Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds is H. G. Swell!

I’ve just been slapped in the sci-fi muscle, the musical fibre, and the storytelling boner at the same time and, by my future handsome and well-maintained moustache, did it feel good!

If you have an hour and a half to spare, give a listen to this incredible audio journey in the world of other-worldy invaders, it’s definitely worth it.

Now, on to figuring out how to quench my thirst for more Martian-related sci-fi and perhaps a reading and viewing or two of the other forms this story possesses.


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Review: Suicide Squad


Suicide Squad by David Ayer (2016)


tl;dr

Definitely not as good as I hoped, though not as bad as I feared. Worse. But meh. A fun movie to watch while you’re in there but not the great one we -the audience and the fans- and the characters wanted or deserved. Watchable, entertaining in a way, but not great. Not even good.

“Oh! I’m not gonna kill you. I’m just gonna hurt you, really, really bad…”

4/10

*

If you have seen the movie and read/watched the reviews that are going around the internet (or just read/watched the reviews) and/or taken a look at Rotten Tomatoes (which displays a great discrepancy between the critics’ opinion and the general public’s), you will have understood that there is a huge gap in the appreciation it has received. Some people love it, some people hate it. I won’t even pretend to have the right answer for you, truth-seeker roaming the internet in search of, well, the truth. This review is just my opinion about the movie and what I feel towards it.

Firstly I will say this -and, oh blasphemy! It might shock some people but I care not- I have enjoyed watching Suicide Squad. I went to the cinema not trying to expect anything to great to prevent myself from being too disappointed once it had begun, as I do for any movie that holds some importance to me (I did it for Star Wars VII and for Batman V Superman lately, to name only two). That way I come in, enjoy the experience with as much pleasure as possible and leave the reflection, the thinking and the nitpicking for after the movie. And I must say, that is exactly what happened when I watched Suicide Squad. I went with some friends, had fun in the theater and came out quite excited. I had spent a good moment in there. However I clearly didn’t find the movie perfect. Yes it was fun, but it has flaws. Quite a number actually. And the fact that I found it fun is actually one of them. That movie is so not good but at the same time it’s sort of the perfect no-brain recipe that makes you enjoy it while you are in there the first time. (The fact that I did not try to think, reflect on or criticize it during the viewing helped a lot I believe, although I did relapse and sighed/groaned a few times to be honest.) Well, at least for me. I guess… But once you get out and you actually turn your brain on again and begin to think, it all starts to crumble.

Before continuing, let me tell you about the pre-movie period. When they announced Suicide Squad was going to come out as a movie I got a little bit excited but not that much. I’d been reintroduced to the squad a little by watching Arrow, which is a nice show but, once again, not perfect, though very watchable. Deadshot was an important character in season 2 I believe (thought I’m not sure) and was drafted in the creation of a group that was going to become the Suicide Squad. He was cool. Apparently he’s supposed to be a minor character in the whole of the DC universe but, at least in Arrow, he seemed cool. They also teased the presence of a few other characters like Captain Boomerang (or was it an appearance in Flash? I don’t remember very clearly. Have to get back to these shows…) and Harley Quinn, of whom I only remember hearing the laugh and seeing a silhouette (I’ll come back to that a bit later by the way). So, yeah, I was a bit hyped but not that much yet.

Things moved up a level for me when the first trailer came out. Of course they had already started their marketing campaign, showing images of filming, giving a few details about the actors and their characters, the first posters, etc. But I hadn’t been paying a lot of attention to that. However, when the trailer came out, that changed. It looked good, dark, gritty, a bit mad and a bit fun. The characters looked good, they seemed to be well-played by the actors too and the plot didn’t seem to be revealed too much (oh how I hate when trailers reveal too much… yes, I’m looking at you Terminator 4 and 5!). Everything was going well. Then they started a heavier marketing of the movie, just before or around the outing of the first real trailer (the other one was a Comic Con thing I think) with more images and facts about the movie, the whole ‘Jared Leto getting too much into character thingy’ and too much info.

I saw the thing coming from miles away, in my mind they were going to spoil everything by trying to show us too much, so I dropped under the radar and decided to cut myself off anymore information about the movie until I went to see it apart from the occasional leak I couldn’t manage to get away from. And it went quite well, I only knew about the controversy of Leto’s Joker (if it was going to be worthy of the previous one(s) or not), the full cast and the roles and appearances of all characters (I didn’t know who, actors and character, was in the movie precisely until I saw it) quite late, which I felt good about because it wasn’t anything really important. I have to admit though, Will Smith playing Deadshot? Surprised me at first. I wasn’t really a fan but I got used to the idea, after all, I didn’t know the characters that much, so who was I to judge?

Then the movie came out and I saw the whole rift between reviews coming out and got a bit anxious. I started wondering if it was going to be like Man of Steel and Batman V Superman, which I both enjoyed watching quite a lot, and people were going to fight over it? Also if this was going to mark DC’s extended cinematic universe’s end? But, despite a little growing anxiety, I decided to push past it and go see it without so much as reading or watching a single detailed review, just to make my own opinion. Firstly because spoilers!, duh… Secondly because there are quite a number of movies I liked and critics or the audience hated and vice versa. As the days pass I notice it’s score on Rotten Tomatoes go up with audience but down with critics and start to find it fun. Finally I am able to go see it, I’m excited: haven’t been spoiled + in a good mood to see it = usually a good experience. And indeed, it’s fun to watch! But when I come out… meh. I don’t really know exactly why yet (well, I do a little but not enough) but I feel a bit disappointed. So I talk with people I know, I watch and read reviews, from fans of comics and non-fans. And after a couple of weeks (months now) I think I’ve had enough time and information/input to explain how I feel about it.

I think it’s partly the same problem as for Fant4stic: it’s an incomplete movie. An unfinished project, almost certainly rushed. “Why?”, I hear you ask. Well first let’s begin by an overview of the good points.

