12/30/10

Tom Selleck Knows All

Actually, it's more like some very smart copywriter knows all...but still. This is pretty funny. SyFy's weekly email newsletter "DVICE" strikes again. Read the story HERE. (Even if you're not the subscribing type, I would recommend this one. It's always entertaining and genuinely helpful. This week's email contained info about the most recent net neutrality rulings...scary stuff.)

Random BFG fact, my plea for a real Magnum P.I. movie is the most commented on blog entry here.

I'm still waiting...they don't make movie and television stars like they used to. Selleck is one of a kind. For real.

12/29/10

Man in a Blizzard - Shared by Roger Ebert on Twitter

I love this. It's gorgeous. It makes me want to rethink everything about shooting and editing. It makes me want to scale down and do something beautiful and simple in the new year. I follow Roger Ebert on Twitter, and when he shared this, I went for it without thinking twice. (Because that man knows good film when he sees it.)



Also, it reminded me of this. It's also brilliant and gorgeous. This was done by a friend of ours as he was stuck in an airport overseas...



These videos just make me feel all retrospective and new yearsish. If only I would've had a Canon 7D when I lived in Romania...

12/28/10

How Do You Know - Movie Review

As usual with my reviews, you can click on the "Read More" link and scroll to the bottom for the "Get To The Point" summary review. Or read on from here for the full breakdown of the film. (Minor spoilers throughout, but I don't reveal the ending.)

I saw How Do You Know yesterday with my best friend. We were both excited about it, not because we're fans of any of the actors necessarily, but because we both love the writing of James L. Brooks. (Spanglish is a neo-classic in my opinion, for it's emphasis on modern American culture and it's authentic dialogue and characterizations.)

So how does How Do You Know stack up to his other works? Well, the film has some structural flaws and quirks that may frustrate you, but its flaws almost made it more interesting to me. I found the film to be weird, with a very non-traditional narrative but engaging enough that any plot redundancies didn't bother me.

By the way, this film passes the Bechdel test...just FYI. It's so rare that this happens, but I LOVE it when it does. Here, women can talk about much more than one man. Female supporting players have their own lives. There's a whole female softball team here for Pete's sake...so refreshing...

12/25/10

The Annual Christmas Photo of Ridiculousness - Ode to Charles Nelson Reilly

Last year, it was this picture. For the record...I wasn't trying to make that face. I don't even remember why I was making it or how. I have since tried to duplicate it, which can't be done. At least, not without the help of a lab full of scientific professionals or a large animal attack. I don't remember a feeling of sheer terror sweeping over me for any reason, but apparently it did. (Awkward Family Photos is calling my name.)


This year, it's this one. A bit more pre-meditated and brought to you by one of the best gifts my mother gave me this year. A large collection of over-sized novelty glasses, this pair I choose to call "The Cousin Erics". (For family reasons. Though I guess you're probably smart enough to figure out that I had a Cousin Eric (have) who wore glasses nearly identical to these in the early eighties.)

This pair was my absolute favorite from the collection, a close second goes to a pair I like to call "Sarah Palin's Hunting Goggles", but one thing at a time. Did I mention that these are prescription? Because they are...

What will it be next year? We shall just have to wait and see...by the way, this whole "giant glasses" thing isn't new for me. If you're friends with me on facebook, you know about my long and glorious history of huge sunglasses that appear to be solely for the purpose of helping one's eyes heal after dilation. I kind of have a thing for dressing like an old lady. (I look for knitted cardigans and sweater chains too.)

But it's been a fixation of mine since childhood. Want proof? READ THIS.


I think the ironic glasses movement has a decent chance of beating out the ironic mustache movement any day  now. (I want to spell it "moustache" but spell check doesn't like that.) Though I guess that would make me kind of sad. There's nothing ironic about my love of giant glasses or moustaches. (Suck it spell check.) 

Look, I'm gonna have to end this blog soon. But I just wanted to say, don't be offended because I said "suck it". It's a Liz Lemonism...I'd prove it to you, but when I Googled it to find a video clip, this is what happened. 

 No video results for “liz lemon suck it monkeys” 

So you're just going to have to take my word for it. Happy Holidays!

Happy Merry Everyone!

I kid, but I love the season and the reason. There's no song that best expresses my love than this. Sing it girl...



 I know, I'm one step away from best expressing my feelings via a made for TV monologue...


12/24/10

Christmas Eve Monologue

This is officially the worst Christmas Eve story ever. So naturally, I had to post it. (Pay special attention to Gizmo's face after the big climax of the story. Hilarious!) This movie used to scare the living daylights out of me...




