Friday, June 23, 2017

Owl Crate June Box Review

Hello, all!

I love a good subscription box. It all started with a 3-month subscription to Loot Crate I had gotten as a gift, and progressed into a faithful member of the Marvel Collector Corp, but now I've got a new one to add to the list-- Owl Crate.

I know, I know. I'm super late to the party, but holy cow is this a great subscription box! I had heard some people talk about the service before, but I never really paid much attention or looked into it until I saw their booth at Book Con and the line to get to it was almost wrapped around an entire aisle. As a self-admitted book worm, I'm a little embarrassed it took me this long to hop on the bandwagon.

Like many other subscription boxes, each box has its own theme which the items inside correspond to, but unlike other boxes I've seen this one gives you the option of only buying that month's box which I loved. I didn't want to purchase a whole subscription just in case I ended up not liking what was sent, so just buying the June box was such a great way to test it out. Luckily, I ended up loving everything that was sent and I already purchased next month's box as well!

So, let's get into the box itself, the theme of it was "Make It Out Alive" and came with 7 really fun items:



The first item I saw when I opened it was a Divergent inspired bath bomb made by Fizzy Fairy Apothecary. According to the little card that breaks down all the items, each bath bomb has a charm inside that sorts you into one of the factions. I can't wait to try this, I've only recently gotten into the bath bomb craze, so I'm excited to see if I'm Divergent or not.


The next thing was an iron on patch from Laserbrain Patch Co. based on the novel The Giver by Lois Lowry. Which I'm pretty sure everyone had to read at school at some point in their lives.


Next, I pulled out a magnet with a lovely quote from An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. I actually have never read this book, but I may have to pick it up now.


And it wouldn't be a "Make it out alive" box without something zombie related, and this sleeping mask was so great. I definitely think it was my favorite thing in the box.


A great survival series was A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Feyre was such a fierce character who was cunning and did anything to stay alive, and the whole series has quickly become one of my favorites, so this book mark was ace. Plus, who doesn't love a book mark?


Now, getting onto the books themselves. Since this was my first box, I'm not sure if you always get two books or just one, so I was impressed by that alone. Both sound really interesting and I can't wait to start them.

The first one is called New World Rising by Jennifer Wilson and it's an edge of your seat, fast paced story about a girl named Phoenix trying to survive in a ruthless dystopian city.


The other is called The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson which is about a group of revolutionaries called The Wolfpack who've taken over the world and hold both people and resources hostage. A girl named Eden knows a way to get to the small bit of neutral land that's left, called Sanctuary Island, and she'll do whatever it takes to get there. Only, once she and her friends make it there, one of them goes missing in the night and suddenly the island feels more deadly than the brutal world they left behind.




Overall, I'm super happy with this box. Everything inside was high quality and well worth the price, which is very reasonable considering the amount of items you get (and definitely cheaper than other subscription services I've seen.) I can't wait to see what next month brings!

Has anyone ever gotten an Owl Crate box before? Or any other subscription box? Lemme know what you thought!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Tales from the Crypt Box Set

Hello, all!





Growing up, my Mom never let my brother and I watch Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood (Why? I’m not entirely sure, she’s never really given any explanation other than she got a “creepy vibe” from him), but what she did let us watch was Tales from the Crypt. Basically, a well-mannered man in a sweater was creepy but an animatronic skeleton showing horror shows was fair game. Alright, Mom, and she wonders why her kids are a little weird.

This, though, was probably what kick-started my love for all things campy horror related (this and Elvira, of course), so I don’t really mind whatever reasoning my Mom may have had when it came to appropriate TV shows to watch. Imagine my delight when I read that we were finally getting a complete box set of the classic 80s/90s horror anthology show. The individual seasons themselves were released years ago, but sadly they’re mostly out of print, or go for an arm and a leg on eBay.

The show was based on a popular comic series of the same name from the 1950s, and each episode stayed pretty true to its comic counterparts (albeit modernizing some aspects), which is always really cool. It also had some pretty A-list cameo appearances, like Demi Moore, Don Rickles, Whoopi Goldberg and Tom Hanks, just to name a few. The show had a little something for all horror fans to enjoy with episodes ranging from vampires to mad doctors to ghosts, pretty much anything you can think of to scare the pants off viewers. There were also little skits done by the Crypt Keeper which were sure to make viewers die... laughing, of course. It might not have been the most tasteful show at times, but it was definitely entertaining.

