Tag Archive | X-Men: First Class

Oscars 2011: Movie Score and Soundtrack Playlist

Every year since the inception of our hosting an Oscar party, I’ve crafted a mix CD for our guests based on the films released in that year. Not all of the scores and soundtracks I poach from are on the Oscar docket. Indeed, with such paltry pickings this year, very few of the tracks align with the Academy Award nominees.

Here is the tracklist for this years winners:

  1. Earth to Asgard – Patrick Doyle (Thor)
  2. The Wolf – Fever Ray (Red Riding Hood)
  3. They’re Calling My Flight – Cliff Martinez (Contagion)
  4. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) – Emily Browning (Sucker Punch)
  5. container park – The Chemical Brothers (Hanna)
  6. Immigrant Song – Karen O, Trent Reznor (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
  7. How To Kill a Vampire – Ramin Djawadi (Fright Night)
  8. Nightcall – Kavinsky (Drive)
  9. Moses vs The Monsters – Steven Price, Felix Buxton, and Simon Ratcliffe (Attack The Block)
  10. Magneto – Henry Jackman (X-Men: First Class)
  11. The Circus Sets Up – James Newton Howard (Water for Elephants)
  12. The Show – Kerris Dorsey (Moneyball)
  13. Man or Muppet – Jason Segel & Walter (The Muppets)
  14. Star Spangled Man – The Star Spangled Singers (Captain America)
  15. Hold On – Wilson Phillips (Bridesmaids)
  16. Love Will Take You – Angus and Julia Stone (Breaking Dawn)
  17. Can You See Jane? – Patrick Doyle (Thor)
  18. Mah Na Mah Na – Mahna Mahna and the Two Snowths (The Muppets)

BONUS TRACKS: 

99 Problems – Hugo (Fright Night)

Iron – Woodkid (Assassin’s Creed: Revelations Trailer)

YouTube Playlist HERE

Some of the tracks are disabled because YouTube and record labels are stingy, ridiculous jerks who don’t understand new media, but whatevs. You can get a sense of the entire compilation together through the playlist feature, even if you have to listen to some tracks as stand alones. Pretty good stuff. Handing this mix CD out as a party favor on Sunday!

As always, if you ask me nicely I can mail you a burned copy of the CD via the good old US postal service. Possibly with a special, nerdy treat included. Email me at Mindy@tinyheroes.net if you’re interested! 

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Five Favorite Nerd Moments of 2011

It’s the last week of 2011, and therefore a time to look back at the year and make lists. And who doesn’t love a Top 5 Countdown? This particular list is going to focus on those amazing nerdy moments which transpired in my 2011 world.

NERD MOMENT #5: 

Game of Thrones

Although technically my introduction to this series took place in 2010 at around 6am in a Portland airport, I didn’t really fall in love until the television series came out. And then again when my spouse got hooked into it. And then again when I discovered the bromance of sorts between Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister. And while I’m currently stuck at the mid-point in Book 3, I know I’ll get through all the rest of the material probably before the next book comes out.

Yes – the series is problematic in terms of race and gender. The violence against women in the book and the ridiculous sexploits on the show are a bit off-putting. But I’m hopelessly in love with A Song of Ice and Fire. Hopeless.

Read Game of Thrones related content here. And here.

Game of Thrones Costumes

NERD MOMENT #4: 

Captain America

The movie and the costume it took me a year to put together. I was very skeptical about the film and remember having arguments with several people because of all the CGI and how much it tried to cram into two hours (don’t they all?) but by the time I finished the costume and re-watched the film, I was pretty much in love. It’s sappy and romantic and hits just the right tone.

Read Captain America related content here. And here.

Captain America Costume

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Nanowrimo 2011: Week One

Promised I would report out on the Nanowrimo writing experience, so here we go. Things started out pretty effortlessly, as they often do. I had plenty of motivation and inspiration and not one bit of writer’s block, so I managed to tackle 2,000+ words a day through Sunday.

Then Monday and Tuesday kicked me off my game. Monday I became terribly distracted by a great Youtube, an internship intervew, the gym, grocery shopping and Dreamweaver homework. Yesterday was the internet, lunch with family, house cleaning and hosting MIL and BIL for dinner. Then afterwards HAD to liveblog X-Men First Class on Tumblr and Twitter. You know how it goes.

