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.  

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Canon Fodder

It used to be that I would make fun of the overly zealous fanatics in fandom.  Yes, the cartoon The Real Ghostbusters was very different from the movies but it’s all cool even if Egon is a blond and Slimer is now a full on member of the team.  It’s all good, right?  I used to be very forgiving of change and manipulation to canon that, looking back, probably made me a bad fan.

Then I realized, a few days ago, that I’ve now become a crazy uber fan that hates canon change.

Let me explain:

Doctor Who ~ Good as Gold

Let me explain further…

Blue Peter had yet another Doctor Who contest for kids.  Three little girls wrote a script and Steven Moffat picked the winning script to be turned into the little mini DW episode seen below.

It is cute and sweet and not only TOTALLY INACCURATE but CANONICALLY UNSTABLE!!!

(Things are about to explode, so watch out!)

Now, while I totally appreciate and fully believe in inspiring children to write and I think these little girls are freakin’ adorable, I utterly blame Steven for this travesty.

Watch out, Amy!  Companion competition!

Now, my facts may be off here (and I’ve just spent an hour trying to verify the info) but I believe Russell T Davies had negated a few of the Classic Who books with a few of his Tenth Doctor episodes.  I’ll let this slide as not many have read the books and a lot of the New Who fans ignore anything Classic Who.  (WHY? I JUST DON’T KNOW!)

Anyway, this little short written by the adorable, cute, sweet little girls should make me smile and awwww and not be utterly put off by:
                      A)     A Weeping Angel on the TARDIS and is apparently still on-board.
                      B)      The Sonic Screwdriver being used as a 'killing' weapon.  (Would not happen!)
                      C)      The Doctor DOUBLING OVER HIS OWN TIMELINE IN A FIXED POINT!!!

See, there is this little episode called ‘Fear Her’ and it featured a little girl named Chloe Webber.  Chloe had an alien called an Isolus.  It gave her the ability to trap people inside her drawings.  After trapping the Doctor and Rose releasing him, he ran with the Olympic Torch to the stadium, lit the flame and then went back to Rose.

Of course, he mustn’t have noticed the TARDIS parked in the middle of the stadium so the other torch bearer ran inside.  I mean, he’s a bit of a ditz at times but I do like to believe he might’ve noticed something like that.

This kind of messes with canon and this is also why a lot of people were put out by Matt Smith running with the torch in Cardiff.  I was actually happy for the little klutz.  

Matt, Matt, Matt of the TARDIS
Dorky as can be...
AHHHHHH! Watch out for that random middle-aged man-child dressed like Davros standing in the middle of the road...

Awwww, Matt!

There were loads of others that had hoped it would be David Tennant.  See, this is what happens when you promise us chocolate but you deliver pixie sticks instead. (Both good, but vastly different.)

Now, there are plenty of people that jumped down my throat to point out that it was a kids contest.  Again, I do understand this fact.  My issue is with Steven for choosing it knowing that ‘Fear Her’ would still be fresh in people’s memories and he should have taken that into consideration.  I like Steven.  I had expected better.

A few years ago, I may have been willing to ignore this and it wouldn’t have bothered me.  Hell, I read fanfiction and canon is practically raped in those stories but they aren’t filmed and put out there to be placed within canon.  It is hard to ignore something on film as being just a ‘cute little thing they did’ when they use the sets and actors from the show itself.  This is what everyone keeps missing.  The Real Ghostbusters was animated with different voice actors and could never really be a part of the Ghostbusters canon just like some people don’t consider novels in some fandoms to be a part of the actual canon either.  This, though, this is a different story and I’m utterly disappoint.

Steven, don’t be like George Lucas!

Your fans will be utterly displeased.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Towel Day!!!

Today is the day we celebrate all things Douglas Adams.  I'm doing my part by sharing this mini pic-spam with you.

I've got mine!!!

Words of Wisdom!

Ford is ALWAYS prepared.

So, go read one of Adams' books.  Watch the movie or BBC version of Hitchhikers Guide.  Quote him.  Carry a towel.  Anything!  As long as you remember what a brilliant man he was and live today like the Vogons will be here tomorrow!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Things I Like:

I thought I'd share a couple of things in Geekdom that I am currently crushing heavily on.  I'll share these little tidbits with you as they tickle my fancy.  It's a very ticklish fancy so I can promise lots of geeky goodness.

First, I'd like to share with you the wonders of Steam Powered Giraffe.  This is a band that consists of The Jon, The Spine and Rabbit, three automatons that were...well, you can read their very detailed history on their site.  In real life they are Jonathan Sprague, Michael Bennett and Christopher 'Bunny' Bennett.  They are creative, amazingly talented and hysterical.

