If twisted, gothic-style storytelling is your cup of tea (or if you enjoy stories like “A Series of Unfortunate Events” for the bad things that happen or Sweeny Todd for the killing rampage), you may enjoy the webseries: Penny Dreadfuls. Now, for those of you not up on the 18th century lingo, which I’m all to pieces over, penny dreadfuls was a term applied to cheap, sensational stories that came out as serials once a week. Along the same vein is this webseries, which is extremely twisted. Don’t get me wrong when I say they are – twisted. At the time of writing this review there are two episodes, both which left me with the desire to take a long hot shower and clean off the ick.
Despite their short length, the episodes tell amazingly rich stories (especially episode 1 “Feeding”). The actors are also a treat to watch, compared to other shows that just cast “pretty young things”. Produced, Directed and edited by James Arnall, the stories have amazing visuals and James seems to be able to use “unspoken” moments to get story ideas out. The second episode (“Sleeping Beauty”) features Michele Boyd, who you may know from Season 2 of the Guild.
I can’t wait to see more stories in the Penny Dreadfuls series. Especially since they’re so self-contained the stories can continue on for awhile without much effort (you know, beyond… actually making them). So the potential to horrify me via my computer screen is still huge.
Hankering to get a taste of the behind-the-scenes of the CMT Music Awards? Nationwide Insurance is giving you a sneak-peek – Social Media style. Through Twitter, Facebook and Flickr, Nationwide will be showing fans tomorrow a view from behind the red curtain. If you’re interested in following all the action live head over to nationwide.com/cmtawards
Here’s the details from their press release: When: Nationwide’s live behind–the-scenes coverage will begin Tuesday morning, June 16 and stretch through post-event celebrations.
The 2009 CMT Music Awards will air on CMT on Tuesday, June 16 at 8:00 p.m. EST. Who: The top stars in country music. Where: Visit nationwide.com/cmtawards to begin following the action from your home computer or mobile device. Why: Nationwide is a proud sponsor of the CMT Music Awards. Tune into the show to see which up-and-coming artist will win a special Nationwide On Your Side® Award, based on fan voting at CMT.com. Nominated artists will perform on the Nationwide Insurance Performance Stage during the awards.
Big Brother is a reality show that comes around every summer, and one winter during the writer’s strike. They stick a number of people in a house and let them fight it out until the summer’s end. Well, sort of.
From May and September 2009, fans of popular cult television and film writer/director Joss Whedon, will gather worldwide to raise money for Equality Now, a charity dedicated to promoting the human rights of beleaguered women and girls.
For the fourth year in a row, thousands of people around the world will participate in “Can’t Stop the Serenity” fund-raising events to benefit Says Amanda Sullivan, director of Equality Now: “Amazing as it is, we are heading into our fourth season of CSTS global screenings! It is a difficult time for us and a difficult time for everyone right now. So it’s especially important for all of you to know how grateful all of us at Equality Now are, and will always be, for the commitment to gender equality the Browncoats have demonstrated through their hard work and generosity.” Browncoats, like many other television fans, are dedicated to their fandom. The story of Firefly and Serenity is an interesting case in popular culture. Firefly premiered on the Fox Network experiencing a short run from September to December of 2002, before being cancelled mid-season due to low ratings and artistic disagreements with its creator, Joss Whedon. Many fans believe the show was a victim of poor promotion coupled with a bad time slot. Not content with the show’s release on DVD in 2004, the Browncoats grew in number, thriving on any content related to Firefly and bolstering DVD sales enough to merit creation of a movie epilogue to the series in 2005: Serenity.
Most fan stories usually end there, but inspired by Whedon’s fiery post on Whedonesque.com in response to the senseless “honor killing” of young Du’a Khalil, his fans continue to go above and beyond to focus their enthusiasm and community into a force for good. He says, “…All I ask is this: Do something. Try something. Speaking out, showing up, writing a letter, a check, a strongly worded e-mail. Pick a cause – there are few unworthy ones…”
The Guild is a show that’s taken the internet by storm. Created, written by, and starring Felicia Day (some of you may know her as Vi from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), this show is everything the at-risk-tech-savvy-youth could ask for. The show centers around Cyd Shermann, Codex in her online world, and it opens to a confession from Cyd to her webcam.
From there the show hooks you and then continues to propel you through all ten episodes (each averaging 5 to 7 minutes), as Cyd copes with the head on collision of her internet world and real life. The show is quickly fleshed out with several other characters from Codex’s On-Line Guild, including Clara, the neglectful mom, Tinkerballa, the tech addicted teen, Bladez, the rebel, and Zaboo, the love-smitten mama’s boy.
Ever made someone a promise, then been unable to fulfill it while they were still with you? Did you fulfill that promise after they were gone? Were they with you?
Up is the tale of just that situation. Carl Fredricksen (Edward Asner) made a promise to his wife Ellie long before they married, just after they met as children, that they would go to Paradise Falls and build her clubhouse on the top of the cliff. Unfortunately, they live long lives without ever getting to Venezuela, and Ellie dies. Carl, heartbroken but still determined, decides on the eve that the city is forcing him into a retirement community that he and the house will make it to South America if it kills him.
What he doesn’t anticipate is the addition of one Wilderness Explorer named Russell (Jordan Nagai).
Thus begins the journey of an old man and a young boy, one that takes them through danger and the excitement of making new friends. The movie is graced with talking dogs, elusive dodo birds, and, of course, one man’s childhood hero who proves to be extremely different from his media image.
On a personal note, I took my mother to see this for her birthday – her choice, not mine – and surprisingly, truly enjoyed the movie. It made the two of us laugh and cry, and even spill my NERDS on the floor. This isn’t just a kids’ movie, or even a family movie. This is a movie that spans the generations, because, deep down, all any of us want to do is keep our promises, and see our loved ones happy.
If you enjoy original story-telling that entertains, and are willing to become a kid again and suspend your belief, then Up is truly a movie you need to see. Buy your tickets online here at Fandango.com.
Tru Calling has a lot to offer the average Joss fan, not the least of them being our beloved Eliza Dushku. Eliza plays the title character, and as Tru she crusades about saving helpless victims using a supernatural talent that came upon her suddenly. Sound familiar? The show takes this theme and delves into new ground, exploring the idea of a normal girl gaining the power and responsibility of saving lives. Though in this case, Tru is an adult rather than an adolescent, and her power does not put her in danger as much it does those around her.
My good friend, podcasting and social media innovator and cheery ball of sunshine – J.C. Hutchins has just launched his latest psychological thriller/awesome novel – Personal Effects: Dark Art. Now, if you haven’t already heard J.C. Hutchins’ amazing podcast novel trilogy – 7th Son and have been living under a rock the past couple years, you may not know why YOU MUST BUY THIS BOOK. So I, as one of those people you can trust to tell you why you should always make the right decision (like switching from your PC to a Mac), will give you the top ten reasons you should buy Personal Effects: Dark Art.
#10. J.C. Hutchins loves baby bunnies.
Despite the nail-biting, page turning, grip you by the throat and drag you off into the darkest parts of the human mind story that IS Personal Effects: Dark Art, J.C. Hutchins is a lovable, fluffy, sweet soul of a man who gives freely of his time, energy and creative spirit. Even though his characters may do terrible, horrible, unspeakable things – J.C. Hutchins is a man who bathes daily in the sweet aroma of life itself. He tried being evil once, but then he was awesome instead. True story.