Robot Uprising

You may not have noticed, but the robot invasion continues to expand into our movies and TV shows. Case in point: Robot Combat League, a new competition show on SyFy that features human controlled robots battling for superiority. It’s basically Mattel’s Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots game (and/or the movie Reel Steel) come to life. WWF/E champ Chris Jericho hosts the show which airs every Tuesday night at 10/9c - and if you'd like a taste, check out this clip:

Really, if a show has robots in it, we're going to watch, but RCL has featured two of our favorites to date: Drone Strike and A.X.E.  Meet them in all their cybernetic glory after the jump.

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Transformers 4: Comic Relief Added, First Look At Optimus Prime, More

Transformers 4 continues work on director, Michael Bay's next world-wrecking robotic rampage. Not only has the film procured another cast member with the talents of comedian, T.J. Miller, but photos (the very first from the film) showing some of Autobot characters in their vehicle form have been released. -- And yes, one of those Autobots is Optimus Prime!

Miller, who is currently on the new Fox sitcom, The Goodwin Games, has also been seen in films such as She's Out of My League, Cloverfield, Unstoppable, and was the voice of Tuffnut in How to Train Your Dragon. However, this role in Transformers 4 could be his most prominent since, according to The Wrap, Miller's character will be buddying-up with the film's main protagonist played by Mark Wahlberg.

"Miller will play a blue-collar mechanic who is a longtime friend of Wahlberg's character."

Translation: He's the hero's wacky, one-liner-dropping, best buddy and the film's comic relief. Miller will now join Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Sophia Myles, and Bingbing Li in what will surely be an unmitigated orgy of explosions and giant robots wrecking our cities just for good measure.

...And speaking of those giant robots who like cause explosions and wreck our cities, the very first photos from the film have been released. With production having started near the border of Arizona and Utah, a majestic desert backdrop provides the perfect setting for the unveiling of three Autobot vehicles, most notably, the newest version of the benevolent big rig himself, Optimus Prime...who is covered in flames. Because flames make things look badass...apparently.

Transformers 4 tries its best to keep you chuckling while the world ignites in a whirlwind of robotic rage...and flame decals when it hits theaters on June 27, 2014. Check out the photos of the Autobot vehicles below!

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Pacific Rim: Monstrous Main Trailer Is Unleashed!

Pacific Rim, which will unarguably be the best film this summer to feature monolithic mechs battling large, licentious leviathan has released what's being billed as its "main trailer." It's a moniker that's definitely fitting, since it is by far the most comprehensive carnage-infused montage of robot-on-monster violence we've ever seen.

The highly-anticipated project from visionary director, Guillermo del Toro brings back the old-school charm of the Japanese-born genre of "giant robots vs. giant monster," reinventing it with stunning state-of-the-art visuals. However, with Del Toro at the helm, you can expect a deeper insight into the characters and a broader commentary on what humanity has to become in order to battle these creatures.

A portal to another dimension opens somewhere beneath the Pacific Ocean, sending colossal creatures to our world called "Kaiju" (a homage to the giant creatures of classic Japanese cinema), who wreak unmitigated destruction upon major cities worldwide. Mankind strikes back with the Jaeger Program, creating human-piloted robots immense enough to tackle those insatiable invaders in super-sized street-fights on which the balance of civilization itself rests. Now, years later, with mankind seemingly on the losing end of this war, the only hope lies with a washed-up former Jaeger pilot named Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and an eager, but inexperienced newcomer, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), who both take control of a seemingly obsolete Jaeger unit for a critical mission.

Despite the eye-popping (some would say superficial) footage of this trailer, there is apparently some deep drama hidden amongst the giant-robotic bells and whistles. Interestingly enough, this new trailer emphasizes that the Jaeger pilots not only share a neural connection in controlling the robot (which we already knew), but also share their "minds and memories." It is likely through this idea that much of the "human" drama could resonate. These sequences of subconscious sojourn could provide some of the commentary on the human condition that Del Toro has implied the film would carry as early as last year during Pacific Rim's Comic-Con panel.

