practice ball

Rewatching the Pilot of Arrow...

…still pretty good. That parkour sequence in the warehouse really holds up. The tennis ball target practice is still as impressive. As a bonus, might be SA’s best look ever - hair, eyes, body…Damn.

Teaching dance to Steve Rogers:

• The reason why you find yourself in this situation is because Fury has assigned you and Steve on an undercover mission to infiltrate a gala and you would surely dance there.
• You are surprised when Steve tells you he’s never had the chance to dance before, but you tell him you can show him how.
• Obviously, he accepts with a shy smile. Really cute to see.
• He is a real gentleman. He doesn’t touch you without asking first and that makes you smile all the time. Seriously, he is so adorable when he is flustered.
• Steve is unexpectedly a little uncomfortable because he doesn’t know how to move his body in sync with yours. But, after you show him he can see this as fight choreography, he gets it and he is more aware of his movements.
• You are inspired by the Yule ball dance practice scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and he laughs as well. This relaxes the atmosphere a lot more.
• He is glad to have you close to him, yet it intimidates him because he doesn’t know how to handle the situation sometimes.
• His eyes are glued to his feet while you dance because he is afraid to step on your toes.
• It takes him less time than you think to memorize everything you teach him about dancing, but he doesn’t tell you because he has other plans.
• Steve basically waits for you every evening in the training room to dance with you.
• At some point, he finds a new found confidence around you.
• There are a lot of smiles, giggles, and laughs every time Steve thinks he’s crushing you with his arms or his hands.
• You teach him slow dance, but also swing dance, which surprises him in a good way.
• After long sessions of dancing during a week, Steve finally leads your steps on the improvised dance floor and enjoys himself, smoothing his moves.
• These moments alone with him always take your breath away and this until the day of the assignment.

Bonus:
• The mission is a wrap and Steve asks you to dance with him after a quick first report to Fury.
• At the end of the slow, he dips you and his blue eyes stay connected to yours intensely.
• When he pulls you up, Steve leans and attaches his lips to yours softly.


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Having seen Pacific Rim and Mad Max: Fury Road multiple times, I think that they have hit upon the perfect formula for a fantastic action movie.

*Show me some of the action that I paid to see within the first ten minutes. I think the first Kaiju-Jaeger fight is three minutes into Pacific Rim. If this is an action movie, show me the goddamn action. 

*Complex, realistic characters with backstories that are hit upon but not overly dwelled upon. Imperator Furiosa’s story was a good use of this technique as it didn’t rely on flashback after flashback to explain her character and motivations, but rather integrated it nicely into the main plot. I have a rule for movies: the majority of flashbacks are lazy writing by people who have no idea how to write good characters. My exception is Mako Mori’s backstory because it pushed her character forward while also being tied tightly to the main plot. 

*Special effects: go practical or go balls-to-the-wall with GOOD CGI and striking visuals. MM:FR went the practical route and delivered truly astonishing and realistic-looking action sequences. Pacific Rim did the exact opposite, opting instead to get excellent CGI for the Jaegers and Kaiju, but had unique and fun design concepts that made it stand out from other CGI-heavy features. Actions have consequences in both worlds, which makes both techniques impressive to the viewer.

*If you have side characters, please develop them. Pacific Rim balanced a pretty big cast that put the main three characters first (Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi,, and Idris Elba) but still managed to find time for the comic relief (Burn Gorman and Charlie Day) to have a non-stupid side plot and various supporting characters to be unique and identifiable. MM:FR focused on its two leads (Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron) but still gave each of the Wives a distinct character and made Nix, The Many Mothers, and Immortan Joe interesting characters in their own right. 

*Don’t shoehorn in a love story unless you have time to give it a proper treatment. Just don’t.

*Play your action straightforward. Yes, monsters fighting robot mech-suits is kind of silly, but since the film treats it seriously, the audience treats it seriously. We don’t need some self-aware jackass character snarking about how unrealistic and terrible this all is (looking at you, Hawkeye).  

*DON’T FORGET TO WRITE A GOOD STORY. BOTH OF THESE FILMS WERE MASSIVELY SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE OF THE NEAT STORIES THEY WERE CENTERED AROUND. IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW GOOD YOUR VISUALS ARE, IF YOUR STORY IS BORING AND SHITTY, YOUR FILM WILL BE BORING AND SHITTY. 



(If you would like to watch a film that fails at every point on this list, may I recommend Jurassic World?)