Monday, November 29, 2010

Opinion: What to Do When the Buffy Reboot Comes Out

Ever since it was announced that Warner Bros. was going to go ahead with their cockamamie plan for a Buffy reboot, the Whedonverse fans have been in an uproar. I am among them, and I have been trying to figure out what the best way to deal with this is. Many fans say to boycott the movie. That was my initial reaction, but as I gave it more thought and read more comments across the internet, an idea started to form.

We, as fans, have to decide if we are Whedon fans, Buffy fans, or both. The Whedon fans are those loyal to all things Whedon, while the Buffy fans care more about her than the man who brought her to life. If one is a Whedon fan then it makes sense to boycott the movie. It is absolutely ridiculous to make a movie without its creator, but it has been done before. A perfect example is the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. Wes Craven created him, but he does not own Freddy Krueger, and this led to a lot of problems with most of the sequels. In fact, the sequels that are considered the best of the bunch are the ones Wes worked on, Dream Warriors and A New Nightmare. This is what we are trying to avoid with Buffy. We don't want a new movie that is going to suck so hard Warner Bros. starts clamoring for Joss to come and make a better Buffy movie to wipe away the taint of the second movie. While we would like a Joss made movie, I don't think he would do it. Joss has been screwed over so many times by the industry, I have a hard time believing he'd make a Buffy movie. Maybe in a decade or two, long after the comics have ceased to exist, the fans are going rabid, and an embarrassingly large amount of money is thrown his way.

We are all going to be monitoring the progress of the reboot. We will be critical of casting decisions, who the crew is, and most importantly, the story and how it's written, but ultimately, I think the movie will have to be seen. I do not believe it will be a good movie, but I have to wonder what if Whit Anderson pulls off a miracle and writes an amazing movie? What if she genuinely pays homage to Joss? As a Buffy fan, I think it would be terrible not to experience the movie if it is great, but if the movie is bad, there is no way I am putting down hard earned money for something that is pooping all over a 'verse I love. So, what to do?

I propose we send in designated viewers. We convince one or two of our friends to see the movie and then report back to us. If they deem the movie worthy, we go in droves to support it. If it's unworthy, we get to not only issue a GINORMOUS "I told you so" to anyone and everyone who will listen, including the execs who green-lit the project, but we will be able to explain exactly what was wrong with it, other than Joss' absence.

Warner Bros. does not understand just how intelligent and driven Whedon fans are. They think if it says "Buffy," we will put down money to see it, no matter what the quality is. Once again, they underestimate us. We are the fans who created such a demand for Firefly that it was released on DVD, we got Dollhouse a second season, and we are the ones who brought Serenity to the big screen. There would be no Buffy, Angel, Dr. Horrible, Firefly, or any of the various spin off comics without us. We have made the Whedonverse a lucrative one because we are fiercely loyal, but we will not settle for crap.

So please, don't out right boycott the movie if you are a Buffy fan, but do NOT give a lot of money to the movie until it has proven its worth. Show Warner Bros. they cannot take us and Joss Whedon for granted.

This is part of our ongoing "Buffy Movie" coverage. You can read our first post here.
To see what others are saying about this, check out Action Flick Chick's Reboot Reactions roundup here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Giveaway-Gasm ends with a missing trenchcoat and two winners!

So I had a very interesting Thanksgiving with a very interesting dinner guest......Rorschach!

While he was a little cranky about being bothered on his vacation, he was nice enough to pick the two lucky winners of the "Con in a Bag" giveaway! And the winners are.....

@calmond and @sarathelaundres

Congratulations to our lucky winners!! I am positive that the crowds will be better at your con!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Musical Friday: Black Friday Exhaustion Edition

While Thanksgiving is a national holiday, it really is only the pre-event to the true American holiday, Black Friday. We as a country glorify and/or despise this day in all its greatness. Join me as we celebrate it through song.

This is the best Black Friday video I could find. Jake Broder and John Keefe really bring the true meaning of the holiday into their rap. put this Black Friday Customer Experience to life in this video. This rap battle is played by Brian King and an irate customer played by Jason Monroe.

Doesn't this get you into the shopping spirit? So what are you still doing here?! Go Shopping!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Firebreather Premiere on Cartoon Network!

Have you read Firebreather yet? It is the classic tale of the outcast kid in high school, with the nerdy best friend, the girl he has a crush on, his overprotective Mom and his demon of a father. Not to mention his government escort...and the fact that he is part dragon. Trapped between worlds, he fights to just find a place to belong. Duncan has the makings of the classic hero in training with a daddy complex.

Courtesy of Cartoon Network

I had the pleasure of meeting creators Phil Hester and Andy Kuhn briefly at New York Comic Con after only reading the one-shot of "The Iron Saint". It was one of those moments where I completely ignored both of them and just went straight for the book, excited to see this character I had just begun to learn about. They were both so excited to meet me (still have no idea why) and they encouraged me to keep reading, so I just got the latest issue today so I can keep up with this amazing series. While talking with them, they both seemed super excited about this film and reaching a whole new audience. Unfortunately, I missed the premiere at NYCC (grrrr) but I have my second chance tonight (yay!) at 7pm EST, when it premieres on Cartoon Network! This is Cartoon Networks first CGI movie, and it looks great. (I'm not 100% sure but I think that Duncan looks too human but I am going to hold off on complaining until I see the movie.) Tune in tonight!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Assemble the troops, we have a demon to fight.

