can you even believe this scene its so beautiful and epic

13x01: Full Episode Deconstruction

What am I supposed to say here? Sincerely, what? How can I even begin to create a coherent commentary on this episode when the imagery in my head is the entire crew with their balls out? *prostrates myself on the floor again* *fighting back tears of ever more resilient hope* *because them balls are so beautiful, babes*

I mean, if this isn’t balls out then I don’t know what is. And what the fuck does balls out even mean in the first place? 

It means the narrative tying back to the first act, which is S1-3. But they’re bound to - and have so done - do callbacks to the start of the second act as well, which is S4-5. 

I believe they’ll be picking and choosing to do callbacks to all the most memorable moments because this final stretch of the road is all about pulling the curtain back and revealing what the show really is all about, what the narrative has really been trying to tell us all along, moving us into an ending that feels surprising and yet wholly inevitable. 

Meaning the narrative is wrapping up and is singing its last note as it hurtles down the highway towards positive endgame. So far the sound of that note is a thing of epic proportion and we only have the first episode.

*light sheen of sweat on my brow*

So, here we go, upwards and onwards with this review. 

Let me tell you, firmly, that we screamed, we ( @margarittet @bluestar86 @tinkdw ) all screamed out loud as soon as the first notes of Nothing Else Matters started playing. 

Anyone who has seen the S12 recap reel that they released during SDCC this summer will have been screaming their heads off as well, because that reel was all about family and love and it was so CasDean/DeanCas/Destiel heavy that one cannot even begin to fathom the joy it’s brought all summer long. 

And here they go and use the song again (well, as Saz pointed out, now that they’ve got the rights why wouldn’t they?) but also we were just amazeballed in our eye sockets at the reveal that it was the chosen opening song and omfg we were four seconds in and already we could just tell that this. Was going. To be. Epic.

And fuck me I barely even know where to begin. So I’ll follow the above comment on the opening  music mind-melt with… the first scene, I guess. Feels a bit boring and standard since so much meta has already been published but, oh well, can’t be galloping on the back of a unicorn over the rainbow in every post.

…….. Can you?

No. Okay, no. Keeping it neat and tidy. Scene by scene, blow by blow —> off we go.

1. “Father?”

I have a feeling this season is going to be about fatherhood.

That’s totally sarcasm, because we all knew this season was going to be about fatherhood. Dabb has stated it on more than one occasion. Here’s our first introduction to Jack and glowy daddy devil eyes fade and give way for confusion almost immediately, which made me do a little dance and almost make a little love to poor Tink sat beside me on the sofa.

Yes, we knew he was going to be a blank slate but actually seeing it, seeing ALL of this episode play itself out, still gave shockwaves of pure awe. There he is. It’s Jack! Pleasure to meet you, finally.

2. Ummmmmmmmmmm no

I mean YES. Because oh my God, look at his wings on the ground. They’re too magnificent for words. (yes @magnificent-winged-beast that’s a nod to you) (a sad one) And Dean’s face. Look at Dean’s faaaaaaaace. And how it shifts from utter disbelief, like he can’t even compute, like, no, this isn’t supposed to happen, this isn’t right, and into focus at the reason for it and what can be done about it. It’s like he’s looking at Cas thinking How…? Why…? And then his brain clicks and all he can think is Nephilim.

(what is sort of horrifying to think about is that, to Dean, Jack is a baby - Dean doesn’t know that Jack’s all growed up…)

Tink has been banging her drum for this moment of Dean pulling his gun and running up to scare the bejesus out of Jack since May. I think I might’ve given her a bruise from screaming YES and shaking her by the arm. :P

3. Visual Manifestation of Power

Sam is Sam is SAM. God, I love Sam so much throughout this entire episode. He’s so Sam. That’s a shitty comment, but seriously, he IS SO SAM. Compassionate and logical. I believe this season is going to be so good to Sam and he’s already stepping into those Leader Sam boots.

As ever, Dabb uses a scene with efficiency and establishes a lot of things for us here.

Jack has a mission - he wants his father and needs to find him. Jack’s eyes glowing throughout the scene tells us that, no matter how calming Sam is trying to be, Jack hasn’t begun to trust him yet, and then Dean barges in, gun drawn, spots those glowing eyes, takes aim and fires off a shot. So the instinct of self-preservation takes over and Jack’s powers manifest.

The visual of Jack’s power is so goddamn brilliantly effective, because I think we know he’s bound go dark side, and he is fucking scary here. (I hope we’re right) (we have to be right in that he’ll go dark and I can’t wait!) (I can’t wait for Dark Jack!!) He knocks the brothers out cold.

TITLE CARD: it’s so fucking beautiful, what else is there to say?

My first reaction - as I’m certain most of ours was to it - was literally holy fuck, it looks like the sun!!

The up-side-down cross with an I inside it makes me think of how I believe this season will focus on the question of identity more than ever before, based in Dean finally beginning to trust, to have faith in people outside of himself, easing up on his need for control, all of this immediate and necessary stepping stones toward him finding self-worth in realising all of his self-worth is not in being the hammer, it is just as much in being the shield. 

He can take the backseat and still be useful, appreciated and loved. 

4. Burning on the Ceiling

Dean dreams of Mary stepping between the brothers and Lucifer. 

So, this dream sequence tells me that Mary going through the rift is - to Dean - the same as her dying, killed in hellfire once again, and him unable to stop it. 

But what else does this image from the Pilot hit home? This nightmare image of Mary burning on the ceiling? What does that image represent to Dean Winchester? 

Well, it set the course for his entire life, didn’t it? Losing her again is like a sudden reset, as though perhaps that change that had begun to take hold now after 12x22 was nothing but smoke and mirrors after all and this proves it. Whatever hope Dean had begun to feel for the future was taken from him with Cas’ death, and this flashback to his helplessness as a child when watching his mother burn only underlines how all the change he’s been going through is for nothing: he’s back right where he began. There is no happy ending in the cards for him. Ever.

Mary also bookends the episode, so Dean having a nightmare about her death leads into the reveal that no, Lucifer did not kill her the moment the rift closed: she’s still alive and, moreover, Lucifer is hellbent on her staying that way.

What else will you be proven wrong about, Dean Winchester? <3

5. Does He Have Wings?

The brothers wake up and we get a closeup of Dean picking up his gun. Yeah, he won’t be deterred by some freak power show, they’ve dealt with those before, and he is clearly hellbent on finding Jack. There will be no asking first-shooting later - that kind of power isn’t messed with, it’s put down before it can kill anyone. 

The cut on Dean’s lip intrigues me. He keeps touching it, it gets worse, then heals up, and at the end of the episode Mary has a cut in the exact same place after Lucifer hits her. There’s a visually established link between Dean and Mary in this episode. She was always an incredibly strong mirror for him, so this is bound to be meaningful later on. What’s lovely is that she remains a Cas mirror as well, stuck in her own Purgatory.

6. Nature Child

I love this shot of Jack’s feet walking in earth and dried pine needles, Jack surrounded by the forest. It feels organic and non-threatening, Jack sussing out this planet of ours with every new step he takes, and it’s even a subtle link to Cas and how he loves nature.

7. Pirate Pete’s Jolly Treats

Seriously, though. Seriously. We have a fast food joint with its menu changed by a blue-eyed and dark-haired Cas-on-the-outside/Dean-on-the-inside mashup of mischievousness. There is a joyful wink here that is not even subtle anymore and there are no fucks given and I love it. Please let it continue. (I have zero doubt that it will but, as ever, I could be wronggg)

High Seas Butt Combo is probably my favourite, but the buttshake has such a nice ring to it, too.

Now, Clark is a delight whatever view you take on him. Either he’s a guy with a wicked sense of humour and buckets of self-assurance who goes wide-eyed and looks rather delighted at the sight of a naked dude - or he’s all those things and just rather amazed at a dude without a stitch of clothing repeating the word “father” into his intercom. Whatever else there is, at the very foremost, there will most likely be friendship here as it seems Clark reappears in 13x03. 

Clark calls his mom –>

8. Sheriff Barker

*insert other people’s brilliant meta on the FUCKING MUG*

The FUCKING MUG could be a plant of the place itself, that something big will happen later on in the season in the spot where the rift occurred, where Jack was born and where Cas died. Kind of a significant place to remember the name of… Then again, they could easily plant it in dialogue or just bring up “the place where Cas died” so… Very very very visual plant of that mug. Or perhaps Phil Sgriccia is selling these mugs on eBay and is making a not so subtle product placement… (goes to check eBay to immediately endorse) (I’m a sucker for a good mug)

9. “Cas is…”

Look at that big beautiful body of water (rebirth) and the mountains (knowledge) and that lone white sailboat in the middle of it. Just so pretty, if you ask me.

Dean: We still have holy oil, right?
Sam: For what?
Dean: ‘Cause we’re gonna have to hit him with everything we’ve got.
Sam: Hold on a second. Can we just talk about what happened back there?
Dean: Sure, which part? Let’s see - Crowley’s dead, Kelly’s dead, Cas is… mom’s gone, and apparently the Devil’s kid hit puberty in thirty seconds flat. Oh, and he tried to kill us.
Sam: Yeah, because you shot at him.
Dean: I tried to kill the monster, Sam, it’s kinda what we do.
Sam: We don’t know what he is yet, Dean, and I had it under control.
Dean: I’m sorry, are you defending the son of Satan?
Sam: I’m not defending anything. I’m just saying, look, with everything that’s happened I’m obviously spun out also, but we need a plan.
Dean: Yeah - kill him. That’s the plan. Look, right now all that matters is finding him and ending him before he hurts anybody else. Now, once we do that we’ll figure everything else out.
Sam: What about Cas? Is he really dead?
Dean: You know he is.

Ohhhh Dabb, the evil man. I’m sure there’s a ton of coda after the weekend (I’ve glimpsed one or two!), but wow, Dabb left out the scene of the brothers going back outside before going after Jack, both of them standing on that sand, by Cas’ body, taking in those wings in daylight, Sam maybe just double checking for a pulse or any sign of life, Dean… well, I think he’d still be just blankly staring because it’s starting to sink in. 

Then Dean lifting Cas in his arms and bringing him inside while Sam goes and gets that sheet to cover him with. Oh, my heart. This is where that “You know he is” from Dean stems from, right? Yeah. They moved him inside and they know that there’s nothing they can do. Sam still holding out the smallest hope and Dean feeling it deep inside, that this is it. He’s lost Cas. And nothing else matters, as this entire episode demonstrates to us.

*mind* *so* *fucking* *blown*

Here’s the thing. In this my most recent long ass episode deconstruction I talk about how Castiel entering Dean’s life sets about a change, sets about a sudden need for self-examination, because Dean’s attraction to Cas is undeniable even to him and, to be honest, looking at that small smile in 4x05, he looks like he just might be in the first stages of falling in love. And the point of the love story (of any love story) is to push character progression. To make Dean need something more out of life, which will lead to him slowly daring to hope for more, because the need inside is taking over and is overriding any fear of the possible fallout.

Shooting that grenade launcher and tearing down that wall at the beginning of 12x22, which lead directly into him letting Sam go off and lead a mission before turning around and confronting/forgiving his mother, was a leap and a bound for Dean’s individual arc. What I’m getting at is that the above dialogue ties back into the image of Mary burning on the ceiling and Dean’s loss of hope. He is so fucking bitter, right? “I tried to kill the monster, Sam, it’s kinda what we do.” 

It’s like - okay, so this is my only function on this Earth: to kill. Well, then, let me kill. I’ll kill anything and right now what needs killing is this thing related to the fucking Devil. This is all I am, right? This is all I’m meant to be or meant to have.

What is so remarkable about this dialogue is that Sam is subtly, but firmly, standing his ground, just as he did in 12x20 when they had the whole Cas-isn’t-himself exchange, where Dean was spun out of his head with fear, and Sam just did not see the situation in the same light at all. Sam gets to even make the awesome statement “and I had it under control.” Fuck yes, you did, Sam - you’re in control of this situation and Dean is spiralling through his anger-fuelled denial of his grief, wanting a target to blame and having it.

I love you, Sam Winchester.

Dean’s face after he says “finding him and ending him before he hurts anybody else” is also telling of where his head is at and who that anybody else is in relation to. (yes it’s Cas who got hurt)

And then they’ll figure “everything else” out - as in what to do about Cas’ body that they left behind in that house. 

And then, of course, we get the lens flare to end all lens flares.

I mean, when the fuck has this colour not been used in a situation related to Cas and now they are fucking undeniably tying it to Cas by having it flare TO CAS’ FUCKING NAME. *they will murder us all* *balls so fucking out and dangling in all their glory*

The rest is under the cut. It got long. *smiles in friendliest manner*

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I was wondering if any [past or present] Jonerys, Pro-Daenerys fans like myself feel this way.....?

Firstly Id say please be nice i just enjoy analyzing the shit out of fandoms I like, (im a history/polysci major ((with an emphasis on Peace Justice and & Conflict Studies)) all i do is analyze and try to be diplomatic lmao) but considering all they petty drama between both ships as well as pro/anti Daenerys stans ON BOTH SIDES I’m going to be “That Person” and at least ask for people to be respectful/civil, I want to hear from everyone and their metas/what they think which is why i tagged like, all the tags, no matter if you love her/the ship or cant stand it, as long as everyone can keep civil

So firstly I’ve loved Dany both books and show from the beginning. She’s gorgeous, wants to be the best person she can be, and her hair/fashion style game is always ON POINT.  That being said, somewhere around season 5 i think i’ve found my opinion on her cooling a little bit, ep after ep, till now. Like I still like her bc she was my first character love on the show but I’ve def soured in my opinion on her. Maybe it’s because I love learning about the subject that im more baised (im hoping thats the case) but she just seemed to have no interest in actual governance, just the reputation (esp of being the ‘rebel queen’)/the awe/the power/the thrill of the adoration that went along with it to the point where I feel like though she still wants to be a ‘good queen’ or at least wants to be seen that way, she doesnt want to do much work for the title. Like yeah she freed all the slaves and that was a def progressive and awesome move on her part (major props! slavery is sin and im glad someone recognized that who had the power to do something about it) but she didnt handle that aftermath or ensuing problems well at all nor really mulled heavily on the subject to find the best solution. She just got fustrated with pretty basic/common (albeit complex in themselves) issues of standard governance and kind of went agh! fuck this! (obv not actual quotes but that was the vibe I got). And then ESPECIALLY after season 7 her character has kind of nagged at me in the back of brain which i hate but its inherent like its just a feeling i cant help it?? I just dont know why to be honest that Im feeling so negative towards this character i used to love.  The whole ‘ bEnD thE knEe ‘ thing w/ Jon and yet pinning it on Jon’s pride not equally on his and her own was more than a little hypocritical, when hon they can discuss it later like at that point they have two common enemies the WW and Cersei they both want to do away with, and then again with the Bend the Knee or Die bit w/ the Lannister soldiers. In fact the whole sequence before that point felt kind of villinous I dearsay, I mean  deliberately burning the harvest that most of westeros needs for the winter or even strategically not willing to try, and well, nOOt intentionally burn the food considering its winter, the harvest is over (so likely not much is gonna grow in the time being) when she has a G I A N T ass army of her own to think of feeding???? Like i get it is war shit happens soldiers die but the F O O D ? Was that an impuslive in the moment mistake or did she just not give a fuck? And back to the aftermath scene/Bend the Knee 2.0, her speech was again quite hypocritical…and burning dickon?????? not willing to keep prisoners???? either bend or die??? I actually am glad she did away with Papa Tarly bc he was an awful human, but dickon????? a young idealistic man about to loose his father??? the heir to a major ally/house???? And honestly that bend or die strategy is soooooo dumb bc now she cant trust any of them like theyre only bending the knee out of self preservation homie, no one wants to die. they bend  the knee to survive and now they all of the sudden think youre their queen? Nah fam, prisoners were better, all you got are spies in your camps or people willing to backstab you at the smallest promise of coin. And i dont want that for my girl

