Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Defendere Vivos A Mortuis

There are many zombie combat guides currently in circulation but there's only one that will actually help you fight and defeat a zombie and that's Roger Ma's The Zombie Combat Manual: A Guide to Fighting the Living Dead.

As Muse mentioned in our holiday gift guide, this book is a must read for those of you invested in honing your zombie combat skills. Ma's book is not just some cute, flimsy manual; it's a legitimate guide to helping you kick some undead ass.

The Zombie Combat Manual prepares you for every type of zombie confrontation--with a complete analysis of how to fight every type of zombie in every type of situation. The guide gives readers a breakdown of zombie misconceptions, best weapons and combat techniques, and even shares firsthand zombie encounters and combat reports.

Let's face it, the end is nigh and we all need to be prepared for the inevitable. So get yourself a copy of Roger Ma's The Zombie Combat Manual: A Guide to Fighting the Living Dead and also check out the Zombie Combat Club website for more info and tips. See full post

Friday, December 17, 2010

All Things Fangirl Holiday Gift Guide 2010

Oops. Christmas is in a week. HOORAY FOR EXPEDITED SHIPPING!

This year's list is a mix of things I want, things I own, things I've already bought for my friends, and things I've seen on other gift guides that made me squee. So if you're stuck in your search for the perfect geeky gift for your fannish friends, look no further - we've got you covered.

Extra Lives by Tom Bissell

A must for any video game fan in your life, Extra Lives manages to alleviate any guilt one may feel dedicating hours upon hours to killing zombies, marrying NPCs & assassinating some Creed (just go with it). The book makes a clear & concise argument that video games are not only art, but are capable of telling stories more personally & profoundly than any other art form can. I read the book in three days, but it could have been one if I hadn't purposefully stopped myself. I couldn't recommend it more highly! Buy it here, $15

Time Traveler's Calendar

This calendar takes 95 time travel occurrences and places them on a single timeline. Watch thousands of years of time travel take place over the course of 12 months!

Includes favorites such as Back to the Future, Terminator, Lost and Chrono Trigger!
Yeah, that's a must own. And I own one. Buy one for yourself here, $20. Hat Tip: Slashfilm

Pride & Prejudice Fleece Sweatshirt

I AM SO OBSESSED WITH THIS. I want this so bad. Like, beyond all wanting of anything. It's my favorite style of sweatshirt for one of my favorite books/love stories of all time. I ache with desire for this sweatshirt. ACHE. Buy it for me, or well, people you know in actual life, here - $42 (42! the meaning of life! it's a sign!). The fine folks that make this sweatshirt, Out of Print, make A LOT of awesome shirts & sweatshirts, all featuring "iconic & out of print" book covers. I highly encourage browsing their catalog!

Cinders At Home Cooking Clothes

A delightful Etsy shop featuring aprons, pot holders, and more made from classic geeky bedsheets & the like. My personal favorite was a Star Wars New Hope sweetheart apron that sold today...fingers crossed it's because someone bought it for me...that's TOTALLY plausible, right? But if you know someone who cooks and is fan of Nightmare Before Christmas, Star Wars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mario, Zelda, etc. this is the Etsy shop for you. Click here to check out her goods - $16-$39

Sweet 80s Movie Print Set

If you are a fan of Retowhale on Etsy (we were all about her director coasters in last year's gift guide), you may want to check out her 80s Movie Print Set. The artwork is also available on coasters, but not in time for Christmas, I'm afraid. But if you are interested in her prints, she can get them to you by the 23rd if you order today, the 17th! Other available prints include Rushmore, Pulp Fiction & The Royal Tenenbauns. Click here to buy one - $24.

 80s Filmography Shirt

A different kind of tribute to the films of the 80s, this time on a t-shirt, minimalist in style, and focusing on a broader range of genres. For your friend who identifies with being a geek, or at least film geek, but hasn't yet taken the step toward wearing it proudly, this shirt is a grade a geek garb gateway drug. What did I just type. I'm actually not even sure I can name all the movies on there, which means it's even cooler than I am. You should buy it. Here. $20. Hat Tip: Io9

Comic Wallets

Super cool shop that creates wallets out of comic book pages. Right now they have wallets made from 8 Marvel titles, 11 DC titles, plus Simpsons, Star Wars, Walking Dead, Scott Pilgrim, Transformers and more. The perfect gift for any comic lover whose wallet may be looking a little worn down. Buy them here, $10-$30.

Little Otsu Anything

Discovered the Little Otsu site thanks to the Tribeca Film Festival's Gift Guide and I absolutely adore everything they make - to do lists, planners, film notebooks, and so on. They're inexpensive, quirky, unique & practical. A great gift for the Type A geeks in your life. Check out all their items here - $10-$16

Game of Thrones/Walking Dead/Hunger Games/Green Lantern/Powers

We all have those friends that love to be up to date on whatever the next big Geek thing will be. Surprise that friend with not only your generosity, but your knowledge of both them & the geek world around you by tapping into the zeitgist with one of the books listed above. Game of Thrones for the fantasy film/tv lovers, Walking Dead for anyone watching it (so, everyone), Hunger Games for the sci fi film fans, Green Lantern TPBs, (the Geoff Johns era, staring with Secret Origin & Rebirth), for the superhero movie lovers, and if you REALLY want to be ahead of the game, some Powers books, for fans of either superheros or crime/mystery who don't even know yet how much they are going to love the forthcoming FX show. $10-$20, anywhere, just give em a google.

Eco Friendly Tote Bags

Celebrities, art, landmarks, subway stops, pets - the list of images printed on these tote bags goes on and on and on - 175 pages worth of on and on in fact, so if you're super stuck, this is the place to go. The Anderson Cooper bag featured above happened to crack me up, but it doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of this sites' offerings. Click here to browse - $18.

Arclight Gift Card

Obviously this requires that the recepient live in Los Angeles, but for a film lover who isn't a journalist (and thusly on every screening list) - what's better than free movies at the best movie theater chain in the country? I mean, you know, I'll take one at least. Buy em here - $5-$200.

Lost Encyclopedia

We all have those friends who love Lost and will continue to love Lost, questionable final season or not (for the record, I loved it), for the rest of ever. This comprehensive encyclopedia is a wonderful addition to any Lost lovers collection and can maybe even help clear up any lingering questions...? I own it. I love it. Buy it here - $25.
Lego Hogwarts Set

A perfect gift for that geek couple in your life, with kid or without. If anyone says they don't like legos, they aren't a real person. Or a real geek. Or a human. Whatever, it's nonsense, is my point. This amazingly awesome I want it set is a great project for couples or roommates to work on while sipping on hot chocolate during the holiday season. Or while sipping on whiskey turning whenever. It's expensive, but it's LEGO HOGWARTS. Buy it here - $150.

Character Clinks

This gift would be geared towards your geek friends who happen also to be big into the wine scene and/or hosting events. The Clinks Etsy shop has plenty of fun wine (and beer!) clinks to make sure no one loses track of their drinks at a party. My favorite part of the Mad Men set is the inclusion of Dick Whitman. Loltown. Other sets include James Bond, Star Wars, and The Beatles. To check out the complete collection, head here - $17-$34

Zombie Combat Manual

I mean, you gotta be prepared right? If watching The Walking Dead is starting to make you question your ability to survive a zombie outbreak (please let their never be a zombie outbreak), pick up this book and get a learnin'. Buy it on Amazon - $11

Comic Location Art Prints

Wow. Gorgeous, right? I want this. I want this on my wall! But I can't put something like this on a wish list OR buy it for myself...I need to hope someone randomly comes across it and decides to get it for me. Such is the case with all decorative wall hangings I suppose. But man oh man do I love this. The artist, Justin Van Genderen, also made prints for Metropolis, New York & Neo Tokyo. See them all here. $18.

