Cinema Blend Post: The Walking Dead Mid-Season Finale Is Gonna Be Intense

I’m over at Cinema Blend talking about the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead! Head on over to Cinema Blend to join in the conversation (and check out my author page over there to see the other stuff I’ve written), and be sure to also check out the episode recaps that I’ve done for The Mary Sue!

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Is it just me, or has this season of The Walking Dead completely flown by? It feels like the season just started, and we’re already staring down the barrel of the midseason hiatus. If you’re not caught up on The Walking Dead, or you don’t want to know anything about future episodes of the show, be warned. There will be a few spoilers ahead.

Now that Daryl has discovered where Beth (and now Carol) are being kept, we are headed for a massive showdown with the creepers in the hospital…

Read the rest at Cinema Blend! 

5 Fandom Friday: 5 Characters I’d Invite to Thanksgiving Dinner

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It’s time for another Fandom 5 post, the awesome, weekly linkup started by the lovely Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick. If you haven’t checked out my other Fandom 5 posts, be sure to do that; they’re a ton of fun! This week’s post is all about Thanksgiving, specifically characters I’d love to have over for Thanksgiving dinner. Here are my five, but let me just warn you about the folks on my list:

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1. Thor

I mean, who wouldn’t want Thor at their Thanksgiving feast? He’s charming, he’s dashing, he won’t just leave his stuff lying around your house…

polite thor…and if he likes the food, you’ll know instantly.

thorJust maybe don’t bust out the good china when you have him over.

2. Luna Lovegood

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Luna is one of my favorite characters from Harry Potter. Luna is genuinely sweet and caring, knows how to keep pesky nargles away like no one else, and girlfriend knows how to party.

lovegood danceReally, I just kind of want to be best friends with Luna…

3. Shane Walsh

I dunno why, but I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Shane. I know he’s nuts, but still, I couldn’t help but like this guy. Besides, it’s always nice to have a wildcard at any Thanksgiving get together, amirite? Though I will ask everyone to check their weapons at the door. No one is allowed to go full Shane at my house. At least not until after dessert.

shane4. Richmond 

Because I want my Thanksgiving feast to be a giant bucket of crazy, I’d be fully remiss if I didn’t invite my favorite Goth and former executive, Richmond. Though his appearance might trouble some (I’ll have to make sure Shane knows he’s not a walker)…richmond

…he’s an absolute sweetheart. Besides that, no one else has his skill at starting interesting and engaging conversations.

richmond spider5. Donna Noble

Donna is one of my favorite companions on Doctor Who, and her sass knows no bounds. Besides, since I’ll be having the God of Thunder and a psycho zombie killer at my Thanksgiving feast, I’ll need someone to help me keep order.

donna noble sass

What characters would you invite to your Thanksgiving dinner? Let me know in the comments, and be sure to check out the other Fandom 5 posts by following the hashtag, #Fandom5! 

Why You NEED the Marvel Comics: 75 Years of Cover Art Collection

With the holidays coming up, it’s time to start thinking about what to get that geek in your life. I would like to offer, for your consideration, the Marvel Comics 75 Years of Cover Art book from DK Publishing. Take a look at the awesome cover: marvel cover

This book is amazing. The collection itself is over-sized (and surprisingly heavy) and has a hard cover, but it comes in a very sturdy, attractive case. Basically, it’s perfect to put out on display, in the case or by itself. Though the presentation of the collection is quite impressive, the actual content of the book is what makes this book so incredibly awesome. DK Publishing has put together a chronological gallery spotlighting the most iconic covers from all over the world and some amazing never-before-seen concept art from all around the globe. There are also bits of interesting information about the various covers, the artists, or the series being featured. Even if you aren’t a comic book fan, this book is so stuffed with some of the most iconic Marvel images from the past 75 years, it’s impossible to put down. Every time I open it, something different catches my eye and completely captivates me.

