Longform

Mondo's Marvel Gallery: See All 50 Posters, Plus an Interview With Artist Mike Mitchell!

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by Jacob Hall April 25, 2014 09:00 PM
Mike Mitchell/Marvel
Superheroes are all about action. They're defined by their superpowers, colorful costumes and catchphrases. Whether they're battling a dozen henchman or their arch-nemesis, these characters battle evil with gadgets, magic or just their fists.
So what happens when you take away that action and ask the heroes (and villains) of the Marvel universe to stand still for a portrait? That's the idea behind artist Mike Mitchell's new Mondo Gallery show, which takes the denizens of the massively popular comic book universe and asks them to "catch their breath."

Why That Controversial 'Game of Thrones' Rape Scene Was Supposed to Be Disturbing

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by Britt Hayes April 21, 2014 02:27 PM
HBO
Much discussion has been sparked today following an eyebrow-raising sex scene (to say the least) in last night's episode of 'Game of Thrones'. In "Breaker of Chains," incestuous and morally corrupt siblings Jaime and Cersei Lannister do what incestuous and morally corrupt siblings do best, but there was something very different about the dynamic between the two this time around: namely, it played out as a borderline rape (watch the scene in question here). But, things are much more complex than that in 'Game of Thrones,' particularly between these two characters. Given the world's proclivity for the graphic exploitation of women, the scene is definitely scandalous.

From the Set of 'Salem': WGN's New Horror Drama Unveils Its World of Witchcraft and Fanatics

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by Kevin Fitzpatrick April 19, 2014 09:00 AM
WGN
It was an exceptionally seasonable March afternoon in Louisiana that a group of reporters piled into a bus headed through rural Louisiana toward the exterior 'Salem' set in Grand Cane, located in a farmland forest that entirely concealed the grandeur within. Mind you, I’d never been on an exterior set visit for such an elaborate period drama, let alone one that constructed a working town of 25 exterior buildings (and 13 custom interiors) against the backdrop of a scenic lake, which itself we’re told would be digitally expanded to better emulate the Massachusetts coast.
WGN America’s ‘Salem’ will hit the tubes this weekend as the network’s first original scripted drama, and, more now than ever, I remember the quick response director David Von Ancken ('Hell On Wheels') gave during an on-set interview for ‘Salem,' as I asked what message the network intended to convey with such a bold choice for its first original. “We’ve arrived,” he shot back, a phrase I’d repeat multiple times throughout the weekend.

Man vs. Computer: Hollywood's Long History of Distrusting Technology

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by Jacob Hall April 18, 2014 11:00 AM
Hollywood has rarely had much faith in the future.
Just look at the sheer number of cinematic dystopias and post-apocalypses, at the deadly desert wastelands and rain-soaked urban nightmares. In the movies, tomorrow is not just another day, it's just another step toward a world where technology consumes us and then kills us. According to the world of film, the human race is constantly on the path to being enslaved and murdered by the machines we create.
Although Hollywood's stance on the evils of technology has softened in recent years, 'Transcendence' is a throwback to a different age, when computers were not just terrifying unknowns, they were pretty much Satan. It's a position that may seem silly in our modern, tech-infused culture, but it's another chapter in the long history of technology trying to dominate humanity on the big screen.

'Say Anything' 25th Anniversary: How Lloyd Dobler Scarred Me For Life

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by Mike Ryan April 14, 2014 02:37 PM
20th Century Fox
‘Say Anything’ scarred me for life.
I’ve been aware for a few weeks that the 25th anniversary of ‘Say Anything’ was approaching and I’ve kind of gone out of my way to ignore it – even though there’s no doubt it influenced my teenage life more than any other movie. But, good grief, did this movie ever influence me to do some stupid things that I've suppressed from my memory. For one day only, I'll bring one of these memories to the surface.

Whatever Happened To The Late Night Guest Host?

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by Mike Ryan April 11, 2014 12:15 PM
NBC/ScreenCrush.com
Last night, as the dust settled on the news that Stephen Colbert would be taking over ‘Late Show’ from David Letterman at some point in 2015, I was engaged in a conversation that drifted toward just how someone qualifies to be a viable candidate for a network late night talk show in the first place. More specifically, how is it that 28 years ago, a woman actually did host a network late night network talk show and, now, in 2014, that would seem almost revolutionary.

How Sports Movies Taught Me to Stop Being a Snob and Love the Game

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by Jacob Hall April 11, 2014 11:00 AM
NBC
I used to hate sports.
I'd walk by a sports bar and roll my eyes. I'd scoff when people would choose to attend a game instead of doing something real like go to the movies. Growing up just outside San Antonio, Texas, I managed to attend my fair share of Spurs basketball games, but the bug never bit me. When Tim Duncan and his team were at the height of their powers, I was busy watching movies and re-reading my tattered copy of Roger Ebert's 'The Great Movies' and explaining to everyone I knew how superior my taste was (I was a huge, awful jerk).
Little did I know that the the media I embraced would be the thing that would turn me around on the entire issue of sports. Like something out of a science fiction movie, movies would inject me while I wasn't looking, transforming me into a sports fan.

Nicolas Cage and David Gordon Green Work Together to Find Redemption With 'Joe'

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by Mike Ryan April 09, 2014 12:05 PM
Adam Berry, Getty Images
There are some actors that I just inexplicably root for. I have no idea what this means or why I do this, but the best way I can explain it is that it’s almost as if the actor is a sports team and I want that actor to win. But at least with sports, there’s regional pride to fuel a sometimes unhealthy rooting interest in what are essentially strangers. There’s really no explanation as to why I feel this with an actor like Nicolas Cage. But, yet, I do.

How 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' Succeeds Where 'Man of Steel' Failed

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by Mike Ryan April 07, 2014 10:41 AM
Marvel/Warner Bros.
Admittedly, I never felt too outraged over the ending of last summer’s ‘Man of Steel.’ (Yes, there will be major spoilers ahead.) The complaints over Superman breaking the neck of his foe were certainly valid – therefore changing the very definition of the character – but it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the film. That changed after seeing ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier.’

Letterman and Me: What the Late Night Host Meant to Us Outcasts

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by Mike Ryan April 04, 2014 01:09 PM
Somewhere, deep within my father’s mid-Missouri basement, are at least a couple of large boxes filled with an assortment of Betamax and VHS tapes filled with episodes of ‘Late Night with David Letterman.’
I wish someone would comb through all 1,819 episodes of Letterman’s ‘Late Night’ and put them on the Internet in easily digestible video clips like we see every morning from Fallon, Meyers, Kimmel, Stewart, Colbert and even Letterman’s own current ‘The Late Show.’ Yes, some of this stuff is on YouTube, but you kind of have to know what you’re looking for to be able to find it. It’s difficult to come across the hidden gem.