As seriously as most fantasy geeks (including this writer) take the genre, let’s face it: from Lord of the Rings to Dungeons and Dragons, it’s always been easy to spoof. Most recently, Sports Illustrated unveiled its Kingdom of Sports map, superimposing various owners, teams, and brands over Game of Thrones‘s continent of Westeros. But fantasy parody maps are nothing new: starting with the Harvard Lampoon‘s 1969 parody volume Bored of the Rings, the elaborate alternative universes dreamed up by authors are easily co-opted to parody either the original work or something entirely unrelated — like, say, Internet fiefdoms. From a Mario-ized version of Westeros to a composite map of virtually every fantasy universe ever imagined, we’ve compiled the cream of the map-parody crop. As fans of virtually every classic work satirized, we were more than a little amused. … Read More
Lord of the Rings
Now that spring break (and Spring Breakers!) is upon us, we’ve been fantasizing about the beach. What could be better than wading through the water with an air of calm gracing our once-fevered brow? Well, how about doing all of that with the uniform of a comic book heroine printed on our bikini? And what could be a more appropriate adornment for that bathing suit than the image of a favorite action-flick heartthrob? If you agree, click through for our roundup of gloriously nerdy swimwear. … Read More
Over the weekend, The Hobbit, Peter Jackson’s much-anticipated prequel adaptation of the most epic story about a heroic hole-builder ever written, landed in theaters and set box office records. According to the world’s communal encyclopedia, most of Tolkien’s humble hobbits lived in “hobbit-holes” or Smials, traditional underground homes found in hillsides, downs, and banks identified by charming little round doors and windows. Proof that the Shire’s simple, bucolic way of life isn’t just fantasy, we’ve rounded up some of the best real-life hobbit homes on the planet. From underground earth house estates in Switzerland to a grand tree house in Oregon fit for Frodo, click through to check out the very best of hobbit havens. … Read More
Attention hobbits and elvish princessess: the day has arrived. Peter Jackson’s first installment of The Hobbit opens tomorrow, and many theaters are holding midnight screenings this very night. Now, there’s no better place to meet a fellow geek than at a midnight screening for a nerdy movie (we hope your costume is spot on), but in our experience, it can sometimes be a little difficult to break the ice — even when you know you’ve got something in common. That’s why we’ve compiled this handy list of pickup lines for both guys and girls to use while striking up a conversation in line for the show — or any time thereafter. Yes, most of them are completely groan-worthy, but isn’t that the point of a pickup line? Click through to get a few ideas on how to nab your own precious tonight, and add to our list in the comments! … Read More
Well, at least there’s one decidedly delicious thing to have come out of the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon. Quite literally delicious: this week sees the release of 50 Shades of Chicken: A Parody in a Cookbook, which details the sordid adventures of a young, inexperienced chicken as she gets her breasts and thighs handled by a chef — while serving up some excellent recipes for roasting chicken as well. It’s enough to make you snort that cooking wine right out of your nose. Inspired by this new and hilarious release, we’ve put together a list of ten literary parodies that totally work on their own merit — no mere joke books these. Click through to see which we chose, and if we missed your favorite parody, be sure to add it to our list in the comments. … Read More
A filmmaker’s job is akin to that of a magician. Many films are just cleverly crafted fantasies devised to make us forget the miserable and mundane for two hours and transport us to a far away place. Movies are an illusion that audiences can’t get enough of. So what happens when the veil is lifted, and we get to take a peek behind the curtain? We found out earlier this week when we spotted this video on io9 centering on fantasy cult film Labyrinth. In the 1986 movie, David Bowie’s Goblin King can twirl a trio of crystal balls like no other, but the English musician can’t take full credit for his magic skills. His talent double did all the behind-the-scenes work.
Thanks to a group of invisible performers who posses the skills and expertise in the fields of fine art, dance, and more, Hollywood stars get to look like believable pros on the big screen. See how some of films’ most famous had a little help from their talent doubles,… Read More
“Always listen to your mother,” is a saying that has been ingrained in most people, and in the case of Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence, the adage proved to be crucial for her career. The actress recently chatted with press at the Toronto International Film Festival, where she admitted that she almost turned down the part of the fearless film heroine Katniss Everdeen — a role that has since skyrocketed her career. Up until this year’s Hunger Games, Lawrence was puting her focus on independent films, such as Like Crazy and Winter’s Bone. The prospect of a Hollywood blockbuster was a bit intimidating for the young star.
“Just saying yes to this one thing could completely change my life, and I don’t know if it’s going to be for the better,” she told USA Today. Lawrence’s mother stepped in to support her daughter and give her the patented mom wake-up call. “She was like, ‘You’re being a hypocrite, because you always say you don’t care about the size of the movies.’ Because when I was doing indies, everybody was always like, ‘Why don’t you ever do a studio?’ I’d say, ‘Because I don’t care about the size of the movie. I care about the story,’” Lawrence said. “And my mom was like, ‘Now you have a story you like, and you’re not going to do it because of the size.’” So, thanks mama Lawrence for convincing the soon-to-be Catching Fire star to lead the kick-ass role with gusto.
Lawrence’s story reminded us of the many major movie roles that actors almost said no to. It’s hard to imagine film classics like The Godfather or Back to the Future without the cast members that captivated audiences with their memorable performances. Find out what stars almost turned down iconic film roles past the break, and feel free to partake in a collective sigh of relief in the comments below. … Read More
Traditionally, stained glass windows are meant to immortalize great deeds and heroic acts, not to mention give life to magic and mysticism. So obviously, if you’re geeky like us, they strike you as the perfect medium to depict the grand events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Jian Guo’s stained glass window-style illustrations, which we spotted over at i09, give Tolkien’s tale its due, depicting five scenes from the series in such lovely colors and intricate patterns that it almost feels like we can already see the light coming through them. Now if only someone would turn these into real windows! Check out Guo’s illustrations after the jump, and check out more of his artwork here. … Read More
Critics and audiences weren’t entirely enamored of The Lorax (out today on DVD and Blu-ray), but it was tough to complain about the casting of the title character: Danny DeVito is spot-on, investing the character with the curmudgeonly lovability that’s always been part of his screen persona, and is a perfect fit for the orange creature who speaks for the trees.
Voice-over acting, whether in live action or animated films, is in many ways a tougher task than conventional on-screen work; the performer must do all of their acting with only the voice, unable to rely on other tools (movement, eyes, facial expression, etc.) to convey meaning and emotion. After the jump, we’ve selected — with considerable difficulty — our ten favorite voice-only performances in feature films (let’s face it: if we were just talking shorts, it’d be a list of ten Mel Blanc roles). Check them out after the jump, and add your own in the comments. … Read More
Some of our favorite book illustrations have become just as near and dear to our hearts as the stories themselves. What would Winnie-the-Pooh be in our minds without those beautiful drawings of the pleasantly rotund, honey-colored bear? The best illustrator and author collaborations make the text inseparable from the images, to the point where we cannot picture the stories without the pictures, or vice versa. To honor the magical relationship that takes place when the right writer and artist meet, we have rounded up some of our favorite author and illustrator duos of all time after the jump. … Read More