most important part of the movie

Oh my God, we're so sorry we blocked your doorway. Now go get your ear muffs.

I’ve had a long respectable career in game development. A couple of years ago I’ve abandoned it for a cushy corporate job, and now spend most of my days missing gamedev.

This story takes place about 10 years ago at the apex of my career.

I was the lead on a AAA project. Our parent company, for which videogames was just one of many lines of business, was going through changes. We had to move offices three times in one year. Second of the three moves, always intended to be temporary, put us into the basement of an older building long occupied by satellite departments not involved with development.

The basement we were given had been empty for years, save for the most distant office. You entered the basement through a dimly lit staircase. Then, after you snaked through a horror-movie-like maze of corridors and interconnected small rooms, you’d eventually arrive at the farthest room of all.

A golden plaque was on the door.

Trademark Compliance Department.

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A white guy’s thoughts on “Get Out” and racism

This weekend, I went to see a horror movie. It got stuck in my head, and now I can’t stop thinking about it—but not for any of the reasons you might think.

The movie was Jordan Peele’s new hit Get Out, which has gotten rave reviews from critics—an incredible 99% on Rotten Tomatoes—and has a lot of people talking about its themes.

First of all, I should tell you that I hate horror movies. As a general rule, I stay far, far away from them, but after everything I’d read, I felt like this was an important film for me to see. This trailer might give you some inkling as to why:

Creepy, huh? You might know writer/director Jordan Peele as part of the comedy duo Key & Peele, known for smartly tackling societal issues through sketch comedy. Get Out is a horror movie, but it’s also a film about race in America, and it’s impressively multilayered.

I left the theater feeling deeply disturbed but glad this movie was made. I can’t say any more without revealing spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet and you don’t want to have the plot spoiled for you, stop reading now and come back later.

Seriously, this is your last chance before I give away what happens.

Okay, you were warned. Here we go.

Our protagonist is Chris Washington, a young black man who has been dating Rose Armitage, a young white woman, for the last four months. She wants him to meet her family, but he’s hesitant. She acknowledges that her dad can be a little awkward on the subject of race, but assures Chris that he means well.

After unnerving encounters with a deer (echoes of The Invitation) and a racist cop, Chris and Rose arrive at the Armitages’ estate. On the surface, the Armitages are very friendly, but the conversation (brilliantly scripted by Peele) includes a lot of the little, everyday, get-under-your-skin moments of racism that people of color have to contend with: Rose’s dad going on about how he voted for Obama, for instance, and asking how long “this thang” has been going on. Chris laughs it off to be polite, though he clearly feels uncomfortable.

There’s a fantastic moment here, by the way, when Rose’s dad offhandedly mentions that they had to close off the basement because of “black mold.” In the midst of the racially charged atmosphere of the conversation, it’s nearly impossible not to take this as a racial remark, and Chris certainly notices, but what could he possibly say about it? Black mold is a real thing; his girlfriend would surely think he was crazy and oversensitive if he said it sounded racist. Chris never reacts to the remark, but that one tiny moment is a reminder to the audience of a real problem people of color often face, when racism can’t be called out without being accused of “playing the race card” or seeing things that aren’t there. (Incidentally, it turns out that the basement is actually used for molding of a different sort.)

There are other reasons for Chris to be unsettled: The only other black people on the estate are two servants, Georgina and Walter (Rose’s dad says he knows how bad it looks, but that it’s not what it seems), and something is clearly “off” about them. Later, more white people show up—and one more black character, and he, too, feels “off.”

By the end of the film, we learn the horrible secret: Rose’s family is kidnapping and luring black people to their estate, where they’re being hypnotized and psychologically trapped inside themselves—Rose’s mom calls it “the sunken place”—so that old or disabled white people’s consciousnesses can be transplanted into their bodies. The white people are then able to move about, controlling their new black bodies, with the black person’s consciousness along for the ride as a mere “passenger.” In a shocking twist, it turns out that even apparently-sweet Rose is in on the plot, and Chris must fight her and the rest of her family to escape.

This isn’t a “white people are evil” film, although it may sound that way at first, but it is a film about racism. I know many of my friends of color will connect with this movie in a way I can’t, so I won’t try to say what I think they’ll get out of it. I do want to say how I connected with it, though, because I think what Jordan Peele has done here is really important for white audiences. 

If you look beyond the surface horror-movie plot, this film actually gives white people a tiny peek at the reality of racism—not the epithet-shouting neo-Nazi kind of racism that white people normally imagine when we hear “racism,” but the “Oh it’s so nice to meet you; I voted for Obama” kind of racism, the subtle othering that expects people of color to smile and get along and adopt white culture as their own whenever they’re around white people.

So many of the moments in Get Out are clearly intended to work on multiple levels. When Chris confronts Georgina about something being wrong and she smiles and says, “No, no no no no no,” with tears streaming down her cheeks, the symbolism is blatant. How often do people of color have to ignore the subtle indignities they face and hide their true emotions in order to avoid coming across as, for example, “the angry black woman/man”? How many times do they find themselves in social situations—even with their closest white friends!—where people make little comments tying them to an “exotic,” supposedly monolithic culture, where they have to respond with a smile and a laugh instead of telling people how stupid and offensive they’re being? 

I can’t tell you the number of these stories I’ve heard from my friends, and I’m quite sure that the stories I’ve heard are only a tiny fraction of the stories that could be told. So there’s something in that moment that speaks volumes about the experiences of people of color in America.

The same is true for so many other moments. The black characters Chris meets at the Armitages’ have all symbolically given up their identities and conformed to white culture; when Chris meets one character, he turns out to be going under a new name, with new clothes and new mannerisms; when Chris offers him a fist bump, he tries to shake Chris’s fist. Again, within the story, there’s an explanation for all this, but every moment here is also about assimilation and culture differences. 

For me as a white audience member, all of these moments did something remarkable: They showed me my own culture—a culture I’m often blissfully unaware of because it’s all around me—as something alien. They reminded me that I, too, have a culture, and that expecting everyone else to assimilate to my culture is just as much an erasing of their identities as it would be to expect me to assimilate to someone else’s culture.

And that’s a big part of what Get Out is about—the erasing of identities, and the power of racism to destroy people. I think it’s really significant that racism is portrayed here very differently from how it’s normally portrayed in movies written by white people. In most Hollywood movies, you know a character is racist because they shout racial epithets or make blatant statements about a certain race’s inferiority. That allows white audiences to say, “I would never do/say that, so I’m not racist!” We really don’t want to think we are.

But notice something important about Get Out’s treatment of racism: This is a film about the literal enslavement of black people—racism doesn’t get more extreme than that—and yet Peele doesn’t go for the obvious by having the white characters admit that they think black people are inferior; instead, they subjugate and dehumanize people by claiming to admire things about them. They turn them into fashion accessories. 

When Chris asks why only black people are being targeted for this procedure, the response is telling: It’s not (supposedly) because the white characters think African Americans are bad, but rather, because they like certain things about them and they want “a change” for themselves. They want to become black—it’s trendy, we’re told!—but without having had any of the actual life experiences or history of African Americans. White people need to see this: to experience the ways in which Chris is othered by people who tell him all the things they like about him—isn’t he strong? Look at those muscles! Does he play golf like Tiger Woods? And he must be well-endowed and have such sexual prowess, right, Rose?

The white people in the audience need to be reminded that just because you’re saying positive things about someone doesn’t mean you’re not being racist, that turning someone into an exotic “other” may not be the same as shouting an epithet, but it’s still taking away someone’s identity and treating them as a commodity.

The film is filled with these kinds of moments. When we realize that Rose’s white grandmother has inhabited the body of Georgina, the fact that she keeps touching her own hair and admiring herself in the mirror takes on a whole new level of significance. (White people, please don’t ask to touch your black friends’ hair.) When Chris connects with a dying deer on the side of the road and later sees a deer head mounted on the wall at the Armitages’ estate, the symbolism is hard to miss. Black people are being turned into trophies in this house. And, oh yeah, they’re being literally auctioned off—as they were in real life in the not-too-distant past.

One day, I’d like to see the film again to pick up on all the ways things read differently the second time through. I noticed several things in retrospect that gain new significance once you know the ending, and I’m sure there’s a lot I didn’t notice. For example, Rose’s dad says he hired Walter and Georgina to care for his parents, and when his parents died, “I couldn’t bear to let them go.” The first time you see the film, it sounds like the “them” is Walter and Georgina. But in retrospect, it’s clear the “them” he couldn’t bear to let go was his parents, so he sacrificed Walter and Georgina for them. Which, again, is an example of how the supposed care of the white characters for the black characters (his care for Walter and Georgina, Rose’s care for Chris) is really all about caring for themselves and treating the black characters as completely interchangeable objects.

The message of the film isn’t simply that the black characters are “good” and the white characters are “bad.” There are presumably—hopefully—many good white people in the world of this film, and many others who wouldn’t do what the Armitages are doing but also probably wouldn’t believe Chris or make the effort to stop it. Peele’s mother and wife are both white, so he’s clearly not trying to paint all white people as villains. 

