some fun trivia or whatever this was just a great scene

Epic Movie (Re)Watch #161 - Star Trek Beyond

(GIF originally posted by @forquicksilver)

Spoilers Below

Have I seen it before: Yes

Did I like it then: Yes.

Do I remember it: Yes.

Did I see it in theaters: Yes.

Was it a movie I saw since August 22nd, 2009: Yes. #440

Format: Blu-ray

1) The preproduction for this film was slightly troubled. JJ Abrams was committed to Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens so co-writer of the first two films Robert Orci signed on as director. He ended up leaving production though, taking his cinematographer with him, and it was a little while before Justin Lin (Fast and the Furious 3 - 6) was hired to replace him. Writers Simon Pegg and Doug Jung reportedly wrote the script in a bit of a hurry as they still had a release date to meet. But at the end the film turned out really well, so everything worked out in the end.

2) This film was released during the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise.

Originally posted by lovely-trek

Having said that, the work done by writers Pegg and Jung as well as Lin’s direction I think help to make the film feel like a balance between old Trek and new Trek. I’ll get into more details on that as I go along.

3) The opening scene.

Originally posted by readysteadytrek

The opening has an incredible sense of fun and humor to it (with the aliens Kirk is trying to break peace with seemingly gigantic and ending up being the size of a chihuahua) and honestly feels like it could be the concept of an episode for the original “Star Trek” TV show (says the guy who’s never seen an episode of the original series). It establishes some of the lighter/funner tone this film will feature compared to the titular darkness of Into Darkness as well as Kirk’s initial conflict in the film. It is a wonderful beginning.

4) Kirk’s tiredness.

Originally posted by sci-fiworld

Kirk is three years into his five year mission in space (which, in a not-so-coincidental-way, is how long the original series got before cancellation) and it is starting to weigh on him.

Kirk [in his captain’s log]: “As for me things have started to feel a little…episodic.”

Originally posted by wish-for-the-moon

There’s no direction in space, it is just infinite and that is starting to weigh on Kirk. It has him questioning the point of it all. It has him questioning who he is.

Kirk [after commenting he’s now a year older on his birthday]: “A year older than [my father] got to be. He joined Starfleet because he believed in it. I joined on a dare.”

Bones: “You joined to see if you could live up to him. [Mentions how Kirk has spent all this time trying to be like his dad.] Now you’re wondering what it means to be Jim.”

And it is through the fire of conflict in this film that Kirk will reclaim his identity and who exactly he is.

5) The release of this film was given an unexpected dose of sorrow as actor Anton Yelchin tragically passed away about a month before the film’s release.

Originally posted by acebodhi

There is a scene early in the film where Bones and Kirk drink some Scotch they found in Chekov’s locker. They pour three glasses, the third one being for “absent friends” (as in those we’ve lost who could not be here now). The absent friend I believe was meant to be Kirk’s later father, who the pair are talking about. But in the wake of Anton Yelchin’s passing the scene takes on a much more somber meaning and feels more like a tribute to him. After the film’s release I read on IMDb that the scene was included to pay tribute to Yelchin, but I can no longer find that piece of trivia suggesting it may have been false. Either way, it is impossible to divorce Chekov from that scene or the unintended tribute it pays to the late actor. I’m going to miss seeing you in the movie, Anton.

Originally posted by captainprincesskk

Originally posted by marcusspector

6) Yorktown.

Originally posted by whichisnone

Yorktown is quite possibly the stand out new element introduced into the film. The space station/outpost/colony/whatever is visually outstanding. Most space stations in film are defined by rigid edges and sharp boundaries but Yorktown is circular. It’s fluid, it’s organic, it moves into and through each other like a planet. Some of the camera tricks and technical aspects used to show off this new location is great. It also has an incredible atmosphere to it which ties directly into the sense of hope this franchise is all about. The air is clean, the sky is bright, multiple alien species are working in unity, and Giacchino’s again excellent score just lifts up the sense of optimism that bleeds through this place. It is a wonderful addition to not only this film but Trek lore as a whole.

