Selfies September 17, 2014 Selfies Lavie Tidhar Smile for the camera. When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami September 16, 2014 When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami Kendare Blake A Goddess Wars story As Good As New September 10, 2014 As Good As New Charlie Jane Anders She has three chances to save the world. Tuckitor’s Last Swim September 9, 2014 Tuckitor’s Last Swim Edith Cohn A hurricane is coming.
From The Blog
September 18, 2014
Cast As Thou Wilt: Kushiel’s Dart Dream Cast
Natalie Zutter
September 17, 2014
How Goldfinger Bound Sci-Fi to James Bond
Ryan Britt
September 15, 2014
Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 1
Tansy Rayner Roberts
September 13, 2014
If You Want a Monster to Hunt, You’ll Get It. Doctor Who: “Listen”
Chris Lough
September 11, 2014
The Ghostbusters are an Antidote to Lovecraft’s Dismal Worldview
Max Gladstone
Showing posts by: Natalie Zutter click to see Natalie Zutter's profile
Fri
Sep 19 2014 12:00pm

“WCKD is Good,” But The Maze Runner is Bad

The Maze Runner movie review

What does The Maze Runner want to be? At first glance it seems like a dystopian update of Lord of the Flies, with its society of adolescent males fending for themselves in a (fabricated) wilderness. But it lacks that book’s balls. Is the titular maze, which the boys must navigate to find their way out, supposed to be an elevated response to The Hunger Games’ arena? Because Catching Fire raised those stakes with their tick-tock-it’s-a-clock arena. Is this a futuristic tale of torturing training scrappy little smarties because they’re our future, à la Divergent? Because let me tell you now, you won’t be invested enough in this film to care what kind of future the stars are supposed to be saving.

This dystopian world (based on James Dashner’s book of the same name) is too jumbled to retain any sense of structure—ironic, for a story about a maze penning in the protagonists. Many narrative elements from Dashner’s series are lost in translation, making for a movie that seems to suffer from an identity crisis.

[Read more]

Thu
Sep 18 2014 10:00am

Cast As Thou Wilt: Kushiel’s Dart Dream Cast

Kushiel's Dart Legacy dream cast Jacqueline CareyEarlier this summer, author Jacqueline Carey put hope in the hearts of fans of her Kushiel’s Legacy trilogy when she said that Game of Thrones had opened the door for a potential adaptation of her sexy, brilliant, fantasy series. Now, there’s no specific project in the works right now, due (somewhat ironically) to the current glut of fantasy series. But now that we know television audiences like their courtly intrigue served with a generous helping of alternate fantasy and sexposition, it’s only a matter of time.

To that end, we couldn’t resist fantasizing about who should star in the hypothetical Kushiel’s Legacy TV show—starting with book one, Kushiel’s Dart. Check out our picks for Phèdre herself, the men who love and serve her, her teacher—the “Whoremaster of Spies”—and the dangerously alluring woman whose grip she can never quite escape.

[Read more]

Mon
Aug 18 2014 1:00pm

Looking For Spice in All the Wrong Places: Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights: Crisis at Crystal Reef

Star Wars, Young Jedi Knights, Crisis at Crystal ReefIt’s time for the Very Special Episode of the Young Jedi Knight books. It is also, unfortunately, the final installment of this series. Natalie and I are going to miss looking back on these weirdly formative adventures with all of you. They were a significant part of our childhood, and a funny corner of the Star Wars universe before everything went all… dark and stormy with the New Jedi Order.

So we finish on Crisis at Crystal Reef! Jacen still looks like Jonathan Taylor Thomas on the cover (seriously, what is going on?) and we’re going to be spending some time in the spice mines of Kessel (though he won’t be smashed into anything). People will get trapped in ice caps, but emerge much sooner than Captain America or Aang did in their respective narratives.

