Spark: Second Teaser Released for New BioWare Game

Okay, BioWare. You’ve got my attention. I saw the first teaser for this new game, Nightmares, and I was intrigued. I signed up for the mailing list, and then promptly forgot that I had signed up–I do this frequently, which is why my email inbox is overrun with newsletters.

I digress…

It turns out signing up for that newsletter was a smart choice, because today I got notification the second teaser for Bioware’s yet-to-be-announced game was released today. Apart from assuming that this will be a horror game, and some internet speculation that this game will be called Shadow Realms, we don’t know too much about this new game. You can check out the game’s site, the creepy “You’ve Been Chosen” dot com, and find the teasers and other videos about never-ending nightmares and inner demons, however, there’s not any actual game info yet. I’m assuming it’s safe to bet that we’ll hear more about the game in the weeks to come, especially with Gamescom looming on the horizon. More info on this game can’t come soon enough. To say I’m and intrigued and excited about this game would be an understatement. This game looks freaky and weird, and I cannot wait to hear something official about what this game actually is. Hopefully that info will be coming in the next few weeks. For now, check out the newest teaser, Spark:

And if you haven’t seen the Nightmares teaser yet, you can watch that here, too:

Craptastic Movie Night: House of Wax

Back in June I wrote about my first Craptastic Movie Night when I watched the 2009 version of My Bloody Valentine, starring Jamie King and Jensen Ackles. The movie turned out to be a great mix of horror movie camp, gratuitous slasher flick gore, and a fun twist at the end. It also kind of felt like I was watching an episode of Supernatural…especially given some “new developments” (I’m avoiding spoilers here) in Dean’s story arc, this really felt like it could be an episode of Supernatural.

So I felt it was only fair that, for my next Craptastic Movie Night post, I would focus on a Jared Padalecki horror movie. As it would turn out, Cry_Wolf and House of Wax were available On Demand. I hadn’t seen Cry_Wolf before, and House of Wax is one of my craptastic faves, so of course I watched both. As it would turn out, Cry_Wolf is really just My New School Is Full of Jerks and Psychos: The Movie.

I had heard the movie called “a slasher”, but there was a surprisingly small amount of “slashing” in the film. There was some Jon Bon Jovi, though, so that’s something.

Anyway, I quickly moved on to watching House of Wax. As I said before, it’s one of my faves in the realm of craptastic horror films. It has everything I look for when I need some craptastic horror. [spoilers ahead]

1. The plot is fully outrageous. 

A group of teenagers encounter car trouble on the way to a football game, and find a strange, nearby town made completely of wax. They try to get help from one of the locals, Bo, and are instead thrust into a hellish nightmare. It turns out Bo and his twin, Vincent, like to capture those who pass through the town, kill them, and turn them into one of their wax exhibits.

RIP, Wade.

2. The bad guys are fully outrageous.

Bo and Vincent are not just regular twins. No, they are formerly conjoined twins. While Bo didn’t get any physical deformities in the separation surgery…

*wistfully looks at the gas prices*

…he’s murderously insane, for some reason. Vincent, on the other hand, lost a significant portion of his skull in the surgery. To hide his physical deformities, his father decided it would probably best to just cover his son’s entire face in wax. Because that will certainly help him make friends and influence people.

Vincent may do most of Bo’s dirty work, but he’s really just a misunderstood wax artist at heart. Just a big, waxy sweetheart, really. What’s even better is the movie parallels the good twin/evil twin with the movie’s protagonists, Carly and Nick. There is far less wax between the two of them, however.

3. The gore is fabulous. 

If you’ll recall in the My Bloody Valentine post, I mentioned but did not show a picture of an instance where a guy took a pickaxe to the back of his head, causing his eye to pop out of its socket.  I’m gonna do the same thing here. This movie has some truly shiver-inducing moments, but the one that will always stick with me is when Wade is discovered by his group of friends. After being administered a paralyzing drug and covered head-to-toe in burning hot wax, Wade is kinda stuck where Vincent placed him in the “exhibit”. When his friend, Dalton, finds him and realizes Wade is still alive, Dalton panics and tries to “get this stuff off”, by picking at Wade’s face. While Dalton does remove some of the wax, he also removes an actual layer of skin from Wade’s cheek, which causes him to panic some more, and rip off even more skin. It ends up that Dalton rips a significant portion of the right side of Wade’s face (teeth fully exposed and everything)–and remember, Wade’s still alive for all of this, he just can’t move or speak.