My current word total: 13,972

I find most of the writing happening during the morning hours and putting down the 2,000+ words usually takes 60-90 minutes, depending on how inspiring the passage I’m working on is.

It’s a really, really rough draft at the moment. It sort of feels like I’m writing scenes that will then have to be moved and manipulated to fit into the structure of a story. I managed to burn through about 8 pages of what has now become a prologue before I realized that it wasn’t a substantial part of the story.

It’s also from a first person perspective, and I find myself including lots of lazy/bad writing habits I’ve picked up from blogging. All those fun words and turns of phrases that make a blog sound like someone is actually speaking to you don’t carry forward in novel form so well. I’m trying really hard not to cringe or feel mournful embarrassment when I look over the pages everyday. I’ve just calmly made notes like “THIS SUCKS” and moved on.

Dan the DH has been quite helpful in being a sound board for ideas and helping me brainstorm the dystopian future and it’s technology. A lot of that isn’t fleshed out – but again, I’m trying to write and the more I get stuck on details and spin my wheels on what certain devices are called or what exactly field exercises look like, the more difficult the process becomes and I can see roadblocks slamming down all around me.

Since you’ve all waited patiently through my ramblings, here’s a special treat for you. A small snippet from the rough draft of the Nanowrimo project. 

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X-Men First Class: The Review

There’s some saying out there about expectations and how you shouldn’t get them “up” when you don’t know exactly what the outcome will be. It’s a saying because it’s mostly true. So there you have  it. I had ridiculous expectations for this film which didn’t translate to what we actually ended up viewing.

X-Men First Class Movie PosterBut I blame it on the pre-release fervor and those stupid Rotten Tomatoes numbers. 98%! 92%! Now it’s down to 88% – which sadly does not beat out The Dark Knight. But then again, X-Men: First Class hardly carries the same gravitas.

Not that it doesn’t make an attempt. It suffers a bit from Thor syndrome – it feels like three films in one and there’s hardly a moment to pause and breathe (except for maybe that wacky week-long montage). Really though, there’s much too much crammed into one film. It teeters perilously close to drowning in its own ambitions, but there was enough to rescue it from mediocrity (still kicking Thor’s Asgaardian ass).

*THAR BE SPOILERS BELOW*

THE GOOD: MAGNETO AND XAVIER

Who would have thought it was possible for Ian McKellen as Magneto to be upstaged by a young, muscular James-Bondy version of himself? Certainly not this lady. I had high hopes for Michael Fassbender after realizing I’d seen him in at least two other movies where he effortlessly stole the scenes. You might have missed him in Inglourious Basterds, Centurion and 300. In case you forgot how dead sexy and mostly naked he was in that last movie, here is a refresher:

That jump scene in the man-diaper? Delicious! And such intensity.

He has seriously made me fall deeply and madly in love with Magneto, who I’ve always kinda crushed on in the comic books especially when his clone Joseph was hanging around adding some extra tension to the Rogue and Gambit relationship. Though it was really hard to like him after he ripped all of Wolverine’s adamantium out of his body. Yeah, that happened. Kinda cruel.

Deeply surprised at a lack of similar sexual attraction to James McAvoy, who has been an actor crush since Atonement. No matter how hard they push the Charles Xavier as sex-kitten vibe, he cannot surpass the years of history I have with Xavier as a bald wise-old-sage. It would be like dating Buddha or finding him appealing during his younger years. Kinda skeevy.

Magneto however, has the bad boy image thang going for him. The heart-wrenching back story. Xavier’s evil-stepfather was non-existent and instead he spent his life apparently playing patriarch to Mystique if you can buy that. Which I can’t. That was the first bitter pill to swallow in this film. But that’s for later.

BFFs for Life! Until we spend the rest of it morally at odds. Whatevs. Chess is fun!

The Xavier-Magneto man love story was the drive of this film. Everything else, including the other mutants seemed secondary, dull and wasted. When you have two solid, attractive actors of their caliber – the entire film could have been hinged on them.

I wanted more of their story. I wanted the entire movie to be theirs because we only saw them on-screen for about 10-15 minutes of bonding before…you know, all the craziness happens (not going to spoil all of that ya’ll).

These two actors were hands down the best part of this film and decidedly rescued it from itself. The same cannot be said for the rest of the flick.

