Thursday, November 18, 2010

PSA - How to Talk to Your Kids About Star Wars

(h/t Laughing Squid)

This is the most awesome thing I've seen this week, from Asylum. If you have a child, or have small children in your life, be sure to check this out. It's important that kids get the right message about Star Wars. And that word is NO Jar Jar Binks!

(Plus, how do you not love the baby Yoda featured here?!)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cowboys & Aliens Trailer

Of the many things I love about Twitter, it's the immediacy of information that makes it one of my favorite information sources. And on a range of topics, from Breaking (Global) News to local news/traffic, to humorous insights, to random tidbits from friends and colleagues around the world.

But one of the critical reasons to have Twitter is for breaking geek news! Like stills from movies in production or freshly released movie trailers. Such as today's trailer from Jon Favreau's upcoming movie, Cowboys and Aliens. Wasn't really sure what to think about this movie based on the title (yes, I know, don't judge a book by it's cover -- but I'm superficial like that. What can I say?). However, after watching this trailer, I will say that I'm intrigued.

More to come, I'm sure, but expect to see this trailer A LOT during the Thanksgiving movie push.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Darth Princess

(h/t Erica)

I don't even know what this is all about, save for some great concept (deviant) art from JosephB22, and I like it -- Darth Disney Princesses. Awesome.

Here's my favorite -- Darth Snow White:

Angry Birds - Pigs in Plush

I assume that everyone knows about Angry Birds at this point. I'm stuck somewhere in level 2, wishing I had more black bomb birds, but so it goes.

Just in time for Xmas this year, Angry Bird plushies! I'll dig up a link to the birds later, but late last week I saw the first images of the pigs. They are so irritating with their smirks and oinks when I can't get them! Where's my yellow bird?!

Pig with mustache is my fav...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More Fantasy Travel Posters

I keep coming across vintage/retro-inspired posters from artist Steve Thomas. He creates some of the most amazing images for a variety of themes, often from the geek realm (video games, sci fi/fantasy movies). In fact, I linked to one of his cool Donkey Kong video game posters back in June. Today, I'm in love with the following set of space travel posters (found via @JasonThibault), so I'm featuring Mr. Thomas' work again.

Nicely done - Keep up the good work! And let's book those tickets to Venus, shall we? I hear it is beautiful this time of year.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Google Does Halloween Scooby Style

Happy Halloween!

Pretty cool Google home page today, with 5 different Scooby scenes (click to enlarge).

I had hoped to post more today, but so it goes. I did, however, buy a copy of Evil Dead 2 (Dead by dawn! Dead by dawn!). And I did get to watch at least half of Nightmare Before Christmas (before total technology fail started).

Saturday, October 30, 2010

More Halloween-y Movie Clips

I'm not sure I can commit to watching a whole movie tonight -- my attention span has grown more "episodic" in nature of the last few years (thank you, Internet!). However, I do have a few favorite movies I like to watch at this time of year. I can't say they are, you know, Oscar worthy or anything, but they amuse me.

So on this Hallow's Eve, enjoy a few clips.

Army of Darkness

I love the Evil Dead movies, and absolutely adore Bruce Campbell, and try to catch most everything from Sam Raimi (also, brother Ted). While Army of Darkness is utterly ridiculous, it is a campy good time. Several years ago, we got to see Bruce Campbell and Army of Darkness at a Santa Cruz movie theater for an abbreviated re-release tour (I'm assuming among college campus type areas). I'd forgotten about this event until now, but wow, was that awesome. Seriously, don't be surprised to see that I name my first born "Ash" -- Yes, I am that kind of geek.
PS - You can catch Bruce in the TV show Burn Notice, where he continues to maintain the awesome. Oh, and pick up a copy of "If Chins Could Kill" -- such a good time!

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Another long-time favorite. I recall seeing this movie in college, oh-so-long ago and being blown away by both the visual artistry of Tim Burton and amazing music throughout. Danny Elfman has such a rich, smooth voice as Jack singing. Beautiful. In all these years, I never knew who played Sally; turns out it is Catherine O'Hara (thanks IMDB).

I used to work in a comic book store, and we would often play Nightmare either on VHS or laser-disk (look at me, showing my age), and all the store staff would sing along to most every song. Yes, that geeky -- shocking, I know for employees of a comic book store.

