1/16/18

12 Female-Fronted Bands and Female Artists from the 90's OR How To Psychoanalyze Your Playlists


Here's the thing about nostalgic-based music listicles, they usually come in one of two forms:

1. They examine the hits and/or forgotten one-hit wonders of a specific era. That's fun. I enjoy it.

or

2.  They only cover one genre. This is also fun. But I needed to construct a different kind of list, even though I didn't understand why at the time.

You know what I think about nostalgia in general? We drift toward thoughts of the past when we:

A. know we need something from it (comfort, familiarity...even a tiny dose of pain) and we know we can find it in that particular set of thoughts and memories...

or

B. We are drawn to something very specific about that time period on a subconscious level.

1/5/18

5 Classic Movies to Cure Your Winter Blues

Pardon the conversational tone of this list, I sprained my dominant hand on New Year's Eve and I'm trying to keep the typing to a minimum. Because ouch.

So...it's cold. Like, really really cold. Please don't smack me for saying this, but I know it's cold down here in Florida when we have to turn the heat on. And I know when we have to turn the heat on here, it's positively frigid up north. My best friend told me they wouldn't let the penguins out at the zoo in Indianapolis because it's too cold. Not a joke.

Anyway, when I was in high school on winter break, my favorite thing to do was stay up all night and watch classic movies. Why? Because I was super cool, that's why. *shifty eyes* I had a handful of playlists. (My favorite was Sabrina, Roman Holiday, and Only You. They all pair well!)

When I felt the chill in the air again, it jolted my memory. And I realized, I have the perfect little playlist for you if you're absolutely freezing.

Here are 5 Classic Movies to Cure Your Winter Blues

1. Moon Over Miami

Moon Over Miami is escapist fun. It's Betty Grable at her finest. The costumes are beautiful, Don Ameche is young and handsome, and the character actors are top notch. On my recent rewatch, I realized portions of the movie were filmed just a few miles away from where I live in Silver Springs! Little high school Audrey would be so thrilled. BTW, this movie redefines high kicks in the best way. You'll see.


FYI: This flick is sometimes hard to find, but I rented it on Amazon.

2. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a little slice of vacation-based heaven. It's Marilyn Monroe's most underappreciated comedic work, based on a play by the criminally unlauded writer Anita Loos.


3. How To Marry A Millionaire

While not exclusively set in summer, the season does play a large part. This comedy features Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable gold-digging in Manhattan.

4. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Yes. It's a classic. Because I said so, that's why! I once had a film professor who once called this type of movie a "caviar comedy", for it's escapist lingering in the upper crust. Think The Thin Man or any Fred and Ginger movie. Any story where money isn't a problem and formalwear is a must.

It's also worth noting, this is one of the greatest film scores. I frequently clean the house to it!


5. Some Like It Hot

Set in Florida but filmed in California, this comedy is Jack Lemmon's finest work. (I promise I didn't mean to over-saturate this list with Marilyn Monroe.) There's plenty of beach and boat scenes complete with dreamy costumes and sharp writing.


Bonus: The Seven Year Itch, where a heat wave provides the inciting incident for the whole story. And again, another Marilyn film. I'm starting to see a correlation between Marilyn and movies set in locations where it was so hot she had to wear a bathing suit onscreen. Clever studios...very clever.

I have a tough time enjoying this trailer, knowing what devastating personal damage it caused behind the scenes. If you don't know much about Marilyn, check out this article giving you a history of how she became America's most iconic blonde.

12/16/17

3 More Must-See Movies For After You've Seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Your year in film doesn't have to end with Jedi!

Oddly enough, I haven't seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi yet. The force is indeed with me though, because I've managed to avoid even a single spoiler.

But what about those inevitable post-Star Wars blues that kick in once I have seen it? Am I the only one who gets those?

Sidebar: This time a couple years ago, I was knocking around Lucasfilm in San Francisco and seeing The Force Awakens at The Presidio. (Unfortunately, I was too busy to blog during one of the seasons of my life that made my inner geek the most happy. Maybe I should write about it someday?)

