largely to creator/director Brad Bird’s fear of not being able to live up to the quality of the first story.

So, it’s been 10 years since we’ve seen the family Parr and their super-friends (like Frozone!) in action. But was it better to leave a good thing alone? No! The Parrs are the best Pixar thing ever and a sequel would be amazing. Here’s seven totally reasonable directions a sequel could take.

[Read more]

Dec 29 2014 4:00pm

Joy, Sorrow, Regret, and Reassurance: The Singular Beauty of The Last Unicorn

The Last Unicorn

Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn, while sometimes categorized as YA, is generally hailed as a story for all ages. As much as I love the book, I didn’t read it until I was in college, so my initial introduction into Beagle’s world (like many fans my age, I suspect) came courtesy of the 1982 Rankin/Bass animated movie of the same name.

While I can’t speak to the experience of reading the novel as a child, I certainly believe that a story as beautifully crafted and enduring as this one will resonate with readers of various ages and experience. I’d argue that the movie also has plenty to recommend it to adult fantasy fans, and is far more advanced in its themes than the vast majority of animated children’s entertainment. And while it stays very true to the book in many ways, the film manages to foreground certain elements of the original story that give it a very powerful, very unique appeal for children. Don’t get me wrong: it’s kind of a strange film, but therein lies its magic. It speaks to younger viewers in a manner that very few films ever do.

[“They passed down all the roads long ago, and the Red Bull ran close behind them and covered their footprints…”]

Dec 29 2014 2:00pm

Thor and Loki are Probably Naked Onscreen Most of the Time

Thor Loki Tom Hiddleston Chris Hemsworth The Avengers

There’s a deleted scene from Thor where the big guy and his brother have a chat right before he goes into the grand hall to be coronated. (We all remember how well that works out for him.) He’s got the jitters and Loki is engaging in a good old game of brotherly banter to get Thor’s mind out of Lake Anxiety. The teasing eventually falls back onto their associative animals, drawing attention to Loki’s glorious, horned helm.

But… where’d he get that thing anyhow?

[It was probably a birthday present.]