Courtesy of Active Dollhouse

When will movie execs learn not to mess with our favorite characters? While I understand that rebooting a story is cheaper than creating a new one, when it is done poorly, it just brings the whole saga down. Which is why I died a little this afternoon.

Today we learned that Warner Bros. will be rebooting Buffy the Vampire Slayer without Joss Whedon at the helm. More than a few things about this infuriate me, so here they are:

1 - This news is maddening since they say in the press release that:

"There is an active fan base eagerly awaiting this character’s return to the big screen."

As a member of this "active fan base", I just want to say this is not what I want. This is not what my fellow Buffy fans want. We want our slayer to be continued by her creator, Joss Whedon. This is the same person that is continuing the Buffy character right now in comics. Did they miss that?

Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics
2 - Speaking of Joss, what is this statement?

"Warner Bros. Pictures optioned the rights from creators Fran and Kaz Kuzui"

Am I missing something or didn't Joss Whedon create Buffy? They are producers. I will credit them with helping give BtVS a chance to be seen but they didn't create it. They paid for it. I paid for this computer but that doesn't mean that I can say I built it and Dell can go to hell.

3 - BtVS (the show) only ended in 2003. With most remakes happening decades after the end, why rush this? If you really care about the character's development, take the time to work on it. According to the LA Times, this could be out late 2011 or 2012. To work on having it out in 2012, the same time as Joss Whedon's Avengers, seems to be rushed. I wonder why?

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

4 - To have this written by a complete newcomer also worries me. Whit Anderson has done nothing that I can find. Taking on rebooting a fairly recent story as a first project sounds like a daunting and overwhelming task. Most actors, writers and directors are often scared to reimagine beloved characters, lest bringing the wrath of the fans. As fans, we achieved Serenity from a TV show, Firefly, that was canceled almost immediately. We convinced Fox to give Dollhouse a chance to tell its story. When we have shown our passion for these characters, the industry has taken notice. I wish that Whit Anderson feels that fear and respect for us, for Joss and for this character. We all deserve it.

"Now, we can do this the hard way or... well, actually, there's just the hard way. "

Yes, I can admit, perhaps I am jumping the gun and getting a little too excited about this, but I grew up with Buffy, Xander and Willow. They were a year ahead of me in school. They dealt with things I feared before I did: the Prom, Graduation, College Roommates.... Right now, I feel like my fandom is being tarnished and I don't like it. We need to let Warner Bros. know that this is not what we want and they will have to do it without us and our $$.

Source: For those interested, here is a link to the full release on The Wrap.

*Update* Joss has spoken. As with every other time the industry has screwed him over, he has responded with humor, intelligence, and most importantly, class. For that, Joss, we love you all the more.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Walking Dead on AMC: Midseason Thoughts

We’re now halfway through the first season, so I decided to revisit the comics and see what the show was doing differently and how they were staying the true to the comics. 

The biggest difference is the addition of people. In the comics, the original camp group was much smaller. I like how they incorporated the new people into the show, such as lines that Rick might have said in the comic are now designated to one of the newbies. The additional people also add a heightened sense of drama. In the comics, other than some petty issues, everyone seemed to get along, while in the show, there are more diverse personalities, which leads to more tension among the survivors. Yeah, I’m referring to Merle.

Speaking of Merle, I can’t wait to see what the writers have planned for him. He’s a loon but you can’t deny how disturbingly mesmerizing he is. Unless he dies really soon, he’s a character who’s going to go off the deep end, but will wreck a lot of havoc before he goes. Hell, even if he dies soon, he’s going to cause trouble. It would be a shame if he didn’t. But I am hoping he sticks around for a little while.

Right now, the show is in the thick of the first trade paperback. Rick’s made his way to Atlanta, and joined up with the others. I’m not sure how much longer the show can keep them at their current location, but I can see it going on for a few more episodes if they wanted to, and that leads me to my biggest complaint about the show diverging from the comic: Shane’s relationship with Lori.

Here’s where it gets a little spoilery, folks. This is the one storyline that has me concerned. In the comic, Lori seeks comfort with Shane for ONE night. ONE. Later on, she says it was a big mistake. In the show, it appears as though the relationship is ongoing. She might have still been doing it for comfort but damn! Girlfriend was enjoying the hell out of it. This was more than just comfort. This was a full on affair, complete with sneaking around, ending only because Rick came along. Since there’s speculation as to whether Shane’s fate will be the same as in the comics, I worry this affair could lead to something a little too soap opera-ish. Sometimes, nipping a problem like this in the bud frees up the characters, so they can develop in new ways. That’s my hope. I hope we don’t have to deal with this for more than a few more episodes, and we can move on to all the other developments that occur in the story.

Courtesy of AMC
My other concern is Shane, himself. I’m all for switching things up and keeping him around for a while, but if the writers don’t stick with his original story, I’m going to be so pissed. Shane’s arc is such a defining event and so important to the development of other characters, that it would be a disservice to the fans to alter it too much.

Now, if I may geek out for a minute and say, “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god! I love this show!” I can barely watch horror movies anymore because my overactive imagination gets the best of me, but not only am I watching this (during the daylight hours), I’m re-watching it. I am so stoked about it getting a second season pick up. If the show can maintain the level of quality it’s established for itself, it will go on for a long, long time.

What are your thoughts on the show so far? What do you think of Shane and Lori? Do you like the changes or hate them? Who wants more Merle?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Musical Friday - Potter-Mania!!!

