Famous Last (and First!) Words — DOCTOR WHO Edition

wordsThe clever folks over at ComicBookMovie.com have put together a splendid infographic that depicts the first and last lines of every incarnation of the Doctor, from William Hartnell to Peter Capaldi — and yes, even the War Doctor.

While I do have a soft spot for David Tennant’s “I don’t want to go,” I have to say my favorite farewell is Matt Smith’s, because I feel the same way he does: I don’t want to forget a moment of the time when he was the Doctor.

Which are your favorites? Have you seen every regeneration?

New Movie Posters: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Here’s another collection of newly released movie posters, and I’m dividing them up into three galleries. Roll over each image for my comments.

The Good:

The Bad:

The Ugly:

Remembering the ‘Excitable Boy,’ Warren Zevon

Yesterday would have been the 67th birthday of  singer/songwriter Warren Zevon, one of my favorite musicians. He passed away on Sept. 7, 2003, at the age of 56, a victim of cancer of the abdominal lining. You hear it said a lot that certain people “died too young”; well, Zevon was one of those people.

In this terrific clip from Sept. 8, 2003, David Letterman and Paul Schaefer announced the passing of their good friend Zevon, who had appeared on Letterman’s various shows for over 20 years. This clip includes Zevon performing an absolutely heartbreaking rendition of “The Mutineer” on the Oct. 30, 2002, LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN, which was devoted entirely to Zevon.


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DOCTOR WHO Triumphs at National TV Awards

For those of us in America who might have missed the big news, DOCTOR WHO and Matt Smith walked away with a couple of major awards at Britain’s National Television Awards on Wednesday night.

Smith claimed the Best Drama Performance award over Maggie Smith (DOWNTON ABBEY), Martin Clunes (DOC MARTIN) and Miranda Hart (CALL THE MIDWIFE). Yes, apparently the categories were co-ed. Executive producer Steven Moffat and co-star Jenna Coleman (Clara) accepted on Smith’s behalf, because he was at a West End theater, where he is starring in the play American Psycho — but the former Doctor did record a video acceptance message from backstage:

The show itself, DOCTOR WHO, won the Best Drama gong over BROADCHURCH, DOWNTON ABBEY and CALL THE MIDWIFE. The last time the show won was back in 2010. Coleman also accepted this award, saying:

“Fifty years and still going strong. Well done WHO!  I think this award absolutely belongs to the team, the cast and crew who are grafting away in Cardiff as we speak. The genius and mastermind that is Moff, and of course Matt Smith. Thanks to everyone who voted.”

From Dusk Till Dawn — the TV Series?

FDTDOkay, ramblers, I didn’t see this coming: a TV series based on the 1996 George Clooney movie From Dusk Till Dawn, which was written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Robert Rodriguez.

And, I have to say, it looks every bit as bad as the idea sounds.

Something called the El Ray Network will air the 10-part series, which reimagines the movie and stars Adrianne PalickiWilmer ValderramaD.J. CatronaZane HoltzJesse GarciaDon JohnsonRobert PatrickMadison DavenportBrandon Soo Hoo and Eiza Gonzalez as Santánico Pandemonium (the role made famous by Salma Hayek), beginning on March 11.

Take a look:

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What’s Really in Your ‘All-Natural’ Fruit?

chemfruitOne of my old chemistry teachers once said, “There are chemicals in everything, because everything is made of chemicals.”

That’s true, but here in America, lots of people and organizations have spent time and money making the word “chemicals” synonymous with “artificial chemicals” — then painting those chemicals as all bad, all the time. This despite the fact that even the most so-called “all-natural” products not only contain chemicals, they are made of chemicals.

Enter Australian chemistry teacher James Kennedy, who put together some poster graphics that list the chemical ingredients found in an egg, a banana and a blueberry. Kennedy explained to website IO9:

“I want to erode the fear that many people have of ‘chemicals’, and demonstrate that nature evolves compounds, mechanisms and structures far more complicated and unpredictable than anything we can produce in the lab.

“This poster series breaks down all the major ingredients in popular natural foods — using E-numbers and IUPAC names instead of common names where they exist. Anthocynanins, for example, which are said to give blueberries their “superfood” status, are also known as E163.

“With these graphics, I wanted to show that chemistry is everywhere.”

Somewhere, Walter White is smiling.

Revisiting a Post: Robert E. Howard — One Who Walked Alone

Today marks the 108th anniversary of the birth of pulp author Robert E. Howard, the creator of Conan the Barbarian and one of the most prolific, influential and successful authors from the era of pulp magazines. I usually post an ode to the Man From Cross Plains on this date, and this year I decided to do something a bit different: Taking a page from pulp mags like Weird Tales and Fight Stories, which used to publish Howard’s tales, I’m posting a reprint of a “classic” REH post (one I penned in 2010) with some slight editing. If you want to read what I wrote about REH last year or in 2011, follow the links. Enjoy! — Joe 01/22/14

The date Jan. 22 has been important to me since I was a lad, because it marks the anniversary of the birth of pulp author Robert E. Howard in 1906. One of my true favorites, Howard is most famous for creating Conan the Cimmerian, but his oeuvre also included such colorful characters as King Kull, Cormac Mac Art, El Borak, Sailor Steve Costigan, and another particular favorite, Solomon Kane, a Puritan adventurer. This was evocative stuff for a youngster, and Howard was the first writer I ever tried to emulate. I loved writing my own Conan stories, even though I was the only one who read them.
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Batman vs. Superman Pushed to 2016

superbatslogoI’m sure we will all need to sit down and catch our collective breath after reading this item: DC Comics and Warner Bros. are actually doing something right in connection with Batman vs. Superman: The movie’s release is being pushed back to May 6, 2016. Yes, fans will have an additional 12 months to obsess over Ben Affleck taking up the bat cowl opposite Henry Cavill’s Kal-El, but the filmmakers will get a chance to take their time.

Not only does this give director Zack Snyder some breathing room to polish his Man of Steel sequel rather than merely crank it out, it also sends  DC biggest guns into direct battle with Marvel Studios, which previously announced it was releasing a yet-to-be revealed movie in May 2016 (Doctor Strange, perhaps?). Marvel has owned May forever, with the Spider-Man flicks, The Avengers, Iron Man… you name it, so this could backfire on DC — but at least they’re trying.
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Natalie Dormer Takes It (Half) Off for Mockingjay

British actress Natalie Dormer showed up at Saturday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards with half her head shaved for her role as Cressida in this fall’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 and next year’s Mockingjay — Part 2.

As a fellow head-shaving enthusiast, I think the absolutely gorgeous Dormer looks even sexier with this shorn style!

“The hair department was very supportive,” Dormer said on the SAG red carpet. “I was ready to do the whole head but we decided it was more stylistic — more Capitol — just to do half the head.”
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Westeros Propaganda Poster Art!

While the armies battling to place their king on the Iron Throne on HBO’s GAME OF THRONES seem to be more interested in killing each other than winning the hearts and minds of the populace, at least one enterprising artist is willing to fight that battle by creating these cool World War II-inspired propaganda-style posters.

You can buy prints of these great paintings by artist Olivia Desianti to hang on your wall at her Etsy shop or from Society6.

(And no, I don’t get a cut, cynical readers.)