Friday, May 10, 2013

Nerds, Assemble: My Avengers 2/ Marvel phase 2 wish list

As you may have guessed, I am a bit of a Marvel fan.  Watching Iron Man 3 multiple times opening weekend gives me proper Fanboy credentials.  I am very excited for phase 2 movies in the pipeline and hopefully will get some of the characters that are more prominent in the graphic novels.

Marvel's The Avengers is amazing.  My favorite recap is offered on - here - and basically gives away the whole movie.  So, spoilers...

I have read Joss Whedon rumors like everyone else.  He hinted at a brother and sister duo, he also hinted he would be finished with the script in the next couple months. I hope he reads my little wish list before he finalizes the script.  He could at least hint to the existence of the other heros, a little nod to let me know that they are alive in his heart as well.

So here goes, my wish list for Avengers 2 and possibly the Phase 2 movies in the pipeline: 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Iron Man 3 Review - spoiler free

I watched Iron Man 3, twice.  That's right, twice.  I wanted to make sure I captured all the Iron Man goodness and really got a grasp of what to write about.  I wanted to make this as spoiler free as possible.  I am also writing a spoiler laden piece for NerdKo so if you want something juicy with tons of bits of info - check it out.

First let me start by saying this was not a stand alone movie.  This movie is a puzzle piece in the Marvel universe.  If you have seen Marvel's The Avengers, then you should be well and ready to see Iron Man 3.   Stark references the incidents in New York as we hoped he would.  His reaction is what matters.  Shane Black shares some interesting emotions from Stark as he is dealing with the aftermath of NY and the Avengers initiative.

Pepper steps up a little bit and has a stronger role in this film.  I feel this isn't a spoiler as she has slowly gained more screen time and more importance as Tony's main squeeze.  This is the first Marvel Movie that I know of to pass the Bechdel Test.  To pass the Bechdel Test, a movie must:

1. Have at least two [named] women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man
It passes - yay! 

I am sad to say that Marvel's Avengers don't pass the test.  There are too few named female characters and the only two that were named were not alone to have any conversations.  

But I digress.  Iron Man 3 explores some of Tony's fears and his strengths outside the suit.  The attack on his home is no secret because it is featured heavily in the advertisements for the film.  Without access to his private workshop (lovingly named Stark R&D) he uses the MacGyver skills he displayed at the birth of Iron Man.  

As a lover of the comics, I was happy to see some of the themes from the graphic novels woven in to the story.  Granted they integrate some things very differently than in the source material. Saying anything else will give it away, but know that Ben Kingsley gave a smashing performance.  

I highly recommend the film and all others in the series.  It is best enjoyed not as a stand alone, but watched with Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Marvel's the Avengers preceding it.  If you've seen it and want to talk about it, feel free to leave a comment below.  


Hidden Gem

I found a little gem on Netflix one day.  The movie: Gamers: Dorkness Rising

The movie is everything you would expect from an independent team of writers and directors.  It has all the snark and seriousness of gamers at a table.  Although I am not a table top RPG player myself (gasp) I know what it is like to play Risk with my friends and family.  I KNOW the type of table talk that comes out.  When you get around to 3 am, the snark starts to fly.

I highly recommend you check it out.  The snark about charisma alone is worth the watch.


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Check out NerdKO

I am so excited to announce that I am blogging for a site called NerdKO!

My first piece for the site is a neat take on how to Train your Whovian: getting your friends involved in Doctor Who.  This really speaks to me as I have created so many Whovians in the past 3 years that I don't know what to do with all of them.  

You should check it out and keep your eyes peeled for more posts about my works with the NerdKO crew.  Follow them on twitter @NerdKo 


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Book Review Time: The Legend of the Blue Eyes

The Legend of the Blue Eyes, by B. Kristin McMichael 

Let me first start by saying there are a lot of Y.A. Supernatural books on the market.  McMichael sets her world apart from the others by creating a main character that you believe.  Arianna is an average young woman, raised as an average teenager until her 16th Birthday reveals that she isn’t quite like all the others around her.  If I had to compare it to something, I would call it Princess Diaries meets Supernatural. 

The story touches on themes present in some other Supernatural YA: loyalty, trust, romance, teenage love, feuding clans, and ancient power struggles.  McMichael uses these as tools to tell her story and surround the main character with many of the same choices as a YA audience.  Although one of the readers may not be caught in a power struggle between two houses, the average sixteen year old feels every decision is a major life decision.  Readers will relate to the fast paced world and see the world set before them through Arianna’s eyes. 

I was half way through the book when I secretly wished for a second book.  I wanted more words and more characters to help me immerse myself in the world McMichael created.  I enjoy character driving story telling.  McMichael creates a world where all act according to their natures.  The story feels natural, not forced, and is the first of a trilogy that I look forward to reading. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

25 Things

Facebook had a "note" circulating a while ago - "25 things that people may not know about you" - so I thought I would create an updated one for my Blog.  So here goes nothing.

