Why "On Stranger Tides" Didn't Recapture the Magic

My shameless summer of movies has officially begun.  I came up with the idea to see a movie in theaters at least once a week all summer back in April. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But here I am, neck deep in work, with videos sitting unedited, interviews to edit, and more freelance than I can handle.

To top it off, we're moving hundreds of miles away in exactly two weeks and I haven't packed a single dish.

Yet I'm finding that forcing myself to spend the time and the money to see at least one movie a week is soothing. It gives me an opportunity to step away from the week and schedule an afternoon here or there with a loved one.

 I saw "Thor" with Jake and my Dad. It was harmless fun that managed to maintain a surprising amount of the comic visuals. It was a perfect appetizer to the upcoming summer movies. Light and fluffy. A no-calorie endeavor.

I missed "Bridesmaids" and hope to make up for it. I'm eager to support the movie that has been such a sensation with feminists and normal people alike. (That was a joke...I'm a feminist so I can make fun of myself. That's in the code.)

Last Sunday, I saw "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and the proverbial record screeched to a metaphorical stop. I started my shameless summer of movies because I was upset with myself for becoming so critical. For losing my love affair with the movies.

Pirates should have been easy to love. But there's a reason why I waited so long to write about it. It's forcing me to confront that which I don't want to accept. My critical nature. The one I hate. The one I want to beat down with a baseball bat a la the werewolf hand above the fog in "The Howling"

I should preface by saying that when "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" came out I saw it in theaters four times. I begged for the DVD for Christmas. I practically wore the special features down by watching them over and over and over and over again. They put me in my happy place even more than the actual movie did.

But the movie? To me, it was note perfect, an adventure that played on the cliches and conventions of its own genre while simultaneously creating something entirely new. There were plenty of fun ride references for this Disneyphile and the film itself was visually beautiful. It was practically the perfect adventure.

As always with my reviews, this is a long one. So feel free to scroll down and read "Get to the Point" which is a condensed version of the review. Also, spoilers abound.


Brad Meltzer's Decoded: 24 Hour Giveaway Contest!

Are you a fan of the new series Brad Meltzer's Decoded? I was. I stuck with the show during it's initial year. Like all shows, it hit some high and lows. All the good shows do in their first season, it's called "development" and most networks don't give shows the chance to evolve like that anymore.

Remember how in the first episode of "The Golden Girls" they had a live-in cook named "Coco"? He was gone in episode two...gone but not forgotten. I miss you Coco.

If you like Decoded and you want the chance to win the first season on DVD, or if you didn't see it and want to watch it marathon-style in your own home, I'm running a quick contest. Of course, I guess you could also just buy it HERE. But then, you wouldn't have the satisfaction of winning.

To win, follow these instructions very carefully:

1. Email me a message with the subject heading DECODED GIVEAWAY. You can email bornforgeekdom@gmail.com (It's the title of the blog, no spaces at gmail.com)

2. Write me an awesome fake conspiracy theory! For example, "Bigfoot is actually the chief in command of an invading ground force of aliens from the planet Zebulon. And Elvis was his cousin." Or something...be much more clever than that...

3. I'll post the winner's conspiracy theory here at noon tomorrow along with two runners up. But only the winner will get season one of Brad Meltzer's Decoded on DVD. (There can be only one.)


Last Launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavor or Where is Kate Capshaw When You Need Her?

It’s just as breathtaking as it’s ever been watching the last launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavor on NBC. Just like every other shuttle launch I’ve ever seen, this moment fills me with hope, pride, and some kinda Christmas morning excitement. 

The brilliant orange explosion powering the shuttle into space dampens, the rockets safely separate from the ship, and the circular white halo of light from the back of the shuttle (that now looks like a spaceship proper) undulates and sparkles as it passes through the atmosphere into the blanket of black space.

As a nation, we still have one launch left. Yet I feel just as crushed as if this were the last one. Just as I did in Florida a few years ago when I caught one of the launches by accident on a vacation.

I remember racing to the top of my concrete hotel stairs to watch that same orange spark crawl up the sky. Knowing then, as I do now, that we’re counting down. Not to liftoff, but to the end of an era.


Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - The World Premiere

There be changes coming to this here blog. In all the excitement of my graduation weekend, I missed all the POTC: On Stranger Tides premiere fun. One of my favorite parts of summer movie season involves searching for footage from the red carpet premieres and none of them are ever as fun as the Pirates premieres. Because the Pirates movies always premiere at Disneyland.

