Tag Archives: Disney

Marvel Studios, Just Take My Money.

Take it all, damn you. You're good, Marvel Studios. You're good.

Take it all, damn you. You’re good, Marvel Studios. You’re good. [Logo property of Marvel/Disney]

Marvel Studios seriously knows what to do to get my money, along with damn near everyone else’s. They know how to create some solid product, and by solid product I mean their movies. Ever since the first Iron Man film debuted in 2008, they’ve been raking in all the cash that every geek and nerd in the world is willing to shell out. Obviously, it didn’t stop with Iron Man either. They’ve been pretty steady with their films each year and it doesn’t look like they’re stopping anytime soon. I mean, they do have quite the catalog to work with.

So far there have been three Iron Man films, two Thor films, two Captain America films, an Incredible Hulk film, and an Avengers film that collected all of the heroes from the previous films into one gigantic, money-making extravaganza that, by all accounts, was one of the best comic books to film adaptations ever created. And now they have Guardians of the Galaxy releasing today, which looks freakin’ spectacular! I haven’t read a bad review about the film yet. It’s so damn good that Marvel announced a sequel with a confirmed release date (July 28th, 2017) and director (James Gunn will return to direct) a week before the film was even released. That says something. And from the trailers, exclusive looks, reviews, and interviews, not to mention the cast list (Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker, to name a few), I’ve become a new fan of GotG. I had absolutely no interest in this series before this film was announced, and now I don’t know how I wasn’t a fan of it. I’m sure this film is going to convert a lot more people into fans very soon.

If you haven’t seen a trailer for it yet, here ya go:

Also, I’d like to point out that Josh Brolin will be playing Thanos in this film, as well as any other that features the character, and I am insanely excited about that. I mean, I wanted him to be Batman, but this works too.

Marvel did the same thing for me with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Well, Marvel and Chris Evans. Before that film, I was a fan, but not a huge one. Cap was always one of the goody two shoes that didn’t really catch my attention.  I didn’t dislike him, but I wasn’t die-hard about him either. He wasn’t Batman or The Punisher; although, he was pretty badass in the Civil War story arc. With The First Avenger and The Avengers, my interest grew some. I definitely had a lot more respect for the character. But after The Winter Soldier, I was hooked. Thanks to that outstanding film and Evans’ stellar performance, I’m a lifelong Captain America fan. If anyone ever had doubts about him being cast as Cap, that film will shatter any and all doubts.

If you haven’t seen it, you need to see it. Here’s the trailer:

Seriously, this film became one of my all-time favorites rather quickly.

From the start, Marvel Studios hasn’t made a bad film and if they keep doing what they’ve been doing, they won’t ever. They’re making all the right choices with the writers and directors they hire and the talent they cast, as well as the choices they make involving scripts, character design, and pretty much any other decision involved in making their glorious films. And judging by the release schedule they’ve reserved for the coming years, they’re going to be making many more great decisions that’ll take even more of our money. They’re planning on releasing 2-3 films a year for the next five years, consisting of one sequel and 1-2 non-sequel film(s).

  • May 1, 2015 – Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • July 17, 2015 – Ant-Man
  • May 6, 2016 – Captain America 3 
  • July 8, 2016 – Doctor Strange
  • May 5, 2017 – Unknown
  • July 8, 2017 – Guardians of the Galaxy 2
  • November 3, 2017 – Unknown
  • May 4, 2018 – Unknown
  • July 6, 2018 – Unknown
  • November 2, 2018 – Unknown
  • May 3, 2019 – Unknown

There’s also the possibility of a Black Panther film, an Inhumans film, a third Avengers film, another Thor film, and possibly and Iron Man 4. And like I said, they have quite the catalog to work from. Marvel is unstoppable. DC can’t touch them. There are also rumors of a Hulk sequel which could potentially use the Planet Hulk/World War Hulk storylines. That would be beyond epic. They’re also trying to corner the television market with five new series (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Agent Carter, and Luke Cage) which are will also probably be huge hits for them. And if they can tweak Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. into a better show, they’ll dominate the small screen as well. Although Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, and Constantine are going to be tough competition.

So go ahead, Marvel, keep doing what you’re doing. Take my money and my dedication. You’ve earned it.

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The Doctor, The Muppets, and The Sequel That Should Not Be

None of the topics in the title are connected, just three things I wanted to talk about.

