Saturday, June 27, 2015

‘Revolution’ gets fitting ending in comic book series

NBC’s post-apocalyptic, world-without-electricity drama “Revolution” was one of my favorite TV shows in recent years. It ran for 42 episodes over two seasons before it was canceled in May 2014.
The show’s creator, Eric Kripke, developed a fascinating world with compelling characters much like he did with “Supernatural.” Like all great dramas, I never knew where the story would take me, but I enjoyed the ride.
As a gift to loyal fans, the show’s producers created a four-chapter online comic book to provide an ending to the series. It was a wonderful thing to do and I thank Kripke for it.
The final chapter posted last week.

Here are links to the four chapters posted on Facebook.

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4

Art: Covers from the four chapters of “Revolution” season three.





Wednesday, June 24, 2015

E3 2015 booth babes: a retrospective

Every year, the Electronic Entertainment Expo takes over the Los Angeles Convention Center with a sensory overload of video game firms trying to catch the attention of attendees.
Some companies use massive video screens with blaring music and exciting game trailers. Others have elaborate set pieces based on their games. Still others use photo ops with props and costumed actors.
Others use female trade show models, or “booth babes,” to appeal to the predominantly male audience of game developers and game press.
This year’s E3 seemed to feature a larger contingent of female attendees and fewer booth babes, which should please feminists and progressives.
Some media outlets made mention of the progress women were making at E3. The Associated Press proclaimed “Women Finally Play Larger Role At Iconic E3 Gaming Convention.” Digital Trends wrote “E3 2015 proves to be one small step forward for womankind.” And Metro said “E3 finally treated women right.”
One woman wrote on GameSpot that E3 organizers discouraged companies from having attractive female models at their booths this year.
“Hi, guys. I worked as a ‘Booth Babe’ in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and it was loads of fun!” she said. “The agency we worked with in the past told us that “Booth Babes are out’ at E3 and said that companies were getting afraid to have beautiful women showing their games, because of ‘feminist protests’. So none of the 7 or 8 girls I know that worked previous years got hired this year.”
Usually bloggers and game press post galleries of the most attractive female models at E3. But my Internet search after the show revealed that mostly foreign press continued the practice.
What follows is a list of websites that posted such E3 booth babe pictorials.


Legit Reviews combined booth babes with booth dudes and cosplay at the show for its photo gallery. Legit Reviews is headquartered in St. Louis, Mo.
Sample photos include the promotional models for “Dark Souls 3” by FromSoftware (top) and Rockstar Energy Drink (second from top).


Gamekapocs, a game website based in Hungary, posted a gallery of “sexy hostess girls” from the show.
Its photos include a cosplayer for “Smite” from Hi-Rez Studios (above).


Enternity, a game website in Greece, ran a bunch of photos of lovely E3 ladies.
A sample photo is two women for video game products firm Razer.

Another Greek website, Gameworld, posted several E3 2015 booth babe photos as well.
The sample photo here is two costumed ladies promoting “Ghostbusters: Puzzle Fighter” from Capcom-owned developer Beeline.


Spanish-language website AlfaBetaJuega also collected a series of E3 2015 booth babe photos. They included dancers promoting “Just Dance 2016” from Ubisoft.

And finally Games N Girls posted several shots of E3 booth babes, including a cosplayer dressed as Cammy from “Street Fighter” by Capcom.

Related reading:

Scenes from E3 2015 (Fortune; June 24, 2015)

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Why the U.S. should disclose Osama bin Laden’s porn stash

The U.S. government recently released a collection of documents seized during the 2011 raid on terrorist Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
The collection includes now-declassified correspondence as well as English-language material found at the compound. The tranche of documents was extensive.
The news media took great interest in the English-language books, think tank reports, U.S. government documents and other materials bin Laden collected.
In addition, the Office of the Director of National Defense confirmed for the first time that bin Laden had an extensive pornography collection. But they declined to release any details about it.
When U.S. forces raided bin Laden’s hideout and killed the leader of al-Qaeda on May 1, 2011, they seized a cache of documents, computer files and other materials. The goal of that seizure was to learn about bin Laden’s terrorist network, activities and possible future attacks.
After the successful raid, unnamed high-ranking Pentagon officials told Reuters, ABC News and other media that pornographic videos had been discovered at the compound. Reuters reported that the pornography “consists of modern, electronically recorded video and is fairly extensive.”
On May 20, the ODNI publicly confirmed that bin Laden had a porn stash.

