February 28, 2013

Nerd News delay

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Due to a cable company error, The Murtis has been without cable or Internet access for the past three days.

It's been awful.*

Look for a special Weekend Edition of Nerd News Saturday. Thanks for your patience!

Also—today's your last chance to enter the Julie is Cooly giveaway! Don't miss out.

And if you haven't already filled out the 2013 C&CC Reader Survey, please do. Huge thanks to those of you who've already done so! I appreciate the feedback and comments more than you know.

*I'm obviously being overly dramatic. But it has been annoying.

February 27, 2013

The 2013 C&CC Reader Survey


I am constantly working to make this blog the best, most entertaining it can be. I make little tweaks here and there—new features, implementing Disqus, ad swaps—but C&CC will be turning 3 in April, and I've recently been thinking that I'd like to make some more serious changes. (Good enough is never good enough!)

Before I go and do anything crazy, I'd love to get your opinions on a few things. If you would, please take the survey below? All responses are anonymous, so please, be as honest as you care to be! Even if you've never commented before, I'm sure you've got thoughts!

The survey will stay open until Wednesday, March 13.

Thank you in advance!

Survey now closed.

Also, if you haven't already—be sure to enter to win a custom illustration from Julie is Cooly! The giveaway closes at midnight Friday.

February 26, 2013

obsessed.: Beautiful Creatures soundtrack


When I enjoy a movie, I will often check out the soundtrack post-viewing. With movies scored by John Williams or James Horner, you pretty much know what you’ll be in for—epic, sweeping themes that stand the test of time. With YA book adaptations, however, it seems that the people in charge of the music often go for the “music from and inspired by” rather than a true soundtrack/score. Or they do both—as in the case of the Twilight movies—and the score goes mostly unpublicized. I don’t mind the “from and inspired by” soundtracks, mind you, as long as they work with the feel and action of a film.

The people behind the soundtrack of Beautiful Creatures went the more unusual route with an official soundtrack that is, with the exception of a few moments and a couple of songs that were in the credits, all instrumentals. I’ve been listening to it on repeat at work for the last week, and I am obsessed.


The band behind the music, Thenewno2 (led by Dhani Harrison, son of George), calls their sound “swamptronica.” And although it sounds strange, the moniker is quite appropriate. The soundtrack is a mix of orchestra and electronic, with some blues thrown in. The combination creates an atmosphere that invokes the feel of the movie—southern life mixed with the mysterious—quite well. But even if you’ve never seen the movie (and don’t plan to), the soundtrack stands well on it’s own.

I couldn't find the whole soundtrack available to embed here (you can stream it via Spotify, however; thanks Jaime!), but have a listen to the videos below, and let me know what you think.







February 25, 2013

Haiku Revieu: Beautiful Creatures


Beautiful Creatures (****)

Pretty southern town
Not the book you're looking for
All-powerful love


POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD (for both movie and novel). Let me get this out of the way to start: I really enjoyed the adaptation of Beautiful Creatures, but if you're going into it expecting the book—you will be disappointed.

I re-read the novel right before going to see this movie last week. I'd previously read it a few years ago, and remembered the gist of the story, but I was curious to do an experiment to see how much would be changed. (The fact that I can read really fast is a double edged sword—I can get through books quickly, but I tend to lose the little details as time goes by.) I'm usually not one to get angered by book-to-movie adaptations (unless they're just flat-out awful movies); I understand the reality of bringing a story to the screen sometimes necessitates changes. I like to think that I do a pretty decent job of separating the two. The adaptation of Beautiful Creatures from page to screen involved cutting/combining characters, condensing plot lines and truncating time tables.

When I first started seeing previews and photos from the film, I thought that the setting was right, but the characters weren't. Everyone pictures characters differently when they read, even if they're described down to the most minute detail. When I read the book for the second time, however, I unavoidably put some of the actors playing the roles into the story—and for the most part, they fit. Ethan and Lena were great, and Alden Ehrenreich did a really great job of bringing the character we got to know the best in the book to life. (The fact that I'd never seen Ehrenreich or Alice Englert (Lena) in any other roles helped, too.) The rest of the family (particularly Jeremy Irons as Macon, Emmy Rossum as Ridley and Emma Thompson as Mrs. Lincoln), although different in appearance, did really well with the personalities.

However—the merging of Amma and Marian into one person didn't work for me. Viola Davis would have been a wonderful Marian, but the whole idea of the caster-neutral-seer triangle made so much sense to me in the book. I suppose they cut a lot of that out because it would have taken a while to explain, but I really enjoyed both characters in their own right and I would have loved to see them both in the movie. And where was Boo?

Plot-wise, I felt like the movie was a little lacking in the "why" behind the situations, but my mom, who hadn't read the book before seeing the film, got along just fine. (She really enjoyed it, too, in case you were curious.) The flashback scenes were a bit rushed and the true connection between the two characters was glossed over, but it worked for the movie. The idea of the casters all having different abilities, which is such a neat idea to me, wasn't touched on either. But like I said, I understand the reasons for most of the edits, and on the whole, it was an enjoyable viewing experience.


P.S.—If you haven't already—be sure to enter to win a custom illustration from Julie is Cooly!

February 22, 2013

Fictional Fancies: Captain Jack Sparrow


Today's Fictional Fancy comes to us from Becca, who blogs about food, life and "where DIY meets Geekify" at Radical Geekery. (Becca was also featured recently as a Geek of the Week.) When she told me she wanted to write about Captain Jack Sparrow, my first thought was—why haven't I written this yet—and my second thought was—Johnny Depp on my blog? Yes, please.

