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Oh, the Horror! – Recent & Upcoming Horror Movies

9 Apr

Maybe it was the early morning viewing of Frozen, or the news of Saw creators Leigh Whannell and James Wan visiting Dublin next week, but this afternoon I’m in the mood for some thrills and chills. So, with that in mind, I googled and waded my way through trailers and misleading fan-made videos to put together a list of some new and upcoming horror films. They’re certainly not all gems, very few, in fact, but the rest are good for a chuckle – I definitely had a good laugh watching some. Then there’s also some of that old gory goodness horror folks are mighty keen on. There are plenty others that I’m excited about, like Silent Hill 2, but there’s no trailers available yet. They’re not all my cup of tea, and maybe not yours, but you might spot something good amongst the mess below.

* Warning that nastiness may abound in trailers, as well as spoilers for any that are sequels *

[REC]2
I haven’t yet seen this, or the US remake Quarantine, but it definitely looks worth the watch. I like the use of handheld cameras to tell stories like this. When it’s done well, and with good reason, it can turn out quite well. Or it will just make you a bit dizzy and queasy. Well, in fairness, this may do that with a little help from the zombie creatures though.

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My Hero Grrrls

9 Mar

I had planned to do this yesterday for International Woman’s Day, but hell, women should be celebrated everyday! There are so many wonderful, kind, generous and strong women out there, all influencing and changing the world little by little. Mothers and other relatives, teachers, writers, artists, actors, directors; these women are everywhere. I decided to put together a top 10 of my favourite influential femmes (in no particular order) – but this may go over ten. Some are real, and some are real enough, heroes to draw power from, or at least for me.  

 

1. Red Sonja
From the time I was just a little strange and freckled child, I was in love with Sonja. I was raised on Conan and his adventures, which of course overlapped with Sonja’s (even though he’s technically not Conan in it, but we know..). I wasn’t introduced to the comics until some years later, but the towering, flame-haired Brigitte Nielsen instilled within me a pride in my natural hair colour – sadly a source of shame for many of my kind – and in being taller, and in some cases stronger, than some boys in school. She’s a sword-wielding heroine any girl can look up to.

2. Lara Croft

Again, Ms. Croft’s been with me for many, many years. I remember countless hours sat infront of the television, watching my dad and brothers play Tomb Raider II over and over. I could only really take care of The Great Wall, and still have trouble handling a lot of the levels, since I would get over-excited and the nerves got the better of me. But that was enough for me. Watching her shoot her way through anything – tigers, Yetis, dinosaurs – while maintaining her femininity and possessing a rather high intellect, just made me want to be her… fall-away floors, spikes and all. She also had a lot to do with my love of history and why I would always answer, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” with “archaeologist or egyptologist”. We could always throw in some danger and intrigue!

3. Tank Girl

I first seen the Tank Girl movie before I really knew what was going on in it, let alone get half of the things she was saying. I remembered bits and pieces, but I always thought she was played by Gwen Stefani and not the equally as shiny Lori Petty! I seen it again a few years later and got a bit obsessed, still not completely aware of everthing. I just thought she was the single most awesome woman ever! She had funky hair (that part of me always wanted to try!), cool clothes and a tank!  By the time the movie and I were eventually on the same wavelength, I was totally hooked. I’ve slowly been building my collection of the comics (I believe there should be 2 in the mail, in fact) and soaking up all the Tankie I can find. And she’s one of the most fun characters to draw, the artists that have worked on it are simply phenomenal! She’s tough as nails, rude, crude, brazen and bazooka-brassiered!

4. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer

She’s just a regular young woman… But, oh wait, she has to save the world! Boy trouble, fitting in, highschool, friends, homework. We shared the same problems, granted mine were less apocalypty, and was a heroine you could relate to. I’ve been watching Buffy for half my life – not without pause – and it’s still held in that same precious spot in my heart where it forced its way in all those years ago. I have to say though, Buffy was not the only great woman in that show; Willow, Joyce, Cordelia, Tara, Anya, and Dawn all taught girls everywhere something about grasping onto the strength we possess and, forgive the pun, living up to our potential. In particular, I was a Willow girl – nerdy, loserish, hopelessly enamoured of someone just as clueless, odd humour, easily excited, loved my library. I could go on. I even have the hair and pale complexion to match.   

