Greetings, nerds and nerdettes! Another weekend is upon us and that means another new episode of our beloved King of the Nerds! Huzzah!
This week’s Nerd War was the best since “Imaginary Realms”. I have to admit that I didn’t really form an opinion on each argument…I was paying more attention to who was more forceful in their convictions, made a better presentation, etcetera. My thoughts on each round are below–bold is my personal choice for winner, italics is who actually won the round.
Round One: Alana versus Ivan (two stars) — I couldn’t make a decision, because while I feel Alana had a reasonable argument, I agree that Ivan had a strong presentation. Nevertheless, Ivan’s argument seemed rather roundabout and circular and I had a hard time figuring out what side he was on–even with identification shown on the screen!
Round Two: Joshua versus Genevieve (five stars) — Viv trounced Josh, easy. I love how enthusiastic she was and she has a point when it comes to heroes attracting villains. To me, it’s really hard to argue with the evidence that Mr. Mxyzptlk came to Earth for the sole reason of pissing off Superman.
Round Three: Danielle versus Celeste (four stars) — I really felt bad for Celeste. She knew nothing about the topic and had massive stage fright to boot. I wish I could’ve gone on for her, actually. I don’t get stage fright that easily (I’m more nervous of missing my lines, which wouldn’t have been a problem with that debate) and once one of the competitors pointed out the whole task was really to write a short paper on the topic and present it, I realized it would’ve been a breeze for me.
With my scores (and possibly deciding for Alana in my tie, considering how confused Ivan left me), Virgil and Moogega would have had to have debated. And that, of course, I would’ve liked to see! But at least I got plenty of fulfilling Moo-ness this week. ❤
Bitch Move of the Week: Ordinarily, I wouldn’t advocate for giving these “awards” to those outside the game; but exceptional circumstances call for exceptional moves. This week’s award goes to Kevin Smith. What kind of dickhead praises Viv right and left and ultimately awards the round to Josh?! At first, I thought Viv’s reaction was a little overdramatic, but it was one of those things where, after you think about it for a couple of minutes, you realize she’s absolutely right and you’d probably be freaking out in the same fashion. (Or at least I would!)
Dumbass Move of the Week: “My husband and I have a whole storage unit full of comics. I don’t need to study.” Kids, always study! I know I don’t practice what I preach (I hate studying), but for that Nerd-Off, I definitely would’ve been on Wiki the whole two hours. In fact, I’m not sure I would know what to look for, so I would’ve taken any advice I could’ve gotten from my teammates.
Slightly off topic from the show, I read a review Thursday night that complained that Bobby (yeah, there I go with “Booby” again…”Rob” for the rest of the post) looked like he was there for the paycheck only, and that Curt looked like he was alternately ready to torment the teams and join in.
Yeah. Okay. Sure. How ’bout you run right back and check the four Nerds movies, hmm?
Booger was Off. The Freaking. Wall. Calm was not in his dictionary…or at least not in his dictionary as it related to him. Lewis was the antithesis of Booger. Calm, perhaps somewhat reserved, very polite and very rational. Remembering that and seeing Curt and Rob in action, how then can you expect them to be any different?
Oh yeah. You can’t!
Never having met Rob, I can’t say for certain, but he’s always struck me as quiet and reserved. If you want him in a movie or on a television show, you have to pry him out of the (proverbial) woodwork first. I don’t mind saying that he’s probably perfectly happy at home with his lovely wife and his music. (I read a while back that he likes to play guitar, among other things.) Plus, his youngest is twenty, so he and Edie are probably still in the first flower of their “empty nest romance renewal” (or whatever you’d like to call it).
You want action and adventure, check out the movies of his late brother, Dave. After all, what was he best known for? Kwai Chang Kane and Bill (of Kill Bill fame), of course–kick-assery right to the end.
You want wit so dry, it makes the English laugh? (I’m sure of it!) Check out his next older brother. (Better to go for season two of Dexter or his appearance on Big Bang Theory…Cowboys and Aliens was great, but he gets abducted partway into the picture.)
But if you want sweet, quiet and unoffensive, Rob’s your man.
Friday night, my friend K and I were talking about Creepy. (Picture omitted for sanity reasons. Or reasons of insanity. Your choice.) I showed her a few pictures and she said, “He’s more ugly than creepy. xD”
I thought I’d said that Julia wasn’t much to look at either, but records show I said, “Well, considering that I’m sure I can name at least half a dozen women I find prettier than Julia…*nasty snicker*”
And I did.
