Friday, 24 December 2010

Rare Exports - bad Santa and his naked little helpers

I went to see Rare Exports this week with my lovely friends from the Haus of Roeni, so I thought it only fitting that I post something about it the night before christmas.

It's safe to say that not many people will get to see this film. It's in Finnish with subtitles, which will put a lot of people off, and it's also on a limited release in the UK. But the intrepid few who hunt it out at their local artsy fartsy cinema will be glad they did. And they probably won't feel the same warm glow about Santa any more.

I'm not going to post a full review, as I think this review at i09 pretty much says it all. But I will say that this film is a treat. A kind of freakish treat, but a treat nevertheless. And just when you think you know what the movie is about (bad santa on loose, find bad santa, blow up bad santa) it completely changes in the last few minutes into something far more fantastical than any story about a man who circumnagivates the globe in a flying sleigh to deliver presents to children. This unexpected twist made me love this film more than had it ended with the bad santa blown to chunks.

It's by no means perfect. Once Pietari tells his dad and Piiparinen that the naked and feral old man they found in the wolf pit is Santa, the mystery and suspense is forgotten in favour of some loud and pacey action. I would have liked some more suspense and less shouting. The switch to action also comes a bit undone with some badly executed CG moments that needed way more money to come up to scratch, which is a shame when the surroundings of the frozen north are so beautiful.

But it delivers interesting characters, plenty of tense moments, a bit of mystery, some classic stoytelling, and enough naked santas running through the Finnish mountains to give you nightmares.

You'll probably never want to eat gingerbread again.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Tron: Legacy shmegacy

Chuck wasn't sure about Tron: Legacy either...
 I went to see a preview of Tron: Legacy courtesy of Show Film First (thank you!) the day before it premiered and wasn't allowed to say anything until it was officially released into the world. But rather than post something the next day like a lot of people probably did, I wanted to let the dust settle. And I wanted to see if anyone else thought that it was...wait for it.... a bit pants. I feared a cyber-lynching, so I kept my thoughts to myself for a few weeks.

But since reading snippets of online reviews and disappointed tweets, @Film4 in particular, I'm sticking my neck out and saying that I thought Tron:Legacy was..... meh.

I assumed I would love it because:
  • I sat in Hall H at Comic Con with thousands of fanboys and girls to watch the early footage.
  • I might be in it! For explanation see this post.
  • I *heart* Chuck, and Chuck *hearts* Tron.
  • It's Tron for frakssake!
However, my excitement at being at a preview, wearing kickass 3D specs and even getting an intro from director Joseph Kosinski didn't outweigh my disappointment and general boredom.

I'm not going to run through the blah blah plot or pick out the particular moments that made me want to throw my specs at the screen. But Clu? Come on, if you're going to spend years on a film please get the CG character who is supposed to look like Flynn to actually look convincingly like Flynn.

For me, Tron: Legacy was a big disappointment. I wanted to give it my heart, but it gave me a headache.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The geek in my week

I didn't really spot any geek last week, but my manager emailed me something yesterday that I wanted to share. Not many people would think to dress up like the scrolling words at the beginning of Star Wars, but this fangirl did. And I applaud her for it.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

The geek in my week

I realised the other day how much I notice the geek moments in my otherwise ordinary real life. These brief moments give me a shiny fangirl glow, so I've decided to start documenting them here every week.

So here's how I've found the geek in this week.
  1. I had to change my computer password at work, so I changed it to remind myself that I'm going to Chevron 7.6 next year and meeting RDA himself. Makes me smile every time I punch the keyboard.
  2. I started reading an SEO book which has been on my desk at work for months. Gratuitous Firefly reference on page 7.
  3. I was in Sheffield last week for work and noticed I was walking along a street call Fargate... remember when Farscapers Ben Browder and Claudia Black joined Stargate and two verses collided into Fargate SG1?

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Rare Exports - the psycho Santa movie

If there's one thing Christmas needs, it's a move about Santa that isn't feelgood. In fact, what would be awesome would be a crazy dark twist on the Santa story in some foreign language like, I don't know, Finnish.

Guess what I'm going to see on Christmas eve eve this year?

Ho Ho holy crap this looks good! Check out the website for more festive fun.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Am I in Tron: Legacy? Quite possibly...

On 22 July this year I sat next to my sister in Hall H at Comic Con yelling "DISC WARS", "RINZLER", stamping my feet, clapping my hands and cheering at the bidding of Joseph Kosinski, director of Tron: Legacy.