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X-Men First Class: The Trailers

In lieu of a super awesome X-Men: First Class review, please humbly accept a short amusing breakdown of the trailers attached to the film instead. Full review by Wednesday!

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THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO

I’ve read the book and seen the Swedish version of the flick, so of course I’m drooling over the trailer, Daniel Craig, the soundtrack of the trailer. Pretty much everything. Dan hasn’t heard anything about the Millenium Trilogy of books and plans on watching it. He has no fucking idea what the movie is even about, but that trailer completely sold him.

Led Zeppelin Immigrant Song? You are bad-ass.

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MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS

Yet another film logged in the “work-a-holic Dad needs to pay attention to their kid” file. Egh. Even the lovable if slightly bonkers and freakishly thin Jim Carrey can’t salvage this crap heap. Apparently the children’s book is delightful but everything about this film screams “soul-less.” At least it’s not a major Hollywood studio shitting all over the childhood cartoons or Television series I loved. Thanks?

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X-Men Nonsense: No Patch For You

So I woke up last week with this brilliant idea to make an X-Men: First Class track jacket by obtaining an Iron-On Patch and augmenting an article of clothing. And then in the shuffle of the weekend and getting ready for the weekend, it was lost. Only to be resurrected yesterday with the idea that I could easily locate an “Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters” patch in Portland, Oregon.

Like THIS

Because it is, after all, Portland Oregon. The home of Dark Horse Comics and Oni Press. Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, Greg Rucka, Scott Allie. You know – it’s kind of like comic book heaven. And at all the conventions, there were patches galore. So OF COURSE one of our 10 or so comic book stores in the Portland Metro area would carry them.

Right? Right?

Dead fucking wrong. After spending an hour yesterday calling around to all of our local comic book stores, toy and hobby shops – I came up with nothing. The only place remotely close to PDX is in Everett, Washington. That’s about an hour North of Seattle. So my only alternative was to drive four hours away or try and convince someone to air-mail it to me. Neither option was feasible. For an Iron-On Patch.

Guess that means I’m not especially nerdy?

So then it occurred to my feeble, yet sometimes winning brain that I should make one of my own. I mean, I can knit. I can sew. How hard could it be to create a patch?

Turns out – not that difficult. The hardest part so far has been in obtaining a usable image of the symbol I want. Tonight I will procure the right kind of iron-on transfer paper for our Photosmart printer and test-run an old shirt. Then I will apply it to an item I intend to wear. Target has shirts for $8, so in the very least I’ll be able to sport an X-Shirt.

To avoid further embarrassments such as this in the future – Dan and I purchased THREE X-Patches from some shop in the UK. They are flying across the Atlantic Ocean and across the country as we speak. There is something exceptionally nerdy about getting packages from foreign countries. I kinda love it.

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“X-Men: First Class” Fever

**LEAKED SCENE**

I normally don’t go in for this kind of crap, but I’m anxious about this movie being good and redeeming the franchise. Here’s a leaked clip on YouTube. Watch it before it’s pulled:

 

It’s happening again – Fox has control of one of my favorite properties and is teasing me with a potentially good film. Literally – teasing. Dropping intriguing character vignettes YouTube videos and releasing 40 still images in the last week.

Glad to see the black leather is not making a come-back.

I KNOW I should have learned my lessons by now. But I actually liked Matthew Vaughn’s Kick Ass and the writing team looks pretty solid – Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz and Jane Goldman have all proven themselves on movies and TV shows which have plenty of nerd credentials.

Also – the lineup of qualified and talented actors and actresses further serves to muddle my usually quite rational thinking when going into a film like this. Yes, the continuity continues to be further eroded and fucked up. Yes, it makes no sense that Emma Frost has now appeared in two films completely out of a rational timeline (maybe all will be explained?). I’ve no hope of ever seeing my favorite characters interact on-screen in a normal way. Ahem, that would be Rogue and Gambit. I’m a child of the 90s animated cartoon series, so there’s no changing my mind. The best thing is just to accept that I love these two characters together and walk away.

Against my better judgement: I do think “X-Men: First Class” has the potential to be good. And potential potential is VERY exciting.

When it gets right down to it – X-Men are my favorite superhero group. I’ll support them no matter what shitty-ass movie or cartoon series or spin-off is being made. I’ll give them more of my time and energy than I would donate to any other Marvel, DC, Dark Horse property. It’s an abusive relationship, and I’ll keep coming back for more until they close up shop.

