X-Men Apocalypse: Should kids see this movie?

X-Men: Apocalypse

OK, this isn’t a formal movie review like you’d see on other sites or blogs — if you’re looking to see whether you should go see X-Men: Apocalypse or not, there are other reviews out there (although I really enjoyed the movie).

This being a Geek Parent site, I’d rather answer the question, “Should my kids see this movie?” With a rating of PG-13, this raises lots of questions for parents who might be considering taking younger children to see the film, especially if they’re fans of the other Marvel movies or the X-Men comics.

The first thing to consider is whether your kids have seen previous X-Men movies, especially the last one, Days of Future Past. The X-Men movies in general are a bit darker thematically than those in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Iron Man, Avengers, Captain America, etc.). Mutants — and humans’ reaction to mutants — are often a metaphor for real-world issues of racism to those who can recognize them (especially when they discuss Magneto’s past in the World War II concentration camp). If they have seen those previous movies, then this one just continues some of those themes, so they should be fine.

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27 May 2016

James Corden’s ‘Crosswalk the Musical’ is the spiritual successor to ‘Guffman’

If you enjoy musical theater or have ever been in a local theater production, there’s no better movie than Waiting for Guffman, a 1996 mockumentary by Christopher Guest that showcases the journey of a local theater production that wants to be bigger than it really is.

James Corden, host of CBS’ Late Late Show, has taken on the mantle of the spiritual successor of that film, via his “Crosswalk the Musical” segments. The videos showcase Corden as the leader of a local theater group that puts on musicals in the middle of a Los Angeles crosswalk. They only have 30 seconds or so to run out, perform the number, then run back to the sidewalk before the traffic starts again.

It’s brilliant comedy – the first one they did was Grease (they’ve also done Phantom of the Opera), and last night Corden was back doing The Lion King, but this time with special guests Rose Byrne and Seth  Rogan.


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26 May 2016

Disney Channel Original Movies release top hits soundtrack Friday

Disney Channel Soundtrack

What’s a party without a soundtrack? (Note: I originally typed “top hits album,” but realized that was ancient. Then I changed it to “top hits CD.” *sigh* Also outdated.)

The Disney Channel is kicking off a binge-y month-long marathon of all 99 Disney Channel Original Movies this Friday, May 27 (click that link for a day-by-day schedule). On the same day, they’ll release a companion soundtrack, Your Favorite Songs From Disney Channel Original Movies. Not the catchiest title we’ve heard, but it tells the tale. Anyway, here’s the track list:

Disney Channel Original Movies soundtrack

One good thing about DCOM and its accompanying songs: From a parent perspective, you never have to worry about inappropriate words sneaking in. “Adventures in Babysitting” is the 100th DCOM, debuting June 24, and a — sigh — a “reimagining” of the 1987 classic (which should not, under any circumstances, be reimagined. You kids, get off my lawn!)

25 May 2016

Bananagrams hosting fan giveaway for Party Edition

Banangrams Party Edition

If you love Bananagrams and want more gaming potassium, the company is giving away 20 copies of the upcoming Party Edition next week. Wanna win?

  • Snap a photo, take a video, or write a story to tell us why you love BANANAGRAMS
  • Upload the photo, video, or story to Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook
  • Use #FANANAGRAMS in your post and tag us!

More details (such as, you have to be 18+) here.
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25 May 2016

5 ways adults can untether from their smartphone

smartphonesI’m kicking my kids off devices daily like a 21st-century technological bouncer, but do I do the same for myself? Not so much. Would it be a good idea? Probably, she winced.

Common Sense Media has five tips on how to wrest the phone from your not-cold, very-much-alive hand. When perusing I found this:

That feeling you get when you think you felt your phone vibrate? And you pick it up and there’s no message but you decide to check Facebook since you’re already looking at your phone? It’s called “phantom vibration mode,” and one theory is it afflicts people who rely on their phones to regulate their emotional states.

Holy crap, that’s a thing? Yikes. Anyway, really good tips and suggestions, were you so inclined, here.

 

25 May 2016

Big, big, big Netflix news — and almost all of it’s good

In 2012, Netflix made a deal with Disney in which the streaming service gets all — that’s all — the latest movies from Walt Disney Animation, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar. The deal goes into effect in September, so prepare for a kick-ass fall.