The Eighth Doctor preparing to drink the elixir that will turn him into the "War Doctor."

The Eighth Doctor preparing to drink the elixir that will turn him into the “War Doctor.” [image source: Wikipedia]

First off, The Doctor. More to the point, the Eighth Doctor. Watching The Night of the Doctor has left me wanting more from the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) and apparently I’m not the only one. An online petition has been created to try and convince the BBC to create an online series for Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor, a series he so rightfully deserves. It’s pretty close to its 15,000 supporter goal with less than 750 supporters to go. If you haven’t stopped by and signed it yet, do so now. I’m not really sure if this petition will make a difference in convincing the BBC and Steven Moffat to create the series, but it’s worth a shot. You know, never hurts to try and all that jazz.

For those of you that don’t know, Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor never got his own televised series because the 1996 revival from BBC and 20th Century Fox failed to meet expectations and the full revival never took off. However, McGann did make a name for himself as the Eighth Doctor by continuing his adventures through some wonderfully entertaining audio dramas from Big Finish Productions. If you haven’t heard them yet, I suggest giving them a listen. Recently, he made his return to the screen in The Night of the Doctor, where we find out just how the Eighth Doctor becomes John Hurt’s mysterious “War Doctor.” It was a welcome return and we should all be very lucky to see more of McGann’s Doctor.

Ricky Gervais is just one of the many celebrities appearing in Muppets Most Wanted

Ricky Gervais is just one of the many celebrities appearing in Muppets Most Wanted. [image source: Disney]

Second, The Muppets are back! After the success of The Muppets in 2011 (which I loved), it was inevitable that we would be granted a sequel that would be no less entertaining than the first. That’s where Muppets Most Wanted comes in. The new film finds Kermit in some trouble in Europe when he’s mistaken for a master criminal who has switch places him. Surprisingly, no one in the Muppet gang notices the difference. Now it’s up to Kermit to escape prison, find his evil doppelganger, and bring him to justice, not to mention convince the others that he’s the real Kermit. And in true Muppet style, it will be a musical comedy and there will be loads of celebrity appearances (including Disney’s unfortunate addition of some of their Disney Channel “talent”). This should be hilarious!

Here’s the official UK trailer for Muppets Most Wanted:

 

Lastly, and I shudder at the thought of this actually happening, some independent film producers are trying to make a sequel to It’s A Wonderful Life. Yes, you heard me right.

I'm sure if this sequel was ever made, George Bailey would jump off a bridge. [image source: Paramount]

I’m sure if this sequel was ever made, George Bailey would jump off a bridge. [image source: Paramount]

The rights to the Christmas classic–released over 60 years ago–are owned by Paramount Studios, and they are refusing grant any rights to let the sequel be made. They are doing everything they can to protect the integrity of the original. Thank you, Paramount. And Jimmy Stewart thanks you. Your actions in this matter give me hope that not every studio is a  full-on, money-grubbing whore. It’s a Christmas freakin’ miracle! There is no need for a sequel to this film. There never was and there never will be, especially this long after the film’s original release. To make one would be trampling on the beauty and heartfelt magic of the original.

You can read more about it here.

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The Disco and Rap Hall of Fame? I Think Not

rockroll-hall-of-fame

For quite a while, I have been carrying around a list of bands and artists that should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Yearly, the Rock Hall inducts five to seven artists or bands based on the following criteria:

“To be eligible for induction as an artist (as a performer, composer, or musician) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the artist must have released a record, in the generally accepted sense of that phrase, at least 25 years prior to the year of induction; and have demonstrated unquestionable musical excellence.

We shall consider factors such as an artist’s musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique, but musical excellence shall be the essential qualification of induction.”

The acts that meet the above requirements for induction are then placed on a ballot, and the voting members of the organization select the years inductees.

The 2013 inductees are an eclectic group. The Hall has finally resolved a complete injustice by accepting Rush into the fold. Power rockers Heart and influential bluesman Albert King have had their contributions acknowledged. Singer song writer  Randy Newman famous for stringing together various incomplete thoughts into songs that often feature in Disney films rounds out the list of current inductees that make some sense.