Pacific Rim looks to make poignant pathos-packed commentary while hitting giant monsters in the face with flying hammerfists when it arrives at theaters on July 12. Check out the intense, action-packed new trailer below!

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Transformers 4: Sophia Myles Jumps On Board

Transformers 4 continues adding to its non-giant-robot supporting cast. It is being reported by The Wrap that London-born actress, Sophia Myles has been cast in director, Michael Bay's next rampaging romp of robots wrecking the world.

According to the report, Myles will fill the role of "a scientist." While nothing is confirmed, the character could potentially be the romantic interest of the lead character played by Mark Wahlberg. The actress has certainly seen her share of "genre" action with roles in Underworld, Underworld: Evolution, a memorable role in a David Tennant era episode of Doctor Who, "The Girl in the Fireplace," and was a regular on the cult-but-cancelled vampire TV series, Moonlight. Now, the beautiful blonde Brit will play a scientist bringing...scientific stuff to help fight the good fight in Michael Bay's cinematic world where Hasbro's prodigious protean paladins treat our fragile little world like it's their personal product placement-permeated octagon, while blowing stuff up in slow motion with hot women arching their backs gracing the background...brought to you by Taco Bell.

Myles joins an ever-growing cast which completely replaces the Shia LaBeouf era of the franchise consisting of the aforementioned Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Stanley Tucci, and TV icon, Kelsey Grammer, who plays one of the film's would-be human villains. No details are available regarding the plot at the moment. (But, as I have implied, "giant robots blowing stuff up" is a safe bet.)

Transformers 4 goes out to prove that gentlemen AND apparently Autobots prefer blondes when it hits theaters June 27, 2014.


Transformers 4: Kelsey Grammer Cast As Villain

Transformers 4 has apparently procured its villain, at least one them, anyway. According to a report by Deadline, one of TV's most venerable personalities, Kelsey Grammer has been cast in director Michael Bay's upcoming robot-rampaging sequel...as a villain, no less.

The former Cheers and Frasier actor, who has recently racked-up awards for his performance as a hard-balling, womanizing Chicago mayor on the now-ended Starz series, Boss, will now play a character named Harold Attinger, who is said to be "a counter intelligence guy" and "a key villain" in the fourquel. While details on the film's plot have been kept under tight wraps, it is known that Grammer's (presumably human) antagonistic role will join a growing cast of franchise newcomers headlined by hero, Mark Wahlberg, along with Stanley Tucci, Nicola Peltz, and Jack Reynor.

Of course, this is hardly the first big-budget genre film in which Grammer has starred. (And no, I'm not talking about Down Periscope.) Grammer portrayed the contemporary version of Hank McCoy, aka the blue-mohaired mutant, Beast in 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand; a role later played by Nicholas Hoult in X-Men: First Class and its upcoming sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past. To Grammer's credit, his performance as Beast mixed an erudite aura with savage badassery that remains one of the few aspects of that particular film (widely considered a trainwreck) that is looked upon positively.

Transformers 4 (title yet to be revealed) uses Frasier's Freudian finagling to confuse its Autobot heroes at theaters on June 27, 2014.



Pacific Rim: Monstrous New Footage Debuts

Pacific Rim, this summer's effects-infused epic depicting monolithic mechs battling mega-monsters has officially released some brand new footage that was originally meant only to be seen by attendees at Anaheim's WonderCon this week.

Fueled by the heralded surreal directorial visionary, Guillermo del Toro, the film is an action-amped visual feast depicting a future where a portal beneath the Pacific Ocean has unleashed menacing monsters called Kaiju, whose insatiable urge for wanton destruction of humanity's cities, nay humanity in general has forced the population to band together to create an innovative way to combat the colossal creatures inspired by Japanese fiction: Giant freaking robots. Controlled by two internally-located pilots by a neural connection mimicking movements, the robots, called Jaegers are mankind's last hope against these misanthropic monstrosities. -- Of course, that hope will be dependent upon a duo of upstart protagonists in a washed-up former pilot named Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and a cute-but-deadly greenhorn in Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), who must work through the kinks of their new partnership take the fight to these d**kish destructors...with a battleship baseball bat to the side of their heads.