This show was such a big part of my childhood. I vividly remember staying up late and getting sucked into the “deadtime stories” and the ghoulishly great Crypt Keeper. I mean, seriously, how great was he?! My phone background is even him and Tom Hanks for cryin’ out loud. Once I got older and the show went off the air, I started digging into the comics just so I could have some piece of it that I could go back to whenever I wanted. So far, it just looks like the box set will only have a DVD option and not Blu-Ray, but either way I’m so excited to get my hands on the full collection. I also can’t wait to see what kind of spook-tacular extras will show up on there as well.

If you were a fan growing up, this is a must have. It comes out on June 20th and it can be purchased through Amazon or the WB Shop. Like the Crypt Keeper himself said, Fasten your drool cups, and ready your vomit bags! We're going to the movies! Frights, camera, action! 

Friday, June 9, 2017

BookCon 2017

Hello, all!

I am a huge lover of books. Like, massive. A bookworm to the core and proud of it. My favorite thing to do when I was younger was going to the library. (Who am I kidding? It's still one of my favorite things.) I've always kept track of how many books I've read in a month, trying to push myself into reading more the next month. I've always felt a certain comfort from books, and even now, just walking into a library and running my fingers over the spines or the smell of a bookstore, will immediately relax me.

This past weekend, I went to my very first BookCon, and lemme just say, it was awesome. For those who might not know, BookCon is basically just a Comic Con, but with books. For two days, the Javits Center in NYC plays host to publishers, authors, book subscription services, numerous panels/meet-ups, and other fun stuff all in the name of literature. It's a book lovers dream.

The smell of books and bindings hits you the second you walk onto the show floor (Is there any better smell than that?) and everywhere you look you're met with rows and rows of books. I was a little overwhelmed walking through because I just didn't know where to begin. It had turned out everyone that I wanted to see-- Bill Nye, Krysten Ritter, Sarah Dessen, Kendare Blake, and a few others-- were actually only there on Sunday and I only had a Saturday pass, but there was still plenty for me to do/see.

Every direction you turned there was either a wheel to spin to get free goodies, or a table full of free bookmarks, totes and even one that had free mints (so thoughtful.) Even though I didn't go to any of the panels, since again all my people weren't there, the few I walked passed seemed interesting. I went around to a lot of the publishing houses that were there (aside from the big ones like Scholastic and Random House, they even had smaller international ones as well which was cool) and found that anytime you bought something from one of their booths, you got a free tote bag. Not even those flimsy cheap ones either, but the nice canvas ones! I was super impressed. Who doesn't love a tote bag, right?

I was very proud of myself that I didn't end up buying every little thing I saw. Aside from books, there were so many vendors selling book-related merch like shirts, pins, posters, etc. Needless to say, I loved it all. I ended up buying a shirt that said "Book Worm" because it matched my tattoo and it was just so fitting, a pin set from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, another pin that says "Never Tell Me The Odds" and Peter Pan and Classic Horror Stories books which are leather bound and have quotes from each embossed on the covers. *insert heart-eye emoji*

This con was definitely not as crowded as Comic Con, but it still was jam packed with everything a book lover could want. There was such a wide variety of people attending and you could just feel the excitement and joy they were feeling. Anywhere you looked there was either rows of books, someone reading a book, or people talking about books. It really was a book lovers dream and I can't wait for next year.

Here are just a few snaps I took, I didn't get much unfortunately because I was just way too overwhelmed haha.








Friday, June 2, 2017

5 Fandom Friday: 5 Songs That Remind You of a Movie

Hello, all!

I haven’t done a 5FF in a while, let alone one of my own Top 5 lists, so I figured this was a great topic to jump on the bandwagon again. There are so many great songs that coincide with movies that I had a hard time narrowing down my list to just 5. I mean, ya got the your classics like the theme for “Footloose”, the fun ones like “Twist and Shout” from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the ones that you just have to belt out along with like “Kiss From a Rose” from Batman Forever. And don’t even get me started on “My Heart Will Go On.” I will never let go, Jack.

These 5 songs are songs that whenever I hear them, my mind automatically plays out the movie scene and makes me shout at whoever I’m with, “This song was in *insert movie here*!” So without any further ado, here we go!





