Author: Chloe Elizabeth, Author at The Loresworn Order

Apr
12

Spring Break Watch List 2017

Spring is coming! That means plenty of time to lay out with your streaming service of choice and watch new shows to your hearts content. Or if you’re an adult it just means the days are longer and you need a break after work. Either way, here are our top 10 picks for new and new-ish shows to binge this spring.

Mar
22

School of Screen Time: STEM Subjects

There is an incredible push across the country to increase the appeal among students for STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. These are subjects that will become the backbone of the next generation of innovators across the world. STEM fields also seem to represent a growing percentage of the job opportunities in America: according to the US Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing at twice the rate of other occupations. Yet, while opportunities are growing and this need is rising, American students in particular seem to be falling farther and farther behind in these topics. If you ask most school children why, the answer will usually be, “I don’t get it,” or even worse, “It’s boring.”

Mar
21

Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

I went into the 2017 live action Beauty and the Beast with certain expectations, given that the soundtrack of the 1991 animated version lit up my sixth Christmas… and most of the rest of that year. I played that VHS tape on repeat and knew every song by heart. It has a special place in my heart, and I desperately wanted this remake to hold the same magic and wonder. Sadly, it is a pale (if mostly entertaining) replica of a cinematic masterpiece.

Mar
15

Review: Logan

When you go to see a movie based on a comic, like Logan, you always hope that it does the source material justice. But more often than I’d like, fight scenes get added and lines get cut until the movie is an inferior version of the story. Logan is not one of those movies. A beautiful film with a palpable affection for the ink-and-paper original, it draws inspiration from classic westerns while presenting a new storyline that’s slimmed down, but takes care to allow the original’s themes to shine on screen.

Mar
13

Review – Kong: Skull Island

It’s been a while since I actually hit a movie opening night, and the nerdy glory of Kong: Skull Island made it feel like too long. With set pieces designed by local artist WarWolf Projects and a green screen for Kong selfies provided by PopCulture Classroom*, The Alamo Draft House turned what I expected to be just another movie night into something a little more special.

Feb
28

Review: A Cure for Wellness

When searching for one word to describe the aesthetic of A Cure for Wellness, “gothic” actually seems to fit the best. That was not what I expected going into a film billed as a sci-fi horror/thriller. But the unusual aesthetic choices framed a juicy mystery which left me wanting to watch it again.

Feb
23

Review: The Lego Batman Movie

“Bana nana nana nana – BATMAN!” sings Lego Batman several times through out The Lego Batman Movie. That pretty much sums up the attitude of the film, actually. If you saw The Lego Movie, you have a little bit of an idea what to expect in terms of tone and visuals. The story is simple: We follow the metal-loving, gadget-wielding, fan-enchanting reimagining of Batman who wants to be a superhero 24/7, and nothing else. He runs around saving Gotham, eating lobster thermidor, and refusing to go to bed in a determined attempt to avoid his own back story.

Feb
06

Review: Powerless Season 1, Episode 1: Wayne or Lose

Honestly, I can’t make up my mind about Powerless yet. For once, I agree with many of the main line TV critics out there in that the concept is great. Vanessa Hudgens plays the wide-eyed Emily, who’s moved from the country to the big city “to make a difference in the world.” She’s the new development executive at Wayne Securities in Charm City. On her first day, she discovers that she has only been hired to make her boss (Alan Tudyk) look good, and that company owner Bruce Wayne is planning to cut the entire staff. Tudyk’s character is a captial-J Jerk (and quotes a certain over-spray-tanned executive more than once). I’m excited to see the Firefly veteran in a villain role, because everything he does is hilarious.

Feb
06

Review: Sneaky Pete

Sneaky Pete is one of Amazon’s best written shows yet. And, with a producing team that helped bring us Justified, House M.D., NYPD Blue, Breaking Bad, and Horrible Bosses, the quality didn’t come as a surprise. The gritty, almost-dramady-but-mostly-drama is headed by Marius (Giovanni Ribisi) and Eddie (Michael Drayer), brothers who owe the wrong man (Bryan Cranston) too much money. Marius is a con man. He gives you confidence, you give him your money. When he gets out of prison, Marius slips almost effortlessly into the life of his prison roommate Pete in order to buy time to pay back the mounting debts. But he finds that Pete wasn’t as forthcoming about the family business as Marius had assumed.

Feb
03

School of Screen Time: Reading

Even though it’s fundamental to almost all the other academic skills, literacy is one of the first weak links to become apparent in our education outcomes in the Unites States. The US ranked 7th in the world in literacy as of March 2016. Unpacking that number, we find that there is a strong correlation between lack of literacy (functional or actual) and poverty. In addition, according to the Literacy Project Foundation, “To determine how many prison beds will be needed in future years, some states actually base part of their projection on how well current elementary students are performing on reading tests.”