But I admit, as a white guy, I really, really wanted Rose to be good. I’ve been the white person in an interracial relationship introducing my black boyfriend to my family. I’ve been that. So I related to Rose, and I really wanted to believe that she was well-intentioned and just oblivious; even though she misses the mark on several occasions, there are times that she seems like she gets it and she really does listen to Chris. When a cop asks to see Chris’s ID early in the film even though he wasn’t driving, Rose stands up against the obvious racism, showing us all what it looks like for white people to do the right thing. “That was hot,” Chris says to her later, and I thought, yeah, that’s who I want to be.

So I have to admit, it was really upsetting to me to see Rose, the only good white character left in the film, turn out to be evil. But I realized that part of that is that I really wanted her to represent me, and that’s really the point. Just think how often horror films have only one black character who dies early on, and how many films of all genres have no significant black characters for audience members to look up to or identify with. I think it’s really important for white audiences to experience that.

As I’ve reflected on the film, it seems to me like there are three kinds of popular movies about people of color. There are those that feature POC characters that are essentially indistinguishable from the white characters—as if they just decided to cast Morgan Freeman instead of Tom Hanks without giving any thought to the character’s race. Then there are the movies that deal with racism, but in a way that allows white people to feel good about ourselves, because we’re not like the characters in the film. (This is especially true for movies about racism in the past; some of them are very important films, like Hidden Figures, which I loved, but we need to be aware that it’s still easy for white America to treat it as a feel-good film and think that we’re off the hook because we no longer have separate restrooms.) And finally, there are movies that focus more directly on the lives of people of color but tend to draw largely audiences of color; not many white people go see them, because we think they’re not “for us” (even though we assume films about white people are for everyone).

Get Out isn’t any of those. It’s drawing a broad audience but it’s not afraid to make white people uncomfortable. And if you can give me, a white guy, a chance to have even a momentary fraction of an experience of the real-life, modern-day, casual racism facing people of color in America, I think that’s a very good thing.

the reason why you should watch/read Doukyuusei

i know i someone has probably done this already but i just want to truly display why I love “Doukyuusei” so much.

the movie and manga’s visual art is stunning, with a simplistic art-style and light lines with lighter colors. the gorgeous aesthetic is simply too attractive to pass.

the voice acting is simply breath-taking, the well known Hiroshi Kamiya (Levi of snk, Yato of noragami, and Choromatsu of osomatsu) plays Kusakabe Hikaru. 

whereas, Kenji Norima (Chiba Mamoru of sailor moon crystal, Taihei Doma of himouto! umaru chan, and Natsuya Kirishima of free! starting days) plays Rihito Sajou

they play the parts of nervous and shy teenagers in high school beautifully, with all of the normal “hiccups and stutters” of a teenager confessing to a loved one. 

however, the most important part of this movie is the message.

the movie’s portrayal of youth finding their sexuality is just so accurate to the real thing, something you do not often find in the shounen-ai community. 

the “but we’re boys” comment is mentioned, but is not a revolving issue of the relationship between our two protagonists Kusakabe and Sajou. it is mentioned but quickly dismissed as they realize their feelings for one another.

the two boys suffer the same hardships that any person going through a relationship will suffer such as school and college, and not only that they move at a normal pace of a healthy relationship. 

in contrast to the trope in bl stuff today, the couple does not have intimate interactions until they have been going out for a year and this is just deep kissing. this is realistic for a high-school couple of japan, thus displaying how NORMAL a same-sex relationship really is as many depictions of shounen-ai couples have had the couple have bedded one another within days of their “get-together.”

the movie not only depicts a warm and loving romance between two young-men and their innocent love for one another, it also pushes for the acceptance of same-sex couples, showing that they are not any different than the social norm.

same-sex couples have blushing confessions. same-sex couples have arguments. same-sex couples have confusion and thought.

just… this story and series is gorgeous and stunning and something i would absolutely recommend to anyone.

i have too many feelings about michelle jones so here have headcanons and peter x michelle

this was obnoxiously long because i have no control so lots of stuff is under the cut and it became very fic-like at the end there, whoops. 

one (THIS ONE!) | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine

  • so michelle moved with her family to new york when she started high school
  • and mj was actually pretty sad to leave her friends back in chicago because it had taken a long time to make those friends and she always feels awkward around new people
  • so she isn’t very happy about The Move
  • she comes from a loving family
  • like, she gets kissed every night before she goes to bed, her parents read her bedtime stories until she was ten, she used to wear matching outfits with her mother, family movie nights were every friday
  • her parents were really good to her for the most part and just loved and supported her
  • they’re also pretty smart and since mj has pretty much always been inspired by them so intelligence and the acquisition of knowledge is really important to her
  • hence reading and academic decathlon, but she’s also into math and science too because she’s very driven and doesn’t have that many friends in new york so what else is she gonna do?
  • and her parents are an interracial couple and they’ve encountered a lot of hate and mj was always so sad when she walked out with her mother and people would give them weird looks
  • so she’s tried to end hate whenever she can and fights to give a voice to those who are silenced
  • but now cue mj going to high school in new york
  • she joins academic decathlon ofc because who do you think she is she lives for this shit
  • and then! there is this little shithead on the team PETER PARKER
  • like who the fuck does this kid think he is
  • answering all these questions, acting like he’s sooo smart just because he happens to know a lot of facts and is really good at physics and speaks spanish really well and also happens to be really dorky and adorable and okay maybe he’s kind of attractive too and maybe mj starts throwing herself more into academic decathlon and possible CONSIDERS joining band but that’s ONLY BECAUSE PETER IS A SHITHEAD AND SHE NEEDS TO SHOW HIM HE ISN’T THE ONLY TALENTED ONE OKAY
  • anyway

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Despicable Me is so important

if you follow my blog at all you’ll know that I absolutely fucking love Despicable Me. Like… LOVE. It’s one of my favorite movies of all time. The writing, the comedy, the timing, the animation; it’s all incredibly well put together. 

In fact, I’m a fan of Illumination Studios in general. 

Granted, I’m not a fan of their movies. 

LE GASP you say. How can you be a fan of a studio but not all their movies

Becuase, dear reader, their movies lack a lot of things. And, for the most part, many of their movies aren’t really displays of “We Do What We Want”. They’re more “We Do What the Audience Wants.” Which… sort of makes sense. They’re a new studio. They don’t have the funds to really take huge risks yet. But god, their audience-pleasing choices can be so…. 

Originally posted by gif-007

Like remember that time a few people stood up and said “hey those Minions were sort of cool”

and Illumination Studios said 

OKAY HOW ABOUT WE FLOOD THE WORLD

Originally posted by minionnation

And brought us one of the most annoying things to grace this planet. 

Goddamit Illumination. 

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Why I’m Doing The Eddsworld Fan Movie

Hey, Eddheads. Marc here.

A common question that I get a lot is “The fanbase is so cringe-worthy now, so why are you still making the Eddsworld Fan Movie? Don’t you have to put up with a lot of those people?” And although there’s been a number of fans pestering us about which characters they want to see and when the movie is coming out, I never really thought that much about it.

For those of you reading this on someone else’s blog who has no idea what the Eddsworld Fan Movie is, it’s basically a passion project of mine that I started when I was a sophomore in high school four years ago. I was a big Eddsworld fan (and still am to this day), the fans who were still around back then were so nice and so generous, and I wanted to give something back to everyone who watched it and worked on it. Of course, the best love letter to the Eddsworld community I can think of was a full-length fan movie.

That’s why I started doing it. Because I loved the show, I loved the fans, and I wanted to express my love in the biggest possible way. Now, four years later, almost all those people that were fans of the show when I started working on the movie have moved on, and the fanbase currently consists of much younger people who might’ve been introduced to the series through later Legacy episodes like Saloonatics or The End.

While not all of the newer fans are bad (in fact, I’ve even made friends with a good chunk of them), some of these people have displayed certain types of behavior that Edd would not approve of. They haven’t personally affected me at all, but I know that there’s a number of people out there who just want to complain about everything we do and just want to see the movie come out.

So going back to an important detail I mentioned before, when I started working on the movie, the Eddsworld fandom was in a much different place. Now most people outside of Eddsworld only recognize it for strange AUs and shipping characters that never even liked each other in the actual show, and if a fandom that you’ve been a part of for so long starts to get made fun of for that even if not every single person in said fandom is guilty of those things, it becomes a lot less fun to be a part of.

But Eddsworld itself has left such a positive impact on me. If I didn’t start watching it, I wouldn’t have been as creatively motivated as I am today. If I didn’t start drawing comics, I wouldn’t have been able to replicate Edd’s style and help keep it alive. If I didn’t start working on the movie, I wouldn’t have gotten to actually work on the show and make comics for them officially (I did comics 191, 192, 199, and 200; and my fellow Fan Movie co-producer Billy and I animated scenes for The End).

I owe a lot of myself to Edd Gould. He made cartoons from his bedroom that people loved, and he worked so hard to make them as enjoyable as possible because he knew that people loved them, even when he was going through his second round of cancer. Edd found happiness and success from just making videos with his friends, and they were funny, and clever, and charming, and timeless, and hugely inspirational.

I’m extremely grateful to Tom Ridgewell and Eddie Bowley for allowing us to contribute to the show, and I’m humbled that they chose us to represent Edd’s work in The End, but it was because of Edd that I decided to get into a creative medium like this. It was because of Edd that I’m now coming up with my own original ideas for shows and movies and games and plays and all that stuff. It was because of Edd that I wanted to make a movie based on his work. And I made so many great friends because of it, all of them loving the show just as much as me.

