Category Archive – Randomness

Week of Geek: New Avengers: AOU Trailer, plus Superheroines to watch

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It’s okay Hawkeye, we still love you!  Even if your weapon of choice hasn’t been regularly used in battle for a good few centuries smile face icon  You make it work!

Speaking of which, a little something came online on Jan 12th.  Without further ado…

I KNOW, RIGHT?!

So some pretty awesome stuff, including more footage of the Hulk Buster armor (sooooo stoked to see that!).  The trailer’s got quite a few sites scrambling for comic theories due to the split-second appearances of two women (one seen by what appears to be an underground lake, and one that can barely be seen behind Thor, apparently attacking him with lightning).  There are plenty of theories about this (click on this link to MovieWeb for a more detailed rundown), but I’ll give you the cliffs notes version.  Most people are speculating that the woman by the lake (and the appearance of Andy Serkis, who most fans agree is likely playing villain Ulysses Klaw, though Serkis’ character has not officially been revealed yet, so don’t quote me) may have something to do with the inevitable introduction of the Black Panther and the fictional nation of Wakanda.  So who is she?  One of the Dora Milaje?  Shuri?  Some have argued she’s Death herself, though that doesn’t make much sense to me.  And what about the woman behind Thor, possibly wearing green?  Moondragon?  Hela? (Boy, that would make for some family drama in the next Thor movie)  Enchantress?  SO MANY QUESTIONS!  And no answers until May smile face icon

But with these new head-scratchers, plus the introduction of the Scarlet Witch and a possible hint we’ll see more of Black Widow’s past, AOU’s got me thinking about all the butt-kicking women unveiled in Marvel and elsewhere.  There are some up-and-comers to watch, so let me break it down…

Firstly, have you seen Agent Carter yet?  ’Cause it’s AWESOME!  And Carter’s going to make an appearance in AOU in a flashback.  She’s kicking the patriarchy in the 1940s right where it hurts.

Then there’s my new favorite comic series, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.

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The first issue was just released last week.  I’ve read it, and I love it.  Marvel took one of it’s lesser known characters, someone who’s a bit of a joke amongst comic fans, and gave her a brand new, really funny series about Doreen Green/Squirrel Girl starting college and trying to maintain a secret identity while still fighting crime.  BTW, she’s ‘unbeatable’ because, despite her squirrel powers sounding a bit silly (OK, really silly) she’s stood her ground against villains like Doctor Doom, MODOK and even Thanos.  Plus, for this new series, illustrator Erica Henderson draws Doreen as, you know, an actual human woman instead of the airbrushed supermodels that often populate the superheroine and villainess ranks in comics.  Brava!

And, just to prove I’m not completely biased towards Marvel (I swear I’m not!), there’s the new TV series iZombie, due March 17th and inspired by the DC comic of the same name.  It features Liv (get it? ‘Live’?), a med student who now “lives” as part zombie and works at the coroners office to feed on brains…which, incidentally, gives her a glimpse into people’s memories and helps her solve crimes.

Super cool, huh?  It’s starting to look like the people who make these comics, shows and movies are starting to realize there are fangirls out there and we want some representation.  And it’s about time!

For a bigger look, try checking out The Secret History of Wonder Woman, the graphic novel Girl Comics or Action Chicks: New Images of Tough Women in Popular Culture.  And for a bit of an introduction to the rise of fangirls, try Geek Girls Unite: how fangirls, bookworms, indie chicks and other misfits are taking over the world or Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Lexicon of Life Hacks for the Modern Lady Geek.

Can’t wait for the Wonder Woman movie or the Captain Marvel movie.  I so wanna be part of the Carol Corps.

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Join the corps by starting here and here.  We salute you Captain!

Week of Geek Bonus: What’s going to rock your world in 2015?

by  | Category: It's here!, Movie Madness, Pop Culture, Randomness, Reading Lounge, Super Fan
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It’s a new year!  I hope you all had fun counting down, no matter where you were on this big, blue ball.