Also included for no good reason are angry rappers Public Enemy and disco queen Donna Summer. It pretty much goes without saying that I have no love for either genre, nor do I harbor any affection for these artists. There are still so many true rock acts left who are eligible for induction…Like:

 

Gram Parsons

Eligible since 1992

Key track: Return of the Grievous Angel,

Parsons’ blend of genre bending rock, country, folk, and jazz was an influence on the Rolling Stones (see “Wild Horses”) the Byrds, the Eagles, and the list goes on. His work with the Flying Burrito Bothers and The International Submarine Band invented the Country Rock/Southern Rock genre. Parsons’ referred to his blending of styles as “Cosmic American Music.”

 

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Eligible since 2009

Key track: Red Right Hand

Formed in 1993 by multi-instrumentalist Nick Cave, the Australian post glam dramatic sound of The Bad Seeds seemed to come out of nowhere. While David Bowie is an obvious influence, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are an all original. Not as whiny as The Smiths, not as heavy as The Cure, the group continues to produce fantastic concept albums. Cave is also a sought after writer and collaborator.

 

Warren-Zevon-Exciteable-Boy-album-artwork-hq-hd

Warren Zevon

Eligable since 1994

Key Track: Werewolves of London

The Hunter S. Thompson of folk rock, Warren Zevon is a true musician’s musician. A lyricist unmatched in modern music with an instrumental ability trained by Stravinsky and honed with songwriting royalty like Jackson Browne. Warren Zevon never sold a lot of records and never received a lot of radio play, but many Hall of Famer’s count him as an influence.

 

Cheap Trick

Eligible since 2002

Key Track : I Want You to Want Me

The Japanese Press has often referred to this Illinois band as the American Beatles. Cheap Trick possessed an ability to be a throwback band while maintaining a pop sensibility. Truly until their Live at Budokan Cheap Trick was really no big deal. The live version of I Want You to Want Me is the number one reason for their inclusion here.

 

6-Dire-Straits

Dire Straits

Eligable since 2003

Key Track: Money For Nothing

Let me explain this in a way that our younger readers might understand: Dylanesque vocals and Claptonesque guitars led to Beiberesque sales and radio play for Mark Knopfler and company. So Far Away, Sultans of Swing and Walk of Life alone should rate the Hall of Fame. Their contributions to the video format though dated now were unmatched in the 80s.

 

 

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After Going Back to Wonderland, Do We Really Need to Return to Oz?

Oz: The Great and Powerful.

Michelle Williams as Glinda. [source: totalfilm.com]

Once again, Disney feels the need to venture into another fantastical world with an eccentric director as our tour guide. This time, however, it’s thankfully not Tim Burton, and Johnny Depp is nowhere to be found. Disney has chosen Sam Raimi as their kooky auteur-of-the-moment and James Franco as their star. He plays Oscar Diggs, also known as The Great and Powerful Oz, a small-time magician who becomes the savior of the Land of Oz. Rounding out the cast is Rachel Weisz as Evanora (The Wicked Witch of the East), Mila Kunis as Theodora (The Wicked Witch of the West), and Michelle Williams as Glinda (The Good Witch of the South).

The film is actually a prequel to the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland. It tells the story of how Oscar ended up in Oz and the events that lead to him becoming “The Wizard.” From the trailer, you can see he gets caught up in a tornado, just like Dorothy, whilst hot-air ballooning away from the black-and-white, pre-technicolor Kansas to accomplish greater things. Once through the twister, he finds himself in a strange new place, and in color, where he must battle an evil witch and save the inhabitants of this fantastical new world.

Seriously…WTF?! [source: rottentomatoes.com]

Although I’m a bit excited to revisit The Emerald City, I’m a bit leery to take the trip after Disney’s last “magical” journey, Alice in Wonderland. I didn’t hate the film, but by that point, I had my fill of Burton/Depp/Bonham Carter collaborations. It was a visually beautiful film, though. The costumes, characters designs, and set designs were all incredible. Except for Depp’s Mad Hatter. I enjoyed the way he played him, but not the way that he looked  like a cross between Madonna and a cracked-out clown.

The title of the film also should’ve been changed. There was a lot of confusion as to whether the film was a remake or a sequel. Upon viewing the film, it was easy to see that it was a sequel, but many were still perplexed. I overheard a lot of angry people talking about how it was a completely different story than the original, and Disney ruined it because they changed the story. The story wasn’t changed, just continued. In all fairness, it would have made more sense to call the film Through the Looking Glass or something other than Alice in Wonderland. It would’ve helped with a lot of the confusion and anger.

