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Forces of Geek: we like pop culture.

Published: Apr 24, 2014 5:00:02 PM
Forces of Geek features columns and commentary on all aspects of geek culture including pop culture, technology, art, television, comics, music, fashion, film, literature and video games. The premiere Geek Culture community online, forcesofgeek.com wants you to discover and embrace the unknown, the forgotten, and the beloved.
  • Apr 24, 2014 5:00:02 PM
    In Summer 2014, the world’s most revered monster is reborn as Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures unleash the epic action adventure “Godzilla.” From visionary new director Gareth Edwards (“Monsters”) comes a powerful story of human courage and reconciliation in the face of titanic forces of nature, when the awe-inspiring Godzilla rises to restore balance as humanity stands defenseless.
    Gareth Edwards directs “Godzilla,” which stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Kick-Ass”), Oscar® nominee Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai,” “Inception”), Elizabeth Olsen (“Martha Marcy May Marlene”), Oscar® winner Juliette Binoche (“The English Patient,” “Cosmopolis”), and Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine”), with Oscar® nominee David Strathairn (“Good Night, and Good Luck.,” “The Bourne Legacy”) and Bryan Cranston (“Argo,” TV’s “Breaking Bad”).

    And we're giving away passes to Forces of Geek readers to see the film on Monday, May 12th, at 7pm at the AMC Boston Common!

    For the chance to receive two tickets to the screening please visit http://l.gofobo.us/5pbgh1Bw

    Just a reminder that tickets are oversold and you should plan on getting there early. Passes and admittance are on a first come first served basis.

    Godzilla Opens Everywhere on May16th!
  • Apr 24, 2014 3:00:03 PM
    By Kate Davis

    The Flesh and Blood Show (1972)
    Kino Classics / Released 3/18/14

    A maniac is on the loose and the only thing that can sate his appetite is sweet, sweet murder! Or at least, he thinks so anyway. A group of young actors, hired by an unknown producer, come to a seaside theater only to be killed off one at a time. After the murderer is revealed, we are treated to a 3-D flashback as to what caused him to lose his precious marbles.

    Honestly, that’s pretty much the entirety of the plot.

    Unless, of course, you count innumerable scenes of nudity as plot points.

    This film served as director Pete Walker’s transition from sexpolitation comedies to thrillers. It’s so clear that he wanted for The Flesh and Blood Show to be so many things at once, but by doing so was unable to achieve any one clear direction for the film.

    Although titled The Flesh and Blood Show, there’s surprisingly very minimal blood or onscreen violence. It probably would have been more beneficial to call it what it really was, which was The Flesh and Bazongas Show. Due to restrictions, he was unable to really show outright gore, but apparently had the go ahead on the full frontal nudity.

    Go figure. Walker himself said that, “The Flesh and Blood Show holds back simply because of censorship at that time.” Which leads the question of, “Why not then shelve it temporarily?”

    Made in the heyday of Hammer Films, Walker very nearly crosses the line of pseudo Hammer-esque filmmaking. On the new Blu-Ray release by Redemption Films, Walker states in an interview that he, “didn’t want to be the guy who was making independent versions of Hammer movies.” When initially watching this, I had a serious Hammer vibe, but it’s evident Walker was indeed trying to attempt something different. Albeit sometimes hokey, it’s a more contemporary attempt for its era.

    It may have been an obvious transition piece for Walker, but there are some golden moments. My personal favorite is when the killer walks on stage and declares, “They’re all the same, young actors. Filthy and degraded lechers. All of them! And the females? Flaunting their bodies! Offering their thighs and breasts. Scum! EXCREEEMENT!!”

    I had a serious belly laugh at this proclamation because the movie seemed to be aware of itself and its ludicrous nudity. I won’t say anything more about the maniac because I believe that spoilers are to Satan as elves are to Santa. Now, I must say the only part of the film I audibly groaned at was the last minute and a half. The remaining, living actors literally sit in a circle and explain what the hell just happened in the previous 96 minutes. I’ve always found it insulting when a movie chooses to spoon-feed you a conclusion rather than show you.