1. “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher – Ghostbusters 2: It’s actually impossible for me to listen to this song and not think about the Ghostbusters crew dousing the Statue of Liberty in pink slime and walking her through NYC in order to rally some positive mojo to beat Viggo, the creepy 17th century tyrant magician whose stuck inside a painting trying to escape. Or a dancing toaster. Also, you can’t listen to this song and not yell, “She’s tough. She’s a harbor chick!” like Venkman. It’s just a given.



2. “Jump in the Line (Shake Senora) – Beetlejuice: Ok, first off, I’ve always thought this song was called “Shake, Shake, Shake Senora” but apparently I was way off. Secondly, can anyone hear this song and not wish they were levitating in mid air like Winona Ryder? Didn't think so.



3. “Higher Ground” – Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: No other song reminds me of a movie more than this one. The second it comes on, I just have visions of all the Rangers skydiving perfectly and Bulk and Skull landing in a construction zone. I love it so much that if the movie happens to be on TV and I’ve missed it, I have to YouTube it before I can actually enjoy the rest of the film. (It also hurts my heart that this is the only video I could find of it and it's not even the whole thing. Womp womp.)



4. “The Power of Love” – Back to the Future: What do you get when you add Huey Lewis and The News and a skateboarding Michael J. Fox? Utter perfection, that’s what. 



5. "You Don't Own Me" -- First Wives Club: Mark my words-- if I stumble across a deserted street (preferably in the City, but I'll take anywhere really) you better believe I will be singing and dancing my way down it a la Bette, Goldie and Diane.  Work. It. Ladies.



Does anyone have any songs that remind them of tv/movies? Lemme know!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Let's Talk: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Hello, all!

Over the weekend I saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and I gotta say, I really enjoyed it.

**Potential spoilers ahead**



I did like how it started off with a flashback to Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord’s, mom and father since the first movie left some lingering questions about just who Peter is exactly. What we find out is that his father isn’t exactly from around the way after we see him showing Peter’s mom an alien plant he’s growing behind a Dairy Queen in Missouri, and her saying that she fell in love with a “space man.”

Right off the bat, it was like all the action and banter of the original was there in full force. Peter being miffed over Gamora using a gun instead of her usual sword as they’re preparing to fight off a horde of tentacled space blob-worm things (“I just thought guns were my thing”), and the best part of the opening scene, little baby Groot dancing around the platform to “Mr. Blue Sky” as the rest of the team defends the fancy batteries they were hired to protect from the aforementioned space blob things.

After the fight, we find out the gang was hired by a race of gold skinned superior beings known as the Sovereign. Their leader, Ayesha, promised a reward in return for helping them and it turns out to be Gamora’s adoptive sister, Nebula. During this exchange, Rocket does what he does best, which is opens his mouth and offends the Sovereign (who are, of course, very stuck up and don’t take kindly to criticisms) and the gang makes a swift exit. If offending them wasn’t enough, on the way out Rocket confides to Drax that he stole some of the super important batteries in order to try and make a profit from them.

No surprise, that turns out to be a huge mistake as a whole fleet of Sovereign chase after the gang once they realize what happened. Side note, I love the fact that all the Sovereign ships are remotely piloted from what looks like old arcade booths and even turn red in a “Game Over” type deal when they “die.” As Peter and Rocket fight over who’s actually going to pilot the Milano, a strange ship comes by and takes out the entire rest of the Sovereign ships single-handedly, allowing for the team to escape and crash land on the planet Berhert.

On this planet, the team meets Ego and Mantis who helped them escape, and whatd’ya know Ego drops the f-bomb. That he’s Peter’s father and he’s been searching the cosmos trying to find him ever since Yondu failed to bring him in when Peter was younger. This leads to the team splitting up; Peter, Gamora and Drax go with Ego and Mantis back to Ego’s world, and Rocket stays behind to repair the ship along with Groot and (still a prisoner, but not for long) Nebula. Soon, the Ravagers arrive on Berhert and with the help of Nebula (at the cost of a ship to hunt down her sister), capture Rocket and Groot and also mutiny against Yondu.

We learn a lot about Peter and Ego while on Ego’s planet, like the fact that the planet is Ego. He’s a planet. Well, technically, he’s a Celestial born millions and millions of years ago, but ehh, semantics. Peter learns that Ego had made countless avatars of himself, going to different planets and worlds in order to, ahem, spread his seed. Ego hired Yondu and the Ravagers to track down all his children and bring them to him because he needed their help to tap into the full potential of Ego’s powers in order for him to absorb all the planets he implanted his seeds. Whenever one of his offspring failed, Ego killed them. Turns out, Peter was the only one of his children who was able to tap into that shared power. After a (you guessed it) big ol’ battle, the reunited Guardians take out Ego, though in doing so, Peter loses whatever Celestial powers he had inside him.

