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Monday, April 25

Nerd News | Meet the new Doctor Who companion

Monday, April 25

Meet Bill:

As y'all know—or will know, now—I'm not a fan of Clara's. Because of that, part of me is super excited about this new companion, regardless of how good she'll actually be.

The other part, of course, is nervous, as I am whenever we get a new companion. What will she be like? What will her dynamic with Twelve be? Will we finally return to the good ol' days of the companion serving as viewer avatar, or will there be something "special and unique" (i.e., normal show dynamic-breaking) about Bill?

With the new companion also comes a new showrunner, which could have even more show-changing implications.

We shall see ...

Also of interest:

1 Thanks, Colt!

Friday, April 15

Nerd News | Doctor Strange and Suicide Squad trailers

Friday, April 15
I know very little about the character of Doctor Strange, other than that he uses "real" magic and is part of the Marvel Universe. Also, his upcoming solo movie stars Benedict Cumberbatch, who I adore, and the likes of Mads Mikkelson, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Rachel McAdams, all of whom I also adore. So I was pretty excited to watch this teaser trailer.

I can't help thinking "This looks awesome," even knowing that this trailer has received mixed reviews on the Internet, particularly surrounding POC characters (or lack there of), female superhero-led solo films (or lack there of) and cultural appropriation in comics/comic movies. I trust in Marvel, however. If you'd like to voice your opinions to the contrary, I'm totally happy to discuss in the comments.

If you're like me and don't know what you don't know about Doctor Strange, check this video out.1

I'm also now totally on board with Suicide Squad, which makes me a little surprised considering my earlier feelings (and my general "meh" feeling about DC's movies). But this trailer makes it look like a ridiculous romp of a movie, which makes me delighted.

Also of note:

1, 2 Thanks, Colt!

Thursday, April 14

Haiku Revieu | Allegiant

Thursday, April 14

Divergent: Part 3
What the hell are those bubbles
Yes, there is one left

After the earth-shattering revelations of Insurgent, Tris must escape with Four beyond the wall that encircles Chicago, to finally discover the shocking truth of the world around them.

WARNING: Possible spoilers ahead.

Although I am thankful to know the women (and occasional guy) of the Austin chapter of the FYA Book Club all of the time—because they are wonderful, amazing people who I am beyond honored to call friends—there are certain times when I am ever so slightly more thankful. Having them around to go see movies like Allegiant with, rather than having to drag Colt or going by myself, is definitely one of those times.

Before the first movie in this franchise was released, it had promise. Unfortunately, the quality of the movies seems to be matching the quality of the books in the trilogy; i.e., getting worse with each new addition. Allegiant, the book, was my least favorite of the series, and the book that made me question if Veronica Roth had really thought about the overarching plot of the whole series before she wrote Divergent. (TL;DR: Basically, I thought the last book was a drastic departure from the rest of the series that completely threw off the entire storyline.)

The individuals who made Allegiant, the movie, seem to share my opinion that the story in the third book needed some changes, but they took things way too far in the opposite, WTF direction. It's been a while since I read the book, but a general consensus from my friends—who've all read the series, too—was confusion about the movie's plot. More than once, we found ourselves asking "wait, was this in the book?" (It's even one of the drinking game items.) I totally get that adaptations often aren't close to the source material, but this was one of the worst examples I've ever seen.

The cast continues to average out to mediocre. The good/decent: Theo James as Four (his action scenes were a saving grace); Miles Teller as Peter (even though his character isn't anything like the one in the books, and feels like a real-life person randomly stuck in these movies); Zoë Kravitz as Christina. The bad: Naomi Watts as Evelyn (I still can't suspend disbelief to see her as Theo's mom); Bill Skarsgård (new to the franchise in this movie, and super, cuper creepy even when he's not supposed to be?); Shailene Woodley (I sincerely hope the time of her being cast in everything has come to an end).

Part of me is really curious to see what happens in the fourth movie—because, yes, this is another franchise that's fallen prey to the last book being split into two movies—but that's only because I want to see if anything can redeem the series or if the train wreck will finally burn itself out.

If you're a completist—or have a group of friends to hate watch with, like I did—feel free to see this movie. Otherwise ... eh.

Check it out:

Previously, in this franchise:

Friday, April 8

Nerd News | Rogue One teaser

Friday, April 8

Just when you thought the Star Wars fervor was dying down ...

After the success of—and how much I adoredThe Force Awakens, I'm totally allowing myself to be excited about any new Star Wars film. Particularly when it's female-led and features an awesome (and POC-featuring) ensemble cast.

On that note, part of me is almost more excited for little girls like my niece and any future daughters we might have than I am for myself. They're going to have such amazing pop culture women to idolize!

The only thing that makes me pause about this movie is the amount of people who are misspelling Rogue One Rouge One. It makes me cringe. (The town I grew up in is called Rogue River, so I'm well familiar with the misspelling.)

Also of note:

Thursday, April 7

Like YA books? Attend the North Texas Teen Book Festival!

Thursday, April 7

If you're in the Dallas, TX area—or will be later this month—and you're a fan of books, I'd like to call your attention to an event happening April 23.

The North Texas Teen Book Festival, which will be held Saturday, April 23 at the Irving Convention Center, will feature panels and keynotes with 75 Young Adult and Middle Grade authors. The event is free, and you don't have to be a teen to attend.

I attended this event last year—the first year it was held—with a group of my FYA Book Club friends, and it was a great time. This year plans to be even better, and not just because yours truly will be involved in more than just an attendee capacity (shameless plug alert): I have the awesome honor of moderating a panel on superhero books with authors Gwenda Bond, Faith Erin Hicks, Jeramey Kraatz, and Margaret Stohl, and will be speaking on a panel about writing reviews with a few other book bloggers.

You can find more info about the other authors attending and the rest of the numerous panels at the festival's website.

And if you're attending, definitely let me know so we can say hi!

Wednesday, April 6

6 on 6 | April

Wednesday, April 6

Learn more about the 6 on 6 project.

Tuesday, April 5

Happy First Contact Day!

Tuesday, April 5

On this day in 2063, first contact was made between humans and an alien species, the Vulcans.

Let's all have some cheese pierogies and listen to some good old fashioned rock and roll.

Friday, April 1

Hello, April

Friday, April 1

Download this page of the 2016 Man Calendar for personal use by clicking on the image; it will open in a new window. Right/control click to save it. Then print the page on letter-size cardstock, and trim it to 6"x9".

Desktop version:

Download full-size version here.

The 2016 Man Calendar:

Mr. April: Chris Evans
Mr. March: Jensen Ackles
Mr. February: Tom Hiddleston
Mr. January: Lee Pace