Posted in Monday Mayhem

Classic Films Zombie Style III

Jurassic Zombieland, Star Wars: Attack of the Zombies, Zombies of the Lost Ark, Zombienator XVII, Planet of the Zombies, and Close Encounters of the Undead Kind are all movies I’d love to see in the theater. The problem is no one’s made them—yet. But wouldn’t it be nice?

Alien vs. Zombie
Alien vs. Zombie

Classic Films Zombie Style has become a fun feature for Monday Mayhem. You can read the other parts to this series here: I & II.

How does it work? Well, I pick a film everyone ought to recognize, then I add a few zombies, amp up the violence, throw in a generous splattering of gore and voilà, you have yourself a zombie classic. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

Let’s see what Part Three of this series holds for us adventurous hunters of the undead.

Alien vs. Zombie—A meteor crashes into the arctic shelf triggering seismic activity in the region. A group of scientists travels to the North Pole to investigate the source of the earthquake. When the scientists arrive, they find an abandoned town and underneath it, a tunnel leading to the center of a complex maze. Inside the labyrinth, acid-blood pumping aliens sent to complete a mission, pick off the scientists one by one. But humans are not the aliens’ target. Humans are in the way. The aliens’ target appears from the sides and attacks the humans, transforming them into the enemy—zombie. Time to break out the popcorn; this is going to be a heck of a mess to clean up.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Zombies—After failing to heed warnings not to return to Hogwarts, Harry, Ron and Hermione investigate a series of attacks directed at the school administration and students. A brutal trail of body parts leads the trio to an underground chamber where they discover a horde of zombies has made it their home. The discovery propels the kids on a quest to secure the chamber and deal with the undead themselves. But in the midst of the Avada Kedavra killing curse, one of the zombies escapes and bites Harmione on the wrist. Faced with the inevitable loss of their friend to the undead, Harry and Ron have to decide the fate of Harmione. Will she become one of the crowds or will Harry have enough time to save her?

Die Hard Zombie—The Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles becomes the scene of a zombie apocalypse. The undead have taken over and floor by floor, they hunt for humans to satisfy their insatiable appetite. Trapped among the potential victims is John McClane, a New York cop with the knack of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. His wife Holly needs his help. He has to get to the horde from the top of the tower before the horde gets to his wife. Time is running out and his only weapon is a clip away from being empty. If he doesn’t save her, he might as well ring the zombie dinner bell himself. Will he make it?

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale October 21.

What movies would you like to see rebooted zombie style?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Wyldstyle

I grew up with LEGO. I love LEGO. Can I make it any plainer? Now that I’m older, and maybe somewhat wiser, I play the LEGO video games. Yes, I’ve played them all. The incomplete list includes Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars, and Batman. I say incomplete because if I were to list them all, we’d be here all day. Thank me for sparing you the inconvenience of my prattling on to infinity and beyond.

The LEGO Movie's Wyldstyle
The LEGO Movie’s Wyldstyle

All right, enough with the introductions. This week’s Women Who Wow Wednesday focuses on Wyldstyle, the female character extraordinaire featured in The LEGO Movie. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil the movie if you haven’t seen it. Know this, though, I’m a massive LEGO fan, hence, keeping tightlipped about the movie may prove to be a challenge for me. Nevertheless, I will not spoil it. I promise.

Where do I start? It’s an awesome movie. How’s that for a beginning? Really, it’s that good. I dare the skeptics to prove me wrong. The story’s awesome, the characters are awesome and it’s hilariously awesome (you didn’t think I’d pass up another opportunity to use the word awesome again, did you?)

Wyldstyle's funky hairstyle
Wyldstyle’s funky hairstyle

Let’s talk Wyldstyle. Who is she? What does she do? In a quick summary, she’s one of the movie’s lead characters with a funky hairstyle. When I mean funky, I mean two streaks, magenta and cyan running across her bangs that fall just above her right eyebrow, and a cool ponytail dancing from the left side of her head. What’s more? She sports the darkest hair and leathers that would stop a construction worker in mid thought.

Wyldstyle rocks the house
Wyldstyle rocks the house

There’s more to her, a lot more. She sees the potential in a situation without getting excited about it—understatement. Actually, when she finds something that works, she’ll keep at it until she exhausts every available means at her disposal to make things right.

Wyldstyle is headstrong, confident and never minces words whenever she’s in a tight spot with guns blazing overhead. She’s a true friend as well, keeping a confidence and being honest with whomever she meets. If an idea seems bad, she’ll say it’s a bad idea. She doesn’t hold back and she doesn’t hide her feelings like other tough girls. If she sees it, she says it.

Overall, Wyldstyle has her issues, like not following instructions, but if anyone were looking for a best friend, she fits the role to perfection.

If you haven’t caught her at the theater in The LEGO Movie yet, now’s your chance. Have at it and prepare to laugh like never before.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, now on sale.

