Are Photorealistic Video Games Possible One Day?

(YouTube Link)

I remember a few years back, sitting and playing the opening level of God of War 3 on my Playstation 3, and I thought to myself games are not going to get much better looking than this. That was four years ago, and even with a whole new generation of consoles now, I still stand behind the thoughts. Yes, there are games that are visually stunning, but we have almost reached a peak in gaming, visually speaking. Some of us wonder where it will go next. Just how much better looking can games get, really?

Well, the uber-nerds over at Gamespot try to pose and answer the question many of us have wondered for the last few years now:

Are photorealistic games possible?



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Artist Gives Grandma's Ceramic Figurines A Black Metal Makeover

Thrift store shoppers come across ceramic figurines all the time, figurines which probably remind them of their grandma’s house, but one savvy shopper saw those tchotchkes as an opportunity to make some seriously cool art.

Portland based artist Tom LaBonty started purchasing those ceramic thrift store treasures and giving them ghastly makeovers, and the results are spook-tacular! 

They no longer look like something that would fit in at grandma’s house, unless your grandma has a dungeon in her basement, but their new life as harbingers of doom somehow makes them look even more precious.

Just look at how cute this little girl is carrying around a scythe that's twice her size!

-Via Dangerous Minds



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What If Christopher Nolan Directed WAll-E?

WALL-E was an amazing film. Christopher Nolan is an amazing director. So let's play around for a second and hypothesize how utterly brilliant it would be if Nolan had gotten the chance to direct WALL-E? Though I am not sure that movie could get much better, you do know a couple things right off the bat if you know the director's work. It would be a dark and gritty film, the score would be so powerful you would feel like you couldn't breathe while watching it, and it would have an ending that left you in awe (or a tad bit confused).

So really, Christopher Nolan should stick to what he does best (Interstellar looks unreal), as should Pixar. This still looks like it would be an amazing film, though, and is a fun way to spend two minutes.

(YouTube Link)

Via Devour



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Ian McKellen Advises Students with His Most Memorable Line

Ian McKellen, the actor who played Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings movies, advises students to study thoroughly for their tests. What will happen if they don't? Listen to McKellen's warning:


(Video Link)

McKellen delivered Gandalf's iconic line to students at the Chew Valley School in Chew Stoke, Somerset, UK. May they all heed his warning.

-via 22 Words



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Cable TV Channel Will Show Nothing But Star Wars on a Continuous Loop


(Image: Lucasfilm)

Sky Hits is a cable television channel in Germany and Austria. From December 1-14, it will show all 6 Star Wars movies, Star Wars documentaries, and specials on a continuous loop, 24 hours a day. The movies will air in the narrative order, so this glorious fortnight begins with The Phantom Menace. The documentaries and special videos will air between the movies.

Up to 3.8 million subscribers in Germany and Austria will have access to this event. So if you live in those two nations, it's time to ask for two weeks of vacation.

-via Uproxx



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Jason Momoa's Game of Thrones Audition

A great many fans of the Game of Thrones series were sad to see how (first season spoiler alert) how quickly Khal Drogo (played by Jason Momoa) was killed off. Fans familiar with the book saw it coming, but the rest of us were hoping for more screen time for the badass leader of the Dothraki people.

But outside of his massive physique, you ever wonder how he landed a part that involved him screaming in a fake language and ripping out throats with his bare hands? I will give you a hint: he went into the studio and acted like the crazy guy who lives in your neighborhood and walks down the street hitting himself while speaking nonsensically out loud.

(YouTube Link)

Extra points for the intense smacking his own legs. May look insane to us, but it obviously worked.

Via Devour



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Controversial Religious Icon Barbie Exhibit Cancelled Due To Death Threats

Most religions take their iconic figures very seriously, and true believers don’t take kindly to people using their icons as the inspiration for products that could be seen as blasphemous. 

Artists Emiliano Paolini and Marianela Perelli discovered just how serious the Catholic Church takes their icons when the duo announced they were creating Barbie dolls based on popular religious figures.

The proposed series would include Barbie dressed as the Virgin Mary, Kali, and the Virgin of Guadalupe, and Ken would play Jesus on the cross, Moses and St. Sebastian, just to name a few.

