RIP: Sir Terry Pratchett

Sir Terry Pratchett

Well, we've been dreading has come to pass. Sir Terry Pratchett has made his exit. He did so at home surrounded by family, so we have that to hold onto at least. He had been doing battle with Alzheimer's for quite some time, and drawing much needed attention to the disease through the fact that he was, well, Terry Goddamn Pratchett. His writing lives on. He was 66 years old.

Rox, our chief Pratchettologist, called my attention to the fact that we have three DragonCon panels wherein she and others celebrated his work and life. Below you'll find the 2013 and 2014 Worlds of Terry Pratchett panels. The 2011 edition is here.

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By |March 12th, 2015|Stuff You Need to Know|0 Comments

RIP: Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy smiling

Leonard Nimoy--actor, director, writer, poet, musician, and elder stateman of the sci-fi geek community for his role as Mr. Spock--died yesterday at age 83. Chances are if you read this site, this is not news to you...since social media has been awash with memorials. And rightly so. An irreplaceable loss to culture, pop or otherwise.

Rox pointed out that bits of Leigh's interview with him from DragonCon 2009 has been posted on YouTube. So for a look back at the man in one of his elements, here you go:

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By |February 28th, 2015|Stuff You Need to Know|0 Comments

Bryan Fuller Is Working On Neil Gaiman's American Gods

Bryan Fuller at the Saturn Awards by Nina Prommer / European Pressphoto Agency

In the words of Wednesday, "All is well, and all is well, and all shall be well."

But I don't know, maybe you just didn't hear me when I said that Bryan Fuller is working on the American Gods production team.

The Hollywood Reporter has it that Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Pushing Daisies, 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Dead Like Me) is working with the network Starz on the adaptation of The Neil's sprawling and lush roadtrip through the American mythscape--the resonant and divisive opus that is American Gods.

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By |July 1st, 2014|Stuff You Need to Know|0 Comments

Sandman's Three Gs: Gaiman, Gordon-Levitt & Goyer

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Morpheus from Sandman

So, as had it, "Joseph Gordon-Levitt to direct and star in Sandman movie, possibly the first in a multi-film franchise." Granted, JGL clarified later on that he was only on board (for the moment) as a producer. David S. Goyer is, of course, also attached to produce.

As long-time followers of the Sandman film adaptation debacle will recall: this film has been stuck in development hell for over a decade and a half--and thankfully so. The most recently discussed draft had capes and superhero-esque origins and all kinds of foolishness. So thankfully, this iteration looks basically exactly like I said it would need to look, in order to get me interested: it looks like they've erased literally all of the film script work done on it, to this point, and started over from scratch. And I'm okay with that.

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By |December 18th, 2013|Stuff You Need to Know|2 Comments

RIP: Peter O'Toole

Peter OToole

Peter O'Toole died over the weekend, apparently after a long illness. He was 81 years old.

I understand he was in damn near everything--and was working right up to the end, it seems--and I know he's best known for playing the title character in Lawrence of Arabia. But for me, I had the most fun with O'Toole in two roles. One was Alan Swann in My Favorite Year from 1982. It's criminally underviewed but has him playing a hard-drinking swashbuckling actor ("I'm not an actor, I'm a movie star!") trying to be kept under control by Mark Linn-Baker. Think of it as a predecessor to Get Him to the Greek.

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By |December 16th, 2013|Stuff You Need to Know|0 Comments

To Have Or Have Not: Breaking Down the Missing Episodes of Doctor Who

Patrick Troughton from Doctor Who

For the last few months there have been persistent rumors of a "major" discovery of missing Doctor Who episodes. These rumors went into overdrive over the weekend thanks to articles in The Mirror and The Radio Times claiming that an announcement was imminent.

It appears as though the Beeb wanted to keep this thing under wraps for a while longer, but the cat is out of the bag now and they had to act. Thus we arrive at today, a time when all of the classic Doctor Who fans are waiting like a groom at the altar for a bride they know is probably beautiful...but they'd like to see for themselves.

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By |October 10th, 2013|Stuff You Need to Know|0 Comments

Stuff You Need to Know: Comic-Con Fallout Edition

Very quickly, because some of us have lives...the high points from this past weekend. The stuff you actually do need to know. More fallout, I'm certain, is coming. Sort of like winter. But the fallout won't take several books. Count on it.

Batman-Superman Movie logo

  • Before you get all excited about World's Finest (or whatever they end up calling it), just remember: we've been here before. And the fact that they're doing this instead of Man of Steel 2 and then leading on into Justice League says to me that they have very little confidence in the road they're on. Also, Christian Bale said he was out--but that might just be him asking for more money. Who knows? Regardless, it is way too early to start lining up for it. Fancy logo or not. Source.
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    By |July 22nd, 2013|Stuff You Need to Know|2 Comments

    RIP: James Gandolfini

    James Gandolfini and ducklings

    James Gandolfini died this week of a heart attack at the way too young age of 51. Thespia found this clip for us, coming up after the jump. You have to love it when a tough guy actor doesn't have a problem subverting his own image.

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    By |June 21st, 2013|Stuff You Need to Know|0 Comments

    RIP: Ray Harryhausen

    Ray Harryhausen and Friend

    Kids, this is a scenario where I'm not going to tell you to ask your parents. I'm just going to flat out tell you myself. There once was a time when you couldn't make any damn thing you wanted show up in a movie using a computer. You used to have to use practical FX...exclusively. And so when you wanted something that shouldn't ordinarily move around on its own--say, a skeleton with a sword or a Gorgon--you would need to take a model of said thing, take a picture, move it, then take another picture and so on with excruciatingly slowness. Eventually, you could piece together all the pictures with their very, very slight changes and play them at speed...and you get the illusion of movement. Stop motion.

    The granddaddy of visual effects and the King of Stop Motion was Ray Harryhausen. From 1949 to 1981, if you dug a genre film that used stop motion...there was a pretty good chance Harryhausen was the man behind it. Exhibit A comes after the jump.

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    By |May 8th, 2013|Stuff You Need to Know|2 Comments

    RIP: Jonathan Winters

    Jonathan Winters as Maude Frickert

    One of the craziest men on the planet has left the planet. Jonathan Winters died of natural causes this past Thursday at age 87.

    He had an amazing, ridiculous run of comedy. And influenced pretty much anyone worth knowing about. I was trying desperately to find my favorite Winters appearance ever: when he showed up with Robin Williams on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson back in 1991. The Carson folks have actually posted the first part of it here. But it was the very end that slayed me. Carson had lost control of the show and was desperately trying to end the show as there was no more time. Robin leans over to Jonathan, who is dressed like a Civil War Union Army general and is now pretending to be the oldest Civil War veteran still alive--and Robin says, "General?" (This is all from my terrible memory, so it's heavily paraphrased.)

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    By |April 14th, 2013|Stuff You Need to Know|0 Comments