Now, the only bummer news is that Hercules (our pick for most underrated Disney animated movie), Mulan, and Hunchback of Notre Dame 1 & 2 are leaving Netflix. Hercules is gone by June 1, Hunchback and Mulan on June 24. But, this probably isn’t a big deal as you may own them. Except if you’re us and don’t own Hercules, which you love and now need to purchase on Blu-ray.

But, let’s get you some more good Netflix news: There are some excellent movies coming soon.

Arriving June 1: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park: The Lost World, and Jurassic Park 3, aka, Jurassic Park and the other two cruddy ones.
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25 May 2016

Geek parenting for the win…

Baby MarvelRight after we had finished watching the season finale of The Flash (did anyone understand that ending?), my 6-year-old daughter comes in the room and presents us with this drawing.

Yep. So proud. If anyone from Disney or Marvel would like to talk about creating the TV show, movie or comics, just let us know.

BTW, the character on the right is Baby Deadpool, which we think is the white costumed version (No, we didn’t let her watch the movie).

24 May 2016

Gillian Anderson loves Legos, Star Wars, and is perfect in every way

Photo via chewiesgirlfriend.tumblr.com

Photo via chewiesgirlfriend.tumblr.com

I thought I couldn’t love Gillian Anderson more, but what do you know. She went and got her own tumblr to promote her current play, A Streetcar Named Desire in Brooklyn.

It’s not this version:

Anyway, Anderson named her tumblr Chewie’s Girlfriend, and had a lengthy Q&A with fans on variety of topics:

gillian anderson tumblr

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24 May 2016

Disney Channel movie marathon starts Friday

Disney Channel Original Movies

Start clearing your DVR.

In honor of the 100th Disney Channel Original Movie  — a “re-imagining” of ’80s classic, Adventures in Babysitting — The Disney Channel is launching a 30-day marathon of all DCOM titles.

The fun begins this Friday, May 27 and continues non-stop through Memorial Day (schedule below). From there, the channel will air two movies per night through the premiere of the new Adventures in Babysitting (heresy, BTW) on June 24. A full schedule for each day can be found here at Inside the Magic.

Friday, May 27:

10:00 a.m. – Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama
11:20 a.m. – Read It and Weep
12:55 p.m. – Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior
2:40 p.m. – Jump In!
4:15 p.m. – Lemonade Mouth
6:15 p.m. – Zapped
8:00 p.m. – High School Musical 2
9:55 p.m. – The Cheetah Girls 2
11:45 p.m. – Zenon the Zequel
1:25 a.m. – Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge
2:55 a.m. – Twitches Too
4:25 a.m. – Alley Cats Strike!

Saturday, May 28:

6:25 a.m. – You Wish!
8:05 a.m. – The Proud Family Movie
9:50 a.m. – Quints
11:25 a.m. – Horse Sense
1:10 p.m. – Cow Belles
2:50 p.m. – Twitches
4:30 p.m. – The Even Stevens Movie
6:15 p.m. – Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie
8:00 p.m. – Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam
9:50 p.m. – Princess Protection Program
11:30 p.m. – The Cheetah Girls: One World
1:05 a.m. – Zenon: Z3
2:40 a.m. – Halloweentown High
4:20 a.m. – The Thirteenth Year

Sunday, May 29:

6:00 a.m. – Right on Track
7:45 a.m. – Full-Court Miracle
9:35 a.m. – Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook-Off
11:20 a.m. – Brink!
1:10 p.m. – Double Teamed
2:55 p.m. – Rip Girls
4:35 p.m. – Motocrossed
6:20 p.m. – Butt 9
8:00 p.m. – Teen Beach 2
9:55 p.m. – Bad Hair Day
11:40 p.m. – How to Build a Better Boy
1:20 a.m. – Pixel Perfect
2:55 a.m. – The Other Me
4:30 a.m. – Genius

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24 May 2016

Chewbacca Mom is winning the Internet Webs

If there was a “Mom & Dad Are Geeks Hall of Fame” (we’re working on it), the first inductee would have to be Candace Payne, based on the weekend that she’s having. In case you were under a rock, her Facebook video where she was showing off her Chewbacca talking mask and joyously laughing to the camera has tallied millions of views.

Payne is now taking advantage of this newfound fame. On Monday, she appeared on Good Morning America as well as the Late Late Show with James Corden. In this video, Corden pretends to be annoyed with Payne, until a special guest star shows up:


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24 May 2016

New ‘Sing’ trailer shows world of singing, dancing animals

Movie Sing pigs singing

I imagine the pitch meeting for Sing, from the studio that made Despicable Me and Minions, went a little something like this: “It’s Zootopia meets American Idol.” Of course, perhaps they didn’t know about Zootopia at the time of the pitch, so maybe it was “The whole world is populated by animals, and someone holds a singing competition.”

