Saturday, September 15, 2012

Seeking a Friend - A Review

I try not to do reviews of movies solo. It's not that I can't judge for myself what movies are good and which I can't seem to ever un-see again. It's that I have a tendency (outside the superhero genre) to like movies which make me cry. So if you will forgive my predilection for these type of movies, I'd like to tell you a little about a movie I've just watched, "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World".

This movie starts out in the worst possible situation for a love story. Asteroid, Matilda, is headed for Earth and Dodge (Steve Carell) is trying to adjust to life suddenly alone after his wife (in the movie and in real life, Nancy Carell) leaves him.

Dodge tries to go about his last days as usual, going to work and to the store, with little left to enjoy about life.

Penny (Keira Knightley) is his neighbor, who has just broken up with her boyfriend and is trying to make it home to be with her family in England.

You never forget that there is a giant rock headed for Earth, that hope is not even in the cards. This isn't about saving Earth, but finding that other part of you in the time that you have.

There will be times where you are tricked into feeling like this is a comedy, dark as the matter itself is. But don't be fooled, underneath each joke and beneath the veneer of each comical scene is desperation for those around them.

Give this movie a try if you like, I don't think you will be disappointed, but I know you will cry.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

An Apology to Steven Moffat...

As a fan of Doctor Who, I am disgusted by the behavior of my fellow Whovians toward Steven Moffat.
It’s a television show.  It isn’t real life and it surely isn’t supposed to bring such stupidity and hate into our lives.  It is meant to be enjoyed, to watch with wide eyes and an open mind.  It is science fiction, which gives it license to go beyond belief and that makes it wonderful.
People that claim that Mr. Moffat has ‘ruined’ the show are completely idiotic.  If you are so up in arms about a television show (fiction being the optimal word in the term science fiction) then maybe you need to turn off the telly and go outside.  
You may not agree with every idea put forth on the show but that doesn’t make them wrong and it surely doesn’t warrant threatening Mr. Moffat.  He is trying to give us a lovely piece of entertainment.  Granted, I don’t love every episode but that is what makes us all individuals, but that doesn’t mean I think they’re crap and aren’t worthy of the fandom.
Mr. Moffat has deleted his Twitter account and I find that heartbreaking.  This man has been cornered by the statements flung at him that he felt he had to step away from us, his fans.  Those of us that follow him and love his work and enjoy his posts are the ones that lost.  We’re the ones that suffer.  
My words to my fandom, grow the hell up!  The ones that are the worst are the immature minds that don’t understand real life and need to really live it before telling someone they’re doing a bad job.
Yes, it is realistic for a couple to break up because they can’t have children, REGARDLESS of the other options out there.
No, a man that can create a character like Jack Harkness is NOT sexist.
If you think you can write a better script for the show, why aren’t you?  What makes you any better than any other fanfic writer?  Nothing.  You aren’t the one employed as a writer for the show.
If you feel the need to keep trying to tear it apart, don’t watch it.  Leave it for those of us that do enjoy it and let the man do his job.
p.s. IT’S A FAMILY SHOW!  It’s supposed to be a bit lame so the WHOLE family may enjoy it. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Doctor Who and the Sonic Screwdriver Remote

It feels like I have been waiting for years, the new season of Doctor Who is just hours away. This is the seventh season and we rejoin the 11th Doctor on his continuing journey through time and space. Amy and Rory Pond will be with us a few more episodes and we will meet a new companion.
As great as I hope this season is going to be, it will be sad to see Amy and Rory go. Amy was the girl who waited and Rory, well he is the man who waited, the Centurion. Their absence won't go unlamented.

In the spirit of the new Doctor Who season, I would like to present the Sonic Screwdriver Remote Control!
It's a universal remote that can control your television, DVD/BluRay Player/Cable Box all based on taps and gestures. It also has an FX mode where you can play at unlocking doors and releasing your companion from the evil dentists chair of evil. This little beauty will cost you a bit, but it appears to be very well made and who can complain about owning a sonic screwdriver that actually does something?! [Thank you, Blue, for finding this and bringing it to my attention]
How much does this wonderous device cost you ask? Well it depends on where you are and which site you buy it from. Here is the list from the official website TheWandCompany .

Friday, August 31, 2012


ABC has greenlit a live-action pilot based on the S.H.I.E.L.D. team! The rumor is that Joss Whedon is teaming up with his brother Jed and sister-in-law Maurissa Tancharoen to write the show. And yes, I had to look her name up and I am still not convinced I spelled it correctly.

Nothing is written in stone and I don't have any inside information whatsoever, but wouldn't it be great if they did actually pull this off? Who among us doesn't miss Buffy or wish that Angel had gone on just a bit longer. Need I mention Firefly?

We have needed Joss and he came through on the big screen with the Avengers and  the upcoming Avengers continuation. But we also need him on the small screen, reminding us that life is complicated, painful and bearable because we have people that stand beside us.

In addition to Joss, Jed and Maurissa helped to bring us Dollhouse and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog (and I do sing along). I am looking forward to anything these three dream up.

Thanks Joss, you never let us down.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Newsroom

Before I begin, I need to disclose that I am indeed a HUGE fan of Aaron Sorkin. If I could get Aaron and Joss in a room together I think my mind would just go all explodey. Yes, new word, use it.

