and did i mentioned emma stone

Sleeping Dogs -- A Review

I actually spent most of 2013 playin’ this game, but I didn’t think of reviewing it till now ‘cause I’m a dork. Actually, I hesitated ‘cause it wasn’t really part of ancient China, or anything wuxia related. But now I’m reviewing it ‘cause why the hell not? Besides, after thinkin’ ‘bout it for so long, I can now (hopefully present) my review in a less fangirl/boy-ey way, if that makes sense.

In 2012, United Front Games and Square Enix London made this game, which was like GTA except set in Hong Kong, and with a plot! Cool, right? You play as Wei Shen, a comeback kid to the city who infiltrates the mafia as a spy. Wei Shen is a police officer, so you get to switch between doing police missions and Hong Kong mafia missions. As you do these quests, the plot progresses, and you make your way to the top as one of the five leading bosses in the Hong Kong mafia.

Y’know what’s even cooler? The game makers did their research based on the gangs in Hong Kong, but obviously took creative liberties with the names, with Sun On Yee being a reference to the triad Sun Yee On.

I could talk about gameplay mechanics, but this is a blog about Chinese culture, so here’s why I think you should play the game:

  • The game makers really make you feel like you’re in Hong Kong

You see this? The game developers made sure they got the look and feel of all the different parts of Hong Kong, from the more ghetto-y areas to the more chic ones. They even managed to put in Victoria Peak, where you get to go on a date with Amanda (voiced by Emma Stone). Also, mad respect for the accurate depiction of Chinese in a video game, which is wayyy better than say, Jade Empire, where the words on signs are all gibberish and don’t make sense. 

In short, if you’ve been waiting like, forever to see Chinese people and culture represented in games, you’ve hit the jackpot.

Oh and uh, when you get into cars, lots of radio stations play Chinese and Cantonese songs, on top of hip hop and other genres. Did I mention that drivers will say “diu lei” in Cantonese when you crash into them? The effort the makers put into this universe is stellar.

  • You get nods to different aspects of Chinese culture, here and there.

See this? in the game, you meet your childhood kungfu master (shifu), and he says that some asshole stole his jade Chinese zodiac statues form him. So every time you retrieve a statue from him, you get to learn and unlock new moves. Cool, huh? Jade and the zodiac is like, really important in Chinese culture, so props to them for doing their research!

Also, when you complete missions well, you get “face” points. This is a Chinese concept called “mianzi”, and it shows the amount of dignity and swag that you got. If you got more swag, yo’ peeps be respectin’ ya. More swag = more awesome clothes and cars, too.

  • Chinese people actually voice the Chinese characters in the game.

Ok, so there are no pictures here, but this beats Hollywood’s bad representation of East Asians (or people of East Asian descent) hands down. Most of the time, when we get represented in Hollywood, we’re tokens, and the directors cast Koreans as Chinese people, and Japanese and Chinese people. In animation, many white people voice characters of colour, too. While we look similar, we’re not the same, and I think, for most part, the game does its best to cast Chinese people (even if they are Chinese American) as Chinese people. You have Edison Chen (the singer) as Wei Shen’s childhood friend, Jackie, Lucy Liu as Vivienne Lu, a singer that has a pivotal role in the plot, and James Hong as Uncle Po (one of the big five mafia bosses).

Mad respect to all these people who made the game awesome. You can watch a video here for the cast list.

There were, however, things that I wasn’t cool with:

And the depiction of women was one example of that. To be fair, I think most of the game  tries to accurately show what life is like for the people who are in the triads, and we know that women are tossed around and don’t get treated equally, in that universe. The only exceptions are Broken Nose Jiang, the one and only female mafia boss, and the protagonist’s direct superior, Officer Teng. It’s kind of sad that of all the women in the game, only two are their own person and made their way to the top.

However, the creators did make many female characters likeable and even gave them bad-ass traits – Not Ping teaches you how to hack a camera, and Ilyana is better than you at parkour.

But the thing is, Ilyana and Not Ping are presented as conquests and objects at the end of the day – you have to beat them at their own “games” and win them as prizes to get their affection, and, well, that stinks. I’d like non-playable characters (NPCs) who are female with more agency, please. Also, you don’t get to be in a steady relationship with any girl – you just hook up with four of them in succession, reinforcing the idea that each of these female NPCs is a prize or an added bonus for you – you learn a new ability when you beat them (if I am not wrong).

And yes, it’d be nice if we could play as a female gangster. Just sayin’.

  • The way some Chinese voice actors pronounce their characters’ names.