Here are the aforementioned character introduction trailers to entice you:

MEET BANSHEE

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Thor: More Fun Than Expected

It may shock and appall many to know that I am not a raving fanatic of the God of Thunder. Not because of anything HE did, but because I only have a limited amount of time to spend on superheroes and the X-Men usually dominate that realm (Thor reference!). Sooo – for a comic book fan of my tastes, what is there to love in a Thor flick?

Thor movie posterHow about almost everything? As “Iron Man” before it, “Thor” provided lots of fun. And in a comic book movie adaptation especially with content as light and fluffy as “Thor”, what more could you expect?

WHAT’S GOOD

The special effects were well done, the action sequences spot-on for this type of hero. I hadn’t especially noted it, but Dan was quick to mention how the film had dispensed with the ubiquitous wire/John Woo/Matrix fighting scenes for punching, kicking and a good old-fashioned wrestle in the mud. Which is totes appropriate for a Viking. Good job fight choreographer. Your efforts were duly noted by the general public!

The cast exceeded my expectations having only glimpsed Chris Hemsworth in the Star Trek film (in arguably the most memorable/traumatic opening sequence to grace the screen in a while), wasn’t sure what he would have to offer up as this larger than life character. He managed it quite well and showed a pretty adept comedic timing. As did the always lovable Kat Dennings and Stellan Skarsgaard. And to some degree Natalie Portman. I’m still not convinced I like her in comedies. But she can hold her own with this cast. And she won an Oscar, so I guess that means automatic pass. She did have loads of chemistry with Hemsworth but unfortunately I never quite bought their relationship. Which wasn’t their fault – but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Maybe it’s just my baby hungry brain, but was anyone else speculating about whether or not she was pregnant during the filming of this movie? It’s post “Black Swan.” Just saying.

As for the Asgaardians – Anthony Hopkins was stellar as old Odin One Eye. He growled, howled and menaced as is appropriate to the All-Father. Renee Russo was his lovely wife Frigga. Blink and you probably missed her. Pretty sure she had one line and a weak-ass battle with an Ice Giant. Pretty lame for the All-Mother. Tom Hiddleston was a much more subdued Loki than I anticipated, especially after having encountered him in the Marvel Ultimate Alliance video game series. And part of me was secretly hoping they would cast him as a female. Lady Loki was smokin’ hot!

Even without all the showy aspects of Loki on display, Hiddleston’s performance was probably the most emotionally adept of anyone in this story. Thor is kind of a d-bag for most of it (but that’s his arch) and you JUST KNOW he’s never going to lose, so the tragedy really falls to Loki and I couldn’t help but sympathize with him.

RACE AND GENDER

The whole Ice Giants thing – I don’t know about you but there was this weird race thing happening there that I’m not sure about. It was pretty surface, so I don’t think there’s much more analyzing to do. The ice giants were people of color being slaughtered by the mostly white Asgaardians (save the sexy and a bit scary Heimdall played by Idris Elba and the asian dude who had one line). If the Skrulls ever make it to the screen, I have a feeling there will be a similar reaction as well.

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Bonus Post: NEW X-Men First Class Cast Members

Brand spankin’ new cast members have been added to the  roster of the X-Men: First Class flick directed by Matthew Vaughn. And then there’s some folks who’ve been rumored as well.

Mostly it’s dudes. Act surprised though, they like that!

Caleb Landry Jones has been cast as Banshee. Honestly, not that tough to cast this character. Find a ginger with freckles that can speak in a semi-decent Irish accent. Chances of him actually speaking in an accent? Zero to none. But he’s so damned cute!

Nicholas Hoult is cast as Beast. Apparently he’s the kid from About A Boy, which means that he’s either grown up super fast or I’ve gotten ridiculously older than I have any right to be. I’m sure he’ll be fine, but he comes from a string of Europeans attached to this project. Hmph.

Aaron Johnson is rumored to be playing Cylops. He’s the Kick-Ass kid. His voice is just a wee bit too whiney for my taste, Cyclops has already been portrayed as a wussy leader type before. I saw Mr. Johnson as a spectacular Spiderman stand-in. His slim frame seems more suitable for cracking-wise and scaling buildings in tight clothes than leading the merry band of mutants. I’m hoping this particular rumor stays a rumor.

