(part 1) yeah! also i imagine someone going "midoriya! you've got all that analysis about heroes and stuff right? what do you think about the new number one?" / *blank look* "the who"/ "you know, endeavor?"/ "oh." *unnaturally long pause* "endeavor is 195 cm tall. that's 25 cm shorter than all might" (and then if they keep pushing) "endeavor's simple-minded dedication to being #1 is unbelievable"/ "don't you mean single-minded?"/ "oh, sorry."
(part 2) though now i’m laughing because i’m imagining a what-if in which izuku tries to dodge openly commenting on endeavor by just stating straight-up objective facts about him. he starts running out of facts and they start getting more and more obscure and then outrageous, but he still sounds totally neutral while saying them. people are convinced that izuku knows A Lot of Endeavor trivia.
(part 3)They’re particularly interested in Knowing Things about the new #1, which isn’t helped when shouto just. never denies anything. Ever. it starts out true like “endeavor weighs 118kg” and then he starts making up little things like “endeavor’s favorite color is actually blue” which leads to “endeavor has to change socks often because flame boots. sweaty feet you know” to “endeavor has a secret passion for entomology” to “endeavor is actually a mermaid. secretly.”
Imagine it’s like the frog-in-water analogy. Izuku edges into more and more ridiculous “facts”, but gradually enough that the change is palatable. Before you know it, things like “Endeavor used to be an expert in international conspiracy theories, and has appeared anonymously in numerous American documentaries” sound pretty reasonable.
3-gatsu no lion (gorgeous anime scenery & food, deals with trauma/mental illness in a visually-interesting way, very deep and moody but then suddenly very light-hearted and goofy, lots of quirky characters including personified animals, simultaneously heart-warming, bittersweet, sad, & dorky)
91 days (a brutal italian gangster drama set during america’s prohibition era. not for the faint of heart as it involves death & violence, but it’s worth it for the climactic plot, heavenly orchestral music, & backdrops that look like classic european paintings)
Absolute Duo (if you can get past the unnecessary flopping titties of teenage girls, the visual composition, music, aesthetic, & story are all very well done in this anime about a magic-training boarding school with a sinister undercurrent)
Assassination Classroom (a tentacled monster from outer space who destroyed 70% of the moon threatens to wipe out planet earth in one year’s time unless the lowly students from class 3-E can assassinate him first! and it turns out that he is not only a big softie, but he imparts knowledge, confidence, and real life skills upon these low level students who were never given a second chance. it’s so frickin japanese.)
Brave Witches (fleets of battle-ready teen witches fight a mysterious alien foe that suddenly manifested in the sky as a dark swirling cloud of terror. still a pretty young anime but from what i saw, it had promise)
Cowboy Bebop, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Attack on Titan, Akira, Paprika, Mononoke (not the Princess), Studio Ghibli, Gundam, Ghost in the Shell, 07-Ghost, Twilight of the Dark Master, Kai Doh Maru, Makoto Shinkai films, Mamoru Hosoda films, Angel Egg, Sailor Moon, Kimi no na wa, blah blah blah
I’m sure I’m leaving out a billion, and I’m trying to get more into obscure stuff, so I’ll definitely share what I come across!
is the eleventh album by band Black Sabbath, released in August . It is the only album the group recorded with lead vocalist Ian Gillan, best known for his work with Deep Purple. The album has received mixed reviews from critics, but it was a commercial success upon its 1983 release, reaching No. 4 in the UK charts. The album as well hit the top 40 in the United States,
Following the departure of vocalist Ronnie James Dio and drummer Vinny Appice in 1982, Black Sabbath’s future was very much in doubt. The band switched management to Don Arden (Sharon Osbourne’s father) and it was he who suggested Ian Gillan as the band’s new vocalist. "That band was put together on paper,“ guitarist Tony Iommi revealed in the 1992 documentary Black Sabbath: 1978–1992. "We’d never rehearsed.” Initially, the project which became Born Again was intended to be a new supergroup; they did not intend to bill themselves as Black Sabbath but Arden insisted on the group using the recognisable Black Sabbath name. The band considered many possible vocalists such as Robert Plant and David Coverdale before settling on Gillan. The band even received an audition tape from a then-unknown Michael Bolton. Iommi told Hit Parader magazine in 1983 that Gillan was the best available candidate, saying “His shriek is legendary.” Gillan was at first reluctant to work on the project, but his manager later convinced him to meet with Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler at The Bear public house in Oxford and, after a night of heavy drinking, Gillan officially committed to the project in February 1983. Born Again also featured the return of founding member Bill Ward on drums, who had left the band in 1980 and was now newly sober. Ward has said that he enjoyed making the album.
