Geek Girls Rule!!!

We're all just one annoying encounter from sociopathy here in Nerdville

Archive for May, 2009

Buffy: Oh, Hell No

Posted by Danielle Ni Dhighe on May 30, 2009

From the “oh, hell no” news department…

The makers of the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer film want to reboot the franchise as a new film without the participation of Joss Whedon. It would be a remake of the film instead of the television show, but still.

Clearly they forgot that they nearly killed the concept in its cradle with a poor film, and it was Joss who rescued his own idea from the clutches of mediocrity with an outstanding television show. Do they really think they can do better without him?

This can only end in fail.

Posted in by Danielle Ni Dhighe | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Doctor Who: Welcome the Future

Posted by Danielle Ni Dhighe on May 30, 2009

Little known 21-year-old Scottish actress/model Karen Gillan has been cast as the Eleventh Doctor’s companion for the 2010 season of Doctor Who. She previously had a small role as a soothsayer in the 2008 episode “The Fires of Pompeii”. New showrunner Steven Moffat stated that numerous actresses were auditioned, but as soon as she “walked through the door the game was up”.

The 2010 season of Doctor Who will have more changes than I can ever remember for a new season: a new Doctor (Matt Smith), a new companion (Gillan), a new showrunner (Moffat), new executive producers (Piers Wenger and Beth Willis), new producers (Tracie Simpson and Peter Bennett), and even a new TARDIS interior. I suspect the show will at first feel as different as it did when it was first revived in 2005 after sixteen years off the air.

Also, here’s the trailer for Torchwood: Children of Earth, the five-part miniseries set to air in July.

Posted in by Danielle Ni Dhighe | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Geek Girls Rule! #88 – Rhythm Heaven

Posted by geekgirlsrule on May 27, 2009

Wow, in a stunning display of coincidence, I managed to buy a brand new DS game just before becoming amazingly ill and housebound.  The Husband What Rules and I were at Best Buy looking for a Who album, and I decided I needed a new game.  I’d seen the Rhythm Heaven commercials with Beyonce (forgive me for the lack of accent, I haven’t figured that out yet), and also read some reviews on a couple of sites, and decided to give it a shot.

This game is far more fun, addictive and challenging than it has any right to be.

Yeah, since picking it up on Monday, I’ve beat all four of the first level games, and the first remix.  I’d probably have beaten more, but I’m on codeine for the coughing, and codeine makes me amazingly stupid, not to mention uncoordinated.

The controls are simple, you only need three basic actions to play (tap, flick and lift).  The games start out simple enough, becoming increasingly complex as you play.  Right now I’m kind of hung up on the Ping Pong game.  I’ve completed everything up to Remix 1 on the “Superb” level.  Getting a “Superb” rating means you get a medal for that level, and medals unlock other minigames for you.

I’m finding it pretty engrossing so far.  The Robot fueling game was the most maddening.  Although Ping Pong is getting there for me right now.  Granted, not having to pause repeatedly to cough my lungs out would probably help.

Honestly, if you’re looking for a good, engrossing timewaster that will keep you occupied for hours, you’ll like this game.  The beats change up to add to the difficulty.  The animations are cute as all get out.  I highly recommend it as a good commute game.  Hopefully, tomorrow I’ll get to play it on the bus and see if it’s possible to keep the beat in a moving vehicle.  I don’t know that anyone under, say, 8 years of age is going to have the coordination to play it successfully, but I’ve been wrong before.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go beat Ping Pong.

Posted in by The Geek Girl What Rules | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Terminator Salvation

Posted by Danielle Ni Dhighe on May 26, 2009

The fourth film in the Terminator franchise may not be on the same level as the first two directed by James Cameron, but it’s miles above the weak third film and actually feels like a legitimate follow-up to Cameron’s films and ideas.

Fourteen years after the nuclear apocalypse of Judgment Day when Skynet launched its attack on the human race, John Connor (Christian Bale) is a member of the resistance, but not yet the leader of it, when he becomes part of a mission that could destroy Skynet for good. He also learns that Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin), the young man who in eleven years will go back in time and become his father, is being targeted for termination by Skynet. Meanwhile, Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), whose last memory is of being on death row fifteen years earlier, wanders into the wasteland of Los Angeles and is rescued by Reese, and after hearing an inspiring radio broadcast from Connor they decide to find him and join his group.

