Monday, March 31, 2014

'The Giver' First Trailer!

My friend wrote the adaptation of the mind-blowingly-good and dystopian-future-before-it-was-cool-exploring The Giver. I'm super pumped to go see it. Now you can be, too, because the trailer is below! Bonus: Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep!

An Excellent Read on Brooklyn Nine-Nine

For those of you who loved the show's first season but had one major Boyle-sized concern.

Cosmos: Taking Down the Creationists, One at a Time

I'm digging on the new Neil deGrasse Tyson hosted Cosmos. I love science. I love space. I love NdGT. I also love a calm, rational, reasonable approach to taking down the people who bash science over ridiculous claims like that the human eye is too perfect to have been randomly selected for or that the Earth is 6,000 years old. In addition to being a fun astronomy brush-up that's beautifully shot, Cosmos has systematically tackled creationists' most controversial and banal arguments. Read more about its take on creationism here, and also watch the show!

NO MORE: TV celebs partner up to help fight rape culture

This is a great idea! You can read the full story about the campaign here.

Love Amy Poehler's face here. I hear ya, Amy!

The Veronica Mars Movie Happened And Is Amazing!

Sorry I almost totally breezed past this, but on the 14th, the Veronica Mars movie was released in theaters and for digital download. I watched it in theaters the morning before we left for Greece and I was SO happy with it. As a fan, and knowing this was for fans, it was exactly what we needed. It was the open-ended conclusion (yes, I realize this is an oxymoron) that we didn't get seven years ago. The only thing that I think is funny is that (SPOILER ALERT) as an adult who sympathizes and wants the best for Veronica, the ending is like, "Noooooo!" but as a fan who wants what Veronica wants (not what she "needs"), I was like, "Yes!!!" Not much more to say than that. As a Kickstarter backer, I could not have been more satisfied. I'll miss all the email updates from Rob and his team. This was a really fun ride and I really felt like a part of the team, even though I haven't met any of these people and they have no idea who I am. That's what technology and good storytelling will get you!

Adorable Corgis

Warning: this is a commercial.

But since no one in the US cares about this product, I feel like we can all just enjoy the corgi puppies:

Mindy Project & Brooklyn Nine-Nine Renewed!

It's a happy day (or happy like, three weeks ago when all this was announced) that two of my favorite shows, Mindy Project and Brooklyn Nine-Nine were both renewed! Calloo callay!

Nail Art: Union Jack!

In honor of our time in London, last week I painted my nails in the classic Union Jack visage.

Pretty soon all the other nails will be colonized.

Nail Art: Greek Nails!

Before we went to London, the husband and I went to Greece - specifically Athens and Naxos - to visit our friends, one of whom is an archaeologist studying ancient Greek temples. Pretty sweet deal, right? In her honor, I painted my nails in a classical Greek pattern... which I copied off the internet.

But are the columns nonperipteral?

Nail Art: Swamp/Alligator/Otter Nails!

Another original design - swamp nails with a river otter (who admittedly does look more like a sea otter) and an alligator. These guys were in honor of my husband and my's recent trip to Florida to visit his parents. We had a fantastic time and saw many alligators (though, sadly, no otters). Also, we went to the Harry Potter world at Universal Islands of Adventure and got our first taste of butterbeer. That's right, I had butterbeer in the only two places it is served within two weeks of each other. I AM THE NERD QUEEN!

Cute alligator or cutest alligator?

Nail Art: Mondrian!

Definitely my most original nail art so far, and a design I had been thinking of since I first started getting creative with my nails. Now you can see why I bought that blue color. Fun fact about Mondrian - you'll notice extra thick layers of color and white toward the convergence of black lines, because he thought he could compensate for the optical illusion of a color becoming lighter or darker with its proximity to another chunk of lighter or darker paint (read more about it here). Neat!
Feeling artistic?

Nail Art: Birch and/or Aspen Trees!

Possibly my favorite nails of all time (tied with Snoopy and candy canes??). Totally copied from this tutorial. I just love, love, love the design. I kept staring at them the entire week, getting lost in the forest. I felt totally transported to the Colorado mountains. Which I'd say is a pretty big feat for some tiny trees on a tiny backdrop on tiny fingernails.

If you don't get lost in them, do you have a soul?