Have you seen The LEGO Movie yet? What did you think of it and Wyldstyle?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Anniversary Week—Part II

Yesterday, December 17th, was the one-year anniversary when Jack Flacco: The Official Site went live. In celebration of this milestone, I will present the Top 5 Most Popular Women Who Wow Wednesday posts of 2013.

First, I would like to thank all the folks who took the opportunity to visit my site this year. I have to say, you’ve flattered me by all the attention you’ve shown me. If you’re interested to see how much attention this site received, check out this week’s Monday Mayhem post for the 2013 stats of views and visitors.

Moving along. When choosing the Top 5 Most Popular Women Who Wow Wednesday posts, I first wanted to present them based on amount of views. The more I thought of it though, more it didn’t make sense. For instance, a visitor may pop into the site and hit the same post several times within the day. I didn’t think it fair, considering there could have only been two visitors for that day and a hundred views.

Next, I thought I’d use comments as the benchmark. You know, the more comments a post has, the more popular it is. Again, I didn’t think it represented a good way to measure popularity given I can comment on my own post a dozen times and push it ahead on the popularity scale.

No, what I used is the number of “likes” a post has garnered throughout the year. It will not only present a fair representation of popularity for a post but also prevents users from gaming the system with multiple “likes”.

Okay, let’s get to list.

The Top 5 Most Popular Women Who Wow Wednesday posts of 2013:

  1. Hermione Granger
    Hermione Granger

    Hermione Granger“As the precocious, young witch in the magical world of Harry Potter, it doesn’t seem fitting to include Hermione Granger in my Women Who Wow Wednesday series. However, once we see what she accomplishes when she flees the troll in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, we can safely cast aside all those biases…” ~70 likes

  2. Natalie Portman as Mathilda
    Natalie Portman as Mathilda

    Mathilda“Last week, for my Women Who Wow Wednesday series, I wrote about The Bride, Quentin Tarantino’s blitzkrieg. This week, I’m concentrating on Mathilda, Luc Besson’s hitgirl—raw steal for nerves and a tummy made of iron. When Natalie Hershlag auditioned for the part of Mathilda in the movie Léon: The Professional, everyone had fallen off their…” ~64 likes

  3. Underworld's Selene
    Underworld’s Selene

    Selene“What better way to kick off today’s Women Who Wow Wednesday post than with a kick ass, female Death Dealer. I like vampires. Well, I like vampire movies, not vampires per se. Otherwise that would make me weird. Then again, I do love zombies, so that makes me weird enough. But I like a good…” ~57 likes

  4. Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode
    Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode

    Laurie Strode“For those unfamiliar with the Halloween franchise, one cannot say the name Laurie Strode without saying Michael Myers in the same breath. One, the protagonist. The other, über-antagonist. Women Who Wow Wednesday continues with horror’s scream queen Laurie Strode. When Jamie Lee Curtis accepted the role of Laurie Strode in the 1978 horror classic Halloween…” ~54 likes

  5. Princess Leia Organa
    Princess Leia Organa

    Princess Leia“Erupting from the screen for the very first time, Princess Leia Organa confronted the evil Darth Vader head on. With a determined resolve, she fights to the last until captured. Women Who Wow Wednesday wouldn’t be the same if I’d never written about the courageous Star Wars damsel. I love Princess Leia. She was one…” ~53 likes

Come back Friday when I reveal the Top 5 Most Popular Freedom Friday posts of 2013. Don’t miss it!

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, now on sale.

Do you have a favorite Women Who Wow Wednesday post you’d recommend to your friends?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Hermione Granger

As the precocious, young witch in the magical world of Harry Potter, it doesn’t seem fitting to include Hermione Granger in my Women Who Wow Wednesday series. However, once we see what she accomplishes when she flees the troll in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, we can safely cast aside all those biases.

Hermione Granger
Hermione Granger

J.K. Rowling, author of the best-selling Harry Potter series, once said Hermione Granger “is an exaggeration of how I was when I was younger.” Described as a little know-it-all in her younger days, Rowling’s own rags-to-riches story inspires. In a short five-year period, Rowling went from state welfare to becoming a multi-millionaire. Forbes honored Rowling in 2004 as the first author to achieve a billionaire status. With over 400 million books sold, $160 Million in charitable donations, Rowling certainly has come a long way from those days when “she was a broke single mother, in poor accommodations, at a time of high unemployment.”

Although not poor, Hermione was born a Muggle, which translates to someone who has magical abilities but without magical blood. Her parents are dentists. When she arrives at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, she demonstrates her arrogance to her peers by criticizing other students’ incantations. Ron Weasley’s levitation charm immediately falls into her crosshairs. The other students, including Harry Potter, do not take kindly to her know-it-all attitude.

Hermione Granger: Defender of Good
Hermione Granger: Defender of Good

It isn’t until a troll traps Hermione in a washroom that her true nature comes alive. Cowering in a corner as the troll delivers one blow after another to stalls and basins, Ron and Harry appear without a clue of what to do. The troll grabs Harry by the leg and swings, missing him several times. Ron needs to do something. His levitation charm comes to mind. Still unsure how to cast it, Hermione directs Ron, “swish and flick.” And that’s what he does with his wand, swish and flick, “Wingardium Leviosa.” The club the troll uses to destroy suddenly levitates to the ceiling. It floats there for a while until it comes crashing on to the troll’s pea-brain head.