5. Amanda Palmer

Fearless. Iconic. Comedian. Opinionated. Lover. Artist. Poet. Hero.

I have mountains of respect and love for Amanda. She’s a true music artist and an even truer person. My path to discovering her was all by chance. First off, I caught The Dresden Dolls late night on Channel 4, or something, performing ‘Coin-Operated Boy’ and another song. Their appearance and the set really grabbed my attention ( it was similar to the Live in Paradise set). I had missed their name but jotted down “Coin-Operated Boy” on a piece of paper. That always stayed in the back of my mind. A year or so later, I found an advertisement for the Live In Paradise DVD in a magazine and loved the photo. That too was saved. It was around then that decided to look them up since we had finally gotten a computer. Again, I was hooked!! I searched Virgin until I found Yes, Virginia, brought it home, listened to it repeatedly, and the rest it happy history. 

As they continued on, then went on hiatus, I followed them together and seperately. The music they were making was just so different to what I had heard and they were doing such interesting things. Then when she went solo…forget about it! I was awe-struck when I first heard ‘Astronaut’. But it’s not just her music and her lyrics, it’s her. She cares for the fans and does all she can to keep in touch. I hadn’t experienced anything like that before, the dialogue between artist and audience. She’s not afraid to try something new, or something no-one has ever tried. Then there’s he whole thing about being half of one of the best power couples, um, ever! I really, really could go on… This went on a bit, but she is one of the only two real people on this list!

6. Zoe Washburne

Ever the feminist, Joss Whedon knows how to write kickass female characters! Zoe, Mal Reynolds’ right hand woman and one half of a most unexpected couple, is an Amazon warrior woman, through and through. She’s more than capable of taking care of herself – trusty gun at the ready – and can crack a joke (many great deadpan moments) and have a laugh with the guys. Yet, when it’s time for the more sentimental stuff, she’s a softy – looking after the poor, defenseless Saffron.  She can be dominating, which is a loved and hated quality to hubby, Wash, but can be a wife just the same. Mmm, wife soup… She’s proof that you can be the hardass leader of men and the lover.

7. Penelope Garcia

My name is Sarah and I am a Criminal Minds addict. One of my favourite characters from the show is Garcia, the uber geeky, super stylish, techie goddess! Yup, that’s her full title. Garcia has to deal with a lot! She didn’t sign up to the BAU to fight crime and investigate murders (in fact, she didn’t sign up at all…), yet she has to bear the weight of some brutal stuff. Researching murders and criminals of every kind, watching videos of killings to find clues within the soundtrack; basically seeing and learning more of the world’s evil than most folk aught to. It’s this very reason that she decorates her office with colourful toys and fluffy and sparkly accessories, and keeps conversation light with her quirky humour and phone answering technique. She finds a way to seperate the two worlds and not become a disturbed shut-in, as some might do in her position. She’s also incredibly independant and has been since a relatively early age. She doesn’t need a man (but she does eventually get a cute’n’geeky one in the form of Nick Brendan!) and is completely comfortable with herself. Just look at her fabulous wardbrobe and her interaction with Derek. Oh, the flirting and the nicknames! I have respect for the character as well as the real women, and men, that old similar jobs.

8. Lisbeth Salander

Lisbeth is a more recent addition to my list of heroines. Ever since I seen The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – what, last year – I loved her. She’s the outsider, not in the awkward highschool way but in the severely abused way, and just doesn’t take anything lying down. She’s been through hell and made it, and doesn’t show any sign of letting herself get dragged back into that mess again… of course she is, otherwise what would the trilogy be about? She’s pierced, tattooed, almost shaven-headed, dresses in dark colours, and is very beautiful. Lisbeth is as complex a character as they come, and I really have to applaud Noomi Rapace for her performance. Lisbeth may do her best to stay out of trouble, in her painfully introverted and terse way, but doesn’t cower away from a fight. If you’ve seen the movies or read the book, you know what I’m talking about! Yes, she’s rough around the edges but I think she’s one of the finest heroines in modern culture.