12/23/10

WFCC 2010 Awards Posted

The critics association that I belong to, the Women Film Critics Circle, has posted it's 2010 awards. What excites me is that a lot of my votes were shared by fellow members. Many of the films and actresses I voted for won, though all of the nominations were worthy. I think it was a great year for women in film and I'm happy that as I age, I'm starting to see more varied portrayals of female characters in all forms of media. (The diversification of the action/adventure/comic book genre is also in progress, though progress is a bit slower than indie films, dramas, and documentaries. In all fairness, the genre is newer than drama, so the timeline is to be expected but not accepted. But hey, that's why I write Best Action Heroines.)

Many argue that film criticism is outdated because we don't need people to recommend films anymore. I think we need criticism more than ever. As a society, we will always need consistent analysis of what we are producing as a culture, to create accountability, awareness, to take the creative pulse of modern filmmakers, to investigate commercialism and to make sure that there is at least the effort to represent the voices of women and minorities in all forms of art. If we aren't working as a culture (worldwide and stateside) to do so, we're only going to be allowing misinformation without opposition at best, and promoting stereotypes and bigotry (to younger audiences especially) at worst. I'm proud to be a member of the WFCC. Follow the link to see who we voted for and what important movies you may have missed.

12/22/10

8 Magical Musical Christmas Movie Moments (and a Star Wars bonus)

My way to wish you a Merry Christmas is to give you a list of nine movie clips and a super awesome Christmas website to visit...happy merry everyone! 

Enjoy the movie clips after the jump, or follow the link to Betamaxmas, a website devoted to all things Christmas from  1980's television. (Including commercials, claymation specials, Pee Wee's Playhouse, movie previews, and more!)

One show that didn't end up on the website that should've? One of the many Golden Girls Christmas episodes...



DCA To Do Away With Giant "California" Sign

According to the OC Register, the iconic entrance to Disneyland's California Adventure will be completely remodeled. DCA has been the butt of many jokes over the years for its weak theming, so not many people seem too sad about it. But I'm really glad that I got to see it while it was still intact. Have you seen the DCA sign? What do you think about the remodel?

12/21/10

TRON: Legacy - Relax and Enjoy

Meet "Quorra"
For the short "Get to the Point" review, click "Read More" and scroll to the bottom of the blog where it says, "Get to the Point". For the full review, read on from here...

Full Review

I've never seen the original TRON, so I didn't know what to expect from the sequel. I was hoping for a visually beautiful movie that sounded amazing and would give me those great action-movie adrenaline rushes, and I was positive that's what I was going to get as soon as I heard that Daft Punk was doing the film score. On that front, TRON is exactly what I was hoping for and met all of my expectations.

The other great thing about watching TRON was that it was a pressure-free viewing experience for me. As a geek, it's more often than not that I head into the theater feeling really nervous and verklempt and/or I leave feeling frustrated and angry. It's kind of awful. Always being worried about whether or not a script will do justice to an original film or a comic book. So having no sentimental attachments to a movie at all was a welcome relief.

12/20/10

Han and Chewie are Dead (And Indiana Jones is next.)

Harrison Ford and George Lucas
want to slash and burn...
This Saturday, I logged onto Twitter and saw an angry message written by Harry Knowles. It was in all caps, and there was cursing and exclamation points and it was aimed at George Lucas, so naturally, I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. Knowles, posted a link to the following video, a snippet of game play from the Star Wars game, "The Force Unleashed 2", in which your character is a Sith Lord. For those of you who don't speak geek, that's one of the bad guys. So you're living all the Star Wars adventures out on the other side of the chess board. We downloaded and played the demo and it was awesome, though extremely violent. But when we played, we were just offing random Stormtroopers. I had no idea what was in store as the game went forward. 



12/17/10

Teleportation? Yes please.


Well, I certainly never thought I'd post anything from FoxNews.com here at Born For Geekdom. But alas, the day has come.

How Star Trek transporters may become a reality very soon.

12/16/10

The Burn Notice Season Finale: Why You Should Watch This Show

I thought I'd throw a link up to a blog where you can find clothing that appears in the show. Some of the items seem fairly out of date, so I don't know how "available" they will still be, nevertheless...

Here's the nifty little blog "Seen On". This link will take you right to the "Fiona" page.


Burn Notice is kind of the Miami Vice of today. Except waaaaay better than Miami Vice. It's fun to watch for a plethora of reasons and I think it will stand the test of time (as far as watch-ability is concerned) far better than the 80's cop show. It's just the fact that it's set in Miami that draws comparisons. Which is fair...but I'm sure it gets old for the show's creators.

If you're not watching the show, you should be. But I'd recommend that you start from the beginning or you may be a little bit lost. (Try Netflix.) I was immediately drawn in by the fact that the show has Bruce Campbell. A no fail casting choice, if you ask me. But we all know I'm a little crazy for Bruce...