On first glance at his resume, director McG (numerous music videos, Charlie’s Angels, We Are Marshall) may not have appeared to be the ideal choice to direct a mega-budget serious science fiction action film, but he proves to be more than up to the task, showing a steady hand with both the action scenes and the actors. His efficient storytelling keeps the film moving ahead at a good pace, but unlike some other recent genre films it never feels like it’s merely rushing from one action scene to another, but instead takes some time for exploring the main characters and the themes of the story.

The screenplay is credited to writing team John D. Brancato & Michael Ferris (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Catwoman), but also includes uncredited revisions by Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight), Paul Haggis (Casino Royale), The Shield creator Shawn Ryan, and CSI: Las Vegas creator Anthony E. Zuiker. The film is both a sequel and a prequel, and a few small plot holes aside, the story is solidly constructed. While there’s nothing really surprising about where the story takes us, it does a good job of advancing the overall story arc of the franchise and some of the humanistic themes found in the second film, but while the main characters are capably written, the secondary characters seem underdeveloped.

The film owes its distinctive look to cinematographer Shane Hurlbut (Drumline, We Are Marshall), who uses harsh lighting and the bleach bypass process to visually construct a post-apocalyptic future that looks hard and monochromatic, and production designer Martin Laing (Ghosts of the Abyss, City of Ember) and costumer designer Michael Wilkinson (300, Watchmen) further add to that effect with their sets and costumes. The overall feel is more credible than fantastic. Composer Danny Elfman (Batman, Spider-Man) contributes one of his typically Wagnerian scores while also incorporating Brad Fiedel’s theme from Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Visual effects supervisor Charles Gibson (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End) capably oversees the work of several effects studios to create top of the line effects that seamlessly fit into the style of the production. The late Stan Winston, who provided the animatronic and makeup effects for the previous three films, died during production, but his studio completed their work on the film supervised by John Rosengrant (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Iron Man).

Christian Bale steps into the role played by Edward Furlong in Terminator 2: Judgment Day and the woefully miscast Nick Stahl in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, making it fully his own. Bale’s made a career of playing obsessed, psychologically scarred characters, and count this as another successful role in that vein. Bale brings some dramatic weight to the role, allowing us for the first time to really see John Connor as a hardened resistance fighter who inspires people to follow him.

Sam Worthington is a good counterpoint to Bale as a death row inmate who awakens in possibly an even worse situation, and then must find his place in a changed world where he’s apparently been given a second chance. Anton Yelchin portrays the younger version of the character played by Michael Biehn in the original Terminator, and much as he did as the young Chekov in the new Star Trek, he successfully re-creates a known character at a younger age that reflects the original actor’s performance while making it his own.

While the film lacks a paragon of physical feminism like Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor, Moon Bloodgood is credible enough as resistance fighter Blair Williams, minus one scene which can only be blamed on the writers. Bryce Dallas Howard replaces Claire Danes as Kate, a character introduced in the third film and now Connor’s wife, and although she has limited screen time, she radiates a quiet strength that redeems how the character was portrayed in the previous film.

The rest of the cast is generally effective, including Common as Connor’s right hand man Barnes, Helena Bonham Carter as a dying scientist whose research and experiments pioneer the Terminator cyborgs, Jadagrace Berry as an orphaned child named Star in Reese’s care, Michael Ironside as the leader of the resistance movement, and Jane Alexander as a compassionate woman who aids Marcus, Reese, and Star. Linda Hamilton has a voice cameo as Sarah Connor in recorded messages her son listens to. Roland Kickinger plays a T-800 Terminator, the same model played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the previous films, and Kickinger is digitally manipulated to look like Schwarzenegger.

I went in with low expectations due to the mediocre third film and television series (which actually takes place in a different continuity than the later films), but I came out feeling that the Terminator franchise has been redeemed. Terminator Salvation isn’t the classic the first two films were, but it’s a good film that successfully continues their story and themes into a new era without rebooting everything that came before or significantly dumbing down. It’s easily the best summer movie of 2009 so far.

[4 out of 5 stars]

Posted in by Danielle Ni Dhighe | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

Geek Girls Rule! #87 – Dell’s New Marketing Campaign

Posted by geekgirlsrule on May 22, 2009

This was a request from a friend of mine, but the target of his actual request, the “re-branding” of the more feminine of the Dell products as “Della” has gone the way of the Dodo.  It seems the lazer precise skewering that campaign garnered from the Feminist blogosphere hit home.  And kudos to Dell for paying attention to the hue and cry. 