Jan
30

Review: Series of Unfortunate Events (Netflix)

As a kid, I loved the Lemony Snicket books upon which the new Netflix series is based. Well, I loved and hated them. You see, I was scared of the dark until many years after my age would have excused the phobia. The strange world of the 1971 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory sent me to bed with nightmares of oompa loompas turning me into a blueberry. Dramatic irony was not something my overly-sensitive heart could take if I thought someone was actually going to be literally or figuratively hurt.

Jan
02

Lorecipes: Easy Orzo Carbonara

Try our easy orzo carbonara – it’s delicious! Here by popular request is the recipe for bacon-flavored veggies from our Hearts of Iron IV video!

Oct
25

Making A Custom Costume Using An Off-The-Shelf Costume As A Template

Many of us have done it – run down to the Halloween store at the last minute to buy something shiny that looks so great in the picture. But as soon as you get it home, out of the bag, and on yourself, it looks like a toddler stapled it together out of neon burlap. Never fear! You can still look fantastic for your costume party by using the of-the-shelf costume to make your own pattern for a custom costume that fits you perfectly!

Jul
15

School of Screen Time

This piece is part of a series on the intersection of gaming and education. Be sure to check out the first part, The Case for Screen Time.

The beauty of learning with games is that you learn while having fun. The challenge with making screen time double as learning time is, thus, that you can’t take the fun out of the game. This article is your crash course in turning game time into learning time. Next time, I’ll take these more general principles and begin applying them to specific games, but we’ll start with the basics.

Jul
02

Denver Comic Con

At Denver Comic Con 2016, the Order attended its first big event since Stellaris back in in May. It was miles upon miles of nerdy heaven, from the games, to the panels, to the glorious costumes. But for us, the […]

Jun
26

The Case for Screen Time

Games have become an enormous part of the modern day for people of all ages. If you have kids, you probably ask yourself regularly how often they can or should consume this interactive media. But with new, shiny apps being developed daily, and computer, tablet, and phone screens becoming a more and more ubiquitous, how do you make those screens a positive part of their life, rather than a vortex of guilty pleasure? This was one of the big questions that I turned over and over as I attended the Denver Comic Con last weekend.

Jun
07

X-Men Apocalypse review: More Epic than Awful (but still not Awesome)

Some have called X-Men: Apocalypse the most epic X-Men movie yet. And it is an epic, in the sense of the ancient tradition of epic storytelling: long, archetypal tales with tons of characters, a simple plot, and little need for nuanced character development. Don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoyed the movie a great deal. But my low expectations given the mostly repetitive nature of X-Men movie plots weren’t exactly subverted.

Jan
07

Best Female Characters in Film of 2015

I’m probably the only person eagerly awaiting the Oscar nominations. Yes I’m that film nerd. But this time of year always makes me want to look back over the last year of movies and make sure I didn’t miss anything good. This year was a great year for women in film, in particular. We still have a ways to go—toy makers still leave us out of their franchise sets, and men still dominate casts, production teams and writing rooms. But there were a lot of silver screen stories featuring strong, awesome ladies in the past twelve months. These are my top ten favorite characters brought to life in 2015.

Dec
16

Ripple Effect

The morning air was grey with fog. Grey like the tap water bubbles she was swirling in her glass before downing it like a shot. Jamie’s head was pounding from the tequila last night. Her friends had dared her for the first two. The next four were her own idea. “Boring.” “Basic.” “Grown up.” One shot for each tease that had hit too close to home.

Most of her sorority sisters had graduated with lucrative MRS degrees. Their lives were a whirlwind of social events, fundraisers, parties and vacations. Everyone had dispersed to exciting new lives after graduation in Miami, in New York, in Los Angeles… and for Jamie, in Cleveland. Last night was their five year House Reunion. As the pounding in her head began to subside, Jamie wondered just what she was doing with her life. She grabbed her coat and headed out into the cold.

Her job at the Glenn Research center was not what she’d hoped. When she had been little, NASA had represented freedom. Stories of starships, aliens, and space princesses had populated her dreams. She’d watched every documentary she could find on the Moon landing and the Apollo missions. In high school she won science fairs…

Oct
02

Fall Watch List: Our Streaming Favorites

With school back in the swing of things, work piling in and the weather cooling down, free movies and shows quickly become our best friends. Need a break from the grind? Looking for a more economical date night? Pull up a sofa, pop some popcorn and check out these recommendations you can stream right now on Netflix and Amazon Prime.