Back to the Future Card Game

For the film geek who is ALSO a board game nerd. Like me. Citadels is my jam. So Citadels + Back to the Future = let's DO this thing. Buy it here. $16 See full post

Thursday, December 9, 2010

15 Year Old Muse Predicts The Oscars

Was just looking through my old files for the Fan Fiction I wrote in middle school and stumbled across this Oscar article I wrote for my school newspaper when I was 15. It was in regards to the 73rd Annual Academy Awards, for the films released in 2000 - telecast airing in March of 2001. Below I have reprinted the article.

It's equal parts cringe-worthy (you can tell I read A LOT of Oscar articles and think I know what I'm talking about) and insightful for a 15 year old (shhhh, it is, sort of). My personal top five seems to consist of Wonder Boys, Almost Famous, Quills, Requiem for a Dream & Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. ... How did Crouching Tiger make my top 5? Interesting. And I REALLY loved Kate Hudson in Almost Famous. In retrospect however, that may be her only great performance, so I'm glad she lost the Oscar.

Read on if you dare!

Well, everyone, it’s that time of year again! On February 13th at 5:00 AM the Oscar race officially began, showcasing some of the most original and entertaining movies we’ve seen in a long time. This years nominations run the gamut in variety, from serious, involving movies about matters of life and death to action-filled, sometimes mystical movies that took us back to another time and place. It’s been forever since an Oscar race was this diverse, and even more odd is the fact that in no categories, excluding Best Actress, is there a shoe-in. With almost every critic disagreeing with each other, this year will prove to be incredibly unpredictable, at times surprising, and just maybe, historic.
Some of the nominations alone have made history. The sweet fable, “Chocolat” surprised everyone by managing to nab a nomination for best picture thanks to Miramax’s aggressive early campaign, yet “Cast Away” and “Almost Famous”, both backed by the very powerful Dreamworks, were snubbed in that category. Another interesting fact, making history this year, is director, Steven Soderbergh not only being nominated twice in the best director category but having both of his films be nominated for best picture. But, the biggest news of all this year is the fact that a foreign film garnered 10 nominations, 2 away from having the most. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, a Taiwanese film entirely in subtitles is nominated in such prestigious categories as Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture. If it wins best film of the year, it will be the first time ever a foreign film has received such an honor. But, will it win? Many people across the country are now debating over what film will take top honors and what actors will walk away with shiny new Oscars. Here are my predictions and thoughts on the Oscar race this year: What will win, what should win, and what shouldn’t even be nominated.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Stephan Gaghan – “Traffic”
Wang Hui Ling, James Schamus and Tsai Kuo Junh – “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”
Ethan Coen and Joel Coen – “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Steve Kloves – “Wonder Boys”
Robert Nelson Jacobs – “Chocolat”
Can I just say, if you haven’t seen “Wonder Boys”, please, please, go see it. Such a good movie with such a good script, it’s just too bad it won’t be winning this category. “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”, another movie with an exceptional script will be robbed as well, I’m afraid. I’m pretty sure that this award will go to Stephan Gaghan for adapting “Traffic”, a 6 hour mini-series, into a 2 and a half hour movie. He won the Golden Globe and seems to be the favorite in this category. With all the other wonderful scripts nominated though, here’s hoping it’ll end up going to one of them.
Who Should Win: Steve Kloves, “Wonder Boys”
Who Will Win: Stephan Gaghan, “Traffic”

Best Original Screenplay
Cameron Crowe – “Almost Famous”
David Franzoni, John Logan and Willian Nicholson – “Gladiator”
Susannah Grant – “Erin Brockovich”
Kenneth Lonergan – “You Can Count On Me”
Lee Hall – “Billy Elliot”
In this category, I am torn between “Erin Brockovich” and “Almost Famous” the most. Both were very well written, perfect blends of drama and comedy. Ultimately, I’m pulling for “Almost Famous”, but I’m not sure if the Academy feels the same way. I actually have this sick feeling in my stomach, worrying that they might give it to “Gladiator”, a movie not made at all by the screenplay, but rather the directing, budget, and scope. I enjoyed the movie, I did, but the screenplay was not it’s strong point. It does not deserve to win. It didn’t even deserve to get the nomination. “You Can Count On Me” has a good script, but it’s not my favorite. Same goes for “Billy Elliot”, but with a bit more affection.
Who Should Win: Cameron Crowe, “Almost Famous”
Who Win Will: Cameron Crowe, “Almost Famous”

Best Supporting Actress
Kate Hudson – “Almost Famous”
Judi Dench – “Chocolat”
Frances McDormand – “Almost Famous”
Julie Walters – “Billy Elliot”
Marcia Gay Harden – “Pollock”
Although great performances all around, my personal favorite this year is Kate Hudson and I’m fairly certain that the academy feels the same way, but unlike the Best Actress category, this win isn’t completely in the bag. Judi Dench is a great actress and loved by the Academy, as is Frances McDormand. Still, here’s hoping that Hudson gets it.
Who Should Win: Kate Hudson
Who Will Win: Kate Hudson

Best Supporting Actor
Benicio Del Toro – “Traffic”
Jeff Bridges – “The Contender”
Willem Dafoe – “Shadow of the Vampire”
Albert Finney – “Erin Brockovich”
Joaquin Phoenix – Gladiator
For me, personally, this is absolutely the toughest category. Willem Dafoe, Albert Finney and Joaquin Pheonix all put on great performances. The two that stand out the most for me are Dafoe, who so completely looked and acted like Nosferatu, it was scary, and Phoenix, whose portrayal of an insane roman emperor was mesmerizing. Finney, who has been acting for years and years and never won, put on a great performance in “Erin Brockovich”, and if he won, I know I would be happy, because even though it wasn’t the best performance of the year, it’s been a long time…he deserves one. In this category though, I think it will go to Benicio Del Toro. There is tremendous buzz surrounding him right now, especially after winning the Golden Globe. Though his performance was very good, it wasn’t the best, so if he does win it will be quite disappointing considering he has the rest of his life to put on even greater performances whereas someone like Albert Finney has already been waiting his whole life.
Who Should Win: Albert Finney
Who Will Win: Benicio Del Toro
Who I Want to Win: Joaquin Pheonix

Best Actress
Julia Roberts – “Erin Brockovich”
Joan Allen – “The Contender”
Juliette Binoche – “Chocolate”
Ellen Burstyn – “Requiem for a Dream”
Laura Linney – “You Can Count on Me”
I think this year most everyone would agree that Julia Roberts put on an amazing performance. True, it was fantastic…but it wasn’t the best. I might be a minority here, saying this, but I think the best actress this year was Oscar winner, Ellen Burstyn, in “Requiem for a Dream”. Her performance was breathtaking. I don’t think I’ve ever been so moved or so astounded by someone’s ability to act. Because of all the buzz though, Julia should still win or it would be the biggest upset in the history of the Oscars.
Who Should Win: Julia Roberts
Who Will Win: Julia Roberts
Who I Want to Win: Ellen Burstyn

Best Actor
Tom Hanks – “Cast Away”
Javier Bardem – “Before Night Falls”
Russell Crowe – “Gladiator”
Ed Harris – “Pollock”
Geoffrey Rush – “Quills”
Even though Geoffrey Rush, Ed Harris, and Javier Bardem gave us wonderful performances, for some reason the race has been cut down to Russell Crowe and Tom Hanks. I wouldn’t mind if Crowe won, he gave the role his all, but I definitely don’t want Hanks to win. “Cast Away” was not that great of a movie and though Hank’s performance was good, he’s already got two Oscars. But I’m thinking that maybe where that issue is concerned the academy agrees. Since my favorite performance, Michael Douglas in “Wonder Boys” wasn’t nominated, I will throw my support to Russell Crowe.
Who Should Win: Michael Douglas, but then he would have to be nominated…
Who Will Win: Russell Crowe

