Monthly Archives: December 2013

A New Year for the Box Office

We all know about the big ones coming out like the new Marvel movies, but there might be a few gems heading to the theaters that may not get the hype or publicity as the big guns. Here is a list of some that look interesting for the coming first half of the year. Sadly, some of these may not have the strength to make it to a theater near you, but you should still keep an eye on their release to video.

The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box

This is the story of a boy searching for his family, unknowing that this journey will lead him straight through unimaginable monsters and evil believed only as legend. This is based on the novel by G.P. Taylor titled Mariah Mundi: The Midas Box.

http://www.fandango.com/theadventurer:thecurseofthemidasbox_169401/movieoverview

Knights of Badassdom

Basically, it is LARPing gone bad. Three best friends try to make their experience as real as possible and end up truly raising a little bit a hell in the process. The trailer doesn’t lead to much of what the film is actually about beyond highlighting the cast. Names like Steve Zahn, Ryan Kwaten, Summer Glau, and Peter Dinklage are what give this movie some consideration, but in the end it may not be enough to carry it. This is one of those movies that has no middle ground. It will either be epic or completely horrible.

http://www.fandango.com/knightsofbadassdom_146712/movieoverview

A Fantastic Fear of Everything

A former children’s author turned crime novelist forces himself into paranoia after researching various Victorian serial killers. It looks to be a quirky one, but I was sold at Simon Pegg.

http://www.imdb.com/rg/s/4/title/tt2006040/?ref_=ext_shr_eml_vi#lb-vi3374490393

The Monuments Men

During World War II, a military outfit is sent out to retrieve stolen works of art and masterpieces from the Nazis. What makes this even more intriguing is that it is based on a true story.

http://www.fandango.com/themonumentsmen_161603/movieoverview

The Grand Budapest Hotel

I should probably point out that this is a Wes Anderson film. In my experience, people are either fans of his movies, or they are not. This is the story of a concierge and his life at the hotel and with those he meets. I am clearly not doing the quick synopsis justice, but Wes Anderson films are random, which is the draw. You never really know what’s going to happen. I am personally excited for it.

http://www.fandango.com/thegrandbudapesthotel_168547/movieoverview

Muppets Most Wanted

Yes, I know Disney will do its fair share of publicity for this movie, but I feel it will always need more. As long as tickets sell at the box office, they will continue to make them. A Muppets fan can’t argue with that logic. This newest installment has a Kermit lookalike switching places with our favorite green frog and trying to use the Muppets and the theater to achieve his nefarious plans.

http://www.fandango.com/muppetsmostwanted_161864/movieoverview

Transcendence

A scientist has made great advancements in A.I., so much that he is now confident that he can map any human brain into a computer. People fearing the dangers of such an advancement attack the scientist with radiation leaving him to die slowly. If an effort to save him, his brain is mapped into a computer.

http://www.fandango.com/transcendence_163447/movieoverview

 

Thirty and Nerdy

Just twelve days in for my thirtieth year, and my life has taken one of the most amazing, mind blowing turns I ever could have imagined. Not really, the most exciting thing I accomplished today was doing household chores. The magical transition into thirty didn’t change anything that I thought it would, and honestly, that’s really okay.

When I turned twenty-nine last year, I began to panic a bit looking at my life knowing that it was nowhere near where I had imagined it to be. Thirty to me was a milestone, a point in my life where things should have been figured out. I had started a list of what needed to be done, so that maybe the last six years have meant something. I needed to become completely independent and get my own place. I needed to get a car that wouldn’t constantly fall apart on me. I wanted to finally finish the first draft of the damn novel that I have been trying to write for the past three years. I also put “maybe start dating” on the list, but for those who know me very well know that dating has never really been a concern for me ever. I just thought that I was supposed to have some kind of headway in that department by thirty.

I didn’t get everything figured out in time for my birthday, but I did hit a few. I did manage my own place and had a reliable vehicle thrust upon my person regardless of want, but these really only happened in the last couple of months. The novel is still sitting in the early stages awaiting real time for me to commit to it. As for dating, not so much. When I woke up the day after my birthday, I realized that it all didn’t really matter. I am pretty happy in general with who I am and where I’m at. It is by no means perfect. I want to write full time, but since it doesn’t pay the bills yet, I have to work. The dating thing has never been something that I have felt the need for. I’ve always felt that if it happens then it will. In the meantime I have things to do.