Sorry, bro…

The gore game is strong with this movie. So like I said, I’m not gonna post pictures of the gore, but you can Google it if you want to see it; it’s not hard to find.

4. So. Much. horror movie logic!!!

A creepy, old building made fully out of wax in a sketchy tiny, secluded town? You bet he’s going in there!

5. Paris Hilton. 

In a magical world before things like Paris Hilton’s My New BFF and The Hottie & the Nottie, but during her The Simple Life era, there was her brief appearance on House of Wax. In the movie she wears a light blue, velvet track suit, does a strip tease for her boyfriend, and dies in her underwear. The 00’s were a different time, kids…

This movie is one of my favorites, and I watch it every time it’s on television or available On Demand. It’s campy, it’s gross, and it legitimately freaks me out at times (campy gore or not, the cheek thing with Wade always gives me the shivers). This movie is craptastic horror at its finest. And now to play us out, please enjoy this behind-the-scenes featurette on the movie, where they actually talk about what they did to film Jared Padalecki’s cringe-worthy death scene (it starts about 3:18).

Mockingjay First Official Trailer!

Well, kids, it’s finally here! The first official trailer for Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I was released over the weekend. It’s short and sweet, but it’s definitely getting me more and more excited for November!

Prior to the release of the trailer, the Hunger Games team had released two “addresses” from President Snow about the need for unity for Panem. You can see the first one here, and the second one here. I have to admit, even though I’m stoked to finally have an official trailer for the movie, I’m really hoping the release of the trailer doesn’t mean the end of the One Panem campaign from the Capitol. The first two addresses from Snow were so brilliant and brought the propos from the book to life in a really unique way, actually letting the audience feel like they were a part of the story. These movies have done a great job of creating a really interactive experience for the audience, from marketing to actually creating a Capitol-inspired fashion line, Capitol Couture. You can see this and more on the official movie website.  

We’ll see if we see more addresses from President Snow in the future, but for now, check out the Mockingjay trailer, and get excited for the movie to hit theaters on November 21! 

For Those Of Us Who Aren’t At San Diego Comic Con

Here we are. The sad group that was unable to attend San Diego Comic Con this year. Some of us didn’t have the time off work, some of us didn’t have the money, some of us didn’t get badges in time. Whatever your reason, we’re here. We are the great, unwashed mass fated to miss out on this year’s greatest event in geekery.

So as we move into this weekend, let’s just remember the benefits we get to experience as we hold down the fort here at home.

1. You’ve got some money!

Remember that you didn’t spend money on tickets to fly/gas up your car on the drive to San Diego, get a hotel, get tickets to SDCC, buy expensive convention center food, and blow your life savings on awesome merch. Sure, you’re not rich, but you certainly do have money in your pocket that most certainly wouldn’t be there if you were at Comic Con. Go buy yourself a burrito, baby.

2. Crowds, man.

Just look at that picture. Google any picture of San Diego Comic Con, and nearly every picture is of a packed convention center or an ungodly long line. I mean, you could be there, right now, in the middle of that giant, teeming mass of excited–and, let’s be honest, occasionally smelly–humanity. Instead you can sit in your house, stretch out those legs, and easily traverse from place to place without feeling like you need to buy the person standing beside you dinner. Who needs that electric, humming energy of excitement only experienced at a Con? You’ve got leg room, buddy. Spread out and enjoy that.

3. Following hashtags is basically like being there.

Of course, there is a hashtag for Comic Con (#SDCC) that you can follow to be kept up-to-date on all the happenings at the Con by your favorite Twitter accounts. Because I mean, ultimately it’s way cooler to see this:

Rather than actually having the opportunity to visit the Geek and Sundry Lounge, right? Right?

Still, we know that we’ll all still be following the SDCC hashtag all weekend, regardless of how much it hurts. 

