Friday, June 28, 2013

Clark Smash!

(The following contains spoilers for Man of Steel, Superman Unbound, and the grill at your local 7-11 store.)

I walked into the Man of Steel movie with no small amount of trepidation. Zack Snyder is hit-and-miss as a director, in my opinion, and producer Christopher Nolan's liberties taken with the Batman universe in The Dark Knight Rises - particularly in the last ten minutes or so - are still giving me heartburn. (It might also be the Cheeseburger Big Bites™ from 7-11, but I'm sure TDKR is a factor.)
However, there's another reason that I was not allowing my hopes to get too high for the latest live-action (that's a bit of a loose term these days, isn't it?) incarnation of the last son of Krypton:
Superman is a little boring.
I know, I know: American icon, most recognizable superhero logo, metaphor for indomitability, etc., etc.
But come on: Superman is stronger than pretty much anything on Earth. He can fly farther, run faster, and lift heavier things higher than any other superhero. He is impervious to harm. He was the first superhero of his kind in the comics, and that made him interesting. However, the novelty wore off eventually, so he had to be given new powers and new vulnerabilities: he shoots laser from his eyes, he can be killed by fragments of space rock from the remnants of his home planet.
The only way to keep Superman interesting was to pit him against brilliant foes like Lex Luthor and Brainiac or much stronger enemies like Darkseid and Doomsday. The problem with the former is that eventually Supes comes across, at best, as a well-meaning naïf and, at worst, a bit of a dullard. He eventually wises up and then overpowers the baddie, but it's really just a super-powered Archie and Jughead story at that point. In the case of the latter, the story devolves into one giant slugfest, and the only thing that allows Superman to save the day is his unfaltering will and maybe a little help from an intrepid reporter or someone.

In the case of the animated movie Superman Unbound, Brainiac is altered to embody both of these types of foes. He is a world-devourer bent on consuming Earth. He absorbs both knowledge and power, making him all-knowing and all-powerful. Oh, what a seemingly insurmountable challenge for our hero! Please. Besides ripping off the character of Galactus from Marvel, this is an all-too common storyline for Superman lately: a powerful, malevolent force is destroying everything in its path, and the
"Hasta la vista, baby."
only thing standing in its way is Superman and all of his goodness. (Yawn.) In the end, it's a Yosemite-Sam-vs.-Bugs-Bunny ridiculous smackdown.
"You hit me with a car and smashed me into a supermarket, Brainiac? Well, now I'm going to hit you with this truck and crash you into a skyscraper! Take that!"
"Well-played, Superman, but, say, look at this ocean liner I just landed next to . . ."
On the animated Justice League and Justice League Unlimited series, Superman's primary role was muscle. This is why many of the story lines involved him being away from Earth on some mission, only to come in at the end and pull the big, bad monster off of Green Lantern and toss him into the sun. (These stories alternated with the ones in which Batman turned up at the end disguised as one of the villain's henchmen having secretly hacked the world-destroying anti-matter gun and reprogrammed it to make toast.)
Fortunately, in "live-action" movies, the enormity of Superman's powers makes for some real cinematic eye-candy. That's why the teaser tagline for the 1978 movie was "You will believe that a man can fly." The effects in that film were ground-breaking. Christopher Reeve looked like he was flying as opposed to simply levitating in front of a projection screen.
However, by the time we get to 2013, we've seen Iron Man, Thor, the kids from Chronicle, Will Freaking Smith, and dozens of other characters fly thanks to the handiwork of some very skilled CGI animators. So what is left for Superman to do in Man of Steel? Well, he's got that interesting backstory of being an alien raised by simple but forthright humans. Of course, Snyder glossed over this a bit by showing these elements only in snippets in flashback. There is something terribly poignant about the death of Jonathan Kent by heart attack, as it is something that none of Clark Kent's powers could stop. Of course, Snyder changed this to Jonathan being killed by a tornado, forbidding Clark from helping him out of a sense of midwestern paranoia. It was a way to go. I just didn't like it.
On to the villains: Zod and company are super-powered as well, coming from Superman's home planet of Krypton. Their aim is to restore the Kryptonian race first by obtaining a device that was supposedly hidden in Superman's baby rocket and second - as we find out - by converting Earth into a new Krypton, effectively killing every human on the planet. This is completely different from the Superman Unbound storyline. Completely.
"Do I smell Cheeseburger Big Bites™?"
I'm not accusing plagiarism here, I'm just pointing out that there are only a couple of ways to tell a Superman story, and Superman Returns had already used the other one.
So, this one gets to be the slugfest: the one where Supes gets a bit of help from the intrepid reporter - oh, and an apparently self-aware hologram of his birth father.
Here was my hope: Superman would show his moral superiority by finding a way to stop General Zod without having to kill him. ::crunch:: Well, so much for that.
In some ways, Zod got off easy. At least he doesn't have to figure out how to rebuild Smallville and Metropolis - both of which are basically leveled by Superman's battle with the bad guys. The bad guys have an excuse: they're trying to destroy everything. Superman just comes across as careless.
Maybe I'm just getting old, because during the two prolonged and ultimately boring slugfests in the film, I found myself thinking about the ridiculous amounts of property damage and absurdly obvious corporate product placements throughout. Or, it could just be that they were prolonged and ultimately
"I'm thinking we could have landed quite a few more
Property Insurance sponsors for this movie."
As an icon, Superman is pretty great. He is a symbol for truth, justice, and the American way. I have the Superman logo on a number of hats and shirts in my collection. However, as a character around whom to build a compelling storyline, he's a bit of a dud. Superman tends to be a favorite among people who aren't really into comic books: they dig the symbology. Among die-hard comic book fans, however, Superman typically rates somewhere off the top-ten list. Batman, Spider-Man, Green Arrow, Punisher, Wolverine, Iron Man - these characters and their adventures speak to readers on many more levels than Superman does anymore.
A caveat on Man of Steel: I loved the prelude scenes on Krypton and the allusions to Zod and Jor-El's back stories. Hey, Zack and Christopher: before you get too far on that already-planned sequel, how about a prequel? Just keep George Lucas away from it.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Movie Guy: Monsters and Magic

