Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

JDate rebrands with help from a Los Angeles comedy writer

Oded Balilty/AP

Two American Jews enjoy a party in Jerusalem at the end of a weeklong romantic voyage to Israel Wednesday, May 10, 2006. The trip organized by the Jewish online dating service JDate.

Jewish dating service JDate is running brand new billboards targeted at millennials in Times Square and right here in Los Angeles, Adweek reports, with copy drawn from a social media contest. One of those three is from L.A.

L.A. comedy writer Ricky Sans's submission didn't make the first round of billboards, but his #GetChosen slogan is set to show up in JDate marketing soon, Sans says. His submission was "Matzah Ball Recipes Don’t Survive on Their Own"; the other winners were "Find Mr. Right to Left" and "Because Dating Shouldn't Be as Hard As Parting the Red Sea."

"I love JDate," Sans tells KPCC. "I'm Jewish, and I think it's great to have a dating forum where you can meet people from similar cultural and traditional upbringings."

Sans explained what he was thinking with his submission.


Video: Marvel releases 'Guardians of the Galaxy' teasers to tease another teaser

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - New Trailer Teaser 2

Marvel Entertainment (via YouTube)

A teaser for Marvel's new "Guardians of the Galaxy" trailer.

The first "Guardians of the Galaxy" trailer showed Marvel's new spacefaring heroes soaring to a remixed beat of Blue Swede's "Hooked On A Feeling," showcasing the goofy side of the team. The new teasers put the laughs away and focus on the "epic" in space epic.

RELATED: 'Guardians of the Galaxy': Do crowds want heroes they don't know?

They're drawing it out — the teasers being released are promoting a second full trailer that hits on Monday at 10 a.m. Pacific, complete with a live Q&A on Facebook. The chat is set to include director James Gunn, Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan and former pro wrestler Dave Bautista.

Bautista gets a bigger stage in the first of the new teasers, which you can watch below; the latest teaser is at the top of this post, showcasing Rocket Raccoon and giving a bit of Bradley Cooper's voice for the character for the first time.


#CapForStrat: The Avengers give a real dying man his last wish — on Twitter



A scene from "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."

The Avengers are teaming up to fight the type of scourge usually seen in very special issues of the comic book: Cancer. At least, one man's cancer.

Stratford Caldecott was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in Oct. 2011. In a blog post this week, his daughter Sophie wrote about their struggle, and the fact that they'd recently been told he only had about 12 weeks left.

RELATED: 'Guardians of the Galaxy': Do audiences want superheroes they've never heard of?

Stratford's also a lifelong comic fan, who'd previously joked he'd keep hanging on just to keep seeing the next Marvel movie. Unfortunately, according to his daughter, he wasn't well enough to see "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" in theaters, and the DVD won't be out until August.

Sophie set out on a rather simple mission, trying to get an advanced copy of the film's DVD for her father — Marvel has already complied, helping to make that dream come true, according to Sophie. But she also set out to take things one step further: Tweeting all of the actors from the Avengers to see if they would take selfies for her father.


LA filmmaker's 'Verbatim' becomes NY Times hit while asking 'What is a photocopier?'

Verbatim: What Is a Photocopier? | Op-Docs | The New York Times

The New York Times (via YouTube)

This dramatization from L.A. filmmaker Brett Weiner of a real court case depicts a lawyer getting into an argument over what, exactly, a photocopier is.

Los Angeles filmmaker Brett Weiner's 7-minute short "Verbatim" already went to Sundance earlier this year, but this week it was exposed to a whole new audience: readers of the New York Times. So many of them that it was the most viewed article on the Times' website earlier this week.

The short offers a comedic look at a real case from the Ohio Supreme Court where the witness chose to argue in a deposition that no, he didn't know what the term "photocopying machine" meant.

"Let me be clear. The term 'photocopying machine' is so ambiguous that you can’t picture in your mind what a photocopying machine is in an office setting?" the lawyer asks in a prolonged series of questions to the witness — which the witness continually refuses to respond to with a straight answer.

The New York Times liked the video enough that now, they're tasking Weiner with making it into a series, featuring other equally ridiculous court transcripts.


FAQ: Everything you need to know about Lucasfilm's Star Wars 'Expanded Universe' announcement

The Star Wars Expanded Universe: Past, Present, and Future

Star Wars (via YouTube)

A video looking back at the Star Wars Expanded Universe of comics, books and video games.

Hardcore Star Wars fans have felt a disturbance since Disney acquired Lucasfilm and announced new Star Wars movies. Friday, Lucasfilm addressed fans' concerns, both in an announcement and in a video reflecting on the Expanded Universe's legacy (which you can watch above).

Lucasfilm tweet

The bottom line: the Expanded Universe of continuity might not be so expanded anymore.

What exactly is the Star Wars Expanded Universe?

Since director George Lucas created the Star Wars films, there have been books, comics and other assorted tie-ins. Unlike many franchises, Lucas allowed those other adaptations to be in continuity with his films — at least to an extent.

The official Star Wars creations outside the core films were labeled the Expanded Universe. While it's not canon, and Lucas reserved his rights to go outside what was first established in these different properties (and sometimes did), there was a team at Lucasfilm devoted to tracking everything. Some of what first came about in the Expanded Universe later made its way into the films proper.