Frost Fight!

Media Monday
Movie Review with minor spoilers
The Twelve Days of Christmas!!

First off: its for kids and its based on comics, so its gonna be super predictable, so I don’t mind sharing most of the plot with you. If that bothers you, I’ll see you later!


Frost Fight, for those of you not in the know, is a Marvel animated film – I believe it happens in the same universe as Avengers Assemble and The Ultimate Spiderman – about Loki trying to kidnap Santa Claus.

Yes, that Santa Claus.

I’ll let that sink in for a sec.

Now that its (hopefully) sunk in exactly what I’m talking about and how wild that is, I’ll let it get a bit more wild: Santa is like the most powerful dude ever and Loki wants his power to mess with spacetime (I think the ability to mess with space time basically makes him faster than Quicksilver). It gets weirder, too: While Captain America, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, and most of the Avengers are off trying to save the world from Loki, Thor and Hulk are trying to come up with a plan of action in case they can’t save Christmas. So of course, they get some fake reindeer, tie them to a sled, and tie Thor to the front. That should work.

I am not making any of this up.

Characters

The entire thing is basically a continuation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which means its got all the same characters. However, its not a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it has more characters and seems to be closer to the comics in terms of costuming (except, oddly enough, Hawkeye).

Good Guys

  • Captain America
  • Iron Man
  • Hulk
    • He’s always the Hulk, hes never Bruce Banner for some reason.
  • Black Widow
  • Hawkeye
    • As I mentioned, Hawkeye is not wearing his cool purple costume from the comics, instead its much closer to the one in the movies which is sad.
  • Captain Marvel
  • Thor
    • Thor is just having way to much fun.
  • Reptil
    • Don’t even talk to me about this guy. His super power is literally turning random parts of his body into random dinosaurs. He did a T-Rex head at one point and then pterodactyl arms.

Bad Guys

  • Loki
  • Ymir
    • Its the Frost Giant dude who is like, the father of all Frost Giants in Norse Mythology. And he still lets Loki boss him around.

Others

  • Groot
  • Rocket Racoon
  • Jolnir/Santa
  • Mrs. Claus
  • Some random Light Elves

Overall

It was actually much better than I was expecting, and I liked it more than I thought I would. Yes it was unbelievably weird and pretty stupid, but it was also hilariously funny and had a moral without that taking over the focus of the movie. It was much less cheesy than most children’s movies with morals (particularly Christmas ones) and focused more on the story telling aspect.

I think anyone who likes Marvel comics could and would enjoy this if they would just let themselves.

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Hail Caesar!

NaBloPoMo 2016 #4
Media Monday
Movie Review
No spoilers!

Hail Caesar! Is a comedy film by the Coen Brothers (who are apparently a pretty famous duo I’ve never never heard of, whoops) that was released last summer. I’ve recently decided that I want to see more of Tilda Swinton’s films, and this was the one I decided to watch first.

As a Tilda Swinton movie: It really didn’t have enough of her to justify watching it just for her.

As a movie overall: It really didn’t have much of anything.

Thoughts on the Plot

The plot was…. interesting to say the least. Actually, I lied, it really wasn’t. It was interesting in the sense that it was unique and I’ve never seen anything like it, however, not in the sense of “how interesting and captivating I’m going to watch it ever day!” I really don’t know what the plot was, and I’ve watched it twice in the last week in an attempt to understand it. By watching the trailers it appears to be a film about a lot of movie starts banding together after one of them, Baird Whitlock played by George Clooney, however, it is really about Eddie Mannix, a Hollywood executive who has been offered a job in an airline company and has to decide if he is going to stay in Hollywood, in a job he loves, or take the better paying and more prestigious job at Lockheed.

Thoughts on the Characters

The characters were by far the best part of the film, which did, as you can tell by the movie poster, have an all-star cast. They were an insane and colorful group, which by no means belonged together.

Eddie Mannix / Josh Brolin

Eddie was a rather boring main character, I never once doubted what decision he was going to make regarding his job, and I never once doubted that he would ultimately come out the ‘winner’ in all the minor problems he was dealing with.

George Clooney / Baird Whitlock

I’m one of those people, and it might be a generational thing, I’m not sure, who has never sat down and said “I want to watch a George Clooney film.” In fact, I can’t even name a movie I’ve seen in him other than Sharkboy and Lavagirl (and does that even count? Good movie, but very weird!). I have loved him in everything I’ve seen him in.

He plays Baird Whitlock, the man in the Caesar costume who gets kidnapped by the weirdest and most nonsensical villains in movie history.

