not sure if 13 years is old enough to be a classic

50 Reasons TO LOVE NICO DI ANGELO

MY CHILD NEEDS MORE LOVE SO HERE I AM, WRITING FIFTY REASONS TO LOVE NICO.


Note: These are not in any order, the reasons are all random, also there will be spoilers and cursing.


1. LITTLE NICO IS SO CUTE. He protects his sister, “Don’t talk to my sister that way!” Plus he’s super nerdy and obsessed with mythomagic and pirates, HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE HIM?!

2. “You said you would protect her” Do really need to explain?

3. He’s so fucking powerful, but doesn’t use his powers for bad, or to show off (unlike some other demigods I know).

4. HE BROUGHT A WHOLE FUCKING SKELETON ARMY TO HELP IN THE IN THE TITAN WAR.

5. He discovered Camp Jupiter before anyone else.

6. He pretends not to know Percy, which must have been extremely hard for him to do, just to make sure that he doesn’t accidentally mess up the quest.

7. HE FOUND HAZEL IN ASPHODEL AND GAVE HER A NEW LIFE. WITHOUT NICO HAZEL WOULD STILL BE IN ASPHODEL.

8. His grammar is AMAZING.

9. He is so freaking polite.

10. At age fourteen, after already being in so much pain, he jumped into Tartarus. HE FUCKING JUMPED INTO TARTARUS. I REPEAT, HE FUCKING JUMPED INTO TARTARUS. HE JUMPED IN BECAUSE HE DIDN’T WANT ANYONE ELSE TO HAVE TO GO THOUGH PAIN TO CLOSE THE DOORS OF DEATH, SO HE WILLING DECIDED TO TAKE THE PAIN ONTO HIMSELF.

Plus, he saw Tartarus MUCH WORSE THAN PERCY AND ANNABETH, WAS BY HIMSELF, AND WAS ALREADY IN PAIN. AND HE JUMPED IN WILLINGLY. WILLINGLY.

11. According to the old myths, Ares, an immortal god at his full strength could barely survive being in the Bronze jar. NICO SURVIVED AT AGE 14 AFTER BEING TO FUCKING TARTARUS.

12. On top of everything, he had MORE PAIN ABOUT HIS FEELINGS FOR PERCY.

13. He’s gay, and it made me SO happy to FINALLY see an LGBTQ+ character in a kids book.

14. HE SHADOW TRAVELED A FUCKING FORTY FOOT TALL STATUE ACROSS THE WORLD.

15. HE IS STILL FIGHTING

16. Reynico and Jasico BROTP

17. SOLANGELO OTP. THIS SHIP IS BEAUTIFUL.

18. He is sane enough to continue to live, talk, and be pretty okay.

19. “I have a doctor’s note”

20. He has an awesome “Son of Hades” look

21. EVEN THOUGH HE HAS BEEN THROUGH SO MUCH PAIN HE STILL TRIES TO HELP PEOPLE. ANYONE BUT HIMSELF. HE ALMOST KILLED HIMSELF BY SHADOW TRAVELING SO MUCH, JUST TO HELP THE CAMPS.

22. Nico is an amazing name. So is di Angelo. It translates to Nico from the Angels, I think. Edit: Okay so apparently, according to the helpful @the-forgotten-traveller his name translates to Victory of the Angels or the Angel of Death, depending on where his first name was rooted from. (correct me if I’m wrong).

23. “With great power, comes great need to take a nap. Wake me up later”

24. He tries to comfort Reyna and defends her by killing that demigod roman asshole.

25. I’m pretty sure Will Solace had a crush on him.

26. “I’m a son of Hades, Jason. I might as well be covered in blood or sewage, the way people treat me.”

Despite that, he STILL HELPS THOSE PEOPLE TO POINT WHERE HE ALMOST KILLS HIMSELF HELPING PEOPLE WHO BARELY NOTICE HIM.

27. He speaks Italian.

28. He’s defends all of his sisters, Bianca, Hazel, and Reyna.

29. He’s sarcastic.

30. This line: “Not a word about the shirt. Not one word.”

31. He’s probably the most attractive 80-something year old ever.

32. He was THE FIRST DEMIGOD TO SURVIVE TARTARUS. EVER.

33. He listens to Techno Pop music.

34. He’s awesome at sword fighting.

35. He’s a classic “Looks like he could kill you but is actually a cinnamon roll”

36. He was the only one to talk to Hesita and Bob.

37. Nico talking to Bob was the only reason Bob helped Percy and Annabeth in Tartarus, and therefore Nico indirectly saved the entire world.

38. He’s the ghost king.

39. “Don’t call me Death Boy!”

40. “Significant annoyance, in your case.”

41. He’s can shadow travel.

42. He helped Apollo in ToA, even though the gods have been nothing but mean to him.

43. Fuck that. Not only did he help Apollo, he HELPED ALL HE GODS.

44. Hades is pretty cool.

45. Nico is so relatable.

46. He’s such an inspiration, I mean, he’s been though so much pain, and is still a hero.

47. He’s stronger than everyone else, because not only does he have to do normal DEMIGOD stuff, he also has SO MUCH PAIN.

48. He’s not stupid, quite the contrary actually. He’s extremely intelligent, AND he stopped going to school at age 10. Let me repeat that, HE STOPPED GOING TO SCHOOL AT AGE TEN. AND THE SCHOOL HE WENT TO WAS FROM THE 1930S.

49. HE IS PERFECT AND AMAZING AND GREAT. YOU CAN FIGHT ME ON THIS.

50. He’s fucking Nico di Angelo.

B99 Hiatus Writing Challenge

In the immortal words of Captain Raymond Jacob Holt, “EVERYTHING IS GARBAGE.” – The finale left our favorite squad in pain, we have to wait months for new content, and Dianetti still isn’t canon.

Even Terry knows what we need most in these trying times: fanfiction

Under the cut is a list of 30 prompts/summaries put together with a ton of help from @stardustsantiago, @peraltiagoisland@scullysthumbtacks, @three-drink-amy​, and @dogworldchampion. Feel free to run away with any (or many) of these plot bunnies!! Let’s make this hiatus as gr99 as possible. ★

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Malec Fic Recs

Here are just a few of my favorite fics that I’ve saved links to and I thought I’d share some of them with you guys. These range all the way from major fluff to extreme angst so your bound to find at least one that suits you needs. I always love talking fanfic with people so if you find enjoyment from any of these recs I’d love to talk about them with you! I’m constantly shoving these down my poor friends throat because I’m desperate to talk about it so yea, message me if you want and feel free to leave your own recommendations below, I’m always in search of some juicy malec <3

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pining fics 🍁

1. Don’t Tell The Gods (We Left A Mess)  (71k)

After a misunderstanding with Liam’s mother, Louis agrees to accompany his best friend to a family wedding and pretend to be the world’s best boyfriend. But their simple plan goes awry when he learns that Harry, ex-boyfriend/ex-love of Louis’ life, will also be in attendance. (aka: fake!boyfriends with a twist ft. bromance, romance and cake.)

2. Spin Me Like A Record (8k)

Uni AU. Sometimes, Louis poses as Harry’s boyfriend. It doesn’t mean anything. Really.

3. And Then A Bit (158k)

A parallel universe where Louis and Harry were never together, mix in a two year hiatus and an impending comeback, pour in a dash of lost fans, two tablespoons of strong friendship and a Modest! employee with a good idea. Add a squeeze of pretending to be a couple, lots of kisses and a tattoo or two. Stir. Serve: the mother of all publicity stunts.

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“I have a sense of humour, I laugh at Tony Danza”:  A retrospective of King of the Hill’s early years, 20 years on

The first scene in the first episode of King of the Hill sees 4 guys standing around outside, drinking beer, and talking about last night’s Seinfeld. The scene ends with the line “I tell you what man, them dang old New York boys. Just a show about nothing”. Right from the opening moments, we’re hit with a great self-awareness and a very 1990′s kind of irony, because King of the Hill, like Seinfeld, was a show about nothing. 

Maybe I should clarify. I don’t think Seinfeld really was a show about nothing (it’s a common misconception that the show ever sold itself as that. It never did - it was actually just the label George applied to his sitcom idea) but instead, a show that seemingly made something from nothing. Both KotH and Seinfeld were oddities of their time, neither of them housing notable gimmicks or concepts to base their episodes around. Instead, there was a looseness to both of their styles, and to the way in which they approached their subjects, a freedom to be their own thing which set them miles apart from their contemporaries.

When KotH came around in 1997, the other animated show to which it could most easily be compared to (on the surface, at least) was in actuality the furthest thing from it - unlike other animated family sitcoms, almost nobody has ever accused of KotH of ripping off The Simpsons. The shows were never rivals, due in part to KotH and The Simpsons being on the same network (KotH followed The Simpsons on Sunday evenings), but also because there weren’t many easy ways to compare them. Sure they were both animated shows about middle American families, but KotH had such a distinctive voice of its own that it’s possible to love both it and The Simpsons without making them battle it out for supremacy. In fact, their difference allows them to complement each other fairly nicely, and there are a lot of episodes of both shows that would pair well with each other. 

While South Park, which also came out in 1997, had an attention grabbing coarseness which allured both College kids and younger kids looking for something to watch when their parents went to bed, and The Simpsons was, well, the biggest show on earth, KotH had to carve out a niche of its own, but a niche big and stable enough for it to survive. It was a little show that had an impossibly enormous task to take on: to follow The Simpsons. And not just The Simpsons, but 1997 The Simpsons. Height of it’s popularity, biggest show of all time, The Simpsons. And remarkably, whilst also being one of the slowest and most idiosyncratic shows on Fox, KotH managed to do so. 

It was beneficial to the show that Creator Mike Judge had a solid history, creating the equally as unlikely cult hit Beavis and Butthead for MTV which, on looking back, shares a great deal in common with KotH. Both are shows that are distinctively recognisable and very much products of their time, and both function primarily as cult oddities that somehow crossed over into the general consciousness. Looking back on them today, it’s hard to believe they were as massive as they were; it’s both heartening that they did so well, but disheartening to think that they might struggle if they came along now. While KotH has a devoted fanbase, and, yes, a strong presence in memes (Mike Judge’s classic Office Space, which is as close as you can get to live action KotH, similarly has been immortalised in memes) and youtube edits, these are primarily perpetuated from built-in fans who grew up on the show. But, maybe in the age of Netflix, we can hope that new generations will keep discovering it (the catch-22 of streaming services is that while they might reignite interest in animations like KotH, they force us to remember that animations such as Drawn Together existed. Shudder). It’s not that common to hear much mention of KotH outside those who dearly love it, which has as much to do with its unassuming style as it has to do with the fact that it’s the shortest lived of the Big Animated shows. The show went out on top after a damn impressive and consistent 13 seasons, at which point, despite solid ratings, it was cancelled to make room for the short-lived and poorly received The Cleveland Show. If you could possibly need more ammunition to hate Fox repeat that to yourself: King of the Hill was cancelled to make room for The Cleveland Show.

Right until the end, KotH was well received and admired, and the consistency it maintained was not just of quality but of style. What was essential to its success was that instead of needing to shake up the style or the voice of the show to simply keep it fresh, what it focussed on was developing and refining that voice. And it helped that the voice was pretty powerful right from the start.

King of the Hill’s first season was short but strikingly strong. At 12 episodes long, it has a tightness and sense of direction that serves as a sort of mission statement for where the show would go in the future. It’s kind of incredible to see characters presented in the very first episodes of a show that feel fully formed, and that more or less, remain the same throughout their 13 years on our screens. Like Seinfeld, Peep Show or, and stay with me here, The Sopranos, what makes King of the Hill’s characters work so brilliantly is that they are fleshed out people from the start, with the writers revealing essential and complex aspects of them over the years, rather than randomly gluing traits on to them in an attempt to shake things up. They always act in character. Everything you find out about them - their fears, prejudices, their weaknesses - are there from the start, waiting to be uncovered. But what also links these four shows is the maddeningly realistic difficulty the characters have in trying to change. It’s that frustrating feeling that they should be learning something, but a fundamental stubborn-ness - and humanness - hinders their doing so. And so, Hank is endlessly desperate to keep things the way they are, and Peggy is desperate to be proven right (and she usually is, by the way). But underneath that stubborn-ness, there is a sweet, kind-hearted want for things to be better, and for people to be better. And that’s what KotH is nearly always about - people struggling with every day problems and trying to grow from that, whether they’re successful or not. 