Now, I wasn’t going to talk about this because I will never own another Dell computer.*  I am the only person in my office who doesn’t work on a Dell, because I flat out refuse to have one.  I order my desktop PCs from a local vendor with a good reputation, and only very recently had to replace my last one because it just didn’t have the power to run the piggy programs I use on a daily basis as they release newer, more processor and memory intensive versions.  But, as we all know, my friends are trying to kill me by goading me into a stroke or aneurysm, so my buddy Dmitri asked me to talk about this.

On one hand, I’m glad that Dell realizes that women buy computers, too.  I am not so happy with the heavily gendered marketing they are employing.  Desktop machines are still marketed as (whether I believe this to be true or not) solid, tech.  Good machines that will meet your needs.  Most of the regular laptops are also marketed this way.  Their mini netbooks, however, are marketed as “cute” accessories for women.  They come in COLORS!!  With DESIGNS!!!  And look, we’ll sell you a color-coordinated computer bag/purse!!!  Look how cute these are!!!  And they have built-in video cameras!!!  Girls love video cameras, right?!  And the ad for the new ultra slim Adamo that is posted on the minibook page looks like a fashion shoot, or a Dior perfume commercial.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to buy my computers based on the idea that they’ll last, will do what I want them to do, and can take a beating, survive cats sleeping on them, etc…  It has never dawned on me to choose a laptop because it matched my dress.  Seriously.  Yeah, so Toshibas only come in Toshiba grey.  Big deal.  That’s what stickers are for. 

The appeal of netbooks to everyone, not just women, is that they are smaller, lighter and work well for very basic operations, like word processing and surfing the interwebz.  The Husband What Rules has an Asus EEE pc netbook, which is comparable in price to the Dell minibooks, and will probably last longer.   He loves it.  I can’t type on it, since I touch type and the damn keyboard’s too small, but it’s no smaller than the Dell keyboards of comparably sized minibooks.  It is everything he’s looking for in a laptop, including fitting in his coat pocket.  When I had him going out on scouting  missions because the hand-me down Dell he’d been using had just gone tits up, I asked him very pointed questions about what he wanted it to do, look like, etc…  Color never entered into it for him either, although he did think the blue Acer netbooks were kind of pretty. 

So, even were I to take leave of my good senses and decide to purchase a Dell laptop, it would not be because it comes in colors, or is cute, or any of the other reasons Dell seems to think women buy laptops. 

*My beef with Dell:  I put myself through grad school doing tech support for the university I attended.  I loaded software on hundreds of machines we had gotten through a local vendor, as we were ramping up the new computer labs on campus.  In the 200-300 machines I loaded, I did not have a single bad motherboard, memory stick or video card.  Once I left grad school and started working at another university that used Dell nearly exclusively, at least one out of every ten machines I supported for my department had a bad motherboard, bad memory, the video cards died, etc… on new machines.  I have a 1998 Toshiba laptop that still works fine, the battery’s toast, but the computer works fine.  Both the Dell and the Gateway we’ve had have died within 3-4 years of age.  Dell has done more in this department to promote the use of Macs, than any ad campaign Apple’s ever come up with.

Also, pity the poor vendor who had to call me after my last “How did we do?” survey that Dell sent.  He got an earful, and at the end where they’re supposed to reassure you that your experiences were flukes, they’ll do better, he just said, “I am so sorry.”  And left it at that. 

Posted in by The Geek Girl What Rules | 3 Comments »

NEWS!!!

Posted by geekgirlsrule on May 20, 2009

Yours truly is a guest blogger at the blog for the California Chapter of the National Organization for Women. 

Woot! 

http://www.canow.org/canoworg/

I would like to thank Elena Perez for inviting me to goob all over their website.  I get to be the edgy guest blogger.  Eeee!  I’ve never been “edgy” before.  I’m very excited. 

Some of the stuff I’ll be posting there is new, some is things I’ve adapted from here and from the Polimicks blog.  I just hope I don’t piss anyone off too badly.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Geek Girls Rule #86 – Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes.

Posted by geekgirlsrule on May 19, 2009

Partially cross-posted from my personal journal.