IDK the whole “im gonna BREAK THE WHEEL,,,,,,,,yet im stating my claim mainly on my housename (aka the predominant force of said wheel for a literal dynasty) and the fact that i can scare people who otherwise are unconvinced bc lets be real westeros has had a bad run of rulers a lot of which were Targs in the past couple decades, into submission bc ill burn you otherwise???” doesnt sit well with me nor does it feel like the character ive been rooting for the past five-ish seasons. She just doesnt seem to put into effort on understanding Westeros, why things go wrong, being self-critical or sharing the blame,thinking on what a “good” ruler would do…. anyone else feeling this way and if so do you think this is just shitty writing? D&D butchering her character? or a new arc for her? perhaps the way shes always been? She just seems like a tantruming child bratty and entitled idk (a beautiful child but still) 

As for jonerys…… im not gonna go into it much but how are other shippers happy????????? I honestly dont understand. I was SO looking forward to this season/this ship. like so much! But it felt so forced? And i know a lot of people claim its cause its rushed but tbh we’ve had a lot of romances in a similar time frame that felt like A C T U A L romances…..even Talisa/Robb who the Northerners will prob compare any of this too were so much better. THIS WAS MY EPIC SHIP DUDE. I feel the dany side of things (took a while but theres def heart eyes) and yet Jon???? He felt hollow. Still does even after sex. Im so disapointed but more than that I cant see the romance or the chemistry. He looks constipated. Hes never smiled like with his teeth around her the way hes done w others he cares deepily about (ygritte, toramund, sansa, even fkin gendry in the first scene they had together). He never reveals anything about himself. And between the “my queen” ep (and remember he was look warm when discussing her to toramund throughout it) and the previous the only thing that changed was that he saw the actual difference dragons made against WW. You could argue she saved them all too but that doesnt make you fall in love w someone out of the blue and also people have saved his ass before and??? Sansa w the vale anyone??? (Not an argument for jonsa js its happened) (though ill admit ive transitioned to loathing jonerys and loving jonsa more as a potential couple in the space of seven eps where if you asked me I wouldve been like PSH u cray. I never thought it would happen in a mill years but D&D ruined my ship and here i am! Shipping aside tho since its best too look at these things as neutral as possible).  Anyways the sigh of his after she left and when he pretended to be asleep…. idk. The only scene that felt genuine and where Jon smiled and it didnt look like a full on grimace and they actually kinda joked around was really nice and at the pit at the finale and if they do a LOT more of basic romance stuff like that I could ship it again but. It was followed by boatsex and boy. 

I was hoping boatsex might rekindle my like for the two together. I could see the chemistry the passion. I was hoping the passion would overwhelm me and make up for the rest. But instead……like there was no foreplay, it lasted 2 seconds, and it was overplayed by brans voice and a reminder of future conflict or at the very least major angst b/w the two. i didnt see the parallel between regear and lyanna playing alongside their scene as anything romantic or that it should be taken as such. and the look they shared…. I was hoping jon would bring it bc Dany’s look in her eyes is like soooo smitten and adorable and say what you will I still have a space in my heart for her and still dont want her to suffer, but again Jon looks like oh shit/constipated. And not in a good oh shit way either. 

There is a bunch more too but Imma stop there bc Im just tired at this point. 

So many things were just….off this season. And it cant all be blamed on the “rushed” time frame. I’ve read the undercover lover theory and hon it makes the most sense (not perfect sense but still, more than what we’ve been poorly spoon fed) but im not willing to believe it just yet. Still, maybe D&D are just butchering a lot of things like making the romance believable and stuff for the sake of time that could be true i guess. But they like to go AHA GOT U so 

Idk I dont find a lot of meta in the jonerys tag bc honestly (((((i think its bc the tag and ship are more popular and theirs more people both good and bad)))) it doesnt seem like snowballing theories is something all fans take really well in the tag at all. But whatever. I really want to know, is there any meta or theories im missing to either validate the icky feeling Im haveing about D or her “romance” or on the flipside anything that might make me change my mind about it? Theories, meta people!

I just want to reiderate im not trying to hate on anyone or any point of view and I will flag any comment anti one ship or person or another if its plain hateful or rude. I just want to understand it and see what Im missing, esp because of how much I was looking forward to her arc and jonerys’ dynamic and how much the words “falling short” dont seem to cover it. And to see if im not the only one to either have critique on the ship or her character [or even actually change ships]

Also i apologize for how much ive said “IDK” i just….. I DONT KNOW 

Fic recs


I’ve read very good fics in these weeks so let’s start.


Ne Regrette Rien by non_tiembo_mala


Jensen Ackles is an Oscar nominated director. His professional life is the picture of success, but at forty-one, his personal life is anything but. Trapped in a marriage he never wanted to be in, bound by what he was always taught was “the right thing to do”, Jensen has never known love, and long ago gave up the dream of it.


Jensen is directing a play at a Dramatic Arts Academy in LA as a favour to a friend on staff. He’s looking forward to the change of pace and the chance to scope out new talent. Enter Jared Padalecki, the school’s star pupil. Seventeen years old and the recipient of a prestigious, hard-earned scholarship, he’s the obvious choice for the play’s lead. He’s exactly the kind of fresh talent that Jensen is looking for as a director, and maybe exactly what Jensen never knew he needed as a man who’s lived his entire life without love.


{J2 au, angst with happy ending. A very melancholic Jensen who really begins to live his life when he meets Jared. Edith Piaf’s wonderful song seems to slip between the lines of this beautiful story.}



Untitled Superheroes or Why you should never let the media decide your superhero name

By Shadowcat221b


Splashing color from your fingertips isn’t the greatest superpower to have. But when a new villain emerges who only brings darkness it is left to a young reporter and his disabled chameleon to save the city. And maybe fall in love with his roommate along the way…


Featuring Jared as a reluctant hero with a peculiar gift and a sense for bad timing, lots of color being splashed around and two boys being oblivious to what is right in front of them.


Or:

The hero and the villain unknowingly share a flat.


{J2 supehero au. Humor, fluff. The characters are adorable, a very clueless and clumsy Jared, a flirty jensen who shows his love for Jared by making him food and honestly the little chameleon steals the scene with his adorable personality, add the whole plot of the superhero (or reluctant hero) versus the villain of the city and voilà we have a lovely fic that will make you smile like a dork.}


As a Boundless As the Sea


By cherie_morte


Jensen is an Engelon, a species whose home planet was drained of all its resources and abandoned thousands of years ago. Now what remains of their collective live in a large spaceship that travels between galaxies in order to find, conquer and drain new planets and their inhabitants of the one precious substance they need to survive: water. Engelons don’t feel anything except for greed, thirst and hatred for all creatures that stand in their way. Except for Jensen. Always the odd alien out, Jensen has tried to keep his yearnings and emotions buried, but when his collective discovers a big blue planet called Earth, everything changes.


Jensen is assigned the task of observing humanity, learning their ways and customs. When Jensen unintentionally takes a human form, his fellow Engelons have finally had enough. They cast him down to Earth, far from any ocean, where it is assumed he will die without access to water. But Jensen is rescued by Jared, a man who lives alone on the farm Jensen was dropped on. Jared has lost everything he ever held dear but he has not lost his kindness or his willingness to help a very strange stranger in need.


Or: The Epic Love Story of Jensen Tentackles and Farmboy! Jared.


{J2 au, Alien! Jensen /Human! Jared. Angst/fluff. What can I say about this wonderful fic? Jensen trying so hard to understand human emotions, Jared trying to find reasons to live. Jensen is the most adorable clueless alien and Jared is a sweetheart. A fic totally recommended.}

Six of one, half a dozen of the other


By Noctis_Solis


Things were simpler then. Jared missed the time when he didn’t need to measure his steps, and waver which path to choose. But then maybe he has been walking down the same road all along.


{J2 au, an intriguing and obscure story. A manipulative Jensen who becomes obsessed with Jared, entangling him like in a spider web. Magic and a dark Jensen, excellent combination.}



Planetary Attraction

By hugemind


Jared is a big gassy planet and Jensen is the asteroid pulled into his orbit.


{J2, crackfic. Hilarious from beginning to end. Believe me, it worth to read it.}



Muscle Memory

By Anonymous


That awkward moment when you realize that the man who brought you to your knees was actually your older brother all along.


{Wincest/Swesson. This fic is absolutely interesting. The guilt/pining approach between the winchester brothers is impeccable. Dean’s line of reasoning mixed with his guilt and desire, Sam discovering unsuspected parts of his personality. The guilt, the desire, the reasons they try to find for what happened between them when they were just Dean Smith and Sam Wesson. Both discovering the hidden desires that arose in that moment of passion.}



The Runaway Sam

By the wonderful @wetsammywinchester


Goddamn witches. It’s tough enough looking out for Sam on a regular day, but now that he’s small and furry?


{Gen, Sam and Dean. A really adorable little fic. Fluffiness and cuteness overload in this story.}


The Ghost

By hunters_retreat


Thirty years ago, humanity was changed. The magic they scoffed at as nothing more than fairy tales and children’s illusions was real and the barrier that separated them from that and the world of the fae came crashing down. In the wake of that phenomena, new government agencies were created to deal with the problems of magic in the modern world. Humans relied on the men and women of the DMI to protect them from the abuses of magic. But when Agent Padalecki finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation with a civilian on his scene, he realizes it’s not just any civilian. The intruder is the Ghost, a fae that even the high Seelie court fear. Faced with a murder investigation and a possible connection to a string of killings, Agent Padalecki must find a way to work with the Ghost to stop a killer before he can do the unthinkable; start a war between humanity and fae.


{J2 au. Human! Jared /Fae! Jensen. Omg this fic really is awesome! A plot full of mysteries and questions. Little by little all this world is unfolding around these cases of murders that detective Jared Padalecki investigates with the help of this dangerous fae known as the ghost. An excellent story.}



Leave me no light (and I shall rise)

By Noctis_Solis


Human came and went, memories were only temporary reprieve that invariably felt like something that happened to somebody else, and Jensen thought things that didn’t last long were no different from dust. It’s ironic that the most perfect opal Jensen had ever seen was Jared’s aflame eyes, destined to walk away, and taking the evanescent light with him back into the dark.


But Jensen was unwilling to bow to the Moirae.


(In short, Jensen’s furious at those who had hurt Jared. Not a happy story.)



{J2 au. Mistery and angst. Another wonderful fic from this amazing author. A story in which magic and vengeance blend together in an almost poetic way. Warning: is not a happy story but I like to think it has an open ending.}



Good Health & A Bad Memory

by Nisaki (aka the amazing @nisaki-chan )


Jensen wakes up with no memories of the past three years. He doesn’t remember his job or password or where he keeps anything. And he doesn’t remember his boyfriend; Jared.


But maybe there’s more to it than memory loss and a car accident. At least his boyfriend is there to help him figure it out… Right?



{J2 au. Fluffy/angsty. Happy ending. Jensen trying to find clues from the person who was before the accident, Jared is his guide on this journey. Ok I’ll just say this about this fic: it took me pleasantly by surprise. I really loved the structure of the characters and the plot is WOW, just read it, believe me, an awesome story.}

RWBY Musings: Gonna take a wild guess as to what I think Oscar’s semblance might be as I believe it could play a role in helping Jaune to finally awaken his.

According to what Ren said in Chapter 4, it is stated that one’s personality can define their semblance or vice versa. That being said, my guess for Oscar’s semblance is something to do with his mind, particularly the way how his mind is right now.

What if…and this is stretch here…Oscar’s semblance will have something to do with dreams and memories which will then grant him a more enhanced ability to connect to others through his mind.

(Fasten your seat belts and grab yourself a snack readers. This is gonna be a long one)

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READER HOROSCOPES FOR OCTOBER 2017
HAVE A GREAT BOOK: CELESTIAL WISDOM FOR FALL

LIBRA

I hope you’ve dusted off your dancing shoes, Libra! This is your month to fete yourself, and the celebration can (and should!) be nothing less than spectacular. As you enter this new season of your life, take a chance on yourself and do something you’ve never done! Give yourself permission to step outside of the responsibilities and boundaries you’ve adhered to for so long (adulthood, am I right? UGH.) and regain your sense of magic and wonder, if only for one night! You may find yourself craving some respite from spontaneity and adventure soon, so take advantage of your moment of abandon while you can, and then allow yourself to slip back into your quieter state. But if you find that a part of you still yearns for the kind of life-changing mystery and adventure that your day-to-day experiences simply can’t deliver, you should know exactly where to turn: books! Your lucky selection for this month follows three generations of a family in the Virgin Islands, right after being transferred from Danish to American rule. Two sisters and their half brother, orphaned by a shipwreck, each possess a particular magic that will either sink or save them. Allow yourself to be swept away by this gorgeous, vibrant tale that will remind you of the unlimited promise of a new beginning…and the beautiful chaos of a life richly lived.

LUCKY BOOK: Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique

SCORPIO

Welcome to fall, Scorpio! The seasons are changing, pumpkins are emerging, and as usual, this time of change and transition is making you antsy. You need a goal, a plan, something to aspire to, and right now, you’re undergoing a massive shift in thinking that typically precedes a bold move. So what will it be, Scorpio? With your birthday just around the corner, and a brand year hot on its heels, you’re in prime position to make a definitive move. A word of caution (and encouragement): you are, at this very moment, laying the groundwork for the change you want to see occur in your life. Whether it be a relationship beginning or ending, a new business opportunity or a farewell to your current career, you’re doing the work necessary to get yourself to the next place you’re itching to be. Don’t underestimate your ambition: these changes may be happening faster than you thought possible or necessary. But you know what? This is when you celebrate, not panic. You’re totally capable of this! Don’t believe me? Take a look at your desk, at the state of your bedroom. If you’re cringing at the mess, you shouldn’t. Your lucky book this month will show you why your more free-spirited, devil-may-care approach to life (and unfolded laundry) may contribute to your creativity and wellspring of ideas. Trust yourself, Scorpio, and take the leap. You’re ready!

LUCKY BOOK: Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford

SAGITTARIUS

Squad up, Sagittarius! This month is all about the power of the collective - we all know what one is the loneliest number, and while that may be preferable from time to time, it’s important to maintain those socializing and collaboration skills when more manpower is required. Are you in the throes of planning a massive Halloween bash? Don’t run yourself into the ground; delegate tasks and continue getting sleep at night! Trying to negotiate a thorny work situation? Call an emergency friend meeting and spill the beans: sometimes it takes multiple points of entry on a problem before you can gain any clarity. Keep in mind, however, that at all times, you are the master of your fate. Working with other people doesn’t mean letting them walk all over you! Figure out exactly what it is that you want, and allow the people who love and care for you to be there in your time of need. Teamwork makes the dream work, after all. For some of the most epic and mind-bendingly unforgettable scenes that showcase the importance of community and self-sufficiency, be sure to pick up a copy of your lucky book for this month. It’s a harrowing, gorgeous story of survival in the face of overwhelming odds, and the power of just a few impactful relationships in completely transforming someone’s life – for good.

