July 29, 2011

Cowboys and Aliens (***1/2)

Old-timey western
Aliens with laser beams
Ford is an old grouch

Possible spoilers ahead!

I've never read any of the comic that this movie is based on, so I have no clue as to how close it is to the story, but I had a good time watching this on the big screen. It wasn't quite as epic as I thought it was going to be, and some of the characters--Daniel Craig's Jake Lonergan, to be specific--weren't what I had pictured in my head. As weird as it sounds, Jake talked too much. He didn't talk that much, but when he did, some of the mystery of the character was lost. Harrison Ford was great as a grouchy old military man/livestock baron, and he had a little depth that came out in the end, which made for a well-rounded character. There was quite a bit of humor as well, which played well on the "adapted from a comic" idea, I think.

The titular aliens were decently rendered, but I was still wondering what their deal was when the credits rolled. I suppose the reason they give in the movie makes sense, and works with the time period, but I still find myself wanting to know a little bit more.

I suppose that would be good for a sequel, if they end up making one.

July 28, 2011

Nerd News: Avengers art, Battleship, The Legend of Korra and more

Vol. 2, Issue 30

Tonight is the last of of three Thursday night movie midnights—we're headed to see Cowboys and Aliens. While I love the nerdiness of seeing a nerdy movie at nerdnight midnight, I need to play catch up with my sleep. Good thing I have tomorrow off of work!

In movie news:
"Oz The Great and Powerful" imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum's beloved character, the Wizard of Oz. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he's hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone's been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.
Some trailers:



I had never even heard of this movie until I saw this trailer, but it could be fun?


No, I'm not kidding.

I laughed at this for an entire day. (Thanks, Rice!)



Sam could totally pull it off.

Lots of Harry Potter art this week. People—myself included—just don't want it to end.

Harry Potter characters, Disney-fied (click to embiggen):

(I found this via Jen's Facebook page.)

Crazy-large and detailed HP anime art. (Click to embiggen.)


Re-imagined HP book covers, thanks to Arvee.

And some of these altered record covers are amusing.


In TV news:
Jim Parsons is set to voice Carter’s long put-on Jeep, who’s had enough of his owner’s cavalier attitude towards him. (via)

Here's a teaser trailer for the new Doctor Who episodes (which start back up Aug. 27!):


And did you see this Fringe video from Comic Con?


Do you think they'd be that obvious?

To round out the TV news, here's a reminder that Psych will be back on in October.

Man, I love this show.



These Avengers posters are very cool.


Here they are, all together. (Click to embiggen.)


This needs to painted onto the sides of a panel van, stat.



In today's "what is this ... I don't even": There will be a Star Trek-DC comics crossover.

Awkward, hugging Voldy is awkward.


I really want to get this "literary Street Fighters word game."

Love these posters.


And I think I need to get this, and then one each of a TARDIS and Hogwarts travel posters. How great would they look all together? (Answer: Awesomely great.)


Colt and I are getting this for each other as a Christmas gift. (Thank you, love, for bringing to my attention, and putting down the deposit.)


In Tumblr news (thanks to Wes for both of these sites of awesome):
And finally, if they ever reboot Harry Potter (heaven forbid), I'd be more OK with something like this than a straight-up remake.


July 27, 2011

My top apps

I am one of those people—I love my iPhone. I love that it's a pretty piece of Apple technology, I love that I can be connected wherever I go, and I love all the fun apps one can use to make life more entertaining.


I use way more than five apps, but I wanted to highlight my favorite five. All of these are free (with the exception of MobileRSS, but it has a free version), easy to use and ever-so-handy. Most of them are available for Androids as well, if that's your drug smartphone of choice.


If you like photos, filters and sharing your images, this app is for you. If you're already on Instagram, add me? I'm on there as mandustries.


I'm including this one as an extra. Labelbox allows you to label photos using a variety of different "tapes" and then typing your captions on top. I love the old-school labelmaker tape and type the best. This app is fun to use prior to Instagram to add flair to your photos.


I'm a major list-maker, and it's taken me a while to find a list app that I truly feel works best with my system. No fancy points for finishing tasks, just a simple interface you can use to create, edit and "check-off" lists. The best part of this app is the connectivity—you can download Wunderlist on your computers, too, and everything syncs up so you're never left wondering if you'd forgotten to complete a task. (Not that you'd ever let your phone leave your side, of course.)

Helsing's Fire

I've tried Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies, Tiny Wings etc., but after a while I grew bored/frustrated with those games. Helsing's Fire is a game that I can come back to time and time again and still have fun. It's a little hard to explain, but basically you're working your way through levels, killing rats, zombies, ghosts, golems, mummies and more with potions. The puzzles involve spacial thinking; you have to put your torch in the right spot to kill the right things. (Like I said, a little hard to explain.)


I try (and often fail) to keep up with a vast quantity of blogs. This app is basically a mobile Google Reader. If I want to save a post to revisit on a computer, I can mark it unread. I can even click through to comment on the actual post, although commenting on blogs on a phone can be a bit clunky.


I have the worst memory, and yet, I'm constantly trying to dredge up information on movies, tv shows and celebs to impress my friends. This app is a lifesaver when that little bit of info is stuck in the tip of your tongue.

Do you have any favorite apps? Do tell!

July 26, 2011

obsessed.: Seltzer water

I know. It's quite a silly thing to be obsessed. with--some people might even call it gross--but it's ever so refreshing when you need something bubbly and not overly sweet.

I was first introduced to seltzer (or sparkling or carbonated or mineral) water by my family in Connecticut, who drink it often, usually with a hint of something citrusy. Colt and I have recently started buying it to replace our soda habit, which was getting kind of ridiculous before we started on our current healthy living kick. Carbonated water isn't the best for you, I know, but it hits the spot when you're craving the bubbles.

I also tend to drink seltzer (or club soda) when I'm on car trips or taking flights; it's great for any sort of upset stomach!

P.S.-I had a massive case of deja vu while writing this post, but I checked. I've never written about my love of carbonated water here before.

July 25, 2011

Renter's Delight: A landlubber's love of the sea

A couple of years ago, Colt and I took a trip downtown to eat dinner and walk around The Drag.We wandered into Urban Outfitters and soon fell in love with this stretched canvas print of The Devil Whale by Jen Lobo.
It was the first piece of art we bought as a couple. Neither of us have any real connection to the ocean—or large whales—but this struck both of us. And since buying it, I've been enamored with the idea of an ocean and whale collection. I moved this Dan-ah Kim piece from the bathroom to the bedroom at some point.
And then last Christmas, I bought Colt a print of Kurt Halsey's The ocean is a forest.
We have yet to frame and hang the print, since we don't have anywhere to put it at the moment. Moving, however, gives us the opportunity to create new art installations. And although I like what we've got on our walls, I can't tell you how excited I am to put them together with some of the other items we've collected in recent years in new and fresh ways. Here are some more great ocean and whale illustrations–some of which just might have to make their way into our new home.
(1, 2, 3, 4)
(5, 6, 7)
(8, 9, 10)
(11, 12, 13, 14)
(15, 16, 17)
Are whales the new mustaches? I think so.