He wanted sounds from a real crowd for the movie, so Disney techies rigged the hall with lots of super expensive microphones and we followed instructions on the big screen for yelling, cheering and stomping.

Are our shouts in the movie? No idea.

Will I tell people that they are? Absolutely.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Walter Bishop and Bolivia's vagenda

Spoilers for Entrada ahead!

We've all been waiting for Fringe episode 8 Entrada to see if/how Olivia gets back to our side of the verse. After the episode 7 cliffhanger phonecall to Peter/Pacey, I wasn't sure how long it would take for him to seriously doubt the woman sleeping next to him. And yey for him it was immediate! Loved the Greek test that Bolivia failed - a nice echo back to the start of last season. But how dumb was she to take the wrong laptop? Come on writers, that was lame!

But everything seemed to happened very quickly. I wanted more chase time, more to and fro between the verses as Bolivia tried to get to her exit and Olivia was about to be carved up for research. I was very upset at what happened to the altiverse Broyles (RIP), and Peter/Pacey's sad sad eyes throughout the episode made me feel bad that he'd been having lots of sex with a woman who wasn't his Olivia.

But in middle of all this tension and running and guns, the highlight for me was Walter's rant about how Bolivia tricked his son with her "carnal manipulations" causing him to fall right into her "vagenda." Classic Walter Bishop. Fantastic Fringe. Can't wait to see the fallout from Bolivia's time on our side.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

You're still my Chuck

I’ve been a Chuck fan in moderate despair since season 4 started. The show was lacking its usual oomph and felt, to me anyway, like too much Chuck/Sarah and too little Team Bartowski. I'm a shipper at heart and very happy that the show has brought them together as a couple. But all the discssion about their relationship, Sarah’s baggage, Chuck’s desire to settle down etc. all got a bit too much for me.

And then along came Chuck versus the First Fight and behold my show is back! Timothy Dalton's Keyser Söze moment brought back the mojo of season 2 where emotional development, comedy, action and OMG moments all combined to bring us one helluva episode cliffhanger – in this case Chuck de-intersected by his mum.

Episodes 7-10 have made me love Chuck again, despite some ropey special effects in Chuck versus the Fear of Death (a.k.a. James Bond on a bad budget). Seeing Sarah go insanely badass sans Chuck in Chuck versus Phase Three was ridiculously awesome - kidnap, torture, tearing up Thailand to get to her man, and of course the raw emotional stuff that Yvonne Strahovski eats up when she gets the chance to play it. Sarah saving Chuck was at the heart of the show back in the beginning, and it was good to see it back. It was also good to see some more Die Hard in the Buy More in Chuck versus the Leftovers, and an uncomfortable family meal that reminded me of Sarah's first dinner at the Bartowski's.

My highlight of the last few episodes? Casey calling Chuck's mum "Mama B" - a nice shoutout to the fans who've been calling her that since before Comic Con in July.

Thank you Team Chuck for bringing him back to his best, let's hope it continues.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Reboot reuse recycle - this time it's Buffy

If you woke up this morning and checked twitter you might have felt like you were in a freakish parallel universe, like the Fringe altiverse where things tend to be red and slightly bizarre. Geeks like me were talking about confirmed plans for a reboot of the slayer and her pals for the big screen without any input from Joss Whedon: master of the Buffyverse.

We all know that vampires, werewolves and wiccans are all the rage right now. And since MTV has already pitched a classic into the reboot ring with Teen Wolf, this latest news makes a strange kind of sense. But Buffy without Joss doesn’t make any kind of sense.

I agree with Faith (who wouldn't? she'd kick your ass!). How would Buffy sound without Joss’ influence? Where would the pop culture references be? The flawed characters and the dark dark twisted storylines mixed up with the odd musical gem?

But what puzzles me most is the part of the press release that completely fails to understand the value of Buffy season 1-7 to fans (like me).
“There is an active fan base eagerly awaiting this character’s return to the big screen..."
Really? Is that the fan base who made 'Joss' and 'Whedon' trend on Twitter today with cries of" no no please god no"?*

Joss is boss. Everyone who loves the Buffyverse knows this. So what kind of beer goggles are the powers that be wearing to think that this is a great idea?

* Okay so I made up that tweet, but it's fairly accurate.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

When geeks do the Monster Mash

Yes, I've customised the Jib Jab monster mash for me and my comic con ladies. And it is the funniest thing I've watched in a long time. Sorry girls, but I had to share it far and wide....

