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Forces of Geek: we like pop culture.

Published: Dec 17, 2014 1:00:01 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.
  • Dec 17, 2014 1:00:01 PM
    Aquaman & Justice League in Spotlight at January 12 event;
    Limited Free Tickets Available to Fans on First Come, First Served Basis

    Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and The Paley Center for Media proudly present the World Premiere of Justice League: Throne of Atlantis in Los Angeles on January 12, 2015. Filmmakers and members of the voice cast will attend the event for red carpet media interviews and a post-screening panel discussion.

    The screening will commence at 7:00pm, and attending talent will be announced as confirmed in the coming weeks. The Paley Center for Media is located at 465 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills.

    Read more »
  • Dec 17, 2014 12:00:02 PM

    As the year winds down and we start feeling nostalgic for 2014 (I don't know why, this year totally sucked balls) let us reflect on all the songs that were released and all the lyrics that we, as a society, totally fucked up.

    I don't know about you but I kinda like them better that way. It feels, I don't know, more truthful somehow.

    Video after the break.

    Read more »
  • Dec 17, 2014 11:00:00 AM

    Thug Notes is in my list of top 5 web-series of all-time. It's smart, funny and breaks down literature in a way that makes it easy to understand...a serious plus for people who look at works like Shakespeare's Othello and think, "Well, that's gonna be way too deep for me"...seriously, it gets people interested in reading who normally wouldn't be.

    In this episode, Chucky D's A Christmas Carol (the required reading for the Middle School set) gets chopped up into its most important bits and bitch-slapped into submission until all that is left is the moral of the story and a lesson for us all.

    So get ready to be schooled bitches and get your learnin' on after the break.

    Don't make me tell you twice.

    Read more »
  • Dec 17, 2014 10:00:02 AM
    A blind piano prodigy. A waitress who dreams of being a dancer. A story of passion, determination, and believing in yourself. TOUCH OF THE LIGHT is the amazing true story of HUANG Yu-Siang (who plays himself) and the journey of discovery from his rural village to a prestigious university where he must find his own way among the other, sighted students. Jie (Sandrine Pinna) chases love and a career in the face of poverty and adversity. Their unlikely friendship provides inspiration and courage, resulting in a joyous final performance that will inspire the heart.

    And we're giving away three copies!

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  • Dec 17, 2014 9:00:05 AM

    In what has to be the best video holiday card ever created, the digital advertising agency Exit 10 had their employees get hit in the face with a snowball in slow motion while a punk/garage band version of Let It Snow by The Stents played underneath it.

    This is now the standard of what a video holiday card needs to be people...you have all been served.

    Video of awesomeness after the break.

    Read more »
  • Dec 17, 2014 8:00:05 AM

    Travel back in time to the 1980s, MY LITTLE PONY-style! My Little Pony: The Movie is coming to DVD on January 27, 2015 in the U.S. and Canada from Shout! Kids in collaboration with Hasbro Studios. The animated film has been newly restored, making Ponyland look brighter than ever!

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  • Dec 17, 2014 7:00:00 AM
    Review by Benn Robbins
    Produced by Carolynne Cunningham, 
    Zane Weiner, Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson
    Screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens,
     Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro
    Based on The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
    Directed by Peter Jackson
    Starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, 
    Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, 
    Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Stott, 
    James Nesbitt, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, 
    Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Orlando Bloom

    Given what I know about Peter Jackson and what I have seen previously from the New Zealand film maestro I must say that the penultimate film in the Middle Earth Saga was kind of a let down.

    This chapter of the Hobbit trilogy should have been entitled “A very expected journey and the desolation of a good film maker”

    It was grand and epic and emotional and exciting.

    But most of all it was really boring.

    I don’t know if it had to do with the fact that we have literally seen everything, in this film, before or if it was because at this point Jackson is so sick of the world of Middle Earth that he is basically phoning this one in.

    It could have also been that this film looks more and more like a video game and less like a film with so much more digital 3D graphics being used than previous films.

    I dunno.

