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Archive for December, 2015


Claire Heroes cheerleader

Save the cheerleader, save the world.

You remember the line from the successful hit television series Heroes, the show with Claire, the superpowered cheerleader.  If she could be saved from Sylar, she could change the world.

But you don’t need superpowers to change the world.

Several charities are out there in need of your help.  You can change the world one dollar at a time.  And it can even help your own pocketbook if you make charitable contributions by the end of today for your 2015 taxes.

So change the world.  borg.com supports the following organizations.

American Anti-Vivisection Society

ASPCA

Alley Cat Allies

Animal Rescue League

Bat Conservation International

Best Friends Animal Society Sanctuary

Great Plains SPCA

Humane Society

Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary

REGAP

Wayside Waifs

Check out these great charities today and give if you can.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

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Loot Crate Loot Pets

Now your dogs finally can catch up to all your nerdy coolness.  LootCrate has a new box for dogs called LootPets.  It’s a pretty great idea.

The first box, released in December, included a high-quality, porcelain Firefly themed dog dish, a Weyland-Yutan Corp. (the company in Alien) dog collar, a retro, metal, sci-fi rocket ID dog tag, liver treats, and best of all, an outer space, winter themed dog shirt.  Even better, the shirt matches the shirt delivered in the December 2015 “human” LootCrate.  So you and your dog get matching shirts.

Win.

LootPets is not yet available for cats.  Sorry, Garfield.

LootCrate LootPets matching shirts December 2015

We also checked out the BarkBox, another themed box for dogs.  It was also quite cool.  The BarkBox for December had a “Central Park, NYC” theme.

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Husbands of River Song

Forget about parades and bowl games.  The BBC has taken over your television set for the holidays in the U.S.A.  For the past few years Americans have been treated to the British tradition of gathering the family round for a Doctor Who Christmas special on the evening of Christmas day.  This year was no exception with one of the best Doctor Who Christmas specials so far, and our favorite recurring character across the Doctors–Alex Kingston’s River Song–in “The Husbands of River Song.”

If you missed “The Husbands of River Song” on TV last week and can’t find it on your OnDemand channel, tonight you have another chance to see it but on the big screen courtesy of the Fathom Event series.  Check out the Fathom Events website here for theater locations and tickets.  Here’s a preview for the show:

But it’s not just Christmas Day getting the BBC treatment this year.  On New Year’s Day Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman return for their only 2016 appearance as Holmes and Watson in the Sherlock New Year’s Day special “The Abominable Bride.”

Sherlock special 2016

This special finds the duo back in the 19th century past of Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories.  Here’s a preview:

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Arnold Terminator Genisys

Well it’s been one long year, with plenty to do and see, plenty of good and not-so-good to read and watch, and as with last year we’re certain we reviewed more content this year than ever before.  This year was a big year for borgs in TV and film, so we had some difficult decisions to make.  All year long we sifted through all that Hollywood had to offer and honed in on the genre TV, films, comics, and other books we thought were worth examining.  We went back and looked at it all and pulled together our picks for our annual Best of the Best list.

Today we reveal the entire list–the best genre content of 2015–with our top categories Best Sci-Fi Fix, Best Fantasy Fix, Best Superhero FixBest Animated Fix,  and Best Borg selected regardless of medium.  A dozen properties garnered multiple mentions.

We hope you agree with many of these great creations of the entertainment industries, and wish everyone a great 2016!

Killjoys

Best Sci-Fi Fix – Killjoys (Syfy).  Surprised?  Killjoys pulled together great worldbuilding, characters and actors in a year of a dozen new sci-fi shows to provide us the closest thing to the next Firefly we’ve seen in a long time.

Galavant

Best Fantasy Fix – Galavant (ABC); Runner-up The Librarians (TNT).  It aired early in 2015 but nothing surpassed Galavant’s medieval high adventure and all-out Princess Bride-style fun.

the-cw-arrow-flash-crossover

Best Superhero Fix – The Flash (CW).  Of all the Marvel movies and TV series from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to Agent Carter and from Arrow to Supergirl, nothing had us coming back for more each week like the superhero world in The Flash.

Rebels season 2

Best Animated Fix – Star Wars Rebels (DisneyXD).  Compare it to Star Wars: The Force Awakens and see if you think this animated Star Wars galaxy had an even better story and characterization, along with the return of its own group of original trilogy actors, compelling visuals and rousing music.

Terminator Genisys image

Best Borg – Pops (Arnold Schwarzenegger) from Terminator Genisys (Paramount).  Schwarzenegger created yet another borg that could stand up against his prior successful characters from the series.  A cool, moving character in a big year for borgs on screen!