Those I guess would be the things that people would probably point their finger at me for and try to call me a failure. I could get called out on those or my weight or even my nerd tendencies. As responsible as I strive to be and feel I am, I am a very much a kid at heart. I believe that it balances me. If I wasn’t I would probably not be any fun for anyone. The flip side of that coin is that I could be considered immature because I still watch cartoons or that I wear t-shirts with comic book characters on them. We as people need this kind of fun to balance out the responsibility. Being too serious and over worked is hard on a person’s system, and mindlessly indulging the inner child at all times doesn’t allow for any growth. Thus you need to find the balance.

My parents recently came to visit, and my mother wanted to take me out and get a few things for my apartment for Christmas. I told her that I wanted a doormat, a shelving unit, and a clock. Pretty practical, right. Well when we got to the clocks I choose a Star Wars clock that has the original Star Wars cover as the main canvas of the clock. My mother checked, as she always does, if I was sure that I wanted it, and I said yes. I didn’t want a boring clock. I wanted something that would make me smile when I looked at it. My mother may have made a different choice for herself, but she knows that this is how I work. With a slight shake of her head and an amused smile on her face the place the clock in the cart.

Thirty isn’t scary, nor is it really any different from any other month I’ve lived through this year. I didn’t have to throw out my Buffy DVD’s or sign up for an online dating site in order to immediately get married and have children. There is no specified plan for this particular age. I am still me and don’t foresee it changing anytime soon, and least of all for some silly number. I am still a nerd girl and damn proud of that. Thirty-one isn’t going to change that either. I will continue to plan on being me. I really should have never questioned it in the first place. I perceived an expectation from society, and it just doesn’t work for me. I have no business trying to force myself into a mold that I have long decided was not for me. You know what I bought to commemorate this momentous birthday? No fancy jewelry for this girl. No, I bought myself a photo op with Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki at the next Supernatural convention. How’s that for thirty and nerdy?

10 Years of Love Actually

I cannot believe that it has been ten years since Love Actually graced the big screen. My first thought when I heard this was that I was getting old. My second thought was how I was barely at the legal drinking age when it came out, which is sad, because I feel alcohol can be a necessity when it comes to this movie and how you are feeling when you watch it. So this little movie has been around for ten years, and I have probably watched it at least that many times if not ridiculous amounts more.

The movie is not specifically about Christmas, but it does take place during the holiday season. It has become a tradition to watch it every holiday and just maybe more if the mood strikes me. If this isn’t a film jingling out evenly time songs about the winter festivities, then what is the movie about? It is about love, actually. Pun sooo intended.

For those who have not seen this film, I will apologize about spoiling anything. It is not my focus to do this, but it will probably happen. In my defense, we are celebrating the decade run of this film, so it’s been around. I say this knowing that there are still quite a few of you that have not seen Love Actually. Hopefully by the end of this little rant, you will give it a chance. Let it be known, as fun loving and sweet as this movie can be, it is not for younger audiences, a fact that is quickly highlighted in the first ten minutes. Do not let the little ones watch this. There is strong language and nudity that is not exactly alluded to in the trailers. You have been warned.

This film is a British film, and although it is spoken in a language that we Americans may be able to understand, it is very much a foreign film. It is chocked full with an amazing cast of England’s best and brightest that is only ever in question by the fact that they chose Hugh Grant to play the role of the prime minister, and not Mr. Grant’s casting in general. There may just be a general distaste for politics in the movie altogether when our president is played by Billy Bob Thorton. Both excellent actors, just not who would be pictured running two of the most powerful nations in the world. Being that the movie is British and full of British actors, then you should be warned that the British humor shows up quite a lot as well. I have been told that it can be an acquired taste, so it has been presented for you to do as you wish with. Now on to the fun stuff.

The main theme is love, which is told in a series of smaller vignettes that intertwine between one another severely or loosely as we jump back and forth between them. The important aspects are highlighted within each of these small stories and they are not always the fun side of love. The basics include familial love, puppy love, attraction, growth, lust, friendship, unrequited, loss, and mourning.

As many times as I have watched this movie, I have grown with it. I understand certain aspects more now having gone through them then I did ten years ago. There are still certain feelings that have held true for certain stories every time I watch it. I may have identified with one character or another over several viewings, but I seem to still be closer to the character of Sarah.

Sarah’s story is that she has a crush on her coworker, which is fantastic for her later on when he reciprocates these feelings, unfortunately that’s not why I identify with her, though the man is quite the catch. What makes her story so important is her love for her very mentally sick brother. He is in a home, but calls her at all hours of the day and night. She not only deeply cares for her brother, but feels solely responsible for him. As much as I try to convince myself that I would choose differently based on the logic that nothing will change the situation of her brother if she decides to go from constantly sacrificing herself for her brother’s every need to supporting him fully with his needs but also balancing it with her own, the decision to not choose family is very understandably tough.

