Walking It Alone. Image: Lance Shields, used under Creative Commons License

As the geek label has become mainstream, so too have many of the descriptors and personality disorders of those who have historically been called geeks or nerds. Whereas a heightened social awareness of these issues can be positive, there is also a danger of casual misuse — causing confusion for those unfamiliar with the true definitions.

I’m not a psychologist or a psychiatrist, nor do I play one on TV, and although I have had personal experience through family, friends, and even myself with all these issues, you should not take anything you read here as medical advice. …


When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

–Fred Rogers

(This article originally appeared on The Roarbots)

Over the last few weeks, director Steven Soderbergh’s brilliant 2011 film Contagion has become one of the most-streamed films in the world, due to the eerie similarity between its fictional outbreak and the pandemic currently gripping the globe.

Countless editorials have been written about its prescience, and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns has given numerous interviews about a 9-year-old film…


By Jamie Greene

(This article originally appeared on theroarbots.com)

Let’s be honest. Stunt casting is most definitely a thing. Casting big-name stars just to pull in an audience has been around for decades. Movies do it. TV shows do it. Plays do it. Yes, even musicals do it. But as long as we’re being honest, let’s also admit that it’s much more difficult to do successfully with live theater.

The actor can’t just be a big name and/or pretty face. …


by Ann-Marie Cahill

It’s rare I get to celebrate a movie milestone twice. However, Mad Max is no ordinary movie.

Last year, I wrote about the 40th Anniversary of Mad Max in all its dystopian-future glory. The original movie premiered in Melbourne, Australia, in 1979. No one really expected it to be great, but then… it was.

It was more than great. It was an iconic statement about Australian culture; from our love of wide-open spaces to the slightly crazed response we have to being told what to do.

Nevertheless, most of my friends in the USA have no idea…


Twenty-five years ago this month, a modest film was released in theaters across the United States, to little fanfare. Late January is traditionally a dumping ground for misbegotten movies and, though the film debuted to respectful reviews, it ended up grossing an unspectacular $5.5 million. Yet those few who saw Before Sunrise fell in love with it, and it eventually developed a passionate cult following.

More importantly, the three unparalleled talents behind it — writer/director Richard Linklater and stars/cowriters Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy — felt they had created something special and eventually came to believe they had more to…


Dear Hasbro,

It’s been a while, but can we talk? I should begin by telling you that MASK is my second-favorite toy of all time. Kenner’s original Star Wars toys and action figures were, are, and forever will be my #1, but MASK? It comes in a really close second.

I adored the toys as a kid (still have them all, including the mega-awesome Boulder Hill), loved the cartoon (and still do, despite its flaws), and collected the few comics that DC put out back in the day. And I also enjoyed the heck out of IDW’s comic run.

Yeah…


Yeah, I know. This post really should’ve gone up last year to coincide with the 35th anniversary of ALL of these films. But what can I say? We like to keep you guessing.

We did a similar post last year ranking all the scores of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and we had so much fun with it (and y’all seemed to like it) that we decided to give it another go.

Why 1984, though? For those of us who are a certain age, 1984 was like a miracle year at the theater. Especially if you were a fan of genre…


I don’t watch any of the CW Arrowverse shows with any regularity these days, and honestly, I haven’t for a while. I do plan to catch up with Black Lightning and Legends of Tomorrow at some point because I hear, for the most part, good things about them.

But I got bored of Barry and Oliver’s man pain years ago and, as hard as I tried, and as much as I want them to, Batgirl and Supergirl simply don’t grab me tightly enough to choose them over doing something else for two hours each week. I am intrigued by the new Superman and Lois Lane project that had a season order announced the other day. …


Russell T Davies’s incomparably brilliant six-part BBC/HBO miniseries Years and Years is a gifted work of humanist science fiction with a bold conceit at its beating heart. It dramatizes the rise of populist/nationalist dictator Viv Rook (Emma Thompson) but not with the typical “halls of power” focus on her growth from eccentric media darling to local member of Parliament to prime minister.

Instead, Davies audaciously gives his biggest name star at most 10 minutes of screen time over six hours. The series is not about the exact mechanics of how Viv takes over Britain. …


contributed by Preston Burt

I’ve got some bad news for you. Despite what you read on Facebook, your Disney videocassette tapes are not worth thousands of dollars. No, not even the “Rare,” “Black Diamond” version your parents still have stashed in a closet. Heck, with Urban Outfitters now selling a random 5-pack of tapes for $40, there must be gold in them thar hills, right? It’s true that there are rare VHS tapes that are worth some significant coin in the collector market, but honey, your The Little Mermaid clamshell ain’t one of ‘em.

I thought about writing this article…

The Roarbots

The Roarbots is a celebration of storytelling in popular culture. Find us at theroarbots.com

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