Dog March 25, 2015 Dog Bruce McAllister "Watch the dogs when you're down there, David." The Museum and the Music Box March 18, 2015 The Museum and the Music Box Noah Keller History is rotting away, just like the museum. The Thyme Fiend March 11, 2015 The Thyme Fiend Jeffrey Ford It's not all in his head. The Shape of My Name March 4, 2015 The Shape of My Name Nino Cipri How far can you travel to claim yourself?
From The Blog
March 24, 2015
Protecting What You Love: On the Difference Between Criticism, Rage, and Vilification
Emily Asher-Perrin
March 23, 2015
Language as Power in Shakespeare’s The Tempest
Katharine Duckett
March 16, 2015
What Changes To Expect in Game of Thrones Season Five
Bridget McGovern
March 13, 2015
Five Books with Fantastic Horses
Patricia Briggs
March 13, 2015
Is Ladyhawke the Best Fairy Tale of Them All?
Leah Schnelbach
Feb 10 2015 10:00am

The King That Might Have Returned: Five Actors Who Almost Played Aragorn in Lord of the Rings

Viggo Mortensen, Aragorn

Oh, Viggo. Truly, you are the only Aragorn for us. Er, the only Strider. Only Elessar. Whatever.

Viggo Mortensen did a few things with his character that transcended typical actorly dedication; he only used his heavy steel sword on set, rather than the lighter aluminum ones built for stunts (and the stunt guys had the bruises to prove it). He was prone to dragging the sword around everywhere, and got stopped by the cops when he was spotted carrying it in public. He asked for more of his lines to be written in elvish. He once kicked a helmet so hard that he broke his toes, but still stayed in character for the take.

It’s pretty well-known that his casting in Lord of the Rings occurred late in the game (they had already started shooting), but do you know the other names that were considered? Because they’re mostly big-deal picks, and imagining any one of them in the role leads to a strange alternate reality.

Let’s imagine them.

[No! Not the orcs, not the ooorrrcccs!]

Feb 9 2015 2:30pm

Afternoon Roundup: Disney’s Got Marvel’s A-Force Right Here

Disney princesses Marvel's A-Force

Yes, the “Disney princesses as...” meme is a bit played out. But animator Robby’s mashup envisioning Belle as She-Hulk (YES), Merida as Hawkeye, and Pocahontas as X-23 is very well-timed to Marvel’s recent A-Force announcement.

Afternoon Roundup packs for the Moon; wakes Jennifer Lawrence up 90 years early; and celebrates finally finding Waldo.

[Read more]

Feb 9 2015 1:00pm

Jupiter Ascending is a High-Concept Sci-Fi Explosion (And This is a Good Thing!)

Jupiter Ascending

Have you ever asked a five-year-old to tell you a story? Because if you see Jupiter Ascending, and I truly hope that you do, you are essentially asking a super-creative five-year-old to tell you a story. What if a werewolf who’s also an angel and, like, a space warrior had to fight Lord Voldemort and Dorian Gray for the love of Cinderella? Well, add in some fabulous eyeliner and a suspicious amount of crystal, and you’ve got Jupiter Ascending.

This movie is for sci-fi fans who enjoy their class critique and rickety world building to be well-cushioned in loud, fun, explody action sequences. Did you like Pacific Rim? You’ll probably like this movie. Did you feel that The Fifth Element was, at times, almost too restrained? You’ll definitely like this movie. Do you think Karl Marx had some swell ideas? You’ll like this movie. Do you want to see a big Hollywood movie that’s all about the evils of anti-aging schemes? You’ll looooove this movie.


Feb 5 2015 2:20pm

Afternoon Roundup: The Oscar Race Just Got a Lot Nerdier

pop culture Oscar parody posters The Theory of Everything is Awesome

The second annual RIPTcademy Awards Parody Poster contest has led to some incredible entries mashing up all of this year’s Oscar-nominated films with beloved geeky properties—compare them to the originals. Even better, you can buy prints of Doug Funnie haunted by his past as Quailman, Canadian Mercenary (boom, Deadpool movie poster already made), and Doctor Strange in The Illusion Game.

Afternoon Roundup wants to know why blockbusters are obsessed with corn; whether grimdark is grimdead; and what happens when you search “short” on Netflix.

[Read more]

Feb 5 2015 12:51pm

Ian McKellen’s 93-Year-Old Sherlock Holmes Can’t Deduce Like He Used to in Mr. Holmes Clip

Ian McKellen Mr. Holmes clip Sherlock Holmes

Age has mellowed Sherlock Holmes in this new clip from Bill Condon’s Mr. Holmes, starring Ian McKellen as the Great Detective at 93. Tending to bees in the lush, green countryside, he seems to have become a sweeter man, mentoring his housekeeper’s son. But with age comes the loss of his great deduction skills.