Anyway, between Christmas parties and finishing a couple small freelance assignments, I'm experiencing a lot of film anxiety. Why? I have three more must-sees and not a lot of time. As something of an obsessive compulsive, I really feel like I need to see them before the year ends and I officially declare my Movie of the Year 2017.

Here are my three remaining Must-See Movies of 2017:

1. The Shape of Water

This movie makes me feel like Stefon from SNL. To me, it has everything I could ever want: an old-timey setting, lauded character actors, Doug Jones as a gillman, Del Toro directing, and the Jewish Dracula Sidney Applebaum.

Well, okay...not that.

But still. I gleefully trip to the theater for all things Del Toro. As someone who shares his fascination with monsters, it's nice to go to the movies and see someone getting them right when 90% of the time, people miss the entire point. *cough cough* Tom Cruise's Mummy *hack cough*



2. The Phantom Thread

For me, this is another ideal combination of talent and director. Method man Daniel Day Lewis is back with Paul Thomas Anderson. The preview makes the film look beautiful and taut. And I love a script that has something significant to say. This one seems to hint at themes of ownership and ego within the creative process. 

I'm assuming there will be meta undertones as well, due to the fact that Daniel Day Lewis has announced his retirement. A movie about a master being undermined by his gifts, the same things that have allowed him to soar at his craft? Perfect. 

Anyway, I wonder if he'll go back to cobbling? If you haven't heard the famous story, read this Rolling Stone article from 2003.


3. I, Tonya

When the director was trying to crack his way into Tonya Harding's story, he visited several of the real people from the infamous Olympic scandal. When they gave conflicting accounts of exactly what happened, he didn't see that as an obstacle. He saw a structure.

If the previews are any indication, Margot Robbie's performance looks to be intense, comedic and joyous to watch.

Sidenote: I'm old enough to remember the Nancy/Tonya debacle unfolding in real time. How about you? I look forward the warm fuzzy nostalgia this will inevitably ignite for the early nineties. *cross fade into a montage of neon scrunchies and that's it*

FYI, all the smoking and glorious Allison Janney lines make me want to run to rewatch Drop Dead Gorgeous.


What's left on your movie list? Anything from months previous that you just never got around to seeing in theaters? Are you the same kind of weirdo as me, where you feel like you must finish your film watching homework before the ball drops?

P.S. The Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding scandal is responsible for one of my all-time favorite Chris Farley sketches. Enjoy!


P.P.S. How much do you still love Tim Meadows? I'm thrilled he's appearing semi-regularly on The Goldbergs. He made one small line about a Pop Tart into one of the funniest moments of this week's episode. #underappreciatedcomedictalent

12/13/17

Fifteen Years Ago, Star Trek Nemesis Premiered

I was there. (Well...a week later.) And I have the very nerdy receipts by way of Instagram below. I came home from my sophomore year of college to see it with my dad, because we see all the Star Trek movies together. Because nerds who nerd together nerd together. Or something like that.

I was certain Picard would sacrifice himself. The marketing campaign hinted very strongly that this would be the end of our beloved Captain, which was a brilliant move. I actually spent time preparing for his demise. I felt ready.

When they pulled the old switcheroo, I cried so hard into my popcorn napkin that Dad handed me a handkerchief instead. My dad is just cool like that. He always has a handkerchief and a pocket knife and he knows a hundred ways to kill a man with a writing utensil.

Good times.


A post shared by Audrey Brown-Williams (@audreyscleverusername) on

12/9/17

My Top 3 Most Played Super Nintendo Games from Childhood

Desperately Wants To Be Cool, the photograph.
Hiya. Long time, no blog. I'm gonna give you some quick catch-up first, then I'll share my Top 3 Most Played Super Nintendo Games from Childhood. I'd love to hear yours in the comments.

I'm also going to be needy and ask you a personal question at the very end. I genuinely need your opinion and I hope you'll reply.