The second episode Square Peg, is an unusually good sophomore episode which follows Peggy trying to overcome her nervousness at having to teach a sex ed class. It’s a simple premise, but from it grows a story with character development - or at least an attempt at it - that feels natural to who Peggy fundamentally is. Instead of going off in absurd directions, the episode takes the time to explore the reasons that Peggy struggles to even say the names of sexual organs, and sympathetically follows her through her self-taught breakthroughs. It’s heartfelt, but funny - hearing Peggy enthusiastically shout “Vaaaa-ginaaaa!” is one of the biggest laughs of the season. 

Even in episodes that prefer to focus on something absurd like Bobby practicing flirtation and kissing on a plastic doll’s head, there is a truthfulness to the characters that make the silliness feel realistic. Of course Bobby would do that because he’s silly, awkward and kind of weird. But how do we know that? Because the show shows rather than tells us that in stories that are always on point and within the realm of believability (except, maybe for Hank’s clothes being torn off by a tornado as he holds on for dear life to a telephone pole. But that’s so funny that it doesn’t matter). The second season episode, Meet The Manger Babies, is one of the finest examples of how an inherently funny premise (and execution - Brittany Murphy’s voice work throughout this show was phenomenal) can still work even when it secretly hides a genuinely moving backstory. Luanne is revealed to be the product of a severely broken home, and a throw-away line when Hank points out that she has a natural talent with puppets reveals that she’s used to using puppets from her visits from social workers. The episode hears her talking bleakly about the world, about how everything is going to hell, and the story tells us that she just wants some sort of stability and reliability in her life; even if it is Hank showing up as God in her performance. The heartache of Luanne doesn’t detract from how funny the episode is, but it really does enhance it. A lesser show would’ve thoroughly mocked Luanne for putting on a christian puppet show, and while KotH does poke fun at some of the stranger products of Christian America, it also understands Luanne and gives reasoning to her beliefs. She’s not stupid for putting on the show, she’s just looking for answers and comfort in a world that has treated her awfully. 

While the complexity in these characters lives is evident, and while the show is frequently touching, it never forces on the viewer any easy or saccharine view of things, and never, even under the complex morality plays that occur, does the show stop being funny. Watching them back, these first seasons are consistently funny, with every episode providing a wealth of quotable lines. The second season episode, The Son That Got Away, in particular has an exceptionally high laugh quotient. Hank’s “Bobby, Al Yankovich blew his brains out in the late 80′s after people stopped buying his records” and Dale’s suspicious yet oblivious “How’d he know I wanted a beer?” in regards to Johnny Redcorn answering yes to Dale’s wife when she asks “You want a beer, sug’” are some of the hardest times i’ve laughed at this, or any show. 

It’s in the greatness of the scripting (Hank angrily telling someone “You take that back!” after they tell him John Wayne’s real name was Marion is the funniest possible reaction to that fact), but also in the voice work which is outstanding all-round. To hear voice work this good on a show from 1997 is unusual, and it’s even more unusual to hear a seasoned character actor playing a series regular - Stephen Root steals almost every scene he’s in as Bill. Kathy Najimy and Pamela Aldon both absolutely kill it with their voice work, making every punchline of theirs sell perfectly, whilst also bringing nuance to their characters. And Mike Judge has Hank’s voice down from the moment he speaks, intonation and everything. It’s always a blast just to hear the characters talk, and these early seasons prove that KotH is a contender for best Cast for any animated show, past or preset. 

There is a certain magic in these early seasons being hand-drawn. The character designs are distinctive and expressive (I personally adore the widening of Hank’s eyes when he’s in shock, and Bobby just looks so damn funny without even saying a word), and realistically detailed in a manner that fits the show superbly. With wider shots of the landscape and the town, it was often downright beautiful, with a warm mood and tone of its own that makes me miss hand-drawn cartoons very deeply. There is an attention to detail in it which mirrors the show’s excellent observation of both the positives and negatives of the small town in which they live. The satire is deceptively sharp, especially watching it 20 years on. A particularly good second season episode focusses on gender inequality in schools, and how under-funded the girl’s sports facilities are. It’s a sharp-toothed episode that exposes the ingrained sexism in the town, sexism that doesn’t leave itself at the door - Hank is one of the worst perpetrators of it in the episode. And we get one of the best and most prescient lines of dialogue about sexism i’ve heard in a show - when Bobby faces the fact that he will for the first time have to prove himself as a good Wrestler to stay on the team instead of automatically having a place now that a girl has joined and there are less spaces, he says “Yeah, and it’s worse when they take away our favours, ‘cause we’re used to getting them.”. That line is applause worthy, and a good example of how good KotH was at tackling sexism. It gets extra credit for making a point to not make the girl, Kahn Jr, feel guilty for joining the team and instead pointing directly at the school and staff’s sexist policy and their refusal to cater in any manner for the girls of the school.

As well as sexism, racism is satirised when a Laotian family move onto the street, and characters, ‘likeable’ or not, performed painful but realistic and well-observed displays of racism, be it hateful or just ignorant. KotH didn’t shy away from these subjects and we should be glad that it didn’t - it was a satire, after all - one of nuance and experience that wasn’t afraid to pick out its characters flaws and expose them, always to strong and funny effect.

From episode to episode, it could bounce from functioning as a broader animation, to a social satire, to a heartfelt character study, and was often all these things at once. The episodes that i’ve rewatched lately from Seasons 1 & 2 are miraculously good - watching them again after so long feels like seeing an old friend who you realise you still have everything in common with, and not only that, but there are new things you didn’t realise you liked about them. The references to Seinfeld in the first episode might sound dated, but the only way in which KotH has dated is in the fact that there’s nothing like it on TV today. I didn’t just compare it to Seinfeld because they’re both 90′s comedies, instead I compared it because it’s the only comedy as methodical, precise and in its own unique mould that I can recall that managed such great success (and The Simpsons. But if I start talking about The Simpsons, I will not stop). I’m eternally grateful that KotH made it to 13 seasons (13 Seasons!!! That is A LOT of TV!!) and i’m excited to keep going with this rewatch, especially as there are dozens of episodes I didn’t see the first time around. It’s a warm but alert look at subtly flawed people - flawed in the every day sense - and a show that deserves to be remembered as one of the best comedies, animated or otherwise, ever made. 20 years on, its status as a classic only becomes more concrete. 

deadline.com
Comic-Con: ‘Outlander’ EP Ronald D Moore Talks Seasons 3 & 4, Diana Gabaldon, ‘Battlestar Galactica’ & The Changing SDCC
SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of upcoming seasons of Outlander. “It’s a big transitional year for this show,” Outlander executive producer Ronald D. Moore says of the upcoming third se…
By Dominic Patten

“It’s a big transitional year for this show,” Outlander executive producer Ronald D. Moore says of the upcoming third season of the Starz drama based on Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling books.

Set to debut September 10 on the premium cabler, this 13-episode run of the Caitriona Balfe- and Sam Heughan-led time-travel series has newborns, old lives, heartache and a reunion across the seas and ages — aka, classic Outlander. Already with one Comic-Con panel under his belt this year with the Battlestar Galactica reunion yesterday, today sees Moore back in Ballroom 20 with Balfe, Heughan, co-stars Tobias Menzies, Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin, and fellow EP Maril Davis.

Before today’s panel, Moore chatted with me about where this far-flung season based on Voyager — Gabaldon’s third book in her eight-book (so far) series — is coming from, where it’s going and where it could all end up. He also discusses whether he would ever be part of another Galatica revival, and how much SDCC has changed since be first started attending the confab.

DEADLINE: With Season 3 set to launch in just under couple of months, what is the theme for you for this run of Outlander?

MOORE: It’s a transitional season. You know, the franchise kind of pivots from this point because, it’s not really a huge spoiler, but essentially, the show will relocate to the American colonies after this season. So they’ll always have a foot in Scotland, because there’s always a piece of the story that will continue to play out in Scotland, but Claire and Jamie and their family really do kind of relocate to North America after this season and establish a place called Fraser’s Ridge, which is up in the mountains of North Carolina — and that’s where the rest of the season in the books takes place.

So this is a really important year because it’s leaving sort of one setting, traveling literally across the Atlantic Ocean. You know, we went down and shot on the Black Sails ships and sets in South Africa to do that section of the story, and then end up in the Caribbean, and then eventually into the American colonies. It’s a big transitional year for this show.

DEADLINE: Another transition of sorts for you guys is that Outlander Season 3 is premiering in mid-September, a shift from Season 1 opening in August 2014 and Season 2 debuting in April 2016. How will moving into a more traditional premiere spot affect the show, especially for production purposes?

MOORE: It doesn’t really change the dynamic of a show. I’m sure Starz could speak more directly to scheduling and how it affects various marketing aspects and that kind of thing, but creatively, it didn’t really affect the show at all. We are trying to put the show on more of a yearly basis, so hopefully we can stick with a fall premiere date going forward. So we’re sort of overlapping production, but that’s because I think the fan base would really like to have an annual date instead of a moving date.

DEADLINE: So the fall premiere is going to become the norm for Outlander?

MOORE: You know, there’s no guarantee, but hopefully we kind of stick with a fall premiere from this point. It’s been difficult for us because it takes us a long time to shoot the show. It’s very complex logistically. It’s a big period piece that travels and goes to different countries and continents and doesn’t really have standing sets, and it takes us a long time to produce it. So we don’t want to skimp on the production value of the show, but we also want the audience to have the benefit of yearly premieres.

DEADLINE: Speaking of behind the camera, will Diana Gabaldon be penning an episode or two of Season 3 like she did for Season 2?

MOORE: She did not do one for us this season. She’s writing another book, and she was a little too caught up in that. Behind the cameras, a lot of the same team came back. We had some changes in the writing staff. We actually expanded the writing staff quite a bit, in large part because we are sort of on an accelerated prep schedule now, and we had to be able to have enough writers to start writing onto Season 4 while we were producing Season 3.

DEADLINE: Mapping out this upcoming season and Season 4, how much further do you see Outlander going?

MOORE: Well, Diana’s still writing the books, so I would assume that we could go as long as she keeps writing a compelling story. The books are still wildly successful. The storyline still engages people, and I could see this going on for a very long time.

DEADLINE: Is that always how you saw it? When you initially put the show together, did you see this as a five-season show, a six-season show…

MOORE: When I approached it, I knew that it was an ongoing book series and an open-ended saga, so I sort of had that in the back of my mind. Really until Diana’s decided what the end of the story is, I can just see the show continuing to move forward. Also, as long as the audience is willing to go along for the ride with us, because it feels like there’s a long, compelling tale that people could lose themselves in for many years.

DEADLINE: On that, last year Outlander skipped Comic-Con, but you were here personally. What was that like?

MOORE: It was odd because I’d done them so many years in a row with Galactica. Then I took a break, and then you get used to just being there, you know, with Outlander, and it’s odd to skip one. I did a couple of smaller panels, but nothing officially for the show. You know, you kind of miss the big rooms, and you miss seeing all the fans, and the cast, and all that, because it has become an event on everyone’s annual calendar.

DEADLINE: On Galactica, you had a reunion panel this year at Comic-Con, similar to the one at ATX earlier this year. Of course, you are busy with Outlander but the fan reaction makes it pretty clear the appetite is there for more Galactica. Would you do more? Say, a limited series?

MOORE: (laughs) I feel like our show has pretty much said what it needed to say, and we’re done. I didn’t really leave the door open for a reunion show. If you did that, if you picked up the story from where we left off after the finale, A, there’s no Battlestar Galactica left, and B, everyone’s on Earth, and there are no spaceships anymore. It would be such a completely different idea, that it really wouldn’t be Battlestar Galactica anymore.

Now, given the environment that we’re in, sure, they’re going to reboot it at some point. Somebody’s going to and they’ll take another whack at it, just like we rebooted the original. So, you know, I can’t be precious about the idea that no one could ever touch this show, because it was a remake in and of itself.

DEADLINE: You guys packed Ballroom 20 this week, all these years after Galactica ended. What is that like for you?

MOORE: It’s great and it’s really validating I think to us all. Because when we were making the show, we were always on the bubble of cancellation. So, as a result, those of us on the show had this sort of bunker mentality that, you know, we’ll prove them right. Some day they’ll love us. It doesn’t matter who’s watching us today, we’re going to last. There’ll be a legacy to this show. You wait and see. So it is great to kind of see all that true, and it’s like, Oh, yeah, we did make a legacy. Look, people do love us now, and it really was a special program.

DEADLINE: You’re a Comic-Con vet so I have to ask: Looking at what it is now in 2017, how has it changed since you first started coming here?

MOORE: It’s like the whole city has just become Comic-Con now. I think the first time I went, my recollection is that the convention had not yet spilled really beyond the confines of the convention center. Maybe it had, but I wasn’t aware of it. Each year now, I feel like this can’t get any bigger and they just can’t get any more people down here, and then the next year, I’m always astonished by the scale of it.