    Read more »
  • Dec 16, 2014 4:00:04 PM

    Wayside Creations, the creator of some of the most popular live-action shorts based on the world’s most popular video game franchises including Fallout: Nuka Break and Fallout: Red Star – has announced that its latest adaptation, Loadout: Going In Hot, is now live on Machinima Prime. Featuring a strong ensemble cast – headlined by Richard Hatch (Battlestar Galactica, All My Children) as Captain Gaz - Loadout: Going In Hot is inspired by the popular third-person shooter that was created, developed, and released by Edge of Reality. Introducing viewers to Captain Gaz and his loyal crew of the HMS, the new sci-fi short deliver to viewers the same excitement, absurdity and key gameplay elements featured in the video game.

    In a novel twist on the well-traveled sci-fi genre, Loadout: Going In Hot follows a group of "merchant marines in space" who compete with other local haulers in the highly profitable (and extremely dangerous) antiquities and curios shipping business. Like other critically acclaimed sci-fi properties (Firefly, Battlestar Galactica), Loadout: Going In Hot is peppered with genre action and violence while focusing on character development and interactions.
    Check it out after the jump.

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  • Dec 16, 2014 3:00:02 PM
    Here’s where it all started for this Bat fan.

    I don’t really remember the first time I ever saw this movie, but I can’t really recall a time in my life before having seen it.

    You might say this movie is responsible for the way I turned out, like a sexual awakening, but for Batman, and not in a creepy Fredric Wertham kind of way.

    Anyway, before I make anymore bad analogies, let’s shed some light on this movie and why it is both simultaneously celebrated and reviled by Bat fans of all ages.

    This was the very first Batman feature length film, which was based on the popular TV series of the time. It was part of the 3 B’s of pop culture during the 60’s – The Beatles, Bond and Batman.

    For this movie, they upped the budget and gave Batman more expensive toys to play with including the Bat-copter and the Bat-cycle (complete with a detachable sidecar for Robin). The dynamic duo were played by Adam West and Burt Ward whose chemistry is what made this series for me. Sure, it was a satirical take on the characters and was played for laughs, but I was at an age where I took it completely seriously, despite the colorful villains and BIFF! BAM! POW! sound effects.

    “Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb!”

    Many fans like to pretend this era of Batman never existed as it doesn’t fit into what their idea of Batman should be, but no one can deny its staying power as 75 years after the character’s debut, Batman ’66 is just as relevant now as it was in its heyday.

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  • Dec 16, 2014 2:00:01 PM
    Interview conducted by Clay N Ferno
    Art by Jack Kirby and Erik Larsen

    A heavy book hit the shelves this week! Savage Dragon #200 is weighing in as a ‘100-Page Super Spectacular’ and also carries with it the legacy of Erik Larsen’s career, where he has stayed with Dragon and now Malcolm as the titular character.

    From the Image Revolution to the age of digital comics, you can rarely find a more ingrained creator or publisher in the industry.

    He is able to playfully tip his hat to the Silver Age and Jack Kirby while moving his own book and stories into the future.

    The Image Comics CFO took the time to talk his milestone issue with us—and for that we are grateful and wish him and Dragon many more milestones in the future!

    Read more »
  • Dec 16, 2014 1:00:02 PM

    Everyone knows Arnold Schwarzenegger but do you know the whole story behind the man?

    From Gold's Gym in Venice Beach California to the showdown in Pretoria, amateur and professional bodybuilders prepare for the 1975 Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe contests in this part-scripted, part-documentary film.

    Five-time champion Arnold Schwarzenegger defends his Mr. Olympia title against Serge Nubret and the shy, young, deaf Lou Ferrigno, whose father is his coach; the ruthless champ psyches out the young lion.

    Sardinian Franco Columbu competes in the lightweight class; at home in Italy he solves a tight parking problem by lifting the car into place. Joe Weider is the marketer; Mike Katz and Ken Waller go for the title of Mr. Universe. Bodybuilding and a celebrity-to-be go mainstream.

