Tour ElecTRONica

"Theme Parks with Audrey and Jake" is warming up again. Until our second season officially debuts this May, we're going to post a couple of videos. This walkthrough of ElecTRONica at Disney California Adventure and later, our second season bloopers. Enjoy! It's short and simple, just three minutes of condensed pre-show (With some fabulous dancers.) and then a quick tour around the event so you can see what it looked like.


If You Don't Know Today Is Leonard Nimoy's Birthday...

...then "double dumb ass on you". (And March 22 was William Shatner's birthday.) Both Nimoy and Shatner are 80 years old. Yes, you read that right. Happy Birthday Boys! I only wish I could go back in time and be Catherine Hicks for just one day on the set of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, which I will be watching today in celebration. What will you do for Spock's birthday? Sculpt your eyebrows? Practice the Vulcan neck pinch?


The Week in Geek - March 25, 2011

A lot of fun cross-references and viral goodies for the geeks of the world this week.

1. The first one being the amazing cross over art featured to the left. It's a glorious Disney mash-up of an iconic Haunted Mansion stretching portrait and Snow White. Artist Robert Farrell created the beautiful painting on canvas for Disney Studio Art. If there's one store that I could easily lose self control in when I visit the parks, it's the art stores with all their retro ride posters and film stills.

I'd love to see even more Haunted Mansion inspired cross over art. Princess Jasmine as the cat lady? The Wicked Stepmother as Madame Leota (After all, the voice is already that of Eleanor Audley in both cases, why not make a corresponding visual?) What Disney characters would you like to see re-cast in the Haunted Mansion? Of course, I'm speaking in hypothetical terms. I don't actually think anything in the ride should be changed...

2. Lots of blog-inspired goodness over at Five Sprockets this week. Jake wrote a blog all about the duties of a director and I let readers in on some script news and some little known new releases.

3. Some fun Star Wars PSAs were shared on Facebook. We have a few on our office wall right now. But these were new to me. My favorite? The Smokey the Bear inspired Ewok forest fire prevention poster. Priceless.

4. Last but not least, 15 Unintentionally Hilarious Toys. Almost all of them not so subtle knock-offs.


Why "Sucker Punch" Makes Me Nervous

I'm a HUGE fan of action movies with leading ladies. In fact, I love action heroines so much that I have an entirely separate blog devoted to that love at Best Action Heroines. I LOVE chicks who can kick a little (or a lot of) rear on screen, for multiple reasons.

I'm excited to see Sucker Punch, but it also makes me nervous. And I'll tell you why...

The costumes.

The movie looks to be all about female empowerment, ladies kicking tail and taking charge. But we also know it's a fantasy film, some elements are real while others are not. The previews tell us that the leading lady in the movie retreats to her imagination to help her get through a tough reality. So I wonder, if it's her imagination, why is she wearing thigh highs, a belly shirt, and a skirt that barely covers her business?

I'm sure the film will address this. It HAS to address this. So I am choosing to believe that it will. Because I want to love it. There must be a good reason why all of the women are costumed in some pretty blatant and overt fetishistic outfits. If they were empowering themselves, why would they be dressing like they're in a strip club? I mean, honestly, it's not even practical fighting gear? (I've covered this before in an op/ed from Geek Monthly about why you can't kick tail as effectively dressed like a hooker.)


Game Bit Gum

Check out this parody video Jake and I did for the gaming site "Radioactive Nerd".

P.S. That hot babe is my friend from church...makes you want to start going to church, huh?


Happy Monday, Is That a Knife?

Feeling those start of the week blues? Just ask yourself...what would Mick Dundee do?


Humane Society International in Japan

"A man holding a dog walks on a street in
Kessennuma City, Miyagi prefecture.
STR/AFP/Getty Images" courtesy hsi.org
There are so many worthy charities you can donate to directly to help ongoing efforts everywhere from Haiti to New Zealand to Japan. The Red Cross, Save the Children, World Vision and more are all working tirelessly to help the people in need in these locations and others. But there is also Humane Society International.

Often in times of tragedy, we think of helping the affected people by getting them food, shelter and water. These are of course, top priorities. But another way to help people is by helping animals in these areas. Many think that the last thing on our minds should be the animals. But the animal population goes hand in hand with what is happening with survivors for many reasons. For one thing, stray animals affected by disaster can become dangerous as they become hungry and often times, ill and starving. By making animal rescue a priority in disaster areas, we're directly keeping human survivors and rescue teams safe and healthy.

Also, let's not forget, animals lead rescuers to humans trapped in rubble. Not simply the rescue dogs that come with teams but animals still located and wandering in the affected areas. We've all seen photos of dogs unwilling to leave their owner's sides, even after the worst case scenario. It's a heartbreaking reminder of the loyalty of domesticated animals.


The Week in Film - March 18, 2011

1. For an extensive list of movies out this weekend, check out the weekly movie releases over at Five Sprockets. I may have been a little sassy in this week's round-up, so if you disagree for any reason, please feel free to comment! I love a good debate, especially about film. The thing that makes our listing of releases unique is the fact that we aren't afraid to share out opinion and we also list all of the films out that weekend. Not just the big budget blockbusters. We care about letting people know about indie films and lesser known movies too, even short films.