I remember pretty clearly there was a year when I was down there doing Galactica. Like, the first couple of years, it was very sci-fi-oriented, very genre-oriented, very much, like just a big, large-scale science fiction convention. And then there was one year I looked up on the convention floor, and there was a kiosk for The Office. And I went, OK, something has now changed, because once you’re down here promoting The Office, you’ve really broken past the genre of it all, and it’s going to become a whole different thing. And it has.

700 Celebration

In honor of passing 700 followers (holy shit guys how did this happen) and because I’m officially done with college for approximately 90 days (!!!) I propose a drabble game! Below are 100 prompts to choose from. Mix and match them as you like, or make your own dialogue line as prompt 101! I’ll accept anywhere from 1 to 5 prompts per request, and please make sure to tell me what character you want! You can send in as many requests as you’d like before the deadline! I’ll leave this open for more requests until June 1st!

Let’s get started, shall we?

Originally posted by g-r-e-g-o

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Stubborn Idiot [EdmundxF!Reader] [One-Shot]

Stumbled across the ‘First Kisses for the Pevensies’ post again and just couldn’t help myself… ^^’

[If you enjoy my writing, feel free to request something when requests are open! ^^]

Stubborn Idiot

Fic Summary: His first kiss was in the midst of an argument. He didn’t get along with her much because they were both stubborn and both madly in love with each other.

Word Count: 3,2k

Warnings: Language

“We’re going to need more men.”

“A lot of good that’s gonna do us when we’re up against giants.”

“Then what do you propose, oh high and mighty, all-knowing pain in my ass?”

“Stealth. We can’t go up against an enemy way bigger and stronger than ourselves with just brute force and manpower, your obnoxiously annoying highness.”

“A lot of good that’s gonna do us when we’re stealthy enough to get our butts crushed under a giant’s foot. In your case though, it might just be an improvement.”

“So you think my ass needs improvement, huh? To know that, you oughta have been staring at it - again.”

“S-Shut up!”

“Oh what’s the matter? There’s nothing wrong with being a Peeping Tom, now is there?”

“Tch, you’re one to talk Miss 'I couldn’t stare at his abs during training more shamelessly if I tried’.”

Peter groaned in annoyance. Here they went again.

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I can’t put my fucking thoughts together right now.

I was gonna make a proper post about these last two SPN episodes, but I’m just gonna bullet point the pain away.

  • *during the pickax to the wall bit* I bet if Sam and Dean had taken off their shirts next, the wall would’ve come down easily.
  • I have been WAITING FOR SO DAMN LONG FOR DEAN TO USE THAT FUCKING GRENADE LAUNCHER!!
  • Dean’s leg looks gross as hell.
  • I think they should 100% kill Toni. Fuck her kid.
  • Jodi is badass as always.
  • Sam’s speech made me proud. They grow up so fast. First pre-law, now leading an army. @thesuperwhovian and I liken it to Buffy coaching her Slayers. Mega cute.
  • As soon as Dean said he was gonna help Mary, I knew I was gonna cry.
  • And I was right. That fucking speech. I like that Dean cut himself some slack finally. Typically he blames himself for not protecting Sam, but in that speech he sort of told himself and Mary that he didn’t stand a chance from the beginning. Also, I was kind of waiting the entire season for Dean to get proper mad at her. I wanted him to hate her in that sort of irrational way. Sort of like “how could you abandon me?” Other than the time that Dean told Sam about Hell, I’d argue that this scene is Dean’s best block of dialogue. At least for a while. Beautifulllllllll.
  • The only good thing Ketch ever did was kill that Toni bitch. I knew from the last episode of season 11 that she was an ass, and I’m happy she had her ass handed to her. 
  • Ketch doesn’t know the meaning of “psychopath.” Dean had the Mark of Cain, bitch. 
  • It’s justice that Mary got to kill him, I think.
  • It’s ironic that we cut from Mary holding a gun to Ketch to Sam holding a gun to that British bitch. I can’t be bothered to learn her name.
  • Sam’s “PASS” was the most badass thing. And I fucking knew that bitch was gonna use Lucifer as a way to try and stay alive.
  • Too bad for her, because Jodi was having none of it.
  • That little family powwow at the end was so cute. It’s nice to have some closure for everything that went on this season between the three of them. Although, it kind of made me wary of where they were taking Mary’s character. I felt like, from the jump, they weren’t going to keep Mary around. Like, she never felt long term to me. Before Billie got killed, I thought she’d choose to go back to heaven or something. Now, though, I don’t know how they’re gonna proceed, based on the end of the second episode. Which is what we’re gonna talk about now. Thanks for giving us a heartwarming ending just before ruining our fucking lives, SPN.
  • I love that in the midst of all this shit going down with the baby, SPN still finds room to make fun of IKEA.
  • Kelly calling for God, LOL. GOD’S ON VACATION, BITCH.
  • Crowley dug himself out of a grave, that’s fun. Just like his ex-boyfriend Dean.
  • I am SHOOK that Rowena is dead. You can’t just not bring her around for a fuck-ton of episodes and then just “whoops she’s dead.” Fuck off.
  • Lucifer has a nice ass jacket, though.
  • Cas, I’m not your keeper or anything, but we typically don’t walk up to slits in the universe and traipse through.
  • *gun-blazing mystery man shows up* That’s 100% Bobby. Bet.
  • Mark…dyed his beard. And he trimmed it. Lookin’ good, my sweet.
  • Mary finally gets to meet the King of Hell. 
  • I was super pumped to hear that the gates of Hell would close, but Crowley would stay top side. I had this little fantasy of him shooting up human blood again, maybe owning a tie shop. You know, the life.
  • The flannel thing was cute as hell. And also, awwwwww. He loves those little assholes.
  • OKAY. The thing with Cas and the whole “the baby brings paradise”? Did Chuck make any of his kids read the Bible because???? Does Cas understand that that probably means the kid is the anti-Christ and/or the Beast? Does he know that after shit-misery in the apocalypse brought on by the anti-Christ, then there’s paradise? Does he fucking understand that that baby is probably desitined to kill the world and everyone in it and then, and ONLY THEN, will there be paradise? I mean, fucking come on. That’s classic Revelations bullshit. It’s end of days shit, motherfucker. Cas. Babe. COME ON. 
  • Dean being healed by Cas is the cutest thing. Also, I love how Cas comes into the room, sees all three Winchesters, and says “Dean?” Classic.
  • Referencing “The French Mistake” was hella grand. Although, I’d hardly call that meta. I saw something somewhere that said this episode would be super meta, but it wasn’t? They just referenced that episode, and that was all. I thought the Phantom Zone lookin’ place was gonna be like “this is the world after Donald Trump’s presidency” or some shit.
  • I fucking knew it was Bobby. What did I tell you? Jim Beaver lied to us on Twitter, that beautifully clever man.
  • Jesus, Sam and Dean have a hell of an impact on their world, heh?
  • Bobby’s gun being named after Rufus is the saddest thing. Well, it’ll be the saddest thing for at least another 10 minutes, anyway.
  • I like that Lucifer mentioned Chuck again. Just because I love Chuck.
  • Although Chuck could’ve helped out a little with the thing at the end, don’t ya think? Anyway.
  • I’m so sad about Crowley. I saw somewhere that Crowley will be in season 13, but you never know what that means, you know? Will he be in a different vessel? Is he just going to be there but in Purgatory? Or will he be totally fine and things will go back to normal? Either way, his final words being “bye, boys”? I can’t. What a way to go. He went out like a fucking hero. 
  • Castiel’s death pissed me off for like 0.2 seconds. Mainly because we know Misha will be back. No, I wasn’t sad for too long about Castiel’s death.
  • What I was fucking wrecked because of was Dean’s fucking reaction to Castiel’s death.
  • Hold on, let’s talk about Mary. See this is what I was talking about with the whole her leaving the show thing. Although, we didn’t see her die. So, I’m guessing the boys will try and get her back somehow. And probably time moves differently in that world so it’ll have been years of her trapped with Lucifer or some shit. I don’t think either her or Lucifer is gone for good. In fact, I think they’re signed on for 13, too.
  • Back to Dean. Holy fucking fuck. Yes, he wasn’t just sad because of Cas. He was sad because of Mary. But he fucking dropped to his knees in despair next to Cas, and the look on his face when he saw his best friend dead in the sand…that sent shivers down my spine. And his wings. Castiel’s wings. This is different than before, you understand, because Dean wasn’t mad at Cas. Not like in season 7. He was annoyed, sure, but he always is. Dean and Cas were finally in a place where they could talk shit out and be okay. After everything with Lucifer and Kelly and everything else, they lost each other again. That hurt so damn bad.
  • What the fuck kind of name is “Jack” for a nephilim?
  • If that kid came out that big, that’s probably what killed Kelly. That’s gross, I know, but I can’t help the thought. I’m glad he’s not a baby though, because I didn’t sign up for Sam and Dean raising a baby. It’s kind of annoying that it’s a bit of an Amara repeat, but it’s better than the alternative. Plus, if he gets out of hand, he’s old enough to kill!
  • To be honest, kind of a shitty ending. Not by way of content, because this season was bomb af, but the whole two episodes were kind of tame. Other than them killing off two regulars and two recurring characters, of course. But the very last second is usually something that is like “what????” But this was just sort of “okay, the kid was born, he’s fully grown (that’s weird), can’t wait for next season.” You know? 

All in all, though, a top notch season. I’m really happy with it. I know a lot of people aren’t because it’s nothing like SPN used to be, but who cares. I thought this season brought out some new and interesting styles and ways of presenting the content that I hope continues into next season. I’m not too worried about Cas and Crowley, but I’ll probably mourn them and Rowena all the same. And Dean crying over Cas’s body is gonna ruin me for the next few months. Thanks, SPN. 

After School Fight

Title: After School Fight

Prompt: On his way to pick up you up from school, Dean sees you fighting another kid

Pairing: Dean x child!reader

Warnings: Some schoolyard teasing and fighting


Your name: submit What is this?

“Dude, I’m in the parking lot right now!” Dean relayed to Sam through his cell. He rolled his eyes as his brother began to berate him for being 20 minutes late in picking you up from school. He rolled the window down, searching for you among the sea of kids. When he spotted you, his mouth dropped open.

“Son of a bitch.” He muttered, interrupting Sam’s lecture. “Sammy, I gotta go.”

Sam’s complaints went unheard as Dean hung up and pocketed the phone. He turned the car off and swung the door open, jogging to the front of the school where a crowd of kids had gathered. He peered over the heads of the children and saw what he had suspected: you beating the crap out of some poor boy.

“Y/N!” He shouted, pushing through the crowd to get to you. You didn’t seem to hear him as you continued to wail on the kid with your small fists. Dean wrapped his arms around your waist and pulled you off. As he set you back on the ground, the crowd began to disperse, seeing that an adult had arrived.

Your eyes grew wide when you saw who had stopped the fight. “Dean? Aw man…”

“Y/N, what the hell was that?!?” Dean demanded, looking you up and down. You had a busted lip and a nice black eye forming. What had gotten into you? You were a sweet kid who would never hurt a fly, and now you’d just gotten into a fight?

You shrugged and looked around, avoiding eye contact with him. After a few moments of silence, Dean sighed and grabbed your arm. “Alright Mike Tyson, let’s go.” He said, pulling you beside him as he began to walk back to the Impala. “You’re explaining this in the car.”

You nodded and looked back, wondering if the boy you had fought with was still there. It seemed that he had made the wise decision to run off. You smirked, confident that he wouldn’t dare mess with you again. Your happiness was short lived though, as you climbed into the passenger side of the Impala and Dean raised his eyebrows at you. He started the car and began to drive back to the motel. After a few minutes of uncomfortable silence, Dean looked over at you.

“So you wanna explain why you hulked out on some kid?” He asked, maneuvering the car into the next lane.

You sighed, eyes lowering down to your lap guiltily. “Because he was being a friggin’ jerk.”

“How so?”

You shrugged, turning to look out the car window. “It doesn’t matter.”

“Y/N, you look like you just ran into a friggin’ wall. Don’t tell me it doesn’t matter.” Dean scoffed, coming to a halt at a red light.

You paused for a few seconds, trying to decide whether or not to tell Dean the reason why you had gotten into a fight today. The truth was that the boy, Randy Hopper, had been picking on you mercilessly the past few weeks you’d been in town. The boys had found a case here and had enrolled you in the local school that taught from Kindergarten to 8th grade. You absolutely loved your new 4th grade class, making friends easily. So naturally, when 13 year old Randy decided to tease your new best friend, Gracie Harper, you had stood up to him, telling him to run off if he knew what was good for him. You were a pretty skilled fighter at 10 years old (due to being raised by the Winchesters), but nonetheless, you didn’t really like to resort to violence. Randy had found that out when he had shoved you onto the ground and you did nothing in retaliation. From then on, you couldn’t walk past him without being shoved into the wall or your books being knocked out of your arms. He would sneer harsh insults at you, confident that you would never fight back or tell on him.