LUCKY BOOK: My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

CAPRICORN

Capricorn, I hope you’re feeling ready to receive some blessings this month. Success is looming, and it’d be a shame if you missed the opportunities coming your way! Imposter syndrome, stage fright, survivor’s remorse – whatever you’d like to call it, it has no place in your life right now, do you hear me? This is the month where you bet on yourself: take some wild chances and make sure you’re rubbing elbows with the right people. At the end of the day, it’s rarely only luck or only connections that get you where you need to go; it’s both. And talking yourself out of attending that party, answering that phone call, or writing that letter will only hurt yourself in the long run. Yes, putting yourself out there is frightening, no one is denying that. But how will you ever know what you’re capable of if you don’t make an attempt? Do yourself a favor: live. Take risks. Show up. Make mistakes, and keep trying. If I can’t convince you, then maybe your lucky book this month will: a succinct and inspiring memoir of a hospice chaplain’s experiences with people at the very end of their lives. Sometimes the best way to ensure we make the most out of today is remembering that we never know when there will be no more tomorrow – a chilling thought, but also, a motivating one! Until we unlock the secret to immortality, taking control of now is the best chance we have to live a life we can be proud of – so seriously, Cap, what exactly are you waiting for?

LUCKY BOOK: On Living by Kerry Egan

AQUARIUS

Work hard, play hard, Aquarius! I want you to think of this month as the reward for all of the labor you’ve been putting in – at work, at home, in a certain relationship, or even on yourself. There’s an area of your life that you’ve been laser focused on improving or becoming more knowledgeable in, and the hours you’ve put in may have felt overlooked. That is not so! You’re growing, Aquarius, and with growth comes rewards. Not everyone can apply such brainpower to such a specific issue for such a long period of time (seriously!) and you should absolutely give yourself a pat on the back. You may not be aware of this, but people are watching, and they’re taking note of how self-motivated and accomplished you are (or will be!). Use that reputation you’re building for good, and continue to build. For inspiration, the author of this month’s lucky book is about as #goals as you can get. A journalist who fled her own country because of political persecution, she has devoted her life to exposing and telling the hard truths about figures in power who have built their empires on the backs of the oppressed. After years of both study and hard reporting, she has created a reputation and career that cannot be diminished. This month, learn from one of the best to ever do it, Aquarius, and then keep reminding yourself that if you keep putting in the work, the world will be within your grasp. Take it.

LUCKY BOOK: The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen

PISCES

Hey, Pisces. This month got off to a rather dramatic start, didn’t it? Everything feels a bit frenetic and electric right now, a bit like you’ve slammed an open palm on a live wire. This is a blessing and a curse, no doubt about it. The powers of attraction are at their peak right now, so don’t be surprised at the heads turning your way as you walk down the street, or the rather impassioned messages that begin rolling into your Tinder inbox. Committed Pisces, this may be the month you find yourself having the difficult conversations you’ve both been avoiding – for better or for worse (words chosen carefully). You’re realizing who your true friends are and who you can more accurately think of as an acquaintance – realizations that may be painful in the moment, but ultimately vital to know in the long run. Work catastrophes reveal important things about how you and your colleagues respond under pressure. If the universe’s grand gestures begin to feel too overwhelming to deal with, turn to your lucky book this month – a sharp, concise novel about what happens when your public and private lives intersect in ways that quickly morph from exciting to dangerous. In those moments, it becomes imperative to see past your immediate emotional reaction, and be able to make decisions under immense pressure. This time will pass, Pisces, and you’ll be able to relax. Until then, keep your eyes open, and focus on those deep breaths. You’ll make it through this month, step by careful step.

LUCKY BOOK: Reputations by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

ARIES

Happy autumn, Aries! Maybe it’s all the pumpkin spice wafting through the air, or maybe it’s your eternal hatred for all things pumpkin spice – either way, October has you feeling fired up and full of energy. There is so much to do, so many people to see and places to go, and at the rate you’re going, you just may be able to squeeze them all in! Embrace the high you’re feeling, and ride it for as long as you can. People naturally want to be in your orbit right now; you’re exuding positive vibes and it can only open more doors for you. But if you put yourself out there, you have to be ready for whatever comes, even opportunities you weren’t necessarily expecting. Be honest about where you want to go, and if you happen to bite off more than you can chew, own it. Don’t set yourself up for future failure because you’re enjoying the attention now! Have integrity and value other people’s time and energy as much as they value yours. Your lucky book this month is full of stories that get right to the heart of some of the most beautiful and admirable shades of humanity: compassion, hard work, friendship, loyalty. It’s the perfect reminder to keep you grounded and humble this month, even as your social status (and Instagram follower count) rises.

LUCKY BOOK: Five-Carat Soul by James McBride

TAURUS

Up and at ‘em, Taurus! The slightly cooler fall temperatures have encouraged you to lace up your jogging shoes, because who wants to go for a run in the thick of August, dripping with sweat? Not you, and I don’t blame you. So this month, you’re leaning into your fitness dreams and getting yourself back on track. While you’re in the gym, on the trail, or posing like a tree, try to apply a similar level of focus to your internal exercises as well. What have you allowed to accumulate these past few months that you would do well to shed now? What are you holding onto that weighs you down, making it increasingly difficult to get out of bed? It may take some meditation, a clarifying talk with your therapist, or simply some downtime, away from the constant blue glow of your smartphone. But most of all, what it will take is time. This month, you’ll find both validation and wisdom in your lucky book – very important companions on a journey like the one you’re embarking upon. In today’s fast-paced, efficiency-obsessed world, the standards for compassionate human care have declined, and so has our approach to health. You’ll learn why a return to a slower method of care is vital, and see why applying the same principles of kindness and patience to your own emotional fitness plan will ensure long-lasting results.

LUCKY BOOK: Slow Medicine: The Way to Healing by Victoria Sweet

GEMINI

Strike a pose, gem! You’re feeling like a million bucks (and looking like it, too)! Allow yourself to indulge in some vanity this month and treat every street you walk down like your personal catwalk. Smize, work it, stunt, repeat. You’ve been logging some hard hours lately, putting in the effort to make your mark on the world. Well, the world won’t know about it unless you promote! Use this surge of confidence to put yourself out there, unapologetically: send those scary pitch emails, network with people you idolize, find ways to brag about your work. Suffering from impostor syndrome? That’s normal, and it’s okay. It’s nearly impossible to get to the next level in your career or side-hustle without feeling a bit of natural fear and “what am I doing here?” But the trick is to keep pushing anyway. Recognize when you start to pull back and retreat into a safe shell, and remind yourself that this means this thing you’re attempting to do, this next level you’re aspiring to reach, is a bit scary and therefore most likely worth the fear! For some extra inspiration (and a little bit of hand-holding; don’t pretend you’re above it!), turn to your lucky book this month: a sizzling collection of short stories from one of the masters of the genre! Each story features characters that undergo difficult, sometimes seemingly impossible circumstances, with only their wits to rely on - with varying levels of success. Life may be a crapshoot, Gem, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. You’ve got the juice, now go act like it!

LUCKY BOOK: The King is Always Above the People by Daniel Alarcón

CANCER

Click those heels three times, Cancer, you know you want to. Right now, staying in and getting re-acquainted with your couch and streaming device probably sound like paradise – parades and raucous nights out be damned. Or perhaps you’re feeling particularly nostalgic and yearning to reconnect with people from your past, the people who immediately come to mind when you think of ‘home.’ Follow these instincts; there’s a reason you’re feeling this way! Whether that means giving yourself some time away from the fall hustle and bustle to have a few quiet nights in, or make a point to call your grandparents and ask how they’re doing, reconnecting with your roots is a perfect way to begin a brand new season. Just don’t let your need for quiet and reflection lead you to isolate yourself, because that isn’t healthy either. Your lucky book this month a beautifully stirring portrait of several generations of women, and how the stories that once started out as fact become contorted, stretched, and glossed over with the passage of time. It’s a celebration of family, albeit not a completely pleasant one (realistic), and the perfect companion on a chilly autumn night.

LUCKY BOOK: I’m Supposed to Protect You From All This by Nadja Spiegelman

LEO

Hello, Leo? You there? You’re giving Waldo and Carmen a run for their money this month with your aura of mystery. But sometimes you just need to shake things up, right? Life’s way too short to be boring! Walk a different path, go to a concert for an artist you’ve never heard of, finally wear that outfit you’ve kept in the back of your closet for months! Your teenage years and early twenties are not the only time you can claim self-discovery: it’s constant, this kind of growth, and you’ll never stop learning who you are, because you’re changing all the time. And if this makes you a little difficult to pin down sometimes, well, so be it. (But please - return your mother’s phone calls.) As you venture into the unknown, making new friends and setting down new roots, remember that at some point, your past will catch up. And if that reminder gives you pause…do your future self a favor and reevaluate some of your decisions. The main character of your lucky book probably should have taken that advice, but her journey is so riveting, you definitely won’t mind. Sometimes the road to self-discovery includes a few broken hearts – and when they revolve around someone whose whereabouts and actions are hard to keep track of (ahem), rumors start to fly. Between your thrilling excursions this month, be sure to get into your lucky book. You’ll be very, very glad you did.

LUCKY BOOK: The Mothers by Brit Bennett

VIRGO

Hey, Virgo! Got plans to slow down anytime soon? Your creative well is positively overflowing and pumping the breaks can feel a bit like self-sabotage. NOT. You aren’t a machine, and you need to rest to keep that energy going. Be kind to yourself and watch your productivity flourish. That said, beware the admirers who come around with empty hands outstretched: in a dog-eat-dog world, sometimes you need to override your naturally nurturing and coaching tendencies to recognize when people want to profit off your creativity for free. Be kind, but but be firm: you’ve worked too hard to get the point you’re at in order for someone else to swoop in and claim credit for what you’ve built. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with protecting what’s yours – and perhaps, if you’re feeling generous, helping others discover and fine-tune their own ideas. We know you’re on the go this month, so your lucky book is not quite as text-heavy, but not short on the inspiration: a collection of gorgeous original artwork and accompanying annotations from one of the most prolific political cartoonists of our times. When you’re in the thick of your own artistic process, learning how others approach and execute their work can be an immeasurable gift. Onward, Virgo, but consider scheduling a nap?

LUCKY BOOK: Blitt by Barry Blitt

Epic Movie (Re)Watch #197 - The Lion King

Spoilers Below

Have I seen it before: Yes

Did I like it then: Yes.

Do I remember it: Yes.

Did I see it in theaters: Yes.

Was it a movie I saw since August 22nd, 2009: Yes, #123.

Format: DVD

1) Circle of Life.

Originally posted by seokx2

Very few films have such iconic first frames as The Lion King does, and there are three key reasons for that.

First of all: the visuals are wildly unique. That very first visual of the sun rising is visceral and memorable, not to mention just absolutely beautiful. The following images of the animals of the Pride Lands also stand out, because they are filled with such character and life as well as something else which isn’t often seen in animated films: realism. Think about the film’s of the Disney Renaissance before The Lion King: The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. All are beautifully animated and feature great animal characters, but they are largely cartoon characters. They’re anthropomorphic, which the animals in The Lion King will be. But these first animals we see aren’t. They’re realistic, natural. In some ways it’s like we’re watching an animated nature documentary. And it does well to set up the visuals of the film.

Secondly: the opening number sets up a clear sense of place among the Pride Lands. We very quickly understand the hierarchy of things, how the lions are actually kings, who’s important, who are just subjects, relationships between characters like Mufasa and Rafiki, all without any dialogue. The fact the film can do this all so elegantly speaks greatly to its craft.

Thirdly: the music. Holy cow the music here is absolutely incredible. It is grand, moving, and a perfect first song for the film. It not only represents the talents of both composer Elton John and lyricist Tim Rice - who create a soundtrack with one iconic song after the next - but also Hans Zimmer. Hans Zimmer’s score in this film isn’t discussed much among lay people (we talk about it in film classes), which is a shame because it is as important if not more so than the work done by the previously mentioned musicians. Zimmer has only won one Oscar in his entire life and it is for this film. His score and work with the wildly talented Lebo M is perfectly married with this song, so much so the animators even recognized it.:

The original opening to the film was supposed to have been a quiet dialogue-heavy sequence. When composer Hans Zimmer prepared his interpretation of Circle of Life, he made an extended version so he would have some flexibility as to what to cut for the film. The animators were so impressed with the work that they decided to change the beginning into the currently seen sequence so they could use the entire work that Zimmer prepared.

So yeah, that’s why “Circle of Life” works so well as an opening.

2) Jeremy Irons as Scar.

Originally posted by thelionkingdaily

Scar is a delightfully evil villain in the best sense. He makes your skin crawl for a number of reasons. You understand he’s a cowardly piece of dirt, but he’s also intimidating. That’s because the animators and Irons are able to convey Scar’s intellect grandly. You understand how intelligent he is, how his power is in manipulation, and THAT’S what’s scary. Irons makes the part in much the same way James Woods makes Hades or Jonathan Pryce makes Jafar. He is one of many MANY examples of how this movie is perfectly cast.

3) I touched upon this briefly in note #1, but there are very few big budget American animated films which are animated as beautifully as The Lion King. The filmmakers take a number of brief moments to really just show off the majesty of the Pride Lands, to show off nature, which ties directly into the theme of the circle of life. Nature has an order to things, a balance, and this film shows that in the most beautiful and perfect way imaginable here and there.

Originally posted by iggyface

4) This theme of the circle of life is perfectly explained by Mufasa to his young child Simba early in the film. The reason that scene works and why so many simple lines of dialogue are strong in the memories of children who grew up on this film is because they’re simple but not stupid. Important concepts like the order of nature are explained to young Simba while also not talking down to him (and thereby not talking down to the audience). It is simple elegance at its finest.

5) The Morning Report.

So I’m watching the DVD copy of this film which was released in 2004 I believe, which features this addition to the film. “The Morning Report” was a song which I believe was originally considered for the original release but then cut, before finding new life in the successful Broadway production of The Lion King. Although I grew up with the film including “The Morning Report”, I honestly prefer the version without it. The song is fun but doesn’t really feel necessary and I imagine it was cut from the original film for a reason. It also shortens the gap between songs by falling between “Circle of Life” and “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” which kind of messes up the pacing for me. I like the song on its own and its not enough to ruin the film by ANY means, but I prefer this movie without “The Morning Report”.

6) I know Scar is completely evil and despicable, but there are moments where I relate to him. Case in point:

Simba: “You’re so weird!”

Scar: “You have no idea.”

7) Okay, quick question: ARE SIMBA AND NALA RELATED!? Because there’s only two lions in the whole pride and they’re both related to Simba. So who’s Nala’s dad? Is there an answer for this I don’t know?

(GIF source unknown [if this is your GIF please let me know].)

8) You know how there are things you say and then you understand why you say them?

Zazu: “The sooner we get to the watering hole, the sooner we can leave.”

I have been saying for years, “The sooner we ________, the sooner we can leave,” and I was wondering where that came from. Now I know!

