david christopher bell

The term ‘movie magic’ typically refers to the technical brilliance of bringing dinosaurs to life onscreen or how Denzel Washington can make an entire theatre of men and women pregnant with a single knowing glance. But there’s a second type of movie magic that often goes overlooked: when movies are so good, we don’t notice when their characters’ plans’ make absolutely no sense.

All the great ones do this. In 'Return of the Jedi’, all of the main characters get captured attempting to break Han Solo out of Jabba’s palace, but it’s all good because that was seemingly their plan all along? Why wait to get captured when you can just drop in, lightsabers blazing, bust your dude out of the carbonite and smoke fools in an epic prison breakout? Seems like Luke wanted to fight the Rancor all along.

There’s a whole category of these where bad guys try to weaponize monsters. From the 'Alien’ series to 'Jurassic World’, it’s just a bad idea.

Christopher Nolan is a real magician when it comes to bad movie plans. 'The Dark Knight’, 'The Dark Knight Rises’, and 'The Prestige’ all have glaring examples of movie schemes that don’t hold up under an ounce of scrutiny.

THIS WEEK: Join Jack O'Brien, Michael Swaim, and David Christopher Bell as they discuss the failing of Nolan’s villains, why 'Westworld’ makes no sense, and how the dudes in 'Jaws’ had a bigger boat the whole damn time.

23 Convoluted Movie Schemes That Need A Second Look

Harrison Ford started his injured-body-parts list a solid decade before anyone put him in an action movie – and he’s been beating his body up ever since. If Ford was a quirky young twenty-something-year-old girl, we’d call him “adorkable” and make sure he had lots of pratfalls in his cute sitcom called The New Girl. But he’s not a young girl, he’s Harrison Ford. So instead of “clumsy,” we think he’s “rugged.” What if we’re wrong?

When filming a fight scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, he tore his ACL and refused medical treatment. Then he came down with diarrhea and asked that an elaborate whip-vs.-sword scene be cut down to a single gunshot so he could get back to his toilet.

During The Temple of Doom, Ford suffered spinal injuries while riding elephants. In The Fugitive he re-tore his ACL while running through the woods for his big escape scene. And when they rolled him out for the new Star Wars reboot, the door to the Millennium Falcon promptly fell on his leg and broke it. He was 71 at this point.

So, clearly, terrible things happen to Harrison Ford when he’s on movie sets. But also, when he’s not on movie sets. Like when his helicopter lost power in 1999 and his six-passenger plane crashed in Nebraska in 2000. And last week when his vintage WWII-era plane lost power in Santa Monica so he astutely landed it on a golf course. Good job, Southern California golf course for providing one of our most beloved movie stars a safe landing zone for his tiny, terrible, malfunctioning plane. We owe you one.

4 Signs Harrison Ford Is a Blind Guy Acting Like He Can See

Whenever I Feel Misunderstood:

I turn to a slayer.

I turn to a private eye.

I turn to a superhero.

I turn to friends.

I turn to a doctor.

I turn to a wizard.

I turn to a dragon.

I turn to a writer.

I turn to a renegade.

I turn to an outlaw.

And then I feel better. Extremely geeky, mind you…but better.

Apparently, we’re only two WrestleManias away from the point when entire human bodies will become just another fashion accessory. With any luck, by 2020 we won’t even need to buy clothes anymore – we’ll simply switch head receptacles when we get sick of the color. News of this Cronenbergian miracle is brought to you by CBS, Discovery, CNET, Telegraph, Fox, and Mashable, all debating the morality brought on by a single neuroscientist’s prediction – one he also made back in 2013, only with a slightly more conservative date estimate. Newsweek even speculated that this could revolutionize gender reassignment surgery. All of this despite the fact that pretty much everyone else in the medical community has called out this claim for being about as realistic as a Futurama episode, considering every head transplant attempted so far has ended with a depressing menagerie of paralyzed animals.

Human Head Transplants By 2017: 5 BS Stories That Went Viral

The live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles universe has so far been frustratingly barren of the beloved thug tag-team Bebop and Rocksteady. And, while the next Michael Bay installment will supposedly include the brothers in arms, Lord knows what kind of sad-eyed CG hulks that crap reel will yield. Luckily, there’s Blood Brothers – a fan-made, practical effects-driven take on everyone’s favorite mutant wildlife.