Thankfully, Disney is not making the same mistake twice, and hopefully, people won’t see the word “Oz” and think this is just a remake.

I will admit that I am a bit more excited for this film than I was for Alice, even though I’m more a fan of the story of Alice. However, I am still skeptical. Sam Raimi is one my favorite directors, but he has made some stink bombs (i.e. Spiderman 3, Drag Me to Hell), so there’s a chance this film might take a nosedive into the Poo-town City Pool. His good films (i.e. Evil Dead trilogy, Spiderman 1&2, The Gift, The Quick and The Dead) do outweigh the bad ones, but after Spiderman 2, most of us thought Spiderman 3 was going to be phenomenal; it was nothing but a huge letdown.

James Franco as Oz. [source: ifc.com]

Strangely, James Franco playing the lead does not worry me. He’s quickly become one of my favorite actors and is a greater talent than most give him credit for. I believe he will carry this film quite well, and his supporting cast, especially the actresses cast as the witches, will make his performance stronger. I’m not worried about the visuals or designs either. I think this film will look stunning, better than Alice.

I’m not gonna hold my breath, thinking this film is going to be the greatest film ever, but I will say that I am eager to see how this all turns out. And I hope it turns out well. I don’t need another film taking a crap on a favorite story from my childhood. I need one that’ll knock the dust off and polish it up, give it a new shine.

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Alright, Disney. Here’s What You Need to Do With Star Wars.

Since the announcement of Disney’s most recent purchase, fanboys young and old have been at odds as to whether this acquisition is a good thing or a bad thing. Some may think it blasphemous, but I think it’s a good thing.

[source: geek.com]

When Disney bought Marvel some time ago, I was greatly skeptical. I was going on the belief that they were going to ruin my childhood, due to their past decisions to make sub-par sequels to the classic animated films I grew up watching, nearly 20+ years after the originals were released. My thinking was that if they have no problem half-assing their way through those sequels, even having the nerve to want to make them, what would they do to my comic book superheroes? Needless to say, they proved me wrong. Marvel Entertainment has only gotten better, especially the films.

So when the news broke that they purchased all of LucasArts, I was pretty excited. Even more so when they announced Episode 7 in 2015. Huzzah, I say!

But in order for this new pairing to be absolutely worth it, some things need to happen.

[source: geekologie.com]

First, and I’m not sure if this has happened already, make Princess Leia an official Disney Princess. Royal treatment and all. Add her to the line-up and have her strolling around the theme parks with the rest of them, greeting the kiddies with a sarcastic wit that we know and love from our favorite Alderaan princess. What better way to improve the Disney experience?

Second, add a new section to the theme parks – A Star Wars section! All Star Wars, all the time. Not just the Star Wars Weekends that they’ve been doing, a year-round set of attractions. If they have to, build on to the damn parks. I want it to be its own park. And just replace Euro Disney with Star Wars. Everyone will be so much happier and I’m sure it would greatly improve business.

Third, bring the Star Wars Universe into the Kingdom Hearts Universe. SquareEnix just needs to scrap whatever they have for KH3 right now and start from scratch. I’ll wait. It would totally be worth it. Think about it….Lightsaber Keyblades! Sora and Luke Skywalker vs. Sephiroth and Darth Vader in one of the greatest sword fights ever! The epicness could not be rated, it would be off the charts. This needs to happen. And while they’re at it, since Disney also owns Marvel, they could bring in the Marvel Universe as well. Make it a three-part game.

How great would this be? [source: thefw.com]

Fourth, let Pixar make a series of animated Star Wars films. Freak yes! There would be no end to the greatness of those films. Everything they do is gold, nay platinum, so give them a chance. A movie about Han and Chewie’s adventures before the original trilogy would be amazing.

Finally, the new trilogy or trilogies. Make them worth it. Make them as good, if not better than the originals. Make us all believers again and make the naysayers eat their words of hate and disbelief. Star Wars fans need these new films to be beyond spectacular in order heal the hurt we felt after the lackluster debacles that were the prequels. So choose your writers, directors, producers, and especially actors wisely and don’t fail us.

It’s a short list of demands and some might think that I’m asking for too much but I think I’m asking for just enough. I know you can do it, Disney. The Force is strong with you.

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Raising a Geekling: Enough Pink!