7) This film introduces what I believe is Star Trek’s first canon gay character by revealing that John Cho’s Hikaru Sulu is in a partnership with another man.

(GIF originally posted by @maclexa-bane​)

However, this decision had one person surprisingly against it. Original Sulu actor and LGBT activist George Takei himself. Here is an excerpt from an article covering this in the Hollywood Reporter.

“I’m delighted that there’s a gay character,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.”

Takei would take to social media a week later to clarify - but not disavow - his statement.

“I hoped instead that [Star Trek creator] Gene Roddenberry’s original characters and their backgrounds would be respected. How exciting it would be instead if a new hero might be created, whose story could be fleshed out from scratch, rather than reinvented. To me, this would have been even more impactful.”

I personally disagree with Takei. As a film student I can say that there seems to be this strange devotion to the “vision” of something. A decision will or won’t be made based on its support of the “original vision”. The original vision of something is almost totally irrelevant to what something actually is, however. Takei’s statements seem to be largely out of his respect for original creator Gene Rodenberry, which I can understand. But imagine some gay kid today LOVES the Star Trek movies and its characters. That kid is not going to care about Gene Rodenberry’s original vision, he is going to care about what Star Trek is today. I think seeing an already established (and incredibly important character) like Sulu express his sexuality in an open and accepted way is very much in line with what Star Trek is today (and will also have more of an impact on that kid than introducing a new character who they have no emotional investment in, but that’s just my personal belief).

The franchise has transcended Rodenberry or any one person involved. It is about unity (a major theme in this film), diversity, tolerance, and hope. And as long as it respects these core beliefs which make Star Trek what it is than I think it does more than respect Rodenberry’s original vision. It respects Star Trek.

8) I am going to talk about Spock and Uhura’s breakup and Spock Prime’s death, I promise. Just later.

9) Even though JJ Abrams did NOT direct this film, Greg Grunberg is still featured in it!

Grunberg is JJ Abrams’ lucky charm, appearing in almost all his films (notably absent from Star Trek into Darkness) in one form or another. And even though Abrams serves only as producer on this flick Grunberg still gets a part. Yay!

10) I like that Commodore Paris (one of the Starfleet higher ups at Yorktown) takes the time to say this to Kirk:

Commodore Paris: “It isn’t uncommon you know, even for a captain. To want to leave.”

It’s a common problem people have in life, the loss of identity. And of course it makes sense that it happens to Starfleet officers. Nothing is defined in space. It’s just space.

11) The skirmish between Kraal’s crew and the Enterprise is great.

Originally posted by cloudscity

As a way of introducing the primary plot into the film, it shows a clear lack of preparedness on the part of the Enterprise crew which is a great place to start the conflict and move forward. A, “started from the bottom,” type way. The film opening with such a heavy thrashing and the destruction of the Enterprise leaves a strong impact on the audience. You know these bad guys are people you do not want to mess with, you don’t even want to be in the same room as them. They just took down one of the best starships ever in a matter of minutes. The scene features great action, nice surprises, and is incredibly well paced. As the first major action set piece for the film, it is truly great.

12)

Kirk: “Abandon ship, Mr. Sulu.”

There is literally NO question from Sulu and only a the hesitation needed to process that request. He doesn’t even say, “Sir?” There’s no doubt in his mind. That is how much he trusts his captain and that is how well he knows his ship to admit when it’s done.

13) Idris Elba as Krall.

Originally posted by entertainmentweekly

I will forever be upset that Suicide Squad won the Oscar for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling when this film is PACKED with some of the most amazing practical creatures and aliens I have seen in years. You don’t have to look any further than Krall to see that. Idris Elba is not giving an animated performance, he’s not motion capture (not to knock motion capture actors, they’re some of the most under appreciated geniuses in Hollywood). That’s him. He is able to deliver a menacing and powerful performance through strong physicality. Elba does not play Krall as human and he shouldn’t. A huge factor for the character is that he’s lost his humanity. He is a beastly shade of his former self, motivated only by madness. I think Krall may be the best villain of this new trilogy (although it’s hard for me to be objective because Nero is still my favorite). Honestly, Elba freaking kills it as Krall and I don’t think they could have cast anyone to do a better job.