Except last night, the list grew by three.
So now I bring you The Top Nine Women I Think are More Beautiful than Julia Roberts. (They were originally in no particular order, but I created one when preparing for this entry this afternoon. Like Creepy, their names are links to their IMDb pages.) (Oh, and I’m using full names where I can get them…just because I like to. 🙂 )
(Model, Actress–Mortal Kombat: Annihilation)
I’ve seen MK2 about a million times since its release fourteen years ago and I still can’t get over how lovely Irina is. I think it’s the exotic “Russian Eskimo” element that catches me every time.
(Actress–Law and Order: Special Victims Unit)
I think for me, a major part of Mishka’s1 attraction is her magnetism. She’s lovely, but she also exudes a sort of charisma and she’s wonderful to watch onscreen, especially when she gets angry. There are a lot of great (fictional) female crime fighters, past and present (and a few are on this list), but Mishka holds a special place in my heart.
If you have never seen Cote kick ass (or sing, for that matter), you don’t know what you’re missing! This pretty Chilean actress does all that and plays the piano, too! Forget Selma Hayek…Cote is my “Latina lover” of choice!
Okay, since she’s only seventeen, Maddie hasn’t quite crossed the line from “cute” to “beautiful” just yet, but she has a great start. Plus, there’s no one on television quite like Willa Monday. (Except maybe Kat Dennings, when she’s in full-on “Max” persona.) Heck, there’s no show quite like Finder, either!
I think Heidi is just adorable! Not only is she pretty, but she’s peppy and full of life. Every time she stops by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, she’s so much fun to listen to…and she practically bounces off the screen!
(Actress–The Blind Side), (Actress–Dexter)
When I was looking at these wonderful women and trying to decide who goes where, I realized how much each made me think of the other and how I couldn’t keep them apart. So they’re tied. Sandy is a funny, talented actress and I love Jen because not only is she pretty, but she but so much emotion and heart into playing Deb Morgan. If there are any ladies on my list who deserve to share the bronze medal, it’s definitely these two.
I didn’t watch much of Heroes, but when I did, I couldn’t help noticing the fantastic Ali Larter. Blonde hair, death stare…wowza! Toward the end of the series, I didn’t think she looked all that great, so I originally put her toward the bottom of the list. This picture changed my mind. How can you not notice her?
I’m not going to describe how I feel about her, because I simply can’t. I’ll just say, “If I was bisexual or a lesbian, I’d be all over her in a heartbeat!” and leave it at that. 😉
Now don’t go getting any crazy ideas like, “I bet she thinks she’s more beautiful than Julia!” because I can tell you I don’t.
I’ve never thought I was more beautiful than anybody. When I have one of those rare days when I look in the mirror and think I look pretty, I rejoice–because despite what I’ve been told over and over again, I think I’m simply plain.
No, this is how I see the two of us:
The only difference between the square on the left and the square on the right is the one on the left is very famous and has had a long movie career. The one on the right is simply an “Average Jane” novelist who is studying to be a paralegal. That’s all.2
1 “Mishka” is my nickname for her. ♥
2 In case I have to spell it out for you, the point I’m trying to make is that, as far as looks go, I think Julia and I are both plain women and that’s all there is to it.
Or Why the Poor Quality of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation Can’t Be Blamed on James Remar
(Whew, that’s a long subtitle!)
Side Note: Yeah, I’m still upset with Jamie over the whole SAG versus AFTRA issue. And I plan to allow myself to have anger/annoyance/whatever bubbling under the surface until the votes are completely counted (sometime after March 30). But that doesn’t stop me from being a fan of his.
So a lot of reviews I’ve seen (and I mean a lot…too many to be reasonable) seem to blame James Remar for the poor quality of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. They don’t take into consideration the performances of all the other actors (especially since the vast majority of them were replaced since the first movie or were making first appearances), they don’t take into consideration the director, the writers or anyone else…they place the blame solely on Jamie’s shoulders. To the point of saying, “Damn you, James Remar…damn you to hell!” in one case. And I don’t get it. Are they that blatantly in love with Christopher Lambert that they are blinded to the faults of the entire movie (and they’re not willing to admit it), or are they seriously a bunch of dumbasses that should be disregarded?