I have seen the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes trailer, and DO NOT WANT!! *

That is not Holmes. I’m sure it will be a lovely, action-packed period piece by Mr. Ritchie, full of cinematically pleasing anachronisms, and more CGI than you can stick up your butt and waddle home with. But. It. Will. Not. Be. Sherlock Holmes.

Besides he totally got the casting backwards. Downey should be Watson, and Law should be Holmes.

Will I see it? Not in theaters, but probably at some point. I completely expect it to be Snatch 1890. Seriously, just change the character names and call it something else. Please.

Now, I’m not so much a purist that I can’t enjoy non-canonical films. I loved the X-men films, and most other films Marvel’s done (Electra sucked like a Hoover). I fully expect to like the new Star Trek. And I ADORE the A&E Nero Wolfe stuff. Hell, I even like the modernized Nero Wolfe from network television in the late 70s. But, at the risk of sounding like the nerd ragers at my comic store when the new Enterprise schematics were released, there’s this thing about staying true to character concepts, which GUY RITCHIE DUZ NOT HAZ.

I like Guy Ritchie’s films.  I do.  I loved Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.  Loved them.  However, having seen those films and knowing about Mr. Ritchie’s penchant for a little bit of the ultra-violence, who the bright blazing blue fuck thought this was the guy to make a film about a character that spends 90% of his time locked in his own head?  Seriously?  Has he read the books?  And, ok, it’s been a while for me, but I seem to recall that, much like my beloved Scooby Doo, when Holmes took on a case with supernatural elements, at least 95% of the time it turned out to be a guy under the mask (Hound of the Baskervilles anyone?).  Give what I’ve seen of the trailer, how the hell is he going to stay true to that? 

Also, Holmes was an academic, who very grudgingly respected only one woman in the canon of the books, and sure as hell wasn’t out cavorting with loose women.  Granted, I like looking at women in pretty Victorian undergarments as much as the next girl, but really?  Holmes is an arrogant asshole, a condescending prick and a drug addict, but he isn’t a womanizing doofus, ok? 

Sigh.  At least this time I KNOW it isn’t going to be a true adaptation, unlike when the Coppola abortion he called Dracula came out. 

So, yes, I will probably enjoy it when I do get around to seeing it.  But I’m going to have to work awfully hard to dissociate it from the source material. 

*My Dad read me the Sherlock Holmes books as bedtime reading when I was very small.  I have seen the Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett interpretations, as well as Christopher Lee’s interpretation of the role for Hammer.  I have read the books multiple times, and have at least two collected volumes, as well as an assload of other works by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  And 221B Baker Street was my favorite game ever as a child.  My friends and I didn’t play cops and robbers, we played Sherlock Holmes. 

Posted in by The Geek Girl What Rules | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

Star Trek: Boldly Going to Blu-Ray

Posted by Danielle Ni Dhighe on May 18, 2009

The best thing about Star Trek? Paramount is using the film’s release to essentially declare this Star Trek Year, and is going to treat fans to lots of goodies on Blu-Ray, starting with the release of Star Trek: The Original Series.

They digitally restored the picture and audio for TOS, and by all accounts this is the best that the show has ever looked and sounded, even better in fact then when it was originally broadcast in the 1960s. The TOS box sets include both the original versions of each episode and the recent remastered versions featuring the visual effects redone in CG and surround sound mixes, and you can switch back and forth between each version with the click of a button on your remote. The first season has already been released, with the final two to be released later in the year.

The six TOS films have also just been released as a Blu-Ray box set with new HD masters and digital restoration (which was especially needed for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, whose original negative was in bad shape). The only quibble is that it will have the original cuts of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan instead of the more recent director’s cuts, but hopefully they’ll release those versions later. The Star Trek: The Motion Picture director’s cut featured new CG effects rendered in standard definition (unlike the television remasters that did the CG work in HD), so I understand the effects would have to be redone in HD first, which Paramount might not want to pay for. A box set featuring the second through fourth films as a trilogy has also just been released.

The Next Generation films will be released as a Blu-Ray box set later in the year. No word on if or when the TNG television series will be released on Blu-Ray, although it would be nice if they could re-do the effects for those episodes, too.

And for those of you who really enjoyed the new film, there could be an extended edition released on DVD and Blu-Ray.

All told, this seems like a good year to be a Star Trek fan.

