We're a geek couple living in PA with our two boys -- Milo and Otis -- who are short, orange, and furry. Oh, and they're the cats we're bookended by! We love music, movies, TV, comics, books, and comic cons. And, from time to time, we'll share our thoughts on these nerdy things.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Logan

Review by Dangrdafne

So we finally watched Logan. We meant to see it in the theater but it just never happened. Well just like Rogue One, I am kind of glad we didn’t see it in the theater. I cried... I cried a lot.



SPOILERS

It was very hard to watch Patrick Stewart playing a dying Professor Xavier and just as hard to watch Hugh Jackman play a dying Wolverine. Thank goodness the movie gave them things to live and die for before their ends. The young girl was phenomenal. I loved her primal scream, I felt her release every time she yelled and it was a good feeling.

I thought it was a good story for the most part but really I only cared about what was happening to the professor and Logan and what it means for the X-men franchise. I have a hard time with endings and I kept my hopes about these endings knowing that this movie is set in the future. Sooooo they still could show up in other movies :)

Of course, the movie was violent and sometimes just too violent for me but I understand that it is Wolverine and that is his MO. I know want to go back and watch the pre-release interviews etc. I am curious how you sell the child role to a child and their family. How do you tell them they are going to kill LOTS of people and it’s all ok. I think the girl handled it very well and she has a bright future if she wants it.

I give this movie 3 paws.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for April 13, 2018



[a-ha-coustic] -- I know you're probably expecting a Friday the 13th connection, but I decided to go in a different direction. A stripped down direction. But first, some background. A-ha's 1985 debut album, Hunting High and Low, was an international success. All four of its singles charted within the top 40 of most countries' music charts. In the US, their first two singles broke the top 20, and their debut single, "Take On Me," peaked at #1. The strength of the album's singles, and the band's video rotation, helped propel Hunting High and Low to a peak position of #15 on the United States Billboard 200 (album chart). A-ha was even nominated for a Grammy (Best New Artist in 1986). They didn't win, but this nomination made A-ha the first Norwegian band to earn a Grammy nod. And let's not forget about that iconic animated/live-action music video

But this week's post is not about that 1985 track. No. See, I recently learned that a-ha played at Giske Harbour Hall in Norway last June. Yes, they played last June, and the news I'm about to share made the round in October. I'm behind the feed! I get it! Anyway, during Norway show, a-ha performed a hauntingly beautiful, stripped down version of "Take On Me."


If you liked that, I have good news for you: that version of "Take On Me" and 16 other a-ha hit tracks are available on MTV Unplugged: Summer Solstice, an album and DVD they recorded while in Norway. Read all about it on their website.

But before you dash off to their website, perhaps you'd like to check out more of this concert. Well, I've got you covered with a little help from DailyMotion:





That's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

And if you are on Twitter, and feel so inclined, please +K my influence in Music on @klout.

I'll see you in seven!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Review by Dangrdafne

A little late to the party here but well worth the wait I would say.

I have been wanting to see this movie since it came out. I missed going with my friends and Brainwise was not too interested in going otherwise. So I missed it in the theaters. Overall though I am ok with that after seeing it now on my TV. I am just glad I didn’t miss it completely.

I like the new Star Wars films better than the old, all of the old. I believe this is because when I saw the old films I was not the biggest sci-fi fantasy fan. And then when I was finally into it, it was the newer three movies and they just were not good to me. I distinctly remember laughing...with everyone in the $1 theater during the Yoda fight scene. It was like throwing a muppet around and seeing what would happen. Anyway, I digress, Rogue One was a thousand times better than the others but I would still choose The Force Awakens as my favorite overall (I have not seen The Last Jedi yet, shock there I know).

It is funny that I have seen all the newest Star Treks in the theater and pretty near opening day but Star Wars except for The Force Awakes when I went with my friends have all been later and now only on my TV. Thank you Netflix. Of course it was during the most recent Star Trek that I fully determined and realized I am a Trekkie. I like science more than fantasy.

Spoilers



Everyone dies.

No really, every.one.dies.

I hadn’t really thought about this until about half way through the movie. I realized... none of these people show up in the later movies... none. And it definitely made me sad. I was getting to know these people, like these people. While I know what they did was admirable and saves everything later, it did not make it easier to watch them get wiped out. Although this is not uncommon for me, I really cried at the end of this movie. I was grateful that I hadn’t seen it in the theater at that point. I really cried hard.

I loved Jyn and would love to have seen more of her life and her. Hmmm as I sit here thinking about what to write, I am realizing that no character is ever fully realized in this movie. The characters simply exist for this story and this story only. I don’t even mean that in the way that they all die, I mean that there is no background and no support for these characters outside this specific story. And while it seems odd, I am ok with it. I still enjoyed the movie and I still cried for the people but I guess I am ok that they will not appear again.

I definitely loved the humor from K-2SO and Chirrut and they were definitely the hardest, along with Bohdi, to watch die.

There were two things that really jarred me in this movie, though. The Polar Expressed Grand Muffin Tarkin (i am leaving this auto correct because it is too funny)  Polar Expressed young Princess Leia. Oh my that was not easy for me to watch. They didn’t fit, they definitely were out of place and I think just showing Leia’s robe would have been enough - we knew who it was. They were important parts but I had a very hard time with them not appearing real, although I am sure I may have freaked out more if they looked so real that you couldn’t tell they weren’t.

I give this movie 3 paws.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Atomic Blonde

Review by Dangrdafne

Oh how I wish I had seen this movie in the theater. Not only because it would have supported a woman lead movie, it would have looked incredible on the big screen.



SPOILERS

Soooo violent, like John Wick violent if not worse. It seemed even more real though. I easily believed they had hit each other and threw each other. The bruising and the pain were disturbing and completely realistic. The blood, etc splatter was beyond real looking *shivers*.

