Saturday, August 31, 2013

Beyond the Veil

Okay, so this should have happened in June, but as I explained before I've only been able to look up films for these. That said, this is one of the rare exceptions for this series of Anniversary reviews: A Book.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix turned 10.

August Anniversaries

First off, you've probably noticed I've only been doing movies so far this year. Well, that's because it's difficult enough for me to find the information on films in addition to looking for everything else. From now on I'll mostly be doing movies until the 10th anniversary of this site, in which time I will switch to television shows and other things. Of course, there will be a few small exceptions, including a belated anniversary from June that will shortly follow. In the meantime, please understand that I will eventually get around to honoring all of media. I don't plan on going anywhere for a while.

With that said, let's begin:

Friday, August 30, 2013

Weapon of Choice

(Originally Written for Jedi News)

Of all the various and sundry aliens, vehicles, and technology in the Star Wars universe, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t put the lightsaber at or near the top of the hierarchy of awesomeness. The legendary laser sword that could cut through anything except another blade (or certain rare materials if the EU is to be believed) like a hot knife through butter is one of the most enduring symbols of the Saga. Obi-Wan was right on the nose when he described it as “An elegant weapon for a more civilized age.”

I Dreamed a Dream/Opinions Are Like...

I want to share this with you. It's the Nostalgia Critic's review of the recent film version of the Les Miserables musical. I want to talk about this because I've noticed a trend lately. [[WARNING: contains Adult Language, horrible singing, and a minor but still unfair jab at Jar Jar]]

Meet me after the page break.


So no doubt by now you've all heard the news that Zach Snyder has cast Ben Affleck to play Bruce Wayne, better known as Batman, in the sequel to his Superman reboot "Man of Steel." Since everyone else in the world has already mouthed off about it, I figured I'd throw my two cents in the ring as well.

Friday, August 23, 2013

From Senator to Emperor (Part 2)

(Originally Written for Jedi News)

When we last left our villain, he had just managed to take the top seat in the Republic government, though not quite in the way he expected. He would have to be far more careful as he went on to the grandest scheme of the era...

Friday, August 16, 2013

From Senator to Emperor (Part 1)

(Originally Written for Jedi News)

George Lucas has said that the Star Wars Saga is Anakin Skywalker’s story. And it’s not that difficult to see when all is said and done, even though I’ve always felt it was more about the Skywalkers in general than any one member of the family, especially since IV-VI were half done before even the filmmakers knew Anakin was around.

This, of course, was the main reason for the existence of Episodes I-III. It was meant to tell the story of Anakin’s rise and fall, and then set up his eventual redemption in Return of the Jedi. And it’s a good story, all told. But just as interesting as Anakin’s tale, if not more, is the concurrent subplot of the one who would drive the final bolt into the iconic black suit.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I'm Going To Pretend I Didn't Hear What I CLEARLY Just Heard!

It's interesting that in a week where I gushed about podracing, I happened to see another racing-related film.

A few months ago, my wife found this great racing game for our phones on Google Play, which was about racing super-fast snails. It was fun, but I was even more impressed at the production values, which were much better than most mobile games. I noticed that it was a game by Dreamworks, which threw me for a loop.

Then it hit me...this has to be a tie-in game.

Sure enough, I looked it up and the film "Turbo" was set to be released later in the year. We both decided we needed to see it, and we finally made the trek to the theater last Tuesday.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Very Fast, Very Dangerous

(Originally Written for Jedi News)

In around 1998, I fell in love with racing.

No, not what they sanction for racing nowadays, with people just taking left turns all day. I mean racing through an obstacle course. Traversing an obstacle course at high speeds avoiding hazards and the machinations of other racers.

Namely, Mario Kart.

I’ve always had an aversion to organized sports. The only ones I’ve ever liked have been fictional, such as Quidditch and Calvinball. When a friend of mine got a Nintendo 64 with the game “MarioKart64,” I took to it like a duck to water. To this day, Kart-Racers have become perhaps my favorite genre of video game. I thought to myself, “if only real racing was like this.”

I was not prepared.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Doing Some Right by Layla

How the hell did I miss "Layla"?

When I did my Twelve Days of Listmas entry on Music, somehow, some way, I left "Layla" by Derek and the Dominoes off the list.

Now, I'm not a huge fan of most of Clapton's work, talented as he is. I'm even less of a fan of some of the things he's done in his personal life, including the inspiration for this very song.

But my god, that riff from "Layla" gives me eargasms like few other things can. Definitely in my top ten favorite compositions, almost certainly the top non-instrumental.

Why do I bring this up now and not in my updated list later this year? Only because I just discovered this the other day

It's hardly new; I think I read somewhere that it was from the 80s. But I had to share this with you all just in case some of you haven't heard it yet. This is a brilliant and beautiful adaptation. WHY is this not in an action scene from a movie? No, seriously, why?

Friday, August 2, 2013

These Federation Types

(Originally Written for Jedi News)

There are villains that scare you. They show their power, and you know you’d never survive an encounter from them. There are villains whose intelligence and scheming make life hell for the heroes, and you can be genuinely impressed by them. In both cases, love them or hate them, you know they pose a very considerable threat.

Then there are what TV Tropes describes as “Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains", villains that may be just as evil or at least amoral as other bad guys, but for whatever reason the heroes just can’t bring themselves to take them completely seriously.

As a lover of character archetypes, George Lucas has included this form of villain in the Saga more than once, most notably personified in the Nemoidians of the Trade Federation. While Nute Gunray and his cronies are hardly nice people, they are just as much victims of the forces behind the Republic’s fall as any of our heroes.