There are still some high profile summer movies yet to come – “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “30 Minutes or Less,” um… that one where the kids all cheat death but then die anyway, which feels a bit pointless as a concept to carry five films, but here we are. Nevertheless, most of the season’s high-profile films have no opened, including a long-awaited adaptation of a popular series of graphic novels and helmed by one of Hollywood’s top directors. But enough about the “Smurfs” movie.
Personally, I think they made the CG look too realistic. But I’m not the target audience, I know.
As with every big blow-out collection of Hollywood films, Summer 2011 releases had a number of mobile apps and games come out as tie-ins. Almost none of these movie tie-in apps ever becomes popular. And this year’s crop will likely do little to reverse that trend. Hence Ranker’s Evan Hoovler’s decision to scrape the very very bottom of the barrel, for this list of The Worst Game Apps Based on 2011 Summer Films.
There’s a ton of obnoxious non-entertainment to be found here, but perhaps most egregious? The “Kung Fu Panda 2” staring contest app.
Hey, kids, want to have awesome kung fu adventures with me, Po? Too bad. This app is just about staring straight ahead.
Yes, it’s an app where Po, the improbably panda kung fu master, challenges you to a staring contest and then…proceeds to stare at you. There aren’t even hilarious asides, like when Andy and Conan used to do this on those old “Late Night” sketches. Nope, just an anthropomorphized bear using its cold dead 3D eyes to bore a hole straight through children’s souls.
Japan has developed something of a reputation for having the world’s craziest game shows. This is not entirely unearned; many of their televised contests require outrageous challenges, or feature brutal physical punishments if questions are answered wrong. Chris Farley and Mike Myers memorably parodied these imported game shows on a “Saturday Night Live” sketch I vividly remember, which must mean it was filmed approximately 20,000 years ago:
See, it’s not an offensive stereotype if… um… OK, it’s an offensive stereotype. Schwing!
But weird, wild Japanese entertainment actually runs the gamut of verticals and genres, and certainly isn’t limited to just one type of program. Take some of the programs on our epic rundown of Weird Japanese TV Shows, for example.
Sure, there are game shows present on the list, where contestants are challenged not to laugh at something funny, lest they be shot in the rear end (what our Jewish friends would refer to as a “tuchas”) with a dart gun.
But even more intriguing are some of the other shows that don’t feature any sort of direct challenges. Like the reality show in which a comedian was locked inside a hotel room for several months and forced to subsist only on what he could win by entering magazine contests. Or the show in which guests fart on cue, only to then have to dissipate their own gaseous discharge in several amusing (?) ways. (Think “Whose Fart Is It Anyway?” It’s basically like that.) Or even “Panic Face King,” where a variety of cruel pranks are devised in order to make people generally go insane, freak out and make faces like this:
How come The Situation doesn’t have to do anything to get on TV and I need to be terrified almost to the point of coma-induction? That’s it, I’m moving to Jersey…
Hey, don’t ask me to EXPLAIN any of these bizarre shows. I just blog here… Anyway, now you know about them. Uh, YOU’RE WELCOME.
Coming this October to the Lawrence, Kansas, Holiday Inn… I hope. Definitely going to have to make some last-minute phone calls if I’m really going to pull this off. But I figure, if Comic-Con can get 130,000 people to flood into San Diego, then surely a week-long celebration of Ranker lists could attract a minimum of 200 times that number to the jewel in the middle of Central Kansas’s crown.
Anyway, I think we’d definitely have a panel on writing good introductions to “List of the Week” blog posts that aren’t too long, and that segue neatly into the main body of the post. Because I need to learn how to do that. Here’s what happened this week!
Comic-Con is Literally Still Going On As I Type This
I’m fairly certain they’ve redesigned the San Diego Comic-Con schedule so that the event technically never ends. As soon as they begin tearing down this year’s booths, the next year’s ones will start going up in their place. Kevin Smith gets a 20 minute rest period in between podcasts, at least. It feels like we’ve been getting a steady stream of Comic-Con news since roughly the final quarter of the Pleistocene Era. (“Avengers! Coming in just several tens of thousands of years!”)
Since Ranker has such a massive library of great lists about comic books and comic book characters, it seems like a great time to take a quick browse through the library…
– Our CrowdRanked list of the Most Ridiculous Superheroes Ever continues to grow, though I’m not sure how you could ever top Bouncing Boy. He’s a guy named Chuck Taine (so already…weird… ) He accidentally drinks a “super plastic formula” which he mistakes for soda pop. (Who’s going around drinking random items in bottles and just assuming that it’s soda?) Now he has the power to inflate his body into the shape of a ball.
Oh, no, wait, it’s just Bud Light.