Charlize Theron as Lorraine Broughton was incredible. She was tough, vulnerable, gorgeous, wicked, sexy, shocking, brilliant, and absolutely perfect.

Sofia Boutella as Delphine was a great match for Charlize. They made a gorgeous couple and you never really knew which side Delphine was playing.

James McAvoy was incredibly sleazy and gross, exactly what he was supposed to be. For some reason, I found James distracting. I think I wish the role was an unknown actor. I felt like James was there to make sure males would see the movie, that it couldn’t just be Charlize against unknowns.

John Goodman and Toby Jones were ok. I always expect Toby to be bad so imagine my shock when he wasn’t anything at all. John was fine but again he felt distracting. Charlize’s character definitely shows them up ... or does she?

I almost don’t want to discuss the ending, just in case someone is reading who hasn’t seen the movie yet. I loved the ending but figured it out when she was driving the Asset. I noticed something different about her voice and I am curious to know if it was planned, an accident or my mind playing tricks on me. Either way it helped me figure out what would happen for the most part and I was very happy with the outcome.

Lastly I usually rate a movie on if I would watch it again. This movie can not fit into that reasoning. This is a movie that really is amazing once. With all the twists and turns, once you know what happens it makes it difficult to watch it again, especially with all the violence (for me at least). I am sure I could still appreciate the acting performances but the movie overall would lose some luster as the best parts of the movie are the twists and not knowing what is happening.

I still give this movie 4 paws.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for March 30, 2018

Fun Is Just Over There - by brainwise

For this week's Friday 80's Flashback, I'm revisiting a Flashback post from 3/29/2013. Five years ago this week, my mother and I were with my father while he was in the care of the Cleveland Clinic. 3/29/2013 was the start of Easter weekend, the first I had spent with both my parents in many years. And it was my second holiday overall with them at the Clinic (the first was Thanksgiving 1999). Unfortunately, it was Dad's last Easter; he succumbed to the complications of his cancer in May of 2013. And a mere five years later, I'm entering my first Easter weekend without either him ... or Mom. She passed away unexpectedly in October last year. 

So, much like that weekend of five years ago, I still have a tendency to  experience highs and lows in the wake of my adult orphan status. And these songs are still appropriate. You could check them out at the original link (see above). Or keep reading here because I've duplicated the entire post here for your convenience.


[Highs and Lows] -- I'm still at the Cleveland Clinic with my father (17 days and counting). And this week (like much of his stay) has had its share of ups and downs. At one point, we were told to prepare ourselves for "this may be as good as it gets" (Dad on ventilator and bed-ridden for however long). And then we were told that, even without a specific diagnosis, there are things that can be done to ween Dad off assisted breathing and even strengthen his other muscles. So, this week's Flashback reflects the highs and lows we have felt here rather than the upcoming Easter holiday (though I am sure holidays also have their fill of ups and downs). Today's image comes from my own collection on Flickr. I figure the Ferris Wheel is a good model of the cyclic nature of ups and downs. If you want to know what tunes are playing on my Ferris Wheel this week, just read and hear more after the break.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Black Panther

Dangrdafne point of view

One word: incredible

I give it 4 paws!!

Everything amazing that everyone is saying is true. The action, the story, the women, the music, the everything. I loved this movie.


SPOILERS:

Chadwick Bozeman is perfect in my mind. Like Wonder Woman had to wait for Gal Gadot to come along, Black Panther had to wait for Chadwick Bozeman. He IS Black Panther. He just embodies the character how I think it should be. I have never read the comic books or really know anything so maybe I am crazy but I would have to say I pictured Chadwick whenever people mentioned Black Panther being in the movies... and I didn’t even know who he was. I just think he is perfect here. He is a king.

I also did like Michael B Jordan as Killmonger but let’s just get it out there, I am female so of course I like Michael B Jordan :) But seriously he is great as this character. I hated that I hated him but that means he played him well. I could feel the pain and anger he felt and that was certainly the point. I am sad that there couldn’t be a redemption for him as I would have liked to see him and Chadwick work together to meld Wakanda and the world but with a name like Killmonger, redemption really doesn’t seem to be in the cards for him.

The women in this movie are my world. Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Florence Kasumba, Letitia Wright, Sydelle Noel and Angela Bassett are glorious. I felt empowered by watching them. They were intelligent, athletic, sassy, beautiful and best of all they were women. Nothing had to be lost in the characters just because they were women. It was equal footing and equal screen time and I am forever grateful for it. Young girls of color should cheer every time they appear, for the theaters would be filled with noise for almost the whole movie and that is just how it should be. I look forward to more stories of these women and supporting anything they do.


Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for March 16, 2018



[ASIA] -- Geoff Downes, John Wetton, Steve Howe, and Carl Palmer were already famous individually for playing in some of the biggest prog-rock bands of the 70s. And the sound they created in the early 80s as the four-piece called Asia owed more to the 70s than the New Wave that was taking over the radio. Still, their eponymous debut album was released in March of 1982 -- 36 years ago! -- and spawned two huge hits. Besides the hits, other songs on this album also achieved considerable radio play. Asia's sound was slickly produced yet still muscular, likely due to Palmer's steady percussion and Wetton's driving bass. All these elements propelled the album to great success, including peaking at #1 on the US Billboard 200 albums chart. Asia's music was majestic in scope -- you have to play at a grand level if you choose to name your band after a continent -- and I still feel something magical in the opening chords of just about every song on this album. Hel, I still have my original vinyl copy. I can't tell you how many times I tried to draw the serpentine dragon from this album cover, but I can tell you that I no longer have any of those attempts.

If you'd like to sample some tunes from this album, you can read and hear more after the jump.