Over the last few years, I've turned into a real grown-up. I've been busy working and traveling. But I've also been feeling really out of touch with my actual self this year. I thought visiting friends and family in Chicago, Indianapolis, Muncie and New York might just be the trick.

I returned home from NYC on Tuesday. I've been playing catch up ever since, feeling that post-travel malaise. It's like, I was a free little bird. Now I have to stay in A PLACE?

Then I woke up to a non-Christmas miracle this morning. I live in Florida, but a cold breeze was blowing through my open bedroom window. The sky? Overcast.

I, for one, love a cloudy day. Maybe it was all those Tim Burton movies I watched growing up. Maybe it was the way the cotton skies seemed to muffle the clatter and chaos of the outside world. Maybe growing up in the Midwest just makes you a stay-in kind of girl. I'll take blankets, fuzzy socks, and a VHS marathon over a trip to a water park any day.

Another day of bad weather? Better stay inside, watch movies, and play video games.

9/25/17

Good Geek Stuff - Monday, September 25th 2017

It's Monday and I'm back in my office. How about you? Next time you need a break, check out these three bits of Good Geek Stuff.

1. Wes Anderson's latest movie finally has a trailer!


2. Karen Hallion's Kickstarter for her Celara calendar has 43 hours left! Go donate! Her Patreon is also well-worth following. In 2007, I had this really vivid dream that I was Han Solo's daughter. I had gone into the Sarlacc pit to retrieve Boba Fett's jet pack and I was using it to fly around be an awesome smuggler/wild card of justice.

When I initially saw this piece of art done by Hallion, it felt like seeing an image from my dream. Her art encompasses the spirit of lady geekdom with vivid colors and imaginative clarity. 
3. My favorite local coffee place is getting a brick and mortar in my town! But if you aren't lucky enough to live in central Florida, Coffee Shop of Horrors also sells online. They create intensely flavorful, aromatic blends with unique and beautiful art on their packaging. Because of their attention to quality and detail, all of their products honestly make great gifts.* (They aren't paying me to say any of this, it's just how I feel.) Especially for the film and tv fans in your life. I picked up my seasonal favorite on Saturday!



4. And speaking of artists, my sister has finally put out her own internet shingle! You can visit Random Fandom Geek Boutique to see her paintings, miniatures and pumpkins. You can even place an order yourself! She does a lot, but her specialty is fast becoming geek portraits. Below you'll find the early stages of a young Slytherin in progress. 

To me, this is still so beautiful, even in all it's unfinished glory!


What else is good in the world of geek right now? Let me know in the comments! And remember to follow all these artists via social networking and...

Shop Local. Shop....S...local. Eh, you get it.


*It's very important to read anything that sounds like advertising copy in the soothing voice of Karina Longworth from You Must Remember This.

9/21/17

3 Times Star Trek Met Pop Culture


"And I hate you, and I BERATE YOU!"



Trailer Reaction to the new Tomb Raider - Oh...I'll give you a (naval-gazing) reaction, alright.


I just watched the new trailer for the Tomb Raider reboot. What did I think? Before I tell you that, I have to tell you some other stuff. Some really dorky other stuff.

I still have my ticket stub from the first movie. That night in 2001, I drove to the theater on backcountry Indiana roads. Fireflies lit up the cornfields like Christmas trees. It was my first summer home from college. 

Not long after, I picked up the PC game. My muscle memory adapted quickly to rescuing Lara. The directional keypad, shift and enter were so over-used, their lettering wore off.

I bought the soundtrack too. I jogged to it almost every day. This was the era of portable CD players, ancient things you had to hold flat in your hand to prevent the tracks from skipping. Back then, it looked like runners everywhere were carrying small dinners on a tiny serving trays.

Later, when I'd watch the VHS, my brain still thought it was gaming. If Lara needed to run in the movie, I'd instinctively press the imaginary alt button. After a lifetime of films, suddenly there was a physiological connection between myself as a passive viewer and the active hero on the screen.