    Redemption’s Blu-Ray release of The Flesh and Blood Show is a lovely transfer from the original 35mm print. The audio and visual are both spectacular. Although there aren’t many bells and whistles (or 3-D glasses), the interview with Pete Walker about this 1972 flick is eye opening, if not anything else.

    Overall, this film is a must own for any fan of Walker’s. However, if you’re coming in cold, perhaps it’s not the best place to start. The Flesh and Blood Show acts more as a stepping stone to his later works, rather than being a solid standalone movie to begin with. It’s all context, baby.

    Read more »
  • Apr 24, 2014 1:00:02 PM
    I know what you're thinking, a video game holiday destination suggests a darkened room somewhere with a do not disturb sign on the door, the internet connection is excellent and the fridge is full of snacks and beverages...perfect. 

    Except, that's not the kind of gaming holiday I'm talking about.

    Let me explain, imagine you have the chance to visit any potential holiday destination within the myriad of game universes.

    The brochure would be a hefty tome detailing various landscapes, climates, cultural wonders and new experiences.

    So, where would you go?

    Read more »
  • Apr 24, 2014 11:51:49 AM

    I'm going to be honest with you, my mom bought me one can of Smurf-a-Getti after I threw a fit in the grocery store and, upon consuming the entire can in one sitting, I booted it all over the bathroom walls, which I then had to clean up. Have you ever had to scrub vomit tomato sauce off of velvet smocked wallpaper? Yeah, it's not fucking easy. And, as a result of this Smurf incident, I've never eaten anything cartoon-related again...except cereal...I'll always eat the cereal. 

    I mean, I'm not a barbarian.

    Commercial of the (shudder) Smurf-a-Getti after the break.

    Read more »
  • Apr 24, 2014 9:00:06 AM

    Back when I was a just a teen, Tom of Finland's (Touko Laaksonen) artistic rendering of hyper-masculine gay men was my first introduction into gay culture and for that, I have to thank him. As a young girl, these highly homoerotic images were, well, let's just say it, a gateway drug into my fag hag days where, during my twenties, I spent a lot of time grooving to the beats at gay dance clubs and hanging with dudes so good-looking they could make you weep because you did not have a penis.

    But I digress.

    Recently, Finland, in all of it's amazing glory, has released a series of stamps celebrating the art of Tom of Finland which not only makes the thought of sending out snail mail (or better yet, receiving it) attractive, it makes it almost worth going down to the post office and buying stamps from an angry government worker.

    Of course, the stamps are not going to be available for US mail because we here in the states or so prudish that the mere thought of a highly buff, attractive male staring at you between the legs of another guy, indicating that oral sex will be taking place momentarily, is too controversial to slap on a birthday card to grandma.

    I mean, one of them is a cop some sort for christ sake, aren't we supposed to support these guys? Seriously, if the F.O.P (Fraternal Order of Police) can call me three times a year for donations I don't see why I can't buy a few dozen sheets of one of their brothers tenderly restraining a guy with his thighs.

    It's just wrong...so wrong.

    Goddamn you Finland and your progressive acceptance of hot, gay men whose face can be applied to envelopes containing a cable bill...damn you straight to hell.

    Source: Huffington Post

  • Apr 24, 2014 7:00:01 AM

    In the few years that Pee-Wee's Playhouse graced the small screen, college students everywhere were smoking a bowl in preparation of entering Puppetland where inanimate objects were alive (Hello Chairy) and jamming to music written by people like Todd Rungren and Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo) and Cindi Lauper (who admitted that it was she who did the theme song).

    Now that was some children's programming let me tell you.

    Of course we all know what happened later...and while I fully support wanking your noodle in a porn theater (where it seems appropriate...I think even etiquette experts would agree with me here), parents were not and CBS pulled the show because they were a bunch of pussies.

    But Pee-Wee's influence was stronger than a crime of "Waxing Philosophically" as you will see in the following video by the tUnE-yArDs, an indie, world beat, lo-fi band out of New England, who shove just about every child-friendly segment into its glorious three-and-a-half minutes.

    Seriously, this thing is amazing.