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

9) “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King”

Originally posted by peter-pan-to-wonderland

Disney Renaissance films traditionally had a big show stopping number in them to dial up the fun. The Little Mermaid hand “Under the Sea”, Beauty and the Beast had “Be Our Guest”, Aladdin had “Friend Like Me”, and The Lion King has “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King”. The song is pure fun, with a song that infects the audience with its energy and an animation style to match. But more than being a piece of entertainment, it sets up a clear juxtaposition for Simba by the film’s end. Consider the responsible leader he is when he takes his place on Pride Rock against who he is during this song and you can see just how far he’s journeyed.

10) Simba as a character.

Originally posted by lionkingfreak

Honestly, the most interesting thing about Simba is the journey he goes on in 90 short minutes. You see him go from irresponsible kid to guilt ridden adult trying (and maybe failing) to deal with trauma, to a responsible leader. And it’s all so organic that you’re never taken out of the moment. It’s not like, “What, suddenly he’s this now?” I think that’s due to an excellent blend between the writing, animation, and voice over work.

Simba’s dialogue is done by two actors: Jonathan Taylor Thomas as cub Simba and Matthew Broderick as adult Simba. Both play exactly what they need to in the part, with Taylor Thomas able to portray both the cub’s more carefree nature and later grief. Broderick on the other hand is able to portray adult Simba’s grief/heartache, attempts at carefreeness, and eventual responsibility all really well. As mentioned above, it all feels right. Never jarring, never off putting, it just freaking works.

11) There are a number of scenes in this film which have a crazy good sense of place, and the elephant graveyard is one of them. As soon as you enter this territory you KNOW you’re not supposed to be there. It’s dark, forbidding, threatening, and just has a real sense of fear/dread to it. It’s freaking great.

Originally posted by whositswhatsits

12) Shenzi, Banzai and Ed.

Originally posted by whyhansolo

This trio is another strong example of excellent casting in the film. Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, and Jim Cummings all are able to be individually funny, evil, dangerous, and stupid at the same time. As a set, though, they compliment each other nicely. No one outshines the other, they’re a great trio that just help support each other.

13) The scene between Mufasa and Simba after the elephant graveyard is amazing.

From the moment Simba’s tiny paw is seen in Mufasa’s larger one, you understand clearly a big fear of the lion’s. He’s afraid he will never be as great a man as his father, with many of his actions compensating for this idea (going to the graveyard, for example). Both Simba and Mufasa are portrayed with heartwarming honesty in this scene. Mufasa’s anger subsides quickly and you understand (even before he says it) that his anger comes from a place of fear and concern for his son. It’s a scene which - more than anything else - gets you deeply invested in their relationship. Which makes the upcoming plot turn all the more heartbreaking.

This is also a good place to talk about James Earl Jones as Mufasa. Known primarily for his voice over work as Darth Vader, Jones is as amazing here but for different reasons. He is able to give Mufasa so much depth in his performance. The voice of the king can be threatening, angry, patient, wise, afraid, heartbroken, desperate, and kind, with no element lessening the other. And Jones just is excellent in all facets, which might be why he’s reprising the part in the 2019 reimagined version directed by Jon Favreu.

14) Remember how I said Scar can be relatable? Well, I think we’ve all had this moment:

Originally posted by vero-argent

15) Be Prepared.

Okay, I’m a sucker for a good villain song and “Be Prepared” is wonderfully dark/evil. I have to remind myself it’s still Elton John and Tim Rice, it’s still the guys who did “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” because it’s just got such a different character to it. The song is amazing from a storytelling standpoint because if it wasn’t clear what Scar’s motivations/goals were before, they sure are now. Like with “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King”, there’s this wonderfully fun animation style to it which pushes the boundaries of reality. It’s just wonderfully villainous and I love it.

15.1) In the song “Be Prepared”, Jeremy Irons actually threw out his voice after the line, “YOU WON’T GET A SNIFF WITHOUT ME!” So the filmmakers had Jim Cummings (legendary voice over actor who plays Ed in this film) sing the rest of the song. If you’re a fan of Anastasia, Cummings sang “In The Dark of the Night” and if you listen you can definitely hear that it’s him but otherwise he does a good job of masking his voice.

Originally posted by everythingstarstuff

16) Wildebeest Stampede.

(GIF source unknown [if this is your GIF please let me know].)

The reason the stampede scene works as well as it does is because it is so freaking epic. The scale of it, the music, the tension is just crazy high. Through the marriage of all aspects of cinema (acting, writing, visuals, sound) the audience is just on the edge of their seats. And the way Mufasa just jumps into the fray and throws Simba to safety just shows an incredible amount of personal stakes for him. It’s amazing from beginning to end.

17) Excuse me while I have a good cry.

Okay, this never used to get to me. Never. When I was a kid, it didn’t effect me AT ALL. But now?

Simba [upon finding Mufasa’s body]: “Dad come on, you gotta get up…we gotta go home.”

Yeah, even thinking about it gets me teary eyed. I think it’s because of some personal stuff I’ve gone through the older I get, but just the raw honesty of the scene gets me. Especially the way Simba nestles under Mufasa’s paw because to him that place is safe? And he just lays close to his dad and…

Originally posted by fraddit

18) Scar goes from fun Disney villain to someone who you’re actively rooting against (as you are against the best villains) when he decides to murder his own brother and make his nephew feel like it’s his fault even though he plans to kill him anyway. That’s like, next level evil. Suffice to say I’m cheering on Scar’s demise at the end.

19) Timon and Pumbaa.

Originally posted by kpfun

The film’s ultimate scene stealers, Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella are great in their respective parts as the meerkat and warthog. They just bring a smile to your face whenever they appear on screen. Pumbaa is charmingly innocent and Timon is likably deviant as a trickster. They play off each other well like a classic comedy duo and are just great to watch.

20) Hakuna Matata.

Originally posted by conniexue

One of the key reasons the song works so well in the story is because it is a welcome shift in tone from Mufasa’s death and Simba’s exile in a way which still feels organic. The number is charming, light, infectious, fun, and just a genuinely feel good song. A great anthem for anyone who stresses too much about the little things. Maybe not so much for people who could stress more about the big things, but there’s a middle ground.

21) I always wanted more of teenage Simba, who we really only get to spend like 3 seconds with. I don’t know, there’s something about that ½ mane which I like. But then again, I’m a fan of awkward middle child movies and tv show stuff. That’s probably a factor.

22) I love it when Disney gets meta.

Scar: “Sing something with a little bounce in it.”

(GIF originally posted by @thedailyprophet)

Scar: “NO! Anything but that!”

22.1) My mother and brother saw the Broadway version in New York in 2014 or 2015 (I can’t remember which). According to them, Zazu sang “Let it Go” instead and got the same reaction out of Scar. I dig it.

23) This is a brief but great scene that lets the audience understand Simba is NOT where he belongs, no matter how great Timon & Pumbaa are.

Simba [about stars]: “Somebody once told me that the great kings of the past are up there…”

[Timon and Pumbaa break out laughing at Simba.]

24) Okay, let’s talk about this.

According to IMDb:

There have been rumors that when Simba collapses on the cliff after talking with Timon and Pumbaa about stars, the dust that flies off the cliff forms the letters SEX. In fact it forms the letters SFX, the abbreviation of the special-effects team that worked on that portion of the film. For all subsequent releases more flowers and dust were added to the scene to avoid controversy.

25) I love how it takes Simba no time at all to recognize Nala, he recognizes her that well. It just takes her beating him in a fight.

26) In some moments, I’m Timon.

Timon: “Let me get this straight! You know her, she knows you, but she wants to eat him. And everyone’s okay with this? DID I MISS SOMETHING!?”

27) Can You Feel The Love Tonight.

Originally posted by princessemmaofarendelle

Apparently at one point Disney was going to have Timon and Pumbaa sing the whole song as a gag, while at another they’d cut it entirely. Elton John campaigned that the song be featured as is, as he considered it a love song in the grand Disney tradition. Well this apparently a brilliant decision because it won the film as Oscar for Best Original Song. The song is such a sweet and beautiful piece which really just pulls at your heart strings, allowing you to actually feel the love in the air. I just love it.

28) This moment always makes me smile. Rafiki’s unbridled joy is just so infectious.

Rafiki: “Asante sana, squash banana…”

29) Remember that I said Simba’s biggest fear was not being as great a lion/king as his father was?

Rafiki: “You see: he lives in you.”

Rafiki’s words and then Simba’s communication with his father’s ghost both feed directly into this fear.

Originally posted by great-circleoflife

Simba has greatness in him and that greatness is represented by his father. His father’s memory lives on in him and he can do great things in that memory. The visuals of the scene where Simba communes with his father’s ghost continues the film’s streak of excellent visuals and is iconic to this day.

30) One of the wisest lines I have heard in a movie ever.

Rafiki: “Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it you can either run from it OR learn from it.”

31) Nathan Lane improvised this line and the filmmakers just rolled with it. Meanwhile I still laugh my butt off every time we get this far.

32) This line really shows that Scar sees being king much as the immature cub Simba did (in “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King”), but that’s a much scarier reality than it is fantasy.

Scar: “I’m the king, I can do whatever I want.”

33) I would like to point out that Scar is such a freaking coward. He cowers so quickly before Simba when he returns then tries to manipulate him. He tries to sneak away from the fight before blaming the hyenas for everything. He tries to appease Simba before double-crossing him and being thrown to the hyenas (literally). It’s this cowardice, this double crossing, which leads to Scar’s death and I couldn’t be happier about it.

34) This all takes place during a skirmish between our heroes and villains, a scene which is a really great climax for a lot of reasons. It definitely has some seriousness and epic-ness to it, while also infusing it with classic cartoonish fun. It’s just got some wonderful action to it.

35) Simba’s ascension to the top of Pride Rock feels 100% earned. In the ninety minutes of the movie we’ve seen the journey he’s gone on since birth and we understand that this is not only his place but also that he’s earned this place. A truly fitting ending.

Originally posted by sugarteabear


The Lion King is an iconic classic of not only animation but cinema in general. It’s wonderful sense of epic storytelling blends perfectly with characters, actors, music, and animation. It tells the story it needs in an elegant and emotional fashion, providing cinema with one of its most heartbreaking deaths ever while also giving us some of Disney’s best humor. All in all, it’s just a great film everyone should see.

Attack on Titan Episode 30

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I have this acquaintance who seems to believe that I’ve been unfairly circumspect regarding my opinion of this (and other) episodes. I am aghast (aghast, I tell you) at this ruthless judgment of how I best enjoy my cartoons.

To defang such a callous accusation, this seemed like the way to go.

(Featuring xtreme whining, manga spoilers like whoa, more whining, and maybe a few spots of joy. Who can say. I haven’t started yet, and I’ve never done a liveblog before. It’s a surprise for everyone.)

So, Attack on Titan Episode 30, “Historia.” Let us begin!

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reality vs. fantasy

This post is most likely not going to be as coherent as my previous posts because I am fresh off the high of that season finale but did y’all peep all the Olake parallel scenes and how hard Olivia played Fitz which is exactly what her daddy wanted her to do in the first place? Truly, I am hollerin’.

Let’s start with the ‘family is a weakness’ line of Rowan’s that Olivia internalized and sat to the side not because it’s bullshit but because she refuses to let it get in the way of what she needs. This ~lone wolf thing that her father had going on for the longest time is not who she is. Olivia needs people; she needs a family and she’s worked hard to develop her own and that’s not something she’s willing to let go. Interestingly enough though she is willing to let Fitz go, and I believe it’s because he’s not her family.

Olivia’s family accepts all of her even the dark scary parts, the parts that are evil, the parts of her that are ruthless and vindictive. They accept her which is why it was laughable that Fitz ever believed Rowan actually wanted him as the head of B613. Totally in character of course but utterly laughable. I actually guffawed when I watched that scene because B613 is a shadow organization. Their hands are stained with blood, and they do what they have to in order to preserve the republic. They are duty bound and they serve at the pleasure of the nation not the president. Fitz, a man that was willing to go to war for love. A man who was willing and able to carry on a relationship with a woman whose father killed his child. A man who has time and again put the nation in jeopardy because of his ~feelings could never be Command. No one is ever given that position. It’s not handed to you; you take it. How could a man whose favor and beliefs shift with the changing of the wind ever be formidable or fortified enough to withstand the demands and costs of Command? So, yes, Olivia did save him but she also reaffirmed what and who he is to her. A fantasy.

Their kiss on the lawn of the White House was picture perfect. Pristine in its beauty. Honestly, the stuff of romance. I applaud the show for it even as I giggle behind my hand because it was a masterful move. It’s telling that Olivia yelled, “Mr. President,” instead of Fitz. It’s telling that she told him that she wanted him to stay but he couldn’t if he was going to be Command and that even after he rescinded the order, Olivia still sent him on his way. She said goodbye. It wasn’t an ‘I’ll see you later’ or ‘I’ll see you soon’ but goodbye because Fitz is not her family and he does not fit into her world. He loves an idea of who she is just like she loves an idea of who he is but unlike him, Olivia’s love is tied to the White House, the seat of American power. You vacate that seat and her love vacates itself with you. Doesn’t mean she doesn’t care just means she has different priorities.

That’s not how family works though. Family has a seat at the table. Family knows where the bones are buried. They may not know all of the story but they know more than others and that’s a weakness Olivia is willing to have. It’s also something that Jake understands and Fitz never could. Fitz wants to live in an idyllic vision of what he believes to be true about people. The world is black and white to him but he’s also willing to be led by his nose in situations that he doesn’t want to deal with. Olake believe in shades of grey. They head straight through the realities of life no matter how ugly they are. And Olivia has something with Jake that she’s never had in a partner; the ability to be herself, to not pretend. She doesn’t have to be better than she actually is. All of that darkness she has sitting inside her; all of that anger can be all the way at the surface. It can lash out; it can strike and Jake won’t turn away from her. He may not always like it and he will certainly tell her about herself if needed but he won’t turn away. Olivia knows this because Jake has actually seen her at her worst, and he’s still here. Talk about ride or die.