Black Sabbath began recording the album in May 1983 at The Manor Studio owned by Richard Branson in the Oxfordshire countryside. Producer Robin Black had previously worked with the band in the mid-1970s, serving as engineer for the album Sabotage. In his autobiography, Iommi recounts his surprise when Gillan informed him that during the sessions he planned to live outside the house in a marquee tent. “I thought he was joking, but when I arrived at the Manor I saw this marquee outside and I thought, fucking hell, he’s serious. Ian had put up this big, huge tent. It had a cooking area and a bedroom and whatever else.” Gillan brought an immediacy to the songwriting process that was uncommon for Sabbath. “Ian’s lyrics were about sexual things or true facts, even about stuff that happened at The Manor there and then,” Iommi recalls in his memoir. “They were good, but quite a departure from Geezer’s and Ronnie’s lyrics.” For example, Gillan returned from a local pub one evening, took a car belonging to drummer Ward, and commenced racing around a go-cart track located on the Manor Studio property. He crashed the car, which burst into flames after he escaped uninjured. He wrote the album’s opening track “Trashed” about the experience. In addition, the song “Disturbing the Priest” was written after a rehearsal space set up by Iommi in a small building near a local church received noise complaints from the resident priests.
Although the band got along well, it became apparent to all involved that Gillan’s style did not quite mesh with the Sabbath sound. In 1992, Gillan told director Martin Baker, “I was the worst singer Black Sabbath ever had. It was totally, totally incompatible with any music they’d ever done. I didn’t wear leathers, I wasn’t of that image…I think the fans probably were in a total state of confusion.” In 1992, Iommi admitted to Guitar World, “Ian is a great singer, but he’s from a completely different background, and it was difficult for him to come in and sing Sabbath material.” When the band heard the final product they were horrified at the muffled sound of the mix. In his autobiography, Iommi explains that Gillan inadvertently blew a couple of tweeters in the studio speakers by playing back the tracks too loud and nobody noticed. “We just thought it was a bit of a funny sound, but it went very wrong somewhere between the mix and the mastering and the pressing of that album…the sound was really dull and muffly. I didn’t know about it, because we were already out on tour in Europe. By the time we heard the album, it was out and in the charts, but the sound was awful.” For all his misgivings, Gillan remembers the period fondly, stating in the Black Sabbath: 1978–1992 documentary, “But by God, we had a good year…And the songs, I think, were quite good.”
According to Iommi’s autobiography, Ward began drinking again near the end of the Born Again recording sessions and returned to Los Angeles for treatment. The band recruited Bev Bevan, who had played with The Move and ELO, for the upcoming tour in support of the new album and, in many respects, the tour was far more remarkable than the album. Gillan had all the lyrics to the Sabbath songs written out and plastered all over the stage, explaining to Martin Baker in 1992, “I couldn’t get into my brain any of these lyrics…I cannot soak in these words. There’s no storyline. I can’t relate to what they mean.” Gillan attempted to overcome the problem by having a cue book with plastic pages on stage, which he would turn with his foot during the show. However, Gillan did not anticipate the “six buckets” of dry ice that engulfed the stage, making it impossible for the singer to see the lyric sheets. “Ian wasn’t very sure-footed either,” Iommi writes in his memoir. “He once fell over my pedal board. He was waving at the people, stepped back and, bang!, he went arse over head big time.” Gillan also told Birch that it was Don Arden’s idea to open the show with a crying baby blaring over the speakers and a dwarf made to look exactly like the demonic baby depicted on the Born Again album cover miming to the screaming. “We noticed a dwarf walking around the day before the opening show…And we’re saying to Don, ‘We think this is in the worst possible taste, this dwarf, you know?’ And Don’s going, 'Nah, the kids will love it, it’ll be great.’”
Born Again is a great heavy metal album. It’s also a great Black Sabbath album and quite deserving of the name. Many of the albums they made past this point were also good albums that have been sadly overlooked. If you wish to get into the more obscure Sabbath stuff, this would be a good starting point. All three instrumental members are still there, and they are fronted by Deep Purple’s singer. It isn’t a bad idea on paper, and it certainly still isn’t a bad idea when executed.
