And now a musical interlude…with explosions and swords

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Had to post this, ’cause if it’s got tough-as-nails women, things that go ‘boom’, fire and karate kicks, then I’m so on board.


Check out the character posters here to see all the famous faces who popped up during the clip, and place a hold on Taylor’s latest hit album here.

Week of Geek: Truly, truly, truly outrageous…

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jem and the holograms Photo

This may come as a shocker.  Everyone brace yourselves…your favorite blog writer (me) is actually a bit older than y’all.


I know, right!  Who knew?  But it’s true.  And I mention that so that when I go into this whole thing about a character named Jem, you’ll know I’m coming from a position of experience in this matter.  So here we go…

We got a trailer for a movie due this October that features a fictional girl band that was a pretty big staple during my childhood.  Observe…

Yup, Jem is coming back!  As in Jem and the Holograms, who first appeared in the animated show Jem all the way back in 1985 (30 years ago; totally dating myself here).  It was about Jerrica Benton, a young girl who inherits both a music company and a foster home for girls from her late father, and uses her dad’s invention, an AI program named Synergy, to create the holographic illusion of Jerrica’s alter-ego Jem, who leads the band The Holograms, consisting of Jerrica’s younger sister Kimber and their adopted sisters Aja and Shanna.  The Holograms are constantly up against rival group The Misfits, who act as the main villains of the show, along with a greedy rival music head.  Here’s the opening titles…but you might want to shield your eyes a bit here.  These are some very strong neons coming at you!

Yeah, I know.  It was a different time, people!  Sure the animation was crummy, the songs were half-baked at best, the whole thing was cooked up by Hasbro to sell toys (that was the goal of just about every cartoon back then) and the colors alone are enough to give you eye strain.  Having said all that, this still holds a place in my heart.  It was glamorous and exciting for kid-me to watch on syndicated TV back in the day.

So what do I think of this new film version, people may or may not be wondering?  After watching the trailer, I greet this with a resounding ‘meh’.  Actually more of a disappointed ‘meh’.

Seems to me that the only thing that’s survived the original storyline was four girls, a band and bright pink.  Otherwise this could be any run-of-the-mill girl-doesn’t-know-she’s-talented, girl-finds-out-she’s-talented, girl-lets-fame-go-to-her-head-and-we-all-learn-a-valuable-lesson movie.  Where’s the artificially intelligent program that uses hologram-based entertainment tactics that adds a nice Sci Fi touch to the proceedings?  Where’s the girl trying to save her company and her family?  Where’s the over-the-top fashion and glamor?

I may be protective of this, but I don’t think I’m being too biased.  Especially since I saw a recent reboot from another medium that is just way, way cooler than what this trailer is hinting at.

8314f6e6 2644 48d2 a73c 06ababa83eea PhotoIDW Comics has come out with it’s own Jem and the Holograms series.  I’ve read the first issue, and gotta say it made me love The Holograms all over again.  This series focus’ on Jerrica and the band trying to get their first big break but Jerrica has a crippling case of stage fright, to the point that the band is running out of money and on the verge of breaking up.  But then the girls discover Synergy, and Jerrica now has a way to hide behind the Jem persona and become the star her sisters need.  But it’ll bring a whole new set of troubles, I’ll wager, especially going up against reigning girl group The Misfits.

See?  Much more interesting.  And the artwork is great, super colorful without being to grating.  This is what I’d expect a reboot of The Holograms to look like.

So not all hope is lost when it comes to taking an 80s icon and rebooting it for the new millennium.  I just hope the movie isn’t as dry as it seems to be.  Will you guys give either of these a go?  (The comic is still in it’s initial run but once it’s out as a graphic novel we’ll see if we can get it in for VPL).

For more info on this decade of painful fashion and hair choices, but with long-lasting influences in other mediums, check out some of our books, like Movies of the 8os, Fifty Fashion Looks that Changed the 1980s, VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV’s First Wave and The Times of the Eighties: The Culture, Politics and Personalities that Shaped the DecadeThere are also documentaries like 80s Tech (so much of the technology you use everyday got it’s start during that decade).  And, above all, you gotta check out the music.  Try Sounds of the 80s, which features contemporary artists trying their hand at 80s hits.  Or, for a sampling of the originals, try The 80s.

And if you think all of this is weird, and it is, just remember; it’s what was done in the 80s.

Showtime Synergy, and until next time, End of Line.

Get Your Con ON!

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Comic COn

Con season!! Oh yes it is CON SEASON!!! For those of you that don’t know what I’m so excited about, I’m talking about Convention season. It’s the time of the year when there are Fandom conventions going on all summer! Whether it be gaming, anime, comics or just pop culture, Ontario has conventions for you filled with merchandise, artists, celebrities, panels and more!

Now, you may think, “Nah, conventions are for over-obsessed geeks and nerds and I’m definitely not that.”  Well, did you go see the last Avengers movie? Did you like Saturday morning cartoons or Disney growing up (or even still like them now)?  Did you go to a Halloween party last Halloween? Or do you regularly surf the internet and like keeping up with pop culture? If you answered yes to any of these questions, than you should feel more than welcome at conventions. People go to cons for many different reasons, but the main reason is to have fun!Nerd

There are many helpful bloggers too that give wonderful advice and tips for attending conventions and even some tips for first time con goers. This lovely blogger has made a post called “Beginners Guide to Fan Expo,” and it’s got a lot of great tips. Some conventions have certain specific themes, like anime or gaming, but there’s often a smattering of everything at most conventions.