Olake were epic levels of partnership in the finale. They were clearly a unit. They moved together. It was beautiful to see because it felt like we came full circle. Olivia before the mirror in her gala dress reminded me of s2 when she was getting ready to go on a date with Jake and ended up backing out because of Fitz. Both times Jake came to her door except this time they stepped out together. But their door conversation also reminded me of the end of s4 when they put her father away and Jake told her to take what she is owed. But this time instead of her running off to Fitz, she and Jake go and take what she is owed together. She takes the White House and she reconstitutes B613 and becomes Command with Jake by her side. As she yelled to Fitz in that hotel room in s3, Jake being there is for her. It has been that way since she realized she loved him. It’s been that way since she brought him into her family. It continues to be that way. Olivia told her father she wants to share this world i.e. her world with him, and though she wasn’t talking about Jake, I do believe wanting to share her world also extends to him, too. I would not be surprised if those three have Sunday dinners together. Just like I’m not surprised that when Olivia truly and wholeheartedly stepped into being Command she chose Jake to be with her.

added: Also,I’d like to point out that Fitz and Olivia don’t work because she needs a partner. She cannot carry all the weight of the relationship on her shoulders and that’s what Fitz requires. He is the most high maintenance of men. She always has to be on. With Jake she can be every facet of herself which is what happens when you step outside the romance novel with the poorly constructed plot and back into the reality of what you need in a partner. Olivia and Fitz are like the epitome of love not being enough to sustain a relationship.

pastel-nonbinary  asked:

THe RFA as the Heathers musical????? (◕‿-)*・。゚ I LOVE YOU SO MUCH THAT YOU KNWO WE BOTH NEED THIS.(ɔˆ ³(ˆ⌣ˆc) PLease the love o f my life, the 7 to my 07, the Chandelier to my McNAmara the Viktor to my YUuuri! (っ◔◡◔)っ ♥

babe!! i love you!!( ˘ ³˘)❤  you right, we need this. SOOOOO~~

[ DISCLAIMER : i didn’t really match up personalities??? its hard. im smol. its 2am. you’re right next to me. ]

Cast

  • MC - Veronica 
  • Zen - Heather Chandler 
  • Yoosung - Heather Duke
  • Jaehee - Heather McNamara 
  • Jumin - Kurt 
  • 707 / Luciel / Saeyoung - JD
  • V / Jihyun - Ram 
  • Saeran - Martha
  • Rika - Mrs. Fleming 
  • Vanderwood - Preppy Stud / Principal Gowan / general ensemble 

Highlights

  • Beautiful 
    • MC being all smol and hopeful - “Dear Diary, I believe I’m a good person” “We were kind before, we can be kind once more” 
    • If Vanderwood is the general ensemble, its just them yelling out insults. “Freak! Shortbus! Bug-eyes! Lard ass!” etc.
    • MC about V: “smacking lunch trays and being a huge dick”
    • Saeran loving the Princess Bride???
    • MC about Jumin: “kind of like being the tallest dwarf” 
    • Jumin: “you have a zit right there” 
    • Jaehee being head cheerleader is amazing
    • also: “if i took a meat cleaver down the center of your skull, i’d have matching halves. thats very important
    • Yoosung being Duke and being snarky to Zen 
    • MC about Zen: “he is a mythic bitch.” which is me about him tbh
    • Rika not giving a fuck about Yoosung throwing up in the bathroom rip 
    • Saeran watching MC get sold to the rfa smh
  • Candy Store 
    • literally everything about this is iconic
    • Zen: “WHY NOW ARE YOU PULLING ON MY D I C K?” 
    • the subtle gay between Veronica + Mac is now Jaehee x MC
    • Zen to Yoosung: “SHUT UP HEA THER”
    • Zen being a dramatic asshole with that long note 
    • Jaehee hitting them harmonies hell yeah 
    • i love this part of this stupid au listen
  • Fight For Me 
    • MC to 707: “hey, Mr. No Name Kid”
    • 707 literally beating up Jumin and V???????
    • where is this au going
    • 7 is actually 3 cats in a trench coat
    • MC is #whipped 
    • Vanderwood in the background: “holy shit! holy shit holy shit holy shiiiiiit” 
    • MC in general: “Dᵃᵃᵃaamn”
    • MC knows CPR how handy 
    • “You can punch real good”
  • Freeze Your Brain
    • ok but?? all of this song is 7??????
    • “who needs cocaineeeee?”
    • minus the dad rip
    • 7 goes to 7-Eleven
    • god bless
    • “altar of slush” is something Seven would have ok 
    • *sip noise* 
  • Big Fun
    • idk its party song
    • Yoosung, Jaehee, and Zen going: “dang dang diggity dang a dang”
    • V hating freshman
    • Jumin going: “yOU NEED A JELLO SHOT”
    • disregard martha having feelings for ram rip i dont ship that
    • “LETS USE THEIR SHOWERS. THAT SOUNDS LIKE BIG FUN”
    • its a party idk what to tell you
  • Dead Girl Walking
    • do I have to explain this one?
    • MC in 7′s yard
    • MC about Zen: “the demon queen of high school”
    • “spend these 30 hours getting..fREAAKKYYYYYYYY YEA”
    • Seven: “how’d you find my address?” and “that works for me, hoop”
    • its a sex song
    • thats it
    • yall do the do
  • The Me Inside of Me
    • Zen is dead
    • Zen: “IM BIGGER THAN JOHN LENNON”
    • this is what Zen deserves in death
    • i cant believe mc and 707 poisoned zen
    • this is the song his fanclub sings
    • jaehee is in mourning
    • rika: “this is the loveliest suicide note I’ve ever read”
  • Blue
    • rip 
    • Jumin and V, drunk and trying to get into MC’s pants?
    • seems legit
    • V: “Heyyy ‘ronia” ;)))))
    • MC: “you got a left hand, use it”
    • Yoosung and Jaehee just shaking their heads in the car and singing along
    • this song is a mess
    • Jumin and V had too much wine
  • Our Love is God
    • here w e goooo
    • 707 being all cute at first
    • Jumin and V: “free pussy. and we dont even have to buy it a pizza”
    • Our love is god 7
    • “Ich Luge” bullets yeah sure saeyoung
    • “we’re what killed the dinosaurs”
    • 707 kills V????????
    • Jumin to 7: “you killed my best friend”
    • nOW IM SAD ITS 2:30ISH AND IM GONNA CRY
  • My Dead Gay Son
    • Vanderwood can move over, I’ll sing this song
    • i mean…i love my dead gay sons
    • they’re bi, but….
    • anyway 
    • now they’re dead
    • rip in pieces
  • Seventeen
    • this is where MC tries to convice 7 to be normal
    • and its cute
    • and they talk about prom and dancing and camping
    • cute couple moment 
    • thats about it
  • Shine A Light
    • here’s rika trying to make light of a situation that shouldn’t be lightened on
    • and the start of Jaehee’s breakdown
    • “my husband left” the world, ye
    • Rika: “i’ve joined a cult”
    • also Rika: “so Steve, I’m ending our affair. And I faked it. every single time.”
    • ….anyway
  • Lifeboat
    • my beautiful wife’s beautiful solo
    • she’s so sad
    • the people around her are dying
    • she’s kill this song it would sound so good
    • being salty about Yoosung being the new leader
    • “well who made her captain?!…still, the weakest must go”
    • save my wife
  • Shine A Light(Reprise)
    • aka Yandere Yoosung
    • or, in Jaehee’s thoughts
    • look, more subtext gay
    • honestly, just….
    • im sad, next song
  • Kindergarten Boyfriend
    • smh Saeran we don’t need anymore deaths
    • [ changes this song to some angsty twin situation because,,, ] 
    •  “Where naptime lasts for centuries”
    • someone spare him
  • Yo Girl
    • the return of all the dead people!
    • and 7 really starting to go crazy
    • Zen’s ominous: “he’s got your handwriting down cold~”
    • Vanderwood as MC’s parents. 
    • The Dead Trio: “come join Heather in hell~”
    • MC’s desperate “get out of my house!” 
    • 707′s “knock, knock~~~” 
    • i like this song tbh its short but ooooooh
  • Meant To Be Yours
    • this song is also just 707 in general
    • just *clenches fist* ooooooh 
    • he’s this angsty 
    • plot twist: this whole musical is just one of 7′s bad endings 
    • sound effects for days 
    • “bring marshmallows, we’ll make s’mores~”
    • and then it starts to get Really Angsty
    • “you were meant to be mine. i am all that you need. you carved open my heart. can’t just leave me to bleed. vERONICA- open the, open the door please”
    • and then mc does….the Thing
    • “STILL I WILL IF I MUUSSSSSST”
    • vanderwood as mc’s mom yelling when they see what happened
  • Dead Girl Walking (Reprise)
    • MC going all 180 here and now they wanna die with Seven
    • Rika back at it again: “I threw together a lovely tribute, especially under such short notice”
    • Just imagine Jaehee doing a cheer that goes “send you straight to hell!”
    • MC trying hard here, “I wish your dad was good, I wish grownups understood”
    • Seven going full psycho: “I wish I had more TNT” 
    • *cue epic fight scene*
    • “Send you straight to-”
  • I Am Damaged
    • SADNESS
    • 7: “I respectfully, disagree.”
    • he’s too damaged. far too damaged
    • im gonna cry;;
    • “I worship you…I’d trade my life for yours”
    • o H MY GOD
    • “And when I disappear..”
    • WA IT HOLD O N  NOT THIS WAAAAY
    • “our love is god…”
    •  B O O M
    • yoosung: “you look like hell” mc: “yeah. i just got back”
  • Seventeen (Reprise)
    • and we leave you with these questions:
    • will saeran ever get over kindergarten?
    • will jaehee and MC finally Be Gay as a true ending?
    • when will MC stop
    • find out more next time on: “Random Ass AUs: the Musical”
WC Forging Through Camp Nano Series: Part Three

NAVIGATION | FIRST | PREVIOUS | NEXT

Hi everyone!

Welcome to the third segment in the Forging Through Camp Nano series! I hope that all of your projects are going well and that any writer’s block has been kept at bay! This post, we’ll be talking about a slightly different issue that may impact your word counts…

Plot snarls! This time, I would like to…

1. Discuss what a plot snarl looks like
2. Mention a few different kinds of plot snarls
3. Give some potential fixes for both first draft writers and rewriters

By now, I’m sure you’ve gotten used to finding your chunk of salt. Hold onto it tight for this discussion.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

WHAT IS A PLOT SNARL?

Consider this example. A writer is blazing past the halfway mark of their epic high fantasy novel. They’ve reached a fairly major battle scene taking place between the protagonist and an enormous monster of terrifying power. The aforementioned writer has been dying to write this scene and breezes through most of it with glee.

That is, until the protagonist goes to swing their “Sword of Ultimate Power…”

…And the writer realizes that said sword sank into the Swamp of Despair five chapters ago.

Can anyone else relate?

A “plot snarl” is my term for any difficulties in the writing process that arise due to inconsistencies in characterizations or the plot of a story. Basically, these problems typically pop up unexpectedly and cause you to do this:

Plot snarls are different from writer’s block, however, in that they do not necessarily interfere with your ability to continue writing. Yes, bumping into a snarl may very well induce a case of writer’s block, But usually, you can take action to repair (or at least temporarily alleviate) a plot snarl.

Before we can take action though, we need to know what we’re looking for. Let’s start by discussing the different kinds of plot snarls.

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megansarah11  asked:

Soulmate au where they don't see color until they meet klaroline(and if you make them vampires that would be interesting since klaus did lots of painting before he met Caroline)

Ugh this took me so long and it still turned crappy, sorry :/ hope u like it anyway! I always have a hard time writing canon lol On FF

I Hate You, But Thank You

Klaus had drawn for a millennia, most of them crayon based portraits - black and white, as that was all he could ever see; for him, it still held unimaginable beauty, after all it was all he knew. Even if he had heard the wonders of color and how much it intensified the world surrounding them - Klaus thought everyone mad for thinking such silly things. As if someone else could change your life so fully - soulmates giving color to someone’s life - how could that ever be true?

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Top Ten Films of 2014

Last year, I made my first video top ten (which you can see here), and while that was fun, as it so happens I’m a bit too busy right now to go through all the trouble of making a video at the moment. So here we are, back to the old way of doing things.

On an interesting side note, I found an unintentional theme in my list this year. Many of my films are in some way about the creation of art, as well as the price paid to be a great artist. Also, many of these movies could be seen as “coming-of-age” films. Once again I find myself astonished at how many great films came out in a single year (and I haven even seen all of them yet). So as usual, you can find my long list of “honorable mentions” at the end. 

Like always, this is just my personal top ten films of the year. Even if we share the same tastes, I guarantee you that my list would be different than yours. It’s just too subjective.

So starting at number ten and counting down… here we go!





10. Mr. Turner

As far as pure craftsmanship goes, “Mr. Turner” is perhaps the most well made film of the year. Mick Leigh is a master, and every shot is purposeful and completely stunning. The film itself looks like an old beautiful painting. Timothy Spall sinks deep into his role as J.M.W. Turner, and it’s probably his best performance to date. The deliberate pacing and lack of traditional structure might turn away some viewers, but “Mr. Turner” is nevertheless a great work of art, and a portrait of a fascinating man.



9. Frank

I knew very little about this film before seeing it, and I think that’s a good thing. From the opening scene, I instantly fell in love with this darkly funny film. At it’s core, there’s some rather deep subject mater, and yet “Frank” cleverly offsets this with some truly hilarious moments that keep the film entertaining throughout. Domhnall Gleeson is outstanding here, but of course, the real star of the show is Michael Fassbender, who gives an incredibly expressive performance despite the fact that we can’t see his face. I enjoyed nearly every moment of this picture, and it’s definitely one that you need to see.



8. Ida

Some films just belong in the Critrion Collection. Ida is one such film. It’s haunting and artful and features the best black and white photography I’ve seen in years. The sharpness and contrast of every shot is remarkable. The narrative is beautifully simplistic. In fact, the minimalistic nature of the film as a whole is part of what makes it so special. “Ida” is sparse, gorgeous, and masterful. Certainly one of the best foreign films of the year.



7. Only Lovers Left Alive

Vampires are cool, but Tom Hiddleston and Tida Swinton bring it to a whole new level. These old lovers have seen it all, and while they still appreciate art, science, and philosophy, they’ve grown tired and indifferent while mankind continues to make the same mistakes.  Jim Jarmusch’s film is a special kind of vampire story, because it may be the first one to really capture just how lonely, dangerous, and exhausting being immortal really is (or would be).  "Only Lovers Left Alive" has a deliberate pacing that glides slowly along with it’s characters. Along the way, we learn how they live and what they’ve grown to appreciate, and it’s all quiet fascinating. It’s my opinion that “Only Lovers Left Alive” ranks as one of the very best vampire films ever made. 



6. The Grand Budapest Hotel

A Wes Anderson film can always put a smile on my face. His last few films have been some of his best, and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is certainly no exception. This film is so beautifully stylized, and so hilariously funny, I find it hard to believe that there’s anyone who wouldn’t enjoy this film. The cast is fantastically entertaining (especially Ralph Fiennes), the colors are vibrant, the humor is clever, and the filmmaking is flawless.  When I saw “Moonrise Kingdom”, I said it might be Wes Anderson’s best film yet…. when I saw “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, I said the same thing.



5. The Duke of Burgundy

Captivating and visually arresting, Peter Strickland’s “The Duke of Burgundy” is one of the most compelling films I saw all year. It’s beautifully shot, colored, and textured with elegant pacing and precise direction - I really can’t say enough positive things about this film. It’s surreal and challenging while retaining a soft and gentle nuance of love and tenderness. “The Duke of Burgundy” certainly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I found it extraordinary and deeply inspiring.



4. Boyhood

I know many cinephiles will probably place “Boyhood” as their number one film of the year, and I wouldn’t fault them for that. Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” is one of the most innovative and uniquely profound films ever made. Shot over the course of 12 years, we literally watch Mason grow up before our eyes. It’s a remarkable experience unparalleled by any comparisons I could make. We owe it to Linklater for having the guts to push our medium forward in such a beautiful way. This will probably win Best Picture at the Oscars, and it’s easy to see why. 



3. Birdman: (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Simply one of my favorite cinematic experiences in a very long time. In the first scene, I made a mental note that we were in a long take, but to my wonder and astonishment, that long take never ended. There are, of course, cuts and interludes (this isn’t a “Russain Ark” situation) but the effect is very much that Alejandro Iñárritu’s film is one singular shot. It’s remarkable, but could be called nothing more than an impressive gimmick if the film itself wasn’t so strong. 

This is the best cast ensemble of the year, and the cinematography is gorgeous (made more impressive again by the long takes). But “Birdman” also has some interesting things to say about the creation of art, as well as the criticism that always accompanies it. It’s an intriguing film, and one with something to say. I loved every minute of it.