We all have the same passion and drive to get this movie done, as much as Edd did when it came to his videos. And despite all the drama and cringeworthy stuff that people make fun of Eddheads for now, that is why I’m still working on the Eddsworld Fan Movie. Because of all the exciting opportunities that have opened up for me, all the clever and talented people I’ve been fortunate enough to work with over the years, all the love and support that have come our way, and how I owe a lot of it to the man whose world I’ve been tickled to visit.

Although he’s sadly no longer with us, we’ve all worked so hard to keep his spirit alive and well through his animation, his writing style, and his perserverence. We’ve been overwhelmed by the anticipation and the excitement that’s been target to us concerning the Fan Movie. And while I’m grateful for all the essays and paragraphs that fans write telling us how we’ve inspired them, working on the Eddsworld Fan Movie is really worth it just to be told four simple but impactful little words:

“Edd would be proud.”

“I don’t like cats” - Bruce Wayne x Reader

“i love your stories. i have become addicted and i was wondering if you could write a batmom story of were selina kyle doesn’t know bruce is married and she comes to the manor in a very sexy outfit and batmom and the boys walk in on that and it very awkard. thanks :)” requested by @cheesecake-chic

Well, first, thank you, and then : here it is. I know a lot of you tell me I shouldn’t think my writing is shit, but with this one, I’m really…unsure. Meh, it’s all over the place. Anyway. Hope you’ll still like it

(My masterlist blog here : https://ella-ravenwood-archives.tumblr.com)

_________________________________________________

Today, Bruce woke up with the feeling that something bad was going to happen. Usually, his guts were always right and he spent the entire morning on edge…

But as the hours went by, and he saw that everyone was safe, he relaxed a bit. When your lips kissed his cheek lovingly as you came down in the kitchen for breakfast, he let go a little bit. When his sons didn’t even fight once, he let go a little bit. When Alfred made the best pancakes ever, he let go a little bit. When his hands wrapped around your waist to bring you closer, and his lips kissed your neck, while his sons made loud “ewwww” noises, he let go even more…And by noon, he was his normal self again. Still slightly worried about everything, a bit broody and all (though your presence made him smile like an idiot), but not waiting for a catastrophe anymore.

And oh how wrong he was to let his guard down. 

It was 10 pm when all Hell broke loose (ok, he was over-exagerating). 

It was 10 pm when Selina Kyle knocked on the Manor door, wearing a dress that was revealing a lot of skin. 

It was 10 pm when Selina Kyle invited herself in the Wayne family house, and after a sexy “Long time no see Bat” and her sultriest look, kissed Bruce without any warning as he was coming to the entrance hall to see who rung the door, curious of who came to visit at such an hour.

It was 10 pm when you came in as well, with all of your kids, wondering too who was ringing so late in the evening. 

Reflexively, as you all witnessed your Bruce pushing Catwoman away (oh the bitch stuck her tongue in his mouth !), your two oldest sons, Dick and Jason, held your shoulders…Just in case you decided to jump on Selina you know, and like, kill her or something. It was notoriously known that when you were jealous, you were dangerous. Granted, you weren’t often jealous, as Bruce only had eyes for you, and mostly ignored women who were hitting on him unsubtly (though none of them would ever dare doing it in front of you, and if they did, your natural sarcasm and wits would humiliate them right on the spot). 

Bruce’s eyes were going between you and Selina, and the worry he felt earlier in the day came surging back. He knew how well you and Selina fought, if you decided to attack, it would be a disaster…

But it didn’t seem like you were reacting. At all. Your sons were holding you by your shoulders, waiting to use all their strength to hold you if need be. Damian and Tim’s stance also showed they were ready to intervene. 

But you weren’t really reacting. You were just looking at Selina blankly, as if the things you just saw were trying to register themselves in your head. 

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okay can we talk about how even was so fascinated by movies filled with epic romance and grand gestures and love you’re willing to die for and how he loved them because they were epic but when he went to make his own movie about his own love it was filled with the most mundane things, just laying in bed holding hands and goofing off at home and small smiles, because all of those moments are what real love is like, simple and beautiful and fun, he went from the characters have to die for it to be an epic love story to they can live happily ever after to the epic part isn’t really that important 

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Character Design is an important part of any movie, but few use it to map out character design as well as Howl’s Moving Castle

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The Last Jedi Teaser Poster Anyalsis

Worth a Thousand Words

An Analysis of The Last Jedi Teaser Poster

Having just returned home from Star Wars Celebration: Orlando, I am filled with emotions, excitement and anticipation for the next installment of the Skywalker family saga. I was fortunately enough sit in the The Last Jedi panel, after 20 hours of sitting on a concrete floor, and an additional 10 hours before hand, queueing outside. However, that panel was worth every second of the wait time. And while most people will say the long anticipated teaser trailer stole the show, as an artist and illustrator, for me, the star of the show was the teaser poster, that was also revealed.




My jaw literally dropped as I stood in stunned silence as the crowd cheered around me. In fact, my line buddy, a member of the 501st by the name of Matt, repeatedly asked if I was okay as stood agape at the poster, amazed in it’s brilliant design as well as very clear and intentional use of visual story telling. I was flabbergasted at the bold choices made by Lucasfilm in this teaser poster, and I do believe that this is more of an indicator of the film’s story, rather than the trailer. This poster tells us, the viewer, everything we need to know about the direction of the upcoming movie, as well as helps dispel the rumors that The Last Jedi will be nothing more than a carbon clone of The Empire Strikes Back.

Before I go into detail I just want to say that it’s no secret that I ship reylo, however, for the purposes of this discussion, I am setting aside my implicit biases and talking about the facts stated in this poster, rather than fan speculation and conjecture.

First and foremost, what stood out to me is the simplicity in the poster’s design. We see only three characters, Rey, Luke and Kylo Ren. After doing extensive research, I found that this is the ONLY poster with just three characters. All previous Star Wars posters depict the main ensemble of cast members, as far back as 1979’s A New Hope. Never before has a Star Wars poster depicted only three members of the cast, and it is a clear statement that these three characters are the most important in relation to the story. There is also a not so subtle nod to Luke Skywalker in the original promotional theatrical poster for A New Hope. Both Rey and Luke are positioned in almost the same spacial area, in the same pose, with an ignited light saber raised up. For Luke, this symbolized his acceptance of his heroic journey, and the inherent power he possessed. For Rey, however, the meaning is vastly different. The sequel trilogy is very much about passing the torch from the old generation to the new, and unlike in The Force Awakens, Rey is present and accepting of that power, physically and metaphorically, in The Last Jedi, the second installment, rather than the first. Rey is our new hero, now heroine, embarking on her own heroine’s journey.



Now I know not many fans like Kylo Ren, and in fact they perceive him as a whiny emo cry baby, trying his best (and failing) to emulate Grandpa Vader, but his importance in the story cannot be overstated! He is the descendent of Darth Vader, and Leia Organa, and as much as most fans dislike him, that’s just simply a fact! The Star Wars trilogy movies are about the Skywalker family, and he is the new Skywalker of the trilogy. He is important to the cinematic universe as a whole, and characters from the The Force Awakens who easily had double the amount of screen time as him, such as Finn, were purposefully omitted from the poster in lieu of Kylo Ren. Regardless of how much fans like his character, he is going to play a very impactful role in the film to come. I know that he is not the most important character or the focal point of the poster, however, given the overly negative response he solicits from fans, I felt that it is important and necessary to make my position, and the poster’s narrative clear; even if you don’t like his character, Kylo Ren is a key player in the Skywalker family saga, and the cinematic universe as a whole.

When analyzing any piece of artwork, regardless of the the medium, the best jumping off point is the focal point. In The Last Jedi teaser poster, the viewer’s eye is immediately drawn to Rey, brought forth by the strong contrast of the blue halo of light emitting from her lightsaber. In terms of visual hierarchy and storytelling, she is the most important element to not only the poster, but in the movie it represents. Her position, in the lower center of the foreground suggests that she is the most grounded of the three characters, and thus the one that we, as the viewer, is meant to relate to the most. However, she is removed from both Luke and Kylo, positioned below them, which indicates that she was not a initially part of their conflict. And originally, she wasn’t. Rey was just a scavenger, abandoned by her parents on Jakku, struggling each day to survive. At that point, Rey didn’t know or care about the Force, Resistance or the First Order. Her primary goals and motivations were pure and simple, survival.

This coincides with the backstory indicated in not only The Force Awakens but also in Claudia Grey’s novel, Bloodline. There are no indication that either men knew who Rey was or her origins until she found BB-8 and became tangled in fight with the First Order. Luke and Kylo have a contentious and tumultuous past, filled with conflict and anger, as they stand on opposite sides of Rey’s light saber. This is a visual metaphor for the Force, and where Luke and Kylo represent the Light side, and Dark side respectively. Separating them is Rey, and the light of her saber. Although she is removed from their history, Rey has been flung into the foreground of the struggle between opposing sides of the Force. She is part of their present, and thus their future. In short, the resolution of Luke and Kylo’s conflict rests on Rey’s shoulders, both metaphorically and visually in the poster.