This is such a minor point but I feel like the Chinese voice actors could have pronounced Chinese names accurately. Wei Shen’s name is said as “We-ay Shi-an”– I am clearly exaggerating, but Americans tend to draw out certain sounds, and the some of the voice actors’ accents don’t fit with the character. It would also be improbable for some characters, like Jackie, to have a North American accent, as Jackie was born and bred in Hong Kong. But Edison Chen, the voice actor, was brought up in Canada, so the accent was incongruous, although Chen was amazing in that role. I’m not sayin’ that the voice actors’ natural accents are bad, but it would be cooler to have different and more accurate accents be reflected in the characters. I imagine that Winston Chu’s “accent” should have been more like that of a Hong Konger’s, although Wei Shen’s shifu’s accent was quite spot on since he’s a native of Hong Kong.

Despite these hiccups, Sleeping Dogs is a thoroughly enjoyable game that gets Hong Kong and Chinese culture right. The fact that I also get to steal a heck load of nice cars and beat a shit ton of gangsters is awesome. Based on these criterion, this gets four out of five stars from me.

that's my girl - riarkle

prompt: “I have the power of a thousand unicorns”

summary: in which farkle is STILL on riley’s team, even if it is in silence half way across the room; farkle!centric

————–

Watching Riley debate was always a treat. Watching Riley do anything was a treat, but he would never admit it out loud. Harper had just had the class read The Scarlett Letter. Farkle had enjoyed it, but English was never really his cup of tea. But Riley loved it, she loved reading stories about those before us and those who will come after us. You could see her worship every syllable in the way she began to mouth the words to herself as she read. She was hypnotizing, and he loved every second of it.

To finish the unit, Harper had the class debate on whether or not Hester Prynne deserved the criticism and harassment she received after having an affair with Puritan Dimmesdale. Riley was very passionate about the subject and in the days leading up to the debate, she was almost physically itching to get her opinions out.

The day had finally arrived and in the full spirit of the unit, because Riley never did anything half way, she arrived adorned in a look slightly more scandalous than she normally would have chosen with a red “A” stitched onto the chest of her top - just like Hester. Her hair was in chaotic waves and her lips were bright red while the rest of her outfit was stark black. To say that Farkle was star struck would be an understatement. He couldn’t decided how he felt about her new look, she looked gorgeous obviously but she looked gorgeous in everything. Before Farkle could make his mind up how he felt
about this new Riley, she began to speak.

“Who’s ready to get their DEBATE ON,” she said in her competitive voice.

‘Yup, same ol’ Riley’ Farkle thought to himself as a slight smile crawled onto his face.

The whole class groaned besides Farkle, he just sat in admiration as Riley passed out note cards to her debate team and gave them a pep talk. She was such a natural born leader, when she was in the zone during debates you could really see how much like Topanga she actually is.

Harper entered the room as the bell rang and began the lesson. “Alright class, today’s debate is team one-”

“Team Girl Power,” Riley corrected with a bright smile.

“Alright, team Girl Power versus team two.”

“Excuse you, I think you mean team too swole,” the new kid Luke Danes said as he high-fived Charlie Gardner. Charlie had kind of gone down hill since Riley and him went separate ways, he started hanging out with Luke, for one thing, which was a huge mistake. Luke was the type of person that use to make Farkle feel inferior - all muscles and tight shirts - but now Farkle saw that he was nothing more than an idiot with a traditionally nice body and the absurd notion that “meninism” was a real thing.

Riley shot a glare at Luke to which he replied with mocking kissing noises. Farkle’s blood boiled. He could slowly see Riley grow uncomfortable sitting across from him, her confident demeanor slowly vanishing. ‘C'mon Riles, he’s got nothing on you. You can do this,’ Farkle tried to telepathically communicate to Riley from across the room.

As if on cue, her posture got straighter and her eyes ignited. “Harper can we begin? I have a lot of ground to cover,” she said with a pointed look at Luke. Farkle smiled at this, maybe the telepathy had finally worked.

“Yes Riley, go ahead with your opening statement.” As Riley began to stand up and give her opening statement she was met with more wisdom from Luke, “Typical. Ladies first,” he scoffed. The urge to start a fight with someone that could without a doubt destroy him had never been so strong for Farkle. Riley was so strong in her beliefs but he knew that her emotions were soft. Luke could easily break her and Farkle wasn’t about to watch that happen, but right when he was about to stand up and say something, Riley just continued on with her opening statement.

'That’s my girl. She’s destroying him.’ Farkle inwardly scolded himself for calling her “his girl”, he didn’t have that right. Before he could spiral into a tornado of self pity, Luke had begun to speak again.