I haven't done a "Movie Guy" post in a while, but I have an excuse: I haven't watched that many movies since the last "Movie Guy" post. Maybe 80 or so. A hundred tops.
Anyway, I'll throw five quickie reviews at you now.

John Dies At the End (2012)
This is not as messy as it looks.
This adaptation of David Wong's sci-fi/horror/comedy web serial (and ultimate novel) is fun. The DVD case referred to it as a "punk Ghostbusters," and I'll allow that it definitely shares that sensibility, but is not on par with that classic. It is pretty good, though, if ultimately a little unsatisfying. I think I need to read the novel to see if it is the source material that is disjointed or the filmmaking itself. Again, I enjoyed it for what it was, though it did leave me wanting more (which may have been the point.)

Oz: The Great and Powerful (2013)
"You shouldn't mess with me. I'll ruin everything you are."
This was pretty disappointing. It's visually stunning, but director Sam Raimi's prequel to the Baum stories is a little too fond of its 3-D effects. (I didn't watch it in 3-D. I don't like 3-D as a film lover. It's too gimmicky, and it takes me out of the story.)
As much as I have liked James Franco in other things: Freaks & Geeks,  127 Hours, Pineapple Express, Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy - I found his portrayal of the titular con-man . . . well, irritating. Adding insult to injury, Franco plays opposite a live-action Zach Braff in the prelude and a CGI monkey voiced by Braff for the rest of the movie, so I spent the whole movie thinking about how much more appropriate Braff would have been in the role of Oz the Wizard.
Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis are fairly one-dimensional in their roles. (I won't give any spoilers, but they're sisters. You figure it out.) Michelle Williams is delightful as always, but my favorite characters in this turned out to be the little China Girl (voiced by Joey King) and the Master Tinker played by Bill Cobbs. I wish that Raimi had spent more time re-thinking the casting and less time trying to figure out how to make things jump out and scare us and finding a 30-second cameo for Bill Campbell.
Like I said: disappointing. I wish that they'd made an adaptation of the existing prequel Wicked (the novel, not the Broadway musical).