The struggle been Kylo Ren and Luke is an interesting and important to the story, but what is more important is what it represents! At its core, Star Wars is a fairy tail, and was intended to tell stories and teach children about the human condition and morality. Understanding every detail of Luke and Kylo’s past is less important as what their struggle represents. It is the timeless struggle of good vs. evil. If the timeline in Bloodline is to be trusted completely, and there are no extra twists and turns in the interum, Kylo Ren turned to the Dark side of the Force approximately six years prior, and has been unable to locate or confront Luke since his disappearance. What has changed in that time? Why will Kylo suddenly be able to locate his former master on Ahch-to? The answer is right in the poster, Rey!

This of course opens the doors to a whole new set of theories, such as a Force Bond, or Snoke obtains a copy of the map and so on. But there is practically no solid evidence to substantiate any of these claims, and at this point, they are pure conjecture.

I also find Rey’s placement in the middle quite interesting in the wider context of the history of the Force itself. One of the central themes Star Wars has always been finding balance. In the prequel trilogy we saw this through Anakin’s development from the heroic Jedi knight, to the Sith Lord, Darth Vader. And yes, Anakin is responsible for choosing his actions and must therefor accept the consequences of such actions, however, the biggest contributing factor to his descent into darkness was the Jedi Order and their absolute refusal to acquiesce to the basic human nature of love and attachment. In fact, one can argue that the Jedi Order is even more barbaric and cruel than the Sith. Companionship and attachment is one of the hallmarks of humanity, and by denying them, they are essentially denying being human. But the Jedi Order in both the prequel and and original trilogy was the personification of the Light side of the Force, while the Sith representing Darkness. Too much of either side’s influence causes the Force to spiral out of balance, and thus the galaxy is thrown into chaos again. This was demonstrated numerous times on both sides, such as Anakin’s betrayal, or the New Republic unknowingly creating the groundwork for the First Order.

In short, the brighter the light, the darker the shadow. Both light and dark must be present in order to achieve balance, and Rey’s placement, directly between the light and dark, makes her the fulcrum, or the point of equilibrium. In essence, it is Rey who is who is going to bring about that balance.

Another interesting observation I made was that all three characters, Luke, Rey and Kylo Ren are all colored in red. I cannot stress this enough, the psychology of color is important! Specific colors invoke particular and subconscious imagery and responses. Color theory and its use in marketing and illustration is a universal language. In fact, color tells just as much, if not more, of a story as the composition! There are two primary colors in the poster, red and blue. Red is the color of darkness, evil and passion. Blue on the other hand conveys serenity and tranquility. Why is Kylo’s lightsaber red? Not because he uses the Dark side of the Force, but because the color red has a strong visual impact and the human brain automatically associates red with darkness and power. It’s no coincidence that the color red is associated with the Sith, while blue is attributed to the Jedi! Everything you see on screen or in print was designed to create a specific response from the viewer and convey as much information as possible with no words.

Further more, in both The Force Awakens and the teaser trailer for The Last Jedi, it’s made quite clear that our heroes and villain are all experiencing a crisis of faith in the Force. Rey had her entire existence turned up on its head looking for guidance and training. Luke, it is suggested, fell into despair and solitude after the death of his acolytes because his teachings and philosophies failed to save his own nephew. Kylo, who just recently murdered his own father in hopes of committing himself entirely to the darkness, felt more weak and confused than ever before (this is said nearly word for work in The Force Awakens novelization). Because the color red is frequently associated with the dark side of the Force, and I find it quite compelling that all three figures are bathed in red. To me, this suggests that the trio are all going to be struggling with their inner demons, which often implies the temptation of the dark side. In fact, the only beacon of light and hope comes from Rey’s light saber. Some have argued that the light comes from Rey herself, but when you compare her upper body to her lower body, you can observe that just like the figures above her, Rey’s form is red, and the blue reflected in her face is emanating from the lightsaber, rather than Rey herself. This coincides with Rian Johnson’s choice to make the Episode VIII title font red, and maintains visual continuity. The most logical conclusion one can extrapolate is in The Last Jedi is going to delve into much deeper and darker overtones and story lines than it’s predecessors.

The positioning of Luke and Kylo in relation to each other is another aspect to this poster that I find intriguing. Luke and Kylo’s heads are above Rey; in this poster they are literally watching over her, and her choice to accept the Skywalker lightsaber. However, they are on opposing sides of the saber, as described above, representing the light and the dark. As a viewer, this design illustrates a sense of tension and conflict in both Luke and Kylo, but also in how they view Rey, and her choices. This image is clearly setting up the overtone that Rey has to struggle between choosing accepting either Luke or Kylo. In other words, it’s another iteration of the never ending struggle between the light and the dark.

Looking back in The Force Awakens for a moment, we remember that Kylo Ren extended the offer to teach Rey, “You need a teacher. I can show you the ways of the Force!” We all know the choice Rey makes at the end of the movie, but what about Luke? Will Luke even want to teach Rey after his previous failings at reviving the old Jedi Order? The following does begin to tread into the territory of conjecture and theorizing, however I do believe there is solid evidence to back up what I am about to speculate, or else I would have omitted it form this analysis. At The Last Jedi panel, Daisy Ridley, under the watchful eye and ear of Kathleen Kennedy, did reveal some very interesting information. We, as the audience were MEANT to know this information prior to viewing the poster, or else the CEO of Lucasfilm would never have permitted that information be divulged (like the Rogue One mishap at Celebration Europe 2016). Summarized, Daisy stated that Rey indeed does meet her hero, Luke Skywalker, and like in real life, how we  (Rey) envision our heroes does not always coincide with the reality of our heroes. This very clearly sets up the idea that Rey and Luke are going to have a less than harmonious relationship in The Last Jedi. This is also backed up by some previous leaks and spoilers from MakingStarWars.net, however until we know the veracity of those rumors, I do not treat them as fact, like I do the things said directly from the people at Lucasfilm. The statements from Daisy Ridley at the panel, however, were purposeful in sparking ideas and igniting the flame of this idea that Luke and Rey will not have a peaceful mentor/mentee relationship in the same light as Yoda and Luke’s relationship.



Mentorship has always been another key themes throughout the Star Wars saga, from Anakin’s tutelage under Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn, to Luke studying with Yoda. There is every indication that those reoccurring themes will continue, but in a different fashion. It’s been made pretty clear that Rey is going to struggle with Luke’s training, and we already know of Kylo Ren’s unrelenting conflict within himself, stemming from the teachings of Supreme Leader Snoke. Snoke ordered Kylo to kill his own father, an act that he did follow through with, but the novelization has proven that that act made him more conflicted than ever before. Where it should have brought him strength, instead he found weakness and doubt.

And all of this ties back to Kylo Ren’s original offer to Rey to teach her. It is my belief, based on the evidence above, that Rey is going to struggle between the teachings of Kylo Ren and Luke. You may ask “how will Rey learn from Kylo? They aren’t on the same planet?” Well even that is partially answered in Episode VII, and confirmed in tweets made by Pablo Hidalgo. Pablo definitively said that Rey learned so much so quickly at Starkiller Base because she extracted the information from Kylo Ren’s mind during the infamous interrogation scene. So in a way, Kylo has already become her first mentor.

Both the Light and the Dark are justified in their beliefs and teachings. Adam Driver previously stated in an interview that Kylo Ren vehemently believes he is and was justified in his actions, and it’s quite clear that Luke fully intended to disappear into the galaxy as a frizzled old hermit. What will happen if Luke does not agree to initially train Rey? She has all of these newly awakens powers, and no way to control them. Just like Kylo stated, she really does need a teacher. But which teacher? The Light or the Dark? Or, at what this poster suggests, something in the middle!

By placing both of Rey’s mentors above her, two Force users who are much more skilled and honed than she is, it indicates that both mentors are going to be fighting within Rey’s psyche. Luke will be teaching her one method, while Kylo and his Dark side influence will be pulling Rey in the opposite direction. This is wiring and character growth done right! The setting and characters have been established in the first film of the sequel trilogy, while the second installment places challenges and obstacles in their path. Without those challenges, characters will not grow or develop. Even more evidence for this is Rian Johnson’s prior statements that the characters in The Last Jedi are going to be tested and pushed beyond their limits. What would challenge Rey more than knowing she is can identify and relate to the person she hates the most, Kylo Ren? That would force the characters into a position where they have no choice but to adapt and evolve into something that spans beyond the juxtaposition of the Light and Dark side of the Force.

In other words, Grey Jedi!

Most likely it won’t be in so many words, but the concept behind it will remain the same. A world of Force users that are not bound by the narrow dogmatic codes of the Jedi or Sith! And while I do find both of their ideologies absolutely fascinating an an integral part of the Star Wars canonical universe, by constricting Force sensitives to Jedi/Sith, Good/Evil, Light/Dark is extremely limiting and grossly inhibits the idea of character depth, subtlety, progression and nuance. Maz Kanata and Ahsoka Tano are prime examples of Force sensitive individuals in the Star Wars universe who are canon and are Force sensitive, but do not fall into the dichotomy of Jedi and Sith. There has never been a main hero character in the films (which are the primary story telling means in the entire franchise that reaches the most viewers and has the biggest impact on mainstream pop culture). Luke Skywalker was seen as universal good, the epitome of the Joseph Campbell’s hero, who embarks on heroic journey on behalf of goodness and justice. The passing of the torch from Luke to Rey indicates a paradigm shift in the understanding of the Force for not only the characters but the viewers and fans as well.