Best Director
Ang Lee – “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”
Ridley Scott – “Gladiator”
Steven Soderbergh – “Erin Brockovich”
Steven Soderbergh – “Traffic”
Stephan Dalory – “Billy Elliot”
Sadly, some speculate that Stephan Soderbergh will cancel himself out, ruining his chances to win for the movie that should win for best direction, “Traffic”. Under these circumstances, keeping in mind that Ridley Scott, albeit respected, is not a well-liked man, Ang Lee just might get the Oscar. Not that that’s completely a bad thing though.
Who Should Win: Steven Soderbergh, “Traffic”
Who Will Win: Ang Lee, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”

Best Picture
“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”
“Erin Brokovich”
This year, unlike most years, the Best Picture race is the most unpredictable. I’ll just try to guess based on decisions the Academy has made in previous years. I think this one will go to “Gladiator”. As for my pick, well, I’d say either “Traffic” because of the political impact and strong message or “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, because it’s the only one nominated that is on my own personal top 5 list. The other 4 on my list, “Wonder Boys”, “Almost Famous”, “Quills”, and “Requiem for a Dream”, were all snubbed in this category. Any of those deserved the nomination over “Chocolat”, which although sweet, isn’t even close to being the best picture of 2001.
What Should Win: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or Traffic
What Will Win: Gladiator
What I Want to Win: Requiem for A Dream, but that’s not exactly possible

The Oscars air, Sunday, March 25.
See full post

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Television Scene of the Week

Last week brought us many great scenes as we had a lot of great television episodes flying around. Fringe blew minds and started a movement to get people caught up on the show before it returns in January, Walking Dead ended its first season and Community let Alison Brie & Don Glover shine while simultaneously referencing the shit out of Farscape of all things. We also saw the premiere of Top Chef: All Stars, possibly the greatest reality competition program to ever grace the small screen, and 90210's first and far from last gay kiss between Trevor Donovan's Teddy and the ADORBZ Kyle Riabko as I don't know his character's name. But which one is the winner?

It came down to either this or the Lori/Shane in the Library scene from Walking Dead. Don't watch if you aren't caught up on Fringe. AND ALSO PLEASE CATCH UP ON FRINGE. I've said it once, I'll say it again. Note: This is not a scene that seems exceptional out of context. Subtext is EVERYTHING in this clip and it had me sobbing my face off.

See full post

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Multimedia Jigsaw Puzzle? Yes plz.

So since I'm backing roughly 872 projects on Kickstarter right now, I get a lot of info from them pretty constantly, but today's newsletter stood out. One of the featured projects is something referred to as a multimedia jigsaw puzzle...I obviously had to investigate. And here's what I uncovered.

Jau Kenworthy & Rob Allmand, two Brits? living in Texas, got together to create a multiplatform mystery that involves music, a novella, an audio book, and online components, taking the idea of a "mystery book" to a whole new level.

From the Kickstarter,

Howard Glitch is an alchemical story told through 3 different mediums as:

THE SOUND [Music E.P.] &
THE SIGHT [Visual Artwork]....

Each piece of media tells the story from a radically different perception, ultimately opening it up in a way that lets you decide WHAT THE HELL ACTUALLY HAPPENED INSIDE THAT SHUTTLEBUS???

₪₪₪ THE PLOT ₪₪₪

A group of unfortunate passengers are trapped on a spaceshuttle flight that is headed for a fatal destination.. The only person with the power to turn the shuttle around, is Howard The Decider, who has fallen asleep at the wheel, miles away in the safety of his space station. But not all of the passengers believe that this event is happening by accident, nor without purpose, and so what unfolds is a tense drama of survival and shifting perceptions, that also introduces the themes of existentialism, alchemy, quantum mechanics, and the power of the human spirit to create hope in a chronically hopeless space…

Interesting, no?

Watch this video to get more of an idea

I don't know these guys in any way, but this project has certainly piqued my interest - so much so that I'm considering donating 30 bucks so I can get a physical copy of the finished product. If this seems cool to you, I encourage you to donate as well! A lot of the time projects like this depend on complete strangers stumbling across them and deciding to help out.

Click here to head to the actual Kickstarter page if you feel compelled to help out! See full post

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's Coming True. AHH, IT'S COMING TRUE!!!!

When I reached the end of Red Dead Redemption earlier this year, three things happened.

A. I cried like a baby. Like a tiny tiny baby who was really really hungry. If you played for 48 hours, then reached the part I'm talking about, you would have cried like a tiny hungry baby too.

B. I decided that no other video game of 2010 could possibly come close in gameplay, involvement, emotional attachment, storytelling, mechanics, gorgeousness etc etc

C. I realized it's biggest competition would be a game I simply didn't have the time to play right then - Mass Effect 2. I realized I either had to play ME2 to understand why it would win or just hope everyone loves Red Dead as much as I do.

Well, G4 has begun this "Video Game Battle" and when I clicked on the link today, you guessed it, Red Dead Redemption was up against Mass Effect fucking 2. And what's winning? Yeah. Not Red Dead.

Here's the thing. Granted, I haven't played ME2 and I hear it is this great, immersive RPG and Tom Bissell argues brilliantly in Extra Lives that the first Mass Effect game is a perfect example of how video games are indeed art, and that's all great, but I think had Red Dead come out while Bissell was still writing Extra Lives, it would be cited as being of the same caliber. Seriously. Red Dead proved to me that as wonderful as movies are, as involving as television is, there are some things ONLY a video game can do. Bioshock played with this notion during its infamous twist and Red Dead really brings it home. Its ending is not only brilliant, fascinating, a wonderful use of video games to tell a story effectively, but it's heart wrenching. HEART WRENCHING. It's I need five minutes to go cry in the bathroom effective, you guys. For weeks my dad would ask me "Have you gotten there yet?" and I would respond "Shhh, no! I'm going for 100% and don't want to know that there is any 'thing' to get to!" He kept telling me "Trust me, you don't know what's coming." And I didn't. It was nothing I could guess. I was advised to look it up by people on Twitter, to be prepared, but I didn't and I wasn't and I sobbed my face off. Face. Off.

So a. If you argue that video games aren't art, you're wrong, b. If you haven't played Red Dead Redemption, play it c. If you own ME2, let me borrow it and d. BE A GOOD PERSON AND VOTE FOR RED DEAD REDEMPTION RIGHT HERE CLICK HERE NOW. Oh and E. I'm playing the shit out of Fable 3, but it doesn't come close to Red Dead. Let's not pretend it does. See full post

Monday, November 29, 2010

Best Scene of The Week [Television]

And the winner is...

This scene, from the penultimate episode of Walking Dead's first season, had two in my viewing party of five in face-hurting, chest-heaving tears. Best zombie awakening ever. If you haven't seen this episode, drop everything and go catch up.

See full post

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Disney Movie Countdown WEEE!

Saw @GirlHack tweet that she's seen 45/50 Disney movies and I immediately thought I HAD to know what my count was. NUMBERS! COUNTING! DISNEY!

Watch the video below and see how many you can name off the top of your head. I could sadly only name 40. And how many have I seen? List after the clip.

