Porg!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer: 4-Word Reviews

We watched the Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer. These are all the thoughts we could muster as we sat agape before it. 

(Watch it for yourself. DO IT.) 

Porg!

I couldn’t think of four words, so I gave you a thousand instead. — Michael Falkner, @womprat99

 

Chewbacca finally uses conditioner. — Deanna Toxopeus, @ubalstecha

Where are the Ewoks? — Jayme Blaschke, @JaymeBlaschke

 

Blergh? Nrrgh! HRNNNN! HRRRRRRNNNNHHH!!!! –KC Ryan-Pierce

Is Finn a Porg? — Nathan Laws, @42Cast

March of the Porguins. –Geena Phillips, @GeenaCanBlowMe

Definitely needs more Porgs. –Tegan Hendrickson, @Artful_Username

I’m Locuteness of Porg. — Michael French, @RetroBlasting

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RevSF Movie Probe: The Survivor, The Manual, Surfer’s Paradise

RevSF Movie Probe reviews short films, upcoming films, stuff like that. Our opinions are the right ones. Enjoy at the links.

The Survivor

This one is a short film, around 10 minutes or so, that crams a whole feature length movie in that time frame.

It’s a gut-wrenching post-apocalypse where a kid is trying to take care of his mom. What he does to take care of her deserves a soundtrack from the 80s rock band that it is named after.

(Well, I don’t know for sure that the movie is named after the singers of “Eye of the Tiger.” I can only hope and assume.)

It’s emotionally moving while also being a top-drawer action flick.

I need to see more from the makers of this movie, right now.

For everything about The Survivor, check out TheSurvivorFilm.com. 

The Manual

“The Manual” is about the last person on Earth, who is raised by a humanoid robot, and wrestles with loneliness and depression.

It’s absolutely gorgeous to look at, as the robot looks extraordinary marching around a dreary, rainy world.

The soundtrack is so very 80s, and I mean that as the highest possible compliment.

It’s a short film, and it’s the perfect length. I feel like a longer movie would take away the punch. “The Manual” hits home quickly.

The movie made me feel things about humanity, hope, and community. As a cold lifeless simulacrum of humanity,  I am unaccustomed to such emotions. Here’s looking forward to more from filmmaker Will Magness.

Go to the movie’s site for everything about The Manual. 

Bonus Trailer Probe: Surfer’s Paradise

“AI are often depicted as malevolent or untrustworthy, so we wanted to put humans under the moral microscope for a change,” said producer and star Ben Palacios.

“Surfer’s Paradise” is a pilot for a series about a dude who is invited to live in a community run by artificial intelligence, but under a strict set of rules.

“I will do as my hosts say at all times, even if I do not understand the reasons why.”

Naturally, that doesn’t go well.

It doesn’t even go well in the trailer. So imagine what the rest of the pilot will be like.

The trailer is gorgeous, shot in incredible locations in the Czech Republic. The trailer’s soundtrack is a heavy version of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence.” That’s two reasons to spend almost two minutes checking that out.

Check out the Kickstarter page for the trailer and everything about Surfer’s Paradise. 

 

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RevSF 4-Word Reviews: Star Trek Discovery Premiere

RevolutionSF’s 4-Word Reviews is a delightful way to cram reviews into your brain without having to read, like, a bazillion words or something.

No Enterprise-style theme song?Joe Crowe

Should’ve aired both parts.  — Michael Falkner

It’s not Abrams. Yay!   — Dave Farnell

Required underwear scene? Check!  — Dave Farnell

Haters are highly illogical.   — Dave Farnell

Continuity does not matter.Mark Finn

Non-Trekkers, there’s the door.  — Mark Finn

You’ll watch it anyway.  — Mark Finn

My Trek is done.  — Michael Gordon

Found anything yet?

Just take my wallet.   — Ryan Guthrie

Really big Klingon subtitles!   — Jennifer Hartshorn

Loved the bridge sounds.    — Laura Haywood-Cory

Michelle Yeoh is amazing.  — Tegan Hendrickson

Listen to black women.  — Sue Kisenwether

Bechdel-Wallace pass within minutes.  — Sue Kisenwether

Loved it. Fight me.  — Sue Kisenwether

Warrior caste Drow Klingons!Shaun Rosado 

SPOILER WARNING

Argh! Want more Yeoh!  — Dave Farnell


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Don’t worry, everything is under control

As your friendly neighborhood WordPress webmaster, I would like to remind everyone that I have not forgotten about the Revblogs. Just now I have logged in and updated plugins and shook a broom at the cobwebs left by the internet spiders.