– Now that superhero films have become such a part of the mainstream culture, the phenomenon of actual people dressing up in costumes and fighting crime (or just one another) has also exploded. One need only peruse the mighty and ferocious battles in our list of the Greatest Real-Life Superhero Brawls to see that masked vigilantism is on the rise. And also to get a little worried for the future of our species. Both of those.
– Finally, this rundown of superheroes who have disabilities includes a number of well-known characters – your Batgirls, your Daredevils – but also brought to mind some lesser-known crusaders for goodness and justice as well. For example, Misty Knight, a sort-of riff on Cleopatra Jones or Foxy Brown, only with a robotic arm this time.
If they ever do a movie of this character, they’d have to CGI that fro. David Hyde Pierce can do the voice-over!
RIP Amy Winehouse
Not all of this week’s news was fanboys and nerdgasms, of course. There was also the death at age 27 of singer Amy Winehouse, whose struggles with alcohol and drug abuse had become a matter of public record.
They tried to make me write a snarky caption underneath this Amy Winehouse video. I said no, no, no.
Winehouse unfortunately joins the CrowdRanked list of rock stars who died before their time, with the most potential for great future recordings. Right now, she’s at #26. It will be interesting to see if she moves up or down once the shock of her passing wears off.
Tonight kicks off the very last season of HBO’s probing, epic, sweeping series “Entourage,” based on the true story of some douchebags who moved to LA and went to a lot of parties with B-level celebrities, often with a timely side project to promote. It was this or another season of “Deadwood.” Thank goodness they took the classy route.
Zombies. A key Internet topic ANY day, but particularly noteworthy on this Comic-Con Friday, with the release of the trailer for Season 2 of AMC’s “Walking Dead.”
Scenes from “Walking Dead” Season 2 or Romero’s “Late Afternoon of the Dead”? You decide.
The new season debuts in October, but if you’re looking for some zombie movies to tide you over, Ranker can help! (See what I did there?)
First up, our exhaustive guide to every zombie movie ever. Think of a zombie film that’s not represented? Leave it in the comments and we’ll add it! Bearing in mind that we’re talking films that are specifically about zombies, not horror movies where the monsters are debateably undead. Trust me, we’ve given this lots of thought.
Did “C.H.U.D. II” make the cut? Yes, yes it did. Did your humble narrator know without looking it up that C.H.U.D. stands for “Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller”? Uh, no comment.
In fairness, he HAD asked the photographer to capture his good side.
Already a zombie expert with no need for our educational reference lists? Fine, be that way. But you can help us out by heading over to our CrowdRanked list of the Greatest Zombie Movies Ever Made and share your expertise with the rest of the Ranker community. Right now, “Dawn of the Dead” is somewhat righteously sitting in the top spot, but if you asked me, “28 Days Later” is way too high at #4. (I mean, I’m not really anti-“28 Days Later,” but NO WAY it’s superior to “Dead Alive,” “Return of the Living Dead” or “Army of Darkness.”
Wise up, you primitive screwheads.
Finally, let’s say you love zombies but you want to LAUGH. You’re in the mood for a zom-com! We’ve got you covered there, too, with user PT_Tesla’s guide to the funniest zombie movies. Who says being devoured alive by re-animated soulless corpses can’t be amusing? Not me!
It’s that time of year again, when all the geeks, otakus, gamers, cosplayers, LARPers and, yes, publicists make their annual pilgrimage to San Diego. Their destination? The massive Comics Convention that has grown from a niche event catering to the graphic novel enthusiast into a massive explosion of every sub-sub-sub-sub-genre of nerdistry. Several members of Team Ranker, in fact, are there right now, probably waiting in a 2-hour line to meet a high-profile professional penciller. (Say that three times fast… Eh, you know what, that’s alright.)
The rest of us have stayed behind to man the Ranker ship and enjoy the office’s temporary tranquility, a rare period of a few days when no one’s loudly arguing about which Batmobile is best during work hours.
But those of you who are venturing down to Ron Burgundy’s ancestral homeland – or who want to follow all the action from home – are still in luck, as we have plenty of Comic-Con-ish lists for you to enjoy.
Go enjoy yourself, San Diego. (See what I did there?)
First up, our Comic-Con Survival Guide, full of helpful tips to avoid, say, getting stabbed during a Harry Potter panel or being trapped in an elevator with “Twilight” fans. (Shudder.) It doesn’t include my #1 Comic-Con tip, which is: Avoid the convention all together and simulate the experience at home by paying a sweaty guy $50 to follow you around and randomly push you out of the way for 3 days straight. Think of the money you’ll save!
We’ve also got a very thorough Guide to 2011 Comic-Con Movies, aimed at helping you keep track of the various films getting panels, previews and even screenings during the event. (Yes, it even includes that “Captain America” movie that opens on Friday and is sure to be a big topic of conversation around Hall H all weekend.)