Warm Bodies (2013)
"Dude, there is not enough Axe Body Spray™
in the world."
I often say that I don't like zombie movies, but then I have to add: "Well, except for Shaun of the Dead, and Fido. . . and Zombieland. . . and the original Night of the Living Dead . . . and the 1990 remake, sort of." So, I guess I do kind of like zombie movies, but I think they have to be well-constructed. Night of the Living Dead is an exercise in paranoia and - in its own way - a take on Sartre's No Exit. Zombieland, Shaun of the Dead, and Fido are brilliant satires. So I have to say: I dislike zombie movies except for five.
And now six.
I loved this movie. Loved it. A zombie love story told from the perspective of the zombie is a very clever idea, and Nicholas Hoult is perfect as the zombie. Aussie Teresa Palmer is also great as the girl who warms his cold, dead heart. I really like this actress. She has kind of a Kristen Stewart-vibe, but, you know, watchable. Rounding out the cast are John Malkovich, Analeigh Tipton (love her), and Rob Corddry, who normally I could do without but manages to be charming in this.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
In this issue of Dwarves Quarterly:
overcoming short-man syndrome.
Why do we have to try to make dwarves hot? Really? Was that a major factor in the original novel? I guess I need to re-read it. Oh wait. I did. Do you know what made it such a great story? It's a simple little fantasy about quirky little characters that evolves into this great epic adventure across 300 pages. When you try to start it off as an epic from the very beginning, padding it out to three movies with additional material written (over-written, in my opinion) by the author as appendices in later novels, you  are not doing justice to the source material that meant so much to many of us, and you're just coming across as greedy, Peter Jackson. Don't get me started on the toilet humor.
The lyrics to "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"
 just got infinitely creepier.
Martin Freeman is good. Sir Ian is good. Sylvester McCoy is good. I'll probably spend my hard-earned money on the sequels, but I will hate myself for it just a little bit.

Rise of the Guardians (2012)
I will begin this review by acknowledging that its disappointing box office performance led to 350 employees being laid off from the Dreamworks studio. Being unemployed sucks, I know, and I hope that all of those people have found other jobs by now.
That having been said, I thought this movie was brilliant. Building off of the idea that Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), and other legends of childhood lore are sort of an immortal Avengers team charged with protecting the magic of the childhood experience, the story centers around the outcast Jack Frost (Chris Pine) who wanders the world unseen by humanity - lonely, finding solace only in the bits of mischief he can cause with his power to control cold. When Pitch, the Boogey Man (Jude Law), decides he wants to rule the world through fear, the Guardians reluctantly enlist Jack Frost's help.
Funny, thrilling, and touching, I'm not sure why this movie didn't strike a chord with audiences. Based on the number of Jack Frost costumes I saw at Denver Comic-Con, I expect it may have - just a little bit later than expected. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out.

So there's five for now. Please feel free to share your thoughts, agreements, or movie recommendations in the comments.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Shatner Factor

Of the three days that I spent at Denver Comic-Con this year, I would have to say that Sunday was probably my favorite. In a way, this was because William Shatner was there. You see, because so many people had come that day to see the original Captain Kirk in all his glory, the celebrity guests area had cleared out significantly during the lining up for and the administering of the big Shatner event - something in which I had no interest whatsoever. (More on that in a bit.) It was during this time that I got to talk to Daphne Ashbrook, Colin Baker, and my very first favorite movie star: Peter Mayhew. It was a good day.
I don't tend to get too star-struck. I would like to meet James Garner someday, if possible, but I'm not an autograph hound. When I meet a performer in real-life, I just like to tell them that I've enjoyed their work - if I have. However, I had three really great conversations that day with three very charming and interesting people, and it was all made possible because the "celebrity worshippers" were gravitating toward the biggest celebrity in the building: William Shatner.
Earlier that morning, I had been standing in line with my good friend and sometime theatrical collaborator, Jeff Gamet of the Mac Observer. As Jeff is a very personable fellow, it was not long before we were talking with some of the other people in the line. One of them asked us, "Are you excited to see Shatner?" Jeff and I shot each other a look, and I - being the less diplomatic of the two of us - said: "I could not care less about seeing William Shatner."
"I don't want to meet you, either, little blog person."

