amber naismith

The Lego Movies’ Secret Gaming Roots

Around this time three years ago The Lego Movie arrived in theaters and everything was awesome. No one would ever imagine that a feature-length toy commercial could actually be one of the funniest, smartest, and most imaginative movies of the year, even if it totally got robbed of an Oscar nomination. Since then, the Lego cinematic universe has only expanded. By the time I stop laughing at jokes from February’s Lego Batman Movie, it’ll be time to laugh at jokes from The Lego Ninjago Movie hitting theaters this September. But as fans of Lego in all kinds of media, we couldn’t help but notice how these films’ wild sense of humor reminded us of the long-running series of Lego video games and its wacky cutscenes. And after playing three of the most recent Lego games (Lego Worlds, Lego City Undercover, and Lego Dimensions), the movie-game connections seemed even stronger. Was it just a coincidence that these two branches of the Lego tree resembled each other? Maybe, or maybe not. So to get to the bottom of this, we went to the source and talked to employees at TT Games, the developer behind the Lego games, and Animal Logic, the animation…

coming ang going

All the Best Movies Coming to and Leaving Netflix in April 2017

Netflix is about to rain down on April with some nerd-friendly original content, but that’s coming at the cost of some of the best nerd-friendly classic TV. The Highlights Let’s get the bad news out first. Several classic series are leaving Netflix. From my probably incorrect memory, a few of these have been with Netflix since the start of streaming. Okay, here we go then, you ready? Because this is going to hurt. Here are some of the shows leaving Netflix April 1: Firefly, The X-Files, Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse, House, Bones, Ally McBeal, and Roswell. Movies aren’t safe either, with The Princess Bride, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and The Usual Suspects all leaving at the beginning of the month too. I know, it doesn’t feel great. Take a second. There’s good news though. Advertisement The new Mystery Science Theater series arrives April 14 and Bill Nye’s new show, Bill Nye Saves the World arrives April 21. Also coming back are the The Get Down and Chewing Gum, alongside a handful of interesting looking new shows, like, Girlboss and Dear White People. New Netflix movies are also on READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Life Is the Next Great Leap Forward for Science Fiction Horror

GIF by author from footage provided by Sony Pictures. Most of the people interested in seeing Life, the astronaut thriller out on March 24, probably have certain expectations based on the movie’s familiar premise: human beings encounter extraterrestrial organism, terrifying things ensue, just as in Alien, Predator and other classics. But while that most basic plotline does describe what happens—Life is the smartest, sharpest version of man vs. ET to come along in a long while. Life happens almost entirely on the International Space Station, opening with a crew of specialists from Japan, Russia, Great Britain, and the United States preparing to receive a sample of a microscopic lifeform unearthed on Mars. One of the best plot beats comes early on in director Daniel Espinosa’s film, when a little girl from a school that won a contest names the just-discovered critter “Calvin.” That moment happens on a stage in Times Square, framing this discovery as a watershed moment in human history that’s celebrated the whole world over. Advertisement As the days stretch on aboard the ISS , Calvin evolves rapidly into a form that described as READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


A New Documentary About the Muppets Shows Why Almost Everyone Loves Them

Image via Vibrant Mud, LLC. Near the end of Muppet Guys Talking, puppeteer Dave Goelz is asked a question about where he’s found the nobility in his life’s work. “[In] folly,” he answers. “Human folly. Celebrating the degree to which we’re all lost.” That’s just one instance of how this documentary about the world’s favorite puppets gets surprisingly deep. Advertisement Directed by Frank Oz and screened this week in Austin at SXSW, Muppet Guys Talking is a warm, unassuming film that documents a reunion of five people who worked with Jim Henson. The movie is essentially a recording of a 10-hour hang-out in 2012 that Oz had with Goelz, the man who’s brought Gonzo and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew to life for decades, Fran Brill (Prairie Dawn), Jerry Nelson (Count von Count), and Bill Barretta (Rowlf, Pepe the King Prawn). Oz, having performed as Yoda and Miss Piggy, is among the best known of the crew but the point of the film is to let audiences know about some of the more unheralded puppeteers who helped bring the Muppets to full bloom. There’s a mix of cozy reminiscing, nuts-and-bolts discussion of craft, READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

ghost in the shell

Ghost in the shell (2017) will soon be here – Sponsored video

***Swedish*** Det är nu ungefär tre veckor kvar tills att Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) filmatisering utav Masamune Shirow’s klassiska cyberpunk anime ”Ghost in the Shell” går upp på bio, och mina förväntningar är rätt så höga. Ni förstår, jag har varit ett fan utav både filmerna och anime serierna i bra många år nu (jag kollade på… READ FULL STORY AT THEGG!


This Doc About One of The Internet's Biggest Pirates Actually Made Me Feel Sorry for the Guy

Image via XYZ Films The man who created Megaupload got insanely rich via morally dubious means. So it’s pretty amazing that the new documentary about the German-born hacker-turned-millionaire generates any sympathy. But it does, by sketching out an easy-to-swallow narrative alleging that powerful corporate and government forces systematically set out to destroy his life. [embedded content] Caught in the Web opens by invoking a hoary cliche, in a close-up where Kim Dotcom compares his own crazy life to a Hollywood movie, the same kind of content that used to get traded back and forth over the rogue file-sharing site he created. The whole time Kim Dotcom was riding high off money gained by letting people share pirated entertainment, he popped off in the kind of brash, trash-talking bluster that makes a person look like an asshole. But, as the movie directed by Annie Goldson spools on, it becomes more than apparent that there’s more than enough truth in his story to allow for using the cliche. Kim Dotcom in 1993, copyright Boris Rostamu-Rabet The record on Kim Dotcom is pretty clear: he’s READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

gareth edwards

There's Something Weird About This Explanation for Why You Can't Watch Rogue One's Deleted Scenes