Movie's I've seen = Red, Bold
Movies I didn't know were Disney = Bold

1. Snow White
2. Pinocchio
3. Fantasia
4. Dumbo
5. Bambi 
6. Saludos Amigoes
7. The Three Caballeros
8. Make Mine Music
9. Fun and Fancy Free
10. Melody Time
11. The Adventures of Ichobad & Mr Toad
12. Cinderella
13. Alice in Wonderland
14. Peter Pan
15. Lady & The Tramp 
16. Sleeping Beauty
17. 101 Dalmations
18. The Sword in the Stone (Favorite)
19. Jungle Book
20. The Aristocats (Favorite)
21. Robin Hood
22. Winnie the Pooh
23. The Rescuers
24. The Fox and the Hound
25. The Black Cauldron
26. The Great Mouse Detective (Favorite)
27. Oliver & Company (Favorite)
28. Little Mermaid (Favorite)
29. The Rescuers Down Under
30. Beauty & The Beast (Favorite)
31. Aladdin (Favorite)
32. Lion King (Favorite)
33. Pocahontas
34. Hunchback of Notre Dame
35. Hercules (omg Meg's song)
36. Mulan
37. Tarzan
38. Fantasia 2000
39. Dinosaur
40. The Emperor's New Groove
41. Atlantis: The Lost Empire
42. Lilo & Stich
43. Treasure Planet
44. Brother Bear
45. Home on the Range
46. Chicken Little
47. Meet The Robinsons
48. Bolt
49. Princess & The Frog (Favorite)
50. Tangled

So there ya have it! I've seen 40/50. 41 as soon as I see Tangled. Lilo & Sitch and Emperor's New Groove can be on my list, but those nebulous wait these are Disney animated movies?! ones? Not so much. Sorry, Brother Bear. Maybe when I have kids, we'll go in order and I'll check you out then.

So how did you stack up? See full post

Friday, November 19, 2010

Found in Translation: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

 [East Coast]

Spoilers spoilers blah blah blah.

Watching the Lincoln Square IMAX fill up that rapidly at 3:30 in the morning was a little startling, but not as startling as how much I loved Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part one!). Anyone who will listen probably knows of my general disdain bordering on loathing for the film adaptation of Prisoner of Azkaban, and on paper, it's for many of the same tactics and decision Yates employed for Deathy Hallows. The results, however, are drastically different.

Some personal framework, here: I think Order of the Phoenix was the last good Harry Potter book. I found Half-Blood Prince to be draggy and largely uninteresting, stifling with the teenage love plots and what felt, for the first time, like a really tedious school year at Hogwarts. The Deathly Hallows I found to be an immense disappointment, from the endless camping trip of doom to the MacGuffins upon MacGuffins, a rankling line of artifacts and characters who had never so much as been foreshadowed suddenly becoming integral to the plot and progression of the story. It felt cheap and unwieldy to me, and the epilogue was just insult to injury. I walked away from the franchise feeling very let down.

However, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet and Fire, and Order of the Pheonix would always be there. The trio at their sharpest, the glimpses of a wizarding world past at their most tantalizing. So it was all right. Damned if I didn't loathe the third movie though, and this is because I felt style ran rough-shod over story. Curaon made a decision to completely excise the pieces of that book that a) made pieces of the story as a seven-book-whole make sense and b) created an emotional bridge between the past and both Harry and the audience. I was horrifically angry that at the end of the movie. If you hadn't read the books, you walked away without knowing who Moony, Padfoot and Prongs were. It was not difficult to find a place to divulge that information. There were opportunities aplenty. They were all exchanged for Lupin waxing loquacious about Lily's virtues;  the boys eating candy that caused them to make animal noises; yet another 'this is where we do a sweeping virtual shot of the school grounds using a magical creature's POV' sequence. By shaving seconds off of the plethora of atmosphere/world-building shots devoid of story, they could have easily inserted one to three minutes of Lupin having ANY OF THE CONVERSATIONS FROM THE BOOK with Harry. Hell, ROLL THEM ALL INTO ONE. And then we would know who the Marauders were and why they mattered, and why Harry's patronus is a stag. Harry doesn't even know why his patronus is a stag. This willful dismissal of easily-addressed details drives me crazy because of the far-reaching effects of their exclusion.

Cuaron "stream lined" it into a "coming of age" story. Well, the entire series is a coming of age story, so how much streamlining did we need to do? The worst part is, the things left out of the third movie can never be revisited, because the books get bigger and more complex. There's no room for that information. What a terrible waste.

So Deathly Hallows comes along. The decision to make it into two films was clearly the correct one, not just from the point of view of We'll All Be Rich Forever, but from a storytelling one. Brava. Now even cleaving the story in twain, we are left with an absolutely ridiculous amount of information to put on screen, largely because the books are not only tying up all the loose ends of the cast of thousands Rowling has given us, but because she introduces a whole new thousand-member-strong cast. It's like 42nd Street with magic, it's insane. Then the director is saddled with giving the extent characters their due and screentime, which is difficult enough in, say, Goblet of Fire. Yet Yates manages, despite having to streamline the hell out of what was a sprawling, often tedious and not infrequently convoluted story.

So far, I much prefer Deathly Hallows the movie to Deathly Hallows the book. The feeling of a world on the edge, of a constant rippling danger, unease and melancholy is palpable. The magic is beautiful. The locations are believable. The people are idiosyncratic and interesting and the characters are so full and easy to connect to- and almost no vital details are sacrificed. I can't even think of one off-hand.  What I'm saying is, this movie has atmosphere out the ass and yet still tells the damn story, considerably more expeditiously than the novel. Everything that annoyed me about the book is gone, and everything I enjoyed has been succinctly and stylishly committed to screen. And the scenes he added in serve a purpose! The Harry-Hermione dance sequence shows us how desperate their spirits are, how close they are to each other, that their love is platonic and that at the end, things aren't right without their third. Unlike all the conversations with Lupin in PoA which were filled with banal advice and no real information or foreshadowing and didn't further the story, the totally new content in Deathly Hallows 2.0 does all of these things. Brava, Yates.

The director has stated that he wants the second half of the story to have a very different feel and a return to the fantasy adventure of the earlier ones, which is of course the perfect way for the movies to end. All I can really hope for is a Gellert/Albus makeout scene, since JK dropped that bomb on us. That awesome gaytastic bomb. Don't let me down, Yates. You haven't, yet. See full post

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Birthday!

We're two years old!
If we aren't updating enough, you can get your fangirl fix on Cineboobs
And loquaciousmuse has moved her simple photo/video/audio posts that used to be here, over to loquaciousmuse.tumblr.com
See full post

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wash, Rinse, Repeat: A Fable III Rant

If there’s one statement that perfectly sums up my love-hate relationship with Fable III it’s: Peter Molyneux needs to shut the fuck up.

Extreme? Perhaps a tad. But so are Molyneux’s claims about what Fable III achieves in comparison to what the end result was. Contrary to what he’d have you believe, Fable III is not the be-all, end-all in RPG morality-sims — as if that were a genre to begin with, but hey, we have KotOR 1 and 2, don’t we? In fact, it’s a travesty of lost opportunities, redundancies, and tedium. Part of me would like to imagine an awkward silence in a bar as the graphics team and gameplay team warily eye each other, someone very quietly reaching towards a bottle of beer to slam against a nearby stool. Point being: this game is too pretty for what it is.

Fable III is gorgeous in comparison to Fable II, and Theresa knows the load times are a lot better, but the actually gameplay is some of the most repetitive gameplay to have existed. And I say this as someone who happily played one-fourth of a Pokemon game last year and liked it. Battles are easily won — shoot, shoot, shoot, spell, spell, hit — with the same enemies to defeat over and over again. No, seriously, I’d like another wolf, balverine — are you fucking kidding me, LionHead? — and tiny little hobbe with steampunk jetpacks to shoot at, please. The last 1,200 simply weren’t enough. As for the relationships, well, the sex is certainly more entertaining but getting laid and even just becoming friends seems to take forever with everyone and their mother asking for you to deliver, fetch, or find something for them. As this point, I’m the fucking queen and some asshole maid in the castle is asking me to deliver a letter for her if I’m to get into her pants. Honestly? First edict should have been to found some sort of national postal service. Fuuuuck meeee.