The Deathly Hallows Part 1 is out today! Yay! So naturally, I had to find the oddest yet most popular Harry Potter videos floating around.

Harry Potter (Before We Say Goodbye)

Parodying Train's "Hey Soul Sister," JamesAtWar has a great voice, and knows how to tug at one's heartstrings. The lyrics are great and the kids are just too darn cute! It's a really sweet ode to Harry Potter.

Harry Potter in the Hood w/Kamen Edwards

I'll be honest, I have no idea what to say about this one. I couldn't stop laughing, and I noticed Kamen seems to be wearing a lot of makeup. Harry gettin' gangsta' - 'Nuff said.

The Harry Potter Rap

An oldie but a messed up goodie. Ever notice how a lot of the parodies talk about Harry hooking up with ALL the ladies? Except for our final video...

Harry Potter Rap! - Flo Rida/Guetta Parody

I have to thank The Girly Nerds for introducing me to this. I think this might be my favorite of the bunch. I love this song and it's just so much fun!

And there you have it! Who else is excited about The Deathly Hallows? Who's seeing it this weekend? You know even Dementors couldn't keep the IGH team from seeing it. Let's us know what you think!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review: Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale

Finally released (after years of impatient waiting) is The Shepherd's Tale by Joss and Zack Whedon. This story answers the questions of the mysterious Shepherd Book, such as how does a preacher shoot a kneecap so well?

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!!

The story starts on Haven, the planet community that Book starts after he leaves Serenity (the ship). We actually are watching the very scene from the movie where Haven is destroyed, which is kind of depressing but does fill in some interesting backstory. Here is where we get my favorite quote of the book, from the good Shepherd himself:

"Well, if you look at your life as a chain of events, each responsible for the next and caused by the last, where does any story begin?"

As the scene continues and the fight begins, Shepard Book begins to flash back on his life and we jump back in time a few years to Book living on Serenity (the ship), observing the crew we all know and love. We see them through Book's eyes, as he observes them in their daily scraps, such as Jayne being Jayne or Mal fighting with a arms dealer. We can see the sadness in Book's eyes when he goes to his quarters to pray. As he prays for the crew, we jump backwards again to the Abbey he lived in before joining the Serenity. And back and back we go through his life, learning about how that man got to be our Shepherd Book.

This is a powerful story that really tries to explore what makes a man choose a path and how he lives with that choice. I, along with many Browncoats, did predict some of his past but Joss and Zack threw in a few twists that shocked and surprised me. I like surprises. Best of all, this helps to sum up a mystery left hanging for the past few years. I particularly like the one scene when Book really begins to see how the whole universe is connected and how everything depends on each other.

This "tale" was written by Joss and Zack Whedon, with the art of Chris Samnee. The brothers came together to write this, with Joss penning the outline of the story and Zack taking it from there. This has a strong resemblance to the show and really supports this character. I have read that the timeline in the book doesn't exactly match up to the show but in my opinion, it doesn't hurt the story at all. The art takes some time to get used to. At first, it did bother me because it seemed so dark and shaded, but once I began to see the whole book as a memory, it began to feel more comfortable. The story made the art work.

This is the third Firefly/Serenity comic from Dark Horse Comics and they have hinted that there will be more to come. If you haven't gotten it, go already and pick it up!!! This is a great story that everyone (especially Browncoats) should read. It would even make a great TV show...... :(

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Can you believe it's November already? As the 2010 Con year comes to a close, do you feel that you missed out? Well no worries, we have the "Con Experience" for you. At New York Comic Con, we got so much stuff that we created the ultimate NYCC gift bag, including everything and anything you might have picked up. Free comics? Check. Random Flyers? Check. T-shirt with weird advertising? Check. Pins? Big Check. That's not all! There is even more fun and randomness in the bag! Oh, did I say bag? I meant bags, because we have TWO to give away!!!

To enter, tweet the magic phrase
I want my "Con in a Bag" from @IGHInsider!"

Don't have twitter? Email us at

You have until November 24!!! Enter now!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

An Android G2, Windows Phone 7 & iPhone 4 Get Into a Grilling Contest...

Sound like the beginning of a bad joke, right? Think again! It happened and we have it here for you! Sites like Mashable and Engadget have been talking about, it's one of the hot videos circulating the web, so naturally, we had to bring it to you. Enjoy!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Musical Friday - Literal Version

Good afternoon gentle readers! (Picture me sitting in an armchair wearing a smoking jacket) Today we tackle the literal video. Many recording artists put out videos that help enhance the theme of their songs, while others take a more creative approach, and give us more... unique, conceptual videos. Some of these videos are hard to understand or just make no sense. This is what happens when fans get tired of the confusion and take matters into their own hands.

Take On Me - A-Ha

Said to be the literal video that ignited the genre, created by DustoMcNeato, who has been making literal videos since 2008. He has some of the most entertaining videos out there. You can check them out here.

Love is a Battlefield - Pat Benatar

Dascottjr is another master of literal videos. Always entertaining and this one features on of the best literal choreographed dance scenes. Smiles are guaranteed!

Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler

By far, the best literal video I've come across. This is my all-time favorite. It's so good it's a 2010 Webby Award Honoree, TIME's #6 Top Viral Video of 2009, and TIME's #18 Top YouTube Video!!! 

Not all literal videos are created from 80's songs; they just seem like the most fun. Seriously, what was going on in the 80's? Those videos are crazy! We'll probably revisit this theme with vids from the 90's, another decade filled with awesome "wtf?" videos. Until then, I leave you with one of the cutest, semi-literal videos I found.