From a writing standpoint, Krall just gets more and more interesting as the film goes on.

Krall [after Uhura claims he has made an act of war against the federation]: “Federation act of war!”

But more on this later.

14) This film benefits from unique groupings for a good part of the film. Bones/Spock are the most prominent, but it’s not often you get to see Kirk and Chekov interact one-on-one or Uhura and Sulu. But for now, let’s talk about Bones & Spock.

Originally posted by iamtribblesome

I don’t think Bones and Spock get as much one on one time as they do in this film and I am so grateful for that. It provides a unique examination of their usually humorously tense interactions which was touched upon in The Search for Spock. I’ll discuss this more as I go (in one scene in particular), but they are able to be vulnerable around each other. Let their guards down, be totally honest, and make their friendship even stronger.

15) Sofia Boutella as Jaylah.

Originally posted by phaenix

I fucking love Jaylah. So much. I want more Jaylah.

To start, her design is incredibly unique and memorable. It helps her standout from not only the rest of the Enterprise crew but the rest of the inhabitants on the planet as well. And from the strong visual you are able to build into a living, breathing, unique character. She fits into the crew dynamics (particularly through her relationship with Scotty) wonderfully well and she is a kick ass queen. She is a technical genius with no training or teaching, able to set up a number of booby traps/cloak the Franklin/keep auxiliary power going. She has this deep pain that is in direct relation to Kirk’s. Her father - her entire family - died trying to save her, just as Kirk’s did. She has fears, she has strengths, she loves punk music! Jaylah on paper is amazing and actress Sofia Boutella is incredible in the part. Boutella is able to portray all of Jaylah’s wonderful layers - her badass exterior, her painful past, her growth and dealing with her fears - beautifully. Boutella is a star on the rise in Hollywood (already having starred in Kingsman and appearing as the title character in the new Mummy film coming out soon) and to date this is - I think - her best performance. She is just SO good.

A quick final note: it has been said by the filmmakers that they will not be recasting Chekov after Anton Yelchin’s death. I want Jaylah to take his place on the bridge. Because I fucking love Jaylah.

16) The relationship Jaylah and Scotty forge is so fun and heartfelt. Jaylah is able to constantly surprise Scotty and show that she’s his equal in a lot of ways, but when it comes to the pain of her past Scotty is able to help her deal with that. It’s one of my favorite relationships explored in the film and I hope to see it continue in the future.

17) The relationship with Kirk and Chekov is explored a little more subtly than say Bones and Spock but it is still there. The fact that Kirk is able to signal Chekov to help him trap the traitor amongst their midsts, and then of course this wonderful piece of dialogue.

Originally posted by alecc-bane

(GIFs originally posted by @alecc-bane​)

Seeing any two characters have this back and forth suggests they’ve done it before. There’s a comfort there that Chekov is able to talk to Kirk so honestly about his doubts and…I’m sorry, I’m just laughing thinking about this scene. I love the exchange between the pair.

18) So it later turns out that Krall is a captain named Edison from VERY early in the Federation’s life span.

Krall: “Federation has taught you that conflict should not exist.”

Krall [MUCH later]: “We knew pain, we knew terror. Struggle made us strong. Not peace, not unity.”

He is an outdated relic, an ancient ideology in a progressive time who thinks HIS way of life was right. And he’s willing to commit mass genocide because of his outdated and hateful ways. There’s also a lose of identity there, as he tells Kirk in the climax, “I’ve missed being me.” That lose of identity in the face of infinite space is exactly what Kirk is at risk of going through, so there’s a connection there between the two that ties back in to Kirk’s main conflict (something that I love). All in all, Krall’s pain is utterly unique in the Star Trek films I’ve seen and I am impressed with the elegance they were able to write it.