An exciting new addition to the blog system is Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP for those who are hip. This is in part an improved protocol to deliver mobile-friendly web content, and also another creepy Google scheme to take over the world. You don’t really have to do anything with it, it’s enabled in basic default mode on your blog right now. Just add /amp to the end of any blog post URL like this:
http://www.revolutionsf.com/revblogs/blog/2017/revsf-movie-probe-survivor/amp/
And a generic mobile page will pop up. Let me know if you have any questions. It’s actually much more complicated than what I just said, but in practice it’s easy as pie.

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Hulk cologne!

RevolutionSF at DragonCon: The Podcasts

Every year, the American Sci-Fi Classics Track at DragonCon puts on panels that provide more fun than humans should legally be allowed, directed by RevSF’s Gary and Joe. Thanks to the podcasters and other space age whiz kids who populate our track, you can journey back into the archives of awesomeness. Return with us now to the thrilling days of a few months ago– check out hours and hours of Classic Track panels from 2016!

Challenge of the Super Nerds!

Challenge of the Super Nerds is a trivia game, and it’s also a delivery system for geeky gewgaws and nerdy knick-knacks straight from our attics, our shelves, and our storage boxes — straight to you. As always, we invited audience members to clean off their own shelves and bring in cool stuff to give away as prizes.

Everyone at Challenge of the Super Nerds wins something. Whether you like it or not. (Watch out for Hulk cologne.)

Hulk cologne!

Smells like rage.

Escape From the Planet of the Apes

The third Planet of the Apes movie was the only one with Ricardo Montalban, to our everlasting regret.

It also had BABY MILO, YOU GUYS.

METAL RULES: The Shared History of Rock, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy

Take a holy dive into the history of heavy metal and its ties to sci-fi.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Reunion

We hosted a reunion of old school Power Rangers Austin St. John (Jason, Red Ranger), David Yost (Billy, Blue Ranger), and Robert Axlerod (the voice of Lord Zedd). Just a few months later, there was a brand-new Power Rangers movie. Coincidence?

The Heroic History of GI Joe: A Real American Hero With Larry Hama

Comic book legend Larry Hama, who created the identities for the characters of the 1980s GI Joe, held court about the Real American Heroes.

Wonder Woman: The 75th Anniversary

Legendary Wonder Woman artist and writer George Perez joins us to celebrate the legacy and the history of the Amazing Amazon.

Superhero-Versary: 75 Years of Aquaman, Plastic Man, Green Arrow, and The JSA

Every year we celebrate the anniversaries of some of our favorite superheroes. This year, it was Aquaman’s turn. And Plastic Man. And Green Arrow. And the Justice Society.

Watchmen: 30 Years, 35 Minutes Ago

Deep discussion about the classic comic book. Farewell, sweet Bubastis.

Needless Things Presents: Toy Stories!

Panelists and audience members engage in lively discussions about the coolness of our favorite toys. Tales of Masters of the Universe, GI Joe, and creepy ‘80s toys share the spotlight this time around.

Truly Outrageous: Female Heroes of Classic Sci-Fi

One of our favorite panels every year, where our awesome panelists explore the influence, representation, and fun of our favorite female heroes.

Video Bonus! RetroBlasting: ThunderCats, Silverhawks, and Tigersharks Part 1

You’ve listened long enough! Now the video wizards at RetroBlasting take you on a way-out trip to meet cat people and cyborg hillbillies.

And here’s the thrilling conclusion!

Video Bonus! RetroBlasting: ULTIMATE ‘80S NINJAS.

You deserve this panel. It’s about time you did something for YOU.

Classic Track Irregulars: The Podcasts

Check out all the purveyors of these fine podcasts live on the Classic Track, and all year round right here:

Needless Things

The RevolutionSF RevCast

Rad Ranger’s Radical RadCast

RetroBlasting

Views From The Longbox

Women at Warp

 

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Wonder Woman: The RevolutionSF Review

“It’s wonderful. You should be very proud.” — Diana

Except for fifteen or so excellent minutes of last year’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman has not been a real, live-action superhero since the 1970s.