This is my first go-around with a small girl child, and I’ve noticed quite a difference.

Shocking, I know. But, of the three main differences between girls and boys, I’m going to focus on one that irritates my pants the most: Clothing.

Our previous attempt at duplication yielded a male child, and I discovered a severe lack of selection when it came to fancy duds and clothing in general. Even around Christmas time when girls are expected to wear giant, puffy red confections, boys are shown in a pair of khakis…if you’re lucky. More often than not, it’s some jeans with a seasonal long sleeved t-shirt.

Preposterous! (I’ve strolled around many a store shouting “Preposterous!” and “Bully!” on more than one occasion. Truth.)

I managed to find sufficient clothing for my son, however, and have since settled into a comfortable rhythm centered around superheroes, trains, and random collared shirts. He’s a fan of at least two of the three, so I count that as a win for everybody involved.

When my daughter was born, I was honestly excited for what awaited Girls get racks and racks of clothing at the store! Racks and racks, I say!

I eagerly dove in and started selecting all kinds of fripperies associated with baby-dom. I was also blessed enough to receive lots of gifts and hand-me-downs, rounding out my child’s wardrobe for the first several months of her life.

Image courtesy of tvstoreonline.com.

But, now, she’s seven and a half months old, and I’M SICK OF PINK! And purple to a lesser extent. Pink’s the main fiend, here, though. Why can’t little girls have…well…less girly stuff?

So, I poked around Ye Olde Interwebz and found some stuff to put on my wish list.

Enjoy!

Don’t give me a princess shirt, give me Wonder Woman! Amazon princesses are clearly much better than Disney ones. I don’t even have to defend myself, here. I’m just clearly right. They may wear less, but they kick serious butt!

But, clearly, not all princesses are lame. I think we can agree on that.

Another princess I’m totally fine with goes by the name of Leia. A little Star Wars, anyone? Yes, please! I would like for my daughter to sport a hat like this one. Made to look like Leia’s famous side buns, this crocheted hat is pure geekery cuteness!

I’m saving my credits for that. Seriously.

I’m also a huge fan of almost anything relating to steampunk!

Image courtesy of denice3069 on Etsy.

It’s kinda hard to find baby steampunk stuff, though, since most of the merchandise out there is for tarts who want to hoist their mainsails and throw out their shingle if you know what I mean (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more!). But, Etsy comes to the rescue! Yay!

Check out these ADORABLE Victorian baby booties! D’aw!  As we all know, Victorian fashion is a gateway drug to steampunk.

Sigh!

I think I wrote this article more for me than you. I needed to prove to myself that there are alternate clothing choices out there. And it’s not that I’m not against girly; I’m not against fluffy. But, there’s a line!

Have you found any awesome baby clothes lately? Share your treasures in the comments and fight the PINK!

 

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Disney Buying Lucasfilm

Umm. Huge news. Disney announced that they are buying  Lucasfilm.

And STAR WARS: EPISODE 7 will release in 2015.

Holy. Crap.

It worked well for Marvel. I hope it works out for Star Wars too.

 

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The Week in Geek: Oct. 19, 2012

I’m taking time out of my busy birthday (that I’m sure you care about so much) to let you know what we’ll be talking about at my party.

Snow White and Death by Amy Mebberson

Uno is a great way to pass the time waiting on a prince. Illustrator Amy Mebberson has some brilliant work on her site and Tumblr. Everything from pinups to modernist posters to cute pincesses. Check her work out! Image courtesy of Amy Mebberson.

First and foremost, as if there were any other news this week, AGENT PHIL M*****F***** COULSON IS COMING BACK!

Speaking of people with M*****F***** as a middle name, Bill Murray crashed some dude’s kickball game because he’s Bill Murray. If you have to ask why, you’ve clearly never heard of a Bill Murray Story.

After many years of having games played with our hearts in ways that that Backstreet Boys could never have imagined, it looks like Ghostbusters 3 is moving forward….without Venkman. Here’s a history of this film’s risen from the grave yet again.

When he isn’t impersonating Honey Boo Boo Child, Christopher Walken is playing a pretty mean Boarderlands 2.

You know those TED Talks that we all think will change the world but secretly know won’t (and we’re actually only checking out because it looked like it was about dinosaurs or sex or dinosaur sex)? Well, The Onion has started their version creatively called “Onion Talks.”