“I think what the chick is trying to say is that Hester was a whore and so is she so she’s just trying to stand up for her own kind - I mean have you seen what she’s wearing today?” His smirk took up his whole face. How could someone be so cruel? Farkle’s body hummed with anger, if only he was bigger, faster, stronger he thought to himself. But then, for what seemed like the thousandth time in the past hour, Riley surprised him.

She stood up and her anger seemed to add an extra three inches onto her already linear frame; she towered over all who doubted her. “EXCUSE YOU. First of all, that is NOT what I was trying to say at all. Second of all, I resent your use of the word 'whore’ as an insult in order to discredit my attire AND argument. If you had actually read the book instead of watching the Demi Moore movie with her awful British accent you might be able to grasp that my outfit it is a statement in support of Hester not in agreeance of her affair. In addition, if you had listened to my opening statement you would hear my actual stance on the topic instead of the one you came up with for me before I even opened my mouth. What Hester did was wrong but she shouldn’t have been publicly scorned while Dimmesdale received no criticism. You’re new here so you probably don’t know not mess with me and my beliefs, so I’ll let this one slide. But just for future reference: I have the power of a thousand unicorns.”

And with that, Riley sat down and the rest of the class stood up, especially Farkle. Everyone was hooting and hollering and supporting their Riley.

“THAT’S MY GIRL!” Farkle yelled with no shame. Everyday she surprised him. Everyday was a totally new adventure with her and he was so glad he got ride along and watch her take on the world.
“THANK YOU FARKLE!” She yelled back with a wink. Farkle was so proud of their Riley, of his Riley, that later that night he surprised her to ice cream and chocolate, her two favorites. Little did he know how much that meant to her.
————–
thank you for reading! the outfit I mentioned is kind of inspired by the movie “easy a” with emma stone but obviously toned down & appropriate for a middle schooler lol. this is my first fic so constructive criticism is appreciated! message or send me an ask if you have any requests!!

also: thank you @astralfreckles for the prompt & inspo, you’re the best!

“I’m always going to love you.”

I am a movie junkie. I live to feel things via movies. I watch scores of them in the hopes of feeling something similar to the epic life-changing moments of cinematic magic I’ve experienced in the past. It’s not hard to bring out emotion in me while at the cinema, it’s not even that difficult to cause me to shed a tear. However, every once in awhile, a film comes along that moves me so deeply that it forever leaves an imprint: I will remember what I did the day I saw it, what I was going through, what I was wearing. I will never, ever forget the feeling that rose in me while viewing it. The music, words, and cinematography will repeat in my memory over and over for years, at times randomly and at times because I am grasping to feel what I felt the first time I saw it. As an actress, I may move, or speak, or change something about myself in accordance to feel closer to this movie moment. It is that much of a tattoo on my system when something really gets me.

Then, there’s La La Land.

I so admire Damien Chazelle for having the passion to get this movie made. It gives me hope that there are people left out there who truly want to create cinema like this. I was moved so colossally by this film that I physically felt so much pain and emotion sweeping through my chest that I almost didn’t know what to do. If I had been watching it at home, I would have paused it in order to cry my eyes out, compose myself, and catch my breath. That’s how much it affected me: people often use the word breathtaking, but they don’t literally mean it. I do. My breath was taken. The tears were flowing so brutally that it was hard to stop myself from making audible cries. It was actually a bit of a challenge to ride out the magnificent, singular things I was feeling. But I’m so glad I didn’t get a break. I’m happy I couldn’t pause it. I’m thrilled that I got to just get beaten by this wash of extreme emotions. Why not? I’m a human being. I feel things. Bring it on.

If you have ever dreamed of anything or ever fallen in love with anyone, you will know what I’m talking about. Go see La La Land - let yourself feel it.

Did I mention I’m a struggling actress and I’m in love with a very dashing man who plays piano? I really had no defense against feeling every single thing this movie was throwing at me, and I’m thankful for that.

JUST SAW AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 OH MY GOD NO SPOILERS

1) AS A MAJOR SPIDER-MAN GEEK CAN I JUST SAY THAT EVERYTHING WAS FREAKING PERFECT!?

