Some of Stephen King’s Best Cameo Roles

I love Stephen King, as a writer, as a proclaimer of the greatness of genre literature, and, maybe most of all, as a guy. He was the first author I knew who—actually, scratch that. Stephen King was the first author I knew.

I recognized the names of children’s authors, and some of the bigger pulpy adult authors that my parents read (my mother was a huge Dick Francis fan, and our house had the requisite copies of Clan of the Cave Bear and Shogun) but King was the first author I saw being interviewed on TV. He was the only author I knew who wrote introductions to his own books, and I got a real sense of him as a person form reading them. Later, when I read Danse Macabre and On Writing, I discovered that he could carry that conversational, regular-guy writing style through an entire book, ...

“Don’t waste your life, Stark” — Iron Man

Iron Man was part of the huge first wave of superheroes co-created by Stan Lee in the early 1960s, in collaboration with a variety of artists, mainly Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, but also Bill Everett, Larry Lieber, and Don Heck.

While never a headliner in the Marvel Universe, ol’ ShellHead was always a major player at the very least. He was a founding member of the Avengers, a presence in a lot of stories as the inventor (or at least the owner of the company that invented) much of the Marvel Universe’s fancy tech, the financial backing of the Avengers, and the centerpiece of several major events in the comics, from the Kree-Skrull War to the Armor Wars to Operation: Galactic Storm to Civil War.

Since the movie rights to most of Marvel’s biggest names—Spider-Man, the X-Men, Daredevil, and the Fantastic Four—were already gobbled up by other studios, Marvel ...

Middle-earth’s Hottest Hobbits, Ranked

Hobbits, Frodo and Sam

Look, sometimes you wake up in the morning and think, “What can I do today that would make J.R.R. Tolkien proud of me?” And your brain, rested and wise, supplies the only true answer:

You will rank hobbits by hotness for Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday.

Disclaimer: This is a ranking of hobbits by hotness, not the humans who play them. They are being ranked on their hobbit forms. Take no offense, dear reader.

Note: Peregrin Took is not on this list because during the events of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, he does not reach the hobbit coming-of-age of 33 years old (he does in the appendices, but that’s not where the bulk of his story can be found). He’s only 28 when the story starts, which puts him at roughly 16 or 17 years old in human terms. Ranking the hotness of a hobbit teenager ...

Hobbits, the Proudfoots
Hobbits, Gollum and Smeagol
Hobbits, Deagol
Hobbits, Lobelia Sackville-Baggins
Hobbits, Gaffer Gamgee
Hobbits, Bilbo
Hobbits, Farmer Maggot
Hobbits, Merry
Hobbits, Frodo
Hobbits, Samwise Gamgee
Hobbits, Rosie Cotton

Captain Marvel Doesn’t Know She’s On Camera

Captain Marvel trailer, Carol Danvers

There was something particular that struck me when I was watching the Captain Marvel trailer earlier this week. (Aside from general excitement over how great it looks.) It’s not the costumes or the CGI or the gorgeous music. It’s that Captain Marvel herself rarely ever smiles. In fact, Carol Danvers looks entirely, miraculously indifferent to be on a movie screen. Or anywhere at all.

As far as I can tell, that’s a first for the entire superhero film genre.

It’s easy to think of comparing Captain Marvel to Wonder Woman, since the mere idea of having two female-led superhero films in the space of a couple years seemed impossible back when Marvel Studios decided to seize control of the box office. But while there are clear differences between these two characters and films, what we see in the trailer actually sets Carol Danvers apart from the entire superhero ...

trailer, Logan
trailer, Thor Ragnarok
trailer, Wonder Woman
trailer, Doctor Strange
Captain Marvel trailer, Carol Danvers
Captain Marvel trailer, Carol Danvers
Captain Marvel trailer, Carol Danvers
Captain Marvel trailer, Carol Danvers
Captain Marvel trailer, Carol Danvers
Captain Marvel trailer, Carol Danvers
Captain Marvel trailer, Carol Danvers

Michael Bay Make Arthur Go Boom: Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)

With summer vacation done and school back in session, we’re back for more medieval movies, gang. First film on the syllabus? Michael Bay’s Transformers: the Last Knight (2017).

I sorta can’t believe I just wrote that sentence. I mean, there’s only one reason to watch a Transformers movie, and that’s to hear Optimus Prime doing The Voice. It is not—I repeat, not—to learn about Medieval History.