9. Frida Kahlo

Okay, I will keep this short since I could literally write over 3,000 words on her! She was an incredibly influential woman and paved the way for many artists, both female and Mexican. Comfortable with her sexuality, unafraid to show the world her inner self and willing to take a stand for her political beliefs.  Her life was hard, and that’s an understatement – countless operations, a result of an accident when she was young, and a passionate turbulent marriage to Diego Rivera. And, of course… her art! It’s just amazing. I knew the bare bones of her history a little over a month ago when I decided to write about her for a college essay, now I am a massive fan and cannot wait for the exhibition of her and Diego’s work here next month!!  

10. Xena, the Warrior Princess

Oh, how I miss the days of watching Xena and Hercules! She was just the coolest. The costume, the weaponry, that war cry – you know you’ve tried to iminate it. I can remember playing Hero Quest with my brother when I was little and my character name on the score sheet would always be ‘Xena‘ (and what a good game!).  She reminded me of Red Sonja, more so with that whole Hercules cross-overy goodness. And then Gabrielle was just awesome too. I always wanted a staff to swing around, hit bad guys with, help me on treks through forests… all of which I do so often.

11. Awesome Gals Everywhere

I’m not forgetting Wonder Woman – how could I? It’s just that I didn’t grow up with her. I knew of her, and the iconography of her as the strong woman, but that was about as far as my knowledge went. My knowledge has grown some over the years, but not by much. The comics are on my to buy list, and season 1 od the tv series and the animated movie (with Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion) are sitting on my shelf waiting to be watched. I have to mention Wonder Woman Day, as it’s just a fantastic organisation.

Also, the women behind Geek Girl Con, and all the other geeky girls I follow through blogs, twitter, facebook, harass in person (she’ll get this is her, I hope). There’s too many to name, but they know who they are and must know just how amazing each and every one of them is.

Finally, my fellow Geek Girls (usually found ‘on the street’). I’m forever grateful for having the opportunity to have met all of you, even online, and to get to work with you. You all, quite simply, rock! 

I’m gonna be mushy here and add: My Mam. She ain’t nearly as geeky as the rest of this list, but she’s my hero none the less 🙂

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How about you folk? Care to share yours?

01100010 01101100 01101111 01100111

10 Oct

So, this is another Sunday night round-up. Unfortunately, there has been no entries between this and last Sunday’s post. But I’m working on it. I hope some of this week’s highlights will make up for that.

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Birdeatsbaby released their new EP, Bigger Teeth, today and I can tell you.. it’s frakking awesome! A more eloquent review is coming shortly. They’ll soon be touring Europe so make sure you get to a show if you can!  I’ll just wait patiently in Ireland…

You can listen to and buy the new EP from their bandcamp aswell as their website. Mine should be in the mail soon! 🙂

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I should hope you all know what today is.. 10/10/10. Otherwise known as 42 Day (101010 is 42 in Binary). It is, of course, in honour of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the number 42 being the ultimate answer to life’s meaning. Maybe you discovered something profound today.. or just had fun with all the 00101101101s and #hashtags knocking around twitter. This post should even be published at 10:10!  I’m going all out.

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Just when you start to lose faith in Johnny Depp with his exhausting continued collaboration with Tim Burton, he does something to regain our love! This week, Depp visited a school in South London, fresh from the nearby set of Pirates of the Caribbean 4 and in full Captain Jack Sparrow garb. What spurred this? A letter from a little girl asking if he’d help organise a munity in her school. Can you say, “d’awww”?

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With a heavy heart, I must mention the passing of Solomon Burke, the “King of Rock and Soul”, who died earlier today in Amsterdam Airport, aged 70.  He was a true legend and one of the greatest vocalists music has known. RIP.

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* The title just says “Blog” in Binary. Anything more would have been crazy long with 0s and 1s.

Sleepy Sunday Night Roundup

3 Oct

It’s Sunday night and, boy, it’s been a long week! So, here’s a few of the highlights I though I’d share with you.

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Okay, this isn’t new but it only occured to me today to google it! So, here’s something delightful for your ears, Seth MacFarlane and his sweet voice crooning out some of Sinatra’s classics.