First, let’s take a step back and look at who wrote both movies. (I’m a novelist…of course I’m going to examine the writers first!) It’s the writers’ job to tell the story, to keep the audience interested and wanting more. If there aren’t enough plot twists (or if there are too many, or if they’re obvious), if the dialogue is hackneyed or unrealistic, if there isn’t enough action, the audience is going to hate it. (And apparently hate the actors for using what they’re given. But I digress.)
Take a look at the cast and crew lists for both movies: big surprise…they were written by different people! Kevin Droney was responsible for the first movie, while Lawrence Kasanoff, Joshua Wexler and John Tobias were responsible for the story of the second movie and Brent V. Friedman and Bryce Zabel wrote the screenplay. If anything, MK2 was overwritten…too many chefs stirring the pot, or whatever the phrase is. Even if they couldn’t get Kevin Droney back for the second movie, don’t you think the script would’ve been a whole hell of a lot better with about four less writers? What’s the matter, Time Warner…don’t you trust one person to write for himself?
Second, let’s take a look at the director. The director is responsible for setting the imagery, the tone and the pacing for an entire movie. He (or she!) even controls the writers to some extent, telling them what he’s looking for in the movie, what images he has in mind, that sort of thing. Consider the difference between Quentin Tarantino and Kathryn Bigelow, for example. They both had war movies up for Best Picture at the 2009 Academy Awards, but their movies were vastly different. Kate goes for a hardcore, emotional feel, really shining her camera on the harsh realities of war; while Q prefers a lighter note, leaning on a bit of comedy and plenty of ass-kicking to keep things going.
The contrast between the work of Paul W.S. Anderson (MK1) and John R. Leonetti (MK2) is also obvious: Paul went for a darker mood, using–guess what–darkness, plenty of growled threats from Shang Tsung and the uncertainty of what Mortal Kombat was all about, while John used a lot of daylight and the messages of friendship, believing in yourself and working together. Kind of like the difference between Kate and Q, isn’t it?
As for the actors, they can only use what they’re given by the writers and the directors. Yes, some actors and actresses are so talented that they can take a poor script and really turn it around, making for a brilliant movie. But most are simply average…they take what they’re given and can’t be expected to save a movie for the life of them.
Let’s look at the dominating figures of each movie: Shang Tsung (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) and Shao Khan (Brian Thompson). As I mentioned before, Shang Tsung relies manly on growled threats to get his job done. He seems confident in his role as the Emperor’s right-hand man (er…sorcerer) and Cary conveys it not by posturing, parades or presentations, but by holding himself upright and not flinching when the mortals come to challenge him. Brian, on the other hand, has to deal with poor dialogue and flamboyance (written into the script) that is more suited to the days of jousting and courtly love, not killing mortals for the hell of it. Speaking of dumb dialogue (and I blame the writers for not thinking carefully about this), what’s up with referring to the bible? “The earth was created in six days…so, too, shall it be destroyed!” Em…we’re in a world where elemental deities rule over all and a few mortals kicking ass can decided the fate of humanity and you’re referring to the bible? Or are you trying to get us to believe that the Elder Gods created the earth in six days, just like the Christian god, and you conveniently forgot to tell us that? (There are several other things that the writers changed between movies and even from the video games, but I don’t have time to think of them or list them all.)
As for the difference between Christopher Lambert and James Remar, well, I guess it’s just a matter of personal preference. In my opinion, if Raiden is supposed to be a mortal-loving deity who would lay down his powers and divine status for the sake of humanity, he shouldn’t be relying on sarcasm and half-hearted attempts at dry wit. Jamie handled the essence of Raiden far better than Chris, right down to humbling himself at the feet of the Elder Gods. And I’m not saying that because I’m biased: I felt that James Remar was the best Raiden all the way back when I saw MK2 in theaters–twelve years before I fell in love with him.
Sometimes I just write and write and write until the words finally pour out of my pen and onto the page and I don’t let go until I’m completely soothed…
Why do I call myself a novelista? It just popped into my head one day. I think I was thinking along the lines of fashion divas being called “fashionistas” and thought I should call myself a novelista. About that time, I looked in my Spanish/English dictionary and realized that novelista actually means “novelist” in Spanish. Then I really wanted to stick with it! (Sometimes I think that I’m a Latina stuck in a white girl’s body.¹ But only sometimes. And to myself, because I don’t want to offend anyone…or embarrass myself.) Besides, a lot of people say they’re novelists…but how many say they’re novelistas?