I explained to them - as I will explain to you - that I am a big fan of Star Trek, in all of its incarnations, and that Captain Kirk is one of my favorite science fiction characters, but the only reason he has remained so is that I have learned to separate James T. Kirk from William Shatner. Even before hearing Wil Wheaton's account of meeting William Shatner while the former was shooting Star Trek: The Next Generation and the latter was filming Star Trek V on an adjacent soundstage, I was aware of the great animosity between Shatner and many of his own castmates: James Doohan, Walter Koenig, George Takei - well, pretty much everyone on Star Trek who wasn't William Shatner, really. Stories of Shatner being rude, condescending, insulting, back-stabbing, and a bit of a line hog had trickled down to me through the back channels of Star Trek fandom. Even reading Shatner's own memoirs - essentially his version of his story - I find that the man comes across as a bit of a jerk. There's even a website devoted to sharing stories about unfortunate encounters with the man, called "A Steaming Pile of Shatner." It was difficult to reconcile this boorish behavior with the heroism of Captain Kirk, and, eventually, I just couldn't. I had to separate them in my mind. Captain Kirk was one
"I can't believe that L.A. doesn't have
any green strippers. Not one!"
thing, and William Shatner was another thing entirely.
I had chalked up some of his behavior to the frustration of an actor who had become indelibly linked to a character he had originated years earlier. He could only achieve any film success by reprising that character, and - even when he created a new TV persona in the character of T.J. Hooker in the early 80s, the comparisons to Kirk remained. (Personally, I like the theory someone posed that T.J. Hooker was actually an undercover time-traveling assignment for Captain Kirk.)
Perhaps now that his Priceline commercials and his popular stint as Denny Crane on Boston Legal have given him a resurgence in popularity separate from his Kirk-persona, William Shatner can relax a bit. he can take the chip off of his shoulder and start to enjoy his success without feeling the need to take it out on those around him.
The again, maybe not.
This was Colin Baker's tweet just minutes before I walked up to meet him:
"I figured he has=d two hearts: he could take it!"
That's right, kids. William Shatner was rude to a Time Lord. Not cool. I did my best to console Baker that Shatner was known to be an ass to everybody, and Jeff gave him a brief account of the Wil Wheaton story, but, really, the man was just trying to make conversation in the green room, and Shatner gave him the brush off. There's really no excuse.
I will always love Captain Kirk, and I will always enjoy the stories on both the small and large screen (even Star Trek V) that featured William Shatner's unique portrayal of this swashbuckling hero.
However, if you ever see me standing in line at an event where William Shatner is present, I am probably there for another reason.

In the category of giving the devil his due, I would like to mention that William Shatner has used his money and fame to put on the Hollywood Charity Horse Show for the last couple of decades: an event that raises funds for a whole host of worthwhile charities. He may be a jerk, but he's not such a bad guy.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Doctor Whom?

For your consideration.
With the announcement that current Doctor, Matt Smith, will departing the popular British series Doctor Who after the next Christmas special, the internet has been all a-buzz and a-Twitter regarding speculation about who will step into the role next.
Naturally, I have a couple of thoughts on the matter.
My first choice for the new Doctor is the same choice I made when the previous Doctor, David Tennant, announced that he would be leaving the role. Raza Jaffrey is a singer, dancer, choreographer,
actor, and action star probably best-known to American audiences as either Dev Sandarum on the NBC TV show Smash or Zafar Younis on the BBC import MI-5 (known as Spooks in the UK).
Jaffrey came to my notice in the British series Mistresses, and I remember thinking, “Tennant just said he’s leaving Doctor Who: they should call this guy.”
A great actor with outstanding charisma, I think that Jaffrey’s dance background would bring an interesting physicality to the role that would both complement and contrast Smith’s footballer athleticism in his incarnation of the role.
My alternate choices for the Doctor are – in no particular order:

If nothing else, it'll piss of Lenny Henry.
Chiwetel Ejiofor of SerenityLove Actually, and American Gangster fame: a popular choice around the internet.
"Please, don't hold Hancock against me."
Eddie Marsan. Most of you probably know him as LeStrade from the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes films, but, if you check his IMDb credits, I’ll bet you’ll say, “Oh, he was that guy?” in some other films you’ve seen. A very versatile performer, I recommend seeing him in Happy Go Lucky and the 2008 Little Dorrit mini-series.
Dean Lennox Kelly. Yes, he was William Shakespeare in the 2007 Doctor Who episode, “The Shakespeare Code,” but it would not be the first time that an actor took over the role of the Doctor after having appeared previously in the series in a different role. (Colin Baker did.) Check out the all-too-short BBC series The Invisibles for Kelly in a very different role.