19) Spock and Bones having a heart-to-heart about where Spock is in life is one of the best scenes in the film.

Originally posted by thors

It is in this moment when Spock is at his most vulnerable, and it’s with Bones. He speaks as to how being one of the last Vulcan’s effects him, how it was that and the death of Spock-Prime which upset him so deeply he even broke up with Uhura because he thought he had to. He’s planning on leaving Starfleet. But Bones is an excellent friend in this scenes, listening to Spock and offering some kind non-judgmental words. He even gets Spock to laugh! It’s a great moment between these two characters who have been around for 50 years and I think one of the best character moments in all of Trek.

20) Did I mention I love Jaylah?

Jaylah [about her punk music]: “I like the beats and shouting!”

21) If I haven’t made it clear before, this film has some very well done humor. I think this is largely a result of Simon Pegg’s work on the script, but it wouldn’t have worked if cowriter Doug Jung hadn’t worked with him on it. Some examples…

Scotty: “I have an idea sir, but I’ll need your permission.”

Kirk: “Why would you need my permission?”

Scotty: “Because if I mess it up I don’t want it to be just my fault.”

Originally posted by projectcinc

Originally posted by msdonnatemplenoble

22) So 2009′s Star Trek was about Kirk and Spock moving past their conflict to form a respect and kinship with each other. Star Trek Into Darkness had them solidifying their friendship. And now we’ve reached this point:

Spock [while severely injured]: “We will do what we’ve always done, Jim: find hope in the impossible.”

23) I think something the filmmakers really use to their advantage is taking problems and solving them in a creative way through the sci-fi genre (where aliens are a norm and we have artificial gravity and such). A brilliant example of this:

(GIFs originally posted by @trek-daily)

Also this is all practical makeup. Did I mention this film lost the makeup and hairstyling award to Suicide Squad? I’m bitter.

24) The funniest freaking part of the entire movie!

25) I know I mentioned this before, but Jaylah’s past trauma with her family is incredibly strong for me.

Jaylah [talking about Krall’s hostage camp; refusing to take Kirk and company to their crew]: “Everyone who goes there he kills!”

And it is just another great example of the relationship Scotty and Jaylah have made.

Kirk [after Jaylah leaves & Scotty moves to go after her]: “Let her go.”

Scotty: “She’s lost people too, Captain.”

The fact that Scotty is able to help Jaylah through her grief in a respectful but pressing way speaks a lot to me. And Kirk overhears this, specifically that Jaylah’s dad sacrificed himself for her. Hmm, why does that sound familiar?

Originally posted by enterprisingyoungwoman

The entire scene is great for me for those key reasons: it develops Jaylah, it strengths her relationship with Scotty, and it ties into Kirk’s conflict in the film.

26) The entire diversion/rescue scene on the motorcycle is awesome and one of the strongest set pieces in the entire film. It is brilliantly and intelligently choreographed, keeping the audience and Krall on their toes through the use of decoy projections. It also features a fight between Jaylah and Mannix which ties directly into her arc as he is the man who killed her father. And Kirk - who said to, “Let her go,” about ten minutes earlier - risks himself to save her. She’s a part of his crew now and I love that.

Originally posted by forquicksilver

27) Remember how in the 2009 Star Trek Sulu messed up the take off of the Enterprise the first time? Well, I think the phrase, “started from the bottom now we’re here,” applies perfectly to this moment.

Originally posted by toakenshire

(GIF originally posted by @toakenshire)

30) I just love Jaylah’s face when she sees Krall’s planet drift away in the distance. That place was her hell. Her family was murdered there. She never thought she’d be able to escape. And now…

Originally posted by startrektime

31) Ladies & gentlemen: the most badass moment in Star Trek’s 50 year history.

