Friday, September 29, 2017

The Bookish Box: Stranger Things Review

Hello, all!

If my last post wasn't indication enough, I love myself a subscription box. I also love Stranger Things, so when I saw a post on Instagram about a company doing a whole themed box around the Netflix show, I knew I just had to get it.

Let's get into it!

The first thing I pulled out was this Eleven's Waffles candle by Whiskey Diamond Candle Co. Naturally, it smells just like a stack of waffles doused in maple syrup. It also has a cute cassette tape charm bracelet as well as the alphabet and string lights Joyce uses to communicate with Will in the Upside Down. I have to admit, I wasn't too psyched on this only because I'm not a fan of the smell of maple, but the candle itself is really nice.

I may not be a fan of maple, but I am a fan of patches and this one was right up my alley. The patch is by Two Ghouls Press (which is also one of my favorite shops for patches/pins, by the way) and reminds me of old school traditional tattoos and I'm all about it. Justice for Barb, always. She deserved better.

Ohhhhhh, maaaaaaaaaaan. I was hyped on this Eleven print by Davis Ride Prints. Again, I'm totally into traditional tattoo flash style artwork and Eleven is just so badass. This was definitely my favorite thing in the whole box and I can't wait to frame it and hang it on my wall.

Next up was this tumbler designed by the Bookish Shop featuring the oh so relatable quote from Chief Hopper. I was really impressed with the quality of this tumbler; it's a decent size and a nice sturdy ceramic. It has one of those lids that you just push down into place, and usually those make me really nervous because I've had my fair share of hot beverages down the front of the shirt when the lids aren't fully closed, but this one seems like it may not have any issues (fingers crossed.)

Lastly, was this shirt again designed by the Bookish Shop including a sort of quote by Dustin. I say sort of because the quote is wrong-- he says "locked" rather than "unlocked." I thought maybe it was a misprint, so I reached out to the company but they say that it was intentional and something to do with their take on the Upside Down. I don't like it. I don't remember seeing anything in the promotions of this box that stated they were going to be misprinting anything, and there wasn't a disclaimer or anything in the box to let you know the shirt is intentionally wrong, so I really didn't get it. Call me crazy, but I don't like wearing things if they're wrong, so this isn't something I'll be using.

I had really high hopes for this box, but when I received it, it just left me kinda meh. That's not to say that I didn't like the items, in fact I did love 3 out of the 5 products in the box, it's just the candle and the shirt aren't really my taste. But you better believe I'll be curled up with that tumbler binging the whole second season when it comes back to Netflix next month.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Owl Crate September Review

Hello, all!

So a few months ago, I started getting the Owl Crate subscription box, and I have to say I haven't been disappointed yet. I love the idea of getting a book delivered to my door every month and all the little extra bits that they give as well are always so fun to see.

This month's box was Mythical Creatures themed and I was just all about it. I've been obsessed with myths and legends ever since I was young, so I was definitely interested in what they were going to send. So, let's get to it!

The first thing I pulled out was this little tub of bath salts by The Soap Librarian called Son of Poseidon, based off the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan. Greek mythology has always been my favorite, and I've been such a fan of the Percy Jackson books (and really all of Riordan's books) since they came out, so needless to say I was pretty pumped on getting something related to it. It has a really lovely bright blue color with dried up flower pieces inside, along with a nice calm, relaxing scent which isn't too overpowering so I'm excited to try this little baby out.

Next up was this cute little coin purse with dragons on it. Now, I'm one of those people who keep a crap ton of things in their bag each in their own little bag, so this is perfect for me. It's not terribly big, so you wouldn't really be able to fit larger items in it, but it's pretty dang adorable.

Sticking with the dragon theme, and quite possibly my favorite thing in the whole box, was this wooden bookmark with the Mother of Dragons herself, Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones and her three little (who aren't so little in the show anymore) dragon babies. The artwork is beautiful and the bookmark itself is really high quality, and I just love it.

You can't have a mythical creatures theme without having the Care of Magical Creatures professor himself, Mr. Rubeus Hagrid and his ol'pal Buckbeak. How freakin' cute is this sticker?! Harry Potter is forever my Number 1 and I'm so happy about this.

The last little extra in the box was this book sleeve created by Book Beau that has this lovely little unicorn/mermaid/flower/bird print on it, which for some reason reminds me of the '70s, but I think it's just the color scheme. I had never heard of this company before, and to be honest, when I read "book sleeve" all I could picture was those little stretchy fabrics everyone used to put over their textbooks in middle school, but this is way nicer than I pictured. I like the idea of putting a book into this so it doesn't get ruined in your bag or anywhere, so I'm a bit intrigued by this one.

Now onto this month's book!

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows is a story about a girl named Mira who is very well known in her kingdom not just for being the most beautiful, but because she was the namesake for a peace treaty which united the seven islands against their common foe. She's always been told that she's perfect and special, but she suffers from compulsive counting and crippling anxiety and has an affinity for dragons. Mira uncovers a massive secret about the treaty and is betrayed by those closest to her, and sentenced to the Pit which is the deadliest prison on the Fallen Isles. With a prison guard ready to kill her for the information she knows, Mira must learn to survive on her own and learn the truth about her home before everything collapses.