Paul Bettany. Bettany would be a slam-dunk as the Doctor, but perhaps a slam-dunk isn’t what the series needs so much as a three-pointer from beyond half-court. (I just used a sports analogy in a blog entry about a cult sci-fi series. I probably should have stretched first.)

Now, there has been some call from the internet that it is time for a female Doctor, and my initial reaction to that was: “No, I don’t like that. I don’t know why, but I don’t.” Having given it some thought, I realized that I still don’t like it, but I do, in fact, have a reason for that.
I do not think that the Doctor has to be a white male just because he has always been a white male. Physically, biologically, there are only negligible differences between races: skin color, a moderate predisposition toward size, etc. Most of the perceived differences between races are cultural and social – phenomena that are particular to our human experience that might not exist for a Gallifreyan native. (This does not, however, mean that casting Jaffrey or Ejiofor in the role might not bring about some interesting plotlines as the Doctor lands in different eras of Earth’s history.)
The differences between male and female are more significant, however. Women can become pregnant
Currently fending off multiple attacks by DT fangirls.
and give birth. Men cannot. This is a fundamental difference in the human experience. This does not make one gender more important than the other, but it does make them different. Even if you buy the (frankly, inconsistent) assertion that Time Lords reproduce asexually and emerge fully-grown from genetic looms, having the Doctor suddenly just become female – in my opinion – diminishes what it is to be female. I would rather have a spin-off with a female Time Lord (or Time Lady, as Romana was called.) Remember, Jenny from “The Doctor’s Daughter” is still adventuring her way somewhere out there in the universe.
"I don't look much like my dad."

As of this writing, it sounds like the role of the Doctor has been offered to Skyfall’s Rory Kinnear, though no word on whether he has accepted or not. Apart from his portrayal as the latest incarnation of MI-6’s chief of staff, Bill Tanner, I’m afraid I’m not very familiar with Kinnear’s work. I will reserve judgment, but I will say that I think that his late father, Roy Kinnear, certainly would have made for an interesting Doctor.
"Yes, you do."
In case Kinnear passes on the role, let me just - for your consideration - show you this clip of Raza Jaffrey performing in Bombay Dreams:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Doctor's Doctor

Me at Denver Comic-Con.
I'm the one wearing the hat.
I had an opportunity at Denver Comic-Con this past weekend to chat with Daphne Ashbrook – known for playing Dr. Grace Holloway, the brief companion of the 8th Doctor in the 1996 Doctor Who film. More on that later.
I thought today would be a good opportunity to revisit the story of this one-off companion of the wandering Time Lord. For the uninitiated, there have been 11 official incarnations of the Doctor from the long-running (albeit oft-interrupted) British series Doctor Who. Hailing from the planet Gallifrey, the Doctor is a member of a time-traveling species known as the Time Lords. Time Lords are quasi-immortal, and when they are severely injured they can usually cheat death by regenerating into a new body. This was a solution that producers of the show came up with when the original actor playing the Doctor, William Hartnell, chose to retire from the show, and it has become a favorite part of Whovian (Doctor Who fanatics) lore. This is of immediate significance as Matt Smith, the actor playing the 11th Doctor, has recently announced his intention to leave the show. (This will be another blog entry unto itself. I assure you.)
But I digress. The initial run of the series ended in 1989 after 26 seasons and seven incarnations of the Doctor, due to waning popularity. However, it wasn’t long before work began on bringing the Doctor back in a new series, movie, or series of movies. This ultimately led to the 1996 TV movie, Doctor Who. Are we all caught up, now? Good. (Whovians: thank you for your patience.)

[Hereafter, there be spoilers. I don’t know why I’m talking like a pirate.] 
At the beginning of the film, the 7th Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) is transporting the remains of an evil Time Lord known as the Master back to Gallifrey. The Master is one of the greatest villains of both the original and current series of Doctor Who, so, naturally, in this combined British/American production, he is played by Eric Roberts.
"Listen to them. Children of the night. Now, stop
listening to them and get me a cappuccino."

Pardon me while I bang my head against my desk for a few minutes.

