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This was just an experiment in WordPress, but the real website can be found at http://www.allthingsfangirl.com, hosted by blogger.

If you’ve come across this by accident, thanks for stopping by and see you on the other site 🙂

-Muse

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Remember this ridiculously awkward bit from American Idol Tuesday night?


Well, during this cringe-worthy display, I was thinking two things.

1. Please make this stop

2. Jessica Furney = Quinn from Zoey 101 + (Tracey Ullman x Kellie Martin)

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MUNCHKIN

I’ve never played Dungeons & Dragons. The only reason I remotely understand how the game is played is the penultimate episode of Freaks & Geeks, Discos & Dragons. Now I have to go listen to the Grateful Dead and cry… Anyway, you need no more than a passing familiarity with the infamous game Munchkin is spoofing to enjoy the living hell out of this card game where you “Kill the Monsters, Steal the Treasure, Stab your Buddy.” Here’s a sample of some the cards the deck has in store for you.
The duck of DOOM! It’s ridiculous, frustrating, and instills the blood lust required to stab your buddy in the back when you draw enough cards to really screw him over. I sat down to play a quick game with my boyfriend so I could learn all the rules and not completely suck when we played with other people. Three hours later, I was refusing to go to sleep until I had won a game. Between being repeatedly stripped down to a level 1 by cards like the Duck of Doom and other monsters that set my character on fire and ate it while it was still roasting alive and all the curses my boyfriend was repeatedly throwing my way, I had yet to come close to winning. But then he drew the Duck of Doom, and oh the tides, they did turn.

The game is hilarious, addictive, and a total blast. So when your eyes are burning from staring at screens all day, and you just can’t face Mass Effect 2 or Bioshock 2, play Munchkin!

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Gargoyles


Before I had the Cartoon channel and the Disney channel and a hundred other channels on cable, for some reason the Fox station where I lived in Florida played a bunch of Disney cartoons, Aladdin, Timon & Pumba, and the ultimate: GARGOYLES. I was obsessed with this show. It was so smart and intense, way more interesting than say Power Rangers. (I hated that show because the girls were stuck being pink and yellow while the boys got the best colors. SEXISM!!) This year, Santa put the Season 1 and first half of Season 2 DVDs in my stocking. (Someone get on Disney to release the second half of Season 2 already!) Re-watching this show, I have not been disappointed.

Although I do find the number of mullets hilarious – almost every bad guy and three of the gargoyles themselves sport one – it actually holds up really well. The premise is kind of insane, a bunch of gargoyles are imprisoned in stone until their castle floats above the clouds so an evil version of Bruce Wayne sticks the castle on top of his skyscraper in New York City. Drama ensues! But as ridiculous as the premise sounds, the show was smart, dark, and super intense.

I mean, THIS happens in the first episode (go to minute 4:30):

The 90’s had its drawbacks, for one DVR’s hadn’t been invented yet, but at least every other television show for kids wasn’t about being famous or being popular. There were cartoons that referenced myths, legends, and Shakespeare. In Batman: The Animated Series, Batman went to some very dark, scary places. Does anyone else remember the Clayface episode with the rain at the end? I’d never been more upset watching a cartoon. X-Men: The Animated Series was the only reason to wake up early on a Saturday. And there was Gargoyles, an awesome story told well week to week, populated with crazy complicated bad guys and the good guys that didn’t always do the right thing.

If you haven’t seen this show, or haven’t seen it in fifteen years like me, someone has downloaded almost the entire series in eight minute chunks on youtube. Be careful though, as there are hundreds of tributes to the show’s star-crossed lovers, Elisa and Goliath, and all of them are scored with cringe inducing love songs.

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Under the Dome


Before this 1074 page monster, the last things I read by Stephen King were those he wrote under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, The Regulators and Desperation. Oh, and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon right before I went on a three week hike on the Appalachian Trail. This was a monumentally bad idea because the girl who loved Tom Gordon gets horribly lost off the Appalachian Trail, and it’s Stephen King so bad things happened.

Anyway, I’ve been reading and hearing about how his last couple of big books, even his last short story anthology, all kind of sucked. Rumor had it that Stephen King had lost his mojo. After reading Under the Dome in under a week, I call bullshit. If you make the mistake of reading the first four page chapter, which is ominously titled “The Airplane and the Woodchuck,” you are screwed. You’re going to carry this ten pound tome around with you everywhere. Your arms, your back, your neck will hurt, and everyone will think you’re crazy as you continuously slam the book shut because he just killed yet another character that he’s so skillfully endeared you to.