Emiliano and Marianela’s exhibit “Barbie: The Plastic Religion” was supposed to be shown at the POPA Gallery in Buenos Aires, but the duo began receiving death threats and decided to cancel the show.

The Catholic Church might not see the humor in these figures, but there are plenty of art toy collectors that would pay a pretty penny for these heavenly plastic creations!

-Via Beautiful/Decay



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The Hobbit in 72 Seconds -in LEGO

(YouTube link)

You could invest nine hours or so into watching the The Hobbit movies (after waiting for the last one to be released in December), or you could watch the condensed version in this stop-motion LEGO video from BrotherhoodWorkshop. I tried to read The Hobbit about 40 years ago and couldn’t finish it. I haven’t seen any of The Hobbit movies, either. So I watched this and laughed because even at the breakneck speed of the condensed story, there was still time for jokes. Spoilers? I don’t know; I really don’t feel I’ve been spoiled watching this. One who knows mentioned in the YouTube comments that this was more faithful to the book than the Peter Jackson films. -via Geeks Are Sexy



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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Dressed As Horror Movie Slashers

The Ninja Turtles are teenagers, and as such they haven’t outgrown the desire to get dressed up and go trick-or-treating on Halloween. 

Even though the 1990s cartoon claimed otherwise the heroes in a half shell always wanted to dress up like horror movie villains, because nothing says scary like a mutant who is also dressed like a slasher!

These awesome horror movie themed TMNT figure mods were created by Dan Polydoris of Chicago Toy Collector using parts from various Playmates Ninja Turtles figures from the 90s. 

Dan's customization process is quite unique, since most toy modders simply paint over the existing figures and add custom accessories, and they're so bloody good they're causing quite a stir with TMNT fans and toy collectors alike.

-Via Bloody Disgusting



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One Ring Pillow Is Precious!

Wait, we can't just destroy it! It's so comfortable. Surely it can't hurt me if I rest my head on it for just a little while, right? Surely Robert and Elsa Evans would not have crafted such an excellent pillow if it wasn't harmeless! 



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Judge Me By My Size, Do You?: A Yoda Hot Air Balloon

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is an event filled with glorious sights, including this majestic Yoda balloon. I highly recommend viewing its entire photo gallery. There you can find a pink elephant, a cactus, a sun, and perhaps best of all . . .

 

. . . a Spider-Pig.


(Video Link)

-via Technabob



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Interplanetary Unusual Attacking Team

When Guardians of the Galaxy was translated into Chinese, they cut some corners. The title of the movie shown in China is now Interplanetary Unusual Attacking Team. The insults have been changed to endearments, and other lines just make no sense at all. Some examples:

  • Each time a character was meant to insult Rocket by calling him “rodent” or “weasel” it was translated into “small raccoon,” a term of endearment.
  • When Gamora says, “Your ship is filthy,” and Star-Lord responds “She has no idea,” the translation came out to “Your ship stinks” and “No culture is terrible.”
  • Star-Lord calling Ronan “turd blossom” translated to “big face.”
  • Gamora’s “I will not succumb to your pelvic sorcery!” became “I will not succumb to your rhetoric sorcery!”

There’s more at The Mary Sue, and even more criticism of the translation if you can read Chinese.



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First Look At Disney's New Animated Short, Feast

(YouTube Link)

The Paperman was an award winning short film for Disney, which put their short films back on the map a few years ago. The shorts are usually produced by people who work for Disney, but not the main crew that are working on the film the short precedes. The Paperman was a stunning piece of work, and it looks like Disney's next short, Feast, will be no less amazing. It features an adorable hungry dog, and that is about all we know right now.

Also, please note, the cell-shaded animation style is visually stunning, and it is awesome to see Disney stepping outside of their bubble and trying new things.

Keep your eyes peeled for Feast when Big Hero 6 is released on the 6th of November.



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Superhero Origins: Jubilee From X-Men

I can openly admit, I was not a fan of Jubilee when she first appeared in X-men comics in 1989. She was a teenage girl who could shoot fireworks. You wouldn't think she would be a big contender to join the X-Men, but fans realized over time, she was there to inject some youthful, pop culture energy into the band of aging mutants.

