Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Robots: The Movie

Not really. But watch the trailer and tell me director Shawn Levy's upcoming "Real Steel" looks like it wasn't Mattel's attempt to cash in on an inchoate toy-to-movie trend ushered in with last year's "GI Joe." The late "Battlebots" would probably be a purer spiritual predecessor had the trailer not shown Hugh Jackman standing outside a ring controlling his robot to beat up the other robot. In a boxing ring.

Real Steel = Transformers - Shia LaBoef + Hugh Jackman - Michael Bay slo-mo/canted camera panning/self-importance - shame

Money line: "The human body can only handle so much, but the steel *dramatic pause* NEVER STOPS."


Make your fancy coffee with your fancy iPhone

For quality coffee, Starbucks is never enough. Silver Lake’s Intelligentsia undoubtedly trains the more skilled disciples of the holy brew, but whose clientele is typically slapped with the dirty label, ‘hipster.’ Rejoice, xeno/stylephobes! Intelligentsia has released an application for iOS operating systems (read: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Apple TV) to teach you the exotic methods (you probably haven’t heard of them) for nu coffee preparation far away from people you openly despise but secretly fear you belong with.

For the affordable price of free, you get brewing timers, diagrams and descriptions to gingerly walk you through the esoteric rituals you’ll use to impress your date/friends/cat.  Compare this to Starbucks’ app, which lets you know which location will cure your caffeine withdrawal is closer by minutes. It also lets you buy drinks faster. Consider your clientele served, coffee heavyweights.


Music video for Daft Punk's 'Derezzed' from 'Tron: Legacy' soundtrack

In case you haven't heard, electronic music wizards Daft Punk did the score for the new Tron sequel, "Tron: Legacy." The music video for one of the songs from the score, "Derezzed," just came out.

The video opens in the famed (well, for people who've seen "Tron") location from the original that plays into the new film, Flynn's Arcade. The video then pays homage to the oh-so-'80s Tron landscape, combining old school imagery with live action and a few more modern effects.

Check out the video below:

You can also pick up the soundtrack on sale for $3.99 today on Amazon MP3.

(via ion)


The Wikileaks cables in three minutes and change

The Wikileaks debacle is impossible to avoid, but there's been a heckuva lot of media coverage on, around and about its effects - so much so, the actual revelations have been glossed over in favor of awkward White House responses and Julian Assange's sex life.

Fortunately, Joe Sabia of Google's annual Zeitgeist put together a slick narrated video to rapid-fire illustrate just what the heck those cables said about leaders from the rest of the world. For the attention-deficit newsconsumer, your Internet-morphed medium has arrived.


Celebrities staying off Facebook, Twitter fails to raise money for World AIDS Day

A group of celebrities with large online followings "killed" their digital selves for World AIDS Day this week. The concept is that, until they raised $1 million, they wouldn't post updates on Twitter or Facebook. The Digital Death site characterized it as being "a few days" that they'd be away.

However, after 24 hours, they'd only raised around $100,000. As of this writing, the total stood at just over $162,000. The YouTube video advertising this has more views than that, so it looks like this wasn't a particularly great incentive to inspire generosity.

It looks like the public really doesn't want more celebrity tweeting and Facebooking. The "dead" celebrities include Usher, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Serena Williams, Kim and Khloe Kardashian and others.

It seems unlikely that the pace will significantly increase, since they can't publicize it themselves online anymore since that's the whole premise of the thing, and with World AIDS Day over, the amount of publicity for this event will likely go down. You also have the holiday season meaning that people may have their minds elsewhere. Will they even reach $1 million by the end of the year? Will they actually donate their own money instead of asking the public to do it for them?