4. This is your time to catch up on your reading and your shows.

So this isn’t me today, and that’s too bad:

But, I mean, if I’m honest with myself, it’s probably best. I’m way behind on Arrow, so it would have just been so awkward if I happened to see Stephen Amell, right? So this is a weekend where we can do some fandom homework. Catch up on that show you’re behind on. Go to the comic book store and catch up on your reading. You weren’t really prepared for a weekend reveling in your favorite fandoms…

5. Seriously though, here’s some actual consolation for us:

Yeah, it sucks that we can’t be at SDCC this year, whatever our reasons were for being unable to attend. However, there are actually some things that we can do to feel like we’re a part, however small, of the SDCC action.

  • Blogs like The Nerdy Girlie and Nerdophiles will be updating their blogs and their Twitters with SDCC news and happenings. In fact, The Nerdy Girlie has already posted a roundup of Preview Night, bless her.
  • NerdHQ Conversations for a Cause (basically conversations with actors, writers, etc.) will be livestreamed for at-home viewers. If you go to the Nerd Machine’s facebook, you can even submit your questions to be answered during the conversations.
  • There are contests for us! The Nerd Machine’s facebook is holding daily trivia contests for those who have liked the page. Geek and Sundry had a contest to win their exclusive SDCC/Geek and Sundry Loot Crate box (though that one’s over…so…sorry). The Nerdophiles are having a Twitter contest where you can win a Marvel Avengers micromug by tweeting what you’ll be doing this weekend and using the hashtag #NotAtSDCC. Think Geek is also running a cool contest to win some of their SDCC exclusives.
  • There is some off-site fun for those in the San Diego area. Though this doesn’t do those of us who are far away a lot of good, it’s fun for locals! The NerdHQ Conversations for a Cause is an off-site event, so while you don’t need a SDCC badge, you do need tickets, and I’m fairly certain they are fully sold out. However, there will be a Geek and Sundry Lounge, and you don’t need tickets or a SDCC badge to get in. From gaming to a few panels, it sounds like the Lounge will be a lot of fun. They’ll also have over 200 of their exclusive Loot Crates there, so those attending will have several chances to win one of those babies!

So there you have it. Sure, it sucks that we can’t be at Comic Con, but we’ll all be okay. There are some fun ways we can get involved in the con from the comfort of our homes, and if nothing else we can take the money we’re saving this weekend and put it toward our SDCC ’15 tickets, right?

 

New X-Wing Starfighter Preview in the Star Wars: Force for Change Update

In J.J. Abram’s update on his fundraising contest, Star Wars: Force for Change, we get a look at the new X-Wing starfighters that will be featured in Star Wars: Episode VII (we also get a peek at a tiny droid zipping across the screen). It’s not a huge update, but with all the leaked photos and rumors out there, it’s cool to get some verified info on Episode VII–even if it is only what the X-Wings will look like.

The Force for Change contest is raising money for UNICEF, and offering those who enter a chance to win a trip to visit the set of the new movie and an advanced screening of Episode VII in their hometown. You can check out Abram’s update below, and the clip will give you the info you need to enter the contest. You can also read my post about the initial Episode VII casting announcement here.

Star Wars: Episode VII will be arriving in theaters on December 18, 2015. See you all there!

Let’s Talk About the Supernatural Musical Episode

[Note: I will be talking about the season 9 finale, so if you're not caught up, consider this your official SPOILER ALERT] I love Supernatural, I really do. It’s easily one of my favorite shows, and it can often seamlessly swing from burn-your-eyes-out-tragic… …to completely bizarre and goofy. They also aren’t above making fun of themselves, and they are great meta story lines. Honestly, it shouldn’t work for there to be a Supernatural graphic novel series on Supernatural, but it does. It shouldn’t work for Sam and Dean to attend a Supernatural convention, and join in on a ghost hunt put on by the con that ends up being a real ghost hunt, but it does. It really shouldn’t work for Sam and Dean to crash into an alternate world where they are actually Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles shooting an episode of the television show Supernatural, but it definitely does. Episodes of Supernatural can be crazy, heart breaking, or as Jensen Ackles called it, an “eye-opener”…

[groan]

