Film Features

What Is the Point of a Dungeons and Dragons Movie?

Chris Pine is rumored to star in a movie that will somehow be based on the fantasy roleplaying game.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves | Official Trailer (2023 Movie)

It was recently announced that Chris Pine is in negotiations with Paramount Pictures for the starring role in a Dungeons and Dragons movie scheduled for release in 2022.

Pine is the first star attached to the project, with writing-directing duo John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein slated to helm.

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TV Reviews

"Rick and Morty" Just Invented a "Fifth Wall" (and Busted Right Through It)

It doesn't make much sense, but it's a hell of a lot of fun

Adult Swim

The phrase "breaking the fourth wall" refers to the idea that the audience of visual storytelling is watching through an invisible barrier.

If a normal living room has four walls, the set of a sitcom living room has three, and the camera peers through the empty space where the fourth wall would be. Ignoring the camera, the audience, and the incomplete room maintains the basic illusion of the sitcom's world—the illusion that the living room has a fourth wall. When a work of fiction acknowledges that it isn't real—as Rick and Morty has been doing since its early episodes—that is breaking the fourth wall. It's usually what people are talking about when they refer to a work of fiction being "meta."

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Jenna Jameson Just Accused a Buzzfeed Reporter of Being a Pedophile

She has left the earth behind to become a full-blown right-wing conspiracy nut.

via Buzzfeed

On Saturday night Jenna Jameson tweeted screenshots of a tweet and a blog post from Ryan Broderick, a senior reporter at Buzzfeed News, with the text "You monsters can't hide, we see you."

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Adult Swim

Since the pilot of Rick and Morty aired nearly six years ago, the show has become a cult phenomenon, responsible for at least one condiment-inspired crisis, and around 100,000 ill-advised tattoos.

Rick tattooPictured: A good decisionTattoo Life

As of May of last year, the series had become such a cultural force that Adult Swim ordered an astounding 70 new episodes, likely to add up to seven seasons of premium Sanchez-Smith goodness. This would put the series total at just over 100 episodes, which is the traditional threshold for a show to enter syndication—meaning a different episode can rerun every weeknight for 20 straight weeks, making it a valuable property for networks to snatch up.

But will any of that conventional TV wisdom even apply by the time these ordered episodes are delivered? More importantly, will those tattoos hold up for the entire run, or will they stretch and fade and have to be lasered off or covered up with characters from whatever show replaces Rick and Morty as the go-to-source for high-IQ pop-culture references? Considering the pace at which episodes have been produced in past seasons, we are looking at at least another decade and change of the familiar high-concept sci-fi shenanigans…or are we?

Rick and Morty Season 4 Opening Sequence | adult

The first episode of season four contains some hints about what the show's future is likely to hold, and it may not be what fans have come to expect. The first clues come from the show's new opening sequence. Each year, Rick and Morty's eerie Theremin theme plays over a new set of frenetic snapshot-scenes sampled from the season. Season four's intro includes five such snapshots that we can comb for clues: Morty as two different horrifying monsters—(1) a mutant tentacle-head sprouting smaller heads, and (2) a kraken-like sea-giant a la Clash of the Titans—(3) a ripped dude with a chin-strap beard beating the sh*t out of Rick, and two scenes of battle within the Smith household—(4) Rick fighting a two-headed goose, and (5) a tiny cyborg creature fighting a bunch of evil snakes.

Also, none of them feature Jerry, so they're definitely about to kill of JerryAdult Swim

The Clash of the Titans scene includes the nostril-headed aliens from "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy" and, if I had to guess, I would say that the chin-strap dude—who is wearing two magic-looking rings—may be a send-up of Thanos. Other than that, these snapshots don't tell us much. The series is built on violent confrontation with strange creatures, and Morty is pretty much constantly being transformed into some monstrous shape or another. But when coupled with the episode's conclusion, we may gain some insight. After an eventful day of Morty becoming a monomaniacal, future-focused monster, and Rick randomly battling Nazis, they land on "split the diff" as the moral—both planning for the future and living in the moment—and set off their latest 100-years riff while Summer insults them in the background.

The whole 100-years bit dates back to the pilot, but now that the show has been all-but guaranteed to run into the 2030s, the joke feels a little on the nose, so the writers took the opportunity to establish the ethos for the show going into the distant future. In Morty's words: "Sometimes we'll do classic stuff, other times we'll do whatever. 100 years, Rick and Morty. Not sticking to one path, trying different things making sure to keep out of a rut. Doing stuff; sometimes not doing stuff. Going it alone or together. Making sure we keep our eyes on the prize, but also, sometimes just relaxing."