The light saber in the poster is another piece of evidence for this! There is no partition between red (Darkness) and blue (Light). Instead there is a gradient emanating from both ends of the lightsaber, further emphasizing that this story will not be so simply as “kill the monster, save the world” but instead of dimensionality and gradation. There is middle ground to be found in the Force between the Light and the Dark, and Rey is the key to unlocking it. Or as Rey quite simply puts it in the trailer “balance.”

                                                        ********

On a personal side note, I do believe this teaser poster does further add fuel to the Reylo fire, and it makes be believe even more fervently that Reylo will eventually become canon in some iteration, but I wanted to keep my personal biases and theories out of this analysis. If anyone enjoyed reading this and would like to read my views on The Last Jedi teaser trailer and how it relates to Reylo, I’d be more than happy to comply. But I wanted and needed to get this poster off my chest first. My mind has been boiling over, wanted to put these thoughts down in some sort of organized fashion because as someone who is fluent in the language of illustrations as a medium for visual story telling, this poster blew my mind. I stood just flabbergasted at how blatantly the story implications were, but when I asked people about their thoughts they all came to different conclusions. And yes, that is the point of this poster, to get people talking and theorizing about what it all means, however visual story telling generally complies with a set of rules that are universally, albeit often subconsciously, understood by the viewer.


 Whew! I wrote this entire analysis in a single sitting. I apologize if there are any immediate grammatical errors, but I proof read this a number of times, so I am pretty sure that it’s correct. 

EDIT: Thank you to @sleemo who helped me fix the grammatical errors in this!

ibookbuddies  asked:

hi can you please explain the drama going on in the booklr community? with the white cis male author that got a movie deal? I haven't heard abut anything about this???

Yesterday, Publisher’s Weekly (a huge book news site) posted an article written by Sue Corbett about Scott Bergstrom‘s book called The CrueltyLink.

The headline reads: “YA Debut Gets Six-Figure Deal, Sold to 16 Territories and Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean)” and you think, oh my goodness, good for him, his book took off after being picked up and it’s a huge deal.

The articles writer, Sue Corbett, descibes the books as “Bergstrom’s heroine is Gwendolyn Bloom, a Jewish, slightly overweight 17-year-old, who is transformed into a “lean warrior with hair dyed fire-engine red,” during her mission to rescue her father, a kidnapped diplomat. Her search takes her into Europe’s most dangerous slums, and into contact with gangsters, spies, and arms dealers.”

You can probably already hear several alarm bells. For one it sounds like the plot of all three Taken movies -  plus several other people pointed out it sounds exactly like The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. For some reason, Ms. Corbett makes a giant negative connotation on both overweight (and some people say Jewish as well) to a positive “lean warrior” and for some reason red hair is also an important part of the heroines development. Because of course overweight girls can’t rescue their fathers - they have to completely physically transform themselves in order to become truly kick-ass.

Then it gets worse when Scott Begstrom says “The morality of the book is more complicated than a lot of YA so I wanted to try doing it on my own,” Bergstrom said. “In a lot of YA, the conflict takes place inside a walled garden, set up by outside adult forces. If you think of those stories as a metaphor for high school, they start to make a lot more sense, but that was one thing I wanted to depart from.” 

Bergstrom disses both the YA genre writers and his primary audience - which is primarily women and girls. Not only that, but he sounds like he’s literally never read a YA book in his life, let alone have any business writing one. This was I think the primary spark that caused the firestorm on twitter.

Then the article praises the story as being revolutionary and outstanding, basically the next best thing that happened to YA. So when white man writes a YA book about a hyper-violent teenage heroine people say it’s morally ambiguous instead of being a high-school metaphor– he’s revolutionizing the genre, gets a six figure book deal, sells to 16 countries, and a movie deal with the Pirates of Caribbean director.  Meanwhile, all the female authors who’ve literally created and up-kept YA for decades are still dismissed and side-lined and deemed unimportant and are constantly forced to defend their work and prove it’s worth simply because they are women.

The article finishes with Scott’s agent Tracy Adams  “thought that Gwen would get a lot of leeway from readers because of her mission’s goal. “She’s going to do whatever it takes to save her dad and that was good enough for me,” Adams said. “Kicking butt to save your dad is actually a lot easier for me to swallow than kids killing kids in The Hunger Games.”

Can you believe that this woman basically dismisses one of the most important YA novels of our decade by trivializing it? Literally what she’s saying is “the violence is our book is more palatable that the violence you’ll see in that one really popular YA… you might have heard of it”

So as you can tell, this got a lot of people - authors, readers, and bloggers very angry. Not even because of this instant, but because this shit happens all the time, and women writers are tired of being side-lined every single time a white man decides that he’s better at doing what women have been doing their entire lives while he haven’t even bothered to learn anything about the subject.

Kayla Whaley @PunkinOnWheels on twitter created the #MorallyComplicatedYA hastag on twitter in response so that people could not only respond to this but also give recommendations about morally complicated YA novels that already exist. 

I’ve also heard that people have read excerpts from the book ( @buttermybooks and @ladybookmad and @cresdarnels) have told me that this guy basically created a “I’m better than those other females” character and basically bashes the YA dystopias that already exist and their readers.

At this point, I’m not really angry with Bergstrom but with the publishers, who clearly decided that this guy - a debut author- is worth a six figure deal, rights in 16 territories, and a movie deal with a basic plot like “fat Jewish girl gets lean and red-haired when her diplomat father goes missing and she has to go to Europe to rescue him while beating up and meeting up bad guys”.

They’re showing us what they think they find valuable while ignoring the fact that this guy is literally insulting not only to the genre but the readers who love it as well.

wistingman  asked:

You once stated the Fantastic Four were the actual best super team. Why is that?

Assuming there’s even a nominal need to explain it any further than “they were Jack Kirby’s main project for just shy of a decade,” or for that matter “it’s the team Ben Grimm’s on” or “they’re where Doctor Doom comes from,” it’s actually a little more complicated than it might seem, because it’s not quite a matter of them collectively being the best characters in comics. Ben’s right up there, and Reed’s great too in the right hands, but Johnny’s while fun still pretty one-note, and while Sue works in the context of the group, I still feel like after all these years people haven’t quite fully fleshed out her deal in the same way as the others. Pound-for-pound, they hardly match up to the Justice League. But a team is a lot more than the sum of its parts; it’s the dynamic, the context they’re framed in, and the scope of what you can do with them. And in those regards, no one else is even close.

Let’s cover the other major players. I like the Doom Patrol from what I’ve read (Morrison’s run and what there’s been so far of Way’s), but they seem really shifty in terms of lineup in spite of being a small group, making it tougher to build long-term stories around character dynamics, and most of their adventures seem to be them just trying to wrap their minds around what’s happening to them; like the Spirit, they’re the spectators, not the spectacle. The X-Men are…a whole piece in and of themselves, but long story short, as far as I’m concerned they’ve spent over 30 years coasting on a run that got by on trying *slightly* harder than its competition at the time and a strong if muddled central metaphor, with any attempts at doing anything actually interesting with them since then smothered as soon as they start to gather any steam. Ditto Teen Titans, without even the symbolic strength of the central concept; all they’ve got is the cartoon, and DC’s spent over a decade resolutely making sure absolutely none of what made that show work gets into the comics. The JSA is Fine, Just Fine, and Jay Garrick and Ted Knight are both great, but their integration into the main DCU was - aside from scrapping the multiverse - the biggest mistake DC ever made in terms of large-scale continuity reengineering, and aside from the pretty clearly failed Earth-2, everything with them for the last 30 years has been built on the back of that illusion that any of them are in any way anywhere near as important as Superman or Batman. I’ll cop the Legion of Superheroes might have more meat on the bone than I’ve seen, but I’m not willing to shell out however many thousands of dollars on archive editions I’d need to find out, and while I imagine the Defenders were great under Steve Gerber, that seems to have largely been it for them.

That leaves the big two. I’ve covered it before, so keeping it relatively short: the Justice League is the best team in terms of average character quality so long as we’re sticking to the Big Seven model, but because each of them is iconic and important enough that they all have their own stuff going on, the focus in their best runs is on big action, with character work necessarily taking a back seat. They try to shake it up sometimes with B-listers, presumably on the basis that that’s how the League was conceived of in the first place, but it never works; the minor characters in the beginning were elevated to the A-list by sheer dint of being on Superman and Batman and Wonder Woman’s team, and shortly afterwards the rules of that world and who was important in it were codified enough that you couldn’t really replicate that more than once in a blue moon with one or two characters. The Avengers meanwhile were originally more genuine B-listers - only truly elevated above that by the movies, or if you’re being generous Bendis - and as such the Avengers as a group was the most significant thing in any individual members’ life, turning it into a meaningful institution that made them more than the sum of their parts, while the Justice League has always been less than the sum of its own. But at the same time, while they can do more within the boundaries of being the big team than their distinguished competition, they themselves just aren’t as big a team, and can’t compete on those grounds. Maybe I’d have a different mindset if the Avengers were a big deal to me personally, but as far as the ‘classic’ members go, I maybe, generously, care about four or five of them at all.