Laundry Day - Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Glee: The Rocky Horror Glee Show

The most recent episode of Glee was the highly anticipated, much hyped Rocky Horror Glee Show, featuring the music of, you guessed it, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I, along with several of my friends, felt this would either be one of Glee's best episodes or one of its worst. It saddens me to say, while this wasn't their worst, it certainly wasn't their best.

The problem with the Rocky Horror episode wasn't in the concept; it was in the execution. The general premise of the episode is Will Schuester decides to have the glee club perform Rocky Horror as a way to get closer to Emma Pillsbury, the lovely ginger-headed guidance counselor Will desperately wants but cannot have. That's the whole plot. There are two minor storylines involving Sue trying to win a local Emmy and Finn dealing with body image issues, but they're mostly swept aside so we can hear RPHS music and watch Will try to woo Emma.

I think it's great that the show was trying to have a more adult-centric episode, but it was done at the expense of the glee club, and it felt like there was a lot of wasted potential. Finn and Sam's storyline about how they look could have been a really great opportunity for the show. We all know about females and their body issues but no one really talks about what the guys go through. Men have the same insecurities women do, and while it was handled well, not enough was done with it. I would have preferred it if they had two separate episodes - one dealing with the Will, Emma, and Carl love triangle and the other dealing with the stress of putting on the show and Sue's interactions with the club.

The Good -

The opening featuring Naya Rivera singing Science Fiction, Double Feature was perfect. She sounded great and it was a good way to let the world know Glee meant business. I also liked the listing of who was starring in the show. It reminded me of classic movies.

Lauren Potter as Becky Johnson, the cheerleader with Down's Syndrome, who looks up to Will, uttering one of the best lines of the episode, "Give me some chocolate or I will cut you." Priceless.

Cory Monteith handled his story with vulnerability and honesty, without coming across as cheesy or melodramatic. While I'm not always happy with Finn's development, I am increasing impressed by Cory's growth as an actor. *Side note - I heard some people were surprised that Finn would become the "poster boy" for male insecurities but I think it makes perfect sense. Of all the characters, he was the obvious choice. Sam, Mike, & Puck are ripped, Kurt's proud and comfortable with who he is, and they're not going to give Artie, the guy in the wheelchair, any more issues than he already has at this point. That leaves us with Finn. He also has a different body type than the other guys, so it's easier to work with that. That said, anyone else notice Cory's been working out? Compare his shower scene in the first season to his walk down the hall in this episode - see the difference? I'm not judging. I'm just pointing it out.

The look on Lea Michele's face when she fake faints during "Sweet Transvestite" is hilarious. She needs to be allowed to do more physical comedy. I have a feeling there's some untapped potential there.

Mike Chang wanting to play Dr. Frank-N-Furter was great. I would have liked to see him at least try before his parents yanked him out. I really like that they are slowly developing him, and I hope one day, we can hear him sing for real.

Jane Lynch was on fire. There are too many great lines to choose a favorite, and YAY! Sue's Corner is back! For those of us missing out Sue fix, this was just what was needed. By the way, I want to learn how to carve like Sue. She's a master.

The Bad

"Sweet Transvestite" - I couldn't stand it. Amber Riley sounded amazing. The rich, powerful tones that have been missing from some of her other songs, were back in full force, but she was practically yelling for most of the song. I don't know if this interpretation was her decision or the Powers That Be, but it was way too much. It sucks because I think if the song was taken in another direction, she could have had something spectacular. Then again, the other option was John Stamos, and after hearing his version, I'm really glad they went with Amber.

Lea Michele - I hated Rachel's acting in the show. The character of Janet is a silly, cheesy character, but Rachel took it to a whole other level, and I don't even find it all that believable. Rachel Berry has been in performing arts classes since forever. I don't think she would be that awful. It was if she had never acted before, and was trying to be Susan Sarandon. Rachel Berry would take a role, base it off of the actor who originated the role and then turn it into her own thing. She would not suck like this.

Underutilizing everyone except the adults. I liked a lot of what came out of it but come on, we're not watching the show for the grown ups. I would've liked to see more of the glee club.

The Wha???

Barry Bostwick and Meat Loaf Aday - The original Brad and Eddie came in for a cameo, but what was that about? Their presence made no sense, other than convincing Sue she needs a local Emmy. Yes, Africanized Mexican terrorists do cause me concern, but mostly I watched them and scratched my head. This was another example of not using the talent properly.

Emma singing "Touch-a-Touch-a-Touch-Me" to Will was yet another example of Glee using a song in a weird manner. Just like Rachel singing "Poker Face" was not the best song to be sung with her long-lost mother, this was just out of place and highly sexualized. I know they wanted to demonstrate the heat between Will and Emma but stripping him in a classroom was really messed up, considering their positions in the school (if they want to strip Matt Morrison any other time, I most certainly won't not object). It was also a little creepy having Brittnay and Santana watching all of it.

Changing the lyrics to the songs. Seriously, what the bleepity bleep? Mercedes can't say "Transexual, Transylvania"? What about how they tried to sanitize "Touch-a-Touch-a-Touch-Me"? I understand some things needed to be toned down but did they need to make it laughably horrible? Also, considering that Emma sang the song to Will, it really didn't need to be changed as much since it was between two adults... I'm just saying.