…but they are almost always great. I tend to trust the writers when Supernatural does something risky. Sure, there are always gonna be hits and misses (Dog Dean Afternoon, anyone?), but the good far outweighs the bad for me. Still, when I heard that season 10 will feature the first-ever Supernatural musical episode, I got a bit concerned. We know that Jensen can sing…

..and the boys are masterful dancers. Still, musical episodes are never mediocre; they are either amazing, or they completely suck. Jeremy Carver has said that the episode will be very meta, and a sort of “love letter” to the fans, so it sounds like they aren’t going to try to make their musical episode too serious. More importantly, it looks like we won’t have something like the Grey’s Anatomy musical where serious, sad, feels-inducing stuff is happening while the cast awkwardly sings a cover of “How to Save a Life”. It also appears that there will be a mixture of covers and some original songs, which should be interesting. The Scrubs musical episode also had original songs, and I personally loved the episode. They were able to bring in songs that not only “fit” the situations (like the mental gymnastics someone had to do in deciding to have a group of surgeons sing “How to Save a Life” while literally saving someone’s life during a surgery–I’m sorry, I really didn’t like the Grey’s musical episode), but also songs that were 100% show-specific, like the song “For the Last Time, I’m Dominican”: Scrubs is also another example of a show that can be goofy one minute, and very serious the next (even more so in the earlier seasons of the show). So I’m hopeful that the Supernatural musical episode can be great like the Scrubs musical episode was. If nothing else, Scrubs also featured very strong male friendships (some might even call it a profound bond). Still, a musical episode, for me, feels really gimmicky–and this is coming from a chick who loves musicals. Supernatural is beginning its tenth season, and the last thing I want is for this show to devolve into cheap tricks and random rating-grabbers. There’s already been enough squabbling from areas of the fandom discussing how everything sucked from season 6 forward (I would disagree, if you were curious), so I don’t want the show to travel down a road that changes the show into something we don’t even recognize anymore. That’s not to say I don’t think the Supernatural writers will be incapable of making the musical episode another one of the awesomely hilarious meta-sodes–if anyone can, the goofballs behind, “If there’s a key, there must also be a lock”, can do it for sure. However, it would be so incredibly easy for things to run off the rails. Part of what makes the weird Supernatural episodes so fun is that they are able to balance the episode’s shtick or craziness… …with actual heart and story line. It can be easy for a show to lose any sort of a story while trying to justify a musical interlude. For instance, the That 70’s Show musical, while one of my favorites, really didn’t have much of a story lacing each song together. Case in point: Since That 70’s Show was a fun, easy-going enough show, it could kind of get away with a mostly plot-less episode with fun, 70’s musical routines peppered in. However, I don’t think Supernatural is the kind of show that could also get away with that, and I wouldn’t want them to try.

The other component is, we don’t know how many songs will be featured in the episode, though we know there will be at least more than one. So the episode might not be as music-heavy as the That 70’s Show, Grey’s Anatomy, or the Scrubs musical episodes. To be fair, Carver even called it a “musical-ish” episode. So while I am a bit nervous that one of my favorite shows will fall prey to the ever-appealing show gimmick that is the musical episode, I figure if the writers have been able to pull off amazing episodes like The French Mistake, Changing Channels, or The Real Ghostbusters, they should be able to handle a musical episode. I am hoping that this will be one of the hilarious, “How is this even a show?” type of episodes that we in the fandom love, and that this will not be signaling something awful like the writers running out of compelling ideas. Besides, we have some BIG things that need sorting in season 10. Need I remind you? So, honestly, this season looks like it might be pretty brutal, and after what was basically an entire season of Sam and Dean fighting, we might need the levity that a musical episode could bring. What do you think? Are you excited about a Supernatural musical episode, or do you think it will be lame? Tell me in the comments!

Also, I’ve been pretty hard on the Grey’s Anatomy musical, so here’s a song from the musical that actually was pretty great (mainly because it was sung by the amazing Sara Ramirez): Also, a side note on season 10: To celebrate the tenth season of Supernatural, The CW will be airing a Supernatural retrospective on Monday, October 6 at 9/8c. The retrospective will look back at the past nine seasons of the show, and it will have commentary from the cast and the crew. Exciting!