What's interesting about this movie is that it wasn't a big moneymaker when it came out, but by the 10th anniversary, it became a cultural touchstone. I blame Hot Topic. Actually, I'm thrilled because this means I still find really cool Nightmare memorabilia and collectibles. Disney used to have a special Nightmare line at Halloween - do they still?

Sleepy Hollow

Certainly not the best movie ever, but it is Tim Burton (again) and Johnny Depp (!!). Depp stars as "Constable" Ichabod Crane, and is very steampunk-esque before that was a thing. I particularly love his glassicals.

"We have murders in New York without benefit of ghouls and goblins..."


This one is kind of gratuitous, but the beauty of having a blog is that I can indulge myself. The opening scene of this movie has to be one of the most badass for the genre. I love the vampire club, with the pulsing techno in an industrial warehouse of some kind -- so very late 90's. I remember hearing this song a few times, and finding myself glancing up at the ceiling, waiting for the blood to start dripping out of the ceiling. (clip is NSFW)

Blade is technically a Marvel superhero, and I love that they kept this story dark and gritty, rather than trying to make it "accessible" and mainstream. No sparkly vampires here. I know Wesley Snipes has had some "troubles" recently, but I think he makes a great Blade. And Stephen Dorff as vampire Deacon Frost! Bonus points for Kris Kristofferson as grizzled ol' Whistler.

Ooooh, this move theme is fun! Maybe a horror theme for tomorrow?

It's Just That Kind of Day

As previously noted here, I'm not feeling Halloween-y this year. I love Halloween but for a variety of reasons, it's just not happening for me. So I'm giving up on the costumes, decorations, and frivolity for myself, and instead sharing some other great Halloween-related things. As they come to me. Bare with me.

I loved The Great Pumpkin as a kid, though I remember the Red Baron sequence going on way too long. Given the even shorter attention span today and the fact that isn't an easily identifiable reference to kiddies in 2010, I have to believe that scene still goes on too long.

But I do love how many simple costumes there are -- the classic ghost and witch -- and the fact that the kids get things like cookies and gum in their Halloween sacks. And they're excited about it! Gum!?! When I was a kid, I would've been ticked off about gum. Certainly no home-baked goods accepted from strangers these days, what with all the razor blades and poison. But seriously, what is up with Charlie getting rocks in his bag?? What adult would give the other kids treats and then give him a rock?! That is f'd up.

I can't tell you why, but I'm thinking about Scooby Doo today too. Perhaps all the cases with ghosts and mummies? Anyway, Scooby lends well to Halloween.

So, of course a logical Halloween special for Scooby & the gang is the case of the Headless Horseman! Zoinky!

Looking forward to clips from other great Halloween tie-ins that I can dig out this weekend! Maybe this will finally get me motivated for Halloween this year -- just in time for November 1st.

Friday, October 29, 2010

More Vintage-Inspired Posters

(h/t OMG Posters)

Is it just me, or does it seem to be a good time for the market of vintage-inspired posters, particularly of nostalgic favorites?

One great thing about a blog is that I can keep track of them all without having to buy them. Here are a couple more I liked today, from artist Jorsh Pena (of Gallery 1988).

Lest You Forget, It's Halloween this Weekend!

I wish I was feeling it more for Halloween this year -- seems like it came up just too soon (even though it's October 31st every year). Thankfully, the Innertubes have got me covered for Halloween this year. I can participate like the true voyeur that I am, watching from the sidelines and taking notes.

First up, The Walken Dead (h/t Laughing Squid). As you may, or may not know, the TV series The Walking Dead, based on the amazing Robert Kirman comic book of the same name, starts this weekend on AMC. I'm cursing the TV gods now that my tuner card went out, so I can't get that channel and really hope that AMC will post the episode online.

Anyway, dude created a loving tribute to both The Walking Dead and actor Christopher Walken in a few prints that pay homage to both.

Speaking of zombies, did you see what Sears did to their website this week? WOW! Zombified Sears!! Totally check it out!

One other zombie-related link, just because. Zombieharmony!

...because the apocalypse doesn't have to be lonely

In non-zombie news, while you are treating your Halloween hangover, don't forget that 2011 SD Comic-Con tickets go on sale at 9 AM, November 1st. The 4-day passes sold out incredibly quickly last year, so set a reminder for this one!

And finally, also via Laughing Squid, this awesome movie map of the US, from subtronix. I like that The Goonies represents Oregon! (click to enlarge)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Two Big Movie Announcements

(both via

First up, expect 2 more installments of your favorite, blue, catpeople of Avatar. James Cameron announces that sequels to be released in December 2014, and the 3rd part a year later. I expect much hyping over the next 4 years...

Also news today is the name of the next Batman installment from Christopher Nolan. And the winner is......... The Dark Knight Rises. Oh, and absolutely NO Riddler in this film. So there!

I'm loving that the interweb is already buzzing about the suggestive nature of the movie title, and if Catwoman (or other female lead) appears in this one, much mocking will ensue. And as io9 suggests, yes, please Mr. Nolan, feel free to cast Joseph Gordon-Levitt!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pat the Kitteh

(h/t Christa)

Are you a fan of The Oatmeal? Oh, you'd better be.

There have been some great posts recently, including "7 Things You Really Don't Need to Take a Picture of" -- I'm guilty of way too many of these to admit.

But my favorite of his web comic strips right now is "How to Pet a Kitty." The expressions of Oatmeal's humanoid people are just so amazing and make me crack up every time. (click to embiggen)

This frame is totally my cat -- waking me up at about 4-5 AM wanting attention and pets. Too bad there isn't a frame here with the cat sitting on top of your head (which is what my cat tries to do in the wee hours of the morning).

I think I might have to get this poster for myself and some of the other "cat people" I know... So, at Christmas, act surprised!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Alternative Press Expo (APE) 2010

As you may, or may not, recall, I missed out on San Diego Comic-Con this year, for the first time in about 14 years. It was a big bummer. Even though I couldn't make it to SDCC, I was excited to hit up the Alternative Press Expo -- or APE -- last weekend in San Francisco.

APE is run by the same folks who put on WonderCon (also in SF) and San Diego Comic-Con. But it is really nothing like a "typical" comic book convention. This was my 7th or 8th APE Con, and over the years, I believe it has become my favorite event of the convention season. In addition to catching up with my geeky & creative friends, APE offers up a lot of interesting small/self-published comics, art/prints from a range of artists (many who are up-and-coming in the comic/animation/web world), and various other products that you can't find just anywhere.

I always leave APE so excited about the treasures I've collected over the day. This year was no exception. If anything I wish I had more time to explore the concourse floors, as the convention seemed to about double in size this year. The attendees are a really fun, mostly local crowd. My only complaint is that, while the Concourse is fairly convenient -- located right off the freeway and plenty of parking nearby -- there doesn't seem to be a great range of food options in close proximity. On the plus side, it's the only convention I've been to where you can drink on the floor. So, hooray for that!

Here are a few pics I took along the way.

Convention center floor just before opening:

Sparkly art by Charlene Kelley (my husband purchased one of these for his Marion collection):

My new owl print by Ashley Burke:

Plushie food, including a giant hamburger by Jakc Designs. PS - I'll do another entry on the Adventures of Slider (or "Bored at the Airport Part I") soon.

Felt octopus by Jackie Huang:

Beastlies by Leslie Levings:

What Kind of Geek are You?

(via Laughing Squid)

I'm not familiar with Flowtown, but I think this flowchart/graphic is pretty cool! (click to embiggen)

I pretty clearly fall under the "Pop Culture Geek" though apparently am a hybridization of several geek forms. I can live with that.

Based out of San Francisco, apparently Flowtown is a

Social media marketing platform that helps businesses transform email contacts into engaged customers

I'm not sure I totally know what that means (it would require more reading, and honestly, it's Thursday and I'm tired and still need to pack for a red-eye flight). Anyway, good luck to them. If they work with infographics and cultural phenomena, I'm sure I'll be seeing them again soon.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

SF Alternative Press Expo this Weekend!

The fast-becoming-my-favorite-convention, the Alternative Press Expo (or APE) is happening again this weekend in San Francisco at the Concourse Center. I will be there all day Saturday, with bells on, working at the ever-fabulous booth of Allen Spiegel Fine Arts. I know my good friend, and recently published (!) J.D. Arnold will be there with his new book, BB Wolf & The 3 LPs. And of course, the amazingly talented Scott Morse will be there --- can't wait to see what he's working on these days!

If you are in the City, I hope you will check it out -- this is one of the best, most interesting small conventions happening. Lots of up-and-coming writers and artists, tons of interesting small press publications, and some very cool niche products that this very creative community puts out.

I'm bringing an extra tote bag to bring back my bounty!

Walking Dead Gifts for You

The premier of AMC's The Walking Dead in just few weeks away, and you better believe, this no lost marketing opportunity! Comics Alliance reports that Robert Kirkman's fan favorite is branching out into novels and plushie toys, so you too can get your zombie on!

Just in time for Halloween/Christmas/Zombie Apocalypse:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Banksy Directs Opening of The Simpsons and it is Dark

(h/t Laughing Squid)

Wow, the Internet was totally abuzz this morning about the opening sequence of The Simpsons last night, directed by elusive artist, Banksy. I haven't had a chance to watch the whole episode yet, but after all the posts on the opening, I had to check it out. And you know what? That shit is dark.

Watch it:

I've now read a deconstruction of the sequence, noting that it is commentary on the West's dependence on East Asian sweatshops to produce our cheap goods. Well, certainly that is true, but I guess I wasn't expecting it in the opening sequence of an animated show on Fox.

But honestly, what bothered me most about it was the sad unicorn, used to punch out the middle of DVDs before they are packaged. Yeah, I know it's an animated version of an imaginary animal. I can't explain it, but it bummed me out. The rest is obvious (and of course depressing and sad, and now I feel guilty about, well, lots of things) in its message.

I'm a little surprised Fox let the sequence air, and there is an interesting interview with one of the show's producers about how the whole thing came to be (go read it here). It's certainly at the opposite end of spectrum from the Kei$ha opening sequence they did last year. In fact, despite how dark the Bansky intro is, if this is now a "thing" -- to change up the opening sequence in a variety of ways -- I'm in full support. This is probably the most buzz on The Simpsons in quite a few years, so good. Also, reminder: don't buy so much crap from China. Or something.


Ay, caramba!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Nostalgic Gifts for Your Favorite Geek

Now that it's October, it's time to start thinking of Christmas/Hanukkah presents for that special geek in your life. If your Geek is 30+ you might check out some of the rad 80's inspired gifts from Think Geek.

Stay Puft Caffeinated Gourmet Marshmallows:

Key words here are "caffeinated" and "gourmet"

Ghost Lamps (a la Pac Man):

They glowwwww.....

Actually, just check out Think Geek, even if these aren't quite for you or your lovable nerd -- they have truly awesome, fun gifts.

Bringing the Awesome to NYCC

New York Comic-Con started today. And given that it takes place in October, you've got to expect some amazing costumes from the geeks. Believe that they will bring it, just don't bring those functional weapons.

But mostly, this whole post is so I can share the following photo with Rebel Agenda:

Good, right?

And to give credit where credit is due, I borrowed this picture from an article about the NYCC weapons policy via Comics Alliance. The policy is summed up as: "Basically, don't be an idiot." If only people would follow this basic rule ALL the time.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Apparently the Internet Might Also Think I am Geeky

...and based on my searches and web browser history, they aren't wrong.

My AdChoice image for Yahoo! Mail:

Love it!!

Now if only they would do an "inner superhero" campaign -- if I got Firestar that would be awesum!

Am I the Only One Disappointed by New Fall TV?

I've been encouraged to share an opinion if I have one, and I have a couple on two of this fall's new TV shows. Hardly controversial but I have to start somewhere.

There were 2 shows--Undercovers and Running Wilde--that I was excited to check out because of those involved with the show, thinking that either could be promising. But it turns out that star involvement doesn't always correlate to quality TV fare. 'They can't all be winners!"

Undercovers piqued my interest primarily because of JJ Abram's involvement. I loved Alias, another spy show, and I am currently loving Fringe, a supernatural mystery, wrapped in a conundrum. However, I got lost in about Season 2 of Lost... On paper, this should be a show I like -- like the actors who play the leads (Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Steven & Samantha Bloom). They are very pretty to look at, the show is moderately well paced, there is decent action, exotic locations, spies in costumes, etc. All the basic components of a spy show. But meh, something is missing from the overall total.

Steven & Samantha are already married, so perhaps it is the sexual tension that is missing. The show is referred to as being a bit like Hart to Hart (a show I liked as a kid). Or perhaps it is the completely unbelievable way that Gerald McRaney as the CIA contact who shows up to engage the Blooms in covert field missions that only they are qualified to run. After being out of the CIA for 5 years. By the way, they are currently caterers. Ummm....what now?

For JJ's sake, I tried. But this one needs to have some re-tooling to get back on track and keep my attention. I'll give it another shot before totally abandonment, but likely not more than 3 episodes. Unless there is nothing on or a sporting event X (fill in with baseball playoffs, football, and so on).

The 2nd show, Running Wilde, I primarily watched because of Will Arnett, whom I adore, and David Cross, both of Arrested Development--a fantastic show that Fox canceled way too soon. I really wanted to like this show for Will's sake. Sadly, so far Running Wilde falls terribly short of expectations. There are a couple of chuckles along the way, but overall, it's not very funny, even in a peculiar way. Sadly, I'm not sure what would make the show better at this point. I give this show about 2-3 more episodes. Sigh -- too bad.

There a few other shows I'm keeping an eye on: Hawaii 5-0 (pilot was better than I thought), The Event (despite some crazy time jumping, the first 2 eps had potential), and Nikita (which competes with something else so I'll have to wait and watch this later).

Now, let's go Spring Replacements!! You're up!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy

So, I like Emma Stone and she's coming off a reasonably well marketed movie with Easy A, so I don't have anything too terrible to say about her being cast as Gwen Stacy in the Spider-Man reboot (reported here on Superhero Hype). Maybe it's just that, so far, I haven't heard any press releases about the new movie overall that have got me excited yet. It's going to be a real challenge to live up to Sam Raimi anything, as far as I'm concerned. Certainly not a lot of time has passed between the last Spidey and this new franchise, which makes comparisons obvious and awkward. And do we really have to tell the origin story all over again, just because it's a new cast and director? God, I hope not. Added bonus: it's going to be released in 3D, so there's that. I bet America will be sick to death of 3D by the time this movie releases (scheduled for July 3, 2012).

I want to be excited about the onslaught of comic book movies that are in production but there are quite a few I'm just not feeling. Over-hyped. Schlocky. Soft sounding scripts or simply re-dos of origin stories. AGAIN. I hope Spidey Redux (my name, since I haven't heard an official title) isn't one of them. We'll know more when the trailer is screened at Comic-Con next summer, which I'm sure is the plan.

PS - they say that Emma Stone is a natural blond, but in looking for an image of her, I only see her as a red head.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Comic-Con to Stay in San Diego...for Now

Big news in the convention world today (I know you are keeping careful track of all those conventions!). Comic-Con leaders have agreed to stay in San Diego for another 5 years, or until 2015. This has been a hot topic of discussion the last few years as the attendance for Comic-Con reached record numbers, and SD is overrun with geeks. And for years, San Diego hasn't been too accepting or excited about having 100K+ geeks taking over the town. But perhaps the local government finally realized the massive amounts of money that this 4-day convention brings into town, along with some amazing publicity courtesy of all the celebrities who now come to town to promote their latest show/movie/video game/toy line/clothing line/anything that might remotely appeal to the target audience.

Either way, I'm happy enough to hear that SDCC is staying put for a few more years. The alternate locations I've heard tossed around the last couple of years included both Anaheim and Las Vegas. Anaheim=ehh. And I love Vegas, but not for this event. While there are certainly plenty of flights, hotels and restaurants to accommodate the attendees, the ambiance doesn't seem quite right. Also, if you haven't been, Las Vegas in late July is ridiculously hot. Like melting pavement hot. You don't want this crowd sweating like that.

Now, if only they can get a pedestrian bridge built over the stupid train/trolley tracks, we will really be rolling!!

See you at the Hyatt bar in July 2011?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Retro Gaming Expo

Portland has some really cool events for such a small city. This weekend, for example, is the Retro Gaming Expo at the Crowne Plaza. As they describe:

The Portland Retro Gaming Expo is an annual exhibition of classic video games and systems in Portland, Oregon. We aim to recognize the history of video game systems and their authors, manufacturers and players.

I know Atari changed my life as a kid; I bet those consoles changed yours too! I'm still counting on getting a tabletop Ms. Pacman for our basement suite one day. And it will rock!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Expendables

I got a little stir crazy this afternoon and had to get out of the house, even if for a few hours. Post-surgery, my energy levels still fluctuate so I thought it might be better to go to a movie (not much different from what I'm doing at home). Despite a major holiday weekend, I found that there aren't too many movies currently out that I have any interest in seeing. However, I recently heard an interview with Sylvester Stallone and decided that The Expendables could be worth checking out (or "not your worst option" as we like to say).

Stallone not only stars in, but also co-wrote and directed the movie. Based on the interview I heard, he had a hard time getting any studio to make the movie, despite an all-star cast with major action draw. I'm not sure why it was such a hard sell, but I know H'wood is a fickle beast.

The movie stars quite a few action stars of the 80's & 90's. In addition to Stallone, you've got Jason Statham (Transporter, Crank), Dolph Lundgren (Rocky IV, Universal Soldier), Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, and cameos from Bruce Willis and the Arnold. Two other cast members that the geek world would recognize include Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia of Buffy & Angel fame) and David Zayas (Angel from Dexter).

I'm not sure what to say about The Expendables, other than it was a fast-paced, guilty pleasure. The action is ridiculous but so over-the-top that it's fun and entertaining. All the stars have amazing fight sequences, particularly Statham and Li (so awesome that it made me want to go learn a martial art!). I didn't expect much out of the plot line - since it is clearly an action focused film - so the story was about as deep as one would anticipate: team of mercenaries hired to take out South American dictator. Trouble ensues. It reminded me a little of The Losers, which was released earlier this summer and based on a comic book series of the same name.

Shockingly (not), critics didn't love the movie, but the earnings have been so good that apparently a part 2 has already been greenlit (green lighted?). Given how hard it was to get Expendables produced, I'm sure Stallone is thrilled by the commercial success. Anyway, here's a clip:

Maybe it's the nostalgia talking (yeah, let's go with "nostalgia") but with a summer of some crappy movies -- I'm looking at you, Charlie St. Cloud -- I'd much rather have a shoot 'em up pulpy action film than more sappy dramas or terribly predictable rom-com. Oh, and if it isn't in the works already, this one should *totally* be a video game; the possibility of living vicariously through martial arts fights, shooting everything, and blowing up everything else would make it a contender (ahem, Kinect).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Comic Style Wedding Invites

Earlier this week, Comics Alliance featured a few images of very cool 60's style comic cover wedding invitations created by Etsy artist Swelser. I really, really wish I knew about this artist before my husband and I got married. Maybe for our 10 year re-commitment ceremony, we can get some of these awesome Kirby-inspired invites. My favorite is this one, probably because it is in space:

PS - Check out some of their other pieces on Etsy - pretty cool stuff, including vintage-inspired movie posters which I may have to come back to here at a later time...

Zombie Spock

I love fall, especially because of Halloween and all the fun geek tie-ins that show up this time of year. Also, the leaves changing color is really pretty, and even though that has nothing to do with pop culture, it's part of fall and makes me happy. So there.

Via Laughing Squid today is a post of a supremely awesome zombie Spock t-shirt (by Shawn Conn). Thumb's up! Now, where's my zombie Picard?? (could be titled "Brains, Number 1" or "Grey Brains, Hot"). Could be a whole great series!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sandman TV Series?

Heat Vision reports that Warner Bros is looking to develop a TV series based on the fan-favorite Sandman series. Not to wax poetic, but the Sandman series changed my life, and brought me back into the comic-book fold. Actually, it also lead to getting a job and working at a comic book store for many years where I met many of my closest friends. Butterfly flaps its wings, etc, etc. So you can praise/blame Sandman for much of the adult geek you see today.

As Heat Vision points out, any adaptation of the series is tricky; Sandman is one of the most beloved stories and set of characters, with a cultish-like following of devotees. It would be exciting to see an episodic take on the series (rather than a one-off movie like Constantine). I can only hope that an HBO/Showtime/Starz picks up the property so it can be appropriately rated for "mature audiences." Or at least with AMC -- looks like they might have a fighting chance with the new Walking Dead show. And for sure get Neil Gaiman involved!! It would give the whole thing instant geek cred. We heart the Neil.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Afternoon Movie Marathon

I haven't been quite up to leaving the house yet after surgery earlier in the week. This has translated to a crap-ton of TV and movie watching. And I have to say, I'm so thankful for the extended basic cable I was able to upgrade to earlier this year. It doesn't include all the pay channels, or even SyFy and BBC but it does include ion, USA, Comedy Channel and Cartoon Channel. So that's something.

This afternoon's fare has been a double header on ion. First up is the Ben Affleck/Uma Thurman science fiction flick, Paycheck (2003). It's apparently based on a Philip K. Dick short story of the same name, but clearly Hollywood had its way with yet another PKD story. Sigh. The premise was interesting:

Michael Jennings (Affleck) is a reverse engineer; for lucrative sums of money, he analyzes his clients' competitors' products and designs new versions that excel above and beyond the original's features. When he finishes the job, he undergoes a memory wipe with help from his friend. The memory wipe is achieved by computer technology able to scan one's brain and erase whatever must be erased. This ensures that the new product cannot be tracked back to the reverse engineering effort, thereby protecting his client's intellectual property.

But the movie falls short of the ambitious plot line. Shocking, I know. I feel like I'm saying/thinking this sentiment a lot lately, particularly in the science fiction genre. I'll see if I can dig up the thesaurus to put it a new way at some point.

I'm a sucker for sci-fi movies with a futuristic bent that are now 5+ years old. And I didn't hate the movie; granted, I'm still on post-surgical pain killers, so that's something but Paycheck amused me for a couple hours on the couch this sunny Saturday. Maybe a B-/C+?

Actually, this trailer sums up the entire movie pretty well:

Next up this afternoon is The Fifth Element, starring Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich (1997). I remember this move quite fondly, as it was a house favorite when it came out 10+ years ago now. Luc Besson directed the film, and used not only really great set designs (some of which were designed by legendary artist Moebius), but outrageous costumes designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, and a dash of some good ol' fashioned slap stick humor.

Set during the 23rd century, the film's central plot involves the survival of humanity which becomes the duty of a taxi driver (and former special forces major) named Korben Dallas (Willis) when a young woman (Jovovich) falls into his taxicab. Upon learning of her significance, Korben must join efforts with the girl and a priest to recover four mystical stones which are key to defending Earth from an impending attack of pure evil and destruction. (via Wikipedia)

Gary Oldman is particularly fantastic as the villain Zorg. And this movie was my first introduction to Chris Tucker. Love him as Ruby Rhod. Not sure what happened to him...

The movie runs a little long, but it's so pretty!

Not sure I love this trailer, but you get the idea:

I wish I could find a good clip of the operatic piece that is included about half way through the movie. I don't typically care for such music, but I would love to see that production!

Not sure if it is just nostalgia but I still love this movie, and would give this at least a B+. The costumes get an A+ for sure.

Next up may need to be a re-viewing of Total Recall...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury is one of the writers who served as a foundation to my love of science fiction. I think I read my first Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, around 7th or 8th grade and thought it was so deep, so thought provoking. I don't recall how old I was when I read The Illustrated Man, just that it was a cool concept. Same is true for The Martian Chronicles (though I'm pretty sure I read that one later). I should probably pull all 3 out and read them again with my adult eyes. Even if they don't stand up, reading such classic science fiction at a formative age really helped to make me the geek I am today.

So, thank you, Ray Bradbury, for your amazing contributions to science fiction!
Happy 90th Birthday!!

Published in 1953 during the Cold War and McCarthy Eras, Fahrenheit 451 portrays a frightening vision of the future, firemen don't put out fires--they start them in order to burn books. Bradbury's vividly painted society holds up the appearance of happiness as the highest goal--a place where trivial information is good, and knowledge and ideas are bad. (Amazon)

This classic science fiction anthology by Ray Bradbury brings to life the social and political fears prevalent in post World War II America, when they were first published. The unnamed narrator in the introduction watches the Illustrated Man's tattoos come to life presenting the 19 short stories. (Amazon)

Are You Watching The Guild?

Season 4 of The Guild started a few weeks ago. I've really enjoyed the fun, webseries based on the antics of an online gaming guild who become friends in the "real" world. Felicia Day is great. And there's Wil Wheaton as a dicky gamer!

Here's the trailer for Season 4. I believe other seasons are available for viewing on the interwebs, and Season 1 is on Netflix streaming.

<br/><a href="" target="_new"title="'The Guild' Season 4 Trailer">Video: 'The Guild' Season 4 Trailer</a>

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cool Stamps

via io9, there is a super cool set of international stamps, primarily from the 50s and 60s. The complete set is displayed on Karen Horton's Flickr site. Stamps really were cool. Are they still? I'm not sure the "sticker" version stands up quite as well as the classic version.

A few of my favorites:

I love owls...

and maybe cats/kittens...

These two are for my husband, the space geek!

I vaguely recall that one of my dad's friends passed along a huge collection of international stamps to me when I was a kid. But in my many moves since then, I am pretty sure I got rid of them. Too bad. It would've been fun to do something like this with them.