Some highlights:

  • Kirk saying, “That’s a good choice,” tying directly into Young Kirk rocking out to this song in the 2009 film.
  • Bones: “Is that classical music?”
  • Chekov toe tapping.
  • Just how f***ing awesome that moment is. It gets you pumped!

I don’t know who had the initial idea to put this scene in the film, but I love them and I want to give them an award or something. This is glorious.

32) The climactic fist fight between Kirk and Krall is a lot of fun. Similar to Syl’s alien head hiding an important piece of technology, the filmmakers are able to use the concept of artificial gravity in a space station to their advantage by choreographing a unique and fun fight scene.

Originally posted by rattles-the-stars

33) And with this Kirk resolves his conflict of identity in relation to his father.

Kirk: “Better to die saving lives than to live taking them. That’s what I was born into.”

34) I love that Kirk says this but for a weird personal reason. It’s something I learned as a film student and something I wish other directing students (and a lot of professional directors) would learn.

Kirk [after Commodore Paris says he saved the lives of everyone in Yorktown]: “It wasn’t just me. It never is.”

35) Holy shit, I honestly cannot believe I forgot that Spock found this in Spock Prime’s belongings:

Not only is this a wonderful thing to include in the 50th anniversary of Star Trek but also it is something Spock REALLY needed to see. He wanted to live the life Spock Prime did and he thought that meant continuing the work on new Vulcan. But then he sees that Spock Prime was with the Enterprise crew DECADES into a future. He had a family for life. And so does Spock.

36) It’s hard for your eyes not to fall on Anton Yelchin when Kirk makes a toast, “To the Enterprise and to absent friends.”

Originally posted by soundsofmyuniverse

(GIF originally posted by @soundsofmyuniverse)

37) The fact that the entire main crew of the Enterprise gives the ending monologue for the first time speaks greatly to themes of unity present in the film and Kirk’s giving them credit.

38) And now I’m sad again.

39) “Sledgehammer” by Rihanna.

Originally posted by thebadgalrih

It’s not often that I talk about an end credits song for a film, but I felt I should make an exception this case. Rihanna is a major Star Trek fan, saying:

“This is something that’s been a part of me since my childhood, it’s never left me, I love Star Trek. It was automatic. I would do anything in terms of music. It’s such a big deal not only as a fan, as a musician… because Star Trek is such a big deal across the globe.”

You can feel the love for Trek come across in the song. Not necessarily a radio pop hit, I love this song nonetheless. I find it moving and it’s themes of fighting back after you get knocked down very much tie into the hope and resilience which is Star Trek. I think it is a wonderful composition and a great addition to the Star Trek musical library.


I love Star Trek Beyond. Although the 2009 film introduced me to the franchise, this film has the potential overtime to claim its place as my favorite Trek film. It is an absolutely perfect balance of old and new Trek, featuring standout writing, amazing effects, new ideas, a vibrant visual design, and a standout cast (with special mention to Sofia Boutella as Jaylah). It is a totally wonderful that taps into the hope and sense of adventure that the series has always been about. If you were disappointed with Star Trek Into Darkness or are looking to reclaim some love for the series - or even if you’re watching for the first time - give this film a viewing. You won’t regret it.

anonymous asked:

hey adrienne i really love all your comics, and it makes me wanna make more of my own. do you have any tips on staying motivated and structuring the overall comic (story/pages/etc) ? thank you !

Thank you so much!!!

And hmmmm, I guess my way of staying motivated is… giving myself strict deadlines? hmmmm ill just go over how I write a comic and maybe you’ll pick a tip or two hopefully

✨✨ INSERTDISC5′S REALLY LONG “HOW DO I MAKE COMICS” EXTRAVAGANZA (WITH PICTURES) AFTER THE CUT. ITS KINDA LONG SORRY ✨✨

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HOME MOVIES (1999)

an American animated television sitcom that was originally broadcast from April 26, 1999, to April 4, 2004. Brendon Small is the creator, head writer and lead musician of Home MoviesLoren Bouchard is the show’s executive producer, director, as well as co-creator and among the writers. Jon Benjamin, Melissa Bardin Galsky, and Janine Ditullio also lent their voices to the show. The plot surrounds eight-year-old Brendon, who makes videos with his friends Melissa Robbins and Jason Penopolis in his spare time. He lives with his divorced mother, Paula, and his adopted baby sister, Josie. He also develops a skewed father/son-like relationship with his alcoholic, short-tempered soccer coach, John McGuirk. Home Movies developed something of a cult following during its run, and is still considered a cult show.