If you can get past all of that, which is um, 80 percent of the game, you are treated to interesting little sidequest diversions every so often. The problem is that Fable III seems to be a game in love with its own writing. Tired of what that tertiary character, who isn’t even important, has to say? Well, fuck you, he has two more minutes of lines. Nowhere is this more apparent than the meta D&D/RPG mocking sidequest in which magicians criticize the decision to make you talk to every NPC within their game within the game — and yet you still are stuck talking to cardboard cutouts for uncomfortably long durations. It’s not that the writing is bad — it’s actually quite good, quite sharp, and very well-acted — but I didn’t buy Fable III to listen to a book on tape or watch a movie; I bought it so that I could pretend to be a badass warrior magician woman — even though I admittedly am one in real life.

Good stuff? Well, the weapons that grow and mutate to reflect how you play and live your Fable-III life are quite awesome, though I think it’s rather mean that my sword now has a “venemous glow” because of two STDs that I picked up from my wife. Also, and slightly off-topic, why did my white child from my white husband and white character suddenly become black when he became a toddler? I still love him, but my Theresa, it makes a person ask questions when she returns home from a war and her child is an entirely different race. And even more off-topic, why do my two adopted children now hate me after I put them in an awesome house with the best manny ever? Whatever. Back to the orphanage.

It seems that I’ve somehow wondered from the point in this half-assed, impromptu review, and that’s exactly how you’ll feel about the plot — ZING! While Fable II was rich with lore, Fable III is rich with the grocery lists of what it takes to be a king/queen and hero. In between repairing each and every one of your properties so that your renters won’t withhold payments, and completing your 20th fetch quests to win the love of a random NPC, you’ll begin to wonder what Fable III did to the “R” in the “RPG.”

It shot it in the face behind the Sandgoose and buried it deep in a dig spot.

Cross-posted at I Went There.

See full post

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Will AMC Save the Comic Book Movie?

For years, my go-to cry at the mention of a comic book being licensed for film adaptation was "Take it HBO, for the love of God".   The movies we're given are frequently so watered down or compromised or stripped of what makes a property great and loaded up with what producers think makes a property sell that the finished product is almost unrecognizeable as whatever comic it started out as. This is especially prevalent in the super hero genre. Now with the rough beast that is the Marvel Film Universe slouching inexorably toward The Avengers, a lot of people are feeling that comic book movies are about to suffer a bit of a backlash, or perhaps a Roman style collapse. Too much, too much, too much, and not enough dedication from the studio behind it to invest the money and give the artistic leeway that could make sure the movies are great.

That said, super heroics work well on the big screen, and frequently the stories fit happily into three readily filmable acts. Just as often, the third one fails dramatically, but that's not the source material's fault so much as its handling and the trappings of telling the story of a hero, especially an origin story. Super heroes do not the comic book industry make, however not entirely, and of the wealth of material out there to be mined, the best of it is long-form storytelling that belongs in a long-form medium.

Neil Gaiman's Sandman belongs on HBO or Showtime, I believe that fervently. It needs the kind of money and freedom to be not merely graphic, but just truly bizarre. A Dream of a Thousand Cats belongs on HBO. It just does. Similarly, an adpatation of Bill Willingham's Fables, I would prefer to see on HBO where the violence and fantasy get to be played out with equal splendor. Certainly no traditional network, NBC or ABS or even something 'edgier' like FX would be equipped to create, promote and broadcast these stories.

Then AMC happened. AMC used to play crappy movies that none of the major networks or special channels wanted to play. Then things got weird. Between Mad Men and Breaking Bad, in the past four years AMC has become the new name in avante garde tv. Telling stories that should be nigh impossible to tell, let alone sell, with grace, heart and unflinching boldness. When AMC announced The Walking Dead, I could scarcely contain my excitement. I haven't even read The Walking Dead, though I'll be starting very soon, and I knew in my gut it was going to be badass. This is because AMC has managed to do something that I don't think any other network has- they don't seem to give a damn. It's not like the channel could become less relevant than it initially was. They have nothing to lose by being ballsy and creative and believing in their properties, nothing. It's a beautiful thing.

So now word comes down the pike that Letterier, so fond of citing how he used to be making his 'little French films',  is talking to NewLine about taking over Y: The Last Man.  Let me be frank: I would be happy as a clam if this project would just die in its crib. There has not been a single name associated with Y as a filmic entity that I thought "yeah, that's awesome" since the rumors started, years ago. Not ONE. If Y: The Last Man and Cowboy Bebop NEVER make it to the big screen in live action form, I will die feeling like there are at least two pure, good things left in the world. But if it has to happen...

Let it happen on AMC. Let Y go to a channel that believes in long-form storytelling, and character. I haven't watched all of Breaking Bad, but I have seen every episode of Mad Men at least twice, and I have now seen both episodes of The Walking Dead in excess of three times. Each. Because apparently I'm the only person on the UES who knows how to use a DVR. But you know what? I'm happy to have you come over to my place and watch it, because it's so. Good. If Y: The Last Man has a home in the world of film, that home is on AMC, without question. The question of direction then becomes happily secondary- the person who counts is the show runner, and you have a stable of directors, people who don't need to be household names or have a CGI monstrosity under their belt to be considered for a 'comic book movie'.  The multiple directors factor works particularly well for Y given the hugely diverse nature of the storylines and the places those stories take you.

If they could hold off on this happening for a year or two while I get my SAG card and move to Canada where they will doubtless be filming it, though, that would be great. Thanks.

So after having some pretty intense Y-on-AMC daydreams, it ocurred to me that AMC, while probably not looking to fill this specific a niche, really could be the last, best bastion of comic book adaptations. Things that I would have decried as unfilmable or too sprawling or too anythign for the big screen or network tv could fit beautifully on AMC.  Like Powers. That's what AMC is missing, a good ol' fashioned cop show, right?

No two shows on AMC feel the same, except they all have a curious gravity to them. They are so intensely cinematic, and surprising- by far the best shows on television are, at this moment, on AMC.

...This is all my opinion, that's a given, right? I mean, my love for Supernatural knows no bounds,  and I will argue that South Park gets better with each new season, but from a stance of storytelling and quality, I can't think of anything that's on par with Mad Men. And, God in heaven, is it Sunday yet? Momma needs her zombies. See full post

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Not Your Average Harley Quinn Costume - A Guide

I've gotten a lot of questions about how I made my Harley Quinn costumes this Halloween, so I figured I'd make a handy guide for all you ladies out there eager to cosplay as the wonderful Ms Quinzel without being subjected to an ill fitting body suit. I decided to model my look after a combination of classic Harley & the Harley from Arkham City, the forthcoming sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum. Here's a look.

And here is how my costumes turned out (I did two takes for reasons I'll go into later)

The guide after the jump!

See full post

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Greatest Last Minute Halloween Costume In The History Of Ever

You've probably been seeing a ton of last minute geeky costume ideas all over the internet (my particular favorite post is over on Io9)

But I recently heard of a costume idea that might possibly be the best idea ever.

It's Arthur from Inception. And here's how you do it.

-One striped, long sleeved button up
-Brown vest
-Brown tie
-Brown suit pants
-Brown hair, slicked back
-A backpack (right?)
-A few blow up dolls
-Rope/thick string

I think you see why this is awesome of the awesome. Due to how expensive and time consuming blow up dolls and helium are, I will not be seeing this costume in the flesh this weekend, but if YOU pull it off, please take some photos and send them to me! I promise you'll win at least one costume contest this weekend if you can rock this shit.

You can credit this idea to @csharp7. See full post

Oh, Sam, Poor Sam, Satan's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad

Don't read this if you're not caught up on Supernatural.