6 Weird-Ass Upcoming Movies That Deserve More Hype

If you take the most religious states in the U.S. and put them next to the ones preordering the most Fifty Shades tickets on Fandango, it’s the same fucking list. Like those kids in high school, the people who were stereotypically the least condoning of an alternative lifestyle are the same ones ironically celebrating its commercialization. … For Fifty Shades, that ironic commercialism also comes in the form of vibrating dick-rings and blindfolds being sold within spitting distance of children’s toothbrushes at your local Target, which is actually pushing Fifty Shades-brand sex tools as if they were camping equipment. And since Fifty Shades became a hit, sadomasochism has been turned into a $150 “fan experience” hotel package that includes a gift box of lube and frilly leather whips, is being called “the new yoga” in health articles, and was made into a Vermont teddy bear complete with an adorable set of handcuffs.

Slapping on dollar-store toy cuffs and weak-arming a few softball lashes into the mother of your children is this year’s Valentine’s Day special. And now, thanks to the film being on IMAX, never has this been a better time for anyone who’s wanted to see Buick-sized genitalia. But commercialized nudity is nothing new.

Remember that? Suddenly, with Blink-182’s “What’s My Age Again?” punk rock was whittled down to the fake shock value of not actually seeing a naked person – which came years after a pug-faced man named GG Allin performed countless sets naked and covered in a puree of bodily fluid.

For more: ’4 Reasons 50 Shades of Grey Is the Limp Bizkit of Sex

Throughout this whole Brian Williams thing, Gawker has tastefully played the part of the schoolyard bully who’s been waiting his whole life for you to not make it to the bathroom on time. Like … hovering. Salivating. POUNCING at the chance to call you a pants-pooper. 

Gawker is our biggest star of B.S. News round-ups. They reported obviously Photoshopped images as real, falsely claimed a woman had sex with a dolphin by purposefully changing the news quote, and made a hero out of a guy lying about bullying a kid.

We somehow have it in us that, because the Internet has more information, we’re more informed. But that works only if the Internet holds itself to the same standards that we used to. Instead, we’re actually just as misinformed as we used to be…

Why the Internet Needs to Calm Down About Brian Williams

Question 1: Does Your Cause Require an Elaborate Conspiracy Theory to Be True?

For instance, let’s say there’s a movement called #GamerGate, about irate gamers protesting the lack of ethics in gaming journalism. OK, sounds like a good, simple cause. Now, let’s say the specific ethical breach that enraged them is about a feminist indie game designer who a bunch of gamers already hated supposedly gaining control of the gaming media through her vagina – all of this based on the conjectures of a guy on YouTube who also seems to think government scientists are involved. As in, apparently there’s a secret DARPA project to brainwash gamers into, uh, being more tolerant of women. The bastards.

A 90-Second Guide to Determine if Your Internet Cause Is BS

Without McQuarrie, there wouldn’t be a Darth Vader helmet, or a Boba Fett suit, or Storm Trooper armor, which means you would have spent an entire decade of your childhood dressing up each Halloween as a ghost or a skeleton or some bullshit. Unless you did do that, in which case, you should watch Star Wars, it’s really good.
—  David Christopher Bell, on Ralph McQuarrie


6 Halloween Pranks That Went Horribly Wrong

Halloween is the only time of year when a grown adult is legally and morally obligated to attack children in his front yard while dressed as a scarecrow. However, some people take this obligation way too far, resulting in monstrously mental anguish and phantasmagorically physical trauma.

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All of 2015’s sweet blockbuster bank was primarily made by two studios, while everyone else took a beating like Vincent D'Onofrio during the blanket party scene in Full Metal Jacket. In fact, 2015’s success falls squarely on the four top-earning films. Everything else either did the same as 2014 or bombed spectacularly. So what in the world happened? Have Disney and Universal finally hoarded all the marketable franchises to form an unbeatable uber-duo like a corporate Tango and Cash? Or is there some detectable reason so many studios failed this year?

6 Simple Ways Hollywood Could Make Movies Stop Sucking