Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

December 16, 2013 at 10:04am

Nerd Alert!: Pants Party, pachyrhinosaurs, hidden Keanu, Canadian punks and more ...

Baxter, is that you? Baxter! Bark twice if you’re in the South Sound.

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O Smaug the Stupendous, this is Nerd Alert, the Weekly Volcano's recurring events calendar devoted to all things nerdy. I myself am a Star Wars fan, mathlete, and spelling bee champion of long standing, so trust me: I grok whereof I speak.

Remember how a few weeks ago, the geek schedule was so bare we had to break in with a gift guide? There was literally nothing of interest going on that we hadn't already told you about. That's because entertainment conglomerates prefer to bunch all their genre properties around the same three holidays: Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Christmas. Ergo, a whole passel of Oscar hopefuls cluster around Christmas. That's true in spades this year, as if you weren't already trying to catch up on 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Ender's Game, Frozen, Gravity, Her (Dec. 18), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Saving Mr. Banks and Thor: The Dark World, each still in theaters, and each worth your time. In fact, as you read this, you're probably waiting in line for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Good news? That movie's even longer than the line to get in.

FRIDAY, DEC. 20

News team ... assemble! That's right, Wednesday brings the long-anticipated return of San Diego's conquering hero, Ron Burgundy, along with Veronica Corningstone, Brian Fantana, Champ Kind, Brick "I love lamp" Tamland, and a raft of supporting cameos. How much do I love the first Anchorman? Let's just say I wear Sex Panther on special occasions, milady. It stings the nostrils! So I'll be first in line for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, and it's a sign of the unshakability of my marriage that my co-anchor Amanda will be there by my side - despite the fact that there's no empirical evidence any woman has ever laughed at Anchorman. I don't know how that works. I'll be honest: I don't think anyone knows. Whammy!

If your significant other isn't as amenable to comic greatness as mine is, you could send him/her and the kids to Walking with Dinosaurs - which is basically Disney's Dinosaur from 2000 all over again, except this time the CGI's a little better and the dinos are pachyrhinosaurs instead of iguanodons. (So yeah, if you had "pachyrhinosaurus" in your office poll, a winner is you.) Two big strikes against natural history here: the reptiles in this film can talk, and they probably won't eat a lawyer off a toilet. Come on, Disney, it's not like you don't have corporate lawyers to spare!

MONDAY, DEC. 23

Between all these movie-watching excursions, be sure to catch the free community sing-along of Handel's Messiah. It's incredibly moving and a highlight of Oly's holiday season. "For unto us a Child is bo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-orn!" I think there are actually about 17 more O's. 7 p.m., Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, free to sing (scores $10), 360.352.1438

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 25

Ho ho ho, it looks like Santa brought you a crouching tiger, hidden Keanu. Christmas Day brings that festive gumdrop, 47 Ronin, in which our Hawaiian-Canadian hero (born in Beirut) and, I'm guessing, 46 sans-shogun samurai square off against Asiatic monsters and the memory of countless superior wu xia films. It's based on what's been called the "national legend" of Japan, Shi-ju-shichi-shi, so at least it has that going for it ... well, that, and Keanu "Wyld Stallyns" Reeves. So yeah, have fun with that, Japan. (To be fair, I said the same thing about The Matrix, which turned out to be awesome. Good thing they never made unwatchable sequels to that, am I right?!)

James Thurber fans, represent! The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, also released Christmas Day, is actor-director Ben Stiller's reimagining of the classic Thurber tale about an ordinary schnook who daydreams of greatness. It features Sean Penn, Kristen Wiig, and - tell me this doesn't foretell comedy magnificence - Patton Oswalt as an eHarmony customer service rep. I love the trailers, but at time of writing RottenTomatoes.com has Mitty at a cringe-inducing 38 percent. Ouch. Bah, humbug.

The Wolf of Wall Street is Martin Scorsese's black-comic biopic of stock market manipulator Jordan Belfort. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey and the rack of fake teeth crammed into the mouth of Jonah Hill. For what it's worth, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone says it's the third-best movie of 2013, behind Gravity and that movie about slavery you couldn't coax yourself into seeing. Shame on you! And me.

Finally, August: Osage County is a star-studded adaptation of Tracy Letts's riveting play, and some Canadian punk's tagging cities around the world in Justin Bieber's Believe. Note the apostrophe-S in the title, friends. He owns that word now. It's true. Just by typing it, I owe him 30 bucks.

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and may you go back to your home on Whore Island. You're a real hooker. I'm gonna slap you in public.

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