That probably should go without saying, but the fact is that Transformers: The Last Knight exists.

It shouldn’t. I mean, seriously, who the hell was sitting around brainstorming Transformers ideas and came up with “needs more knights”?

Ugh. Transformers movies haven’t been good in … well, pretty much ever. That they exist at all is a sure sign of Hollywood’s lack of vision regarding movie ideas.

Anyway, this new Transformers movie exists. So I’m gonna do this thing. I’m gonna watch it. I’m ...

The New Trailer for Ralph Breaks the Internet is Never Gonna Give You Up

Wreck-It Ralph 2 new trailer Never Gonna Give You Up Rick Astley RickRoll

Right off the bat, we are getting super existential in the latest trailer for Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2: “If I’m not a racer, what am I?” Vanellope asks Ralph after Sugar Rush gets unplugged due to a broken part. The replacement can be found on the Internet, which is what sends these two video game characters to the world wide web—but her answer might exist there, too.

Judging from the new trailer, there will be just as much pathos in the sequel as in the feels-pummeling original, as Vanellope finds herself fitting in on the no-rules streets of Slaughter Race, and Ralph must decide if he’s OK with letting her go.

This is a surprisingly heavy trailer… but it also has a rickroll! The Internet contains multitudes. Watch for yourself:

The official synopsis:

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 leaves Litwak’s video arcade ...

Carol Danvers Suits Up in First Captain Marvel Trailer!

Captain Marvel trailer

We’ve waited years.

Now get ready to fly.

Here’s the first trailer for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Captain Marvel:

Properly mysterious while still giving us an excellent glimpse into what’s coming next year, this trailer is gorgeous, and has the distinction of starting off with a crash into Blockbuster Video. (90s kids are so ready for this flashback, we can tell.) We get glimpses into Carol’s life both on Earth and in space, so there’s clearly a fun thread to be pulled there in regard to what bits of her memory are missing, and how her life with the Kree has also shaped her. And we get a shot of Carol-the-Air-Force-pilot beside Monica Rambeau in the female-led Top Gun redux we never knew we needed so badly.

Nick Fury! Agent Coulson! Jude Law looking very upset about stuff! Ugh, just hand it over, we’re ready.

Captain Marvel hits theaters ...

1977’s The Hobbit Showed Us the Future of Pop Culture

As you’ve probably heard, Amazon has announced that it’s producing a show set in Middle-earth, the world created by J.R.R. Tolkien in his landmark novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. With the new series reportedly headed into production in 2019, I thought it was time to revisit the various TV and big screen takes on Tolkien’s work that have appeared—with varying quality and results—over the last forty years.

First up, Rankin/Bass’s animated version of The Hobbit, first released as a TV movie on NBC in November, 1977.

As I watched The Hobbit, for the first time since elementary school, I tried to imagine what it would have been like to see the film when it first aired on television forty-one years ago. I picture a child sitting on a lime green couch in a wood-paneled basement, wearing a Darth Vader t-shirt she got ...

1977’s The Hobbit Showed Us the Future of Pop Culture

As you’ve probably heard, Amazon has announced that it’s producing a show set in Middle-earth, the world created by J.R.R. Tolkien in his landmark novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. With the new series reportedly headed into production in 2019, I thought it was time to revisit the various TV and big screen takes on Tolkien’s work that have appeared—with varying quality and results—over the last forty years.

First up, Rankin/Bass’s animated version of The Hobbit, first released as a TV movie on NBC in November, 1977.

As I watched The Hobbit, for the first time since elementary school, I tried to imagine what it would have been like to see the film when it first aired on television forty-one years ago. I picture a child sitting on a lime green couch in a wood-paneled basement, wearing a Darth Vader t-shirt she got ...

1977’s The Hobbit Showed Us the Future of Pop Culture

As you’ve probably heard, Amazon has announced that it’s producing a show set in Middle-earth, the world created by J.R.R. Tolkien in his landmark novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. With the new series reportedly headed into production in 2019, I thought it was time to revisit the various TV and big screen takes on Tolkien’s work that have appeared—with varying quality and results—over the last forty years.

First up, Rankin/Bass’s animated version of The Hobbit, first released as a TV movie on NBC in November, 1977.

As I watched The Hobbit, for the first time since elementary school, I tried to imagine what it would have been like to see the film when it first aired on television forty-one years ago. I picture a child sitting on a lime green couch in a wood-paneled basement, wearing a Darth Vader t-shirt she got ...

