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Movies that were supposed to launch franchises (but didn’t): Jupiter Ascending


Jupiter Ascending

Your hair smells good. What conditioner do you use?

Way back in 1999, audiences were eagerly awaiting the release of a science fiction movie that would kick off a trilogy that promised to reshape the pop culture landscape for the 21st century.  Star Wars fans had waited 16 years for George Lucas to continue his beloved saga.  Despite the presence of a weird CGI lizard-creature with rabbit ears featured prominently in the trailer, fans were prepared to be wowed by The Phantom Menace.

Instead, the Star Wars prequels became one of the biggest disappointments in cinema history (not at the box office, but in the hearts of fans who had waited nearly two decades to see them).  But 1999 brought movie-goers another sci-fi movie that proved to be far more influential than Lucas’ anticipated prequels.  Compared to the Wachowski’s The Matrix, The Phantom Menace seemed completely out of step with what audiences wanted.

Sixteen years later, the Wachowskis set out to launch their own science fiction franchise.  But what they ended up delivering was a movie that makes a lot of the same mistakes as the Star Wars prequels without having the Star Wars name to fall back on.  Not surprisingly, Jupiter Ascending was a spectacular failure.

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Movie Robots Bracket Game Winner!


WDW - R2D2

Another bracket game ends as it must.  R2-D2 beat out Wall-E with 64% of the final votes.  It was a closer match than I expected.  The end result is not surprising.  I figured Artoo would win before I even started drawing up brackets.  But what it lacks in surprise, R2-D2’s win makes up for in satisfaction.

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Movie Robot Bracket Game: R2-D2 Vs. Wall-E


R2-D2 Vs. Wall-E

To celebrate the release of Neill Blomkamp’s latest science fiction movie, Chappie, we thought it would be fun to look back at some of the most memorable robot characters in movie history.  Some of them are good, some of them want to kill us.  Some of them look like humans and others are clearly machines.  Robots have been part of movies since the early silent picture days.  In this bracket game, we pick our favorites.

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Pop Culture Quiz: What the Hell Happened Quiz: Robots Edition *Results*


robots 3

As we wrap up our look back at movie robots, it’s time to review the results of our Pop Culture Quiz.

Participation was down this time around.  Not sure if it was due to lack of interest or something else.  Scores were down a bit too.  The average was just over 40%.  The high score was 70%.  There were two respondents who tied for first place with the rank of Terminator.  No Brainiacs unfortunately.  We did have a Sleeper which means someone scored less than 20%.  Just to put that in perspective, the law of averages means you should score 25% if you guess.

Now that we know how everyone performed, let’s review the questions.

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Movie Robot Bracket Game: Roy Batty Vs. Wall-E


Wall-E Vs. Roy Batty

To celebrate the release of Neill Blomkamp’s latest science fiction movie, Chappie, we thought it would be fun to look back at some of the most memorable robot characters in movie history.  Some of them are good, some of them want to kill us.  Some of them look like humans and others are clearly machines.  Robots have been part of movies since the early silent picture days.  In this bracket game, we pick our favorites.

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Movie Robot Bracket Game: The Terminator Vs. R2-D2


terminator-vs-r2-d2

To celebrate the release of Neill Blomkamp’s latest science fiction movie, Chappie, we thought it would be fun to look back at some of the most memorable robot characters in movie history.  Some of them are good, some of them want to kill us.  Some of them look like humans and others are clearly machines.  Robots have been part of movies since the early silent picture days.  In this bracket game, we pick our favorites.

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Movie Robot Bracket Game: Roy Batty Vs. C-3PO


c-3po vs roy batty

To celebrate the release of Neill Blomkamp’s latest science fiction movie, Chappie, we thought it would be fun to look back at some of the most memorable robot characters in movie history.  Some of them are good, some of them want to kill us.  Some of them look like humans and others are clearly machines.  Robots have been part of movies since the early silent picture days.  In this bracket game, we pick our favorites.

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Movie Robot Bracket Game: Wall-E Vs. The Iron Giant


Wall-E vs the iron giant

To celebrate the release of Neill Blomkamp’s latest science fiction movie, Chappie, we thought it would be fun to look back at some of the most memorable robot characters in movie history.  Some of them are good, some of them want to kill us.  Some of them look like humans and others are clearly machines.  Robots have been part of movies since the early silent picture days.  In this bracket game, we pick our favorites.

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Movie Robot Bracket Game: The Terminator Vs. Bishop


Bishop Vs. The Terminator

To celebrate the release of Neill Blomkamp’s latest science fiction movie, Chappie, we thought it would be fun to look back at some of the most memorable robot characters in movie history.  Some of them are good, some of them want to kill us.  Some of them look like humans and others are clearly machines.  Robots have been part of movies since the early silent picture days.  In this bracket game, we pick our favorites.

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Movie Robot Bracket Game: R2-D2 Vs. Maria


R2D2 Vs. Maria

With Neill Blomkamp’s latest science fiction movie, Chappie, opening today, we thought it would be fun to look back at some of the most memorable robot characters in movie history.  Some of them are good, some of them want to kill us.  Some of them look like humans and others are clearly machines.  Robots have been part of movies since the early silent picture days.  In this bracket game, we pick our favorites.

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Ex_Machina Trailer


In keeping with our current topic on robots, here is the extraordinarily enticing trailer for Alex Garland’s directorial debut Ex_Machina. Garland has previously gained success as a screenwriter for 28 Days Later and Sunshine. The film stars Oscar Isaac, who is known for his work in Inside Llewyn Davis and A Most Violent Year, and is set to appear in the new Star Wars films and as the big bad Apocalypse in the next X-Men film. Also appearing are Domhall Gleason, who played Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter Films, and relative newcomer Alicia Vikander as the AI figure Gleason’s character is called upon to test.

While Ex_Machina will not premiere in the United States until April of this year, it has already been in release in the UK since late January and has won wide praise, holding a 94% “fresh” rating currently on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Terminator: Do We Really Need Another?


arnie terminator

The trailer for Terminator Genisys has already been parodied on here and subject to comments and speculation all over.

Personally, I say take a “wait and see” attitude. You can’t really judge a movie by its trailer. I’ve seen trailers that made the movie look excruciating and it turned out to be pretty fun (Dodgeball). I’ve also seen trailers for movies that looked great and turned out to be duds (too many to mention).

Yet in some ways, part of me worries that this movie will be overstuffed. Both the trailer and the plot description I’ve read of it suggest an attempt to put all 4 of the previous Terminator movies together. Or take them, chop em up, throw em in the air and re-assemble the pieces and see what you get.

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Blade Runner: The Big Question


Blade-Runner

If you are a fan of Blade Runner, you already know what “The Big Question” is.  And odds are, you have a pretty strong opinion one way or another.  If you’re not a fan of Blade Runner, this article probably won’t be of much interest to you.  Sorry about that.  But if you read on, make sure you watch Blade Runner first as there are spoilers.

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