July 31, 2013

The Cornetto Trilogy

This past Saturday, the Mister and I spent more than seven hours in a theater, enjoying the Cornetto (or Blood and Ice Cream, depending on which you prefer) Trilogy: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End (which releases nationwide Aug. 23). All three movies were directed by Edgar Wright, and star Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (two of my favorite people).

The screening was free, and part of a celebration of the opening of the newest Alamo Drafthouse theater. Colt got one of only a few hundred RSVP tickets a couple of weeks ago, and we got to the theater at 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning to pick up our actual tickets.

The "illegal" line | Our tickets

Side note: There have been a lot of grumbles on the Internet (per usual) about the fact that people didn't follow the rules when it came to lining up in the morning before the ticket release. I completely admit that we took part in the rule breaking—but it was a clear case of if we didn't, we wouldn't have gotten in. And to the people who didn't think that people would break the rules and line up early: You have obviously never been to an event like this. (See also: Hall H lines.) I feel bad that there weren't more tickets available, but there are some situations in which you just do what you have to in order to get what you want. (I hope that doesn't make me sound like too much of a jerk ...)

The showing actually began at 3 p.m., so Colt and I took a nap before heading to the theater for the evening. We headed back down around 2 and settled in for a long evening of fun. Thankfully, the Drafthouse is awesome and serves food and drink in the theaters, so we didn't have to go thirsty (bottomless iced tea!) or eat multitudes of super expensive soggy popcorn (we had green chile french fries for a snack and then a calzone/salad for dinner). (If you have a Drafthouse in your area and have never been—GO! It's the Murtis' absolute favorite theater chain.)

Surprise "Cornettos"

The coolest part of the night, aside from watching all three films, was after the end of TWE: a Q&A with Tim League (founder and owner of the Drafthouse chain), Edgar, Simon and Nick. The guys are all super cool and honestly funny, so it was great to be able to hear their thoughts on the films, acting and being friends.

 Crappy iPhone photo from the very back row

Much better photos via the Drafthouse. Simon's jeans were SO TIGHT.

I really wanted to ask a question, but was super nervous to do so. I raised my hand anyway, but then put it down when Tim mentioned they wanted a "showstopper" question. The guys saw me do it, and of course called me on it, asking to hear my question. I asked about the people who were in all three movies—making an idiot of myself in the process; I didn't realize Bill Nighy voices a character in TWE—but they made fun of me in a sweet teasing manner and answered my question. It was pretty dang awesome to get talked "at" buy the four gents.

At the end of the Q&A, we got the chance to purchase a special Shaun of the Dead Mondo poster designed by Tyler Stout and signed by Edgar, Simon and Nick. We have more art than walls at the moment, but it was way too cool to pass up.

A non-signed and a variant version of the Shaun of the Dead poster will go on sale via Mondo Aug. 22.




Free TWE poster from the studio. Gotta have the swag.

At the end of it all, we headed home, high on excitement. To be totally honest, however, three movies in a row is about .5 movies too many for my head ... and my butt.

P.S.—I'm the featured lady perspective on UnderScoopFire's new MANTHINK series, which starts with a look at the top five girls toy lines of the 80s. Check it out!

July 30, 2013

obsessed.: Daily Dishonesty, fantasy football drafts and "Sowing Season"

Before we jump into today's post—I can't believe none of you called me on yesterday's mistake. I got the Revieu portion of the post ... but there was no Haiku! Colt realized it last night, so I added one in as soon as I could. What a goober, amirite?

Now, onto today's business.

I ran across Daily Dishonesty recently and just can't get enough. I love the cheeky humor of these illustrations, and some of them are so spot-on, it's scary.

The project is the brainchild (and the illustrations the creation of) graphic designer Lauren Hom, who does some really amazing work outside of Daily Dishonesty as well. (You can see more on her website.)


And this week, from the Mister:

It's nearly that time of year, friends, when the leaves start changing, the air starts cooling (hahaha, wishful thinking), and the football fans once again start making their choices for the players who will lead them to a fantasy championship.

Last year, Colt took part in four leagues, and this year he's planning on taking part in three. ("Or four ..." he says. He's a bit of a nut for statistics.) Football season is one of Colt's favorite times of year, and the ability to "play along" as the teams go head to head makes it even better.

And from TGG:

Wes's interest in the band Brand New has grown over the years, from their first album, Your Favorite Weapon, which was pretty standard emo pop-punk with atypically clever lyrics, to their third album, The Devil and God are Raging Inside of Me, which was was the band's biggest musical change and Wes' favorite. The first song on the album can be heard below. (Note of warning from TGG: "This song starts out really quiet, but it kicks in loud at the minute mark.")

It's been four years since Brand New's last album, but their drummer mentioned recently that they're working on some new music, which Wes finds very exciting.

July 29, 2013

Haiku Revieu: The World's End

The World's End (****)

Pub crawl plus old friends
Simon and Nick back again
They might be robots

POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD. The Mister and I got the chance to attend a screening this weekend of the Cornetto Trilogy—Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End. (Check back Wednesday for more on the event + photos!)