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The Week in Geek

A clearing-house of geek activities and news for the week.

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SAN DIEGO COMIC CON DOCUMENTARY 2010

For some reason, yours truly thought it would be a good idea to submit a story and photo to the casting director of the 2010 Comic Con Documentary. Perhaps it was the allure of Joss Whedon and Stan Lee. One can never REALLY know.

It was sent off Saturday – got a phone call back on Monday, and conducted the telephone interview on Wednesday. We’ve been asked to submit an audition tape by no later than July 2nd – stressing our intentions for Comic Con and why they should follow us around.

How crazy is that? I have a feeling that my giant comic book tattoo has something to do with it. Probably also my intention to photograph and/or take video of people with comic book tattoos for either one really awesome post here on the blog, or to create a webpage. Not sure yet. But it’s on my list of things to do.

AND: We will be dressing up in costume. I kinda gave up on the Hit Girl cosplay idea. Something about wearing leather in the sweltering climate of Southern California in late July. Instead, I’ve chosen a far less nerdier angle – BSG characters. Both Dan and I. Already ordered our dog tags (Apollo and Starbuck, respectively) – just have to put together the off-duty uniforms . Nothing that would attract a ton of attention, but I like the idea of paying homage to one of my favorite television series without donning a screaming purple wig. OK – I’m also getting a bit too old for cosplay. I’ll admit it. I think late 20s or early 30s should be the cut off, unless you’re a model.

Our friend Smalls is going as a Merlotte’s waitress one of the days, so I thought I’d try donning some Fangtasia apparel – to balance it out. We are initiating True Blood Tuesdays and might even pick up some Tru Blood bottles to drink out of.

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X-MEN: FIRST CLASS

James McAvoy has finally dispelled all those Hobbit rumors, and he’s now signed up to play a young Charles Xavier in X-Men: First Class – a prequel to the first four films in the series. It will be directed by Matthew Vaughn of Kick-Ass fame and penned by Jane Goldman. Aside from knowing that yes, the young man can act – the next big question is, can he pull off the part? There’s going to be all sorts of continuity baggage, because Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen played digitally altered younger versions of their Xavier and Magneto characters in at least two X-Films already. So presumably McAvoy will be a much younger version of Xavier, and won’t be interacting with the X-Teens at all. OR WILL HE!? No one knows.

I was a bit “meh” at first – thinking McAvoy and Stewart look nothing alike. But I did a little facial comparison, and I think they can pull it off. The only weird thing is now I have raging boner for Professor X, which is not OK. There was never a moment, nor should there ever be a moment where I’m sexually attracted to Professor Xavier. But I can’t help the sexy. Guess that might change when I bear witness to a bald McAvoy. :\

ALSO: Runaways looks like it’s actually going to take shape, because it gained a screenwriter this week. Not sure why the original series creator/writer, Brian K. Vaughn, wasn’t tasked for the job – since he writes comic books AND wrote for several years on Lost. *shrug*

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SCARLET PREVIEW

Brian Michael Bendis seems like a pretty cool dude, and I’ve been trying now for several months to find a body of his work that I enjoy. It started to be Spider-Woman, but then that series quickly fizzled out. I’ve picked up the first TPB of Powers, and it’s alright so far…but I’m not completely blown away by the misogynist bits clustered here and there. But I do LOVE the art of Alex Maleev, and I’m a sucker for a red-head with guns. So, when Bendis unveiled the Scarlet Preview on Twitter yesterday…I knew that I would definitely need to start collecting this series from it’s infancy.

I’m sold on the artwork already. I would probably pick up almost anything Maleev does at the moment. I haven’t been this attracted to the artwork of an artist in my entire history with comic books. So – having a female centric book helps, with a writer that seems competent and who I am desperately trying to connect with in some work of art or another.

Barriers this book will have to surpass in order for me to give it a passing mark – it will have to be much more than a male action hero with breasts. It will need to feature at least more than one woman on its pages. It would be even better if the two women actually liked one another. You can see I’m still skeptical about this, but anxious to delve into a creator owned series. Those are like my bread and butter. Mmmm.

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That’s it for the moment. This weekend will be condo remodeling intense again – but I picked up a few books from the comic shop yesterday and I’m unveiling a month-long project for June which will hopefully be interesting and entertaining.