There is a scene where Sarah is driven home after a holiday office party by her crush. He had asked her to dance at this party, which is the first real sign of any kind of mutual feelings by him for Sarah. He, as gentlemen do, walks her to the door, and after some adorable awkwardness they share a kiss. This is the moment where all the hopeless romantics cheer, because the supposed impossible, according to Sarah, happened. Because the fine man crush enjoyed himself so much, he happens to invite himself to stay, a suggestion that Sarah is all too ready to agree with. She asks for a minute and does a happy dance out of sight which I did mentally with her. Then comes the part that makes me turn the volume of my potty mouth up to the highest levels.

Eventually Sarah starts to engage in activities that I honestly cannot blame her for one bit, but before anything more serious can take place, her phone rings. Her brother is having a delusion and is frantically seeking her counsel. She quickly calms him down and ends the call, apologizing to her bed fellow. The festivities have only just begun to recover from her delay when the phone rings again. It is the third and final time that the phone rings that gets me riled up as she removes herself completely from the situation with either stupidity or amazing willpower to focus and attend to her brother. I tend to lean towards stupidity as I cuss her out for a good two minutes, neighbors be damned.

I say this, but honestly, I love and adore my family. My closest friends are my family also. I may put them before myself too much at times, but I am a very mothering person. I feel that it is my job to take care of them, whether it actually is or not. That being said, as much as I cuss out poor Sarah for choosing her brother in that moment, I can’t help but wonder if I would choose any differently if it was me. We tend to be harsher on those we see ourselves in.

The other character I tend to relate to is Natalie. She is fresh in what she is doing even though it is clear she hasn’t exactly figured out what that is. My favorite part about her is her personality. She is honest, genuine, and a bit quirky. This may challenge her professionalism as it did in her first meeting with her boss the prime minister, but I love her more for that. I am a bit quirky myself, so I like this girl. She has a bit of a filthy mouth, which I am known for as well, so that is also a bonus for her. One of my favorite parts of this whole film is towards the end when is coming down the staircase to join her family in leaving, and she questions the room, children included, asking, “Where the f@#$ is my f@#$ing coat?” I remember texting one of my best friends immediately after this telling her that we needed to move to England, because we would probably be more appreciated there. She is adorable and real and for some weird reason considered the chubby one. I didn’t get that, and neither did the prime minister. She was young and so was I when I first watch it, so I have always connected with her.

There are many other people to follow, enjoy, or even become disappointed with throughout the progress of the movie. It is a rollercoaster of a film and it does not apologize for it. I have personally fell out laughing, screamed out it in horror, teared up or cried depending on the exact mood, or just radiated with happiness throughout the entire viewing of Love Actually. It has been a wonderful ten years of viewing this film yearly, and still manages to remain fresh. Happy anniversary and thank you for entering my life.

I am not here for CiCi’s Pizza.

Two days before Thanksgiving, my husband and I were exhausted. We both work full time jobs, and were hosting turkey day. The kitchen was relatively clean, and neither of us were in the mood to mess it up with dinner. Around dinner time, my husband uttered the words that I would soon regret agreeing to:
"Do you want to go to CiCi's Pizza?"
For those of you that do not know, CiCi's is an all you can eat pizza buffet. The pizza isn't great, but it is cheap and there is plenty of it. Two grown adults can get full here for less than 20 dollars. You can feed an entire family of 5 for like 25 dollars. This is why I should have expected everything that happened.

We walk in the door, and I am treated to two little girls attempting to bargain with the cashier. Their parents aren't paying them a bit of attention. One girl was roughly 7 or 8, the other 5 or 6. between the both of them they had two dimes and a penny, and was trying to convince the cashier to trade them for two quarters O.o. The cashier was patiently explaining to them that the money they had equaled 21 cents and that she could not give them two quarters because that was 50 cents.
"Well, can we have a quarter?"

Parents, please do better with your children. I know math is difficult, but don't have your little kids up there asking for random amounts of change. It makes me want to grab a whiteboard and sit people down and teach math.

We should have walked out then. Eventually they got the hint and returned to their seats. We paid for our meals, got our drinks, and proceeded to grab some pizza. There are children running EVERYWHERE, parents not paying attention, and little kids playing at the soda fountain. I walked out the door, looked up, and came back in. My husband asked me what I was doing. "I wanted to make sure we aren't at Chuck E. Cheeses.

Go be a kid here. Where it says you can be one.

Go be a kid here. Where it says you can be one.

