11/28/10

Starbase Indy 2010 - The Con in Pictures

A loaner ship from TrekFest
Jake and I just returned from Starbase Indy, the best sci-fi convention you'll find in the entire Mid-West. (Of course, I'm a wee bit biased, since it's the only fan convention I've been to in the Mid-West. But still...) This year was amazing, even better than last year, and we've barely had any time to really process the weekend fully yet. We'll be unpacking Christmas gifts from the Dealer's Room, autographs, cards and flyers for days. (My favorite being the advertisement for A Klingon Christmas Carol happening now in Chicago.) But what we do have to share right now are pictures and a promise that the best coverage of the event is yet to come.

There's a video on the way with interviews from con guests, Klingons, the president of Indy Knights, and the Trek-based band Five Year Mission as well as an inside look at plenty of costumes, panels, and events that took place and some onscreen shenanigans by Ethan Phillips. We're capturing the footage right now, but it will take a couple of weeks to edit, render and upload, after which I'll post the video here at Born For Geekdom and send out email and facebook messages to all those involved in the filming. Until then, here's a sneak peek at Starbase Indy 2010 in photos. (Also, at the end of this entry will be a list of businesses we bought merchandise from and some we plan to buy from in the future. All run by very cool people that we met this weekend. Support small businesses! Especially those run by your fellow geeks.)

Jake and Barf. Hands down, our favorite costume of the weekend.

11/25/10

Happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy some funny moments from the best Thanksgiving movie ever, "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles". I'm thankful for so much this year that I don't even know where to begin. I'm on my way home to spend a little time with my family (watching Harry Potter in theaters, no less) and Jake and I watched this movie last night while we decorated the tree. The parade is on in the background (and they just played the theme from Fantasmic! Coolest marching band ever...) Anyway, God bless you on this holiday and here's to a holiday and a life full of love, family, and plenty of pop culture. What are you thankful for?







I know, I know...I could've picked ETA's snappy remix of movie lines...but that one just felt right this year!

11/24/10

New Details Emerge About Sherlock Sequel - Will Irene Adler Return?

Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, and Noomi Rapace in a scene from the forthcoming Sherlock Holmes sequel. 
The first official image from the filming of the Sherlock Holmes sequel has been released, but more details are also emerging. The film will feature Sherlock's smarter older brother, Mycroft. Yes...smarter. And a bit more dignified according to author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The part will be played by British character actor Stephen Fry. Also joining the cast this time will be Holmes' ultimate nemesis, Dr. Moriarty, played by Jared Harris. Actress Noomi Rapace will play a gypsy entangled in the mystery.

Part of me is really worried that Rachel McAdams won't be back as Irene Adler. She's listed as appearing in it on IMDB, but it's only rumored and I saw an interview with her while she was promoting Morning Glory, and she was tight-lipped about her potential return. She could be developed into a wonderful action heroine if the writers and filmmakers play their cards right.

11/23/10

No Basement in the Alamo - How Pee Wee Changed My Life

I can quote you every single microscopic second of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.  Saying the lines from that movie is like breathing to me. “Is there something you’d like to share with the rest of us Amazing Larry?” I say like the exasperated Pee Wee when I’m stuck in a roomful of murmuring people or a crowd. “A scale model of the entire mall!” I may yell at the end of a grumpy tirade, just like Pee Wee does when he’s formulating a legalistic plan to reconstruct the theft of his beloved flying bike. Aside from spoken lines, I may even give someone a nice long monster-like hiss when I’m feeling particularly cold and miserable, just the way Pee Wee does to a mugger in a dark alleyway. (Tim Burton, the film’s director, made his cameo appearance as the mugger. This was Burton’s first full-length feature and it was a taste of all the whimsy of plot and formalistic design yet to come.)

I didn’t grow up with this movie. I mean, it came out when I was a kid and I watched it anytime it showed up on television on some lazy Saturday afternoon. But I didn’t have the same Rain-Man like devotion to it that I did to Temple of Doom or Aliens. I fell in love with the movie when I was twenty years old and adrift on the sea of early adulthood.

11/21/10

Deathly Hallows Part 1: Why It's NOT Empire (mild spoilers with premiere video)

My family is celebrating Thanksgiving this year with dinner out and a trip to see, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. So I wasn't sure if I was going to see it before then. Of course, I've seen every other Potter movie multiple times, so why would I hesitate this time? Quite frankly, I was worried it would be too sad. (Scroll to the end of this blog entry for a short summary review of the film and to watch the Warner Bros. official premiere video, or read on for an all creamy caramel center of my hugely geeky ramblings about the film.)