Her show at that time was awesome. I wrote Lynda Carter a letter when I was eight. That’s how much I liked it. I never wrote letters to David Hasselhoff or Mr. T. (Sidebar to self: Get to work on that.)

My favorite part of the movie is that my awesome wife and awesome daughter saw a movie with me starring a female superhero; and she is not a costar or part of a team. She’s the whole movie. Male humans have plenty of superheroes who star in movies. I’m the dad of  a female human, and this kind of thing is pretty important to me.

They loved the movie, too.

In one sentence: This movie is excellent and you should see it right now. By that, I mean put down your phone or knock over your desktop computer and run to the theater, right now.

Stuff’s about to get real.

 

The Wonder Woman movie is uplifting, joyful, even. It is tense, and thrilling, and draws out the emotional stuff from you, the viewer.

Wonder Woman is a hero that should have been in movies years and years ago. Her motives are pure, and she’s not sarcastic or ironic in her willful intent to do good. That’s a good way to portray a superhero, but it’s moreso a good way to portray any heroic character.

For many folks, their only exposure to Wonder Woman is the 1970s TV series and the Super Friends cartoon. She does not have her invisible jet in this movie– as far as we know. It’s invisible.

Everything fans of that show remember is brought back and revamped in the movie, from her secret identity of Diana Prince to Steve Trevor to Etta Candy to the bracelets and the golden lasso.

This is the kind of movie that will require multiple viewings, not because you might have missed something, but because you will want to see some scenes again.

My favorite neat thing about the movie, among lots of neat things, is Antiope, the Amazon general who trains Diana. She is played by Robin Wright — who also played Buttercup in another favorite movie, The Princess Bride. 

You do not need to be a diehard superhero geek to enjoy the movie. You do not need to see some other movie before you see this one. (That’s right. It’s OK to skip the previously mentioned Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Or you could just fast forward that movie to the Wonder Woman parts.)

The movie explains everything to you, and also includes bad guys getting kicked in the butt (not literally. Maybe in the sequel.)

Learned individuals who have done their superhero research will find this movie to be crammed with comic-book references, characters, and happenings pulled from the source material. For those who do not consider themselves superhero geeks, give it time. Soon you will be one of us. This is an amazing place to start.

Follow Joe Crowe on Instagram and Twitter at @yojoecrowe and  @yojoecrowe.

 

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RevolutionSF Book Probe: Guardians of the Galaxy, Tolkien, Dr. Caligari

Book Probe eliminates the troublesome freedom of choice from your book selection process. These are things you should buy (click on the title to do so). Get on it. 

The Battles of Tolkien by David Day

Occasionally, I get to review something that hits the ol’ spot, something that scratches a certain itch.

This time it’s “The Battles of Tolkien,” an exhaustive, geeky look at all the war stuff in “Lord of the Rings, analyzing each battle from Helm’s Deep to Isengard.

It’s a gorgeous book, filled with timelines and locations, with sepia-toned pages that look like a Tolkien book should look: like it’s been sitting on a dusty shelf for ages immemorial.

Maps are my favorite thing in any fantasy novel. Maps show that the author thinks way too much about the world they’re writing in. Tolkien, literally, wrote the book on thinking too much about his world, and this book takes a swan-dive off the deep end into the minutiae and arcana that Tolkien fans are so fannish about.

Guardians of the Galaxy Dot-to-Dot Book by Thomas Pavitte

These dot-to-dot books have really stepped up their game since I was a young colored-pencil wielding rapscallion.

Thomas Pavitte’s Guardians of the Galaxy dot-to-dot book is enormous, the size of a 1970s Marvel Treasury Edition comic book, which in this case is appropriate. Guardians of the Galaxy is the geekiest of the Marvel movies, thoroughly embracing years of Marvel Comics awesomeness.

You have to respect the overall geekiness of the subject matter, since Pavitte pulled from all the eras of the Guardians– the images include the cast of the movie, Nova from current Marvel comics, all the way to the comic book version of Mantis and 1970s classic hero Adam Warlock.

The connecting of the dots herein will require an extraordinary attention to detail, but the results will be poster-sized geeky productions, ready to show off a talking raccoon on your wall.

You are going to need a metric ton of colored pencils. Each picture has about a zillion dots to connect. I’m rounding down. It could be a full jillion.

