Saturday, February 26, 2011

Frakking A! Cool Stuff From Around the Interwebs

Well, we haven't done one of these in awhile, so here goes.

Steampunk/ Dr. Who Bar

Did you ever want to go inside a real TARDIS? Did you ever want to go inside a real TARDIS, and pee? Well now you can!  Waystation, a bar in NYC has a Steampunk theme, AND has a bathroom that's designed to look like the Doctor's TARDIS.

Let's Get the Captain His Money

Not to beat a dead horse, but here's the link to "Help Nathan Buy Firefly" again.  Visit the web site! Like the facebook group! Start saying "goram" alot! What will this accomplish? Probably nothing.  But it's fun!

Sword Canes

So maybe you're like me, and you think guns are a little uncouth.  Maybe, (like me) you want to carry a sword around, but worry that people will look at you funny if you walk around with your greatsword strapped to your back (my greatsword is named "Jocksbane").  Now, you can carry around a sword, and no one will even know till some shit goes down and you pull said sword out of your cane!

Wise Man's Fear

"There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man." 

That's the tag line for the second book in Patrick Rothfuss's "Kingkiller Chronicles" which comes out on Tuesday.  The first book "The Name of the Wind" is one of my favorites.  I'm stoked for the sequel.

I am still excited for Game of Thrones on HBO

Dragon Age 2

I was already excited about this game.  Now Felicia Day (whom I have a massive crush on) is involved in it?  Frakking A!


It's nerd Christmas! C2E2 is coming back to Chicago! Just in time for my birthday!

Improvised Star Trek

On a more personal note, please keep an eye on the Improvised Star Trek web site.  There might be a triumphant return for the crew of the Sisyphus in the works.

Suck it, Westboro Baptist Church

Anonymous hacked Westboro Baptist.  The more these people can be publicly humiliated, the better.

And now, a baby otter named Fenway

Friday, February 25, 2011

What Made Firefly So Awesome

After reading yesterday's post, I realized that I referred to "Firefly" as being "awesome" about 15 separate times.  You may be wondering why I think that about a show that was only on for a year.  You may be wondering why a whole bunch of people think that, and why they think it's so awesome that they would do something as silly as trying to raise money to buy the show from a studio that probably has 0 interest in selling the property (despite the fact that they will probably never do anything with it again). 

Here goes.  Things that made "Firefly" awesome.

1. Cowboys in Space-

I love me some sci-fi.  I love space epics, and alien monsters, and using theoretical technology as a way to comment on modern society.  I also love westerns.  I love shoot-outs, and outlaws, and heroes who fight for lost causes.  Mixing the chocolate of westerns with the peanut butter of science fiction was what Firefly was all about.

2. Mystery!

The show was mostly episodic in structure, but there was a larger story that took place within those episodes- the mystery of River Tam.  Who was River? Why did the government want her so much? Why does she know what she knows and why can she do what she does? Is there a connection to the space cannibals known as the Reavers? We found out alot of this in "Serenity", but still- it was this mystery that drove the long term story of the show.

3. Christina Hendricks!

Okay, so she was only on 2 episodes, but before she got super-famous as the scorching hot Joan Holloway on Mad Men, Christina Hendricks was on Firefly as a con artist.  See?

4. Joss Whedon is awesome-

Joss Whedon, creator of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", and "Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog", writer of "Astonishing X-Men", and all around nice guy also created "Firefly".  Joss Whedon's big thing was breaking storytelling conventions, and cliches.  This made his fantastical worlds feel more real and compelling, by making characters act how they might in real life.  Also, Joss really cared about the world(s) he created, and it showed.  "Firefly" wasn't just an opportunity to cash in on obsessive nerds, it was a love song to those nerds about all that they held dear.

5. Nathan Fillion is awesome-

Malcom Reynolds, the captain of the Serenity, war veteran, champion of lost causes, and overall awesome character, was played by Nathan Fillion.  Fillion poured real life into the character of Mal- he made us care about Mal.  We wanted to see Captain Mal win.

6. World Building-

The 'verse of "Firefly" is totally unlike any other science fiction universe.  Where so many sci-fi worlds feel derivative of earlier works in the genre, the world of "Firefly" felt unique.  Once again, think space cowboys, but also think space cowboys on whole planets that resemble China, or 19th century Europe, or 20th Century US of A.  Also, think space cannibals, genetically engineered space warriors, and space Russian mafioso.  Throw all of those things together and you start to get an inkling of just what the 'verse was like.

7.  It was funny-

Do you remember how on "Star Trek: tNG", Data would say something funny once every other episode or so? Well, "Firefly" was funny all of the goram time.  Alan Tudyk, who played Wash, was especially funny.

8. The fanbase-

"Firefly" fans, who mostly call themselves "Browncoats", are insane.  Totally, completely, wonderfully insane.  The show was on for 1 season, and then there was 1 movie.  The show ended 8 years ago.  And you know what? The fanbase is still there.  They (we) STILL buy "Firefly" merchandise, we (they) still talk to each other on message boards, and we (us) quietly (well, not so quietly) wait for the day when "Firefly" returns in some capacity or another- thus the huge reaction to the "Help Nathan Fillion Buy Firefly" campaign.

