5 Reasons We’re Excited About Westworld!

This week, HBO released another trailer for their upcoming series Westworld… home to the kind of robots that blow Walt Disney’s animatronics out of the water!

Now, there are a whole lot of people out there who probably have no clue that this new HBO offering is actually based on a classic movie. But for many of us, it’s impossible to think about Westworld without hearing one of the taglines from the trailer of the original 1973 film, in which we were told by a vaguely robotic sounding voice that nothing could “go wrong… go wrong… go wrong” even as we saw clips from the movie in which everything possible did.

1973 was clearly a simpler time, as the film seemed to reflect our fear that technology would one day turn on us in a most deadly fashion. If the 2016 take is any indication, we’re now more concerned with questions regarding what actually makes us human. As with last year’s freaky Ex Machina, the new version of Westworld will explore the ever thinner line that exists between man and machine, and the potentially terrifying consequences of crossing it.

However, whether you’re a newbie to the franchise or a longtime fan, there’s plenty to be excited about where HBO’s new project is concerned. Here’s what has us so psyched.

1. The man behind the scenes
The original Westworld was written and directed by Michael Crichton, whom you’ll remember also brought us another theme park run amok, Jurassic Park. This time around, the familiar name behind the scenes is J.J. Abrams, who will be executive producing. Sure, there are other EP’s attached, but Abrams is the one most folks will recognize.

2. The man in front of the camera
Anthony Hopkins will be playing Dr. Robert Ford, the creator of the titular theme park. Sure, he scared the crap out of us in Silence of the Lambs, but more importantly, he even made the craptacular flick  Fracture worth checking out.


3. The woman in crisis
In what promises to be a killer role, Evan Rachel Wood plays Dolores, a beautiful creature who slowly begins to question everything about her life… which makes sense, given that she is actually one of the theme park’s human-seeming robots! And no wonder her poor circuits are fried… how can she wrap her mechanical brain around her feelings for all-too-human hunk Teddy, played by James Marsden?


4, The “recast”
If you remember one actor from the original film, it is probably Yul Brynner, who brought the dead-eyed robot known only as The Gunslinger to chilling life. HBO’s take features Ed Harris in the same role… although the trailer hints that there may be far more to his sinister alter ego than meets the eye.

5. The website
Want to fully immerse yourself in the Westworld experience, but can’t wait for the series to debut on October 2? Oh, have we got a treat for you! Head to Discover Westworld by clicking here, and enter the words WhiteHatBlackHat in the field marked “access code.” While there, be sure to check out the “terms and conditions” set forth by Delos Destinations. (Including the paragraph which indicates that causes of accidental death occurring within the Delos compound have included buffalo stampedes, self-cannibalism and autoerotic asphyxiation!)

Are you looking forward to HBO’s Westworld? What other classic films from the era would you love to see transformed into a modern series?


Star Trek Meets Dubsmash

Sometimes, making movies can be… well, kinda boring. There’s a whole lot of sitting around and waiting while shots are set up, lighting is adjusted, other actors are filming their lines. This leaves a lot of actors with time on their hands and, being the creative folks they are, good times often ensue. For the cast of the big-screen Star Trek movies, that often involved making Dubsmash videos.

For the uninitiated, Dubsmash.com allows folks to pick a song or bit of dialogue and then, with a little editing magic, dub themself over the audio for a lip-syncing experience that would make RuPaul proud.  Why? Watch the video below — edited together by the folks at Epic Movie Edits — and we’re pretty sure you’ll understand. (Also, your crushes on Chris Pine, Karl Urban and John Cho to grow tenfold!)

If you want to see the original videos as posted by the actors, the YouTube video above has all of the links in the “show more” section. Meanwhile, if you want to entertain us — and we would greatly appreciate it — make a Dubsmash video of your own and post it in the comments!

Possibly The Best Olympics Sportscast Ever!

As the 2016 Summer Olympics — which seemed largely comprised of beach volleyball and water polo — come to an end this weekend, we wanted to do something to honor the hard working folks who make it all possible. No, silly, not the athletes… the past two weeks have been about honoring them! No, we want to honor the broadcasters who find themselves in the sometimes unenviable position of having to fill time between events. So in that vein, we present what we believe might be the single best Olympics sportscasting video of all time. Or at least the funniest.