Bin Laden was a hypocrite

The disclosure provided evidence that bin Laden was a hypocrite. Bin Laden presented himself as a pious Muslim, waging a holy war against what he considered a morally corrupt and decadent Western world.
“We have no plans to release that at this point in time,” Brian Hale, a spokesman for the DNI, told The Telegraph about bin Laden’s porn. “Due to the nature of the content, the decision was made not to release it.”
DNI spokesman Jeffrey Anchukaitis gave a similar comment to the Guardian.
I’m sorry, but that reasoning doesn’t cut it. That’s not a legal reason for refusing to disclose details of bin Laden’s pornography collection.
In June 2013, I made a Freedom of Information Act request for information on the porn collection, an interesting footnote to history. My FOIA request was rejected on questionable grounds. As were my appeals.
At the time, the CIA refused even to admit that porn was found in the bin Laden raid.
My requests were denied under the FOIA exemptions (b)(1) and (b)(3). I do not believe those exemptions are valid in this case.
The CIA’s FOIA denial letter claimed that “the existence or nonexistence of requested records is currently and properly classified and is intelligence sources and methods information that is protected.”
The claim that this information is somehow mission sensitive or pertained directly to the operations of the bin Laden raid is laughable. This information reportedly was swept up by U.S. agents in the hunt for information on terrorist activities, but it stretches the imagination to believe that this pornographic material should be classified or is pertinent to national security.
The CIA’s response to my FOIA request also stated that the CIA is prohibited from mailing obscene matter. I have two responses to this. First, as I stated in my original request letter, I am based locally and able to view documents and records in person in the Washington, D.C., area.
Secondly, documents summarizing the pornographic contents of flash drives and other media could most certainly be mailed. This would include descriptions and lists of what the content seized in the raid shows.

President Obama is protecting bin Laden’s reputation

It seems like the Obama administration is trying to protect bin Laden’s reputation for some reason.
The type of pornography he watched could speak volumes about a man who terrorized the U.S. and other countries for years.
Did he enjoy Western pornography from countries he despised, especially the U.S.? He publicly hated those countries in part for their openness toward sexuality. (He had criticized the United States’ culture as sexualized in a 2002 “letter to America”).
Did he enjoy mainstream commercial pornography or something really twisted?

A report out of India claims bin Laden was addicted to the porn movies of Sunny Leone. (See above photos.)
It’s a fascinating footnote in history about a man who terrorized the U.S. at home and abroad for more than a decade.
Reports of the adult videos found in his compound prompted a flurry of mockery from newspapers and comedians.

The New York Post front page from May 14, 2011, carried the headline “Osama Bin Wankin’! It’s Whora Bora – Porn found in Laden’s foxhole.”

The Post also included a funny graphic of possible porn titles found in his lair.

The New York Daily News front page on May 14, 2011, had the headline “Osama Porn Laden.”

The now-defunct iPad newspaper The Daily headlined the story “Osama Bin Spankin’”

“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” joked about the discovery of porn at bin Laden’s compound in a segment titled “Whackistan.”

Political cartoonists had a field day with the bin Laden porn story.
Matt Bors did a cartoon on the hypocrisy of bin Laden’s porn stash for Daily Kos.

Editorial cartoonist Jimmy Margulies also poked fun at the news.

So did Canadian cartoonist Cam Cardow.

As did South Florida Sun Sentinel editorial cartoonist Chan Lowe.

Houston Chronicle editorial cartoonist Nick Anderson did a funny comic on it too. Blogger Denny Lyon included it with a compilation of late-night comedians’ jokes on the bin Laden raid.

Hope n’ Change mocked the story as well.

And finally, even Someecards joked about it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hillary Clinton ahead in the presidential race of porn parodies

Former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state Hillary Clinton has been a candidate for president in the 2016 election officially since April 12. But she’s already had two porn parodies released this election season.
Last October, Filly Films released a lesbian porn parody called “Between the Headlines,” starring Nina Hartley as Hillary. In the movie, Hillary gets caught in a lesbian tryst with First Lady Michelle Obama, played by Lotus Lain.
Hartley also just finished playing Hillary in an interracial porn parody for Dogfart.com called “Hillary Gets the Black Vote.” (See articles by the Huffington Post and Xbiz.)
The porn flick also stars James Bartholet as Hillary’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, and a cast of 12 black staffers who advise Hillary on her campaign and tend to her needs.
Hartley has played Hillary at least three times. In addition to the two new films, Hartley played Hillary Clinton in the 2008 porn parody “Who’s Nailin’ Paylin? Adventures of a Hockey MILF.” That movie featured a sex scene featuring porn actresses playing Hillary, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Photos: Promotional photos for the political porn parody “Hillary Gets the Black Vote.”


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A resurgence in Kim Kardashian porn parodies

Famous-for-being-famous celebrity Kim Kardashian first made a name for herself through a leaked sex tape featuring hip-hop artist Ray J. (It was released by Vivid Entertainment as “Kim Kardashian Superstar” in February 2007.)
She parlayed that exposure into a successful reality TV series “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” which premiered in October 2007.
Lately Kim K. seems to get the most press when she poses naked for magazine pictorials, like she did last fall for Paper magazine’s “Break the Internet” promotion.
In February, she posed naked for Love magazine, according to the Daily Mail and Huffington Post. In March, she posed naked to promote the season 10 premiere of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” the Daily Mail said. And this month she posed naked for her website and topless for the Vogue Brasil.
For someone who flaunts her sexuality as brazenly as she does, it’s no surprise that Kardashian is a prime target for porn parodies.
This week saw the release of the latest Kardashian porn parody called “Keeping Up with Kiara Mia.” It stars Kiara Mia who bears a resemblance to the big-bootied socialite.
Here’s a synopsis of the skin flick:
Kiara Mia is a youthful, sensual, sex icon whose fame arose from a sex tape release with a former hot artist Ray (John Johnson). Kiara Mia has also skyrocketed her two sisters Court (Yuri Beltran) and Chloe (Allison Moore) along side her for the stargazing ride. Meanwhile, their mother Kris (Veronica Av Luv) manages Kiara Mia while balancing the rest of the household.
“Keeping Up with Kiara Mia” marks Kim’s sixth porn parody. That puts her in a tie for fifth place among celebrities with the most porn parodies. (For a running list, check out “Top 40 real-life targets for porn parodies and exploitation.”)

