Monday, August 29

Nerdy Post | August 2016

Monday, August 29

I've been following Alexis Lampley (a.k.a. Drop and Give Me Nerdy) on Instagram for a while now. She has an amazing talent for hand lettering, and often uses said talents on nerdy projects.

When Alexis announced a few months ago that she was starting a subscription box, Nerdy.Post, I was definitely excited. Each box features an 8 x10 print, a double-sided bookmark, an auto-grade sticker, a colorable postcard, and more.


The first couple of boxes were Harry Potter and Game of Thrones-themed. But it wasn't until last month that I took the plunge and subscribed, because I can't resist when it comes to Doctor Who. And I'm sure glad I did, because look at what arrived in my mailbox last week. (Toys not included.)


Everything's fabulous, both in design and quality. Here are some close-up photos, just because.

Print

Postcard, Notebook

Bookmark

Sticker, Pin

Magnet

If you want to jump on this hotness, you can sign up for September's boxSupernatural themed!—until Aug. 31.

Friday, August 26

Haiku Revieu | Suicide Squad

Friday, August 26
Suicide Squad
★★1/2

It could have been good
But not enough backstory
And disjointed plot



The U.S. government gives a team of supervillains a chance at redemption. The catch: their mission will probably kill them all.


I will freely admit to being excited about seeing Suicide Squad based solely on the trailers, a few of which I've posted previously and are actually quite good. Sadly, the movie on the whole suffered from what is seemingly DC's curse when it comes to their comic movies: they focus too much on putting specific characters on the big screen, and don't worry about actually making a good movie.

Let's focus on the good things, first: Margot Robbie was a great Harley Quinn. She was one of the few characters in the movie to experience any sort of growth, and she seemed like a whole, realistic (if overly sexualized and totally insane) person. She had layers, which, from what little I know about the comic character, is accurate.

Diablo was interesting for very similar reasons. His backstory was endearing, and the changes he underwent, both physically and teamwork-related, were pretty damn impressive.

And, I like Will Smith. He was basically playing "Will Smith who shoots well and isn't bothered by killing people who deserve it," but I'm all for him being in movies.

The rest of the movie, well ... just didn't work for me. (And that's putting it nicely.) The plot was disjointed; specifically, the flow of character backstory > little bit of plot > lots more character backstory > more plot that might not actually be important by the end of the film > character "introductions" with no backstory > plot that diverges to something else ... There were glimpses of an engaging story told by interesting characters somewhere in the mess, but it was cut together in a truly terrible way.

The other characters, too, weren't given any opportunity to shine. For example, I kept thinking about how terrible Jai Courtney's Australian accent was as Captain Boomerang—and having to remind myself that he's actually Australian. And watching Jared Leto's Joker was painful, and unnecessarily and scarily abusive. (I also couldn't help but picture Viola Davis' face at Comic Con whenever he showed up on screen.)

I really try to like DCs attempts at movies, I do. I actually really like Man of Steel, as much as that's an unpopular opinion. I have high hopes for Wonder Woman. I just wish the powers that be would focus on good movies first with name recognition second. Or spend more time building up the people we're supposed to know, and not expect 30 seconds of exposition to make us feel something.

Check it out:



Previously, in DC movies:

P.S.—The Suicide Squad soundtrack is pretty great, and way better than the actual movie.



Tuesday, August 23

Warby Parker x Kill Screen

Tuesday, August 23

Y'all have likely heard of Warby Parker—they of the seriously awesome eyeglasses and impressive business practices:

We believe that buying glasses should be easy and fun. It should leave you happy and good-looking, with money in your pocket.

We also believe that everyone has the right to see.

Almost one billion people worldwide lack access to glasses, which means that 15% of the world’s population cannot effectively learn or work. To help address this problem, Warby Parker partners with non-profits like VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.
But until recently, I had never heard of Kill Screen, an equally impressive company. As they explain on their website, "Founded by a former Wall Street Journal culture reporter, Kill Screen is a video game arts and culture company. We’re interested in the intersection between games, play, and other seats of culture, from art to music to design."

Knowing what I know about Warby Parker and learning what I did about Kill Screen, it's no surprise that the two companies have paired up for a really cool new collaboration.




The collaboration comes in two parts: Worbs, an entertaining video game that's beautiful in both design and simplicity, and a new version of Warby Parker's Burke eyeglasses, which are—unsurprisingly—also beautiful in their design.


The limited-edition frames come in a new color, Glacier Grey (which I totally just mis-wrote as "gracier;" they obviously should have come to me when deciding on what to name the color), have lenses with anti-scratch and anti-reflective coatings, and feature a Warby Parker x Kill Screen text design etched on the inside of one of the temples.