The Fantastic Four on the other hand? For starters, they’re a pretty universally regarded perfect balance of powers and personalities - tough enough to get into some wild adventures but not so overwhelmingly so that they can’t be easily thrown in over their heads; arranged character-wise with personality quirks both complimentary and irreconcilable that let you just as easily show them hugging it out or at each others throats. But the deal-maker is that rather than a club, or a gathering of the big guns when they have time off from their solo adventures, or an after-school hangout, or a strikeforce, or a ragtag bunch of misfits, or about 938 backup dancers of varying degrees of quality lucky enough to have Wolverine and Emma Frost to carry them, they’re a family, both born and found, and moreover they’re a family of explorers. And that makes all the difference.

Obviously there’re other teams that work as families in reality or in spirit, but the FF work that way in terms of dynamic, even above their status as superheroes. Yes, if they hear about the Mad Thinker wrecking downtown they’ll go deal with that, so you can tell regular superhero stories with them. But at the same time, you don’t need any elaborate explanation to get them to the Savage Land or the Negative Zone, or even to Yancy Street; they’re as likely as not to head out there on vacation (or to stop Ben from tearing it down in the latter case). They’ll go do big, interesting things purely on the basis of going to do it together as a family, and when it’s a family that diverse in terms of interests and personal goals, that means you can organically throw them in a bunch of different directions. And because they’re science adventurers above all with superheroics as just one option on the table, that gives you all the justification needed to dish out any wild high concepts you like, on the simple basis that Reed’s interested and the rest will humor him if it means a fun afternoon. And when real danger finds them, they care for each other and argue with each other and worry about each other and keep each other on their feet the way family does, perpetually keeping the emotional stakes as high as possible.

So yeah. They play off each other perfectly, you can justify them going nearly anywhere and doing nearly anything, and at their heart they have the warmth and the bickering and the strength that comes with family. And Kirby threw everything he had at them, and they have Ben Grimm and fight Doctor Doom. That’s why they’re the best. And among Marvel’s myriad other problems at the moment, its world is always going to be the lesser and the lonelier for it whenever it’s missing The World’s Greatest Comics Magazine.

the best !!!!!!! thing about the wonder woman movie is how fucking compassionate she is. its truly inspiring. everything else comes second -the action, the love story, etc. they nailed the most important part. diana cares so much about people and it just makes me emotional like how she left everything she knew behind, her family, her literal paradise, bc people were at war and dying and she needed to help. she didn’t even know she had big powers when she made that decision, she thought she was just another amazon that could easily be shot dead, but she didn’t care, she had to go help. and thats what she does through out this movie. you see it on her face, you see it on the way she behaves, the way she talks, even in the way she fights. there’s no cynicism at ALL. she was just pure and good to her core and I loved the movie portrayed that with no shame. for real yall, theres one scene at the end of a battle where the people go up to her to thank her and she is just talking to them and smiling and shaking hands and at the same time she looks unsure, like she cant believe that is happening, she’s in awe basically. and god, that moment made me smile so much. what a fucking hero.

  • What she says: I'm fine
  • What she means: In addition to being a fun and enjoyable movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming also contains a rich subtext on ideology and class struggle that is worth exploring further. I am excited when I see articles online arguing that Tony Stark was the true villain of the movie, but I am disappointed to find out upon reading that most of these discussions, in an attempt to remain inoffensive and politically correct, fail to expound on the classist themes and instead focus merely on how Tony Stark is guilty of child endangerment and not being as good a parental figure as Uncle Ben. While these points are also valid, it is more important to look at how Tony Stark, who is part of the ruling class, controls intellectual production and causes the impressionable working class youth in Peter Parker to turn against Adrian Toomes, a member of his own class who is trying to overthrow Stark's ruling class.

thoughtfulpeanuttimetravel  asked:

Hiii! I love your blog, it's amazing! And I was wondering if the 'famous' tag have been updated lately? Huggies <3

famous derek was just updated so heres some famous stiles

Starstruck (Or Not) by literaryoblivion (1/1 | 4,158 | PG13)

Derek takes his daughter Lia to a convention of her favorite TV show because he’s a good dad (and can’t seem to tell his daughter no) and ends up meeting a special someone.

Vulnerable by stilinski_wolf (1/1 | 3,971 | R)

Stiles, a famous actor, has agreed to a naked photoshoot for a magazine to help with a charity. His photographer for the photoshoot is Derek, and to say it’s difficult to keep it professional, for either of them, is a bit of an understatement.

Make Me Blush (Zombie Guts) by AsagiStilinski (1/1 | 16,042 | PG13)

Derek is not having a good day, he ended up in a cold shower, broke a glass, burned himself, and if that all wasn’t bad enough, his sister called out on her promise to babysit, leaving him with no other choice than to take his five-year-old daughter with him to his new job, normally that would be a problem, but apparently you can take some liberties when working on a show about zombies, and one of the main stars of the show just so happens to love Derek’s daughter (almost as much as he loves Derek)

Billboard Butt by LadyDrace (1/1 | 1,504 | PG13)

Stiles took a part in the worst movie to ever hit Hollywood. And somehow that was the best move of his career.

you’ve got me on pins and needles by jadore_hale (1/1 | 17,620 | PG13)

“At any rate, I’m not here to steal from you. One of the biggest potentially most important moments in my life is coming up and I find myself in need of a custom tux.”

“A tuxedo?” Derek halted, then tried not to laugh as he gave the kid a good look up and down. “Biggest potentially most important moment of your life?”

Derek picked up the broom and started sweeping, shaking his head. “If you need something for your little costume party, kid, rent something from party city.”

✄✄✄✄✄

Stiles Stilinski needs THE perfect suit and Derek Hale is just the tailor to make it for him. Only Derek doesn’t exactly know that Stiles is kind of a famous movie star…

PPP 79

Episode 79 of the Pizza Party Podcast was probably the most frustrating episodes I had to sit through. With that being said I am happy that people are enjoying the abridged edit that Pan made of the podcast. But my god I hope we do not ever have that guest on the podcast again.

We had a toy reviewer from the early days of Youtube, Pan and myself were both big fans of his videos when he started out. Our guest’s videos where the Youtube equivalent of a dad joke. safe, cooky, charming, with cringe peppered in. Perfect for the Pizza Party Podcast.

We’ve had guest on who loved to talk about themselves, hell at a point of time I was one of those people. You’re on the podcast to promote yourself, we all get it. But you have to realize this was an abridged edit of the recording. The recording was originally 3 hours long, and we edited it down to an hour and a half to make it more enjoyable to the viewers. Which props to Pan because based off the fan response he did his job perfectly. 

I don’t watch episodes of the Pizza Party Podcast that I am on, because believe it or not I hate the sound of my own voice; and while I’m barely in it I can’t watch this episode to see what’s different. I do want to try and share some highlights of the recording;

- We hadn’t started recording yet, and the guest went right into a story that was both fascinating and interesting. Pan asked him to hold off til we start recording, but he continued anyways. I had to stop interrupt him two more times before he stopped. And he never went back to the story. It was about how he worked on Alf.
- He criticized Pan twice in the recording. Once telling Pan that he should be leading the conversation since it’s his podcast and then continued to bulldoze Pan with another tangent before Pan could even respond. The second time he criticized the podcast because we weren’t doing it live and his fans can’t ask him questions directly. 
- He claimed Disney makes nothing memorable, but when we gave suggestions to memorable songs, he ignored us and continued rambling about his opinions on Disney. Including but limited to Cars 3 being better than Cars and Aladdin having the most mistakes ever made in movie history.
- Almost all of his advice and suggestions on how to perform on social media are super commonly known and are stuff that social media platforms promote. Hashtags are important, you can see audience retention in the creator studio. Basic Youtube creator knowledge that Youtube promotes or networks like Frederator repackage as advice.
- Nolan and I both muted our mics part way though and had a separate Skype text conversation. At one point we watched one of Pan’s unlisted videos during the podcast, instead of participating. 
- At one point our guest talked about his magazine collection.
- He condescending talked down to us about what our generation is into even though as members of our own age group we didn’t know. 
- Almost all of his claims and stories can’t be fact check because of some NDA, IMDB being wrong, someone was asleep, or various other complications.

With that being said, that podcast in its full entirety was like being stuck with your grandpa who has some story about everything, and you can’t leave. 3 hours of it that was mind numbing. And the following gif captures my emotional arc during the podcast;

Drew’s Great Big Beauty and the Beast Review

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

THERE IS NO GOING BACK

THIS IS A SPOILER-FILLED REVIEW

IT IS ALSO VERY LONG

AND THERE ARE LOTS OF SPOILERS

SO PLEASE BE AWARE

THAT THERE ARE SPOILERS HERE

BEFORE YOU START READING

Let me start off by mentioning how much this movie means to me. I’ve kind of made my niche on the internet by dreamcasting Disney movies as if they were live action. I’ve made a ridiculous number of edits, I mean I’ve spent hours, days, probably weeks on this stuff at this point, and many of these edits have been focused on Beauty and the Beast. Live action versions of Disney movies are like… my Thing. And, to be totally honest, this really is only the second faithful adaptation. Alice in Wonderland was a total reworking of the Alice story, not really a cartoon-to-live-action like this. Maleficent completely retold the story from a different angle by making one Disney’s most vicious villains not only sympathetic but good. Cinderella is so close (and so good, I might add) but visually it’s vastly different from its animated counterpart, especially when it comes to Lady Tremaine and the Fairy Godmother, and it’s not a musical. The Jungle Book is the closest we’ve seen to a real and true “live action remake” as opposed to a live action reinterpretation. But here we are. Disney did it. They took one of their most beloved animated classics and straight-up made it into a live action movie without cutting any songs or really very much at all…

And oh boy, did they knock it out of the park.