Eventually someone notices that their kid is up to no good. Instead of going to grab them we were treated to the following for roughly 10 minutes:
"David...David come here.. DAVID I SAID COME HERE!!! DAVID PUT THE SALAD TONGS DOWN AND COME HERE! DAAAAAVIDD WHAT ARE YOU DOING COME HERE I SAID!!" For. Ten. Minutes. Believe me, I counted.
My second trip to the pizza line, and I just gave up at life. I was attempting to recover from a long day. The day was nothing but a series of disasters, one right after another, and I was trying to just eat dinner in the midst of Lord of the Flies.

(Me, shortly before we took our leave Fox.com)
A little girl had been ripping and running up and down near the pizza the entire time we were there. I knew something was going to happen, and knowing my luck, I should have known this was going to happen to me. The little girl weaved through my legs as I was taking a step. I stumbled, but righted myself, but my pizza? Landed right on top of her. She began to shriek like she was on fire. No worries, I didn't burn her. Pizza was lukewarm.

At that point, I felt like I should probably leave this place. I set my plate down next to the little girl who was now alternately shrieking and eating the pizza from her head, grabbed my purse, and my husband and left.

Cici's pizza isn't the best thing on earth, but it is plentiful. The employees are super nice. They greet everyone that comes in the door, they visit the tables and ask if there is a specific kind of pizza you would like to see on the bar. They deal with this nonsense EVERY DAY.  There is one particular guy, I am not sure if he is a manager or not, but you can tell he truly loves what he is doing and I appreciate that. However, I feel like CiCi's is the place where people are going to congregate after the apocalypse happens and they are left behind. Just a bunch of crazy people, honey badgering it.

www.clantoolz.com

www.clantoolz.com

The Day of the Whovians

This past Monday I had the pleasure of enjoying The Day of the Doctor amongst fellow fans on the big screen. The 50th anniversary special, which had been previously aired on television the weekend before to those with the ability to watch it, was presented to fans in 3D for a one night showing through Fathom Events. The special not only gave fans another run with the 11th Doctor played by Matt Smith, but fan favorite, David Tennant, returned to reprise his role as the 10th Doctor. The great John Hurt also joined the cast for the special to play a version of the Doctor that has never been shown before, but talked of greatly. It is this version of the Doctor that collides the worlds of the 10th and the 11th incarnations.

I do not wish to reveal the story of this special to the fans that have yet to see it, but to those fans, get ready to have one of the most talked about and changing moments of the Doctor’s life finally told in full detail. I am personally not as familiar with the original series as I am with the current one, but in consideration of the new series, this is the full story of a personal conflict in the Doctor’s life that has continued to dictate his choices in the most current of episodes.

What would make watching the fantastic special better? Watching it with fellow fans in a large room does not hurt at all. There were plenty of people sporting various Doctor Who shirts, which I have to admit I am pretty sad I do not as of yet own one. More serious fans came dressed as their favorite incarnation of the doctor, which ranged back to the Tom Baker era and some even sported the iconic fez in honor of the 11th Doctor. My personal favorite was the fans that brought along their sonic screwdrivers. They were kind enough to lend their aid by pointing them at the screen in order to help out the early technically difficulties the theater was experiencing at beginning of the screening. Whether they truly helped or not, the thought was what mattered.

When the go time happened, we were treated with a specialized service announcement about proper behavior in a theater taught to us by one of the fans favorite aliens, Commander Strax. We were shown how easy it was for he and his clones to follow the simple rules of approved theater etiquette, and what tortures would await us if we did not. After this we were greeted by the current 11th Doctor welcoming us to the anniversary special and slightly confusing the exact anniversary, but he wouldn’t be the Doctor if he did not. We were then asked to put on our 3D glasses and believed the show was about to start when we received an early greeting by the 10th Doctor. As much as I have warmed up to and enjoy Matt Smith’s Doctor, Mr. Tennant will always be mine. His appearance was greeted by cheers by those fans particularly partial to number 10. I will admit to cheering as well. It was a sad day when Tennant left the show, and to see him back in that striped suit practically unchanged was fantastic. After the show, fans got a special treat of the behind the scenes featurette of the making of the special.

There was clearly a focus on the newer series and the events since its comeback in 2005, but the older series was not forgotten. As much as I would have enjoyed watching this special from the comfort of my couch, the scenes in which all 50 years of Doctors were highlight held a stronger presence on the big screen. My very personal favorite scene was at the end where this point is not only focused upon but very clearly made.

I am glad to have had the opportunity to share the theater with fellow fans making this one of the best Doctor Who experiences I will ever have. Since I have tried not to spoiler any of special for you, I am not left with much else to say about it. If you are truly a Whovian or just someone that enjoys the show, please check it out when you get the chance. It is worth it.