Ava from Ex Machina - borg

Best Borg Movie –  Ex Machina (DNA Films).  Incredible storytelling and a small cast of talented actors provided a classic science fiction story and Oscar-worthy film about our favorite subject.

Humans series

Best Borg TV SeriesHumans (AMC).  On television the most in-depth look at life as a borg and among borgs has never been portrayed more dramatically than on this year’s surprise sci-fi hit series from AMC.

Star-Wars-Force-Awakens-Rey-Finn-BB8-running

Best Kickass Genre Movie Heroine – Rey (Daisy Ridley), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Disney); Honorable Mentions: Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), Terminator Genisys (Paramount); Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), Mad Max: Fury Road (Village Roadshow)

Liv Moore

Best Kickass Genre TV Heroine – Liv Moore (Rose McIver), iZombie (CW); Honorable Mentions: Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen), Killjoys (Syfy); Helena (Tatiana Maslany), Orphan Black (BBC)

Want to know who we picked for best villain and best comic books of the year?  Take a look after the cut…

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Star Wars Frames postcards

Back in 2013 we reviewed one of the most ambitious, successful and nostalgic Star Wars products yet created.  Star Wars: Frames, reviewed here, was an effort by George Lucas to file through every image, every frame, of his six Star Wars movies to select those images that best display his own cinematic artistry.  The result was a boxed set of hardcover editions featuring full-color photographs of 1,472 frames.  One such edition has sold for between $3,000 and more than $10,000, while a current second edition sells for a more affordable $100 range.

Published in anticipation of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Abrams Books have worked with Lucasfilm to select 100 key images from Star Wars: Frames to be included in a boxed, over-sized postcard collection called Star Wars Frames: 100 Postcards.  This postcard collection includes classic characters and stunning intergalactic scenery from the Original and Prequel Trilogies. The deluxe keepsake box also functions as a display frame: the box features a die-cut window, so fans can rotate their favorite scenes into view.  Like Star Wars: Frames, these postcards are a celebration of Star Wars as a masterpiece of cinematography and design.

SW Frames postcards

Star Wars Frames: 100 Postcards is one of those rare collectibles that allows you to show off your love of the Star Wars saga in a stylish way.

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borg-label hall-of-fame-label

After climbing over our 1.4 millionth site visit at borg.com this month, it’s time to update the borg.com Hall of Fame, with borg in genre fiction from past, present, and future, and from all media.  Click here for our “About” page if you need a refresher on what makes a borg a borg.

These new inductees are primarily new additions to the world of fiction this year, but many were borgs we overlooked in prior years.  A few may or may not be borg, depending on your point of view.  Robots or androids that look perfectly human, for example, that have organic looking material but may not have actual living tissue are not technically cyborgs.

So here is Round 3, the 2015 borg.com Hall of Fame honorees, in no particular order:

Ex Machina Kyoko and Ava

Alicia Vikander’s Ava and Sonoya Mizumo’s Kyoko from this year’s critically acclaimed movie Ex Machina were stunning additions to the world of borg.  Clearly robots with artificial intelligence but they make our list with what appeared to us to be some kind of replicated organic skin.

Humans

AMC’s new TV series Humans introduced the “synths,” robotic servants that permeated the modern world.  Five of these had something more than the others, the best of these being Gemma Chan’s synth Anita, and whether you count only these five or all of them as borg, we think they fit right into our Hall of Fame.

Furiosa

Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road was one of the year’s biggest hits, with Furiosa on many critic’s lists of kick-ass heroines in 2015.  Her mechanical prosthetic arm provides her entry ticket into our list of 2015 borgs.

Disney's TOMORROWLAND..Athena (Raffey Cassidy) ..Ph: Film Frame..?Disney 2015

In this year’s Disney adventure movie Tomorrowland, the girl Athena (Raffey Cassidy)reveals herself o be an “audio-animatronic robot,” but she looks entirely borg to us.  Plenty more borg are featured in the film, including the proprietors of the toy shop who are out to keep the secrets of Tomorrowland from humanity.

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A Robin

Merry Christmas!

I was searching through the old photo archive and revisiting the source of my current interests.  Sometimes you don’t have to look too hard.

Take for example the Christmas of 1974 pictured above.  I was three years old, yet already thinking about cars (that’s the Fisher Price garage there).  And already a fan of DC Comics, with my Mego Robin in-hand.

Then there was the Christmas of 1975.  I was not just an aficionado of one borg, but two–Santa brought me the Six Million Dollar Man and from my folks I received the Mike Power action figure.  What’s better than that?

A1 borg toys

I don’t remember being this cocky.  Hey, check out the Lite Brite!