2. Vi är Bäst! 

Every year, there are films that just seem to come out of nowhere and surprise me. Before it was released, I knew nothing of “We Are the Best”, nor was I familiar with Lukas Moodysson’s previous work. However, this film was perhaps the most enjoyable film I saw all year.

If you know nothing of this film, it’s the director’s adaptation of his wife’s graphic novel “Never Goodnight” (by Coco Moodysson). It centers around three young teenage girls living in 1980s Stockholm who start a punk band - despite two of them not knowing how to play an instrument. While the band plays an important role in the film, some of the most interesting scenes are when the girls are simply hanging out. The performances from these three young ladies are perhaps the most natural I’ve ever witnessed from anyone their age. At times, it seems that they’re not even acting at all, as if the cameras just happened to be there to catch these authentic moments. These girls are so funny, enduring, and most importantly, real. This film understands what it really means to be a hardcore punk. And that is a rare thing. I really can’t say enough good things about “We are the Best”. You just need to see it.


And my number one film of the year is…



1. Whiplash

This is not the most ambitious film of 2014. It’s not a space epic. It wasn’t shot over twelve years. It doesn’t give the illusion of being one continuous shot. It’s not even by a famous director. Yet, “Whiplash” was the single most thrilling  piece of cinematic art I saw all year.  

“Whiplash” tells the story of a young ambitious drummer who dreams of being one of the great jazz musicians of our time. He soon finds himself under the mentorship of a cutthroat teacher who is willing to do whatever it takes to push his students to the limit. The film shows painful abuse and heartache, but then just when you think the film will find contentment in an obvious solution, it aggressively charges forward into the single most intense, passionate, raw, violent, and beautiful final scene of the year. A scene that made my heart race until it finally cut to black, and the credits rolled. Then, and only then, did I finally catch my breath. This film bleeds with a passion that’s visible in every aspect, from its photography, to its editing, to the stellar performances. Enough can’t be said about Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons. They both give 100% to their roles, and it’s both beautiful and heartbreaking to watch.

I found “Whiplash” to be painfully relatable at times… and I’m sure that contributed to my fondness for the film itself. Nevertheless, I think everyone should see this amazing work of art. Damien Chazelle has crafted a challanging look at what it truly means to be a young artist with high ambitions. The road to greatness is filled with suffering, pain, loss, frustration, blood, sweat, and tears… and it seems the filmmakers here understand the price that is paid. 



So there you have it - My top ten films of 2014. Please let me know what your favorite films were! Now, some of you may have noticed that a certain favorite director of mine not on this list…. so please see my honorable mentions below.



Honorable Mentions 

.

Inherent Vice - I know! I know! I can’t believe it either. P.T. Anderson is my favorite director, and I do love this film…. it just didn’t move me like his other work as done in the past. “Inherent Vice” is great. I just like 10 other films more.

Gone Girl - Yet another one of my favorite directors. David Fincher is to the point where he really doesn’t make bad films anymore. The craftsmanship is just too good.

Calvary - This is a touching and somewhat heartbreaking portrait of a priest genuinely trying to live a good life. A thankless job to be sure. It’s bleak but Brandon Glesson gives a wonderfully tender performance.  

The Babadook - Rich with metaphor, this is easily one of the best horror films in years. Love it so much, and you really need to see it.

Under the Skin - Who could forget this surreal work of art from Jonathan Glazer? Scarlett Johansson does wonderful work here.

Jeune & Jolie - “Young & Beautiful” was an underrated French film from François Ozon. I really loved it a lot, though I might be in the minority.

Snowpiercer - Joon-ho Bong is a crazy good director, and “Snowpiercer” is a thrilling sci-fi action movie far more worthy of your time than most summer blockbusters. 

Top Five - Chris Rock made an excellent film with a deep Woody Allen influence. I really hope he will continue this style into future projects. 

Foxcatcher - A remarkable film. Bennett Miller is on a roll. There’s really nothing to complain about with this film. See it.

The One I Love - A fantastic little gem from Charlie McDowell. Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss are great.

The Imitation Game - A very sharp screenplay, and a brilliant performance from Benedict Cumberbatch.

A Most Wanted Man - The last leading performance from my favorite actor. 

Guardians of the Galaxy - Finally, Marvel made their finest MCU film yet. It’s fun and fast and a really great watch. 

Unfortunately I did not get the chance to see “A Most Violent Year”, “Winter Sleep”, “Goodbye to Language 3D”, “Leviathan” and serval other foreign films. I’m sure they all could have made my list if I had seen them. 

anonymous asked:

I could use a midday pick-me-up... care to tell me something wonderful about Diana of Themyscira?

oh jeez just one thing?

  • she literally is the most beautiful woman i have ever seen and every time i watch wonder woman and the amazon training sequence, i get at least 25% gayer than previously estimated, this is a fact
  • on that note, bisexual icon diana of themyscira, give me bi!diana with an onscreen girlfriend in wonder woman 2 or give me death
  • she is 101% done with all men at all times and yet joins forces with a charming spy, a native american demigod, a turkish con man/aspiring actor, and a scottish soldier with ptsd to stop a war and is so convinced that she can just end it all herself, and it’s not how that works, and she’s momentarily completely disillusioned and yet she picks herself up and doesn’t go off the rails, she doesn’t go evil, she doesn’t listen to ares, she still believes that doing good matters
  • (side-eyeing u, “oh no my world/view was destroyed i must become Evil!” male characters)
  • the whole scene with her getting the sword like… i legit tear up watching her climb the damn wall of the tower because she’s so strong and so determined and so fuckin amazing just
  • how many times has the hero gotten the magical sword and starts his quest, but she gets the sword and then it’s not even the sword that is special, it’s her
  • (i have a lot of diana feelings)
  • NO! MAN’S!! LAND!!!! the only movie scene i can think of that compares to its sheer emotional power and instant tear-jerking/epically heroic quality for me is the charge of the rohirrim in return of the king at the battle of pelennor. like i’m getting choked up just thinking about it
  • she killed evil remus lupin with lightning and it was great
  • but her response is still “goodbye brother” like
  • “be careful in the world of men, diana, they do not deserve you”
  • were truer words ever spoken
  • i would submit Not
  • i’m a cynical af person with a generally neutral to negative view of humanity but literally if diana turned up and was like “love humanity and help me save them?” i would be like yes ma’am yes absolutely ma’am do we leave tomorrow can i hug someone first
  • she works at the louvre and is a curator of antiquities, i am a historian, i think we would get along
  • have you accepted diana prince as your lady and savior that’s all i am saying
  • that um
  • was not one thing
  • sorry?
Pennywise dis-arms in secret Comic-Con footage from Stephen King's 'It'

For all things Comic-Con 2017, visit our all-encompassing EW Comic-Con section

“It’s a great moment to be alive. Because It is coming back, after all this time.”

That’s how director Andy Muschietti introduced three reels of footage from the upcoming Stephen King adaptation as San Diego Comic-Con kicked off Wednesday night.

At a packed theater in the Gaslamp District, the director showed two scenes from the Sept. 8 movie and a new trailer — each progressively more disturbing than the last. None of it is being released beyond that theater, but EW was in the audience to recap what went down.

King himself appeared in a video message to torment his fans: “It remains one of my most personal works so I’m delighted it’s finally making it to the big screen,” the author said. “Enjoy this exclusive look… if you can.”

SCENE 1

The first preview showed the more Stand by Me elements of King’s epic novel about a group of abused outcasts who unite to take on the shape-shifting evil that feeds on fear and lives beneath their town.

It is a horror movie, but it’s not only that,” Muschietti told the audience beforehand. “It’s a story of love and friendship and a lot of other beautiful emotions. Our main characters are The Losers, as you know, and this clip is the first moment of the story when we see them blend and start forging that friendship.”

The shot opens on a summer afternoon. Picture perfect sky. A forest of emerald leaves. And five white blotches standing on a cliff.

This is only part of The Losers Club — Bill Denbrough (Midnight Special’s Jaeden Lieberher), whose little brother Georgie was snatched by It the autumn before; wisecracking Richie “Trashmouth” Tozier (Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard); small-fry and hypochondriac Eddie Kaspbrak (Jack Dylan Grazer); the logical, prepared Boy Scout Stan Uris (Wyatt Oleff), and chubby Ben Hanscom (Jeremy Ray Taylor).

Ben’s belly has a massive bandage on it, covering the “H”-shaped scar left there when the psychopathic local bully Henry Bowers (Nicholas Hamilton) tried to carve his name on the heavyset boy’s stomach.

These are happier times, though. The five boys are clad only in their tighty-whities, and they’re peering over the edge of the cliff into the green water of a quarry below. They spit over the side, trying to gauge how long the drop really is. Soon, they’re quarreling over who is going to be the first to take the leap.

“I’ll go,” says a voice from behind them. It’s Bev Marsh (Sophia Lillis), the tomboy with the scarlet hair. She parks her bike and removes her sundress in seemingly one motion.

The boys are dumbstruck. She’s not showing anything that a bathing suit wouldn’t reveal, but still… The boys would probably fall backward off that cliff if they had to look at her a moment longer.

But they can’t, because she’s rushing past them, not hesitating. Then she’s in mid-air, legs pedaling nothingness as she plummets fearlessly into the deep.

“Holy s–t, we just got showed up by a girl,” one of them snaps.

With that, each of them plops over the side — and the six kids, tormented relentlessly at school and each dealing with complications and pain at home that force them to grow up before their time, are finally just kids again. Splashing. Swimming. Stealing looks at beautiful Bev, who pretends not to notice.

Respect for their friend finally overwhelms their hormones, and the boys stop leering.

Then they’re all drying off on the rocks, and Ben — the newest of the friends — pulls out a little local history project he’s been putting together. “I first moved here, I didn’t have anybody I knew. So I just started spending time at the library.”

“You went to the library… on purpose?” Richie sneers.

There are newspaper clippings about an Iron Works explosion that claimed scores of lives. Another about “The Black Spot,” an African-American dance club that was burned down in 1962 by a group of racists — with lots of people inside.

“Why is it all murders and missing kids,” one of them asks.

“Derry’s not like any town I’ve ever been in before,” Ben answers. “They did a study once, and it turns out people die or disappear here at six times the national average.”

“You read that?” Bev asks.

“That’s just grown-ups. Kids are worse. Way worse,” Ben says. “I’ve got more stuff if you want to see it…”

Stan shakes his head. He doesn’t.

SCENE 2

There is a seventh Loser — Mike Hanlon, played by Chosen Jacobs, who is one of the only black people in the town of Derry, so he deals with abuse and hostility on a constant basis. He gets it worst of all from the bully Henry Bowers, who learned his hatred of Mike from his racist father, who in the book has spent years tormenting the Hanlon family.

Henry and his two cronies, Belch Huggins (Jake Sim) and Victor Criss (Logan Thompson), have chased Mike to a creekside, where they’ve pinned his face against the rocks. Outnumbered, Mike’s eyes search desperately for help. What he sees is a clown, watching him from the treeline.

The clown waves a hand… but it’s not his hand.

It’s a child’s hand, ripped off at the elbow. Pennywise (played by Bill Skarsgard) has been nibbling on the raw end, based on the blood smeared around his smile.

Mike squints. He can’t believe what he’s seeing. He doesn’t know it yet, but the demented glee the bullies are taking in beating on him is what drew It from its lair. Either they’re feeding off of It, or It is feeding off of their manic violence.

Maybe both.

The boys become even more unhinged. As Mike struggles, Henry lifts a softball-sized rock and raises it over his head, prepared to bash in the black boy’s skull.

Before he can bring it down, another rock whistles through the air and slams into the side of his own head. Henry reels back, stunned. The bullies look across the stream to see the six Losers.

Bev is standing closest, shoulders back, breathing hard. Braced for a fight. “Nice throw,” Stan tells her.

Ben, who has tasted violence from these guys before, isn’t about to let them do the same to another kid. He picks up another rock and hurls it across the stream.

“ROCK WAR!!!” Richie bellows as the bullies retaliate with a stone to the center of his forehead, knocking him on his ass.

After a barrage of rocks between the two groups, the bullies are wounded and Henry’s two friends limp off into the woods in retreat.

Richie, recovering from his hit, calls Bowers a “mullet-wearing a—hole!” as the bully recognizes defeat and chases after his friends.

Then we cut to train tracks (more Stand by Me vibes) and Mike is walking in the single-file line of his newfound friends as they cut a path through a field. “Thanks, guys, but you shouldn’t have done that. He’ll be after you too now,” he says.

“I guess that’s one th-th-th-thing we all have in common,” says Bill, who is also teased for his stutter. “Welcome to the Loser’s Club.”

The scene ends with the seven of them united as one.

“This is a meaningful moment in the book and the miniseries where the Losers discover the power of being together — the power that comes from being together,” Muschietti told the audience.

The young actors were also on hand and spoke about what the term “Losers” meant to them. “It’s cool to be part of a group,” Jacobs said. “We all want people who relate to us. But we all have our attributes that make us weird in the public view. So we’re okay being called Losers, as long as we have each other.”

THE TRAILER

The It presentation’s unsettling finale was a preview of the next trailer for the film, which won’t be released for another week. This returned focus to the movie’s villain — the nameless, shapeless evil that dwells beneath the town of Derry, Maine.

“Pennywise is one of the greatest monsters of all time,” Muschietti said. “The idea of reimagining Pennywise to me means it’s important to stay true to the essence of the character, but also bring some edge to it — something people won’t expect to see.”

The trailer begins with an aerial shot of tiny, perfect Derry: beautiful old buildings, a main street, tree-lined roads, and nice, quiet homes. A boy’s voice is heard. (It’s difficult to tell who, but I think it’s Ben Hanscom.)

“When you’re a kid, you think the universe revolves around you. That you’ll always be protected and cared for. Then, one day, you realize that’s not true,” the boy says.

There’s footage of Ben being held down by the bullies near a bridge. They’ve got his shirt pulled up, and Henry Bowers is carving his initials on the heavy kid’s stomach.

A car rolls by and slows down. Inside is an older couple, both of them looking at this outrageous violence. Then they roll away. As the car grows smaller, Ben sees a single red balloon rise from the back seat.

Then we see Georgie Denbrough, Bill’s little brother, in his yellow slicker, sailing a paper boat down a rain-swollen gutter. It vanishes into the mouth of a storm drain.

“‘Cause when you’re alone as a kid, monsters see you as weaker,” the boy’s narration continues. “You don’t even know they’re getting closer. Until it’s too late.”

In the blackness of the drain, two eyes glimmer. Then a face emerges. Pennywise the Dancing Clown. He’s holding the boat.

“Here… “ It whispers. “Take it …”

Then we see the street again. The storm drain. But no boat. No clown. And no Georgie.

“All the bad things that happen in this town are because of one thing. An evil thing,” Mike Hanlon says.

The Losers are flipping through ancient history, looking at woodcut drawings from centuries past, depicting clashes and conflagrations from Derry’s history. Throughout them, there is a familiar face in the crowd: the same one we just saw in the storm drain.

In the dim light of Bill Denbrough’s house, he follows a pair of small muddy footprints through the kitchen, where a tiny figure in a yellow slicker darts by.

