Thursday, June 28, 2012

The "Star Wars" That I Used to Know

I'm no Star Wars fangirl, but I can appreciate the sheer anger that people feel towards George Lucas. Changes here and there, Greedo shooting first, "Nooooooo!" and all that and elicited a strong ire towards the man behind Lucasfilm. Those emotions, according to TeddieFilms, can best be expressed through a rendition of Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" which has been probably the most over-played song of the year thus far. I do like the original and I really enjoy this parody of it. I'm not even sure you can call it a parody, more like a reimagining of the song.

The visuals are very reminicient of the original Gotye/Kimbra video, but I think the painting could have been a bit more Star Wars related. I know the video is very abstract, but they could maybe have done an abstract Death Star or something. Also, the George Lucas/Kimbra part wasn't quite as strong on his last solo line. It's the line that I'm always signing at the top of my lungs when belt out the original song. Other than that, I think that the vocals were great and quite on par with the original version.

TeddieFilms is no stranger to song parodies with a Star Wars twist. Last year, they released Primeday, which I featured here on the blog. According to the after-video credits, they'll be collaborating with IGN for a video in the near future. I'm curious to see if they'll continue with the Star Wars trend or they'll branch out into more aspects of popular culture.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

So Many Somethings: Farewell, Nora Ephron

I have been a cinema fan my entire life. One of my first memories of watching a movie for adults is Mermaids when I was 3. We saw Curly Sue and then went to Fazoli's for spaghetti. I cried when MacCauley Caulkin's character died in My Girl. Movies were a huge part of my formative years and that love of film has continued to this day. My tastes are extremely diverse and I have no qualms in going to see an action movie one day, a science fiction film the next, and follow it all up with a great Rom-Com. I can safely say, however, that the latter will always be my favorite genre and there are very few filmmakers who have been able to do with romantic comedy what Nora Ephron achieved.

Nora Ephron, who created my favorite movie of all time You've Got Mail, passed away this evening from complications with pneumonia. She had leukemia and kept her health issues out of the public eye. Tonight I mourn the loss of an amazing filmmaker and the creator of some of my all-time favorite characters. Her wit and charm will sorely be missed and the world is a better place for having Nora Ephron in it.

I remember watching When Harry Met Sally when I was very young, but was unable to appreciate much of the humor in the film. Sleepless in Seattle was one of the first movies I ever remember truly loving and I've seen it too many times to count at this point. However, it was You've Got Mail that really did it for me. It was created at the beginning of an age when the internet and computers were becoming mainstream; my family had just gotten our first computer when it came out. The story was simple enough, two people strike up an internet friendship and it's revealed (to the viewer of course) that they are actual rival bookstore owners. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan have this wonderful chemistry and I think it was that coupled with Nora Ephron's brilliant script and direction that made both Sleepless and Seattle and You've Got Mail possible. 

Watching her movies, You've Got Mail especially, ellicits so many emotions from me. When I cry at the end of the movie, I want Joe to wipe my tears away and say, "Don't cry, Shopgirl." There are just so many subtle nuances about the movie that are so wonderful. You've Got Mail helps make the darkest days brighter and it's one of the few movies that I could watch every day and not be bored with it. It also instilled in me the desire to own my own bookstore and it's been a not-so-secret dream of mine since I was 11 years old. I was just so inspired by the character of Kathleen Kelly and the fact that her entire life was shaped by books. 

Michael is probably my favorite John Travolta film. I remember wanting to review it for my elementary school newspaper, but my teachers not letting me because it wasn't a kids movie. (As an aside, all movies were kids movies to me just because I liked them. I guess my bar was set really high.) I cannot forget Julie & Julia, which was her last film. She captured the essence of Julia Child so brilliantly in that film. She has has the best way of bringing her stories to life and the way that she works with her actors and actresses is phenomenal.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Nora Ephron's movies. She has left such an amazing legacy and I am forever changed by her films. 

"Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life. Well, valuable, but small. And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around? I don’t really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So goodnight, dear void."

"Look, Annie... I love you. But let's leave that out of this. I don't want to be someone that you're settling for. I don't want to be someone that anyone settles for. Marriage is hard enough without bringing such low expectations into it, isn't it?"

"Annie, when you're attracted to someone, it just means that your subconscious is attracted to their subconscious, subconsciously. So what we think of as fate is just two neuroses knowing that they are a perfect match."