12/13/10

Pirates Ahoy! FULL TRAILER: Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides

Aaaaaaand we're off! Let the countdown begin! (And thank goodness...) Redeem the franchise from the depressing ending after the third film? Check. Watch the real star of the franchise swashbuckle in beautiful tropical locations? Check. Delve into mermaid lore? Check.



Man I love these movies...when I got the DVD of the first film as a Christmas gift all the way back in 2003, I remember sitting down Christmas eve night and just watching the special features over and over and over again. Here's to more of the same for the next few years. Huzzah!

Women of Ninja Warrior on G4: Female Empowerment WIN or Feminism FAIL?


Read Jim Henson's Journal

Photo courtesy of www.henson.com 
"In June 1965, 28-year-old Jim Henson started a written log of his activities in what became known as “The Red Book.” He noted down what had happened up until that point (deemed “Ancient History”) and then recorded anything that he felt was worth recording as single line journal entries until the end of 1988."    -             Henson.com

The creative genius behind The Muppets, Jim Henson, was known to keep an expansive journal. And now, the official Jim Henson archivist makes some of his entries available to the public on Henson.com. The official link to the journal is HERE. If you follow the link, you can read all about the premiere of the classic Henson film, "The Dark Crystal", which occurred on this day in 1982. (I was just a little over three months old when the movie came out...)

12/12/10

Belly Up (or out, or sideways...)

I'm learning the joys of false
eyelashes, stage makeup,
and a whole lotta jewelry
It's official, I'm a belly dancer. After a lifetime of watching my mother dance professionally, I finally decided to carry the torch. I've been going to classes for the last five months and just did my first ever performance with my good friend Lauren, who has also been taking classes. We performed last night at a Haffa and today at a recital, and we're already signed up for another class that starts in January.

There's been something incredibly liberating about learning how to belly dance, and this little journey I've been on has had another purpose. It's a chapter in my book that will go near the end of the manuscript called, "Shake What Your Mama Gave Ya...Literally".




12/11/10

Waiting in Line at Disneyland is More Complicated Than You Knew...

I've rejoined the Twitterverse, and because of that, I now get all kinds of fabulous information from the people I follow. Just in case you were wondering, I'm not being sarcastic. I love the way that Twitter helps you discover stories, material, and facts that you would've otherwise missed out on completely. I'm already a little confused about the etiquette of Twitter and I'm just waiting to make my first faux pas, but while I wait to offend someone's social sensibilities, I'm finding cool stuff like this...

"Theory and Practice of Queue Design" - posted by writer Cory Doctorow

First Image of "Super 8" Monster or Sign of an Impending Zombie Invasion?

Super 8 marketing image or unrelated hoax?
So here's the story. The picture posted to the right appeared on a hunting website a few days ago, an anonymous source posted the image which he claims a trap cam shot after his camp was inexplicably ransacked. So this image first appeared on the internet as though it were real. Creeptacular, no?

However, now the image is being linked to the upcoming monster/alien/frustratingly hard to see creature that probably won't get a backstory movie coming out this May, which leads some to believe that J.J. Abrams' and Steven Spielberg's film, "Super 8" may be kicking it's viral marketing campaign into high gear.

Then again, this image of a ghoul-like monster may just be a great Photoshop fake that's riding a wave of accidental publicity. Then again, this could be a trick by producers meant to throw us off the scent of what the real plot of the film will be. (Jurassic Park reboot? Whatever is in the wrecked train from the trailer is big enough to tear through metal like it's foil...I'm just sayin'...) Either way, this is a fun bit of news. But wait...there's more...

12/10/10

Bea Arthur was an "overly aggressive" truck-driving Marine!


This will spread like wildfire, if it hasn't already. My good friend Jen just shared this story with me on Facebook. I have to say, it doesn't surprise me in the least that Bea would A.) Serve her country. or B.) Get in trouble for having a mouth on her. This just turns my admiration for her up way past eleven...

Read the full story HERE on The Smoking Gun. I typically despise this website, but this a really fun little detail that provides some great historical and patriotic context to one of the world's most legendary comedic minds. 

12/8/10

What Happens When You Fall in Love with Bruce Campbell

Bruce Manchu...
A fellow grad student shared some great information from a book she has called, "The Practice of Writing Poetry". The specific exercise is called Twenty Little Poetry Projects and it gives you twenty prompts for twenty lines that will eventually form a poem. Speaking from a "teacherly" place...writing exercises can generate content you may want to publish or read aloud, but they can also just jar things loose and get you warmed up for a great day of writing. Plus, they're fun, and that's always good enough for me.