This episode was a hot mess. Other than "Sweet Transvestite" and the lyrical changes, the music was pretty good. Almost everyone got to sing and sounded great. Everyone looked amazing. If only the plot had been better... I think Glee needs to stop doing themed episodes and get back to simply telling a story. Maybe then they'll be able to recapture some of their former magic. The soundtrack for the episode is available on iTunes. What did you think? Awesome ep. or hot mess? Tweet us or let a comment. Toodle-oo until we meet again!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Megamind in IMAX 3D

This past Thursday, @Wilderowens and I were able to attend an advanced press screening, courtesy of 43KIXNYC, of DreamWorks Animation's Megamind in IMAX 3D. We were both very excited because we had heard good things about it, it was an advanced screening (always a treat), and perhaps, most importantly, free.

We got to the movie theater with plenty of time to spare, picked up our tickets, and headed to the top to claim our seats. We bonded with a very nice woman, in the bathroom, over the stall doors having large holes in them (ick!), headed into the theater, snagged a couple of very good seats and watched as people came pouring in with their kids, who were lucky enough to get a Megamind prize pack.

Around showtime, a gentleman from IMAX comes out and announces the 3D projector broke (this is a rarity), so while we were waiting for them to get the movie set up in 2D, we were more than welcomed to go to the concessions and get FREE MOVIE SNACKS!!! Naturally, we took advantage of this. About ten minutes later, everything was ready to go, and the movie began.

@Wysefyre's Review

Megamind is a movie the kids will love. It's visually stunning. The animation is amazing. The cast is great. Will Ferrell does a bang up job of bringing Megamind to life. Brad Pitt was perfect as Metro Man. Tina Fey was good but I don't feel like she was able to really flex her acting chops. It's not her fault. It's just how her character was written. The one who surprised me was Jonah Hill. I'm not a big fan of his. Occasionally, he's funny but he reminds me of a one-trick pony, yet in his role of Titan, I liked him. Titan is an obnoxious character and Jonah was spot on, but he also managed to add a little depth to the character. I could hear the pain Titan felt when he was rejected multiple times in the movie.

It's not a very deep story. It has a good message that I think kids will understand, and there's just enough maturity in the writing so adults won't want to gouge their eyes balls out while watching it. There are even some fun pop culture references in it, but hands down, my favorite part of the movie was the soundtrack, particularly at the end. We're talking quality classic rock, the kind that makes you want to start rocking out. Overall, it's a solid movie. I enjoyed it and will probably see it again, once it comes out on DVD.... unless someone wants to give me another pass to see it in 3D, then I'll meet you at the theater.

@Wilderowens' Review

Megamind is made for the kids but not for the adults. I actually got bored during the middle of the movie. I did feel that the movie tried to add in something for the parents but they fell short in keeping it interested for all ages. The jokes were good for the kids but not great for the adults. I did enjoy the beginning sequence of how Megamind grew up, but I grew disconnected with the story. I feel that they got so close with the story but fell short of reaching Shrek-like greatness. (For some reason, I was totally comparing this to the first Shrek, the first animated movie I have really liked since my childhood.) Perhaps I demand too much of a children's movie though.

However, this was visually stunning. That alone made the experience enjoyable. The way that animation has grown over the years is astounding. When Tina Fey's character is on top of a building and her hair is blowing in the wind, it looked like real hair. I mean, actually filmed on camera from a living person hair. The details in the animation made it so amazing. Megamind had some depth in his eyes, they weren't just cartoon eyes. Metro Man's beard had so many colors and textures that I truly commend the animators for creating some of the best and realistic animation I have ever seen.

Overall, I might watch it on a rainy Sunday when I can't reach the remote. I would totally recommend this for any child between the ages of 5 - 13 because they will love it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Private Practice: Did You Hear What Happened to Charlotte King?

I view Private Practice as one of my guilty pleasures, and not a show I go on and on about, but seeing as how I'm still having a physical reaction several hours after seeing Thursday night's episode, it deserves to be discussed. I'll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum but some are necessary.

Private Practice is one of those shows that never burst out onto the television landscape like Grey's Anatomy or Desperate Housewives. In fact, it came out around the time of the writer's strike in 2007 and that's one of the main reasons it was given a second season. It's a spin-off of Grey's with Kate Walsh's Addison Montgomery being the character we knew and took us to California, where Addison began a brand new life. It has a wonderful cast with people such as Amy Brenneman, Tim Daly, Audra McDonald, and Taye Diggs, but while it was much hyped, and initially attracted a respectable viewership, it was not critically received. There were a lot of problems with it. If I didn't know how talented the cast was, I would have given up on it that first season, but I stuck with it, and I am so glad I did.

The show has gotten progressively better with each season. Everyone got more comfortable in their roles, characters were better developed, the writing seriously improved, and while the show still has its over the top, cheesy, schmaltzy moments, it's finally starting to achieve the same kind of quality Grey's initially had. So, let's talk this week's episode.

This week deals with the initial aftermath of the assault and rape of Dr. Charlotte King, played by the indomitable KaDee Strickland, and how everyone reacts to it. Charlotte is discovered by fellow doctor, Pete Wilder, who immediately takes care of her, while getting her much needed privacy. Charlotte is Chief of Staff at the hospital, so naturally news traveled fast. In one of the few moments Charlotte has alone, she calls Addison, and eventually, her rape is revealed. No one but Addison knows this. With all of that going on, Charlotte also has to deal with the reactions all of her friends are having, as well as how her fiance, Cooper, is freaking out. Throughout this entire ordeal, Charlotte is the strong one. She's taking care of Cooper, she wants to draft a memo to the the hospital letting them know everything's okay, she's offering to take another doctor to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting - she's the one. She's in agony but when she leaves the hospital, you better believe she's walking out on her own two feet.

