Culture News

Celebrate 30 Years of Sonic the Hedgehog (with Deeply Disturbing Fan Art)

After 30 years in video games, television, and film, Sonic the Hedgehog's most enduring legacy is in the world of creepy fan art.

On June 23rd, 1991, Sega released Sonic the Hedgehog, a fast-paced side-scrolling platformer for the Sega Genesis console, and the character took the world by storm.

Sonic has since spawned dozens of games, five different animated series, with a sixth in the work for Netflix, and, of course, the 2020 live-action movie starring Ben Schwartz, James Marsden, and Jim Carrey, with a sequel set for 2022.

Keep ReadingShow less
Culture Feature

This Haunts Me: COVID, "The Box", and the Worthlessness of Strangers Lives

In the Covid era, Americans have proven that we don't value the lives of strangers.

In 2009 Cameron Diaz and James Marsden starred in a surreal psychological thriller called The Box.

The premise — lifted from Richard Matheson's 1970 short story, "Button, Button" — had already been adapted into an installment of the Twilight Zone in 1986. But writer-director Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko, Southland Tales) evidently thought he could get more out of the material.

Keep ReadingShow less
TV Features

"Dead to Me": A Teary, Addictive Celebration of Self-Loathing and Female Friendship

In "Dead to Me" Season 2, two friends have each killed the others' significant other. Things only get messier from there.


Jen and Judy cry a lot during the second season Dead to Me, Netflix's dark comedy about two extremely guilt-ridden women.

These aren't single-tear kind of cries; they're full-on, messy, explosive, world-is-falling-down-around-me kind of wracking sobs.

For those who need a refresher, the first season revolved around the death of Jen's (a delightfully angry Christina Applegate) husband, killed in an accidental hit-and-run by Judy (Linda Cardellini). Overcome with guilt, Judy befriends Jen (without telling her the truth), and the two become fast friends. Ultimately, Judy confesses, and things spiral from there.

Keep ReadingShow less

The New "Sonic the Hedgehog" Trailer Is Actually Fire

They fixed it. They actually fixed it.

Sega/ Paramount Pictures

After the Internet at large rightly condemned the original Sonic the Hedgehog movie design as an utter abomination, the animators went back to the drawing board.

Now they've returned with a whole new trailer and...damn, Sonic's actually looking fresh.

Sonic The Hedgehog (2020) - New Official Trailer - Paramount

It's hard to overemphasize how much better the new Sonic design looks compared to the previous one. For those of you who forcibly removed the original trailer from your mind, perhaps through intentional brain injury, here's a side-by-side comparison.

Sonic movie before and afterNew (left) and old (right)Sega/ Paramount Pictures

The new design actually resembles the Sonic we've always known and loved, with his big cartoon eyes and lack of over-sized nightmare human teeth. The old one is an actual war crime.

But Sonic's updated design isn't the only spot where the new trailer shines. From the opening shot set in the immediately recognizable Green Hill Zone (the first level of the original Sonic the Hedgehog for Sega Genesis) to the clip of Sonic dashing along the Great Wall of China, the new trailer makes a convincing argument for how fun Sonic could be in the real world.

With the exception of Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik, the original Sonic trailer failed on every conceivable front. As a lifelong Sonic fan, I was dreading the movie's inevitable release which, I was sure, would completely bastardize a character I grew up with. I'm happy to say that my opinion has done a total 180. The new trailer made me feel hopeful in the same way I felt when I watched the first trailer for Detective Pikachu (I ultimately thought the movie was just okay, but the real-life Pokemon designs were fantastic), and it's great to see Ben Schwartz's excellent Sonic voice acting come through, too.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm really looking forward to the live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie.