Friday, December 19, 2014

5 FANDOM FRIDAY: HOLIDAY FILMS

5 Fandom Friday is a series hosted by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick.This week’s Fandom Friday is all about My Favorite Holiday Movies. Now Finn has been filling the DVR full of Christmas movies from ABCFamily and Hallmark because she is a Christmas-aholic. There is no exaggeration here. While I dig the Holiday season, I am a bit lower key, but there are a few holiday movies that I look forward to catching glimpses of every year. Here are my top five that don’t include A Charlie Brown Christmas, Elf, A Christmas Vacation, and a Christmas Story because those are gimmies. How about you? What are your favorite Holiday films?


Love Actually (2003)
I love vignette films, or at least when they are done right (Paris Je T’aime for example). Make it Christmas themed and I might be onboard especially when I can see Hugh Grant dance, Bill Nighy sing, Andrew Lincoln do his famous cue-card speech, and Colin Firth be all soaking wet in a pond (hello visions of Darcy). It makes me laugh and it makes me cry (Emma Thompson and Laura Linney’s storylines). It has an amazing cast and is a film I will actually take off my shelf and watch every year.

Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)
Growing up I loved this movie and I still do even while recognizing its flaws. It begins with the origin of Santa as a 14th century woodcarver to the Santa we know and love. It also introduces the Vendequm or elves as well as some notable reindeer we adore. Dudley Moore plays Patch, an elf who decides to take his talents away from the North Pole, John Lithgow as the evil owner of BZ Toys who uses Patch to make some interesting candy and try and bring about Christmas 2. Lithgow is over the top evil and Moore is pretty funny as a disgruntled elf. I watched this movie a ton as a kid and while I don’t own it, I will watch it when I find it on the tv.


Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Oh how I love, love this film. Shiny gold star to Shane Black whose directorial debut features a lovely Michelle Monaghan in a Santa outfit, Val Kilmer as a gay detective (aptly named gay Perry), and Robert Downey Jr as a thief pretending to be an actor. Cue some murder and mayhem all during the Christmas season and I was sold. Still am. Go watch this film now people if you have not seen it.


Scrooged (1988)
Apparently I enjoy quite a bit of dark humor in my Holiday movies and Scrooged is one of them. I love the Christmas Carol and this update starring Bill Murray as Frank Cross is a holiday classic. Between the Solid Gold dancers, threatening to staple antlers onto cute little mice reindeer, and the best…and I mean best GHOSTS ever, I cannot help but bring this one out every year to watch.


Die Hard (1988)
"Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho." Only John McClane can make you happy for mayhem on Christmas. Plus Alan Rickman makes a great villain and you have a great scene where John wants Christmas music in the cab and the cabbie cranks up 'Christmas in Hollis'. This is a favorite because its not your typical Christmas flick, but don’t tell me it isn’t one. I don’t believe you.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

INTERSTELLAR: FILM REVIEW

Interstellar (2014)
Directed By: Christopher Nolan
Written By: Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan
Genre: SCI-FI/ADVENTURE
Rated: PG-13
Time: 169 min
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, Michael Caine, and Wes Bentley
Plot: In the near future, Earth is no longer sustainable for human life. Facing extinction, an ex-NASA pilot must leave his family and his home to explore a wormhole and find humanity a new home among the stars.

Comments: There is one thing that I have grown to expect out of Christopher Nolan’s films: great visuals and a great conversation once the film is done. I was a little hesitant in seeing this film though as everyone was comparing it to Gravity and I did not enjoy that film at all. But each trailer I saw got me excited. And so for movie week (3 so far) I went to go and see it with my dad. I won’t give away the story as that is part of the journey, but there were many unexpected surprises as I went in pretty spoiler free. The trailers didn’t give away the entire film, so I knew the basic premise but not much more than that. I am glad I went in that way.

Interstellar begins slow setting up the premise of why the need to go to space is necessary and develop the characters and their motives. Coop (Matthew McConaughey) was once a pilot and an engineer, but is now a farmer. Crops are okay for now, but year after year more and more begin to fail and the dust storms get worse. During one of these storms Coop and his daughter Murphy see a pattern in the dust on her bedroom floor and Coop realizes it is binary code giving them map coordinates. From here, everything changes. The NASA program is not dead, as previously thought. Three manned expeditions have already been sent through a wormhole to explore and find another home for humanity. All that is left is to retrieve that data and determine which planet, if any, is mankind’s next home.

The acting is superb on every level and truly is one of its strengths. From John Lithgow as Coop’s father in law to Professor Brand (Michael Caine) and his daughter Amelia (Anne Hathaway). Standouts for me were a grownup Tom, played by Casey Affleck and each of the actresses who play Murph during different parts of her life. Mackenzie Foy is a wonderful little actress and I look forward to seeing her in more things. Hell even the voice acting for the robots TARS and CASE not only provide some great humor in the film, but seem to be spot on.

While character development is not as strong as it could be, what was there mostly worked for me. It is so hard to truly understand a character’s motivations through small snippets of video but the fundamentals were there. I felt for Murph, both as a child and an adult woman who feels abandoned and bitter but still wants to hope. I understood Amelia and Coop. However, as great as the performances were I never really felt worried for them, not like I should have been. Sure, there was a sense of urgency, but I didn’t always authentically feel the stakes of the situations. But I will get to that in a moment.

I absolutely loved the score, but then I usually do enjoy Hans Zimmer’s scoring. Usually you don’t want to notice the score, but Zimmer did a wonderful job of accenting key moments and enhancing scenes rather than detracting from them.

I absolutely loved the score, but then I usually do enjoy Hans Zimmer’s scoring. Usually you don’t want to notice the score, but Zimmer did a wonderful job of accenting key moments and enhancing scenes rather than detracting from them.

The film is absolutely gorgeous from the simplicity of a corn field to the outreaches of space. Blackholes, Wormholes, and far distant planets were amazing. I wish I had been able to see it at an IMAX, though the theatre screen was just fine. The special effects were not distracting nor did I notice any really horrible CGI. I really enjoyed the way that TARS looked as well, how he moved and functioned. It was a nice touch. I liked the way that the spacecraft looked, the movability of the cockpit, and how bright it was (I hate it when spaceship interiors are dark). I know this seems like a silly thing, but it is something I notice.

The science in this science fiction story seemed plausible to me, save for the whole blackhole bit. At least more plausible than fire extinguishers in space. Perhaps others would cringe at the pseudo-science in the film, but I could suspend my disbelief when it came to space travel, time working differently, and wormholes. However, I am neither a theoretical physicist nor expert on Einstein theorems and gravitational physics. I did hear that Kip Thorne was the science consultant for the film and Neil Degrasse Tyson did not have too many gripes about the film.

But here is the part I didn’t like about Interstellar. I love the themes of humanity, morality, and the need to protect your loved ones and humanity as a whole. Love is a powerful thing, but movies who are heavy handed with the subject make me grumbly (What Dreams May Come). I had a hard time reconciling the rest of the plot full of science, exploration, and discovery…with love. Suddenly everything was saccharine and I was being forced to feel a specific emotion when the majority of the film did a really good job of balancing on that fine line between showing and telling. Trust me the love factor works for me in other films, but I had a really hard time with the last quarter of the film. It seemed out of place with everything else. I was taken out of the film which is disappointing because I was immersed for the majority of it. Maybe it was because the ending felt rushed and forced.

I still loved the film, mind you, but those are my grumbles. Still, Interstellar is a far better film than most and in my top ten for this year.

Rent/Cinema? Cinema. Imax if you are lucky.

4/4 popcorns

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Big Hero 6: Movie Review

Big Hero 6
Directed By: Don Hall and Chris Williams
Written By: Jordan Roberts and Daniel Gerson
Genre: ANIMATED
Rated: PG
Time: 102 min
Starring: Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Daniel Henney, T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, and Damon Wayans Jr.
Plot: From Walt Disney Animation Studios, the team behind "Frozen" and "Wreck-It Ralph," comes "Big Hero 6," an action-packed comedy-adventure about the special bond that develops between Baymax, a plus-sized inflatable robot, and prodigy Hiro Hamada. When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo and catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, he turns to Baymax and his close friends adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred. Determined to uncover the mystery, Hiro transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes called "Big Hero 6."

Comments: ‘Hairy baby!’ I was kind of hooked the moment I saw the first Big Hero 6 trailer. I don’t watch a lot of animated films, but this one looked cute mostly because of Baymax. Before we get to Hiro and his friends I have to say that the short before the film ‘Feast’ was amazing. Basically it is about a dog named Winston and his life as well as his owner’s life seen through the meals that they share. Completely heart felt and wonderful. In fact sometimes I think the shorts are better than the hour and a half long movies that they appear before.

Back to Big Hero 6. Sure it is formulaic. Kid is uber smart and loses someone he loves, stereotypical geek archetypes, self-sacrifices, and warm fuzzies. It is all there. But I don’t care. It’s a movie about grief and a movie about family (and not necessarily the one you were born with). It’s about brotherhood and acceptance. I loved it. Not only was it a beautiful film to watch, full of rich colors and the scenery of San Fransokyo (too cool mashup), but it was funny and heartwarming, things I am expecting. I loved that a lot of the technology for the ‘superpowers’ are things we have or are about to have. 3D printers? Check.

Of course I loved Baymax. How can you not? He’s adorable, pillowy, and…damn it so damn adorable that Even and I took pictures with the big inflatable one in the lobby of the theater after the film. And also we now do our fistbumps Baymax style complete with ‘Balalalala’.

Sure the film didn’t have me laughing the way that the Lego movie did earlier in the year, but it touched me in different ways. It had some great lady scientists with Honey Lemon and Go Go, and while it may have strayed a bit from the comic that began it all it was worth my time and my money.

Rent/Cinema? Cinema. It’s a nice heartwarming pick me up that I need during the Holiday season, even if I was a bit late to go and see it



3.5/4 popcorns

Saturday, December 13, 2014

THE WINTER LONG: A BOOK REVIEW

The Winter Long (October Daye #8)
Written by: Seanan McGuire
Paperback: 358 pages
Publisher: DAW
Language: English
September 2014
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Series

Toby thought she understood her own past; she thought she knew the score.

She was wrong.

It’s time to learn the truth.


+++++++++++++

I have been thinking a lot about my favorite series of late. Recently quite a few of them threw out some pretty heavy revelations that have been building for quite some time. But now that the revelations are out there on the table, do you really want the stories to end? Toby is like that for me. Things have been on a gradual build for seven books. There has been loss and heartache, new loves and new friends. We have had so many questions about Amy, her mother. We have had questions about why she was a fish for several years? We have had questions about a lot of things. Winter Long has some answers for you, but Toby’s story is long from over.

The new Queen of Mists is having a Yuletide Ball and while Toby isn’t exactly the fancy schmancy like to party type, she likes Arden and so that the gang heads to Muir Woods for the shindig. It is a happy time and Toby is declared a ‘hero of the realm’. It is a title that is well deserved as the woman has been threw a lot in the past few years. Of course the moment someone calls you a hero you know something bad is going to knock on the door and say hi.

He does and his names is Simon Torquill. Yeah, that Simon. Her liege’s brother and the man who turned Toby into a fish for more than a decade. But instead of showing up on her doorstep to finish killing her as she thought he had meant to do so many years ago, he says that he did it to protect her. And he would like to continue to protect her by turning her into a tree for the next hundred years. Can she really trust this man? Can she really trust anything he is telling her? Sadly Simon is under a geas and unable to reveal all of the details that Toby wants. So, Toby heads to the one person who has given her answers in the past, The Luidaeg. Except that is when things really go to Hell.

Things I liked:
Eight books in and I am still not bored with Toby and crew. I mean when you see the back cover of a book and that is all the description that you get you know this is going to be a doozy. It lived up to my expectations. We had revelations, more questions, and plenty of intrigue. Relationships changed in many good ways, but also in some saddening ways. Alliances have vastly changed and things are far from over. I like that Seanan has been building to this moment, leading us there with every new Toby installment. I am sure the little trail of clues is there as well if I went back and read the series again one after another.

The pacing is fairly breakneck, but a reason for it. A girl only has so much time before the world she has built can kind of go to Hell because of one big revelation. And Toby really has built a life in these past years. She has her cats and Spike, her boys, her sister and Jazz…she has a family. A family she spends a lot of time protecting and building. She has worked hard to be where she is at. She has saved Faerie more than once and there are many who owe her whether they want to admit it or not. She is a much different knight than Sylvester probably ever imagined. She’s stronger. She asks for help when she needs it. Sure she still doesn’t eat enough, but she is a much more confident and strong woman than she was in the events from Rosemary and Rue. In a way I think Amy might even be proud of who her daughter has become and how much further she has yet to grow. I know the Luidaeg is. Other people not so much. She is no longer quite so easy to manipulate. And woe to the ones who have kept things from her.

Of course there is always Tybalt, the man that leather pants were made for. Tybalt lovers will be quite pleased as I was though I always am.

Things I didn’t like so much:
I am a little over elfshot. It always proves to be extremely convenient. It’s not really a dislike because I like seeing a character’s progression even if it is not in a way that I want it to go. There was a time that I really liked Luna and Sylvester. That time is over. After everything she has done, how many times Toby has risked her life for the sake of Sylvester and Luna and…sigh.

Buy or Borrow: Buy. This is far from the end, but a nice little storyarc. I am ready for the season now. Please. Hurry. I will send you chocolate Seanan.

Part of:Part of the October Daye series
Book One: Rosemary and Rue
Book Two: A Local Habitation
Book Three: An Artificial Night
Book Four: Late Eclipses
Book Five: One Salt Sea
Book Six: Ashes of Honor
Book Seven: Chimes at Midnight
Book Eight: The Winter Long
Book Nine: A Red Rose Chain (expected September 2015)
Book Ten: Once Broken Faith (expected September 2016)

Also Recommended: Try Seanan’s other series as Mira Grant such as Feed, The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, The Matthew Swift series by Kate Griffin, and for more fey loveliness Holly Black’s modern faerie tale series.

3.5 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks 

Friday, December 5, 2014

5 FANDOM FRIDAY: CHRISTMAS SONGS

5 Fandom Friday is a series hosted by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick. This week’s Fandom Friday is all about My Favorite Holiday Songs To Spread Cheer. I love Christmas music, so while we still don’t have a tree up (I am waiting for E to come back from his conference in Tokyo), I am totally digging the Christmas mixes on 8tracks. And of course we all know that the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear. How about you? What are your favorite Holiday songs?


“Baby Its Cold Outside”
There are a ton of versions of this song and I kind of love them all, but my favorite in recent years has to be Zooey and Leon Redbone. But I know others have posted that version so I am going to go with my second favorite version which is Nora Jones and Willie Nelson, though the Buble and Idina version is pretty adorable.


“Christmas Wrapping” // The Waitresses
I am not sure why I love this song, but I look forward to it every year. Maybe it is the mention of A&P grocery stores which reminds me of New Jersey. But probably because I have felt like this during the holidays and I love that she makes a love connection at the end of the song.


“Father Christmas” // The Kinks
The Kinks are awesome already and this holiday song proves it. My favorite lines, “But give my daddy a job 'cause he needs one, He's got lots of mouths to feed. But if you've got one I'll have a machine gun, So I can scare all the kids on the street”. It’s a great nontraditional song.


“Winter Song” // Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson
Sara and Ingrid are two of my favorite artists and I absolutely love the album that this song comes from as one of my go to Christmas albums. The video is cute for it and I completely dig the way their voices sound, the lyrics, and the general peacefulness of it.


“Don’t Shoot me Santa” // The Killers
Another nontraditional favorite, The Killers give me such a unique song and video to match. Sing with me now. “Oh Santa, it’s been a real hard year…”

Sunday, November 30, 2014

SUNDAY SEVEN: BEST FOOTBALL FILMS

Yes it is football season. I have been to my last home game for my Bobcats and on occasion I watch some pro football, but I am not a hard core fanatic about any one particular team. I do like football movies though. Here are my Top Seven.


“Quarterback Princess” (1983)
Helen Hunt plays Tami Maida who wants to be the quarterback of the high school football team. Of course because she is a lady everyone is against her. Of course Tami goes out to prove that not only can she play football but she can win the state championship. Oh and be the Homecoming Queen. Based on a true story I loved this film as a kid and wanted to play football for a bit…possibly while wearing the pretty homecoming dress.


"The Last Boy Scout" (1991)
The movie starts off with the star player taking PCP, taking a gun out and shooting the opposing players as he makes his way for a touchdown before killing himself. Done deal right? Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) penned this one that Tony Scott directed. It is part action, part mystery and definitely all about the black comedy aspects brought to you famously by Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans. Oh and it has Halle Berry in it.

"Heaven Can Wait" (1978)
Warren Beatty plays Joe Pendleton, a quarterback who loses his life in a car accident. He is returned to Earth and into the body of an aging millionaire who has just been drowned by his wife and her new lover (Charles Grodin). Leo buys the Los Angeles Rams to lead them to the Super Bowl as their quarterback. So he finds his old trainer and get into shape, falls in love, and tries to make it to the Super Bowl. It’s a cute film and also stars Julie Christie.

"Rudy" (1993)
I like feel good sports movies. They make me happy and Rudy is definitely one of those movies. Starring Sean Astin as Rudy the film has that feel good, absolute determination, awesomeness to it. You root for Rudy, who no one can believe would ever be a collegiate athlete, to finally become part of the Fightin’ Irish. He never gives up and plus Sean Astin is just plain cool (Goonies and Lord of the Rings)

"The Replacements” (2000)
Keanu Reeves (Shane Falco) never made it as the star quarterback, but he gets a second chance when salary disputes create a player strike. Jimmy (Gene Hackman) gets hired to coach and decides to replace the players who have walked out with Falco and a rag tag ensemble to finish out the rest of the season. It’s a great quirky, sweet movie about second chances. Totally dig it.

"Any Given Sunday" (1999)
Oliver Stone likes to do gritty and this is his take on the football industry. Starring Pacino, Dennis Quaid, Cameron Diaz and Jaime Foxx it is a film of excess. Full of plots, subplots, eyeballs on the turf, and plenty of hard hitting drama, you cannot help but watch it.

"Lucas" (1986)
Corey Haim plays Lucas, a nerdy 14 year old high school student. He falls for the new girl in town, Maggie, whom he meets on one of his insect adventures and the two hang out during the rest of the summer. When school begins Lucas finds himself, once again, bullied by the jocks of the school. He does have one friend though Cappie (Charlie Sheen), who used to be a bully as well before he became his friend and protector. Things get messy when Maggie falls for Cappie instead of Lucas. In a last ditch effort to make Maggie fall for him instead of Cappie, Lucas joins the football team. It doesn’t go as planned. And yet slow clap.

Honorable Mentions:
Brian’s Song, Friday Night Lights, and We Are Marshall

Friday, November 28, 2014

5 FANDOM FRIDAY: BLACK FRIDAY

This week’s Fandom Friday is all about Black Friday. To be more specific: Black Friday Purchases I Would Sacrifice A Night Of Sleep For. As a former retail manager it is a day I loathe and it gets worse every year (open on Thanksgiving when people should be with their families…meh). Maybe it is because I would rather sleep in on a blessed day off and then spend the day reading, catching up on tv, playing DA: Inquisition, or even board games like we are going to do with A &T rather deal with people who treat retail employees like crap. And yet I love my Fandom Friday. Like a good little Smirking there is a twist for my top five. We’re going to discuss fictional presents I might be willing to wake up and venture outside in this winter wonderland we are having (almost 8 inches) to buy. Note: We are just going to assume that the TARDIS, A Lightsaber, Point of View Gun from Hitchhiker’s, and Baby Groot are just automatic gimmies. How about you? Did I miss something important?


The Holodeck // Star Trek
This is virtual reality at its best. It can be my own personal gym where I want to run from virtual zombies to reenacting my own version of American Gladiators or Double Dare (you know I would). Or you know have the Green Arrow be my personal trainer. But the Holodeck can also be my own vacation home. Feel like spending the evening at a cafĂ© in Paris. Done. Maybe some hiking in Rivendell for the weekend. Done. How about act like a kid and ride every ride at a Six Flags Amusement park without waiting in line? Or what about lunch at Hogsmeade? Hell I would be content with hiking in Oregon without anyone else around. Seriously, the possibilities are endless. I could spend my free time inserting myself into a Jane Austen novel where I can picnic with the D’Arcys, where Katniss, Kate Bishop and I work on our bow skills, and I solve crimes with John and Sherlock. I could go on adventures with Mal and company, attend Jurassic Park without being eaten, and have a dance off with Starlord. Seriously, why is this not real yet? Things I would do immediately once I was done with work: Eat dinner at Milliways (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe), Go blow off some steam with E and Garrus on the Citadel at the Armax Combat Arena, and maybe finish the evening off with some R&R lounging in a hammock with E on some secluded and warm island getaway. Sigh. I would soooo bundle up and wait in line to grab this one. For days people. Days.


The Replicator // Star Trek
Yep Star Trek has all of the awesome gadgets including a transporter, tricorders, and a space elevator. Of course for those of you who know and love Star Trek it was primarily shown used as a way to provide food and drink. Jean Luc wants his tea…voila. I want a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster…there you go. Or maybe I have a huge hankering for sirloin…it made it so. It means when I get home from work and have no real desire to cook a meal, the replicator does it for me. And the great thing is when E and I are done eating we put our dirty dishes back in the replicator and it recycles everything. Whoo hoo. A Replicator is also great for shopping. Want that dress in your size? Maybe need to buy a gift for your special someone? Or get a new piece of art for the home? All this can be done. And then when you outgrow those things, back in for recycling. I don’t think I can wait for the technology to show up in my lifetime. Get on this people.


Babelfish // Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
This small yellow fish that lives in your ear translates any language you hear into something that you understand. This would be a lovely device to have when traveling overseas. I only wish that it would also translate my own speech into another language. I suppose everyone will have to have one. Also, would it allow me to finally understand the family cat and dog? If so, count me in for the non-sleepy times on Black Friday.


Med Bay // Elysium
In Elysium if you are wealthy enough you get to have a Med Bay which essentially looks like half MRI, half tanning bed. It kind of makes you immortal as whatever ails you, it can fix. Sunburn? Fixed. Faulty knees? Cartilage fixed. I wouldn’t have to worry about the flu or cancer. And I get to lay down for a bit while I get all fixed up. Yes, please.

Dire Wolf Puppy (Game of Thrones)
I admit I would rather find this little pup underneath my tree with a red bow rather than spend hours in line waiting for her. Direwolves are highly intelligent, are extremely loyal to their masters and oh so cuddly. Plus it’s like having a furry pony and a canine companion at the same time.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WEDNESDAY WHAT IF: FICTIONAL HOLIDAY FAMILY

Inspired by last week’s Fandom Friday post I present this week’s Wednesday What If. Tis the season for turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pecan pie and of course spending time with your family. It’s a day of gorging yourself with delicious food, watching the game, falling into a food coma and then stupidly getting up 5 hours later in pitch black to go wait in line for 4 hours to get a cheap deal on electronics. Or in my case having dinner with good friends, falling into a food coma, playing some video games and then waking up when I feel like it on Friday because I am more happy to have the extra day off then to go deal with traffic…and people. Now if your family is anything like mine Thanksgiving can sometimes be mundane and then other times a bit crazy. Now I am lucky I have both my blood family and the family I wasn’t born with (also known as the one you make which is just as important, sometimes more so). But what if we could choose our family from our little geeky imaginations? But who is this fabulous fictional family? Have fun. Please share and I will post your link to your answer.

Grandmother: Granny Weatherwax (Discworld Novels)
She’s a witch, is prone to occasionally put up signs that read ‘not dead, just resting’. On top of that she reminds me of my Granny June (Miss you Granny). She takes no prisoners, would tell me bad and dirty jokes, would let me just be me no matter what and tell some of the best stories ever.

Grandfather: Gandalf the Grey (Lord the Rings)
I shouldn’t have to explain this too much. He’s Gandalf. He smokes, drinks, tells jokes and has the best fireworks ever. And oh yeah one of the coolest wizards ever. Plus summers with Grandpa would be amazing in Middle Earth.

Father: Mr. Pendergrass (Easy A)
If you have seen this movie (which you should) you can understand why Stanley Tucci’s father figure would be awesome except for the part where we would have to watch the Bucket List. He would embrace if not encourage my quirkiness and is just cool. Plus he loves my fictional mother a great deal. This is important.

Mother: Mrs. Pendergrass (Easy A)
Also kind of a logical choice if you’ve seen the movie. You can’t have Stanley Tucci without Patricia Clarkson. Awesome parents. I imagine that I would also be as adorable as Olive is. And yet geekier. Plus she would share with you, possibly things about her misspent youth, but hey we’d have mother/daughter share time.

Big Brother: Macgyver
Cause after we cut his mullet off because it was not an awesome hair choice, Mac would be great. If the oven broke down before the turkey was done, all we would need is a paperclip, some shampoo, a match and some dryer flint and voila. Turkey dinner.

Big Sister: Lorelai Gilmore (Gilmore Girls)
I wasn’t a hard core Gilmore Girls fan, but I watched enough that she would make an awesome big sister. A bit crazy, but balanced because of her cool factor. Slumber parties, spa days, gossip sessions and anything involving boys would be awesome. Plus amazing dialogue because yes I am thinking of this Turkey Extravaganza as a film.

Little Brother: Tom Imura (Rot N Ruin)
Because when the zombie apocalypse happens, it will be nice to have him as a little brother and who will ultimately save me or cut off my head really quickly if things go bad. Not sure why zombies might show up at Thanksgiving dinner, but you never know. It’s always important to be prepared.

Little Sister: Tali'Zorah nar Rayya (Mass Effect series)
Different species, sure we are. She’s adopted and still family. I would spend my time getting her drunk on Holiday sangria, reminiscing about Garrus, and teaching her all of my nerdy ways. Such fun.

Uncle: Starlord (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Uncle Peter would be awesome. Cause he would take me on adventures. And also possibly get me killed while on said adventures. Fun times. Plus on occasion he would send me baby Groot to take care of him. We would then have dance parties because of all of the awesome mixes we would be listening to.

Aunt: Inara Sera (Firefly)
Not only would having the birds and bees conversation go over so much better, but Inara would have the best stories. Plus she’d make me feel all girly girl. Awesome Aunt. Also does this mean Mal and the rest of the crew would visit too because, you know, extended family. Sweet.

The Uncle who isn’t Really An Uncle: Hardison (Leverage)
One: Cause then I would inadvertently meet the rest of the crew. Two: Which means I get to hang with Parker. Yeah. Three: Having the coolest geeky hacker ever would mean great things. Admit it. I would love ‘Uncle’ Hardison to pieces.

The Friend Who Would Rather Spend Time with Your Family Rather than Their Family: Claudia (Warehouse 13)
Somehow I think Claudia would get along with the rest of my family. We would be lifelong geekmates. I just see her coming after saying Hey Mr and Mrs M and then sitting down to play Dragon Age multiplayer with Uncle Peter and Uncle Hardison and I.


Date: The 10th Doctor (Doctor Who)
Allons-y. We would saunter in after a delightful trip from whenever and wherever. I would be an awesome companion by the way. Plus he would be all David Tennant shaped and that doesn’t suck. Another plus: there is always the snogging under the mistletoe later. Also, reasons.

Family Pet: Lucky aka Pizza Dog (Hawkeye)
We all know that on occasion you have to feed the family pet with the real bad stuffing that Uncle Peter brought because let’s face it he’s not really that great of a cook. However the family pet is happy to be fed with the People Food he isn’t supposed to eat. Not only is Lucky the canine companion to both Hawkeyes and currently living with Kate, but he totally saved Clint’s life. I think he deserves some turkey bits. Plus look at that face.

What consists of your fictional Holiday family? Let me know and I will post your link.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

TUESDAY TRAILERS: MINIONS

The minions are the best part of the Despicable Me movies, you know they are. Kind of excited to see this, cannot help it. What do you think? Plans to see it?


Summary:Meet Stuart, Kevin and Bob as they embark on a journey for their new master in the Official Trailer for Minions…Opens July 10, 2015.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Horns: Movie Review

Horns (2013)
Directed By: Alexandre Aja
Written By: Keith Bunin, Joe Hill
Genre:HORROR
Rated: R
Time: 120 min
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Max Minghella
Plot: In the aftermath of his girlfriend's mysterious death, a young man awakens to find strange horns sprouting from his temples.

Comments: When I first saw the trailer for Horns I was excited. I had read the book by Joe Hill a while ago and really enjoyed it. While Daniel Radcliffe wasn’t my first choice for Ig, the trailer changed my mind. But of course living in Bozeman means we don’t get a lot of the non-blockbuster films around here. Thankfully it was available via X-Box video. Now before I start with the review I have to say that the book is almost always better than the movie. And yet sometimes, just sometimes, you appreciate them both separately (Practical Magic) for what they are. They are different, but you appreciate them all the same. Horns was like that.

Ignatius Perrish has lost everything. His beloved girlfriend left him and then shortly after he left her standing in the rain she was found raped and murdered. Of course everyone in town thinks that the Ig did it. One year after Merrin was taken from him Ig wakes up with one hell of a hangover…and horns. Many see the horns but aren’t freaked out about them, they are however extremely forthcoming with confessions. Sure this is fun, but then Ig realizes he can use these new powers to find out who really killed Merrin.

I love that Radcliffe is not just Harry anymore. His American accent is the best I have heard thus far from him and he really grew on me as Ig. He had the grief, the suffering, and then the vengeance and the humor. Plus he totally rocked those horns. Similar to the novel Gideon is a Twin Peaks sort of town where everyone lies and broken dreams are currency. Sadly the town of Gideon is not as fun and full of rich odd little characters like it is in the book, but damn it sure is pretty.

Now there are a lot of differences from the book (the absence of Ig’s grandma, Lee’s backstory and injuries, Terry and Eric changes, and the Treehouse of the Mind). I understand why some choices are made cinematically. I am sure many of the characters were cut due to pacing and not being necessary to the central plot of the movie. I think the core is still there though. That is not why the movie suffers. So let’s get to the frustrating bits. We learn who killed Merrin in the third act, but then wait half an hour for the final confrontation. This slows the pacing down considerably. This happened in the book as well, but didn’t seem to bother me. I also wanted the backstory between Lee and Ig. I wanted everyone to see who Lee really was through his mother, through the pitchfork, and all of the past. For some reason the one note of everyone is despicable, everyone lies, and everyone is inherently evil fell a little flat. There weren’t the nuances that were in the book that made it all a bit more palatable. And yet it was still heartbreaking to see Ig realize that everyone around him, even the ones he trusted are horrid horrid people. As a devil, he has my utmost sympathy.

Rent/Cinema? Rent. In all I enjoyed the film, while different from its literary counterpart, but it was missing some of the things that made me fall in love with the book. Worth watching though. I was still entertained, but it might be more of a watch at home thing rather than spending your money seeing it in the theater.

3/4 popcorns