Grover Batman by Amy Mebberson

Grover’s not just the monster at the end of the book, he’s also the night! Image courtesy of Amy Mebberson.

There’s a new plot summary for Iron Man 3 out and it’s as vague as you assumed it would be! Excise “Iron Man” from this paragraph and it literally could be about any movie ever.

As the Ponds swim off to new lakes and streams, Rob won’t be weeping for them.

Lots of people get paid lots of money to be on the teevee, but the Internet would respectfully disagree with who pulls in the big bucks. Here’s how they’d like to see it in their happy little world.

No, sir, I do want to put these monsters in my pocket! I don’t care if they’re called Pokemon! Those realistic illustrations are just too freaky! I said good day!

Liberal level 9000 that I am, you should be proud that I waited this far in the article to link to the Binders Full of Women Tumblr.

Capt Kirk-met by Amy Mebberson

Captain Kirk-met directs his ship to the Pig Planet for reasons unknown to his crew. Image courtesy of Amy Mebberson.

In news that ruins your hypothetical childhood, if you ever imagine what life would be like if you were nine last summer, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Helicarrier  wouldn’t work. You can trust them because their website has the word “tech” in is and it is on YouTube.

J. Fortune has learned more from the space dive than just that it is really cool when someone jumps to the planet from space, a’la the most recent Star Trek.

The Avengers are back….as pugs. And it’s adorable. And it’s why the Internet exists. And the end, when Pug Thor can’t take off his helmet is hilarious.

Julie wants you to remember to takes the Zombie Survival Guide’s advice and organize before they rise.

The secret to getting Wolverine claws is to come up with a catchy viral K-Pop song. Who knew?

New York Comic Con was last week, and people were in costume, cosplaying as we in the geek industry would call it. Sorry to throw jargon at you. I don’t like to brag, but I’m preeety geeky. Aynwho, here and here are some badass cosplayers. Gabrielle agrees that costumes are for more than Halloween!

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The Week in Geek: Oct. 12, 2012

I had a ton of great links. Then I accidentally exited the window and didn’t realize it for a few minutes. Now you’re stuck with what I remembered finding. Sorry, the internet is a fickle fig.

mario+luigi droids

What makes you think we’re the droids you’re looking for? Itsa me, Luigi, sir! Image courtesy of Andrea Gerstmann Art.

You’re not the only ones trying to figure out what to be for Halloween. Professional Caricaturist Andrea Gerstmann gives everyone’s favorite droids a costumed makeover.  (via Neatorama)

These brother’s built an absurdly detailed Lego Batcave with more than 20,000 pieces over the course of six months. That’s impressive, but what I really want to know is if they managed to do all that and never step on a brick barefoot. (via Kotaku)

TJ has to make Sophie’s Choice…between two games.

John Gurdon won the 2012 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine and is generally considered to be, in technical terms, a Science Beast. However, in 1949, a high school teacher said pursuing a career as a scientist would be a “sheer waste of time.” Guess what Gurdon now has framed?

The New York Times has a fabulous profile on lady-geek entrepreneur/ voice actress Ashley Eckstein and her geek-with-boobies-friendly clothing company, Her Universe. Note: My birthday is coming up, and my closet is conspicuously lacking this.

Arrow premiered and now it looks like I won’t be the only one on staff watching the CW anymore!

oscar + bigbird droids

I’m going to make a Mitt Romney joke here because I’m liberal and topical! Image courtesy of Andrea Gerstmann Art.

The PS1’s graphics often looked like the “Money for Nothing” video, and the licensed games had a tendency to be a giant ball of suck. Topless Robot has six licensed games that not only rock, but still stand up to playing.

Yeah, I lack the skill to make these spectacular geek-o-lanterns. Could I interest you in a charmingly lopsided face? (via MentalFloss)

Just when you think the world couldn’t get any better, what with the crunchy leaves, the pumpkin spice lattes, and my wedding coming up (You know you care), Pixar releases a charming short, “Partysaurus Rex.” (via /Film)

In related news, Pixar has created a delightful website for Monsters University. Not the movie, the university the monsters go to in the movie. Oh. Pixar, thank you for filling my week with win! (via TDW)

Thinking thoughts about Angry Birds: Star Wars Gabrielle has.