Rick and Morty Forever 100 Years | Rick and Morty | Adult

The writers clearly want to avoid the trap that so many long-running series fall into—always pushing things a little further, until it just becomes a parody of itself. So they're announcing a plan to take a more flexible approach to the kind of stories they're going to tell. With that in mind, maybe we can look to the snapshot scenes of the goose and the little cyborg guy as indicative of the show's potentially broader direction. Neither of these scenes are really suggestive of the kind of over-the-top action that this premiere episode—and the series in general—tend to focus on. Sure, they're both violent, but it's a tamer, more domestic violence. Rather than making the explosions bigger, the aliens weirder, and the plotting Rick-and-Mortier, the show seems to be saying that it will spend a bit more time at home, focusing on the Smith family, making room for episodes to be driven by the classic sitcom family drama, with Rick and Morty's irreverent banter, and maybe just a sprinkling of sci-fi craziness.

Rick and Morty domestic scenesAdult Swim

Of course, the other interpretation is that the writers have no idea how they're going to produce so many more episodes, and are trying not to get hung up on any long-term vision. So, with only four more episodes currently scheduled, and another 65 more floating in the ether, speculation may be a bit premature. Of course, the real question is how many of those 65 episodes will end up being shadow-puppet theater that takes place in Dan Harmon's bunker beneath the irradiated waste of 2030s LA. I'm betting 20, but I've always been an optimist.


The 5 Best TV Tributes to D&D

Including those incredible "Stranger Things" scenes.

With Halloween coming up, I thought it was time to revisit the phenomenon that was the first season of Stranger Things.

Three years ago it took over our entire culture for two weeks, and reintroduced the world to the wonders of Dungeons and Dragons. The first season is perfectly framed by the four young friend's passionate investment in an epic tabletop quest—informing their battle with the Demagorgon, their understanding of the Upside Down, and foreshadowing the events of season two in the finale. It was charming and fun, and many of us were sucked into a love affair with the endless possibilities of D&D. But then, in season three, Stranger Things betrayed us.

Suddenly, D&D wasn't a priority anymore! Just because everyone has girlfriends now, we're not supposed to immerse ourselves in an imaginary world of magic and wonder? Bullshit! Will is the only one who gets it, and he's dressed like a moron.

Luckily, there are other TV shows that have professed their love for D&D without turning their backs. So let's take a look at the best D&D tribute episodes in TV history.

Community: Advanced Dungeons and Dragons

Community creator Dan Harmon loves Dungeons & Dragons so much that he has a show dedicated to animating D&D sessions. So when the study group gets together in the second season (the best one…) to help "Fat Neil" by playing the most epic D&D campaign in history, you can expect it to be legit. Everything from the LOTR voice-over opening, to Danny Pudi's earnest devotion to his DM duties, and Donald Glover's basic misunderstanding of the game—"Shouldn't there be a board, or pieces, or something to Jenga?"—is handled perfectly. And when Pierce's narcissism leads to the party splitting, and Neil losing his most prized magical items, the stakes suddenly become real, and the rest of the study group must use all their cunning and skill to save the day.

The episode is so good, Community actually did a follow up in season five—"Advanced Advanced Dungeons and Dragons"—with David Cross reconnecting with Mike from Breaking Bad. Also worth a watch, and notable for not including Ken Jeong in drow-blackface.

Freaks and Geeks: Discos and Dragons

It's fitting that the series finale of the highly underrated Freaks and Geeks ends with one of TVs best tributes to D&D. The titular geeks are strong advocates and the game is helmed by possibly the greatest dungeon master in history, whose low affect air of authority lends necessary gravitas to the scene.

The thrust of their session is the transformation of Daniel, played by James Franco, changing his alignment from Freak (effortlessly cool idiot) to geek (enthusiastic nerd). And isn't it fun to imagine a world in which someone interceded in time to prevent James Franco from becoming pure evil?

iZombie: Twenty Sided, Die

Another entry in the category of underrated shows showing love for D&D, iZombie is the story of Liv Moore (... get it?) a medical examiner who mixes drugs with energy drinks and gains the ability to absorb dead people's personalities and memories by eating their brains. Standard stuff. In Twenty Sided, Die, the corpse in question is a devoted dungeon master, and must play through a campaign with her friends in order to unlock the dead man's memories. Liv's fellow ME, Ravi Chakrabarti, is a reliable nerd, and dives right into the role playing with some solid accent work, but the real fun comes from the stoic Detective Babineaux, who begins the session with an eyeroll, and finishes on the edge of his seat, more invested than anyone. You love to see it, and the resulting fan art is choice.

Culture Feature

From "Rick & Morty" to BTS, Here Are All the Worst Fanbases

We ranked the worst parts of Internet fandom in no particular order—since they're all terrible.

BTS at the American Music Awards

Photo by Featureflash Photo Agency (Shutterstock)

As harmless hobbies, most fandoms are predicated on the universal ideal that most media is entertainment, liking things feels good, and you don't get to be an asshole if all don't appreciate your favorite thing.

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