For Your Inspiration: Star Wars as an 80s School Flick

Sketch artist Denis Medry, otherwise known as DenisM79 of deviantART fame, has tickled my creative funny bone today. He is a talented illustrator who puts his skills to good use by redesigning popular characters. His deviantART gallery is full of steampunk, western, 70s, rockabilly and other redesigns of everyone from Batman to Boba Fett.

Speaking of Boba Fett, the endearing series of drawings that has landed Mr. Medry on Nine to Phive today is a reinterpretation of the original Star Wars trilogy as an 80s high school blockbuster. It’s as if A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi had a group wedding with Ferris Beuler’s Day Off, Sixteen Candles, and The Breakfast Club and then all moved into the same apartment complex and raised their beautiful kids together!

Luke and Leia

Han and Chewie

Threepio and Artoo

Vader, Boba Fett, and a Storm Trooper

 The Evil Emperor, Yoda, Lando, and more after the jump!

The Emporor, Jaba, and Grand Moff Tarkin

Lando and Greedo

Yoda and Obi-Wan

Not only are some of the resemblances uncanny, but the subtle ways in which Medry transforms the characters’ distinguishing features into 80s fashion statements kind of blows my mind. Of course Leia’s obnoxious cinnamon-bun hairdo would easily translate into a set of huge headphones. Greedo’s alien sailfin on his head as a green mohawk? Why didn’t I think of that?!

Check out Medry’s other works on his deviantART page.

The Avengers’ Glorious Gag Reel

As a film fan and dabbling filmmaker, I can’t get enough of gag reels. That peek into the world of wonder behind the cameras of today’s greatest cinematic hits feeds my fantasies about what it must have been like to walk among those screen gods and goddesses and be considered as a peer, a coworker, a brother in arms, somebody who dared to laugh when they messed up a perfectly good kissing scene. I fully and whole-heartedly justify the extra expenditure involved in editing and releasing footage never intended for use in the film just to provide dreamers such as myself with this glimpse–even in the cases of animated films like Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., and A Bug’s Life which involved scripting completely fictional bloopers which then needed to be recorded by voice talent and animated in post production undoubtedly adding thousands of dollars to the project’s budget.

Yeah, I’m gaga for gag reels.

Imagine my delight when the summer blockbuster of the century, none other than Marvel’s The Avengers, released it’s very own gaga reel yesterday! You’ll have to excuse the absence of Travel Tuesday (again), but this is a GAG REEL we’re talking about.

My apologies in advance if this embedded video becomes invalid due to copyright infringement some time in the near future.

My Top 10 Thoughts Upon Stopping to Reflect on This Gag Reel:

10. Jeremy Renner has an evil laugh.
9. Mark Ruffalo is just as funny without really trying as Bruce Banner is without really trying.
8. As if Coulson’s death wasn’t darkly humorous enough, we now know that it took half a dozen god-awfully goofy takes to get it right.
7. “Stop fighting!!!” Baha. I love crew members.
6. Not nearly enough Star Trek references.
5. Chris Evans is a colossal dork.
4. Why was there not a Coulson and Captain America love story as a sub plot?
3. Nothing reinforces the idea that everything looks better in slow motion like Chris Hemsworth playing patty-cake with that hammer while Chris Evans keeps right on beasting through the fight choreography.
1. Tom Hiddleston should totally play young Severus Snape in a Harry Potter prequel.

What were your thoughts? I don’t necessarily need to hear ten of them, but I would love for you to leave a few in the comments. Was it entertaining, or could you not be bothered? Thoughts on gag reels in general? Worth the wait, or a waste of time? Give me anything!

Also, who’s stoked that The Avengers comes out on DVD September 25th? Hurray for bonus material!

Hunger Games Beauty from the Runway to the Arena

Don’t judge, but I waited until The Hunger Games movie came out on video before seeing it . . .

Yeah, I’m almost four months behind the bandwagon, but I saved six bucks! Besides, why shouldn’t we keep talking about this both well-loved and controversial work of pop culture for months and even years to come? Especially since it’s progressive fashion and beauty elements have so prominently influenced high-fashion trends and vice versa ;-).

I’ve been wanting to write a post like this for ages. I admit that it would have been more powerful if I had written in it Spain when the film first came out, but I felt like such a poser speaking authoritatively when I hadn’t even seen the movie for myself.

Possible Inspiration for Hunger Games Beauty

While the world of the Capitol supposedly exists in some extravagant distant future marked by outlandish fashions, hardly a single beauty look described in the book or depicted in the movie hasn’t been realized already by a current or past fashion designer.