I love this movie. This is what I’ve been waiting for.

I love Emma Watson as Belle. I think she’s a wonderful choice, I completely buy into her as Belle. She’s beautiful and intelligent and spunky. Her singing is fine. She’s not Kristin Chenoweth or Sutton Foster, but Belle doesn’t need to be. She’s also not Meryl Streep or Daniel Day-Lewis, you know, Emma doesn’t go through a massive transformation and disappear into the role, but she doesn’t need to because she’s already so much like Belle. Still, I don’t find myself watching it thinking about Emma playing the role, I think of her as Belle, which is the goal of acting really. I love that this Belle is so active. I love that she is continuously trying to find a way to escape from the castle. The addition of the laundry machine and teaching the young girl how to read is so good because it actually shows us Belle’s intelligence. In the animated movie, we know Belle’s smart because we’re told Belle’s smart. She reads books and, sure, she acts rationally and she certainly shows the poise of an intelligent person, but this new scene gives us an active example of her intelligence and creativity while also demonstrating the oppressive and small-minded nature of the townspeople. Emma’s Belle is charming and smart and lovely, and I think she captures the essence of Belle perfectly.

All that being said, our two male leads really steal the show for me. I’ve seen the movie twice now and each time, one of the leading gentleman really jumped out. The first time I watched, Luke Evans felt like the true shining star of the film. His Gaston reminds me of Jason Isaacs as both Captain Hook and Lucius Malfoy. He isn’t just vain… this guy is a legitimate narcissist, it seems like his mind has truly been twisted by the war. This Gaston is even more evil than the one we left behind in the world of animation. Gaston has always been terrifying because of his charisma. The way he’s able to charm the people of the village is chilling and this time around we see even more of that trait, paired with a darker and more violent streak particularly illustrated by Gaston tying up Maurice and leaving him for the wolves. Plus, both times I saw the movie the audience gasped in horror when Gaston stomped on Belle’s lettuces.

The second time I saw the film, I was specifically watching for Dan Stevens’s performance as the Beast and man, this is good stuff. The Prince at the beginning is such a drama queen. He’s so over-the-top with his costuming, wig, even his gestures are extremely theatrical. The make up at the beginning is particularly brilliant, burying the Prince’s face in streaks of blue and silver so he still feels like an obscure figure that we don’t quite see. When Belle first meets the Beast, this is all still evident. The way he hides in the shadows, even his lines of dialogue, it’s all very dramatic. And then as the movie progresses, you can see this flair for melodrama fade away as he becomes a more grounded person. He becomes gentler, kinder, and his intelligence, which has always been there, comes forward. By the time we see the Prince again at the end, you can tell that this is the same man but he has been changed. The animated film’s human Prince always felt disconnected from the Beast for me. Sure, they made the eyes the same, but it was hard to see much else because we just see so little of him, so he always felt rather vanilla. That’s not the case here. When the Prince transforms back to a human at the end, this feels like the same character we have watched throughout the film. I’m sure this is aided by the incredible motion capture and CGI work, because the Beast is animated superbly, but Dan’s performance is just stellar.

The objects are perfect. There’s only one shot that I think feels odd (when Belle is carrying Lumiere with Cogsworth walking in front as they lead her to her room) but other than that one moment, I never second guess them as objects. They feel and act real. Lumiere’s movements in particular are incredible, right down to his close up at the start of “Be Our Guest.” I was worried about Plumette before seeing the movie because the bird design is so unusual, but it makes sense since they needed her to be able to fly to get around, and doesn’t feel out of place at all in the movie. Mrs. Potts and Chip are also beautifully animated, they always feel like real and solid objects with weight to them. Their relationship is wonderful, so loving and caring. Chip’s line, “OK. I’m older” is one of my favorite little moments of the whole thing. Cadenza is a wonderful addition to our cast of characters and I did not expect his relationship with Garderobe, but they were an excellent surprise. And Frou Frou! I love that Frou Fou is Garderobe’s and that he becomes Cadenza’s bench and is therefore the link between the two throughout their years in the curse. They’re just so sweet.

Maurice has been an under-reported character in all of this, and that’s a shame because Kevin Klein knocks this role out of the park. He is absolutely wonderful as Maurice. He is fatherly and kind but he has also clearly made mistakes as a parent and that is kind of embraced and understood in the storytelling. He is sincere at all times in a role that is pretty exaggerated in the animated film. If Maurice’s arrival in the tavern had been played exactly like the original, it would have felt campy, but Kevin Klein’s earnestness grounds the moment in reality. Not to mention his quips about snow in June and “apparently that’s what happens around here when you pick a flower” are delivered brilliantly.

Let’s talk Lefou. I don’t like this Lefou, and here’s why. Every other character in this film feels developed in a natural way. It feels like we are learning more information about these characters that has always existed, we just didn’t fit it in the first time around. Lefou, on the other, doesn’t feel like a character who has been developed but a character who has been rewritten. They clearly got the seed of an idea to make him gay but felt squeamish about making him evil and gay (and rightfully so), so they wrote this redemption arc that feels forced and really doesn’t actually go anywhere… Lefou’s turn during the battle with the castle objects doesn’t actually do anything, so the whole thing feels arbitrary. After seeing the film the second time, my friend and I spent probably an hour and a half just talking about Lefou and came up with a brilliant solution to this whole mess of a character… more on that in a moment…

Incorporating the Enchantress into the story is very compelling. I think it’s very obvious who Agatha is throughout the movie, but it gives the sense that she wants the spell to be broken, she wants the Beast to learn his lesson, which is very interesting. Having her arrive after the spell has completed and actively reverse it is a riveting choice, and I actually felt like we were missing a moment with her where she realizes that she made a mistake. When she was watching the separated loved ones reunite, it seemed like there was a seed of remorse that was not addressed.

The character development is very well done across the board, but I think something this movie did that was important and contributes to its success is the development of the spell itself. I think this was one of the most brilliant moves the film made. The eternal winter around the castle explains the sudden weather changes in such a short period of time while still using the seasons as an emotional storytelling technique like the animated film. The wolves are also clearly part of the curse here – I would have actually liked to have seen them included in the finale sequence, either transformed into humans like the objects, or else disappearing like mist with the rest of the eternal winter. Having the castle crumble every time a petal falls from the rose is so smart as well; it explains why the objects know every time a petal fall while also representing their and the Beast’s disintegrating humanity. But the best part of the curse’s development was definitely the memory loss. Adding the simple line to the opening narration about removing the people of the castle from the minds of the people who loved them was absolutely inspired. This one quick line explained a huge loophole that the animated film left regarding the presence of a massive castle in the woods and a royal family that apparently the entirely world did not know about. But even better than that, it created some wonderfully emotional reunions at the end. My friend beside me gasped so loudly when our favorite teapot exclaimed, “Mr. Potts!” and the moment with Henri Cogsworth and his wife(?) was so hilarious and, in my opinion, subtly hinted at our second LGBT character in this universe. Which brings me to the Lefou thing.

Here’s what my friend and I came up with: in the opening sequence, we see Cogsworth lurking in the shadows telling the Prince that “it’s time,” we see Lumiere handing the Prince a candelabra, we see Mrs. Potts chasing after Chip… in the midst of all this, we could also show a masked jester entertaining a few people at the ball. When the Enchantress arrives, a lot of people run out – presumably that’s where Mr. Potts and Mrs. Cogsworth escape and why they’re not included in the spell – and the jester leaves with them as well. At the end, the Pottses are reunited, the Cogsworths are reunited, and then Lefou recognizes his old beau, Chapeau the violinist/coat rack, and joins the finale back in his jester outfit. It makes total sense for Lefou to be “the fool” of course and explains why he falls into the abusive friendship he has with Gaston, since it would parallel the relationship he probably would have had as a jester for the similarly self-centered Prince. This adds two quick two-second shots to the opening scene, one of the masked Lefou juggling or something and one of him fleeing when the Enchantress shows up, and about twenty seconds at the end for the reunion and revelation and, in my opinion, is so much less problematic than writing our first ever LGBT Disney character as an evil sidekick with a forced redemption arc – this way, he had his memory erased, just like everyone else. Just our little idea but I think it could have blended into this world quite smoothly. Alas, here we are.

Moving on! The finale is absolutely gorgeous. The whole ending sequence is my favorite thing about the whole film. The fight scene is fantastic and then from there to the end, everything is so marvelous. We know the objects are going to be okay in the end, but seeing them all finally lose the battle they’ve been fighting and become motionless household objects is… emotional! Then the Prince’s transformation is brilliant, giving the perfect nods to the original film, and each character’s subsequent change back to their human state is perfect (Cadenza’s teeth!), especially when Mrs. Potts and Chip go sliding down the steps. And then when she says, “You smell so good,” oh my gosh. Whoever contributed that line is a genius. I go all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. Then we have the wonderful and funny reunions and then the final dance sequence, where Emma is beautiful and Dan is looking good in bright sky blue and rococo curls in his hair. Audra McDonald sings flawlessly and we have that beautiful moment between Mrs. Potts and Maurice that made my little shipper heart do a backflip, even if there is a Mr. Potts now. I’m still not sure if I’m on board with the growl, but I adore the line about the beard – apparently it was written for the original film and Paige O'Hara even recorded it! But it interrupted that finale sequence so they never used it. I think it works perfectly here, it’s so cute.