The cast is fine, maybe even good. Every actor gives his or her character a good interpretation in my opinion, even Will Smith. Now, now, calm down. I’m not saying he’s a good character, nor that he’s a bad Deadshot, he’s just not the Deadshot that I was hoping for, not completely at least. He’s more Will Smith than Deadshot, if I were to repeat the words of a french Youtuber that reviewed the movie. Margot Robbie plays a crazy, wacky Harley Quinn quite well, although she feels too shallowly for sale to my mind. Viola Davis plays well though Waller is not really dark enough apart from a single moment in the middle of the movie in my opinion. Delevigne plays a good double-sided Dr. Moon and Enchantress, Leto an enjoyable version of the Joker which, in my opinion COULD rival Ledger’s interpretation IF we were to see more of it (I can’t compare to Nicholson’s ’cause I haven’t seen it yet but from what little I have seen in comics and animated films/series and what I’ve played or seen in video game adaptations, it’s quite good). I liked him even if it seemed slightly incomplete or not used enough or not used well enough, still trying to figure that one out. Kinnaman plays a slightly underwhelming Rick Flag, but I don’t blame him, rather the scenario. As for the rest, Jay Hernandez (El Diablo), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Killer Croc), Karen Fukuhara (Katana) and Jay Courtney (Cpt. Boomerang), nothing to say about the actors themselves, they act well and played well-enough here, however they weren’t shown/used enough nor to their full potential at all, in my opinion.

So, yeah, actors: good.

The music is frickin’ awesome, and that can be said since the first trailer: great music, awesome songs, good, just very good. That ‘House of the Rising Sun’ intro though… From Queen to Credence Clearwater Revival, with some Bee Gees, Rolling Stones and a bit of Ballroom Blitz by Sweet. Nope, nothing to say about the choices (other than, perhaps, the fact that they tried to do it too Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-y and have virtually no original score). Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the use they made of them, but I’ll come back to it later.

The colors, yes. Very colorful, neony thingies. Nice. Offers a contrast with Batman V Superman or Man of Steel, movies which are darker both in storytelling and colorfulness, and that gives an impression/a touch of crazyness to everything, creating (in my opinion) an emphasis on the differences of mindsets in these movies. Dark and realistic vs colorful and crazy. Good idea.

The special effects in general, good quality (almost during all the movie, we’ll see that again). Especially that first (second?) appearance of the Enchantress in the conference room!

Now for the bad things in the movie. Let’s do this in the same order: actors/characters.

Firstly, let me be frank, Suicide Squad is not about a group of evil people, controlled by an evil (scary at least) woman fighting other evil people. Nope. As others have already remarked (a few reviewers whose opinion I looked up), the characters in this movie may be ‘bad guys’ in reputation but they are clearly good guys in their motives and that is a bit disappointing considering what the Suicide Squad is supposed to be about… But, oh well, it works in the movie so… The other big flaw the characters have is the on screen presence each of them has: somehow they managed to screw it up and make a movie about Deadshot and Harley Quinn and their sidekicks, not about the Suicide Squad. (Or just a two-person squad in that case…)

Will Smith is a bit too Will Smithy for me. (‘Good man, good father’ type of character. For once, just no.) Not enough Deadshot, he doesn’t wear his mask for most of the movie (in only one scene if I remember correctly, and for a short time), which could pass as fine if he wasn’t that ‘fun witty guy’ all the time. Witty, okay. Fun? Why not. But where is the psychopathic serial contract killer? I don’t dislike the fact that his daughter is his only motivation to do all this, but why not make him a loving father who still kills anyone else out of cold blood? A two-faced character. An example of what I hoped for his character comes in his introduction scene where he is made to shoot all those targets. They give him guns. He points out its crazy and then grabs one and aims it at a guard who was aweful with him all the time he was in prison. He then goes on to say they couldn’t have been crazy enough to give him real bullets, which (I think) Rick Flag confirms and decides not to shoot the guard… Only to realize, once he shoots, almost unintentionally by the way, that the bullets are in fact real. That, added to Smith’s reaction, was a fun moment.

But why not do it slightly differently and, when he is aiming at the guard, make him state the gun couldn’t be loaded with real bullets, try shooting at the guard and kill him with a bullet in the head? Cue reaction where he’s surprised at first, says something like “Oops!” and then “Oh no you didn’t just…?” and then point the gun at Flag. Follows a quick standoff with every other guard pointing his gun at him, including Rick Flag, and a quick exchange of wits like Flag saying “Shoot and you die.” and Deadshot replying “I shoot, half of you are dead before I need to reload. Then, I die.” or something. Then he slowly puts his hands in the air and the gun back down on the table before proceeding to pick up another weapon (everyone tenses up again) and he shoots each target with extreme precision multiple times, like in the actual scene. Also nobody cares about the dead guard, especially not Deadshot or Waller.

That, or something of the sort, would have been much cooler in my opinion… But eh, what can one do…? Other than that, Smith acts pretty well, it’s just not good for a character like Deadshot.

Harley Quinn. The second big character of the movie. Well played by Margot Robbie and on point, crazy and fun, nothing much to say about that. Axctually, 4 things. Number 1: not scary enough? Like Deadshot, she acts crazy but doesn’t feel really messed up. It’s slightly too shallow in my opinion, but I think it’s not Robbie’s performance that’s to blame (or just a teenie weenie bit then) and more the way the movie’s been made. She’s supposed to have killed Robin, from what the intro taught us, but she doesn’t feel like someone who could (or would) do that as she is in Suicide Squad. In that aspect, just the mention and the laugh she is given in the TV show Arrow seemed way more chilling to me… She feels like a villain from a child cartoon: made to look bad but actually not acting as evil as she is supposed to be (if that is clear in any way?). Number 2: people say she’s oversexualized and that the movie plays on that ‘sexy’ side a little bit too much. I don’t really agree, though I do find that a slightly more refined Harley, in terms of comebacks and wits would have been more enjoyable. And, indeed, for the universe’s sake, WHY make that scene where she changes and they all look at her? It’s not comical, it’s not useful, it’s just fanservice and cringy one at that (not even agreeable one at that for fans of the Squad). Number 3: why fight with guns when she has a hugeass hammer and a bat?! THAT would have been fun to see more of… Deadshot, Flag and Boomerang are litteraly there for long distance weapons… (*) Number 4: what the fuck was that rushed backstory? Do it well, either longer or better, but not like this… Not like this Zinédine…

Amanda Waller. Well played but badass/scary (as she is supposed to be) only in the one scene where she kills her assistants in the building. Why not make her like that the whole movie? (Okay, in the restaurant scene at the beginning she was almost good too) And why justify herself to Flag and Deadshot afterwards? She’s f*cking Amada Waller for god’s sake!

Enchantress. Three words: Much too powerful. As a villain, they should have chosen someone more ‘beatable’ for a first mission for the Squad. Also, as I said earlier, great intro scene with that hand and the scene flip (wow!) but after that… meh… generic villain. Well played but generic. Except maybe at the end with the darkness/shadow around her and the red eyes, that was cool. Also: her brother and minions: all generic villains made of generic CGI… why? Also, the fact that they create their own villain by letting her roam a little, okay, but why make it so easy for her to escape? Why make her and her brother so powerful with so little consequence? And, seeing hat they did with her, why not wait for the sequel to make her the villain?

Rick Flag: a badass character turned loverboy. Loverboy is fine, but why make him the weak link of the group? (cf. that scene where they have to protect him at all cost… [oh wait, them scenes…] Being a gang of villains, they would have killed him at that point, no?) The banter with Deadshot is quite fun to watch though, but why not a bit of rivalry too? Or dislike? Why go buddy-buddy? Why no conflict on equal footing? (Deadshot being the best shot but Flag suposedly competent enough weapons to be able to deal with him…)

Captain Boomerang. Basically the go-to guy for the slapstick comedy. Could have been great if he used his boomerangs more (and I’m not even going to mention the stabilized HD camera on his boomerang…) and if he acted a bit like a psycho? Or at least tried to take advantage of others to not die, maybe? (Since, apparently, from what I’ve learned about him, he doesn’t have a death wish like Deadshot, quite the opposite actually… AND he literally does that at the beginning of the movie by convincing ropes-dude [actually Slipknot, but we don’t even see him more than that sadly…] to try to escape to see if the bombs will really blow up…) And finally, that scene where he is saved by his money in his breast pocket… He apparently has a fetish for unicorns (it’s said in his intro) and even has one with him, which he drops and picks up a few times, located inside his jacked right under his breast pocket… It’s cliché but at least using the unicorn to save him, instead of the money, would have made it a lot more fun… OR the money INSIDE the unicorn… And why not make him drunk at a moment in the movie? Since he downed god knows how many beers… So many missed opportunities.

Slipknot: not even worth mentioning when he should have been… He just dies off at the beginning in a stupid way worthy of a comedy…

Also, back to Deadshot, one last time. The guy is supposed to have a death wish. Why not make this a plot point where he doesn’t care about dying at first, as long as he dies in a cool way, but is conflicted with the fact that his daughter (which would then be the only thing he cares about, apart from himself) need his help and he has trouble choosing if he should live or not all along the movie? Dunno, just throwing that out there…

Killer Croc. Nice face, bad body. Interesting character, why no backstory? Would have been more interesting than Cpt. Boomerang’s I believe… And why not more presence in the movie? He looks useful at the end, for the bomb (ah, the bomb…) but is not even shown in real action or anything… He is given too little screen time and for what? Lame jokes. I’m sorry but why go all the way and ruin the joke about him being beautiful by explaining it the next lines? Stopping at “Except for him.”, cut to Croc’s smiling face, would have been sufficient and still as funny.

El Diablo, same goes for him… Okay, that’s his motto all along the movie but, even so! He could have been used so much better… Good character, nice potential, badly exploited. Too many actual flashbacks, the little fire lady in the glass over his narration of the story would have sufficed, it was emotional enough in itself… And make him snap only at the end, but with a bigger pay off. Not because of Deadshot annoying him. To save his ‘friends’ (or guys he finds ‘not so bad’, ‘a bit fun’ or something), not his ‘new family’… His ‘new family’… God! Not after a 24 hours together, no!

Katana.  Don’t even know her. Where does she come from? (Apart from Japan?) Why is she there? Why should I cry for her twelve seconds of emotional scene when I don’t even see her in other scenes? Also, powers? No, I know. She’s badass. Her katana steals the souls of the people she kills and her husband’s trapped inside it. She came to help but was late because of… crime, in Japan. But why so little and why so…bad? She could have been exploited a lot more and a lot better… Especially in the final fight: if her katana is supposed to trap the souls of the people she kills, shouldn’t it hurt the bad guy (well, the bad girl’s brother, should I say!) a bit more than just ‘oh I cut your arm’, ‘why yes, you did! Now let me regrow it!’…?! Why doesn’t it trap the soul of the Enchantress? Or the brother? Why is that not an option?!

Joker. Some love him, some don’t. Some say he was not present enough in the movie, others say he was too much for a Harley Quinn backstory. Some hate the fact that he isn’t abusive with Harley (where is that side of the relationship? We only get to see lovey-dovey lovebirds on their honeymoon…), others love that fact because it’s more romantic. I think he was good, or at least promising because, yes, it’s true, we don’t see him much… There are some missing pieces, like the abusive relationship, which I would have liked to see a bit more between two crazy people and also because it’s more interesting that way (and offers more possibilities for Harley and Joker drama later on…). But his crazy drugged mafia boss persona that tries to gain control is cool too, in another way than Ledger’s Joker who tried to blow up everything for the fun of it. Though, why make him enter in a SWAT uniform with his men in the final scene when he’s been wearing highly personalized and colorful tuxedos and suits throughout the whole movie and using his men to do the dirty work, only arriving at the end to finish it with the most juicy part? Why not keep this habbit until the end? It would have made a much more badass entry…

Now, for the rest. If a few short(er) words (I hope).