Prepare to Be Dazzled By the Latest Mary Poppins Returns Trailer!

Mary Poppins Returns, trailer

Now that fall is approaching, it’s high time we saw another trailer for the upcoming Mary Poppins film! This time with a little more plot and some animation to boot!

Here we go:

It’s fun to see what the animated world will look like this time around! Blunt is clearly doing her own thing with the Poppins, trying not to ape Julie Andrews and put her own stamp on the role. Miranda’s “Jack” isn’t given much more back story, but he’s clearly along for the ride in much the same manner as Bert. Jane and Michael Banks are in a bit of trouble following the death of Michael’s wife, and it looks like they’re not the only people who could use some Poppins magic, given Michael’s three kids wandering about.

The supporting cast is a dazzling array of favorites (including Angela Lansbury, though we’re still rooting for an eventual Bedknobs ...

Prepare to Be Dazzled By the Latest Mary Poppins Returns Trailer!

Mary Poppins Returns, trailer

Now that fall is approaching, it’s high time we saw another trailer for the upcoming Mary Poppins film! This time with a little more plot and some animation to boot!

Here we go:

It’s fun to see what the animated world will look like this time around! Blunt is clearly doing her own thing with the Poppins, trying not to ape Julie Andrews and put her own stamp on the role. Miranda’s “Jack” isn’t given much more back story, but he’s clearly along for the ride in much the same manner as Bert. Jane and Michael Banks are in a bit of trouble following the death of Michael’s wife, and it looks like they’re not the only people who could use some Poppins magic, given Michael’s three kids wandering about.

The supporting cast is a dazzling array of favorites (including Angela Lansbury, though we’re still rooting for an eventual Bedknobs ...

Five Religious-Themed Horror Movies That Are Scarier Than The Nun

This past weekend, The Nun scared up over $53 million at the domestic box office, and over $130 million worldwide; both numbers are record highs for the Conjuring universe, which has two more films in production (potentially three, depending on whether The Crooked Man gets off the ground or not). And while The Nun’s success is a product of the popularity of its parent franchise (a series of successful, well-made films will do that), there’s also something to be said about the movie itself; this is the first film in the Conjuring universe to explore religious horror, and there’s something wickedly appealing about that.

Whether you’re devout, atheist, or somewhere in between, there’s a twisted pleasure to be had in flirting with the dark side of religion—in imagining that, beneath the piousness and the virtue and all that, there’s this nasty darkness just waiting to get out. Sometimes it’s ...

Chuck Wendig and Sam Sykes’ Viral Twitter Thread Becomes Horror Comedy You Might Be the Killer

You Might Be the Killer trailer Chuck Wendig Sam Sykes viral horror Twitter thread Fran Kranz Alyson Hannigan

About this time last year, the internet bestowed upon us the gift of two writers improvising a silly, trope-slashing horror story entirely via Twitter for 11,000 people to enjoy. But, as with all great horror narratives, it didn’t end there! Chuck Wendig shared on his website the wild news that his and Sam Sykes’ bonkers thread about a camp counselor wearing a creepy mask and holding a machete has become a horror movie, appropriately titled You Might Be the Killer.

With Sykes and Wendig as producers, director Brett Simmons (Chilling Visions: 5 States of FearThe Monkey’s Paw) has turned their slasher tweets into a bonafide slasher film—starring Alyson Hannigan and Fran Kranz, no less! The plot looks to be about the same: Counselors are getting murdered at summer camp, with Sam (Kranz) caught in the middle. Rather than call the cops, he decides to ring up ...

Five B-List Movie Monsters Who Deserve a Bigger Following

The Predator stalks onto big screens this week. Either the third or sixth (depending on if you count the Alien vs. Predator pay-per-view fights) sequel to the surprisingly deep (and also very explosion-filled) original movie, this latest outing shows just what an enduring presence the eponymous Predator is in modern monsterdom. The Predator species, like the Alien franchise’s Xenomorphs, have stalked our screens for decades now—but they haven’t done so alone. There are other movie monsters that are just as smart, creepy, and potentially iconic…and yet somehow they never quite hit the same heights of stardom. Some, as we’ll see, spawned multiple sequels but none have ever quite found the audience they deserve. But they’re still out there, waiting, working up an appetite for chaos and destruction…

So let’s go say hi, shall we?

 

The Kothoga, The Relic

You know that insanely dramatic moment where a character dies and ...