Nail Art: Super Sloppy Bowl!

They look even better doused in delicious, delicious wing sauce from Bonnie's.

Should have framed the wings more prominently.

Nail Art: Super Bowl Nails!

I was totally prepared for Game Day this year. Losers on the left, winners on the right (though I didn't know that ahead of time, of course). Conveniently, my blue, gray, and green all arrived the day before I painted these - total coincidence, though, since I bought them for entirely different designs! 
Are you ready for... the Broncos to totally choke!?

Nail Art: Braid Pattern

File this under: I still have much to learn. The braid pattern I based this on is super pretty (and now of course I can't find it... maybe somewhere in this pile?), but mine is a bit more stripey than braid-y. It was definitely fun to do, though, and someday I'm sure I'll be adequate at braid nails patterns. Practice makes ok!

At least the colors are fun together?

Nail Art: Argyle!

I had been thinking about doing a fancy argyle for a while, and after doing a lot of photo research, these seemed like the most fun.

Like a warm pair of socks!

Nail Art: Easter Bunny Nails!

Back in January, it was so cold that I couldn't stand doing dark-themed nails, so instead I brought Easter early with these cute easter egg patterns and adorable bunnies. Aren't they too cute?

Here comes Peter Cottontail...

...Hopping down the bunny trail!

Frozen: Highest-Grossing Animated Film Of. All. Time.

If breaking all animation records and two Oscar wins and spawning a thousand-thousand YouTube covers isn't enough to prove that women-directed, women-centric filmmaking is still no different than men-directed, men-centric filmmaking, I don't think anything else ever will be. 

Jennifer Lee, I hope this is enough to get you the ability to write and direct anything else you ever want to ever. You, too, Bobby and Kristen Anderson Lopez! Go, team!

Harry Potter London Studio Tour

All hail butterbeer.

Speaking of Harry Potter... I recently had one of the best days of my life (and I'm super lucky that there have been many of these) at the Studio Tour at Leavesden. Not only did I have 1.5 butterbeers (the husband had the other 1.5), but I got to live inside and learn all about my two favorite world: film and Harry Potter. As a film student, I loved seeing the intricacy of all the sets, costumes, props, graphic design, and especially the animatronics. As a Harry Potter nerd, I loved feeling like I was inside the world of witches and wizards - walking through Diagon Alley itself was a particularly engrossing moment. Dumbledore's office and the Gryffindor common room were two other mind-blowing moments. The suggested time to be there was 2.5 hours. We were there for 5.5. hours. That's what you get for making it a self-guided tour and writing so many plaques and making so many behind-the-scenes videos and commentary!
More butterbeer. Couldn't help myself. The foam is butterscotch!

Most of all, though, I loved what a love letter the studios are to the 4,000 crew and cast members. The tour allows you to really appreciate everyone's work and contributions in great detail - something you aren't able to do when the images are flashing by your face for only a few moments, if they were lucky!

Cannot emphasize enough how cool this is in person.

So run, don't walk, to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. Best shameless nerd decision ever.

'Fantastic Beasts' to be a Film Trilogy

I can't say I'm either surprised or disappointed that J.K. Rowling's first screenplay has turned into her first three screenplays. That's right, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, about magizoologist Newt Scamander's adventures finding fantastic beasts in early 1900s New York City is going to become three "megamovies." Frankly, I thought Ms. Rowling had too many ideas to fit into a 110 screenplay. The woman's got vision! And I'm super stoked to see that vision come to life.

Nail Art: Burned Paper Nails

Love this manicure! Definitely will have to try it sometime. And I totally can, thanks to this super simple tutorial by GlitterFingersss.

[via Jezebel]

If you would like to vent about HIMYM series finale

Here are some more places you can go.

Top 7 Reasons I Politely Disagree with The HIMYM Series Finale

Hi guys. I was all prepared to write a super heartwarming lovey-dovey goodbye to How I Met Your Mother tonight, sure I would be totally satisfied with the series finale - or at least think it was pretty ok and made sense. Unfortunately, things started tanking pretty quickly... Obvs, EVERYTHING BELOW IS A SPOILER.