I'm really excited for this book. I love fantasy, I love dragons, and like many others, I also suffer from anxiety, so I'm super interested to see how this story will play out. Has anyone read it yet? If so, lemme know what you thought!

Friday, September 15, 2017

IT Review

Hello, all!

Last night I saw the new IT movie and I have to admit, it was actually a lot better than I thought it was going to be.

For any of those who aren’t familiar with the Stephen King novel, it’s a story about seven kids (known as the Losers Club) who are tormented by a being who preys on its victims by exploiting and feeding off their fears. In this case the being “It” usually takes on the form of a clown, in order to attract young children. The novel is told in two different time periods; the first takes place during 1957-1958 when the Losers are young kids and the second part jumps 27 years to 1984-1985 when they're adults.

Even though the film tweaks the year (it now starts in October 1988), the story still kicks off in Derry, Maine with the gruesome death of Bill’s younger brother, Georgie. While outside during a rainstorm, Georgie starts chasing a paper boat that Bill made him and it eventually gets washed down a storm drain. As he’s looking into the drain, he sees two glowing eyes and a man dressed as a clown introduces himself as “Pennywise the Dancing Clown.” The clown offers Georgie a balloon and as Georgie starts to leave Pennywise offers him his boat back and when he reaches for it, Pennywise severs his arm and drags him into the sewer.

Jump to eight months later in June 1989, Bill is still reeling from Georgie’s disappearance and believes that if Georgie was sucked down the storm drain then his body may have washed up in the wasteland called The Barrens. He recruits his friends Richie, Eddie and Stanley to help him check it out, but while they don’t find anything of Georgie, they do find a shoe that belongs to another missing girl from town. While this is going on, we also see the new kid in town Ben reading up on the history of Derry and discovers the town has been plagued by unexplained tragedies and missing children for centuries, each incident happening every 27 years. After experiencing a Pennywise-induced scare at the library, Ben flees and gets caught by the town menace, the mullet-having psycho Henry and his equally charming gang of miscreants. He’s able to get away, but not before Henry carves an “H” into his stomach, and he stumbles upon Bill and his group who rush to help him. While getting medical supplies to try and help Ben, the gang run into Beverly who helps them steal the items since they don’t have enough money, and they each go their separate ways with plans to meet up the next day. The following day, they find Henry and his goons tormenting a homeschooled boy named Mike, and intervene by throwing rocks at them. And thus, the Losers Club has its final member.

A few weeks later, after each kid has had a terrifying run in with Pennywise, they all start to realize something is going on in town and they’re the only ones who are able to stop it. Thanks to all the information Ben dug up, they’re able to determine It uses the sewers around town to move about and that the epicenter of everything is, of course, an old busted down house with a well in the basement. So, the gang go there to confront It and in the process Eddie breaks his arm, but Beverly is able to hurt It by impaling it through the head, forcing it to retreat. This incident causes a rift between the group and they all go their separate ways. However, the group is forced back together on a rescue mission after Pennywise abducts Beverly. The boys go down the well in search of Beverly and find her floating (cue Pennywise/Georgie screaming “You'll float too!”) in a catatonic state in It’s lair, but she is brought back after being kissed by Ben. It, assuming the form of Georgie, tries to trick Bill but fails and Bill shoots him in the head. This leads to It attacking the whole gang, eventually taking Bill hostage offering freedom for the rest as long as they leave Bill with him. After some wise cracking by Ritchie (“Welcome to the Losers Club, asshole!”), the gang frees Bill and begin to beat the ever lovin’ crud outta Pennywise. Despite It trying to use the groups fears against them, Pennywise is ultimately wounded and cornered by the Losers. Bill tells Pennywise that they know It needs their fears to survive, but now they’re starving it by making It afraid of them. Knowing he’s defeated and holds no power over the kids anymore, Pennywise escapes into a deep pit. After It leaves, Bill finds Georgie’s tattered raincoat and breaks down as he finally comes to terms with what happened to his little brother. A month later, Beverly recounts what she can remember from her time being catatonic, and tells them she saw them all fighting It again but this time as adults. The Losers then make a blood pact to return to Derry in 27 years if It returns and destroy the creature for good. 

All in all, I was impressed with the film. I thought it had a really nice balance of horror and humor and the kids absolutely made the movie. All the kids crushed it, they were all just so good. Especially Finn Wolfhard, he was perfect as Ritchie and had me laughing pretty much every time he opened his mouth. I don’t know if anyone can top Tim Curry in anything, but Bill Skarsgard does a top notch job as Pennywise and he somehow made Goofy’s hot dog dance something I will never be able to look at the same way ever again. I can’t wait for the next for the next chapter to come out.