    So pour yourself a huge helping of Cocoa Krispies with chocolate milk, sit in front of your computer screen wearing footie pajamas and watch yourself a bit of nostalgia.

    Don't forget to scream when you hear the magic word...it's "Awesome" by the way.

    Read more »
  • Apr 23, 2014 7:00:01 PM
    Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD include bonus
    content featuring interviews with the all-star cast!
    Set in a mythic New York City and spanning more than a century, Winter’s Tale is a story of miracles, crossed destinies and the age-old battle between good and evil.

    Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) is a master thief who never expected to have his own heart stolen by the beautiful Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay). But their love is star-crossed: she burns with a deadly form of consumption, and Peter has been marked for a much more violent death by his one-time mentor, the demonic Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe). Peter desperately tries to save his one true love, across time, against the forces of darkness, even as Pearly does everything in his power to take him down – winner take all and loser be damned. What Peter needs is a miracle, but only time will tell if he can find one.

    Read more »
  • Apr 23, 2014 5:00:02 PM
    Review by Morayo Sayles
    Bald New World
    Peter Tieryas Liu
    Perfect Edge Books

    Released: May 30th 2014

    In this futuristic not quite dystopian world, Bald New World writer Peter Tieryas Liu takes us on a ride from the heights of San Francisco to the gritty grimy depths of China.

    Nick Gunn was eleven years old when the great baldification occurred – the affliction where all humans in the world lost their hair en masse.  This traumatizing event was the catalyst for the moral, fiscal and natural decline of society that loomed ominously for decades.

    Now 25 years later, Nick works as a photographer/graphic artist for his billionaire friend Larry Chao who is as reckless and irresponsible as he is wealthy. 

    This story is a tale of Wall-E meets Blade Runner.

    Read more »
  • Apr 23, 2014 3:00:06 PM
    This week at ComiXology, fans of 2000AD books will get a special treat, a full graphic novel, The Many, from cover artist Charlie Gillespie.

    This future world with superpowers, vampire lore and gore ranks right up there with Transmetropolitan or Black Mask's Ballistic. Both the art and story are rich and colorful.

    Charlie Gillespie joins us today for a run on the Cosmic Treadmill!

    Read more »
  • Apr 23, 2014 1:00:02 PM
    We’re at the point where all of the 2013 Oscar nominees have made it to home video and are now popping up on premium cable TV channels.

    But I have no interest in watching most of these movies for a second time.

    It’s not that I thought they were bad or it’s some kind of anti-intellectualism on my part, but I do not believe they have anything to offer on a second viewing.

    When I first saw them I understood their message, appreciated the craftsmanship of all those involved with the production, and that was that. There’s nothing pulling me to revisit the movies.

    My one takeaway from all of film school was how to know if a movie is truly great.

    According to my professor, there are three types of movies:
    1. A movie that you stop thinking about as soon as you leave the theater
    2. A movie you’re still thinking about on your way to your car and maybe even on your drive home, and 
    3. A movie where several days later, you’re looking for something in the refrigerator and you find yourself still thinking about the movie. You’re still grappling with the meaning of something in it, or just replaying a great scene in your head.
    As he put it, movies that fall into the third category are “magic” because they have the ability to exist outside of the theater.

    Read more »
  • Apr 23, 2014 11:00:05 AM

    I am totally in love with PBS's web-series Blank on Blank, and yes, I post a lot of them on this site because I think it's important for you to watch them (she said, like a mom) but most of all, I love how the animation created from all the old interviews brings to life the beauty and spontaneity that a really good yap session can create between a subject and journalist when it isn't so much about getting dirt or promoting a project as it is about people truly enjoying the discussion.

    Something that rarely exists in journalism anymore I'm sad to say.

    But these series of interviews between John Lennon, Yoko Ono and journalist Howard Smith done during the years of 1969 and 1971, are some of the most honest and real conversations about love that I've heard in quite a while.

    I don't know, maybe in this jaded and irony-thick age something as sappy as love and being in love isn't a crowd pleaser, but just once, maybe we can just lay down our cynicism and simply be a bunch of doe-eyed innocents listening to people discuss the importance of an emotion that feeds the soul.