"Caviar is a garnish!"

 "I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."

"Hey, how about... oh, how about some coffee or, you know, drinks or dinner or a movie... for as long as we both shall live?"

"People are always saying that change is a good thing. But all they're really saying is that something you didn't want to happen at all... has happened. My store is closing this week. I own a store, did I ever tell you that? It's a lovely store, and in a week it'll be something really depressing, like a Baby Gap. Soon, it'll be just a memory. In fact, someone, some foolish person, will probably think it's a tribute to this city, the way it keeps changing on you, the way you can never count on it, or something. I know because that's the sort of thing I'm always saying. But the truth is... I'm heartbroken. I feel as if a part of me has died, and my mother has died all over again, and no one can ever make it right."

Monday, June 25, 2012

Prada Unveils Steampunk Inspired Fall 2012 Campaign

Prada, the fashion house known for its innovative designs and uniqueness, will celebrate its first century in fashion in 2013. The company has revealed its Fall 2012 menswear line. The couture magnate's inspiration for this line comes from the world of Steampunk. Prada called upon actors Willem Dafoe, Gary Oldman, Garret Hedlund, and Jamie Bell for their fall/winter photo shoot.

Photographer David Sims shot the campaign, which is described as a subtle parody of power and role-play. "Exaggerated poses and conspiratorial glances hint at the game, a plam solemnly placed on the heart or into a pocket with precise formality," explains the Prada website.

You can view the full line on the website for Prada's 2012 fall/winter campaign. Do you think more fashion designers should draw upon Steampunk as inspiration for their couture?

First Clip of Shirley MacLaine on Downton Abbey

Fans of Downton Abbey have been waiting for this since we first received word that veteran actress Shirley Mac Laine would be appearing in the next season of the Masterpiece Theater drama. The American Film Institute recent held an event to honor the Terms of Endearment actress' extensive body of work and gave the world a sneak peek at the next season. Seriously, she's one of the most accomplished actresses in Hollywood and she'll appear on Downton Abbey Season 3 as Lady Cora's mother, who travels from New York to visit the family at Downton.

Elizabeth McGovern, who plays her daughter on the drama series, introduced a clip from Season 3 in which two matriarchs (MacLaine and Maggie Smith) exchange their pleasantries. It is going to be very interesting to see how these two strong female characters will get along. We all see how the Dowager Countess (Smith) handled Isobel Crawley (Penelope Wilton).

Lexington native Lucy Sharpe will be playing Miss Reid, Martha Levinson's maid, in Season 3.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Guest Post: Anime Review: Another

As I have come to acknowledge that there was a severe lack of anime on Kentucky Geek Girl, I have asked one of the biggest anime fans I know (who just happens to be an awesome geek) to write a series of anime reviews. I may do some myself, but I will freely admit that I'm still starting to get into anime, though I love them all the same. Huge thanks to Heather for being up for this undertaking. I sincerely welcome her contribution to Kentucky Geek Girl!

Heather Jayne is a 25 year old geek of all trades, games, comics, science fiction, anime, you name it. When she was 8 she was given her first anime to watch, recorded on a VHS tape, it was an anime older than her called Galaxy Railway 999 and a movie special to the series featuring her favorite character, Pirate Queen Emeraldas. After watching the series her love for anime boomed. Her favorite entertainment genres are action/adventure, horror, science fiction and mystery. Usually you'll find Heather watching anime on her Macbook Pro, reading comic books or obsessing over anything related to the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Contact her via Twitter @HeatherMonstar.

“Do you know Misaki? Misaki, from Class 3 of Year Three? The story about Misaki?”

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Geeks Who Care: Wonder Woman Costume for a Cause Contest

Have you ever dreamed of being Wonder Woman? Who hasn't really. If you've ever dreamed of being a superhero and saving the day, is giving you your chance. They're giving away $500, a video camera, and a Wonder Woman costume to the person who comes up with the best project. It doesn't matter how old you are and even guys can enter, because everybody can be Wonder Woman! The rules are simple, you have to live in the United States and submit the best deed that you would do as Wonder Woman for a day.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Word of the Nerd Online Presents: WOTN Theatre Spectacular!