Why was it cancelled?: ANIMATION AND SCRIPT ORIGINALLY TURNED OFF AUDIENCES.

Ohh yeah, hardcore fans of Adult Swim knew this would be on the horizon

When it comes to Adult Swim, this is one of the top cartoons you think of. It was on the original Thursday night block in 2001 and was the first cartoon to be played. It was also the first syndicated cartoon to be resurrected and went onto have multiple seasons, and became a big hit.

Non-fans on the otherhand… I bet you’re thinking, “what the hell is this barely animated crap? Why do the voice actors keep stepping over each other? Why does it look like something made by a stupid kid? Who wrote this and why does it sound so unrehearsed?”

Here’s the thing.

It’s all apart of the charm.

You might think it’s one of those things made to be intentionally crappy as a joke or due to budget limitations or the animation team just taking the piss.

I’m willing to air on the side of the show having a poor budget, just like the creative teams preceding show, Dr. Katz: Professional Therapistand just like Dr. Katz, the real draw of the show comes in it’s style of dialogue.

I didn’t know about it when I was a kid, and I don’t know if other people didn’t either but Home Movies was done almost entirely through improvisation.

The voice actors would be given a prompt on what’s going on in a scene and the episode at large, would be encouraged to make particular jokes, but largely they went wild and just made the scene however they wanted.

That’s why you’ll notice scenes of dialogue tend to have characters stepping over each other, stepping over their own words, being unable to finish thoughts, basically talking like unrehearsed, normal chatter.

It’s that sort of true to life quality of the dialogue that makes the show memorable and worth checking out since there are some really quality exchanges.

A lot of people didn’t really get it in it’s initial broadcasting on UPN so it was cancelled after only 4 episodes. 

Even if you don’t like the show it was definitely a decent show for a budding programming block getting it’s feet wet, and   a good springboard for great things in the future. 

Creator, Brendan Small would go on to make the hilarious, gruesome Metal comedy, Metalocalypse.

Co-creator, Loren Bouchard would go on to produce the extremely funny and charming animated sitcom, Bob’s Burgers

TRIVIA

  • A Garden Gnome is seen in some fashion in every episode of the show
  • In January 2009, IGN listed Home Movies as the 28th best in the Top 100 Best Animated TV Shows.
  • In its first season,Home Movies utilized Soup2Nuts‘ Squigglevision animation but later abandoned that for the cheaper, more malleable Macromedia Flash animation in order to subvert the criticisms against Squigglevision and make the show different from Dr. Katz

CLOSING THOUGHTS

This was a show I really like as a youngster and really helped me get into Adult Swim. The Brak Show, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Space Ghost, and Harvey Birdman did as well but this one was definitely loads of fun.

I’d definitely recommend seeing it; finding the dvds or  episodes scattered across the web, whatever you like just give it a watch, i’m sure you’ll like it to