I even like the cover. It’s scary, strange, and symbolic image of the Antichrist’s - all that what we think as 'evil’, 'wrong’ and so on - birth to this world. Much like this album is with it’s crushing overall sound and two doom metal monoliths of the A-side. If you can forget the production, which can be problem for some, and two or three fillers, you get a very well done album.
What I personally want from the Big Hero 6 TV Series…
1) For Tadashi not to be alive. As harsh as it
sounds, I honestly believe that keeping him dead really drive’s the movie’s
moral of loss. It’d be such a shoot on the foot if he was to return. However,
just because he’s dead doesn’t mean to say that he couldn’t be present through
holograms, flashbacks, footage from Baymax etc. Here’s plenty of ways in which
Tadashi can be in the series without having him “be alive this entire time”. I’d
love to see more Tadashi.
2) Character development for the rest of the team.
Disney Animation have really nailed it for their voice cast, however, as much
as I love the unique attributes of the rest of the team, they are severely
underdeveloped. It’s not entire the fault of the team though. Disney Revival
movies are always about the duo, Tiana/Naveen, Rapunzel/Flynn,
Ralph/Vanellopee, Anna/Elsa, Judy/Nick, Moana/Maui, Jack/Imna, so for Big Hero
6, it was Hiro/Baymax. But because this is the TV series, have backstories for
Fred, Wasabi, GoGo and Honey Lemon!
3) Make the side characters relevant. Mr. Yama,
Allister Krei, Abigail Callaghan. Make these characters important to the series
of Big Hero 6. They are all important figures, Mr. Yama runs the underground
botfight industry (robotic bloodsport), Allister Krei is your Mark Zuckerberg
of the Big Hero 6 world: an entrepreneur in the world of technology, Abigail Callaghan
is the daughter of Yokai. Her development can lead to understanding Yokai
4) Anime influence. This is something that I
stress. I know this TV series isn’t going to be an “anime” inspired series like
The Boondocks or The Legend of Aang/Koora, however, I stress that the team
learns from Teen Titans. NOT TEEN TITANS GO, the OG Teen Titans. Anime is
popular because it’s a beautiful art form to look at. Integrate that into the
series: I plead!
5) Introduce more obscure Marvel characters. Big
Hero 6 was such a success for two reasons. Firstly, it was “inspired” (not
adapted, inspired: Disney’s Big Hero 6 is not Marvel). Because it was based in
the Marvel canon, rather, it was based in the Disney Animation Canon (in order
for the Disney Animation to retain 100% rights to characters, merchandise,
consumer products), it didn’t have to be negatively stigmatised and compared to
Marvel’s mainstream catalogue of cinematic adapted heroes once it was released
henceforth its warm reception. Get more obscure characters into the fray. The Runaways
for instance would fit in perfectly as they’re a bunch of teens living in an
urban city too. That goes for obscure Marvel villains too. Get the worst of the
worst Marvel characters and make them lovable WDAS characters.
6) Diverse the cultural diversity. One of the
biggest praises for Big Hero 6 was its multicultural cast. It was so
reminiscent of Atlantis. And to make things even better: they were not limited
to their stereotypes. Wasabi was not the big tough guy, GoGo Tomago was not
weaboo like, they had distinct character traits (despite them being limited for
the sake of plot convenience). But the notable thing I found about the movie is
that there’s no Desi’s. Have the Southern Asian/Indian representation in the
world of San Fransokyo. It doesn’t hurt to further the colour pallet that much
more broadly so that variety of cultures are present.
7) Retain the original voice cast. This is
practically a guarantee as the voice actors for the movie are not AAA Hollywood
voice actors, thus, they have the availability to contribute to the TV series.
These characters wouldn’t be who they are without their original voice actors!
CLYDE: What’s up, bros! CLYDE: Craig’s taking a break from the blog, probably forever. CLYDE: And I realized you guys haven’t seen much of me or this beautiful lady lately! CLYDE: Say hi, baby! BEBE: Hi, guys. BEBE: Go ahead and ask us some questions! BEBE: I’ll be here as long as you need.
So I just got out of watching Kingsman: The Secret Service and I was reminded of a problem in Hollywood that I’ve had for a long time and I’m going to say it now:
Action films fucking SUCK.