Check out plenty of red-carpet interviews from the premiere yesterday uploaded by the Los Angeles Times. Here's one from Kevin McNally, otherwise known as Mr. Gibbs.


About those changes, soon you can expect to see a regular schedule of posts here at Born For Geekdom including more videos and the occasional guest post from fellow geeks. I'll post full details about the new schedule soon. 

Until then...enjoy another little sneak peek at the impending adventure...


I Was Late to the Captain Eo Nostalgia Party

But hey, better late than never...Check out this month's Retro Orlando. Instead of pining for an attraction of yesteryear, I decided for once to write about a wish come true instead of my traditional theme park whining.

As a bonus, my editor posted a really cool video at the end of the blog done by the magazine back when Captain Eo first premiered again in 2010. It has interviews and some in-theater footage of that cheering audience I mention in my article.

Gave me the warm fuzzies to think that the energetic audience wasn't unique to my experience, but is, in fact, a regular occurrence.


One for Each Other and All for One

"The Three Great Amigos are we!"

Empire Magazine got the holy trinity of eighties movie glory to reunite for an upcoming article and they've been kind enough to share all kinds of preview goodies with the world.

Enjoy a quick Three Amigos break. You deserve it.

Thor and The 2011 Shameless Summer of Movies

I recently started a new gig as a "Movie Editor" for Yahoo. Don't be confused by the term "editor". In this case, it just means "writer". (Editing always involves writing...and vice versa.)

Check out my first "Yahoo Movies" article Last Minute Worries for Thor, a movie I will be seeing and reviewing this Friday. (And yes, I found a way to work Conan O'Brien's brilliance in there. Just barely.) But the way I wrote the article struck me when I read it again after it was published yesterday. I thought to myself after I read it, when did I become so cynical? When did I start thinking of movies in terms of lists of things that made me nervous before I even saw them? Was it The Crystal Skull? What killed my joy?

So I'm going to investigate and try to change that as part of new blog initiative I'm calling...

"The 2011 Shameless Summer of Movies". 

As a film critic/raving fangirl, I'm tired of the voices in my head. No, not the kind you're thinking of. The kind that come from years of dealing with nasty anonymous comments posted on blogs and reviews I've written about movies. I realized recently that if I don't just allow myself to see whatever movie I want to see without apologizing for it, I'm going to lose my love of film.

When you review movies, you start to feel a certain kind of pressure. You get so many negative comments like, "I can't believe you went to see this crap." or, "Why even bother writing a review?", not to mention feedback from other bitter critics who disagree with you, feedback from some of my fellow female critics who think that what I'm saying isn't feminist enough or it's too feminist. Sidebar: I'm so tired of all the wars between women writers fighting to say what's the "right" female opinion. There is no such thing, just write what you are passionate about and know that people will disagree with you, but I digress...that's another blog entry entirely. It should also be noted that there are plenty of supportive film critics out there that make discussing movies fun fun again...but I guess I'm still looking for my Siskel. Someone I can debate with and still have a good time. Anyway...


Graduation Week - Don't You Forget About Me

This is my last week of grad school. I'm celebrating with full-on eighties high school movie nostalgia mode. Therefore, I'm posting the best ever eighties movie credits song. "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds.

This song is double the wonderful because the lead singer of Simple Minds reminds me of Rick Moranis, who I am not so secretly in love with AND it's associated with one of the best movie characters ever "John Bender" from The Breakfast Club. Who also reminds me of another lovable rebel, Futurama's robot Bender. But I could go on like this forever.

("Mrs. Claypool, Mr. Gottlieb. My. Gottlieb, Mrs. Claypool.")

It should be noted that this is one of a handful of songs I always play on the jukebox at my favorite Muncie watering hole "The Heorot". This, "Head over Heels" by Tears for Fears and any of a handful of Talking Heads songs.

My song selections typically thrill half of the pub while the other half shoots me eye daggers and emits an audible groan. Let the week of nostalgia roll forward. Here's to my last ever graduation!

I'll also be watching "Say Anything", "Can't Hardly Wait", and "Pretty in Pink". What are some other great end-of-the-year/graduation movies that might be fun to add to the list? And yes, I know I'm thirty so it's not the same. But I party my way.