Ahoy from Darlington! Just concluded an evening with Himself, which was lovely and apparently raised the best part of £10,000 towards the Darlington Police memorial fund - a cause close to Mark’s heart as his late brother-in-law is amongst those officers being remembered. The first half of the evening was interviewer-led and a run through of his life and career with various questions and showreels. They played several chunks of roles where he was half-naked including the Crimson Petal flamey death scene, don’t know who picked those but good job! The second half of the evening was based around questions from the audience submitted earlier that people were then called on to read out. Including one ten year old who asked if Mark would help with his English homework. Bless! (Mark said yes but added that he’s very expensive.) Particular moments of note: Mark said he’s played Dracula in a very faithful adaptation for Big Finish, as an audio play. He said he had a cold and gave it a very deep voice, and there was lots of acting right up close to the microphone which he mime-demonstrated, and he thoroughly enjoyed doing it. Sounds fab to me, hope BF make it available soon! On the new projects front he’s also apparently directed a missing Hitchcock script called The Blind Man as a radio play with Hugh Laurie and I think he said Rebecca Front, apparently to come out at Halloween. I’d like to double check my facts on that with someone else who was there, just since it rather came out of left field - sounds v interesting though! He did also make reference to a project he’s worked on for two years that has hit roadblocks, in the context of struggles with the BBC and how he doesn’t get blank checks to write whatever he wants, but he’s exploring other angles with it - so even when you’re as successful as Mark, getting projects off the ground in the TV industry can be a frustrating process. Random bits of trivia and fun: Mark apparently owns one of Jon Pertwee’s jackets from Who, he’s very proud of it. His character in Dad’s Army has a limp, he thought it would make good backstory but came to regret it when he had to limp though retake after retake. He was asked to adapt a one-off remake of Are You Being Served but turned it down as sacrilege, which he acknowledged as rather hypocritical! Peter Mandelson remains his favourite character he’s ever played and he was tempted to just go around his daily life in character as him. He thinks it would be brilliant to have a female Doctor, Michelle Gomez has shown it could work, but it shouldn’t be done in a box ticking because people said it was time for a female Doctor way, it would be down to the right actor for the job. He doesn’t think the Doctor could be played by a child though (one asked) - because child employment laws are very restrictive! Mark talked about performing at the civic theatre when he was a child in his first ever acting role, where he was a baker slash fishmonger who sang a song and then choked to death along with everyone else in a fire - it may have been about the great fire of London, I missed the context! Several times Mark asked if questioners were related to his former teachers and even his lollipop lady though I don’t think anyone fessed up; there was quite a bit of local reminiscing about pubs at one point too. He said he’d be in Darlington till Tuesday and was planning to spend some of that time catching up on pubs! One of the more strange questions was if he was preserved as a piece of taxidermy, what position would be like to be preserved in. So, as he knowingly paraphrased - what position would be like to be stuffed in. He backwards crab-walked across the stage and said he’d want to be a moveable robot. When talking about how they’d never get away making the League on TV these days he went into the Papa Lazarou origin story, complete with voices. It gave a fascinating glimpse into a world where Mark could have played him instead of Reece - weird to think about! Someone asked if he was more like Mickey or Mycroft and he said a bit of both, and Mickey is his favourite League character to play maybe tied with Les McQueen. There were several mentions of “it’s a shit business” when referencing attacks on the BBC and the like. I think he may have forgotten about the ten year olds being present at that point! The life motto of work hard and be kind came out again, along with the make them laugh/cry/wait, and several Churchill quotes (plus a manspreading Churchill impression). Jacob Marley was the topic of an impassioned plea, since he’s still living in hope to one day play the part. Apparently he’s written three different versions of A Christmas Carol himself that haven’t been made. He proposed doing it at the civic theatre next year & crowd funding, which got a good reception! When asked what he’d like to do in the next ten years, the final question, he said more of the same - because it makes him happy, and doing what you love is just about all you could ask for. There was much applause at that. Oh, and yes he started the second half just lying face down on the stage floor for some reason - he claimed he’d just always wanted to do that. The interviewer said he could do whatever he liked! Well why not. Thus ends my rambling look over the evening. The tl;dr version is it was a lovely evening, Mark was on top form in terms of the mixture of considered, thoughtful answers plus snippets of trivia and fun stories, alongside lulz and snark and a lot of laughter. Good times!

moirasburton's First Impressions of The Evil Within

Please keep in mind that I have not finished the game. Therefore, I haven’t completely obtained a full opinion of my own. This is purely a first impressions review, so this is based off the parts and chapters I’ve completed. 