Words don't describe how powerful an episode this is. It features one of the most realistic depictions of rape I have ever seen (and I still have problems watching Buffy's Seeing Red) as well as showing the various emotions that the family and friends go through when something like this happens. A lot of people forget that when a violent crime happens to one person, everyone is that person's circle is seriously affected too. From Addison's confliction on keeping Charlotte's secret to Sam not being sure of the proper etiquette for these things because it was four in the morning and he had a surgery later that day, but he knew she was okay (so to speak) to Violet not wanting to go into Charlotte's room because it brought back horrific memories and to poor Cooper, who felt so helpless because he wasn't there to protect his woman, these are all legitimate reactions, and because everyone brought their A game, it was something you wanted to turn away from but was so captivating, you couldn't.

Speaking of bringing their A game, KaDee Strickland was a sight to behold, and I'm not talking about how battered and bruised she looked, which was considerable. The character of Charlotte King is a strong, tough as nails person, so to see her reduced to such a vulnerable state is shocking. KaDee gives a fearless performance as she manages to keep Charlotte's strength, while showing us how hurt and angry and vulnerable she now feels. At times, she looks like a wounded animal, like if she could, she'd attack. At one point, Cooper tries to tell her she doesn't need to deal with hospital issues because she's the victim; her response is throwing a cup of water at him and declaring the wedding off if he ever calls her that again. That's the essence of Charlotte King; no matter how bad it gets, she is a fighter and woe to anyone who tries to make her feel weak. This is what KaDee manages to capture perfectly while infusing her with so many layers, making Charlotte one of the most interesting characters on TV right now.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Nicholas Brendon, playing a mentally ill man, who is also Charlotte's rapist. I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Xander has always been one of my favorite characters so it was tough seeing "Xander Harris" go crazy and get violent, but kudos are in order, because I was so disturbed by Nicholas' performance, I quickly stopped seeing him as Xander. Since the end of Buffy, Nicholas has acted in a few things but other than a recurring role on Criminal Minds, he hasn't had the kind of success some of his fellow Whedon alums have, like Alyson Hannigan and David Boreanaz. I'm willing to bet some of it is due to type casting as well as the personal demons Nicholas has had to deal with, but no more! If this role doesn't get him more roles, I will be shocked. He scared the crap out of me, and almost made me wish it was Xander who had gone evil instead of Willow. He became that guy you cross to the other side of the street to avoid. Outstanding performance. I heard he was tapped for only three episodes but I'm hoping it will be dragged out a little longer so we can see more of him.

There are some shows we all enjoy but never expect them to win awards or receive critical acclaim; they're the shows we watch for pure fun. I always categorized Private Practice as one of them until last night. I never expected to feel like vomiting after an episode. I thought maybe some tears but certainly not that visceral a reaction. This is one of those episodes that people should be talking about and I can't wait to see how the rest of it plays out.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you don't have to go it alone. Get help from RAINN.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Glee: Duets

Contains Spoilers!

"Duets" felt like a return to the Glee of old. Puck gets thrown into juvie and the club needs a new member. Enter Sam Evans played by newcomer, Chord Overstreet, and yes, that is his real name. Sam had been introduced in the season premiere. He'd expressed interest in joining but chickened out at the last moment. I guess he finally found some courage. This week's lesson is duets and Mr. Shue decides to make things interesting by having a competition. Best duet gets dinner for two at....wait for it....Breadstix!!! Of course, everyone is excited and ready to get started. 

Here's where things get interesting. Rachel decides for the good of the team that Sam needs to win the competition and decides to throw it. Kurt's trying to determine if Sam is gay or not, makes Sam a little uncomfortable with his inquiries, yet manages to convince Sam to be his partner, while Finn tries to convince Sam and Kurt that it's a terrible idea. 

At this point, everything is still pretty light but Finn raises a very interesting point. He feels that if Sam sings with Kurt it will destroy his reputation. Finn appears to come off as homophobic but as he tries to explain to Sam, it's not about being homophobic; it's about surviving high school. I think that is what this season is going to be about: surviving high school while being your authentic self. 

Anyway, Sam is still willing to sing with Kurt because he gave his word (tres honorable) but Kurt, after having a chat with his dad, the amazing Mike O'Malley, about coming on too strong and having to walk alone for a while, lets Sam off the hook. Sam goes on to sing with Quinn and Kurt is left to sing alone.

The duets themselves are pretty entertaining. Rachel and Finn originally planned a really cute version of "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" but in an effort to throw the competition, sang Billy Preston's "With You, I'm Born Again." You have to watch it to know why it was so perfectly awful. Quinn and Sam sing Jason Mraz and Colby Caillat's "Lucky." Those two have great chemistry and it's going to be fun to see how their relationship develops. Mercedes and Santana destroy Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High." Amazing doesn't come close to describing how well their voices go together and Kurt shows everyone how to do a duet with only one person with "Le Jazz Hot." But the most entertaining performance of the evening was Tina and Mike Chang singing "Sing!" It was the perfect song to introduce Mike's singing to the world... well, sort of.

