A fan's fantastic deepfake improvements to the Lion King

@jonty_pressinger was unhappy that the live action/CGI remake of The Lion King was set in the Uncanny Valley so he "attempted to fix (it) by doing an AI style-transfer using @ellejart amazing fan art."

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David Fincher's Blade Runner-inspired commercial for Coca-Cola (1993)

"Coca-Cola: Blade Roller," directed by David Fincher in 1993.

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Movie theaters host "clown-only" screenings of IT: Chapter Two

Those with coulrophobia are advised to avoid Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas during their upcoming "clown-only" screenings of IT: Chapter Two. Back in 2017, they had clown-only screenings of IT at two theaters so based on that fun, they've expanded the extravaganza to 17 locations across the country.

According to Alamo Drafthouse, guests are “encouraged to come dressed as a clown – the wig, the makeup, the oversized pants and suspenders, the blood-curdling makeup — and sit through this coulrophobia-inducing fright fest with a theater full of fellow clowns.”

What could possibly go wrong. Read the rest

The Irishman trailer depicts de-aged DeNiro

It's so close to perfect, especially given the rich, detailed, warts-and-all photography. But the funny thing about the so-called Uncanny Valley is the deeper you get, the more's left to climb. Read the rest

Bond villains ranked

There are, in Esquire's counting, 104 Bond villains as of July 31, 2019. It categorized and ranked them, creating the perfect tour of the franchise's best bits.

59. Nicknack

The Film: The Man With the Golden Gun The Actor: Herve Villechaize The Basics: Dedicated and diminutive manservant

If Herve Villechaize wasn't such a spirited performer, Nick Nack would be near the bottom of this list. The loyal right hand to Francisco Scaramanga, he spends the bulk of The Man With the Golden Gun going above and beyond the call of duty, even attempting to avenge his deceased employer in an extended, unnecessary, and hugely embarrassing epilogue. He may be at the center of one of the worst Bond movies, but Villechaize makes it watchable.

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Robert Eggers' The Lighthouse looks amazing

I loved Robert Eggers' The Witch. It was a moody, masterfully shot masterpiece of slow-simmering tension, mistrust and the gentle hand that moves desperate people to make terrible decisions. I bought it and ripped it to watch on all the screens I own, as soon as it was released to video. Today I learned that Eggers' second film, The Lighthouse, first broke cover at the Cannes International Film Festival, a few months back.

The trailer for the movie dropped earlier today and holy crap, am I ever invested.

I've watched it a few time today and I'm sucked in further with every viewing. Read the rest

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy returns to the screen in new Hulu series

The classic TV series cannot be topped, but is very old, whereas the movie is quite new, but can surely be topped. So let's hope that the new Hulu reboot of Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy offers the best of both worlds.

For those few who might be unfamiliar with this classic of geekdom, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy tells the tale of Earth’s destruction so that aliens can build a space highway. It centers on a Brit named Arthur Dent and his best friend Ford Prefect, who is writing the travel guide of the title.

The series was first conceived as a radio show on the BBC back in 1978. Since then, Adams turned the idea into a set of novels that became many fans’ first exposure to his comedic stylings. This Hulu project isn’t the first time Hitchhiker’s Guide has received a visual treatment. The original novel was released as a feature film starring Martin Freeman, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel, Sam Rockwell, and Stephen Fry in 2005. It was also made into a TV series in the UK in the 1980s, and recently the original radio cast reunited for a new radio dramatization.

I feel about Hitchhiker's Guide the way I feel about another Douglas Adams masterwork, The Meaning of Liff. I love it, but it's a statue in the pantheon, so maybe I'm just nostalgic about the idea of it and what it represents. It's coupled to a long-ago moment of the British comic imagination: tantalizingly close to modern frequencies but, in truth, another universe. Read the rest

Watch Max Headroom interview Rutger Hauer about Blade Runner

From an episode of The Max Headroom show that first aired in 1986, Max Headroom interviews, um, "Rootbeer Hauer."

Previously: "Rutger Hauer, Blade Runner's Roy Batty, RIP" Read the rest

"Then and Now" photos of Death Valley spots used for Tatooine in Star Wars

The excellent "Then & Now Movie Locations" visited the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park where some of the Tatooine shots were filmed for Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977). It's a beautiful locale but I can understand why Luke would want to be teleported off this rock.

For more shots of terrestrial locations used for Tatooine, here's a 2015 article from The Guardian about the remains of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru's homestead in the Sahara desert.