The music was good, great even. But, because there’s always a but, it was cut faaaaaaar too much… Same with the image and the montage, it feels like a student project that me and my friends could have done a few years ago: badly done. How can you let something like that be commercialized out there? (For more about this, take a look at this link: The Art of Editing and Suicide Squad, it’s really fun and interesting!) Do you know how extremely frustrating it was to begin the movie with The House of the Rising Sun on a (poorly made I have to say) shot of the prison and to have it be interrupted in the middle?! VERY! And it’s like that five or six times because that use a different music for each damn character for their montage and then they interrupt it! And it’s not even their recurrent theme, like Sympathy for the Devil for Waller, which is a damn obvious yet fitting and fun choice… So why not make the theme of the song come back subtly when we see her after that? *sigh* I don’t know…

Also, quick word about special FX: it’s too dark and foggy to see a thing during the battles with the monsters, which are supposed to be an impressive set of scenes, it feels unfinished and rushed (like the rest of the movie) and done on purpose to hide this fact… And what the fuck about the colours? One scene they are here and the other not? Choose one, don’t do both, you can’t have BvS AND ‘Neon Crazy’ in the same movie, at least not in this one… Choose a tone and stick with it, either make it dark and gritty or change things and make it cray looking, but don’t hesitate, because that will definitely not pass as doing both. It’s possible to do both but not here, not now…

The scenario: too easy. GOD! Faaaaaar too easy! Bad characters with good people’s motivation, more evil character (Waller) with NO visible motivation other than to assemble them and the real bad guy of the story is FAR TOO powerful for them… We, as the audience, and them, as the newly-formed Suicide Squad, needed more time to get to know them, why not a short mission first where se get to know them, see the chemistry between them (and where Katana arrives late, without big consequences) and get used to it (and for them too, to give Diablo time to think of them as friends for example) before the big one, where we could have seen a real bad guy at their level (not an overpowered witch). It could have followed the same basic lines: they do something stupid that ‘creates’ their nemesis and they have to rectify it… Same but different and better, but still same.

Now, there are a few good scenes, far too few… Harley/Joker dropping in factory, Deadshot intro with guns (though not as fulfilling as my version), first appearance of enchantress (so cool that hand flip ! :O), Harley in elevator (an attempt at a use of her character that is better than the rest, though very underwhelming compared to what it could have been), Joke at the end (a cool appearance but why, oh god why, in SWAT suit and not stylish tuxedo like always?!), little lady of fire in diablo’s hand (very emotional in itself but so badly used…).

And, finally (yes, this incoherent rant is almost over), why not make it a real Suicide Mission with real odds of them dying… This feels like a walk in the park, a bad walk in a crappy park, when it should have been something tense and gripping from beginning to end with so many characters that are supposed to be great and have potential in their interactions together…

Verdict: a movie as bad and rushed as this review (I’m so meta), so many promises not held. I’m mad & disappoint son…

(*) one of the movie’s other problems: fighting with ‘normal’ weapons when you’ve got Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang and Diablo on the team… Only Croc, Deadshot [who is supposed to fight with said weapons] and Katana are interesting in that aspect. As superheroes or supervillains, they are supposed to have style and fight with ‘exotic’ weapons or techniques. But noooo… “let’s just make a more colorful The Expendables!”…


Sorry for the length and the lack of clarity, I had a lot to say and a lot more to add, and it was all a bit confused… Also, yes, it’s been some time since the movie came out but I didn’t have the energy to continue this review okay? I was lost and confused and I wanted nothing to do with it once the  initial outrage had filtered out. So, yeah, I finally got to it in the end and tried to make it as clear as possible. I do hope you enjoyed reading me!

So I saw the new Star Wars. And it sucks…

It sucks that people think it sucks! Ha! It was awesome! I don’t understand how people can hate on it… I loved it! (Though I did like The Phantom Menace so my  opinion might not just be the greatest out there…)

So yeah, I watched Star Wars episode VII : The Force Awakens. I didn’t just watch it though, I saw it a few weeks ago, a few days after it had come out. I went a cinema about an hour and a half away from where I usually go to be able to enjoy it in English, because it was only in French everywhere else. Yeah, it sucks a little. But I did manage to see it in its original version and it really was awesome.

I didn’t plan to write anything about it, or at least not a review, perhaps I’d just have said that I liked it and that you had to go see it, especially if you like Star wars, but nothing more. That was before I saw some of the reviews that people posted around the interwebs. Now, I know that everyone is entailed to free speech and that no one can stop people from saying what they want, I respect that, I like that right a lot myself. But I can’t just sit by when I see such stupid (yup, I said it, stupid) things out there said about that movie.

First of all, there are a few things I should say before beginning. One, this phenomenon of mass dislike is an aftereffects of the freedom that internet gives people, being able to express oneself as easily as when one speaks and having millions of people being able to read or listen (all in all have access) to what you say is as bad as it is good and it often goes completely haywire. Perhaps I’ll talk about that later on if I ever get the motivation to tackle this thought thoroughly one day, in the meantime just know that the internet can be completely crazy because of that freedom of speech sometimes and that’s to be taken with caution.

Secondly, I am indeed, as you probably guessed, a big fan of Star Wars so my point of view is a bit biased. I entered the amazing universe of Jedis and space battles thanks to my father who introduced me to the Phantom Menace in my early years, which I loved at the time and which I still love now, and then The Clone Wars, before buying the original trilogy, which I watched many times and loved each and every one of them. Then I Revenge of the Siths and despite enjoying it I was disappointed. Yup, I don’t really know why or how it played out like that but I saw it in that order and, even if, perhaps, the whole meaning of the saga and the mystery of Dark Vador’s identity didn’t echo as much as it might have if the order had been different, I learned to love Star Wars very much. The Phantom Menace will always have a special spot in my heart (especially because of Qui-Gon Jinn and young Obi-Wan, which I find soooooo cooool!!!) even if I now realize how the original trilogy is so much better than the prequels. I don’t regret them but still, despite their much more realistic touch they lack something that made IV, V and VI so awesome… Anyway, I’m not going to tell you about why I love Star Wars in detail right now, but just understand that I do. It was a huge part of my childhood and still is a big part of my life.

Thirdly, I am not planning any of this, I’m just writing as I go (as you may already have noticed by my messy style) so I apologize for anything that seems (or is) a bit strange or annoying in my way of writing. Sorry but I go with the feelings… I trust in the force.

So yeah, Star Wars The Force Awakens.

When they first announced they were making a new Star Wars movie my reaction must have been akin to many a fan : running around yelling of excitement, sitting down a little to take it in, run around and yelling again, realizing Disney was going to make it, thinking about the consequences and shivering, realizing once more A NEW STAR WARS WAS COMMING OUT and running around again. Yup, I must admit I was both excited and scared at first, a new Star Wars but made by Disney. Was it going to be good. I laughed at them and the bashing they received because, well, it was Star Wars being remade by Disney…

I laughed and had my bit of fun mocking them, I have to admit. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Then, as time went on I started to think that perhaps there was a chance they could make something good out of this, perhaps even something great! At least better than the last three (or last two) movies… After all, Disney has made great movies, all those classics that rocked my childhood, the Marvel movies, the Pirates of the Caribbean, etc. Those were good. Not always great but always good [well, almost always, even Disney has it’s own black swans… *ahem* sequels * ahem* Planes *ahem* The Haunted Mansion *ahem* Yeah, you get it.]