My theory is that to make the styles seem futuristic, film producers and designers (and maybe even Suzanne Collins way back when she was writing the book), assigned haute couture looks to the Capitol’s everyday citizens. In fact, these citizens would probably look very familiar to us if we were all more easily influenced by high-fashion beauty trends.

Peroxide and Pastel Hair
As the vain Effie Trinket, Elizabeth Banks rocked a plethora of bleach-blonde wigs spritzed with pastel colors, one of which (lavender) was almost the exact shade featured on Proenza Schouler‘s models in Spring 2010. The coloring style found on these and other runways could have provided some definite inspiration for Effie’s lightly colored locks.  
The Braid
Braids have been in fashion for a while now, but nothing could have prepared the world of hair and beauty for the explosion of the single, over-the-shoulder braid caused by Katniss’s signature look. Which fashion forward designer first rocked the look in true hipster fashion? Alexander Wang back in Fall 2010.

Pink Smoky Eyes

Pink eye makeup is another favorite of Hunger Games‘ Effie, and less recently, of high fashion designers everywhere. Even if it’s not always extreme as Burberry Australia‘s interpretation, I have to say . . . If Chanel is doing it, it’s probably a good idea.

Gradient Lips

Shimmery two-toned lips are a popular trend in the fictional Capitol. The dynamic lip look often called the “petal pout” because of the increased lip fullness it suggests has been everywhere from Gucci runways and Burberry ads to British Company magazine‘s high-fashion issue. This ombre lip look, not surprisingly, took off in the high-fashion world shortly after the ombre hair trend took hold in street style culture.

Gold Glitter Eyeliner
Lenny Kravitz seems to have de-throned Johnny Depp as our new favorite man in eyeliner, perhaps because his incarnation of fashion-wise stylist Cinna opts for a shinier option. Who knew that gold eyeliner and even real gold-leaf eye shadow has been swarming the runways from Fendi to Vivienne Westwood ever since Spring 2011? This has become so popular that Emma Watson even tried it on for size at last summer’s Deathly Hallows premiere in New York. On the other hand, we do give Cinna credit for being the first dude to rock this look.

Bejeweled Beauty

Believe it or not, rhinestone beauty spots and butterfly lashes are not the sparkliest things to hit high fashion in the Capitol’s world or our own. Check out these loud beauty looks from this year’s Galliano and Dior runways.

Green Skin

Although she didn’t make it into the movie, prep team member Octavia was written into the Hunger Games novel as having green pigmented skin, perhaps not unlike this controversial look Fyodor Golan sent down the runways last fall. Let’s hope this is one style that never catches on.

Awkward & Awesome Thursday: Everybody’s Lives A-Changin’

Just two best friends playing together

This was such an exciting week! Parents moving, friends getting engaged and married right and left, Josh being so close to moving back in with his dear wifey–it’s too much!

  • The sheer amount of Adventure Time stuffed animals present at tonight’s get-together. Every size imaginable.
  • We have something like three miles of trails through the woods behind campus. How did I miss this for two years?
  • Being asked for my name and responding, “Thurston _Jessica.” It’s my login at work . . .
  • Going to the liquor store late at night to buy some of our favorite coconut rum to finally celebrate our 2nd anniversary, and realizing not only that the stores all close at nine, but that I’m under 21 and can’t legally drink in this country . . . That was my blonde moment of the year.
  • When I typed that sentence, I wrote that the liquor stores all close at “wine” by mistake. LOL.
  • Can I just say that you’re almost never invited to the weddings you expect. I feel like I’m always thinking, “Oh these friends of mine didn’t invite me to their wedding?” “Wait, who are these people inviting me to their wedding?”
  • Working on my screenplay for next summer’s film. So much stress, but so much fun! I don’t know whether to love it or hate it!

  • My family is officially moved in to their new Rochester abode! It’s so surreal to have them here ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Co-workers Brandon and Stryker dropping everything to come and help move my parents into their new home. Somebody has an automatic invite to dinner any time they like!
  • Stryker’s townhouse apartment. I mean, I’m really not surprised, but seriously. Couldn’t just one thing about him not be totally and completely awesome and chill? Must post pictures of this guys decor at some point.
  • Just Dance 3 at midnight.
  • Surfing Google to help Josh research for the CLEP essay exam he’s going to be taking soon on analyzing and interpreting literature. I wanted to help him bone up on both classic lit and some popular contemporary novels. I don’t think referencing 50 Shades of Grey in an academic paper is going to help his grade any . . .
  • Two dear friends just got engaged yesterday with my help <3. The guy (that’s him with the beard in the pic above) planned an elaborate treasure hunt to the places where all of their most memorable moments occurred on campus, and Josh and I were one of the clues she had to find. So cute!