As I readied myself for work this morning, an early episode of Supernatural played in the background. In 'Something Wicked', the Winchester boys find themselves up against a shtriga, a kind of vampire witch that steals the lives from children while they sleep and can only be killed while it is feeding. This is the second time Dean has encountered the monster, the first having been when it attacked Sam, on Dean's watch, when they were small children.

After the sthriga attacks the younger of a pair of brothers who live at the motel the Winchesters are staying at, Dean comes to the conclusion that it will return to attack the elder. Sam, with all the glistening-eyed puppy dog enthusiasm of his early-years self, asserts that they must immediately remove the boy from the motel and the encumbent danger. Dean disagrees. The following exchange is had:
Sam: Then you wanna use the kid as bait? Are you nuts? No! Forget it, that's out of the question!
Dean: It's not outta the question Sam, it's the only way. If this thing disappears, it could be years before we get another chance.
Sam: Michael's a kid, and I'm not gonna dangle him in front of that thing like a worm on a hook!
The emotional punch of the episode comes from the fact that Dean blames himself for the monster attacking Sam and then escaping when they were but wee, but after watching the subsequent five seasons up to last week's deliciously titled 'Live Free or Twihard' (just more proof that the Supernatural writers have their fingers dug deeply into the pulses of their fans and popular genre culture), it was Sam that put my little fangirl heart through the wringer.

In last week's Supernatural, Sam's 'Came Back Wrong'ness reached a new level of disturbed. Seeing his brother be attacked by a vampire, Sam stops to watch. He watches as the vampire opens his ow vein and holds it to Dean's mouth. eventually he yells stop and moves to intervene, but not before we see this:

Which begs a few questions, the first and more glaring being WHAT THE %@#, SAM?

@%#&#$^%! Are you @#$! serious?! What is your childhood trauma   damage problem THIS time, Apocolypse Boy, goddamn?!

We're faced with a dilemma. Yes, Sam has been One Cold Bastard since he came back and yes, the distance between the brothers has been palpable, uncomfortable for both them and the audience. But the expression on Sam's face up there- look at it again, LOOK- implies something is much more wrong than previously anticipated.

When I had the chance to interview the cast at San Diego, Jared Padalecki assured us he was coming back as Sam, not a monster in a Sam suit, but my question now is, to what degree is he Sam? The expression on his face leads me to think that maybe Sam is sharing headspace, and oh hosanna what a clustercuss of fun that would be, if true. An infinitely more troubling consideration, of course, is: What if that's all Sam?

What if spending so long in hell has quite simply bled the humanity out of him? He does the 'right thing' by hunting, protecting people by thinning the heard of predators, but in the first six episodes of this season we have seen Sam:
  • Use a baby as bait.
  • Use his brother as bait.
  • Let a young boy undergo excruciatingly painful, invasive Angel surgery.
  • Let his brother get turned into an undead monster so as to use him to infiltrate a vampire nest, a combination of letting Dean undergo excruciatingly painful, invasive transformation for the purpose of becoming bait.
 Freaking God, Sam, go crawl back into your devil pit.

In a further twist, Evil Pappy Campbell even balked at Sam's behavior, putting his shady ass one rung lower on the 'I kind of hate you' list than Sam's is right now.  Through my annoyance and flabbergasted exasperation, however, is a genuine sadness for the loss of Sam. I loved Sam's character, even when he was a giant moron. As thick and blinded as he could be, as out of control as his anger could get, he still mostly did things out of a sense of what was right, what was best. He tried, with a universe worth of odds stacked against him.  This cold, lying facsimile of Sam is so far the most disturbing spectre haunting the season. Now that Dean is aware that the problems run deep, that Sam may not, in the most fundamental ways, be Sam anymore, though it have nothing, I fear, to do with possession, I hope the season really takes off so that by episode ten I have my boys back and we can get to Edlund's Irish murder horse.

So, what is it? What do you guys think is wrong with Sam? See full post

Friday, October 22, 2010

User-Generated Content and THE MOST AWESOME THING EVER.

 Hi Fangirls (and also Fanboys),

I feel the need to share with you the most awesome thing I've ever heard. I've crossposted from my normal blog The Mystery of Girls' Media, and well, just read this.

Remember Shaylyn Hamm? Author of The Aesthetics of Unique Video Game Characters?

Refresh your memory here:
"...My research suggests that it is possible to create distinctive and unique characters that have a generally broad appeal among different ages, genders, and gamer types. The characters I created have body types, features, and ages that do not follow the ideal of what is typically marketed in the video game industry, yet they were well received by the majority of people who have reviewed them. My feedback also suggests that there is a desire among many gamers to see more varied female characters in games, and perhaps when more of such characters are introduced into mainstream games, the perception and role of females may become less limited. This is an area of study that is very relevant to modern gaming, as female characters are found in nearly every game, and they are found by many people, both male and female to be lacking of interest and personality. For further research, I would like to see similar tests by myself and other artists, with characters designed to fit and explore a variety of video games in a variety of genres and styles..."
Well, Ms. Hamm just became one of my personal heroines because not only did she write an AMAZING thesis but she was a winner of the first ever Team Fortress 2 Polycount Pack,

Members of the Polycount Community were given 5 weeks to come up with a SET of items for one of the 9 different TF2 classes. These sets had to be within the same theme, and fit well within the TF2 universe. In total, some 70 sets were completed and entered (read: thats at least 210 items!) It’s no wonder they had their work cut out for them when choosing the first ever pack.
Now, why is winning a user-mod contest important to me? Especially when the winning design isn't even a girl, you ask?

Because, ladies and gentleman, two weeks ago these mod-packs were released for purchase in a user-generated virtual marketplace by Valve.

And.... (From Gamasutra) :

Her Winning Submission

"When Valve Software announced the results of Polycount's Team Fortress 2 item-modding contest, the winners were just excited that their creations would be in the popular mulitplayer shooter.

But with the recent introduction of the game's user-created virtual item marketplace, the Mann Co. Store, the winners' items went on sale to the Team Fortress 2 community -- and a 25 percent revenue share to the modders led to a surprising payoff.

Today, Valve said that community content creators Rob Laro, Shawn Spetch, Steven Skidmore, Spencer Kern and Shaylyn Hamm took home initial royalty payments ranging from $39,000 to $47,000 each from the first round of Team Fortress 2 content creation. And these are just the checks from the first two weeks of operation.

Kern told Gamasutra, "By having [user-generated content] implemented in the way that Steam has it, where people are getting monetary gains for the items they put in, it rewards people who put in the good items, who listen to the community and put in the stuff that everyone wants to see in the game. ... It'll bring out the quality artists to do the work."

He added, "It was completely mind-blowing, the size of the return that we're getting on these things."

Skidmore said, ,I feel like this is going to open up a whole new level for everyone in general that plays these games who has an interest [in game design]. .. It'll ultimately be better for the industry, attaching the community to the game developer.'"

This is fantastic evidence of the potential for revenue generation from user-generated content that can be applied much further afield as entertainment franchises seek out new ways to interact with fans, as well as examples for developing properties to establish strong conversations with fans early-on in their development. Suffice it to say I will be citing this campaign in pretty much everything I create from here on out when talking about User-Generated Content, and I will not be alone. See full post

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Evolution of the Geek

File me under Internet Geek, Film Geek, Video Game Geek, Comic Book Geek, Semi-Politics Geek, Semi-Book Geek, ex-Academic Geek, ex-Star Wars Geek (like, it was serious, you guys), Food Geek, ex-Theater Geek (I'm not a theater major living in New York anymore) and the non existant Television Geek.

If you think I'm not gonna post this on Facebook and tag all my friends as a different geek, you would be wrong.