So there.  That's eight good reasons why "Firefly" was (is) awesome.  There are more.  Many more.  These were just to eight that sprang immediately to mind when I started to think about "Firefly".  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No More Runnin'- I aim to misbehave

In anticipation of his forthcoming novel ("Wise Man's Fear"), I have been reading Patrick Rothfuss's excellent blog.  This morning, I read this:

Nathan Fillion, perhaps jokingly, stated in an interview that if he got $300 million, he would buy the rights to "Firefly" from Fox, and start producing the show again.

Let's back up before we go on:

Origin Story:

Back in 2002, Joss Whedon, the producer/creator of cult hits "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" created a show for Fox called "Firefly".  "Firefly" was a space opera set in a future where mankind had colonized many different planets.  The setting was distinctly western (space western anyway), and featured a ragtag group of space smugglers just trying to get by in a wild universe.

The show was awesome, but the ratings were low.  Why were they low if the show was awesome? Well sci-fi can be a hard sell to Muggles (the non-nerdingly inclined) and Fox didn't really provide the show any support.  They showed the episodes out of order.  They didn't really advertise it.  And then they moved it to the dreaded "Friday Night Death Slot" where so many potentially great Fox television series have gone to die.  "Firefly" was canceled after one season.

Then something funny happened.  A small, passionate fanbase made some big noises- complaining angrily about the show's cancellation.  This convinced Fox to let Joss Whedon turn "Firefly" into a movie- "Serenity".

"Serenity" went on to bomb at the box office, "Firefly" was confined to the dustbin of sci-fi history, and while the fanbase never stopped making noise, it seemed as if we ("Firefly" fans) would never again see new episodes of the series again.

Fast forward to this.  This!  Nathan Fillion- the star of "Firefly"- Mal Reynolds himself says this.  He would buy "Firefly".  He would produce "Firefly". And we- the fans. Have latched onto this.

Fellow nerds, fellow geeks- we have to do this.  We HAVE to bring back "Firefly".  In an era when so many of our most beloved stories and characters- from Spider Man to Star Trek- have been co-opted by the mainstream, "Firefly" is still OURS.  It is a show created by nerds, for nerds. If we can do this- if we can raise enough money, and get this show brought back, it will be ours in a way that no popular property ever could be.  We will own it.  Literally- not just figuratively.

Sure Nathan Fillion may have said this flippantly, but if we can prove that there's enough demand, if we can raise enough money, they have to bring it back.  "Firefly" could come back!

No more runnin', nerds.  It's time to misbehave.

Check in at this web site for more information, and donation opportunities:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"The Dark Knight Rises" Get Excited for Bane

It was announced a few days ago that the villains of the forthcoming "Dark Knight" sequel, the "Dark Knight Rises" will be Bane, and Catwoman, played by Tom Hardy, and Anne Hatheway respectively.

Obviously, "the Dark Knight" was a huge success, and there's been a ton of speculation as to which villains would be appearing in the film.  Here are some of the villains that were rumored to appear in the film:

The Riddler, The Penguin, The Scarecrow (again), Talia Al Ghul, Black Mask, Deadshot, the Joker (again, played by a non-Heath Ledger), Clayface, Killer Croc (seriously), and a few others.

They went with Catwoman, whom everyone in the world is familiar with, and Bane, who most people probably aren't familiar with.

Now, obviously most people are excited by the prospect of Anne Hatheway playing Catwoman, and hopefully washing Halle Berry's Catwoman out of all of our memories for good, but what we should all be REALLY excited about is Bane.

Why?  Why should you be excited about a bad guy who looks like a Luchadore version of the Incredible Hulk?

Because he's awesome.

Bane may look like a ridiculous thug, but in reality, he's one of Batman's smartest, toughest villains.  He's not insane like the Joker, or Two-Face, he's intelligent.

Bane was raised on a prison colony, so he grew up tough, and smart.  Eventually, as an adult he took over the prison colony, got ahold of something called Venom, which is basically a super steroid, and made his way to Gotham where he went after Batman with a very clever plan.

You see, as tough, and smart as Bane was, he didn't make the mistake that most supervillains always seem to make- he didn't underestimate his opponent.  Bane began his wicked plan by freeing all of Batman's villains from Arkham Asylum.  Then, after Batman spent weeks trying to fight every single villain in his rogues gallery (and capturing most of them), Bane struck.  Bane figures out Batman's secret identity, hides out in Wayne Manor, and surprises Batman when he returns from another night of trying to fight his worst enemies.  Even in this exhausted state, Batman still put up a good fight, but juiced up on venom, Bane did something very few people have ever done- he beat Batman.  He actually broke Batman's spine.

Of course eventually, Bane is defeated, and Batman comes back after his spine heals, but regardless- Bane broke Batman.  If they follow along with a story that's even kind of similar to that first Bane story, this movie could be really, really cool.