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

When the new season starts in the USA, how do you watch from the UK?

The new season of TV has started in the States, which means that all the shows I watch, talk about, and fangasmed over at Comic Con in July are back. Which is a good thing. I'm a happy girl and looking forward to getting sucked back into the world of Chuck, Fringe, Supernatural, Castle etc.

But when the online places you usually tap for your fix of new American tv shows don't have anything new, and when everyone else is talking about what happened this week, your place in fandom is threatened in the most primal way. You run the risk of being out of sync with everyone else. You run the risk of being (pause for effect) just another viewer.

Fandom is about so much more than watching something, it's about adding to the conversation. It's about feeling part of a shared experience. And it relies on currency (meaning 'now' not cubits). If you fall out of step with the rest of your fandom you can quickly fall so behind it's impossible to catch up.

But now thanks to twitter when you have a problem you can ask the verse for help. And I got my fix and am now back in the bosom of fandom. Which sounds odd, but I hope you get my meaning.

2 season openers down, a few more to go... Thanks @DrDSM for saving my Saturday!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Comic Con 2010 - Supernatural

Well, I've managed to almost use up my sister's monthly bandwidth uploading videos from comic con.. And here are the ones from the Supernatural panel.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Comic Con - Fringe panel

This was a really interesting panel - lots of insight into the two universes, how Anna Torv plays each Olivia and the set up for season 3. Unfortunately, moderator Ken Tucker from Entertainment Weekly did a terrible job. At times it felt like he didn't even watch the show or didn't really want to be at Comic Con at all!

But the cast and show runners were great. And they turned the tables on the Q+A by asking people at the mic a question too... Here are the films I took during the panel.

Comic Con - Big Bang Theory panel

Where to start with the Big Bang Theory panel? There was the awesomeness of moderator, guest star and not-evil-at-all guy Wil Wheaton, the singalong with Barenaked Ladies, Kaley and Jim singing 'soft kitty'... It was all wonderful and well worth sitting in line for hours to see.

Here are the films I took during the panel.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Comic Con - best and worst moments

Inspired by this posting on the unofficial Comic Con blog I thought I'd mull over the good and bad bits of my experience.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Comic Con 2010 - Chuck panel videos

If you haven't already heard, Jeffster rocked the Chuck panel at Comic Con for the second year running, this time with a music video to Lady Gaga's Bad Romance. The panel kicked off in true Chuck style with a season 3 reel, some technical infiltration by The Ring and Chuck and Morgan coming to the rescue with the only video footage they knew would save the fans from becoming evil intersect agents. My report on the panel is online at Den of Geek.

Here are some clips of the panel from my YouTube channel.

Comic Con 2010 - Chuck pics

I'm still uploading my videos to YouTube, so while I wait here are some of the pics I snapped during the panel.

For loads more awesome pics from the panel see the Sarah Walker Fangirls twitpic.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Comic con preview night madness

Today has been surreal to say the least. First there was the queue for preview night that started at 10am, then the Klingon signs at the convention centre transit station, then Green Hornet’s car parked on the pavement and Ecto 1 experiencing car trouble just down the road from Eureka’s Cafe Diem. And then the wait in line for about five hours to get into the exhibition hall for preview night. But by convention standards that’s pretty standard, like dog years in reverse for you normal people out there.

Celeb guests tweeted their arrivals and Felicia Day received some less than useful advice from her old friend Captain Hammer.
Felicia Day: In San Diego. Gotta figure out how to unload all the boxes or the Guild booth stealth style to avoid the guards lol.
Nathan Fillion: @feliciaday take off your shirt. No one will notice boxes.
I was determined to get a Chuck bag when I checked in, but ended up with Batman. But you make friends easily at convention queues, and the nice guy next to me agreed to swap so I could get what I came here for!

Spiderman was in the queue, with his backpack of supplies, and Batman stood patiently with the rest of us while we tweeted, checked out email, played various card games and generally paused before the madness of the exhibition hall. And it was such madness.

Swag highlights include a Wonder Woman iPhone case, a huge Green Hornet bag and a lei promoting the new CBS show Hawaii 50. Now time to sleep before the great q for Hall H tomorrow...

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Comic con pre-preview night secret spy mission

I'm reporting from San Diego Comic Con for Den Of Geek so will be linking across to the pieces on the site from here so I don't just repeat what they've already published. Like this.