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October 2nd was the birthday of the awesome Danny Smith! Actor, musician, artist and all ’round great guy. You may remember him as the oh-so-loveable Merton from Big Wolf on Campus. More recently, he’s been in Suck, the rockstar vampire flick, which I’m yet to sink my teeth into. In honour of this occasion I bring you ‘Defeated’ by his former band, The City Drive. Man, I miss those guys..

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The Social Network has been released and is doing more than well at the boxoffice. It’s been met with mixed reviews but, with all the mock trailers we’ve seen floating about the internet, it may only be the first of it’s kind! Before we tread that scary path, why not see what the Pop Culture Monster thought of the movie.

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This week I was lucky enough to see Circa, having scored two free tickets! I wasn’t fully certain of what the show held in store beyong aerial acrobatics.. There was more to it –  as if you’d need more that that! I’ll post a full review of the show during the week, but if you can get to a performance, go!

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Finally, Neil Patrick Harris recorded a message of hope to gay youths that are being bullied. It’s part of the It Gets Better project and there are many others releasing videos with uplifting words. They are incredibly moving and I only hope they reach those who need help.

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Hollywood Music Videos – A round-up

22 Sep

Actors act. Music videos often tell stories wherein people act out the parts. It was pretty obvious the two worlds were going to collide from day one. There have been so many cameos as well as more integral, movie-like characters played by some of the biggest names in Hollywood. I could have listed more but that way madness lies, so here’s a few choice picks.

Before we get started, my first video would have been Breaking Bells’ The Ghost Inside with the uber fantastic Christina Hendricks, but I can’t for the life of me find the video again! If you find it, watch, enjoy and for the love of Joss, link me up! 🙂

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Fall Out BoyThis Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race

We’ll start the ball rolling with a delightful cameo from Seth Green & Michelle Trachtenberg.

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Elton JohnI Want Love

The perfect video for any Robert Downey Jr. fan. Plus it’s a good song.

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Green DayWake Me Up When September Ends

Oh, God, I remember crying so much the first time I watched this. Jamie Bell & Evan Rachel Wood star as the young lovers.

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DidoWhite Flag

A lovely video of Dido stalking David Boreanaz. Or is she? (Yes, she is).

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KornA.D.I.D.A.S.

Korn score major point for having one of the coolest cameos, Carel ‘Lurch’ Struycken.

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FergieBig Girls Don’t Cry

This video is played muchly by me for the Milo Ventimiglia goodness. Once she leaves, just stop watching – he’s not in it again and the song is played a second time. Oy!

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Britney SpearsEverytime

Yes, a Britney video. But it’s worth it for Stephen Dorff.

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Michael JacksonRemember The Time

Michael Jackson videos were just the best around, and known for all their spiffy cameos. This is one of my favourites with Eddie Murphy.

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Enrique InglesiasHero

You will all most likely know this one since it was played to death! It’s still good to watch for Jennifer Love Hewitt & Mickey Rourke though.

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AerosmithCryin’

Oh, how I wanted to be Alicia Silverstone when I was growing up…

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Tom Petty & The HeartbreakersInto The Great Wide Open

Very good video and song, heavy on the Johnny Depp.

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Stone Temple PilotsSour Girl

We had Angel, now it’s Buffy’s turn. The video would have been perfect with Weiland and Sarah Michelle Gellar, but the freaky teletubbies….?

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Limp BizkitEat You Alive

I almost forgot about this one. Thora Birch is kinda crazy as usual, but I love her. I fell into the Pullman-Paxton trap.. Someone wrongly stated that it has Bill Pullman, but it’s Paxton. Disappointing for me, but there’s still Thora.

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P. Diddy & Notorious B.I.GVictory

One of those ‘could be a movie’ music videos with Danny DeVito & Dennis Hopper (RIP).

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Fatboy SlimWeapon Of Choice

How could I finish this roundup with anything other than Christopher Walken being seven kinds of awesome!

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Any of your favourites I skipped over?

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Updated to include..

Udo Kier, Bridgette Nielsen & Shannyn Sossamon in Korn‘s Make Me Bad. How on Earth did I let that one get away from me!

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