2. SXSW has been happening all week. If you don't know, that South by Southwest, a premier film and music festival that happens in the warm and weird city of Austin, Texas. Home of Ain't It Cool News, Wes Anderson, Luke and Owen Wilson, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. I love Austin and would love to cover this festival sometime in the next few years. But you know who does a great job covering the festival every year? Roger Ebert himself, who is a blast to follow on Facebook. Check out some of his coverage HERE.

3. Last but not least, I'm very sad to report that the film world lost an incredible actor this week. Michael Gough, known and beloved for his role as Alfred Pennyworth in four Batman films, passed away at the age of 94. Though he was well known for Batman, he worked in many films. He had a long career (reaching all the way back to 1946) as a character actor, worked frequently with Tim Burton, and any director lucky enough to snag him added an instant air of credibility to their film via Gough's dignified and always believable performances. He was one of those actors that had the indefinable "it" quality you always hear talked about so much in the film business, and he will definitely be missed.

What movie will you see this weekend?


Catching up with Data

Not Next Gen android Data. (For once...geez, I can't stop talking about that guy. Aw, you think I'm kidding, don't you? I think he's in at least a dozen blog entries here alone.)

But no, I'm talking about actor Ke Huy Quan who played a different Data in "The Goonies" and also Short Round in "The Temple of Doom". I was thinking of him because I hear "Data's Theme" from the film every time I run my sweeper, it's this little geek trigger in my brain. Anytime I'm working with something mechanical, I immediately start humming the theme. I have a few like that. For example, every time I go to the airport I hear the theme from "Airplane". But I'm really starting to make myself sound insane here.

So enjoy this interview with Quan from YouTuber The Original Goonie, and may you find yourself humming Data's theme when you need a little mechanical help. Of course, I'll also post a suite that includes Data's theme below the interview. (Skip ahead to 2:30 if you want to hear a snippet of the theme and you don't feel like waiting through the Fratelli Chase scene music. But honestly...who wouldn't want to hear that?)

Man I miss the eighties...Dave Grusin's music from this film makes my heart hurt in that kind of happy sentimental way, you know the feeling. The ache of nostalgia that reminds you, there's no going back...but man, what an awesome time of your life. (And just for funsies...I've included some more of Brent Spiner singing as the last video.)


On the Job

There's a quote you hear a lot when talking with people about employment. It goes, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." Even though it's become a widely circulated cliche that makes the editing portion of my brain ache a little, it's still the truth. I believe it wholeheartedly.

I'm officially on the market for a job. What I'm looking for is a place that will provide me with an opportunity to use the majority of my skills earned from years of freelance for one focused end goal, one place to put all of the energy that's been going to several varied media outlets since 2007. That could be a website, a network, a channel, a company or magazine. With my experience in multi-media journalism I would be a great fit for any employer looking to add more media to their online presence through their writing, branding, videos, audio and more. But I'm also excited by any opportunities that may only focus on one aspect of my training in writing, radio, or video. Of course, the industries that I truly love have everything to do with travel, tourism, theme parks, film and geek culture. So I would be a great fit for any magazines, TV shows, or media outlets that have anything to do with any of those special niche fields.


I Love L.A.

Filming in the Enchanted Tiki Room.
Just returned from California late last night, and I'm happy to report that we spent the trip rolling lots of tape for season two of "Theme Parks with Audrey and Jake" and I gathered plenty of content for my gig as a Yahoo Travel Editor. Soon, I'll be able to share videos with you from ElecTRONica, World of Color, Universal's Studio Backlot Tour (Where they are currently filming the Spiderman reboot and the next Muppet Movie) and more. There were also the unplanned tourism moments, like getting stuck on and evacuated from the Indiana Jones Adventure (score!), running into Casey Afflek at Griffith Park, and more.

Jake and I also got to hang with some really good friends and see plenty of  sites. I'll be back to blogging soon, but until then I thought it might be nice to pay tribute to our trip with a special edition of "Friday Night Videos".

Here are several songs we heard on the trip, many of which we heard at Disney's California Adventure. We sang this all the way to the airport, and much to our surprise DCA was playing it at their entrance as well. Oscar, Shmoscar, Randy Newman can rest easy because of his multiple Disney connections.


Goodbye Jane Russell: It Gets Sappy...You've Been Warned

I've written briefly about Jane Russell before. The short version of this blog is that I loved her and I'm sad she's gone. But there's so much more to my life with Jane, we have a long history. Even though she never knew it.

I've always identified so much with the old-timey dames of the silver screen. In grade school, I tried to connect with people via old movies slang. I'd use their jargon and affect their accents and my fellow kids would look at me like I was nuts. "Eee gads," I might start, "however did you manage to get your hair in those ringlets?"

That's what came out once when I tried to talk to one of the popular girls about hair. I thought I was being clever. Funny. Talking like the showgirls in Cover Girl. She stared blankly at me with wide eyes and backed away.

Hard as it was for me to believe, not everyone came from families where film history was an important part of growing up. Being born for geekdom, I didn't have much a chance at making a connection with the average bear.

I was a hopeless insomniac as a child, all the way through junior high school. Pair that with my obsessive movie watching habits, and when I tell you that I would literally watch movies all night long, I mean that I would literally watch movies all night long.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was in my regular rotation along with Ziegfeld Girl, all the Marx Brothers movies, Shall We Dance and a several more "regulars". But Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was the one I watched the most.