He follows the specter of his brother into the basement, where Georgie — or whatever is pretending to be Georgie — is hiding beside a shelf. There’s rainwater covering the floor. The basement is flooded.

A pair of amber eyes rise out of the black surface.

“If you come with me, you’ll float, too,” Georgie’s ghost says cheerfully.

Somehow, Bill lives to tell his friends about the encounter: “I just saw something….”

“The Clown,” one of his friends asks.

“I saw him too,” chimes in Eddie, the weakest of the bunch, the most timid.

Then we see a fogged over blue window. Two orange glowing eyes stare from the face of the blurry clown. Deadlights.

“What happens when another Georgie goes missing?” Bill asks his friends. “Are we just going to pretend it didn’t happen, like everyone else in this town? Or will we stick together.”

On the soundtrack there is the hellish, throbbing chant of a thousand Georgies, shrieking “You’ll float, too… You’ll float, too… You’ll float, too…”

Then silence. Richie Tozier enters a shadowy room. It’s full of clown dolls. All different types. Large and small.

One of them turns its face toward him as he passes. Then another. At the center of the room stands an especially menacing one. Pennywise lifts his face, revealing needle sharp teeth, and lunges forward screaming in a way that suggests part rage, and part glee.

Then, it’s over.

Mercifully.

My Top 10 Studio Ghibli Films

In light of the Studio’s not closing (and my boundless boredom) I made a top 10 list of their films in accordance to how I feel about them, so I’m only including ones that I’ve actually seen…and I haven’t seen some pretty important ones so there.  

10) Ponyo

Ponyo! Everybody loves this movie because it’s ridiculously loveable, and I love it too! I just don’t think it’s that great. The thing I like most about this movie is the animation because I really love the way Hayao Miyazaki animates water. It’s just so damn cool! I really like the setting as well. It’s pretty standard Miyazaki fair, y'know it’s about the environment and stuff. But it’s very pretty and very fun! 

9) My Neighbor Totoro 

Another movie we all love! And only at number 9. Don’t get me wrong, this movie is great and iconic and is a great, safe way to introduce the concept of death and tragedy to young children, as I know many have.  But, I just don’t think there’s that much here for an older audience. Which is fine, but yeah, it doesn’t do all that much for me. Most of the movie is the main characters going about their lives while occasionally running into Totoro. Which, for the record, is the best part. The animation on Totoro is great and you get a real sense of texture and weight. HE JUST LOOKS SO FUZZY.

8) Nausicca of the Valley of the Wind 

Okay technically not a Ghibli movie but it has pretty much the exact same creative team so shut up. This movie is epic. I just really love the world here. Post apocalyptic but also really medieval but futuristic with a little steampunk thrown in, it’s great. And the creature animation is fantastic. For me, I don’t personally find it that engaging, but I think the word I would use to describe this movie is interesting. It’s just a really interesting movie. And I like it a lot.

7) Kiki’s Delivery Service 

 

Okay, this movie is so important. I cannot think of a single better movie to show a kid who’s growing up. You know why? Because this movie teaches that feeling sad is okay. When’s the last time you saw that in a movie (it was probably in another Ghibli movie tbh)? Kiki is awesome, she’s determined and mature but is still a kid. And Jiji is just THE BEST SIDE CHARACTER, it’s a really pleasant movie. It’s a good one to watch when your down. I love this movie. It’s great.

6) From up on Poppy Hill

 

I like this movie for a lot of the same reasons I like Kiki’s Delivery Service. It’s a really quiet, comforting movie. The film takes place just before the Tokyo Olympics, Japan is still recovering from World War II and everyone is ready to throw out the old and bring in the new. So when a historic clubhouse at Umi’s private school is going to be torn down, our heroes band together to stop it. The movie is really simple and straightforward and noticeably devoid of supernatural elements, but it really gives you a sense of place. You really get a feel for what Japan was like in the early 60s. And the movie has a very pretty Japanese pop soundtrack that’s really nice, and there’s a really intimate romance (that’s imo the best one in all of Ghibli). Love it.

5) The Wind Rises 

 

This film is a masterpiece (AND IT SHOULD HAVE BEAT OUT FROZEN FOR BEST ANIMATED PICTURE BUT THAT’S ANOTHER STORY). This is Hayao Miyazaki’s last movie, for real this time. And boy does it show. By telling the tale of a real life genius aviator who is forced to use his creations for evil, Miyazaki ultimately shows us creativity is fleeting. That you can only be a genius for so long, commenting on his own career in the process. Miyazaki felt like he just didn’t have much more creativity left in him. Whether or not he was right, we’ll never know. But at least we know why he retired. It’s kind of like The Tempest of Miyazaki films, and it’s amazing. 

4) Princess Mononoke

Oh yeah. Now we’re getting down to it. This movie is epic. In fact, this movie so epic, it gives Lord of the Rings a run for its money. I mean DAMN this movie is huge. Our heroes travel over vast mountains and fields and engage in huge, epic battles, which by the way, are so brutal that the violence is never glorified. It’s definitely the most violent animated film I’ve seen, and the creature animation is GLORIOUS, and Ancient Japan is just as great a setting as you’d expect it to be. So good.

3) Porco Rosso 

God I love this movie. Miyazaki knew exactly what kind of film he wanted to make, and boy did he make it. In it we have Porco, our Humphrey Bogart-esque loner who’s best friend is his plane, and he’s being hunted down by Bounty Hunters and the newly Fascist Italian Government. And he’s a pig. For some reason (well it’s probably a metaphor). And did I mention that this takes place in an alternate history on the Mediterranean Coast after WWI where fighter pilots use militarized sea planes to fight? Oh yeah. There’s that. This movie has great character development, a host of entertaining side characters, and it’s actually really funny, and has some great action scenes. It’s criminally underrated and I enjoy it immensely. Go watch it. 

2) Howl’s Moving Castle

I’m a sucker for a few things, and a few of those things happen to be French things, Steampunk things, and WWI history. AND HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE HAS ALL OF THAT in one way or another, so it’s no surprise that I like this movie. A lot. I also really like Sophie’s character arch. For those of you who don’t know, Sophie has never believed that she’s beautiful, and is cursed to be old, but the curse deteriorates the more confident she gets. It’s just really empowering and amazing. 

1) Spirited Away

(Okay I know original right) but SERIOUSLY this movie is insane I don’t even know where to begin. The movie starts of with Chihiro in the process of moving, and she’s terrified, and then she gets trapped in the spirit world and her parents are cursed. From there on, this movie, is unbelievable. One thing I love about this movie is that Chihiro gets scared. She gets so scared. But she keeps going. It teaches kids it’s okay to be scared. And I just love that this movie feels so lonely. Which might sound like a weird way to describe a movie but I think it fits. The scene on the train (gifed above) is maybe my favorite scene ever in a movie. You just get this feeling. Like you’ve been there. Like you’ve sat there quietly in a scary situation having no idea what’s coming next. It’s almost indescribable but it really speaks to me. And I just keep coming back to loneliness. I feel like every character here is afraid and lonely (except for a few). It’s just so different, and I find that oddly comforting. Because we feel lonely all the time don’t we? But media never seems to show that! We have our character and their group of friends. But here, we have our character, and a few outcasts, who I can’t say are friends. They’re just sort of brought together by their common alienation. And when Chihrio returns home, she’s not afraid of moving anymore. And if that’s not comforting as fuck, then I don’t know what is.  

Happy New Year!! (To those of you who inexplicably continued to follow this blog despite the fact that my posting rate has trickled off quite badly.) I’m still reading and bookmarking and loving a substantial number of fics, but I’m afraid I haven’t made the time to sit down for thorough re-reads with an eye toward writing up full recs that would do them justice.

So, in an attempt to make up for this terrible neglect, I’ve gathered together a list of some (not all, of course!) of the Sterek fics I’ve enjoyed over the past year. Hopefully I’ll be able to set aside more time in 2015 to write about these in detail, as well as other wonderful fics that you may or may not have already discovered.

Despite everything that’s happened with the show and fandom in recent months, there are an astonishing number of creative, beautifully-written fics still being produced. Sterek will always be the OTP of my heart, and it’s amazing to see all the ways their story twists and turns in each talented author’s hands. I look forward to seeing what 2015 brings.

Play Crack the Sky | Derbobbs ( wearethecyclones) | Mature | 122,797

This fic. Oh my goodness, this fic. I wish I had more space right now to express the ways it hit every chord in my heart, bringing back fond memories from my very earliest fic-reading days (~17 years ago). It is, quite simply, a beautiful novel. And, to my surprise, it didn’t rip my heart out, even though I anxiously read it as a WIP, holding my breath and expecting the worst around every corner. It’s well worth the ride.

Come with Me and Walk the Longest Mile | DevilDoll | Explicit | 39,257

Speaking of authors who do make a habit of ripping your heart out through your throat and somehow making you love the process…this was another lovely surprise. It’s remarkably sweet, considering both the author and the setting. It’s also a road trip fic, which is one of my not-so-hidden weaknesses. Put these two in a car for weeks on end and have them talk and fall in love, and I am hooked. Add in DevilDoll’s impeccable characterizations and unerring emotional honesty, and you have an unforgettable experience.

Phases of the Weaker Heart | calrissian18 (wellhellsbells) | Teen | 16,197

I actually did write a full rec for this one, but I’m including it again because it meant so much to me. I think it’s possible that some Sterek fans skimmed over the description and the pre-slash rating and assumed it wasn’t actually about their relationship. While it is an Allison-centric fic (part of what makes it particularly beautiful), Derek and Stiles and their budding romance are absolutely crucial to the narrative. Some fics dig into your heart and stay with you long past the first read. This is one of those.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation | grimm (coyotequeens) | Explicit | 118,749

If I sat down and listed everything I could possibly want in a single fic, this one would cover nearly all of them. Not only that, it does it extraordinarily well. Fullwolf!Derek, magic!Stiles, alive!Laura, the Sheriff and Derek bonding, a whole town that’s aware of the supernatural, and much, much more. It makes me think, oddly, of a show like Gilmore Girls, where the town as a whole is as much of a character as the individuals. It’s a world that’s easy to sink into for 100k while barely noticing the time pass. Honestly, with so many new fics constantly popping up on my dash and in my inbox, it can be hard to go back and re-read longer fics. This one is worth returning to more than once.

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Omegaverse/Mpreg recs!

I don’t want to pretend like mpreg is my favorite thing (it’s not even something I’m really a fan of at all), but then neither am I into babies or Parentlock. I have lots and lots of Omegaverse bookmarks, but pretty much none where there are actual children involved, though sometimes there’s pregnancy. That said, I want to support mpreg. I feel like I can rec Omegaverse fics to support the trope because the set-up implicitly includes the potential for mpreg, even if there’s none in the story. 

I wanted to share my recs for Omegaverse fics I consider well-written and worth reading. Basically, I think exploring and/or subverting gender tropes and fantasies in all possible ways is a good thing, and I think it’s got a unique appeal when it occurs in a fantasy setting (Omegaverse or random mpreg) instead of a realistic one (dealing with trans* issues). I’d even say randomly assigning female-bodied characteristics to cis men is a natural extension of what slash often does (psychologically) in general, for better or for worse. That is, I wouldn’t say most characters in slash really represent gay males in realistically-depicted relationships anyway. Perhaps Omegaverse/mpreg fics are as intrinsic to slash fanfic as AUs in general are. 

These fics (with or without mpreg) can be and often are feminist, smart and subversive of gender binaries, while being super-fun and hot to read.  So here are some of my favorites.

- Glass, Tempered Steel, by augustbird

This story is so lovely, so elegant, so heartfelt and intense, it’s like a beautifully lilting ballad by the fireside. I generally like Omegaverse even more in a fantasy setting than a sci-fi one (personal preference), and this AU basically set the standard few (if any) have matched since. Soulbonds, friends since childhood, endless pining, complete devotion, and the slowest of slow burns add up for an amazing, immersive and unforgettable experience. Usually all the angst is on the Omega’s side, but this is a beautiful exploration of the ethical and emotional roadblocks associated with being the Alpha in this situation, written entirely from John’s POV. My favorite thing about the Omegaverse are the narratives around self-control and attraction (biology or free will?) and this fic plays with that so well.   

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I just saw ghostbusters and let me just start with holy Christ. First of all everything was so much better than I was led to believe and you guys are totally underselling it. There are a few things I want to talk about (and as I do keep in mind that this movie may not be the first to do it, but it is the first time it is done by such a big movie, that will reach quite so many people).
1) The Slo-Mo fighting sequence Kate McKinnon got.
Ok the first thing is that gun lick. That was pure seduction and had me melting in my seat. Now that that’s out of they way, lets talk about the actual fighting. This is the first time (that was cool enough to stick in my mind) that I can remember seeing a woman have a fighting scene in a movie that was just a woman (not fighting with a man) 1, in slow motion, 2, not sarcastic, & 3, not sexualized. Although I do love black widow, she is a side character at best to the Avengers, and has yet to get her own movie, and I find she is almost never not sexualized. Another honorable mention is the implied fight scene in Serenity (River all killing reapers), and though it was incredibly epic, it was not actually shown, so it doesn’t count. I read somewhere (I don’t remember where but please assign credit where it is due) “the slow motion fight scene with Jillian Holtzmann was the scene I never knew I needed”. You wouldn’t think it makes such a big difference to have a woman filling in the role of ‘super kickass hero that is smart, funny, beautiful, and saves the day in slow motion with epic music’, but oh lord it does. When I saw it my heart exploded, and I might as well have been a little girl the way I squealed to my hearts delight. Kickass✔️
Genius✔️
Hilarious✔️
Flirty af✔️
Saves the day✔️
Slo mo fight scene with epic ass music and an orchestra✔️
Girl to pine after✔️
All that and on top of that she’s gay. This is literally all the representation I ever wanted now I just wish it were all like this.
2) Kevin (spoiler alert at the end of the paragraph)
This wasn’t the usual 'we’ve got a dumb guy’ act; they stuck with it the whole time. Usually when there is a stupid man there is a montage where he magically gets good at everything, or he gets trained by the women in 2 weeks and then suddenly he’s way better at fighting then they are and he beats her in the end, or he just magically gets smart in the end without the explanation, or sometimes he doesn’t get smart, but one of his stupid comments or exclamation leads the women to the right answer and then they 'couldn’t have done it without him’. They didn’t do any of that and all the glory, and all the credit goes to the women in the end. They even made a joke about it, when Kevin tried to say that he somehow helped and that it was all five of them who saved the city, him included. This was written to seem very laughable and point out the absurdity, and I though it was perfect.
3) The music
The soundtrack to this film was great. I don’t know what more to say other than it hit all the right spots and really amplified the mood and set the tone well. Also special shout-out to whoever did the music in Holtzy’s fight scene; Kudos to you that shit was great 👌👌👌
4) The girls
I’ve heard it said before, but this literally cannot be said enough, THEY WERE SO NORMAL. Sure they were super geniuses hunting the supernatural, but they were also normal people who DID NOT NEED TO BE WEARING SEXY COSTUMES AS WOMEN IN ORDER TO KICK ASS. They ate normally and they dressed comfortably. Sure it may seem like an easy simple thing, but if it is then why isn’t it done more often. Why don’t the women alway get practical eating habits and normal food which is not eaten in a super sexualized way. Like how hard is that to do, thank you for doing it for once.
5) The attraction
It would probably be stupid to have a character like Kevin who is basically a supermodel and not make some jokes about his looks/have somebody lust after them, but what I really appreciate is that it never got in the way of their work. It would have been really easy to make a cheap joke, and have one of the women get totally slimed because they were distracted by Kevin. Instead they made a few jokes and cracks at it here and there, but when it came down to it the women were professional, and while they were fighting/kicking ass they were allowed (by the writers in a sense) to focus on they fighting. ***

All in all, the new ghostbusters film was a great movie, with just about everything I need. Sure it has its problems (Holtzmann should have been explicitly gay because I went with my family and apparently none of them noticed and now think I’m crazy for seeing the gay everywhere, and I wish they’d chosen another character to pine after Kevin because to me it seems like they chose Erin to be a sort of no-homo between Erin and Jillian), but all in all I was really pleased with this movie. I think it’s a step in the right direction for big budget/large audience action films, and if for no other reason than to encourage Sony to make more films with nice female representation and more (and more explicitly) queer characters

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword joins the list of many filmed interpretations of King Arthur’s story that came before it. The source material for these films and television shows like the BBC’s Merlin are derived from collections of stories about Arthurian Legends. Arthurian Literature is full of a rich palette of characters from Merlin to Tristan to Morgan Le Fay, but I’ve never been very invested in the iconic character of King Arthur himself. He always seemed too noble, idealistic, and more vague than any of the minor characters that surrounded him. I could not, no matter how much I tried, find a way to relate to this guy no less actually see him as a realistic person. His character was simply overwhelmed by the scale of his mission, the power of his weapon Excalibur and the importance of his destiny and heritage.