Update: I've decided that the chart is missing the following geeks. This will get specific:
Television Geek
Health Geek
Cosplay Geek
RenFair Geek
Comedy Geek
Space Geek
Direct To DVD Animated Marvel/DC Movie Geek....shhhh

[Slashfilm] See full post

Monday, October 18, 2010

If You're As Obsessed with Harley Quinn & The Joker As I Am...

Watch this, then imagine it Nolanified and with Heath Ledger

Wow, that was fast! Apparently there is a version of me out there that's actually weird & bored enough to kind of make such a thing happen. Watch! Here's the summary,

The promising psychiatrist Dr. Harleen Quinzel, of Arkham Asylum, is commanded by Jeremiah Arkham, the new director, for treating the Joker. She and her new patient have long and deep talks about his vision of life and world, and his persuasion starts to convince her gradually. After several sessions with him, she cant stop of thinking about him, but not in a professional way. She also dreams and fantasizes with him (images in sepia are her thoughts remembering her moments with him).

Then he takes one of the Arkham guards as hostage, forcing her to release all the inmates in Arkham. Mr. Zsasz, a serial killer, is going to attack her but then a bomb (set by the Joker) explodes opportunely. Joker approaches Harley (who is unconscious but unharmed), with what seems intention of killing her but in the end he doesnt. He escapes, leaving her horrified and shocked.

When Jeremiah Arkham blames her for negligence (it looks like she helped him on purpose, when thats not true or is it?) and fires her, she realizes two things:
One, the Joker was right - the world is chaos and a twisted joke.
And two, she is hopelessly in love with him.

So she decides to change. She leaves her home and her life, puts on a costume and names herself Harley Quinn (I would have liked to make her wear make up like him, but you have to work with the video stuff you have u_u). Then she goes to find him and prove him they are soulmates. Will he accept her by his side? We see hes kind of smiling at the final scene, when he sees her...

The Joker: Heath Ledger
Harleen Quinzel / Harley Quinn: Rosamund Pike
Jeremiah Arkham: James Cromwell (hes perfect for the role check it out in Arkham Asylum Living Hell comics)
Victor Zsasz: Tim Booth (from Batman Begins)

See full post

Friday, October 15, 2010

Movie Contest?!?! Okay!

I love things like this.

A friend sent this to me a while ago, and I finally got around to watching it the whole way through. I named 14 of them, first time through, no stopping. Some of you more savvy readers would get way more than that your first time through, I suspect. I definitely (and sadly) haven't seen every one of these.

If you think you can name all 26, please list them in the comments! Then head here to enter the contest & possibly win all 26 films on DVD! Contest open til October 25th.

See full post

Glee-Cap! Top Bitches: Season 2, Episode 4

Remember last week when I asked Where is Puck? he's in Juvenille Detention for driving a volvo into a convenience store. At least he's still in those diegetic American Express commercials. Sigh. I miss him.
"A Duet is when two voices become one, where the two voices push one another to be better."
I want to say that that happened in all the duets this week, I want to... but it's hard to tell if that really is what's going on here.

The Glee club was torn apart over competition for a dinner for two at Breadsticks this week, and Sam's deep dark secret was revealed... with the help of Kurt.

See full post

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Sufjan Album

The new Sufjan Stevens' album The Age of Adz came out Tuesday and is currently on sale at Amazon for $6.99. No, the album is not about a state (if any of you are still clinging to that fantasy you should give up on it now) but it's still pretty good. I streamed it on NPR a couple of weeks ago and although I'm not sold on the album as a whole, I do think it has some great parts. If you're a big Sufjan fan, I think you'll appreciate it--you'll certainly find it worth $6.99. So go here to buy it. And let me know what you think!

See full post

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Pick For The Third Batman Film?

With today's news of Tom Hardy being cast in Christopher Nolan's third Batman film came the discussion of a. who he would be playing and b. should a cannon female be added to this already intriguing mix, who would she play?

Patches (@misterpatches) from UGO opened up the Twitter floor with the question,

The responses mostly centered around 4 character suggestions - Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn & Talia al-Ghul, but also saw Huntress, Black Canary and Batgirl thrown out into the Twittersphere.

At this point in time, despite Harley being one of my all time favorite characters, I'm gonna throw my support towards Catwoman.

A lot of people complain that we've seen Catwoman many times before or she's never been done well the way we'd like to see it, and to this I say, I AGREE, but if anyone can pull it off, it's Chris Nolan in his grounded universe. In the Nolan series, Batman has never encountered a woman who is anything resembling interesting or challenging and Bruce Wayne has been completely devoid of any & all sexual energy. Yes, Bruce has gone through some shit, but that doesn't mean he should be asexual. I like the idea of a female villain coming on board that stirs something different in Bruce, something he isn't suspecting, something that sometimes gets the better of him. And a Selina Kyle done correctly (and played by the right actress) would accomplish this. Check out this description,

She is a "friendly foe who committed crimes but was also a romantic interest in Batman's rather sterile life." She was meant to be a love interest and to engage Batman in a chess game with him trying to reform her. At the same time, this character was meant to be different from other Batman villains like the Joker in that she was never a killer or completely evil.

Yes, Talia has a similar love/hate relationship to Bruce, but I don't see how her storyline would work without her father. Revenge has been done. What, pretending to fall for him to get revenge for the death of her father? Really? No thanks. As someone TORN between loyalties to her father and her attraction to Batman - now THAT's interesting. And also not possible anymore.

Now Harley, I love. When I think about what could have been if Heath Ledger had still been around - the Mad Love origin story of the smart, attractive shrink assigned to the crazy, manipulative Arkham inmate, who drives her mad as he simultaneously makes her fall in obsession love with him, BUT with someone who actually IS sexy in the role of the Joker...it would have been brilliant. And mark my words - there totally would have been a super fucked up sex scene. And one of my favorite characters (and namesake of Kevin Smith's daughter) would be on the big screen. Amazing.

But - there isn't a Joker. Therefore, there shouldn't be a Harley. To use Harley in any sort of main storyline would only mean a copycat plot, and I think the franchise can do better than that. A throwaway line about the Joker seeing a shrink and thinking it's going well? THAT is just fine with me. But to actually incorporate Harley would feel forced. And while, as @selmaleh pointed out, Harley & Batman do have an interesting relationship (he doesn't WANT to hate her, she's cute & crazy), it's not the sexualized relationship I want to see Nolan's Batman experience.

That same reasoning applies to Poison Ivy - obviously sex is a HUGE part of her character, but it doesn't go beyond that with Bats. Bruce doesn't toss and turn at night thinking about Pamela Isley, he just wants her to stop murdering people with plants and kisses.

As for anyone who would be fighting alongside Batman? I'm not sure that interests me. I'm much more intrigued by an antagonist angle with the female role (though why we all seem to think only one female can be in this Batman movie says something not so great...).

It's weird to me that when I think of any of our recent big screen superheroes & their love interests, there seems to be a huge lack of sexual chemistry, save Wolverine & Jean Grey. Spidey and MJ? Meh. Clark & Lois? Super meh. Bruce & Rachel? Ultimate meh. Tony Stark & Pepper Potts? Sorry, Gwenyth, you only did it for me in Shakespeare in Love, for which I lovingly blame Joseph Finnes. The list goes on and on. I know that overall, superhero movies tend to aim towards being kid friendly, but since we are collectively moving in the direction of darker, more adult hero fare, maybe let's up the chemistry factor a bit? I'm already loving the potential of Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone as Spidey and Gwen Stacey, as well as a Snyder directed Superman. So, don't get left out in the cold, Batman.

So here's what I think. Selina Kyle. Not crazy, no "cat powers", no comical costume. Straight up classic Catwoman, burgler, who is so smart, so stealthy, so unstoppable, that she is actually considered in the ranks of someone like The Joker, while not actually being a murderer.