Even more fun, the book includes two prints, one from artist Adi Granov, and one classic comic cover. I’ll be honest, I’m sure if these covers vary from book to book. Just in case they do, there are the two that came in my book:

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This book is the perfect Christmas gift for the comic book lover in your life, and even fans of of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and not the comics will appreciate this collection. The book is gorgeous, the pictures are vibrant and captivating, and the covers are are blown up and enhanced, so you can see the amazing detail that went into every image. If you open this book up, you’ll find yourself completely sucked in to the amazing art and the awesome collection of Marvel comics history. The book’s presentation is so slick that even the most skeptical towards comic books couldn’t help but be impressed. Basically, if this bad boy isn’t sitting on your coffee table, you’re truly missing out.

Here’s the book trailer, for your viewing pleasure.

Head on over to the DK site to get yourself or your friends a copy. You won’t regret it, I promise you!

What are some other geeky items on your holiday wish list? Are you a Marvel or DC fan? Let me know in the comments!

**Full disclosure: I was offered a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.**

Cinema Blend Post: Hoverboards Are Actually a Thing Now

Guys, I am STOKED to let you all know that I have signed on to be the new sci-fi writer over at Cinema Blend. I’ll be writing over there fairly frequently, bringing you all the sci-fi goodness I can find. I’ll still be over here, of course, and I’m actually going to be breaking down a few changes to this blog in the coming weeks. So be sure to stay tuned for that! For now, I hope you’ll join me at Cinema Blend as I talk to you about ACTUAL HOVERBOARDS. Yes, you can actually buy a real, functional hoverboard.

What a time to be alive.

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It’s official. The future is now. Why? Not because of space travel, not because of water-resistant cell phones, or even those new cell phone watches. No, we have finally arrived at “the future” because, after decades of waiting and tons of imitation products, actual hoverboards are officially a real thing. A company called Hendo has brought our Marty McFly-inspired dreams to sweet reality (just in time for the film’s 30th anniversary), and they recently let Tony Hawk have a go on their awesome creation.

To read the rest and check out a video of the hoverboard in action, head on over to Cinema Blend! 

The Mary Sue Post: The Walking Dead Recap

As usual, I’m over at The Mary Sue recapping last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, so I hope you all will hang out with me over there! carol-consumed

If you aren’t caught up on The Walking Dead, be warned, there are spoilers ahead!

I was so ready for this episode. After last week’s episodefocused solely on Abraham’s DC-bound group–which was a special type of frustrating considering considering the episode from the week before last, “Slabtown,” ended with Carol being wheeled, unconscious, into Beth’s hospital–I was chomping at the bit for this Carol and Daryl-focused episode. Unfortunately, despite what all of the previews made us believe, this episode really didn’t advance the plot at all.

Despite the lack of plot advancement, we did get a closer look into the amazing Carol. Much like “Self Help” last week, this week’s episode offered several flashbacks peppered through the episode to help us fill in some blanks of Carol’s story after Rick kicked her out of the prison…

Read the rest at The Mary Sue! 

Clip from the Doctor Who Christmas Special

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The BBC has given us an early look at the Doctor Who Christmas special, and it looks like this year’s special will be great! I cannot wait to see more of Nick Frost as Santa, and I’m dying to see what’s next for the Doctor after that insane finale. While I’m betting this year’s special won’t be as tragic as last year’s…

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…you can never really know with this show. Before you watch the clip, be sure to read my recaps of part one and two of the series 8 finale, Dark Water and A Death In Heaven.

Without getting too spoilery, I have to say that I’m a little surprised to see a certain schoolteacher in this clip. What do you think? Will you be watching the Christmas special this year? Share your Christmasy, Whovian thoughts in the comments!