Stephen King started his career as an amazing genre writer, and he’ll end it as a legend. You can knock him for being overrated, for a clunky metaphor here and there, or for killing too many of your favorite characters, but the guy is classic. “The Boogeyman,” a seven page short story from his first anthology Night Shift, is still the most terrifying thing I’ve ever read. His portrait of an unraveling alcoholic father who loses out to all that is his horrible in his nature at the Overlook Hotel makes The Shining one of the best books ever. And I still read The Talisman that he co-wrote with Peter Straub at least once a year because it was one of the best “young man goes on a quest and has painfully shed his childhood to grow up” books ever.

So check out Under the Dome. It will steal at least a week of your life, and it’s thirty to fifty percent off all over the internet and in all the stores, barely the price of a movie plus sour patch kids.

And if you’re like me, stop procrastinating with your Fangirl Awards Ballot and voice your strong opinion already!

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Ridiculously entertaining Italian accents aside, if you can get past the ludicrous beginning and to the part where Ezio starts slicing and dicing people in the streets of Renaissance Italy, you are going to have a blast playing this game. Not only is it deeper than the first, but it’s prettier. Much, much prettier.


Now as to the absurd first fifteen to twenty minutes of the game, you start as Desmond from the first game, the guy who has all the crazy assassin ancestors’ memories crammed into his DNA, and Lucy, voiced by Gossip Girl Kristen Bell, busting you out of Abstergo Industries so you can hang out in her secret hideout and go through all your bloody memories away from the templars. Besides the fact that there’s a bunch of complicated exposition that has nothing to with stabbing people in Italy, it keeps you from actually getting to stab people in Italy.

Also, the way they re-introduce you to how to play kind of sucks. The game starts with a poorly rendered recap of the entire first game as if you’ve never heard of Assassin’s Creed, and then the minute the game actually starts, they assume that you not only played the first game, but remember exactly how to do everything. (I, for one, had forgotten a lot and would have appreciated something tutorial-esque, or at least a prominent reminder of the controls.) There was stuff that should have been in the first ten minutes of the game that only showed up in random tips, and you end missing out on some super awesome ways to assassinate people for big chunks of the game.

BUT, and this is a huge but, all that aside, this game is great once you get to Italy. Florence, Rome, and Venice are dazzling. I especially loved Venice during Carnival when all the characters are walking around in gorgeous and grotesque masks. The back story with Ezio and how he becomes an assassin is great, but it would have been nice if the game just said, “Hi!” to Desmond and got right to **SPOILER** Ezio’s brothers and father being falsely accused and hung for treason. Who wouldn’t want to murder half of Florence after something like that? **END SPOILER** Running across the roofs, blending in with groups of courtesans, and the myriad of ways there are to murder people (stabbing them with a poisoned blade and watching them go nuts was a personal favorite) were all even more fun than they were in the first game, and the story they put in place to justify all this mayhem was surprisingly compelling.

I also loved Ezio’s uncle Mario for one of the best references I’ve ever seen in a game. I don’t even want to describe it here because it was one of my favorite things ever. It was almost as awesome as a certain cameo in Zombieland.

That’s pretty much all I’ve got say about the game specifically, but this being my inaugural Fangirl post, allow me this anecdote:

This video game nearly ruined my grandma’s Christmas. When she asked me what to get my boyfriend for the holiday, and I foolishly recommended she buy him this. I got three panicked voice mails asking about the difference between “the X and the P3.” It had never occurred to me to specify the Xbox over the PS3 version, and Grandma almost didn’t speak to me the rest of the holidays. That’s how traumatized she was. Then, she sat down to watch while we played the game, and she fell in LOVE. Being Italian, she was obsessed with the environments and wanted to visit every city to look around for famous landmarks and places she’d been. Plus, she conveniently looked away every time I had to brutally murder a rooftop guard. Now, this is a woman who was offended by the Sopranos, and even though she saw a cut scene with the over-the-top Italian accents and stereotypes, she STILL loved this game.

So go play it. Me and my Italian grandmother say it’s good for you!

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I can’t say I’m affected, much. I didn’t know her, and I wasn’t a fan of any of the romcoms she participated in, although I did like her other work and I appreciated her talent. But she used to be something like a beacon for me, in the way that she was not the most striking or classically beautiful girl but through talent and an innate likability became a star. I’m really talking about Clueless, here. It’s the work I’ll always associate her with first and foremost. One of those movies I can pretty much recite through. I loved Tai. I wanted to be Cher, but I associated with Tai, albeit not so much in the sex-drugs-rock-and-grunge department. Knowing as much as anyone with tabloids in their peripheral vision does about her public life, and having watched the evolution of her as an actress and her body as a Hollywood commodity, I have my own first impressions and gut instincts about why a 32 year old who never copped to hard drug use would drop of a heart attack. And it makes me sad.

Our condolences and sympathies to her family. We’re very sorry for your loss.

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