The footage is nothing short of sublime and despite the initial intent to keep it exclusive to the Con goers, Del Toro must have realized that the pure potential it has to drum-up excitement in a hugely-competitive summer movie season could not go to waste by playing the secrecy game. The clip also provides us with our first substantive close-up glimpse of a Kaiju creature and certainly, they appear to be some of the toughest, most tremendously tenacious titans to wreck a major metropolis since Godzilla first ravaged Tokyo without getting his back zipper stuck.

Pacific Rim cancels the apocalypse with giant robots who aren't afraid to use foreign objects when it smashes its way to theaters on July 12. Check out the stunning new WonderCon footage below!

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Transformers 4 Partners With Chinese Company

Next year's return of the Transformers film franchise may be the next film to make content adjustments to court production partnerships in China. It is being reported that Transformers 4 (title not yet confirmed) will work with China-based movie channel, Jiaflix Enterprises in an agreement that will open access to the quickly-expanding film market in the population-brimming nation. -- Not only that, but the robot rampage romp will consequently also do some filming in the red nation, as well.

The news comes just days after the announcement that Iron Man 3, in partnering with Chinese company DMG Entertainment, will actually go so far as to release a different cut of the film for Chinese audiences approved by the notoriously political-censorship-happy State containing new scenes and actors exclusive to their release. While no details have been revealed on what, if anything, will be altered for Transformers 4, it does seem that similar concessions would be made for the Chinese release, considering that Jiaflix Enterprises is an arm of the Administration of Radio Film and Television, controlled by the Chinese government.

At the moment, all that is known is that director, Michael Bay will be aided by the company towards pursuits like:

"Selection of filming sites within China, theatrical promotion, and possible post-production activities in China as well as casting of Chinese actors and actresses in the film."

With Mark Wahlberg stepping in as the main protagonist, along with a set of younger supporting cast members in Jack Reynor and Nicola Peltz, it will not only be interesting to see how the the film adjusts to the post-Shia LaBeouf era, but how the franchise known just as much for its unadulterated product placement as it is for giant robots will manifest with its new Chinese mandate.

Transformers 4 introduces a giant robot Chairman Mao that transforms into...a chair when it hits theaters (here in 'Murica, dammit!) on June 27, 2014.


Transformers 4 Nabs Its Female Lead

The upcoming fourth film in the Transformers franchise now has a confirmed female lead. Director, Michael Bay has confirmed via his Twitter, that actress, Nicola Peltz has landed a coveted lead spot in the robot rampage romp.

Peltz, who appeared in the notorious The Last Airbender, can be currently seen on the new A&E Psycho prequel TV series, Bates Motel as the romantic interest of the young man destined to don drag and deal death in a shower. She will now follow a sacred tradition upheld by Megan Fox and Rosie Huntington-Whitely of being the film's resident "babe" amongst Bay's monolithic metamorphic anthropomorphs. (Which is a lot more fun to say than simply "Transformers.") It is speculated that she will play the daughter of Mark Wahlberg's main character, while playing romantically opposite to a character from newcomer, Jack Reynor.

The news probably delivered a satisfying moment for news site, Twitch, who back in December actually reported that Peltz, along with Aussie actor, Brenton Thwaites would be the fourquel's featured young couple, only to be debunked. It turns out there was some veracity to their report. (Well 50% of it, anyway.) Now, the wild young coed who's trying to tame the creepy young Norman Bates will tangle with a different kind of loose cannon: GIANT ROBOTS WHO BLOW S**T UP.

At the moment, practically nothing is known about the film's plot (despite a recent widely-publicized false report), however, with the clock ticking closer towards the film's projected release date, you can bet those details won't be left a mystery for too long.

Transformers 4 (title not yet confirmed) uses Burger King-sponsored Decepticons to squash the Bates Motel in slow-motion when it hits theaters on June 27, 2014.


Transformers 4: Previous Plot Details Deemed Inaccurate

Remember those plot details that popped up about the upcoming fourth Transformers movie? Well, it turns out that Paramount went into damage control mode quickly afterwards, essentially shooting down the whole thing by labeling it "inaccurate."