This was one of mine...a kind of a running satirical joke I play on myself when I write about what might happen if the real world intersected with the swarming geek consciousness that is my brain. It is, of course, complete fiction. I also encourage my students (because I have been encouraged by my teachers) to write about what they really care about, what they know the best, and what gets them feeling inspired. So naturally, during grad school, I've written a plethora of pieces about geek culture. It's fun to apply high literary technique to pop culture, stand back, and see what happens...


12/7/10

How to Deal with Aggression...the Geek Way

You know, when I'm having a bad day and I feel like exploding, or when I'm busy and feel like the work will never end, or even when I'm stuck on a shuttle bus crammed full of grumpy people talking on cell phones, there's one movie I think of to cheer myself up. Well, okay...two.


12/6/10

When Movies and Comic Books Become A Reality - Space Travel, Mutants, and The Daily Prophet

You know how sometimes you think of something, and then you start noticing it everywhere? It's been that way for me with Richard Branson lately. Jake and I have talked about him a lot in the past, he's one of the world's billionaires that has joined with Bill Gates and others to lead the charge on giving some of that tremendous wealth back to society. I don't know much about him as a person, but he was the topic of some discussion at Starbase Indy, I saw him on the Today show last week, and then again being interviewed with Bill Gates and Ted Turner on MSNBC last weekend. But there are two projects he's working on and each of them makes a movie dream a reality. Legendary comic creator Stan Lee is also up to some interesting stuff...

1. Commercial Space Travel - This has been talked about for some time in the press, but the day is creeping closer and closer where you will be able to buy a ticket into space. Star Trek, Star Wars, and the idea of accessible space travel are going to make the leap from conceptual to actual in a matter of a few years. Branson's company, Virgin Galactic is finishing work on their re-usable space shuttles and even their very own space dock. In fact, they've even sold tickets. Know what the first shuttle is named? The Enterprise...got goosebumps yet?



2. The Real Life Daily Prophet - Last week Branson released a magazine for the iPad called, "Project". Because it's a magazine for the iPad, the design of the magazine involves a lot of moving images, just like the newspaper in the Harry Potter universe, "The Daily Prophet". Check out the first cover as it will appear on iPad screens everywhere. (You can't go wrong with Jeff Bridges, that has to be a good omen for future success.)

                                    PROJECT magazine cover video from PROJECT on Vimeo.

3. Stan Lee's Superhumans - There's a show on the History Channel in which Stan Lee sponsors a documentary-like search for people with real-life superpowers. It's an interesting show that entertains, but also attempts to scientifically break down the abilities of people who dream things before they occur, people who can handle massive amounts of electricity that would kill any normal human, people that can hold their breath underwater for many minutes, and more. Watch video of some of the amazing people the show has found here. 

Meet the man who can cut a speeding bullet in half with a samurai sword...

12/1/10

Frank and Earnest Eulogies - Letters to Irvin Kershner and Leslie Nielsen


“My theory is that the artist is primarily an observer, and one of the problems with modern art is that there’s no observation—the artists observe each other, they observe each other’s paintings. Perception has to be developed, that’s where depth comes in. I don’t see it much with American directors. The reason is we don’t reward it—it’s as simple as that. You do something highly personal, really different, it will either not be understood by the executives it has to go through, or will be considered noncommercial, which is to bring hell down upon you.”
Irvin Kershner, director of The Empire Strikes Back, in a 1999 interview for Salon Magazine.

Dear Mr. Kershner,

I'm really sorry that you're gone. You were awesome. For starters, you must have been an amazing professor at USC, because under your tutelage, a plethora of amazing film directors went on to entertain and educate us with their work. Also, you were brave. When Lucas asked you to direct the sequel to the first Star Wars film and you said to your agent, "Are you crazy?", you could've been right. It could've been a total bust. But you brought heart and gravitas to a franchise that could've easily collapsed in on itself. Thanks for that. 
 I think there was a whole lot of Yoda in you, the way you wanted artists to be themselves and create something original. I just want you to know that for years, I've been really proud to say that I knew your name. I've been happy to correct people when they assumed that Lucas directed all three of the original trilogy movies. I don't know if that counts for anything, but in the brain of a sci-fi geek, like myself, there's a whole lot of information packed away. A lot. And you were never difficult to recall. Not your career, not your associations, and not even your face. Which, for the record, was super cute. You'll be missed. 
Sci-Fi has exploded into something new and fresh as a genre, and any of that goodness is thanks to you in large part. But it's also become kind of an accidental cartoon at times. Nothing wrong with that, but I'll really miss the weight and legitimacy that you brought to a genre, a franchise...an industry. Your thoughts on art are sentiments that I keep very close in times when I feel that I may just be a stupid kid with fluffy obsessions that should go get a real job. You remind me that passion and obsession is something to work at, care for, cultivate, and take very seriously. Even when the world may look at you and say, "You're directing what movie?!"