Being a fan of the survival horror genre, I had high hopes for The Evil Within. Shinji Mikami directs, which is already promising for the game, and claims it is a “true” survival horror game. And in my opinion (so far), I think he’s succeeded.

PROS
  • Sebastian Castellanos. For one, he’s easy on the eyes. Also, he’s a likable protagonist with realistic qualities. Reading his journal reveals the kind of man he is, as well as what kind of woman he likes, hmm. Voiced by actor Anson Mount, Sebastian is not the kind of character to point out the obvious, which we all know can be irritating, and comes across as an honest guy.
  • Influences and references. With Mikami directing, everyone knew there was going to be similarities, possibly even paying homage, to Resident Evil. Whether it’s seeing Connolly as one of The Haunted for the first time, sharing similar camera angles and movements with the first zombie debut in Resident Evil (1996), or being chased by a large man with a chainsaw inspired by the Chainsaw Man in RE4 (2005). It’s a special treat for longtime RE fans. (This pro is also in the cons. You’ll see.)
  • Atmosphere. Again, I see influences from other games in the atmosphere, but TEW manages to bring horror with the feeling of isolation, the feeling of being watched constantly, and adding in a trait that horror games these days seem to forget, the eerie and claustrophobic silence.
  • The first chapter. The beginning of the game is a whirlwind of adrenaline and fear. It’s one of the best first chapters to a game that I’ve ever played thus far. With The Sadist chasing you, yelling at Sebastian to run faster though his leg is injured, and watching as Krimson City falls to ruins, the first chapter sets the motion for the game while managing to feel like an entire game on its own.
  • Clair de Lune. Maybe not a pro nor a con, but an interesting note. Debussy’s piece plays repeatedly in the game, usually when you’re close to finding a mirror so you can transport to the Asylum. I mention this only because I find it intriguing that RE has always had “Moonlight Sonata” as a musical trivia (Beethoven’s piece being featured in RE1 and RE5’s DLC “Lost in Nightmares”) when TEW does the same but this time with “Clair de Lune”.
  • Chase scenes. They give me heartburn, I do my best not to look back, and have me jumping around in terror, but I do love a good chase scene. Which is great because TEW is full of them. The Sadist already set the bar for “scariest chase scene” but I think the award now goes to RE-Bone Laura. Chase scenes often are overused in games but TEW does it successfully. 
CONS
  • Stamina. Though realistic, you might as well ask for a heart attack when you are being chased by some monster and five feet away from the exit you suddenly run out of stamina, standing in place as Sebastian hunches to catch his breath. I hate to consider this a con because truly it adds to the game, but if you choose not to upgrade stamina, then you’ll be verbally abusing Sebastian the whole game because he can’t run fast enough or for too long.
  • Influences and references. While some of the references are refreshing, it also can become old, overwhelming, and ultimately take away from the originality of the game. I see influences from plenty of games, such as the obvious, Resident Evil (4 in particular), Silent Hill, Outlast, and the most surprising, The Last of Us. I just feel maybe at times TEW has too many influences and inspirations that it becomes derivative.
  • The best parts are in the trailer. Granted, I have not finished the game so really, this is an unfair con. But as far as I’ve played, the best parts of the game we’ve already seen in the released trailers. This is expected though. You want to showcase the best of the game so it sells well and appeals to many. But as I play I’m reminded of the trailers constantly and have begun guessing what’s coming next.
  • Story line. Not necessarily a con but not a pro either. My only thought is that to begin with, it’s crazy confusing. However, it does fit the survival horror standard. I can see it becoming clearer as I continue, but I’m left with questions I feel should have been answered already.

Overall, I’m in love with this game. Call it a masterpiece, a heart attack in the form of a game, or whatever. It met my high hopes and then some. And as I play more and more, the more I’m interested and eager to find out what’s coming next. Shinji claims this is his last game, and if that is the case, then he went out with a bang with The Evil Within.