Alden Ehrenreich / Hobie Doyle 

I’ve never, to my knowledge, seen Alden Ehrenreich in a movie before, but Hobie is one of the most charming characters, not just in Hail Caesar, but in all the movies I’ve seen. He’s just a simple, down to earth man who doesn’t quite belong in Hollywood, but who stays because he wants to help everyone in anyway that he can. He made me think of the man who lassoed a bike thief in a Walmart parking lot (funniest new story ever, by the way).

 

Scarlett Johansson / DeeAnna Moran

Scarlett Johansson is one of my favorite people ever – I mean, she’s the Black Widow! – so I was pretty disappointed by her lack of screen time.

DeAnna is an aquatic dancer and movie star who has just become pregnant out of wedlock, requiring her to either get married or find someone to take in her baby. She’s very blunt and more than a little wild, and one of the movie’s funniest characters.

Tilda Swinton / Thora & Thessaly Thacker

I probably would not have watched this movie if it wasn’t for Tilda Swinton being in it, so I was a bit disappointed by how seldom she actually appeared. She played twins, who never actually appeared on the screen at the same time, unless you count one storming off in the background as one approaches (I don’t think this movie used very much CGI, so every shot with the twins was done through trick shots and look-a-likes).

Thora and Thessaly are both reporters, who are always tripping over each other in order to outdo the other and get the best stories for the newspaper (there is no sibling love here, only rivalry!).

Channing Tatum / Burt Gurney

Channing Tatum is someone I’ve only recently become aware of, because of the rumor that he may be playing Gambit in the upcoming Marvel and Fox Studios X-Men spin off movie.  I wasn’t impressed, to be completely honest.

For playing the main(???) villain, he only appeared twice, and the second time he appeared he looked so different from the first time that I didn’t even recognize him as the same man.

Overall

It was a good movie, and parts of it were hilariously funny, however, its nothing something I’m dying to watch again. Perhaps if I knew more about Golden Age Hollywood I would have appreciated it more, there are countless posts online listing all the references throughout the film, which I only caught a few of. But as a normal person watching it for laughs and because she likes Scarlett Johansson and Tilda Swinton, it was rather lacking.

The actors were superb, of course, it was the script and the (lack of) plot which frustrated me. They all had a rather unfortunate lack of screen time, which I suppose is a side effect to having that many famous people trying to get in recognizable parts. At the end of the day, I think this movie was exactly what it appears to be: a love letter to Golden Age Hollywood that is not meant to be taken seriously.

When the end credits started rolling, my mom and I both looked at each other and just said, “What did we just watch?”

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Avatar: The Last Airbender Season 1

Media Monday
TV Show Review
Contains Spoilers?

This goes on the very long list of things that I was the last person on earth to watch, and I’m kind of ashamed by that.

Of course, its not entirely my fault, I’d never even heard of it until high school, and at that point I wasn’t about to buy all of it to watch. So after my best friend discover that it was available on Amazon Prime video I didn’t have any excuse not to watch it.

I had a hard time getting into it at first. Its entirely possible that I was tool old getting into it, because I kept thinking “well that’s not realistic!” and having a hard time remembering that, as a kid’s show, its not meant to be realistic. Once I managed to convince myself of that, around episode seven or eight, I had much more fun and really started to get into it more.

The Characters

One thing that I had heard about this series was how diverse it was, and I’m forced to agree with that. It was incredible. I really found myself getting into all the characters, even the villains (and I am not the kind of person who is typically interested in villains).

Aang

I really loved Aang, he’s such a sweet character and I feel really bad for him and just want him to succeed. He also has the world’s best pet.

Katara 

She may very well be the best part of the entire show. She’s so no-nonsense and won’t let anything – especially sexism – get in her way. But she’s not just a fighter, there’s a whole other layer to her, and she’s allowed to be weak at times, unlike many ‘fighter girl’ characters.

Sokka

At first I couldn’t stand him because he was just so sexist and annoying,

Zuko

He’s one of the best villains ever written and there were times I found myself cheering for him over the heroes.

Uncle Iroh 

I wouldn’t consider Zuko’s uncle to be a villain by any means, but he’s definitely a complex character and I can’t wait to see how he continues to be developed.

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Doctor Strange Animated Movie

Media Monday
Movie Review
Spoilers?

I’m going to start this review by saying, if you know nothing at all about Doctor Strange and you want to go into the upcoming MCU movie that way, you probably shouldn’t read this review. Most notably, his arch-nemesis is mentioned in this, and he is scheduled to be in the upcoming movie, however, they’ve not addressed that in the trailers.

Other than that note, this shouldn’t have any spoilers, because the storyline seems to be completely different.


I really love Doctor Strange, he’s probably (okay, definitely) my favorite Marvel Super Hero and I’ve been reading a lot of his comics lately. This movie is, if you’re looking for a way to get into the character, the best place to start.