BALANCE AND GENRE

Movies make me emotional. Very emotional.

A therapist would probably tell me that I use movies to let out excess emotion. Because movies make me cry for silly reasons. Happy reasons (When Scrooge dances for the first time in A Muppet's Christmas Carol.) and of course, your typical sad reasons. Like, oh say...beloved literary characters dying after you've been with them for an entire book series.

On the way to the theater last night, after we were lucky enough to catch Bohemian Rhapsody on the radio and rock out Wayne's World style, I said to Jake, "This movie needs to have some really cool magic scenes and when it's humorous, it has to be really humorous." My reasoning is that knowing the dramatic ante had been upped in this movie, there would have to be some great humor and really fun magical action scenes to balance that drama out, or it wouldn't be very much fun to watch, even if it was good, per say.

Thankfully, that balance was there.

11/18/10

New Disney Webisode Series Shares Rare Footage

Just in time for Mickey Mouse's 82nd birthday today, a new Disney webisode series is being released. It's called Armchair Archivists and it will satisfy all Disney geeks who happen to be particularly obsessed with behind-the-scenes information. I get all that I can from traveling museum exhibits, Googling and Blue-Ray and DVD special features. But I'm always looking for more.

The first video they share is the last footage Walt Disney himself ever shot on the Disney lot, and it's a film introduction he did when he couldn't be at an event in person. (He says he was busy filming, Blackbeard's Ghost at the time, one of my favorite live-action films from Walt's era.) There's something sad about Disney's apology for not being able to attend in person though...I guess it doesn't really help matters that Walt Disney looks an awful lot like one of my grandfathers, who also happened to be an artist...click on Read More to see the footage.

11/17/10

Your Friendly Neighborhood Star Trek Convention: Five Reasons to Seek Out a Local Con

Oddly enough, Jake and I had run into Derek,
a member of a Star Fleetesque group in real life,
in a bookstore a few months before, not knowing he
would also be at this event.
Last year, Jake and I attended our first ever Star Trek convention. It's called Starbase Indy, and it was everything I ever hoped a gathering of geeks could be. I discovered it by accident. I kid you not, I was  just praying silently like I sometimes do on a normal morning walk, when I literally stepped on a flyer for the event. Then the heavens parted and choir music played through rays of light. (Okay, the music and the heavens parting is a lie, but you get the idea.) So of course, we'll be attending again this year. Last time, we didn't stay at the hotel, not knowing exactly what the convention would be like, we didn't want to fully commit.

Also, the annual event takes place during the entire weekend after Thanksgiving, stretching things like special movie screenings, events, meals, karaoke, and meet and greets throughout your stay. We typically visit with the family that we don't see on the actual Thanksgiving day during that weekend. But last year was so good, we decided to create our very own holiday family tradition for two. Starbase Indy is now officially on our permanent calender. 

This year, we're going all out. (I guess you could say we'll be going warp nine to Starbase Indy? Go ahead...roll your eyes...it's my blog and I can make as many nerdy allusions as I want! *maniacal laughter*) Ahem, anyway...if you are a Trek geek, and you've never been to a convention, there are a lot of reasons to look forward to one of these events and seek them out in your general area. Those reasons are...


11/11/10

Tina Fey Wins Humor Prize and why you should love more funny women

Thank GOD for Tina Fey. Literally. Sometimes when I'm feeling like a gigantic nerd in my office or I'm just out of energy, I'll find some 30 ROCK clip on YouTube and just watch her as lovable loser Liz Lemon. (Though most would argue that Lemon is actually quite a success professionally, but you take my meaning.) Funny women are everywhere, and I've argued that before. But there's a special kind of classic quality to Fey, one that I connect with. Something that just makes me feel like it's okay to be a dorky brunette. Men get a lot of "loser" characters on television, but it's rare to see that same kind of embarrassment-tinged humor for women. Which is changing now thanks to Fey, but has been around since the dawn of comedy and felt like it saw it's last peak in the 80's with the fierce wit of Gilda Radner and the genius of Madeline Kahn. (Lest we forget earler role models of Lucille Ball, Katharine Hepburn, Carol Burnett, etc.)