So as lame as I initially thought she was, I was very happy to see WatchMojo had thrown together this short and sweet little origin story for the short and sweet little X-Men.

(YouTube)

Still, though, shooting fireworks is mildly impressive at best. Someone had to say it.



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Ralph Steadman Illustrates Breaking Bad

When you need an illustrator to bring the characters from AMC’s beloved series Breaking Bad to life you turn to someone used to creating drawings for gritty storylines- Ralph Steadman

Ralph has created a series of portraits in his signature style featuring the major characters from Breaking Bad, and they are drop dead awesome!

Ralph was commissioned by BrBa creator Vince Gilligan to create six different illustrations which will be used as cover art for each season in the upcoming limited edition Blu-ray release of Breaking Bad.

Steadman's splattery style brings these troubled characters to life in an appropriately twisted way, and hopefully he'll create more art based on the series so we can see the world of Breaking Bad through Steadman's eyes.

-Via Dangerous Minds



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The Matrix Trilogy Summed Up in Under 3 Minutes

The Matrix is one of those very polarizing trilogies. Some people like the fact that it incorporated Eastern philosophies and mixed them with modern ideas of technology and free-will. Others looked at it like a contrived action movie that tried too hard to be deep. One thing everyone can agree on, people walk away from the Matrix trilogy all with a different feeling on what just went down. It can be very confusing to piece together the whole thing after its many hours are behind you.

Thankfully, the guys over at TL;DW on YouTube put together this handy-dandy video that pretty much breaks this almost nine hour series down to just under three minutes. While the flash animations make lack some panache, the way they summarize the story is pretty awesome, and often times, hilarious.

(YouTube Link)

It is funny while also be pretty spot-on. Oh, and it saves you nine hours.



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Haunted Mansion Stretch Portraits Starring Disney Princesses

The stretch portraits found in Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion slowly reveal what brought about the untimely demise of those who now dwell within the walls of that spooky estate. 

This colorful bit of dark ride décor has been a fan favorite from the very beginning, and a source of inspiration for artists whose illustrations are inspired by Disney animation. 

Illustrator Laura Knighton, aka That Disney Lover, has created a delightfully dark series of Haunted Mansion inspired stretch portraits starring Disney princesses, revealing the fate of those who have pushed these lovely ladies too far.

Laura's portraits might not ever find their way into the Haunted Mansion, but hopefully they'll show the Disney fans in the world that sometimes sugar and spice won't get the job done...

-Via GeekTyrant



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The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time Is Just Like Your Depressing Life

Do you ever feel like you’re not in control of your life, and have no idea why you keep going through the motions every single day? 

Take it from Link- you don’t really have control over your life because a great big pair of hands in the sky is guiding you towards your destiny, helping you slash and shuffle your way through life.

If you're having an existential crisis you should consult this delightfully illlustrated comic strip by Julia Lepetit and Andrew Bridgman from Dorkly, so you can see all the ways your life is just like that of our hero Link.

It should make you feel better about your life, either that or it will make your life feel like the makings of the world's most mundane video game!

Read The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Is About Your Depressing Life here



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The Greatest American Jedi

(YouTube link)

Star Wars and its sequels were great 1970s movies. And with a little editing, they could have been a stereotypical 1970s TV series! We already have the perfect song, which makes me wonder why no one ever thought of this one before. Robert Jones edited this so we could get all nostalgic about both Star Wars and The Greatest American Hero-Thanks, Robert!  



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15 Fun Facts About An American Werewolf In London

John Landis isn’t known for his Horror movies, or at least he wasn’t known for them until he released a landmark horror comedy called An American Werewolf In London.

This is the movie that put Landis’ dark side on the map, and Landis showed the world how to make a howling good werewolf movie that's actually fun to watch, something horror filmmakers still can’t seem to get right to this day. 

(YouTube Link)

An American Werewolf In London features one of the best werewolf transformation scenes ever made, and the top notch makeup effects created by Rick Baker won the film an Academy Award for Best Makeup in 1981. 

This was the first year the Oscars had a Best Makeup category, and ironically the only time a John Landis film has won an Academy Award!