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Trailer for new Harriet Tubman biopic

Born into slavery, Harriet Tubman (1822-1913) escaped to be become one of the most heroic and effective activists and abolitionists leading up to the American Civil War and after. Her courageous efforts as a "conductor" on the Underground Railroad directly saved the lives of hundreds of people and inspired countless others. She is a true American hero whose courage and impact can't be overstated. And now she's the subject of a big Hollywood biopic. Harriet, directed by Kasi Lemmons and starring Cynthia Erivo, will be released November 1.

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J Michael Straczynski's "Becoming Superman": a memoir of horrific abuse, war crimes, perseverance, trauma, triumph and doing what's right

J Michael Straczynski (previously) is known for many things: creating Babylon 5, spectacular runs on flagship comics from Spiderman to Superman, incredibly innovative and weird kids' TV shows like The Real Ghostbusters, and megahits like Sense8; in the industry he's known as a writing machine, the kind of guy who can write and produce 22 hours of TV in a single season, and he's also known as a mensch, whose online outreach to fans during the Babylon 5 years set the bar for how creators and audiences can work together to convince studios to take real chances. But in JMS's new memoir, Becoming Superman: My Journey From Poverty to Hollywood, we get a look at a real-life history that is by turns horrific and terrifying, and a first-person account of superhuman perseverance and commitment to the right thing that, incredibly, leads to triumph Read the rest

Penn Jillette remarks on (mostly phony) magic tricks in pop culture

"But remember, I lie."

In this video, legendary magician Penn Jillette watches clips from TV and movies that feature magic tricks of one kind or another, and then gives his honest opinion about what's actually going on. ("Instant Stooging" is totally going to be my next band's name.)

Why is he doing this? Well, Penn & Teller are teaching the art of magic in a new MasterClass (which looks terrific!).

Here's the full clip of him and Teller doing that magic trick upside down on Saturday Night Live that he talks about at the end of the video:

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The trailer for Top Gun: Maverick buzzed the tower today

If you managed to miss watching Top Gun over the past three decades, lemme catch you up: FUCK YEAH JETS! As thin as the plot of the original was, you'll likely be able to dive into the film's sequel without too much trouble.

If you enjoy short Scientologists reliving the glory of one of their most iconic roles, fast planes and young fells running around in short-shorts, you're in for a treat. Read the rest

Kevin Smith to do a theatrical reading of his Clerks III script

Director Kevin Smith wrote Clerks III more than a decade ago but it was never made, the director has said, because Jeff Anderson, who plays Randal, wasn't game. Today, Smith announced that he and some unnamed "friends" will do a reading of the script at the First Avenue Playhouse in Atlantic Highlands, NJ. It's a benefit for the playhouse which is where Smith held open auditions for the first Clerks film 25 years ago. There were only 80 seats available (at $100/each) and, yes, it sold out instantly.

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Trailer: The Art of Self-Defense looks terrible in the best possible way

From the look of things, The Art of Self-Defense looks to be full of toxic masculinity and Iron John bullshit--to hilarious effect. Jesse Eisenberg is at his best in movies where he plays the straight man: deadpan, confused and terrified.It looks like that's all going on here.

I haven't been interested enough in a film to bother seeing it in the theater, for a while now. This flick might just break my watch-it-at-home streak. Read the rest

"They Live": action figures for our present moment

I've often said that science fiction doesn't tell you much about the future, but it sure tells you a lot about the present: the fact that we're still citing Frankenstein and the Terminator tells you that we're worried about being carried away by our technology, the fact that we're still citing The Matrix tells you that we fear that the world is being secretly run by a conspiracy (and not without cause). Read the rest

Trailer for Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining

"Come and play with us, Danny... for ever, and ever, and ever." The bigscreen adaptation of Doctor Sleep, Stephen King's 2013 novel sequel to The Shining, is out November 8. From the film description:

"Doctor Sleep” continues the story of Danny Torrance, 40 years after his terrifying stay at the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson and newcomer Kyliegh Curran star in the supernatural thriller, directed by Mike Flanagan, from his own screenplay based upon the novel by Stephen King.

Still irrevocably scarred by the trauma he endured as a child at the Overlook, Dan Torrance has fought to find some semblance of peace. But that peace is shattered when he encounters Abra, a courageous teenager with her own powerful extrasensory gift, known as the “shine.” Instinctively recognizing that Dan shares her power, Abra has sought him out, desperate for his help against the merciless Rose the Hat and her followers, The True Knot, who feed off the shine of innocents in their quest for immortality.

Forming an unlikely alliance, Dan and Abra engage in a brutal life-or-death battle with Rose. Abra’s innocence and fearless embrace of her shine compel Dan to call upon his own powers as never before—at once facing his fears and reawakening the ghosts of the past.

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