Inevitably, this movie will be compared to Zootopia, which is a very tall order considering how successful that film has been. However, I still give this a fighting chance, based on the reactions of my kids to the first teaser trailer, which included the rabbits singing Baby Got Back and the pig singing Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. Throw enough fart jokes in there and we’re all set.

Here’s the new trailer, which expands more on the plot and has more popular music being sung by animals.


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24 May 2016

Which cameo is Stan Lee’s favorite?

Stan Lee working at Timely Comics in the 1940s. Photo (c) D23.com

Stan Lee working at Timely Comics in the 1940s. Photo (c) D23.com

At 93, Stan Lee is still the master of Marvel — as well as making cameo appearances in Marvel Cinematic Universe films. D23 has an interview with Lee and asked which cameo was his favorite:

Maybe my favorite, though, was the one in Spider-Man 2 where I say to Peter Parker in the street something like, “Yes, one man can make a difference.” Then when I walk away, I say, “’Nuff said!”

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23 May 2016

Warner Bros. debuts Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad exhibition

If you can’t make it out to Warner Bros. in Los Angeles, L.A. Weekly has a cool (ad-free!) slideshow of props from Batman v Superman and the upcoming Suicide Squad. A few samples below, the rest are definitely worth your clicks here.

Harley Quinn costume Suicide Squad

Harley Quinn’s Suicide Squad costume. Photo by Jared Cowan / L.A. Weekly

Try your hand at Kryptonite. Photo by Jared Cowan / L.A. Weekly

Try your hand at Kryptonite. Photo by Jared Cowan / L.A. Weekly

Joker props from Suicide Squad / Photo by Jared Cowan / L.A. Weekly

Joker props from Suicide Squad. Photo by Jared Cowan / L.A. Weekly

23 May 2016

Disney posts teaser trailer for live-action Beauty and the Beast

We’re not big fans of teaser trailers for movies, as they show very, very little related to the film. Give us the first official trailer (or, if it’s universally panned, the second), in which there’s more to see.

Such is the case with the first teaser trailer for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, a live-action version of the 1991 animated classic. We get to hear a few of the voices (Ewan McGregor’s Lumiere and Ian McKellen’s Cogsworth), and we get a very short look at Emma Watson’s Belle. Otherwise, it’s just a bunch of scenery, as well as the haunting music from the beginning of the movie. But we’ll take it.

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23 May 2016

We love Buckner & Garcia

Yesterday in 1980, Namco released Pac-Man, which popularized arcade gaming for the masses and gave Buckner & Garcia their 15 minutes. Which makes it a fine time to look back at one of our (many) favorite ’80s one-hit wonders.

Good news: You’ve got a hit single and you’re going on national TV. Bad news: It’s Solid Gold and “Pac-Man Fever”. (Although, to be honest, the latter two were very big deals at the time.)

 

B&G’s Wikipedia entry has some interesting info:

 

…in 1980, they wrote a novelty Christmas song titled “Merry Christmas in the NFL”, imagining Howard Cosell as Santa Claus. Performed under the pseudonym Willis the Guard & Vigorish, the song reached No. 82 on the Billboard charts despite limited airplay after Cosell found the song offensive….The duo also wrote the lyrics for extra verses of an extended version of the WKRP in Cincinnati theme song in 1982.

However, the duo is best known for the song “Pac-Man Fever“, which became a large novelty hit in 1982, peaking at No. 9 in the United States. It earned a million-selling Gold-certified 45. Later the same year, after the song became a hit, the duo signed a record deal with Columbia/CBS Records. According to interviews, the duo never wanted to become a novelty act known for songs based on video games, but when it signed with the label, the company insisted on a full album of video-game songs, although the duo had intended to write a more varied collection of pop music.

Just when I thought I couldn’t love them more, I learn about the Cosell and WKRP work.

 

While Garcia is currently dropping quarters at The Big Arcade in the Sky, in 2011 Buckner went on to write the “Pac-Man Fever” homage, “Wreck-It, Wreck-It Ralph!” for the 2012 Disney film. A brilliant addition to the movie, the song was credited to Bucker & Garcia (as no one would have known who Buckner & Houston were).

 

22 May 2016