Remember the days of like Transporter? Where the name “Jason Statham” could get you in theaters just like that (imagine I just snapped my fingers)? Nowadays, you see that Statham has a new film and you sort of roll your eyes because Parker looks so incredibly…average.
The Hollywood scene has saturated the action film market and action films along the veins of Transporter that would have ordinarily bombarded the market, just wind up going straight to DVD or on Netflix. SERIOUSLY, go to the action section in Netflix and you will see a TON of action films released in the past 5 years that you’ve NEVER heard of before with famous actors.
So when filmmakers or actors/actresses receive critical appraise or wide positive response, it’s usually because they’re pushing not just the boundaries of Hollywood filmmaking of shitty shakycam and editing, but also the boundaries of choreography.
This is a list of examples of people who have excelled the traditional Hollywood style action scenes. Mind you, this is not a list about action heroes or heroines but only those who have really showcased some crazy innovative work. We’re also keeping this to Hollywood productions as opposed to international hits like The Raid. Since there’s a lot of examples I’ll try to keep descriptions brief (unless I’m super passionate about a particular example).
1. Antje Traue as Faora Ul in Man of Steel (2013)
Many people have mixed feelings towards Man of Steel. But regardless of whatever side of the coin they’re on, everyone walked out of that theater talking about the scene where Faora took on the military soldiers. It’s perhaps the most talked about scene in the film, and a lot of Superman fans or comic book fans in general talk about how this was the scene where they FINALLY nailed not just Kryptonian/Superman’s powers, but the problem with super strength and speed in general (the problem being, how do you make a fight entertaining when someone can move really fast and beat everyone with one punch). The answer? Faora’s fight scene. Yes, in a film about Superman, neither he nor the main villain is attributed to having the coolest scene. She’s evil, wants to kill all humans–but man it’s hard to not like her in that sequence. And it’s quite tragic that her scenes are better CGI than the very obviously fake Superman and Zodd.
2. Emily Blunt as Rita Vrataski in Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
You’ve probably seen Edge of Tomorrow aka Live Die Repeat aka All You Need Is Kill on every “2014’s most underrated movies” list. And you best believe those lists are right because aside from the film being a truly awesome piece of sci-fi action (I call it the Starcraft film we always wanted), Emily Blunt shines as the war hero Rita Vrataski. During the extended montage sequence of the looping battles she endures, there are quite some incredible action sequences, specifically one of her lunging at an alien with her giant sword. Though the focus is Tom Cruise’s character and his evolution, he just goes around shooting things while she LUNGES AT ALIENS WITH A SWORD.
3. Sharni Vinson as Erin in You’re Next (2011/2013)
I feel like I’m getting more obscure but things will pick up, I promise. But this is a very crucial addition to the list as Sharni Vinson stars in You’re Next, a horror thriller film that’s not really a horror thriller film. DO NOT READ FURTHER, PLOT SPOILERS AHEAD.
Instead, the film takes the typical “home invasion” thriller genre and turns it on its head. Instead of a woman scared and constantly cowering in fear, Erin surprisingly, and very easily fights off and kills the many intruders. The innovation is not so much in the choreography here but in the execution of the idea. There are a few horror films where they have the protagonists “fight back” but never this way.
4. Zoe Saldana in Literally Everything
This one is interesting, because Zoe has not exactly starred in any innovative choreography, or innovative storytelling for action. In fact, Zoe’s fight scenes tend to be “very Hollywood” and the plot of her films range from “stale” to “alright this is entertaining enough” and yet she’s on this list because she’s probably the only lady doing this. The action film genre has long been a boy’s club and while some women have done a few action films, Zoe Saldana is probably the only woman who is a genuine action star known for her action fight work, and is very famous for it. Colombiana didn’t do much to help her career since the film itself was not a cult or critical hit. It just sort of came and went. But with the massive success of Guardians of the Galaxy (despite having few action scenes even though she’s one of the most dangerous assassins) hopefully this will pave the path for more Saldana-led action films.
5. Most of the main cast in Sucker Punch (2011)
First off, this film was absolutely terrible. The ratings for it skirt around 20 ~ 30% and rightfully so. Sucker Punch was a terrible film but it was visually stunning and the action choreography was out of this world cool.