Has anything seen it? What’d you think? Lemme know!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Top 5: Batman: The Animated Series Episodes

Hello, all!

Earlier in the week, one of my favorite cartoons from when I was younger turned 25. That's right, folks, Batman: The Animated Series is now old enough to rent a car.

Now, I may get flack for this, but I've always thought that out of all the comic related animated shows in the 90s, B: TAS was far superior. Yeah, X-Men was good and TMNT was fun, but to me, nothing compared to Batman. The animation itself is still some of the best around, the art-deco noir style really meshed well with the theme of the Dark Knight. Bruce Timm is just a genius. Even though it was a cartoon, it was still a pretty mature portrayal of the story and Kevin Conroy just knocks it outta the park as Bruce Wayne.

So in honor of the Dark Knight, here are five of my favorite episodes from the series. Enjoy!

1. Joker's Favor: This episode really goes to show how one tiny moment can ruin your whole life. It also showcases just how sadistic the Joker can be. While driving, the Joker gets cut off by just your run of the mill average guy named Charlie Collins, which then leads into a pretty dangerous cat and mouse car chase and the Joker eventually lets Charlie off as long as he promises to do a favor for him which the Joker can cash in on whenever he wants. The episode jumps two years and we see Charlie has a whole new life, new name, lives in a new town but not even that can stop the Joker from tracking him down and redeeming his favor, basically pushing poor Charlie to his psychological limits. This episode also introduces Harley Quinn for the first time, and everyone knows she's my favorite Batman character.

2. Almost Got 'Im: This episode always reminded me of those paintings that were in every home in the 90s of the dogs playing Poker at a card table. Except in this case, in lieu of dogs it was a who's who of Batman's Rogue gallery. As Joker, Poison Ivy, Penguin, Two-Face and Killer Croc play cards, they all try to one up each other on who has the best story about the time they almost got one over on the Bat. It's weirdly touching to see them all reminiscing like some crazy little family and it sort of makes you realize that none of them would be here if it wasn't for Batman.

3. Harley and Ivy: Like ice cream and sprinkles, peanut butter and chocolate, Harley and Poison Ivy just go together. After getting ditched by the Joker, Harley joins up with her BFF and set out to become Gotham's Queens of Crime. It was a fun episode if nothing else and pretty much help lay the groundwork for Gotham City Sirens, and definitely goes to show that a bunch of girls kicking ass is just what everyone needs to see.

4. Two-Face: Harvey Dent's whole progression into Two-Face and all his madness has been told over and over throughout the years and by various different artists, but I don't think anyone does it better than Bruce Timm. When I think of Two-Face, the first thing that pops into my head is his portrayal on B:TAS. It's so iconic. And I love how the show broke down his story into two different episodes, a very Jekyll and Mr. Hyde vibe. Tommy Lee Jones, eat ya heart out.

5. Heart of Ice: Now, I'm sure when you think of Mr. Freeze, the first thing that comes to your mind is Arnold Schwarzenegger making ice puns, but this brought a whole new facet to the frosty character. Here you saw Victor Fries as a pitiful man who had no choice but to turn to a life of crime in order to save his terminally ill wife. His actions eventually lead to not only the death of his wife, but leaves him unable to exist outside sub-zero temperatures. It almost makes you feel sad for the character, and it really goes to show how ahead of the game B:TAS was, especially for being a kids show.

There were so many other great episodes throughout the series, I had such a hard time choosing only 5. What were some of your favorite episodes? Lemme know!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Jim Henson Exhibition

Hello, all!

So, yesterday I went to probably one of the best museum exhibits I've ever seen: the Jim Henson Exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image, and it was ahhhmazing.

Ever since I was young, the Muppets have been a huge part of my life. Whether I was happy, sad, sick, or just needed to throw a film on, it was always the Muppets. Still to this day nothing makes me happier than a Muppets movie. I watch The Muppets Christmas Carol pretty much every day during the holiday season, can quote along with Muppet Treasure Island, and nothing puts me in a better mood quicker than The Muppets Show theme song. Basically, if it has to do with the Muppets/Jim Henson, I'm sold.

A friend of mine had posted about this exhibition and I knew I just had to go see it. Aside from everyone's favorites like Kermit, Miss Piggy, Big Bird and the like, there were also puppets from Fraggle Rock and animatronics from The Dark Crystal, as well as costumes from Labyrinth and loads of behind the scenes scripts and designs showcasing how Jim Henson and company brought everything to life.

All the details that went in to not only the Muppets themselves, but in the costuming and sets were amazing to see, and all the pictures and videos lining the walls were such a nice touch and it was lovely to see just how much joy all the performers had while doing their job. It didn't even look like they were working, they just were having fun.

If anyone's in the New York area and are fans of the Muppets, this is one exhibit you have to see. It's currently on going at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens-- you can get all the information on their website here. They also have an arcade and old TV/film camera exhibits as well as some really cool movie props on display as well!

And now without an further ado, here are some pictures from the exhibit. Enjoy!