So honestly, when I first saw a snippet of the trailer for this film, I did roll my eyes because here there would be another film version of a story that I felt had been told enough times already. How many times can Hollywood recycle ideas with all its remakes and sequels and generally the inability to let something original stay original? However, I did watch the trailer and what I saw was something vastly different from the King Arthur versions I had seen and read before. The tone of the movie was hardly dull or set up an ambiguous character. This Arthur had drive, had passion and humor and overall seemed like a realistic, complex character that I could believe in. So, I decided to go see the film despite all the horrible reviews that I had read because it seemed like something special or at the very least I knew I had to find out for myself what this movie felt like.

The opening sequence immediately inserts you into the film. It’s the middle of an intense battle with giant elephants and armies and dark magic. The King, Uther Pendragon, is hardly the type of guy who sits on his horse and gives commands to his soldiers. No, he’s heavily engaged in the action and in this visually stunning sequence, Excalibur makes its first appearance and Uther uses it to defeat his enemy. Therefore, magic and the crown (the Pendragon line) are tied together and fighting with that sword, believing in it, is what helps this king rule. However, the tension certainly does not end with that battle sequence. Danger lies not only in magic but in blood, which creates an interesting dynamic for the story as it proceeds into Arthur’s timeline as a young man growing up. The entire movie creates this very dangerous, yet realistic world for young Arthur to grow up in and makes the point that we are products of the world we live in and vice versa (the world is a product of the people in it).

Due to the betrayal toward his family and awful massacre, young Arthur becomes an orphan and barely manages to escape. He grows up in a brothel and is raised by the women that work there, which certainly shapes his views of women and the way he respects them later on in the film. This future king has nothing and from nothing he finds his strength. It turns him into this epic warrior who isn’t polished with graceful moves or formal manners or fine clothes and weapons. His fighting is rough like the life he grew up in and he becomes a sort of wise con man, navigating deals and earning money. It also seems a big reason for him learning to fight was to protect the women of the brothel that raised him, who were being beaten by their customers. In that respect, Arthur is noble and chivalrous in one of the best ways possible because he values women and does not appear to treat them as his inferiors at any point in the movie.

The way that this film is shot with the cutting back and forth is a signature thing for Guy Ritchie and he’s used it in many of his films before. I think it works really well in this film because Arthur is the same way. He’s very physical sure, but he’s also an intelligent, fast talking guy and it’s almost as if the way the movie is shot is representative of Arthur’s personality. His language is notably different from that of Vortigen and the people in the castle. I don’t see that as a clumsy mistake, but a careful detail included in order to ensure the separation of classes and emphasize Arthur’s place as an outsider.

Another element that I really want to focus on is the music in this film because it felt like a whole other brilliant character. The soundtrack was done by Daniel Pemberton, whose other credits include: Steve Jobs and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. I think his music was a beautiful addition to the film and that it has tremendous presence in scenes without dialogue. Particularly the scene where Arthur is riding into the castle after he is bitten by the snake, Pemberton’s song The Devil and the Huntsman featuring artist Sam Lee is playing and it transported me so vividly into that world with all its magical realism and brutality. A face moving in a tree and a giant snake could’ve easily become silly, but the film kept a nice tone of gravity in dealing with the magical elements of the Arthurian world. It set up the stage for something epic to occur. Even the shot with the famous Lady of the Lake was breathtaking and the shot right after with Arthur rising out of mud and holding up Excalibur was such a powerful image. I think it captivated the struggle of rising out of poverty and essentially thwarting all the dangerous obstacles his uncle put in his way. I suppose that’s also one of the reasons I love fantasy films because they key in on images and how powerful they can still be without words. Some people might see that as a weakness in saying that there isn’t enough dialogue in the film, but I disagree. I see it as a strength and there is certainly enough fast talking banter between Arthur and the other characters to add a wonderful layer of comedy to this film.

I also enjoyed Arthur’s teamwork with all his friends. It felt like a very different Knights of the Roundtable because it seemed like a bunch of good mates that were hardly knights. Yet, they had the qualities of knighthood and would each sacrifice their lives for each other. Also, the character of the mage was fantastic and my favorite thing was that she was not made into a love interest. She was an important part of the narrative and showed how magic helped Arthur regain his throne, but she didn’t have to become his Guinevere.

Overall, I was impressed over the attention to detail that this movie had and it really disappointed me that so many reviews were writing it off as unoriginal and accusing it of plagiarism. There was a mention of the elephant scene being too similar to Lord of The Rings. I’m a huge LOTR fan and the scene in Pelennor Fields where those massive creatures show up is totally different in my opinion to the scene in King Arthur. I just feel that scene in LOTR:ROTK is so iconic and the shots feel different, especially the way that the elephants become obstacles for people on the battlefield in LOTR is different. In King Arthur it’s really short and the elephants just don’t feel like they have as much presence. They’re just there being controlled by magic and represent the power and danger of magic in that world whereas in LOTR they were enslaved creatures trained for war. The scenes are different also because of the scale and the focus. In LOTR it’s much more of a collaboration of all these warriors and the focus is constantly switching from Eowyn and Peregrin to the other Rohirrim and then Aragorn and Legolas and Gimli. It’s the battle before the final battle. In King Arthur, this battle is just the beginning and it sets up the war setting that Arthur grows up into. The focus is on Uther solely and everything else around him is just there so he can prove himself as a capable king. Now, could other animals been used at the beginning so as not to cause such a controversy? Of course and I do see how people could easily call it plagiarism. Perhaps the director was paying tribute to other fantasy movies in his film by having creatures like the elephants, giant snakes, big rodents, bats…etc. However, I’m an English major and I want to point out that there is a serious difference between plagiarism and paying tribute to other films. Also, I’d like to point out that Arthurian Literature is much older than a lot of the fantasy stories we know well like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter…etc. All modern fantasy stories draw upon centuries of folklore and Arthurian literature is medieval. So, a lot of stories that include these strange beasts are actually not as original as we’d like to think. J.K Rowling did not create giant snakes (basilisk) just as Tolkien does not own the myth of dragons or elves. They did what great fantasy writers do and they did their research and brought new interpretations to old myths. I would say that King Arthur has also done that because it is relying upon characters that have been around for a very long time and it uses magical beasts, but why is that such a bad thing when it creates something pretty awesome and unique in the process? I recommend this movie for anyone that wants to go on an exciting, adrenaline pumping action ride and also feel like what they’re watching is witty and funny and worthy of their time. Feel free to ask me questions if you’ve seen the film ad want to discuss it!

Gintama: A Personal Review

Rating: 10/10 

What is Gintama? 

Gintama is an anime (based on the manga by Sorachi) set in the Edo period of Japan, when aliens (known as the Amanto) have invaded the Earth. Sakata Gintoki, Kagura, and Shimura Shinpachi run an “Odd Jobs” business in Edo trying to make a living. Working as the “Odd Jobs” or “Yorozuya,” this trio meets and befriends many people, and adventures ensue. 

An Overview: 

Gintama has been given a rating of 10/10 for me personally, but this does not indicate a lack of flaws. There are dozens of imperfections but overall, the amazing aspects of this anime are so wonderful and astounding that the flaws are easily overlooked. 

Characters: 

The characters of Gintama have a special place in my heart. They are some of the most beautifully written, unique, and strange characters in anime. Each character is so tragically flawed that it is real in an unrealistic way (if that makes sense), and it is their flaws and the ability to be more than their flaws that make them so intriguing. Many characters are also wrapped in layers and depth that are slowly uncovered and peeled back as one delves deeper into the anime. 

A perfect example of the flaws, layers and beauty of the characters would be the main character himself. 

The main character is Sakata Gintoki, who I could talk about forever. At first glance, Sakata Gintoki appears to be a lazy (but attractive), good-for-nothing, sweets-loving, nose-picking, pathetic excuse for a samurai. After being used to bold, determined, young and shining shonen heroes such as Naruto and Luffy, I was both surprised and excited with Gintoki’s character. He is like a breath of fresh air; something new and refreshing. 

It is evident since the start that Gintoki is flawed, exhibiting traits that aren’t usually seen in heroes. It appears that he always takes the easy way out, has no ambition nor motivation, and isn’t the best role model. This, however, only scratches the surface of the complexity and realism of his character. 

Once Gintoki is placed in threatening or serious situations, you are completely astounded by him as his true colours are shown to be that of a mesmerizing and wise hero who will protect what (or more particularly, who) he loves at any cost. Delving in even deeper, you begin to both sympathize and empathize with him as his past is revealed to be not particularly pleasant but unlike most protagonists (or antagonists), he does not complain about his past, seeking retribution. His past remains in his past, and he focuses on the present. 

Gintoki is funny, he is flawed, he is heroic, he is amazing, and he is real. There is a raw realism to his character that makes him so relatable, because people don’t go around all the time preaching happiness and optimism. Sometimes they’re lazy. Sometimes they don’t want to get out of bed. Sometimes they’re flawed. Sometimes they seem hopeless. But when the situation calls for it, their true colours will be revealed and their strength will be shown. 

Something very interesting about these characters is that some are loosely based on historical Japanese figures. For instance, the Shinsengumi is based loosely on the real Shinsengumi that existed in Japan during the Bakumatsu period. (i.e. Okita Sougo, the best swordsman and manslayer is based on the historical Okita Soji, the top swordsman of the Shinsengumi.) It is interesting to learn of Japan’s history while watching a lighthearted adaptation of people who once existed in Japan. 

One more thing to note about the Gintama characters is that right off the bat, they are strong and confident in their abilities. This is interesting for me personally, because I’ve watched many shows where the main character has to train and grow to become strong. In Gintama, even a fourteen year old illegal immigrant girl has monster strength (there is a reason for that…). 

The characters of Gintama are a huge part of what makes the anime so compelling and masterful. 

Plot: 

I’m sure people who know something about Gintama believe that this anime has no plot. I personally never understood that opinion. Yes, Gintama is separated into a dozen short arcs, but there is an overall central focus of the government, rebels and issues (such as discrimination) with the Amanto in the anime that is becoming more and more prominent (especially in the recent chapters of the manga, but I digress). 

Normally, I am a huge fan of a central, developed and main plot for an anime (one central goal, like getting your limbs and your brother’s body back ehem ehem), but Gintama is an exception, because it’s formula regarding arcs and plot works wonderfully. 

There are small arcs that can range from 1 episode to around 9 episodes. Often, the comedic ones are much shorter than the serious action arcs. A great thing about how this is formulated is that anime fans who want to watch Gintama but do not want to invest too much time can watch an arc here and there without worry. Although some arcs are interconnected or may overlap slightly, generally one can watch a random episode and understand what’s going on. 

People who enjoy comedy and lightheartedness can simply watch the comedy arcs. People who enjoy action and angst can watch Gintama’s astounding serious arcs. People who want the full (and best) experience can simply just watch all of it. 

Gintama’s comedy arcs:

Huge Warning: there are some crude jokes and its comedy can be a bit inappropriate at times. (I.e. D*ck jokes) 

The comedy of Gintama is heavily based on anime parodies or references, so Gintama is great to watch for avid anime fans. (They’ll be able to understand the jokes easily). Regardless, there is information included with the subtitles that explain the jokes. Sure, the parodies are great, but they are not my favourite part of Gintama’s humour.

This anime’s sheer amount of things outrageous and unexpected is what sometimes makes me fall over laughing. Sometimes it can be so idiotic, so laughable and so hilariously “derp.” Gintama never ceases to surprise. One begins to expect the unexpected and just to catch you off guard, Gintama gives the expected which is unexpected, and the unexpected then ricochets and hits you right in the face, leaving you speechless then breathless with laughter. One also gains great insight regarding the characters. 

Gintama’s serious arcs: 

They are masterpieces, and that is an understatement. The emotion, the depth, the atmosphere, the suspense, the angst, the sorrow, the tears, the intensity, the epic-ness, the fights…they all far outclass any other anime I have seen thus far. 

Like the comedy arcs, they are filled with the unexpected, but they are always unexpectedly genius. Great examples include Yoshiwara in Flames (my personal favourite), Shinsengumi Crisis, Shinigami, Courtesan of a Nation, the Four Devas, and the Benizakura Arc (which astounded people so much that a movie adaption of the arc was made). 

There are not enough words to describe how beautiful the serious arcs of Gintama are, so I’ll leave it at this; after watching the serious arcs of Gintama, I am no longer satisfied with most other anime. 

Personal Note:

I honestly (I will not lie) found Gintama boring at first. I tried to get into it, and it was boring, so I gave up. A few months later I tried again and gave up. Then I decided to watch a serious arc first (I had watched about the first twenty episodes already, so I knew the characters well) and was thoroughly impressed. Slowly, I began choosing and watching different arcs until I watched all the episodes, and now I’m watching the ones being released in subsequent order. 

So, if you guys start off without being particularly interested, don’t be discouraged. If you want action, it begins in the 50s of the episodes. 

Soundtrack (Ops and Eds): 

The Gintama soundtrack is unique, filled with personality and distinctness. The Gintama openings have been beautiful with depth, wonderful animation and beautiful songs, and many of the Gintama endings have either been just as captivating, or cute. The OST can sometimes be hilarious (Baka Ouji’s OST) or devastating. 

Like the anime itself, the music perfectly encompasses how diverse Gintama is, and how it can range from a serious, sad work of art to lighthearted and comedic to epic and brimming with action. 

Animation: 

Not the best animation per se, especially the older episodes. The new episodes, however (Gintama 2015) are of stunning quality, colour and motion. Every character is also gorgeous (no matter how quirky they may be), so that’s a plus. The fight scenes are beautiful and just about perfection, but sometimes during comedy or lighthearted arcs, the proportions are a bit off for the characters. 

Overall: 

10/10. The rating of the anime. The main character’s birthday. (yep, Gintoki’s birthday is October 10th). Go watch Gintama, and you won’t regret it.