Read the rest of the 15 Fun Facts About An American Werewolf In London over at GeekTyrant



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5 Conspiracy Theories That Are So Dumb They're Brilliant

Image Credit: Garitzko

Conspiracy theories can be very strange rabbit holes to wander down. While some theories may have some elements of truth to them, most of them are just that: theories. Ideas by single minds that somehow get perpetuated to the masses and in that, those theories end up reaching larger audiences who no longer seem to have the grasp that these are simply "theories."

Got to give some credit to Cracked, though. For years, the site has called out some of the more well-known conspiracy theories and shown them for just how silly or asinine they are. Seems they are at it again with 5 Conspiracy Theories That Are So Dumb They're Brilliant. It is sometimes important to find humor in just how absurd some of these theories are. Just the fact that someone thinks the ALS ice bucket challenge is actually a satanic baptism ritual is just too hilarious to NOT be shared with the masses.

Ironic plot twist: am I perpetuating such conspiracies by writing about them and bringing more attention to them? I sure hope so, as some of these are hilarious.



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NYCC 2014 Cosplayers Reveal Their Day Jobs

Cosplayers are a rightfully proud bunch who really enjoy getting in to character, even if only for a few hours on the con floor.

However, cosplay isn’t a paying gig for most- it’s a hobby and a way for folks to show off their costuming and fabrication skills.

Everybody's gotta pay the bills somehow, so BuzzFeed asked some of the fabulous cosplayers at New York Comic Con 2014 about their day job, and their answers might surprise you.

Okay, maybe they're not all that surprising, or unexpected, but I was surprised by the sheer variety of answers they received, although student and aspiring something-or-other did come up multiple times. 

As for those with very time consuming jobs like psychologist, neuroscientist, and analyst I can't help but wonder- where do they find the time and energy to put together such great costumes?!

See the rest of the 29 Photos Of Cosplayers Revealing Their Day Job here



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Dad and Kids Build Massive LEGO Version of Wonder Woman's Invisible Jet

Wonder Woman has long flown an invisible jet. Recently, LEGO produced a massive, 3,200-piece version of it. Since John Wray and his kids love LEGO, they spent a day carefully assembling this incredibly complex model of the plane. You can see more photos here.

I'm really impressed with the level of detail that LEGO put into this set. The model looks almost like the real thing!

-via Kotaku



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The Best Cosplay From New York Comic Con 2014

New York Comic Con officially hosted just over 20,000 more people this year than San Diego Comic Con, making it the largest fandom convention in the land.

(Image Link)

One thing has made NYCC grow in popularity by leaps and bounds over the years- the online publicity created by cosplay photos. 

(Image Link)

Cosplay has always been a big part of NYCC, and many cosplayers and fans consider NYCC the place to go if you want to see the very best cosplay creations.

Two themes seem to have dominated the floor this year- gender swap and mashup, both of which were handled in a very serious manner, of course.

(Image Link)

Dorkly put together a collection of the 50 Best Cosplays seen at New York Comic Con 2014, and when they say the best they really mean it!

Every costume in the bunch is a winner, and there's enough variety to keep even the most cynical cosplay connoisseur entertained through the entire fifty photo set. 

(Image Link)

See more of The 50 Best Cosplays of New York Comic Con 2014 here



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5 Characters Who Would Make Fox's Gotham A Better Place

Image Credit:Marcus Quigmire

So who's had a chance to catch the the Fox's new (younger) take on the Batman universe, Gotham? The show is actually pretty good so far, surprisingly. Not to sound mean, but there is so much love for that universe, seems it would be easy to take a misstep at any point. Though good, it is still early in the game. With so many enemies and friends of Batman over the years, I am curious to see who they will add to the show over the years (if it lasts). Seems I am not the only one.

Nick Verboon over at my old haunting grounds, Unreality, has some pretty specific thoughts on some characters who would be a great benefit to Gotham if they were added to the television show's roster. Anarky being just one great example among the plethora they could pull from. It's a fun piece speculating about some characters who could all add some unique flavor to the shady city we all love so much.

Now let's just hope the show sticks around long enough for some of these predictions and high hopes to come true.



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Deadbeat And Dreary Visualizations Of Springfield

The Simpsons home town of Springfield only looks fun and colorful on TV because it's animated, if it was a real town it wouldn't be such a bright and cheerful place.