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But, now that the festivities are out of the way, it’s time to get down to business.  For a geek, a new year means new stuff to look forward to.  New movies, TV shows, books and other events that will soon make their way to our screens, bookshelves and…hopefully…our hearts.  Let’s take a gander at some of the things we can expect in 2015.

Marvel’s Agent Carter: A 10 part series featuring one of the most butt-kicking heroines to come out of the Marvel U.  I can’t wait to take this mission with Peggy.

Jupiter Ascending: I was interested in the Wachowski-siblings film last year when it was orginally set to release in the summer.  Then it got bumped to this February…which is never a good sign.  But still, I’m on board.  It just looks so cool!

Cinderella: A live-action treatment of one of Disney’s most famous princesses.  Here’s a special teaser that premiered at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Marvel’s Daredevil:  Set to premier sometime this spring on Netflix (due to their deal with Marvel, that will also produce shows based around characters like Jessica Jones, Luke CageIron Fist and The Defenders), the Man with no Fear will hopefully be redeemed after Ben Affleck last put on the red suit (it didn’t go over so well, hence the long overdue 2nd chance).

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Avengers Age of Ultron: Marvel’s Phase Two comes to an end with another outing with our favorite superhero team, this time facing off against a creepy robot.  The 2nd trailer will be out January 12.

Tomorrowland: Disney’s super secretive, George Clooney starring sci fi film.  We don’t know much about it…and that makes it all the more tantalizing.

Inside Out: Pixar’s latest, about what goes on in someone’s head when their emotions run the show.

Ant-Man: Just as soon as Phase Two ends, Phase 3 begins in July with one of the smallest heroes to come out of Marvel.  If you watch Agent Carter on Tuesday you’ll see the first teaser, but here’s a tiny peak first.  And when I say tiny, I mean that literally.

Admit it…you laughed.

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Here’s a more human-sized version of the tiny part.  We’ll see more on Tuesday.

Pixels: 1980s Video Game characters attack New York City.  I’ m so there!

 The Fantastic Four: Another Marvel property getting a 2nd chance is the first family of superheroes.  20th Century Fox is rebooting the series after two mediocre attempts, so here’s hoping they’ve got the formula right this time.

Goosebumps: Show of hands; who’s read Goosebumps books?  Though I can’t see it I imagine most, if not all of you, raised your hands (including me).  It’s been a right of passage for kids since 1992.  Now, Jack Black plays R. L. Stine and his monsters are unleashed on Greendale, Maryland, and it’s up to two kids to stop them.

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Jem and the Holograms: Okay, this is one may be just for me, as I watched this neon explosion when I was a kid, so I’m feeling nostalgic.  Still, JEM!

Peanuts: A computer animated version of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the whole gang.  The trailer alone has already conquered my heart.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: I’ve mentioned this before, but it still excites me to see what the world is going to be like come next December, when anticipation for Episode VII reaches a fever pitch.  And yep, here’s the trailer yet again.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell: Fangirl was, without a doubt, one of my favorite books of 2013.  Now Rowell is going super meta with this new book that will further explore the world of Simon Snow, the object of Cath’s fan love.  Can’t wait!

Give me some Sugar, baby!

Ash vs Evil Dead: Full disclosure; I’m an Evil Dead/Bruce Campbell fangirl.  I have the soundtrack to the musical version almost memorized.  I even have a mini Ash figure.

See?  Proof!

So I’m super stoked that both Campbell and original director/creator Sam Raimi is coming back for a TV series that catches up with Ash 30 years later as the titular spooks return to wreak havoc.

So, that’s only a few things happening this year.  Much more is coming out (Chappie, Insurgent, Jurassic World, Terminator: Genisys, The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, Mockingjay Part 2, Minions, Westworld, Victor Frankenstein [with Daniel Radcliffe], etc).  What have I left off?  Comments section is below.

So I wish you and yours a happy and healthy New Year.  2015 is gonna rock!