Posted in by Danielle Ni Dhighe | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

More TV and Film News

Posted by Danielle Ni Dhighe on May 18, 2009

Despite poor ratings, Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse has been renewed for a second season of 13 episodes because FOX network executives like the show and were sold on Whedon’s pitch for his planned second season storylines. Whedon had to agree to a reduced budget to make it happen, and it sounds as if a new writing staff could be brought in. I wish FOX would have had executives like this when Firefly was on the air.

This article argues that Dollhouse is Joss Whedon’s greatest work. I don’t think it’s his greatest work, but it’s certainly his most challenging and interesting work. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel got stronger as they went along, so perhaps the same will happen with Dollhouse.

FOX is also putting an end to the Dollhouse and Fringe experiment of fewer commercials per hour because it was losing the network money, so instead of the 50-minute length for episodes they had in their first seasons, the second seasons of both shows will be the standard 42-minute length per episode. This is good for Dollhouse because losing eight minutes per episode will help them stay within the reduced budget.

FOX canceled Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles after two seasons. I disliked the show immensely, but I know it had its fans.

FOX gave a 13 episode order for the first season of Human Target, an adaptation of the DC Comics character starring Fringe‘s Mark Valley. Some of you may recall a previous adaptation in 1992 that starred Rick Springfield and was canceled after seven episodes. The new version will premiere in January 2010

NBC renewed Chuck for a third season, but with a reduction of episodes from 22 to 13 and a smaller budget.

Bad news: Reaper is being canceled by the CW network after two seasons. Good news: ABC Studios wants to keep the show going, so they’re considering producing a third season and selling it to local stations in syndication. More bad news: creators/showrunners Michelle Fazekas and Tara Butters will be leaving the show even if it comes back, and actor Tyler Labine, who plays Sock, may leave the show or be reduced to an occasional guest star after his new sitcom, Sons of Tucson, was picked up by FOX.

Chris Hemsworth, who played Kirk’s father in Star Trek, is in final negotiations with Marvel Studios to play the title role in Thor. Interesting casting choice. I could see him better as Captain America, actually. The film is scheduled for release on May 20, 2011, and Hemworth would reprise the role in the planned Avengers film in 2012 alongside Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Lou Ferrigno as the voice of a CGI Hulk, and whoever they cast as Captain America.

The British science fiction show Primeval, whose third season began airing in the US on BBC America this past weekend, is going to be remade in the US as a feature film produced by screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code), although he won’t write it.

Torchwood: Children of Earth should air on BBC One and BBC America in July, on the same days in both the UK and the US, but a month later than previously suggested.

Posted in by Danielle Ni Dhighe | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Joe Quesada* Drinking Game: Official Rules

Posted by geekgirlsrule on May 17, 2009

*This is in no way endorsed by Marvel, Mr. Quesada or anyone else officially linked to either Marvel or Mr. Quesada.  It is satirical in purpose.

Equipment:

Your favorite booze (with chasers if desired)
The internet
When Fangirls Attack, Newsarama or another comics news site

Rules:

1. If Mr. Quesada points to an amazingly cheesecaked out female character dressed in string, and says, “That’s a strong female character,” take a shot.
2. If Mr. Quesada says “I can’t be sexist because… (i.e. I listen to P!nk, I have a daughter…),” take a shot.
3. If Mr. Quesada says that the people who are criticizing him should just go away and never read Marvel comics anymore, take a shot.
4.
If Mr. Quesada says we just don’t “get” how these characters are powerful, take a shot.
5. If Mr. Quesada says that the people criticizing him/Marvel Comics obviously don’t read them, and should just shut up, take a shot.
6. If at any time Mr. Quesada or the author/interviewer infers that comic fangirls are just ugly, fat, gross beasts and are jealous of female comic characters, take a shot.
7. Any time Mr. Quesada opens his mouth, take a shot preemptively, it’ll dull the pain of the ensuing stupid.

If anyone else would like to contribute rules to the Joe Quesada drinking game (no affiliation in any way, shape or form with Mr. Quesada or Marvel comics, intended for satirical purposes only, this website does not advocate drinking yourself into a stupor, no matter how it numbs the pain of being a female Marvel fan), please feel free to leave your rules in comments.  At a later date we will collect them all and publish them in another post.   I will also accept suggestions for a Dan Didio Drinking game as well.

Thank you.

With special thanks to the Geek Husband What Rules for helping me codify this many rules.

Posted in by The Geek Girl What Rules | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 28 other followers