The first time watching, I felt the pacing was so odd in the film, with some abrupt transitions that didn’t quite work. I felt that less so the second time, maybe just because I was expecting it, and sometimes I actually liked the sudden change. I also don’t fully understand the shuffling of scenes at the beginning. The animated film goes (1) “Belle,” (2) Belle and Maurice at home, (3) Maurice leaves for the fair, (4) Maurice arrives in the castle, (5) Gaston proposes, (6) “Belle (Reprise),” (7) Philippe comes back and tells Belle to the castle. The movie rearrange this so almost all of the village scenes happen together, reordering that sequence as 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 4, 7. Because of this we end up going from Maurice’s whole scene in the castle, back to the village for about thirty seconds with Philippe and Belle, then right back to the castle again. This made the whole sequence of events feel rushed even though each moment was given about the same amount of time, or more, as the original film. Additionally, I felt some of the filming choices from a cinematography point of view were weird. There were several times that we were zoomed in on a character, usually Belle or Gaston in the village, and it felt like the shot was kept tight to hide something but then there wasn’t anything to hide… it’s a hard thing to articulate, but I definitely noticed it through both viewings.

The design of this movie is amazing. Breathtaking. Thousands of beautiful costumes and such detail – human Cogsworth’s buttons have the Roman numeral numbers on them! Not to mention the object designs. Lumiere’s candlestick form is clearly inspired by the Broadway production, which was an absolutely brilliant choice. Garderobe’s wardrobe form is A THEATRE, it has box seats and a stage with curtains as her mouth piece! Even the villagers are designed with such care, memorable and reminiscent of the original in many places – the man with the scissors and the guy with the mustache, the Baker is very similar to his animated design… I would have liked to have seen blonde silly girls to contrast them more distinctly with Belle, but they are what they are. The set design, from the village to the absolutely incredible castle, it’s all so, so good. I love the little flowers painted on the doorway to Maurice’s cottage and I loved the magnificent, baroque-meets-gothic design of an extremely unique castle. I know people are up in arms about the yellow dress, I know it’s not perfect, but it doesn’t stick out so horribly in the movie and it moves so beautifully in the ballroom scene. And honestly, I’ve never cared about the yellow dress, the blue dress is the one I’ve always loved and I just think the live action interpretation is glorious. It does not feel like a costume, it feels worn-in, it feels natural, like it’s just Belle’s favorite dress, and I just love it so much.

Speaking of detail, they named the village. And they named it Villeneuve. As in Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, the original author of the fairy tale. Come on. That’s fantastic.

Let’s see, some of my other favorite moments that jumped out at me that I wanted to mention… the whole “Gaston” scene in the tavern is awesome, maybe my favorite scene besides the finale sequence. I love that Lefou is going around paying everyone off to boost Gaston’s ego, I love the dance, I love the use of Tom, Dick, and Stanley as cronies throughout the entire movie, I love lifting the young woman and then lifting Lefou, the whole song is fun and funny and exciting and the new lyrics are just amazing - “Then I shoot from behind!” “Is that fair?” “I don’t care!” …That’s exactly what’s going to happen in the final battle. Ugh. So good.

The moment in “Something There” where the Beast moves to Belle’s end of the table, she puts down her spoon, and they both sip their soup out of the bowl… that hit me in a way the animated movie never has before. It’s amazing symbolism. He can’t eat with the spoon, she’s not going to lap it up like an animal, so they find a way they can both eat the same way. They’re meeting each other halfway. That’s some good stuff right there.

OH, and I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned “Be Our Guest!” Come on. They went hard with that. They put on a full Broadway production on the table in front of Belle! The way it just kept growing bigger and bigger was delightful. Plus I love that the grey stuff is designed after Be Our Guest Restaurant’s grey stuff, complete with the silver and grey chocolate caviar beads.

Replacing the animated film’s bookstore, which never really made sense in a town of people who think reading makes someone weird, with a small shelf holding a dozen old and worn books that Belle has read over and over is just such a wonderful touch. I love that Belle’s favorite play is Romeo and Juliet because she’s barely read anything else and I love that the Beast’s reaction is to roll his eyes at her selection. I would have liked to have seen the giving of the library be a little more deliberate and a little less off the cuff, and I definitely missed the “promises you don’t intend to keep” line, but I’m so satisfied with the choice to make the Beast a reader. Having “a very expensive education” totally makes sense, and what else would he have had to do with all that time? They each develop the other’s literary taste! What’s better in a relationship than that?

The new songs are lovely as well. “How Can A Moment Last Forever?” is so much better than “No Matter What,” I wish it could logically fit into the musical instead because it’s really, really good. “Days in the Sun” is so sweet, it’s nice to have those moments with the young prince and each of the objects and even Belle, and honestly I can’t stand “Human Again” so I’m good with this one, plus the lyrical nod to “A Change in Me” is nice. But “Evermore” is clearly stealing the show as far as the new songs are concerned. What a great song. I still think they could have done a little tweaking to the lyrics in order to still use “If I Can’t Love Her” but if we’re going to write a new song for the Beast, I’ll take this one. (But can we not digitally lower Dan Stevens’s voice next time? It sounds like a computer singing at some points.) I also loved all of the new/old lyrics that were incorporated into the songs we were familiar with. They felt fresh without being forced. The new “Gaston” lyrics are definitely my favorite, but the new lyrics that Mrs. Potts sings in the finale are touching. Plus, using the Broadway songs as underscoring was really nice, especially “Home.”

I’m just so delighted with this movie. Everything from the original is there but now there’s more. The stove is there. The coat rack is there. The footstool is there. They just paid so much attention to detail and did this movie the justice it deserved. I’m already prepared to call this my favorite movie. Easily. By miles. It’s beautiful and just absolutely everything I was hoping it would be.

Tales From The DM Creating an Adventure Pt. 1

So with the the beginning of October past us; another adventure in my D&D Campaign: Calm before the storm, has come to a close. Usually by this time I would post a quick, unfurnished map and call it a day, but I wanted to do something that would perhaps help other would be GMs to design interesting story ideas, encounters and dungeons. Hopefully in doing so showing how to put it all together into something cohesive and fun for their players. 

I’ll try to do my best to put this into a structured fashion over a few posts, but I’m sure I’ll ramble on once or twice. So sit by the fire, grab that warm mug of mead, and listen to an old GM’s wisdom and musings.

I Present To You

The Forgotten Temple of Tel Dramil Ceilvala 

Primarily, this was an adventure centered around one of the players in my group: an Elven Witch. With that in mind I set out to come up with a basic idea for the adventure that would center on her accomplishing a task for her patron and deepening her covenant with them, as well as revealing to them at the end just who their patron was (Something I had basically held back on revealing since the start of the campaign a year and a half ago).

The Story

So first off, let’s talk about story. The most important part of any adventure, as well as the bedrock for all the other aspects of an adventure.

The Initial Spark: As with most adventures, the idea first comes from an initial spark. That inspiration can come from a lot of places: books, movies, random thoughts while on a walk. One thing I find useful recommend, is keeping a small notebook on hand. I tend to write down plot ideas or story beats that I think are interesting. Even if I don’t use them, it helps to practice creating ideas on the fly.

In the case of this adventure: Patron wants to protect a place -> An ancient Elven Temple -> Being used by human cultists -> Drawing on powers for their dark purposes -> because the temple guards a crossing to the shadowfell.

Once I have that initial plan down, I’ll mull over it in my free time during the week, mostly to see if I find any glaring plot holes or a change that would work better with the plot. In the case of this adventure.

Overall Story: Now, to make sure most of the other elements of the adventure stay internally consistent, I like to write out a ½ page of names and locations I’ll need to have ready (nothing worse than forgetting a name), and a summery of the events leading up to the Adventure (What the bad guys are doing what the adventure hook is, etc. All of this helps to establish the adventure and keep all the additional adventure preparation internally consistent with the story. 

I try to avoid any details at this point that don’t deal with the backstory, or with a clear effect should the party choose not to engage in the adventure, or fail. Writing something like “When the cultists see them enter, they’ll begin to summon undead, sending them into the rooms of the temple” because 1) That’s starting to decide what the players are going to do or how they’ll approach the adventure before they’ve even sat down at the table and 2) If I realize later that the enemies I’ve prepared can’t even cast animate dead, then I’ve written myself into a corner that might wreck the immersion of the players or feel like the world isn’t playing by the same rules they are (Two things I try to avoid as much as possible as part of my preference as a simulationist DM) .

Once I’ve finished compiling all the quick references, notes, and summaries onto a page, the first part of my job is done. 

Here’s a simulacrum of what such a note sheet looks like and what personally works well for me. 

For more narrative adventures, or social adventures, this could be enough to run a session off of easily (though a little more polish and time never hurt, writing out bios, or complex webs of relations). For a location adventure though, now comes the equally important part of creating the dungeon itself, and filling it with all manner of discoveries both beneficent and fatal.

Join me next time, when we’ll be diving into the meat of this particular adventure’s development time: Needlessly fretting about the building standards of Fendris-Kai Sormrill (Wood elves) circa 900 years ago during The age of Banners.

See you then everybody