At our house, we call him Neville Motherfucking Longbottom, and SF publisher Tor agrees.
There’s a seven minute prequel available now, ahead of the special next week.
The Doctor featured in it isn’t Matt Smith. Or Peter Capaldi. Or John Hurt.
I’ll say no more. Go. Watch.
OH MY GOD
Basically, it’s probably not possible to get enough Ricin into a single Stevia packet to ensure lethality in a 125 pound victim.
While staggeringly lethal when inhaled or injected — like, less than 2 milligrams for the average adult human — Ricin is WAY less toxic when eaten. You need 30-40 milligrams per kilogram, which works out for about 2 and a quarter grams.
Stevia packets are light; they contain only a gram of the sweetener. I can see doubling the weight and not tipping your mark, but slipping in more than 225% additional weight to a single packet strikes me as troublesome to the point of implausible.
The Lannisters visited Sesame Street. Well, Dinklage and Headey, anyway.
(Looks like the first video embed is miscoded, so you’ll have to drag the slider back to the start to see Cersei’s bit.)
These pics of Stewart and McKellen are completely sweet and adorable.
George R. R. Martin is apparently a big Breaking Bad fan.
The man who gave us Walder Frey, the Lannisters, and fucking Joffrey (plus all manner of as-yet-unseen vileness) believes that Walter White is a worse monster than anyone or anything in his books.
And so he’s apparently setting out to top him.
I am increasingly convinced that Paul F. Tompkins is a goddamn genius.
(Probably only funny if you watched Boardwalk Empire.)
Exhibit A: This Mother’s Day follow-up to the now-iconic “D*ck in a box” video skit, starring Timberlake and Samberg, with memorable guest spots by Patricia Clarkson and Susan Sarandon.
Exhibit B: The film Adore, starring Robin Wright, Naomi Watts, and two young men playing their sons.
(And, finally: Xzibit C: Motherfucker.)
It appears most of the cast enjoy hanging out together.
The Bechdel Test is a means to get a reasonable guess as to the treatment of women in any given movie. To pass it, a movie must
- Have at least two named, female characters
- Who talk to each other
- About something other than a man.
That seems really simple, but it’s shocking how few films actually pass it.
However, it’s also very important to note that failing it doesn’t make the movie bad, or even suggest that the movie treats women as decoration. As a friend of mine noted, the Bechdel Test is sort of like the BMI for movies: superficially useful, but a crappy way to measure the whole effort. The current poster child for this issue is Pacific Rim, which fails the Bechdel, but features a deeply fleshed out female character (Mako Mori) who has a distinct and independent narrative arc that isn’t dependent on a male character.
To address this, a new test — the Mako Mori Test — has been proposed. A film passes the MMT if it has
- at least one female character
- who gets her own narrative arc
- that is not about supporting a man’s story.
It’s not quite as pithy — Bechdel was initially formulated as something like a joke pointing out how male-dominated film is — but it’s probably more accurate.
Heathen, I give you Sharknado.
I defy you to find something better.
h/t: Agent R. I AM FULLY AWARE OF MY DEMAND.
These Season 3 Infographics are completely brilliant.
The best part is that the actor never breaks character.
Tiny HD cameras have made high-quality video way easier to do; what these guys capture would impossible without it.
What is it? Oh, just point-of-view footage of a falcon diving at 200MPH+ to snag a duck from above. Taken with a camera mounted on the falcon’s back.
At a press event in France, Downey had a delightful response to co-star Gwyneth Paltrow’s fluent French:
His “Star Wars Filibuster” from Parks & Recreation is a thing of utter wonder and beauty. Make time (8:43).
Vinepeek is a random 6-second Vines, one after another, forever.
It is amazing. Potentially NSFW, I guess, but I didn’t see anything suspect right off the bat.