You had considered telling Sam and Dean about Randy, but had decided against it. You were 10 years old now. Surely you could take care of yourself and not bother the brothers, especially since they were working a case. You weren’t a little kid anymore and you didn’t need the brothers fretting over you like concerned bodyguards.

So for two weeks, you stayed silent and kept your head down. You didn’t complain to any adults (especially Sam and Dean) or fight back…until today. You had been standing in front of the school, waiting for Dean to pick you up, when someone shoved you from behind. You fell forward to your hands and knees, rolling your eyes as you heard Randy snicker.

“Sorry, didn’t see ya there, midget.” He gloated, looking down at you.

You sighed and stood back up, dusting off the dirt from your hands and knees. You stayed silent, hoping Dean would arrive soon.

“Aw come on!” Randy laughed, shoving you again. “You seemed pretty chatty when you were with your baby friends.”

You peered up at him. “Don’t you have someone else to bother?”

“Nope.” He smirked, taking a step forward so he was towering over you. “My schedule’s clear.”

“Well why don’t you run on home?” You retaliated. “I’m sure your mommy’s getting worried about you.”

“At least I have a mom.” He replied cruelly, knowing this was a touchy subject for you.

You narrowed your eyes, and shoved him back a step. “Shut up.”

“Ooh, someone’s getting riled up!” He taunted, taking his backpack off and throwing it off to the side. “Come on Y/N, try and hit me. I bet you won’t!”

You shook your head, telling yourself that he wasn’t worth it. Dean would arrive here soon and take you away from this bully. He would blast some classic rock and you would sing along, forgetting this ever happened.

But Randy had a different idea. “Come on shorty! Too scared to fight back, huh? I bet you that’s why you live with those two losers instead of your real parents. Is that why? Come on scaredy cat! Sissy!”

You cocked your fist back and suddenly punched Randy square on the nose. As he shrieked and stumbled back, you threw off your backpack, both hands now up by your chin. Randy pulled his hand away from his face and noticed the blood now coming from his nose.

“Oh you are so dead, Y/N.” He growled before running forward and tackling you to the ground.

The two of you scuffled for only a couple of minutes before Dean had arrived and broken up the fight. As he had lifted you off of Randy, you noticed with satisfaction that his nose was bent at an odd angle and he had a busted lip as well. Your face throbbed and you knew you were in trouble, but you deemed whatever the consequences worth it. You knew Randy wouldn’t dare bother you again, so you would gladly take whatever consequence the Winchesters dished out.

When you had finished relaying the story to Dean, he had already parked the car in the motel driveway. He switched it off and turned to you.

“Y/N, why didn’t you tell me and Sammy about this Randy kid?” He began. “We could’ve had this problem solved a long time ago.”

“That’s my whole point!” You replied. “I’m not a baby anymore, Dean! I should be able to solve my own problems!”

“Kiddo, you’re only 10 years old! Asking for help doesn’t make you a baby.”

You paused and lowered your eyes, seeing Dean’s point. “I just didn’t wanna bother you guys. You already got enough to worry about with the case. My problems aren’t very important.”

“Hey, don’t you ever think that.” Dean frowned. “Sure, me and Sam are working a case, but that doesn’t mean we’re too busy to look after you. So don’t you dare think that your problems aren’t important. You’re our little troublemaker and trust me, you’re important to us.”

You smiled and raised your eyes to meet Dean’s green ones. “You really mean that?”

“‘Course I do!” He assured, unlocking the doors so the both of you could climb out. He stepped out and walked over to your side and stopped in front of you. “But I gotta say, by the time I got there, that boy looked like he went 12 rounds with Muhammad Ali.”

You rolled your eyes and grinned. “He better! Otherwise all the years of training with you and Sam went to waste.”

Dean chuckled and looped his arm around your neck, pulling you in and rubbing his knuckles over your scalp. Upon your protests, he released you and began to walk to the room the three of you were staying in.

“But do you think Sam’s gonna be mad?” You asked, jogging to keep up with his long strides.

Dean shook his head. “Nah. I’ll explain what happened. In the meantime, how about we get some ice for that shiner, slugger?”

You smiled and nodded. “Sounds good.”

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop

@monstacookieshere’s that other fic rec list I promised I would make for you because you are lovely and wonderful and gorgeous and i’m so happy we discovered each other. Happy reading. 

OT3

1.  Of Superheroes and Super Tantrums by starspangledsprocket 

After Steve makes a bad call on a mission, Tony and Bucky are de-aged into three year olds. It goes about as well as can be expected.

Super cute, super fluffy. 

2. And You Needed Someone To Show You The Way by sailorchibi

Tony knows what the team really thinks of him. It’s a delicate balance: they tolerate him because of his money and his toys, and he gets to stay on the team and fight with them. He’s okay with that. So long as he hides the fact that Steve’s and Bucky’s names are written on his skin in the most embarrassing act of one-sided love affection ever, everything will be fine.It just figures that a fantastically stupid villain, a kidnapping plot and a video camera will bring Tony’s well-kept secret out into the open.  

Heavy on the feels. Sorry. 

4. It’s Not An Epic Romance (it’s a love affair) by ErisDea

They come together at the worst possible time.

(And to be fair, the writing on his back and her unmarred skin literally promises that they will never have the romance of the century.)

There is so much threesome porn my head spun a little. But it’s also pretty fucking cute even though it’s kind of hate-fucking and competition for a while. 

THE LOVELIEST OF AUs

5. Salami by L1av

Everyone hears stories about the idiots who have to go to the ER to get random objects removed from their asses. If someone told Bucky he’d be spending his weekend in the hospital for one of the most embarrassing occurrences of his life, he’d probably laugh in their face and tell them to go fuck off. But here he is, in the ER with eleven inches of packaged, cold salami stuck up his ass. To make matters worse, his nurse is really hot. Really hot.

Join Bucky for one of the most awkward and yet comical experiences of his life that leads to self-discovery, trust and maybe even love.

I laughed so much reading this, not as cringe-y as I thought it would be (going to the ER because you’ve got salami stuck up your ass sounds mortifying) and I honestly think more people need to read this because it’s amazing. 

6. Bucky Barnes Has His Shit Together (and Other Lies He Tells Himself) by betty days (sadrobots) ***

You’d think a guy who owns one of the most successful bakeries in Brooklyn, has a million-dollar smile and that antiquated good ol’ boy charm, blond hair and blue eyes and biceps for days, would know what’s what.

But don’t let that fool you: Steve Rogers is a mess

BUCKY BARNES IS THE BEST BABYSITTER. 

7. Critical Feline Mass by Kryptaria, rayvanfox ***

Adjusting to civilian life is hard for any military veteran — especially for one ex-sniper with a cybernetic arm, a classic Harley, and friends who keep trying to ‘help.’ When Sam Wilson at the VA sends Sergeant Barnes to rent a room from the hottest guy in the DC area, Bucky thinks maybe civilian life is worth it after all. And then he finds out Captain Rogers is everything Bucky’s not: a real hero, a Medal of Honor recipient, and an all-around nice guy. Bucky doesn’t have a chance in hell with him.

Sam was a huge help to Steve Rogers when he left the military. In the spirit of ‘pay it forward,’ Steve decides to rent out his basement room to a vet in need. But when Sergeant Barnes shows up on his doorstep, he knows he’s in for a world of trouble. Barnes is exactly what Steve never knew he wanted, from his bedroom eyes to his wicked innuendos. And he’s Steve’s tenant.

A love story in twelve chapters, including two Harley-Davidsons, a guardian angel, multiple snipers, the only woman who can scare them into behaving themselves, spontaneous kittens, and one attacking sheep.

Bucky’s makeup and dressing habits actually break Steve’s brain. It’s adorable. 

8. Itsy Bitsy Yoga by wearing_tearing

Bucky teaches a Parent & Toddler Yoga class. Steve and his two year old son are his students.

The absolute cutest shit. Steve’s kid adores Bucky. 

9. The Art of Standing by eadunne2

Steve and Bucky have perfect chemistry from their very first scene, and it leaves them both wanting more. But they’ve both learned the dangers of wanting, and for people that practice good communication so regularly, they kind of suck at it.

So they’ll fuck and tease and talk dirty and even dance. They just can’t kiss

Why yes, I’d love a BDSM fic with fluff and feels. 

10. Click Here to Read Full Article by thecommodore_squid***

“You’re losing public favor at a dramatic rate.”

“Oh.”

Fury glared. “Fortunately, I am smart enough for the both of us and have created a narrow pathway of recovery. This option has a little bit of opportunity-cost, but I’m eighty-three percent sure that it’ll be worth it and it’ll work in the long run.” Nick paused, then amended, “Eighty-two percent.”

Steve and Bucky are famous and pretend boyfriends until the moment they’re not. 

11. Lights, Camera, Action by AustinB***

Steve gets a job as costume designer under Nick Fury for Shield Studios, where he meets movie star Bucky Barnes, and it all unravels from there.

Pining. So much pining and adorableness on set. 

12. Run Your Fingers Through The Knots of My Soul by caelestys

Sometimes Bucky thinks it would be really cute to meet someone in a coffee shop, like in those silly romantic comedies Clint makes him watch. But there is a reason why meet cutes in cafes don’t happen in real life, and it’s because customers suck. And besides, love fades. But coffee? Coffee is forever.

This is a story about love and life–and coffee, which Bucky would’ve argued was probably more important than either of the first. But that was before Steve Rogers came along. 

A nice steady burn. Everything’s on fire. This is fine. 

13. Never Say I Don’t Get You Anything Nice by TheMeaningofHaste

“Buck up soldier, it’s time to get you laid for the disabled kids of America!"Steve groaned, wishing he had taken Tony up on his earlier drink offer. "There will be no getting laid,” he grumbled, his voice hushed in case someone might hear. “This is a charity dating auction, not a prostitution ring!"Peggy smirked at him through the mirror. "Don’t say that before you see who wins you,” she teased with a wink. “You might get lucky and land a fella who’s crazy about you.”

Saccharine sweetness. Seriously. I have a cavity. 

FEELS FOR YOUR FEELS

14. Hard Time Forgiving, Even Harder Forgetting by lunacanislupus_22

It takes walking down a crowded street in Brooklyn hours later to realise what the emotion is. He’s passing a small child with its mother, smacking their small hands demandingly against the glass of an icecream shop. The child’s eyes are wet with tears. He shies away from it. Particularly sensitive to the sound of children screaming. It’s only after he’s out of hearing that his head clears enough for him to realise. What he’s been feeling around Steve.

Want. 

Even when Bucky doesn’t know himself, he takes care of Steve. FUCK. I’M NOT CRYING UR CRYING. 

15. Got Me Going Crazy by FawkesFlame123

“Do you have any idea what you do to me, Stevie?” Bucky growled, his voice deep and husky, straddling Steve’s hips, pushing him down onto the sofa, pinning his arms above his head. “Bucky, what is – oh,” Steve frowned, then, thankful that this was Bucky, not a lapse into the Winter Soldier, and he smiled cheekily, “no.”“God, baby doll,” Bucky growled in Steve’s ear, rolling his hips against Steve’s, so that he could feel just how hard he was for him, “you’re so perfect, fuck, gettin’ me all hot and bothered. Do you even know what you’re doin’ half the time?” Steve arched his back instinctively and melted in Bucky’s touch, in his voice, in the lips that were mouthing along his jaw, nipping lightly at firm skin, making him whine, before, “I’m not doin’ anythin’.”Bucky tightened his grip on Steve’s wrists above his head, rolling his hips again, grinding down on the blond, both of them straining in the restrictions of their clothes, “oh, yeah, then what’s caused this?”

Basically, the one in which Steve is an oblivious sweetheart and Bucky doesn’t know how to deal with that.

Ah, yes, some lovely porn. It’s stupid how much Bucky adores Steve. Fuck me up. 

16. Nothing’s as Sweet as Supersoldiers in Love by heartsdesire456

Informally titled: Bucky Barnes Loves The 21st Century Almost As Much As He Loves Steve Rogers

“Captain America’s mystery lover! That’s what everybody’s talking about.”Bucky turned around as soon as he heard ‘Captain America’, only to see Tony had on some entertainment news report and his latest photo of sleeping Steve was flashed up on the screen beside the person talking. “Hey, what’s that?” he asked, hopping over the back of the couch to land beside Stark.“Your Cap lovin’ gone viral, I guess,” Tony said, turning up the volume.“Rumors spread like wildfire with the first photo of Steve Rogers, Captain America himself, was posted to a comically named Instagram called ‘GodBlessAmerica36’.”

Bucky is that boyfriend. 

17. Super Soldier Drug Reactions and Other Engineering Failures by AgressiveWhenStartled 

Beside Natasha, Steve’s phone buzzed facedown on the table. After the last text, he’d hastily flipped the screen over and stared straight ahead like he’d been caught talking in church. Clint nudged him with his elbow. “Better check that,” he murmured. “Could be important.” Everyone at the table pretended they weren’t looking as Steve hesitantly turned his phone over, blushed so hard his ears looked like they’d been boiled, and slapped it back down again.

Covert missions. Stupid guy is stupid. Nick Fury is so done. 

18. Never Someone Else by Kellyscams

Prompt: ok. sub!bucky post catws, D/s universe where bucky is learning to be steve’s sub again. ((with clarification from prompter: Steve was Bucky’s Dom in a D/s world before the war and before the fall. PostWS Bucky is now recovering and learning to be Steve’s sub again))

KELLYSCAMS IS AMAZING OH MY GOD. Read everything they write. Everything. Set yourself on fire. It will hurt less. 

19. Redefinition by manisseta

They took their time to talk about it, both at home and at increasingly surprising places, like that time Steve had asked Bucky, “But would you want me to tie your feet as well or only your hands?” on a rooftop during a recon mission in Finland, and Nick Fury had gently scolded through the comms, “Gentlemen, surely there’s a better time to discuss that?”

I’m always a slut for Stucky nonchalantly discussing shit on missions. 

20. There is a Church Where They Whisper Your Name by bazanite

What you want and what you know to be true are battling up against each other like animals, tusks locked, breathing heavy into the twilight.

I’m not normally into Second Person but this one is perfect. 10/10. 

21. Persistence of Memory by hollimichele

It’s a nondescript sort of a Wednesday morning when the Winter Soldier walks into SHIELD headquarters, bold as brass, and announces his intention to surrender.

This is honestly one of my favorite fics and I’ve read it about 500 times. 

22. Steve Rogers Versus The Classics by thecommodore_squid

Steve narrowed his eyes. “I’m beginning to suspect I’ve been set up.” “I would never,” Natasha said, feigning shock. Steve sighed.“God fucking dammit,” he heard someone say and looked up.

An AU in which Steve is still Captain America and Bucky is the unfortunate history professor selected to help him understand those references.

Quickly becoming a favorite of mine, simply for the way this person writes Steve’s struggle with the 21st century and how some poop culture would affect him. 

23. Young Heart, Out Our Minds by junko

Bucky posts a selfie of the two of them in bed to his instagram. He hashtags it #goodmorningamerica. Sam Wilson and Pepper Potts retweet it to their twitter accounts.

Steve and Bucky acting like the young men they never got to be. 

24. Shyest by biblionerd07

SHIELD discovers that HYDRA took a DNA sample from Captain America and a DNA sample from the Winter Soldier and tried to breed a perfect supersoldier. Steve and Bucky suddenly find themselves the parents of a three-year-old boy who won’t speak.

The cutest kid fic ever. No mpreg (not that I have anything against it, it’s just nice to see an alternate version of these two meatballs having a kid that is genetically theirs) but IT’S SUPER SWEET AND ADORABLE. 

25. Just Hold Me by shanology

Bucky Barnes is living in Avengers Tower, and all he wants in the world is to be cuddled. He sets out to get his new friends to give him the snuggling he needs, because it’s not something he can ask of Steve yet. Steve doesn’t see it in quite the same way. Also, there are Avengers movie nights, possibly with a showing of The Covenant. Just saying.

These two idiots I stg. 

26. My Soul to Keep by hitlikehammers

They’ve had more second chances than anyone has a right to. They’ve survived the unthinkable, and emerged not only breathing, but together. So they don’t risk it; they don’t play games with fate. Every night, they lay everything out: the good, and the bad. The life-altering and the mundane. The bad haircuts and the shitty cologne. Every night before they go to bed, they make damn sure nothing’s left unsaid between them.

Just in case.

I really like this idea of complete opens with ones partner, just laying it all out on the table every night. 

27. Dream of Caramel by gwyneth rhys (gwyneth)

But none of that explains why right now Clint’s pants are literally on fire and Barnes is pitching an entire five-pound bag of pastry flour straight at Clint’s crotch with his metal arm.

Clint’s POV is what I live for. Super cute. Bucky and Steve are such oblivious idiots, but Clint and Natasha love them anyway. 

28. It’s Always Been You, Stevie by FawkesFlame123

Bucky smirked, his blue eyes light in the evening darkness, his short, dark hair lighting up whenever the streetlights fell upon them, “told ya, punk. Now, spill.” “This really isn’t the time to – “Steve, fuckin’ tell me,” Bucky demanded, cupping Steve’s face now, all humour gone, replaced by worry and fear, “what’s wrong?” “I’veneverhadsexbefore!” Steve said, all in one go and managed to slip out of Bucky’s hold, as he went slack, just staring at him. “There, are you happy?” Steve huffed, his voice was shaking, eyes wide and fearful, worried that Bucky would turn and run, “that’s what’s been botherin’ me. ‘Cause, I-I, you know what, forget it.”

What better way to end this list than with a Virgin!Steve fic? 

Below is a copy of an interesting interview with Natalia Osipova, by Sarah Crompton.

Photo is by Nigel Nortington.

Long hair flying, arms pumping, hips wriggling, the great Russian ballerina Natalia Osipova is giving her all to a go-go dance, 1960’s style. She looks incredibly happy. Across the rehearsal room, her on stage partner, and off stage lover, Sergei Polunin is doing the same, struggling to synchronise his jutting peacock head with his swinging arms.

“It’s like marking your territory,” says the choreographer Arthur Pita, as he explains the pattern of the complex syncopated steps. Osipova giggles. She has an infectious laugh and a broad smile, that when it breaks, softens her serious, dainty features. In this room, with the man she loves, making a new work written for her by a leading contemporary dance maker for a run at Sadler’s Wells starting next month, she is in her element. “This project is important for me,” she says. “This is my dream, and how I have chosen to express my personality.”

It has been a rollercoaster year for the dancer. First there is her relationship with Polunin, the charismatic bad boy who stormed out of the Royal Ballet in 2012, pursued by stories of drug taking and unhappiness. They finally made their relationship public at a press conference to announce the Wells project in November 2015. It has changed her life, but it hasn’t always been easy. “I think we have both changed - a feeling as strong as this one changes people,” she says. “We were both quite independent, professionally and otherwise, but now we have made some sacrifices. And it wasn’t always easy. We argued quite a lot, and sometimes we thought we shouldn’t live together, we don’t have to go through all that. But as it turned out, we can’t live without each other for more than two days. There must be something he gives me and I give him that we couldn’t find anywhere else.”

She laughs again, slightly embarrassed. “Probably this is something that everyone who is in love says. We have been together just a year, and it is probably not enough to make conclusions… But this is the way it is at the moment.”

The couple met last summer. Osipova was making a guest appearance away from the Royal Ballet - which she had joined full time just after Polunin left it - and needed someone to dance Albrecht opposite her Giselle at La Scala, Milan. Her mother suggested Polunin; she was more apprehensive when the couple started to go out. “Though now she loves him to bits,” Osipova says. “When we got together, people thought I had gone off the rails. Everybody gave me a piece of advice. But I have always done what I wanted. And if my heart tells me this is the way I should do it, then I do it this way”.

She told me this back in January. By April, when we meet again, in the rehearsal room at the Place dance centre in Bloomsbury, the relationship feels fully established. The couple are working on one of the duets they will perform this month in the Sadler’s Wells programme, and again at the Edinburgh International Festival in August. In breaks, she lies across Polunin’s legs, teasing him gently in whispered Russian, touching him tenderly on the cheek. They clearly enjoy working together. “I think as artists we have to dance together, and together we could come up with many interesting projects,” Osipova says simply.

This piece, about a young couple in love who encounter tragedy, is one of their first joint projects. The second is a more abstract duet by Russell Maliphant, which is joined on the programme by a trio choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui for Osipova and two male dancers, Jason Kittelberger and James O'Hara.

Polunin has said he wants only to dance with Osipova. She is more pragmatic, while longing for the opportunities for them to perform together to expand. “I find it quite interesting to be with him on stage, because I think I am quite a strong person as a performer, and I find it difficult to find a man who is equally strong. I quite often dictate and tell them what to do,” she says, the words rushing out in quick Russian. She pauses while they are translated, then continues. “I like to take my partners hand and tell him how I feel. But with Sergei, he can do the same to me. He can tell me his story. It is a big thing. You don’t often come across a partner like that.”

Eventually, she hopes Polunin will be able to join her on stage at the Royal Ballet, the company at which he trained but then left in a blaze of headlines. She is committed to staying there. “Nothing has changed. Maybe they were a little bit worried when they thought I might leave as well,” she says, laughing. “But I am pretty sure this is my company, and I’m stable, sticking there. I think it is Sergei’s company as well. It used to be his home [Polunin moved from his native Ukraine to the Royal Ballet School in 2003, when he was 13], and his way of dancing and his style are so suitable for that place. I would be really happy if there was a chance for him to come and dance there - and I think the audience would as well.”

The second blip in her progress this past year with the Royal has been an injury sheet requiring regular cancellations and rests. “It was a strange season. I didn’t have a lot of energy. I felt tired,” she explains. Near its close, she dislocated her hip, which caused her to miss a number of performances, including several in Strapless, the ballet Christopher Wheeldon created around her. She managed to dance only one Giselle - her favourite classical ballet - and gave no sign of injury in her airy loveliness and deep, romantic intensity. But if you watch her rehearse on a video made by the Royal Ballet at the time, you can see her grimace as she moves her leg. Even today, there are moments when a spasm of pain crosses her face.

“My injuries make me quite upset, to be honest,” she says gravely. “But little victories make it better. I thought at one point I wouldn’t be able to dance for a year, but I am lucky so far that I have never had any injuries that have stopped me dancing completely. Sometime in performance, I feel pain, but that is familiar to millions of dancers.”

Her difficulties have made her reassess her workload; she has pulled out of summer performances in London with the visiting Bolshoi Ballet, the company she left in 2011. “The doctor told me that to achieve my standard again, I need to be clever and selective,” she says. “It is not nice for audiences if I am not at my standard.

In deciding to focus on what she describes as “the repertoire that’s interesting for me”, Osipova is - perhaps surprisingly - choosing to concentrate on dancing the classics while she is still in her prime. “I’m 29 now,” she says, pulling a face as if it is a very old age. “I think I probably have another 5 years. I haven’t done a lot of classics. I’ve done a lot of dramatic, character roles. But when you start carrying injuries, you realise all of a sudden that you won’t have as much time as you hoped.”

Surely she can carry on a bit longer? She pulls that expressive face. “Maybe 5 more years after that - and for those I will be dancing more dramatic roles.” For now, she is dividing her time between the very traditional and the contemporary. She acknowledges that shaping her body to works by choreographers such as Pita, Maliphant and Cherkaoui is difficult, but it is a challenge she is ready for.

“When people say that, for classically trained dancers, nothing is difficult, it’s not true. As a classical dancer, you are always told that when you have this tree inside of you” - she mimics the straight strength of a ballerina’s core position - “it helps you to get in every ballet position. In contemporary dance, you are full of fluidity, which is completely different. Everything moves in your body, and it’s great” - now she acts out extreme flexibility, waving her arms and legs for emphasis - “but the danger is, we don’t know this modern dance world, we are not trained in this. I look at dancers like James and Jason, and I don’t understand how they just fall on the floor so simply. I don’t know how to do that. Only when you move like that all day, in the evening you can fall the way they need you to fall.”

Cherkaoui has, however, been amazed by just how versatile Osipova has proved. “I have rarely seen anyone so strong,” he says. “Usually, when I am with ballet dancers’ they have very strong legs or very strong feet, but their arms are not as strong, or the back is a little bit too soft. But she is really powerful, and at the same time she is honest. She knows what the right thing to do is, beyond any sort of style. She just does what’s right. There is something about her. She absolutely makes new rules and is straightforward. There is a sense of devotion towards choreography that is extremely generous to a choreographer.”

Given what an extraordinary classical dancer she is, why does Osipova want to venture into a world where there are, as she admits, “so many people who could probably do it better than you”? She is quite clear in her response: “this is how I want to express my personality. To mix classical and contemporary. This is my wish.”

Such a statement implies boundless confidence in her abilities. Yet over a series of meetings, I begin to notice that the bravura brilliance she exudes on stage, the seeming strength that Cherkaoui values, is tempered by a much less assured personality.

“I’m not a confident person,” she says, pulling her face in mock despair. “But I am confident I will work my best. I will never dictate. I will do what the choreographer wants - and if necessary I will suffer. I sometimes get so nervous, I just want to run away before a show. And my mum says, ‘Well, OK, go and clean the streets then!’” She laughs at this expression of tough love. “The older I am, the more nervous I become, because I know people expect so much from me.”

She shrugs her shoulders at her own hopelessness. Watching her with Polunin, it’s clear she not only trusts and loves him, but admires his attitude to his career, which is so very different from her own anxiety.

“I just look at Sergei, and he says, ‘when I go on stage, I do it for myself, and I find that satisfying’ - and I learn from him. I think that is the best way of doing it. He is never worried. But maybe that is not the way I am. Maybe I need to be nervous to achieve what I achieve on stage. Maybe that’s what makes me happy.”

Artists’ Studies

Among my favorite works of art here are a good number of artist’s “studies” or drawings made in preparation for finished works (paintings, prints, sculpture etc…). 

I immediately think of Michelangelo’s terra-cotta sketch for the Libyan Sibyl on the Sistine…

Michelangelo was one of the greatest draftsmen of all time with an understanding of human anatomy and physiology that few artists might rival. This is clear from his anatomical studies…

Michelangelo, however, did make frequent use of distortions of the body for expressive purposes. The figure of the Virgin in the Pieta is quite a bit larger than that of Christ… 

… which allows the artist to place Christ in her lap without it appearing awkward. David’s hands are larger than they should be… 

… emphasizing the “weight” of the coming confrontation with Goliath and the stone he holds. 

The painting of the Libyan Sibyl is almost a “cubist” image portraying the various parts of the figure from various angles in a composite manner. Her toe, for which he clearly made careful and intentional studies, juts toward us. Her legs are seen in profile in the act of stepping away. Her back is turned toward us as she places the heavy tome down opposite us. The pose could only be taken by a contortionist… but the result is that it conveys an incredible sense of motion. Seated on a throne (which faces us) in which she has been reading, she now twists around and sets down her over-sized book on the podium behind her, and then steps forth daintily upon her toes like a ballerina, pirouetting away… Exit, Stage Left. As in the sculpture of the Pieta, the draperies in the Libyan Sibyl mask the anatomical distortions while further emphasizing the twisting motion. 

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I hope to keep this post active… and continue to add to it as I come upon further interesting sketches

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Peter Paul Rubens is another master draftsman. I have long adored this marvelous drawing of his first wife, Isabella Brandt, in which you can surely sense the twinkle in her eye and the mischievousness in her smile that the artist must have fallen in love with:

The drawing likely served as the model for more than a few portraits of the Rubens’ wife… 

-This brilliant portrait is perhaps my absolute favorite painting in the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Rubens made an almost equally marvelous drawing of his second wife, Helena Fourment…

The drawing was likely employed in the artist’s Portrait of Helena in Her Wedding Gown (made some time after their wedding)…

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I initially came up with this notion for a thread on artists’ sketches after stumbling upon some of Alphonse Mucha’s drawings made in preparation for his series of muses (The Muses of Dance, Music, Painting, and Poetry):

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Incredibly a wealth of original drawings by the Netherlandish Renaissance artist, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, have survived. Many of these drawings are studies of the landscape. He likely employed elements of these later on in his paintings and prints:

These drawings have an energetic calligraphic manner and a rich sensitivity that is lost to a certain extent in the prints… engraved by other hands. Of course the warm sepia color makes them even more handsome.

One of the only prints to retain the calligraphic and gestural nature of Bruegel’s drawings is this early landscape… etched by the artist himself:

Bruegel’s drawings weren’t limited to landscape. Just as his prints and drawings often dealt with allegory and everyday life in his native Netherlands, so his drawings often dealt with the same. The Beekeepers has long struck me as a fascinating… almost “surreal” image… for all its mundane realism:

We his can truly compare drawings to the resulting prints and paintings with the famous image of Big Fish Eat Smaller Fish:

Then there is the sketch of the Netherlandish feast of Kermis filled with such exquisite little details…

… and the subsequent painting of the same subject:

And perhaps the finest example by the artist of a sketch directly linked to a subsequent “finished” work of art is this drawing of laborers harvesting under the August sun:

This sketch would serve as the model for the engraving, Summer:

… and it would also serve as a source of inspiration for the marvelous painting of the same theme (Summer) AKA The Harvesters… one of my favorite paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

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Another master of sketches is of course Rembrandt. He is one of the few artists among the old masters whose drawings often have an Asian-like calligraphic manner:

There are two drawings by Rembrandt that immediately come to mind that were almost certainly employed as sketches in preparation for finished prints and paintings. The first of these is a sketch upon the theme of Christ preaching unto his followers:

This likely served in preparation for two of Rembrandt’s prints upon the same theme…

… including the so-called “Hundred Guilder Print”:

The second sketch is a fascinating little drawing…

It was made after Raphael’s Portrait of Baldasar Castiglione:

Interestingly enough, Raphael’s masterful portrait was inspired by his study of the composition of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa:

Rembrandt would employ the ideas from Raphael in his own self portraits… including this lovely etching:

This etching suggests that Rembrandt may also have been aware of Titian’s famous Portrait of a Man with a Blue Sleeve:

Rembrandt’s later Self Portrait (age 34) almost suggests a merger of ideas taken from both Raphael and Titian:

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Albrecht Dürer

Along with the masters of the Italian Renaissance, the German Renaissance painter and print-maker, Albrecht Dürer was one of the most brilliant draftsmen of Western art history.

Dürer’s importance as a draftsman dates back to his youth, when at age 13 he sketched this self-portrait:

… one of the earliest acknowledged self-portraits. 

In his early 20s, Dürer made his first journey to Italy where he was exposed to the art of Greco-Roman classicism including (almost certainly) the Apollo Belvedere:

Dürer made several sketches based loosely on the Apollo Belvedere…

Eventually he would alter the pose of Apollo and of the figure of Diana who originally turned her back to us resulting in the marvelous engraving of Apollo and Diana (1502):

Dürer became more ambitious, and began to transform the classical Apollo into the Christian Adam, replacing Apollo’s solar orb with the apple from the Garden of Eden:

Dürer made several studies of Eve prior to hitting upon the image for the final print:

The final Eve was almost certainly modeled after a medieval sculpture of Adam and Eve that the artist also saw in Italy:

Eve’s hair in Dürer’s engraving (as well as her Roman nose) is undoubtedly based upon this work. 

In his mid-30s, Dürer made a second journey to Italy. Among the works he created there was the painting, Christ Among the Church Doctors:

This painting featured a brilliant variety of facial types… and an even more brilliant variety of hand gestures. Dürer made a number of studies in preparation for this painting… including studies of hands…

… the face of an angel…

… and the face of Christ:

The two head studies… that of Christ and the second of an angel (top of post) … both on blueish toned paper… were both obviously once a single drawing:

The head of the angel was not employed in the painting of  Christ Among the Church Doctors, but remains one of the artist’s most exquisite drawings.

Over the years, Dürer would produce several prints and paintings upon the theme of Saint Jerome:

Saint Jerome in the Wilderness (painting-c.1495):

Saint Jerome in the Wilderness (engraving-c.1496):

Saint Jerome in the Wilderness (drypoint etching-1512)

Saint Jerome in his Study (engraving-1514):

Dürer’s drawing of the Head of an Old Man (c. 1521)… shown leaning on his elbow and looking down was almost certainly a study of Jerome in his study… reading. It is also most certainly one of Dürer’s most exquisite drawings that exhibits his mastery of the calligraphic line and his ability to use line to suggest a broad variety of textures (as already seen in his print Adam and Eve):

The delicious curls and spirals of “Jerome’s” beard call to mind the churning waters as found in Leonardo’s drawings of the Tempest:

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Magic Design History - Card Frames Part 1

Today my mind wandered back to a comment that was once thrown at Mark Rosewater circa Theros, about how every block since Zendikar has had a distinct visual cue that was new and unique to the block. I believe they were talking about Eldrazi, but it might have been Level Up creatures.

This really got me thinking, and in that thinking I realized that with the introduction of the “Modern” card frame, no block has really gone by without some kind of innovation or visual cue. Admittedly, there are some years that were weaker than others, but what I would like to show today is just how much the visual part of this game has been evolving over the last 13 years.

The change from the Scourge template to the one used in Eighth Edition was huge when it happened, many people I knew said they would refuse to continue to play with the new face. In the long run, I believe this was a very good choice. In some ways reading old cards could be difficult, but the time Onslaught block was coming out, I would like to believe they had gotten most of the template bugs out. There was a few quirks, like the White and Artifact cards looking visually similar on the table, but these were worked out during Mirrodin block.

The major stylistic gimmick of the Champions of Kamigawa block was the flip cards. Meant to represent a creature going from one state to another, the cards were split in half, with the art being placed in the center and designed to be two different pictures based on the prospective.

Honestly, for the time, this wasn’t a bad idea in my opinion. It’s hard enough as it is to represent a card with two states, because you want to show the cooler of the two (see Threshold), but that leaves you with a non-intuitive piece if the end state doesn’t match well with the beginning state.

It is important to point that Mirrodin block had no gold card, Magic Design at the time believed it was correct to deprive environments of elements as to make it really exciting when it returned. They would later realize this made rotation have far less effect on decks than they might have intended (see Affinity). What this meant in the larger sense was that we didn’t see the modern template for gold cards until Betrayers of Kamigawa with Genju of the Realm, and that was the only card! With it we got our first look into how modern frames might handle multicolored cards.

Ravnica was a hallmark for many things in Magic’s history; the first real block with Block Planning involved, the introducing ally and enemy pairings names - whoich we commonly use today, introducing hybrid mana and giving us the first use of watermarks in a black-bordered set. It’s the last two that presented themselves via visual cues. With an asterisk next to Genju of the Realm, this was the first time we’d seen a multicolored frame, but with Hybrid, we got a sort of “what if?” for how multi-colored cards could have looked.

I actually believe that had they hit on this color mixing “technology” during Invasion, they would have used this for two-color cards.

This leaves us with the watermarks, the crests of each of the ten guilds of Ravnica. By just fanning out the cards in a pack, you had a visual sense of the guilds and even some of their flavor, taking the Dimir as an example, their crest very much evoked the idea of The Illuminati. This, I think, was one subtle attribute that helped give Ravnica is extremely lasting legacy.

Our next block, Time Spiral, brought us two deviations from the typical card frame; an alternate timeline frame (which I prefer) and the futureshifted frame. As it turns out, the futureshifted frame was also an alternate timeline, as Mark Rosewater has since said that the dynamic difference was actually problematic. Either way, once again, Wizards was flirting with what they could do with the space on the front face of a Magic card.

Our next innovation almost feels like cheating, Planeswalkers. During Lorwyn block we got a completely new and completely disconnected flavor-wise card type and with it came a new face to Magic cards. They were a little weird, the art breaks out of the frame, they had plus and minus signs and no written explanation as to how they worked or what anything meant.

They would become part of every following block, but this is where they first started.

Possibly my weakest argument (spoilers, it’s tied), Alara block played it pretty safe in terms of messing with the card frame when it gave us colored artifacts for the first time (in mass). This was really a very slight change, but worthy in my mind to at least highlight.

While we are on the topic of Alara, some would make the case that each shard should have had a watermark. While a visual to link shard together (besides the environmental art cues) would have been nice, from a flavor point-of-view the shards had no use for an iconic “seal,” as they were introduced with no knowledge of each other.

Next we move on to Zendikar, where this all started. The look of completely colorless cards wouldn’t really be perfected in my mind until Battle for Zendikar. To me, this criticism is not unlike the my earlier point about Mirrodin having a small issue with White permanents and artifacts, further experience fleshed the look out. These cards looked visually stunning the first time you held them in your hand, before the art didn’t bleed into as much of the card as this, it was a marquee mechanic that was completely worth it.

Like I said, I’m not sure what was more bizarre in Rise of the Eldrazi, actually getting colorless frames or Level Up frames. I know which was more successful though.

With that I would like to wrap-up for the night and push the second half of this article to tomorrow. I will be touching on the remainder of Magic’s history with it’s card frames as we hit Scars of Mirrodin block all the way through to Battle for Zendikar!

Until next time, thanks and enjoy.