UPDATE: The musical episode is slated to be the show’s 200th episode, and I’ve heard rumors that it will be called “Fan Fiction”. The title makes me think we might get to see our favorite Supernatural fangirl again!!!

Captain America: Another Big Change in the Marvel Universe

Marvel is keeping us on our toes! A few days ago we heard the male Thor we all know and love will be deemed unworthy to wield the Mjolnir and posses the power of Thor (and apparently retain the name of Thor), and a woman will be deemed worthy instead. We also got our first glance at this new, female Thor: 

It seems the changes aren’t done yet. Last night on the Colbert Report, Marvel CCO Joe Quesada announced that Steve Rogers will no longer be Captain America come November. Instead, the new hero to stand for all things justice, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness will be The Falcon himself, Sam Wilson. Here’s a glimpse: 

The reasoning behind Sam taking over for Steve is a bit less dramatic than male-Thor’s exit (I am STILL not sure how to refer to “old Thor”–I really thought Thor was a name, not a title, but I digress). Steve Rogers’ body will simply not be able to take the physical demands of being Cap, and so he will pass the torch on to Sam. It sounds like Steve will still be around in this new chapter of Captain America, and he’ll be a sort of tutor for Sam (even teaching him how to toss the shield in that classic Cap way). So even though Steve might be done protecting our streets as Cap, it sounds like he isn’t going to be going anywhere. 

I’m also beginning to hear rumors that there is going to be a similar shake-up in the near future for Iron Man. I have absolutely nothing substantial to support that, but given Marvel’s changes to 2 out of the “Big Three”, it seems likely. 

It’s hard to know what to think about these changes. Part of what makes comic book characters great is that they are sort of “timeless”. They seem to abide by a different law of aging and time (even the human superheroes), and that is what makes them great–they are always around. To be fair, we’re not seeing the end of Thor or Captain America, we’re just seeing the end of familiar faces in those roles. Still, it will feel very weird at first not having Steve Rogers as the perennial Cap (even though others have stepped in that role) and Thor as…um…Thor (honestly, what are they going to call him now???). 

One thing I am proud of Marvel for doing is actively pursuing diversity in their superheroes. We have a female, Muslim superhero in Ms. Marvel, a woman in Captain Marvel and Black Widow (and now Thor), an African-American woman in Storm, and Captain America will now be an African-American man. I think that’s great, and really exciting. Comic book fans are incredibly diverse, and it will be really cool for a wider variety of readers to be able to look at Marvel superheroes and find one that looks like them. 

My only trepidation is that this new move will be nothing more than pandering to racial minorities and women, and general headline-grabbing. If this is truly the new direction Captain America and Thor are moving (not a temporary news-maker), and they have interesting and compelling story lines to follow, I think this could be something really exciting. It feels a little weird to watch Marvel take some of the oldest, most beloved superheroes and change them, and I do kind of wonder why they didn’t just add characters to the Marvel Universe. However, I am really excited to see this evolution in the Marvel Universe. If they can make these changes with the love for the characters and the readers, and not something to pat female readers or readers of color, I think this will signal the start to a very exciting and interesting character in the Marvel Universe and comics in general. 

Only time will tell! The new Thor comics will arrive in October, and the new Captain America comics will be dropping in November. Will you be picking up copies? What do you think about the changes Marvel is making? Tell me your opinion in the comments!

Thor Will be a Woman–In the Comics, Anyway

Thor is one of Marvel Universe’s oldest comic book characters, and one of my personal favorites (comic and movie). However, the cost to wield the mighty Mjolnir is high, and the Uru Hammer only picks the worthiest of vessels. For a long time now, that has been the buff, blonde-haired male version of Thor:

However, the comic will be launching a new story line written by Jason Aaron. In Aaron’s story, the Thor we all know will be deemed unworthy to meet the requirements etched on the Mjolnir. Instead, a woman will be chosen as worthy to wield the hammer and go by the name Thor. So I guess it is time to make a bit of an edit to the Mjolnir’s inscription, “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall posses the power of Thor.”

Read the rest over at Outright Geekery!

Happy #GeeknessDay!!!