I currently own only a pair of Warby Parker's sunglasses—the Jennings in a pretty blue-gray color called Beach Glass—and I love them. (Long story short: I broke my phone's screen while in New York last year, and needed to kill time while waiting for an appointment at the Soho Apple Store. Turns out, there's a Warby Parker store right down the street.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ) I don't wear prescription lenses, but I'm certainly tempted to trade in the cheap "cheaters" I use while working on the computer and/or reading. I mean, Gracier really is a gorgeous color.

Learn more about the collaboration, spend a few minutes (or a few hours) playing Worbs, and then treat yo self to a pair of Burkes—or any of Warby Parker's other frames—here.


Disclosure: I received no money or goods in exchange for sharing my honest opinion in this post.

Monday, August 15

5 on 15 | Invasion

Monday, August 15

Over the previous 12 months, I've taken part in 6 on 6, a photo prompt challenge created by Emma of Scruffy Little Nerd Herder. (See all of the 6 on 6 posts here.) I really enjoyed taking part, and was bummed to see it come to an "end" last month.

Thankfully, Emma wanted to keep the fun going, and so created a new challenge for the next 12 months. This time, it's 5 on 15, and the challenge isn't color-related; the prompts are a little more open-ended ... and therefore a bit harder to choose!


Look for my photos on the 15th of every month. August's, of course, are below.


Learn more about the 5 on 15 project.

Friday, August 12

Nerd News | Rogue One trailer

Friday, August 12

After how much I adored/adore The Force Awakens, I find it near impossible to not get excited about anything Star Wars movie-related. Seeing this full trailer for Rogue One during the Olympics* yesterday only added to the hype.

I am excite. I love the idea of getting to know the ragtag bunch of rebels who take on the mission of their lives for the good of the galaxy, and look forward to the nods to the original trilogy that are sure to be peppered throughout this film.



Also of note:


*Also exciting. But so stressful!



Friday, August 5

Haiku Revieu | Star Trek Beyond

Friday, August 5
Star Trek Beyond
★★★★1/2

You Go, Enterprise
Faster and Furiouser
RIP, Anton



The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a new ruthless enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.


It should come as no surprise that I am a huge Star Trek fan who comes by the fandom genetically. (I was named Amanda for a reason, after all.) But there's been contention in our familial ranks over whether the newest movies actually remain true to the franchise. (My mom can't stand Zachary Quinto, and thinks he makes a terrible Spock. I disagree, but am not going to argue with my mother. I also come by my stubbornness genetically.)

I was totally on board with the first movie in the new series—Star Trek—but was then super disappointed in Star Trek Into Darkness. My biggest peeve: Why, when you've created a completely new universe/time stream with endless possibilities for stories, would you re-do what is possibly the most well-known and well-loved Star Trek movie (i.e., Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan)? Why would you not seek out new stories and go where no movie has gone before?

Thankfully, Star Trek Beyond took a lesson from the failure of its predecessor and gave us fans a new, new movie. Of course, it still sticks with the most basic premise of all Star Trek movies and TV shows—the crew of the Enterprise (/Voyager/Deep Space Nine/etc.) work together to battle the evils of the universe—but it felt fresh. And really, really fun.

I particularly enjoyed the renewed focus on the crew, and how they all work together. There's obviously a lot of focus on the main three—Kirk, Spock and Bones—but the rest of the crew got more screen time than in previous movies. There were also more nods to the crew's relationships, both with their fellow Starfleet officers and their partners, which I enjoyed. (Sulu's family is PRESH.) Additionally, I think the filmmakers did a great job at showing what a diverse and complex universe these people live in, which I think would make Gene Roddenberry, and his reasons for creating this world in the first place, proud.

Of course, these new movies are action-oriented, and Star Trek Beyond didn't disappoint in that arena either. Directed by Justin Lin, the film was full of space battles and chase scenes. (Fast and Furious on a galaxy-size scale? YES PLEASE. It's like this movie was made just for me.) There's one scene that I wish I could watch over and over again; it's such ridiculous fun. (If you've seen the movie, I'm thinking of the "Sabotage" scene.) 

If you, too, were disappointed with Into Darkness, but don't yet want to give up on Star Trek, definitely check this one out.

Check it out:




Monday, August 1

Hello, August

Monday, August 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. August: Chris Hemsworth
Mr. July: Benedict Cumberbatch
Mr. June: Chris Pratt
Mr. May: Henry Cavill
Mr. April: Chris Evans
Mr. March: Jensen Ackles
Mr. February: Tom Hiddleston
Mr. January: Lee Pace


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