*Continuation of character headcanons

HAZEL LEVESQUE

  • She has some social anxiety, mostly do to growing up as a black girl in the 30s and facing harassment and derogatory names called at her that she still lives with some of that fear
  • When she was young she wanted to be a ballerina so badly, but everyone just crushed those dreams calling them unrealistic. After the war her and Frank are talking and she mentions this. Frank signs both of them up for ballet lessons and the bright smile on her face is more then he could ever ask for
  • Her favorite kind of music is something that’s soft and low and melodic like a classical lullaby. When Nico hears her singing one of these lullaby like songs he has to suppress tears because, gods, she sounds just like Bianca
  • She loves to draw her friends doing every day tasks without them knowing. Once she’s done with them she’ll leave them on the bed of whichever friend she drew. Percy’s hangs all of his in frames and Piper makes really cool collages out of them
  • Her and Annabeth love to perform science experiments together. They get dressed up in their lab coats and goggles then test the craziest hypothesis they can find on the internet (it usually ends with different substances in their hair and on their clothes)

FRANK ZHANG

  • When he was four his mom would take him to this pond a few miles away from his house every weekend in the winter to teach him how to ice skate. It’s one of his fondest memories of her and every once in a while his grandmother would come with them. When his grandmother did come she’d tell Frank to straighten his posture so he’d look like the man he would be one day, he didn’t listen. He fell on his butt
  • Around the time he was 10 he was the shortest kid in his class, barely topping 4′2. His embarrassment was never ending as he had to stand in the front row of every school picture.
  • Animals love him so much and he can make great friends with dogs and cats. Jason jokingly calls him Cinderella and Snow White as he can get even a bird to land on his fingers and is able to stroke it gently
  • During the winter he always buys hot chocolate for Hazel while they’re on dates. He also makes sure to compliment her at least once a day (although it’s usually more like ten times). During the summer they go out for ice cream at this little shop that’s decorated in faded blues and pinks and has comfy couches and lactose free ice cream. Frank and Hazel fit right in.

LEO VALDEZ

  • After the war, when he gets back to Camp Half-Blood, he puts on little shows with small mechanical animals for the younger kids. The kids love it so much that soon he’s making walking cats, metal dogs that roll over, and copper flying birds to give the campers
  • Him and Calypso love to bake bread. They do everything from scratch and she’ll end p with flour in her hour and flour on his, but they’re laughing and having more fun than ever. Though, the bread always comes out either a little underdone or just a tad too burnt
  • He gets along great with the Stoll brothers. At campfires they’ll swap prank ideas, pick pocketing techniques, and how tos on unlocking an unlockable vault. 
  • When he was younger he always wanted to go go-karting, but he was always too short and too young to be able to drive the go-kart. His mom would take him to the tracks to watch the kids drive by in their go-karts as she and him ate frozen yogurt. She promised him that once he was old enough and tall enough they’d go go-karting and race each other together. They never got to.

PERCY JACKSON

  • He’s just known as that loner boy, Percy Jackson, at his school. and that’s only if they know his name. Though when they do the students recognize it as the kid who missed a year of school and has a criminal record. The reputation doesn’t make him the easiest to approach and add his wolf stare to the mix it just makes friends nonexistent 
  • In his school locker are pictures of all of his friends. The biggest one, in the middle, is of him, Grover, and Annabeth. They were 13 at the time and all smiling like goofballs with mud on their face after a ridiculous mud fight. Surrounding it are Frank and Hazel hugging, Piper making a silly face where her eyes are looking in different directions, Rachel with paintbrushes holding up a bun, Jason and himself sweaty after a game of basketball, Leo trying and failing to give a seductive wink, Clarisse holding a young camper by the scruff of the neck, and Annabeth smiling a smile that just say i love you to the ends of this earth
  • After Tartarus he develops what seems like insomnia, which worries Annabeth a lot. He tries to avoid talking about it because he doesn’t want to add more stress to her life, but she’s relentless. He just tells her how he doesn’t want to sleep because the nightmares have only gotten worse. It was then she offered to stay in his room with him or they could get a nightlight as the dark seemed to only heighten the terrors. He opted for both  
Girl Power of Attorney

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the way female characters are represented in video games, and while that’s a subject that goes far beyond the scope of my little corner of the internet, now seems like a good time to call special attention to a series that’s spent years creating strong, multidimensional female characters: Ace Attorney. Sure, Phoenix Wright and Miles Edgeworth (and, uh, that other guy…what was his name? Just kidding, Apollo!) get all the glory when it comes to the games’ titles, but if you’ve experienced the games themselves, then you know that the truly powerful characters are almost all female. In fact, it’s probably fair to say that the female characters are the driving force behind most of what goes on in the Ace Attorney universe, and guys like Phoenix are just along for the ride, swept up by what’s going on around them. And they aren’t only strong; they’re smart, funny, troubled, etc. — everything you’d expect from some of the most memorable and well-rounded characters in gaming. Not coincidentally, as I write this, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy will be arriving on the North American 3DS eShop very soon, giving players a chance to reconnect with these characters or encounter them for the first time, so in honor of the occasion, here’s my look at the top women of Ace Attorney.

Mia Fey

Mia Fey, Phoenix Wright’s boss and mentor, could have been of of video gaming’s top leading ladies if it weren’t for the pesky fact that she (spoiler alert) gets killed about 30 minutes into the series’s first game. Nonetheless, she’s the one that taught Phoenix everything he knows, and anytime Phoenix hits a dead end, his solution is almost always to ask himself what Mia would do. If that doesn’t work, well, then Mia is always ready to temporarily return from the spirit world with a word of advice to set him on the Wright path. (Sorry. That pun was just waiting for me. I had no control over it.) The point is, you can’t keep a great character down — even if she’s dead — as evidenced by the fact that she became the series’s first playable female character in some flashback scenes in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney—Trials & Tribulations. 

Maya Fey

Mia’s younger sister is immature, silly, perpetually hungry, and prone to getting herself in trouble (she’s been kidnapped numerous times and arrested for murder on more than one occasion), but when it really matters she’s always got Phoenix’s back. As Mr. Wright’s assistant, she’s always willing to offer her own unique perspective on the people and situations they encounter, and, more importantly, she’s a spirit medium with psychic powers that let her channel the spirits of the dead. These powers — and her knack finding critical evidence when it’s needed most — have been essential to Phoenix’s courtroom success.

Ema Skye

What did you want to do when you were 16 years old? Unless you said, “Study to be a forensic scientist!” then you had very different priorities than Ema Skye. Ema was a perky, optimistic teenager when she first met Phoenix while trying to prove her older sister’s innocence, and her methods of scientific investigation offered Phoenix new ways of uncovering the truth. Unfortunately, Ema’s career didn’t shape up the way she planned, and nine years later she reappeared as a police detective with a bit of a chip on her shoulder (and a bag of chocolate-covered “Snackoos” never far from her mouth). Despite her slightly embittered outlook on life, she remained an ally of justice, and she even occasionally allowed her quirky charm to shine through — albeit mostly when pelting people with snacks.

Lana Skye

When it came to putting an end to crime, no one did it better than Lana Skye. She put fear into the criminal community as part of a “legendary duo” of high-ranking police detectives before transferring over to the prosecutor’s office and being named Chief Prosecutor for the region. Her good name, however, fell to ruin when she was accused of murdering a fellow detective, but to her what really matters is that she’s able to protect her family — specifically, her younger sister Ema — no matter the cost.

Franziska Von Karma

If you’re looking for a prodigy, look no further. As the daughter of renowned prosecutor Manfred von Karma, Franziska was practically destined to become a legal legend herself — a destiny she fulfilled when she became a lawyer at the ripe old age of 13. Wielding a whip and an icy-cold demeanor, Franziska cares little for anything except victory and the complete and utter annihilation of anyone foolish enough to oppose her. She claims to care nothing for sentimentality, but in rare circumstances she’ll reveal that she does have a vulnerable side and perhaps represses childish emotions that she never got to express while she was growing up. Fun fact: Franziska is voiced by Ace Attorney localization lead Janet Hsu.

Pearl Fey

Spiritual power runs strong in the women of the Fey family, and Pearl might just be the strongest of them all. Despite being only 8 years old when she first encountered Phoenix, she quickly became a staunch ally that imbued Phoenix’s magatama jewel with spiritual energy, thus allowing him to recognize when witnesses are hiding a closely guarded secret. Furthermore, while her older cousin (and spirit-channeling master-to-be) Maya struggles with her spirit-channeling abilities, Pearl can do it seemingly on a whim. Even with all her power, Pearl remains as kind and humble as ever, even when she shows up in her late teens in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney—Dual Destinies.

Morgan Fey

Unlike other members of her family, Morgan Fey doesn’t have much spiritual power, but she makes up for it with ambition, intelligence, and cunning. Though she initially appears reserved and polite, that facade quickly gives way to reveal a condescending woman who will stop at nothing to give herself some of the glory she believes she deserves — even if it’s at the expense of her niece, Maya, or other blood relatives. On the plus side, she does appear to genuinely love her own daughter, Pearl, and she can evidently whip up some decadent strawberry desserts.

Dahlia Hawthorne

Dahlia Hawthorne is a classic example of beauty being only skin deep. Her sweet manner and innocent appearance are nothing more than weapons she uses to manipulate men into doing her bidding; underneath is a woman who’s selfish and cruel. Without giving too much away, Dahlia Hawthorne is deeply connected to the pasts of both Phoenix Wright and Mia Fey.

Trucy Wright

Born into a family of magicians, Trucy isn’t related to Phoenix Wright biologically, but Phoenix loves her and has raised her as if she were his own. Trucy returns the favor by working as a legal assistant/office manager to her dad and his associates, providing advice and even going so far as to use her magic tricks — including her giant puppet, The Amazing Mr. Hat, and her “magic panties” — to help gain an advantage in court. Even at a young age, Trucy has had a dramatic impact on the lives of those around her: she’s actually partially responsible for Phoenix getting disbarred and being unable to practice law for seven years.

Athena Cykes

Despite being a fairly new addition to the team, Athena Cykes has already proven herself to be an invaluable member of Phoenix Wright’s law office. Like many Ace Attorney characters, she’s incredibly smart — she’s a practicing attorney at only 18 years of age — and though she’s inexperienced, she makes up for it with dedication, enthusiasm, and charm. (Plus she’s got a one-of-a-kind computerized assistant that can help her analyze witnesses’ emotions.) If she could only get rid of her own traumatizing emotional baggage, she’d be practically unstoppable.

Playlist: Top 100 Songs of 2014.

100. Nick Jonas “Chains (Just A Gent Remix)”
This remix hits all the sweet spots his singles JUST missed.

99. Nicki Minaj “The Crying Game” feat. Jessie Ware
Probably the best featured appearance Nicki had on The Pinkprint.

98. Tinashe “2 On”
The current Queen of SleepytimeJasmineTea R&B made the Cassie followup nobody expected.

97. Julian Casablancas “Where No Eagles Fly”
JC left The Strokes behind and got in touch with his experimental side.

96. Mariah Carey “Meteorite”
I’m all for Mimi dabbling closer to dance and further away from big ballads at this stage in her career.

95. Weezer “Cleopatra”
That hiccup in the meter took this single from merely enjoyable to quirky.

94. EXID “Up & Down”
South Korea is still doing dance-pop better than anyone else, even with a fake saxophone.

93. St. Vincent “Regret”
Still restlessly creative and making pop on her own terms.

92. Calvin Harris “Blame”
Another arena-sized dancefloor banger from Calvin Harris.

91. Miranda Lambert “Little Red Wagon”
Playfully brash like no one else in country music.

Keep reading

The best films of 2014

So before I get into this list I just wanted to say that yes, I saw The Interview and it was not that funny. The movie is nowhere near Team America levels of getting angry at at all. If True Detective was a movie, I’d without a doubt have that as best of the year bar none. Two films I debated that should be included were American Sniper and Unbroken, but the more I thought, the more these films went further and further into the enjoyed camp rather than great.  I also want to thank you the reader for making my best of 2013 so popular. It’s cause of you guys I keep this going when I can. Now with that out of the way let’s get on with this list beloveds.

36. Calvary - John Michael McDonagh’s second film is not as strong as his first, The Guard, but this dark drama has a priest staying resilient while facing a tough choice in town that doesn’t want him.

35. Obvious Child – At first, the protagonist started off much like many women I know in Brooklyn. Whimsical, flakey, flighty and aloof. But halfway through the movie she realizes she’s fucked up and tries to fix that without changing herself. Smart, funny, mature, delightful all describe this very simple rom-com about a struggling comedienne who has to face the consequences of a one night stand. This was a perfect vehicle for Jenny Slate.

34. Only Lovers Left Alive – What’s crazy is Jimmy said he had written action scenes into this film. When it was requested that he do more he cut them all out making the film as sparse as possible. The film is really hypnotic and the scenes of Adam driving Eve around a hallowed out Detroit were a nice bit of social commentary.  Also, Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton have amazing chemistry that without it, this film would not work at all. The vampire shit comes second to these two character’s relationship to each other.