Remember the eccentric billionaire who sad, “Bah!” to science and reason and set out to build his own Jurassic Park? Well science and reason have respectfully replied with a logical smackdown of your childhood hopes and dreams.

Steampunk and crafty (Aren’t all Steampunks somewhat crafty, or is that a stereotype?) people alike will be interested in Needles and Artifice, a book of Steampunk knitting patters.

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Top Four “Halloween” Families

[Writer’s note: In honor of the approaching spooky holiday, I thought it fitting to write a Halloween-themed article. More than likely, you’re gonna see a lot of these from me as my favorite holiday gets closer. Get ready for some sweet, sweet, Halloween goodness!]

By “Halloween” Families, I mean the celluloid families that embody the spirit of the season (and not just during the season), whether it be because they’re scary or macabre or just plain spooky. Plus, they’ve got the family element going on. So let’s start this puppy off with:

 

The Sanderson Sisters [Disney]

4. The Sanderson SistersHocus Pocus– One of the best family-friendly Halloween films ever made and one of my personal favorites. And what makes it even better is that it’s enjoyable all year round. Hocus Pocus tells the story of a teenage boy in a new town who accidentally brings three witches back to life 300 years after their deaths. It’s now up to him, his sister, and a new friend to save the town, and possibly the world, from them. The film stars Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker as the sisters, giving three of the funniest performances of their careers (Which isn’t saying much for SJP because she hasn’t been funny since then). One of the best parts about the film is the banter between the sisters, especially after they’ve woken up from their three-century sleep. They bicker and fight like siblings do, and even though they’re evil, they still look out for each other because “sisters gotta stick together.” Or something like that. It’s not a scary film, more humorous, but the sisters are a bit out there and also, they’re witches. And nothing says “Halloween” more than witches.

Otis, Baby, and Capt. Spaulding [Source: Wikipedia]

3. The Firefly ClanHouse of 1,000 Corpses/The Devil’s Rejects. To me, pretty much everything Rob Zombie does is golden, and these films are no exception. These films are probably the best things he’s ever created besides White Zombie’s Astro Creep: 2000 and his solo, Hellbilly Deluxe. The films tell the story of the Firefly Clan, one of the most sadistic families you will ever bear witness to. Mama Firefly, Baby, Otis, and Captain Spaulding are four of the most sick and twisted individuals ever to grace the screen. I mean, what kind of “normal” individual would kill someone and then turn them into an art project, a half-man, half-fish sculpture, and then show him to his friends? Otis B. Driftwood, of course, but he’s nowhere near “normal.” Trust me, they do a lot more messed up stuff in both of these films, that was just one small example. I consider them a “Halloween” family because they’re scary and creepy as all hell, they’re deranged killers but still protective of each other (like a family should be), and Capt. Spaulding dresses like a clown on a regular basis. Enough said.

The Munsters [CBS]

2. The Munsters. I’m not quite sure if I really need to explain myself here. I mean, if you know who the Munsters are, then as soon as I mentioned “Halloween” family, you should have thought of them. The dad (Herman) is a Frankenstein monster, the Mom (Lily) and Grandpa (Grandpa) are vampires, and the son (Eddie) is a werewolf. They also have a human niece (Marilyn) that lives with them. I have always found it strange that a Frankenstein monster and a vampire mated and made a werewolf, but never thought it strange that they had a human niece (Marilyn was said to be from Lily’s side of the family, so it’s logical). They were a family of monsters, living normal lives. Herman had a 9-to-5 job, Lily was a stay-at-home wife and mother, Grandpa was a scientist, Eddie went to public school, and Marilyn went to college. They just wanted to live “everyday lives” like the rest of the population, but in their own peculiar way, which typically produced many hilarious moments.

The Addams Family [ABC]

1. The Addams Family. Not just the best “Halloween” family, but my favorite family of all time. There is no one quite like the Addams Family, and let’s hope it stays that way. The reason that I love the Addams Family so much is that, unlike The Munsters, they don’t really care about fitting in with the general population. They’re just going to do whatever they please and damn the rest. I know Wednesday and Pugsley attend public school but they’re not quite as accepted as Eddie Munster was. I think their classmates were much more frightened of  them. The kids attending public school seems to be the only “normal” thing they do. They’re actually a very loving family, even though they may look like serial killers. Gomez and Morticia are quite passionate about each other– inlove since day one. They love their children very much and are always encouraging them. Wednesday and Pugsley are playful and active and actually quite creative. Uncle Fester is the fun-loving, adventurous uncle that every family needs. Grandmama cooks and provides sage knowledge and wisdom for everyone. Thing is always around to lend a helping hand (pun intended). Even Lurch, the butler, is considered part of the family and loves everyone as if they were of his own blood. And they’re very welcoming of anyone into their world, as long as you’re accepting of them. They’re the model family, just with a darker tone. They’re creepy and kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re altogether ooky. They’re the Addams Family.