Awesome, I’m the first Avenger! When are the other guys joining up? Oh, not for 70 years? OK, that’s cool… So I’ll just wait here then?
Finally, be sure to check out our look back at filmmaker, podcaster and geek icon Kevin Smith’s Greatest Comic-Con Moments. Warning: Some of these contain some foul language and offensive content. OK, all of these contain foul language and offensive content. It’s Kevin Smith. What were you expecting?
Sorry to disappoint you with that headline. I figured more people would come if they thought we had punch and pie.
But we do have another great list to share. (I know, who would have thought… )
Yesterday, as attentive readers will recall, Rupert Murdoch was testifying before a British Parliament committee when a burly plaid-clad “comedian” named Jonathan May-Bowles threw a “foam pie” at his face.
Yes, it was a foam pie. A pie made with foam. We’re not quite sure what May-Bowles was hoping would happen if he fully connected. Murdoch would be upset for a moment, then have a nice shave? Why not just go get a real pie like any self-respecting provocateur?
Anyway, Rupert’s sturdy and unflappable wife Wendi managed to sort of half-knock the pie out of the way, and even get a good slap in at May-Bowles, before the incident wound down to its inevitable, disappointing conclusion. (Within a few moments, Murdoch was all cleaned up and appeared so worse for wear, and we can only assume that May-Bowles is not being held in an underground bunker somewhere, getting foam pies in the face every five minutes while being forced to watch the episode of “The O’Reilly Factor” where Bill insists that no one can explain the tides at top volume.
The whole incident did get us thinking about all the various times protesters have tried to throw things at notable public officials, only to be foiled at the last moment. It turns out, this happens quite a lot, so we made a list of all the most Disappointing Object-Throwing Incidents and Protest FAILs in recent history.
Why don’t more people study the work of the Great Masters? Then they’d have more success.
Not that we’re suggesting you check out the Weakest Moments in Object Throwing as a learning aid for a future planned egging of a public official. Let me make that entirely clear. Ranker does not support or condone throwing anything silly at politicians, authors, pundits, executives or anyone else for that matter. Seriously. Not even Zach Braff. Just don’t do it.
Greetings, true Rankers. Today’s List of the Day finds us in the heart of Crime City, where valiant Ranker user SaintMort is rattling off a list of all the superheroes with some kind of disability. (Seems fitting on the week of San Diego’s Comic Con, when so many people will travel to California to celebrate costumed superheroes, heavy drinking, movie studio swag and, of course, Twilight movies! Squeeeeeee!)
The screaming fans are already lining up at Hall H to see us… I’m scared. Hold me.
Handicapped superheroes aren’t really as rare as you might think. Lots of characters only get their powers in the first place after suffering through some kind of freak accident. Like Matt Murdock being blinded by radioactive waste, but also attaining super-sonar! And a staggering lack of basic fashion sense! Or consider the case of Dr. Stephen Strange, a neurosurgeon whose hands are damaged in a car accident, but who then gets invited to learn all the secrets of the mystic arts.
Drive safe, kids, or you may end up flying through space leaping out of psychedelic skulls. Wait, that actually sounds not so bad.
As well, a common comic book trope seems to be “The very thing that makes you powerful also can make you vulnerable,” so it makes sense that some characters with rare and unnatural abilities would also have some pretty significant disadvantages. Just kind of a bummer, though…
Hello and welcome to your first helping of meme Mondays! Why meme Mondays? Because there’s nothing better to start you off on your week than knowing you’re behind on something.
For those of you not in the know, an internet meme is sort of an “inside” joke of the internet — kind of like the kind of inside jokes you have to deal with when you hang out with your significant other and their friends, only you (yes, you) can actually participate. Memes are born when multiple people contribute to an image, video or phrase, making it evolve into something that everyone can laugh at.
And since Ranker users have really taken a shine to rounding up memes, we have enough to do meme Mondays until “advice memes” stop being popular.
Starting us off is The Very Best of the Oblivious Suburban Mom Meme. Reddit’s AdviceAnimals section (where a lot of these memes are born, well, where a lot of these memes are raised) took a picture of a pretty attractive almost-middle-aged woman and started making her say the kind of stuff that your normal, in-denial (or really that oblivious) suburban mom would think about her kids doing “adult” or “illegal” things.
So enjoy the very best of this meme that makes fun of clueless, idealistic parents.
Speaking of clueless idealism, when’s the last time you talked to a child about music? Nothing on earth will make you feel older.
“Paul McCartney! You don’t know Paul McCartney?!”
“Oh, you mean Jesse McCartney’s dad? Is that him? Is he an actor or something?”