[Read more]

Fri
Aug 15 2014 1:05pm

“Perhaps It Was Only an Echo”: The Giver

The Giver movie review Lois Lowry Jeff Bridges Brenton Thwaites Katie Holmes Meryl Streep Odeya Rush dystopia classic book vs movie

I liked the movie adaptation of Lois Lowry’s The Giver, but I didn’t love it. (Precision of language!) I was curious to see the depictions of the utopian Community, built on the safe and conflict-free notion of “sameness.” Jeff Bridges embodied the character of the Giver in a way familiar and comforting to those who grew up reading the book. Watching Jonas discover colors for the first time is a strangely emotional experience. But ultimately, the movie did not stir in me the same depth of feeling as reading that classic for the first time.

Now, let’s drop the Community syntax and actually talk about what did and didn’t work in this adaptation of the young adult classic.

[Read more]

Tue
Aug 12 2014 11:52am

This Video Perfectly Illustrates Why We Don’t Have a Female-Led Superhero Movie

female superhero pitches female-led superhero movie video parody Angelfire Alison Vingiano

Female superheroes have no problem kicking ass in ensemble movies, but when it comes to pitching their own solo ventures, they can’t stand up to rampant Hollywood sexism about what does and doesn’t sell. That’s the premise of this funny-but-also-too-real video from the web series Adventures of Angelfire. In Angelfire’s first adventure, the redheaded crimefighter tries to pitch her life story to the big studios, only to come up against more resistance than a vengeful rogues’ gallery.

[“Picture the tagline: ‘Justice is a bitch.’”]

Mon
Aug 11 2014 1:00pm

Uncle Lando’s Magical Amusement Park: Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights: Trouble on Cloud City

Star Wars: Young Jedi KnightsL Tourble on Cloud CityThe fun never ends when your adopted uncle is Lando Calrissian, as evidenced by this… wait. Wait, why does Jacen look like Jonathan Taylor Thomas on the cover of this book? Are we now obligated to watch every episode of Home Improvement? What vile scheme is this?

He really does look exactly like JTT, though. Which might make sense in terms of him being popular when this book came out. But it’s… creepy? Is Jaina based on someone too? Help us out, people.

Anyhow, that was a roundabout way of getting to the reread! Which happens to be the penultimate book, sadly. At least Uncle Lando shows up. It’s time for Trouble on Cloud City!

[Read more]

Mon
Aug 4 2014 1:00pm

Never Too Late for Your First Space Derby — Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights: Return to Ord Mantell

Star Wars Young Jedi Knights Return to Ord MantellThere was this guy in the Star Wars EU called Gallandro, who was basically their version of an Old West gunslinger type. Wait, isn’t that Boba Fett already? you may ask. Nah—they needed a more direct knock-off. Fett has a rifle so he can’t draw at high noon.

No, really, Gallandro was known for being a fast draw.

But he and Han had unfortunate run-in and Gallandro didn’t make it out alive. Don’t worry; if you know anything about the EU, you know that everyone’s got kids except Lando. (Lando should have kids. Boo.) And they’re usually girls because there aren’t enough women in Star Wars. Let’s jump into Return to Ord Mantell and find out exactly what is going on with Gallandro’s legacy.

[Read more]

Mon
Jul 28 2014 1:00pm

Life As A Plague Storehouse—Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights: The Emperor’s Plague

Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights: The Emperor's PlagueWith the advanced weaponry the Star Wars universe purports, it’s really no surprise that biological warfare would have been developed and enacted to a certain degree. So… who wants to encounter that as a teenager? You probably guessed it!

It’s the Young Jedi Knights, if you’re still guessing.

That’s right, the whole Diversity Alliance debacle will come to a head right now as the kiddies encounter The Emperor’s Plague! Which sort of sounds like the worst carnival ride ever. We will not be riding in those rusty cars any time soon.

[Read more]

Mon
Jul 28 2014 10:30am

SDCC’s “Women Who Kick Ass” Panelists Only Want to Play Male Superheroes

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 SDCC Women Who Kick Ass panel Entertainment Weekly Tatiana Maslany Nicole Beharie Maisie Williams Natalie Dormer Sarah Paulson Katey Sagal gender sexism Hollywood male superheroes

For the last few years, Entertainment Weekly has moderated the “Women Who Kick Ass” panel at San Diego Comic Con. This annual event brings together several impressive women—usually those currently in the zeitgeist—to speak to the female experience in Hollywood, pop culture, and geekdom.