First of all, I am but a fan of the show, not one of the writers or creators, so I'm not going to pretend to be all high and mighty about what they "should" or "should not" have done. I'm also not going to say that anyone who loved the finale is wrong. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion. I have this blog so that I can express mine - also, for puppies.

With that disclaimer, these are the things - in no particular order - that I, personally, strongly disliked about the finale, and its reflections on the series as a whole:

1) Annoying old lady. Not because she wasted serious screen time or that she was a super cliche character, but because she (almost like the much-hated-countdown-to-tragedy-clock) set us up for a fun, happy, light-hearted finale when instead its tone was depressing and cynical. Makes the gut-punch feel worse and also like, what's the point?
2) Tracy = Fertile Robin Stand-In with a convenient cancer (or other mysterious illness) timer. The one saving grace about this whole season has been Cristin Milioti's great acting, which made me feel like Ted was finally going to grow up for her. The writers put her through a lot (Did she have to be miserable for ten years before finding Ted? Really? Did she have to have a dead boyfriend she never got over? I guess the best you could say is that he was her "real" soulmate and she was finally able to escape Ted through the kiss of death to be reunited with him??), but it was all under the guise of "she'll be happy when she's with Ted." But then after ten years of pain and suffering, she only gets six years of happiness? And Ted gets to have the rest of his life with the woman he was in love with the entire time before he met Tracy - with the added bonus of the kids he always wanted but couldn't have with Robin? So, essentially, Ted sacrifices nothing and gets everything he ever wanted, entirely at the expense of Tracy (and Robin). Tracy got screwed. Royally. I know it's not her story, but since she was kind of the most likeable character by the end, it just seems messed up. At least in Definitely, Maybe (which has the same "twist" ending), they just got a divorce. They didn't kill off the poor girl's mom. Plus, I just fucking hate it when people throw in the "too beautiful to live" character who dies peacefully without a fight and gives everyone permission to be happy when they're gone because they're wise beyond their needlessly shortened years. And I can be pissed about that because I'm one of those people. And I take it as a personal insult. Sick people are not doormats.
3) Robin's a sad/famous dog lady. Way to put the nail in the coffin of the "career vs. kids/love" debate. "Kids, the thing about life is... you'll never be fulfilled until you finally give into that creepy guy who obsessed over you for 15 years. Doesn't matter if you have a killer job that lets you travel all over the world and break stories that change lives. Nothing will make you happy until you're with that douche-face who, when telling his children about their dead mother, is really talking about how you were the love of his life all along." I mean, she's literally back at the beginning of the show - dogs she can't control and all - showing how miserable she is to be alone. Not to mention, they more than hinted that it was her career that broke up her marriage with Barney ("I have to travel for work" "You hate it when I'm here. You hate it when I'm gone" - Where's Barney's say in all this?). She stops hanging out with everyone for the very legitimate reason that it's weird to be around your ex-boyfriend and ex-husband and they act like she's a bad friend. Also, Ted gets to have two "loves of his life"and Robin for 12 years is just super sad because all she has is Ted?
4) Marshall gets to be a Justice of the New York State Supreme Court. Lily gets to have more babies. It's just frustrating that Lily's career is never brought up again after Rome. And if her main thing is being a mom (if so, more power to her), why is she never seen with their kids? Or even like she loves being a mom (instead of just being a vessel for baby-manufacturing) and is happy for any other reason than Marshall's success? I know it might seem like a small thing, but I think it was emphasized in the fact that she was the only one who seemed to want to get the gang back together all the time, like this was all she had. Of all the characters, you wouldn't have thought she would be the mopey, nostalgic one living in the past - give that to Ted or Barney. Also, of all the characters, she was the one whose career and dreams were never taken seriously. And here it shows just how little that changed.
5) Throw away nine years of Barney's character growth to emphasize how much more important having a child is than anything else (again). Just because a marriage failed, doesn't mean you didn't learn anything from the experience. And just because a couple is childless doesn't meant that their marriage isn't real or worth growing up for. Plus, although Barney "flipped a switch" when he met his daughter, in the end he's the opposite end of the same, sexist spectrum. Instead of being a misogynistic character who preys on women's self-esteem issues, he's a paternalistic character who blames women for their self-esteem issues. I know that's how Barney began, but he became so much more. It was a shame to see that thrown away.
6) Ted and Robin's relationship was self-destructive and childish, and yet it's the love we're supposed to believe in? HIMYM did a great job (clearly, far too great) of showing how devastating Ted's obsession with Robin was to his relationships and to her. He really messed her up. When he finally let her go, it was a huge relief. It may have been about fives years too late, but they both seemed free of the weight of this classic "Nice Guy" who deserves the girl because he's romantic and won't take no for an answer. It's not real love, and if HIMYM wanted to give us a more "real" finale (what with the divorce and death and all) than the standard sitcom, I'm a little disturbed by what they think real love is.
7) I think, in the end, I was disappointed that they didn't take a risk and follow the story and the characters instead of the outline. Nine years ago, they wrote that Ted and Robin ended up together. Nine years later, they were too afraid to admit that things had changed.