 

Who are some of your favorite “Halloween” families?

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Comic Book Movies: Marvel’s Future Looks Bright, DC’s Looks Dim

Pardon me whilst I rant for a moment.

So what does DC have now that Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is done? Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel? A Justice League movie? That seems to be about it. What does Marvel have? Sequels to Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Avengers, plus a Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Advantage: Marvel.

Even though I’m hopeful for the new Superman film (due to Snyder directing, Nolan producing, and the amazing cast it has), I’m still quite fearful for DC. Their Wonder Woman show didn’t even make it off the ground, their Flash movie is constantly stuck in limbo, and Green Arrow: Escape from Super Max is never going to happen. And let’s not forget the bomb that was Green Lantern. Yeah, they’re not exactly knocking ’em outta the park. They have plans for Hawkman and Aquaman movies, and there are even rumors that they may even reboot Batman AGAIN, but they probably won’t happen until the Justice League movie gets released, which may or may not ever happen. Other than Man of Steel, the only thing they really have going for them is Arrow on the CW, and honestly that’s only there to fill the void that Smallville left when it ended its 10-season run. Not that I think it will or anything.

DC has really got to step-up their game in order to catch up with Marvel. Now, I know that Nolan’s Batman trilogy has made billions of dollars, and those movies are pretty much three of the greatest comic book adaptations ever made, but seriously, that’s only one character. Marvel is having major success with multiple characters. The Avengers (in solo and joint films) are kicking ass and taking names in the box office and there’s only more success to come. As I mentioned, all the sequels, as well as an Ant-Man film, and a Daredevil reboot should be in the works sometime soon thanks to film rights reverting back to Marvel from FOX. There’s even a new Hulk television series in the works, as well as AKA Jessica Jones, Mockingbird, Cloak and Dagger, and The Punisher. Advantage: Marvel.

I know some of you reading this are gonna say, “Well Marvel has made some crappy films! Ever heard of Ghost Rider?” Yes I have. But Ghost Rider, as well as its sequel, came from FOX. As did X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: Wolverine Origins. Spider-man 3 came from Sony and I believe Blade: The Series came from New Line. See what I’m saying here. Marvel Studios makes the good stuff, that’s who I’m talking about. The actual crap-tastic films have come from other studios. Once Marvel decided to go into the film production business for themselves, things got better. And it didn’t hurt that they were bought by Disney and now have their backing. But I’m not saying DC should step away from Warner Bros. and start producing their own stuff, although it is an idea.

What I’m saying (and I realize that I haven’t actually pointed this out yet) is that DC needs to stop trying to do things the Marvel way. They don’t need to make a Justice League film right now, they just need to make better movies. Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises were all steps in the right direction. Man of Steel might be as well. And a few solid steps are all you need to get off and running, but don’t rush and trip up. Start working with better directors and writers, cast your characters properly, keep things smart and realistic (or as realistic as you possibly can),  and stay true to the comics (solid stories have already been written, you just have to look for them). This is all DC has to do and [most] fans will be happy. [Editor’s note: Die-hard fans can never be pleased. NEVER.] Get to work on The Flash, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman movies. Don’t worry about rebooting Batman for a long time. And if Christian Bale won’t play him in the Justice League movie, get someone else who will do him justice [pun intended]. But don’t worry about his backstory, I think by now we’ve got that part figured out.

I mean c’mon, who wouldn’t want to see a movie about these two? [image property: DC Comics]

Stop worrying about quantity and start worrying about quality, DC. Once you do that, the money will just roll in. Sure Marvel has a good lead on you, but that’ll happen when your only opposition is sitting with their heads up their butts, waiting for a miracle to happen. Well your miracle happened, his name is Christopher Nolan. Follow his example, make better comic book movies, and stop screwing around.

And would it kill you to make a Booster Gold/Blue Beetle flick?

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