Here are the names of the six Kim Kardashian porn parodies to date:

Getting It Up With the Kardassians (2008)
Keeping It Up for the Kard-Ass-ians (2008)
Keeping It Up for the Kard-Ass-ians 2 (2011)
Break the Internet (2014)
Break the Internet: For Real This Time (2014)
Keeping Up with Kiara Mia (2015)

Related articles:

Kim Kardashian Made Sex Tape For Fame, Sources Say (Hollywood Life; June 21, 2012)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

6 actresses who have played Tinker Bell and 2 more who will

Actress Reese Witherspoon has signed on to play Pixie Hollow fairy Tinker Bell in a live-action movie for Walt Disney Co. called “Tink.”
Witherspoon will produce and star in “Tink,” which is based on a script by Victoria Strouse, who wrote Disney’s upcoming “Finding Nemo” sequel “Finding Dory,” the Hollywood Reporter and Entertainment Weekly reported recently.
Comic actress Melissa McCarthy also is slated to star as Tinker Bell in an untitled comedy adventure for Fox to be directed by Shawn Levy, according to Deadline.
Best known as Peter Pan’s tiny sidekick, Tinker Bell currently headlines the Disney Fairies media franchise, which includes animated direct-to-DVD movies. The latest is “Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast.”
Witherspoon and McCarthy will join a small group of actresses who have portrayed Tinker Bell in movies and TV shows.
What follows is a list of actresses who have portrayed the classic literary character on screen.

Virginia Browne Faire

Virginia Browne Faire played Tinker Bell in the 1924 silent adventure film “Peter Pan.”

Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts played Tinker Bell in the 1991 fantasy movie “Hook,” which also starred Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman. “Hook” was directed by Steven Spielberg.

Ludivine Sagnier

French actress and model Ludivine Sagnier played Tinker Bell in the 2003 film “Peter Pan,” which was directed by P.J. Hogan.

Kari Wahlgren

Kari Wahlgren played Tink in the 2003 indie film “Neverland,” a dark and surreal modern re-telling of the Peter Pan tale.

Charlotte Atkinson

Charlotte Atkinson played Tinker Bell in the 2011 TV mini-series “Neverland.” British actress Keira Knightley provided her voice.

Rose McIver

New Zealand-born actress Rose McIver, now starring on the CW’s “iZombie,” played Tinker Bell on ABC’s fairy tale drama “Once Upon a Time” during the 2013-14 season.

Photo of Reese Witherspoon from Draper James, her new retail brand for fashion, accessories and home decor.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Feverish TV trend: Disease outbreak shows

At least five TV shows are airing or in production that attempt to portray somewhat realistic outbreaks of deadly diseases.
It’s a hot new trend for the entertainment medium.
In April, I posted a list of the best-reviewed disease outbreak movies and documentaries. My list included only those films going for relative realism, not ones about zombies or diseases from outer space.
What follows is a list of TV shows about disease outbreaks using the same criteria.

Between

On Thursday, Netflix will premiere a new series called “Between.”
It’s a Canadian drama in which a mysterious disease kills every resident of a small town over the age of 21. The government quarantines the young survivors who must fend for themselves. The first season consists of six one-hour episodes. (See articles on Metacritic and Wikipedia.)

The Last Ship

The second season of “The Last Ship” will premiere on June 21 on TNT.
“The Last Ship” takes place after a global viral pandemic wipes out over 80% of the world’s population. The show centers on the crew of an unaffected U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer.

Containment

“Containment” is an upcoming series for the CW based on the Belgian TV series “Cordon.” It will air as a midseason replacement, most likely premiering in January or February next year.
“Containment” is a drama revolving around a flu-like epidemic that breaks out in Atlanta, leaving some people stuck in a city quarantine zone.

The Day After

Hulu and Amazon Prime Instant Video are currently streaming a Russian TV drama called “The Day After” (or “Vyzhit posle”).
“In an attempt to create a new race of perfect humans – a drug company unleashes what turns out to be a deadly virus. Now as thousands are killed in Moscow, it’s up to 11 individuals to figure out the future of mankind,” the synopsis says.

The Hot Zone

Producer Lynda Obst and director-producer Ridley Scott are developing a mini-series about the Ebola virus based on Richard Preston’s 1994 nonfiction best-seller “The Hot Zone.”
The story likely will be update with information from last year’s deadly Ebola outbreak in Africa.
(See articles by the Hollywood Reporter and io9.)

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