These are my two favourite songs that I cannot stop listening to:


Brass Goggles...

These guys are also street performers in San Diego.  Here is one of my favourite street performances they do:


Okay, other than lovely automaton singing troupes, I also have a huge girl crush on Felicia Day.  (Really, though, who doesn't?)  Well, our favourite Geek-Girl not only has a great...well, what isn't she involved in?  She has a video blog.  It is called The Flog.  It is made of awesome with a side of 'I want to be her when I grow up!'  She has her five favourite things and she also has a bit where she learns a new skill set like being a blacksmith and learning about steampunk couture.  She also answers a fan question at the end of each episode.


She is so freakin' adorable!!!

There is a group of actors from Bad Dog Theatre that have been putting on a parody of Game of Thrones.  I WISH they would post full episodes and not just recaps because these guys are hilarious!  If you are a GoT fan you will totally appreciate the in-jokes.  If you aren't, the jokes are STILL funny!

Finally, I want to share a random meme of the day.  It may be old, it may be new but it will always be something that made me laugh.  (Also, it may not be daily as I tend to be forgetful!)  This one is for my Game of Thrones breathren!

Fanfiction, Slash and Labels

As I was pondering the topic of my first post, the Lovely Blade gave me an idea based on his own outrage over something I myself have never put much thought into.  


I’m a fanfic writer.  Not a good one or you’d have read my work.  I write slash.  For those of you unfamiliar with this genre, slash is not a horror movie term in the fanfic world.  Slash means two male characters in a relationship, their names are separated by a / mark.  The opposite is femslash.  (For example: the original slash couple, Kirk/Spock.) I have a lot of fandoms I like but I only really read/write in three.  I like Harry Potter, Torchwood and sometimes Doctor Who.  Yes, I’m one of those girls, loving the gay and wanting to pair all male characters…except I really don’t.

Not all male characters need to be paired up and some should never even be led near anything that resembles sex even in a canon pairing.  (Honestly, do you really want to read about Hagrid and Madame Maxime bumping literal uglies?)  Conversely, just because you like to pair up certain characters doesn’t mean they have to have sex. 

I HATE writing sex scenes.  They make me uncomfortable to write.  There are just so many ways you can describe a sex scene and I’m positive that there is definitely someone out there that will judge me and comment that somehow I did it wrong.  I’m too much of a wimp to try.  So I tend to focus on the relationship.  I’m good at writing a nice, thick, angsty relationship with lots of drama and suspense.  There are wonderful stories out there that are plot thick, relationship thick and sex free while still remaining  in the ‘slash’ genre.  Sarah Rees Brennan, author of The Demon’s Lexicon Trilogy, once wrote under the name Mistful and had the loveliest pieces of slash fanfic on the internet. One is a drama called Underwater Light and another is a comedy called Drop Dead Gorgeous.  If you were lucky enough to have nabbed her work before she removed them from the ether (or you have awesome friends that have a copy) you know that even though the main pairing in these stories are Harry and Draco they are plot heavy with great endings. 

Also, no sex.  Oh, there were moments that were close but no actual sex.  That didn’t take away from the stories and if you were looking for a fu-q-fest then you would be highly disappointed. 

Conversely, there is the Civil War-verse by Sushi and The Tea Series by Telanu.  Both are chock full of the gay sexing and yet they are so plot heavy that you could skip the dirty bits and still come out utterly satisfied with stories that rip your heart out.  Civil War is darker and the tone is that of torture, rape and abuse and how two characters, Harry and Snape, deal with this and survive.  It isn’t always healthy but they do get through it.  The Tea Series is dubious in the age range of Harry and his relationship to Snape but the plot is brilliant and sneaks up on you as you fall in love with the characters.

My point being that you don’t have to write dirty to write slash and you don’t have to ignore a good plot just to write porn.

Now I shift over to Torchwood and the King Blade issue (I thought he may worry about his manliness if I kept up the ‘lovely’ bit).

In Torchwood, unlike in Harry Potter, there is an established gay pairing that most of the fanfic writers love to write about, Captain Jack Harkness and Ianto Jones (May he rest in peace).  The issue being, should it still be considered a slash fic even though the pairing is canon?  I never put much thought into it because I’ve been in fanfic for so long that, for me, it is just common courtesy.  Say, someone only likes reading Gwack (Jack/Gwen Cooper) and you don’t say that your story is Janto (Jack/Ianto), and they may become very put out and complain to your mod, thus getting you chewed out and possibly banned from that site.  (Yes, it could take something that small to be banned because we all walk on eggshells over in fanfic because of all the censorship issues that are constantly on the horizon in fandom.)  I think it is much like the disclaimer you place in your title saying you don’t own anything and that you are basically borrowing the characters and you’ll put them back when you’re done. 