In honor of The Tony Awards which were held last week, we decided to host our own "Theatre Specacular" podcast. I was very privileged to take the reigns as host for this special edition of the Word of the Nerd Online podcast. I'm joined by Jason Padua of Word of the Nerd Online and Rachel Proffitt of WOTN and Good Girls Gone Geek. In this podcast, we give a run-down of the Tony winners. We also discuss the highs and lows from the show. Rachel, JP, and I are all theatre people so we talked about the shows that we are excited to see and what is coming near us. We also talk about our favorite theatrical experiences as either actors or technical crew. Later, we're joined by Sean Perrault of WOTN, who helps us close out the show.

The podcast can be found here.

Head over to Word of the Nerd Online for more awesome podcasts and check out Rachel (and her partner in geek, Bex) at Good Girls Gone Geek.

What's your favorite musical or play?

Nerds Descend Upon Louisville in Just 10 Days


Kentucky has just exploded with conventions over the last few years. Just a couple of years ago, the only convention that I knew about as someone who lived in Lexington was Scare Fest, and though it's a great con, it really fits into its own niche. (I can't wait to attend this year, PS.)  Little did I know that there was a great con just a few counties over in the city of Louisville that I would get to attend last year. FandomFest emerged out of Fright Night Film Fest and has now become one of the largest multi-genre conventions in the Mid-West. At the rate that it is growing, it could become a Dragon*Con for the Upper South/Mid-West and that would be phenomenal. In fact, it's not even just one convention. Fright Night Horror Weekend and Film Fest is a huge part of the affair, as is FandomFest, which brings in many guests based in pop culture, but there's a third component as well, Mid-America Comic Con. Rather than having one niche convention, the organizers of FandomFest have brought together some of the biggest names in popular culture, horror, comics, literature, movies, you name it really, for one great weekend.

Also in Louisville that weekend, specifically on June 30, is Derby City Comic Con. I had the pleasure of attending DCCC last year as well and was so pleased for it to be my first convention in almost 20 years (my first ever convention was the Fox Kids Expo back in the early 90s and it was glorious.) We had a great time at Derby City and met a lot of great folks, even though I didn't get to talk to Tony Moore at either convention. For the first year of the convention, I think that they did astonishingly well, as around 3000 comic fans came out to the Kentucky International Convention Center for the con. This year, it will be back in the same location with some great artists in attendance made up by a lot of local talent. There will be a silent auction in which you can place your bids all day with winners being announced just before the convention comes to a close. All proceeds from the auction benefit Kosair Charities. 

You want to know the best part? These conventions are only A BLOCK AWAY from each other and while Derby City runs from 10-5, but FandomFest continues into the evening, especially the gaming and panels portion. Check back to Kentucky Geek Girl for full previews of both conventions.

Fandom Fest/Fright Night Horror Weekend
and Film Festival/ Mid-America Comic Con
Galt House Hotel
140 North 4th Street Louisville, KY 40202
Friday 4pm- 2am FOR VIPs 5pm-2am for General Admission
Saturday 9am-2am FOR VIPs 10am-2am for General Admission
Sunday 10am-5pm FOR VIPs 11am-2am for General Admission

Derby City Comic Con
Kentucky International Convention Center
221 South 4th Street Louisville, KY 40202
VIPs get in at 9AM; Doors open at 10 for regular ticket holders.
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Friday, June 15, 2012

If Game of Thrones Was a Romantic Comedy

This has to be one of the most unique Youtube videos I've seen in awhile. Someone has taken Season 2 footage from Game of Thrones and created "Game of Thrones: a Westeros Rom-Com." This is completely accurate of the state of romantic comedies today. We meet the girl, the boy, and the problem as to why they may or may not end up together. It's a very short clip, but well worth watching! Oh, and the theme song is "Call Me Maybe." You really can't get better than that.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Guest Post: My Dream Cast for the Fires in Eden Series

Today, I am very proud to host Kentucky Geek Girl's first official stop on a blog tour! If you'll recall, I was a surprise stop on Jackie Gamber's tour for her new book Sela, but this will be the first time that we've planned everything out before hand. I'm very excited to host a guest post by the incomparable author Stephen Zimmer. Stephen and I sat down for a nice cup of coffee at Joseph-Beth Booksellers awhile back and you were able to see his answers to my questions in a post from last week. One very interesting thing about Stephen: he's not just an author, but a filmmaker as well. He even has his own IMDB page!

