Lady Stoneheart is coming…or is she?

Catelyn Stark Game of ThronesEver since Catelyn Stark hit the ground at the Red Wedding, most Game of Thrones (or my favorite moniker, Tits and Dragons) fans — especially book readers — have been clamoring for the appearance of Lady Stoneheart.

 

Viewers have twisted and interpreted signs, nods, character appearances, and theories into two words: She’s coming. Then, when she doesn’t, up pops the next theory (usually the following season), which turns into: “No, really, this could be it.”

 

Well, with the recent appearance of The Brotherhood Without Banners and the awesomely named Lem Lemoncloak, io9 is theorizing this is it. This is not a drill.

 

Now Dad Geek Keith thinks she will not show up, period, But, with this season’s Hodor reveal, we know GoT can pull a six-seasons-in-the-making payoff and surprise the hell out of everyone. Are the producers intentionally staying away from Lady Stoneheart because they know everyone is waiting or have they been working a long con and just delaying the inevitable?

 

Watching the theories unfold and enduring the anticipation is half the fun of this exercise. And I would love to see Michelle Fairley return. Is this finally it? Who knows. But it’s fun to think about it. And, if Lady Stoneheart’s mute, mutilated corpse makes an appearance, prepare for the Internet to blow up in a way we haven’t seen since we last heard the final notes of “The Rains of Castamere”.

 

10 Jun 2016

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar writes Mycroft Holmes comic

Mycroft Holmes The Apocalypse HandbookYes, you read that correctly. No, it’s not The Onion, but damn if this doesn’t sound like it:

“Basketball legend, novelist, and superstar polymath Kareem Abdul-Jabbar brings his take on Sherlock Holmes’ older brother to comics at last! An all-new adventure set in the world of the bestselling Mycroft Holmes novel, The Apocalypse Handbook, sees the diffident, brilliant Mycroft pulled into a globe-spanning adventure at the behest of Queen Victoria and a secret organization at the heart of the British government. A madman is on the loose with civilization-destroying weapons, each two hundred years in advance of the status quo. Can the smartest man in England set aside his idle, womanizing ways for long enough to track down the foe that may be his match?”

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09 Jun 2016

LEGO Dimensions expansion trailer hits the web ahead of E3

OK, finally we get some good news in the toys-to-life video game market. The team that makes the LEGO Dimensions video game (Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games and The LEGO Group) announced new expansion packs that bring in even more pop-culture entertainment brands to the mix.

Beginning on Sept. 27, 2016, you’ll be able to get the Ghostbusters Story Pack (the one with characters from the upcoming movie), Adventure Time and Mission:Impossible Level Packs, Harry Potter and Adventure Time Team Packs, and The A-Team Fun Pack (LEGO Mr. T!). The level of expansion is mind-boggling – we’ll also see packs featuring characters from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The LEGO Batman Movie, The Goonies, Sonic The Hedgehog, Teen Titans Go!, LEGO City Undercover, Knight Rider, The Powerpuff Girls, Gremlins, Beetlejuice and even E.T. (not Entertainment Tonight – although a John Tesh and Mary Hart LEGO figure would be interesting).

Another new feature will be the Battle Arenas, which will provide split-screen local gameplay for up to four players. The minifigures included in the wave 6 through 9 expansion packs will also include “golden Toy Tags that unlock a Battle Arena within the Free Play Adventure World of the corresponding entertainment brand.” Don’t worry, we’ll figure it all out.

Here’s the trailer for the expansion. Feel free to squee with delight:

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09 Jun 2016

Mattel releases alleged Capt. Kirk doll, others

The good folks at Mattel understand that adult geeks have money and like to buy dolls they don’t play with. The latest releases in its pop culture line are three dolls celebrating Star Trek’s 50th anniversary: Uhura, Spock, and allegedly Kirk, but “Kirk” looks nothing like Shatner or Chris Pine. We can’t figure out who he looks like, but it’s not The Shat. But we know they’re going for Kirk because he’s labeled thusly:

Capt Kirk Star Trek 50th anniversary Barbie

It’s not even Pike! However, Uhura’s doll (love those boots) looks like the awesome Nichelle Nichols and Spock looks like Nimoy, so they work fine.

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Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 10.43.38 PM

But this guy? No idea.

