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Tuesday, January 10

Haiku Review | Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Tuesday, January 10
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Welcome backstory
Adds a weight to the first three
Jyn isn't Rey's mom

The Rebel Alliance makes a risky move to steal the plans for the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow.

It's no secret that I'm a huge Star Wars fan, and when The Force Awakens came out last year, my love of the movies portion of the fandom was totally reinvigorated. The Force Awakens felt like a true Star Wars movie—unlike those other attempts that shall not be named—and brought some of my favorite characters of all time back into my life while introducing new ones who immediately found places in my nerd heart.

Because of how much I loved TFA, I couldn't help but get super excited when Rogue One was announced. I thought the idea of the movie was brilliant—fill in a bit of the original timeline that wasn't a plot hole, exactly, but would be fascinating to see and only add to the universe. Plus: have a female lead and a diverse supporting cast. All the yes, please and thank you.

Rogue One didn't disappoint. Without getting too spoilery, the movie was wonderful and helped add a level of gravity to the original trilogy that wasn't really there before. (As Colt says, they are in a war, after all.) I've seen complaints from critics that the movie wasn't fun, and "Star Wars movies are supposed to be fun," but I disagree. It's not a happy film, overall, but it's in no way un-fun. The cast is delightful and has amazing chemistry, the nods to the original movies are well done, and I got sucked into the story from the very first scene.

The movie is heartbreaking, however, which is understandable and obviously necessary. Again, no spoilers, but the way things go down makes total sense. Sad sense, but sense nonetheless. (Want to be spoilery? We can chat in the comments.)

The standouts among the cast for me were the sassy reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk, which I didn't realize until the credits—that guy is good at voices), and Chirrut (Donnie Yen) and Baze (Wen Jiang), who were adorable and totally a couple, you can't tell me otherwise. Director Krennic was delightfully "middle management"-type evil, too. (This isn't a description I came up with, but it's perfect. I unfortunately can't remember the source.)

On a more nitpicky note, I found the CGIed humans somewhat distracting, but appreciate the attempt. And I found it a little strange at how different Darth Vader seemed; not only did he make a punny comment, but whomever was in the suit carried himself totally differently than the original actor. Is that a strange thing to notice?

Overall, Rogue One is a fantastic addition to the Star Wars cinematic universe, and should definitely be seen in theaters.

Check it out:

Monday, January 9

Nerd News | Doctor Who, Series 10

Monday, January 9

Bill has arrived.

I'm not quite sure how to feel about this. I'm a little burnt on Doctor Who in general after series 9—I haven't even watched the Christmas special yet—but I really want to love it again. I'll watch, but I don't have it in me to be super excited about it at this point.

Also of note:
  • Here's the official synopsis for Thor: Ragnarok.
  • The first trailer for Blade Runner 2049 was released at the end of last year. I don't have any sort of major feelings either way on this project, but I like the look of the trailer, and the combo of Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford.
  • The Expendables 4 will arrive in 2018. I just hope they learned a lesson from The Expendables 3—the fun in these movies is the "old guys," not anyone new.

    Friday, January 6

    Hey, January | 2017 Man Calendar

    Friday, January 6

    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:

    Find the rest of the 2017 Man Calendar here.

    The 2017 Man Calendar

    It's been January 2017 for a few days now, and I know y'all have been chomping at the bit to find out who made it into this year's Man Calendar. Without further delay, let me introduce ...

    The 2017 Man Calendar: The Year of the T-Shirt

    For any of you who might be new to my blog—welcome, btw—let me give you a little background on this project before we get to the goods: Each year since around 20041, I've created a calendar featuring photos of my favorite celebrity menfolk. Every year has a loose theme, and this year I've gone a little more casual than years past by finding photos in which each guy is wearing a T-shirt.

    I post each month separately on the first of the month (with Mr. January going up a little later than normal, obviously), but here's a peek at the entire year:

    The 2017 Man Calendar:

    Mr. January: Matthew Lewis
    Mr. February: Tom Hiddleston
    Mr. March: Jensen Ackles
    Mr. April: Oscar Isaac
    Mr. May: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
    Mr. June: Chris Evans
    Mr. July: Chris Pratt
    Mr. August: Chris Hemsworth
    Mr. September: Idris Elba
    Mr. October: Matthew Daddario
    Mr. November: Bob Morley
    Mr. December: Jake Gyllenhaal

    I've been asked to sell copies of these, but since I don't own the rights to any of the photos I use, I sadly cannot. However, as my gift to you, here's the whole year in a ZIP file that you can download for your own personal use. (And here's a ZIP of the desktop versions, too.)

    I print each month on white card stock, then trim the sheets to 6"x9". (The files are 150 dpi, which means they'll look larger than 6"x9" when you open them, but they should print fine.) I then punch a hole in the top and hang them from a jumpring in a place of honor in my cubicle.

    What do you think of this year's calendar? Thanks for all the great ideas last month, and sorry if I didn't include one of your top choices. It's extremely hard to whittle the very deserving list down to 12, but I tell myself it's a good exercise in moderation.

    Happy 2017!

    1 If you're curious, you can see previous editions of the Man Calendar at the following links: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009; 2008–2005 are in Word Docs, which says quite a bit about how my design skills have advanced over the decade+.

    Wednesday, January 4

    Welcome Home

    Wednesday, January 4

    You might have noticed that it's 2017—happy new year, by the way!—and I haven't yet posted the new Man Calendar. I haven't forgotten, and it's in progress, but something else held the majority of my attention over the holiday break. You see, we bought a house (!) and moved in officially December 23. Since then, life has been a lot of unpacking, reorganizing, and trips to IKEA, Home Depot and Target.

    It's an exciting time for our family, and both Colt and I are enjoying being beholden to no one but ourselves when it comes to making decisions about our home. (I ripped up some baseboards in a closet the other day and it was cathartic.)

    We're not nearly ready for prime time yet, but I wanted to share some photos of the inside before it was filled with boxes.

    Will share more interesting photos soon!

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