Okay, back to the story: Actually, the Master is only CGI ooze at the beginning of the movie, escaping from his urn and causing the Doctor to crash in San Francisco – specifically, Chinatown. The CGI ooze looks for a new host body and ultimately settles on an ambulance driver. . . played by Eric Roberts.
"Okay, I'm on set. Now, which one of you
drudges has got my costume?"

Back in a moment.

Okay, back again. Meanwhile, the Doctor is shot when he is caught in the crossfire of an attempted gang assassination. He is taken to Walker General Hospital and delivered into the hands of skilled cardiologist, Dr. Grace Holloway (Daphne Ashbrook). Unfortunately, Holloway’s skill does not extend to extra-terrestrial beings with two hearts, so in her attempt to deal with what appears to be an irregular heart beat, she brings upon the end of the 7th Doctor, forcing the subsequent regeneration into the 8th Doctor, played by Paul McGann.
Distraught at killing (as far as she knows) a patient, and concerned over the disappearance of the same patient’s “corpse” from the morgue, Holloway resigns from the hospital. Soon after, she meets the new Doctor, and – after some convincing – comes to believe his story that he used to be Sylvester McCoy. (Or something like that.) Still reeling from the effects of the regeneration process, the Doctor is suffering from amnesia. Grace comes to his aid, and – when his memory returns – joins the Doctor in his search for Eric Roberts. One moment. Okay, ultimately, the Doctor and Grace overcome the evil that is Eric Roberts, but not without Grace being killed by the Master and then revived by the TARDIS. (Oh, the TARDIS is the Doctor’s ship. It’s shaped like a blue police box. Yes, THAT’S what all the blue phone booths on the t-shirts are all about.) In the end, Dr. Holloway chooses not to join the Doctor in his further adventures in the TARDIS, which in Whovian fandom is the equivalent of declining to get into Robert Downey Jr.’s limo to go to a party at David Bowie’s house. (Yeah, I know.)
Grace never appears on screen again, but her comic book version begins researching some of the cosmic ooze left behind by the Master and works with MI6 on developing a human/Time Lord hybrid. This puts her at odds with the Doctor, but the two reconcile and Dr. Grace Holloway was last seen pursuing advancements in surgical techniques. Putting the comic book stories aside, Grace Holloway (Daphne Ashbrook) had only one, 89-minute movie in which to win us over as a companion of the Doctor. This is probably why she doesn’t hold as high a place as Rose (Billie Piper), Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen), or either of the Romanas (Mary Tamm & Lalla Ward) on most lists of favorite companions. It could also be that she is unfairly lumped in with opinions of the movie that are soured
by certain unfortunate elements: the Doctor’s “confession” that he is half human, for example . . . and Eric Roberts.
Um. Yeah. I'm not touching this one.

"Whatever, Alien Boy. We're all Doctors on this ride."
However, I think Grace Holloway deserves a second look. She’s a doctor just like Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman), witty and sarcastic like Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), plucky as Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), and rivals even Romana I (Mary Tamm) and Peri (Nicola Bryant) in pulchritude. She was also the first companion to ever full-on snog the Doctor. It is unlikely that anyone will ever rival Rose or Sarah Jane in my heart as favorite companions, but I have always liked Dr. Grace Holloway, and I hope that the new series will bring the Doctor back into her world at some point, just as it revisited our beloved Sarah Jane.
Now, having had a chance to visit at-length with Daphne Ashbrook this past weekend, I can easily place her among the nicest and most charming actors who have been Doctor Who companions. Chatting with her was the highlight of my Denver Comic-Con - in a 3-way tie with meeting Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) and the 6th Doctor (Colin Baker). In fairness, though, the latter two are weighted somewhat for having been my heroes at ages 3 and 10, respectively, so, it would probably be most accurate to say that meeting and talking with Daphne Ashbrook really was far-and-away the highlight of my weekend. You can find out much more about Daphne Ashbrook: actor, singer, writer, blogger, proud mom, and more on her website:

Addendum: Apparently, I have been writing this entry completely unaware that today has been declared the first annual "Sassy-As-Hell Grace Holloway Awareness Day" currently being celebrated with Tumblr gifs and cake. (There might not be cake, I'm still looking for my invitation.)