Sunday’s big premiere of Mad Men‘s sixth season included what, in a lesser show, might’ve been a throwaway line about the 1968 Cotton Bowl, featuring the Alabama Crimson Tide vs. the Texas A&M Aggies. In Tide history, this game is significant because the opposing coach was Gene Stallings — one of Bear’s former players, and a man who would eventually be a championship-winning head coach at Alabama himself. Alabama lost that game, but Bear was happy enough about his protege’s win that he carried Stallings off the field.
Of course, since this is Matt Weiner, we know there are no accidents. There’s lots to unpack about referencing that game in this context, and some of it may seem like a stretch, but I think the bits about Don being analogous to Bear are probably foreshadowing for plotlines later in the season. Go read the article, though.
Just thought you should know.
“Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career,” Radcliffe said Friday.
“In August 2000, before official production had even begun on Potter, we filmed a shot outside the Dursleys’, which was my first ever shot as Harry. I was nervous and he made me feel at ease.
”Seven years later, we embarked on ‘Equus’ together. It was my first time doing a play but, terrified as I was, his encouragement, tutelage and humor made it a joy.
“In fact, any room he walked into was made twice as funny and twice as clever just by his presence.”
Turns out, though, that Johnson’s first feature — also starting JGL — is absolutely worth your time and, in some ways, is better than Looper. Brick was made for less than half a million bucks back in 2005, and went on to win a special jury prize at Sundance that year. Levitt plays a high school kid named Brendan who’s a bit of an outcast. He had a girlfriend for whom he still pines, but she’s gone missing until one day when she calls him for help before promptly vanishing completely. The movie track’s Brendan’s ersatz PI maneuverings around the teen underworld as he pieces together the rest of the plot. It’s a pure homage to noir, complete with snappy, clever, and confident dialog.
For example, when Levitt’s character is brought into the vice principal’s office for questioning, we get this fantastic exchange:
VP: You’ve helped this office out before.
Brendan: No, I gave you Jerr to see him eaten, not to see you fed.
(The VP, by the way, is Richard “Shaft” Roundtree.)
Or, earlier, when hatching his plot, after his sidekick suggests involving the cops:
No, bulls would gum it. They’d flash their dusty standards at the wide-eyes and probably find some yegg to pin, probably even the right one. But they’d trample the real tracks and scare the real players back into their holes, and if we’re doing this I want the whole story. No cops, not for a bit.
Or this beautiful bit, opposite the genre-obligatory femme fatale, Laura:
Laura: You’re quite a pill.
Laura: Where are you going?
Laura: Why did you take a powder the other night?
Brendan: Same reason I’m taking one now.
Laura: Hold it. I wanna help you.
Brendan: Go away. Look, I can’t trust you. You ought to be smart enough to know that. I didn’t shake the party up to get your attention, and I’m not heeling you to hook you. Your connections could help me, but the bad baggage they bring would make it zero sum game or even hurt me. I’m better off coming at it clean.
Laura: I wouldn’t have to lead you in by the ha…
Brendan: I can’t trust you. Brad was a sap. You weren’t. You were with him, and so you were playing him. So you’re a player. With you behind me I’d have to tie one eye up watching both your hands, and I can’t spare it.
See. This. Movie.
There’s a trailer on YouTube, too.
Frankly, the VHS artifacts in this video only add to the hilarity.
Peter Dinklage was on 30 Rock.
I’ve been sitting on this for a while, but it’s gold and deserves to be seen: SciFind’s list of 11 alternate universe female Doctors is simply brilliant, and rewards a careful read if you know your Who history.
For example: this alternate-universe Eighth Doctor is Helen Baxendale (as opposed to Paul McGann). There as here, the Eighth appears only in an orphaned TV movie years after the show was cancelled, and more than a decade before the revival. For reasons I’ve never understood, the producers cast Eric Roberts as longtime foe The Master. Go check to see who plays “The Mistress” in the alternate universe. ;)
Also, total wins: Honor Blackman in the 1960s, opposite Vanessa Redgrave as the Mistress; Joanna “AbFab” Lumley in the 1980s; and Suranne Jones as the Ninth (most famous to Whovians as the personification of the TARDIS in the Gaiman-penned “The Doctor’s Wife”).