When thinking about a story, I think it's neat to imagine who would play a  character in a movie version. I've done this for many characters in role-playing game campaigns in particular and it's just fun to think about. For today's stop on the Spirit of Fire tour, I asked Stephen to think about who he would cast in a film version of his Fires of Eden series. Spirit of Fire, the third book in the series, is out now. Thank you so much, Stephen, for stopping by and sharing your fantasy cast! 

You'll be able to see Stephen discuss and sign Spirit of Fire at Joseph-Beth Booksellers on Friday, June 22 at 7 PM. For more information about upcoming events at Joseph-Beth, check out their website!

Please enjoy this guest post by author and filmmaker Stephen Zimmer.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Garden of Your Mind (Mister Rogers Remixed)

Having been born in 1987, I got to experience the wonder of Mister Rogers when I was growing up. There were so many wonderful programs on PBS (or in my case KET - Kentucky Education Television, the local PBS affiliate) but my absolute favorite was Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. It, coupled with Reading Rainbow, helped fuel my curiosity and imagination as a youngster an the enduring spirit of Fred Rogers still resonates with me. I mean, where else could you go learn tai'chi, see awesomely random video tapes from Mr. McFeeley on topics like how shoes are made, and visit the Neighborhood of Make Believe? I was so sad to learn of Fred Rogers' passing in 2001, it was such a sad day for children everywhere knowing that there would be no more new episodes of his program. I hope that today's parents expose their children to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, because it helped fuel my imagination.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Interview with Author Stephen Zimmer

Last summer, as I was going through the "likes" on the Kentucky Geek Girl Facebook page, I noticed one from someone by the name of Stephen Zimmer. Up until that point, most of the people who liked the page were those that I had invited to be a fan or were somehow connected with the blog. So, it was refreshing to see what I thought was organic blog and Facebook traffic. It was shortly thereafter that I attended the George R. R. Martin book signing at Joseph-Beth and saw a banner hanging from the banister which read talked about a local author's book signing later that month. The name on the banner was "Stephen Zimmer." I was delighted; an author, A CELEBRITY!, liked my humble little Facebook page! A couple of months later I had the pleasure of meeting him at a book signing at The Morris Bookshop, where he informed me that he was the Literary and Gaming tracks director for FandomFest, a convention which I attended last summer. We chatted for a few minutes about my thoughts on the convention. Fast forward a few months to a lovely spring day as Stephen and I sat down at (of course!) the Bronte Bistro at Joseph-Beth for me to learn more about his inspiration as an author and what we can expect from FandomFest this year. I'll be including the FandomFest portion of our interview with this week's preview of the convention, which will be held June 29-July1.

Stephen Zimmer is originally from Denver, Colorado and moved to Lexington with his family when his father took a job at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine. About Lexington he said, "I just never left, but it’s turned out to be a great place for what I do now because Lexington is so centrally located in relation to so many larger urban centers. It’s turned out in retrospect to be a good place to be an author."

Stephen is part of a stable of authors with Seventh Star Press, a small press publisher based out of Lexington. It was established in 2008 and specializes in speculative fiction. Other authors from Seventh Star Press include Jackie Gamber and Steven Shrewsbury. They release titles in all formats and more information about the company can be found on their website. His newest book in the Fires of Eden series, Spirit of Fire, is available now. Check back to Kentucky Geek Girl on Sunday, June 10 for a stop on the Spirit of Fire book tour!

Many thanks to Stephen for having a cup of coffee with me and answering the following questions:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Amazing Spider-Man Secrets Unmasked Tour Swings Into Kentucky

To get ready for what they are calling the biggest movie event of the Summer, Marvel Entertainment, Walmart Stores, and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have kicked off the Amazing Spider-Man Secrets Unmasked tour which will travel around the country promoting the film, which hits theaters on July 3, the Amazing Spider-Man game (which looks like a PS3 exclusive), and other sponsors. I just happened to be at the Richmond Road Walmart here in Lexington this afternoon as the truck was packing up, but I got some information on what the tour had in store.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Highland Renaissance Festival Kicks Off This Weekend

There's really nothing like Renaissance Fair. From the accents, ale, and period costumes to the giant turkey legs that are nearly as big as your head, a Renaissance Fair transports you back hundreds of years. Whether you come in costume or not, you're likely to see plenty of folks dressed up in their best fairy, pirate, or other fantasy finest. The long-running Highland Renaissance Festival kicks off this weekend in Eminience, Kentucky which is located in Henry County, about 50 minutes from Louisville and 1 hour 15 minutes from Lexington.