Movies That Molded a Geek: Jumpin’ Jack Flash

flash1

"Dogs barking.  Can't fly without umbrella." Long, long ago, back in the days when the only computer in my house was a Commodore64, before online dating sites or really even the Internet as we know it, there was Jumpin' Jack Flash.  The film combined spy intrigue with online romance and, most importantly, comedy.  The lead, played by Whoopi Goldberg, is a surprisingly well-developed female character, even (sadly) by today's standards.  Oh, and did I mention?  She's a geek, too. Terry … [Read more...]

Unholy Alliance: Hollywood Anime Adaptations We’re Glad are in Pre-production Hell

cowboy bebop

Hollywood is a strange beast; it’s constantly raiding the cultural toolbox of every other form of fandom out there – from board games to kids toys to comics to Disneyland rides – and yet there are just some things that it never seems to get right. I don’t know whether it’s just a case that they don’t understand the geek culture they’re adapting, or that they get so caught up in making things NEW and FRESH and AWESOME and lose the very thing that makes the original property so great. Video … [Read more...]

Right to the Source – Adaptations Good, Bad, and Ugly

Deitch Hobbit

Did you know that animation legend Gene Deitch was involved in a semi-animated version of “The Hobbit” in the 1960s? Seriously! Go Google "Hobbit" and "Gene Deitch" and you'll see. In it, Dale, the City of Golden Bells, is destroyed by the dragon Slag. Three survivors of the destruction of Dale (a nameless watchman, Thorin Oakenshield, the general of Dale’s Garrison, and the Princess Mika Milovana) get help from the wizard Gandalf to find someone to slay the dragon. Gandalf leads them to Bilbo … [Read more...]

Star Wars: A Modest Proposal

sarlaac

Lately I feel like it's been all Star Wars, all the time.  First, of course, there was the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic and the latest version of all six films on Blu-Ray; then there's the theater re-release in 3D, so that there will be yet another version floating around out there.   I recently bought the original trilogy on Blu-Ray myself.  I'd grown up on the films, a VHS with copies recorded from HBO sometime in the 80s, but I hadn't sat down and watched them, start to finish, … [Read more...]

Secrets of a Geek Suitcase

LsSuitcase

I'm in the middle of bouncing between four cities and three states. So today, I'm going to tell you about the things I currently keep in my suitcase that keep me sane. And by sane, I mean not succumbing to TravelRage (TM.) [Pictured: Season one of Haven on DVD, The Lake House on DVD, Things We Think About Games, tin of dice, laptop, underside of suitcase. Not pictured: flask, cell phone, Kindle, camera.]  1. Haven: Season One. If setting the show in Maine, and having the presence of a … [Read more...]

Just Like Starting Over – GGG Pondering on the Retelling of Superhero Origins

Superman

I saw the new movie Chronicle this weekend with my husband and a couple of friends. I liked it quite a bit. On the way home, we discussed what we liked and disliked about it. All of us agreed that it was, essentially the origin story for a Superhero/Supervillain pairing. That got me thinking about Superhero origin stories, the most commonly told and retold stories in any comic book’s continuity. Why is it (I pondered) that origin stories are so lovingly told, over and over again? Can they be … [Read more...]

Manifesting Evil: Thoughts on Villainy

judgedoom

Sometimes, you just have to be the bad guy. Whether it’s an NPC foil to write or a swan dive into villainy as a player, the dark half of the story is never far from the table. When your turn towards evil has come up, you can take a moment to consider how to make it one towards quality villainy. My First Villain Think back to the first villain who honestly scared you. For me, there’s one that comes before all others. Judge Doom. He doesn’t ring a bell? Let’s take a fast stroll down memory … [Read more...]

Sherlock: Anatomy of a Reboot

sherlockseries2

So, has anyone seen the new Sherlock? What's that?  You're not sure whether I'm talking about the movie or the TV series?  Because there are two Sherlock franchises producing new content at the same time and both are quite popular?  Inconceivable!   There hasn't been an original idea in film since... well... ever, but eyebrows have been raised even more in recent years with the idea of "reboots."  Unlike a loosely-related next-generation "sequel," reboots can continue to profit from … [Read more...]

OMG SPOILERZ!: When [REDACTED] Killed [REDACTED]…

From XKCD.com

It all started one day when I took some criticism for a bit of Doctor Who trivia I wrote about at my day job. I figured since the episode in question was over three years old, any fans of Doctor Who would clearly have already seen it. I was wrong and since hid the paragraph between spoiler tags with a warning for those who hadn't finished watching Tennant's run as the Doctor. This made me wonder... What *Is* A Spoiler, Anyway? We can all agree on the broad definition that a spoiler is … [Read more...]

The Hobbit: Taking Us Back Again

hobbit

By now, you’ve probably seen the brand-new trailer for The Hobbit (if not, watch it now). The movie doesn’t come out for another year, but everyone’s excited - including me. We’re always honest here about exactly how nerdy we are, so I suppose I ought to own up and admit when I’m not; I’ve never read The Hobbit. Indeed, I’ve never read much Tolkien at all; I read The Silmarillion (for a class, worst introduction to Tolkien ever) and The Fellowship of the Ring, and found them both rather … [Read more...]