In fact, this film was directed by Zack Snyder, who also directed Man of Steel, which means he was responsible for that awesome Faora fight mentioned earlier. So Sucker Punch is a terrible film, so why is it here? Because it’s probably got some of the best action sequences I’ve seen in cinema to date. My favorite is the train robot scene. If you watch closely, there is not a single cut. Obviously, filmmakers cheat thanks to CGI, but from a narrative and viewer standpoint, there is not a single cut, making this a long one shot, which is PRETTY god damn cool. The entire film is like this, with cool innovative, non-Hollwood esque choreography, and a lot of stylized work. Honestly, it was probably just one long sizzle reel to get Man of Steel.
6. Chloe Grace Moretz as Hit Girl in Kick-Ass (2010)
You, or someone you knew, did not shut up about this fucking film when it first came out. Rightfully so. Director Matthew Vaughn’s work in Kick-Ass was amazing, making even Nicolas Cage seem really cool again even though he was wearing a knock-off Batman mask. But it’s star? Hit Girl. The foul mouthed little child concept, and the unbelievable speed, precision and hyper violent brutality of her fighting style…this character made this film a rousing success and by itself launched Chloe Grace Moretz’s career. The action choreography in this film has still been unmatched until very recently…
7. Keanu Reeves as John Wick in John Wick (2014)
Keanu hasn’t really had a big hit since the Matrix films. That was until John Wick came along. Now I’m not saying it launched him back into that same A-List celebrity status, but he had produced a lot of flops since the Matrix, 47 Ronin being a notable recent failure, but John Wick was accepted and beloved by many. Why? The action.
John Wick pushed the innovation on action to a whole new level: Precision, tight, and clean. People lost their minds watching this film because of its use of gun-fu/gunkata, a form of gunplay that is so artfully and masterfully used that it is compared to that kungfu or japanese swordsmanship. The shots were unbelievably clean, no shakycam, and you knew what the hell was going on. It ditched the Hollywood premise of a massive shootout and instead, nearly 99% of all shots fired by John hit or killed his target. Up until now if you haven’t yet understood what I mean by “innovative action sequences” watch the infamous“nightclub scene” that sums up the brutality and precision of his skills throughout the entire film and how it separates itself from “Hollywood shootouts”. By the way? KEANU REEVES IS FUCKING FIFTY. AND HE DID A MAJORITY OF THAT PHYSICAL STUNT WORK HIMSELF.
8. Colin Firth as Galahad in Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
Church scene. That is all. (*Fun fact: They did the entire scene in ONE take. No camera or CGI tricks.)
9. Sofia Boutella as Gazelle in Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
I’ll be brief about Kingsman since the film is incredibly fresh and new and I want people to actually go and experience this at the cinemas: Gazelle is the “right hand”/“lieutenant” character of the main villain of the film (Samuel L Jackson). Similar to Faora, Gazelle left a big impression on viewers as she is a killer with two prosthetic (metal I think?) legs that also can bring out a long sharp thing that pretty much turns her legs into dual swords. And she is fucking GRACEFUL with her murder. Because her weapon of choice involves her feet, there’s a lot of fancy footwork and gymnast/ballet like movement to her fight choreography. Of course, Matthew Vaughn from Kick-Ass was also behind this film and is responsible for her and Colin Firth’s Galahad’s amazing fight sequences. I really want to talk more about her but she is absolutely amazing and if you ever want to see a woman kick some real ass, this film is right on the money.
10. Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in All Marvel Films She’s In
Since her appearance in Iron Man 2, Scarlett Johansson has been wow'ing us as Black Widow with her acrobatics, truly assassin like take downs. Marvel has always pushed the envelope on its action sequences, and Winter Soldier definitely stepped it up for Cap and Widow. Though she had considerably less fight scenes since it is CAP’s film. But anyone who’s seen her fight will tell you, she definitely brings something new and fresh to the table when it comes to hand to hand combat and she could really pave the way for studios to entrust more women with high octane action films, as opposed to just young adult dystopian future action films like The Hunger Games. If only Marvel would consider doing that solo or Hawkeye teamup film…
+ + +
So what was the point of this whole list? Well, honestly, you have to watch all these films and these scenes (in the context of the films) to truly appreciate and understand what I’m trying to get at. These actors, directors and unnamed stunt coordinators are doing something truly different with the genre of the action film and I think we really need to be pursuing this route as filmmakers.
I really think those who managed to get through this long ass post should truly go check out Kingsman: The Secret Service as it is not just an homage to fun spy films but also a great look into what could be the very next step in high octane action fight scenes.