But that's life. Things change. People change. And with writing - you go through draft after draft, you scrap your ending, you write a new beginning, you rewrite your middle, you rewrite and rewrite until your characters are alive and your story tells its own ending. You don't shoehorn your final draft to fit your first. Because, quite frankly, your first draft is always, and forever will be, the worst thing you ever write.

In the end, kids, writers all know that you have to kill your babies - not your mothers.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Perfect Food Video to Watch at the End of the Day

Or really anytime. It's so fun and soothing:

ROSE by Carte Noire from ))) datafone on Vimeo.

I don't what or whom it's for, I just like to stare vacantly and maybe with a slight drool.

[via Gawker]

Jack Handey's Nature Documentary

In 2007, Jack Handey wrote a piece for the New Yorker's Shouts and Murmurs column called, "My Nature Documentary," which a team of animators led by Noah A Rappaport later animated. The animation isn't anything to write home about, but the story is super funny.

[via Neatorama]

Season Finale of Broad City!!!!!

If you haven't been watching it - GO WATCH IT NOW!!!! Broad City is the bomb and also Dot Com (probably likes it, too).

If you have been watching it - at least Inside Amy Schumer comes back next week!

Real Life Inspiration for "Up"?

Who knew?

43 Cartoon Songs in Under 5 Minutes!

In this delightful music mash-up, Carnegie Hall Ensemble ACJW tosses in melodic snippets from 43 cartoons! Plus, they've animated the piece with silly, playful clues as to which song they're performing at that time. It's a really fun video - highly recommend!

You can view the full list in the About section on their YouTube page.

[via HuffPo]

Let's Party Like It's 1999!

HuffPo has a list of the greatest hits of 1999 and they are pretty darn epic. Really makes me want to give into my millenial nostalgia... but then again most of my memories of these songs (which came out when I was 11-12) are either from camp (amazing) or while I was getting passed over for slow dances at mixers (less amazing) or alone in my room dreaming of a possible future or moping in my loveless present (nerd alert). So... maybe instead I'll just appreciate how far I've come?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Adam Scott as Derek Huff Doesn't Want You to Sign up for Obamacare

I haven't seen Step Brothers all the way through - and by all the way through I mean the only part I've seen is where the bunk bed collapses, and that was two weeks ago when I was flipping through channels. But it seems like Adam Scott's character in it, Derek Huff, is a real gem. Watch below as he hates on health insurance, really pushing you to not sign up via by March 31st!

[via HuffPo]

Billy on the Street with NPH!

If you haven't been watching "Billy on the Street" on IFC, watch this clip of Billy and Neil Patrick Harris running around asking people what they think of the "How I Met Your Mother" ending:

If you think that's glorious - you should watch the rest of the show on IFC.

If you think only a crazy person would watch that, you're too sane to read this blog.

Also, be sure to watch Billy Eichner on "Parks and Recreation" as Donna's Eagleton counterpart. He is a national treasure.

Final Shot from Every Best Picture Oscar Winner

Below is a video that shows the last shot of every Oscar Best Picture winner in reverse order. Devour via edited the piece and it's really fascinating - the similarities, the differences, how much of the taste of the film you can get from that one moment. I definitely recommend it if you've got a spare five minutes, and a commenter over at /Film pasted in a list of all the Oscar winners in reverse order if you want to follow along.

[via /Film]

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Happy World Kidney Day!

Happy World Kidney Day! Be sure to love your kidneys! And also take action to get immunosuppressive drug coverage for all transplant recipients for life!