Aaron had me at Sports Night, then of course I followed him to West Wing and ran with him into Studio 60. I loved these shows because they had such heart, such feeling. Words are not wasted with Aaron, he uses them to evoke and to entice. There isn't a single episode he has written in which I did not at some point cry and then laugh. His views on love, friendship and loyalty are what I would hope we all strive for, the world would be a better place.

Now he has The Newsroom an aptly named show which concerns well.. here is the official blurb:

From the mind of Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing and screenwriter of The Social Network and Moneyball,  comes The Newsroom,  a behind-the-scenes look at the people who make a nightly cable-news program. Focusing on a network anchor (played by Jeff Daniels), his new executive producer (Emily Mortimer), the newsroom staff (John Gallagher, Jr., Alison Pill, Thomas Sadoski, Olivia Munn, Dev Patel) and their boss (Sam Waterston), the series tracks their quixotic mission to do the news well in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles-not to mention their own personal entanglements.

Ultimately, it is a show about people, extraordinary people who are regaining the honor and dignity of what it meant to "do the news". It is about ordinary people, once the news is done, that have hopes, dreams, tragedy and sorrow. To me, this show is a love story, as I believe are most of Aaron's shows.

It is HBO, so I think that limits a lot of people from seeing this wonderful show, but perhaps Hulu and other online avenues will open up. I currently watch it on HBO GO on my kindle fire. You have to have a subscription to HBO, but it is mobile and I can watch it while our 9 year old watches the same episode of ICarly or Disney channel show for the billionth time. (Actually I think ICarly isn't bad, good writers there)

Anyway, you should give The Newsroom a try, you may find a new passion.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Reboot (or) The Hulk Infinitive

The Amazing Spiderman comes out in theatres on July 3rd. The question isn't, will it be a good movie, chances are it will be better or as good as the Sam Raimi directed trilogy. The real question is, why do another spiderman origin movie so soon after the trilogy? They aren't exactly the same, true, but they are similar enough at the core to warrant some pause as to why we  felt it necessary to make another go of it.

Is this becoming a trend, much like the trend of franchising movies into three or four parts?

I get the desire to tell the version you feel really strongly about. The Hulk is a good example here. Ang Lee, who I am sure does fine work, did a horrible job of representing not only the Hulk, but every character in the story. I can see why it was slotted for a do-over.

I believe that a rebooting a movie can be done well and it can be done badly and it's all in the timing. Did the Hulk need it? Yes, god yes. Does Spiderman? Not really. What is next, reboot the Harry Potter saga with new actors? Didn't like the Avengers? Let's reboot that too...

The American novelist, Ellen Glasgow said, “All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.”

The reboot, as a trend, will ultimately destroy the already tenuous creativity in the movie industry. Production funding is like water, it will find the easiest path.

I want to see a great movie, done with care and passion. I don't want to see someone else's version of a great movie with the "New Improved" label on it.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

To Cool For School

It’s kind of funny how the times change.  I swear, if I was a teen now, I’d be so freakin’ cool!

However, I’m not!   A teen or cool.

No, I don’t wish to relive THOSE years but it just kills me sometimes to realize that the dork I was back in the day would be practically the coolest kid in school by the standards of today. 

Maybe not.

I was really introverted but that was really because no one got my humor or my likes and they surely didn’t get me.  I went to school during the age of designer jeans and jocks.  I wasn’t the pretty blond nor was I athletic.  I was raised by a single mom and we didn’t live in a cool house.  The area I grew up in was rich and it was petty.  It still is, sadly.

However, I look at my children and I see the same dorkiness I myself possessed (without the high doses of shy) and they do really great.  They only have a few friends but those friends are good friends.  They are into fandoms and music and art and they aren’t treated like lepers for it.  If they decided to go to school dressed like it is 1982 or 1967, it doesn’t matter because they are only expressing themselves.  If they get said clothes from Good Will that’s even cooler.  Today’s kids don’t realize that if it weren’t for geeks and freaks like me back in the day they wouldn’t be so free to be themselves. 

We fought the battlefields of wedgies and abuse just for the right to read Douglas Adams without ridicule.  We stood up to the ignorant jocks and the shallow beauty queens just so we were able to listen to classic rock and give reports on The Who’s Tommy.  We were the ones that laid the paths with our own blood and tears just so kids these days can dress up as anime characters at cons and not get beaten up for it.

They just don’t appreciate what we gave up for them so that they could be so bloody cool.

Now, to be a geek is cool, mainstream, almost…too much.  When you can see a fashion model wearing an 8-bit MineCraft diamond pickaxe necklace that you’re just so sure she doesn’t get or that tee-shirt that says she’s a Ravenclaw (RIGHT!!!) and you die just a little bit on the inside.  I know there are geeks and dorks and nerds in every corner of the world but sometimes you just know that some people are just doing it because it’s cool and they really don’t get it.  I have a shirt that has a picture of the TARDIS and it says ‘Let’s play Doctor’ and I can’t begin to tell you how many people JUST DON’T GET IT!  Now, I don’t expect people to get the more obscure of my geek stuffs but I would hope people would at least understand my COEXIST shirt.

Or not.

Anyway, my point is these kids nowadays just don’t appreciate how hard it was for us geeks.  They just don’t appreciate how easy it is for them.