2) AHHHH ALL THE PRELUDING TO MAJOR FUTURE VILLAINS AHHHH

3) BEST SPIDER-MAN MOVIE MADE TO DATE BY FAR

4) ANDREW GARFIELD IS SO FLIPPING HOT

5) DANE DEHAAN IS SO FLIPPING HOT

6) DID I MENTION THAT EVERYTHING WAS FREAKING PERFECT?! IT WASN’T EVEN THAT VIOLENT LIKE UGH SO SO SO SO SO GOOD I LOVED IT YAAAAY AHHHH I LOVE SPIDER-MAN SO MUCH FAVE SUPERHERO SO GLAD THIS MOVIE WAS GOOD GO WATCH IT RIGHT NOW

[Gwen Stacy] was a science major in name only. She was actually studying for her MRS, with a minor in crying, pouting and whining. She ran away to London because Peter refused her ultimatum to marry her, and then she pouted and came back because Peter didn’t follow her fast enough. She was basically everything women fight against being depicted as today. Her personality was so bland and blank, JMS got away with a retcon depicting her cheating on Peter and bearing Norman Osborn’s twins behind Peter’s back.

Death is the best thing to ever happen to that character, because now she is enshrined as the perfect girl who can never be, shining brightly in imperfect nostalgic memories. If Gwen had lived, she’d be just another Betty Brant or Liz Allen.

Stan agreed to kill her off. He denies it occasionally, but both John Romita Sr. and Gerry Conway agree he was in on the decision. Also, it was Gerry Conway, the writer of the title at the time, who decided to kill Gwen because, to paraphrase his words, she was a stiff so he might as well make her one for real. Romita Sr. agreed with Conway, because even though he tried to give Gwen personality, he just couldn’t make her as appealing as Mary Jane.

Also, pegging Gwen as the start of “fridging” is fallacious and a misread of comic book history. The death of Gwen was a comics watershed moment in many ways. But she wasn’t killed just to cause the hero temporary manpain. The death of Gwen continues to resonate and inform Peter’s - and Mary Jane’s, and others - characters, as mentioned in the body of the article. Her death counted and mattered (and again, was the best thing ever to happen to her, legacy wise).

I understand Emma Stone was all sorts of cute and movie fans have their own idea of who comic book Gwen was, but they’re wrong. In fact, movie Gwen actually owes a lot more to Ultimate Mary Jane than she ever did to her mainstream Marvel counterpart.

—  (X)
Reblog & I'll follow if you post any of the following:

(In order of importance):

  • Iron Man/Tony Stark
  • Robert Downey Jr
  • X-Men DOFP, First Class, X2 
  • Wolverine/Logan Howlett
  • Hugh Jackman
  • James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender
  • #CHERIK 
  • AMAZING Spider Man/Peter Parker
  • Peter Parker & Gwen Stacy
  • ANDREW GARFIELD AND EMMA STONE
  • Max Dillon :( :* :D
  • Did I MeNTion HOw HoT HUgH JaCkmaN iS?
  • Captain America
  • Science Bros
  • LOKI/TOM HIDDLESTON AKA SASS QUEEN            

cs high school au: out of control like a surge of electric;

A/N: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TESSA <3333 I only found out it was your birthday last night so apologies that it’s so rushed and not my best work, but I worked on it all day and I hope ya like <3

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“Dammit!” Emma snapped, her fist colliding with the door of the cart. “Damn it all!”

“Relax, love.” Killian tried soothing her, reaching out to grasp her hand, but she immediately pulled it away.

“No! You stay away from me!” she growled, pointing a menacing finger at him as she struggled to keep her breathing even.

Emma Swan was not afraid of anything– At age 9, when the bullies in her group home tried to steal her baby blanket (the only thing she had
left from her birthparents), she pulled their hair and pinched their arms until they ran away crying. In 6th grade, when a tarantula had crawled
on Benny Mason’s arm during the school zoo trip, she picked it off him and placed it back on the ground like it was a leaf. In sophomore year,
when Wyona Sanders locked her in the dark auditorium for 2 hours, she kicked the double-decker doors down right into her annoying little face and gave her a black-eye to match her god-awful purple eyeshadow.

Emma Swan was not afraid of anything.

“How long have we been stuck here?” Mary Margaret groaned from hers and David’s cart behind them.

“I’d say around 3 hours, but I can’t be too sure. All this humidity up here is giving me a massive headache.” Killian massaged his temples in
a desperate attempt too soothe his rattling brain.

Letting out a sigh, Mary Margaret unbuckled her seatbelt and leaned herself into David’s chest. “Geez, if I knew the rides here were so
dysfunctional, I would’ve never agreed to stop over.”

“Look at the bright side, Mary Margaret.” David whispered. “At least you’re taking this better than Emma.”

If looks could kill, the glare that Emma sent over her shoulder would’ve sliced him in half.

“I heard that.”

Emma Swan was not afraid of anything– except, maybe heights and getting stuck on top of the world’s tallest rollercoaster.

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