So, coming this summer:

Anime North: May 22-24     Toronto’s very popular anime convention. I hear the cosplayers (Urban Dictionary: Literally “Costume Play.” Dressing up and pretending to be a fictional character) at this convention are jaw dropping. Check out the tag on the VPL catalog “Manga Worth Reading” if you wanted to start getting into Japanese comics and animation.

Comic ConNiagara Falls Comic Con: June 5-7

Oshawa Comic Con/Pop Culture Canada : June 6 & August 1

Toronto Comic Book Show: June 14

Con Bravo: July 24-26

Fan Expo Canada: September 3-6    Toronto’s BIGGEST fan convention. It has everything for everyone. So many celebrities, panels, cosplayers and merchandise to see in 4 days, you’ll probably never see it all. Totally worth every minute you spend there (and in lines) and a fantastic way to end the summer.

AND, for those brave enough (and ones with money to spare) take a look at some of the conventions that run in the US.  The most well known one is definitely San Diego Comic Con International. Over the past few years, its popularity has skyrocketed and it’s easy to why. Just take a look at some of these videos:

If you are interested in seeing what goes on at this  massive comic con, take a look at the movie: “Comic Con- Episode 4: A Fan’s Hope.” 

So there’s the list for you. I hope you can find one (or more) that you like the sound of and get to go to this summer. Let me know if you do. I’ll probably be  there myself.


Week of Geek Breaking News: Our first look at Supergirl! (and other new shows this fall)

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We’ve heard rumors.  We’ve heard confirmations.  We’ve seen the costume.  Now we see it in action for the first time.  Check it out!

AWESOME!  What do you guys think?  You can start the latest graphic novel series by clicking here, or check out a personal favorite story of mine featuring the Girl of Steel here.

And that’s just one new show coming in the fall we can all get excited about.  Here’s a few more…

The Muppets are back!

The Devil has quit and is solving crimes in LA!

And the creator of American Horror Story is coming to network television!

And that’s just a start.  Stay tuned and End of Line!

Week of Geek: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them…the speculation continues

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cover imageJuly 21, 2007 and July 15, 2011.

For many fans those are days that will linger in our memories for years to come.  They were big days, bittersweet days, days were we were excited, apprehensive, sad and happy all at the same time; a cavalcade of emotions, as any good work of art should bring out of people.  They were days were we came together as fans and celebrated the conclusions of sagas that were held near and dear to our hearts, that followed us as we grew and, as all things must, came to an end.

2007 was the release of the final Harry Potter book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and 2011 was the release of the final Harry Potter movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, marking the last times, in print and on screen respectively, that we’d see these characters and share in this world.

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Such as it is with all fandoms.  With very rare exceptions, seasons must end, series must close and things must come to some form of conclusion, good bad or indifferent.

But, as I’ve been waxing philosophically about all this, I should also do a 180 and say that there are many cases where fandoms live on, in one form or another.  A reboot, a sequel, a prequel, tie-ins, a theme park, even just fanart in all it’s many incarnations, if something is loved well enough it’ll find a way back (I’ll leave it to you, dear reader, to decide if that’s a good thing or not.  Me, I’m in the camp that it’s mostly a good thing…not always, but mostly ;)).

Such it is with the fictional universe J.K. Rowling created all the way back in 1997.  We may yet again get to revisit it in 2016 (almost 20 years after the release of the first book) with the first of a three part film trilogy based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  The book, a well-known first-year textbook at Hogwarts, was published for us Muggles in 2001, along with Quidditch Through the Ages, a very well circulating book from the Hogwarts school library.  It was first announced back in 2013 how J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros pictures would create a movie (with the screenplay written by Rowling herself) based on the life of Fantastic Beasts “author” Newt Scamander and his adventures compiling the book 70 years before the events of the Harry Potter series (our friend Sarah reported the news on this very site), and we’ve had bits and pieces of info coming in since, like the confirmation that this will be a trilogy (EEEEEP!)

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And I mention all of this again because it was reported that we may be close to casting our Newt.  Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne, who’s made a big splash on everyone’s radar recently for his award winning turn in The Theory of Everything and other big films like Les Miserables and Jupiter Ascending.  Considering they’re hoping to have part one of this trilogy out by November of next year and they haven’t officially cast their leading man yet, I’m hoping we’ll get some confirmation on this soon.  Can we get more of my favorites in there somewhere?  The actors who were too old to play students and too young to play professors during the first series of movies?  Your Cumberbatches, your Hiddlestons, your Smiths, etc?  Pretty please with sugar?

So there is more to look forward too.  More to learn about this magical universe.  I’m SO stoked!  What about you readers?  Do we want/need more?  Were we happy with just the seven books and eight movies?  Who do you think should play Scamander?  Who do you think should round out the rest of the cast?  Post away.

And if you’re looking to revisit the world of Potter and can’t make it to Florida yet, we’ve got you covered.  Book 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7; movie 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 AND 8, plus the school books listed above, the collection of fairy tales called The Tales of Beedle the Bard (a favorite of mine), and an assortment of non fic too, just to keep all the bases covered.  Hopefully that’ll keep us busy up until next November.

But still, THE WAITING!  AND ALL THE SAD REFLECTION BEFORE! Quick, give me a laugh internet!

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*chuckle* OK, good…

funny harry potter troll slytherin dorm dungeon omg malfoy even care dumbledore pics Photo

BWAHAHAHAHA! Better *thumbs up*

Until next time, End of Line.