    Pumping Iron (plus bonus content) Available HERE

    Special Features:
    • Still Pumping: Success in bodybuilding is a mental challenge as well as physical. In these newly recorded interviews, Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about the will power and focus you need to become a champion, and the mental attitude that has shaped his career.
    • The Hard Science of Bodybuilding: Arnold Schwarzenegger and top bodybuilders give insights into the sport of bodybuilding and tips for building the body of your dreams.

    After the jump check out the Pumping Iron App and learn how you can win a digital copy of the film!

    Read more »
  • Dec 16, 2014 12:00:03 PM
    Recently, I heard a Bank of America commercial that used Three Dog Night's “Shambala.”

    Sorry, BofA, that song belongs now and forever to Lost, since the show – not known for its happy moments – used it in one of the most joyous scenes to grace the series.

    That goes for the following songs as well.

     If you've seen these episodes, you likely can't hear these tunes without thinking of these iconic moments every time. In some cases, it was the first time I heard these songs but for most, even if I already knew the song, these episodes made the song completely their own.

    Your own list is probably quite different, but here's mine:

    1. Three Dog Night: “Shambala” – Lost
    "Tricia Tanaka Is Dead" 2007

    When Hurley and Charlie attempt to jumpstart the old Dharma van by driving it down an incredibly steep hill, it could have easily ended in both their deaths, but instead the motor sputters to life and so does the 8-track of this happy hippy song. The euphoria of the moment is catching as Jin, Hurley, and Vincent the dog run after the van and jump inside, smiling wider than we've ever believed possible.

    It's even better than finding the Dharma beer!

    Read more »
  • Dec 16, 2014 11:00:00 AM

    This time of year is the partnership of polar opposites: Excess and charity, which might seem counterproductive, but weirdly with as much money as people dump into gifts for people they don't really care about, they are also giving a lot of it away to charities that need it.

    So with that in mind, the idea of booking a virtual stay at Gingerbread House may seem a bit odd but all the money goes to a wonderful charity in NYC, Robin Hood, an organization where 100% of the money raised goes to help homeless family get off the streets and into safe housing.

    Think of it like an AirBNB for your soul.

    All you have to do is choose where you would like to book your stay, a Modern Home on a beach (pictured above), a cozy Rustic Cabin:

    Read more »
  • Dec 16, 2014 10:00:00 AM
    NOT FINAL Archie promotional artwork by series artist Fiona Staples.

    Archie Comics, the acclaimed and bestselling comic book publisher that is home to some of the best-known pop culture creations in the world, including Archie, Jughead, Betty & Veronica, Josie & The Pussycats, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and the hit AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE and CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA horror series, announced today that the company will relaunch one of the longest-running comic series in history with a new direction spearheaded by two of the most acclaimed and best-selling creators in comics today.

    ARCHIE #1, hitting next year from writer Mark Waid and artist Fiona Staples, will reenergize the story of Archie and his friends, presenting for the first time ever the origins of everyone’s favorite redheaded teen and his friends while showcasing the beginnings of the historic love triangle between Archie, Betty and Veronica.

    The new series will focus on the strengths of the popular characters, their world and harken back to the comic’s humorous and edgier roots, said Archie Comics Publisher/CEO Jon Goldwater.

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  • Dec 16, 2014 9:00:03 AM

    Sometimes an ad campaign comes out that makes you wonder why more companies don't make an effort to chuck out the boring old formula for selling products and take a risk for once...This faux documentary about a man struck by a Skittles rainbow is one of those.

    Thank you hard-shelled fruit candy for thinking outside of the box. I will now eat you.

    Doc after the break.

    Read more »
  • Dec 16, 2014 7:00:00 AM

    Since I was born in the early 70s, most of my hard-core nostalgia revolves around the 80s decade but, I happened to have married a dude six-and-a-quarter years younger than me so while I spent the majority of the 90s in a drunken haze at clubs, he was making the memories that this episode of The List Show showcases.

    Watching it, he kind of teared up...probably over seeing N'Sync, I'm not sure...it was either that or Pogs.