"They’re Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace"

Okay, so they’re not actually changing the guard in these pictures, but that was the coolest thing about this day in London.

Here Josh and I were all miffed that we wouldn’t be able to tour the inside of Buckingham Palace or even see the outside on a day when they were changing the guard. We dragged ourselves all the way across St. James Park just to say that we had glimpsed the royal residence, and what do you know? We’re shoved out of the street and onto the sidewalk by mounted bobbies to make way for a parade or royal guards that’s about to come through!

From what I’ve been told, the parade was actually much more interesting than the changing of the guard usually is. What a surprise blessing!

In other news, farewell to the London Olympic Games!

I just found out yesterday that one of my college friends has spent the past month in London attending the games. Jealousy may have just caused our relationship to plummet from “friends” to “acquaintances.”

Title is from the poem “Buckingham Palace” by my favorite poet, A. A. Milne.

More pics of the parade after the jump!

2016 Olympics, Here We Come!

I’m no graphic designer, but after having let the entire 25 days of the London Olympics pass by without saying a peep about them here on Nine to Phive, I knew I had to do something. Not a single fashion post inspired by USA uniforms? Not a single comment on the artistry of rhythmic or creative gymnastics (events I didn’t even know existed until this year)?

Well, I guess you could call this a promotional poster for Team USA. Such things certainly aren’t my area of expertise, but I think it’s a fitting tribute to everything that the US athletes accomplished at these 30th Olympic Games.

Can somebody say “We dominated!!”?

Because we dominated. The USA took home 104 total medals–almost 20 more than China, the nearest contender at 88 medals overall. Not only this, the United States women really brought down the house in London with gold medals being handed out to our ladies right and left–Gabby Douglas in gymnastics, Alison Felix in track & field, youngsters Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky in swimming, veterans Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings in volleyball, women’s soccer featuring my fellow Rochesterian Abby Wambach–the list goes on! This great article elaborates on the US female powerhouses of the 2012 games.

All that to say, this little work of art I have whipped up for you today sums up my predictions for the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016.

Rio is ours.

By ‘ours’ I could mean that the Games belong to the United States, or I could mean that they belong to the women of the world.

We’ll just have to see.

Happy Anniversary to My Long-Distance Love

I’m not sure if you guys have picked it up from the past few Awkward & Awesomes (I know I missed one!), but Josh and I are actually not living together this summer. Most people who hear this and don’t know us very well seem to automatically assume that this means we are separated, probably waiting on a divorce.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

My husband loves me so much that he is working around 60 hours a week (often twelve hours at a time overnight shifts) to provide for me and our future family. A job opportunity opened up in our former hometown back in Pennsylvania that paid more than double what Josh was making here in Rochester. To recuperate the savings we spent while in Europe, we agreed it would be worth the time apart to make that much-needed cash.

Well, after three months of only seeing each other on weekends (sometimes!), we’re not so sure it was worth it anymore. But the end is finally in sight! August 19th is Josh’s last day, and hopefully some time shortly after that we’ll be able to celebrate our anniversary properly–

You know, together.

"In the Garden" (Sonnenberg)

For those who are keeping track, today (August 7th, 2012) is Josh’s and my second anniversary!

Of course, when I decided to visit Josh down here at his workplace in Pennsylvania, I selflessly opted to leave my laptop at home to limit any distractions. I’m now left with no way to get the pictures of us from my camera to the blog! Josh, however, assured me that he wouldn’t be terribly hurt if Travel Tuesday went off as planned and I posted about our blissful two years tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I’ll be posting about a little adventure I took with my family not thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean, but right in my home state of New York. Expect a whole post about living like a tourist in your homeland soon!
These pictures were taken in the lovely Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua, NY–barely an hour from our Rochester apartment.
Title is from the hymn of the same name by Charles Austin Miles.
The first garden we happened upon in Sonnenberg was styled after a traditional Japanese garden. The oriental accents seemed very accurate and transported me on what felt like my first trip to Asia. There was a pond full of water lilies and koi, stone pagodas, and even a bridge leading to a Japanese “temple.”