Sunday is Embrace Your Geekness Day, and to celebrate, the cloud-hosting, dedicated server-selling geniuses over at SingleHop have asked me and several other geek bloggers to talk about being a geek. I’ll be honest. I have little to no idea about anything related to cloud hosting or dedicated servers, but these folks are great about giving you the information and help you need to get your own magical cloud stuff. The cloud is a mystery to us all, so it’s good that there are those who understand its enigmatic ways. Anyway, if you want to follow what other people are saying about Embrace Your Geekness Day, you can head over to the SingleHop blog to read other posts by other geeks and follow the hashtag #GeeknessDay. The term geek or nerd was something I certainly shied away from in high school and college–even though I have literally always been one (You mean everyone didn’t read Chaucer just for fun? Oh…). However, as I’ve moved into adulthood, being a geek no longer means being some mouth-breathing, poorly groomed, anti-social freak (though I do have thick, dark-rimmed glasses…and bad allergies that often result in my breathing through my mouth…anyway…). Simon Pegg describes geekery best, I think:

So yeah, I’m a geek, and I’m embracing it. I get really excited when I see casting announcements to movies like Star Wars or Batman v. Superman. Getting to spend hours pouring over books, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, or otherwise, is my idea of a personal heaven. I go to stuff like Comic Con and I push through the crowds on Free Comic Book Day. I get excited over video games and tabletop games. Simon Pegg is right, embracing those things that make me “geeky” has been one of the most liberating things ever.

What’s also been really cool, and has really made me proud, is starting this blog. I’ve been able to engage with so many other cool geek bloggers (and in the case of Outright Geekery and Girls of Geek12, I even get to contribute to the sites). It’s been so awesome to meet with other geeks, and it’s been extremely awesome (yet kinda strange) when people tell me how much they enjoy reading my blog. Though it’s so nice to know other people enjoy the same random, geeky stuff that I do. It can be tough to be a female in the geek community. For some reason, there can often times be a pretty strict set of “rules” for us to avoid the dreaded label of “fake geek girl”. Luckily, there are some truly awesome women in the geek community. My biggest role model in the geek community is definitely the one and only Felicia Day. She’s amazing, and is just about everything I want to be when I grow up. Felicia is an actor (Supernatural, The Guild, Eureka, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the list goes on…), she’s a singer… …she’s a writer (for instance, The Guild was her brainchild), and she’s an entrepreneur. She started her own awesome business called Geek and Sundry (honestly, one day I want to work at G&S). If you haven’t checked them out, you need to do that now. She’s kind of amazing, and she’s someone I aspire to be like. Of course she isn’t the only amazing geek role model out there. There are TONS of amazing other female geeks like Aisha Tyler, Bonnie Burton, Amy Dallen, and Jen Timms (just to name a few), and some awesome guy geeks like Wil Wheaton and Chris Hardwick. Really, I’m not even scratching the surface of the amazing people out and about in geek culture, but those are some of my favorites. Being a geek is great, and there is no one way to be a geek. You can geek out about books, music, theatre, games, movies, television, comics, or anything else. Being a geek means loving what you love with just as much intensity as you can muster, and not feeling pressured to tone it down–which is pretty great. So have a great weekend embracing your geekness, everyone! Remember check out the SingleHop blog and follow the hashtag #GeeknessDay over the next few days to see what others are saying about being a geek!

President Snow’s Second Address: Unity #OnePanem

Another address from President Snow was released today. Go here if you haven’t yet seen the first. This address has President Snow flanked by Peeta and Johanna Mason this time. Take a look:

The Mockingjay lives!!!

Can we just talk about how perfect these promos are? I LOVE that they are taking the Capitol propos mentioned in the book and using them as marketing for the Mockingjay movies. It is such a creative marketing technique, and has gotten me so much more excited for the movie than a traditional trailer would have (though the official trailer is still rumored to drop at San Diego Comic Con at the end of this month). I’ve been so impressed with how they’ve brought The Hunger Games series to the big screen, and this new series of addresses from President Snow just adds to how awesomely and creatively they are handling this series. For instance, you should definitely check out their photo series called “District Heroes“. You can go to the Capitol’s official website to see this, the addresses from President Snow and other fun Capitol stuff. Mockingjay Part I will hit theaters this November! Get ready, citizens of Panem!