    He's sort of a weirdo.

    Video after the break.

    Read more »
  • Dec 15, 2014 5:00:01 PM
    Check out what I checked out this week.

    Whether the comics are inspiring or disappointing, I read them all.

    Welcome to The Pull List.

    And, as always...Spoilers ahead!

    Avengers World #16
    Writers: Nick Spencer, Frank Barbierre
    Artist: Marco Checchetto, Ramon Rosanas
    Colorist: Andres Mossa
    Publisher: Marvel Comics
    Price: $3.99

    To say that Axis has been disappointing so far would be an understatement.

    It’s a good idea, but its execution has been sloppy across the board.

    Now, on the other hand, the supplemental stories in the regular on-going books have been a doozy. So if nothing else, Marvel’s current big event is bearing some fruit. Heroes are acting like villains and vice versa.

    Scarlett Witch is looking to wipe out Doctor Doom once and for all and he is kind of scared. The "good" Doctor enlists the help of Valeria, his niece and daughter of Reed and Sue Richards.

    Valeria leads a misfit-toys-esque group against Scarlett Witch and all hell breaks loose.

    What really makes this work is how Nick Spencer and Frank Barbierre are able to turn the role reversal into something positive. We know that at some point, everyone will return to the regular programing. Still, being able to make an intriguing tale with those elements made for a satisfying read. Marco Checchetto and Ramon Rosanas’ artwork works perfectly on several fronts, including the battle scenes and a domestic affair with a big reveal. Andres Mossa’s coloring is a visual treat and delivered a grim tone that augmented the sentiment that Valeria and company were going to lose badly.

    Avengers World has been a hit or miss title over the last twelve months, but this installment does a lot to make things interesting, while fully taking advantage of the main angle in place.

    Score: 4 out of 5

    Read more »
  • Dec 15, 2014 4:00:00 PM
    The entertainment landscape is littered with hundreds of “non-fiction” mystery programs; you know, the ones that follow and often reenact unsolved murders, ghosts, aliens, and other weird events. You can find them daily on various cable stations and a plethora of internet websites. You can literally check out too-spooky-for-you programs at any time of the day, any day of the week.

    This wasn’t what it was like when I was growing up.

    Mysteries and the supernatural were reserved for campfires, special events during Halloween, and crappy VHS copies of In Search Of... that you could pick up from the eternally smarmy dude at a comic convention.

    However, there was one outlet alone for a nerdy kid’s fix for the unknown…

    Unsolved Mysteries.

    Hell yeah – I remember hearing that haunting title song and pumping my little fist in excitement for a big, heaping helping of mystery. I mean, seriously, you can hear that cool synth music in your head as you read this, can’t you?

    Then came the deep, sultry voice of the man, the myth, the legend: Robert Stack. This dude made wearing a 1940s trench coat in the 1980s-90s cool as hell. He would be standing in some nameless alley, mist gently caressing his form, and tell us that we were about to embark on a dark path into the unknown.

    Those of you unfamiliar with Unsolved Mysteries, it was an hour-long program that would showcase, well, unsolved mysteries in a documentary format.

     It would go over everything listed above – from missing persons, to cold cases, to the supernatural.

    As the cases would be broken down by Stack and witness interviews, there would be dramatic reenactments of the said mystery playing out for the viewer.

    Read more »
  • Dec 15, 2014 3:00:02 PM
    Experience the first season of TV’s hottest, most blood-curdling sci-fi series – from Executive Producers-Writers Guillermo Del Toro, Carlton Cuse and Chuck Hogan – along with behind-the-scenes special features that explore the story’s journey from bestselling novel to hit show.
When a freak virus kills all but four passengers on an airplane at JFK, Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), head of the Center for Disease Control’s “Canary Team,” is immediately called to the scene. With help from a mysterious Holocaust survivor (David Bradley), “Eph” and his colleague (Mía Maestro) uncover the outbreak’s ties to vampirism. Now, the only way to stop the terrifying disease from wiping out mankind is to face its source – a sinister supernatural creature known as “The Master” – whose evil intent seems more powerful than any other force on Earth!
    Based on the novel by by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, fans can follow the harrowing plague in both the graphic novel and TV adaptation ( Season 1 on Blu-ray™, DVD, and Digital HD – now available!) by visiting twostrains.com

    Read more »
  • Dec 15, 2014 2:00:03 PM
    The Golden Globe nominations were announced bright and early on Thursday morning, celebrating the year in movies and boob tube.