I started writing when I was in elementary school. I can’t tell you specifically when, but I remember we were encouraged to write stories from first grade. In fourth grade, we kept writing folders and I remember saying to my teacher one day that I was so backed up that I just had to go to the library and type up some of my work. Mr. Fodor said go, so I went and typed until I was satisfied…and when I came back, writing time was over and the lesson had already started! I don’t know if he’d forgotten about me or if he left me there on purpose, but since he never said anything, I’d like to think it was the latter. That’s how you encourage a writer. Yes, getting an education is important, but allowing a budding novelist free reign with her work is so…so…gosh…I don’t have an adjective for it!
In sixth grade, I was writing really short novels/long short stories that you might as well call “star fiction”–basically, it was a lot of short works featuring the Backstreet Boys and a certain magician who will remain unnamed. I didn’t really have the feel for chapters back then. But by high school, I finished my first manuscript. My chapters still had a long way to go (as did the writing itself…I posted some of it on fanfiction.net and eleven years later, it seems atrocious), but it was a start.
Since high school, I’ve written, oh…oodles of fan fiction, started hoards of novels (most/all of which I intend to write someday) and finished only. one. novel. (So much for getting a nationally released novel done by the end of high school!)
My sole novel, Meet Ophelia is limited release because…well…it’s nothing more than glorified fan fiction.
In a long story I’ve told way too many times, I was invited to be in Spider-Man 3, but fired before I even had a contract, because I had no experience. (Like I said, long story.) But they created a character, named her and gave a bit of a background. And…well…I’m a writer. I can’t leave a good story concept alone. So after seven years of doing everything but write Meet Ophelia (primarily fan fiction, with some other novel attempts thrown in), I finally finished the rough draft on December 20, 2009. (Easy to remember…it was my mom’s birthday and I completed the second epilogue at her party!)
After two more drafts (both in 2010), I wrote two letters to Marvel in hopes that I could get just enough of a copyright variance to get the book published at a national level (I only used a few canon characters), but I never heard back. (Kind of a shame, though, because I was hoping they’d pick it up and publish it themselves…even if they didn’t agree to make a movie out of it.) A few weeks ago, once of my 1C1Rs² said, “Did you send it certified or registered?” No. I stopped caring about trying to get Marvel to see things my way about a month after I sent out the second letter. The excuse I gave Bob was that I didn’t think it was my best work, but honestly, I think my letters got lost at the bottom of a slush pile and I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever persuading anyone at Marvel to dig them out. (I secretly hope that once I become famous via some other novel down the road, I can convince them to take a look at the manuscript. Maybe then I can publish Meet Ophelia for all the world to read.)
I started writing Breathless last summer and finished chapter fourteen of the first draft earlier this evening. I’d probably be further along by now if I hadn’t kept losing interest. I have Stephen King to thank for getting me back on track, though…I received Full Dark, No Stars for Yule and as soon as I finished it, I thought, “I have to go back to Breathless!” (Except for a few detours in which I messed with ideas for future books and wrote a bit on a Dexter fanfic piece that I’ve been nursing since before the end of season four, it’s been a straight shot.)
This one is a Román a clef and I always hesitate to be specific on who it involves, as I’m worried that when it finally comes out, I’m going to be in heap big trouble. So I’m only going to say this once. And remember: I’m only as malicious/psychotic/insert-negative-adjective-here as you think I am.
I had this crazy ass idea that I should take David Carradine’s death, make it be a real and proven murder…and then keep killing off his family. (Yeah, there’s a lot more to it, but that’s the short version.) So that’s what I’m writing…only a lot more convoluted than that, and told from a perspective outside the family. I love it, I really do…I just hope he would have approved. (Or approves in the present tense, if you believe that he has some comprehension of mortal affairs from his position on the Other Side.)
Okay…to bed. Tomorrow’s another day to write…and my bed is one of my favorite brainstorming places. 😉
¹ To be truthful, I firmly believe that I had at least one previous lifetime in Spain, and have since I was in high school. So I’m sure that’s part of it.
² My shorthand for “first cousin, once removed”.