I see The Mighty Blade’s point, though.    If you know the fandom, watch the show, you should know who the canon pairings are so why do you have to warn people.  I guess, being a part of that fandom for so long, I know the idiots that troll it so it is always smart to cover your butt.  There are those that only read the hetero pairings, which is crap if you watch the show you should be open minded to all canon pairings and if you aren’t then maybe you should find another fandom. 

What I find hysterical is that, if you are familiar with Captain Jack Harkness, he is always going on about labels and how he hates them and yet his fandom labels him all the time.

Now, if you are not a fan of slash yet you like a certain fandom, you can still find plenty of fanfic out there that tells the story without the graphic sex…unless that’s what gets you off.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Firefly Effect

This isn't a Joss Whedon love blog. But I do so love Joss Whedon, so he will come up a few times on this blog. If you aren't in love with his work, then this is where we part ways. I want my Led Zeppelin albums and collection of blackest night rings drinking glasses and I will be on my way. I said, "good day sir!"

Seriously, he is great.

I was wondering (to myself as I am want to do) why it is that his shortest lived television series made such an impression on so many people. I mean, I know that I love "Firefly". I'm a browncoat through and through, we will rise again! And not in a southerner racist kind of way, but in a "I'm not going to let the 'Verse play pongo with my nethers just because it has a majority vote to do so", kind of way. But why do I love Firefly? Pescifically...

I came up with the answer thanks to my best friend, Joe. Predictably, he hit right upon my wanderings without even meaning to. He is ever the Solo to my Luke. We were discussing a show running now, "Once Upon a Time." He was very much into it and I had only seen one episode. I was resistant to discussing this show because I just didn't feel it was that great. He said that I wasn't invested in the characters yet, that I needed to watch a few more episodes and I would be hooked. He was right, I watched a few more and then I was a fish on a line, watching each episode like a kid with a new toy, mixing similes and idioms with wild abandon!

Point is, I was invested in the characters, the story went where it wanted, but I was invested in the people. Firefly caught me with the very first moment, the very first scene and I cared about what happened to these people. I was invested in the crew of Serenity, the ship being no less a part of the crew. Mal pats one of the pipes of Serenity in "Out of Gas" with love and affection. You feel this through the cold light of television.

Joss Whedon can pull emotion from you, he can make you feel. But even he couldn't forsee how Firefly would evolve into the icon it has become. The show is a beacon for the underdog, that no matter how bad things get, we can keep moving. We don't have to go gently into any ones good night. We have the same rights as any one else to live and to kill people.

That the show only had one season, canceled before it's time by Fox, only served to spark the underdogs inside each of  us to action. We were the browncoats, Fox unwittingly became our Alliance and we aimed to misbehave. With righteous indignation we wrote and protested the early demise of our emotional investment. Joss gave us "Serenity", a movie that, for the most part was a salve for our wounds. For like the browncoats, we fought bravely but we didn't win. We got a movie and that was a small piece of mercy. So we moved on, still browncoats, still hurt, but with head held high.

In the end we came to accept there would be only one season, one movie. But then, it spawned books, fan fiction and debate. Sometimes you have to make your own happy ending.

So, there you go. The secret to Firefly is the same secret mothers have had from time immemorial, it's love. I will leave you with this line from the movie Serenity, one that I tear up each time upon recalling...

"Love. Can know all the math in the 'verse but take a boat in the air that you don't love? She'll shake you off just as sure as a turn in the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughtta fall down...tell you she's hurtin' 'fore she keens...makes her a home." - Mal Reynolds

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Phone Phan

Part of my Fandom is technology, I am a sucker for techno-gizmos and whatcha-callits in the latest jazz-a-ma-whoo architecture.
I have been waiting for the HTC Evo 4G LTE phone to come out in stores (May 18th). I went to Best Buy reserved one just a few days ago. Now, of course, the phones themselves are held up in customs due a dispute that HTC is still using patented technology that belongs to Apple.
This is being cleared up, but is causing a delay in getting the phone to stores. If you want to get a better idea of the issues causing the delay, check out one of my favorite HTC sites, GoodAndEvo 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Art illuminating life

We all want to believe we are the heroes of the story. The protagonist who ultimately does the right thing or makes the right decision and the plot concludes with them winning the girl/guy of their dreams or learning something important about themselves. We project ourselves into these characters, becoming part of the story, living vicariously through their plot lines.

Don't believe me?

Try watching "The Body" (Season 5, Episode 16 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and not react to the helplessness and sickening despair of losing a loved one. Or, conversely, the elation of triumphing against impossible odds in "Star Wars, A New Hope".

We live through these characters for the time we are allowed, and perhaps in doing so, we indeed learn something about ourselves.