A couple of weeks ago, Mandy put out the call for more Fictional Fancies submissions and I just jumped at the opportunity to gush about some of my favorite fictional peoples. I have a laundry list of my ‘in-my-head-we-are-best-friends/lovers’ fictional characters, but I’ll start out today with one of my all-time favorites.


Captain Jack Sparrow.

Who wouldn’t love this man? His voice is gorgeous, he is a pirate and well, he is freaking Johnny Depp (and look at the drool-worthy smile)

We first come to know of Captain Jack Sparrow in the beginning of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. He is on his "ship" coming in to Port Royal and you know he is going to be trouble … the kind of trouble you like! ;) As he comes in, his "ship" (a small dinghy) has started to sink and he is bailing it out with an old pail. As he is coming into the bay, he passes previous pirates that had been hung and left as a warning. He takes off his hat and gives them a nod and keeps on going. The closer he gets to dock, the farther his little boat sinks and as it reaches landing, he just steps off and keeps on going. That was one of the first things that drew me in—he didn’t give damn what other people thought, he just did his own thing and had a general plan for how he was going to do it and did it. Like Elizabeth Swann said, “He’s a pirate.”

When this movie first came out in theaters, I saw it 9 times. Yes, you read that right ... 9 times. I saw it with my siblings, my best friend, my parents, my papa. It was the blockbuster of the summer and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Side note: I had just graduated high school, didn’t have a boyfriend or a job, so I had lots of time on my hands.


Ahem. Back to Captain Jack. Jack is in Port Royal to commandeer a ship. Not just any ship, but the HMS Interceptor, the fastest ship in the Caribbean seas. As the story progresses, you find out he is trying to get his ship, the Black Pearl, back from his crew who mutinied him on an island 10 years ago.

Anyways, throughout the movie Jack makes decisions that well, aren’t the most honest or black and white (leaving Will behind, making a deal with Barbossa, taking Elizabeth Swann hostage, etc), but in the end, he always got what he wanted. This made me want him even more, he just made it all look so damn sexy. Captain Jack made me want to be a pirate. I mean, who could resist this?


Throughout the movie we are confronted with little dilemmas that Jack has to get through and with his way of speaking and brash forwardness, he always gets the girl (ahem, that should be gold in this case). I figure that if I have Captain Jack by my side that anything could happen and he'd get me through it ... I might be missing an arm or a leg, but it would be one big adventure that we could drink to in Tortuga with Gibbs and the crew.

In the end, it is really the whole package of Captain Jack Sparrow for me. The look: dreads, eyeliner and that red bandana, mmmhmm, oh wait, I’m getting distracted again. It’s also his voice (and that is mostly on Johnny Depp)—Captain Jack Sparrow's voice is one of the sexiest I’ve heard. It’s mysterious, sexy and trouble all-in-one. My favorite line has to be this one near the end of the movie. And he is a pirate, who could pass that up? In the end, I’d be with this pirate over Will Turner any day.

Are you interested in sharing a Fictional Fancy of your own? Email me!

February 21, 2013

Nerd News: Gaiman's Calendar of Tales, the PS4, Who jewels and more

Vol. 4, Issue 7

This past week has been crazy busy for me, so if I've missed anything of import, I apologize! Here we go ...

In movie news:

Here are a couple trailers and a featurette:

Fast and Furious 6


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The Host


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Stoker


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Pixar versions of well-known characters (if done well) are always amusing. (The Kirk one is particularly amazing.)

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Saul Bass is a total icon, and these Saul Bass-inspired Star Wars posters do him justice.

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In TV news:

Here's a promo for Hannibal:


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The Master's bug eye in this totally creeps me out, but the fact that it has Ten and Rose together (even though they don't fit with the timeline suggested by the Master?) makes up for it.

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BBC will be releasing official Doctor Who jewelry to go along with the 50th Anniversary.


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Arya is my favorite Song of Ice and Fire character. Love this version of her.

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In webseries news:

And here's a trailer for the second season of Mortal Kombat: Legacy:


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In SCIENCE! and tech news from The Mister:

A few other items:

Etsy shop The Geekerie has an amazing collection of pop culture art.


In comics and book news:
  • The new creative teams for the Green Lantern comics have been announced.
  • Neil Gaiman recently put out a call for story ideas on Twitter and has since written 12 short stories to go with his favorite ideas. Download the free PDF here.

This Red Riding Hood type illustration—available at Threadless—is gorgeous.

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In gaming news, from TGG:

And finally, I would be totally remiss to not include nerdy versions of the latest viral video.




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February 20, 2013

Win a custom illustration from Julie is Cooly!


New friend of C&CC Julie (and sister to good friend Holly of So Dang Brilliant) recently contacted me about hosting a giveaway to promote her brand new Etsy store, Julie is Cooly. Don't mind if I do!

One lucky entrant will receive a framed illustration of whatever they desire—as long as what they desire doesn't involve nudity or drug use. (Keep it SFW, please.) Your illustration could look something like this:


Or this:


Or even this:


Epic.

Fill out the widget below to enter. This giveaway will close at midnight Friday, March 1—so get your entries in now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


February 19, 2013

obsessed.: Q&A a Day


I received the Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal as a gift for my birthday. (Thank you, Andersons!) I'd added it to my Amazon wishlist a while ago—a journal that provides, once all is said and done, a look into five years of one's life is an intriguing concept.


The idea behind the journal is simple—answer one question each day for a year. When a new year starts, turn back to the beginning and start again. Repeat until five years have been completed. I'm looking forward to being able to read how my answers change—or don't change—from year to year.


And what's more, the book, with it's fancy typefaces and gilded page edges, makes for a lovely bit of decor.