This causes much distress. Especially when the kid thinks he/she knows everything already, even though they’re in 8th grade, which means they’re just starting to like stuff. At all.
And then it hits a peak when they say things like this:
We have been holed up in the Ranker offices on Wilshire in Los Angeles for 3 days now, waiting out Carmageddon, hoping and praying that some other people are left out there…alive. We have little water left, and are subsisting on a thin gruel made of coffee grinds and old “Best of 2008” lists. (Best song: Rihanna and T.I.’s “Live Your Life”? What were you thinking, people of 3 years ago?)
Last night, it got really quiet, and Brian thought he could make a break for it, but he was only about 20 feet out the door when one of the cars got him. He made it back inside and seemed okay, but he’s…different somehow. Changed. This morning, I thought I caught him sipping on motor oil and making “vroom” noises, but it could just be the stress getting to me. I haven’t been sleeping.
We’re going to continue to wait, for as long as we can last. In the meantime, Ranker users outside of LA, who managed to escape this dys-autopian nightmare have made some lists about other stuff that happened this week. Check ‘em out.
This week’s hot new music startup was Spotify, the subscription music service that’s already been a big hit in Europe and has FINALLY landed on American shores after working out deals with all the record labels. Users can stream music to their computers for free (with ads), pay $5 a month to dump the ads or $10 a month to stream music to their mobile devices.
The library is pretty amazing, but before you dive in and start collecting your favorite post-pop-emocore-abilly songs into a playlist, check out these Spotify Tips, Tricks and Hints to make sure you’re, you know, doing it right. Can you imagine if you were sharing that Best Reggae Jams playlist publicly, and accidentally had left some Rocksteady in there? Shock! Horror!
Good news, everyone! New Jersey resident and soon-to-be-national hero Donna Simpson, who currently weighs in at a solid 700 pounds, has announced her intention to gain the additional 300 pounds needed to secure the world record! Plus she’s promised to do most of the actual required eating in front of a webcam, so all of us amateur gluttons can enjoy her achievements vicariously.
If this all sounds vaguely familiar, it’s probably because Homer Simpson (no relation…probably…) hatched a similar scheme back in the ’90s, with somewhat disappointing results.
Still waiting for his special dialing wand
To commemorate Donna’s historic attempt to eat a metric ton of bacon, Ranker user Barbara Gaston threw together this list of Great Historical Gluttons. Hey, she’s sharing a list with Elvis Presley! The King! It’s a compliment!
New Movie Trailers
Tons of new movie trailers debuted this week, in part because a new “Harry Potter” film opened, so they know a lot of people will be in theaters waiting to see if the kids get back to the Shire. (That’s what it’s about, yes?) They’re all on our 2011 Movie Trailer list, including this new spot for Martin Scorsese’s 3D adventure story “Hugo.” LET’S WATCH!
Sacha Baron Cohen’s 3D nude wrestling scene, I predict, will cause some controversy…
5 years ago this week, Twitter (then called Twittr) was introduced to the public. Hard to believe it’s been that long! Before then, if you wanted to know what someone had had for lunch, and if it was delicious, you’d have to actually call them up and ask them! Not that anyone ever did that. Because, really, let’s be honest, who cares? But still…Twitter…woooo!
Aimee Mann can eat a hot bowl of…oh, hey, kids, stay in school!
OK, that provided a few moments of distraction from the horrorscape that is post-Carmageddon Los Angeles. (Thinking we should start calling it “New Los Angeles.” Sounds more post-Carmageddon-y.)
I’ll send word if I can. Hopefully the US government still exists and the military can get some tanks through to us. Also, please, if you see my wife, tell her… oh God… I hear engines revving… I think they’re in the building… I… Oh no…
This weekend marks the end of one of the biggest film, book and pop culture phenomenons of the last decade. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 came out today, and with it, all the Muggles obsessed with the franchise are out in the streets, in full form. Waiting in line, in costumes and drinking butter beer.
And while most of them aren’t as crazy as this
or this (she creepily asks to touch his face — this entire video is gold)…
.. they(we) did manage to break some records. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 made more money in ticket sales at one midnight showing across the United States than most movies do in their entire opening weekend. $44 Million for a midnight screening, baby! (For more Crazy Harry Potter Fans check out Mark’s list of The 13 Craziest Harry Potter Fans Moments of All Time).
But… ever since the rise in popularity of the Harry Potter franchise, fans have been trying to make the wizarding world of Harry Potter into something real. Like, really real.
I mean, take this guy. In this world (California, of course), there’s a real human being who honestly believes in magic who went ahead and created a real school for wizards. Where he teaches magic. To kids.
So with this and some other awe-inspiring stories, here’s the list of the day.