The vague plot synopsis in question reported by The Michigan Film Office depicted a story in which mankind's tinkering with remnants of Transformer technology unleashes a new uncontrollable power:

"As humanity picks up the pieces, following the conclusion of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Autobots and Decepticons have all but vanished from the face of the planet. However, a group of powerful, ingenious businessman and scientists attempt to learn from past Transformer incursions and push the boundaries of technology beyond what they can control – all while an ancient, powerful Transformer menace sets Earth in his crosshairs. The epic adventure and battle between good and evil, freedom and enslavement ensues."

While not carrying any official seals, the story certainly seemed plausible, given the fact that the source would seemingly have contact with the producers. Also, it has been known for some time that director, Michael Bay has been looking for a game-changing reinvention of the franchise. That plot would have provided one; especially since it falls in line with known Transformers storylines such as the existence of Primus and Unicron, robot deities who exist as the living centers of planets, in this case, Primus within Transformers home planet, Cybertron and Unicron within our own Earth.

Nevertheless, Paramount sent out its army of lawyers (giant robot lawyers who transform into briefcases) to the far reaches of the blogosphere to make sure this story effectively went away. In fact, even the original article itself is now conspicuously missing the paragraph containing the apparently-ersatz explication.

So, what could this mean? Well, it could be the case that this was such an egregious breach of top secret material that "The Big P" has resorted to posturing. Or...well, that it's just not true. And that's fine, I suppose. Hey, some may argue that when it comes to Transformers movies, plots are like green garnishes laying on the side of the plate next to the main course of a marbled, tender, juicy piece of "giant robots blowing s**t up."

We'll still get that main course when Transformers 4 (title not yet revealed) hits theaters on June 27, 2014.


Transformers 4: Plot Details Revealed

Some light has been shed on the plot of the mysterious fourth entry in the Transformers film franchise. A press release from The Michigan Film Office lauds the economic benefits of the production's impending arrival in metro Detroit to shoot backdrop scenes. (Enticed by juicy tax incentives.) However, it also manages to include some details on the movie's plot. It's quite a coup, considering that up to this point, virtually nothing was known.

While director and auteur of explosions, Michael Bay will again settle into the ass-groove indentation of his director's chair, the franchise's previous star, Shia LaBeouf will be stepping away, making room for perennial leading man, Mark Wahlberg, who just recently stepped in front of the camera for the director in the upcoming film, Pain & Gain. Now, it seems that Wahlberg's protagonist character may be dealing with a new breed of malevolent metamorphic mechs in this franchise refresh. According the description:

"As humanity picks up the pieces, following the conclusion of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Autobots and Decepticons have all but vanished from the face of the planet. However, a group of powerful, ingenious businessman and scientists attempt to learn from past Transformer incursions and push the boundaries of technology beyond what they can control – all while an ancient, powerful Transformer menace sets Earth in his crosshairs. The epic adventure and battle between good and evil, freedom and enslavement ensues."

Interestingly enough, as the Jurassic Park franchise readies its own long-awaited return and reinvention, it seems that this series will get a similar injection of man-made folly. It could possibly see the debut of new human-hatched hybrid Transformers that would represent a real game-changer. At this point, the details are anyone's guess, but personally, I see this movie delving deeper into the 80's toy series mythos with things like Dinobots and Insecticons.

While Bay's Transformers franchise may have its share of "haters," the undeniable fact is that the first three films were an amazing cash-cow for Paramount, giving them a whopping $2.67 billion dollar worldwide take. They certainly seem to bring something to the table that has moviegoers of all the right demographics flocking to theaters to see them.

Transformers 4 (title not yet revealed) helps the Autobots fight a new evil with a Boston accent and "good vibrations" at theaters on June 27, 2014.

UPDATE: Paramount quickly deemed the report "inaccurate."

[Source] [Via]

Robot Combat League featuring George “Star Wars” Lucas and his daughter!