So which female, or multiple women, do you want opposite Batman in the third film? If Catwoman, which origin - or a new one altogether? And how would you prefer they deal with her introduction and relationship with Batman? Very interested in your thoughts, readers.

Team Selina Kyle!

Update: The natural question after this discussion? Who could actually pull off Catwoman? We need an actress who fits the following - Great actress, can pull of the action/athleticism, not tiny - needs to be on the taller side & actually be fit, lean, believable as functioning in high society, needs chemistry with Christian, plays 27 at the least, 37 at most, and can easily walk the line between good & bad.

Here are the suggestions Twitter gave me: Marion Cotillard, Rachel Weisz, Zoe Saldana, Eva Green, Emily Blunt, Angelina Jolie, Ellen Page, Maggie Q, Brandy Burre, Diane Kruger, Olivia Williams, Gemma Arterton, Amanda Seyfried, Sienna Miller and oddly, my favorite of the options - Olivia Wilde.

Who do you think could pull Catwoman off? See full post

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Glee-Cap! Sacrilicious- Season 2, Episode 3

This week, Glee took on the not-at-all-controversial topic of spirituality. It did it of course in the most down to earth and respectful way possible.

... Finn is praying to a Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Yes this episode, Grilled Cheesus, was delicious. Both in satire and in emotional impact.

When Glee focuses on Kurt, it does very, very well. As it did this week, also, this week Glee gets mad props for giving Sue and her sister a bit more airtime.

And thank goodness because if I'd been disappointed by another episode in a row I might have lost my faith in televised musicals.

See full post

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New York Comic Con After Hours Events

All Things Fangirl's ongoing list of what to do after hours at New York Comic Con. Be sure to check back for updates!

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

CBLDF NYCC Welcome Party

NYCC starts on October 8, but we want you to get in that New York Comic Con frame of mind a day early. Kick off the con on Thursday, October 7 with the CBLDF Welcome Party! Celebrating the premiere of the LIBERTY ANNUAL 2010, the CBLDF's NYCC Welcome Party brings together the best creators, fans and insiders for a star-spangled celebration of good comics and free speech! The party’s on Thursday, October 7, from 8 to 10pm at the Village Pourhouse on Restaurant Row. Come out to get your copy of the LIBERTY ANNUAL, free apps, and special giveaways. The party is open to all, but with a suggested donation of $10 or more, you will receive a special CBLDF gift bag. The CBLDF also offers two levels that include an OPEN BAR:

$30 -- Entry to the party, wristband for 2-hour open bar (Bud Light/Well/Red & White Wine), CBLDF's Liberty Annual 2010, and a gift bag from CBLDF & our corporate members

$50 -- Entry to party, wristband for 2-hour open bar (Bud Light/Well/Red & White Wine), NYCC Variant Cover of CBLDF's Liberty Annual 2010, and a gift bag from CBLDF & our corporate members

Come support Free Expression and meet the best and brightest in comics at the CBLDF's NYCC Welcome Party!

Head here to buy your wristband

Best American Comics 2010 Signing & Discussion

Barnes & Noble, Union Square, 7pm

Neil Gaiman, Jessical Abel, Matt Madden, Bryan Lee O'Malley in person. More info here.

Darwyn Cooke Signing - Parker: The Outfit

Borders, Penn Plaza, 7pm-9pm

Darwyn Cooke is the Eisner Award winning writer/artist of the best-selling DC: The New Frontier, and has garnered much critical and popular acclaim as the writer/artist of The Spirit, Selina's Big Score, and others
More info here

Return of the Dapper Men Launch Party & Art Show

Alice's Tea Cup, 73rd St. 7pm-10pm

Jim McCann talked about this on his recent Talksplode episode, and you'll be able to get advanced copies of the book, as well well as see and purchase Janet K. Lee's original art from the highly anticipated Archaia release.  There could be both craziness, and insanity.  Look at the name of the place!  Check out more here.

The original artwork will be on display and available for purchase as will advance copies of the book. Cakes, scones and tea will be served, as well as wine after 8pm, courtesy of Bluebird Wines.

The New York Comic Jam
Jack Dempsey's Pub, W. 33rd St., 7pm-11pm

At this event, they gather the best from New York's indie comics community to get drunk and draw comics.  Sounds like a night to remember and a great way to kick off the con!  This event is hosted by House of 12 Comics and you can learn about them here and here

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Geek Girls Tweet Up NYCC

Stitch Bar & Lounge (247 West 37th Street), 8:30-11:30

During the convention, we will all be busy waiting in lines, getting autographs, attending panels, waiting for bathrooms, and squeeeing over all that is awesome that time to meet those you have been friends with online and across the globe often takes a serious back seat. This Tweet-Up will be the perfect opportunity to hang out with friends you have made online and hopefully make some new friends.

RSVP here

NCsoft East Coast Meet & Greet & After Hours Party
Good Units at the Hudson Hotel
Basement Level 
356 West 58th Street
New York, NY 10019

Meet & Greet - 7pm-11pm
After Hours Party - 11pm-3am

NCsoft East Coast Meet & Greet
Starting at 7 p.m., meet up with fellow NCsoft players and talk with members of the Aion, City of Heroes, Guild Wars 2, Lineage, and Lineage II  teams. They will be on hand to chat and to answer questions about your favorite games. You'll have the chance to win prizes from Razer and AMD, and you can try out NCsoft products on Alienware machines with peripherals from Razer.

NCsoft After Hours Party
If you’re looking for a spot to break out some late night fun, stay after the Meet & Greet or join us starting at 11 p.m. when we morph the event at Good Units to the NCsoft After Hours Party. Socialize with NCsoft and dance to into the early hours of the morning to New York’s hottest live DJ mixes. (Suggested dress is upscale casual.)

More info here

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

UGO & 1UP Present the "Hells Yeah, NYCC!" Meet Up

Lansdowne Road Sports Bar599 10th Avenue

After a long day of rushing to panels, navigating the sea of booths and running from one end of the Javits Center to the other, join UGO for the end-all-be-all of New York Comic-Con meet-ups, a place to join colleagues and meet new friends over a pintof beer (or whatever's Batman's drinking these days).

Bring invite your friends, come in costume, prepare a recitation of your favorite Star Trek monologue - whatever floats your boat. Let's get all us nutty folk in one place and make it a night to remember!

More info here

iFanboy Meet Up & Party

Bergen St. Comics, 470 Bergen St., Brooklyn, 8pm

Hang out with the iFanboys... and SPECIAL GUESTS GEOFF JOHNS AND FRANCIS MANAPUL! There will be an open bar (tips are always welcome), and when the party ends there are lots of local places to head out to after!

More Info here

Rock Comic Con NYC's Nerd Rock Festival

Sullivan Hall, 214 Sullivan, 10:30pm-3am

The premiere NYC Nerd Rock Festival featuring great, rockin' nerd bands, Kirby Krackle, H2Awesome, Fortress of Attitude & Bedlam Rock! 

Special Guests include Rachel Bloom (F*ck Me, Ray Bradbury)

Hosted by FUSE TV's Steven Smith (Daily Download, Steven's Untitled Rock Show.)

PLUS: Marvel and DC Artists drawing LIVE during the show! 
AND The Covered Comic Art Exhibit featuring Comic Cover reinterpretations from The Covered Blog.

Promises to be THE fun, hilarious and outrageous "after party" of this year's NY Comic Con covering all aspects of Nerd culture!

$10 advance / $12 Day of Show - Buy here

Sponsored by 12-Gauge Comics, Comic Geek Speak, Indie Spinner Rack, Comic News Insider and Evil Twin Comics!

See full post