A1 Six Mil

I held that action figure pretty close.  And check out the Shrinky Dinks!   Dad’s glasses are back in style (I’m wearing a pair now).  But not the striped pants.

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Star Wars The Original Topps Trading Card Series Volume One

Review by C.J. Bunce

Abrams ComicArts and Topps have released the first compilation ever of the original 1977 and 1978 Topps Star Wars trading cards–Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume One.  Reprinted in its entirety are all five series of cards in their original size.  The deluxe edition contains the fronts and reverses of all 330 cards and 55 stickers, including movie facts, story summaries, actor profiles, and puzzle cards featuring scenes from the one and only original Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.  It seemed like every kid from 5 years old to high schoolers picked up at least a few sets of these back in the 1970s.  In years a galaxy far, far away from VHS tapes, DVDs, or Blu-rays, these cards were a fan’s only window into that world experienced in the theater.  With these trading cards you could refer over and over to key scenes, and use the images as resources to discuss film details with friends.

The book includes four bonus trading cards made exclusively for this edition, and a wax pack-style book jacket like the similar excellent releases Bazooka Joe and His Gang reviewed here at borg.com, Mars Attacks 50th Anniversary Collection reviewed here, and Star Trek: The Original Topps Trading Card Series reviewed here.  An introduction and commentary throughout the volume is provided by Gary Gerani, the original editor of the Star Wars Topps series who worked with Lucasfilm to select the photographs for the sets and wrote the card titles.  An afterword is provided by Robert Conte, discussing the well-known Wonder Bread Star Wars trading cards, also reprinted for the first time in this edition.

Ben with sabre    Kenobi Wonder Bread card

You might recall that Topps recently reintroduced an edition of Topps Star Wars cards in the style of the first edition of trading cards from 1977.  Those cards were released with images from all seven Star Wars films including preview cards for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, discussed here at borg.com.

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SCARLET-WITCH-#1

Last week saw the release of the first issue of Marvel Comics’ latest monthly Scarlet Witch.  The series is written by James Robinson with artwork by Vanesa Del Rey with colors by Jordie Bellaire.  Award winning Hawkeye cover artist David Aja provides the cover to the first issue, plus variant covers are available from Kevin Wada, Bill Sienkiewicz, Erica Henderson, Tom Raney, and Chris Sotomayor.  It’s not only David Aja’s cover, but Robinson’s well-paced introduction and Del Rey and Bellaire’s visuals that remind us of Matt Fraction and Aja’s successful Hawkeye series, another series about a secondary character and a life outside the scope of saving the world with the Avengers.

The new Scarlet Witch has a ghostly quality, and a style similar to DC Comics’s initial New 52 stories of Batwoman from J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman.  It’s introspective look at a superheroine with a past also echoes Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto’s brilliant Black Widow series.

Scarlet Witch interior page

But this is a distinctly different story about a much different character.  She is not a young heroine.  She is a witch who speaks aloud with the ghost of Agatha, a dead woman she may or may not have killed in her past.  Scarlet Witch–Wanda Maximoff–is a detective of sorts in the same way as Liv Moore uses her supernatural skills to solve crimes in iZombie.

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Rogue One clip

Our annual “All the Movies You’ll Want to See…” series has been one of the most viewed of all of our entries at borg.com each year.  So this year we again scoured Hollywood and its publicity machine for as many genre films coming out in 2016 as have been disclosed.  Usually we select the 24 that look like the biggest hits, but we’re going all out for 2016.  The result is a whopping 48 movies, many you’ll probably want to see in the theater or catch on video.  We bet you’ll find a bunch below you’ve never heard of.  Bookmark this now for your 2016 calendar!

Most coming out in the second half of 2016 don’t even have posters released yet, but many do.  We’ve included descriptions and key cast so you can start planning accordingly.

Star Trek Beyond clip

What do we think will be the biggest hits of the year?  How about Star Wars: Rogue One?  Or Star Trek Beyond?  You’ve heard endlessly about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but 2016 will also see Doctor Strange, Captain America: Civil War, and X-Men: Apocalypse.  There’s even a handful of Westerns, with The Hateful 8, Jane Got a Gun, and another remake of The Magnificent Seven heading our way.

01 Hateful Eight poster

The Hateful Eight – January 1

Tarentino’s Western!  Ennio Morricone score!  Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Channing Tatum!

5WV_1SHT_TSR_05.indd

The 5th Wave – January 8

Chloe Grace Moretz and Liev Schreiber in an alien invasion.

03 400 days poster

400 Days – January 12

The CW’s Brandon Routh, Caity Lotz, and Tom Cavanaugh in a movie about astronauts that seems to be a play on Ender’s Game.

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