    Do we think we can do that?

    Video after the break.

    Read more »
  • Apr 23, 2014 9:00:04 AM

    I'm a big believer in taking a moment out of your everyday life to reflect on the infinite nothingness so as to reach perfect state of clarity...then again I have the attention span of a newborn child, so for me to actually achieve a true and perfect zen, I kinda need a visual to help me out.

    And a two minute video of cats wearing sunglasses usually does the trick.

    So calm...so thoughtful...so frakking adorable. I feel better already.

    Video after the break.

    Read more »
  • Apr 23, 2014 7:00:06 AM

    I have always been drawn to the Walt Disney World Parks, mainly because anything that family friendly has to have a dark underbelly that is sicker and more disturbing than anything you'd find in a gated community in suburbia. A belief that was completely validated by Leonard Kinsey's 2011 book The Dark Side of Disney that not only proved that the Mouse is seriously corruptible, it totally made me want to go back there sans family for some real fun.

    Which makes the news that there's going to be a documentary about Kinsey's book (if people are willing to pony up the cash via a Kickstarter campaign) so incredibly awesome to anyone who enjoys  Disney World/Land  but also likes to drink, do drugs and doesn't have kids.  Of course, while the documentary will certainly get an non-reading audience (shame on you) excited about a completely fucked-up adult adventure into the Happiest Place on Earth, it also celebrates a homogenized ideal of America that will never exist (which is probably why it's so damn seductive to us).

    Seriously, if the idea of having an adult Disney experience is more than enticing, take a look at the pitch video by director Philip B. Swift (who also directed the documentary The Bubble about the Disney town Celebration) after the break and then donate some cheese to the project

    You'll be glad that you did...you know, if you are the kind of person who wouldn't mind dropping acid and then spending six hours on the Small Word ride.

    Read more »
  • Apr 23, 2014 6:27:43 AM

    Pop culture is a huge force in our modern, western world.

    The Mickey Mouses, Golden Arches, Pokemons and Supermans of our age have an immense impact on industries other than their own; just take a look down your high street and you’ll see plentiful examples of that most ambiguous of ideas, horizontal integration.

    As we brush aside any Orwellian assertions of a ‘culture industry’, the influence of pop on other mediums and industries has created excellent pieces of film, games that keep the player’s heart pounding and even themed casino games that take the best facets of well known figures and series into new locales of lavishness!

    So in what ways has pop culture exerted its influence?

    Read more »
  • Apr 22, 2014 5:00:06 PM

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  • Apr 22, 2014 4:00:03 PM
    The UNICRON Trilogy Continues…

    Ten years of peace have passed since UNICRON’s destruction, but all of that’s about to change. A mysterious enemy has unleashed the Terrorcons on the Autobots’ cities, gathering energy for plans of total domination. Enter a newly revived Megatron and the universe is in for a war unlike any it’s ever seen between the Autobots and the Decepticons. And once again, Earth is caught in the middle!

    Can Optimus Prime and his valiant Autobots — alongside their human allies — protect the Earth against this new threat? Find out with the complete series of Transformers Energon!
    And we're giving away a copy!

    Read more »
  • Apr 22, 2014 3:00:08 PM
    As a brand new resident of Brooklyn who also happens to be a serious film geek, one of the most exciting features of discovering my new neighborhood has been recognizing various landmarks known to me from the silver screen.

    A short drive from my front door stands the towering and haunting Verrazano Narrows Bridge from Saturday Night Fever.

    Coney Island, a memorable backdrop in films like The Wiz, Remo Williams, Angel Heart, Requiem for a Dream and He Got Game, is a few blocks away. JFK Airport, formerly Idlewild Airport and just up the Belt Parkway, is the site of the 1978 Lufthansa heist as chronicled in GoodFellas. The elevated train tracks over Shell Avenue that are the centerpiece of the classic car/subway chase in The French Connection are but a hop skip and jump across town.

    The whole borough feels like a giant theme park full of famous movie sets.

    Excited by the prospect of visiting as many recognizable Brooklyn filming locations as possible, I will map my progress and check back in periodically with more accidental discoveries and successful pilgrimages to places made magical and mystical for me simply because I’ve seen them in the movies.