33. The Signal – A film most didn’t like, but I thoroughly enjoyed. William Eubank’s sci-fi Twilight Zone tinged indie really stood out a something special to me. From Eubank himself all the way down to the three leads, I can’t wait to see what everyone does next as there is a lot of special talent in this film.

32. Ida – This Polish film really took me by surprise. I’m not gonna say much about. It’s streaming on Netflix right now.

31. Under the Skin – You gotta have patience with this film. A movie about an alien finding humanity within herself while on a mission to collect skin from men through seduction. The movie is beautiful to look at, unsettling in its score and has a lot of unexpected nudity. I did the Birdman hand rub near the end of the film. Scarlett what up ma?!

30. Locke – I know a lot of people didn’t like this film, but this to me was a great film about a man accepting responsibility for his actions. And like most men Ivan Locke let his dick do the thinking for him and watching the fallout of the consequences of his action really made me admire the film as we get to know that he is truly a good man who made a flawed decision. This is a cinematic play as we ride with Ivan and watch him try to make amends all done by a great performance by Tom Hardy.

29. A Most Wanted Man – John le Carre’s novel is adapted to make a very tight and involving espionage thriller. Philip Seymour Hoffman leads an all-star cast that’s firing on all cylinders under the tight direction of Anton Corbijn.

28. Foxcatcher - Bennet Miller’s best film IMO has three impressive turns from Mark Ruffalo, Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum. This true story is dark look at loneliness and psychosis and the effect of being wanted.

27. The Guest - Adam Winguard did this awesome, fun 80s throwback thriller that’s a slow burn which leads to a bat shit insane last 20 minutes. The John Carpenter-esque score helps set the mood in this film with a very strong lead performance by Dan Stevens as the titular guest.

 

26. John Wick – I’m gonna be honest with you I did not expect much from this. Keanu is in full movie star mode here. Everything else I have to say about this can be found here: http://straightouttatrenton.tumblr.com/post/100173022000/john-wick-a-fun-entertaining-ride

25. Chef – A very simple and entertaining film of a man rediscovering what he loves doing and reconnecting with his son in the process. And the soundtrack to this film is top notch. It was good to see Jon Faveru return to his indie roots.

24. Two Days, One Night – Seeing as I’ve lost a job a multiple number of times due to the company not being able to pay me anymore and watching many, many people suffer through the recession after working 40 years at a said job, this really hit home for me. Marion Cotillard gave a very realistic performance as Sandra, a woman breaking down slowly, as her and her husband try to make sure her job is secure. The Dardenne brothers once again work their magic and bring us another natural realistic film that left me thinking afterwards.

23. Boyhood – I was less enthralled with the movie as a whole, but what kept this going for me were Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette. I thought their characters were very honest and real. And the fact Linklater managed to make a cohesive film over 12 years impressed me. Just for that in my opinion he should win Best Director.

22. The Notebook (Le Grand Cahier) – This Hungarian film about twin boys sent during WWII to live with their abusive grandmother is harsh, but also very human. Tense from beginning to end, these two boys learn to harden themselves from the evil that surrounds them leading to a heartbreaking but hopeful ending.

21. How to Train Your Dragon 2 – Everything I have to say is about it is here: http://straightouttatrenton.tumblr.com/post/86033752605/how-to-train-your-dragon-2-a-well-made-sequel

20. The Drop – A very, very good crime drama that’s more of a character study with great turns from Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini and Noomi Rapace, Michaël R. Roskam constructs this film with nuance which grabbed me.

19. A Most Violent Year – This is essentially a crime drama about a guy trying to get a loan and legitimize himself. A gangster film about a guy trying not to be a gangster, it’s set during the winter of the most violent year in New York City, the subtext of this film had a lot to say in this film which is violent in tone.

18. Edge of Tomorrow – A fun sci-fi romp that puts Tom Cruise back in full movie star mode. Warner Brothers really dropped the ball with this film on everything. My full thoughts here: http://straightouttatrenton.tumblr.com/post/86493673130/edge-of-tomorrow-surprisingly-really

17. The Lego Movie – Never would I have thought a song about conformity would be so catchy. Also, I would never think a movie having this much fun with itself would have a positive individualism message. Very self-aware (which doesn’t overkill it like 22 Jump Street), this was perfect for both adults and kids a like. I’m really skeptical on the sequel(s), but without a doubt this hit all the sweet spots.

16. Birdman – Didn’t enjoy this as much as others, but still really like this. Everyone has been raving about this or that, but to me what really made this was Michael Keaton’s arc in this. Watching him unravel was something to behold in this film, even if the drum score got really overpowering at points.

15. Beyond the Lights – Here’s an old school honest romance film that’s rarely made any more because it’s not cloying. Everything about this film felt real, and what’s better is in addition to the romantic drama was the scathing indictment of the music industry and how they treat their female stars. That’s a lot of it. It’s got more complexity than you may expect from the ads. Plus Gugu Mbatha-Raw is absolutely gorgeous. Cotdamn…

14. Jodorowsky’s Dune  – The most epic movie never made I know that without a doubt would’ve been THE sci-fi movie. I mean a lot of films have taken their designs from this film. This touching tribute asks what if and pulls you in. It sounded batshit crazy in the best way possible as are all of Jodorowsky’s films. Speaking of…

13. The Dance of Reality – Jodorowsky’s first film in 23 years is classic in that surreal Jodorowsky way. A movie that has to be experienced just like El Topo and The Holy Mountain. The one scene that made me uncomfortable (in a movie full of ‘em) is the “negro scene” at night. That was easily one of the most bizarre scenes I’ve ever seen put on film.

12. Citizenfour – This movie is enthralling and will leave you breathless. As far as I’m concerned, Edward Snowden should be canonized for sainthood. He changed the game on privacy b. This is not a documentary, but a thriller. I was afraid for him, but his main concern was his family. Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Snowden are heroes. Do a double feature with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and marinate long and hard on “freedom”. My only problem is that after multiple revelations in the film, it just stops. We need more even though this is still ongoing. Laura please, please continue this.

11. Enemy – 2014 saw 3 films about doppelgängers drop. The One I Love and one based off of the novella The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky with the same name, and this film based off of the novel The Double by José Saramago. This very loose adaptation is really open to your interpretation due to the ambiguity of the picture. There’s enough given here to suggest many things with everything being important. Yes, the lectures given on totalitarian states matter. The last scene of the film is easily one of the scariest things I’ve seen all year. I have no clue what it means, but I do feel a satisfying catharsis with it. The subtext and syntax of the film is pretty dense as well. Movies that rely on what you think more times than not fail, but this fever dream of a movie is a big exception because it stays with me from the menacing, unsettling score to even the very strange way Jake Gyllenhaal’s colleague recommends a film to him. I actually appreciate Denis Villeneuve’s trust in the audience to form their own film. Between this and Prisoners last year, he’s a director to watch.

10. Interstellar / Gone Girl  - Two of my favorite filmmakers made films that polarized the shit out of audiences.

With Interstellar, Nolan made a throwback to the big budget sci-fi movies that Hollywood used to put out back in the 60s and 70s with a touch of Spielberg and a dash of Kubrick. Loved that the science was 95% accurate and that the journey itself was the antagonist (along with one character and you can argue for another).  Watching this for the first time made me miss my godkids halfway through. Add to that this has one of my favorite “action” scenes of the year where Matty McC pulls off some daredevil piloting to dock with a spaceship all set to this magnificent score by Hans Zimmer that had me on the edge of my seat:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3zvVGJrTP8 (fast forward to the 2:30 mark). Loved how the spaceship Endurance represented time with its twelve points (Which is shattered during said sequence. Time now being lost on getting home). Speaking of Hans’ score gave off a 2001 vibe that made the movie bigger with its use of pipe organs. If you already saw it on 70MM IMAX you were treated to some beautiful imagery filling up however big your IMAX was. Glad people overseas saved this one as we were too busy here in the United States being enraptured by Big Hero 6 :/. I have no doubt that in time this will be looked backed on fondly.

Gone Girl the movie was more focused on the marriage and how sensationalized the media gets with things like this. Gone Girl the book was more about the mystery of Amy’s disappearance. I appreciate Fincher’s take and love it just as much as I love the book. Rosamund Pike absolutely brings Amy to life in my favorite performance by a lead this year. She looked like a movie star from yesteryear bringing her A game to a great character. Also, Trent Reznor crafted another memorable score that fits the film perfectly. The ending remained the same as the book having the same reaction from the public and destroying relationships in the process. Just like the book, this takes a hard look at marriage and how we lie to not only each other, but ourselves as well. As Gillian Flynn states: “marriage is sort of like a long con, because you put on display your very best self during courtship, yet at the same time the person you marry is supposed to love you warts and all. But your spouse never sees those warts really until you get deeper into the marriage and let yourself unwind a bit.”.  This left me with the sentiment, just like the film and its source material, that even though you may think you know someone but you never truly don’t.

9. Inherent Vice – This is a film that demands to be seen twice, first time for the journey, second time for the plot. The fact that others, and not just me, are coming out of this the first time fulfilled and with buzz, shows that this movie works. This is destined to become a cult classic that will be appreciated as time goes on. Described as a drugged out surf noir, I would say it’s that and much more. PTA made something I think about often. Any movie that has Minnie Ripperton on the soundtrack gets high marks from me anyways. I pray that I get catch a 70MM print of this film.

8. Guardians of the Galaxy – Marvel Studios was on fire in 2014. They packed a one two punch with something heavy and something fun. The fact that exists in the same universe as The Winter Soldier and we all buy it is a testament of how they know to hit the sweet spots. Never would I think that a talking raccoon and a tree that says “I am Groot” would be two characters I would connect to emotionally.

7. Captain America: The Winter Soldier – As I stated earlier do a double feature with Citizenfour. Full thoughts here: http://straightouttatrenton.tumblr.com/post/80244871941/captain-america-the-winter-soldier-a

6. Starred Up – This British prison drama is a powerhouse. I really don’t want to say much other than Jack O’Connell will be a star. But yeah, this one is gonna stay with you long after the end credits roll.

5. Snowpiercer – Everything I have to say can be found here: http://straightouttatrenton.tumblr.com/post/90179663320/snowpiercer-a-masterfully-done-sci-fi-action

4. Selma – First I just wanna say that David Oyelowo is long overdue on just in general props. The same with director Ava DuVernay. Never has a film about a dark time in our history has been more relevant to the current times as this. Proving really that “Time is a flat circle” (True Detective reference for the few knuckleheads out there) and sadly a deep seated racism in this country has resurfaced. The film also manages to show MLK the man, instead of MLK the saint and I greatly appreciate that.

3. Top Five – Chris Rock made a Woody Allen film for black people and I greatly appreciate that. I also appreciate that this is still uncensored, raw Chris Rock. The thing that kept this together is the film’s heart. Not only does this have a love story on full display, it also shows the studio system and the public at large expectations when it comes to certain actors and comedians who don’t owe us anything, but we demand it.

2. Nightcrawler – Part noir thiller, part satire on the media we follow a successful sociopath in very original film that is deftly written and directed by Dan Gilroy. Photographed by Robert Elswit, Jake Gyllenhaal breathes life into the best performance he’s give yet with sociopath Lou Bloom. He’s one of the smartest characters I’ve seen in a long time knowing how to work any situation to his advantage. The moral corruption exists in every character here. And before you say Rick was innocent he’s not. He manipulated Lou’s forced illegal activity as leverage instead of doing the right thing. This movie has a lot to say and holds a mirror up to us as a society as whole. America eats its babies and just like Gone Girl evil comes in many forms.

1. Whiplash – We all aspire to be the best. But at what cost? The expectations I had for this film were high and then blown away. My boy was right about this when he was at the premiere at Sundance. This is a horror film masquerading as a drama. Director Damien Chazelle shoots the film as a horror film ensuing tension from opening frame to closing frame. Again, this is another film where the tone of the film is violent.  And J.K. Simmons breathes life into one of the scariest characters portrayed on film all year. The drumming scenes in this film are better than most action films today.  The last fifteen minutes are some of the most exhilarating, breathless I’ve seen all year. Watching the character dynamics constantly shift between the two main characters is something to behold. It’s like watching a seesaw go up and violently. By the time the credits rolled I felt as if I was suffering from the title. The second time I saw this I sympathized with Fletcher more even if his methods are ones that are hallmarks of a psychopath. If fact, Terrence Fletcher reminds me a lot of how my dad still treats me. Emotionally and physically abusive, manipulative and thinking he’s hot shit. Maybe it’s why I liked this movie so much. And maybe why my heart’s so cold.

As Sean Price says “Aight. We fucking finished”. See y’all in 2015. What was your favorite film of 2014?