5 Fandom Friday: My 5 Must-Have Smartphone Apps

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This week’s Fandom 5 is all about the 5 smartphone apps I cannot live without. Before I start, let me just say that I am an iPhone user, so I’m gonna hyperlink to all of the apps I mention, but know the links will take you to the iTunes App store. However, with the exception of one, I’m pretty sure every app I’ll mention can be bought for Android. Anyway, I just wanted to mention that. Without further ado, on to my list…

1. Call of Duty: World at War, Zombies

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Okay, so this is technically a game, but I bought it in the app store so it totally counts. It’s no secret that I love zombies and video games. This was one of the first games that plunged me into the world of zombie gaming, so I’ll always have a special place in my heart for COD Zombies. Besides the obvious fact of there are zombies, so it is clearly amazing, COD Zombies for iPhone is a must-have on my phone because it is my preferred method of passing the time in waiting rooms or busy restaurant lobbies. I actually prefer to pass the time playing this game rather than aimlessly scrolling through a Facebook timeline. The only downside is that the game is a bit pricey (or maybe I’m just cheap), and you have to pay for new maps. However, I’ve had this app for years, and I never get bored of it, so I think it was worth the purchase. If you prefer the Black Ops zombie maps, you can buy that, too.

 

2. Tumblr

procrastinateI am obsessed with Tumblr (if you’re on Tumblr, you should follow me!). There is so much time-wasting goodness on this site, and I just cannot get enough of it. Tumblr has everything you need from gifs, video clips, images, fan art, fan fiction, every fandom ever, to ANYTHING ELSE you can dream up. While I occasionally get on Tumblr on an actual computer, I am usually on the site via my iPhone app. It’s another one of my go-to apps when I am waiting on something or someone out in public. If you ever see me out in public, trying to stifle nearly uncontrollable laughter as I look at my phone, chances are I’m on Tumblr. This app is also free. While that’s pretty standard for the app of a free social media website, free stuff always receives a few extra points in my book.

 

3. Magic: The Gathering Life Counter

life counterI love playing Magic: The Gathering, but I am not a fan of keeping score with a twenty-sided die. I also find myself to be accident-prone enough that I almost always bump any sort of manual score-keeping device. So I was pretty stoked to hear that MTG had about 400 different options of life-counter apps (seriously, there are tons, look for yourself), and most if not all of them are free. The app I use even has a “dice roll” at the start of any session to tell you who goes first. This thing is a life-saver, and highly recommended.

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Here are two apps that are kind of random, but I still cannot live without them.

4. Duolingo

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This app–another freebie btw–is one of my all-time favorites. It’s essentially a language-learning app–that is completely free. I can’t speak to how it helps someone pick up a language from scratch (though I do want to try a totally new language on Duolingo), but it has been a huge help as I try to recover the French I learned in high school and college. The app allows you to set goals for how much time you want to spend working on your language, and it will send you reminders during the day if you haven’t met your goal for the day. I love this app, but it isn’t something I use in waiting rooms and restaurant lobbies, as the app tests you on your pronunciation of words as well as spelling and reading. You might be more confident than me, but I’m too self conscious to randomly say, “Le chat noir” out loud, in public.

5. Ballet Class

ballet classI don’t talk a lot about ballet here, but I do take ballet 2-3 times a week. I got my first paire of pointe shoes in March, and I’m currently in the middle of rehearsals for my studio’s Urban Nutcracker production. Anyway, because of this, I’m sort of obsessed and like to practice as much as I can at home. Before I was ready to plunk down money on an actual CD of ballet class music (which I did eventually, this ballet class album by Robert Long is the one I bought), I got this app. It’s free (and, as far as I can tell, not available for Android), and it offers simple music for various ballet exercises. You can purchase additional songs if you choose, but there are enough simple tunes (that you can speed up or slow down) to get you through basic barre and adage exercises. I absolutely love it.

What apps can you not live without? Let me know in the comments, and be sure to check out my other 5 Fandom Friday posts. Check out other Fandom 5 posts from other bloggers by following the hashtag, #Fandom5. 

Supernatural 200th: Fan Fiction Recap

So the 200th episode is behind us, and it turns out all my fears about the 200th being an awful, random, out-of-place episode were for naught. I cannot tell you how much I loved “Fan Fiction”. It. Was. Amazing.

Before we jump into it, as always, spoiler alert for those not caught up with Supernatural.