    Then, after Brooklyn, I’ll set my sights on Queens and Manhattan.

    Read more »
  • Apr 22, 2014 2:00:01 PM
    The Man of Bronze Returns!

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  • Apr 22, 2014 1:00:04 PM
    Cosplay isn’t always for everyone.

    It’s usually an outlandish way of dressing, by normal day-to-day standards, and not all of us are happy with being so far outside that comfort zone. But who is to say that elements of cosplay can’t incorporated into every day wear?

    A lot of our favorite characters are just ordinary guys, or are at least ordinary when they’re not masquerading as their alter ego. It is something that can be part of a casual wardrobe and be worn daily; you don’t always have to look like an anime illustration to be considered a cosplayer.

    You can simply add a motif to your outfit by coordinating colors or adding a few accessories that suggest a character’s look.

    Okay, so a t-shirt with a super hero’s logo on it isn’t quite cosplay, but it can certainly add to a themed outfit.

    Read more »
  • Apr 22, 2014 12:00:02 PM

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  • Apr 22, 2014 11:00:04 AM
    Welcome to the Future People

    Well folks, the government may not be willing to approve Single-Payer health insurance but it can approve Powdered Alcohol so I guess that's something to applaud (if your applauding meter bar is set fairly low). And yes, you did read that sentence correctly, for whatever reason, the TTB (otherwise known as the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) totally got behind alcohol in powder form because, why the hell not.

    The first company to market this stuff to the public will be Palcohol:

    A company that already has Rum and Vodka ready to go down your gullet with their eye on future mixes like the mojito and margarita coming soon after.

    All you have to do is dump this stuff in a water bottle and you're good to go for those long, boring afternoon meetings...(Crystal Light is going to be so frakking mad).

    Of course while the moral implications of a powdered form of alcohol may cause some people to question the guidelines of the TTB, I'm more into learning a DIY form of it so that I can fully stock my Emergency Kit in my car in case I go plummeting down a ravine.  I mean, if I'm going to die in the wilderness from exposure and/or broken bones, I at least want to keep hydrated with some Puerto Rican rum.

    And thanks to Popular Science, I can...well, learn to make my own powdered alcohol, not survive my bad driving in the woods, which would probably make for a better DIY project now that I think of it...but I digress.

    To learn how to make your own batch of booze click HERE and get to dry brewing.

    You know, this might also work well for my zombie apocalypse kit as well...wow, science.

  • Apr 22, 2014 9:00:07 AM

    If you're into late night pillow humping with Star Trek's Kirk or Spock then Etsy seller, Identity Productions, can make all your perverted dreams come true with their anime-style (I guess) artistic rendering of the Captain of NCC-1701 and the High Priest of the Vulcan Mind Meld.

    Now, since this is a judgement-free zone I won't make any comments about the sadness of your dry hump choices here, nor will I point out that $50 seems like a lot of moolah to pony up for a body pillowcase that has more of an homage to Kirk and Spock rather than their actual likeness, because I am a wonderfully sensitive person who doesn't do that kind of thing.

    But I will say this, if Star Trek characters aren't your mastabatory thing, Identity Productions also has BBC's Sherlock and Watson:

    Read more »
  • Apr 22, 2014 7:00:00 AM

    Most children's cartoons make liberal use of our ability to suspend disbelief (and banks on the fact that young kids are notoriously gullible) in order to succeed in programming and for that, I am thankful, otherwise animated shows that I grew up with like Dungeons and Dragons, Jem and The Muppet Babies would have been exercises in futility.

    But sometimes it takes a cartoon to point out how really horrible reality can be when it comes to entertaining us after we smoke a bowl (or for, you know, the kids) so many thanks to ADHD's Scientifically Accurate Spongebob Squarepants for reminding us all that a little fantasy helps keep everything fun.

    'Cause frankly, this shit here is a bit creepy.

    Video after the break.

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  • Apr 21, 2014 7:00:01 PM

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  • Apr 21, 2014 6:00:03 PM
    The Case That Started It All Debuts At IDW!

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