Illustrator Tim Doyle understands the harsh realities of real life, and how those realities differ from the colorful cheeriness found in toon life, so when he set his eyes on Springfield he saw despair and darkness sulking around every corner.

Tim’s artistic vision of Springfield makes the town look more relatable, and seedier than it has ever been portayed on the show, although the production staff has worked hard to make the place smuttier over the years.

We first featured Tim’s UnReal Estate portraits of Springfield back in 2012, and since then he’s been busy bringing more locations from that gritty toon town to life, revealing more of what lies beneath Springfield's cute cartoon facade.

See the rest of Tim's moody Springfield illustrations here



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He Went to NYCC as Johnny Depp


You don’t have to look like Johnny Depp to look like one of his movie characters …or two …or half a dozen. This cosplayer was spotted at New York Comic Con over the weekend. Let’s see, we have the bird on the head from The Lone Ranger, the glasses and cigarette from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the hair from Pirates of the Caribbean, the badge from Rango, the bow tie from The Tourist, the blades from Edward Scissorhands, the watch from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, shoes from Alice in Wonderland, fingernails from Dark Shadows, and probably a lot of other accoutrements from other movies. I think he should have gone with the eyewear from Sleepy Hollow.

-via reddit



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The Relationship Between Star Trek and NASA

(Image credit: NASA)

The blog Star Trek Fact Check is a fascinating read. It’s dedicated to setting the record straight on the rumors and legends about the production of Star Trek, most of them from the original series. A post called The Reluctant Astronaut(s) shows how friendly the Star Trek production team was with NASA, as they both benefitted from the excitement surrounding space exploration in the 1960s. The Star Trek production team tried several times to get NASA astronauts to appear on the show, although it didn’t happen until Mae Jemison appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1993. Jemison might never have joined NASA if it hadn’t been for the space agency reaching out to Nichelle Nichols to recruit women and minority astronauts for them.

Jemison, however, was not the first NASA astronaut to be approached about appearing on the show. Letters in the Gene Roddenberry collection at UCLA reveal that Mercury Astronauts Alan Shepard and Scott Carpenter were both pursued about appearing on Star Trek.

You can read how those attempts went in the post. But there’s more, tracing the many intersections of NASA and Star Trek. For example, there’s this photo.

(Image credit: NASA)

This is NASA engineer and test pilot Bruce Peterson speaking to James Doohan, who played the engineer on the Enterprise. The same year this photo was taken, Peterson survived a crash of a Northrop M2-F2, although he was severely injured. The film of that crash was immortalized in the opening credits of the TV series The Six Million Dollar Man, and was shown in all 100 episodes of the series. -via Metafilter



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Some of The Best Nintendo Cartridge Box Art From The 1980s

Cover art is designed with visual appeal in mind, and the best cover art grab the buyer’s attention from across the aisle, begging them to take a closer look. 

Video games used to rely on cover art to help sell cartridges- they presented polished and generally exciting scenes to lure gamers into buying the game, then gamers would discover the in-game graphics looked nothing like the cover art.

That’s why it’s best to think of cover art as a piece of concept art, rather than a faithful representation of what to expect from the game.

With that in mind you should check out GeekTyrant's collection of 15 Best Pieces Of 1980s NES Cover Art, where each piece is paired with a video showing the actual in-game graphics, so you can get a feel for how far off the cover art really is!



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Let This Fleshy Blob Thing Serenade You With A Sinatra Song

When a large, floating blob of flesh with no facial features save a mouth starts singing Frank Sinatra’s classic song “The Lady Is A Tramp” there are two possibilities- you’re either dreaming, or you're watching some weird video on the interwebs. 

(Vimeo Link)

This oddball video is a screen test created by Barcelona-based animation studio Dvein, and leads me to believe that whatever they’re creating might actually turn out to be stranger than this video.

Is this blob what Cassandra from Doctor Who looked like before she had herself stretched out on a rack? Is it the source of all the Adipose creatures in the universe?

Here’s another equally strange video starring the floating mouth blob’s relatives, watch it while you mull over these Whovian parallels:

(Vimeo Link)

I’ve always heard breathing is a big part of singing, but I guess when your mouth takes up about a third of your entire body you don't need a nose to belt out a tune with the best of 'em!

-Via Behance



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