Though past panels had left fans somewhat underwhelmed, 2013’s group stunned and then invigorated congoers with their brutally frank discussions of the sexism they’d encountered in the industry. While nothing could eclipse that, this year’s panel still exposed several uncomfortable gender truths.

[It all started with an innocent question about superheroes]

Mon
Jul 28 2014 10:16am

Watch the Jam-Packed Teaser Trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1

watch The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 teaser trailer President Coin Julianne Moore Katniss Everdeen Jennifer Lawrence Philip Seymour Hoffman Plutarch Heavensbee Liam Hemsworth Gale Hawthorne

The Mockingjay, Part 1 trailer that Hunger Games fans got to see during San Diego Comic-Con is now online! Though it’s three quick scenes in the space of a minute, it’s filled with arresting visuals, like this Mockingjay crop circle that President Snow orders eradicated.

[Watch “Our Leader the Mockingjay”]

Sat
Jul 26 2014 7:00pm

Once Upon a Time Running Out of Ideas, Hopes You’ll Watch a Villain Named “Frank Matterhorn”

Once Upon a Time gag reel villains Frozen inspiration Jane Espenson Carlton Cuse Disney villains

Usually the best TV and movie gag reels feature the cast, but we can’t stop giggling over this “behind-the-scenes” video from the writers’ room of Once Upon a Time. Ever wonder how the writers’ room decides which fairy tale characters to reboot? We get our answer in this really funny video, screened at the show’s San Diego Comic Con panel.

At the writers’ room “mini-camp” (“it’s not really a camp”), the topic of the day is villains. And they’ve got some pretty loopy brainstorms for who the season 4 baddie should be. Plus, the inspiration behind the show’s upcoming Frozen arc.

[“Frank! ...Matterhorn.”]

Sat
Jul 26 2014 4:50pm

Guillermo del Toro and Duncan Jones! Godzilla 2, Crimson Peak, and Warcraft Teasers! Legendary Pictures at SDCC

Legendary Pictures SDCC 2014 panel Godzilla 2 teaser Warcraft Duncan Jones Guillermo del Toro Crimson Peak

Legendary Pictures did a pretty great job of giving fans what they wanted at this year’s San Diego Comic Con panel: Guillermo del Toro garnered cheers at his appearance (as did the mere mention of Tom Hiddleston’s name) as he chatted about his new horror projects; and Duncan Jones swung by for his first-ever SDCC (aww) to talk all things Warcraft.

In addition to the directors waxing poetic, fans got to glimpse trailers for both of these projects—plus, Legendary’s Godzilla 2 and King Kong-adjacent film Skull Island!

[Click through for ALL the teaser trailer reactions]

Sat
Jul 26 2014 3:45pm

Once Upon a Time’s SDCC Frozen Clip: Anna and Kristoff Are Getting Married?

Once Upon a Time Frozen clip San Diego Comic-Con SDCC 2014 Elsa surprise Anna Kristoff wedding

Once Upon a Time’s SDCC panel had the actor who plays Henry talk about switching bodies with Peter Pan, and provided hints about Hook’s new costume... but let’s be honest: The real thing that all the Oncers were looking forward to (and those of us tuning in at home) is Frozen. And boy, did OUAT deliver. Spoilers ahead.

[Read more]

Sat
Jul 26 2014 3:15pm

If You Got Stalked By an Evil Jester at SDCC, It Was Probably Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson jester disguise costume San Diego Comic-Con 2014 SDCC funny wtf The Hobbit celebrity cosplay

This nefarious clown has been following congoers around San Diego Comic Con, creeping on them with and without their knowing. It’s very fitting that in this photo he’s stalking a fan carrying some Hobbit swag because... it’s actually Peter Jackson!