[Read more]

Feb 2 2015 6:00pm

Bill Murray Makes Any Science Fiction Film Better

Today, of all days, is a perfect day to reflect on just how much fun it was to experience the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day back when it first came out. Some of us have already made our love for it well known, which got us thinking about the other science fiction movies we’ve seen him in. What resulted was an extensive and varied list of films we all overwhelmingly enjoy and which wouldn’t have reached the heights they did without the presence of Bill Murray.

Seems like science fiction needs Bill Murray. And for a period of his career, Bill Murray really needed science fiction.

[Back off, man. I’m a scientist.]

Feb 2 2015 10:00am

Groundhog Day Succeeds by Breaking the Rules of Every Genre

Groundhog Day succeeds as a film because of the way it plays with, subverts, and outright mocks the tropes of each of the genres it flirts with. While some people would call it a time travel movie, or a movie about small town America, or the most spiritual film of all time, or a rom-com, it is by breaking the rules of each of those types of films that it ultimately transcends genre entirely.

[It’s cold out there today. It’s cold out there every day.]

Jan 28 2015 2:45pm

These DIY Labyrinth Barbies Will Make You Do the Magic Dance

DIY Labyrinth Barbies photos

We’re not sure who to award the title of “coolest ever” to: The father who hacked Barbie dolls to turn them into Jareth the Goblin King and Sarah Williams; or his seven-year-old daughter, who asked for Labyrinth dolls in the first place. Redditor just_s0me_guy shared his fantastic DIY work on Imgur, explaining how in the absence of Labyrinth toys, he got creative.

[Read more]

Jan 26 2015 1:16pm

Emma Watson Will Play Belle in Disney’s Live-Action Beauty and the Beast

Emma Watson Belle Beauty and the Beast

Disney’s live-action remake of Cinderella isn’t even out yet, and the studio is already looking at other classics to adapt: Next up is Beauty and the Beast, to be written by Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) and directed by Bill Condon (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Parts 1 and 2). And Emma Watson has just announced that she’ll be playing Belle!

[Read more]

Jan 26 2015 10:30am

This is Why Obi-Wan Lied to Luke Skywalker About His Father

Star Wars, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan

The Star Wars films aren’t exactly complicated fare, particularly the original trilogy. (Not that there is anything wrong with that.) Luke Skywalker’s journey is pretty cut and dry, a solid line from farmboy to superbad in several short years. The Empire falls, the Rebels win, everyone is back on Endor in time for stormtrooper stew.

But how do you topple a galactic Empire, really? How do you get a boy who’s never known a life outside the sticks to become a galactic savior in the same amount of time that it usually takes to earn a bachelor’s degree?

The plan is likely less perfect than it appears.

[I’m coming with you to Alderaan. There’s nothing for me here now.]

Jan 23 2015 11:21am

X-Men: Apocalypse Casts Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, Plus Storm and Cyclops

Sophie Turner cast as Jean Grey X-Men: Apocalypse

We’ve known for a while that 20th Century Fox was testing various actresses to play young psychic Jean Grey in X-Men: Apocalypse, but Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones) had only just entered the (casting) game before she officially nabbed the part. And she’s not the only new cast member! Bryan Singer took to Twitter to lay out the teen X-Men we’ll be seeing next summer, including Cyclops and Storm.

[Read more]

Jan 22 2015 11:26am

Simon Pegg to Co-Write Star Trek 3

Simon Pegg write Star Trek 3 script

Scotty is beaming himself up: According to Deadline, Simon Pegg will co-write the Star Trek 3 script with Doug Jung (creator of TNT’s undercover cop series Dark Blue). They’ll be working with Fast & Furious’ Justin Lin, who recently replaced Roberto Orci as director.

[Read more]

Jan 21 2015 5:00pm

This 4-Hour The Hobbit Recut Focuses on Bilbo Baggins, Like It Should Have All Along

The Hobbit 4 hour recut Bilbo Baggins TolkienEditor

Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy has been concluded for barely a month, but already one ambitious Tolkien fan has recut the bloated, eight-hour adaptation into a much more manageable affair clocking in at a little less than four and a half hours. How did the anonymous TolkienEditor do it? By cutting out the Tauriel/Legolas/Kili love triangle and by bringing us back to the movie’s star, who we forgot to care about along the way: Bilbo Baggins.

[Read more]

Jan 20 2015 6:47pm

Daniel José Older’s Bone Street Rumba Series Optioned for TV/Film

Half Resurrection Blues Bone Street Rumba optioned Daniel Jose Older Anika Noni RoseDeadline reports that Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls, Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, Elementary) has optioned the TV/film rights to Daniel José Older’s urban fantasy series Bone Street Rumba. The first book of the series, Half-Resurrection Blues, was published January 6 by Roc Books; you can read our review as well as an excerpt of the novel.

Rose has optioned the series through her production company Roaring Virgin Productions. It’s unclear if she plans to adapt the Bone Street Rumba books into a series of films, or if we’ll be seeing another urban fantasy TV series in the future.

[Read more]

Jan 16 2015 11:00am

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 2:38pm

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 11:46am

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 3:30pm

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 12:15pm

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 12:00pm

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]