So I sorta went with it. Disney remade Star wars? Well okay, let’s see what they do with it. Time went on, things died down a little, or at least I payed a little less attention to news about episode VII, just hearing from it here and there. Then it was announced that J. J. Abrams was going to direct it. It didn’t shock me much but it got my hopes up a bit, I had loved Star Treck and Super 8 looked awesome (well, the trailer, I still haven’t seen the movie but will do one day) so it was good news. The only thing I feared were lense flares… Everyone makes fun of Abrams for this, myself included (I like to laugh about it), so I feared his way of doing things might not really play well with Star Wars and its universe but, once again, I was going with it. Not particularly excited, not depressed either, just waiting impatiently to see what was going to happen.

Then time passed again, production began, shooting and all that technical blahblah, which I don’t pay attention to very much, the cast was, well, cast, they showed early images and talked about ideas and things but I chose not to dig in too deep so as not to get spoiled too much of the surprised, just listening here and there about the thoughts of other people. They all were looking forward to it, no one (at least in my circle of informants) was completely against the idea. The project kept moving forward and the tension building. I saw a few images and got a bit excited and then, the trailer came out…

That was one of the best days of my life! I remember a few years back I was excited about 2014 because of the many big movies that were scheduled to come out at that time and even more about 2015 and its even bigger pile of huge movies coming out, like Guardians of the Galaxy that I wasn’t really expecting but which looked good, Interstellar, which I wanted to see so badly, Man of Steel was also coming out very soon at that time I believe (that was way back), and Avengers 2 and Fantastic 4 were scheduled too. I was waiting for so many movies to come out so badly that I couldn’t wait! I think that I was excited a bit by the Hobbit too, though not as much as for Avengers 2. So yeah, then I saw the Star Wars Trailer.

The Millenium Falcon flew, Rey looked beautiful, Finn was funny, BB8 seemed funny but a (paling) copy of R2-D2, the bad guy looked… weird with his strange sword (people hated on him so bad for that, I think I was part of them. I didn’t really like his sabre because it seemed uselessly weird) but still quite badass (he seemed like a bit of a madman to me at the time, which turned out to be half-true) and Han and Chewie were home… Man! That was awesome! I couldn’t wait for the movie to come out! All my worries had been blown away! Then the other trailers came out and I hesitated to watch them, not wanting to know too much, but I ended up surrendering to the passion and loved every second of it. It seemed like it was going to be so great! I was so excited.

Then the time the movie was going to come out soon arrived, I ordered my seats early to be sure and started preparing to dive deep while ont he internet to evade any eventual spoiler that would come my way before I saw it. I almost managed it, only learning Han Solo’s fate the day before (though it could have been far worse, I almost saw the name of his killer and his real identity…), but that did not stop me from going to see it and enjoying it! Now, sorry for this long explanation, but as I said earlier, I following my thoughts as I go… Onto the heart of this post!

I saw the movie and loved each and every second of it! Each one! The characters were great, their interactions with each others were emotional and fun, the sceneries were beautiful, the fan service was there and, while the plot was a bit simple (and reminisced of the original trilogy quite a bit) it still was very good! Only two things managed to annoy me just a little during the movie : the fact that the StarKiller base was just another Death Star which seemed a little redundant, and the fact that the final battle didn’t include more spaceships and space fighting. But other than that, that which was almost unnoticeable, I had nothing to say, I was simply blown away…

Now, after I had seen the movie and enjoyed it so much I allowed myself to finally roam the internet freely and go take a look at reviews with eventual potential possibilities of spoilers. And I saw that a lot of people had disliked the movie and were bashing it for  a single reason : it felt too much like an old Star Wars. The plot was, in their opinion, far too similar to the old trilogy that it was almost shameful to have made a new movie just to do that. Basically, yeah, it’s roughly the same thing : super powerful bad guys vs struggling good guys, a sith with a dark mask and a big red sword, a huge space station and a robot, in possession of very important secrets, having for mission to get to the rebels. It does seem familiar doesn’t it? Well I say f*ck that.

Of course it sounds familiar, it’s Star Wars people! What were you expecting? Pirates trying to save the world by using the magic bracelet of love? No. It’s about intergalactic drama, space fights, jedis and siths and all the stuff that made the universe so great! If it sounds familiar it is precisely the goal, this movie was made to introduce us back in the universe, slowly, by giving us back all the familiar marks we had and adding new characters on top of that! Of course it would seem familiar, this was what Abrams (and his whole team, because let’s not forget he isn’t the only one that worked on this movie) was aiming for: re-awakening (got it? #awesomejoke) old feelings and making us love Star Wars and its universe again.

So yeah. It is the same thing as the old things but it’s still awesome, feels fresh and gives us great new ideas to expand on! Yes people, the fact that you don’t know much about the new stormtroopers or how they were trained, about Rey’s or Finn’s identities, about what happened during those twenty years, about the mastermind behind all of it, and all those other questions that were left unanswered, why do you think it is? To make us want to know more! This movie is not full of holes, plotwise or anything else, it is just a piece of a three-part puzzle (just like the map of Luke’s location) that will become clearer as the next two movies come out. Just be patient and enjoy what has been given to you instead of criticizing everything!

So what if the Jedi is Rey? It doesn’t make this movie an ode to feminism. So what if she learns the usage of the force so fast? It doesn’t make her a Mary Sue, either it was made like that to be able to cram everything in a single movie (so be thankful for it) or it means she is even more powerful than Luke (or at least she has a far greater learning potential, potential isn’t everything you know, exploiting it is the key.) So what is we don’t know who Rey or Finn’s parents are or how we get there? Do you want to know everything immediately?! Take some time to think up theories first and scratch your head for a while before asking for the easy way out. So what if Starkiller base is just a giant Death Star (and if it isn’t logical)? It’s still wickedly awesome and, admit it, there wouldn’t be a Star Wars movie (or a, sorta, reboot) without one. So what if we don’t see enough of the space ships and space battle? No, wait, actually that was one of the things that did piss me off a little. (moar X-Wings and huge space battles!!!)