  1. I would rather watch the original Star Wars Movies on VHS then watch the remastered versions on DVD because I know everything about my copy of the VHS.  When I was a child, we watched all 3 Star Wars on rotation every weekend.  I had the lines memorized by age 7.  The remastered versions make me want to throw things at the TV.
  2. My favorite game system is the PS3, followed by Wii, Nintendo DS and Xbox 360.  
  3. I purchased 2 copies of Orange Box - One for 360 and one for PS3.  This is when I discovered the PS3 controller makes me feel better and I can control the characters better.  This was a personal decision and not an endorsement.  
  4. When I babysat for a neighborhood family, I would take my PS2 over and reward the child with video games.  The parents LOVED me for this and would insist I bring the system over to play.  The game we played: Lego Star Wars.  
  5. My favorite book of all time is A Ring of Endless Light by Madeline L'Engle
  6. My favorite book series is the Harry Potter Series, followed closely by The Tortall Novels by Tamora Pierce.  
  7. I am ashamed to say I read 50 Shades of Gray - all three - in under 4 days.   
  8. I constantly suspend disbelief when I watch movies because I have a basic understanding of physics.  
  9. I miss having a gold star chart to track my progress - for everything.
  10. I have 4 different versions of Monopoly: original version (complete with ratty box), 70th year edition, Here-and-Now (complete with updated prices to reflect current market rates) and OSUopoly (for Buckeye fans).  I refuse to buy the electronic banking version because it doesn't allow for the seedy underbelly of the mob to surface after all the properties have been distributed.  My cousins and I have more fights around Monopoly games than we do over our college rivalries.  I think Monopoly is a gateway game and encourage parents to play regularly with all children.
  11. I still sleep with a Teddy Bear.  He protects me from monsters at night, and constantly watches for the Weeping Angels.
  12. If the Doctor grabbed my hand and said "Get your coat, we're going on an adventure!" I would have already packed a bug-out bag and have it ready to go.  
  13. My favorite color is Tardis Blue
  14. I will now and forever read the book before watching an adaptation.  
  15. I enjoy the company of dogs.  Cats, I treat with the same distant respect as some humans.  
  16. I would rather go play laser tag with a bunch of friends than go on a quiet romantic date on a Friday night.  
  17. There's nothing wrong with eating macaroni and cheese for a week.
  18. Graduate school may have killed my love of Ramen.  However, I will always have a box of Ramen in my pantry in the event I feel the urge to have a "dorm cooked meal" 
  19. I don't have an iPhone.  I do have an iPad, and a missing iPod.  
  20. I make wire wrap jewelry in my 'spare time' and have a few pieces at a local boutique.  I wanted to get into etsy, but who has time for all of that? 
  21. Nerds who are nice to other nerds make me happy!!!
  22. I still go trick-or-treating.  Except now I get to take my Godson :)  
  23. I was a thespian in High School - I came out of the prop closet.  
  24. My favorite Sci-Fi shows (in no particular order): BSG, ST:TNG, Stargate SG-1 (et. al.), Firefly (::tear::), Doctor Who, Alphas, Warehouse 13, Being Human.  
  25. I am not Iron Man 
- Filakia 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” 
 Leonardo da Vinci

Raise your hand if you like to build things with LEGO bricks?  If you are raising your hand, you probably had an awesome childhood.  I know for a fact that I would not have the sharp mind I have to day if I didn't build when I was younger.  Hard to describe the feeling of accomplishment that you get when you complete the object on the front of the box.  Better yet, that sense of accomplishment when the thing you created looks nothing like the box and it is 10 times cooler!

The play lies in the simple act of creating.  

As an example of this, I took a LEGO car kit to my Godson for his Birthday.  Within minutes of opening the package, he assembled the car according to the booklet.  Step by step, he created something very cool.  It functioned, but that wasn't the point of the gift.  I didn't want to give him "stuff" I wanted to give him an experience and an outlet for expression.  Children don't gain joy in the completed artwork you hang on your fridge, they gain joy in the creation.  That simple act of creating and breathing life into something that didn't exist before they touched it.  

I write this post as I contemplate my own career and my own aspirations.  I have been told that my joy lies in the completion.  Everything I do will be worth it when I make enough money or have enough things.  This is a lie that your parents tell you so you don't become artists or hippies (according to my grandmother).  Why don't adults get back to the simple joy of creation?  If there is enough joy and love in the creation, we are bound to create something that will aid a productive and rational society.  

Here is where Nerd Culture comes in.

Nerd culture celebrates the creation of cool stuff.  Tumblr is filled with FanFic and other original ideas. Artists and creators find great joy in the simple act of creating things and sharing what they love.  Sure it is great to buy completed nerd works.  Who doesn't want a full sized TARDIS hanging out in your living room?    

We have this great and beautiful thing called the internet, where we can share in the love for the simple act of creating something to be appreciated.  Connecting people who create with those who appreciate the act.  You see the love that goes into each and every piece of nerd created mastery, and that makes it 100 times more valuable than the "perfect" factory replicated plastic shield or mask.  

Love the simple things in life, create something with a child, teach them the joy of building and you will expand the universe exponentially.  There is no limit to the imagination of a child, so why not give them the tools to explore?  

I will leave you with one last thought.  The finished product for a nerd is never the end of a project.  Much like Iron man and his constant upgrades, we seek more.  That is wonderful for the big kids who know their limits - but give kids lots of room.  9 times out of 10 a kid will take apart the thing you liked the best to use parts for a new creation.  LET THEM.  For the joy lies in the creation, not the result.