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Archive for June, 2013


borg dot com benchmark logo tape

We kicked off borg.com as a way to catch up on entertainment news, books and movies back on June 10, 2011.  We’ve posted what’s new each day to provide “your daily science fiction, fantasy, and entertainment fix” for two years now and continue to forge ahead as we tick past our 800,000th view by readers today.

We want to say thanks to you for reading.  It’s a lot of fun (and hard work) keeping up on all the great genre entertainment out there, be it on TV, in theaters, in books, or comics.  We also want to thank all the comic book publishers out there that provide us with preview review copies, as well as book publishers and TV and movie studios and collectible companies that allow us to give you first available previews and reviews.  We cover only what we’re interested in and excited about–we figure that if we like it, so might you.

bionic borg meter

Some of the most fun we’ve had is meeting new people as we keep up on the coolest happenings in the genre realm, some at conventions, some are friends we are grateful to chat with each week of the year.  And lucky for us, borg.com has allowed us to meet some of our own favorite celebrities over the past two years, sci-fi stars like Mark Hamill, Joss Whedon, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Anthony Stewart Head, Scott Bakula, Adam Baldwin, Lindsay Wagner, Saul Rubinek, Zachary Levi, Eddie McClintock, Wil Wheaton, and Mark Sheppard.  Sci-fi and fantasy writers like Peter S. Beagle, Connie Willis, James Blaylock, and Sharon Shinn.  And comic book creators like Frank Cho, Jim Lee, Sergio Aragones, Neal Adams, and Howard Chaykin, and scores of other great comics creators like Mike Mayhew, Mike Norton, Michael Golden and Mikel Janin (and several not named Mike).

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Scanadu Scout

The future in medicine arrives next March thanks to NASA, a company named Scanadu, and thousands of donors to an Indiegogo campaign to bring the first medical grade tricorder to the marketplace.  Scanadu, one of the competitors in Qualcomm’s $10 million XPrize competition to build the world’s first medical tricorder, is in final development stages and is taking pre-orders for the Scanadu Scout First Edition for only $199.

The Qualcomm competition is looking for the best tricorder, submitted by dozens of inventors and science laboratories across the world.  The parameters are few–it must weigh less than five pounds, and must be capable of capturing key health metrics and diagnosing a set of 15 diseases.  Metrics can include such elements as blood pressure, respiratory rate, and temperature.  Ultimately, this tool will collect large volumes of data from ongoing measurement of health states through a combination of wireless sensors, imaging technologies, and portable, non-invasive laboratory replacements, according to the competition rules.

TOS tricorder prototype Sternbach ST Next Gen tricorder

Inspired by the Star Trek tricorder, medicine already has scanning devices similar to those used by Dr. Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation.  The competition entrants are expected to go further, to combine the best of both the original series tricorder used by Dr. McCoy, and the updated, smaller device used by the crew of the Enterprise-D, created by designer Rick Sternbach.  To long-time Star Trek fans, we will think of this new Scanadu tricorder not as the “first edition” but as the Mark I.

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Enders-Game-promo poster C

Huh?  San Diego Comic-Con is only 20 days away?

The Hollywood studios are in “engage” mode releasing details on their plans for this year’s big show.  One of the bigger draws will be the Ender’s Game panel in Hall H on July 18, and Summit Entertainment has announced that Harrison Ford will return to Comic-Con this year to promote the movie.  Ford surprised fans at the Cowboys and Aliens panel back in 2010, entering the hall in handcuffs.  You can’t get much of a bigger celebrity for Con fans than Han Solo/Indiana Jones himself.  If you missed borg.com’s preview of Ender’s Game, check it out here.

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Larfleeze issue 1

“In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight!”

No, wait.  That’s the wrong Lantern oath.  Try this on:

What’s mine is mine and mine and mine,
And mine, and mine, and mine!
Not yours!

Much better!

Let’s face it, if you had to get rid of all the Lanterns, the greens, the reds, say in a New 52: The Next Generation, and you got to save three Lanterns, who would they be?  Hal Jordan?  Sinestro?  The third would have to be Geoff Johns’ and Ethan Van Sciver’s wielder of the orange ring, Larfleeze.