“I used to hang out with a lot of losers” — Kick-Ass 2

Both the comic book and the movie Kick-Ass were successes, so each got a sequel. Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. did a more open-ended sequel to the original miniseries, which lasted seven issues, and followed it with a bridge between the two series, Hit Girl, which focused on the breakout character from the comic.

Matthew Vaughn returned to produce a sequel film based on those two new miniseries, tapping Jeff Wadlow to write and direct.

Most, thought not all, of the cast returned, most notably Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the title role and the magnificent Chloë Grace Moretz as Hit Girl. Clark Duke returns as Marty (now a superhero also, Battle Guy), Christopher Mintz-Plasse reprises his role as Chris D’Amico (who is now the super-villain the Motherfucker), as does Garrett M. Brown in the expanded role of Kick-Ass’s father. Also back in smaller roles are Lyndsy Fonseca, who’s in ...

The Self-Mocking, Self-Destructive Masculinity of the Predator Franchise

Even if you’ve never seen the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi action classic Predator, you’ve probably seen this scene: A musclebound Arnold grins slyly as he saunters toward an equally brawny Carl Weathers. The two men clasp their hands together in the center of the room, creating a thunderous clap that resounds even as director John McTiernan holds his camera on their rippling, bulging biceps.

It’s a very manly moment from a very manly movie, the first of three (and soon to be four) entries in a very manly franchise. Even when Arnold and Weathers cede the series to actors not known for their massive physiques (Danny Glover in 1990’s Predator 2 and Adrien Brody in 2010’s Predators), and even when women get to play a more active role (Maria Conchita Alonso as a tough cop in Predator 2, Alice Braga as an Israeli sniper in Predators...

9 Best Enemy Duos Who Just Care About Each Other So Much (But Will Never Tell)

Doctor Who, Doctor, Master

Some of the best literary and on-screen duos are like flip sides of a coin. They may hate each other, but they also probably couldn’t live without each other. One of these people is usually evil. Or “evil” in very deliberate quotation marks. The other one is typically a virtuous, heroic-y person. Together, they complete one another in an endearing and/or off-putting way. Perhaps comics creator Kate Beaton said it (and drew it) best with her series on a pirate and his nemesis

Here are some of the best frenemy duos who mean so very much to each other.

 

The Doctor and the Master/Missy—Doctor Who

Doctor Who, Doctor, Missy

The Doctor and the Master were pals as kids, and later morphed into “best enemies” who can’t really imagine the universe without the other in it. They are completely opposed to each other in nearly every moral and philosophical sense, but Doctor ...

Batman: The Animated Series, Batman, Joker
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy, Faith
Elementary, Sherlock Holmes, Jamie Moriarty
Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang, Zuko
X-Men, Professor X, Magneto
The Golden Compass, Ms Coulter, Lord Asriel
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Cathrynne M. Valente, Ana Juan

“With No Power Comes No Responsibility” — Kick-Ass

Mark Millar sold the film rights to his four-issue comic miniseries Kick-Ass before the first issue was even published, and before the miniseries, which was drawn by John Romita Jr., was completed.

Inspired by conversations Millar had with his friends as a teenager wondering why no one had ever tried to become a superhero in real life, Millar’s goal with Kick-Ass was to take those conversations and see what would happen if a kid decided to actually put that thought to an action. It’s pretty much what the original Nite Owl decided to do in the 1930s in Watchmen, except for the Internet age.

Millar’s comic and Matthew Vaughn’s film both were finished simultaneously, though both worked toward the same general ending.

Vaughn met Millar at the premiere for the former’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, and the development of the film was far more collaborative than ...

The Ark of the Covenant Got Locked in a Warehouse Because the Government Thought Indiana Jones Was Full of Sh*t

Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones, Ark of the Covenant

Everyone loves the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark because it’s the punchline to a joke that you never realized the film set you up for. The government claims that they have “top men” working on the mysteries that lie within the awesome divine relic, only for us to see the ark get shut up in a box and deposited in the recesses of a fully stocked warehouse, where it will likely never be found again. But let’s be honest here—do we really think that was the best possible solution? Given the havoc that the ark brought down upon the Nazis, why did the US government simply pack it away?

Think about this: Indiana Jones makes it back from his mission to retrieve the Ark of the Covenant. Said mission was initially given to him by two government stooges from Army Intelligence who approached Jones to find out why ...