When TV and Movies Rule Your Brain

One of the greatest/most annoying qualities about being a natural geek are the constant automatic references your brain makes for you. I can't tell you how often an obscure SNL quote from the 1980's springs to mind in the middle of my day and how I have to actively use mental energy not to say it out loud. Because when I give in and say it, it confuses people, and then I have to launch into a five minute story about where it comes from and why I say it. It's just not the always the best way to operate in the professional sphere to be running around saying movie and TV quotes all the time. I mean, not that I stifle myself every time, but if I said every movie and TV reference that came to mind out loud...I'd be quoting probably 50% of the time. Which probably isn't healthy.

I'm even known to quote sounds that people make. A John Candy scream from, "Splash". A Jeff Goldblum giggle from, "Jurassic Park". It just happens...

11/10/10

The Park Geeks visit Busch Gardens Tampa Bay after 20 years away

The latest episode of Park Geeks was a little bit different. We visited Busch Gardens Tampa Bay as a part of an ongoing series Audrey writes for Orlando Attractions Magazine titled, "Retro Orlando". So the episode is something of a companion piece to her blog, that you can find here. Otherwise, enjoy as usual! (This episode came out as a favorite of ours thanks to all the adorable animals we got to visit and photograph.)

11/3/10

Happy Birthday Kate Capshaw!

I miss your face onscreen, whatchya up to lately?

Anyone who knows me knows I kind of love Kate Capshaw. (Minus the "kind of".) And in a bit of a twist of accidental fate, I had a fiction story workshopped in a class tonight that involved the movie, "Space Camp". (Which was a total revelation to me when it was shown in a class I had in fifth grade. A female astronaut who doesn't take no crap from nobody? Yes please. My heroes were always the brains of the operation, smart chicks who somehow ended up in space or in danger.)

Or perhaps it wasn't accidental at all, maybe subliminally, I knew there was cause for celebration and when I found out a few minutes ago that it was her birthday, well, I just felt like posting.

The thing I like best about Capshaw is her sass and her intelligence. Watch her in any behind-the-scenes interview and you get this sharp wit reminiscent of Katharine Hepburn.

Oh yeah...and I've also rambled on and on about her on my action heroines blog. She had this fabulous Lucille Ball thing going on in, "Temple of Doom" that I don't think most people fully get.

Leave Willie Scott Alone!

Anyway, wherever she is, I hope she's having a lovely birthday and I want to see her in something soon. If they make another Indy, and she doesn't cameo...there may be a riot somewhere in the Mid-West...and I just may be holding the bullhorn.

11/2/10

The Hobbit Movies - More Turmoil Than You Knew (with video from NZ)

The version I had growing up...
UPDATE: The movies will shoot in NZ after an agreement between all the parties was reached!  To read about the resolution, click here. To get a better understanding of the dispute and the impassioned opinion of a nervous LOTR geek who lurves her some Peter Jackson and New Zealand as Middle Earth, read this blog...

About this time every year, Jake and I dig into all of the Lord of the Rings movies. We watch the special features, the movies, read some Tolkien, and just generally geek out over the stuff. Maybe it's the holiday atmosphere that begins to arrive once Halloween is over that makes it just the right time to dig into old English material.

All the trades have been reporting problems with The Hobbit movies for over a year now. There were rights problems, Guillermo Del Toro had to finally leave the project as a director because everything had stalled out for so long and he had other contractual obligations. After that, we all waited with baited breath until Peter Jackson himself stepped up to say that he would direct the two films.

So now we know the films will shoot in February, the question is WHERE will they shoot? Why does it matter so much? Perhaps because New Zealand is such a gorgeous and unique landscape that it's the only one physically capable of standing in for the rich fictional environment of Middle Earth. Perhaps because the country's economy has so desperately come to be built upon the film industry there...because if The Hobbit films don't shoot there, chances are other films scheduled to shoot there will pull up stakes too. The reasons are numerous. Most important to this geek living in the American mid-west and having no practical reason to care...I find that the New Zealand film industry and the LOTR films in general have created a kind of hopefulness about film that probably hasn't been felt since the days of classic Hollywood and Chaplin. Peter Jackson, with his renegade style of filmmaking at the local level (his locality, of course) has become a new figurehead for a generation of geeks, dreamers and closet creatives.