So what if Kylo Ren seems like a grumpy teen. It’s really well done (much better than Anakin’s character was treated in the prequels at least) and it’s so funny. Plus he’s not very strong yet (and he’s torn between the light and the dark side, which is cool) so it’s indeed a bit frustrating, especially when… So what if he’s defeated by Rey that easily? He’s not a Sith Lord yet, he still has to learn things, he’s only an apprentice, so basically, if she learns way faster than him (at least int he beginning), or has part of the jedi powers innate to herself, she IS technically able to do that. At east now, when he finishes his training though, that’s another story… So what if Maz Kanata is a convenient character (like, she helps Han but no one knows why exactly, she has Luke’s sabre and she seems very powerful or reliable in a business overlord kind of way)? She’s Chewie’s girlfriend for f*ck’s sake! And so what if the New Order is basically the Empire and the resistance are just the Rebels a few years later? We don’t know how everything got to that point yet and, yeah, it doesn’t bug me because it’s logical when you think about it. The Empire crumbled, but it’s power still partly remains and is now controlled by another Sith (I think?), but the don’t have the political grip they had before and they work in the shadows. And the Resistance is what is left of the Rebels after most people thought war was over and peace was there for good.

Besides, do you really think the writer of the scenario, who worked on the original trilogy, didn’t notice it was almost the same as A New Hope’s? If they did it that way it’s because they have something bigger in mind, something that spans the whole new trilogy. They wanted to make us want to watch Star Wars again and be excited for what was to come next so they had to give us what we all wanted: the feel of the old Star Wars with the awesomeness of the prequels in terms of special effects (and I mean the good part of those special effects) with a touch of something else, something more.

So stop hating and star enjoying. They made us like and want Star Wars again. They made something slightly new with a lot of old stuff. Perhaps a bit too much old stuff but don’t tell me it doesn’t work well… They had to do it that way, now the path is solidly paved for awesome new intergalactic adventures. I, for one, can’t wait for

PS: plus, for anyone who watched the movie, admit that the recurring plot, the new characters and the unanswered questions didn’t bother you that much while watching it, it felt good seeing Star Wars again, like seeing an old friend after many years, didn’t it?

PPS: I would love to see a few things in the next movies though. 1 – Rey with a double light sabre (à la Darth Maul) because she learned to fight with a long staff/stick/pole so it would seem better to see her fight with a weapon she is potent with. 2 – Finn could become a Jedi too. Or Poe. But at least give us another one. Even if it’s a long lost ‘new’ apprentice of Luke’s new Jedi order. 3 – The Jedi ghosts come back, Darth Vader for example (I think that’s in project so…), or Obi Wan or Yoda, or even Mace Windu or Qui Gon Jinn (yeah I love Qui Gon Jinn) 4 – Why not try a movie without any ‘giant death ray killing space station’ next time? 5 – Why not more lightsabre colors? 6 – Just a tad of politics? 7 – Jango Fett is alive? 8 – More Jedi powers are explored? (The mind thing was awesome though!) 9 – Leia trains a bit in the ways of the force? 10 – Darth Jar Jar anyone?

PPPS: (last one I promise) so, yeah, I hope this wasn’t too long or boring but here is my take on the new Star Wars and the reviews I saw… Or at least most of it, I wasn’t really structuring this to begin with (I think I said all I wantd to say though) so it is maybe not very clear… Sorry for that if it’s the case.

Anyways, thank you for reading and see you later folks!

So I just watched Game of Thrones S05e10 (no spoilers)

No spoilers for the finale of season number 5 but BE WARNED : some spoilers for the rest of the show so don’t read if you haven’t watched!


Yeah, just as the title says, I just watched the last episode of the awesome TV show that is Game of Thrones. The finale to the fifth season.

And, how to explain, at the end of season one I was enthused, at the end of the second I was amazed and excited about the show. I had just begun watching it as season three started coming out so I sort of consumed the first two seasons really rapidly. The third one was, to me, the first real season of GoT where I followed it from beginning to end in the regular way : one episode a week. And it was also the season that had marked me the most at that point (especially with the red wedding and all, plus the music). At the end of it I was impatient to see season four, I really wanted to see how things were going to play with all of these beloved character dead, the ones already there evolving and the new ones that were introduced.

Well, even if I was a bit blazé by the first two or three episodes of season four (well, it’s not entirely accurate, I really enjoyed the first one then I sort of, I don’t know, lost the connection with he show that I had built up. I think the long wait between seasons did that.), it quickly came back as things started to move again and I managed to get completely back in the story and even fall in love with the series even more! The death of Joffrey (that bastard!) by poison and the epic duel between the Mountain and the Viper (my god, I still tremble thinking back to that moment) got me really rilled up!  Then at the end of season four, with the death of grandpa Lannister by the hand of his half-son Tyrion and Arya leaving on her quest, I was soooooo excited, I was jumping everywhere as the credits rolled!

I desperately wanted to watch season 5! Then, this season, as the show started again, the same thing happened as during the beginning of season 4 : I somehow got bored after the middle of the second episode and almost stopped watching the show for a whole month. I only agreed, and reluctantly at that, to start watching it again for my girlfriend, who also is a fan. And boy, what a mistake I had made! I got back into it and the hype came back, it was so awesome and fun to follow! Plus the story was finally starting to get really interesting with Jon becoming the head of the black thingy (edit : I just remembered it was the Nightwatch… -_-), Arya becoming a disciple of the many-faced god and Tyrion en route to meet Daenerys. it couldn’t have been better! Then the winter started coming (bothering Stanis in his conquering) and the white walker arrived and raised their army.

The show got even better from that point on and everything built up and built up to get to this last and final episode of the season and by the old gods and the knew and all the others : I was sitting on my arse by the time the credits rolled and my mouth was gaping wide… I swear it took me a few minutes to register all that had happened, to comprehend what it meant and I am still, at this moment, as I am writing this, trembling with excitement from what I have just witnessed! I think this episode easily goes in my top three (the best still being the one with the Viper and the Mountain and as for the other of the three I don’t really know, but definitely top 3!) favorite episodes of Game of Thrones! Easily!