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MarsAttacks-Obliterated-pr-1-9aba0

No franchise is safe from IDW Publishing’s Mars Attacks.  So far mars Attacks has had mash-ups with Mars Attacks Popeye, Mars Attacks the Ghostbusters, Mars Attacks Judge Dredd, Mars Attacks KISS (yep, the band), Mars Attacks Miss Fury, Mars Attacks Spike (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and even Mars Attacks Strangers in Paradise (Terry Moore’s long-running series).

Today, IDW Publishing releases a parody of the classic comic book series about classics themselves–Classics Illustrated–with its new title Mars Attacks Obliterated.  Issue #1 takes on three classics:  Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.  Below we’re previewing today’s release, courtesy of IDW Publishing.

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Liberator Issue 1 cover

Although the mainstream and critics will likely ignore Black Mask Studio’s new four-issue mini-series Liberator because it deals with politics head-on, it should be on your list of the best comics of 2013.  Fully funded from a successful Kickstarter campaign, with profits going to animal advocacy causes, Liberator puts its money where its mouth is, centering on two realistic heroes approaching their noble and hard-fought causes in different ways.  If you’re tired of the same old superhero vigilante with little but blowing up alien worlds at stake, maybe Liberator’s tantalizing tagline will help pull you in: “Real heroes don’t wear capes… they wear ski masks.”

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Red movie poster

RED 2 is coming to theaters July 19, 2013, and we’ve previewed it earlier here at borg.com.  If you missed the original in the theaters you’re not alone.  The marketing for RED didn’t do much to help–advertised as retired assassins getting back together, the appeal was hard to grasp.  Yet if it had been revealed as a dream cast spy caper in the realm of the Ocean’s Eleven series, it might have drawn a wider audience.  Whatever the box office take on the original, it doesn’t matter as a sequel will be soon here, and it’s a good time to go back to the original available everywhere on video and even on basic cable programming.  If you do, you’ll find a fun flick that will likely cause you to look forward to RED 2 come July.

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Free Birds preview

Four new previews for animated movies coming out in the next 8 months are out this week.  Each has genre actors that might get you to go to the theater for your animated viewing fix.

First up is Free Birds, which is about a Thanksgiving turkey pardoned by the president (who appears to be President Clinton) who partners with another bird to use the White House time machine to go back and prevent the first turkey from being the subject of Thanksgiving–thereby saving all turkeys from a Thanksgiving fate from then on.  The story looks good and the cast and animation do, too.

Check out the trailer for Free Birds:

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Limitless poster

It’s probably telling that the 2011 movie Limitless was directed by Neil Burger, director of the brilliant fantasy film The Illusionist, starring Paul Giamatti.  Strangely marketed as a movie about a dead-end would-be writer that finds a way to gain intelligence by using more of his brain than the ordinary guy, Limitless is a film the studio just didn’t understand.  It is listed in various places, in reviews, in marketing lists and DVD sales notations as each of the following: fantasy, drama, science fiction, thriller, mystery, urban fantasy.  It is neither and yet it is all that.  Above all it is a superhero film.  Yesterday we reviewed the new comic book series Uncanny, and we previously reviewed the new series Dream Thief.  These are only recent examples of an ordinary guy gaining strange powers.  Bradley Cooper’s Eddie Morra gains similar extraordinary abilities in Limitless.  In the process of honing these powers, he’d fit right in with another tale of the X-Men.

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Uncanny Issue 1 Jock cover

Next Wednesday Dynamite Comics is releasing Issue #1 of a new crime series, called Uncanny.  Writer Andy Diggle and artist Aaron Campbell offer up a modern noir story about a flawed yet oddly powerful American named Weaver set in modern-day Singapore.  Uncanny is similar in many ways to many recent crime monthly comic book series.  It’s an edgy, action noir mixed with pulp spy novel crime story that will appeal to fans of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Fatale, Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s 100 Bullets, and Jason Aaron and RM Guera’s Scalped.

The update of 1930s-1940s film noir to the modern city is intriguing.  Diggle’s Weaver seems capable of being a variant on James Bond–rugged, overconfident–yet instead of running after the bad guy by all accounts Weaver seems to have created his own problems leaving him to be the man on the run.  Campbell’s art deftly balances the bright lights of the city with the night-time dark tone of a man somehow caught up in the city’s underbelly.  And Campbell’s first issue of the story is heavily influenced by both the recent Bond films Casino Royale and Skyfall.  In fact, his characters, the style and setting are similar to Mike Grell’s James Bond: Permission to Die mini-series.

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