The World's End centers on a group of friends who, when they were teenagers, attempted a pub crawl of their hometown's 12 pubs. They didn't make it, but years (and years) later, main instigator Gary King (Simon Pegg) gets the boys (Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman and Eddie Marsan) back together for another attempt. They return to their hometown and find that everything's the same ... until they're attacked in a pub bathroom by a bunch of teenagers who might be robots.

Once again, Edgar Wright takes a somewhat familiar genre and turns it on its head—with his typical humor and flair. Where it was zombies in Shaun of the Dead and action in Hot Fuzz, in The World's End, the genre in question is the invasion of earth. The story is realistic—to the extent that any of these movies are—and totally amusing. The humor relies on the ridiculousness of middle-aged men being drunk and trying to make somewhat sensible decisions while being so. I didn't find it as flat-out funny as Hot Fuzz, but that just be my preference for action movies.

Simon and Nick (and the other guys, of course) were all excellent in their roles. One interesting thing about this third film was the reversal of Simon and Nick's typical roles. In the first two movies, Simon played more of the straight, stand-up guy while Nick played the somewhat slobby, ne'er-do-well; in The World's End, Simon was the one without the life plan and Nick the professional with a good life and career. It's a sign of how good both of the actors are that they can do either side of the coin so well.

Basically, if you're a fan of any of Edgar Wright's films, or Simon or Nick, you're definitely going to enjoy this movie, too.

July 26, 2013

Gorgeous paper cutouts by Helen Musselwhite

Helen Museelwhite's paper cutouts are so stunning.

All of the above works are from Helen's website (which is also gorgeous, natch), where I also found this awesome gem:
"For me, it all started with one of those bumper packs of felt tips. One of my earliest memories is of tearing open Christmas wrapping paper to find a vivid array of coloured pens inside—then immediately rearranging the colours in a way that pleased me better. That was it; I was off on a voyage of creative discovery that continues to this day."
 All it takes is one spark!

July 25, 2013

Nerd News: Catching Fire, Loki at SDCC, Veronica Mars footage and more

Vol. 4, Issue 28

This, guys:

This is why I hate missing Comic Con. (Thanks to both Shaun and Samar for sending it my way, though, and here's the whole of the Marvel Cinematic Universe panel.)

Moving on ...

I'll be posting a bunch of SDCC information below, but in case you want a more comprehensive look, here are wrap-ups from:

In TV news:

Here are some promos and clips:





Legend of Korra: Book 2


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, with an emphasis on Casey Jones. (Thanks, TGG!)


(If the video stops working, you can also view it on the official Nickelodeon website.)

The Walking Dead


July 24, 2013

Recently Read: Changeling, Helen & Troy's Epic Road Quest + Daddy Long Legs

Having to read a book a week (for FYA) means less time to devote to my personal to-read pile, but on occasion the books I read for review end up being awesome. And sometimes ... they're not.

What have I been reading lately?

Changeling (Order of Darkness #1) by Philippa Gregory

Here's the book's synopsis:
The year is 1453 and all signs point to it being the end of the world. Accused of heresy and expelled from his monastery, handsome seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is recruited by a mysterious stranger to record the end of times across Europe. Commanded by sealed orders, Luca is sent to map the fears of Christendom and travel to the very frontier of good and evil.

Seventeen-year-old Isolde, a Lady Abbess, is trapped in a nunnery to prevent her from claiming her rich inheritance. As the nuns in her care are driven mad by strange visions, walking in their sleep, and showing bleeding wounds, Luca is sent to investigate and driven to accuse her.

Forced to face the greatest fears of the dark ages—witchcraft, werewolves, madness—Luca and Isolde embark on a search for truth, their own destinies, and even love as they take the unknown ways to the real historical figure who defends the boundaries of Christendom and holds the secrets of the Order of Darkness.

July 23, 2013

obsessed.: "Come & Get It," Mount Hamilton and Crush the Castle

My name is Mandy, I am nearly 30 years old, and I am currently obsessed. with ...

Selena Gomez's "Come & Get It."

The video makes me a tad uncomfortable (and is kind of awfully ridiculous), but the song is just so dang catchy! I love the bit of Indian music (I'm assuming?) sampled throughout.


This week, from the Mister:

Colt's currently in California on a work trip, and when he's out in Cupertino, he makes a point of renting a bike and riding to the top of local mountain, Mount Hamilton. (He's done it three times now.) The route is about 19 miles of pretty much pure climbing from the bottom, but the view from the top—at around 4,200 ft above sea level—is reportedly pretty awesome. (There's even an observatory at the peak.)

Here's a shot of the mountain from below:

If you're curious, you can check out the stats on Colt's latest ascent here.

And from TGG:

Wes has been a longtime fan of the flash game series Crush the Castle. As he describes them, "they're basically Angry Birds with a trebuchet instead of a slingshot and minus the annoying characters."

A new version of the game—Crush the Castle Adventures—was released recently, and is Wes' new fave, in part for the visual design, the inventive new shots, the individual level goals and the king, whose "blood-thirst is unquenchable and adorable."

A new level will be released tomorrow, but you can start playing today here.