A shot that never made it into Rogue One. And it’ll never be explained. Image: Lucasfilm The instant news of the Rogue One Blu-ray dropped, we all had the same question: would the disc contain some of the many, many scenes from the trailers that aren’t in the movie? The answer is no, and now the director of the film has explained why—but his answer isn’t totally satisfying. Advertisement “There’s not an individual scene that you can drag and drop and put on a Blu-ray,” Edwards told Fandango. “There are little things that would come and go during the process of post-production, but they’re not scenes. They’re more moments within the scenes or a single shot. So it’s impossible to be able to do that, and that’s why the decision was made.” He continued: Advertisement The stuff people talk about, like what they saw in the trailer, they’re not scenes you can just put on a DVD. They’re moments within scenes and threads, and you pull a thread and it all changes. It was changing the whole time. It’s not like there was one READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Why You Should Scare the Crap Out of Yourself for Fun

Illustration by Angelica Alzona. “I don’t like scary stuff,” you tell people—as if it’s an allergy of some kind. You won’t go to haunted houses, you wouldn’t dream of playing the new Resident Evil, and your fingers are perpetually crossed in the hope your moviegoing friends won’t pick a horror flick. Well, what if I told you scaring yourself is actually good for your mind, body, and soul? Fear Clears Your Head Some people go for a run or do meditation to clear their head, but a spooky story works just as well. When you get scared, your body engages its “fight or flight” mode. Your heart rate spikes, your palms sweat, and you get hit with an adrenaline rush. As Dr. John Mayer, psychologist and author, explains, the excitement of fear forces you into the present and helps you forget about the worries and pressure of the real world you were feeling before. As he puts it, “It works like an eraser for the mind.” You also release some happy hormones when you’re terrified. According to psychiatrist David Zald, thrilling activities like scary movies and spooky games activate a dopamine response in the brain. Dopamine, also READ FULL STORY…


How The Cars Of Logan Grappled With The Very Real Future

If you want to see a superhero movie, go see Captain America. If you want to see a Western, go see The Magnificent Seven. If you want to see a road movie, go see Mad Max: Fury Road. If you want to see a superhero Western road movie that’s also set in the future, go see Logan. The cars themselves are worth it, and their designers told Jalopnik just how much thought and work went into making them feel real. Advertisement Warning: this post contains some spoilers. Directed by James Mangold (The Wolverine, Girl, Interrupted), the latest film in the X-Men series follows an aged Wolverine in the year 2029. He’s living off the grid with Charles Xavier as a limousine driver. After a mysterious young mutant named Laura appears in their lives, they attempt to escape from and ultimately kill the shit out of a group of scientists and a band of cyborg mercenaries intent on capturing them. It was fucking fantastic. Advertisement Recently, I was able to speak with artist and designer Nick Pugh, who headed up the film’s automotive creative team READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

bill paxton

Game of the Year: The Gamechangers

For too long the definition of “Game of the Year” has been unfairly narrow. How boring is it to see every website shower the same stale AAA games with praise at the end of each holiday season? So at, we’re doing what we can to put a stop to this in Game of the Year, a new column celebrating worthy alternative picks for the year’s greatest game regardless of genre, platform, year of release, or even quality. Here, any game can be Game of the Year! Recently the world lost a great actor. Bill Paxton passed away on February 25 at the age of 61. You probably remember Paxton from beloved James Cameron films like The Terminator, Aliens, True Lies, and Titanic. Or maybe you’re a Twister or Apollo 13 fan. Heck, he was even a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He played villainous Hydra spy John Garrett in the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Just don’t confuse him with Bill Pullman. This week’s game of the year celebrates Bill Paxton’s contribution to video games. No, we’re not talking about his parts in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare or Sewer Shark. This week’s game of the year is…

jason momoa

Jason Momoa has been cast as Rico Rodriguez in the Just Cause movie.


A Brief History of Filmmakers Explaining Why Video Game Movies Suck

Hollywood keeps making video games movies and they keep being terrible. So, the people in Hollywood keep on having to talk about whether any video game film adaptation will ever be good. Advertisement Starting in the 1990s, the earliest live-action video game movies were blatant cash-in affairs, meant to pull in dollars from a medium that Hollywood studios had no stake in and barely understood. Super Mario Bros., Street Fighter, and Mortal Kombat were total cheesefests, barely recognizable contortions that seemed embarrassed to even exist. A new wave began in the 2000s, sparked by the better-than-most execution of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2001. But Hollywood did as Hollywood does, chasing after success with lesser wannabe fare, like the oeuvre of infamous director Uwe Boll. Postal, Alone in the Dark, and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege ramped up the idea that video game movies were destined to be horrible. Advertisement Since then, that “video game movies suck” idea has become a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy that creators involved with video game movies have to dodge and contend with. Likewise, the READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


The New Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Trailer Features a Creepy CG Young Jack Sparrow

Gif by Andrew Liszewski from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man Tell No Tales (Disney) The first two trailers for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man Tell No Tales have been noticeably light on Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow. This one has, arguably, too much. There’s a flashback sequence with the ever-more-popular “de-aged actor” effect, and it is creepier than anything seen in these movies before. Advertisement This trailer has a lot going on: You want ghost sharks? Boom. Want to know why Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) is hunting Jack? Also boom. Hey, remember Will Turner (Orlando Bloom)? He’s here, too! Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will be unleashed upon us on May 26. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Add Every Laika Film (Including Kubo) To Your Collection For $30

Kubo and the Two Strings is one of the most visually striking films ever made, but the studio Laika has been making beautiful animation for a long time now, and you can own all four of their feature films for $30 today. $30 From amazon 97 purchased by readers Gizmodo Media Group may get a commission READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!