A koi, of course

And a pagoda. What else? ๐Ÿ™‚

The Buddha himself

The other beautiful garden at Sonnenberg was a traditional Italian garden with ivory columns, tile roofs, Renaissance sculptures, and countless other Roman accents.

More pics of the Italian Garden after the jump!

An out of commission Roman bathhouse

My mom wanted to get married here, but was too paranoid about rain ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

You know how I feel about fountains ๐Ÿ˜‰

These collapsed pillars used to support a temple to the goddess Diana

But the statue of the goddess herself has been moved to a safe place

These stairs lead into the mansion at the Sonnenberg estate, but that’s another post

Happy Anniversary, baby ๐Ÿ™‚

Re-Blog: How to Take Your Relationship to New Extremes

I’m acutely aware of just how lame it is of me to continue reposting blog entries by other writers here on Nine to Phive, but something about the past few weeks has led to me feeling almost overwhelmed by how capable other people are of perfectly articulating thoughts I claim as my own. 
While I am somewhat stunned by what little original content I have to offer, I am delighted by two facts:
1) I am not alone. Out there is a community of men and women who share my beliefs, interests, passions, and questions. I’ve never felt such a sense of fellowship unity, and the fulfilling peace that is being understood by the world around you. Feels good, man ๐Ÿ™‚
2) I can learn to be humble. I don’t need to be the first, only, or best person to express a specific thought. You have no idea how much more likeable I find myself as a person knowing that I have the capability to give credit where credit is doing, honoring the ingenuity of other people out here in the blogosphere.
That being said, I now have no problem linking over to my good friend Carrie Starr over at at Cheap Love.
Her family is in Australia right now, so her life is much more interesting at the moment than mine! She has put together a neat little article about the exact same truths that Josh and I experienced about the effect of studying abroad on our relationship.
So here she is!
Travel works as a magnifying glass on your relationships.
The good becomes great.
The tough becomes terrible.
In many ways, this is exactly why you should travel.
The extended time together makes for incredible memories and defining moments. Youโ€™ll experience unique moments together you never would have otherwise.
For our 19th anniversary yesterday, Erv and I went for a run through the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney Australia where we saw the famous Three Sisters.
In the afternoon, we toured the Sydney Olympic Park where we saw the cauldron burning- which only happens every four years during the summer Olympics.
Next we played in Victoria Park with our kids and meandered through beautiful University of Sydney.
In the evening, we went out to dinner at the fantastic Cafรฉ Otto with our good friends Russell and Sarah, who now live in Sydney.
It was an amazing anniversary weโ€™ll never forget.
There are other parts of the day I donโ€™t want to remember . . .

Awkward and Awesome Thursday: Are Women Human?

  • The above work of literature Stryker happened upon while vacuuming. I didn’t realize we weren’t sure . . .
  • Me. I’m an emotional wreck without my husband around. I literally feel like I don’t know what to do with my life when he’s gone for long periods of time. This is so not like me. It’s like a hormonal alien she-beast.
  • Cable being down the week of the Olympics. US women’s gymnastics took home gold for the first time since 1996 and I had to find out via Yahoo! news.
  • The sad state of my bed right now. It is not only unmade, but also piled high with seven pillows in and effort for me to feel less lonely in a queen-size on my own.
  • I just ate a bowl of cereal at my desk at work. With cereal brought from home. Slightly awesome, I suppose.
  • Poor Rachel’s going through a tough time. It’ll be so much easier when Mom and Dad finally move up and she has her own room!
  • My tragically hit-or-miss internet connection at the apartment. I’m so technologically challenged right now! This is why posting has been getting more and more sparse as this week goes on.

  • Criminal Minds and Flashpoint. If I’m going to be limited to four channels, I’m infinitely grateful that Ion Television is among them! 
  • My Josh. He listened to me complain about my depression for only a couple minutes before ordering me to just get over it and go out for coffee with Rach. The guy knows just what I need.Miss him heaps ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
  • Three high-fashion shoots coming up this month–one with a 1950’s beach vibe! Oh, the glamor.
  • Perfectly fitting skinny jeans for just $12! Why hello, Plato’s Closet.
  • Yoga X. I made it through all 1.5 hours of vinyasas and balance postures without fast-forwarding once, and I feel awesome!
  • Post-workout protein drink. Stuff’s practically a milkshake.
  • Late-night walks and heart-to-hearts with the sissy. Never get tired of it โค
  • Reading about the Starrs‘ adventures in Australia.
  • Iced green tea. Everybody should have a pitcher of this superfood in the house at all times.
  • My God is always there.