Week of Geek: We say Buh Bye to 2014

by  | Category: Pop Culture, Randomness, Super Fan
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So the ball is about to drop on yet another year.  Time rolls on.  Things end while other things begin.  Such is the natural order of things. But 2014 was quite the year for fandoms, pop culture and other things that keep us glued to our screens.  Here are a few highlights.

Weird Al was back in a big way!

Marvel gave us two hit movies (Captain America: The Winter Soldier AND Guardians of the Galaxy) that proceeded to make ALL the money.  And if that wasn’t enough they announced their upcoming Phase 3… …and found their Doctor Strange, and that last announcement made every fangirl heart in the world stop for a full second. Plus, dancing baby Groot!

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We said good bye to people like Robin Williams and franchises like The Hobbit.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge gave us a few laughs and lots of wet t-shirts, all for a good cause.  Here’s some of my favorites.

Stephen Colbert ended his show after 9 years.  Now where will we get our nightly dose of truthiness? Truthiness Photo

The Interview became the most talked about dumb little comedy movie ever, bringing up issues of freedom of speech, national security, cyber security and fear of retaliation from a whole other country.  Should a Seth Rogen movie garner this much attention?

And, of course, Star Wars trailer.

For me, though, I think 2014 will be known for three big things: The year I discovered Nerdist Industries, Chris Hardwick and @Midnight.

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And discovering Buzzfeed.

And the year my T-Shirt collection really got crazy.

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And, of course, lots of other things happened this past year.  What are some of your favorite moments I may have left off here?  Sound off in the comments section.  Let’s send 2014 off right.

Happy New Year Geeklings!  Be safe, have fun, and see you in 2015!

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Week of Geek Holiday Edition: I watch a bad Santa Claus movie so you don’t have to (you’re welcome)

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There is no shortage of holiday themed movies out there.

You’ve got your classics (A Christmas Carol, White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story), your more off-beat comedies (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Scrooged, Home Alone), more family-friendly fare (Disney’s A Christmas Carol, A Muppet Christmas Carol, The Polar Express, any number of holiday specials) and the weird stuff (The Nightmare Before Christmas, any Doctor Who Christmas special).  If I’ve left off your favorites, please post it in the comments.

And sure, these are all well and good, but someone, somewhere…it’s possible!…may be wondering Where can  I find a movie to suit my particular festive interests, namely Santa Claus, aliens, cheap rocket ships, cheap sets, ridiculous costumes, bad dialogue and worse acting.

Well look no further very-unlikely-person-I-just-invented, there IS a movie to suit your holiday needs.  May I introduce to you the lesser known 1964 penultimate classic Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

In a nutshell, a group of people from Mars kidnaps Santa Claus in order for him to spread good cheer among Martian children.  I’m not kidding.  This actually exists.

And since I was holed up at my place last night nursing a cold, what do I go and do?  When I have literally hundreds of other choices for festive movies?  I watched this.

But before you go WHYYYYYYYY?! I thankfully had a little help with this…in the form of a guy and two robots.  Let me also introduce you to, if you haven’t met them yet, the crew of Mystery Science Theatre 3000.

And now you’re all wondering What the heck was that?  I’m confusing you a lot right before the holidays, aren’t I?  Mystery Science Theatre 3000, often abbreviated as MST3K, was a comedy TV series that ran for over a decade, first on a small TV station on 1988, then Comedy Central, then the Sci Fi Channel until it was cancelled in 1999.

Basically, it’s about a dude and his robot friends who are shot into space and forced to watch bad movies as part of an experiment.  (Ah, VHS films.  For those who aren’t familiar, remember when Star Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy listened to music on a cassette tape?  VHS is the same idea, but with video).  But the guy and the robots, in an effort to keep from going crazy, keep a running commentary going through the whole movie, making smart aleck comments and submitting their own dialogue and sound effects throughout.  You see them as you would if you were sitting behind them a few rows away in a movie theatre.

