Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2: A Spoiler-Free Review

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If you are living under a rock, you might have missed the big release at the box office this weekend. Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2 has now landed at your local movie theatre, and after its (come on, let’s be honest…you thought it was gonna suck…) stunning sleeper performance, the Marvel Studios’ Underdog of Misfits had one incredible bar to clear. The original took the hardest of comic book nerds by surprise while casual fans of Marvel, convinced this would be the first MCU dud, came out pleasantly surprised and downloading Awesome Mix, Volume One on their smartphones before getting home from the theatre.

Now, the Guardians are back.

So where do I begin? Or more to the point, where do I begin and not spoil the insane amount of fun that is happening in GotG, Vol. 2? There is a LOT to be had, but a good amount of this fun are in the twists, turns, and surprises GotG, Vol. 2 packs within its running time. I think I can give an opinion — a sincere, analytical opinion — without giving anything away, but if I do inadvertently spoil anything for you, I apologize.

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Okay, let’s do this… Continue reading

4 Things that Star Wars Fans Should Be More Upset About than Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath

 

chuck-wendig-aftermathSo, if you might have heard, author Chuck Wendig released a book.

Chuck is the author behind Star Wars: Aftermath, the first (of three) books bridging the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Since its release, both Jedi and Sith alike are losing their midichlorian-laced shit over this book.

The common threads amongst haters are:

  • Chuck wrote the story in 3rd person present tense. Very different from previous Extended Universe books.

    • In Aftermath, we meet a character that is gay.

    • This is Star Wars done in the style of Wendig. If you have not read some of his other works like Blackbirds or Zeroes, this is a very different approach.

    • There is an unexpected crossover between new Star Wars character Norra Wexley and Marvel favorites, Rocket Raccoon & Groot.

Okay, I might have totally made up that last one, but those other gripes are what a lot of panties twisted in special knots only learnt at Jedi Summer Camps. After reading thinly-veiled attempts at hiding homophobia or anti-Disney sentiments behind various “This is bad writing…” comments, I’m a bit stunned. Star Wars fans are pissed over a gay character and Chuck’s style? Seriously? After everything we’ve dealt with across six movies?

Over the decades, we fans have weathered some serious missteps. And no, I’m not talking about:

  • Midichlorians
  • Jar-Jar Binks
  • The feeble attempts to have Han Solo appear to shoot in self-defense

We’ve talked about those (and continue to talk about them) at length. What I’m talking about is the kind of writing or direction that should have made fans call them out to the center of the octagon, but I’ve rarely seen happen. If you really want to be pissed off about something in the Star Wars universe, have you considered… Continue reading

Two Minutes of Purest Awesome with Tom Hiddleston

I keep thinking that actor Tom Hiddleston will hit a peak. You know? It seems as if he just kicked off on the right foot when he appeared opposite Kenneth Branagh in Wallander, charmed geeks everywhere when he posed for a candid shot with a young Avenger, and then made a lasting impression as Loki at this year’s ComicCon in San Diego. I honestly thought that Tom Hiddleston could not get more awesome.

How I underestimated the actor behind the Trickster God and young Prince Hal…

Tom — please don’t ever change.

The Power of Three Stooges

While Twitter, Whrrl, and Facebook are my go-to-tools in online sharing, their limitations can stunt my stream-of-consciousness on a subject. So I’m taking ideas that come from other discussions and networks, bringing them here, and expanding on them.

Also, I too am annoyed when people post a waxing philosophic dissertation as a Facebook status. No, I’m not going to become “that guy” on the Social Networks.

This blogpost was inspired from a Twitter exchange I enjoyed with one of the sweetest ladies of Social Media, Vivid Muse. Viv was easing into her day, and fired off this tweet across my starboard bow:

VividMuse: Also, Three Stooges are even dumber than I remember. It would be interesting to try and classify all men as Larry, Curly or Moe. Possible?

My reply: Continue reading

Soulless: In Which a Vampire Displays Horrid Table Manners upon a Helpless Tea Tray

October is going to be one incredible month. There’s my appearance at Blogworld in Las Vegas. There’s an impromptu meeting (with my agent!) at the World Fantasy Convention. I’m aging like a fine single malt (as in, my 41st birthday is coming up)…

…and Gail Carriger’s Soulless is coming out, so I’d better pick up a corset lest my sides will split!

I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Gail Carriger (who made such a great first impression, she will be my first ever guest blogger here…) on my journey back from Aotearoa. She is of a sharp wit, extremely geek chic (whoofah!), and very straight-up in how she approaches you. Gail is also the next big thing in comedy Science Fiction. As Douglas Adams turned the genre on its ear with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Gail will be doing the same thing with steampunk in Soulless. This is the inaugural adventure of Alexia Tarabotti, an independently-minded Victorian lady-of-manners born without a soul and a penchant for trouble. Part Buffy the Vampire Slayer and part The Importance of Being Earnest, Soulless promises to be a ripping good yarn! Gail and the creative people at Artistic Whispers have put together this preview. While it does not look like it will be podcast, this sample is being made available to one and all. Thanks, Gail!

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And if you are at World Fantasy in October, join us for “High Tea with Alexia Tarabotti” which will serve as the official launch of Soulless.

Krakens Comedy: “The Turnover” with Christiana Ellis

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I’m not sure how this idea came about, but I’m going to give credit to the Queen of Social Media Comedy Chrisitana Ellis. The two of us collaborated on this skit first podcast on the original release of The Rookie, my favorite of Sigler’s works. Scott is re-casting his football Science Fiction epic, and Christiana has dropped in her feed our tribute to his gritty, galactic grid iron world.

So what is featured in “The Takeover”? Along with The Rookie, Christiana and I manage to tip our petypalups to…

  • Firefly/Serenity
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Farscape

We also show that some things are timeless and universal, transcending light years and alien races. And listen to Sandra’s ringtone.

I’ve done a few fun sketches, both for Christiana, for other podcasts, and myself. This one is a favorite. Enjoy!

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Some Halloween fun…

My kid’s day school teacher heard (from my mother-in-law) that I used to be a professional puppeteer. She asked me if I would be interested in putting on a show for her kids. Even with the schedule I have, I couldn’t refuse because this was for Sonic Boom.

I was told to come up with something that the kids would enjoy, and following a History Channel documentary on Halloween, some shopping on the official store of TAPS and Puppet Universe, and a night of testing sound equipment and recording rigs, this was the end result. As I found myself flying completely solo in the morning, I can’t say this footage will be winning me a Parsec anytime soon…

…but it was a lot of fun, and it will probably not be my last trip there. Laugh with me, or laugh at me — you choose. Whatever the case, Happy Halloween!