Go. Read. Enjoy.
This is apparently an unofficial tribute, but Skyfall: 50 Years of Bond is pretty spectacular. Seriously. Don’t miss a single frame.
Larry Miller — whom you otherwise may remember from a memorable turn as the sucking-up shopkeeper in Pretty Woman — and the Stages of Drinking.
We finally finished up American Horror Story last night, and while not as bananas as some of the mid-season eps, the finale didn’t disappoint.
I want to point something out, though, that I didn’t catch until I read the IO9 recap this morning:
The footage of Lana’s expose on Briarcliff is a direct and explicit homage to Geraldo Rivera’s crowning moment of journalism: a similar expose of a place called Willowbrook in Staten Island back in the early 1970s (i.e., the same timeframe when Lana was shooting). It’s almost a shot-for-shot remake, and much of what Lana says by way of narration is more or less exactly what Rivera said in 1972, including the bit about it smelling like death. Even the fonts used are the same.
So, a great end to a fantastically over the top season, absolutely, but slipping this gem of a callback in there is serious extra-credit territory. After all, most people have probably forgotten that Rivera was EVER a real journalist, let alone a Peabody Award winner.
(The IO9 link has the Rivera footage.)
Someone has taken the time to document the 131 ways in which Dr. David Banner was provoked into Hulking-out during the run of the TV show.
- Dealing with a pesky operator in a phone booth (“I DON’T HAVE TWENTY-FIVE CENTS!!!”) (#20)
- Being trampled by a crowd AND having the hot coffee spilled on his hand while trying to get to the sniper (#23)
- Somehow running into a bear trap (#36)
- Placed in a small room with a ravenous black panther (#38; I hate it when this happens!)
- Being horsewhipped by same crazed man who is understandably upset that David will not accomodate his polite requests to “turn back into that thing” (#77)
Mrs Heathen and I have been enjoying American Horror Story since last year. While it’s absolutely trashy television, it’s undeniably fun. What’s particularly inventive is that each season is its own unconnected story, and though actors return, it’s in completely different roles.
The first season, last year, dealt with a marvelously haunted “murder house” in present-day Los Angeles freshly inhabited by a troubled married couple (Connie Britton (Tami Taylor from FNL), and Dylan McDermott); Jessica Lange won an Emmy for her portrayal of the homeowners’ fallen belle of a neighbor. Lange, for her part, behaved as if there were no such thing as overacting, and it served the production well.
Season two is on now. We’re a bit behind (we have two unwatched episodes on the Tivo), but it’s no less enthralling. In fact, it may be MORESO simply because the creators — after having gotten away with a crazy haunted house staffed, in part, by the deceased and pregnant mistress of Dylan McDermott, the original homeowner’s wife (still sporting a head wound), a deformed and malevolent basement-dwelling monster, and some sort of sex ghost in a gimp suit — have decided to throw subtlety to the wind and really get weird.
So, this time the setting is a bleak, mid-sixties Catholic madhouse. Here (obviously) we encounter a sadistic nun with a yen for caning (Lange, again), an escaped Nazi mad scientist, a doomed nymphomaniac, the inevitable trapped intrepid reporter (bonus: a lesbian!), the actual no-shit Devil, aliens, and — I shit you not — Al Swearengen in a Santa suit chasing people with a straight razor.
This episode’s blurb, by the way, is what drove me here to suggest you crazy perverts watch the show; Tivo and DirecTV describe it as:
A murderous Santa wreaks havoc on Briarcliff; Sister Jude faces off with the devil; Arden has a shocking encounter in the death chute.
Of course. And, given that we have four episodes to go, our expectation is that it’s only going to get MORE bananas.
Sleep tight, Heathen.