Capt Kirk Star Trek 50th anniversary barbie

09 Jun 2016

Happy Ghostbusters Day: Meet the New Crew

We’re about a month away from the release of the (surprisingly controversial) Ghostbusters reboot. While the bones of the story are the same, there’s an all-female, all-new crew commanding Ecto-1. In honor of Ghostbusters Day — today — Sony released new vignettes providing a little background on Abby (Melissa McCarthy), Erin (Kristen Wiig), Holtzmamn (Kate McKinnon), and Patty (Leslie Jones).

First up, Abby:

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08 Jun 2016

Ghostbuster Build-A-Bear items available for pre-order

If you have kids that love both Build-A-Bear and geek/pop culture, get ready to fork out some more money from your wallets. Build-A-Bear today announced pre-orders for its Ghostbuster-themed items, including a Ghostbusters Bear ($25), Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man ($29), Supernatural Ghostbusters Bear Set ($56.50) and a Mini Slimer plush ($12.50). Pre-orders can take place now through Sunday, June 12.

If you already have some bears that you created, you can add clothing accessories for less money – a Ghostbusters T-shirt ($7), tan jumpsuit ($13.50) and “Who Ya Gonna Call” T-shirt ($7) are also available for pre-order.

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08 Jun 2016

Told you so: James Corden and Lin-Manuel Miranda sing Broadway Carpool Karaoke

Time for a little bragging – two weeks ago I predicted that James Corden, host of this Sunday’s Tony Awards ceremony, would be doing a Carpool Karaoke segment for The Late Late Show with Lin-Manuel Miranda, writer and star of the smash hit musical, Hamilton.

Bang! Here it is. Mic drop!

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07 Jun 2016

Original Ghostbusters back on the big screen in June

Fathom Events and theaters nationwide are teaming to return some classic to the big screen this summer. First up is the original Ghostbusters, which will be shown across the country on June 8 and 12. Below are the participating Massachusetts theaters, click here if to find those in your state.

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We will be there.

Next up is the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory on June 26 & 29. I will not be there due to my lifelong phobia of the Wonka movie, but Keith might take the kids. Fathom is also offering more cinema experiences through December, from broadcasts of Met Opera performances to a Motley Crue concert.

29 May 2016

The 6 best geeky mobile games to play with your kids

6 Mobile Games to play with your kids

When PCs were hot in the 1980s and 1990s, my father used to be horrified whenever I wanted to play games on the machine — “Computers are not for games!”, he’d say, but I knew better.

Fast-forward to the smartphone and tablet era. Unlike my Dad, I’m totally aware that these mobile devices are made for games (and other things, like email, Facebook, Twitter, oh, and making phone calls). I don’t admonish my children with the phrase, “Smartphones aren’t for games”,  but rather, “Stop playing that and clean your room!” (some things never change).

With thousands of games available, though, you want to make sure that your kids are playing the right kind of mobile game — one that has a geeky element to it. Otherwise, they may end up playing one of those Candy Crush games or asking you to help them on their farm * shudder*.

Here’s our list of the top mobile games we’ve been enjoying with our kids:

Note: We’re not going to take a stand on games with in-game transactions; your decision about whether to spend money on mobile games is up to you. However, we would suggest that you don’t give your young children the ability to pay for premium items until they understand the consequences.

Simpsons Tapped Out

The Simpsons: Tapped Out
Hopefully you’ve raised your kids correctly, and they know all about The Simpsons. This mobile game has a lot of the same humor, voice acting, and storylines seen in the TV show, and it’s pretty fun to play. Also, it’s quite addicting.

The plot of the game — Homer has blown up the town of Springfield, and it’s your job to help rebuild the town and bring back all of the show’s characters. You do this by completing quests, leveling up, unlocking other characters and, if you’re in a rush, spending real money to buy “donuts,” which is the in-game premium currency. Fortunately, you can earn donuts by leveling up and doing other daily missions, but this does take longer than simply buying them.

The game also has seasonal events, limited-time missions that unlock additional buildings, and “outfits” for existing characters. This helps keep the game interesting beyond the initial parts of the game (the game even jokes about how long most players are playing the game).

For kids, playing this gives them a chance to develop their “city-building” game skills, learning that open space often costs a lot of money, so better to put roads in grid-based form to conserve space.
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28 May 2016

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