The song that was the most appropriate for the show's theme was the final duet between Kurt and Rachel. They did a mash up of "Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy." Rachel, dressed in an outfit reminiscent of Barbara Streisand and Kurt, in a gorgeous silver suit complete with bowtie, not only sound amazing but together encapsulate the episode's message: two voices, both unique and wonderful on their own, are made stronger and more beautiful together.

Memorable Moments -

Brittany saying Puck "might be the dumbest person on this planet and that's coming from me."

Santana and Mercedes, after their song, declaring "We's be going to Breadstix."

"Sweet lady kisses" between Santana and Brittany in Brittnay’s room.

Brittany finally getting to show emotion when Artie calls her out for so callously taking his V-card.

Rachel telling Kurt, “Look, I know you’re lonely, but you’re not alone.”

This is when Glee is at its best. It's light-hearted, fun, advances the storylines, has a deeper underlying message, and is filled with fantastically sung songs. If all episodes were like this, Glee would run on the air for years. Unfortunately, as we'll see with the next episode, that is not necessarily the case. Until next time...

BIG TIME Events in NYC

After years of job-hunting, disastrous relationships, and aimless meandering, it's finally all coming around!  No, I'm not talking about your loser cousin who lives in your aunt's basement. I'm talking about the Amazing Spider-Man!

The release of The Amazing Spider-Man #648 on November 10th, marks the beginning of Dan Slott's solo run as head writer, and features art by Humberto Ramos. The new ASM team is kicking things off Big Time with a huge story featuring some big name Marvel characters. Among them are the Mighty Avengers and the Fantastic Four. One of the most intriguing things that I'm looking forward to is not only Big Time Spider-Man, but Big Time Peter Parker. At the Spider-Man panel from San Diego Comic Con, Mr. Slott eluded to the fact that it's high time Peter Parker got a proper career. And from his new-found personal security will come a host of new spider-features, from costumes to new weapons!

The Big Time title not only refers to the plot, but to the physical book as well. Starting with ASM #648 the series will go from a thrice monthly release to bi-monthly. The book will also go from 22 pages to 30, with some boasting 30 pages of story and some with the norm of 22 and an 8 page backup.

Dan Slott & crew at the Amazing Spider-man Panel from SDCC
The promotional train is full speed ahead to support the web-heads launch into Big-ness. Lead writer Dan Slott will be making appearances all over Spidey's home city of New York doing interviews and signings.  If you want to hear about the new direction for Spidey from the man himself, you can check out Comic Book Club at the People's Improv Theater on November 9th. The show starts at 8pm and also features Joe Carmagna. At $5 a ticket you cannot go wrong!

You can also get your autograph on at Jim Hanley's Universe on the 10th. Dan will be signing in the store at 6pm to commemorate the first issue of his run as head writer. I know I'll be there, so come by and say hello (bring me coffee).  It's bound to be a packed crowd of Spider-fans.

Personally, I've been a Spider-Man fan since issue 368, when the Spider Slayers were running amok and our hero still couldn't keep his cool around the Black Cat (not that I blame him, the cover of ASM 607 gave me a nosebleed!). I only came back to the series last year and the more mature story line really spoke to me. In the last year, it's been as much about Peter Parker battling his inner-demons as it has been Spidey facing off with his actual ones. I felt more tension watching Peter try to speak with his ex and keep his cool than I had with any super-battle before. We've all had to deal with those pains, so it's really exciting to know that the whipping character of the Marvel-U has a light at the end of the tunnel.

As I mentioned, we'll be at the signing on Wednesday (milk, no sugar in the coffee), and we'll be sure to give constant updates and pictures through twitter, so if you can't make it, be sure to glue yourself to @IGHInsider. If you've got any burning questions you'd like us to ask, hit us up with a comment and we'll see what we can do! Happy swinging and be sure to check back later this week when we recap the events and review the first issue of Big Time!

One last teaser, Marvel's official trailer!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Musical Friday - The Gaga Covers

Lady Gaga is one of the most talked about musicians these days. Whether it's about her behavior, political views, music, or her outrageous fashion sense, one can't deny she's a tour de force. How long she'll last is up for debate but while she's around, everyone from celebrities to the average Joe Shmoe has been having fun with her music. With so much to choose from, I decided this Friday will go to the everyday folk out there (though I might have to do one for the celebrities. Some of them are just too funny not to include.) So without further ado, I present...... Gaga!

Lady Gaga Acapella Medley Multitrack (Just Dance, Poker Face, Chillin, Paparazzi)

As the only female of the post, I chose Naya Marie because, of the many different covers I viewed, she was unique. She obviously very talented but by creating the medley, adding the beatbox, and performing all the parts herself, she gave the songs a twist that really energizes them.

Paparazzi - Metal Guitar Cover (HQ)

I love when songs are taken out of their designated genre and turned into something new. I particularly love turning pop songs into something edgier and harder. This version helps demonstrate how versatile Lady Gaga's songs are. If you click on the link in the video and watch the video with the vocal track, you'll see how great it sounds. Man, I wish I could play guitar like this guy....ah, just me on a stage, playing like a rock star...sigh...oh, sorry. Got caught up in the moment. On to the next...

 On The Rocks - Bad Romance

Part of me wishes these guys had worn outfits to go with the song but the rest of me knows the everyday clothes make this even funnier. On the Rocks is the University of Oregon's premiere all-male a capella ensemble. They have a new album out, which you can learn more about here.