At first, it seems as if sportscaster Mary Carillo is simply going to talk to us a bit about the difference between the badminton set you might use in your back yard and those used at the Olympics. But before long, things spiral into an epic rant that we guarantee will not only have you laughing aloud, but sharing it with your friends. So join us now as we travel back to the year 2004, and we’ll let Mary take it from here…

Cats Watching Horror Movies Is Apparently A Thing!

Earlier this week, someone sent us a link to a video of a cat watching a horror movie. “This would make a great Moment Of Awesome,” they said. “Don’t you think?” We most certainly did, and you can see why in the clip below.

But then we thought… wait, is this a thing? And as it turns out, it is! Apparently, cats really enjoy horror movies. Or at least, their owners really like their reactions to horror movies!

Now, we can’t say for sure that Cheetah is watching a horror flick, as claimed in the description, but he certainly seems to have assumed the position we usually take when doing so!

And while we sort of suspect that this is actually just a cute clip of a cat with music superimposed, who cares. It’s still awesome!

Proving they really are just like us, cats not only enjoy watching horror movies on TV, but they also know that Netflix offers a fine selection, and have become quite fond of streaming. Right, Bartholomew?

And finally, because we are an equal-opportunity blog, we’d be remiss if we didn’t give a shout out to movie-loving pups as well. We particularly like that in this video, the bulldog first turns from the movie to look at us as if to say, “Does this girl not KNOW she’s in danger?” and then, turning back to the movie, tries to warn her. Because he is, after all, man’s best friend.

Louisiana Floods Bring Out The Best In People

With so much bad news surrounding us every day, it’s easy to forget that there is still good in this world. But it’s also true that in times of tragedy, stories emerge which remind us that there are still good people — and, believe it or not, businesses — out there. And as Louisiana continues to deal with the devastating flood that has caused so much damage, we wanted to shine a light on some of those who are doing everything in their power to help their friends, neighbors and, perhaps most touching of all, complete strangers.

Take, for example, this video shot by a reporter from WAFB in which men come to the rescue of a woman trapped in her rapidly-sinking car, and then go back to save her puppy as well.  According to the Daily News, the man who dove into the water has been identified as David Phung, and while we can’t help karma — notoriously labeled as a rhymes-with-witch — proves herself to have a softer side by rewarding this guy.

Meanwhile, Verizon is doing what it can to help people in the impacted areas, telling people, “Our local stores are open to help you through these difficult times, whether you’re a customer or not. Come make free calls, charge your devices and get free Internet access. We’re all in this together.


If the horrific images from these historic floods have you wanting to help but uncertain what you can do, the editors of the <i>New Orleans Times-Picayune</i> have gathered information. They have included places to drop off donations, links to volunteer for the Red Cross and more… including ways to help the many animals who have also been impacted and displaced by the floods. To find out how you can help, click here.  And if you hear about everyday heroes who deserve recognition, hit up the comments section and let’s show them some love!

Politician Cruises Into Rough Waters

It turns out that there’s a reason most politicians shouldn’t tell jokes: Even when then wind up getting a laugh, they often wind up regretting it. And while former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown probably wishes he’d never played the funny man during a recent cruise he and his family took, we couldn’t help thinking the whole story is kinda awesomely hysterical.

(Stratham, NH, 07/02/14) Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney endorsed NEw Hampshire Senate candidate Scott Brown at Scamman's Bittersweet Farm in Stratham, NH on Wednesday, July 2, 2014. Staff Photo by Nancy Lane

You see, while sailing on the <i>Norwegian Dawn</i> from Boston to Bermuda recently, Brown and his wife, Gail Huff, were selected to take part in that ship’s version of the classic TV show, The Newlywed Game. And according to a report in the Boston Globe, they wound up being asked one of the more common (and notorious) questions from that show’s history: “What’s the most unusual place you and your spouse ever made whoopee?”

Fans of the show (or TV historians) will recall the infamous clip in which, when asked that question, a woman responds… well, see for yourself…

Fortunately for Brown and his spouse, their answers weren’t quite so legendary! When it came time to guess how his wife had responded, the former politico first responded a golf course, then an airplane, both of which his wife said were wrong. Finally, he suggested the answer might be that they made whoopee in his office at the United States Senate… adding with a grin, “That’s right, and you all paid for it!”