[Tricky Jacksonses]

Sat
Jul 26 2014 12:00pm

Orphan Black’s SDCC Panel Was Like an Endless Clone Club Dance Party

Orphan Black San Diego Comic-Con SDCC 2014 panel Tatiana Maslany Dylan Bruce Jordan Gavaris Maria Doyle Kennedy #CloneClub love

Oh, to be an Orphan Black fan at San Diego Comic Con. In the lead-up to today’s group bonding session panel, BBC America spoiled the #CloneClub fanbase with a bunch of fun events and treats: The official Orphan Black homebase had an “Alison nametag table,” “Helena buffet” (junk food, natch), “Cosima makevoers,” and rad merch. The fans also held their own meetup, which included a #CloneClub dance party that was delightfully dorky.

And the panel itself. All the feels, you guys.

[Standing ovations, the Paul/Felix bromance, and glue guns]

Fri
Jul 25 2014 7:45pm

The First Outlander Trailer and Other Highlights from the SDCC Panel

Outlander trailer SDCC San Diego Comic-Con panel highlights Sam Heughan Caitriona Balfe Diana Gabaldon Jamie Fraser Claire Randall

Confession: I didn’t know much about Outlander until very recently. And even once I picked up the main facts—Diana Gabaldon’s historical fiction series about a 1940s nurse who falls back in time to 1743 Scotland and falls in love with a highlander—I still didn’t get all of the allure.

Now, having glimpsed the fandom at San Diego Comic Con, and having seen the first trailer, I do.

[Outlander at SDCC: Castles, kilts, and highlights from the panel]

Fri
Jul 25 2014 4:02pm

Maisie Williams to Play Ellie in The Last of Us Movie?

The Last of Us movie Sam Raimi producing Maisie Williams to play Ellie casting rumor Neil Druckmann Naughty Dog

All morning we’ve been wondering what the mysterious “sneak peek” would be in San Diego Comic-Con’s infamous (it has its own Twitter account) Hall H—what treat would greet the fans who’d waited hours in line. It took only a few minutes to find out: Sam Raimi and Neil Druckmann appeared to talk the movie adaptation of video game The Last of Us! Including a very promising meeting with a certain Game of Thrones star.

[Read on for plot details and casting rumors]

Fri
Jul 25 2014 12:15pm

Shiny! Serenity’s Crew Will Reunite Through Firefly Online Roleplaying Game

Firefly Online trailer original cast reunite voices San Diego Comic-Con 2014

We’ve known about the Firefly Online MMO since last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, though details on the Firefly roleplaying game have been scarce. But there’s an encouraging announcement from this year’s SDCC: The original cast is reuniting for the game!

[Click through for the Firefly Online trailer]

Fri
Jul 25 2014 9:40am

Here’s Your First Look at Frozen’s Elsa on Once Upon a Time

first look Elsa costume Once Upon a Time Frozen Georgina Haig Frozen Elsa cosplay

Fringe’s Georgina Haig was certainly inspired casting to play Frozen’s ice queen Elsa, who’s abandoning Arendelle for Storybrooke on Once Upon a Time this fall. But we’ve been waiting for our first official look at the character to see if she can really channel Elsa.

White-blonde braid? Yep. Fierce expression? Right there. Sparkly blue gown? Well... we’re not the hugest fans of her costume.

[Read more]

Thu
Jul 24 2014 8:24pm

MTV Renews Teen Wolf for Season 5 and Hints at Season 4 Drama

Teen Wolf renewed season 5 20 episodes San Diego Comic-Con 2014 panel mid-season trailer season 4 Stydia hug Dylan O'Brien Stiles fangirl

One of MTV’s best scripted dramas won’t get taken out by a silver bullet anytime soon: The creators of Teen Wolf just announced that the show is being renewed for a fifth season! Though this was the biggest news to come out of the show’s San Diego Comic-Con panel, the entire panel moved its audience to laughter and fangirl tears, with more than one incident proving that Dylan O’Brien is basically the fan favorite.

[Read more]