I did a bit of a secret spy mission this evening to scope out the convention centre and got a glimpse of the massive Hall H being set up with chairs (oh my god it really is huge) as well as some posters for Green Lantern and True Blood. I also spotted the signs for Ballroom 20 which is the place I'll be spending most of my time. That's where the likes of Chuck, Big Bang Theory, Fringe, Supernatural and Glee (to name but a few) will be appearing.

Bring on preview night! And thousands of geeks like me...

Friday, 9 July 2010

A satnav far far away

"You're gonna kill people if you give directions like that!"

We all need guidance from a Jedi master once in a while, and I think my driving skillz would benefit from some wise Yoda words. I love the marketing TomTom have done around their Star Wars voices, although to be honest they don't really need to promote them at all. But I think Darth Vader and Yoda should come as a package download, so you can choose the light or dark side of the force to get you where you're going.

I remember how excited I was when I downloaded the retro Cylon centurion voice...

Monday, 5 July 2010

What Buffy taught us

I've just posted on the SFX mag Facebook page about most rousing speeches in sci-fi. My choice? Buffy's season 7 speech to the potential slayers about accepting their power. It still gives me tingles.

"In every generation one Slayer is born because a bunch of men who died thousands of years ago made up that rule. They were powerful men. (She points at Willow, who smiles nervously.) This woman is more powerful than all of them combined.
"So I say we change the rule. I say my power should be our power. Tomorrow, Willow will use the essence of the scythe to change our destiny. From now on, every girl in the world who might be a Slayer, will be a Slayer. Every girl who could have the power, will have the power. Can stand up, will stand up. Slayers every one of us. Make your choice. Are you ready to be strong?"
I haven't watched my Buffy boxsets in a while, but this speech from the last episode always gets to me. Buffy wasn't a perfect show (sorry Joss!) but I think this speech in particular pretty much nailed what it was all about. Girls taking control of their lives, standing up and standing together. And kicking ass in the process.

Thank you Buffyverse Dialogue Database for having this quote in the bank!

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Nerds in a herd at Comic Con

I'm in the midst of the two weeks before Comic Con preparation frenzy, and my mind is full of the various things I need to do before I fly to sunny San Diego. New camcorder -check. Travel insurance - not quite. Condo paid for - big check.

And then I read this. I like the idea of a snark riot. In fact, I may try and incite on with the help of twitter. Anybody with me?

Friday, 25 June 2010

Twitter and the 'follow me!' fans

I love Twitter. I love the immediacy and the fun and the random connections you can make with people. One of my new fave things to do is follow the #PMQs hashtag and giggle at the wit coming from the voting public aimed at the kids sitting in Parliament. This week's PMQs was utterly ridiculous. Cameron almost earned himself a geekpoint but then he totally mixed his metaphors.

"There was a £300m black hole, and you do not have to be a Star Trek fan to know that when you are in the black hole, you should stop digging."

But I digress. Twitter is great. But it's brought out a whole new sort of crazy in fangirls and boys who now have the chance to get even closer to the objects of their affection. I'm talking about the 'follow me!' fans who probably run fansites or are very active in online fandom. These are the people who squee when an actor starts tweeting, follow them immediately, and then start tweeting them daily to try and develop a close personal relationship which leads to mutual followship. I doubt it's ever actually happened, but 'follow me!' fans live in the hope that one day it will and run the risk of twitter-stalking their idols.

Social networks are a great fan tool. But sometimes they can make fans act like tools.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

That fringe moment

Poor Olivia Dunham. Locked in a cell in a parallel universe and forced to be a brunette with a fringe (that's 'bangs' to any US fans reading this). Her hair was almost a character in its own right in the finale 2 parter, it was integral to the plot and the setup for season 3 as well as the main spot-the-difference point for her and her doppleganger.

I wouldn't be surprised if a few random fandom sites pop up dedicated to her hair over the next few weeks. Someone is bound to ask the Comic Con panel "Will Olivia keep her new hairstyle?" Yeah, because who cares about the plot when you have exciting new hair to talk about. Please no. I want to know WTF is going to happen next. I really hope season 3 lives up to the promise of this finale. And I want parallel Charlie to cross over and join our team on this side!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

We all start somewhere...

...and for me it was The X-Files. I think I was 14 and my older sis told me about a show she'd seen on Sky. Actually, she told me about a hot guy she'd seen in a show on Sky. The guy was Fox Mulder and the show was The X-Files.

Cut to a few years later and I was at university and suddenly had access to computers. I thought I'd try and find other people who liked my beloved X using t'interweb so I searched around. I met
fanfic and slashfic at the same time and have never been the same since...
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