The crowd went wild, the cruise continued and that was the end of the story.

Until, that is, the newspaper called to confirm the humorous story and was told by Brown that while the tale was true, the answers supposedly had been provided to him by the cruise director. When the conversation inevitably led to whether any of the answers were true, Brown “politely — and rather abruptly — ended the conversation.”

But wait, there’s more!

The paper reports Brown then called back of his own volition to clarify that it had been a cruise with his family, everyone had known he was joking and it was all in good, clean fun. Oh, and no, he and his wife hadn’t actually… er… given the public a little extra bang for their buck.

We don’t know about you, but all this talk about making whoopee has us in the mood for… a little Ella Fitzgerald! (What did you think we were gonna say?)


Candy Crush: The Ultimate Life Hack?

Today, longtime friend and all-around awesome lady Lyndsay Wells — aka The Kitchen Witch — explains why that game you’re so obsessed with might just be helping you deal with life.


I’ve been involved in several difficult sagas recently: Candy Crush Saga, Farm Heroes Saga, and Super Farm Heroes Saga to name a few.

That said, and regardless of whether you game or not, it occurred to me after beating a particularly difficult level in Candy Crush the other day that these games, or any game where you have to solve a puzzle or problem in order to move forward, are the perfect metaphor for life.

Although most of us do everything possible to avoid challenges in order to live lives of comfort and peace, how boring would it all be if we weren’t faced with adversity, change, competition, road blocks, deadlines or any of the other things that urge us to dig deeper, work harder, and learn bigger?

In Candy Crush as in life, we have three choices when faced with something incredibly difficult:

1. Quit.

2. Hang in there for the long haul and try to beat it on our own.

3. Ask for assistance from someone who has already beaten the game.

If we quit, we never really move forward…  but it feels easier. It feels easier to crawl back into our routines and our comfort zones and blanket ourselves with the familiar. It feels easier not to challenge ourselves, because somewhere deep down inside we don’t believe we can beat the level.


What I’ve learned, though, is that every challenge —  whether in life or in Candy Crush — can be defeated eventually if you don’t give up. What I’ve also come to know is that the game is a whole lot easier if you’re willing to ask for help.


They say “You teach what you need to learn,” and nothing is more true for me. I am learning, slowly but surely, how to crush it. And I am most grateful to be doing so with a little help from my friends. You know who you are. ‪#‎gratitude‬


You Can Do Anything!

For years, Nike ads have been telling people to “Just Do It.” And that’s a message we here at Moment Of Awesome fully support… whether that means giving yourself permission to relax or pushing yourself to start a new exercise program. So when we saw Nike’s new ad campaign — timed to the Rio Olympics, a true testament to what people can do — we had to share it. Because not only is it inspirational, but it’s also a whole lot of fun. Enjoy!


Art Installation Stuns Downtown L.A.

Los Angeles residents have seen it all. Or at least they thought they had, until an art display turned a kinda drab park that’s more concrete than grass was transformed by a stunning kinetic sculpture titled Liquid Shard.


Who Created It?

Slated to remain in Pershing Park until August 11, the instillation was designed by Patrick Shearn of Poetic Kinetics. He  worked with a group of young people from AA Visiting School Los Angles, which is a week-long program for design students, in overseeing the incredible installation. The photos featured here are from the AAVSLA Instagram page, where incredible videos of the installation can also be found.


As impressive as the photos may be, trust us when we say that nothing compares to seeing the sculpture in person as it dances and moves with the wind. Since chances are that most folks won’t get to experience the installation before it is removed, perhaps the next best thing is watching this video…

Their Next Big Project!

The folks at Poetic Kinetics are currently working on a major project to be unveiled at this year’s Burning Man. Called Fire In Balance In The Round.  Shearn and company are no strangers to Burning Man, where they have presented numerous incredible art pieces to the masses. In fact, their latest is an update of the 2014 presentation, which was described as “an installation made up of an inverted fire box suspended within a pagoda-like structural frame.”

For more on Fire In Balance 2016, and info on how you can help bring it to life, click here.