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And so it was that I watched one of the few Sci Fi themed holiday movies, and one of the worst movies ever, with these guys making jokes all the way.  And it was HILARIOUS!  If laughter is the best medicine, than this certainly helped my cold.  The MST3K crew referenced Twin Peaks and Monty Python, had a song about a Patrick Swayze Christmas during one of their breaks, and were just so sarcastic I couldn’t help but love it.  Here’s a video of some of the highlights.

I had to be careful not to spit my tea out watching.

As for the movie itself, taken on it’s own merits…it was actually kind of cute in a cheesy, cheap kind of way.  The sarcastic side comments definitely helped, but I think I’d have enjoyed the movie on it’s own too.  You can watch it on IndieFlix, offered through VPL (sadly, without the robot commentary).

So I look forward to tracking down more MST3K versions of bad movies in the new year.  In mean time, THE HOLIDAYS ARE ALMOST HERE!  What movies will you be curling up in front of with egg nog and maybe a fire with the family?

Have a very Happy Holiday and see you next week!

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Music Minute: Time To Say Goodbye (A Farwell to Middle Earth)

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Bugs Bunny2 242x300 Photo“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.” – Tolkien

Well ladies and gentlemen, it comes down to this. After more than a decade our journeys through the wonderous lands of Middle Earth will finally be coming to an end. The yearly anticipated adventures of hobbits, dwarves, elves and men, of wars of rings and battles of immense armies will fade into that realm of storytelling and memory.

Recently the Powers The Be released the ending song for the last installment of the Hobbit Trilogy, The Battle of the Five Armies. Composed and preformed by Billy Boyd, the actor who brought that loveable rapscallion Pippin to life in the Rings films, this song was created to be the final farewell not just to the Hobbit but to all of the great Tolkien adventures.

Take a moment and let it all sink in. Excuse me for a moment. I need to grab another tissue.

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It is hard not to feel the urge to curl up into a tight ball and cry like the world is breaking every time this song is played. As previously mentioned in a past Music Minute the  influence of Middle Earth Pop Culturehood is astounding and wide-spread. So even though the final film will not be released until December 17th Tolkien fans have already started going into mourning. It will be a bittersweet moment when the houselights go up while the credits roll. After all the battles, the journeys, the losses and the victories it finally comes to journey’s end.

Unlike with the Potter, Star Wars, and Superhero franchises there are no more stories to tell. The author who brought the magic of a golden ring into our lives has been dead for a great many years and the source materials have run dry. Sure there are the short side-tales and the Silmarillion (The source of the entire history of Middle Earth) but the tales that revolve around the characters that have grown into dear and well-loved friends over the years have been told.

So this is it.

However nothing is ever truly over. Something as deeply loved and respected as Middle Earth will keep on in the hearts and minds of the fans. Books will be re-read and continuously discussed. The films will be marathoned with good company and good food. The music will be played from start to finish so that we can be transported back to strolling along the green rolling hillsides of the Hobbiton or galloping full-out across the plains of Rohan when Gondor calls for aid. Dwarven songs will be sung quietly on cold winter nights to remember those that fell defending their homes against terrible darkness. In coffee houses and pubs everywhere someone will take a moment and hum a tune about a cat and a fiddle or a Green Dragon.

The Soundtracks that Tell The Stories

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies (not yet released)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings

Lord of the Rings: Two Towers

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Lord of the Rings Symphony: Six Movements for Orchestra and Chorus

Unfortunately the Lord of the Rings Musical soundtrack is not available in North America but its songs are just as tale-telling and inspiring as anything that came from Howard Shore’s pen. This one sums up the Baggins Legacy in the straightforward and true nature of the Shire Folk.

These songs are our continuing link to what will be part of our past. Like the ballads and oral epics of old Middle Earth and all who dwell in it will be remembered through song as well as the written word.

It truly has been one great shared adventure.

One that began as it ended. With a hobbit.
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