    In the TV category, some nominations were right on the money, like all the love for Fargo, True Detective and Orange is the New Black.

    Others were a surprise, like Jane the Virgin receiving a Best Comedy nod.

    And of course, there were the repeat offenders, like The Good Wife and Downton Abbey.

    And then there were the snubs.

    Let's take a look at the most atrocious small screen snubs.

    Read more »
  • Dec 15, 2014 1:00:02 PM

    In what sounds like the plot to a Hallmark Channel's Christmas movie, the folks of Allouez, Wisconsin have welcomed an Abominable Snowman named Bumble (and her poodle Blizzard) to town and, I'm assuming, she will soon teach the bitter widow school teacher to finally find love again in the arms of the lonely librarian.

    Or, she will walk around town and take part in a weird news report that will no doubt haunt the local street reporter for the rest of his life.

    Either way, I'm hooked.

    Video after the break.

    Read more »
  • Dec 15, 2014 12:00:02 PM
    Joe Casey And Jim Mahfood Bring Vibrant New Energy to Legendary Franchise

    Mixing new school with old, comics publisher Lion Forge Comics has partnered with award-winning IDW Publishing to bring the classic TV series Miami Vice to print with Miami Vice Remix this February. Now anyone who loves the iconic characters, pastels, fast cars and over the top action of Miami Vice can get their hands on the comic based on the renowned ‘80s classic television show.

    Writer Joe Casey (Uncanny X-Men, Adventures of Superman) teamed up with comic book industry veteran Jim Mahfood to create Miami Vice Remix. The comic follows the Metro-Dade Police Department detectives Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs through modern-day Miami as they go undercover facing dangerous encounters with voodoo, zombies and Crockett’s mysterious past.

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  • Dec 15, 2014 11:00:03 AM

    Last year the Arts and Sciences division from USC Dornsife put together a super cool look at snow from the perspective of poets, scientists, psychologists and philosophers. This year, they tackle the Peppermint with the same level of intellectualism that will not only provide you with enough talking points to use during the awkward pauses at your annual family holiday dinner, it will also help keep the conversation away from your (insert fault here).

    So watch the video and take notes people...'cause education has never been so delicious...nor this helpful.

    Video after the break.

    Read more »
  • Dec 15, 2014 10:00:04 AM

    Cormoran Strike
    J. K. Rowling's Cormoran Strike mystery novels, penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, are set to become a BBC TV series.

    Ferguson Library 
    How you can help support and help the library in Ferguson.

    Bookish Instagram 
    A roundup of the best book-related instagrams.

    Read more »
  • Dec 15, 2014 9:00:04 AM

    I like Xmas music. Let me rephrase that, I like Xmas music that is weird and kind of off-putting... like when David Bowie and Bing Crosby did that duet on Little Drummer Boy and both of them wondered how the fuck it happened...yeah, that kind of Xmas song.

    So take the song Feliz Navidad for instance, for most white, uno language-speaking people it's one of the only songs (besides La Bamba) that they can sing completely in Spanish without realizing that they are communicating in a second language that isn't their beloved 'Murican. Even complete racists will sing it (between commenting on how "...our borders need to be shut down (grumble, grumble).

    I've seen it happen and it's a beautiful and ironic thing.

    Which is why, when you pair Feliz Navidad with the Mexican Elvis, El Vez (Robert Lopez, who was in the punk band The Zeros) you get a great cover that will weird out your non pop-punk appreciative relatives while still retaining the beauty of the original song.

    It's like a Xmas miracle if you ask me.

    Video after the break.

    Read more »