When Professors Severus Snape and Minerva McGonagall show up horrified at the sight of the troll on the floor and the catastrophic condition of the washroom, they’re ready to place blame. Hermione jumps in to take full responsibility for all damages. That is, she utters a small fib to cover for her friends, Ron and Harry. From that moment forward, Ron, Harry, and Hermione remain inseparable.

While Hermione may not appear as a gun-toting super girl, her numerous swish and flick episodes make her a feared opponent. Even to a whimpering Draco Malfoy, who she once held against a tree with her wand pointed directly at his face. Hermione does not tolerate bullying.

Hermione Granger Vs. Draco Malfoy
Hermione Granger Vs. Draco Malfoy

From her strong friendships with Ron and Harry to her casting of protective spells, Hermione proves what a defender of good truly is.

What do you like about Hermione? If you’ve read Harry Potter, do you see a difference in character between the Hermione of the books to the movies?

Posted in Freedom Friday

Games I Loved Playing

I’m an avid game player. I thought for Freedom Friday I’d treat you all to some of my favorite games of all time.

Monopoly - The Canadian Edition
Monopoly – The Canadian Edition

When I talk about games, I’m talking about video games. I enjoy playing the good board game with my kids and others, like The Game of Life, Monopoly and chess. But I get personal satisfaction when I vanquish invading Martians attempting to colonize earth in a no holds barred slugfest for my PSP.

Not that there’s anything wrong with loving our family game nights when we play a good round of Risk with ample snacks and drinks to carry us through the night!

Nonetheless, here are my über-favorite video games I’ve played over the course of my life. Maybe you might recognize some, maybe not.

Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64

Super Mario 64: Doesn’t Mario ever die? You know it’s rather awesome walking into my local Best Buy store and talking with the employees who grew up with Mario. “I love the part where I hit the block over the head and all the coins come out, one after another.” Yeah, it’s those scintillating conversations that make my trip to my nearest retailer something to look forward to. I mean, really. Hasn’t anyone not heard of Mario? I remember playing this game thinking, wow, I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of this. The game features bright, primary colors. The reds, greens and blues flood the screen, giving the gamer a wonderful and immersive experience. Boy, I wish I had kept the old Nintendo 64 console.

Donkey Kong 64
Donkey Kong 64

Donkey Kong 64: This is another one of those Nintendo 64 games that kept me entertained for hours. It belonged to my older son, but I played tons of it late night, into the weekend. I enjoyed racing through the quests and grabbing keys along the way. My favorite part was to change into the various apes to perform feats of wonder and magic (actually, a player couldn’t get to a particular part of the map without transforming into one of the apes with special abilities). This game truly caused me insomnia.

Duke Nukem 3D: How can I describe this game as anything short of “action game crack”? It was the first game that featured a rich 3D environment in a cartoon-like setting. The storyline was over-the-top, the characters—lovable, and Duke’s quotes—hilarious. Here’s one of my favorite lines in any game, ever…

“Time to kick ass and chew bubble gum. And I’m all outta gum.”

Duke’s a gun-toting, muscle man is reminiscent of Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator characters. I’ll never forget playing multi-player for the very first time with this game. One of my friends had his place wired with networked computers and we wailed on each other, flying through the levels in hysterics after killing off one of our opponents. Fun times!

SimCity 2000: Well, included in this, is any SimCity game, really. But I can’t tell you how much time I’d wasted building the absolute perfect city. Balancing residential, commercial and industrial zones to achieve that all-so-glorious-and-mighty, top mayor score. I still have screenshots of my cities I’ll peruse occasionally, admiring my handiwork. And of course, being the responsible player I was, I never let hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or alien invasion harm my cities. Or did I?

FIFA 10: I have almost all the FIFA Soccer games. I began playing them on the PC then moved to my PSP. I think FIFA 10 had the right balance between game play, music, aesthetics and sheer fun. I burned through all the tournaments, creating my own player and training him to score at will. I’d gotten so good on the hardest level that I think even the goalies were afraid of my Frankenstein monsters I’d created!

LEGO Batman
LEGO Batman

LEGO Batman, Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Harry Potter: I’ve played them all. Completed each level. Collected all the bonuses. And found all the secrets. These games are awesome. I have yet to play some of the newer titles, but I’m sure I’ll get to them soon. The wonderful part about these games are the puzzles. I loved working through a level a few times to see if I could find every item. Most of all, I adored, yes, adored having the ability to play the various levels as different characters. This is what makes these LEGO games so addictive (not to mention blasting away anything into a big pile of collectable bricks).

Do you have any games you like playing to pass the time? What platform do you use to play your games (ie. phone, tablet, laptop)?