Without A Net | Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

WonderCon Anaheim 2015: 7 things you absolutely shouldn't miss

A cosplay gathering in the Anaheim Convention Center's Grand Plaza during WonderCon Anaheim 2014.
Kevin Green/SDCC

For all the sad comic book and pop culture fans who weren't able to get tickets to San Diego Comic-Con, we've got good news for you: They run another convention, and it's closer to Los Angeles. Their little brother WonderCon Anaheim has been growing, with some comparing it to the Comic-Con of old — before it got way too crowded. It's this Friday through Sunday, April 3-5. They're starting to have big stars and lots of great panels, so if you want to get your geek heart sated, here are some of the events you won't want to miss.

Warner Bros. Presentation: San Andreas, Mad Max: Fury Road

San Andreas trailer

The most highly anticipated event at this weekend's convention, Warner Brothers is putting on a special presentation with footage from these two upcoming action films. They haven't announced which stars will be on hand, but these panels often surprise with star power, so you may get a visit from stars like "San Andreas's" Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson or "Mad Max: Fury Road's" Tom Hardy or Charlize Theron. At the Comic-Con panel last year for the "Mad Max" flick, the director talked in detail about the film, so you'll probably at least get his take on the franchise and its resurrection.


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WWE looks to springboard from Wrestlemania 31 into new audiences

Brock Lesnar after losing his championship in the main event of Wrestlemania 31.

World Wrestling Entertainment held their annual Wrestlemania show last weekend in Northern California, the culmination of another year's worth of spectacle. According to the company, it was their highest grossing event of all-time, drawing $12.6 million, with an official attendance placing it fifth on their list of all-time crowds for the event. The show was headlined by former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar going up against up-and-coming star (and a relative of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) Roman Reigns.

WWE Network

It comes at a time when the company has embarked on a new way of making money: their over-the-top online programming provider, the WWE Network, where fans can pay $9.99 a month to see programming including what formerly used to cost $45 for most shows and $60 for Wrestlemania. They're one year in now on gambling that enough fans will want the Network that it will ultimately make them more money in the long-term, despite losing that pay-per-view revenue. Wall Street doesn't appear to be buying it — after announcing the day after Wrestlemania that they'd hit 1.3 million subscribers, WWE's stock took a significant loss.


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Wrestlemania 31 weekend: Jim Ross continues an epic career of storytelling

Jerry "The King" Lawler with Jim Ross.

Jim Ross is the most famous pro wrestling play-by play commentator of all time. He's a native Californian, but grew up in Oklahoma and took his trademark drawl into doing commentary. He's worked in wrestling for more than 40 years, calling matches on shows seen by millions of people around the world.

This weekend, he's in the Bay Area for Wrestlemania weekend (the first Wrestlemania in Northern California, and the first in California in 10 years). Ross no longer commentates for WWE, but he's still a storyteller, online and in person. He hosts regular live storytelling shows with stories from his decades-long career and a bit of comedy, along with a live guest, and he also has a huge online presence including a podcast that went to number one in sports its first week out.

Ross has been watching wrestling since he was a kid.


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'Ready Player One' was written using cheat codes — here are our 11 favorites

A Nintendo Entertainment System.
Mark Ramsay/Flickr Creative Commons

There have been plenty of video game movies over the years, but there have been far fewer actually good ones. "Ready Player One," based on the 2011 video game-inspired novel, has the chance to be a great one thanks to the announcement that Steven Spielberg has signed on to direct.

That book was inspired by classic video games, and was written using classic video game cheats to play parts of classic games and write them into his book, author Ernest Cline said in a recent talk. That got us thinking about the classic video game cheats and secrets that stuck with us from our younger days playing classic video games — here's our top 11.

1. The Konami Code

Up up down down left right left right B A start! This code became such a part of video game culture that it got its own name. It was popularized in various games made by Konami, particularly Contra, leading to it also being known as the "Contra Code" for its ability to give you 30 lives in the game. Before the Internet, it was spread through gaming magazines and word of mouth — it was so influential that there are still developers who put it in their games. (There's even an entire Wikipedia page of games, both from Konami and others, that use the Konami Code. It's even been used on some websites.)


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R-rated Power Rangers fan film pulled from YouTube, but you can watch it here

A still from "POWER/RANGERS," a highly-produced Power Rangers fan film starring James Van Der Beek and Katee Sackhoff.

Update 2/28: The "POWER/RANGERS" film is back on YouTube and Vimeo. Watch the censored YouTube version with a new viewer discretion disclaimer here:


You can also watch the Vimeo version, featuring more adult content. The video's description emphasizes its lack of connection in any official way to the Power Rangers:

"Deboot of the Power Rangers. My take on the FAN FILM. Not a pilot, not a series, not for profit, strictly for exhibition. This is a bootleg experiment not affiliated or endorsed by Saban Entertainment or Lionsgate nor is it selling any product. I claim no rights to any of the characters (don't send me any money, not kickstarted, this film is free). This is the NSFW version. An alternate safe version is on youtube."

Director Joseph Kahn tells Deadline, "They put these disclaimers on so kids so don’t confuse our super-violent film with their Power Rangers brand. There are no hard feelings. We signed contracts. We can play it anywhere we want on all platforms. I think they realized that people just want to see it."


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