During this time, Yondu also sacrifices himself in order to save Peter. Not only did Peter’s response to this, and losing the only real father figure he ever had, kill me, the fact that the other Ravagers who had shunned Yondu for so many years came and gave him the proper funeral with all the bells and whistles was beautiful.

All in all, I thought the film was really good. The humor was there (“I’m Mary Poppins, y’all!”), the banter was there, the action was there, but it also had a lot of emotion to it. Aside from Yondu’s sacrifice, we get to see a whole different side to Nebula—how all she wanted was a sister and how it felt to never be good enough, and we learn that Ego was the reason Peter’s mother actually died. There were some slow bits, but that’s to be expected. I will say, I wasn’t too blown away by all the post credit scenes. I mean, it was cool to see the original Guardians team, Adam Warlock’s pod, teenager Groot and Stan Lee as a possible Watcher? But, I just kind of expected more ‘OH MY GOD’ moments. Oh, and it goes without saying, but the soundtrack alone makes it a must see.

Has anyone else seen it yet? What’d you think? Lemme know!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Let's Talk: MST3K The Return

Hello, all!





If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’re probably aware of the fact that I love Mystery Science Theater 3000. There’s only one thing I love more than bad movies, and it’s making fun of bad movies. In fact, a few friends and I always get together to heckle bad movies a la the Satellite of Love gang; we call ourselves the B-Movie Crew. We even have patches. It’s pretty legit.

Anyways, around Thanksgiving time I heard that Netflix was planning a reboot of the show titled Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return, and I have to admit I was really excited and really nervous that the new episodes wouldn’t have the same feel as the ones I'm used to. So, there I was last week, anxiously sitting in front of my TV while the first new episode ‘Reptilicus’ started loading, and boy, was I happily surprised (and so so relieved.) There may be new baddies (I bow to you, Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt) and a new hapless guy (Jonah Ray) stuck with the ‘bots, but this was still my MST3K, it was still our MST3K.

Right off the bat, the jokes are just as clever and super-fast paced and had me laughing out loud. They somehow make it feel as if the show had never stopped, and that no time has passed between seasons, which is saying a lot since the show went off the air in 1999. It feels like a continuation, not a reboot. They had some nice nods to the original series, but that’s not to say they haven’t made some improvements either—for starters, the ‘bots have all new voices, Tom Servo can now fly (but only while in the theater), the doors leading up to the theater have gotten a nice shine up, and the new theme song is just as catchy and head-bobby as the old one. The only thing that slightly threw me was that I did feel at times the interaction/chemistry between Jonah, Crow and Tom was a little awkward, but I’m sure as the series progresses they’ll hit their stride and it’ll all fall nicely into place.

All in all, as far as reboots go, this is up there with the best. There’s no other way I can explain it except that it feels right, it feels natural. The vibe is the same, just with new terrible movies, and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for the new series and where the Satellite of Love takes us next.

If you’re a fan of MST3K, or even if you’re just looking for some mindless sarcastic snarky wit, definitely check out the new episodes streaming on Netflix now!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Harry Potter in Concert

Hello, all!

So last weekend, I got to experience my one true love, Harry Potter, in a whole different way-- in concert. Basically, Radio City Music Hall was playing the entire first movie and the New Jersey Philharmonic Orchestra was playing the score live. It. Was. Amazing.





A few years ago I had seen Star Wars in Concert which was just a few snippets of each movie with an orchestra playing that scenes specific score, so I sort of knew what to expect, but this one was a whole other level.

Something about being able to experience Harry's first year at Hogwarts with the live music made it that much more magical. You were really able to feel the music in a way that's new and exciting; you feel the music build in happy moments and feel extra anxious in the darker ones. It really makes you appreciate just how amazing John Williams' score is. He's composed music for some of the greatest movies and his work is always top notch, but being in the same room as it, hearing it fill into every crevice around you, is really something else.

It was also super fun because before they started, the conductor told the crowd to be as interactive as possible. He wanted us to cheer for the characters we liked, boo the ones we didn't and act as if we were just regular students at Hogwarts, just part of the story, and it was so great.






At the end of the show, they announced plans of doing the rest of the series in this same way, so if you're a huge Harry Potter fan like me, definitely check it out here for more information about the shows!