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When the 200th’s “musical-ish” episode was first announced, the show-runners called it a “love letter to the fans”. I could not think of a more perfect description of this episode. They took stuff from all over the fandom, the random fan fic, Wincest, Destiel, Sastiel, the Samulet, and even the unsettling fact that we remember Adam more easily than Sam and Dean seem to…

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adam2…and they brought it all together in a wonderful way. Sure, they poked fun at the fandom, but it was all in fun. As is always the case with the metasodes, Sam and especially Dean were 110% done with the Supernatural fangirls, which I find hysterical…

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It’s subtext, Dean!!!

…but, like I said, it was all in good fun. They represented and tipped their hat to all corners of the fandom. They also introduced us to the episode’s real hero, Poncho Man.

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…Maybe it was just me who became an insta-fan of Poncho Man. Either way, through all the jokes and the metasode stuff, the central message of the episode was clear. It was a giant, fandom-wide hug from the cast and crew of Supernatural in the form of an episode.

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The episode’s central plot was a basic MOTW episode. A high school’s production of an original musical based on Carver Edlund’s Supernatural books draws the goddess Calliope (a muse), who kidnaps anyone who tries to halt production, and will ultimately kill the author of the play. There was a ton of great, MOTW hunting action, but most importantly, it was chalk full of great BM scenes.

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Really though, the heart of the episode was the meta stuff. It showed how plugged in to their fandom, and how much they care about the SPN family. For instance, they ended the episode with a feels-inducing cover of Carry on Wayward Son…

…and a super surprising appearance from this guy:

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All in all, it was perfect, and I think I’m gonna have to watch it 100 more times because I loved it so very much. I’ve got a couple of “special feature” clips for you below, a BTS clip and a video on the 200th episode party. Check those out, and be sure to let me know what you thought of the episode in the comments! We’re back to business as usual with next week’s episode, “Ask Jeeves“.


First Look at Katie Cassidy as the Black Canary

Arrow spoilers ahead. Heads up!

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We knew this was coming ever since Sara was killed (maybe by Roy?). Since her sister’s murder, Laurel has been learning to fight, and she’s even tried her hand at fighting crime, albeit unsuccessfully. However, we always knew Laurel was going to become the Black Canary someday. After all, Laurel is the Canary in the comic books, and Arrow‘s show runners promised us they wouldn’t deviate Laurel’s vigilante destiny. Still, we didn’t know when Laurel would officially take to the streets of Starling City. Turns out, her debut as the Canary is coming up rather quickly. Laurel will claim her late sister’s title in the upcoming episode called “Left Behind” (which, according to IMDB, won’t air until next year). The CW has just released photos of Katie Cassidy as the Black Canary. Take a peek, and let me know what you think in the comments!

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Arrow — “Left Behind” — Image AR310a_BTS_1337 — Pictured: Katie Cassidy as Black Canary — Photo: Ed Araquel/The CW — © 2014 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

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“Left Behind” — Image AR310a_BTS_1335 — Pictured: Katie Cassidy as Black Canary — Photo: Ed Araquel/The CW — © 2014 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Supernatural’s 200th Episode “Fanfiction” Airs Tonight

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Can you believe Supernatural has been around for 200 episodes? It’s been about a decade of saving people and hunting things, and tonight the boys will embark on their most challenging issue yet: the musical (ish) episode.

I’m not going to be able to watch “Fan Fiction” live because I’ve got ballet and Nutcracker rehearsal, but for all of you who are watching live and are on Twitter, be sure to follow Jensen Ackles’ Twitter and Misha Collins’ Twitter. They’ll both be live-tweeting during the show. According to a tweet from Misha, Jared Padalecki will be on an airplane during the episode, so he won’t be able to live-tweet. Though it’s worth checking his Twitter since you might get some classic Padalecki airline complaints, which always fun to watch unfold.

To tide you over until this evening, here are two clips from “Fan Fiction”. Will you be watching tonight? Are you excited about “Fan Fiction”, or do you think the episode will be stupid? Let me know in the comments! Happy hunting, Supernatural Family!