I don’t really know what to say about it (plus I can’t say much if I don’t want to spoil it) but I feel so much emotions inside right now, most of them being along the lines of this :

And something like this :

This :

Or this :

But definitely this :

And this :

Yup. That’s the best I can do to illustrate my feelings and reaction right now. Just imagine a mix of all of the gifs up there and you’ll get something resembling what I feel right now. And it’s AWESOME! :D

Anyways, I can’t say much more unless I start spoiling but DAMN! That episode! :O

Quotidian n°70 – Movies are awesome !

Mustache!


 

Hello dear readers!

How have you been lately? I for one haven’t been so well, we are going through a rough patch with my girlfriend, I’m not doing things right and I’m not communicating my feelings enough from what she told me today,so I haven’t been very focused on the blog because of that. I think things are getting better this evening though, we started talking and with time I think we will get over this. But I will have to make some efforts to work that out from my side. I am okay though, no need to worry, a bit stressed but also a bit reassured. I love her and she loves me, that’s what’s most important!

On another subject, I’ve been watching a few movies recently and there are three I’d like to talk about today. The first one is called Jupiter Ascending, with Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis. It’s a space opera about the life of a young woman who discovers she is not just a normal cleaning lady from earth but the genetic reincarnation of one of the most powerful person int he whole universe and therefore some sort of intergalactic princess. The movie in itself is good but not great. The special effects are awesome and the characters are really nicely played and fun to watch but what makes it just good is that the scenario is a little flat, it has a lot of depth and all along the movie it feels like the universe the Wachowski siblings have created is as intricate and huge as Star Wars’s or Dune‘s. But it also feel like something is missing, as if the key that would completely unlock everything remains hidden all along and this movie is just a premise to a great saga. Sadly, for the forseeable future at least, it isn’t and will remain only what movie, that’s a bit sad, I’d love to see more of it because I’m sure it could be really interesting to delve even deeper in its universe.

The second one I watched is Crocobot. Or is it Robocroc? I don’t remember… Anyways! I don’t know when it was released, by whom it was made or even why. What I know though is that it was exactly what I expected when I read the title the first time. You know those disaster movies that you can watch on TV in the middle of the afternoon like Panic in the sky, Earthquake in the ocean or Dinausaurs in the park? Yeah, just like Sharknado or Hydrosaurus Rex (I think that’s the title), those really bad movies that you can smell mile away? Yup, it’s one of them. I did watch almost all of it, about three-quarters or the whole thing, I skipped the middle part, and it was exactly what I had in mind when I read the summary. Scientists do experiments with nanobots, somehow launch nanobots in rocket, rocket explodes, nanobots crash in zoo, escape and take control of crocodile, start killing people, completely transform crocodile in cyborg and the robot and go on a rampage before being stopped by the military the zoo employees. Yup. I won’t say more, just give it a try if you have the time…

The last one I saw was Cloudy with a chance of meatballs. I seriously wasn’t that much into the movie when I first saw the trailer, it seemed okay but not much more, and I only decided to watch it because I had already watched Jupiter Ascending and I had nothing else. That was one of the best decisions of my life! It was awesome, the animation is really beautiful and despite the plot not being very thick and complicated I was completely enthralled int he movies because of the hilarious characters and scenarios they find themselves trapped into. The movie was awesome from beginning to end and I think I didn’t laugh that much since I watched Madascar or Ice Age, it really was hilarious! Plus the main character when a child is sooooo cute it’s to die for! I think I’ll give the second one a try soon because I like it so much. If ever you are in need of a good morale boost or simply wondering what movie to watch or to show to your kids, put this one on, it is so much worth the try! :D

Now, that’s all for today. I’ve got movies to watch and stories to write tomorrow so I have to go to bed early. Or at least not too late!

See you later people!

PS: BTW, Stanley 31 will be posted tomorrow so be ready! :P

Quotidian n°64 – I once again found myself too lazy to write yesterday’s quotidian…

It ain’t over ’til it’s over!


So yeah, yesterday, once again I was much to lazy to write anything for a Quotidian so I ended up not doing it despite being quite motivated to write all day. Plus I completely forgot to write it. And I didn’t have much to say. Today I have things to talk about and I am doing it so, hopefully, it should be fine.

I was still quite productive yesterday since I managed to finish the short story I had told you guys about, you know, the one with the demons and stuff. It’s called The Lord of the Red Moon, you have to read it to understand part of the reason I’ve named it like that, and I am quite proud of what I have managed to do with the ideas I had. I wanted to try to simplify my writing a bit, make it more fluid and easy to understand (because usually I tend to do extra long sentences and that can get quite annoying quite fast, believe me). I also had a precise idea of what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it, I’m quite happy to announce that I have managed to do a good job of turning these ideas into a story (at least in my opinion). I would love to get your reviews on it and to know what you think of the short, that would mean a lot to me!

Also I did publish another post for a prompt that I had found on another blog, it’s called V for Visual and the goal was to write a piece whilst getting inspired by an image. I didn’t quite do that but I still enjoyed the idea! You van go check it out if you’re interested! ;)

Now, about today. I’ve watched the first episodes of a few different TV shows these last few days and I’ve had a few good surprises and a few bad ones. One new show I knew would not be awesome was Beauty and the Beast, a modern adaptation of the fairy tale of the same name, but I still gave it a shot. I was quite disappointed by the first episode where every single interesting plot point of the story is given during the first half. I found that really frustrating because there was virtually no suspense left after the first 20 minutes. And the show’s pace was a bit too fast for me, I felt like they were mentioning things without going into details about anything, that was also a bit frustrating. Fortunately it manages to keep the interest up during the next few episodes and despite the fact that I haven’t watched much more yet I think the series has a correct potential. I think I’ll watch a bit more later.

The second show I started was Super Girl, an adaptation of the comic books with the same name and made by the same guys that do Arrow and The Flash. Unfortunately the exact same problem happened for the first episode, once again everything seemed to be revealed in only a few minutes and parts that I felt weren’t explored in depth (namely the time Super Girl spends trying to hide her identity before taking up the costume and the moment where she designs her costume) and even a bit rushed. However the special effects and the ideas behind the scenario seem quite good so I’d say that it has potential even if it was a bit disappointing in the first episode. I’ve only seen the single episode that has aired yet but I’d definitely watch the next one.