The Pros

Possibly the best thing about this movie, was their interpretation of Doctor Strange’s best friend Wong. In the comics, Wong is little more than Doctor Strange’s servant (although, more recent comics, The Oath and Doctor Strange 2015 in particular have developed their friendship and given Wong a bit of spotlight), however, this movie is one of the first to expand upon that. The character in the MCU is supposed to be heavily influenced by that.

Mordo, Strange’s nemesis is also pretty well done, and while cliche, isn’t as cliche as he is in most of the comics. Dormammu, the main villain of the movie who is probably one of the most dangerous Marvel villains ever, is also well done and surprisingly frightening for a kid’s movie.

The animation itself is great, and reminds me of anime, although, with its own distinct style. Doctor Strange looks fantastic (I really love his hair, okay?), in fact, all of the characters do as well as the scenery. The magic is not only well animated, but also well explained and seems to have believable limits.

The Cons

I rarely have an entire section of a review of things I didn’t like, but this one really needed that, because there is one thing that this movie got horribly, horribly wrong.

Doctor Strange heals his hands.

I know that seems like a strange (see what I did there) thing to get hung up over, but I’ll explain why its such a big deal. Doctor Strange has never healed his hands in the comics. Never. Not once. It’s actually a huge part of his character and one of the reasons I love him so much. He’s not perfect, in fact, he’s proof that you don’t have to be a perfect, healthy person in order to make a difference.

Alright, its technically a lie to say he never heals his hands, but the comic that he did that in is considered non-canon so it doesn’t count.

He also, fun fact, suffers from PTSD (which wasn’t covered at all in this movie, but because its a kid’s movie, I’ll give it a pass) and I really hope that they’ll cover that in the MCU. As someone who has recently been told may be suffering from PTSD this means a great deal to be.

The Cloak of Levitation (the red one that he’s always shown as wearing) is never once shown to be sentient. It very much has a personality in the comics and it looks as though it will in the movie, so its a bit sad that the kid’s movie didn’t take the time to add in the character.

Overall

I do love this movie, and I will almost definitely watch it again before I go see the movie in November (and yes, I promise I will be reviewing that and I will be in costume). If you’re interested in Doctor Strange, and, if you read this far into the review I presume you are, you should consider watching it. Or if you’re afraid you’ll be completely lost in what is shaping up to be the trippiest movie in the MCU this will teach you the main players.

Spiderman

Media Monday
Movie Review
Contains Spoilers

Until about a month ago, the only Spiderman I had ever seen was The Amazing Spiderman as well as a few assorted episodes of I’m not even sure which television show. Needless to say, I was far from being an ‘expert’ or even a big fan. The idea of a nerdy superhero just appealed to me.

It was a pretty good movie. Predictable, of course, but good. Mary Jane was something new to me (I think she showed up in an episode or two of the Spiderman TV Series that I watched, but that’s the extent of my knowledge) and I absolutely fell in love with her. Honestly. She’s a great character (with a terrible taste in men). Harry annoyed me (so predictable) and my biggest complain – although this isn’t this movie’s fault – is that its almost exactly the plot of The Amazing Spiderman.

Oscorp guy does experiment on himself. Happens to have strange connection to both Peter and his love interest. Peter breaks it off with said love interest because its too “dangerous.” Uncle Ben dies at the beginning; some one else’s dad dies at the end.

Spiderman in a nutshell, ladies and gentlemen.

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RWBY Volume 1

Media Monday
Webseries Review
No spoilers!

Rooster Teeth is a web-based company that produces a lot of interesting things – (nerd orientated) talk shows, game play throughs, and animated web series to name a few – and my best friend loves it. RWBY is one of her favorite of their shows and she’s been trying to get me to watch it for ages. She’s very proud that she finally managed (by buying us tickets to the Volume 2 in-theater showing (we missed Volume 1 because of school)). So before I could go see Volume 2 I had to see volume 1. Of course, I put it off much longer than I should have (I literally watched half of it the day before the special showing and half of it the day of), but I did watch it and I was pleasantly surprised by it.

Rwby is available pretty much anywhere. You can buy it on DVD, blu-ray, or iTunes or watch it on Rooster Teeth’s Website (for free!), Netflix, or Hulu. I personally watched it on Netflix and I think that’s probably the best way, because then you can watch it all as one big ‘movie’ rather than watching it an episode at a time (because most of the episodes are only a few minutes long and I feel if you watched it that way it might get ‘skippy’ and you’d loose some of the continuity. But if you don’t have Netflix or Hulu, hey, its free!

The Plot

The future-fantasy world of Remnant is filled with ravenous monsters, treacherous terrain, and more villains than you can shake a sniper-scythe at. Fortunately, Beacon Academy is training Huntsmen and Huntresses to battle the evils of the world, and Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang are ready for their first day of class.