Telephone - The Afghanistan Re-Make

I crack up every time I see this. Who thinks these guys might have had a little bit too much to drink one night and decided to put on a show? These guys are fighting overseas in dangerous situations and if this is what they need to do to blow off a little steam, then please, please, PLEASE keep doing this! I'd be laughing my ass off if any group of guys got together and did this, but these are soldiers and that gives it extra oomph. They are so awesome. I hope they can eventually make another re-make but as malibumelcher, the guy who filmed this, said it's hard to get them all together because they're constantly on missions. Here's hoping they are currently all safe and coming home soon.

Part of what makes Lady Gaga so great is the fun she inspires people to have. It's high energy, twisted, inventive, and, did I mention... fun? It gets people out of their shells because it's so over the top. It's ridiculous! I guarantee you there is a Lady Gaga cover for everyone. So pull up at seat, enjoy the videos, and if you have a favorite Gaga cover, let us know so we can put it in next time until then, a fond farewell!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween Premiere Weekend: Werewolves and Zombies and Internet Sensations, Oh My!

Last weekend was a great time for some geek-tastic TV premieres.  The Syfy channel premiered Red: Werewolf Hunter and AMC finally premiered the Walking Dead series.  Any card-carrying nerd can tell you why these two premieres have been hotly anticipated since their initial announcements, but if you have been under a rock or failed your official Nerd-License Exam (keep trying, you can do it!), I'll tell you why.  First, Felicia Day.  The Guild writer and star has been on fire over the past few years, with her own show and prominent guest spots on hit shows like Fox's House and Lie to Me.  Second, The Walking F'ing Dead.  The multi-Eisner award winning comic series by Robert Kirkman being made into a live-action series by the station that brought us Breaking Bad & Mad Men?  No brainer.  So, lets get down to the details.  How did each of these shows live up to the hype?  Read on...

Red: Werewolf Hunter
All of the camp, none of the guilt!

Couresty of SyFy

This is a Syfy Original Film...
Normally that'd be enough to end any credible review, but in this case we have a unique exception.  Sure, Syfy has a long-standing reputation of quality films like Sharktopus & Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus, but we won't let their record (and apparent sea-creature fetish) taint our judgment. The main attraction for this gem is its red-headed star, Felicia Day.  As I've mentioned, Felicia has recently been putting out an impressive collection of work, but this film is different for a few reasons.  First, it's a leap into the world of science-fiction action, which is not necessarily new to her, but definitely out of her niche of awkward comedy.  Second, she's taking the lead in a full length (for TV) feature.  Her most note-worthy roles are in web-based short episodes, and I mentioned her guest spot on House; however, we all know that all the sick person ever gets to do is fall over, then convulse after a wrong-guess diagnosis.

The plot of the film is a spin on the Red Riding Hood tale, and promises to be the first in a line of fairy-tale exploitation films from Syfy.  It starts with Red (Day) introducing her fiance to her family and eventually their family tradition of hunting werewolves.  What starts out as a fun weekend with the folks turns hairy (sorry) when Red's man gets himself snacked on by a werewolf and begins to manifest his own transformation.  From there it becomes a Romeo & Juliet tale of love versus family loyalty.

Any movie that starts with "Syfy Original" is going to have some issues with writing, but despite that, the cast was able to deliver some decent performances and some memorable moments.  I particularly enjoyed Rosemary Dunsmore's performance as the rifle packing Grandmother.  All-in-all the movie lived up to the hype by delivering a fun experience.  The IGH crew actually had a lot of fun playing our own little Riff-Trax session while watching.  Let's face it, we all watch the awful Syfy channel movies anyway, at least this time we can say it was to support Felicia (my love!).  So in closing, I'd give Red: Werewolf Hunter an IGH rating of 7 lycanthropes.

The Walking Dead
In a perfect world all apocalypses would look like this.

Courtesy of AMC
To start, I'm a huge fan of the Walking Dead comic series.  I first picked it up when they were around issue #50 and I've been a steady reader ever since.  If you haven't looked at it yet you owe it to yourself to pick up the first trade.  Robert Kirkman's epic "horror movie that never ends" has set the new standard in horror/suspense books and garnered an immense fan following as a result.

The story begins with our protagonist, Sheriff Rick, waking from a gunshot-induced coma in an abandoned hospital.  Confusion turns to cold-blooded panic when he finds he's not alone in the world, but instead there are hordes of walking undead dying to invite him to dinner (I really can't help it!  Sorry!). After meeting some warm bodies, Rick sets off to search for his missing family, and from here the series will lead us through the story of Rick and the many survivors he meets along the way.

The series is being directed by Frank Darabont, who also brought us classics like The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile.  It's obvious from the first episode that he has studied the source material and has a deep respect for Robert Kirkman's original vision.  So many scenes were ripped right from the book and the direction and acting made it seem completely natural.  I was fortunate enough to be at the Walking Dead AMC panel at San Diego Comic Con and got a first-hand account of how Robert and Frank have been working together.  The collaboration has clearly paid off big time.  We all know the pitfalls of comic book adaptation, especially to a TV series, but what the Walking Dead has pulled off is nothing short of perfection.  I personally cannot wait to see how the rest of the series plays out, and how far they'll get this season.

When it comes to living up to hype, this show not only lives up to, but surpasses expectations.  I would, with confidence, give AMC's The Walking Dead the patented IGH rating of 18.9 head shots.

I hope you've enjoyed these shows as much as I did.  I also hope you enjoy my review.  Let us know what you thought on the comments, or send a tweet our way @IGHInsider.

Mata atode aimashou!