Lastly, the third show I started was by far the best of the three. It’s The man in the high castle, adapted from Philip K. Dick’s book with the same name. I knew nothing of this show before I started, I had never even heard of the book before, but the title intrigued me and I was immediately enthralled by the intro, the music took me aback and I wanted to know more about those weird maps of the US. Apparently it a story about the people of the USA after the victory of the Nazis during the second world war, a uchronia as I have learned such a story is named a few years ago. The plot seems thick and intricate, the background (as much visually as scenaristically) in amazing and I already like the characters, I can’t wait to know more. Now, I haven’t read the book (or books, I need to research this) so I don’t know if the TV show will respect Dick’s creation but I have high hopes that it will be awesome and I definitely want to know more. I will devour the next episode!

That is all for today folks, if you have time on your hands and want to try something new you know what to do! ;)

See you later!

Quotidian n°61 – What if the earth was square?

Imagine an invisible sandwich. Like, you’d be eating it and everybody would think you’re crazy!


What if it was flat instead of round? Would people fall over the edge? Or would we just have to take a step and we’d find ourselves on the other side of the cube? These are really interesting questions and if you wish to get the answers to some of them, well, I’m not going to give them to you ’cause I want to talk about other things. But you can always go take a look at VSauce’s video on flat earth theory! ;)

Today I watched Big Hero 6, the animated movie about the San Fransokyo team of super heroes. I had a good feeling when I decided to watch it earlier this evening, I had heard good things about the movie and I had found the trailer really funny! Plus I quite liked the art style in which it was made. The only thing that remained was for me to watch it and earlier today I decided myself to do so. And. It. Was. Awesome! :D

I really love it from beginning to end! The art is awesome, the characters and backgrounds are beautiful and the colors… wow. Plus the story is really cool, the characters are fun and the plot is really enjoyable despite being a bit predictable. There were a lot of smiles from my part all along and quite a number of laughs too so I can safely say that the movie is funny, but that’s not all, it has also got suspense and a good dose of action, all the things a movie needs to be awesome. In three words : I liked it! A lot. (Okay, that’s five but who cares.)

Now I really want a Baymax with me, because :

Okay, yeah, it’s also useful if ever I get injured but the white robot is so funny (that’s mostly due to his clumsiness), both in appearance and in personnality. He’s a big lovable ball of hot air!

Also I loved the movie’s few plot twists (don’t worry, not spoiling here), especially the one that revealed that the movie was adapted from a Marvel comic book, which I didn’t know at all, that little node to the Marvel franchise was awesome and made me laugh! I did a bit of research after the movie was over to see what the comics were about but in the end I didn’t read much, I didn’t want to spol the story for myself, especially since I learned that there would apparently be a Big Hero 7! :D

Anyway, I loved it and so should you so, whether you like animation movies or not, give it a try, it’s really worth it!

Finally, I’d like to end this Quotidian on the fact that I posted Stanley chapter 30 today which marks the end of the story… at least this part of the story! Ha! Gotcha! Nah, just kidding, I wouldn’t end the story this way. It was in my plan all along to make you think I’d do it though, plus it doesn’t seem so farfetched considering that the whole thing is completely stupid to begin with. Anyway, yeah, the first part of Stanley has ended, part II should begin soon and don’t worry, it’s not over yet! ;)

Okay, that’s all for today folks, see you later!


 

Dang, I wanted to post this yesterday but I didn’t have any time to finish it after dinner, that was so annoying… Anyways, sorry for the delay and enjoy! :)

Quotidian n°54 – What if you could live forever?

“Don’t worry, we’ll find a way out. After all, we have eternity together…”


So, recently I’ve been watching a new show that’s called Forever. It’s about a guy, namely  Doctor Henry Morgan, who lived in the early 1800s, he was a doctor on a slave trade vessel and he died after trying to help the slaves get free. The interesting thing is, after getting dumped in the ocean he woke up and found out he had come back to life. From then on he experimented on himself by dying a few more times and always coming back to life in a nearby body of water and realized he had somehow become immortal. The story happens nowadays in New York where he works with the police as a medical examiner, of course he is quite skilled at his job due to his experience with death and his long years of life.

As you can see the pitch is a bit mitigated when you read it the first time, it seems quite interesting but, just like me when I read it the first time, you might be a bit afraid that the show would not be as good as what you may imagine. Well, if you’re still hesitant, let me help you : the show was really cool and I loved it! If you have the time and the curiosity do try it, you won’t regret it. It’s interesting, fun to watch and well done. And as the plot thickens a bit you will realize that the show has a lot of potential! Plus there are a few good songs all along the episodes, and that’s nice too.

The only problem is that, apparently and as I learned yesterday as I was watching he last episodes of the first season, there is and will be only one season because it has been cancelled. I was a bit surprised and disappointed by this news, I really was hooked with the characters; Henry’s timeless charm and endless knowledge makes him a bit of a Holmes and I love Sherlock Holmes! Plus his immortality reminds a bit of The (with a capital T) Doctor who also has a certain number of lives. Yes, those are two of my favorite shows so you might understand why it seemed attractive almost immediately.

But Forever does have its own charms and the plot, with its twists and turns, it’s flashbacks and revelations, makes it even more interesting. I won’t tell you much more about it so as not to spoil anything but it really is fun to watch! I don’t really understand why it would be cancelled, unless there weren’t many viewers, and even in that case I don’t understand why so few people would watch it. No, really, this news caught me by surprise and made me a bit sad. I did enjoy the finale, which I feel was a bit adapted to this abrupt ending as it didn’t really fit the image of the first season’s ending I had pictured earlier on. But it was nice and it left a lot of things open, in case someone ever wanted to continue the show, and that’s cool because I’ve seen many stories end sooner tan expected and rush their ending to try to give as much closure as possible, that’s not always the right choice, a bit of mystery remaining keeps the flame burning.

So, yeah, Forever is a good show, you have to try it if you can. It’s really worth the time! And what’s more it’s only one season long so that’s not much to watch!

Also, I posted a poem and a short text earlier. I know it might have seemed a bit strange or surprising but as some of you may realize now, it was linked to the show. I’d just watched an episode and I felt really inspired to write something so I did. I don’t know if there was any hidden meaning behind it at that moment but I do know that I felt particularly motivated to write. It’s The death of a king if you want to take a look at it! ;)


I just realized I had this post in my Drafts since yesterday, I completely forgot to post it. Damn it! -_-‘

Well, here it is anyway so enjoy!