In your face, rainy days! This book has you covered.

Retrograde by Peter Cawthorn

This one is difficult to get through, and I mean that in a good way.

It starts out like “The Martian,” but you know all the parts with hope in them? “Retrograde” takes those out. The reason this crew is stuck on Mars is because things go nuclear kablooey on Earth.

The story is still a hard-science look at living on Mars, with a cast of smart heroes. They’re just in, well, kind of a rotten situation. The story dives deep into their relationships and explores full-granny levels of grief, anger, despair.

It’s worth a read. Bring a box of tissues, maybe two.

 

Spot and Smudge by Robert Udulutch

Spot and Smudge is a book about a guy and his dogs.

It’s a thrilling adventure, from the dogs’ points of view. About time. Human points of view are the worst.

It’s also sweet, with touching moments and emotional guts amid the sci-fi action.

Virtual high fives to the author for the title of the third book in this series: “Let Slip the Pups of War.”

No human can resist that title. I’m sure of it.

 

The Asylum of Dr. Caligari by James Morrow

This book is at once a tribute to the horror film and the German silent film about the Cabinet of the doctor of the title, but this one goes further than either of those, into history, art, and psychology. Roger Ebert called that film the first horror movie, so the book has a lot to live up to.

Really, there’s a lot to unpack. The story is equal parts horror, historical fiction, and adventure. And it’s a book, so just like with the subtitles on the Calgary silent film, you still have to read. Foiled again, non-readers!

The story takes place before World War I, where evil psychiatrist and wizard and all around villain-type Dr. C hires a painter, then sells the right to show soldiers his painting, which will pump them up for battle.

If it had been set in the 1980s, Caligari could have hired the rock band Survivor. Same thing would have happened.

Morrow’s construction of his world in the pre-WWI era are intricate and detailed. It’s a history lesson if you want to skip over the mad-scientist parts for some reason.  I’m not recommending that you do, but history buffs should be aware of that option.

The story makes points about the effect of art on humanity and its relevance to society, but it’s also terrifying, with dark humor and a clever tone that is way different from run-of-the-mill horror stories.

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Star Trek Discovery Trailer Probe: 4-Word Reviews

Star Trek: Discovery! There is a trailer, and the RevolutionSF collective watched it.  The show will air “this fall” on CBS Access if you pay them money so you can watch it. (Sidebar: It will be on CBS Access whether you pay them money or not.) 

Watch it here!

We challenged each other to review the trailer using only four words.

If anyone wrote more than four words about the trailer, we made them read the comments from men’s rights activists about the trailer. That’s right. ALL OF THEM. Send us yours at RevolutionSF.

Yes! Yes! Oh YES!!!! –Gary Mitchel, @Gary_Mitchel

Make bigoted nerds cry! —Tegan Hendrickson, @artful_username

Pretty trailer. Ugly Klingons. –Jayme Blaschke, @JaymeBlaschke

Those are Klingons? OK. –Sue Kisenwether, @spaltor

Exciting trailer. Ugly fandom. –Michael Falkner, @womprat99

 

 

Michelle Yeoh. MICHELLE YEOH. –Van Allen Plexico, @vanallenplexico

Michelle Yeoh. Effing Finally! –Mark Finn, @FinnsWake

Passing Bechdel? Flying colors. –Sue Kisenwether, @spaltor

We have Doug Jones! –Tegan Hendrickson, @artful_username

I miss Jonathan Archer. –John S. Drew, @drewshi2000

Automatically better than Voyager. –Mark Finn, @FinnsWake

Found anything yet?

 

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A bunch of updates — including themes

I just updated several plugins and some themes on the WordPress installation. I don’t expect that to cause troubles, but if you notice anything which is behaving unusually on your blogs, let me know.

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Updates on updates and new security

Hey, y’all!

I was sitting around, staring at a computer monitor like normal, and I thought, if I’m not on the RevBlogs every day, there should probably be some security. So I popped in to install the WordFence security plugin. This has got a bunch of nifty features, like a firewall which blocks a lot of anticipated attacks, a brute force blocker, and an automatic malware scanner. This shouldn’t cause you any problems, except that you can get locked out for inputting the wrong password too many times. But your blog admin email should get you back in. Let me know if you run into any snags or problems!

I also updated all the network wide plugins. If you notice anything odd with your sites from that too, let me know.

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