Okay, so I need to be honest with you, and say, I did not read any summary, synopsis, or review before watching this show, which may have been why I, at times, felt that it was going nowhere (because I had no idea where it was supposed to go!).

The Characters

Ruby Rose

I thought she was the titular character, and I thought her name was Rwby, but no, as it turns out, RWBY is actually the name of her ‘team’ that shows up later, so her name is, in fact, Ruby (or Little Red Riding Ninja).

Yang

Ruby’s sister that I’m very fond of (except for one thing that I talk about down in the ‘animation’ section. She’s funny and protective of her lil sis (but also knows when to take a step back and let Ruby handle it).

Blake

Blake is a lot more than she seems, although, personally, I found it to be a little predictable.

Weiss

Weiss annoys me to no end, but I guess maybe she has some redeeming qualities? I mean, at least she’s cool and fights well. Even when she starts doing good things – like helping Ruby – its for her own good and so she can succeed.

Pyrrha

She’s basically Wonder Woman, actually. She’s got the shield and lack of social skills that WW usually has (if you doubt me, watch DC Super Hero Girls and you will no longer doubt me).

Jaune

He made me think of Star Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy in that he had no idea what he was doing, but he tried so hard to impress girls (and to help).

Cardin

Cardin doesn’t really become important until later, but he is a big part of the second half of this volume. He’s a pain and definitely my least favorite character.

The Animation

Its video game-style animation, which isn’t really a bad thing. Its pretty and it works for the show, but its not of the highest quality. It is low budget, but considering that its done by an Indie Company – Rooster Teeth – its great and it shows that a lot of care went into the creation.

The costumes are fantastic and I can think of very few things that have better costumes (maybe Pokemon, because thats what these make me think of) and it seems very anime-based. Everyone has big boobs and tiny waists, but thats true on every show, so I can’t count off points for that.

Another thing similar to video games, is that they have ‘aura’ that can be measured by ‘scrolls’ and tell you if you’re healthy or not (like the HP bar in video games). It even falls into ‘the red’ when they get injured.

My biggest complaint – animation wise – is Ruby’s older sister Yang. She’s pretty, yes, very pretty, but the animation on her hair leaves much to be desired. Imagine watching Disney’s Tangled if Rapunzel’s hair was always glowing and that would be what it feels like to watch Yang on-screen.

Overall

I really liked it even more than I thought I would. I knew I would like it, Bailey said I would and she has a pretty good idea of what I like (did I mention she bought me Mulan socks in return for going to this? She clearly knows what I like).

Its an excellent show with everything I like: fantasy, adventure, minimum love stories(unless you count Jaune/Everyone) , no love triangle, and (pardon my french) bad ass girl power. The best way I can sum it up is “if Superheroes were in the Fantasy genre, instead of Sci-fi.”

There are a lot of life lessons to be learned, about friendship and being a leader (some of my favorites are below in the Social Media section),

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The Princess Bride

Media Monday
Movie Review
No Spoilers

I feel for the young boy at the beginning of the movie. I did not want to see this movie. I thought it was a “kissing movie” to turn a phrase. My mom finally forced me to watch it about three years ago (after buying me two copies for Christmas (I’ll explain)) and I quickly fell in love with it. I promise that one day I shall review the book, because, yes, the movie is based on a book, and yes, the book is much better (hard to believe, I know!).

The Princess Bride is a truly classic movie, with some of the most recognizable quotes of all time (the “You Killed My Father Prepare to Die” pin on my Zelda backpack gets more comments and compliments than the bag itself!). Westley, Buttercup, Fezzik, and the rest of the gang have gone down in cinema history, the popularity of the book and movie far outstripping anyone’s imagination.


The thing about the Princess Bride: its stupid. I say that as lovingly as I call my best friend an idiot. It truly is though. Its about a girl named Buttercup, who fits into almost all the categories of “Mary Sue,” who story is as stereotypical as can be, and is based on a book that is the ‘retelling’ of a classic that doesn’t even exist.

The Book

I won’t talk a lot about the book, because I do want to do a full review sometime, but heres what you need to know.

The Princess Bride is supposedly a classic by S. Morgenstern which Goldman rewrote, well, if you can’t guess just by watching the movie, that’s actually a joke. What it allowed the author to do was poke fun at “Morgenstern” and skip writing some scenes why still developing them.

For example: Goldman skips a scene that supposedly described the queen’s hats in detail. If you’re familiar with Homer, it’s supposed to be like the scene where he describes every boat in the fleet, but because Goldman is ‘retelling’ it, he’s able to skip it and all the reader gets is him saying “heres what I skipped”

Overall

I love everything about this movie. I love how stupid it is, I love how it took almost every trope and cliche and threw them all together and it worked. If you’ve never seen the Princess Bride you absolutely should, and if you’ve not read the book, read that next!