Robot Combat League, SyFy’s killer new Tuesday night (10/9c) competition show where human controlled robots battle for dominance, features a special guest on tonight's episode who’s very familiar with robots: George Lucas! George’s daughter Amanda is part of the crew that controls a devastating robot called Robo Hammer and George drops by to offer some coaching tips.

Check out the clip below:

To learn more about SyFy’s Robot Combat League check out their official website. Have you seen this show yet? What do you think?


2013 Movie Preview: Pacific Rim


Posted January 15, 2013 - By Joseph Baxter

2013 Movie Preview: Pacific Rim

Release Date: July 12
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Rating: Not Yet Rated

After a race of giant lethal leviathan have risen from beneath the Pacific Ocean to wreak destruction, mankind battles back by constructing giant piloted robots to clobber the maritime monsters back to the kelp beds from which they came.

What We Know:

One fateful day, mankind collectively learns that they are far from the top of the food chain on the planet when giant 25-story tall creatures called Kaiju (named after the Japanese mega-monsters of cinema,) emerge from a glowing portal deep beneath the Pacific Ocean and wage a campaign of pure destruction upon all that has been built. However, to tackle these mammoth marine-dwellers, engineers develop equally-large anthropomorphic robot constructs called Jaegers. Controlled via neural connection by two pilots on board the metal monstrosities, the Jaegers are armed to the teeth and ready to gut Gamera and grab Godzilla by the gonads.

Unfortunately, years into the war and millions of casualties later, it seems that those "Jaeger bombs" may not have been enough to floor the forces of the gargling giants completely. Turning to desperate measures, the military brass put their hopes on an on-the-skids former pilot looking for redemption named Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and a tenacious, but green noob of a pilot in Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi). The oddball pairing bring startling differences to the table, but will need to learn a different kind of teamwork as the duo assume the controls of a legendary, but obsolete mech.

With the Kaiju's victory seemingly at hand, Raleigh and Mako must make the most of this old-school Jaeger and prove that sometimes victory can be drawn from the most unlikely of sources.

Filling the cast of this colossal crucible, are Idris Elba, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, and Ron Perlman. (Who, with Charlie Hunnam, makes this a Sons of Anarchy reunion.)

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DARPA, the people who brought us The Internet(tm), have another project in the works. Pet-Proto is a robot designed to maneuver around obstacles and make autonomous decisions. Eventually, robots like Pet Proto will be sent to places humans cannot tread. Or maybe will be employed as very athletic butlers. One thing is for sure: They definitely won't come to your house and murder you in the middle of the night... Because robots are our friends... right?

For more on DARPA's robots, check out DARPA's robot challenge page!

Free Mars Rover Landing Game From NASA Touches Down For Kinect

I don't know about you, but I've been following the launch and touchdown NASA's Curiosity rover obsessively. Watching the ship land safely on Mars, on live TV last night was amazing. While landing on faraway worlds has been a video game staple since Lunar Lander came out in the 1970s, the real world is catching up to games. Curiosity's navigation system has been likened to a video game by Brian Cooper, the lead driver for MSL Curiosity, and it uses techniques that are familiar to any gamer.

Cooper designed the navigation system, that uses 3D technology to allow earthmen to "step into" the martial atmosphere and plot courses for the rover. The instructions are then sent to Mars, and combined with the rover's onboard hazard detection systems, Curiosity can move around and, hopefully, discover alien life forms (or at least interesting information about Mars.)

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If you have a spare million bucks or so sitting around, you might want to purchase a Kuratas from Suidobashi Heavy Industries. Kuratas is a mech, an actual, working, ride-in mech that's 13-feet high and weighs over 4 tons.

The mech is controlled through a touchscreen UI with Kinect-based movement interface, It can lock on to enemies through facial recognition, and its twin BB "gatling guns" can be activated through smiling. All I'd do was smile, and everyone would be pelted with endless rounds of BBs.

The $1.35 million price tag doesn't include further customization options like a faux leather interior, cup holder or phone cubby, but you'll probably want to pony up the extra dough for those. I mean, why wouldn't you?

As far as I can tell, this is a real thing that actually exists. Please watch the videos below and send me a million bucks:

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